FRANK TURNER returns with a new single an a run of live shows throughout the Summer.
‘The Gathering’, which features guest appearances from JASON ISBELL and MUSE’s Dom Howard, voices the frustrations that we’ve all felt at the absence of live music over the past year and heralds the removal of restrictions and hopeful return to some kind of normality in the coming months.
To make good on this declaration, Turner and his label Xtra Mile will be staging a series of special outdoor shows throughout the Summer.
“At a time when the pandemic has wreaked havoc all across the live music industry, I feel like it’s important to get back to the basics – playing live music to entertain a crowd,” he says. “This summer, with Xtra Mile and friends, I’m taking the punk approach – do it yourself, find a way. I can’t wait.”
The shows will feature a full supporting cast drawn from the Xtra Mile roster and varying from gig to gig, including Skinny Lister, Johnny Lloyd, Pet Needs, Ducking Punches, Non Canon, Deux Furieuses, Berries, Guise and Samantics. Turner will be playing in a duo with Matt Nasir except where noted…
JUNE 19 – Bideford, The Big Sheep 20 – Bideford, The Big Sheep 26 – Frome, Cheese & Grain 27 – Frome, Cheese & Grain
JULY 8 – Liverpool, Top Rope Brewery – competition winners only 17 – Gloucester, Llanthony Secunda Priory 18 – Gloucester, Llanthony Secunda Priory
AUGUST 21 – Manchester, Urmston Sports Club (full band show)
Rejuvenated Birmingham punks CULT FIGURES have just unveiled another new video.
‘Concrete And Glass’ is taken from Deritend, the band’s first album of new music on forty years and follows on from the recent single ‘Chicken Bones’.
Darlings of the same Solihull Art School scene, that also gave the world DIY punk pioneers Swell Maps, the band resurfaced in 2016 with the album The 166 Ploughs A Lonely Furrow, which featured new recordings of old material.
Now based in London, the video for ‘Concrete And Glass’ was filmed by the band’s guitarist, and award-winning filmmaker, Jon Hodgson, and features singer Gary Jones ambling through the City’s Barbican estate.
“’Concrete And Glass’ was inspired by something my wife said while we were walking around London’s Soho,” says Jones. “The gentrification… ‘all the buildings going up, and the buildings coming down, were making her frown’ … took the narrative off into a hazy Soho nostalgia trip from the halcyon days of carefree youth.”
Out now through Gare Du Nord Records, Deritend is available physically through Bandcamp and digitally here.
Hard-working London punks HEALTHY JUNKIES have a new video which they’re premiering with Vive Le Rock!
“‘Mayday’ is a grunge styled anthem, a cry for help, a shout to the heavens, a code red warning, and a call to action.” says guitarist Phil Honey-Jones. “Mental health has become one of the most talked about subjects especially in recent years. With the lockdown restrictions, pandemic and the stopping of any kind of socialising and of course the cessation of actual live music this problem has been magnified way beyond any previous levels. This is what happened when you lock people up for an extended period of time!
“The song was recorded at home at what we call The Purple Palace, and features our good friend from a long time Frog from Pollypikpocketz on additional vocals.”
Eager to get back out on the road again, the band are currently booking dates with a view to promoting their recent Forever On The Road albums. They’ve also been making the most of the enforced downtime to work on their new album.
Released through the band’s own label Banana Castle, ‘Mayday’ is available now on Spotify. Healthy Junkies music is available to buy in physical form from their website.
ALABAMA 3 return with a new single and video and news of a new album and dates to follow.
‘Whacked’ is the first new music from the Brixton mavericks since the tragic passing of The Very Reverend D Wayne Love in May 2019.
“’Whacked’ was recorded in the early weeks of the first UK lockdown in March 2020,” remembers producer Cam Blackwood (George Ezra, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes). “I think the hedonistic spirit of the song was amplified a million times by the fact we were making the record remotely – with the musicians in the band recording their parts at home, sending them all to me to collate and arrange – then I would send the instrumental track to Larry to record vocals on. The energy was pretty insane – we were like caged animals desperate to get out.
“We managed to find time three months later (when the first lockdown ended in July 2020) to get together and put the finishing touches to the song,” continues Blackwood. “Being in the studio with a few beers seemed like a fitting way to finalise the tune and put the last 1% of energy into the recording. This song feels like classic Alabama 3 to me. It’s a banger!”
“You can praise the Lord, you can pass the ammunition, you can be woke you can be wicked you can have the wisdom of Solomon but unless you are ready to get whacked with Alabama 3 there’s no point in dreaming,” adds Larry. “Rearrange the rubble, paint your bomb shelters and make sure everybody in the neighbourhood feels good cos we feel like getting stupid and you need to get whacked.”
The video for the single was directed by the Sitcom Soldiers company. Speaking of the clip, Love pronounces, “Feast Thine eyes brothers and sisters upon Alabama 3’s new video, everybody’s getting whacked on something. We salute the good the bad and the ugly and every neighbourhood that is brave enough to have a party. Please drink responsibly and be advised that viewer discretion is required, no animals or children were hurt in the making of this video though some participants needed Nurofen the day after the shoot. Enjoy!”
‘Whacked’ is the first track to be aired from their forthcoming Step 13, which is due out on 20 August, through Submarine Cat Records. It’s available to pre-order here. Tickets for their forthcoming tour dates are available from the same link.
Thursday 17 March 2022 Cambridge, The Junction Friday 18 March 2022 Birmingham, Institute 2 Saturday 19 March 2022 Liverpool, O2 Academy Friday 25 March 2022 Dublin, Academy Saturday 26 March 2022 Belfast, Limelight Thursday 31 March 2022 Brighton, Concorde 2 Friday 1 April 2022 Southampton, Engine Rooms Saturday 2 April 2022 Exeter, Phoenix Sunday 3 April 2022 Bournemouth, Old Fire Station Thursday 7 April 2022 Newcastle, Boiler Shop Friday 8 April 2022 Edinburgh, Liquid Rooms Saturday 9 April 2022 Glasgow, SWG3 Sunday 10 April 2022 Kendal, Brewery Art Centre Thursday 14 April 2022 Cardiff, Tramshed Friday 15 April 2022 Holmfirth, Picturedrome Saturday 16 April 2022 Manchester, O2 Ritz Sunday 17 April 2022 Leeds, Warehouse Wednesday 27 April 2022 Reading, Sub89 Thursday 28 April 2022 Oxford O2 Academy Friday 29 April 2022 Bristol, O2 Academy Saturday 30 April 2022 London, SBE
Garage duo THE COURETTES are back with a brand new single and video.
Mixing Duane Eddy Twang and 60s girl-group vocals, ‘Hop The Twig’ is the Danish/Brazilian duo’s second single for Damaged Goods Records, following on from last year’s ‘Want You! Like A Cigarette’, which sold out of its initial pressing in just two weeks. ‘Hop The Twig’ is out on 7″ and download on Friday 30 April.
“We’re all feeling like we’re walking on the thin ice these days, so when I by chance found the expression ‘hop the twig’ we were amazed not only about how good it sounded, but also about its meaning,” explains guitarist and singer Flavia Couri about the song. “It is an old slang for dying, so we found it a very appropriate title for a song as too many people had ‘hopped the twig’ this last year. We’re big fans of Duane Eddy and all the early surf music, and this riff kept coming in my head, so I started to play around it on the guitar. And then it hit me: it’s Hop The Twig! Though ‘Hop The Twig’ is always hiding behind your back, and it’s a pretty dark theme, the song is more of a statement celebrating that we are still here – at least by now. So, cheers to that! And look out!!!”
Work has recently been completed on the duo’s third album Back In Mono which is set for release through Damaged Goods this Autumn.
In the meantime, the label will be reissuing their first two albums – Here Are The Courettes and We Are The Courettes – on remastered limited edition coloured vinyl and 2-on-1 CD on 16 July.
Goth-folk outfit DANA IMMANUEL & THE STOLEN BAND have a new video which they’re premiering today exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
‘WD40 & Duct Tape’ is from the EP Mama’s Codeine, which was initially released back in March 2020, but is being given another go-round as the world tentatively begins to re-open.
“Basically Alexander (Alexander JE Bradley, director) and I have been kind of platonic soulmates since we met at the European Poker Tournament in Deauville that Jake Cody won years ago, we started out making guerrilla music videos after hours in fancy hotels across Europe, and we seem to work oddly well together,” explains Immanuel. “He was flying out to Sweden to spend Hallowe’en in a cabin in the woods with his ex-girlfriend and her mother (don’t ask) when the second Paris lockdown was announced, and in a panic he asked if he could move in with me instead. Cue several months of hilarious fun in London with my new housemate. We were both very keen on breaking stuff, hence all the sugar glass. Also we got to go to Pinewood Studios to pick up the sugar glass, which was very exciting.
“We could only afford 6 sugar glass whiskey glasses, two vases and two of the blue bottles. Sugar glass is quite expensive, it turns out. We did briefly consider using real glass until we realised that we would definitely hurt ourselves – not a good look in a plague with the NHS under stress. I think there is actually a bottle of whiskey visible in every video we’ve ever made together…
“Side note – am seriously thinking of buying a hundred of those whiskey glasses and marketing them as stress balls. Anyway. Video shot in three days, entirely in my house. Just me and Alexander, with a bit of assistance from my other housemates pushing the dolly. And by dolly I mean a coffee table on wheels with Alexander perched on it. Fun fact – about 40 bottles of whiskey were downed in the making of the video. Alexander returned to Paris the day after we finished filming and deeply regretted it. Waiting for our various lockdowns to be lifted now so he can come back to London and we can make another one.
“‘WD40 & Duct Tape’ is about a broken heart. You don’t need to know the details. Though we always dedicate it to the sound engineer and the stage manager when we play it live…”
Curiously-named Alabama rockers DREE LEER have a new video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
‘You Too’ is taken from the Birmingham trio’s debut album Throw Hands which is due out next week through Bettamax Records.
“During this last year, like a lot of people, I was living in my head,” says frontwoman Jackie Lo. “Questioning reality, missing my everyday life that now feels like it was 10 years ago. But most importantly thinking about what I might do differently and with who. This song is about realizing which people in your life are fake and toxic and cutting them out… ‘Everyone knows you’re a lie. You too!’”
Speaking about the video, she says “We got completely lucky. An amazing up and coming artist out of Chicago, Darby Jack Gustafson who also has Alabama ties, took interest in our music and agreed to make a video for ‘You Too.’ Every step involved had to take him forever! We couldn’t have been more happy with it. It’s dark, it’s beautiful, it’s like a light box puppet show! If you don’t know his work, find it!”
Alongside Lo, the band also features bassist Mandy Graffeo and drummer Mikey D. Part of the now thriving Birmingham alternative scene, they recorded Throw Hands at Ol Elegante Studios with Jason Hamric and Les Nuby, formerly with local legends Verbena.
And what about that name? “Dree Leer was one of my online names going back to ’95,” Lo explains. “‘Leer’ means a look or a gaze and ‘Dree’ is a word that means ‘to endure something unwanted or painful.’ It speaks to what women have to endure on a regular basis. A lot of the songs are pro women having a voice and speaking out and being strong and powerful.”
Set for release on 30 April, Throw Hands is available to pre-order here.
Following on from the release of their acclaimed collaborative EP K÷93, Killing Joke’s Jaz Coleman and former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter Hook got together via the wonders of t’Interweb for the first time in more than a decade to catch up, reminisce about the project and generally shoot the breeze for an hour. Vive Le Rock! is honoured to exclusively bring you the results. Your referee, Andrew Perry….
Aussie legends THE SCIENTISTS have announced the release of a brand new album.
The 11-track Negativity is the first new Scientists full-length studio album in 35 years and features the same line-up that played a European tour in 2018 – Kim Salmon, Tony Thewlis, Boris Sujdovic and Leanne Cowie – also previously found on the classic 2007 live album Sedition.
The album is the band’s third release for US label In The Red, following on from the 2018 single ‘Braindead’ and the 2019 EP 9H₂O.SiO₂.
Check out the video for the song ‘Outsider’…
Set for release on 11 June, Negativity is available to pre-order here.
Cumbrian punks THE LIARS CLUB herald their new EP with a brand new live video.
The savage, coruscating ‘8 Tonne’ is taken from the Barrow-in-Furness band’s second EP, Of Self, due out on 18 June through Neoprima Music, and casts a scorching spotlight on the devastation caused by the UK’s cocaine trade, 8 tonnes of the stuff being consumed in London alone each year.
“The song lyric ‘The Angels said to the people, welcome’ is a direct reference to how easy it is to get sucked into a world of drug abuse, and the endemic it has become in most towns and cities across the UK. The song has purposely been written to be close to the bone, with Noah’s aggressive vocals being a literal cry for help; a warning,” they comment.
The release is a belated return for the band: following a highly promising debut EP, Dormant, they were temporarily derailed when original bassist Jake took his own life. Having had a period of hiatus in order to process this tragic event, the band returned to play a series of shows to raise awareness of mental health issues in their comrade’s honour.
“It would be easy to not talk about what happened but what would be the point in that?” says frontman Noah Johnson. “Jake was a massive part of the band so if people take one thing from The Liars Club, it’s that they need to talk to each other.”
The Liars Club have lined up the following Summer shows…
24.06.21 – Ulverston – The Sun, Basement 02.07.21 – Manchester – The Castle
DROPKICK MURPHYS have just unveiled a video for their new single.
‘Queen Of Suffolk County’ is the latest track to be shared from their new album Turn Up That Dial, the Boston band’s tenth longplayer.
The track follows hot on the heels of their previous single ‘Middle Finger’. The video is the work of longtime band friend Mark Higgins, who was also responsible for their classic ‘I’m Shipping Up To Boston’ video.
Set for release on 30 April through their own Born & Bred label, Turn Up That Dial is available to pre-order here.
Enigmatic Kent ska-punks 3dBs Down have just marked their 20th Anniversary with a new album and video.
‘Count To A Million’ is taken from the album Get Your Retaliation In First which is out now through Engineer Records.
The band don’t give away much about themselves, but they’ve been described as sounding like Less Than Jake on steroids, which is fine by us! Their new album is their third and follows belatedly on from 2005’s Can Of Worms.
‘Count To A Million’ is “about the uneven distribution of wealth and opportunity between the few and the many, and how the numbers involved are hard to conceive.”
The video was directed and edited by Aaron Noordally.
3dBs Down have also contributed to the compilation album Hoarses For Causes, raising money for Music Support, a charity providing help and support for those in or employed by the UK music industry affected by mental ill-health and/or addiction.
JAMIE PERRETT, son of The Only Ones’ frontman Peter Perrett, has unveiled his first solo single and video.
An original member of Pete Doherty’s Babyshambles, Jamie and younger brother Peter Jr worked together in the bands Love Minus Zero and Strangefruit before turning their attention in recent years to assisting their father’s return to the frontline of UK music, a trajectory that has seen the release of two (so far) highly praised albums – How The West Was Won (2017) and Humanworld (2019) – for Domino.
Now concentrating on his own career, Jamie returns with his first solo single. Providing clear enough evidence that this apple hasn’t fallen far from the tree, as well as harking back to the dawn of pop, ‘Masquerade Of Love’ is sure to appeal to old Only Ones fans and newcomers alike.
“Masquerade of Love is a song about the duality and reality of love,” explains Jamie. “A song about heaven and hell and all that lies between. The word ‘masquerade’ encapsulates both the joy and allure of a dance or ball with the darker, hidden side of relationships. It’s about a break-up and difficult aftermath and the feeling that comes with it of being stranded and suspended in no man’s land as well as the rejoicing of a beautiful and powerful relationship at the same time.”
Jamie has announced a solo show at The Grace, Highbury (formerly Upstairs At The Garage) on 2 October.
Buy tickets an stream/download ‘Masquerade Of Love’ here.
Former SLAUGHTER & THE DOGS guitarist MICK ROSSI has released a new video from his debut solo album?
The graceful string-laden ballad ‘Midnight Dream’ is taken from All The Saints & All The Souls, and is certainly not what might be expected from a founder member of Manchester’s ‘Cranked Up Really High’ noisemakers but is perhaps more in tune with the uncertain times in which it was made.
The album was written and recorded in Los Angeles in a stripped down setting, Rossi working at Winslow Ct. Studios in Hollywood with Grammy-nominated engineer Craig Parker Adams (Dave and Phil Alvin, Flesh Eaters).
Released in October through TJM Records, profits from the first pressing of the album were donated to Manchester’s frontline NHS workers.
All The Saints & All The Souls is available to buy here.
Multinational powerpop punks LOS PEPES have announced a new single and video.
The breakneck barn-burner ‘I Want You Back’ forms half a double-A-side single with ‘Never Get It Right’, both of which can be found on their forthcoming new album The Happiness Program. Their maiden release for new label Black Wax Noise Division, confusingly, the single also features a third track, ‘Tell Me’, exclusive to this release.
Available on 7″ black vinyl – natch! – and limited edition coloured vinyl, both versions are available, along with loads of other great releases, from the Black Wax store.
London punks DEALING WITH DAMAGE are back with a new video and new-ish album.
The droning, irrepressible psych-punk ‘Slow Shadow’ heralds the new vinyl release of their highly-praised debut album.
Ask The Questions was released to rave reviews on CD and download at the end of 2019. The vinyl edition should by rights have followed soon after but the mammoth delays in vinyl-pressing caused by the pandemic have meant it’s only now surfacing.
To make it worth the wait it’s been bolstered by two bonus tracks – ‘Making Plans For Misery’ and ‘Lady Day’ – recorded at No Recording Studio in Rayleigh, Essex during the summer of 2019. The album title has been amended to Ask More Questions accordingly.
The band, who are made up of former members of Sink, K-Line, Done Lying Down, Jerry-Built, Stupids and The Scum Children, took advantage of the fine summer weather between lockdowns to decamp to the Surrey wilderness of their youth to shoot the video for ‘Slow Shadow’.
“Lyrically, ‘Slow Shadow’ is a meditation on the universal experience of hurtling towards death, one day at a time, whilst at the same time being damned if having a few extra years on the clock is going to dim the creative fires that burn inside us,” explains the song’s author Ed Wenn. “It’s 2 minutes and 42 seconds where the veil of self-deprecation is cast aside and DWD insist on being heard. One day they will indeed be that slow shadow, but for now at least, they’re here and they feel they have something to say and an interesting way to say it.”
Ask More Questions is out through Little Rocket Records and is available here.
Yorkshire rockers STILETTO FARM have a brand new video and they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
They may look like metallers but sound like pure street-punk on the anthemic ‘State Of Stagnation’, which is taken from the EP Power Fantasy.
Inspired by their late founder Jason White, the band take influence from the likes of Backyard Babies, Motörhead, The Wildhearts and Jean-Paul Sartre with their existentialist high energy rock’n’roll.
Having shared stages with the likes of Orange Goblin, Doctor & The Medics and a full UK tour with Asomvel, they’re champing at the bit to return to the live arena with a spot at The Waterloo, Blackpool’s Motörhead Day on 22 October.