1977: SINGLES GOING STEADY!

In the 77th edition of Vive Le Rock!, we cast an eye and ear over the sights and sounds of 1977! What’s your favourite single from that crucial year? Here, in no particular order, are ten of ours….!

THE LURKERS – SHADOW

PENETRATION – DON’T DICTATE

X-RAY SPEX – OH BONDAGE! UP YOURS!

THE DAMNED – PROBLEM CHILD

ALTHEA & DONNA – UPTOWN TOP RANKING

RAMONES – SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER

THE ADVERTS – GARY GILMORE’S EYES

MOTORHEAD – MOTORHEAD

THE SAINTS – THIS PERFECT DAY

IAN DURY – SEX & DRUGS & ROCK & ROLL

Check out our 1977 special in the current edition of Vive Le Rock! available here and in all good newsagents!

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LUNG TIME COMING!

Canadian rockers SAM COFFEY & THE IRON LUNGS are back with a new single and album.

The muscular glam-stomping powerpop of ‘Back With The Gang’ catches the band in full-on Cheap Trick mode, the perfect opener for Real One, the band’s second album for Dine Alone Records.

Over the past decade the band have evolved out of the Toronto garage scene across three full-length albums and a slew of download and cassette releases. Along the way they’ve shared stages with acts as diverse as Flamin’ Groovies, Frank Tuner, The Black Lips and FIDLAR.

Real One – the name implying they’ve finally decided to take this gig seriously – finds them stretching out musically and thematically at the hands of noted producer Kevin Ratterman (White Reaper, My Morning Jacket, Strands of Oak).

Set for release on 19 February, Real One is available to pre-order here.

Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs

Pic by Kate Dockeray

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DISSIDENTS TAKE THE LONG ROAD!

West Country rockers RICHARD DAVIES & THE DISSIDENTS have unveiled another new video from their acclaimed debut album.

‘(Long Road) To Your Heart’ is taken from Human Traffic, which was released through Bucketfull Of Brains Records back in June.

The video is the work of longtime friend and collaborator Darren Stockford.

Although the band have been unable to play live thanks to Covid restrictions, the album has taken on a life of its own. Huge-selling Spanish language newspaper El Pais rated the album among the top rock releases of the year so far alongside Metallica, The Pretenders and newcomers Idles and Fontaines DC. The upshot has been an explosion in social media followers across Spain, Mexico and Brazil.

The band, who are made up of members of Mega City Four, Last Great Dreamers, Tiny Monroe and The Snakes, are currently in talks with various agents about Spanish dates just as soon as lockdown permits them.

“We’re really delighted by the way the album has been received not only in the UK but in Spain and the Spanish speaking world,” says Davies. “I think that may have something to do with the Alejandro Escovedo connection, and the enduring popularity of guitar music over there. The way music is now available on the internet probably has something to do with it too. We’re really looking forward to playing the songs live as soon as this dreadful pandemic allows. Stay safe music lovers and I hope you’re missing us as much as we’re missing you!”

‘(Long Road) To Your Heart’ is available on Spotify and all the usual digital platforms.

Human Traffic is available here.

Richard Davies & The Dissidents on Facebook

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RICH RAGANY RELEASES CHARITY SINGLE!

RICH RAGANY has just released a charity single and he’s sharing the video with Vive Le Rock!

All proceeds from the DIGRESSIONS and ROLE MODELS frontman’s ‘From Nowhere To You’ will go to The Brain Tumour Foundation Of Canada in honour of his recently departed brother George Ragany.

“George always seemed to know how, and taught me how, to try and get the best out of dark and sad times… so this is my attempt…” says Rich. “It was written in isolation after flying from the UK to Canada and getting the news he passed while I was in the air… didn’t make it to be by his side… and that is a heartbreaking fact… but hope this is a fitting tribute to his spirit and memory…. a song about love and trying to reach out against odds.
I hope you can take it for yourself.”

It was recorded with the help of Rich’s old friend Reed Shimozawa, formerly of Canadian rockers ZUCKERBABY, who played on and produced the single.

‘From Nowhere To You’ is available now through Bandcamp. If you buy it on Friday 6 November, Bandcamp will waive their cut with all the money going to the charity.

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SPIDERS AND THE FLY!

Yorkshire rockers BLACK SPIDERS come roaring back with a brand new single and the promise of a new album.

The Sheffield band bowed out in 2017, with their last release being the four-track download EP Rat Mansion three years earlier.

“It seemed an obvious choice for the first single,” exclaims frontman Pete Spiby about the track ‘Fly In The Soup’. “It’s classic Black Spiders and a good song to step back into the affray. The sentiment of it is we’re back and here to annoy you, so deal with it…!!!”

The reunion was first mooted back in 2019, but because the chaos caused by Covid 19, the band have not been able to play together and the album has come together through the joys of file-sharing and socially-distanced studio time.

“Lockdown was actually a pretty productive time for us, so much energy and positivity,” says Spiby. “We couldn’t stop writing; it was great to have that inspiration, and that connection again. At the same time, it was a whole new way of working. Usually we would get into the rehearsal room and blast through things, but we had to change and it has given us a lot clarity and more time to demo up the songs from a distance and have new perspective. Same with the studio, as we still haven’t actually played the songs together, in a room, old skool.”

‘Fly In The Soup’ is out today, available on Spotify and the usual digital platforms, while the as yet untitled new album is due for release in the New Year.

Black Spiders on Facebook

Pic by Mark Latham

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KEEP US ON THE RODENT!

Hot-to-trot new Kiwi rockers RATSO have just dropped their debut single on a world in turmoil.

Coincidentally(?) released to impact with the US election, ‘Shut Your Face’ and ‘Arseholes And Bullshit’ exploded all over the Internet a couple of months back thanks to a brace of live videos shot by Auckland’s 95bFM radio station.

Formed only last year, the band has an impressive CV bringing together members of noughties Kiwi garage-punkers The D4, 80s Brit grebo kids The Milk Monitors and globe-straddling NZ urchins The Cavemen, citing such diverse influences as The Dead Boys, Gang Of Four and Thin Lizzy.

The single was recorded on vintage analogue gear at Auckland’s Earwig Studios before being shipped to New York City for mixing by Dion Lunadon (The D4, A Place To Bury Strangers).

If you’re in Auckland, you can catch the band at a special single launch at Thirsty Dog with support from Warm Leather on 20 November.

‘Shut Your Face’ b/w ‘Arseholes And Bullshit’ is available digitally and on limited edition 7″ vinyl via Bandcamp.

Ratso on Facebook

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HOSTS WITH THE MOST!

French post-punk supergroup DO NOT MACHINE trail their debut album with a fruity new video.

‘The Host Inside’ is taken from the album Heart Beat Nation which is due out on Twenty Something Records via PIAS on 20 November.

Formed in 2017 on the highly fertile music scene in and around the Loire Valley city of Angers, Do Not Machine feature members of the bands Zenzile, Glass and Last Time Voodoo, along with the brothers Etienne and Camille Belin, founders of the band Daria and latterly LANE alongside members of local legends, 90s SubPop signings Les Thugs.

Recorded at home in France, the album was sent to the US to be mixed by J Robbins, formerly of DC hardcore mob Goverment Issue and Jawbox, and mastered by Dan Coutant of Orange County band Joshua.

Heart Beat Nation is available to pre-order here.

Do Not Machine on Facebook

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SPIZZENERGI VIDEO PREMIERE!

SPIZZENERGI are unveiling their brand new video today and are premiering it exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Made all the more poignant by the news of another lockdown, ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ laments the decades of music heritage in London’s West End crushed to death at the hands of grasping landlords and soulless developers.

“The chorus for ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ came to me on a cycle home on the 10th January 2015,” explains punk legend Spizz. “This was the final week of The 12 Bar Club’s existence in Denmark Street – closing down to make way for the controversial Crossrail project – and coincided with my birthday week. The atmosphere in the club was fantastic and I went every night. The 12 BAR was like a musicians social club with bands dropping in after playing at other venues in the area. We were told the club would be preserved as the Crossrail transformation started to bite.

“Following my creative cycle home that night, I met up with SPIZZENERGI guitarist Luca Comencini to develop the song and it was first performed in public when Luca and I were offered an acoustic slot performing as SPIZZOLOGY supporting James Stevenson’s All Stars Band for his LP launch at The Water Rats, 17 December 2015.”

The single was mixed by the famous producer Tony Visconti, who says, “I liked the song a lot when I first heard it. As I have lived in London for 22 years, the sentiments of the song, and hope that the street could be saved, struck a chord in my heart. Spizz is a great performer and his vocals made it very appealing to me. I’m so happy with the way it turned out. It’s commercial enough to be played on the BBC and I hope it gets lots of signatures on a petition to save the street for all our efforts.”

Set for release on 18 December, you can pre-save ‘Christmas In Denmark Street’ digitally and buy a limited edition red vinyl 7-inch here.

Spizzenergi on Facebook

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YOU SAY YOU WANT A DISSOLUTION!

Art-punks THE IMBECILES today issue their long-awaited new EP, their first release with their new line-up.

Following the release of their debut album earlier in the year, the band had a shake-up resulting in a stripped back line-up and the new six-song Dissolution Sessions EP.

“We’ve slimmed down from a meandering, vegan, six-member prog rock combo, to a tight-knit, guitar-led, steak-eating 5-piece,” says mainman Butch Dante. “The guitar sound is fuzzy punk beast-master AF, and we like it.”

As previously announced, the band are heading into the studio early next year to record their new album with Killing Joke’s Youth in the producer’s chair.

To celebrate their new EP, the band recently played a semi-secret gig in Dante’s Brooklyn garage. “It was mad,” he exclaims. “We had to keep it on the DL because the fuzz would have shut it down otherwise but we still had 30 people and a bunch of other locals turned up and peered through the gate. People liked it! And I got to wear my space suit! Yay!”

Check out the live version of recent single ‘Yes I Am’….

Buy Dissolution Sessions here.

The Imbeciles on Facebook

Pic by Drew Reynolds

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SMALLTOWN TIGERS UNVEIL NEW VIDEO!

Italian punk sensations SMALLTOWN TIGERS are treating their fans with a witchy new video for Hallowe’en!

The lasses from Rimini should by rights be preparing for a run of UK dates right now, but because of Covid 19, they’ve had to be scrapped. They have, however, released a new video for the track ‘Darling Please!’ from their acclaimed debut album which came out in April through Area Pirata.

“Because of the pandemic, we postponed our UK gigs from May to November,” they explain. “Then, because of ongoing restrictions, we had to cancel them altogether. We apologise to everybody that bought tickets or even just thought about coming to our shows. It is hard for us to stay away from the road.

“We all hope that the situation could be back to normal in 2021 so we could come back strong and play in any club that would be willing to have us. Other than that, we are already working on a new album for release next year. We would love to shake this ugly 2020 off our backs with something new!”

Five Things is available digitally and physically through Bandcamp, as well as Spotify and all the usual platforms.

Smalltown Tigers on Facebook

Pic by Debora Magalotti

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SWEET ‘N’ SOUR SHAKES!

BABY SHAKES have collaborated with THE UNDERTONES on a brand new single.

The glam-stomping ‘Sweet’n’Sour (Part 2)’ is the NYC girls’ take on a track from Undertones guitarist Damian O’Neill’s 2018 solo album Refit, Revise, Reprise, while the B-side ‘Really Really’, a song by drummer Billy Doherty previously to be found on the flipside of the ‘Tones ’79 hit ‘Get Over You’.

The tracks were laid down at Small Town America Studio in Derry by Billy Damian and Stephen Mailey, while the Shakes’ Mary, Judy and Claudia flew in to add their vocals.

“We have been fans of the Baby Shakes ever since they supported us at Southpaw in Brooklyn N.Y back in ‘05,” explains Damian. “I’d like to think that ‘Sweet’n’Sour’ and ‘Really Really’ neatly merge Derry poptones with New York sassy attitude. There’s an infectious new freshness and enthusiasm oozing from the grooves. The entire recording process was a total delight and that’s obvious when you put the needle on the record for the first time.”

“I really, really love the new Baby Shakes version of ‘Really Really’, adds Billy. “Working with them, Damian and my nephew Stephen Mailey was such a tonic. It was so wonderful, enjoyable and refreshing to be intoxicated with everyone’s enthusiasm. Yes, for me it was truly magical and I can’t wait to do it again.”

Set for release on 30 October through Dimple Discs, the single is available to pre-order on download and limited edition 7″ here.

Baby Shakes on Facebook

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HEROINE CHIC!

North London pop-rockers THE MIDDLENIGHT MEN have unveiled another video from their forthcoming debut album.

The epic 10-minite clip for ‘Heroine Heights’ is the result of 5 months preparation, 2 months shooting and 1 month editing.

The follow up to previous singles ‘B.A. Baby’ and ‘Rat Star’, band mainman Nick Hughes says of the song, “The core message of the song itself is something that’s really important to me. I still find myself being constantly embarrassed, every single time, to be a guy when I walk down the street and see all the lecherous, cat calling, rude ass guys who think it’s perfectly acceptable to shout out after girls. It’s disgusting and I can only imagine what it feels like for girls. We wanted to address this but obviously we like mixing humour and seriousness in most of the things we produce so I decided to mix this with the superhero element and refer to some of the relationships between the heroes and villains and relate it back to the core message. That this simply is not okay.”

Taken from the forthcoming album Issue 1, ‘Heroine Heights’ is available here.

The Middlenight Men on Facebook

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FUMBLE SALE!

Rock’n’roll revivalists FUMBLE have their complete recordings compiled on a new box set.

Formed in Weston-super-Mare in 1967, the band were regulars on the pub and college circuit in the early 70s, releasing a pair of major label albums – Fumble and Poetry In Lotion – with memorable Hipgnosis sleeves (the latter photographed by Throbbing Gristle’s Peter ‘Sleazey’ Christopherson).

The band were recruited by David Bowie as support on two separate tours, inculding the US Ziggy Stardust jaunt, and keyboard-player Sean Mayes was later co-opted by Bowie for the 1978 Isolar II tour, documented on Stage, and also for the ’79 album Lodger.

The band also featured alongside Shakin’ Stevens in the West End production of Elvis! The Musical and the remake of the 50s TV show Oh Boy!

Over four CDs, Not Fade Away: The Complete Recordings 1964 – 1982 features both Fumble’s original albums plus the ’79 ‘official bootleg’ live album Rumble With Fumble and their final release, the Germany-only It’s Only A Rock’n’Roll Game from ’82. The set is rounded out with tracks from Elvis! and Oh Boy!, stand alone singles, album outtakes, a BBC session and tracks by mid-60s Fumble precursor, The Iveys.

Set for release by Cherry Red on 27 November, Not Fade Away is available to pre-order here.

Fumble on Facebook

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SINCLAIRS VIDEO PREMIERE!

THE SINCLAIRS are back with a brand new video, which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Hot on the heels of their spectacular debut album Sparkle, the duo featuring Rat Scabies and Billy Shinbone from Somerset band FLIPRON and Neville Staple’s band have teamed up with our old friend Paul-Ronney Angel from THE URBAN VOODOO MACHINE for the timely single ‘Halloween Wings’.

‘Halloween Wings’ is out now through Spotify and all digital platforms via Cleopatra Records. The duo is planning to tour after the world gets back to normal.

The Sinclairs on Facebook

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THE PRATS VIDEO PREMIERE!

Cult Scottish post-punks THE PRATS have a new compilation album out next month, and they’re trailing it with a video which they’re premiering exclusively with Vive Le Rock!

Aged just 12-14 when they formed, the Edinburgh quartet earned a strong local following, making their vinyl debut on the Fast Product compilation Earcom 1 in 1979. This led to their debut single ‘Die Todten Reyten Schnell’ for Da Da Records and the 1990’s Pop E.P. – featuring the track ‘Disco Pope’, a US college radio favourite – and ‘General Davis’ single for Rough Trade.

The band received a belated profile boost in 2004 when ‘General Davis’ was used in the Hollywood remake of The Manchurian Candidate, starring Denzel Washington and Meryl Streep. Their career is now the subject of a documentary Poxy Pop Groups – The Story of The Prats by independent filmmaker Angus McPake, due out later this year.

The album Prats Way Up High features the band’s three 7-inches plus demos and a previously unreleased John Peel session from ’79, regarded by the maestro as one of his favourites.

The release is dedicated to the band’s bassist Jeff Maguire who passed away in July of this year. The band say, “Jeff was always involved in the band – we used words like roadie and manager initially to describe his role although the reality is that we had very little idea what either of those meant! Jeff was great at engaging with people – a talent he displayed throughout his life and he had no problem collaring the great and the good of the local music scene, getting us gigs, support slots, interviews in fanzines etc.  He eventually joined the band on bass and played on all three singles.   

“After the Prats, Jeff played in local bands, went to university, studied and taught languages, here and in Spain and then worked as a civil servant for the Scottish Government where he was a highly regarded colleague, known for his ability to relate to and get on with pretty much everyone.  He had a wide range of passions including punk, post-punk and classical music; football (he was an avid Hibernian fan); cycling, wine and lots more. He was also a husband and a father, married to Celine and the proud dad of Serena. 

“Somebody came up with a title for a short piece which Jeff did on his experience in the band for a tape magazine in 1980.  It was simply ‘The Joy of Being Jeff’.  The expression was used several times at his funeral to sum up a life which was lived well and to the full but which ended way too early.”

Prats Way Up High is set for release on 13 November through One Little Independent Records. It’s available to pre-order here.

Check out the video for ‘Disco Pope’…

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ALL ABOARD THE WEED BUS!

Aussie stoners TUMBLEWEED are back with their first new music in seven years.

The Wollongong band’s first release since their 2013 reunion album Sounds From The Other Side, the single ‘Shadowland’ was produced by Radio Birdman’s Rob Younger.

“I was always a big fan of Rob Younger’s work as a singer and as a producer and always wanted to work with him,” states frontman Richie Lewis. “When we had the idea to record a string of 45s, we really wanted Rob to produce, considering he was responsible for producing most of our favourite Australian singles. We live in the same town, we have shared band members and crossed paths for the past 25 years but we have never worked together.

“We surrendered to the process, we listened to his guidance, we learned a lot. We’ve all got a lot of respect for Rob Younger, we wanted to impress him, he brought the best out in us.”

Formed in 1990, Tumbleweed released their now classic debut single ‘Captain’s Log’ – produced by Mudhoney’s Mark Arm – in December of that year. Supporting Nirvana at their first ever Australian gig, the band signed to Atlantic, going on to support the Rollins Band on their Australian tour and co-headlining a tour with Monster Magnet.

Having split in 2001, the band returned in 2009, but following the release of Sounds From The Other Side, the band was rocked by the sudden death of founding bassist Jay Curley in 2014. Jay’s place has since been taken in the band by Jamie Cleaves of Wollongong oppos The Dead Set.

“’Shadowland’ is about the uncertainty of the future,” explains Lewis. “These are strange times, dangerous and divisive times. When the truth is not believed, there is little you can trust or count on.”

Available to stream/download now through Spotify and the usual platfoms, ‘Shadowland’ will be released on limited edition 7″ vinyl on 27 November, coupled with the band’s next single ‘Rebellion’. It’s available to pre-order now through Farmer & The Owl.

Tumbleweed on Facebook

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THE REAL DEAL!

High-octane rock’n’rollers LUCIFER STAR MACHINE have just unveiled a new video.

a cover of Kansas City rocker Lee Dresser’s 1969 loungeabilly classic, ‘El Camino Real’ is taken from the Hamburg quintet’s latest album The Devil’s Breath, which came out in April via The Sign Records.

A Tarantino-esque carcrash of Reservoir Dogs and Smokey And The Bandit, the video was directed by renowned Kustom Kulture filmmaker Dirk Behlau and features a guest appearance from MAD SIN’s Koefte DeVille.

Lucifer Star Machine on Facebook

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