Already being talked up on the Euro garage-punk scene, Italy’s SMALLTOWN TIGERS are all set to drop their debut single next month, and will be playing a bunch of UK dates to support it.
Hailing from the northern seaside city of Rimini, the trio came into existence a year ago, earning their stripes playing squat clubs and beach parties, before scooping the support slot for NYC powerpop aces BABY SHAKES on their jaunt around Italy this spring.
Now signed to Area Pirata Records, the band are due to release their debut single ‘Just Friends’ on 27 September, followed by a mini-album in the New Year. Both were produced by punk-blues guru Stiv Cantarelli (J.D. Hangover, The A.C.C.) and mastered by legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond (The Sonics, White Stripes).
‘Just Friends’ is available to pre-order now via Bandcamp.
Smalltown Tigers head to the UK in early October for a handful of dates, including an appearance at Loud Women‘s 4th Birthday Party at London’s iconic Hope & Anchor. Full dates are…
Thurs 10 Oct – The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea Fri 11 Oct – The Shacklewell Arms, London (Garageland Club) Sat 12 Oct – The Hope & Anchor, London (onstage 5pm) tickets Sat 12 Oct – Biddle Bros, London (onstage 10pm)
It’s only three weeks ’til Rebellion. We asked some of the acts playing this year to give us some of their favourite Rebellion memories…
Alex – Wonk Unit Nothing particularly glamorous or rock n roll but a couple of years back when we were playing that amazing slot in the Empress Ballroom between Frank Carter and the Rattlesnakes and Slaves, we’d got all set up on time and I was twiddling my thumbs with 15 minutes to go before show time. I hate waiting around so as our hotel was only 5 minutes around the corner, I decided to just walk back to kill time. So, check this, I opened the door, went in, cracked open a can of Coke and I shit my pants??? Like literally no warning, no feeling, I didn’t fart, I didn’t sneeze or do anything, just suddenly I found I just shit my fuckin pants??? Like WTF??? I guess I was lucky to be in our hotel room, but it was a pretty traumatic few minutes of cleaning up and changing my shorts before running back to the Ballroom to a packed 3000 strong crowd. Was a wicked gig! Xx
Fat Bob – Hard Skin Rebellion 2016 – It’s Sunday early afternoon and I’ve had enough. I’m just fucking leaving, and I hear some winging American voice on the outside stage and the missus’ asks who that is. Some geezer in the street suggests it’s Jelly Biafra or something but I’ve no fucking idea and I don’t care.
Walk a bit further down the road and bump into Daryl from Cock Sparrer. We are chatting on – usual Bollocks and then these fat balding middle-aged German geezers stop the conversation – getting excited they’ve met a legend. They are all over me like most balding middle-aged men who try to chat to me on Grinder. Anyway, they want a selfie with the legend that is Fat Bob. Both of them are wearing Cock Sparrer T-Shirts and ask Daryl without a clue who he is, if he minds taking a picture of them with me.
Being an Oi! celebrity is hard but it’s about time Cock Sparrer swapped their pay check with Hard Skin.
TV Smith The first time I was invited to perform at Rebellion was 1996. I’d never played a solo set at a punk festival before, and Rebellion had never had a solo artist before either, so I was a little nervous to say the least. Festivals being what they are, there was no opportunity for a soundcheck so when I walked on stage, I knew it was ‘now or never’. For a moment it looked like it would be “never”: I looked over to the mixing desk halfway down the hall – past the crowds of people in the audience waiting to see what I would come up with – and saw there was no one manning it. I plugged in. No sound. Was this going to be a truly acoustic gig, in front of nearly a thousand people? I’d expected it to be nerve-wracking – but not this nerve-wracking. Time stretched out before me and after what seemed like the longest couple of minutes, I had ever experienced a figure appeared behind the desk and I had sound. Not a good sound, to tell the truth – through the monitors on the stage, my guitar sounded like a distant tinny wasp, and I played it so hard to compensate that I almost immediately broke a string and the gig came to an abrupt stop. I didn’t have a spare guitar with me, so to the audience’s bemusement I had to put a new string on the guitar on stage. I then attempted to play ‘Bombsite Boy’ for the first time since the Adverts – I’d promised an acoustic Adverts set and that was what I was bloody well going to play – only to find out the song was far too complicated for acoustic guitar, and twenty years after my youthful former self wrote it, also too high to sing. Bizarrely, the audience loved it, and after a (for me) tortuous 40 minutes I left the stage to resounding applause and demands for encores.
It was a trial by fire, but I’m happy to say that I’ve played solo every year since then, and the acoustic scene at Rebellion has grown so popular that artists and audiences queue up to play, and get into the Almost Acoustic venue over the entire three days of the event. In fact, I’ve had so many complaints over the past few years from people who couldn’t actually squeeze into the room while I was playing that this year, I’m doing my solo show in the Opera House. Classy or wot?
Segs – Ruts DC It’s a strange phenomenon at Rebellion festival that whatever time you intend on going to bed, you always seem to be coming back to the hotel as the sun’s coming up, you miss breakfast (again) after not eating properly the day before.
After 5/6 years of this routine, I decided last year to get home while the night was relatively young. Still, gig done I did need to chill out with a beer or something, somewhere. “Come around to our hotel.” said Tom, singer of The Professionals. So off we went. So, there I was, sitting outside chatting to one Paul Cook (I have to mention, yes, he of The Sex Pistols fame, about our upcoming Crack 40 tour and other things).
“Last orders,” shouted one of the barmen – it was 3.30 am. “I’ve managed it!”, I thought. A relatively early night…but … “Rambo’s on the phone”, said Chris McCormack, the Proffs’ guitarist. “John wants a few people back to his hotel, he needs cheering up, don’t bring any idiots!” So, Chris said to me and girlfriend Tara Rez, “Come on you two, you’re not idiots”.
“Jesus!”, I said. Was he talking about John Lydon? -Yes, he was! Cookie said that he wasn’t gonna go and I said that there was no way I was going to meet JL, pissed, at 3.30 in the morning! I’m just about ready for my early night.
So, Cookie left and then , as we were starting off on our walk back to our safe haven, I got a text with hotel address. “Maybe we’ll just go for a little while …hmm.” So, we jumped a cab, the hotel was a way away and we had to get met at the gates by a security man who escorted us in.
We walk into the outside area and there was Mr Lydon, and a few friends/band members and Cookie had turned up in the end, so I walk up to introduce myself to John Lydon: “Hello Mr Lydon, I’m Segs from the Ruts – last time I saw you was in 1979 – you were looking at our album cover (The Crack). “We had just entered the press room at Virgin Records that day and proudly seen (the) Johnny Rotten holding up our up first LP .” Then I told him with a smile on my face, “You said ‘bunch of faggots’!”
He just said, “I deny it! I deny anything that I’ve ever been accused of.” He shook my hand warmly and told us that the bar was open “Get yourselves a drink and come and join us.”
So, there I was chatting away to John Lydon, he was actually really friendly to everyone. We rolled him a joint and sat down, the conversations were pretty deep and I even had the dutch courage to sing him a couple of lyrics from Music Must Destroy! What was happening? After an hour or so the evening drew naturally to a close, he said he had to go and take care of a few things and next minute he was gone. We said our goodbyes and got in a taxi —you guessed it —as our driver transported us along the Blackpool’s well-trodden promenade, the sky was well into its morning. The land of the rising sun indeed.
THE CRAVATS launch the latest in their series of classic single reissues with this rare archive clip premiered exclusively with Vive Le Rock!
The footage of the classic ‘I Hate The Universe’ was shot live at the legendary Zig Zag Club in London and had previously been lost for more than three decades.
Following the band’s recent resurgence with last year’s critically acclaimed LP Dustbin of Sound they are re-releasing limited editions of their classic Small Wonder singles on vinyl, as many missed them first time around and apart from paying silly money on eBay or Discogs it is a way of filling that ‘C’ section in your record collections with finery.
Limited to 500 copies, the band’s debut 1978 release ‘Gordon’ b/w ‘Situations Vacant’ was reissued last year and very few remain. It’s still available now from Overground Records or from any Cravats Live show.
Now, originally issued in June ’79, here comes ‘Burning Bridges’ b/w ‘The End’ and ‘I Hate The Universe’.
Produced by Bob Sargeant (a week after he produced The Fall’s Live At The Witch Trials in the same studio), it has been digitally remastered and, like ‘Gordon’, is encased in the same glorious sleeve artwork.
Attempting to make these re-releases look as close to the originals as possible has been a labour of love. Back then artwork was all: bits of cardboard, Letraset, scissors and a tube of glue, but thanks to modern, space-age technology you’ll get a near identical sleeve and spot-on label – in this instance Pete Stennett has kindly allowed the band to reproduce his legendary Small Wonder Record label. Each copy also comes with a handy insert featuring ‘Cravfacts’.
Remember, only 500 of these exist and then they’ve gone forever. It’s available now here or any Cravats gig.
The next release in the series, ‘Precinct’ will follow in a few months, so collect the set and drink plenty of water.
Below, Cravats frontman The Shend tells the story of the film clip…
As you can imagine The Cravats were somewhat thrilled to be asked to support The Birthday Party and UT at The Zigzag Club in London on 8 May 1982.
In the days before iPhones and even camcorders (first available to the general public in 1983), getting anything filmed involved good old celluloid and luckily that day, Simon Towle was on the guestlist clutching his trusty Super 8 cine camera which incredibly had sound.
He filmed all of ‘I Hate The Universe’ which, seeing as the reels of film only lasted a few minutes, was a feat in itself, and recorded the audio with the camera’s built in microphone.
A couple of months later we all gathered at Gordon’s flat (Gordon Winter was the lead singer of Small Wonder stablemates The English Subtitles and also the marvellously manic chair-wielding Mr H on stage with us in this film) in Rupert Court, Soho and watched the unedited masterpiece projected on a wall. That was the last time anyone saw it . . . for decades!
We sadly lost touch with Simon and the film became a dim memory but it was the only known footage of The Cravats and every now and then I’d try to track down Simon and this Holy Grail of Cravatian artefacts. I searched social media and googled Simon but the trail was always cold. Not knowing how to correctly spell his surname didn’t help.
Then in 2017 I befriended English Subtitles’ guitarist Louis who now lived in Hamburg on Farcebook and asked him if he knew of Simon’s whereabouts. It turned out Simon had moved to New Zealand many years ago and thanks to Mark Zuckerberg’s networking behemoth I got in touch, but although he remembered making the film he was unsure whether it still existed.
Bah, Inspector Morse never had this much trouble detectiving.
Then, a message from Simon in early 2018 finally cracked the case. While clearing the loft he’d found the film in, er, a case.
Hoorah! I exclaimed, and using Google Street View, Simon found a suitable celluloid conversion emporium in a town some miles from his home.
Once converted to digital it was sent through the howling ether of outer space to Shend Towers and passed to lovely chum and Emperor of digital imagery, the mighty Mark Richards for editing into the gem you see here.
Okay, it hasn’t the audio clarity or visual splendour of a cinematic classic such as say, Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines, but it’s really, really flipping old, was recorded on equipment with less pixels than a badger and has travelled the globe stuffed in a suitcase with some net curtains and 52 vintage copies of Practical Wireless Magazine.
Thirty-six years in the making and with massive thanks to Simon Towle, Mark Richards and all who helped along the way, we can finally present the legendary celluloid extravaganza that is, ‘I Hate The Universe’.
Fast rising Cornish psych-rockers HANTERHIR today premiere a new video with Vive Le Rock!
The track ‘Hope Comes With Love’ is the third single to be released from their widely acclaimed triple-album The Saving Of Cadan which is out now through Easy Action.
Formed in Redruth in 2007, the band have developed their sound in isolation from the mainstream, drawing on a diverse set of influences including the Psychedelic Furs, Echo & The Bunnymen, Sonic Youth and Hawkwind, whose onetime sax-player Nik Turner has been known to perform with the band on occasion.
You can catch Hanterhir on the following dates….
20 Oct Charlie’s Bar, Redruth
21 Oct The Sussex Arms, Tunbridge Wells
22 Oct The Victoria, Dalston, London (w/Brainiac 5) tickets
23 Oct The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea
Read a new interview with Hanterhir in our sister magazine Louder Than War out now!
Sobered up from Rebellion yet? Then have a read of Paula Frost’s report and relive all those sunny Blackpool memories….
This year the Vive Le Rock! crew made our way up to Blackpool for a long weekend of punk rock at the Winter Gardens! The festival has been running for 22 years and this year featured 350 bands across 4 days and 7 stages. Needless to say it’s the biggest event in the punk rock calendar year on year and one we look forward to.
Every day Max Splodge, the singer of ‘Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps’ kicks the Rebellion day off with his comedy bingo show. You won’t want to win one of his prizes, I’ve seen him give out a bag of out-of-date Bad Manners flyers.
Thursday kicked off with some Vive Le Rock! flyering outside the venue. Frontman Djamel from The Blue Carpet Band took a break from his usual role of playing Cramps style rock’n’roll and was recruited as part of our street team! We swerved through the busy crowds of punks enjoying another hot summer’s day and spoke to everyone we could, making sure they knew about Vive Le Rock, the only punk magazine in the UK. It was a great way of getting to know more of the punk family.
Backstage we bumped into Lynda and Coppo, two infamous punks who’d been on the scene since ’77 and knew all the bands (Coppo has most of them tattooed on his back!). Then someone called my name, it was John, the drummer of IDLES! They were playing the Empress Ballroom later and the rest of the band came over for a quick chat, including the big bushy bearded bassist known for his dancing in the ‘Stendhal Syndrome’ video.
It was time to venture further into the Winter Gardens, on the way I caught up with Jenna Talia of Glitter Trash, then met the controversial Soap Girls who had their boobs out as usual. There were tons of punks I hadn’t seen in years and it was great to link up with everyone again. We caught Call Me Malcolm on the introducing stage and then The Bar Stool Preachers hijacked me and lead singer T.J. McFaull took me to see one of his favourite bands The Menzingers. Steve Ignorant’s Slice of Life played the introducing stage. His acoustic crew of seated musicians drew a big crowd of singalong punks to the Opera House. Accompanied by Carol Hodge on piano, Ignorant performed a theatrical set dressed in a smart suit and braces with a trilby. Their moving performances of songs like ‘The Way Things Are’ and ‘Slice of Life’ brought some punks to tears.
IDLES played at 20:55 and sheered through ‘Mother’, ‘Well Done’ and ‘Stendhal Syndrome’ plus their new pro-love pro-immigration anthem ‘Danny Nedelko’ during their fifty-minute set. Frontman Joe climbed all over the stage and got into the audience whilst the rest of the band rolled around thrashing guitars in a frenzied intoxicating performance.
Later that night legendary punks the Buzzcocks headlined the Empress Ballroom and instilled that mystic feeling of revolution in a chandeliered, elegant room filled with punk rockers losing their minds. It was the flawless beginning to a weekend of anarchy and protest music.
There are too many other incredible moments to recount but you can read all about Rebellion 2018 in full in the new edition of Vive Le Rock!, on sale now.
THE RUTS DC have announced a major tour for the New Year, celebrating the 40th Anniversary of the classic album The Crack.
The tour takes in 17 dates across the UK and Ireland during February and March, including a London show at Shepherds Bush Empire. Support at all shows comes from THE PROFESSIONALS.
Coming together in the West London district of Southall in 1977, The Ruts sound fundamentally fused rabble-rousing punk with the dub-reggae influence of their surroundings. Their classic debut single ‘In A Rut’ was released at the start of 1979 on People Unite Records, the label owned by friends and neighbours MISTY IN ROOTS.
Their pioneering debut album The Crack was released on Virgin that autumn and is rightly regarded as one of the most important releases of the immediate post-punk – and indeed punk – era. Driven by a string of hit singles in ‘Babylon’ Burning’, ‘Something That I said’ and the reggae-fuelled ‘Jah War’, The Ruts were poised for major international success, only for their plans to be disrupted by the sudden death of charismatic frontman Malcolm Owen from a heroin overdose in July 1980.
Having played a benefit for guitarist Paul Fox, who was suffering from terminal cancer, in 2007, with Henry Rollins taking Owen’s role, surviving members Segs Jennings and Dave Ruffy decided to continue with The Ruts DC, recruiting guitarist Leigh Hegarty for the critically acclaimed album Music Must Destroy in 2016.
Celebrating the released of The Crack in 2019, the band will be performing the album live onstage in its entirety for the very first time, and in doing so will be paying tribute to Owen and Fox.
“It’s always been important to us to be a current and forward-thinking band, releasing and playing new material whilst being proud of our past,” states Segs. “A milestone to many, The Crack is an important piece of work to us too. We now feel ready to celebrate where we came from.”
“Making The Crack was a real game changer for me,” continues Ruffy. “The Ruts were a band that were greater than the sum of their parts and wrote music inspired by everything we had ever heard. It’s a piece of work that I am immensely proud to have been a part of. Now forty years on we will be playing the album in its entirety, it’s quite a challenge as some of the songs have not been played since 1980! Our legacy is large, and we are and will continue working hard to make this a great show.”
Full dates are as follows…
11th Feb Phoenix Exeter
12th Feb Concorde 2 Brighton
13th Feb O2 Ritz Manchester
15th Feb 02 Institute 2 Birmingham
16th Feb 02 Academy 2 Sheffield
17th Feb The Junction Cambridge
18th Feb 02 Academy Oxford
20th Feb Waterfront Norwich
21st Feb Riverside Newcastle
22nd Feb Garage Glasgow
23rd Feb Tunnels Aberdeen
24th Feb Liquid Rooms Edinburgh
26th Feb Rescue Rooms Nottingham
27th Feb SWX Bristol
28th Feb O2 Shepherds Bush Empire London
2nd Mar Button Factory Dublin, IE
3rd Mar Limelight Belfast
Stevenage goth standard-bearers FIELDS OF THE NEPHILIM join forces with Aussie psych legends THE CHURCH this autumn for three UK dates.
Having come to prominence during the 80s, at opposite ends of the same spectrum, this will be the first time the two bands have toured together.
Formed in 1984, the Nephilim, still featuring original members Carl McCoy and Tony Pettitt, broke an 11-year recording hiatus with a new single ‘Prophecy’ in 2016.
Billed as Special Guests, The Church came together in Sydney in 1980 and released their latest album Man Woman Life Death Infinity last autumn and have just completed a successful series of UK headline shows on the back of an appearance at Robert Smith’s Meltdown Festival.
Birmingham post-punk evergreens THE NIGHTINGALES have announced a series of UK dates for the Autumn.
Originally formed in 1979 out of the ashes of seminal Brum punks THE PREFECTS, since reconvening in 2004, the band has become increasingly active. They’ve just completed a short run of dates, and released a single ‘Commercial Suicide Man’ with punk legend VIC GODARD, who Nightingales frontman Robert Lloyd first met when The Prefects and Subway Sect supported THE CLASH on their White Riot Tour.
The Nightingales will be joined on select dates on the forthcoming tour by fast-rising punk-jazz threesome THE NEAR JAZZ EXPERIENCE, featuring Terry Edwards and Simon Charterton from 80s post-punk funkers THE HIGSONS and MADNESS bassist Mark ‘Bedders’ Bedford.
Full tour dates are….
Thu 20th Sep – The Cellar, Oxford
Fri 21st Sep – The Exchange, Bristol
Sat 22nd Sep – Wedgewood Rooms, Portsmouth
Sun 23rd Sep – Tom Thumb Theatre, Margate
Tue 25th Sep – Soup Kitchen, Manchester*
Wed 26th Sep – Stereo, Glasgow*
Thu 27th Sep – Opium, Edinburgh*
Fri 28th Sep – Central Bar, Gateshead*
Sat 29th Sep – The Lantern, Halifax*
Sun 30th Sep – Greystones, Sheffield*
Tue 2nd Oct – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham*
Wed 3rd Oct – Moth Club, London*
Thu 4th Oct – The Portland Arms, Cambridge*
Fri 5th Oct – Canal House, Nottingham*
Sat 6th Oct – Green Door Store, Brighton
Oz-punk sensations AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS are set to make their UK debut this month with a series of dates and their debut release for Damaged Goods.
The band formed in Melbourne in 2016, writing, recording and releasing their debut EP Giddy Up in a mind-numbing 12 hours. It was followed last year by a second EP, Big Attraction. Combined on a single album, the release has been flying out of the racks ever since. Big Attraction & Giddy Up is now getting a much-needed re-release by Damaged Goods on 18 May. It’s available to order here.
the band play two shows in Brighton as part of The Great Escape festival this weekend before heading to London for a string of shows, culminating in an already sold-out gig at The Lexington on Wednesday 23 May. Full dates are…
Fri 18th Prince Albert, Brighton (TGE Festival)
Sat 19th Australian BBQ – The Beach 12.50pm – 1.15pm, Brighton (TGE Festival)
Sun 20th Australian BBQ – Hoxton Square – London. 2.10pm – 2.40pm
Tue 22nd Rough Trade East Instore 7pm
Tue 22nd Lock Tavern, London
Wed 23rd Lexington, London SOLD OUT
While THE DAMNED have been basking in the limelight of their new album, original band founder BRIAN JAMES hasn’t been idle, revealing a brand new video as a taster for an expanded reissue of his hard-to-find debut solo album, as well as announcing a London date.
Brian James was originally recorded in 1990 following the break-up of James’ 80s band THE LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH. It was released on French label New Rose, formed a decade earlier, its name taken from the James- penned Damned debut single.
Reissued on 27 April through Easy Action Records, the album has been fully remastered for vinyl with two bonus tracks, new artwork and liner-notes by Brian. It’s available to pre-order here.
Brian recently went into the studio in Brighton, with drummer Malcolm Mortimer (who played on the original album) and bassist Austin Gayton, to make a video for the track ‘Slow It Down’. The video was shot by Tim and Poppy from fast-rising Birmingham garage trio TABLE SCRAPS.
“Although we’d factored in the usual amount of time for bands to take rests and to fuck up a few takes, Brian, Austin and Malcolm didn’t miss a single beat,” reveals Tim. “They had more energy and enthusiasm during the shoot than any teenage band I’ve filmed or seen play and it’s clear that Brian lives and breathes rock’n’roll.”
Brian James has just announced a show at The Lexington in London on 28 June, with Table Scraps as support. Tickets are on sale here.
Ace Essex punks MR HAPPY CHAINSAW launch their comeback EP this weekend with a special minifest.
Originally formed in 2004, the band split in 2009, only to return last year. Their new 5-track EP It’s Not My Ball, featuring three new songs and retooled versions of two older tracks, is set for release on 26 June and is available to pre-order here.
Their special launch party at The George, Witham on Saturday 24 June, also features sets from WOLFE SUNDAY, JIMMY VORN & THE VIPERS, SHOOTING GALE, FYRESKY and THE TRUSTED. Kicking off at 6pm, admission is FREE!