Please note the items you are about to read consist largely of scurrilous gossip, vicious back-stabbing and idle speculation. As Jon Stewart might say, its stories are not fact checked. Its informants are not journalists. And its opinions are not fully thought through.
THE GONADS! CHARLTON! SOUTH LONDON! STREET ROCK N ROLL! COCKNEY CULTURE! COCKNEY ROCK! OI-TONE! SKA! BEER! CURRY! WORKERS’ RIGHTS! FLAG-GIRLS! ENGLAND! OI OI OI! THIS IS WHO WE ARE!
April 30. Here are some pix from our jubilant Hope & Anchor show on St George’s Day. Huge thanks to 365 Radio for promoting this sizzling showcase showdown, and to the support bands – the excellent teenage trio The Molotovs from Deptford, said by one informed insider to be “like seeing The Jam in 1976, that exciting” – and Jackals who the blog sadly missed. Our setlist was: THE COMING. LAGER TOP. JOBS NOT JAILS. LONDON BOYS. SE7 DOLE DAY. ALCONAUT. BUY ME A DRINK YOU BASTARDS. FEDERALES. OI MATE. SKINHEAD GIRL. PUNK ROCK WILL NEVER DIE. THE DRINKING SONG. GRANT MITCHELL. BEANO. I LOST MY LOVE TO A UK SUB. INFECTED. DANCE, FAT BOY DANCE. JOE HILL. GETTING PISSED. YETI. HEY YOU. ENCORE: TUCKER’S RUCKER’S AIN’T NO SUCKERS.
That was our hour, so sadly there was no time for GO MAD WITH THE GONADS and PUNK ROCK TILL I DIE/JOYS OF OI. Thanks to Gary Bennett for four of these five cracking pictures.
News update: we are in talks to headline another Hope & Anchor set with a pure punk line-up later this year. Watch the news page for confirmation. Otherwise, we’ll see you in Bexhill-on-Sea in September… We also reached 11 on the Legacy Chart with Glad To Be Alive and are now contemplating releasing What’s Happening Now or The Full English as video singles; either that, or recording one of Gal’s new songs, the intriguing sounding Ms Wattsie & Mistress Hyde, ahead of the Serenity Now EP…
Against this backdrop of positivity, Lord Waistrel has thrown two spanners into the works. Firstly we get a Zoom call from Effete El saying that “Waistrel watched Daisy Jones & The Six while flying to Barbados and is now suggesting that we change the band’s name to Wattsie Watts & The Five”. But there’s only four others, we say. El shrugs and says simply, “He wants to add a bassoon.”
Secondly, to make things worse, Waistrel has ordered The Beast to start legal proceedings against The Monkees for alleged plagiarism. “There is a lot of money in copyright disputes,” Oi The Lawyer tells us. “Think of the Stones vs. The Verve or Tom Petty vs Sam Smith. And our case is very strong.” What is it, we ask? The Beast smiles like a hungry crocodile and replies, “The Gonads are seeking to prove that the Monkees stole SE7 Dole Day from the esteemed writers, Mssrs Bushell and Bedsore, to create the inferior Pleasant Valley Sunday by the nefarious use of a time machine.” Blimey. When? “1967 their time, 1977 ours.” Why? “They needed a follow-up to Randy Scouse Git.” No why is the court case happening? “His Lordship had vodka for breakfast,” he replies, and the phone goes dead. See you court, or the asylum, whichever is easier.
April 23. We’re back but only to say: “Happy St George’s Day! Oi for England! England for the workers! For beef, beer and liberty!”
While we’re here, though, we can reveal that we have been contacted again by Foots Cray’s “leading psychic medium, tarot card reader and visiting masseuse” Sylvie Lee-Simmons who claims to that tonight’s St George’s Day punk spectacular at the Hope & Anchor will prove “significant” and that “a change is gonna come” (presumably she’s channelling the spirit of Sam Cooke there – Cynical Ed). Should we be worried? No, says Lord Waistrel’s newly-installed chief advisor Effete El, who tells us that as Sylvie’s previous predictions have yet to come true there is “no need for concern”. You may recall that Sylvie foresaw that one Gonad would leave to “fly solo” and that there would be “a marriage in the band”. However, Sylvie’s devoted followers say that there is still a year left for her predictions to prove accurate and we ignore her at our peril. Hmm. Adopting a serious, business-like tone, El adds that although the Gonads have no confirmed gigs until September, he and Miss Management are in talks about a number of overseas gigs for 2024 and hope to persuade Mark McMighty back to the studio for the promised “glorious insanity” of the newly mooted Serenity Now EP. “We will go forward, together,” he promises, “or perish on the shield wall of ambition.”
In other news, the Ministry Of Delusion have commissioned leading AI software-technicians to work on a number of projects including a “lost” Gonads album from the late 1970s – “the LP that the band would have been recorded if they hadn’t split in 1977”. A passing boffin explains “It’s simply a case of training an algorithm using hours and hours of Gal Gonad’s a capella vocals (Christ! – Music-loving Ed) so it could ape the cadence and tone of his voice… it then becomes possible to recreate Gal singing like he did when he was 21 or 22 to songs modelled on the kind of raw punk music the Gonads were making at the very start”. Modern tech would then meld songs based on the band’s original sound to new computer-generated lyrics informed by Gal’s early revolutionary radicalism. The boffin adds, “Therefore it is hoped we can create a new Job Not Jails style number as well as a new TNT, along with the expected songs about beer, barmaids, blow-jobs and Charlton Athletic... it’s AI Oi!” Blimey. If that works, the MoD plan to use AI to conjure up a “missing” third Cockney Rejects album “the crowd-pleasing record the Rejects should have made in 1981 mixing Oi with Motorhead-style hard rock… the logical first stepping stone between Volume Two and The Wild Ones.” Double blimey.
And if that sounds mind-blowing, hear this: Fat Col is currently getting in touch with a number of top-ranking bands in a bid to persuade them to contribute a track each to his new compilation: ‘TUCKERS, NO SUCKERS, YOU FUCKERS – A Worldwide Tribute To The Gonads’. He tells us he is only contacting “proper bands like Maiden, Rose Tattoo, Metallica, AC/DC, Leppard and the East End Badoes – no rubbish”. Col explains that hopes to persuade Rose Tattoo to cover our Fire Down Under (stolen by the Business), Maiden to record Made In London and Rhoda Dakar to do a version of Badly Done” (Are you sure? – Ed). Says Col, “The Gonads are the bollocks and the world needs to grow a pair and show them some respect.” Nice. Then he adds, “Obviously not including that Welling woman.” Not nice. Poor show.
April 16. We mixed and mastered our new live album yesterday, and demoed songs for our proposed Serenity Now EP. The live album, due out in July from Randale Records, packs in two live sets – one from the Hope & Anchor and one from Arkwright’s – and comes in at a mega 77minutes long. Lee Wilson and Leah McCaffrey guest on the first set, Mark McMighty on the second.
Our spy whispers, “The finished album exceeded the maximum running time for a CD so the band had to cut a few of the songs in the edit suite. Out went Valhallaballoo, Lunatic Asylum, Whelks and sadly Oldham. But it is still the absolute dog’s bollocks!” The Arkwright’s set was cut back to just six numbers – The Coming, Glorious, Go Mad with The Gonads, Fat Col’s 18 Stone Of Dynamite “with insane guitar”, the Sabbath tribute ParaNOi! and new track She’s Coming Soon – played live for Club 77 in Rainham this month after just one rehearsal. A studio version is now mooted for inclusion on the planned Gonads 2023 EP along with Indus Road, Serenity Now, and the raging Old Grumpy Bastard, the latter possibly inspired by Gal himself. Our spy adds: “Gal was like Victor Meldrew after a close encounter with a wasps’ nest. There was friction all day long. Thank God Wattsie managed to rein him in by purring in his ear like a kitten. She also promised faithfully to drop the Flockers inquiry and ‘think about’ resurrecting their ventriloquism act, which did the trick, but for a while it was touch and go. If Gal had got any angrier, he’d have turned green.” Crikey.
April 9. STOP PRESS. A fresh controversy threatens to derail the band anew. Don’t groan, this is serious! A snatched photograph has emerged that purports to show Gal Gonad in the regalia of the Jolly Pranksters’ secretive affiliated order, the Good Shepherds & Flockers. It is claimed that he was “papped” at a service station less than half a mile from the Pranksters’ HQ in Green Lane, Chislehurst. An ashen-faced Fit Bird issued a curt denial claiming that the picture was “obviously photoshopped”. But the blog’s chief investigator D.I. Wattsie Watts disagrees saying “The photograph looks hideously real to me and it’s extremely concerning… if Gal really is a silly Flocker then it will bring shame on the Gonads… it would also explain a lot”. She has demanded a full inquiry to take “at least three months” – June, July and August(coincidentally, the months that she and JC plan to down tools to “strike against the tyrant Waistrel”). Crikey.
April 8. Book news. John King’s new novel London Country is published on May 1st. And Matt Worley’s in-depth book on punk fanzines will follow shortly after.
Here is Wattsie’s video for Glad To Be Alive. If you see her, do ask why she omitted Clyde Ward who co-wrote and produced the song, it really winds her up…
April 7. Get in! You can buy tickets for our big St George’s Day show here.
April 1. Gal’s latest book. When Britain Rocked, packed with his memories of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal and the early 80s rock revival, is finally out a mere four years after it was written (some blame the pandemic, others point a suspicious finger at Paul ‘Stalin’ Hallam). Gal sounds just one warning note – the book was compiled for export and there is a fair bit of overlap with Sounds Of Glory vol one. So some of the Maiden/UFO content is familiar while Venom, Blackmayne etc are new. You can buy it for £14.99 from here.
PS Gal assures us, he has two new volumes of Sounds Of Glory in the pipeline – all-new punk, Ska & Oi, and all-new rock. (Hope Warfare and Tank are in). Just don’t ask him when!
March 31. Official blog post! His most illustrious Lord Waistrel has relaxed his ban on the band playing punk gigs so our St George’s Day afternoon show can go ahead without a legal challenge. His Lordship is quoted as saying that there are two things he will make exceptions for, one being England the other being 365Radio starlet Dawn Parry. Insiders say he is considering a future where “punk Gonads” and “variety Gonads” can “co-exist in harmony”.
March 30. Shares in the Gonads and all known Waistrel enterprises rallied yesterday following rumours of a soon-come solution to the huge chasm between the band’s past and His Lordship’s plans. Our stock exchange insider Big Lloyd (West Ham & bar) tells us to “look lively, dump Trump, sell Musk and invest in all things Waistrel pronto, Tonto!”. Blimey.
March 29. Breaking news: we are told that we can “expect developments” in regards to the Gonads’ future on Friday.
March 27. We’re hearing disturbing reports that Lord Waistrel turned up at yesterday’s rehearsal studio soon after Gal and Shona had left. An eye-witness reports that His Lordship arrived at the Erith complex in a Challenger 3 tank and entered the studio with two “business associates”, Big Tommy Aquinas and a Mr Kierkegaard, who allegedly carried a Vickers water-cooled 303 machine-gun. All three sat in silence and watched the band run through the set for St George’s Day, while Mr Aquinas bit the heads of a selection of passing wildlife, including two rats, a stray cat and a ferret. Our insider says, “At the end of the set, His Lordship spoke for the first time, requesting that they play him a selection of Music Hall songs including The Lunatic Asylum and Knocked ’Em Down The Old Kent Road. He is then said to have risen to his feet, applauded, broken wind and departed, followed by Mr Kierkegaard and Big Tommy who bit off the head of a weasel and, as a parting gift, nailed Phil’s head to the floor.” An anonymous musician (JC) whispers that the encounter was “absolutely chilling”. Asked to comment, Scrotum – Waistrel’s wrinkled retainer – said, “It was hentirely friendly; ’Is Lordship was just taking stock, so let’s ‘’ear no more habout hit.”. Quite so.
Yesterday’s Telegraph gave us a fascinating peak into the lifestyle of Lord Waistrel which the writer Phillipa Gross-Seins dubbed “reactionary chic”. She met his Lordship in his Mayfair apartment that she writes “overflows with an exotic collection of millionaires, socialites, erotic pole-dancers, private zoo-owners and a smattering of Irish aristocrats… the music was Elgar, Purcell, Delius and Gus Elen, the food was abundant, the wine served by the gallon.” She notes that a small section of the never-ending party was set aside for “senior members of a secretive organization known as the Jolly Prankster, including the most gallant Terence Hayes (DM) whose talk on ‘the Wossname’ left spectators opened-mouthed in awe”. In a snatched interview, Waistrel wrote off the Conservative cabinet as “a bunch of dangerous extremists”, and said that most politicians were “cads and wrong’uns with no love for England or the English”. Occasionally she notes, “the whiskery charm of his smile twists into something more cruel, but he enchanted his audience with his vision of a new English feudalism and the end of red tape, tax officers and civil servants”. Waistrel was interrupted in the middle of “an intemperate rant about Tony Blair” by Coco “a glamorous French interior designer” who led him away “with a whip in one hand and a spanking paddle in the other”. He was not seen again. However, the Telegraph did reproduce his ten point guide to Tory anarchy entitled, Our Future – The Past. So, um, mote it be.
March 26. The first edition of today’s Sunday Telegraph includes a brown-nosing profile piece on Lord Waistrel, including a lengthy interview. Perhaps the most telling part of the piece concerns his Lordship’s vision for the Gonads. Waistrel is quoted as saying that there are “two souls of Gonadary” and “we have reached a point in the road where two paths diverge”. One apparently involves “a group of geriatric, cocaine-fuelled Teddy Boys descending annually on a tawdry seaside town to drink gallons of cheap ale, pretend to be anarchists and revel in nostalgia” while the other “more rewarding” soul/path “embraces a warm and altogether more wholesome blue collar comedic style that focuses on music for the masses, accessible and in tune with the great English traditions of variety and mainstream comedy”. The latter, he says, “is closer to real anarchy – Tory anarchy, the proud tradition of questioning and non-conformity that stretches from Evelyn Waugh to Spike Milligan via Cobbett and Swift”. To this end, His Lordship reveals that he has booked Gal to introduce “two nights of working-class comedy” for the Ustreme streaming channel in May and is currently negotiating “with my dear friend James Cameron Davidson” for the Gonads to have their own TV series, although he adds. “Or the Rawhides, I’m not fussed.” Blimey.
March 25. Pirate blog hack: tensions between the band and Lord Waistrel continued to grow this week as the Gonads confirmed that they will DEFY his Lordship’s draconian ban and PLAY GIGS in London on St George’s Day next month and Bexhill-on-Sea in September. We can confirm that the band played the secret “pure punk” Club 77 gig at Arkwright’s in Rainham in the last seven days and included several songs that are either rare or unheard. These included 1970s set staples Indus Road and Whelks, plus brand-new numbers She’s Coming Soon and Stef’s White Van, along with the “acapella” songs Oldham and Lunatic Asylum. Miss Management and Wattsie are believed to be attempting to set up foreign shows too. Our insider whispers: “They are banking that Waistrel will back down and not try and replace the Gonads with the Rawhides as threatened. As Wattsie says, “It would mean the old git investing heavily in Fat Col but why put all your eggs in one bastard?”
March 23. An apoplectic Waistrel last night seized back control of this blog. A junior footman writes: His most eminent grace, the Lord Waistrel, may his seed be sown, has explicitly FORBIDDEN the Gonads to play the Amhurst Road Sports & Social Club concert in September on pain of DISMISSAL from the band. In the event of full band mutiny, all current members will be replaced by the Rawhides. His Lordship branded the Bexhill show “an illegitimate pirate event at an obvious den of iniquity”. Waistrel stopped sticking pins into a waxen effigy of Decca Wade long enough to tell his gathered servants, vassals and press barons that it was “patently absurd for a band as prestigious as this to play free leftist events full of foaming radicals and soap-dodging parasites”. He went on, “Besides I have already arranged for Miss Wattsie Watts to perform an operatic recital of Badly Done at the Carlton Club that evening with a new-fangled piano, violin and cello trio; you may buy standing tickets now for a mere £150 including staff discount”. His Lordship added privately that, if necessary, his old pals in D Battery (3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, Prankster Division) would “raise the club to its foundations” to prevent the so-called “gig” blemishing the name of “the most glorious Gonads”. The good lord, whose courage and indefatigability are beyond dispute, is believed to have granted an exclusive interview to His Majesty’s Sunday Telegraph this week to put his side of the story at greater length. With a flourish of his Gurkha Black Dragon cigar, His Lordship then downed a pint of champagne top, with a half-pint brandy chaser, and concluded his address by calling loudly and righteously for the overthrow of Rishi Sunak and the immediate restoration of English feudalism. So mote it be.
March 22. No, the 19th March wasn’t the final blog update because we, the Blog Liberation Front, are now working with the finest Taiwanese hackers that unsubstantiated promises can buy to keep this blog open and to defy Waistrel by booking gigs that are PURE PUNK FOR ROW PEOPLE and not stuffed with substandard seaside variety turns. The BLF have teamed up with the great Decca Wade to arrange a pure punk celebration gig in Bexhill-on-Sea on 30th September! And admission is free! To hell with profiteering! If Waistrel and his so-called Prankster pals want a cyber-war they can have one! Down with the aristocracy! Power to the people! Bexhill or bust! Revolution now! The bloggers united will never be wossname. BLF, London, sober.
March 19. Could this be the final update? Lord Waistrel, still beyond livid, is now said to be planning to axe the Gonads and replace them with a fictional version so that he can “maintain the purity of my invention and safeguard my considerable investment”. One of his Scandinavian wifelets whispers that Waistrel is in talks with a production company to develop the “characters of the blog” into either a situation comedy or a Netflix animation. He also wants to commission a stage musical starring the “enchanting” Paloma Faith as Wattsie, Razor Ruddock as Gal and Nigel Farage as JC. He would replace Phil and Paul with two of his mistresses. Terence Hayes, PM, would play Martin Sporrell, aggressive gooner. The good Lord described the band and the blog as “the foundations on which my great church is built” but added that both are now “compromised by communism, anarchism and other discredited concepts”. It is thought that red-faced reactionary Fat Col will do well in this “radical rebranding”. The wifelet whispers, “Waistrel has a plan for Fat Col to become the Great Coleeni – illusionist, escapologist and sex machine. He told me of a sketch where Coleeni makes JC’s Gillingham scarf disappear while he saws the Yeti in half over breakfast.” Blimey. Waistrel watchers say his Lordship has been angry for some time about the attitudes, “showboating” and lack of ambition of band members and has talked privately about removing the Gonads from the dying punk circus permanently. He personally vetoed a request for the Gonads to support the Cockney Rejects at the 100 Club in December, saying “I’m more interested in them supporting Tommy Cannon”. Double blimey. Club 77 members are aghast, but Waistrel is said to have the full support of the Jolly Pranksters and their worldwide network. To order brethren. Step off with the left foot…
March 18. Newsflash! The Gonads face a new threat to their existence after a shock 1981 interview emerged. The interview, with unspecified “Gonads” but probably Gal, is full of aggression and unprintable slurs. At one point interviewer Raoul Galloway asks what Oi stands and is told “Socialist revolution and getting pissed, although not necessarily in that order” (Halfway there then – Ed). After having the offensive article read to him by his butler, Scrotum, Waistrel is reported to have “hit previously unseen heights of frenzied fury; he hasn’t been this angry since Hunt’s budget”. His Lordship then vowed to keep this blog closed all year while he rids the band of “Bolshevik infiltrators”. As a consequence, the April 23 date for lifting the ban has been flushed down the khazi of history...
March 16. Unexpected European Court of Justice update: the blog’s appeal has been sensationally THROWN OUT of the Luxembourg court after a dramatic 14 – 13 vote. The key vote was cast by senior judge Herr Sehr-Zwielichtig from Munich. Even the vastly experienced Judge Shed hadn’t anticipated the malign influence of “Die Schlauen Witzbolde” – the Austrian fraternal allies of the Jolly Pranksters of whom no more should be said on an open forum…
In the small window created by the approved update above, we can publish Lord Waistrel’s shock claim to have slept with “every bally one” of the women on his controversial lust-list, except for one “hoity toity madam” who slapped his face and “played hard to get” with a can of pound shop Mace. The randy Lord’s claims are confirmed by his friend, the Count – we think that’s what he said – and his security advisor, Major Startling-Grope.
In another shocking development we can report that the notorious Fat Col is believed to have written yet more ‘songs’ for his country-punk band the Rawhides, including the pleasant-sounding Incel Barmy Army, Beer F’ Baby, and the numbskull anthem Fat-Bellied Cunts. Col, who is said to be “frothing at the mouth and chewing the shagpile” to get in the recording studio, is believed to have begged Paul SkaNad to “quit the sinking ship of the Gonads” and “step away from conspiracy-crazed Wattsie” to join “a real band that is going somewhere”. (Possibly prison – Ed). Sadly Gal has not yet been able to contact SkaNad who is said to have “gone to ground like Ronnie Biggs”. A triumphant Col adds, “Unlike the PC so-called Gonads the Rawhides will resurrect flag girls, attract loose women and proudly Rock FOR Sexism”. He then rings back and sings a little song on the blog answerphone: “Stand down, Wattsie, stand down please, and bring back Shira Girl”. Oaf.
March 13. We are back for just this one post after the intervention of our barrister, the great Judge Shed who is fronting a class action appeal on behalf of all of our blog writers and leading personalities to re-open this blog before St George’s Day. To Lord Waistrel’s fury, Shed is taking the case to the European Court of Justice who have given us permission to re-open for just one day in order to post “vital updates”. And what could be more vital than these? To wit:
1) Our St George’s Day gig is back on, but will now be at the Hope & Anchor in Islington as part as a 365 Radio showcase.
2) Our new live official bootleg will be released in “late June/early July” with pace-setting punk and Oi label Randale Records of Southern Germany issuing the delicious platter as a CD.
3) Revolution Now is now officially the fastest-selling Gonads album of all time.
4) We are lining up 2023 gigs in Dublin, Cork, Bexhill-on-Sea, Littlehampton, Upper Dicker and Hastings; and there will be a second acoustic Christmas gig in south London in December.
5) Plans for a Gonads annual are “in the pipeline” but for 2024, because, as Fit-Bird tells us sternly, Gal “has to finish the fifth Harry Tyler novel first, dunne?”
6) The Orgasm Guerillas are working on their debut album, provocatively called Anarcho-Communism For Beginners; meanwhile the Prole album is three-quarters written and will happen “as soon as Steve Kent can be arsed”.
7) A furious Waistrel rang to condemn the ECJ as a “squalid farce run by the Hun and the cheese-munching surrender monkey Frogs”, which goes a long way to explaining why we don’t get many bookings in Europe.
Our 365 RADIO showcase in Camden on St George’s Day has sadly been postponed. Our next gig is a Club 77 members’ only show at Arkwright’s Club in Rainham later this month. Club 77 members will receive the details by email.