Aug 31. Mensi’s next album cover confirmed...
Aug 31. We’ve just waved the Cockney Rejects off as they fly
out to Germany for the last day of this year’s Spirit of the Streets
festival. The bill includes Bad Manners, Stomper 98, Roy Ellis
and many more. Us? We’re mowing the lawn.
Fears grow for the health of our AWOL tour manager FB. The great
man spoke to us last weekend when he was “in the middle of a soundcheck”.
Seven days on, you might feel is one effing long soundcheck and
you’d be right but there is a reason. Friends report that FB is
attempting to perform the world’s longest soundcheck for the Guinness
Book Of Records “and after that he’ll eat a 600 gallon vat of
Heinz Baked Beans and a hog roast in one sitting”. Or as he calls
Out this week and to our liking: Giuda’s Racey Roller LP which
has been reissued by our friends at TKO Records in California.
If you dig anthemic 70s glam rock with a pinch of punky delivery
then this is for you. And if you don’t, why are you reading this?
Get off our blog you time-wasting termite.
In Oi news, NOi!se have finished mixing their top-hole album
The Scars We Hide; next week they’re recording a split ep with
the Street Dogs.
We don’t like much these days, but we do like these guys - CWB
Certain people seem to think that they can treat this blog as
their own personal message board. One cheeky rascal, who would
like to remain anonymous (although his real name is Stief Liberace
A’Billy) calls up and asks if he can “get a birthday mention for
my Geordie Boy Howey who is 28 on Sunday 1st”. What a fucking
liberty. We don’t know what annoys us most, the fact that we don’t
know Howey or the fact that Stief insists on calling him a Geordie
when Howey comes from Gateshead. Listen mate: only people from
Newcastle are Geordies. Gateshead is on the other side of the
Tyne. It’s like calling someone from Dartford an Essex boy. On
top of that Stief asks if we’ll post his happy
birthday YouTube Link - NO WE BLOODY WON’T. What’s that? We
have? Oh never mind.
In related news, happy birthday for today to Jennie Bellestar
and loyal Gonads road-crew stalwart and merch man Dave Maverick.
Aug 30. Happy belated boifday wishes to rock photographer and
all-round goddess Antonia Moore who celebrated hers yesterday.
We stand ready and willing to give you the bumps... as long as
you promise to blow out our candles. Here’s Antonia apparently
playing Sherlock Holmes in a rather fetching deer-stalker.
Fat Col tells us he knew a girl called Jay Mow who leapt to
her death on her birthday. He says her middle name was Ronnie.
Fat Col is an idiot.
Poison Idea’s 1986 Kings Of Punk album has been re-issued by
Mark D. Rainey’s TKO label as a vinyl double album, re-mastered
and expanded to include a second 12inch disc of live recordings
from back in the day...
Aug 28. The Jolly Pranksters turned out in force over the Bank
Holiday weekend, under the auspices of their re-invigorated Perfect
Master Terence Hayes (aka The Chosen One). Joyous brethren descended
on the East Sussex village of Etchingham where local farmer Mad
Mickey Wharton turned over his barns and fields for the staging
of a spectacular ceremony. The attractions included punk and skinhead
Morris Men, a Millwall Mods scooterist display, synchronised lap-dancers,
a Darn Rustlers tribute act called the Peckham Peckerheads, a
bouncy castle in the shape of EastEnders favourite Heather Trott
(deceased), Fat Col’s cut-and-shut bumper cars, and a full-sized
but partially decomposed Ferris wheel nicknamed the Yeti on the
incredibly sexist grounds that “you only want to get in it when
you’re pissed.” The music barn saw a procession of comedians mustered
by our own Dirty Rob prior to a punk and Ska disco which was followed
by a short incoherent set by the Orgasm Guerrillas. Sadly headliners
Toot ’n’ Skamen outrageously failed to appear after organisers
forgot to book them. (No refunds though – Boozy B). However new
members were delighted by their first sight of the local Pranksters'
secret privileges, such as an “underworld road network” (or pavement)
which circumvents all traffic jams in the Burwash area, free access
to Marigold’s Horn O’Plenty drinking club and limitless 6am rabbit
hunts courtesy of Old Eric. In moving scenes, Fat Col was finally
re-admitted to the brotherhood as ‘Inner Guard’. Unfortunately
this happy occasion was blighted during the Mutton Madras course
when the flabby fool used the sacred seal of Burwash Weald as
a serviette. He was stripped of his ceremonial Prankster breeches
and forced to perform “the dance of shame” to ‘Sugar Sugar’ by
the Archies while wearing an MK Dons thong. He was then replaced
as Inner Guard by a partially shaved gibbon called Baxter. Few
noticed the difference. There was only one other stain on this
sainted day of bliss, when Heather and Jazz from the local witches
coven, pointed out that according to the most ancient manuscripts
(a 1937 edition of the News Of The World) in age-old Prankster
custom, all WMs (or Worship Masters) past or present must be “sacrificed”
after seven years. In the case of the PM, this would occur sometime
in May 2014. A spokesman for Tudor Lodge (thought by lay experts
to be the most senior of the order) responded by calling the ruling
“Tasteless, repulsive, appalling, and unpalatable...” He added
“However if it is written in the sacred text then it is also unavoidable...
But never mind, we have great faith that Baxter will be ready
to step into the breach by then.” So mote it be.
Aug 27. IMPORTANT UPDATE on our Staffordshire gig next month
(28th September). It has MOVED from Burslem to the Green Star
in Smallthorne, Stoke-on-Trent - a rock pub about a mile down
the road. Passports at the ready chaps!
Gal’s latest Rancid Sounds podcast is up and running here
with studio guest Nick Welsh and cracking tracks from the Old
Firm Casuals, Control, the Goddamn Electric, Missing Andy, Friday
Club, the Last Resort and more.
The Oi Organising Committee enjoyed a rare reunion in “some
old villains’ boozer” in Chislehurst, Kent, last night. We were
asked not to take notes which was handy as it puts a brake on
the flow of the Stella, but we do recall the committee voting
unanimously to endorse Gal’s proposal to Campaign to put up blue
plaques to mark the homes of various Oi-Oi heroes. “There should
be a memorial plaque on JJ Bedsore’s old house in Shooter’s Hill
Road, and one on Nidge Miller’s old place in New Mills,” he said.
“These guys were cornerstones of our scene.” Fat Col was given
the responsibility of linking up with David Graham of the Heritage
Foundation to make it happen. More news as it unfolds. The committee
also heard and rejected yet another call from a Yorkshire delegate
to “publically support the Labour Party” on the grounds that “Labour
MPs ain’t working class” (Garry Johnson) and “Socialism is a dream
that died.” A counter-proposal to align ourselves with “the radical
Whigs” was rejected on the accurate but mean-spirited grounds
that “no radical Whig party exists.”
Amazing news on the Gal and Clyde project. We hear that the
chaps have already got TEN songs in various stages of readiness.
These range from the stirring ‘They Died Heroes’ (about the British
Army), to the pop-punk punch of ‘Punk Radio’ via the Blockheads-like
feel of ‘What’s Happening Now?’. The idea, you might recall was
for the Brothers Gonads to write another album in the style of
‘Old Boots’, and it sounds like they may already have surpassed
it. Other nifty new numbers include ‘City Of Bones’ (psychobilly),
‘Rise Up’ (a clarion call to the English), the Judge Dread style
filth of ‘Throbber’ and the downright puerile ‘Becky’s Bucket.’
The songs will be released next year as Gal’s solo album. Interestingly,
he got interviewed by a West Coast radio show recently and was
asked what he thought the three greatest Gonads songs were. Off
the cuff Gal replied “‘Oi Mate’, ‘SE7 Dole Day’ and ‘British Steel’
(Wot? No ‘Alconaut’? No ‘Cemetery Of Lost Souls’?? No ‘Glorious’???
No ‘Valhallaballoo’???? – Disgusted Ed). Is he right? Let us know
Lord Waistrel has put out a call for a ‘street rock vocalist
for new project. Must be young, fit and a showman, preferably
inside the Greater London area’ – so far he’s had enquiries from
three contenders. One is 47, one over 50 and the third lives in
the USA. Oi, nutters, read the effing small print.
Aug 26. Jennie Bellestar is singing Poly Styrene songs to raise
awareness for Breast Cancer on 5th October at The Half Moon, Putney.
The night, dubbed Polyfest 1, features a regular supergroup of
a line-up with Youth (Killing Joke) Kevin Rowland (Dexys), Jennie,
Doctor & The Medics, Anita Harris (Wot? Off the telly? – Ed),
and Charlie O'Conner and Jake Shillingford from My Life Story.
You can get tickets here.
The promoter is also looking for an unknown punk band to play
X Ray Spex songs and a few of their own... And as it’s a good
cause, we won’t mention what Anita Harris might mean in rhyming
Jennie and the late great Poly back in the day... identity, it’s
the crisis can’t you see?
Protest punk icon Louise Distras joined us at the fabled Sidney
Arms last night, along with Stevie Whale. The socialist songbird
tells us that her debut album Dreams From The Factory Floor is
definitely out at the fag-end of September, before she sets off
for a tour supporting the Mahones in Canada. The album will be
released on the new Street Revolution label. Whaley reckons it
will “reinvigorate the punk scene.” Sadly, there is still no confirmed
release date for Steve’s own superb Masons album We Rule The World
which has been held up by a series of mysterious conspiracies
worthy of the Illuminati.
In more important news, the next Punk Rock Curry Club meet will
see “a return to food as the number one priority” says Mr. Whale,
in a veiled reference to the John King ‘18 pints of lager and
anywhere will do’ faction.
Reports of strange post-Rebellion scenes reach us. It is claimed
that an inebriated Gal was seen in the bar of the Imperial hotel
telling a barmaid and anyone else who would listen: “I demand
a rewrite, give me back my youth. I’m still young and lithe. I
am a gilded youth. Gilded. Gilded!” A stern-faced Fit Bird refutes
the rumours saying simply: “Ridicklus. ’E never even drank in
the Imperial bar, did’e? Maybe it was the Viking.”
Chelsea Dom’s tour of the US graveyards and crematoriums continues
apace. He sends us this picture of punk legend Johnny Ramone’s
gravestone from the Hollywood Forever Cemetery... Tomorrow, the
tomb of Wilbur J. Cordwrangler from the Santa Ana cemetery in
Aug 25. She sang with us at Croydon in April and this was the
almost inevitable result: here is Mandy Shaw from the Crows four
months later, grappling to stay conscious, completely unable to
stand and desperately touching the pavement to try and stop the
ground spinning... (Erh, shouldn’t that be ‘placing her hand playfully
on the Hollywood walk of fame’? – Ed)
We’re looking for a painter and decorator to do up Nads HQ.
Anyone got a number for this bloke?
Aug 24. Well done to the Charlton fans who’ve smashed their
fundraising target for a Lee Rigby memorial at the Valley. The
monument, due to be erected outside the West Stand later this
year, will be the first permanent memorial to drummer Rigby in
the borough where he was murdered. Lee, from Bury, was hacked
to death near Woolwich Barracks in May. Addicks-loving Gavin McClean
first touted the idea on Facebook, and CAFC supporters rallied
to the cause. Gavin said: “We just thought it had to be done.
Lee Rigby was killed just down the road and we wanted to have
something permanent in the area to remember him by.” Any excess
cash will now be given to Help for Heroes.
PS. Also well done to the rain that stopped the game today. A
relieved Chris Weeks tells us: “Obviously God is a Charlton fan...”
Thank Thor for that.
Mad Butcher, German punk’s equivalent of Enver Hoxha, emails
from his cold war bunker to tell us he has re-released these three
albums on vinyl: Oi Oi Music by The Oppressed, Thrill Me Up by
The Toasters, and Acer Roent by the Pilseners from Barcelona who
stand for Catalan independence, like all thinking people.
Here’s the real Sham on stage at Rebellion, with our mate Robin
Guy on drums and Jello Biafra on the left-hand side of the stage...(pic
by Sponge) Dave Parsons says: “Yeah, Jello came back stage afterwards
too. The last time we played together was circa 1979 when the
DKs supported us at the Whiskey in LA. Great to see him again!”
André Schlesinger tells us that Sandra Lane and our New York
City PR guru Sally Händ are currently trying to form an all girl
Gonads tribute band called The No-Nads although he adds “Sandy
and Sarri haven't decided exactly what instruments they're going
to play (and subsequently learn…) as they are too busy fighting
over sex toys.”
QUESTION: Eddie Pillar, Scoops, Max Slodge, Micky Fitz and Spizz
are in a pub, who buys the first round? ANSWER: Paul Hallam. Even
if they have to wait a week for the poor sod to turn up.
And here’s a heavy metal question from Fat Col who asks: “Is
there a better riff than Maiden’s ‘Phantom Of The Opera’ in the
god-damn muvva-frackin’ world?” We don’t know, Col. Neither do
we care. Maybe someone who does will get back to you. Oaf.
Forget One Direction, this is what pop hysteria used to look
like... and in our minds still should. All together: ‘Why do you
whisper, green grass? Why tell the trees what ain't so? Whispering
grass, don’t tell the trees, cos the trees don't need to know...’
Aug 23. Madness are releasing their 1981 cult film Take It Or
Leave It as a DVD, with a CD of the soundtrack. Set in Camden
Town, the film (directed by Dave Robinson of Stiff Records) follows
the group's rise from their beginnings as a humble pub band to
their first tastes of fame, chronicling some of their ups and
downs along the way. A furious Fat Col last night denounced the
Nutty Boys for “trying to steal the Gonads thunder”. He was led
away to a quiet room where it was gently explained to him that
our film a) hasn’t been made yet and b) the investment fund currently
stands at two Euros, a Hong Kong dollar and a bag of pork scratchings.
The Madness DVD is out on 7th October, shortly after their Alexandra
Palace bash on 28th September.
Don’t forget a week today is the Cockney comedy extravaganza
to raise money for Lee Rigby’s family at the Circus Tavern, Purfleet,
Essex. It’s only a cockle to get in. Tickets from 01708-863838
But if Ska floats your boat more, the Phoenix City All-Stars
launch their new album Skatisfaction on the 30th too. It’s described
as a Skatalites/Studio One style take on the Rolling Stones. This
is the first single off the album. The launch party is at
the Jazz Cafe in Camden Town from 10.30pm till 2am. Hotshot &
Scorcher members £5, non-members £7.50adv / £10 on
Aug 22. Out now, Beefy Hillyer’s book You Are The Beef (see
picture below) and the new single from our pals Nabat, one of
Italy’s finest Oi bands. The three tracks are ‘Hey Bootboy’, ‘Braccato’
and ‘Lo Stile Dal Basso’...
Aug 21. Incoming: the Gal and Clyde album officially confirmed
as ‘no pop, no style, all strictly roots’.
Can this be true: coming Badoes 2014 line-up will apparently
be Tel (vox), Phil (guitar), Skully (bass), Cherry (drums)
Tim Timebomb & Friends have released three vinyl 7-inchers.
Hellcat joined forces with Pirates Press to bring out ‘She’s Drunk
All The Time’/‘Tulare’, ‘Thirty Pieces Of Silver’/ ‘Ooh La La’,
and ‘Change That Song Mr. DJ’/ ‘Guardian Angel’. All out now.
Aug 20. Oh ye of little faith! We said it was coming and now
it’s here! Chelsea Dom’s review of Rebellion!! Read on, McDuff:
Relationships, weddings and even births, it’s seen them all.
But enough about the Gonads tour bus... how was this year’s Rebellion?
Bigger, better and more extensive than ever! Each year, the festival
embraces new elements of the cultures and sub-cultures surrounding
the punk rock genre. For 2013, the whole of the Blackpool Winter
Gardens was awash with assorted crusties, (is awash the right
word for crusties?), punks, skinheads and various herberts for
four days of beer, bands, banter and bingo, spread across seven
stages. Wednesday got off to a canter, with team Rebellion (me,
Mandy MDM, John King & Mark Wyeth) winning the local pub quiz
despite depleted numbers, spurred on in the latter stages by the
arrival of Manic Esso, regaling us with various Lurker-related
tales, including a conversation with Keith Moon (whose parting
comment was “another guitarist with a big nose”).
Much of my time early on Thursday was spent tying-up loose ends
for the literary stage, although between times I caught some of
16 Guns making their Rebellion debut, 25+ years after having played
Darren Russell’s first ever gig. They’ve certainly improved since
I last saw them (it’s only taken a quarter of a century!), adding
a second guitarist for some of their songs. But I’m not sure about
the strip-tease (bar singer Tom who had probably run out of the
CDs he was selling so had nothing to cover his modesty). Next
up for me was Tranmere’s Biteback, another band benefiting from
a second guitarist, pumping out adrenalin-fuelled tunes including
album title favourite ‘Bitten & Twisted’ - or Bitten & Fisted
as we like to say. (Speak for yourself, ducks – Kenneth Williams).
After copious amounts of bonhomie I finally settled into the
Rebellion groove by the time The Straps hit the stage in the Arena.
They’re another band who have been through a line-up change, with
Jock & Dave joined by original Subs drummer Pete Davies (who actually
played on the early records), plus Phil McDirtbox on second guitar
and Mark G on bass. This new line-up is far more reminiscent of
the early days, when the line-up boasted ex members of the Pack.
Old songs were given new gusto and new songs got their first airing,
pick of the bunch being ‘No Liquor’ and ‘Dead Heroes’. Thursday
also marked the first UK appearance of old German punkers Slime
and a bit of the old ‘Nazis Raus’ treatment, although it took
Argy Bargy to warm up the evening, more than deserving their slot
on the Empress stage (and there the resemblance to darts players
ends). I’ve waxed lyrical about the new album before, but I’ll
do it again, the songs adding to a set already loaded with great
tunes and messages (‘Looking For Glory’ so true about today’s
scene). Apparently Neville Staple got the whole place rocking,
which was evident from the strains of ‘Pressure Drop’ I could
hear from the behind stage bar (My type of reviewer – Dave McCullough),
but our trip up to the Pavilion to see Abba Sensation was short
lived. Not so much sensational, more very average, due to a lack
of decent harmonies between the two female singers. The night
ended on a high, watching New York stalwart Walter Lure pump out
numerous Heartbreakers and Thunders classics, from ‘London Boys’
to ‘Born To Lose’ & so on.
Friday started with a brief snatch of the Barb Wire Dolls to
see what all the fuss was about, but I couldn’t really see it
for myself (I’ll give them another look when the opportunity arises).
Up on the literary stage Greg from the Outcasts was giving an
amusing account of the early scene in Northern Ireland, mixed
with the troubles and emergence of Good Vibrations, as recently
documented on celluloid. This was another day spent dashing around
(they all were!); next stop was the Empress again, this time for
Chelsea. Despite being a guitarist down, they still kicked-ass,
stomping through a set of old classics, regardless of Gene trying
to sing ‘War Across The Nation’ for two songs! After having picked-up
Mr B, we settled down to watch the Crows on the acoustic stage.
This band have real potential –two female singers with distinct
harmonies & great tunes, such as ‘Monday Morning Friends’ and
doing more than justice to a cover of Social Distortion’s ‘Highway
101’. Having caught brief glimpses of Hazel O’Connor playing to
a packed crowd (both for her set & literary stage appearance),
The Business going through some less well-known material and Ed
Banger & the Nosebleeds playing Slaughter & the Dogs numbers (with
their original drummer), we finally took time to breathe watching
the Damned. Old favourites of mine, in recent years I could take
or leave them, but tonight they were bang on form. A great sound
and a classic set, the usual songs, including classics like ‘New
Rose’, ‘Love Song’ etc, plus later greats such as ‘Video Nasty’,
‘History Of The World’ and ‘Stranger On The Town’, and a cracking
version of ‘Stretcher Case’. Our good friends the Defects put
on another fierce show, rampaging through favourites ‘Bitch, Dance
(Until You Drop)’, ‘Metal Walls’, ‘Survival & Brutality’, ending
on a stonking ‘Get Up, Stand Up’, the old Marley standard.
Here's the crowd for the Cockney Rejects at Rebellion. Rammo or
We haven't seen numbers like that since we recorded the Gonads
double album in 1983... mind you, we were seeing double back then...
After a quick peek at the promising Angry Agenda and then the
Uppercuts cranking-up the volume, early-doors Saturday was spent
around the literary stage. Following a near repeat of last years
interview with Teddie Dahlin discussing Sid Vicious (unfortunately
the Gary Holton book wasn’t ready in time), Cass Pennant took
to the stage in front of a packed audience and talked in depth
about how his prison experience led him to the world of books
and film. It was quite an up-lifting discussion and Cass took
time afterwards to talk with people. Gal was next on the sofa
with John Robb, speaking at length and at great speed about his
time at Sounds and the Oi scene although asking questions on Southall/Strength
Thru Oi is old hat now and largely irrelevant to today’s scene.
The 30th anniversary Oi album would have been more suitable for
Back to the live music, to be honest I’m not a great fan of
Chas & Dave, but they certainly packed them in, so I can’t really
knock them (actually I could, but I won’t!) (You better not –
Gertcha-lovin’ Ed). This was a precursor to more Cockney musical
mayhem later in the evening. I didn’t stay long, scuttling off
to the Olympia for Chron Gen, who I haven’t seen for a good few
years. This was an improvement on the last few times they’d played,
churning out the early favourites, ‘Mindless Few’, ‘Jet Boy Jet
Girl’, ‘Reality’. Back in the Empress, the Rejects were on stage,
playing the tunes that are now so familiar to us all, along with
the latest classic from their repertoire, ‘Your Country Needs
You’, such a poignant number. Quite how Jeff manages to keep up
those energy levels is incredible. Back in the Arena, the much-underrated
Outcasts showed us exactly why Northern Ireland is such a hotbed
for raw punk talent. Great vocals, great tunes – ‘Self Conscious
Over You’, ‘Magnum Force’, ‘Gangland Warfare’, ending on a surprise
cover of Bowie’s ‘Suffragette City’. As usual, the big event whenever/wherever
they play, Cock Sparrer got the Empress seriously rocking, so
much so the dance floor felt like it was in danger of collapsing.
A triumphant return to Blackpool and £2,000 raised for a good
cause, having raffled the specially made backdrop. Before our
evening ended, we caught the end of the Misfits, who finished
on a manic ‘We Are 138’. Plaudits must also go to Jerry Only,
who made a point of showing support for the Sophie Lancaster campaign.
Finally Sunday came and by some miracle we had some energy left
(that said I can’t recall seeing any bands until the evening,
but I’m still not sure how I managed that!). Jello Biafra yet
again showed us what the Dead Kennedys are missing (maybe one
day!) and mixed new songs with some old favourites. Despite the
competition on the other stages, Infa Riot pulled a good crowd
in the Olympia and put in a solid performance. Lee his usual infectious
self rallied to the cause and left us in good spirit right to
the end, no political speeches, just good, honest tunes. This
led us nicely into Sham, resurgent after bringing together much
of the old line-up, although still dubious for some given Pursey’s
past performances. As one friend commented, they ripped a new
arsehole into the place, such was the delivery and reception from
the crowd. Like the two recent London shows, this was the Sham
everyone wanted to see, however there was some of Jimmy’s condescending
commentary creeping in. The old classics were played from the
first two albums and some new songs to boot. It was interesting
to note, however, that the Rebellion backdrop at the back of the
stage had been taken down. Last knockings saw us catch bona fide
reggae legend Roy Ellis of Symarip run through classics ‘Skinhead
Moonstomp’ and ‘Skinhead Girl’, with the man himself performing
acrobatics on stage. A great end to a great weekend.
Aug 19. Good morning! Oi, Oi, Oi and all that. News that the
Gonads WON’T be retiring at the end of this year has inspired
a flood of gig offers from around the world. We can confirm that
we will be playing Germany and Italy next year and are in talks
with promoters in other European countries. We’ve also had enquiries
from the USA, Canada and Latin America. We are interested – extremely
so – but because of the expense and logistical complexity of putting
mini-tours together we would prefer to work with pukka promoters
in these far-off territories. A guy from Brazil said: “We’ve seen
Cock Sparrer and Rejects, we want to see you!” Quite right, you’ve
seen the rest, now see the BEST. In the immortal words of Annie
Auld-Iron: “Who needs Splodge and who needs Madness?, they’re
no answer to your sadness; Cockney Rejects? Do us a favour! Meet
the Gonads, we’re your saviours!” For all inquiries about the
Gonads (the Kings Of StreetPunk, the regents of rude reggae, the
princes of Pathetique etc etc) email email@example.com
In the meantime, here is our message to the world...
In another positive development, good old Cock Sparrer managed
to raise nearly £2K for a Blackpool charity by raffling off their
Rebellion back-drop last weekend. The money will go to Streetlife
who work with the seaside town’s vulnerable young people, running
an emergency night shelter. Well done to Sparrer fan Colin Kennedy
who won the custom-made banner. (Fix – Fat Col)
Chelsea Dom may be currently without a band but the great man
continues to impress his many fans. According to Fit Bird, Dom’s
display of “in-car aerobics” in beautiful downtown Sidcup at the
weekend was worthy of the Cirque du Soleil. What can she mean?
It’s our drummer Steve Higgins’s 50th birthday (probably) on
September 12th and we’ve lined up an extra special gift for him.
All he needs to do to ‘earn’ it is to comply with these simple
birthday requests 1) Eat a steak sandwich 2) Speak in a clear
and coherent manner for one entire day and 3) Learn to keep time.
Hmm. Something tells us that special present is going straight
back to Oi Oi the Shop.
Speaking of Bill and Sarah’s fine Camden emporium, they’ll have
this terrific new line of street-sussed clothing from Hawkins
& Joseph in stock next month...
Aug 18. Bad news folks. Plans to film Curry On Up The Gonads
have been put on hold, sadly, as finances for the movie are proving
as hard to raise as Fat Col’s cock after eighteen pints of Snakebite
(the Yeti writes). It has been suggested that we “do a Rejects”
and make a documentary film instead. We did think about it...
for at least a minute... which was long enough to realise that
any honest and complete Gonads doc would have to include interviews
with Paul Divine (round-dodger), Fat Col (trainee codger), The
Yeti (old splodger) along with The Beast, Janice Gussett, Stalin,
Annie Auld-Iron and Martin Sporrell (aggressive Gooner)... and
we wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
But here’s some good news: Fit Bird tells us Gal’s new Harry
Tyler novel Face Down is definitely on schedule and will be on
sale two months from tomorrow. It's part three of the Harry Tyler
saga, and undoubtedly the best of the trilogy. You can pre-order
Aug 17. The brilliant 'Ska For Heroes' e.p. by Buster's Ska
Battalion is out as a 12inch vinyl for the first time in the first
week of November. All proceeds from the extremely collectible
four-track project will be split between Help For Heroes, the
Erskine hospital in Glasgow and the Royal Chelsea Hospital. We're
proud to be part of it.
Bad news from Steve Whale. The great man is in horrendous pain
after he slipped a disc in his bathroom. Reports that he was playing
naked Twister at the time can neither be confirmed or denied.
Unfortunately this means work on the new and long-awaited Blades
tracks has been postponed.
Gal recorded two tasty reggae songs with Stief yesterday, ‘Southend
Rhapsody’ and ‘World Cup Willie’, which both sound the business
even if Stief does seem to be labouring under the unfortunate
delusion that Willie was an actual real player in the 1966 World
Cup winning England squad rather than A TOY MASCOT! Today dream-maker
and heart-breaker Mick Maverick went along to play bass on a bizarre
Public Image-style interpretation of ‘Moon River’. Mick and Stief,
two dreamers off to see the world. The mind boggles...
Stief and Gal in leg-over shock
Rock Against Fashion!
Linda Ramone, Johnny’s widow, has had a pop at the CBGB film
that premieres at the CBGB festival this Autumn. Linda moans a)
that the film features no Ramones songs and b) “Johnny was Irish,
pale and 27” whereas the actor playing him is “older, Puerto Rican
and looks nothing like him... ” She concludes that the people
making the movie “know nothing about CBGBs or the Ramones.” Ouch.
Aug 15. The Harrington Saints album 'Bettin' On A Longshot: The
Singles Collection' is out now on CD and definitely worth checking
out. The East Bay boys were on blinding form in Blackpool. This
collection of singles comes with two new and unheard bonus tracks.
Meanwhile a proper review of Rebellion is coming, from our intrepid
reporter Chelsea Dom, with pictures by our pal Blaise, maybe as
soon as next week. It's not like there's any rush or anything.
By the way, we’ve only just noticed that the Rejects have released
a CD box set of their rock albums - The Wild Ones, Quiet Storm,
Lethal and the never released Nathan’s Pie & Eels. It's
on the Custom House label via Cadiz.
Big love to Allyson Maverick, our flag girl and occasional tour
manageress, who has been laid up with a lung infection that she
contracted while playing a zombie in a new movie. Eee, it’s all
go in the Gonads barmy army. Al, if you want us to come and rub
Vic on your chest you only have to ask.
Quick snippets: Mensi is reforming The Angelic Upstarts for
a few gigs, to book the band, contact Gaz
Stoker ... Stief is back in recording his solo album tomorrow
– some really great tracks have already been done, including a
mighty reggae version of ‘Southend Rhapsody’, more on this to
We hear that a tape has surfaced of the East End Badoes playing
live in the USA from a few years ago, with our own Andy Scoops
on bass. Apparently the banter between the songs is "funnier than
most sitcoms" (Not hard - Ed). Plans are in hand to release it,
we're told, although we take that with a pinch of salt as our
Badoes sources are generally as reliable as an email from a Nigerian
prince keen to deposit £500K in your bank account.
Aug 13. Congratulations, you have just met the PLSF... that’s
the Peaceful Literary Stage Firm. Here’s Gal up at Rebellion with
Cass and Bill from Camden’s own Oi Oi The Shop. “Who wants it?”
– and by that we mean who wants to talk about books for an hour
or two? Thanks to Chelsea Dom for his sterling assistance on the
WHO would be on your dream Rebellion bill for next year? A quick
straw poll of Gonads HQ came up with: Slade (with Noddy), Rose
Tattoo, the Jam (all three original members), the Specials (with
Jerry), the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Rat City Riot, Nabat, us
(naturally), King Hammond, the Professionals, the Badoes, the
Macc Lads and many more. But what newer bands deserve the exposure?
Our votes would go to P45, Penny Cocks, the Feathers, the Blades,
Leah McCaffrey, 45 Adapters and the Dub City Rockers.
Gal records his latest Rancid Sounds podcast today at a secure
Baker Street location as the homeless Bloodstock Radio is still
operating out of a cardboard box in Dalston. We’ll let you know
when it’s up.
Street Sounds issue 4 is now in stock, over at the shop
page... or as we like to call it, Fat Col’s House of Tat.
Is this Gal’s magnificent seven we asked yesterday and the answer
came back “No, it bleedin’ ain’t.” A furious Fit-Bird cautions
us against “groundless speculation” and sniffs that “the list
couldn’t be complete without Kiria and Leah McCaffrey anyway”.
Aug 12. It’s been a hectic few weeks, with many a pint sank
and many a decision made, so here is a quick handy update to make
everything crystal. Firstly, our controversial bootleg album Built
For Destruction is finally on sale. It largely features near-the-knuckle
tracks written and recorded after the ‘Glorious Bastards’ album,
but does also include three amazing songs recorded by the current
and permanent Gonads line-up (‘Charlton Warriors’, ‘We Are The
Boys’ and ‘Glorious’, one SkaNads demo (‘Dying For A Pint’) and
the original version of ‘Stroke My Beachcomber Baby’. We are back
in the studio next month to record a special single which will
be released in November, initially on our own Soitenly label.
The next official Gonads release will be Greater Hits Volume Three
– The Complete Cobblers, which we’re aiming to bring out in mid-summer
2014. We have two confirmed up-and-coming gigs this year – September
28th at Burslem, Stoke-On-Trent and November 2nd at Charlton Liberal
Club, London SE7. Next year the proper Gonads will ONLY be playing
special events and festivals - but we will be announcing an official
spinoff band on January 1st which won’t feature Gal but will play
anywhere beer is on tap and meat is available. If do compile a
Gonads rarities album we will give it away as a free download.
Meanwhile the SkaNads plan to record two split singles this year
but will not be playing live until they have found a Ska-friendly
keyboardist, Gal is working on a solo album with Clyde Ward, and
over in New York City, André is still looking for a new bass-player
for Maninblack. Right, we think that’s everything...
Also out now, issue 4 of StreetSounds featuring Crashed Out,
Stomper 69, Section 60, Maninblack, Iron Maiden, Klasse Kriminale,
Susan Cadogan, Decca Wade and much more – including Mexican skinhead
art and the brilliant new Super-Yob cartoon creation. It’s only
£2 too. Don’t miss it.
Could these be Gal’s Magnificent Seven?
Aug 11. With heavy hearts, throbbing socks (possible misprint?
– Ed) and endangered livers, the Nads party returned from Rebellion
today. It was a brilliant weekend full of small joys like Cass
Pennant’s backstage stories of wreaths and bullshit, Traceyee
Oi Town’s tattoos, Geno Blue’s outrageous Buster Bloodvessel revelations,
the Crows’ ‘Dead Flowers’ cover, Steve Ig welling up when he got
his picture taken with Mick Geggus, seaside fish and chips at
£3.50, people you haven’t seen for 30-odd years resuming conversations
from back then as if it were yesterday, daily Max Splodge bingo
and the look of shock on John King’s face when he discovered Diana
Schuler runs a fish farm – let’s just say it now seems unlikely
that JK’s long-mooted solo album will be coming out on Randale...
An immaculately detailed report from Chelsea Dom will no doubt
follow when the great man sobers up (so expect it in September
– cynical Ed), but suffice to say the usual suspects delivered
on superb form, Chas n Dave were BLINDIN’, performing to a smiling
sea of punks and skins (gertcha cowson etc), and Diana’s delightful
laugh could be heard above the seagulls... in Fleetwood. Cock
Sparrer’s Mick Beaufoy reminded us that when we were recording
Old Boots, we did a version of ‘Charlton Belongs To Me’ with him
on guitar which has never been released, and a version of ‘England
My Land’ with Watford Jon on vocals. Both songs could feature
on a future rarities release some time in the distant future.
England football legend and long-time punk fan Stuart Pearce turned
up in the backstage area; the great man didn’t take kindly to
being asked if he’d “just come off stage” by an inebriated Gal
who was either channelling the spirit of Fat Col or is genuinely
going gaga. Or both. Meanwhile we’re hoping that Dom’s write-up
will expose the shocking iniquity of vegetarian promoters booking
veggie-only catering (it was Cockney night, where were the pie
and eels?), as well as the reasons why Manic Esso mysteriously
disappeared back to The Smoke after just one night. It’s not like
he spoke that long to Lee Wilson... Next year’s Rebellion will
definitely feature NOFX and Evil Conduct, and possibly the Dropkick
Murphys. More news when we have it.
Some pukka news: Gal and Clyde Ward will be working together
again on a full-length album – their first for ten years. We’re
told that the new project will be a continuation from the Old
Boots album, so less punk than the Gonads are now, and that it
will feature “The Garry Bushell Seven” (which is not anatomically
accurate, according to Fit Bird, although how she knows is anybody’s
guess). Perhaps, a reference to a magnificent seven guest stars?
IS John King as hardcore vegetarian as he claims? We only ask
because we found this disturbing eaterie in Blackpool...
Walking in the Winter Gardens you see a long list of the great
names who have played there. Les Dawson, Morecambe & Wise, Tommy
Cooper, Joe Longthorne. And now? Kunt & The Gang... That funny
noise you can hear in the background is the spirit of variety
spinning in its grave.
Best bits for us in Gal’s Steve Ignorant podcast are when Mr
Ig talks about his love for the Rejects, his belief that Stinky
could have replaced him in Crass, and the pride he takes in having
been ejected from a bar in France for jumping on the table and
singing along to ‘We Are The Firm’ with “me shirt off and me braces
down.” There’s interesting stuff about RAR too, who Steve says
once forced Crass to take £2,000 for playing a benefit gig back
in the day – the shocked band immediately gave the filthy lucre
to a donkey sanctuary.
Have a look, Stief’s only gorn and got Nadded up...
OUT now: the third album from Criminal Damage, Call Of Death
which is best described as catchy Blitz-influenced streetpunk...
and the new 7inch single from female-fronted French punks La Fraction,
called ‘Les Silences’ which Fat Col seems to think is about “rug-munchers
wearing gags.” Dolt.
DON’T forget SKAMOUTH is just two months away featuring legends
such as Winston Reedy, Dave Barker and Susan Cadogan as well as
the Neville Staple Band, King Hammond etc - full line-up here.
Sadly the SkaNads have withdrawn from the bill because they still
haven’t found the right keyboardist. The organisers also have
some space left for riders, and for company sponsorships for the
Skamouth Celebrity - Charity Scooter Ride-Out...
Aug 8. FINALLY! Built For Destruction is in stock now!!! This
album has been suppressed, stolen, bootlegged and banned but at
last it’s in our store. Let’s hope it was worth the effin’ wait!
PS. If you want to buy it as a download, here’s
the link: Although now we think about it we never actually signed
a contract allowing a download release. Oi, Diana, NO! Where’s
The Beast when you need him??
That in-depth Steve Ignorant chat can be heard later today, here.
It’s crisis time at Nads HQ after Gal was rushed to hospital
in the early hours of this morning. A concerned Fit Bird tells
us: “He was rollin’ ararnd in absolute agony. Seems that Mensi
bloke sent ’im a bottle of Mag Dog 357 Hot Sauce, which is the
’ottest sauce on the planet. You’re only supposed to use a tiny
drop of it in anyfing you cook. But ’e’s rolled in ’alf-cut with
that fuckwit Fat Col, Col’s made a midnight stir fry and tipped
’alf the bottle in... ” The effect was instant: tears, hiccups,
retching, abdominal bleeding (probably); and the rest was hysteria.
“It was like French-kissing a flame-thrower,” the stricken singer
murmured from a stretcher en route to what could well be his death
bed. Sabotage or stupidity, we cannot be sure. Nor can we yet
be sure that he’ll recover in time to drive to Blackpool tomorrow,
or indeed at all. But we do know one thing for sure - somewhere
Tommy ‘Twelve Wives’ Mensforth will be laughing his socialist
Aug 7. Apologies to all who have ordered our new album Built
For Destruction. We STILL haven’t received copies here. As soon
as we do, we’ll announce it – and post out your orders immediately.
Watch this space, Gal’s chat with Steve Ignorant goes on-line
We always said Rick Buckler from The Jam was a man of
great taste – who could possibly doubt it now?
Gal and Cass Pennant face the masses (Sid and Doris Puke) on
the Rebellion literary stage on Saturday afternoon. But for those
poor souls who can’t get there, here is a full and complete list
of Mr. Bushell’s answers: 1) She told me she wasn’t married. 2)
She said she couldn’t get pregnant if we did it ‘that’ way 3)
Duct tape and a lot of alcohol 4) With a cucumber 5) With a marrow
6) Dipped in porridge 7) Only if she asks nicely 8) Max Clifford
9) Beki Bondage 10) South Coast Steve 11) Fingers first, it’s
only polite 12) People in glass houses shouldn’t... We hope that
Aug 5. Below is the picture we never thought we'd see - Gal and
Steve Ignorant, as friendly as you like, knocking back the beers
during a four hour session last night. What's it all about? Watch
this space! But it's a fairly safe bet that Mr. Ig isn't joining
The new issue of Street Sounds is out on Friday. Issue 4 features
Susan Cadogan, Decca Wade, Stomper 98, Maninblack, Klasse Kriminale,
Crashed Out, Iron Maiden, Section 60, the 2-Tone Village, Riaz
Khan, the Rival Sons, Mexican Skinhead art, Jennie Bellestar on
the hottest new bands around, plus regular columnists, a brand
new and very funny cartoon strip called Super-Yob (not about the
band of that name) and more. All for £2. Yeah, just two sovs!
(And yet still some tight-arsed bastards will try and blag freebie
copies... ) You can order it on line right now here.
And it will be on sale at Rebellion.
By the way if you're up in Blackpool next weekend, look out for
the Randale Records stall which will be stocked up with Built
For Destruction, plus the new Resort album, the brilliant Old
Firm Casuals album and much more.
STOP PRESS. Gal's new novel Face Down will be released in October.
- or if you're in the USA, here.
R.I.P. while we were away: genius song-writer J.J. Cale, rock
writer, Deviants singer and dissident Mick Farren, and director
of TV’s The Sweeney Jim Goddard...
Rankin’ Roger is releasing the live favourite ‘Muscle Ska’ (co-written
by Neville Staple) on vinyl for the first time on August 16th.
B-side is the unreleased ‘Civilisation’ featuring Sly and Robbie.
Aug 4. We're back! Did you miss us? Of course you did! But we
never let you down. Before we closed down we promised we'd be
back with news, and here it is - some good, some bad. And the
biggest, bestest news of all is that the Gonads will NOT now cease
to exist on New Year's Eve. Says Gal: "We were going to stop playing
live at the end of the year - that was a serious decision. However
within weeks of announcing it, we started to get interesting festival
offers for 2014 so we've decided that the Gonads will carry on
playing festival gigs and special shows ONLY. We will record at
least one more official album, Greater Hits Volume 3 - The Complete
Cobblers. We are also launching other projects that will be revealed
on New Year's Day, and which should surprise and delight you all.
Meanwhile The SkaNads will be recording two new split eps with
established Ska favourites - details to be announced when release
dates are confirmed. More good news - Gal's Rancid Sounds podcast
is coming back later this month... and the script of Join The
Rejects Get Yourself Killed - the movie version of the Cockney
Rejects story (not the documentary) written by Gal and Mick Geggus
will be released shortly as an e-book. The bad news? We still
haven't got copies of our new album Built For Destruction here
at Nads HQ - ! Hurry up postie!
*Gal finished writing Face Down in Burgau, a fishing village
in the Algarve, which reminds us of a story ex-Gonad Pete 'Manic
Esso' Haynes told us about his trip to Portugal in 1984. Pete
recalls: "Before going I was told how friendly the people were.
I had a bloke with a false arm try and pickpocket me on the underground
in Lisbon, I was burgled while I was asleep in my hotel room and
the next night I set the bed on fire as I'd fallen asleep while
smoking a cigarette! On the last day, on the way to airport with
a terrible hangover I gave the cab driver the money I intended
to change back to pounds when I arrived home thinking it was the
amount I separated to pay for the cab... " We love ya, Pete, but
do you ever think it could be you?
Other bits of random trivia that happened while we were away
- Tony 'Two Homes' Feedback conquered his fear of flying and jetted
off to Italy. Mick Geggus accidentally took his iPhone scuba-diving
with him. And all of these came out: 1) Noi!se album 'Pushing
On' (Pirates Press) - a compilation of all the band's previously
vinyl-only releases including the sold out debut, 'Walk Beside
Us'... 2) two great singles from West Coast Ska band The Interrupters
- 'Family' and 'Liberty'; the Interrupters are fronted by Aimee
Allen and worked on Tim Armstrong's Tim Timebomb & Friends project.
Tim produces them and they'll be supported Rancid on tour soon...
3) Two brilliant early albums from Canada's Chixdiggit! - 'Born
On The First Of July' and 'From Scene To Shining Scene' - have
been re-released by Fat Wreck Chords as Double Diggits!, fully
re-mastered and with eight never released and extremely rare bonus
tracks. 32 sparkling pop-punk ditties. Dig it.