Aug 31. What can we tell you about the Prankster weekender held "in that East Sussex place"? Sadly, for reasons of taste and decency, very little, except to say the Nosher gave a unique spin to the "tug of war" contest, Mad Mickey Wharton's Kinks retrospective in the cow shed was extremely well received and the Yeti triumphed in the mud-wrestling clash of the titans but was later disqualified when it was discovered that she had smeared herself all over with a quart of hog grease. The venue, a bikers' bar on a remote farm, witnessed scenes so shocking that, to quote effete El they "left seasoned Pranksters ashen-faced" and saw one old-timer being rushed away on a stretcher. The fun we have! Saturday night saw a performance by a kind of punk tribute to The Who called The Wot (billed as Little Chix before the injunction). The event ended last night with a festive board, a Ska DJ, Elgar and the ceremonial burning of the EU "traitors' flag". In us and through us, England lives!
Rick Buckler, Gal, Stinky Turner, John King, the surviving Ruts and Manic Esso are among the faces booked for A Punk Literary Festival in London on 12th December. The six-hour event kicks off at noon. There are 150 spaces with tickets at £15 a pop. Tickets now on sale from here.
Aug 30. The latest issue of Verbal, Verbal 3, is now on sale featuring new fiction from Martin Knight, Michael Keenagan, Pete Haynes, Joe England, and Robert Ciesla. Plus an Irvine Welsh interview and poetry by Joseph Ridgwell. Available here.
Aug 28. The battle for Wattsie Watts continues. Just days after Sulo's attempts to lure our singer to Sweden, here is ex-New York Doll Steve Conte trying to weasel her away to NYC with cheap dreams and easy promises. But no mate she ain't interested in jetting to the Big Apple for no life of r'n'r sleaze, nor is she interested in the fact that you've got fingers like blinkin' bananas. Are you Shona? Shona? SHON!!!! Where's she gorn?
Fat Col has been prematurely posting "news" on our facebook page which is actually "business to discuss" at the next Gonads Ruby Night (soon come). So yes, we are talking about a new single/ep for next year and work has certainly started on the great Gonads Annual but nothing is definite until you read it here. And even then it's only probable in this world (although it will obviously be true in others...see the Ministry of Delusion string section for details). More important than that though is the new album Greater Hits Vol 3 – The Complete Cobblers IS HERE NOW, and it's the dog's bollocks!
Aug 27. Those scamps at Hawkins & Joseph continue to skank their way into street fashion history. The canny casual wear specialists have just knocked out t-shirts bearing the legend 'Ska City FC' – referencing Coventry City and their old Highfield Road Stadium back in 1979 when 2 Tone erupted like a breath of fresh (moh)air. Our pic shows the McGraths, Lloyd Senior and Lloyd Junior. Lloyd Snr was a City midfielder who played in the 1987 FA Cup Final when they beat Spurs at Wembley to win their only silverware to date. Lloyd Jnr is the vocalist of Barb'd Wire, the Coventry based Ska band (who Trev 'ET' Evans drums for); snap by Tony Mottram (yeah, that one). Our objection is on historical rather than sartorial grounds. London should be the UK "Ska City". Original skins kicked off in South London.
Aug 24. After the sunshine, the downpour. Yes, sad to report that since the amazing highs of Rebellion, scandalous rumours are flooding in concerning this great band's future. Word on the streets is that Steve Diggle is attempting to sign our brilliant bassist Gentleman John for his solo band, while Sulo Karlsson is reportedly trying to recruit Shona Wattsie Watts for Sweden's Diamond Dogs. Insider Garry 'Gazza' Johnson tells us: "My lips are sealed but from what I hear the word on the street is that the world of showbiz will never be the same again. It ranks alongside Ronnie Wood leaving The Faces and joining the Stones. According to my sources, just rumours at the moment so all you will get from me is 'No Comment'." No comment could be obtained from Gentleman John either. Well, the pubs were open. But a posse of angry Charlton Boys are already vowing to "fight them on the beaches" if the Swedes come for Wattsie, while a more practical Waistrel is thought to have lined up a replacement "just in case" – the fragrant Lorraine Reeves. ("Can she sing?" asks a pedantic passer-by, to which Fat Col shrugged and replied "Does it matter?") Some furious Nads insiders are blaming Gazza for the possible defection. It appears he escorted Ms Watts to the Diamond Dogs gig on Saturday and Gal J persuaded Sulo to have her sing on one of the tracks the pair are recording together. That's for an album due to be released by Randale Records next year. Gulp. Et tu, Diana?
PS. Gazza's United Against Austerity download single is still available from here.
Aug 21. The Heritage of Ska people are 'Honouring the Legends' next month, with a special event at London's 229 Club. Achievement awards will be dispensed, the Neville Staple Band will perform, and Gal is compering part of the evening…
Aug 20. Here's some proper skinhead news, dudes. New editions of Richard Allen's controversial best-sellers Skinhead and Suedehead have just been published as single-volume editions by DSP – the first single-volume editions since the originals in the seventies, as they were last published by George Marshall as collected volumes. And staying in the world of publishing, next month DSP are putting out an ebook edition of Steve Marriott: All Too Beautiful, the definitive biog of the great man by Paolo Hewitt and John Hellier. There is a paperback edition out as well for those of us like to keep things real.
Aug 19. Another day, another East End poet... Tim Wells's new poetry collection is out next month and is "a stunning indictment of gentrification" (it says here). Everything Crash is published by Penned in the Margins and costs £9.99. Timmy will launch the book on 4th September 2015 with a party in East London.
Ain't it nice to see oxblood making a come-back...
Aug 18. The first edition of the reprint of Garry Johnson's Boys Of The Empire comes with at least one hilarious misprint. If you check out Ballad Of The Young Offender, instead of the line reading 'Wake them at 6 to scrub the bogs' it says 'wake them at 6 to scrub boys'... which as author Garry J points out "doesn't even rhyme with the next line, 'black or white, call them dogs'." Gazza asks: "Is this a joke by the publisher, Stalin, or some kind of Freudian slip?" We're inclined to go with the cock-up theory, but a passing pal Mad Matty insists the poem should now be renamed 'Bell-End of the Young Offender'.
There were more cock-ups in the Rebellion programme which describes Boys Of The Empire as "probably the best novel since Orwell's 1984... a blockbuster, a page-turner" and dubs Gal J "Charles Dickens for the Chav Generation". For those who haven't seen it, BOTE is a slim 32-page book of poetry!!! Naturally we cannot reveal the name of the writer who cobbled this cobblers together after thirty seconds of diligent research on Google, but we can say he supports Chelsea and suffers badly from IBS (almost as badly as those around him suffer from hearing about his IBS…)
Out now from our mates at Oi! The Boat Records, the Oxley's Midnight Runners' single 'Invasion' on coloured vinyl... not out yet, the new Warriors album. Why? They recorded it last year!
Aug 17. More great shots from Rebellion - mostly of Wattsie...
And what next after Rebellion? How about the Boot Boys' Xmas knees-up in
London town with us, The Business, Infa Riot and Skurvi. That's at the 100
Club on 18th December. Tickets are a score in advance and they're going
faster than free pints at a darts championship.
Aug 12. So Rebellion, what a laugh! What a hoot! What a proper punch up the trousers... Here as promised, are the stories behind the headlines (but only some as we're cream-crackered still): 1) Geldof insults audience – we broke this news, and then the gutter rats of Fleet Street picked up on it. No idea how (cough). "Sir" Bob informed the Empress Ballroom crowd that his Boomtown Prats were "mega" and the "greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world" and then told the audience they were wearing "a fuckin' uniform of black t-shirts with shit bands on them." He was loudly booed. Hundreds of punks duly walked out, but the film clip of that exodus has now been removed from YouTube. Geldof later claimed it was "banter". Asked by The Sun what he thought of Bob Geldof, Steve Diggle replied simply "Who?"
Naturally our own sets proceeded without us feeling the need to slag off the folk who'd come to see us (the young fella in the Donkey Laugh t was the best-dressed man by far, though). The only problem at the first show was our intro man, Albert the dwarf, couldn't get there as his mobility scooter couldn't cope with the journey (we're not making this up). That pure-punk-for-row-people set on Saturday, was followed by our first ever acoustic set on Sunday (full set-lists are below at the end of this report). The absolute highlight was 'Buy Me A Drink, Lee Wilson' with the offending round dodger sitting shame-faced on stage to the delight of all. And he did buy Gal a drink. A pint of lager top. Our new merch, Yeti-sized knickers with "Infected by the Gonads" printed on them, proved a huge hit and we had completely run out of stock by Sunday afternoon. Backstage controversies abounded however. The gravest being Stalin deliberately sabotaging Stan Ogden's Street Sounds review of our new album by lobbing a full star off of it, making the record we put our heart and soul into come in at a derisory three and a half stars. It gets worse. An independent witness heard the Moddish dodgepot say he'd taken a star off because 'Badly Done' was "badly done." Wattsie Watts is furious, Ogden may sue... but could the real motive be his failed chat-up attempt in Coventry? One for Jeremy Kyle, we feel... There was more scandal when elements of the Gonads called for our stage mascot, the FrankenSkin to be axed! A furious Fat Col has denounced the plan as "revisionist madness... like Maiden dropping Eddie". Elsewhere Wattsie attracted a mysterious "male groupie" and came back to the hotel at 7.30am speaking in riddles about Australian sound men. When asked if he was big down under she refused to comment.
In other perhaps more significant news, Andy Blade from Eater was caught trying to sell his backstage pass outside the venue and has reportedly been banned from the fest. And on the literary stage Garry Johnson threw his weight behind Labour socialist leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn. The League of Labour Skins would be proud of him. Perhaps the most traumatic moment for anyone came when Chelsea Dom stumbled upon Rat Boy stark bollock naked in a toilet cubicle, a vision too horrible to contemplate. There were too many great performances to recount them all, but young bands the Bar Stool Preachers and AMI were particularly impressive and deserve to make real impact on what's left of the music biz. The Literary Stage was a source of deep joy, with Lee Wilson cheerfully heckled by friends during his spiky chat with Rhoda Dakar, and Gal persuading the great Roy 'Mr Symarip' Ellis to open their conflab with a raucous and righteous outburst of 'Skinhead Moonstomp'. Funniest though was Jonny Wah Wah trying to cope with brilliant Steve Diggle who wouldn't stop spieling anecdotes long enough for Wah Wah to even get a question in. If it wasn't for the intervention of formidable Rebellion PR Emma Rule Diggle wouldn't have stopped in time to reach the stage for the Buzzcocks set! Eugene Butcher of Vive Le Rock turned up tanked up and launched angry (and hilarious) tirades against the music biz. The VLR and Big Cheese editor did however reveal his plans to do a print version of Louder Than War with John Robb... The only hint of agg came from text warrior two-ton Tony Madras, but like the rest of the so-called Beer Monster Elite Madras was nowhere to be seen on Saturday night having peaked too soon and gone to a pub karaoke night to sing Steps songs and eat alfalfa sandwiches with his buddy John King...
We'll end with actual news. There's a new Rejects book in the pipeline. There could be a Buzzcocks film coming. And it looks like next year's headliners will include The Professionals, Cock Sparrer and possibly Iggy Pop. Will we be back? Stranger things have happened... PS. Charlie Harper confirms the truth of 'I Lost My Love To A UK Sub' in the latest issue of Street Sounds... and it might happen again if Wattsie gets too close to Alvin. A final, final picture. Here is Gentlemen John at our b&b. Unknown to him, the morning started with a character breakfast...
The set lists.The Pure Punk For Row People set: Tucker's Ruckers, Jobs Not Jails, I Lost My Love To A UK Sub, Lager Top, Grant Mitchell, Beano, SE7 Dole Day, Rob A Bank, Dance Fat Boy Dance, Gob, Oi Mate, Alconaut, Charlton Boys, Punk Rock Till I Die. Acoustic set: Yeti, Buy Me A Drink You Bastards, Grant Mitchell, Infected, Beano, Getting Pissed, (Should have been Fat Cat Splat next but Phil was down to four strings), Badly Done, SE7 Dole Day, Grant Mitchell, Oi Mate, I Lost My Love To A UK Sub, Alconaut... and Buy Me A Drink Lee Wilson.
A HUGE if belated happy birthday to our webmistress BATTTTTTY whose surprise 21st (cough) party on Monday was co-ordinated by daughter Zoe and the Yorkshire Pranskters in a stately home belonging to the aristocratic Withering family (friends of Waistrel). Sadly tragedy seemed to strike within minutes, as Scrotum - Waistrel's wrinkled retainer - announced the shock news that "Lady Withering 'as only gorn and got 'erself murdered on t'moors!" The local cops were baffled and so a crack team of private dicks including Gal, Phil Mogg and various other rockstars and music bizz dignitaries intervened by phone. As ever with Prankster happenings, a discrete veil of secrecy has to be drawn over the rest of the proceedings. But at one stage Agatha Christie herself got in touch via a Ouija board and sent a one word message. Murder, she wrote. This morning a tired and emotional Batttttty tells us: "We were so busy eating all the delicious Yorkshire vittles that we completely forgot about Lady Withering. Anyway, serves her right for wandering around on Ilkley Moor without a hat on."
Talking of Pranksters, and hats... Fat Col recently attended a fraternal gathering
of the Manhattan Lodge chaired by this fishy character.
Okay, while we were away this tasty new Oi compilation came out. Compiled by Gal and Oi the Boat Records, the CD includes tracks by the likes of Lion's Law, Victory, Hard Evidence, Harrington Saints, Noise and eight more bands. We daresay you might even be able to buy it from our shop page in a week or so...
And don't forget the latest issue of Street Sounds is out now, (see cover photo below) featuring The Libertines, Less Than Jake, Charlie Harper, The Jam exhibition, Peter & The Test-Tube Babies, Wendy May, 20 Things you didn't know about Cock Sparrer, Last Seen Laughing, Kylie Olsson, Mod fiction, fanzines, psychobilly literature, and more... all for £2.50.
Aug 10. Rebellion in headlines: Kin' rat Bob Geldof insults audience ++ Andy 'Eater' Blade banned from fest ++ Garry Johnson endorses Corbyn ++ Nads acoustic version of 'Buy Me A Drink Lee Wilson' goes down storm ++ Mystery of Wattsie's male groupie ++ Chelsea Dom traumatised ++ Nads Infected knickers sell out ++ new Rejects book in pipeline ++ Paul 'Toes' Hallam placed on 'enemy of the band' list after sickening scandal ++ Bar Stool Preachers and AMI "brilliant" ++ Rhoda Dakar takes on Lee Wilson ++ A drunk & disorderly Eugene Butcher announces launch of third magazine ++ Top man Steve Diggle talks hind legs off Jonny Wah Wah ++ Charlie Harper confirms truth of 'I Lost My Love To A UK Sub' ++ Gentleman John's Close Encounter of the Furry Kind... and much more, but you'll have to tune back for the dirt and pictures tomorrow, or on Wednesday. We're hung-over here!