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!
Aug 31. The bank holiday saw two very different events, one promising…the other distinctly chilling. On Sunday, the Oi Organising Committee met in a public house on the outskirts of Colchester to make plans for 2022. They decided to commission a brand new Oi compilation and to endorse an Oi-Tone one, in conjunction with Randale Records of Germany. But perhaps their boldest move was to debate the possible establishment of a Global Outlaw Network, open to bands, clubs, labels and “like-minded herberts” in order to “build on the legacy of working class rock and streetpunk worldwide”. If approved at their Christmas meet, the G-o-N will be officially launched next year as a loose association with minimum rules. “All will be welcome,” says our source. “Except for political extremists of any stamp.”
There was a less proming development at the Jolly Pranksters backholiday weekender, however. The event, held in a farm outside Southborough in Kent, ran smoothly until Sunday morning when, according to Effete El, “the dawn peace was shattered by a terrifying scream followed by the chilling words ‘Oh no! He’s balded me!’…” Yes, sadly it seems the black-hearted maverick known locally as the Phantom Head-Shaver of Pembury Road is back, and is again targetting brethen in a state of advanced spiritual meditation (after the bars had shut) and shaving off their locks. El whispers “I was lucky, I got away with a number two crop, but most of the poor sods are as bald as Kojak’s ball-sack.” CCTV cameras could have identified the perpetrator, but the Big Brother-hating brethren oppose them on principle. “Only one person has ever seen the Phantom’s face,” adds El. “And that was the Yeti in 2014.” What happened, we asked breathlessly. Solemnly, El replied, “He balded her, but then she pulled him back and made him board her too. Twice.” Could you not get a police sketch artist to bring the rogue’s face to life, we asked? “We tried that,” he explains. “She gave him a very detailed description, including every bump and contour, but all she could remember were his genitals.”
Aug 29. Album update: our new record is coming on nicely, with more than half the tracks now written. “The riff on Revolution Now is the absolute bollocks – a masterpiece,” according to Fat Col who gatecrashed a writing session at Nads HQ on Friday night by posing as a Chinese take-away delivery man (and eating half the chicken balls). Gal and Mark McMighty demoed six sizzling songs, the other five being Ragman’s Trumpet, 18 Stone Of Dynamite (Half Inch Fuse), Chatham Docks, Angels Of Avalon and Can You Take All This? All are pure punk belters except for Can You Take All This?, which Col reports “has a whiff of the Blockheads”. The lads are currently working on the even heavier Pentonville Five and two brand new numbers, Indecent and Water-Bomber. Teeth Aht and Ritchie Is A Rocker are already written, Gal and Clyde have penned Scream My Name and recorded Promised Land, and are also working on the uncompromising Bulldog Breed. TDA is a work in progress. The problem, says Col, is “the boys are on fire and will end up with enough songs for two albums, especially when you factor in unrecorded songs like Son Of FrankenSkin, Whelks and Critical Mass”. Lord Waistrel wants it to be a single album, but could he be tempted by the prospect of a pandemic-penned double platter? Call it Exile On Lonely Street, perhaps. Or Double Blinding.
Aug 28. Record Noos. West London h/c herberts Chubby and The Gang have released an album called The Mutt’s Nuts – ten years after we did! Which is better? Only one way to find out…
People keep asking us if the story about Una Stubbs and the coffee table is true. Ask Lionel Blair, he was under it. Allegedly.
Aug 27. Oi, Oi! The incredible true story of this great band is to be turned into a major new book from a mainstream publisher, we can reveal. The Gonads – The Complete Cobblers will be written by former Sounds and Punk Lives rock writers Bev Elliott and Jerry Harris and will cover our five-decade career from Pink Tent to 2022. It will come “packed with pictures, illustrations, unseen lyrics, blog extracts and exclusive interviews”. There might even be a flexi-disc. If you have any pictures of us, especially from the very early days, please get in touch. Cheers.
Aug 26. News that Spencer Elden, who appeared naked as a baby on the cover of Nirvana's 1991 album Nevermind, is suing the band for exploitation, has stoked fears that Millwall Dan may take legal action against the former directors of Link Records for using his image as part of the artwork for Son Of Oi. The compilation’s iconic cover features Dan as a young child swigging a bottle of beer with his sister on the Ferrier Estate in south east London. Said The Beast “It became one of the most enduring images in streetpunk history after the record's release in 1982, yet clearly my client has suffered lifelong damages by being introduced to alcohol at such a young age.” The Beast is considering taking legal action both in the UK and at a federal court in California and will be seeking reparation from Fatty Lol and Dodgy Dave Long as well as Mark Brennan of Captain Oi and the directors of Cherry Red. He wants a financial settlement but sources close to Millwall Dan suggest he’d be happy with a lifetime’s supply of beer.
Aug 25. Here is Gal’s latest Rancid Sounds featuring The Clockworks, Suzi Moon, the Chords UK, the Velveteers, Bishops Green, Willow, The Stranglers, Lee Perry & The Soulettes, Lion’s Law, Surf Curse, Neville & Sugary Staple, Gimp Fist, Prince Buster, NOi!se, Dee Snider and, what’s this, only the immortal Harry Champion!
The Bitch is quick to pour scorn on our Crocked Sparrer drinking scandal exclusive. Sharpening her claws she hisses, “You bunch of hypocrites! I saw you at the Circus Tavern when you opened for the Rejects fifteen years ago and Gal was so many pints beyond blotto that he seemed to drift off into transcendental meditation between songs! And when you supported the UK Subs at the Garage in 2011, Gentleman John drank your entire band booze rider before your set, fell over mid-song and heroically kept playing!” True, and if you think we’re bad, you should have seen Red Alert at 2000 Tons Of TNT ten years ago. They were so pissed on the flight they didn’t disembark the plane so much as they were poured off it. On stage, a hideously rat-arsed Steve ‘Cast Iron’ Smith did a speech about 9/11 that so was so cringeworthy toes were curling up like Aladdin’s slippers. They never sobered up once the entire time they were there. Cheers!
Aug 24 STOP PRESS: R.I.P. Charlie Watts, a terrific drummer and a genuinely lovely man.
Aug 24. Out of the goodness of their hearts, Terence Hayes DM and his bosom pal Chelsea Dom have volunteered to go on the road with a certain unnamed band next month to shield them from the perils of alcohol. “If anyone buys them a drink before they a gig, we will drink it,” pledged Tel heroically. “No beer or vodka will pass the lips of their singer before he goes on stage, whoever he is.” Good work, but surely this is a job for Lee Wilson?
Aug 23. We can’t reveal the identity of the sloshed singer at Hits 25, or the name of his band, but we can publish their set list: Drink ’Em All, Taken For A Pint, Last Shout In Dagenham, Runnin’ Pie-Eyed, Watch My Beer, Out On A Pub Crawl, Where Are You Now, Barman?, Chip On My Shoulder (Gin In My Hair), Did You Have A Nice Light Ale Without Me (continued The Stick Of Rock). Nope, it beats us, no clues there…
STOP PRESS. R.I.P. Brian Travers, the UB40 saxophonist, and one of its founding members, who died yesterday evening at his home near Birmingham after a long battle with cancer. He was 62.
Aug 22. The first Oi box-set, Oi! – The Albums, has sold so well that we understand Cherry Red are compiling a second one. This new box-set will include The Joys Of Oi (they were hit by a wave of protests after they left it off the first one!) along with all the other Link oi comps, making it, we would estimate, a 7CD set. But not everyone is happy. Condemning the news, the Oi Organising Committee tell us, “The first seven Oi albums were official, the next batch were substandard; they were not approved by us and lacked the scene’s original vision.”
Aug 21. We’re hearing shock reports that Gal went rogue on Thursday night and performed a spontaneous secret gig with local musicians during a pub lock-in. Whispers Derby Ken, “Gal thinks nobody heard none of it but I can reveal that his ‘chaotic’ punk rock rendition of Four & Twenty Virgins was secretly recorded by a treacherous friend.” We can’t reveal the identity of the treacherous friend – just his initials, “DK” – but we can confirm that the song has been transferred to a CD which is now sitting safely in our cast iron blackmail cabinet.
Out now: the 15th anniversary of the Lower Class Brats’ The New Seditionaries album, back on vinyl and “brutally remastered for maximum audio destruction”… and Carry On Oi is back on vinyl too from Spain’s Daily Records Vintage Series. The blurb calls it “probably the best oi compilation ever issued”.
STOP PRESS! Lord Waistrel’s inquiry last night found in favour of the blog and of the Gonads’ continuation as a band. A spokesman said that the Church Of Oi boot-boy clerics were “confident” that the blog monkeys were reformed and would treat their future postings “with respect”. A cynic might mutter, “What else could they decide, seeing as how the blog has fallen to the monkeys and Martin Sporrell has refused to come back from holiday to control the situation?” But we say, good on ya, priesty boys. We pledge to keep this blog true, rude and honest, and to prove it, here’s some exciting news on the Fat Col front…
Exclusive! Fat Col’s rootin’ tootin’ country band the Rawhides are now being managed by a Tennessee-based agent called Dixon Hill who tells us he has turned down a record deal from a Nashville-based indie label “coz I only deal with the big boys, an’ ain’t that a fact!” Hill has also hired notorious rock PR Jenny O’Keefe to handle Col’s press. Her first decision was to cancel our interview with her “charismatic but sensitive star” on the outrageous grounds that we would “sensationalize” his story. As well as the band, she says “Mr Gannon has a book deal pending”. Could this be his notorious fictional diary of imagined sexual encounters involving prominent women in the music scene, a blend of X-rated fan fiction and soft porn? “Not at all,” she snaps. “Mr Gannon has penned an incredible work of erotic literature that will excite and delight the highbrow reader.” Is Wattsie in it, we ask innocently. “Page 32 to 69,” she replies. Oh gawd.
Aug 20. Random gossip: which singer with a well-respected street-punk band got so lagging at Hits 25 that these much-loved legends had their “worst ever gig” and the singer felt compelled to send his apologies to them a day or two later? First person to guess correctly wins a no-prize…
Of course, the big question from Hits 25, and the bigger worry, is who gave Alvin Gibbs covid and has he passed it on to Charlie Harper? The finger of suspicion is pointing at Chris Shadow, who works with the UK Subs around the clock. Let’s pray Charlie is safe. The great man is punk rock’s equivalent of Geronimo the alpaca and must be guarded at all times. We send our best to Alvin and to all the other virus sufferers, including Oddy from R77 and Paul North.
THIS BLOG IS BACK WITH A BANG!
Aug 19. The BBC World Service reports: ‘The civilized world watched in shock and horror yesterday as rebel blog-monkeys over-ran the stricken Gonads blog following the unexpectedly rapid withdrawal of Church Of Oi forces. The monkeys have been posting since early Tuesday morning and have met with no resistance. Their control of the blog appears to be complete. Appalled commentators have blamed Lord Waistrel for abandoning blog security without thinking through the consequences. One source told the BBC: “This is grim news. Although the rebels have posted reasonable news and gossip to date, experts agree that this is a ruse and that hardcore elements – including the notorious sexist Fat Col, stern radical carrot-cruncher John King (Beer Monster Elite) and possibly even Comrade Assistant Manager FB – are waiting in the wings to post extreme nonsense, offensive jokes and surreal gibberish. Politicians are asking “How did this happen? Is Waistrel fit for purpose? What has happened to his right-hand man, Terence Hayes, DM? Has Lee Wilson bought a round yet? And where the hell is his head of security Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner). More news as we have it.”
Aug 18. Breaking news: the blog’s return has re-invigorated Mark McMighty who tells us he is back on board to co-write our new album Revolution Now with Gal; the album is expected to be released by Randale around Easter 2022… Gal has recorded a new edition of Rancid Sounds which is expected to air next Tuesday; in the meantime, he will stand in for Leah McCaffrey on her country radio show this coming Friday (11pm, 2nd City Radio), please join us in trying to convince him to play the Alaska Cowboys and Fat Col’s Rawhides’ demo tape…
Aug 17. Hallelujah! Rejoice! Joy to the world! The blog is back! And to prove it, here is some proper news: The Business, The Anti Nowhere League, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, GBH, the Newtown Neurotics, The Samples, Rats’ Nest and Hacksaw play the No Future 2022 all-dayer at the Fleece Bristol on 5th Feb… The Glory, The Sentence, Queensbury Rules and Fat Albert will be giving it large at The Donkey, Leicester on 23rd October… tune back tomorrow for more!
Aug 16. The interview stage of the inquiry into this blog and the band’s future concluded today. Assembled Church Of Oi representatives heard a closing speech from Lord Waistrel who concluded, “The crucial matter at hand is: would you let your wives, mistresses or servants read this blog or see this band?” A moot point. Church Of Oi clerics then retired to reach their verdict, and have withdrawn all their forces, including the blog monitor.
THIS BLOG IS NOW CLOSED – BY ORDER OF LORD WAISTREL
Aug 15. After their sensational performance in the otherwise abysmal Gatwick Gangsters, was this the film Gal and Wattsie made next? This promo shot comes from monster horror movie, The Bone Jangler (for the boner-jangler see the Yeti). See how special FX have been used to make Gal look younger and hunkier and Wattsier even more desirable. A furious Effete El fumed, “Is it real or is it fake news? This is the sort of trivial debate this blog was made for. Yet we are being denied it by this ludicrous inquiry. Club 77 say Waistrel must act now to Restore The Blog. No, mess, no fuss, it’s time to end this joyless charade!” Here, here. We blog monkeys agree. We would also point out that the effects team have done a sterling job making Fat Col look thinner and much more human (far left).
Aug 14. One terrible side effect of this tedious inquiry is that Mark McMighty has walked away from co-writing our new album, leaving Gal with a fistful of lyrics and a handful of tunes with no collaborator to join the dots… another bummer is that Lord Waistrel has officially postponed our October gigs on Tyneside until March 2022 “at the earliest”. (We agreed to those north east shows in good faith but one rumour gaining currency is that the whole proposal was a con engineered by crafty promoter Shazza to get her hands on Wattsie’s stage clothes…)
The absence of this blog means we’re unable to tell you about Fat Col’s latest enterprise: he’s fronting a blue-collar country band called the Rawhides devoted to “beer, bourbon, barmaids and true-blue belly-laughs”. It sounds like cow-punk, we say. “Nothing like that,” he fumes. “We’re all about bucking, trucking, rucking and…” sadly the line goes dead.
But we can report that Phil McDermott is working on a Ska song called, Have I Told You I’m Working On A Ska Song… and that Gal is back on Colin Edmonds’ Behind The Scenes podcast today, this time talking about his chaotic radio and national newspaper experiences, the jokes he regrets, a little bit of politics, and why he’s thinking about calling it a day... it starts slowly but after five minutes it takes off like Branson’s rocket.
Aug 8. Some fans have seized on the news that we have been confirmed for Rebellion Festival next year as proof that the Gonads will play on. We should point out that both the Rebellion and Ilfracombe punk fests still need to be green-lit by Lord Waistrel – and that won’t happen until the Church Of Oi inquiry is over. We can still reveal nothing about the hearing. Except… one anonymous eye-witness has told us “Off the record, and definitely not to be mentioned on the blog” that Waistrel has hinted that he will strength and upgrade Miss Management’s role in the band should his investigator-priest allow us to continue. Oh, and don’t tell anyone you read this here, but Waistrel is also secretly allowing his trusted north east team (Shazza, Kezza and Decca) to line up “tentative gigs” on Tyneside, “just in case we get the green light”. In other news we can’t report, Fat Col took the stand at the inquiry yesterday for a soul-sapping six-hour testimony consisting largely of “scandalous claims, slanderous drivel, idle gossip and green-eyed envy”. Wattsie has refused to testify however, claiming that she is too busy with her own vital scientific inquiry into falling male sperm production rates. It’s a hands-on job presumably…
Aug 1st. Grim news chums. Lord Waistrel’s investigator-priest has extended the closure of his blog and imposed a strict “omerta” ruling on the details of his inquiry. So even if we hear leaks, we can’t report them. We can but hope and pray that good sense and compromise prevail. After 44 years of glorious failure, surely this can’t be the end?