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 27. It takes just one man to rain on Wattsie’s parade, and that man – reliably enough – is Fat Col who arrives at blog HQ scowling like Trump and calling for “an emergency convention”, bringing together the band, Lord Waistrel and Club 77 to “urgently discuss and determine the Gonads’ direction, aims and ambitions…with a view to returning to unbridled filth and fury”. He adds, “To hell with snowflakes, let chaos reign!”
Others are delighted by Wattsie’s victory however. Some Club 77 members are so thrilled at the thought of the big news she has promised we’ll announce on Friday, that they have formed the Cult of September First. Cult co-founder Margot ‘Mean Machine’ Milligan (aka ‘the fighting Jezebel’) tells us: “After the torrent of thrills of last year, 2023 has been an endless drought for Gonads fans with no proper shows since the Hope & Anchor on St George’s Day which many of us could not get to. So we’re praying the 1st of September will signal a real sea-change – gigs, album news, and the restoration of Miss Management to lead the charge.” No pressure, Shona.
Aug 26. Victory! It’s over. After three draining hours of negotiations yesterday with wildcat strike leader Wattsie Watts and her alien advisor Colonel Tom, the Jolly Pranksters admitted defeat. They have relinquished control of the Gonads and walked away from this blog. An anonymous insider tells us “As far as the brethren are concerned, Wattsie’s demands are improbable, unfathomable and deplorable, and her attitude is stupefying, mortifying, and logic-defying. Just horrifying. There’s no denying the band are therefore unmanageable – a waste of our valuable time and money. We have written off our investment as a tax loss and intend to devote our time to the more pressing business of saving England.” In a passing shot, the Pranksters advised Gal to “ditch Wattsie, forget the dying punk scene and concentrate on your one-man show”. The unnamed insider (Effete El) adds, “It’s hard to believe that Wattsie was genuinely speaking for the Gonads when she claimed her sidekick Colonel Tom – who manifests in the form of a cat – insists that all male band members should wear nail varnish and mascara on-stage (and off) and submit to regular ‘pegging’ sessions to prove she’s the boss.” That sick-making image aside, a triumphant Wattsie told the South London Press she will now work behind the scenes to secure gigs “on this world and others”. (Eh? – re-instated blog editor). “Rejoice,” she added. “Good news is coming on Friday 1st September”. Blimey. Thanks Shon, and, umm, set the controls for the heart of the sun. Nanu nanu.
Aug 25. The Jolly Pranksters last night branded Wattsie’s latest wildcat strike “unofficial, unilateral and misguided”. An unnamed spokesman (Effete El) told ITN that “Ms Wattsie has got the wrong end of the stick, the Pranksters are merely trying to steer the band to a successful future in light entertainment; they respectfully suggest that the alternative plan, favoured by Wattsie, of ‘playing punk rock in run-down shit-holes for tuppence’ will end only in disappointment, debt and degenerative venereal disease.”
In the early hours of this morning, this website’s security was breached and a message from Wattsie condemning the Pranksters as “capitalist bastards” was briefly posted. She accused the secretive but benign apolitical brotherhood as being “users who only want us to work for them, unpaid, and who are blocking all of our independent shows.” We have removed the illegal post so nobody has to read this libellous bilge. Oh wait…
Aug 24. GB News reports that Wattsie Watts has called the Gonads out on strike (again) in protest at the benevolent guidance of the Jolly Pranksters. We shall print a full rebuttal tomorrow.
Aug 23. Steve Whale of The Business has leapt to the defence of his old pal Harry May. He tells us the Bermondsey tailor turned landlord co-founded gentlemen’s charity The Outfit with Ronnie Rouman (of the old Oi committee) in 1981. “They were fearless and funny,” Steve assures us, adding, “Back in the day they could walk into any hostile pub, just the two of them, and leave everyone in stitches.” Such larks!
Aug 22. Following intrusive gutter press questioning, the Jolly Pranksters today issued a formal statement denying that the brotherhood has anything to do with the self-styled ‘practical patriotic anarchists’ of the English Liberation Front, saying “any cross-over of membership is coincidental and unfortunate”. They also denied claims that Oi The Outfit was the latest embodiment of a criminal gang linked to the very early days of Oi, and in particular the Business. A spokesman told ITN, “Oi The Outfit is a respectable gentlemen’s club that exists to socialise and to raise money for various charities and good causes. It was founded by the late Harold ‘Harry’ May of Bermondsey who, before becoming a publican, was by profession a tailor as are many of the Outfit to this day, although some are more accurately described as cutters, and the Sydenham seamstress Rosie O’Bone calls herself “an inside leg specialist”. There you go. All perfectly above board. Move along. Nothing to see here.
Aug 20. There now follows an official announcement from the Jolly Pranksters: Dear readers, snoops and academics, our forward planning committee convened last night in that Fitzrovia place to discuss the Gonads’ proposed Christmas ‘jolly boys acoustic knees up’, but failed to reach an agreement. The committee will now hear recommendations from various parties and will discuss the matter further in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we are pleased to announce that our Samhein festival will be take place over the first weekend of November, in that East Sussex Place, and will feature a veritable roller-coaster of semi-professional entertainment. This will include two one-hour sets by the Gonads, plus stand-up spots from compere Dodgy Rob (formerly Dirty Rob) and Graham Linehan, Magnificent Marlene (the singing frog juggler), Mod hypnotist and underwater scooter daredevil Barry Click, Balham jazz quartet the Reg Groves Four and striptease artiste Fanny Buquette who will perform the splits over a crate of English ale. After-show Ska, punk and Mod sounds will be provided DJ Paul Hallam, ‘the Stalin of style’. Sunday morning will see an alpaca bothering experience for children and the young at heart, followed by the annual garden gnome hurling championship (Prize: a night out with Jello Biafra. Second prize: two nights out with Jello Biafra. Third prize: a night buying pints for Lee Wilson and a chance to be interviewed by Chelsea Dom, aka the Grand Inquisitor). Please note: as always, this event is for members only. For our continued role as free mentors to the Gonads, we ask for just one small personal favour – the band to play a small acoustic set for the charitable gentlemen of Oi The Outfit and their other halves in Bermondsey. All together: “Wives and girlfriends, may they never meet.” To order, brethren.
PS. The committee also made a special mention of the man they appointed as Gonads liaison officer, Fat Col Gannon, remarking on his “amazing nescience”. Col beamed with delight because he has no dictionary.
Urgent PS. Central London Pranksters have added the fabled Nell Gwynne Tavern to our list of proscribed businesses as the much-loved pub has stopped taking cash over the bar. Therefore, the next full London meet will be at ‘venue code two’ – a progressive public house that only accepts cash. A grim-faced but anonymous member (Effete El) adds, “The brotherhood is fully engaged in the battle to save cash, and eventually restore tanners, shillings, crowns, half-crowns guineas and ten-bob notes... and weather reports in Fahrenheit.” So mote it be.
Political footnote. A new attempt on Friday to merge John King’s People’s Party of Great Britain with the self-styled “practical anarchists” of the English Liberation Front to form Oi Oi The Party has failed. The meeting notes reveal that policy differences, including fundamental disagreements about the size and power of state, the market economy and PPGB leader King’s demand for compulsory veganism, made the merger permanently impractical.
Aug 18. The Jolly Pranksters have vetoed our proposed California mini-tour with Doug & The Slugz – due next January – “for our own good”. They are now considering whether to let us pursue plans for German dates later in 2024. Fat Col assures us that the benevolent brethren “have the Gonads’ best interests at hearts” and ask nothing for their guidance “except for one small favour” – they want Gal and Wattsie to agree to appear in a Prankster pantomime production of Sleeping Beauty with comedian Jimmy Cricket and some ex-Hollyoaks cast members in the northwest this December for no fee except “plenty of brown ale and Eccles cakes”. How could they refuse?
Alien invasion, shock news update: the Andromeda Revolution Squadron, Earth-bound invasion force has turned back. We’re told that after their first direct two-hour-long communication with Wattsie, the fleet has changed course for Pan, which is located within the Encke Gap of the rings of Saturn. Our resident boffin Effete El explains: “The A.R.S.E. felt that they very much needed to be on the Pan, deep in Saturn’s A ring”. Well, we’ve all had nights like that.
Aug 15. Fat Col is bringing in the Ministry of Delusion to “over-see possibilities for the band”. Ideas already approved by the Jolly Pranksters’ Long Firm committee are believed to include: 1) An Audience with Gal & his Gonads at a theatrical venue not too far from the Thames, 2) the mooted Beer-Drinkers & Humpers Club TV pilot to be filmed at a Prankster-run venue in Bromley, 3) work to begin on the long-promised Serenity Now ep (“true to the spirit of Total Noise”) with Mark McMighty on lead guitar “to keep the oiks happy”, 4) Vegas, baby, and 5) an ill-defined commitment to work within the confines of traditional variety (or, for our American readers, vaudeville). There will also be a heated debate about the return of flag girls, the addition of a band brass section and gospel backing singers, and “the possible introduction of live ferrets into the act for comedic purposes”. Col tells is that the Pranksters are happy to help build the Gonads into a “significant light entertainment force” for no fee or percentage. “All they ask in return is one small favour,” he tells us. “They want to be first in line for First Contact when Wattsie’s aliens finally arrive.”
Aug 13. Just one call from the PM to Der Frohliche Leute (the Pranksters’ German fraternal association) was enough. Within minutes, Frau Diana Schuler of Randale Records in southern Germany was on the dog promising that she will start work “immediately” on the production of our new bumper double live album, Official Bootleg 2, which will be on sale before Christmas. “Didn’t you say you’d release it before Rebellion?” we ask. “Ja,” she replies. “But I did not say what year.” Gott in Himmel! Beaming “liaison officer” Fat Col assures us that under the sage stewardship of the Jolly Pranksters the Gonads will go “from strength to strength”. Savouring his newfound power, the oaf promises to raise our acoustic Xmas knees-up for the approval of the brotherhood’s forward planning committee, and will “discuss the logistics of Gal’s Big 69 3xCD box-set”. All the Pranksters want in return, he says, is one small favour – that we play a free two-hour show for their friends in the Grand Order of Water Rats in October…
Aug 11. A breakthrough at last! The great Gonads strike has been brought to a close after a surprise intervention by the Jolly Pranksters. Under the auspices of Terence Hayes (WM, DM, PM etc), the secretive brotherhood have purchased Lord Waistrel’s debt from Albie Farragut and restored the rightful ownership of the band to Waistrel (one of their founding members). Unfortunately, there are strings attached, and, as a consequence, His Lordship has agreed that the Gonads will only play private Prankster functions for the rest of the year. Further, all blog posts and future plans must be approved in advance by the self-styled “jolly brethren” via their chosen liaison officer. In a further kick in the teeth, that wise brother is none other than our old friend Fat Col. Col says that he is happy to do this work for free, out of pure love for the band, and all he wants in return is a slap-up four-pie three-mash dinner with stewed eels and ten pints of wallop every Saturday and Miss Management’s hand in marriage… Well that seems reasonable. (Apologies in advance, Shona).
Aug 8. Blog monkeys’ strike update. After two fraught weeks, there is still no movement on either side of this bitter dispute, writes our industrial correspondent Misty Geste. Indeed, positions are said to be “hardening like Fat Col’s arteries after a week at an all-you-can-eat cheese buffet”. Two Gonads tracks – Johnny Reggae and Federales – shot into the Legacy Chart last week, but there are no live gigs to build on that good news. A desperate attempt to resurrect next month’s Bexhill show was squashed by draconian Gonads’ owner Albie Farragut, and a message asking us to replace The Damned and The Descendants at Rebellion on Thursday turned out to me a hoax perpetrated by a third party (Lee Wilson, round dodger, is the chief suspect). Unfortunately, several members of the band had got as far as Macclesfield before being told it was fake news and that Cock Sparrer had got the gig instead. An unnamed strike insider (Effete El) tells us: “Even the band’s traditional Xmas knees-up is under threat. We have to prepare ourselves for the unthinkable – the end of the Gonads could soon be on us.”
STOP PRESS. Striking Gonads have had messages of support from bands around the globe – and beyond. A jubilant Wattsie Watts was reportedly buoyed by an encouraging sub-space communique from the coming alien invasion fleet, the Andromeda Revolutionary Squadron, Earth-Bound, but as a gloomy Paul Mummery tells us “Messages of support are nice but goodwill butters no parsnips”. Agreed, we say pretending to understand what it means. PS. We’re not sure why the alien invasion should be supported either. We’ll ask Wattsie if she’ll take it up with the A.R.S.E. as soon as possible. Even though we suspect the aliens’ forcible entry would make her whole week.
PUBLIC NOTICE. That’s all, folks. There will be no more puerile “water-treading” blog entries until the situation changes. I am Albert Farragut, owner, and I approve this blog closure.