Dec 31. Have a great New Year muckers! Before Old Year Night festivities begin, let's take a moment to remember some of the good people we lost in 2014: Colin Mcquillan, Tommy Ramone, Dave Legeno, Bob Casale, Joe Young of ANTiSEEN, Dave Gregg of DOA, Tony Class... too many too young. Rest in peace, all. Moral? As the old song goes: "Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think."
Thanks for all of your brilliant entries for our album cover contest. You've got exactly seven days to send your own designs before the judges reach their decision, and the winner will receive £100 sterling. But be warned standards are high and competition is fierce. We'll be back with news soon. In the meantime, here are some of our favourite pictures from our 2014: (Click on the pix below for the full size photos with captions.)
Prankster Notice: please note, wassailing day is January 17th. See your Tyler for details and remember, as the ancient song says: "Hats full! caps full!/Three-bushel-sacks full/An' all under one tree - huzza!" Huzza indeed. To order brethren, and keep your co co maja sticks to hand.
Dec 20. This blog has closed down for Hogswatch. Have a cool Yule, a fracking Festivus, a cracking Christmas, some Xmas crack, or whatever floats your boat. Oi to the world and everybody in it.
Dec 19. The Sounds occasionally annual Xmas drink-up happened earlier today in the hallowed White Lion, attended by rock mag veterans Sandy Robertson, a blitzed Bev Elliott, a miffed Edwin 'Savage Pencil' Pouncey, Chris Collingwood, Janice Gussett, Richard Newson, Jon 'Jazzwise' Newey, Oi The Maggie, Fel, Trixie, Freya Foto, Gal (but of course) and possibly more. It was rammo! Apologies for absence were received from Betty 'Ironing Board' Page, Eric Fuller, Mick Wall and Pete Silverton. The White Lion was chief of many Covent Garden 'staff pubs' in the late 70s; everyone from John Peel to Buster Bloodvessel via Phil Lynott and Chrissie Hynde drank there. Hoxton Tom, Skully and the Rejects were regulars. Not much more can be said about yesterday's gathering, or indeed remembered, although our spy at the bar sipping half a shandy reveals that after "Steph and Dom" levels of alcohol intake plans are now afoot for a Punks For Labour rally next year...
Any bands wishing to take part in a Punks For Labour rally should contact us to be re-directed to the organisers ("or a psychiatrist" – Fat Col).
Random news: Green Day's Kerplunk which has been re-issued on vinyl by Reprise, and comes with a bonus 7inch of their first ep, Sweet Children... Less Than Jake's new single 'American Idle' is out in Jan... we will release a split single with Russia's Uchitel Truda next year...
Dec 19. Oi oi herberts, just to let you know in February Control headline London's 100 Club with support from the Newtown Neurotics... And in April it's the Rejects' turn with the East End Badoes... Who next? Wait and see, kids, just wait and see...
Talking abhart the Kings of Street Punk, a Badoes contingent was up at The Flag last weekend for the Argy Bargy show and we're sad to report that drummer The Boy Cherry embarrassed himself yet again outside the pub by pissing in full view of the passers-by (Sid and Doris Voyeur). Naturally we have pictorial evidence and will publish it tomorrow unless the usual brown envelope stuffed with cash arrives first thing at Waistrel Towers. We are unable to confirm reports that Cherry's beautiful new bride was heard to shout "Put that away or people will think I married you for your money." An unrepentant PM defended his band mate, telling us: "Why get so upset about such a little thing?"
Sad news: Gonads groupie the Yeti has announced she is retiring. "North Koreans hacked my sex drive," she tells us. The Yeti is 97.
The latest issue of Napalm Reloaded is out now featuring an in-depth interview with Terence Hayes, PM, on the Badoes being "the only band not to sell out" (by hardly ever recording... or playing, presumably), plus there's a tour diary from Ticketyboo, and articles on East Grinstead's legendary Raw Stools, New York's Maninblack, psychobilly shock art, Black Dalek Records, Aztec Nation and early Deptford punk. Also includes Pathetique reborn, the Tatler Tarts unclothed and all the usual reviews and columns. First 50 copies come with a free Frankie Flame Fright Mask. £5.
Dec 17. We can't bring you a detailed report on last night's Punk Rock Curry Club Xmas Bash due to circumstances beyond our control garments. However, we can confirm that the event, promoted by the Beer Monster Elite, attracted such hardened herberts as Lee 'Lovejoy' Wilson, Steve Whale, Geno Blue, John King, Lars Frederiksen, Chelsea Dom, Gal (briefly), Stalin (even more briefly), a man with a beard claiming to be "Ollie Postie" from Donkey Laugh, and at the BME's insistence, no female guests whatsoever. Their assembly point, a Fleet Street pub no wider than a doll's house, witnessed extraordinary developments. For starters Lee Wilson announced that Infa Riot would be "channelling the spirit of Gilbert & Sullivan" on their next album, to take Oi in a "new English folk tradition." We can also reveal the shock outing of a hidden cell of André Rieu fans within the PRCC who are planning to develop a bizarre waltz-punk hybrid where "Straus meets the Last Resort". John King had many things to say, unfortunately most came with the caveat "This is not for the blog, right". However he did take the opportunity to deny claims that the BME are "misogynist" insisting that women were welcome if they were "one of the boys" (perhaps a reference to Sharon Stiletto?). He also took the opportunity to attack "Bushell's Babysham Brigade" callously alleging that they were "so desperate to avoid a good session that they would rather crash and suffer months of concussion than get pint-handed like chaps." The man is a brute.
Above, from left to right: (1) Lee and Gal, kings of "waltz-punk", (2) Is one of these men the mysterious Ollie Postie? and (3) Chelsea Dom - the BME enforcer.
Dec 16. Gal recorded his latest podcast today with Kiria's sensational new rockabilly outfit Viva Le Pink and tasty tracks from The Boys, City Saints, The Backhanders, The Droogettes, Tankus The Henge and many more. We'll shout when it's up. (Insert bad taste Kiria joke here).
Dec 15. It has come to our attention that certain establishment newspapers are attempting to smear Lord Waistrel as some kind of demented fascist beast. One Times hack in a crumpled suit claims without evidence that Waistrel once "associated with fascist sympathisers", "snubbed Benito Mussolini for being a pinko", "enjoyed a sordid threesome with two of the Mitford sisters", "proposed marriage to Marine Le Pen" and "secretly funds UKIP's entire operation". Scrotum, his Lordship's wrinkled retainer and general spokes-oik, vigorously denies the charges. He insists: "Hit is true that 'is Lordship was a dear friend of both Edward VIII and Lord Rothermere back in the day and that 'e was even closer to Diana Mitford, although 'e only got a blowie off Red Jessica. Hit is also true that 'is noble Lordship is hutterly reactionary; he believes Britain would be better hoff under military rule and 'as campaigned to restore feudalism an' fox-'untin', an' to restrict the right to vote to whatever it was before the working classes got above themselves. "Apart from that, though at 'eart 'is Lordship his completely hay-political and that his the end of the matter." On the subject of Mussolini, the exasperated butler hexplained, sorry explained: "'Benhito was a blinkin' red an' so was 'Itler, dreadful pair of plebs, no class hat all." Regarding Marine Le Pen, he shrugged: "Proper nobs propose to hevery blonde they meet, hit's hin their DNA, hain't it?" Pressed on the specific charges of funding UKIP, Scrotum drew himself up to his full height – four foot seven – and sniffed: "'E might 'ave slipped Farage a few bob to buy a round now and then, but politics his thirsty work and what's the odd million between friends these days? Just a bit of small change to hadd to the gaiety of the nation." Lord Waistrel is 107. Please note: the Gonads abhor the forces of reaction with every fibre of our being. We ain't that keen on Miliband either. Or Caroline Lucas. Fuck 'em all is our philosophy.
Dec 15. Don't forget it's the Bootboys Christmas Knees-Up on Friday, we hear Lee Wilson is buying drinks for anyone in an Infa Riot t-shirt...
Pete Townshend has joined the battle to save Denmark Street (and the 12 Bar) from destruction. But it may be too little too late. Developers want to demolish part of the street as part of the Crossrail railway development. Yesterday, the Who guitarist has called for "this massive chunk of rock history" to be given protected status and saved for future generations. Pete has written an open letter calling for Tin Pan Alley to be made a heritage zone. But the boss of the development company claims the 12 Bar is "a dangerous structure" (It is when we play - Ed) and manager Barnet says they're looking for a new venue. More news as we hear it.
Random News: Agnostic Front's 1986 album Cause For Alarm has been re-released on vinyl by Roger Miret's Strength Records... Sweden's Twopointeight have released their third album From Wires through I Scream... and we swear we haven't made this up: a new species of snail has been named after Joe Strummer. The snail is called a "strummeri" because researchers at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute reckon the creatures look "like punk rockers in the 70s and 80s... (because) they have purple blood and live in such an extreme environment, we decided to name one new species after a punk rock icon." Suggestions that a new species of slug will be named after Fat Col are too revolting to contemplate.
Dec 13. Big news, chaps, guesting on one track on the new album... Mr Dennis Stratton formerly of Iron Maiden. Oh yeah. Choke on our dust, losers. (How unnecessary – Ed). More details next year.
Noel Gallagher spoke some sense yesterday, telling BBC Radio 4 that today's scene is too middle class and the working class no longer has a voice. Speaking on Master Tapes, Gallagher said: "There's X Factor and all that kind of thing, can you name me the last great band that came out of this country? There's not really been any great bands in the last 10 years... Arctic Monkeys and Kasabian, that's ten years ago now and shame on those two bands because they didn't inspire anybody else. The working classes have not got a voice anymore, there doesn't seem to be a noise coming from the council estates, you know what I mean? Music is very middle class, I'd have eaten Bastille alive in an afternoon in the '90s, one interview, destroyed, gone, never to be heard of again. Easy, had 'em for breakfast. My bass player summed it up, we're constantly saying, 'Where is the next band coming from?' and he rightly says, 'Never mind the band, where are the people?' When I first started I wanted to get in the charts and wreck it, like stamp Phil Collins out and Wet Wet Wet, they've got to go, and all that '80s gear, we don't need that anymore. I don't see anything from the working class, I just don't see it." Well we've seen a couple of young bands with potential, but you know what he means. Where are today's Jam, Clash or Sex Pistols? Where are our Kinks or Small Faces? Where are the next Madness or Oasis for that matter? Everything is too retro or inward looking. There's no poison in the machine. The entire 'scene' needs a punch up the trousers.
Dec 12. We are sorry to report that the following news is a) actually true b) unaccompanied by pictures of Shona Wattsie Watts and c) distressingly devoid of mentions of the Pranksters, the PM or Fat Colin Gannon. Normal service will be restored soon.
So here goes... AC/DC headline Wembley Stadium on 4th July, and Hampden Park Glasgow on 28th June... The Cliches and Victory have released a split single on Randale in Europe and Oi! The Boat in the States... The Exploited will release a new album, their first since 2003's Fuck The System, next Summer... wandering minstrel Ritchie Blackmore wants to rock again... and Tom Jones has hit out at the po-faced bores who want to ban 'Delilah' from Welsh rugby matches, claiming the song "trivialises" murder. Tom said "Taking 'Delilah' literally takes the fun out of it." When pressed on the 1983 cover version by Max & Gal (The Brothers Gonad), the great man replied "That was no laughing matter."
Tony Rettman's book, NYHC: New York Hardcore 1980-1990 is out now; an oral history, packed with bands like Agnostic Front, Cro-Mags and Murphy's Law. It takes in moshing, New York's rivalries with the Boston and Washington DC scenes, straight edge and much more. Foreword by Madball's Freddy Cricien.
Dec 10. Bizarrely, the new Gonads book (The Bumper Book of Balls, perhaps?) has stoked up even more excitement than our last secret gig did. Your requests so far include a "full colour spread of flag-girls", "extreme curry recipes", a "dirty dozen of the most important Gonad band members past and present please", "Mick Pugh or Fat Col as Page 7 Fella", "all the lyrics, ALL OF THEM" and "your choice of your all-time Top Three singles or e.p.s." (We've asked Wattsie and Sandra to compile that last list; they promise us they'll be sizing up our seven inches "long and hard.") Thanks for your pictures, please keep sending them. This triumphant one on the right is of Gal when Team Gonads took on the Pranksters at paintball a while ago, and crushed them as casually as an angry weather bomb would take down a ramshackle seaside chalet. There will also be confessions from the earliest days of the band, described by an ashen-faced Terence Hayes (PM) as "a catalogue of shame and depravity so lusty and physical, it makes you want to wear a truss."
Stief A Billy is looking for a trumpet player for his new "dub-punk-Ska" band Bishbashbosha. Other band members include Tony Van Frater and Lainey from the Cockney Rejects and Neil Newton from the Upstarts. Stief promises: "recording is about to start on our debut CD and we'll be playing some big ole shows next year... " In other news: HC herberts Poison Idea release their new album, Conquer & Confuse, next Spring... Lenny Lashley has signed to Contra for his new 7inch release... the latest album from Swedish Oisters On The Job, White Collar Thugs is out now.
Dec 9. The Business play London's Boston Arms on Friday 12th and the Corporation Sheffield on 13th... Fitzy and the girls will also join Rancid, the Dropkick Murphys, Bad Manners, Discharge and the Swinging Utters at next year's Punk Rock Bowling... Bland Aid's 'Fleece The World' now up and running on YouTube... The UK Subs and The Damned are confirmed for next year's third Undercover Festival, although it would probably be more of a surprise if they weren't. Undercover Fest III takes place at Bisley Pavilion near Woking over the weekend of 18/19/20 September...
Dec 7. Art Attack: Our great Psychotic Clown drawing contest has already attracted smart arses. One anonymous 'friend' of the band suggests that for a scary skinhead clown we should just "use a normal photograph of Cherry from the Badoes - nothing is scarier than that" While our own webmistress snipes: "Can we draw the scary clown out of coffee-beans... ?" Ain't it bloody fair?
As you know the Bumper Book of The Gonads will burst into life next year, packed full of pictures, lyrics, anecdotes, confessions, obsessions, set-lists and rarities. To make it extra-special, we want to include fan pictures from around the world. So if you love us send us a snap and get your face and/or other assorted body parts in the hottest damned punk rock book ever. Gig pix also welcome.
Here on the right... WHO are you? (Wo-hoo, wo-hoo). Wattsie with Kenney Jones... one a much-admired Mod legend, the other a bloke from the Small Faces. R.I.P. Ian McLagan.
Random guff: Wattsie Watts is writing a song for Fat Col; nice the way she rhymes "Bobbitt" with "lob it"... Fat Mike has released the NOFX Backstage Passport Soundtrack as a 15-track album, featuring the music from their Backstage Passport TV show which aired on Fuse in the States and is already out on DVD. It features rare tracks and five previously unreleased songs... Sadly there will be no report from yesterday's Festivus event, largely due to medical complications arising from the surrealist boxing challenge when herrings were substituted at the last minute for live ferrets, and unfortunate injuries were sustained in a round called 'Bows & Marrows'.
The Gonads have agreed to play one fund-raising gig for homeless charity Crisis next year. It's our only show confirmed for 2015. The news prompts Wattsie to expand on the band's political stance. Once full-on Labour supporters, we are now, she says: "Not aligned with any party. Our protest songs are about more down to earth things. We say giving kids jobs is better than locking them up in jail, smokers have rights and round-dodgers are as low as worm droppings. We say the cops shouldn't get away with killing innocent people, St George's Day should be celebrated and the nanny state is out of control... We are for the people and against racism but we aren't tied to any political dogma. We're about freedom, that's all." Here, here.
Dec 6. Right troops, we're launching something different for the new album – a contest for YOU to draw the cover. We want an image of a scarifying skinhead clown, the nastier the better. The prize for the best one will be a whopping £100. We need your entries by the 7th January. The result will be announced a week later. To enter our great psycho-skin clown challenge, just send your drawings as a jpeg to email@example.com and put 'Clown Contest' in the subject line. Full-colour, part-colour and black & white illustrations will all be considered. This is entirely genuine with a guaranteed one ton prize. Like the Yeti anyone can enter, but the judges' decision is final. Have it, herberts!
We'll have a good time tonight, boys! It's the Pranksters' Festivus all day today and Donkey Laugh are on proper form. Surrealist boxing contenders should arrive early and bring their own herrings. If you are coming to the all-degrees ceremony, the code word is gruntfuttock (with a guttural tic). STOPPRESS: The over-80s nude trapeze act has sadly been cancelled due to unusually high winds and even higher levels of incontinence.
Random news: 16 Guns play London's 12 Bar on 27th December with The Bleach Boys, Dog Rotten and more... Rancid have brought out a collection of B-Sides & C-Sides as a vinyl double album on Rancid Records; the tracks are from 1992-2004 and include four unreleased ditties... And here are Less Than Jake performing an acoustic version of 'Good Enough' on Exclaim TV:
Dec 5. The New Untouchables Nutty New Year's Eve Ball is on, with the Beatroots playing at midnight and a killer DJ line-up across three rooms (Northern Soul, ballroom; R&B, room two; psychedelia, basement.) Location: 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PN. Doors 9pm-6am. All night bar. Free transport on London's bus, tube and trains through-out Old Year's Night. Tickets are £17.50 (inc booking fee) upfront or £22 on the door. Tickets from www.229thevenue.co.uk
SUPPORT YOUR FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD GONADS! BUY OUR BRILLIANT RECORDS! THE SHOP PAGE IS JUST A CLICK AWAY...
Dec 4. Disturbing developments as John King moves to seize control of the Punk Rock Curry Club on behalf of the Chelsea-dominated Beer Monster Elite. In a take-over some have likened to a putsch, JK Herbert has imposed strict rules on the festive meet including: 1) a maximum of ten guests, not to be exceeded on pain of expulsion from the club 2) Club to get "pub-handed" no later than 6pm before convening in the curry-house at least 210 minutes/ten pints later. 3) Round-dodgers to be banned 4) The bill ALWAYS to be split evenly, none of that "well I didn't have a starter" nonsense 5) New guests to be secretly black-balled. A stern-faced JK tells us that "the Babysham Brigade" had to be "put in their place or put down." He adds: "We need to impose order and discipline. Anyone found guilty of not buying a round or dodging their share of the restaurant bill must be banned forever. Maybe even shot?" A closet Babyshammer responds: "Is JK power-crazed? Did Fred West own a shovel? Some of his new rules are reasonable enough, of course bill and round-dodgers should be expelled and if we had our way flogged. But where the BME go wrong is that this is a punk rock CURRY club, not a 'let's get pissed and fall into the first untested Indian eaterie we find' club. The black-balling process is quasi-Masonic, against the oi-oi spirit and unnecessary. If someone turns up who abuses the club spirit, for example by using it to 'network' like a Yuppie or pester brethren, they don't get invited back. Besides some of our greatest nights have been twenty-handed." #BrokenBritain
*Our pals Randale Records have just released a new single collection from Cock Sparrer. They are releasing their Shock Troops album for the first time on three vinyl singles, which come we're told "with a really beautiful cover artwork (designed from Muna)." Get it from here – or don't, we ain't on a cut. They're also throwing in an exclusive Cock Sparrer t-Shirt with the package. Groovy.
*Belated happy birthday to Fat Col for yesterday. We love ya, you crazy reactionary ginger nitwit.
Dec 3 STOP PRESS. Sorry to hear that Ian McLagan, keyboardist with both the Faces and the Small Faces, has died today in Austin, Texas. He was 69. Mac, who was a genuinely lovely bloke, co-wrote 'Cindy Incidentally', 'You're So Rude' and other Faces gems, and his distinctive Wurlitzer electric piano can be heard on classics such as 'Stay With Me' and the Rolling Stones' 'Miss You'. Early news reports say he died from "a massive stroke."
Dec 3. A new exhibition on skinhead culture by Toby Mott launches in London on 11th December with a DJ set from Ray 'Rude Boy' Gange. The accompanying book, Skinhead - An Archive is designed by Jamie Reid, published by Ditto, and will look at all aspects of skin style – original skins, fascists skins, socialist skins, skin girls, gay skins and more. It seems a bit light on 2-Tone, but we're told it will be controversial (Skinheads, controversial? Blimey, what next? A celibate Pope?). The launch is at the Ditto Press offices in London, N1. The exhibition runs until 22nd January. More info when we've seen the book.
Two of these things will happen in 2015: 1) a novelty single featuring Gal, Stief & Thomas 'Mensi' Mensforth 2) Wattsie and Fat Col - the consummation 3) the Gonads' definitive Ska collection on vinyl... Yeah, we know we're not fooling any of you. As if Gal, Stief and Mensi would ever get a recording session together...
The attack on this band by the Two Stooges (John King and Lee Wilson) continues unabated. JK has reacted haughtily to the new GB Experience project claiming falsely that it represents "Herbert House Variety" and will include "freak show people... dwarf tossing, Ska performers doing songs, jugglers, gymnasts and strippers." Which as Fit Bird sniffs is "patent nonsense, we don't know no dwarves." Not to be outdone, Lee Wilson adds: "Has Gal ever not had a beard? And when he didn't have a beard, did he give a better blow job?" The ungrateful wretch forgets that a beardless Gal plucked his so-called band from obscurity and put them on the second Oi! album some 33 years ago. A passing bitch remarks: "It seems odd that Lee, a firmly heterosexual fellow, would obsess about oral sex with another geezer. It's almost like he has a hidden agenda." But we can make no comment. We are not judgemental. We merely present the facts, folks. Up the workers!
Dec 2. We had our own "Festivus" last night - to sort out Gonads plans for next year. At Wattsie Watts's instructions, only band members were invited to the big do in a discreet curryhouse in Bexley, Kent. The good news is: 1) Our new album will be mixed in early January and should be released in April, Randale Records permitting. 2) The cover concept is "perfect and amazing" 3) We will release a single first, with proper promo videos. 4) We also hope to release a three-track St George's Day e.p. on vinyl "if the right label can be found." 5) The Gonads Annual will finally be published next Summer. Inevitably jealous individuals tried to sabotage our festive feast with Lynton Crosby-style levels of spin. Firstly the PM himself (et tu, Badoe?) circulated internet rumours that the night's big news was that HE will be replacing Gal in the band. While the ugly sisters of Oi, Lee Wilson and John King, issued ludicrous demands that Gal be shaved of his goatee if we want to get on any Human Punk bills in 2015. Mercifully we don't. In fact the real revelation of the night is that Gal will be unleashing the Garry Bushell Experience on stage next year which Fit Bird tells us will consist of "Gags! Gonadery & Glamour!" What this means for the SkaNads is unclear, although some kind of definitive Nads/Ska compilation is still very much in the pipeline. There are currently no Gonads gigs in the book, but Sarah Black (aka Miss Management) who is running things for Waistrel while his Lordship is in Barbados, tells us she is in talks with interested parties everywhere from Gateshead to Germany. "We will do shows, but only exciting or different ones," she tells us sternly. Although a little bird whispers that the band "is more likely to play a working man's club than any standard punk gig." Sadly the proposed Argentina dates have had to be postponed until 2016.
That's the serious stuff out of the way. There was however other developments worthy of record. Firstly Wattsie has found her long-lost sister Debbie, who according to Fat Col could be brought in as HER replacement – "exit Wattsie, hello Hotsie!" Wattsie retaliated by banning Fat Col from the do. To paraphrase a certain song we know, those two really do need to shag once just to end the sexual tension. The band firmly rejected Miss Management's ludicrous suggestion that "the men in the band dress like women on stage and the women like men" – if that idea gets back to Barbados, a traumatised Waistrel would probably drown in his bath of claret. Gentleman John wasn't there, as he was off on the road in a Sham 69 tribute act, but will be forgiven if he "does the decent thing" and foots the £100 bill. Other areas of conversation involving "pegging", "lemon parties", "pony play" and Sarah's extreme fetish anecdotes are best left out of the records in case Col gets too excited. Sarah seems to have also forgotten to read out Waistrel's full list of future instructions which include: band members to travel only in Jaguars, champagne top on every rider, Gal to be referred to at all times as The Colonel, "all roadies to be given nicknames that sound like Bond villains", band to compose "a delightful ditty" about Dorothy Lamour and our new tour manager to dress like The Count from Sesame Street "on and off duty". Eminently sage.
Random news: the Street Sounds annual is now on sale – all nine issues in one handy, hard-backed collection, and "a real collectors' edition" according to Toes... the Undertones play Clapham Grand on 2nd May... Infa-Riot hope to release a new album before Rebellion "if Lee Wilson can get his hand out of his pocket long enough to pay for the studio time," whispers a thirsty source.