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.
Dec 23. Rebellion Festival update: we definitely AIN'T playing the fest in August as Gal will be otherwise engaged. But we can tell you that Rebellion this week confirmed Slaves, Pennywise and Bad Religion.
Dec 22 extra: Happy birthday Shona Wattsie Watts!
The collapse of Classic Rock and its owners Team Rock has inspired fans to raise thousands for the 73 staff laid off without a penny. Team Rock went into administration on Monday, just six days before Xmas. Big-hearted Ben Ward, the frontman of Orange Goblin, immediately set up a JustGiving campaign with the aim of raising £20K for them. We understand the appeal has already doubled that and is growing like Giganta.
Out of a total of 80 staff employed by Team Rock, 27 based at its UK HQ in Glasgow and 46 in London lost their jobs. Seven have been kept on short term to help the administrators. Team Rock's magazines, Classic Rock, Metal Hammer and Prog titles are now up for sale. All sold well and made money, so why did this happen? An insider tells us "It's felt that the company over-reached running up massive losses in radio and film production". Hard-rockin' headbangers, riff-lovin' ruffians, hairy humanists and other semi-satanic Samaritans can contribute here.
Dec 22. Here are some smudges from last night's sensational Xmas show at the 100 Club, including the stage debut of Wattsie's "Santa Shona"...
Paul looks on with pleasure as Santa Shona treads the boards
Gal implores Lee Wilson to "buy me a drink you bastard" as Phil gets stuck in.
Wattsie laughs off requests for A Miracle On 69th Street
Gentleman John ignores the vision of loveliness to his left.
Lee Wilson gets his Xmas wish from Jo Gonad and Miss Management. And yes he bought a round in return!
John... never far from a can of Fosters...
Last night's set in full: 'Lager Top', 'Jobs Not Jails', 'Grant Mitchell', 'Oi Mate', 'Beano', 'Buy Me A Drink Lee Wilson', 'London Boys' (for Micky Fitz), 'It's A Yeti', 'Alconaut', 'I Lost My Love (To A UK Sub', 'Dance Fat Boy Dance' (with Judge Shed as the FrankenSkin), 'Punk Rock Till I Die'/'Joys Of Oi'. Requests for an encore of 'Tucker's Ruckers' were sensibly ignored (just like the texts coming through with scores updates for Millwall v Charlton)... With the Charlton Boys suffering at the New Den, loyal fans in attendance included Steve Whale, Si Spanner, Jo Gonad, Antonia Moore-more-more, The Beast, Millwall Nige, Chelsea Dom, Millwall Kev, Margo MJ, Sandie West and of course Lee Wilson. We're too hung over to remember anyone else.
We asked Fat Col what he made of the Santa Shona pictures and he replied "They've worked three times this morning already." What on earth can he mean?
Dec 20. This is tomorrow night! Possibly the greatest explosion of punk & Oi energy ever seen in Oxford Street. Be there or be... somewhere else.
Madness will headline Sunday night at next year's Bearded Theory festival. The Nutty Boys join Friday co-headliners Slaves & Skunk Anansie at the top of the bill. Saturday's headliner is still TBA. Other confirmed acts for the South Derbyshire fest which runs over the last weekend in May include the Alabama 3, Don Letts, Dom's IBS and former Dum Dum frontman Josh Doyle.
We have been sent this "authorised" list of tracks for next year's Infa Riot album, which may or may not be kosher. Side A: 'Everard!', 'Shut That Door', 'Hurry Up Larry', 'Each Pint I Buy', 'What A Gay Day', 'Carry (Carry No Wallet)'. Side B: 'In For A Round Dodge', 'Look At The Muck On Here', 'The Ballad of Slack Alice', 'Ligs Of The 80s', 'Apricot Lil', 'Seems Like A Nice Boy'.
Dec 19. Gal's podcast is up and running here.
Wattsie Watts calls. She's in a branch of Ann Summers, and she asks if it's an appropriate place to buy her stage clothes for Wednesday's gig. We ask our resident sartorial expert, Fat Col, and his head explodes.
Lee Wilson has a new nickname. Seems Daktari and Roger the Dodger are both old hat and from now on he must only be known as Larry Grayson. Why, we ask? "Coz he's so bleedin' camp on stage," whispers a well-connected grass. Rumours that the new Infa album will include the tracks 'Shut That Door!', 'Look At The Muck On Here' and 'Seems Like A Nice Boy' cannot be discounted.
Argy Bargy performed their own Fitzy tribute at the Watford Punk Collective's Xmas Knees-up – a version of 'Harry May' with the chorus: "What's his name? Micky Fitz!". Enjoy.
Sham's performance at the Kentish Town Forum on Friday has not impressed folk. One disgruntled punter tells us: "The UK Subs smashed it but Sham only played for 40 minutes and an encore – disgusting for a headline band. The Subs did an hour! Also two pints of lager and a small lemonade in that place costs £19.80 so fans were well robbed that night. Is Jimmy turning into a diva?" Absolutely not! We won't have that said. Pursey is not turning into a diva now; he did that nearly 40 years ago...
PS. We hear that Sham go out for around £8K these days, which works out at £200 a minute.
Dec 18. We'll be playing our "pure punk for row people" set at the 100 Club on Wednesday. So that means you'll hear such fearsome favourites as 'Jobs Not Jails', 'Lager Top' and 'UK Sub' but NOT 'Tucker's Ruckers'. Says Fat Col "The Gonads are many things but suicidal ain't one of them."
Tireless protest singer Louise Distras is back touring the UK next month with The King Blues starting in Portsmouth on 25th. Louise flew back from her European tour to attend Micky Fitz's funeral last Thursday. Cast Iron Steve Smith of Red Alert and Iain Kilgallon of Control were also amongst the many mourners.
Control remain by Iain's own admission the biggest band in streetpunk if not rock 'n' roll in general. On the unhappy day that Iain passes, we'd expect to see Lydon, Green Day, Springsteen, Freddie 'Parrot Face' Davies and the surviving members of Queen at the service. Spielberg has already expressed his desire to oversee the filming, and Scorsese wants to direct it. No doubt he'll have to fight it out with Tarantino and the Coen Brothers for the honour.
New festival Punk4MentalHealth launches in London over the last weekend in March. Proceeds will fund mental health research by psychologist Joel Vos AKA "the Punk Professor". Rumours that Fat Col is one of his research patients are childish, uncalled for, and almost certainly true. The fest will include gigs, poems, and art exhibition and an auction of punk artefacts. So don't let Joe Corré near it for chrissakes.
Record Noos: Wonk Unit are giving away their 'Wu-Pigeon' ep as a free festive download... NOFX's new single 'Oxy Moronic' is out now on coloured vinyl; it's the third instalment of Fat Mike's limited edition demos series. The b-side is a demo version of the a-side... Doyle the band featuring Doyle of the Misfits release the cheerful new album As We Die next Spring... Face To Face celebrate their 25th anniversary by re-releasing their first three albums (Don't Turn Away, Big Choice and Face To Face) re-mastered on vinyl; each will include bonus songs from the original recording sessions. Vinyl version includes digital download.
Dec 17. Steve Whale and Lee Wilson joined the Last Resort on stage at the 100 Club last night to power through a heart-felt version of 'Harry May' in Micky Fitz's memory. And here is one of the pictures from Micky's wake at the Old Tigers Head on Thursday, including Mark Hannan from The Crack, Steve Kent (ex Business and ex Gonads guitarist), Lee Wilson, ex Business drummer Micky and Franky Flame. We hope to announce details of the official Micky Fitz tribute night in the next few days. At the moment it's looking like February in New Cross.
This is the historic moment Lee Wilson got the bill for the Punk Rock Curry Club outing. Cheers Lee and thanks for all the fishballs.
Here's Louise Distras with her tasty cover of 'Nice Guys Finish Last'.
Record news: The Stokes CPH from Copenhagen have just released their album Never Change on CD, via Randale; the vinyl album is expected in January... two Dwarves albums have just been re-issued on vinyl by Burger Records – that's 2014's The Dwarves Invented Rock & Roll and the 1997 double album Younger & Even Better Looking with 22 bonus tracks!
Dec 16. Quick reminder: the Last Resort play London's 100 Club tonight, and we're there next Wednesday (21st) with the Cockney Rejects. Tickets from here.
Dec 15. It was Micky Fitz's funeral today in Hither Green, south London, and a flock of old punk and Oi faces joined Mick's nearest and dearest for a moving farewell. Even in the sadness there were laughs as Steve Kent reminded the departed from the pulpit that it was still his round. (Though we're not sure the verger was too impressed by the strains of 'Drinking & Driving' that ended the ceremony.) The service included readings, memories and Social Distortion's 'When The Angels Sing'. As a nice touch, Mick's DMs were left atop the coffin. Among the many invited guests were Steve Whale, Millwall Roi, Lars, Sheer Terror, Captain Oi himself Mark Brennan, Lee Wilson, MAD Marc, Franky Flame, Schitzy of the Northbrook crew, Terence Hayes (PM), Watford John, Animal from the League, Cock Sparrer's Darryl Smith, ex-Sparrer Garrie 'Guitar' Lammin, Barnet Mark, Si Spanner and many more too numerous to mention – the chapel was standing room only at the back and over-flowed into an upstairs gallery. Mourners came from the USA, Belgium, Germany and France. Many went on to the wake at the Old Tigers Head, not far from the Business's old local, the Lord Northbrook, ending up at the Underworld for Sheer Terror's London show. God bless you, Micky. We'll miss you mate.
Dec 14. Gal recorded a new Rancid Sounds podcast yesterday looking back at some of the highlights of 2016 with a "Puke Box Jury" consisting of Noel Martin from Menace, Dee Webb of the Mad Hatties and our own Shona Wattsie Watts. Bands including the Spitfires, Skurvi, Headline Maniac, the Muffwigs and Kicker fight it out for the top slot. And even the unexpected presence of these two hooligans in the studio (pictured here with Gal and Shon) could not sway our impartial team. We'll let you know when the show is up and running.
After Lars and Steve joined us in Oi the Curry House for a quick ruby, where the great man disclosed that Rancid have recorded a whopping 28 songs for their new album, which they'll probably whittle down to 18 or so. They'd doing UK gigs with Green Day next summer.
Dec 13. There was a big turn-out for last night's Punk Rock Curry Club Xmas do, but where was Lee Wilson? No apologies for absence were forthcoming from London's leading round-dodger which is unfortunate as the table was booked in his name. Mercifully the restaurant staff were very understanding and happily took Lee's home address to send on the bill, a trifling matter of some £360, including a generous tip. Merry Currymas!
Legends of punk and Oi in attendance included Animal from the Anti Nowhere League, Judge Shed, JJ from the Last Resort, Barnet Mark, Steve Whale, Gal, love-bird Crows Mandy and Chelsea Dom, Jeniera Blade (briefly), Gene Putney (pub only) and Max Spartan. Numbers were swelled by new boys Steve Drewett from the Newtown Neurotics and former Woody Woodmansey's U-Boat keyboard wizard Francis Marshall. Micky Fitz's memory was duly toasted, and many vital matters discussed – not least the sparkling performance of Animal's son-in-law Ore on Strictly. But sadly no-one thought to take a picture. Apologies for absence were received from John King, L.I.E. (Leader in exilium), Hoxton Tom, Millwall Roi, Jonny Wah Wah, Paul 'Stalin' Hallam, Garry Johnson, Manic Esso, Buddy Lee, Robin Guy, Richard England, and the ever-reliable Terence Hayes PM who excelled himself by being simultaneously "on the train", "twenty minutes away" and finally "having to turn back because the traffic on the M25 is appalling". It's outrageous that a man of Tel's stamp had to suffer the indignity of his presumably steam-powered South Eastern choo-choo being driven on a motorway by some pill-popping lunatic. The club voted to send him our love, our sympathy and our leftovers (two onion bhajis and a stuffed paratha) by special delivery.
Record news: A Loss For Words have premiered new song 'I Feel An Army In My Fist', a track from their last-ever album Crises, due out on 27th December, one year after the band's final gig... Out now from Back On Black: a re-release of Venom's hugely influential second album Black Metal from 1982. The two-disc vinyl thriller comes with a gatefold sleeve but no earplugs. An oversight, surely?
Dec 11. Well this is interesting. We've been asked to contribute tracks for a film score. It's for a movie based on the very funny fantasy adventure novel Diabolical Liberty by G Llewellyn Barker. Other bands in the mix apparently include Iron Maiden and Peter Hook & The Light. But Fat Col cautions against our involvement. "This great band should have nothing to do with made-up characters," the wise owl says sternly.
Dec 10. Music news: The Briggs have just released new song 'Control Alt-Right Delete' via their bandcamp page... Booze & Glory have signed to Swedish label Burning Heart and will release a new album next year... Out now: Mission Accomplished – the debut album from Philly Oi! band Sweet FA... and the most brutal record of the year, the new split 7 incher from Rhode Island's Fucking Invincible and Lifespite from Belgium.
We haven't shared the details of Micky Fitz's funeral because his nearest and dearest want it to be for family and close friends only. Details of a more public tribute night will be announced very shortly. Watch this space.
Dec 9. Okay, some good news. Gal is reviving his Rancid Sounds podcast. Plans are in place for a special 'best of the year' show which will be recorded soon-come, with regular editions to follow throughout 2017. The pod began as Rancid Sounds on Total Rock more than a decade ago, and briefly resurfaced as The Hungry & The Hunted last year. Gal's PA Fit Bird tells us: "It went a bit upmarket, di'nit, but now it's rough and ready again, innit?" (And if you're rough, she's certainly ready.)
A big thank you to Street Sounds for their generous review of All The Loon Stompers. Awarding us four and a half stars out of a possible five, reviewer Stan Ogden praises our 'clever, funny wordplay with strong melodies' but outrageously he then docks us half a star for the alleged 'dated humour' on 'Charlton Tel's Stag Weekend'. Pah! The very idea! That's a true story, mate. But we'll let it ride, especially as we get a higher score from the mag than Metallica!
Prankster Alert! Festivus details have been confirmed! See your Tyler for details.
Dec 8. The latest issue of Verbal is out now including short stories by Gal, Pete Hayes, Cathi Unsworth and JC Carroll of the Members. Verbal is a fiction-focused fanzine that packs in poetry, song lyrics, cut-ups, author interviews, journalism, reviews and letters as well as short-form fiction. John King (author, Leader, Beer Monster & Bar) tells us: "We publish original literature by exciting writers, and as such Verbal offers an alternative to a main-stream that has become narrow-minded and elitist. The stories that are told should not be decided by accountants. Neither should they be censored according to the latest whims of the thought police. Fiction matters. It deserves better." Here here. It's on sale now – 53 pages for £2.50 (plus £1p&p) from this location.
Dec 7. Louise Distras is part of Kerrang's Green Day tribute album American Superhits, released today to celebrate the band's 30th anniversary. Lou has recorded 'Nice Guys Finish Last' from Nimrod, Beach Slang have recorded '2000 Light Years Away'; and the Interrupters and Waterparks are on it too. Kerrang liken Louise to Hole and the Muffs setting us up for a punch-line that Fat Col will be happy to deliver. Rumours that 'Geek Stink Breath' was written in his honour are unworthy, uncalled for and almost certainly true.
Dec 6. The way we nearly were... our killer single 'Dogging In Dartford' is out now, but here are some of the alternative single sleeve designs and suggestions we rejected.
Rancid, the Bouncing Souls, Agnostic Front and the Damned are among the bands confirmed for next summer's Hellfest in Clisson, France (16th – 18th June). Says Fat Col "It's good, but it's no Montpellier".
STOP PRESS R.I.P. Peter Vaughan, the actor better known as genial Harry Grout to millions of Porridge fans.
Dec 5. Terry Hayes, PM, was off the radar for several hours yesterday. Why? Shenanigans were suspected but in fact El Tel is having guitar lessons so that he can top the bill as a solo act at the Nads Fest acoustic stage next year. Rumours that he is also learning the cello so that he might play a leading role in Oi Oi The Opera cannot be discounted.
If you're searching for a Christmas treat for someone you hate, then search no more! We have ten copies of our classic third studio album Old Boots No Panties left in our Loft of Treasures (available via the Shop page). And if you've already got one, no worries, the CD also works as a coaster, a Frisbee or a last-minute ice-scraper.
Dec 4. The Dropkick Murphys will release a punked-up cover of 'You'll Never Walk Alone' next month. No-one knows why.
Details of the official Micky Fitz tribute show are expected to be released after his funeral, with big name bands in a south London venue.
Dec 3. The latest issue of Street Sounds is out now, with seven skankin' pages on 2-Tone related matters, loads on Rebellion, Chords UK, the Vapors, the Highliners and tons more – all for £2.50. They even review the masterpiece that is All The Loonstompers.
Gimp Fist headline the Dublin Castle tonight, with United Bottles, Wolf Bites Boy and The Angry Agenda.
R.I.P. Erik Herzog from Bad Astronaut, a brilliant drummer and a big part of the Santa Barbara scene.
Record news: just out, Chainska Brassika's single 'Don't You Try' with Toots from the Maytals guesting on vocals... The Old Firm Casuals' For The Love Of It All is now available on vinyl again from Oi! The Boat as a double album with a gatefold cover... Anti-Flag release the first of two recently recorded live LPs next month... and Radiation Records have re-released the first Last Resort album on vinyl.
Dec 2. R.I.P. Micky Fitz. You were an Oi Oi legend and one of the true gods of original streetpunk. You will be sorely missed. Details of Mick's funeral will be posted here if Mick's family request it. Next Monday's Punk Rock Curry Club meet has been scrubbed following the tragic news. Judge Shed tells us: "In view of Micky's sad death I think it appropriate that the 5th is cancelled and we have one United Punk Rock Curry Club on the 12th at which Brother Fitzy's memory (R.I.P.) is marked with the Guinness he loved." So mote it be.
Dec 1. We release our new download single 'Dogging In Dartford' tomorrow. It's backed with a new version of 'Temazepam' and has guests vocals by the brilliant Jenniera Blade.
Nov 29. Woo-hoo! The Nutty NYE Ball returns at London's 229 on Old Year's Night with three rooms of magical music. In the beat basement: CAT BLACK will conduct midnight mass celebrations with their wild live show. Think Stones, MC5 and The Stooges all rolled into one...
The mid-60s sounding BARON FOUR are playing too, while the main ballroom will resound to the classic strains of Motown and Northern Soul all night long. There's even a mix of R&B, Ska and Jazz to groove along in room 3. It's like "Nadsfest for Mods" says a passing hipster. Advance tickets are on sale now, £16 in advance (it's £22 on the door) www.229thevenue.co.uk