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.
Jan 29. We're still officially closed, but we thought we should reproduce these extracts from an interview Gal has just done with a Czech fanzine. Please note the plans and views expressed herein are probably more reliable than normal blog entries...
Q. How are your Gonads? "Bouncing! We're currently celebrating our fortieth anniversary – forty years of failure! – and looking to tour all over the world. I'd particularly like to play places we've never gigged before, like India, Australia, Indonesia, Czech of course, South America, Canada, Poland, Greece... Anywhere where there is a market for the Gonads' racket. We'll gig wherever anyone wants us, as long as it's practical. It'd be a crying shame if we didn't get to play Brest in France or Fort Dick in California and I've always wanted to enjoy Muff in Ireland. Our next stop is Montpellier, France in May and we've got serious interest from the States but that has to be done properly with the right clearance and insurance and that can be expensive, so we'll see. At the moment Blow Hard in Australia is just a beautiful dream."
Q. Will the band be releasing anything new this year? "I don't think so, we released two albums and a DVD last year. We have got a live album ready to go, but we'll be holding that back for now. You can have too much of a good thing! I am currently writing brand new songs for the follow-up to the Loonstompers album in the same vein as that, and at the moment I'd like that to be the next release. We might test the water with a single later in the year. Some of the new stuff I've written with Clyde and Mark McMighty is as strong as anything we've ever released before and certainly as filthy, but there's no rush."
Q. Explain your spin off groups. "Well, the Gonads are doing a pure punk set at the moment. If you like the other side of what we do, the party songs and rude reggae, then my new Garry Bushell Experience band, GBX, will concentrate on that. I'm currently recruiting for that project and hope to debut it properly soon. DM:G exist as an entirely separate combo. We put out the Gonads DMG e.p. as a download this month and the band will be rehearsing two new songs, 'Critical Mass' and 'Jimi' over the next couple of months. They will be recorded later this year. I won't be singing with DM:G."
Q. What books are you writing? "Right now, I'm concentrating on a new Harry Tyler novel, which I'm writing in collaboration with another author. I think that'll surprise a few people. There's some nice symmetry involved."
Q. Will you write a follow-up to Sounds Of Glory Volumes 1 & 2? "I have held back some great bands for Volumes 3 & 4, not least the Clash and Ian Dury. But I'm not entirely sure when I'll write it. There are a couple of other books on the backburner too. I will get to them, but I'm determined to concentrate on one thing at a time for a change."
Q. What newer bands would you recommend at the moment? "So many! Duffy's Cut from Philly, Beach Slang, Skurvi, The Spitfires, Crown Court, the Brompton Mix, the Skints, Louise Distras, Dre Island, Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell... I love the Interrupters and Buster Shuffle although they've both been around for a while. RUST are where streetpunk and hard rock collide. So many great bands, so little exposure."
Q. Is that why you do Street Sounds and the Rancid Sounds? "Yes, but, I'd need an extra day in the week to do it all as often as I'd like to. With Street Sounds, lack of funding has held us back. We need proper distribution and promotion to get the mag out there. The next issue is out in March and it will be a belter but there may have to be some major changes after that."
Q. Any final words? "Think for yourself. Question everything. Live free, die free. And rock the fuck on forever."
While we're here... Steve Whale joined the Dropkick Murphys on stage at Brixton on Friday night for a rousing rendition of the Business's song 'Coventry'. We hear the Murphys will release their cover in Micky Fitz's honour... the latest issue of Vive Le Rock is a forty year punk anniversary celebration (two years late!)... Garry Johnson's next novel will be called Serial Killer... Hard Pressed have just released their self-titled 7in and No Heart have released their single 'Scum', both on Longshot Music.
And here are some tasty shots from our recent 100 Club gig taken by the legend that is Antonia Moore-Moore-Moore...
Jan 24. This blog is closed at Lord Waistrel's instructions. He wants none of his master-plans to leak while he is in the USA mentoring President Trump on "reactionary matters" and the pressing need to "restore justice for feudal landowners". In his absence, his Lordship has left what he dubs a management "dream team", led by the so-called "Three Wise Men" – The Beast, Fat Col and Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner) – to handle "on-going business" and report back to him. Several hand-picked advisors including Miss Management, Terence Hayes, PM, Harvey Gardens, FB, and Sandra Bigg (really big) have been put in place should a major incident arise. A mole rings to whisper that the dream team's priorities will include "GBX, Nadsfest, DMG, India, flag-girls, the USA, Spanish dates and bass-players in that order." What about bass-players we ask urgently, our hearts pounding? But a shot rings out and the phone goes dead. Moscow Rules. Till soon, chums.
Afore we go, Stone Foundation embark on a UK tour at the end of April to plug their coming ten track album Street Rituals produced by and featuring some bloke called Weller...
EVERY SINGLE ISSUE OF STREET SOUNDS IS AVAILABLE FROM OUR SHOP PAGE. We are the only stockists in the world to offer the magazine's entire back catalogue.
Jan 22. ITEMS BACK IN STOCK THIS WEEK: Live Free, Die Free (CD or vinyl double album with gatefold sleeve)... Hooligans Classic Vol 2 ftg Stomper 98/The Resort Bootboys/The Gonads/Iron Cross (2x 7" vinyl ep)... Greater Hits Vol 3 – The Complete Cobblers (CD only). All available from our shop page.
In other store news, quartermaster Fat Col tells us that we're running low on Back & Barking t-shirts. Small, medium and XL have all sold out. We have no plans to produce more of this classic design, although new shirts may follow depending on what the immediate future holds. Possible designs being debated include: 'The Gonads – Forty Years of Failure', 'FrankenSkin – His Time Has Come', and 'The Gonads – In Us and Through Us, England Lives!' Let us know which 't' gets your 'x'.
And tune back next weekend for the definitive all-time Gonads Top Ten greatest songs as voted by the great unwashed.
Jan 21. Is that a Terry Hayes lookalike we keep seeing in the green room shots on The Voice or is it the real thing? We swear we've seen the great man mixing it with ITV types on at least two of three shows this series. A little bird (Tina Eccles from Dalston) whispers that the PM has been brought in as Tom Jones's understudy and is also working as a backstage advisor. El Tel is keeping mum about it, but If one of the wannabes starts warbling 'Gary Doesn't Glitter Any More' then we'll know the rumours are true.
Lord Waistrel has turned down an offer for our next album to be released only on audio cassette and for once we agree with him completely. Says Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner, in a surprising relaxed mood): "It makes no sense to do this with new material, bruv, however IF we manage to trace recordings of our 1977 set we would consider an audio cassette release for it."
Fat Col is really excited about Steve Diggle's new solo album Inner Space Times which he sees as being close to his beloved Strynth Rock project. Col, who has got the CD via Pledge, tells us the album is "a kind of psychedelic journey... very groundbreaking". Hmm. Exciting though that sounds, we think we'll stick with Angel Du$t's Rock The Fuck On Forever.
Out now: the new album from Arthur Kay & The Clerks – The Night I Came Home (Grover)...
Jan 19. Resistance 77, Geoffrey OiCott and The Angry Agenda play Human Punk's St George's bash at London's 100 Club with Chelsea Pensioner poet Dave Thomson. The gig is on Saturday 22nd April, on the eve of the great day. Tickets are available from here. (For Prankster St Geo's Day events see your tyler.)
Jan 18. The legend that is Clyde Ward will join us on bass for our Montpellier gig in March, after Gentleman John dropped out. It's a welcome return to live action for life-long Gonad Clyde who co-wrote such classics as 'Oi Mate' and 'Grant Mitchell' (not to mention the never released gems 'Mystic Meg' and 'Becky's Bucket'). Please note: we are withholding the real reason for John's questionable decision from the blog for fear of sparking the formidable wrath of Lord Waistrel.
Record noos: Italian Ska-punks Skassapunka release their new album Rudes Against on 1st Februrary, via Kob Records (no silent 'n' as far as we can tell)... The Damned are bringing out a 40th anniversary version of their debut album, Damned, Damned, Damned, with re-mastered audio and new sleeve notes written by punk pioneer John Ingham, formerly of Sounds. Release date is 17th Feb... The Bombpops' new album Fear Of Missing Out is released by Fat Wreck Chords on 10th Feb.
Jan 17. We have had some strange stories on here and even stranger conflicts, but has there ever been a bust-up more bizarre than this? In a nutshell: Wattsie had the hump with Gal yesterday because she'd dreamt they'd had a blazing row and she had walked out of the band; in response Gal has told her that she is SACKED until he has a dream where she apologies. Said a tight-lipped Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner): "It's like working with kids". Now is not a good time to mention Fat Col's dream...
Talking craziness, Lord Waistrel has stuck his oar in over our new official bootleg album. He does not want Randale Records to release it. Fit-Bird tells us: "'Is Lordship turned up in a right old lather raging that Randale don't deserve the record, that it's too good for them and they never account to him anyway. No-one could placate him, could they? I thought he was gonna peg it, I did. He was foaming at the marf, banging the table and insisting that Pure Punk For Row People must be released by his own Soitenly label. He got his cummerbund in a proper twist. I told him we wanted a physical release, and he says 'Oh so you like it physical do ya, popsy?' and chased me around the desk until opening time".
On a more positive front, last night's rehearsal was shit-hot. We have added 'Gob' to the set for France and of course 'Tucker's Ruckers'. We also ran through a brand new number which for now we'll call 'Para-NOi!'.
Jan 16. Those who doubt Fat Col's influence will be amazed to hear that within hours of yesterday's blog posting Jeff 'Stinky' Turner paid a visit to Nads HQ and revealed that the Postmen could well be tempted to contribute a brand new track to Col's 'Strynth' compilation. Jeff also praised the Gonads DMG song 'Made In London' featuring the blinding fretwork of the great Dennis Stratton, and threw his weight behind the whole DM:G project.
Jan 15. Hey crazy kids, we're now on Twitter. Follow us, if you like.
Here's Wattsie Watts with Gaye Advert backstage at the UK Subs London gig last night. Wattsie has banned all mention of her romance with dashing Subs bassist and wine expert Alvin Gibbs from this page, and all references to his corkscrew. An outraged Fat Col complained that Wattsie had "got above herself" by "keeping her private life private rather than allowing cheap gags and idle speculation to flourish in the blog". He went on: "It's almost as if she thinks she is a real person with feelings rather than elaborately constructed fictional avatar". As a parting shot the boorish Colin quipped: "Gaye Advert famously got her tits out before joining the Adverts, Wattsie's tits tend to be in bands". A German psychiatrist writes "Vot we are seeing mit Vattsie Vatts is a backlash of jealousy. Dummköpfe like Colin Gannon und Johnny Vah Vah cannot vith her being vith another man be coping."
NOOS: Less Than Jake release their new album, Sound The Alarm, on 3rd Feb... the Dead Kennedys' single 'Nazi Punks Fuck Off!' b/w 'Moral Majority' has been re-issued on vinyl by Alternative Tentacles, with lyrics and an arm band... The Neville Staple Band play the Half Moon, Putney, on 10th Feb... Eddie & The Hot Rods, No Lips and Charred Hearts are among the combos playing an Undercover mini-fest in Hersham, Surrey, on 24th Feb.
Fat Col tells us he wants to compile an album sampler for Oi bands that are "synthesiser-handed". The comp will be called Strynth Rock, he says, a contraction of street and synthesiser. He also says he would be "open" to a new track from the Postmen. Right. Jeff will be delighted.
Jan 13. The DM:G e.p. Dirty Metal is out TODAY – three brain-bursting, gut-busting, chest-pounding, arse-shaking slabs of sonic torture featuring the best songs to date from our spin-off project. These are: 'Tattooed Love Girl', 'Made In London' and 'Oblivion'. The great Dennis Stratton from Iron Maiden guests on 'Made In London'. Buy it from here. Please note, the e.p. is billed under the name of the Gonads DMG. All future releases will be by DM:G. The full personnel featured are, vocals: The Colonel (tracks 1 & 3), Blue Rat (track 2); guitar: Nacho Jase (1), Phil McDermott (2), Mark McMighty (3); bass: Mick Maverick (1), Gentleman John (2 & 3); drums: RD McGonads (1), Paul Mummery (2 & 3); Jew's harp (not applicable). More DM:G news shortly.
Jan 12. News of an exciting St George's Day event is soon-come. Watch this space...
In other news: Steve Diggle's new solo album, Inner Space Times, will be on sale on vinyl "shortly", Steve tells us; pledgers should have received their CDs already... Neville Staple releases his new album, Return Of Judge Roughneck (and Dub Specials) on 17th Feb... Hawkwind play the Roundhouse on 26th May... To celebrate their tenth anniversary, Insane Society have re-recorded every track from their debut album...
Jan 11. Worrying word reaches us of a new burgeoning "synth-Oi" movement. The London band Dom's IBS are the first UK Oi! combo to publicly incorporate the synthesiser in their music for thirty-odd years, although New York's pioneering Maninblack were doing it in the Noughties. (R.I.P. André). Other bands set to ride the wave include the fledgling Donkey Oi-chestra, made up of the surviving members of Donkey Laugh. Oi The Robot are said to be reforming, and the Orgasm Guerrillas may not be far behind. Said a furious Martin Sporrell (aggressive Gooner): "Oi music is raw, vital street rock'n'roll; synth-music is pure unleavened shite." Well, it's an opinion. We quite liked 'Aloha' and 'Manifestoi'.
Wattsie is back! Hurrah! But she's keeping tight-lipped about her French adventure. Insert your own Fat Col gag here.
Future Publications, the former owners of Classic Rock, Metal Hammer et al, have bought the magazines back from the administrators for £800,000 and secured their future. It's a real bargain for Future who'd flogged 'em for an eye-watering £10.2million in 2013. As reported earlier, the mags' staff had been laid off without a penny before Christmas. A Just Giving page set up by Ben Ward of Orange Goblin had raised more than £85K the last time we looked.
Jan 9. Has Wattsie got lost in Alvin's wine cellar? Richie Rocker reports: "He keeps a fine vintage going back over the years, and is particularly famous for his 69... " It's another blow for poor lovelorn Fat Col who is not a wine connoisseur – he's more of an 18 pints and a bag of pork scratchings man, although in fairness he does often have a Semillon...
Jan 8. Lord Waistrel flew in from his suite at Trump Towers to announce plans for the year that have left us as breathless and gobsmacked as a roll in the hay with She-Hulk would (or Doreen as she likes to be known). Speaking with the hesitant precision of the truly inebriated, his Lordship announced that 2017 will be "the year the Gonads tear down the barriers, cross all boundaries and reinvent themselves as a multi-genre entity". Fine talk, we said, but what exactly does this mean? In rapid succession Waistrel spelt out the inspirational details; to wit:
1) GBX have been rehearsing in secret (Gal kept that quiet!) and are ready for summer shows; there will be new recordings as the project "takes definite form" and "subverts the mainstream".
2) DM:G. As well as their e.p. (released this Friday), Mark McMighty has been rehearsing a new "shit-hot" DM:G line-up; a brand new single will be recorded by the diamond-hard trio "in the not too distant" and that's expected to include the songs 'Critical Mass' and 'Jimi'.
3) The Gonads. Waistrel is committed to a brand new e.p. in the first half of the year, but there will be no new studio album until 2018. Early plans have also been drawn up for a spin-off punkabilly e.p., however, featuring new Gal/Clyde Ward composition 'City Of Bones', b/w Gal and McMighty's 'Half Past 3 & Nine Pence' with another song tbc; plus vocals by the Blue Rat and Gentleman John on a six foot double bass... There was a lot more (including performance art, psychedelia and wild talk of the abandoned "punk rock opera" Parousia) but frankly we're still trying to take in the awesomeness of this first wave of announcements. Naturally our live album Pure Punk For Row People and Nadsfest are still on course for this summer.
Please note: we are still on the look-out for any live or demo recordings of our earliest songs, particularly: 'Whelks', 'Red Army', 'Darling Harold', 'Sam Bartram', 'Clouds', 'Antigallican Last Bell', 'Ripper's Delight' and 'Far Canal'.
Jan 6. The new Dropkick Murphys' album, 11 Short Stories Of Pain & Glory, is out now on CD and vinyl. It's their ninth studio full-length release. You are invited to enjoy "moments of ass-kicking Celtic punk attitude, ball-busting wisecracks, tear-jerking confessions and the kind of upbeat words of wisdom that can be chanted loud and proud across arenas and stadiums worldwide".
In other news, Darko release new album Bonsai Mammoth next month... the London Sewage Company's coprophiliac debut album The Flusher is out now... and Punkers TV is looking for unsigned bands to feature on their Facebook and Instagram pages. Punkers is fast approaching 100,000 Facebook 'likes'; send them your video and a few details about your band via FB to enjoy the greatest mass exposure since Fat Col got done for flashing at St Joseph's (he says it was a wardrobe malfunction but we don't buy that any more than the cops did).
Jan 2. Over the festive period, we were mentioned both in the Guardian and on the Channel 4 television show Eight Out Of Ten Cats Does Countdown.
Acting band manager and practising psychopath Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner) said sternly: "The Gonads do not seek or encourage the approval of middle class media liberals in any way", adding "We are indifferent to their views and activities". He went on to accuse Jimmy Carr of "jumping on the Nadsfest bandwagon" and "trying to associate himself with our glorious forty years of failure... simply because he shares a tax accountant with Lord Waistrel". Martin Sporrell is unwell.
There is still no sign of Wattsie Watts, last seen heading to a French "nid d'amour" with Alvin Gibbs of the UK Subs. We can neither confirm nor deny rumours that the great radical has gone on to Lyon to meet up with Les Partisans, France's answer to the Redskins to discuss her solo single. Meanwhile a distraught Fat Col is currently behind bars in Charing Cross cop shop. Crushed, inconsolable and ten sheets to the wind, Col apparently infiltrated Jools Holland's Hootenanny with the intention of "heckling all the pseuds and crap comedians" but instead loitered in the shadows in order to break into Chaka Khan's empty dressing room after the show. He was apprehended by BBC security men in the act of "licking the sweat" out of the chunky soul diva's formidably tight black leather stage gear. Speaking on behalf of the band, Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner) condemned Col's vile behaviour as "inexcusable". He is expected to plead guilty with mitigating circumstances – to wit, a broken heart. Or as la belle Wattsie might say maintenant "navré". Les Partisans, for their part, have just released a split EP called Meeting Soul with the Inciters from San Francisco. You can hear their "red hot working class soul" here.
Jan 1 2017: Happy New Oi!, folks! Our brand new live album Punk Rock For Row People should be released this Easter, we'll update you when everything is confirmed. Cheers!
In other news, our spin-off group DM:G (Dirty Metal: Gonads) release their debut download e.p. on Friday 13th January – we'll publish the link in due course. The chest-bashing, brain-splattering three-track beauty consists of 'Tattooed Love Girl', the Maiden tribute 'Made In London' and 'Oblivion'. Dennis Stratton guest stars on 'Made In London'. More details will follow. We are trying to find out more about the GBX project too, but Gal seems a little vague (or should we say even vaguer than usual). As for Nads Fest, Fat Col and FB are being as inscrutable as ever although we understand that one of their schemes involves a whole series of Nads Fests; word is that promoters in LA and Hamburg have already been approached.
We've been asked countless times about the Live & Loud official bootleg double album from the early 80s being re-released on CD. One ale-blitzed jolly boy recently wrote: "It was the album of choice for many away trips and much serious drinking!" (Apt as "away trips" and "serious drinking" were definitely involved in the recording... as was that rascal Paul Devine). Unfortunately we have no control over the recording. A certain label claims to own the rights to it and life is too short to resort to lawyers. They did once offer to bring it out as a single album dropping the pub-piano mini-set and the 'Lights Out In Charlton' hard rock side. This suggestion was naturally rejected by Lord Waistrel who accused the lanky label boss of "not understanding the first thing about Gonadery", adding that the offer was "insulting", "risible" and "beneath contempt". So for now at least that's the end of it.
NOOS: the brilliant Beach Slang tour the UK this month, kicking off in Bristol on 20th Jan...The Damned, Orange Goblin and Ruts DC will play the Camden Rocks Festival in June; more than 250 bands will take part in the event across 25 Camden music venues... Undercover Festival will move to Dreamland in Margate for their fifth weekender in September. The 2 day line-up will be announced shortly but organiser Mick Moriarty tells us it is guaranteed to stay an "X Factor free zone".
We've been asked to clarify the situation regarding the Diabolical Liberty movie: at the moment the film is in "pre-production" and is still at the funding stage. We will be involved when it goes into production and the book is bloody funny.
Vinyl Corner: Out now, the Red Alert compilation The Oi! Singles 1980 – 1983, which features their early releases: 'Third & Final', 'In Britain', 'Take No Prisoners', and 'City Invasion', plus the 'There's A Guitar Burning' 12inch ep. Released by Spain's Common People Records... and Sheer Terror's Blackout releases have just been re-issued as The Bulldog Box box-set including the No Grounds For Pity LP, the Just Can't Hate Enough LP, the Thanks Fer Nuthin' LP, the Old, New, Borrowed & Blue 12inch ep, the Unheard Unloved LP, a booklet, an embroidered patch, a poster and a sticker. Available from Blackout Records.
Wattsie Watts is out of the country for New Year, staying at Alvin Gibbs's French chateaux. Sobs Fat Col "It seems that 'I Lost My Love To A UK Sub' isn't so much a song as a bleedin' soap opera". He was led away by men in white coats gibbering "I can do French" like a deranged gibbon. "Asseyez-vous sur mon visage, je devine votre poids", as they say in Corps-Nuds.