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!
Jan 22. Controversy at Southend-on-Sea last night as 1) Our monitors were tampered with, meaning we could only hear JC’s bass onstage; and 2) Caretaker uber-manager Bev Elliott was forced to apologise unreservedly to the citizens of Essex for “an unacceptable abomination” on stage. An ashen-faced Effete El told us: “Everything was perfect at soundcheck so we have to conclude the disastrous stage monitor sound was the result of sabotage carried out by an agent working on behalf of Sandie West (Hollywood pest).” The second problem was more serious however as once again JC chose to defy Lord Waistrel’s orders and brazenly display “an unacceptable and divisive symbol” on stage, to wit, a stomach-churning Gillingham FC scarf. Eye-witness Miss Management tells us: “The offensive item was visible through-out the performance and had a negative effect on the audience. One woman fainted and an elderly man was sick in a bucket.” Bev Elliott, who issued an immediate public apology on Tinder, Match and Silver Singles, is studying video footage today and will reach a verdict this week, no doubt deciding, with the wisdom of Solomon, that the scarf must be confiscated and publicly incinerated at the earliest opportunity. Calls for JC to also be made to do a Clarkson-approved walk of shame as penance – naked while the good people of Southend pelt him with rotting fruit and excrement – will also be seriously considered.
There was one additional drama last night – when a heavily pissed Gal divided the night’s fee by six instead of five. Bloodhound investigator Wattsie (A Level, Maths) saw through the ruse. “I think he thought Fat Col was in the band!” she sniffs. A spokesman for Gal blamed newly appointed band accountant Slippery Ted for the so-called “accidental” cock-up. “It’s like he’s turning into Mensi,” whispers The Bitch.
Huge thanks to Carlo Corallini and co for the “Sextons”, to Vortex for opening magnificently for us and to everyone who came – not least our dear old pal Garry Johnson, on diamond form. Great to see you, Gal. If we get any more pics, we’ll stick them on Instagram. In the meantime, this blog is now in lockdown for three months. Naturally we blog monkeys won’t be furloughed though. Skinflint Waistrel won’t pay us an effing penny. We’d strike but no one would notice.
Last night’s set in full: THE COMING, LAGER TOP, JOBS NOT JAILS, SOUTHEND BOYS, SE7 DOLE DAY, ALCONAUT, BUY ME A DRINK YOU BASTARDS, I LOST MY LOVE TO A UK SUB, SKINHEAD GIRL, FEDERALES, PUNK ROCK WILL NEVER DIE, BEANO, INFECTED, DANCE FAT BOY DANCE, OI MATE, YETI, GRANT MITCHELL, DRINKING SONG, HEY YOU, TUCKER’S RUCKERS AIN’T NO SUCKERS. Encore: PUNK ROCK TILL I DIE/JOYS OF OI
Jan 19. Here is Bev Elliott yesterday setting up shop in the backstage bog at London’s 100 Club, shortly after she took office as the Gonads caretaker manager. Lord Waistrel’s private jet, Oi Force One, had barely left the runway for Barbados when Bev gave an eye-raising interview to Rolling Stone magazine saying that under her tenure, the Gonads will “astound and confound, confuse, amuse and generally fuck shit up”. Soho’s Queen Of Punk went on, “I agree with Gal, we have to be the poison in the machine, not snipers on the outskirts.” Bev then announced a number of unexpected decisions. In rapid succession, she committed us to “guerrilla gigs – benefits and unannounced ‘pop-up’ performances in pubs”. She then:
*Demanded we make videos for The Full English and Promised Land “whatever the cost”.
*Countermanded Waistrel’s decision to postpone our long-awaited live album which she now intends to release this summer under the title of Greatest Shits: Live.
*Resurrected 18 Stone Of Dynamite to “recapture the true essence of Gonadery”.
*Commissioned a “sleazy” tell-all Gonads authorised biography, Revolution Now, to be written by rock veteran Mick Wall and published by Red Planet.
*Declared war on Sandie West!
*Hired Foots Cray’s “leading psychic medium, tarot card reader and visiting masseuse” Sylvie Lee-Simmons as her personal advisor.
And dramatically ordered us to prepare to blitz the variety and folk festival circuits instead of “restricting ourselves to a withering scene”.
A panicking Effete El tells us, “It’s a huge and some might say insane gamble which Lord Waistrel will not have wanted us to take – he will blow a gasket when he finds out, but by the time Biggles gets him back to Blighty at the end of April it could all be too late.” Blimey. And there’s only three more days before the blog closes down… unless Citizen Bev decides otherwise…
Jan 18. Waistrel’s dramatic intervention yesterday has left a clusterfuck of chaos in its wake. An apologetic Miss Management has had to postpone five gigs scheduled between now and the end of April including three in the North East and one in East Sussex. An ashen-faced Effete El (assistant manager) tells us, “We are hoping his Lordship sticks to three months’ ban and doesn’t extend it as we have a southern Ireland mini-tour lined up for Summer.” Here’s hoping. Waistrel, meanwhile has decamped to Sandy Lane Barbados until late Spring, leaving punk legend Bev Elliott to “oversee” management decisions on his behalf. Before leaving he ordered that this blog should be closed and should stay closed from 22 January until 23rd April, St George’s Day. Gulp.
Jan 17 STOP PRESS. The Cockney Rejects have had to postpone this Thursday’s gig in Wolverhampton after Jeff underwent “an unexpected clinical procedure” earlier today. The show will now take place on 23rd March. This blog will not speculate on the nature of the procedure as we like our teeth as they are.
Jan 17. News! Largely bad… Lord Waistrel has postponed the release of our long-promised deluxe live double LP until “2027 or 8”. His new “media liaison officer”, Eric Testicond-Smythe tells us, “His Lordship feels it is best to ration the band’s output, you can have too much of a good thing you know.” The move is thought to have angered Gal and Wattsie, who wanted the album out this summer, but is backed by Paul SkaNad and his pal Fat Col. Waistrel has also slapped a total and non-negotiable ban on all UK Gonads gigs. The ban will last “for the next three months at least” and may extend to this blog in due course. No explanation has been given.
Jan 16. Pacesetting punk label Randale Records of southern Germany are the first to back Gal’s Big 69 project. They want us to play at their annual shindig (now in Schiltach) in May 2024 around his 69th birthday – and close to the release of the first album from our four-LP Big 69 box-set. Lord Waistrel meanwhile is said to be “mulling over” plans to release our second double live official bootleg this Summer. Scrotum, his wrinkled retainer, whispers: “’Is Lordship his worried habhart flooding the market.” Poor show.
Serious concerns are being raised about Gal’s health after he conked out with exhaustion TWICE yesterday – once during rehearsals and then again upon getting home. Fit Bird tells us, “The same thing happened on Saturday didn’t it? Maybe it’s an age thing cos he’s proper old now. He’s catching up with Charlie Harper, in’e?” (Eh? – Ed). She goes on, “It took Gal hours to recover after Rebellion too, and that was only a half-hour set. Southend will be nearly twice as long. ’E’ll be hobbling about like the PM, god love him.” The caring over-sharing PA concludes, “Course he’ll have to see a quack, but if you ask me the band should replace him for normal gigs after this weekend in order to preserve what’s left of ’is strength. He’s not been right since the Sandie West fiasco, that almost killed him, the poor old soul. I’d bring in Dan, son of Oi, and put Gal out to stud.” (Any takers? Thought not.)
Jan 15. We rehearsed in Erith today without Ms Wattsie, who was sadly inconvenienced by a minor medical matter. (May she get well soon). She tells us: “In recovery I fell into such a deep sleep that when the male nurse woke me up by calling my name, I screamed really loudly…” Blimey. Later we learned what really happened was that the nurse shook her and shouted, “Hi Shona, wake up, it’s Colin…” which would be enough to terrify any woman. To make her ordeal even worse, Fat Col was actually in an adjoining hospital ward, but unconscious following a nasty fall. Eyewitness Paul SkaNad reports that cheeky chappy Gannon had been “up a tree in Welling immediately opposite Wattsie’s pad with bins in one hand and a sturdy branch in another, until at one point, overcome with excitement, he let go of the branch and grabbed his own ‘wood’, he then lost his balance and plummeted.” Paul adds: “Col fell on his head, so luckily there was no serious damage.”
Jan 13. Green Day have released a cover of Elvis Costello’s Alison which they recorded during the 1997 sessions for Nimrod. The track will also be on the 25th anniversary edition of Nimrod, released on 27th January.
Jan 12. RIP Jeff Beck. Another giant lost.
Jan 11. Here's a reminder that we are playing The Venue, at The Cricketeers, Westcliff, Southend on Saturday week, the 21st January. We're doing the full set, nearly twice as long as the Rebellion show. Local punk band Vortex are supporting. And to keep you smiling in these darks days, tickets are just £6 in advance – buy direct from Skiddle. Alternatively pay £8 on the door. We’re also offering, for £20, an intimate private encounter with a Gonad clad only in their tight, over-spilling bra and flimsy panties! An amazing erotic experience at a bargain price. (Please note, the Gonad in question is Paul, not Wattsie)
Jan 10. Out now! Issue 3 of the BOOTS'n'BOOZE graphic novel series, which comes with the first official single from 1980s Santa Cruz ska band Special Guest. The skin-and-Mod orientated comic, created by a crew of illustrators, tattoo artists and graffiti herberts, features the story of a California skinhead gang based on raucous events that happened back in the day. The backstory is a love of all things skin, including reggae, ska and fashion. You can pick up a copy from the chaps at Pirate Press, who also have issues one and two in stock. For fans of Oi, Ska and of course Special Guest whose 2-Tone sound matches the contents and comes in blood-red, beer-colour or standard black vinyl. Limited to 500 copies.
Jan 9. Public Image Ltd will take part in the TV competition to represent Ireland at the 67th annual Eurovision Song Contest, we can reveal. PiL will be playing John Lydon’s new song, Hawaii, which is described as “a love letter to his wife of nearly five decades, Nora”, who is living with Alzheimer’s. The potent emotional ballad is as close as John will ever come to bearing his soul. “It is dedicated to everyone going through tough times on the journey of life, with the person they care for the most,” he says. “It’s also a message of hope that ultimately love conquers all.” The competition will take place from 9:30pm on Friday, February 3, 2023 on Ireland’s Late Late Show.
Could the Gonads follow suit? Fat Col is pushing for us to enter the “never-released belter”, the Great Sidcup Salami Scandal, which he describes as “a soulful Oi-tone ska wotsit”. It would “be a shoe-in for the 2024 contest,” he says. And when has Col ever been wrong? (Any day with a ‘D’ in it – Wattsie).
We have discovered that the man writing the so-called exposé of the Gonads is a bottom-feeding gutter-hack called Spencer Smythe, but our mole inside the semi-prestigious publishing company who have signed him reveals that Smythe is panicking due to lack of hard evidence. In an email to the publisher, he admits that he has been unable to talk to anyone in or close to the band because of our unbreakable code of “Omerta”, and so all he has to show for his investigation is tittle-tattle and cheap gossip. He writes “the band’s greatest vices are curry and lager – hardly the Rolling Stones or Led Zep. Where are the hard drugs, the groupies, the regrettable ‘red snapper’ moments? The Gonads have grumpies not groupies. The biggest scandal I can find is that they allow someone in the band to openly support Gillingham. Even their political views are disappointingly normal.” He goes on to state, “Their biggest historical scandal was revealed to me by the German Countess Lilith Lowenbrau” – Lord Waistrel’s 13th ex-wife (out of 17) – “who confided that Waistrel only created the band as a tax dodge in the 1970s. However due to the complex nature of the good Lord’s financial structures, largely based in overseas havens, the claim is unprovable”. He concludes that “by far the most interesting characters around the band are their loyal crew, including a psychopathic north London gangster [Martin Sporrell, aggressive Gooner – Ed] and the repulsive Colin “Fat Col” Gannon, a pig of a man – imagine a deluded cross between Del-Boy Trotter and Chubby Brown, a lazy good-for-nothing straight outta Rampton with a number of unpleasant vices, and intolerable views and table manners.” Hmm, makes us think he’s been talking to Wattsie…
Jan 8. Oh no, more worries… We are hearing disturbing reports about an unauthorised “tell-all” biography that is being written about this great band by a gutter hack who is attempting to bribe people close to us for scurrilous gossip and inside information. Given the moral fibre, loyalty and backbone of our friends and fans we predict that most of them will spill every bean they’ve got for the price of a pint. It’s very disturbing…
Jan 7. We have been contacted by Foots Cray’s “leading psychic medium, tarot card reader and visiting masseuse” Sylvie Lee-Simmons who claims to have seen “disturbing portents” in the cards. “Thinking of the Gonads,” she tells us, her voice quivering with emotion, “I drew the Ten of Spears, which represents endings and the need to start again. The next card was the Hermit, one of the Major Arcana cards, which represents being alone. My decades of experience lead me to suspect that this means one member of the band will depart to ‘fly solo’ in the next 18months, and the tealeaves suggest this could be Wattsie Watts, although the leaves are not 100% on this as I had to use decaf and the bag split.” Even more disturbing was Sylvie’s next reading which led her to predict “a marriage in the band”. She explains, “I drew the Ace of Cups and the Two of Pentacles. The first represents an overspill of emotion while Two of Pentacles means balance. So, I see a great overflow of passion with much lusty thrusting, throbbing and dribbling, but out of all that torrid and tumultuous sexual turmoil will come a firm and lasting stability which strongly suggests a marriage.” She goes on, “There are two obvious potential weddings within the band and the dribbling would certainly suggest JC, but I was unable to accurately pinpoint the identity of the lovers in this dynamic current or future relationship.” Blimey. More news when the heavens choose to disclose it…
Jan 6. Huge thanks to Dawn Parry and her jury on https://365radio.co/ for playing our song Glad To Be Alive on her Jukebox Judgement show this morning. Thanks too for the kind reviews.
Jan 1. Just a reminder that the 100 Club’s ten-night Resolution punk fest kicks off this Friday (the 6th) with Conflict, and ends with 999 on the 15th. Tickets for the whole run are available for a ton. The whole bill is: 6th – CONFLICT + Zero Again; 7th – THE BOYS + The Vulz; 8th – STEVE IGNORANT’S SLICE OF LIFE + Vanity Rose; 9th – DISCHARGE + Support TBA; 10th – THE MEMBERS + Guitar Gangsters + Desperate Measures; 11th – SUBHUMANS + Headsticks + Backstreet Abortions; 12th – UK SUBS + The Mistakes; 13th – ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE + Knock Off + Borrowed Time; 14th – GBH + The Varukers + Face Up; 15th – 999 + Menace + The Bottlekids. PS. Conflict also play Bedford Esquires on 18th March with Donkey Laugh and 16 Guns. No news yet on The Fizz featuring Cheryl Baker.
A new book about the Subhumans is due out this Spring. Silence Is No Reaction by Ian Glasper includes interviews with past and present band members, plus flyers, exclusive photos, a full discography, and a full list of gigs..
The Gonads would like to thank all of you for your continued support over the last twelve months. Thanks for coming to our gigs, reading our blog and for buying our music. Cheers too for your kind words about Revolution Now! – we really appreciate it. Our next pukka gig is at The Venue, Southend, Essex, on 21st January. After that, the world, as Arthur Daley would say, is our lobster. Watch this space for more developments. Cheers and all the best for 2023. See you at the bar.