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.
July 31. A period of calm has fallen over this blog, which will not return until September at the earliest. The coming weeks, henceforth known as The Great Tranquillity, will be a time of sober reflection as we ponder the big questions: whither the Gonads, what will become of the band in 2017, our fortieth anniversary year, and what of GBX, DMG, and the 'Let's Frack' single? Will they all turn out to be a time-wasting tease or a beautiful if slightly terrifying reality? Expect definitive answers upon our homecoming. In the meantime, watch the news page for all breaking stories, such as release dates for the DVD and All The Loon Stompers. Until next time, chaps, cheerio, chin up and remember, it's STILL Lee Wilson's round.
Noos! Just out: The new Bouncing Souls album simplicity on Colour Vinyl (Rise Records)... Lee Scratch Perry's Visions Of Paradise on DVD from Cadiz... The Spitfires' second album A Thousand Times (Catch 22)
July 30. Liberty's wedding was a knock-out. Guests including Gal, Wattsie, Steve Burgess from Cock Sparrer and various Badoes knocked back ale and eels at the reception in Upminster. The proud father of the bride Terence Hayes, PM, delivered a blinding speech which we reproduce in full below, without permission.
Tel, Steve & Gal – Oi the male models. How does that song almost go? 'Because you're old, sharp as a knife... '
Saucy Shona put this pic of her and Tel on FB making it look like it was them who were tying the noose. Terry's wife Jackie will find this hilarious... in about ten years time when she finally calls off the vendetta...
The PM's wedding day speech: 'This is a wonderful day for the happy couple. It's a wonderful day for all of us, especially for me. Ryan, she's your problem now... I remember when Liberty was born and my mum asked what we were calling her. When I told her, Mum went "Liberty? Liberty! If you call her that she'll grow up taking a liberty." Never a truer word spoken in jest... I was a bit worried when she first started seeing Ryan because he'd already gone out with her younger sister Harley. I did warn their older sister Connie, just in case he was after the set... And Jackie... But Ryan is a good man. And a brave one... In all seriousness, I did congratulate him. I took him to one side and I said: "You will look back on this day as the happiest day of your life". Mind you, that was yesterday.
"Liberty is a lovely girl and Jackie and I are very proud of her. She is tremendously talented, and such a terrific singer that the Dropkick Murphys asked her to perform with them several times when they were in Europe. On one occasion, when she was 19, she sang with them in Birmingham. After the gig I thought she'd gone to bed so I slipped off to have a nightcap with the band on their tour bus. We were sitting there having a laugh and a beer when my mobile rang. It was a local number I didn't recognise. I answered it and it was the West Midlands constabulary. A clearly agitated police officer said "Come back to the hotel, your daughter has been arrested". I could hear her screaming in the background. The whole bus could. And half of Birmingham. I stumbled back, well I'd had a few myself, and as soon as she saw me Libs started hollering abuse at me. I was this, I was that, this was all my fault. Why? Well all this chaos happened because she'd been looking for me and couldn't find me. The batteries had gone on her phone, the hotel receptionist wouldn't let her ring me and so Libs went supernova. I did manage to calm it down but Jackie was not impressed. The Dropkick Murphys were though. The next day they said to me "That was so cool, no Murphy has ever been arrested on tour... " You've got all that fun to come Ryan. You can't say you weren't warned. No, but you're good to her, you're a great dad to Ted and you'll make a great husband. If you can suffer that, you've got to be a saint.
July 29. Congratulations to the lovely and brilliantly talented Liberty Hayes on her wedding day.
Big Rebellion news! Bad news: the Street Dogs have pulled their entire European tour so they're not now performing. Good news: Cock Sparrer will now play a second "hang-over set" early on Sunday evening. Sparrer say: 'When our mates Street Dogs had to unfortunately pull out of Rebellion after cancelling their whole European tour, we thought we'd offer up our services to play another set on the Sunday. We'd only be hanging around getting drunk, so now we can hang around, get drunk and play a few songs as well! This is going to be a punk rock party! We'll be hungover, you'll be hungover – welcome to THE HANGOVER SET. We'll be doing their slot in the TOWER ST ARENA at 6.50pm on Sunday. Just a 50 minute set – get up, plug in and play. Saturday is already SOLD OUT and it's going to be busy in the Empress Ballroom, but there are still SUNDAY tickets available apparently but check the website often as it looks like the weekend will be sold out in advance this year. Can't wait!'
Congrats to Garry Johnson who did his first-ever poetry and stand-up performance in Bethnal Green last night.
July 28. The race and the wait is over!!! We're proud to announce that our acoustic album London Bawling is now in stock at our shop page featuring sixteen terrific tracks - that's the full Rebellion acoustic stage set. Recorded, re-arranged and really cooking...
July 25. Lord Waistrel last night took decisive action to end "the bloody chaos" on the Gonads album front. With three LPs already set to be released before Christmas, his Lordship BANNED Gal from even setting foot in Pat Collier's studio before next March "at the very earliest". Waistrel also AXED Fat Col's so-called Great Gonads Stakes asserting that betting had been "thoroughly corrupted" by insider information. As regular readers know, we have two official albums waiting for release, London Bawling and All The Loon Stompers, plus our first live DVD. To complicate matters, Waistrel is planning to bring out an official live bootleg album before Xmas. Our misanthropic benefactor has already intervened to POSTPONE our proposed new e.p., which he has put back until late Spring 2017, and he is said to have moved "swiftly and mercilessly" when he heard that Gal is busy 1) writing a new Oi! album, 2) a second all-new Ska and reggae album, and 3) has already drawn up detailed plans for a 20-track Greater Hits Volume 4. An insider whispers "Gal has gone a bit bonkers and is writing a song a day. This seven month ban has really shaken him up." Rebel Corbynista Wattsie Watts last night condemned Waistrel's "draconian" intervention, likening it to "a military coup". But wiser heads, i.e. everyone else, agreed that Gal had to be restrained and a proper plan of action put in place. Scrotum, his Lordship's wrinkled retainer, said conclusively: "Henough his henough." Hindeed.
There are now two Punks Against Homelessness gigs lined up in London as part of the Musicians Against Homelessness campaign, involving everyone from Glen Matlock to Steve Diggle, but what has become of the Oi one? We're told that Lee Wilson took over the planning three weeks ago "after Barnet lost interest" but nothing has been heard since. Thirsty Mr Wilson has been busy of course; the Infas are now playing Chile after gigging in Continental Europe – Lee notes on Facebook, "Wow! That was a great German tour, I chewed a lot of big hot German sausage though!" (So those old rumours are true! – Tittle-Tattle Ed). But why has this gig proved so hard to organise? We have the bands, we just need the venue. We're calling the A Team, Wattsie Watts, to get this sorted.
July 23. Well it's finished! Our blinding Ska & skinhead reggae compilation All The Loon Stompers has been mixed and mastered with extra sax supplied by Dex Green (pictured). The sixteen tracks are winging their way to Germany even as we speak, where the well-oiled machine that is Randale Records will turn the LP around for a September release (with any luck). A small party of Nads – Gal, Wattsie, Paul Skanad and Miss Management – supervised the mixing stage earlier this week under the watchful eyes of East London stag comic Willie Thompson and comedy legend Micky Pugh (the voice of grandad on 'Avoid The Vexation Of Women'). We'll post more info when we have it, but first the big question: How has it turned out? A tired and emotional Gal tells us: "When the late great Judge Dread first heard 'Oi Mate' back in the 90s he said to me 'If the Gonads had sounded like this in 1980, you'd be bigger than Bad Manners'. After hearing All The Loon Stompers I finally believe him." Ska and reggae stars guesting on the platter include Dave Barker, Jennie Bellestar, Nick Welsh, and the Skarettes with additional guest appearances from Clyde Ward, Liberty Hayes, Jack from P45, and of course the living legend wot is Stief A'Billy. We said it was blinding earlier. That's wrong and we apologise – it's double blinding! Double u o-o-o!
PS. Sadly we still can't say which of our projects will be on sale next. Judging by Fat Col's latest odds, it looks like a toss-up between the splendid acoustic album London's Bawling and the live DVD which is now just days away from the manufacturing stage... watch this space.
July 22. It's here! The latest issue of Street Sounds is finally on sale – only six weeks late. It's a Mod special featuring the Purple Hearts, the Spitfires and a host of new Mod bands, but it still has plenty of room for a Rebellion New Band Stage guide, a Punk & Disorderly over-view by Chelsea Dom, an Aussie special including Rust and Sharpies and much more...
Just re-issued by Nitro Records, these Vandals LPs on colour vinyl: 1998's Hitler Bad, Vandals Good, 1995's Live Fast, Diarrhoea, 1996's The Quickening and 2000's Look What I Almost Stepped In.
July 20. The new issue of Napalm Re-Loaded is on sale in south east London's seedier pubs. The latest edition of the world's most pig-headedly underground, malice and envy-driven fanzine features an in-depth chat with Chatham veterans Crotchless Drawers, a photo essay on the lost pubs of Charlton and Woolwich and an interview with North Yorkshire's punk-meditation sect The Psychic Ostlers. Also featured: Brutus shirts, a celebration of Denmark Street's old TPA club, Germany's toughest mobs rated by a Frenchman, a Terry Hayes retrospective, the savage rift in the League of Labour Skins, the perfect Lager Top guide, Born Naked, Thatcher's Young Tigers, Australia's Witches Are Amongst Us, a scene report from Nether Wallop, under the microscope with Dutch socialist Tiny Kox, Flemish punk photographer Jussi Fokkus, Britain's best amphetamine deals by city and "next-big-thing", Croatia's own Lubricant Overload.
July 15. The Cockney Rejects, the Ruts DC and Guida will take part in a Punk Rock Pins & Pin-Ups Weekender at London's Brooklyn Bowl on 8th October, organised by our good pals at Vive Le Rock.
Arthur Kay & The Originals headline a Ska & Soul charity gig at the Kings Hall, Herne Bay, Kent, on 2nd September, to raise funds for the Pilgrims Hospice. Support are Toot 'n' Skamen, plus Northern Soul DJ set, street poetry, and scooters on display.
In other news: Tiger Army play UK dates in November. Penetration play the 100 Club on August 19 and Patterns Brighton on 20th . And our Italian pals, streetpunk legends Klasse Kriminale celebrate their 30th anniversary with a new 7-inch single. It's called rather surprisingly 30 Years and features three re-recorded and re-mastered songs from their very first release. Limited to 400 on red vinyl & 100 on black vinyl.
July 14. Twisted Sister's Jay Jay French will take part in a special metal event at the Prince Charles cinema in London's Leicester Square on 10th August. The band's film, We Are Twisted F***ing Sister, will have its West End premier and then guitar star Jay Jay and movie director Andy Horn will take part in an exclusive Question & Answer session chaired by Gal F***in' Gonad.
While we're here: The Spitfires' second album, A Thousand Times, is released 26th August via Catch 22 Records... The Harrington Saints and Control have released a four-track split 7inch e.p. called Pick Your Poison on Randale... Pure Hell's Noise Addiction LP is now available again on vinyl, as is Rancid's... And Out Come The Wolves.
July 13. The New Untouchables' Modernist & Sixties Weekender is back in Brighton this August bank holiday. The Saturday & Sunday daytime events are both FREE at the Volks Tavern, 200 yards east of Brighton Pier. There's plenty of parking for the scooters. Live bands on Saturday include young soul sensation MARTA REN & THE GROOVELVETS making her UK debut and young Southend band THE BEATNIKS. Sunday is the eagerly anticipated Scooter competition held outside the Volks at 2pm followed by the scooter run. DJ sessions and market on both afternoons selling records, memorabilia and vintage and bespoke clothes. Evening events are from 11pm at Brighton's Komedia Theatre. All info at www.newuntouchables.com
July 6. The race is on! Odds on the Gatwick Gangsters movie coming out before London Bawling have plunged from 100-1 to 7-1 in 36 hours. Do the punters know something we don't? (We note that the odds are still shorter on Bawling and All The Loonstompers... )
Our glory boy pals Secret Affair release their first vinyl single for decades next month. It's their cover of Frank Wilson's Northern Soul classic, 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)' on their own I-Spy label. The b-side is a Hammond instrumental. The limited edition beauty is out on 12th August, which by handy coincidence is also when their latest UK tour starts.
Meanwhile the ever-busy Randale Records have just released the Fatskins' debut album Thinkin' Like A Fatskin for the first time on vinyl. The 12-track LP from the Phoenix based band includes their cover of Judge Dread's powerful protest song about the hardships faced by female farm-workers, 'Up With The Cock'.
July 5. Lord Waistrel is calling on all Oi bands to "infiltrate Britain's Got Talent and subvert it from within". Waistrel thinks every UK street-punk combo should sign up to the ITV show under false names and play "something innocent" at the audition stage. Scrotum, Waistrel's wrinkled retainer, explains: "'Is Lordship his convinced that hat least one Oi band could make hit through to the live finals" and then, chums, "let chaos reign!" We're up for it. Are you?
Our bolshy pal Louise Distras kicks off a new European tour in Nuremberg on the 24th of this month, followed by Essen, Groningen, Koln and Bern. No word yet on Untertitting, Wankendorf or Feuchtwangen.
Just as Fat Col was feeling confident enough about the great Gonads Stakes to contemplate setting up as an actual bookie – presumably Lardbrokes, StyBet or Podgy Power – he has been stung by a large and unexpected punt. A well-connected gent, "Three Eggs" Eddie, stunned Col last night by walking into the Newbridge and sticking a monkey (£500) in readies on Gatwick Gangsters to be out before any other Nads-related contender. This hard-nosed crime movie, co-starring Gal, Wattsie Watts, Bobby 'Dazzler' George and David Courtney, has been off the radar for more than a year. But quick phone calls established that producer Sally 'Shampagne' Clark has been out in Hollywood doing a deal with pukka LA producers. Could Gatwick Gangsters see the light of day ahead of the London Bawling album? No-one seems to know for sure, but with odds at 100-1, we do know one fat bloke in Plumstead who is getting extremely worried...
Quick reminder: Gal plays East End George, a legit villain, in the long-awaited feature film, Wattsie is his secretary Lucy Linfield, Bobby George is Diamond Larry, Courtney is crime boss Ray Razor, Rhoda Dakar is a Voodoo Princess, Micky Pugh is a dodgy gold dealer, and Leah McCaffrey is Lady Vanessa. Oh and 'Rob A Bank' is on the sound track. Can't wait!
Random news: Chixdiggit! have announced that their next release, 2012, will be "the longest punk song ever recorded, clocking in at just under 25 minutes and highlighting a full year of the band on tour, it's as if you, the listener, were Chixdiggit's roadie. You are right there with them, around the world and back again, except without all the heavy lifting." It's out on Fat Wreck Chords in September... Britain's all-time best-selling albums have been announced today, with Queen, Abba and the Beatles predictably topping the chart. There is absolutely no truth in the rumour that the all-time worst-selling albums are Robin Thicke's Paula and Sound & Fury by Infa Riot rebranded as "The Infas".
July 4. Garry Johnson, socialist street-poet, makes his return to live poetry this weekend. The Cockney wordsmith joins Linton Kwesi Johnson, Phill Jupitus, Tim Wells, Salena Godden and more on Saturday at the Stand-Up & Spit punk weekender at London's Roundhouse. Their performance follows a discussion including Dennis Bovell, Buzzcocks manager Richard Boon, Rhoda Dakar and New York punk Danny Fields. Laura Anderson, of Thee Jezebels, will round off the day with a punk singalong. Gazza's new book, The Cockney Bard – From Bow Bells To Bitter Street, has just been published by Newhaven.
Betting news: big money (well at least a ton) has been placed on London Bawling being the first of our new albums to hit the streets. Fat Col tells us "a bulls-eye" of that came from the notorious East London Hydrant Firm who are said to be "all-knowing". The fat fool is now contemplating an act of sabotage to fix the results.
July 2. Fat Col has opened a book on which Gonads masterpiece will be out next. London Bawling is currently favourite at 5/2 with All The Loonstompers breathing down its neck at 3/1; behind them are The Gonads By The Thames DVD at 7/1, the mysterious Waistrel-backed live album (As Yet Untitled) at 20/1, and the “spooky” ‘Shona & The Alien’ single (as yet unrecorded) at 50/1. All other releases are 100/1. Get betting!
Out this week: The Interrupters’ 7-incher ‘Babylon’ b/w ‘Jenny Drinks’ (Hellcat), produced by Tim Armstrong. Also just released, Blink-182’s latest album, California, their first for five years, on BMG; their 1999 album Enema Of The State has been reissued on vinyl too (limited edition from SRC Vinyl).
July 1st. Why is issue 15 of Street Sounds more than a month late? One source close to the mag tells us that contributors were so divided about Brexit that Toes decided to put the issue back until after the dust had settled. (A previous issue included an EU debate with the case against put at great length by John King, and a short rebuttal from the pro-EU Toes).
Sick Of It All have announced European dates, including Bristol, Birmingham and London Underworld in August.