June 21. Stand by, Pranksters, in-coming: the PM makes his appearance
on Channel 4’s Four Rooms tonight, and no doubt a magnificent
TV career will follow. We look forward to seeing him on Come Dine
With Me, with “whatsisname, whatsername and wossname”. Picture
the scene: it’s Tel's turn to cook and the other contestants arrive
expecting a feast of the finest Poplar Boy culinary delights (eels,
faggots, pickled gherkins etc) only to find that the engagement
has slipped his mind and their jovial host is on his way to Colchester...(C4
researchers of course had no idea that they were dealing with
the Perfect Master of the UK Jolly Pranksters, and indeed few
outside of the brotherhood understand exactly how significant
Tel’s new, elevated status is. Scrotum, Lord Waistrel’s wrinkled
retainer, whispers: “A Perfect Master is one ’oose limited individual
consciousness ’as merged with that of the Great Architect ’isself
and is therefore privy to the hinnermost mysteries of the universe.”
Scrotum would say no more for fear of “ending up ’anging from
Blackfriars Bridge with some nasty black balls, know what I mean?”
(No – Ed). But remember that when you see the PM down the New
Den with a pint in one hand and a pukka curry pie in the other,
contrary to all outward appearances, this man is at one with the
We’re still on shut down, but while we’re here this looks like
a top quality event: the 1970 Reggae Soul Revival weekender (8th/9th
July) – two days of prime 60s reggae and soul at the Westcoast,
Margate. Weekend tickets are sixteen squid in advance from www.westcoastlive.co.uk
Random stuff: Slaughter & The Dogs are now headlining Day Two
of 2,000 Tons Of TNT... the Gonads will not be appearing at Chicago’s
Riot Fest in October, due to “negotiation hiccups”, but The Business
will be... The King Blues play a six date UK mini-tour in November.
Slowly and inscrutably we move towards the long-mooted Russian
gig. Our contact, Paul Hallam (the “Stalin of Style”), has got
Moscow Mods meeting the Moscow Skins at midnight tonight in the
shadow of Lenin’s tomb to discuss terms. News may well follow.
If the gig does go ahead, Fat Col thinks we should bring along
his mate Mr Patel from Plumstead. Why?, we ask. “Well,” he says.
“There’s yer KGB agents, yer CIA agents, yer MI6 agents. It makes
sense to take our own newsagent.” Idiot.
AC/DC will release a collectors’ edition Monopoly board-game
in the Autumn, which will come with an AC/DC track, playing pieces
and challenges. In a slightly related story, a few copies of the
extremely rare travel edition of the Bushell On The Box board-game
are available from Nads HQ, Whitstable. Email Waistrel for details,
or see Gal behind the whelk stall.
London Club Ska are holding a ‘21st Century Ska’ mini-festival
on Saturday (25th June) at Club 85 in Hitchin, featuring Semi
Skinned, The Skanx, 20 Dead Camels, The Cover Up and One Drop.
Tickets £8, on sale now from www.wegottickets.com
Gonads HQ is relocating to the Kent coast. The blog will return
in due course.
June 18 Update: Enthusiasts of the Jolly Pranksters endorsed
sport of spaghetti-juggling were dealt a cruel blow by the Guinness
Book Of Records yesterday. Guinness officials have outrageously
refused to recognise spaghetti-juggling as a legitimate event,
saying “we think that this item is a little too specialised for
a body of reference as general as ours...we think you will appreciate
that we are bound to favour those which reflect the greatest interest.”
An enraged Effete El retorts: “What greater interest can
there be than spaghetti-juggling? It was how Churchill kept awake
and alert during the darkest days of World War II. What will they
snub next? Ferret-tickling? Barmaid-stripping? It’s political
correctness gone mad.” Spaghetti-juggling organiser John Fleming
adds: "My lifelong dreams of spaghetti-juggling becoming a recognised,
legitimate sport may have been dented, but they will not be so
easily crushed. The stupidity and pointlessness of an idea should
be no barrier to its acceptance as an event. This is Britain,
where stupidity and pointlessness have been widely cherished for
centuries.” Here, here. On the bright side, the sport will be
given a proper public display at the Edinburgh Fringe this August.
Brother Pranksters are encouraged to support the event where possible.
Don’t forget Symarip play London’s 100 Club tonight; and if
you’re after something noisier, punk legends Menace are on up
the road at the Dublin Castle, Camden, with Insane Society, 16
Guns and Shag Nasty.
A distraught Sharron Slutt contacts us to report that she has
been forced to change her surname by deed poll to Stiletto “due
to the recent spate of middle class student girls dressing like
prostitutes and partaking in Slut Walks – they are giving us real
women a bad name.” Shazza also complains: “You’ve given the wrong
contact details for me, and my customers are getting confused.
My number is listed in every phone box in Curzon Street and also
in Mr. Patel’s shop in Shepherds Market.” Nice. Funny though she/he
no doubt is, we are slightly concerned about Sharron’s mental
state. A mutual friend close to Wild Mutation reveals that when
in character, Shazza speaks in a ‘feminine’ voice, refuses to
answer to Tony, and will only use the Ladies toilets. She was
last seen being pursued through the streets of Hull by an amorous
sound-man. Strange Town indeed.
Henry Rollins has been signed up to host a new US TV show called
Animal Underworld. It will feature people who own exotic animals
– and people who eat them. Some reference to trouser pythons and
the Nosher would no doubt follow if Fat Col were around. Mercifully
he isn’t. The Nosher once called us and said: “My dog’s penis
tastes bitter, do you know what causes that?” The woman’s sick
in the head.
Random news: Aussie punks the Hard-Ons play the Garage, Highbury
Corner on June 25th, with supports Peter & The Test-Tube Babies...
Lou Reed has recorded an album with Metallica... Irish thrashers
Gama Bomb are writing a new album of “music street gangs could
listen to before a fight, songs you can sharpen a switchblade
to.” The band have had to recruit a temporary stand-in for lead
guitarist Domo following a “bizarre trouser accident”. And who
hasn’t had one of those?
June 14. This blog is closing down temporarily due to the tiresome
demands of the real world. Our next confirmed gig is at the Garage,
North London on August 13th with Agincourt and the resurgent Heavy
Metal Kids. All profits to BLESMA (the British Limbless Ex Servicemen
Association) – a very good cause indeed. We hope to confirm gigs
in the Black Forest, Moscow and Soho for later this year. Check
the news page for actual news. We’ll be back soon. Meanwhile,
available to book now in the UK and internationally: Club Oi,
with your choice of DJs including Stinky Turner and Gal. Perfect
for club nights, private parties, scooter rallies etc. For bookings,
contact firstname.lastname@example.org – serious enquiries (and wannabe groupies) only please.
Back in stock: the Franken-Skin saw-blade (split single with
SpringtOifel), a rare collectible now available again from the
Nads shop page.
June 13. Genuine opera star Ben Bevan came along to Forest Hill
today to add his magnificent vocals to the ‘Men Of Harlech’ section
of the ‘Ska For Heroes’ ep. This charity project looks like raising
a shed-load of money for forces-related charities when it is released
in August. To celebrate, Surrey prankster supremo Paul Hallam
(‘the Stalin of Style’) threw a lavish party in Shoreditch attended
by youth cult guru Eddie Piller, Mod authority Richard Barnes,
Small Faces author Paulo Hewitt, actor Eddie Webber, IT Club star
Matt Berry and many more clean-cut faces. The PM sadly couldn’t
make it as he was busy at home writing his first-ever paperback
– ‘The Little Book Of Hooky Excuses (or 1001 Ways To Let Down
Your Mates)’, but the Straw Hayes put in a sparkling appearance.
By an eerie coincidence, the chef was in an Italian punk band,
he’s a major Gonads fan and is now busy setting up a gig for us
over there – and here’s what made us laugh, the name of his band
was...The Crushed Testicles. Seriously! Matters arising from the
knees-up included: 1) a plan to trick Tony Feedback along to an
Intervention to save him from his Sharron Slutt alter ego and
restore his dignity, 2) the formation of an all-Mod lodge of the
Jolly Pranksters to be based in Bethnal Green 3) a renewed effort
on the Benny Hill statue front and 4) a brave and inspired decision
by Piller to offer his services to UKIP – “the only political
party worth a light” - and “make them electable”. According to
Fit Bird, it was all going well with beer a-flying and steaks
a-frying until Matt, a fervent Amnesty campaigner, remembered
Gal’s part in The Execution of Gary Glitter docu-drama (“String
’im up!” - Fat Col). Oh well, you can’t please everyone.
Earlier in the day, Gal finished off the mix of new Nads anthem
‘Indestructible Wolves’ with the help of Steve Whale and Jeniera
Blade. This hellish vision of werewolves mating with dogs to produce
a race of half-canine half-man hybrids (blame the cheese Gal eats
at bed-time) is described as “tough, menacing but also melodic”.
And here’s Steve’s verdict on our other new number, ‘Backstreet
Army’: “excellent, you’ve really captured the real Gonads early
sound... pure punk for row people.”
This Saturday, 18th June: the mighty Symarip play Club Ska at
the 100 Club, with supports: New Groove Formation and the Paradimes.
All together: “I want all you skinheads!”
Coming soon, an irregular blog feature, Desert Oi-Land Disc.
Leading punks and oi-oi herberts reveal their eight most cherished
We hear that Jimmy Pursey is refusing to appear at any punk/skin
festivals. Apparently, Jim wants to “branch out to a wider audience.”
Good luck with that, mate. Maybe try some more of that ballet
Saxby from the Warriors tells us that they will be dropping
their ‘Garry Bushell’ song from their set “because some people
don’t get the joke. If it wasn’t for Gal, a lot of bands wouldn’t
still be going.” “Good call”, says Effete El, “thickoes were taking
it seriously.” The Saxby Pants Appeal is now suspended.
The Bermondsey Joyriders are supporting Marky Ramone at London’s
Islington Academy on June 26th; performance poet and former MC5
manager John Sinclair will join them to “provide live spoken word”
(or as normal people say, to speak a bit.)
June 13. Frequently Asked Questions: When will the Gonads Greater
Hits Volume II album be released? Probably next year. We are in
talks with a couple of labels, including our ‘gute freunde’ at
Randale. This is a slow process, involving semaphore signals,
Morse code and carrier pigeons. Continents move at greater speed.
In the meantime, forces charity ep ‘Ska For Heroes’ by Buster
Gonad’s Ska Battalion will be available to download in early August
– all proceeds to the Erskine Hospital, the Royal Chelsea Hospital
What has happened to the Cockney Rejects film written by Gal
and Mick Geggus? Getting a movie made is an even slower process
than communicating with German record companies, but we have got
talent attached and a couple of producers have expressed strong
interest in the project. The Rejects documentary is definitely
on schedule for release next February.
When is the thirtieth anniversary Oi album coming out? Contra
Records have assured us the album will be released in August,
ahead of Rebellion, and only world-weary cynics would doubt them...
What has happened to Gal’s solo album? ‘Beyond The Minge’ is
largely written but again GB is in talks with various labels about
financing it amd releasing it in 2012. Fit Bird has heard the
demos and tells us, “It’s definitely at the ‘Oi Mate’ end of Gonadery
– Cockney, funny and largely Ska-based, with lashings of brass
and a side order of sauce, know what I mean?” We probably do.
Although “lashings of brass” sounds like something Max Mosley
Was the song ‘Franken-Skin’ based on Frankie ‘Boy’ Flame? Certainly
not. The very idea! Frankie is a good friend of the Gonads and
we would not stoop to such despicable behaviour.
Why was the Franken-Skin AWOL from Saturday night’s gig? As we
suspected the scary one wasn’t “on strike”, as he claimed; he
was actually moonlighting with some dubious AC/DC tribute band.
A furious Beast has fined him one week’s wages (two roast oxen
and a vestal virgin) and given him a written warning (which he
can’t actually read, being an illiterate monster with his nuts
in his neck.)
How can I contact Sharron Slutt? Easy, just go to www.trannyconnections.com/London
And finally, Nads Fest – is that just a pipe dream? Watch this
space and tremble, o ye snivelling unbelievers.
This Saturday (18th June): punk & Oi all-dayer at the Snooty
Fox, Wakefield. Superyob + Black Marias + seven more, from 2pm;
£7 on door. Get in!
Record noos. Out this week: the debut single from Noi!se ‘Walk
Beside Us’ (colour vinyl 7” from Durty Muck). And posh boy Frank
Turner’s rather good ‘England Keep My Bones’ album.
June 12. Last night’s gig at the Maiden’s Head was “like a scene
out of ID or Green Street with a punk rock sound track,” according
to cuddly Kent comic Dave Lee, while the ravishing Wattsie O’Watts
likened the crowd to “a cross between Fight Club and One Flew
Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” It was the sort of place where, if you’d
headbutted a passing stranger, a good lawyer could have probably
got you off on a plea that you were merely trying to fit in with
local customs. We’re only taking the piss, of course. The audience
may have looked like a convention of middle-aged psychopaths but
their actual mood was rowdily good-natured. For us, though, the
night was as frustrating as pulling Pippa Middleton only to find
she’s got the painters in...and Farmer Giles to boot. No monitors,
no stage, no Franken-Skin, no merch, no concept of time-keeping....FFS!
We went on 80 minutes late, at 11.20pm, and played an hour set
to a crowd who made a crew of sailors on shore-leave look like
teetotal monks. Gal laughs: “The funniest thing was because there
was no stage or security barriers, drunks were wandering up and
having a chat between songs. One bloke kept coming up and hilariously
requesting Clash covers (how about ‘Long Time Jerk’, just for
you?), one bird wanted to tell me her life-story, another woman
came up mid-song and raved about how good Jason was. Yeah, thanks
luv, but we’re trying to play a ’kin set here.” Nacho Jase was
more than good, however - he was man of the match for keeping
things together. Big Gonads love to Chaos Davey, and to all who
came, especially Stinky Turner, Dave Lee (fat bastard!) and family,
Effete El, the Fighting Poove, Dave Maverick, and la belle Wattsie
who joined us for a particularly shambolic version of ‘Infected’
(Quote of the night, from Wattsie: “Isn’t this supposed to be
a Ska song?” YES it fecking well is!) Thanks due too to MK Dons
super-hoolie Allyson who was flag-girl for ‘British Steel’. Plans
to belt out new number ‘Backstreet Army’ were abandoned due to
the monitor situation, and Jase, South Coast Steve and a German
cucumber were last seen pitching a tent in a field of sheep –
we can feel a song coming on... ‘cu, cu, I just want you/tell
me when it’s safe for a chew...’ PS. One geriatric skinhead clocked
Dave Lee, walked over cockily and said: “Here, you’re Dave Lee,
you’re the one who wears dresses.” Dave shot back: “Don’t get
too turned on, mate.” Exit skin, crest-fallen.
Fat Col gag of the week: “I didn't fight my way to the top of
the food chain to be scared of a fuckin’ cucumber.”
Effete El emails to ask: ‘When are the fucking Warriors going
to drop that ‘Garry Bushell’ song? Gal ain’t worked at The Sun
since 2001. It’s as out of date as Saxby’s underpants.’ Quite
how El knows what pants Saxby wears is open to question, but maybe
he has a point. Gal doesn’t mind the dim-witted ditty – he played
it on his ITV show back in the day, giving the Warriors their
only ever TV coverage, and as Fit Bird says “It all adds to the
legend, dunnit?” But what exactly is the song on about? The lyrics,
written in 1995/6 by our old mate Arthur ‘Bilko’ Kay, claim that
Gal “sold his soul to the Sun”. Let’s look at the evidence. Garry
quit Sounds in 1984 to write Iron Maiden’s authorised biography
Running Free. Throughout 1985, he managed The Blood while writing
about bands, including Quo and Maiden, in the The Daily Mirror,
The Sun and the London Evening Standard, as well as books on youth
cults and Twisted Sister, and writing the Waistrel column for
Sounds. Pausing to mastermind Ferry Aid’s Number 1 single, Gal
launched his Bushell On The Box TV column in 1987. Was this the
point the alleged sell-out occurred? Traditionally people sell
their soul for fortunes, not to write about Only Fools & Horses!
The argument has more holes in it than the aforementioned Saxby
undercrackers. Garry Johnson says: “I could never understand whether
that Warriors song was motivated by jealousy or just stupidity,
or because no-one other than Gal would have ever written about
a band like them in the rock press and they felt left out. Is
it change in itself that they are against? If he’d become a sports
reporter would that have qualified as soul-selling too? I’m confused.”
We all are, Gal. But being big-hearted, we will be starting an
appeal immediately to raise money to buy Saxby a new song (‘Saxby’s
Saggies’?) and some much needed new pants. Those old man paisley
y-fronts have got to go.
Those greatest Bushell-bashing songs in full: 1) Press Darlings
– Adam Ant 2) Hurry Up Garry – Crass 3) Garry Bushell’s Band Of
The Week – The Notsensibles (not technically a Bushell-basher,
but we’ll let that pass – Ed) 4) The Man Who Came In From The
Beano – Angelic Upstarts 5) Singalonga-Bushell – The Exploited
6) Sounds Like Sounds – The Head 7) This Charming Man – The Smiths
(Are you sure? – Ed). And let’s not forget the short-lived tribute
band, Garry Bushell’s Bum...
US whispers: Tim Armstrong’s writing a musical...Blink 182 release
their new album mid-September...New Found Glory have just finished
recording theirs...Sham 69 are off the bill for 2,000 Tons of
TNT after US skins dubbed the Parsons-less combo “Scam 69”
Control’s new skinhead song video here.
June 11. What ho, chums. If you’re coming to tonight’s gig,
the racket kicks off at 8pm and we’re on stage from 10pm – 11pm
(ish). Unfortunately there will be no FrankenSkin as Frank has
thrown a wobbly and is refusing to appear on stage again until
he is given his own private dressing room. Bloody diva! Although
frankly, Frankie, this doesn’t ring true and we reckon you’re
up to something else...
Tommy Schitt and the Punishment Fuckers will guest on Gal’s next
pod-cast, recorded in a fortnight or so.
Pauline Black’s autobiography, Black By Design, is published
on August 4th. Copies can be pre-ordered from Amazon and Waterstones.
More details here.
June 10. Let there be rock history: AC/DC’s brand new DVD, 'AC/DC:
Let There Be Rock' features previously unreleased footage from
the band’s December 9, 1979 concert at Pavillon De Paris in France
- the last filmed event to feature the late great Bon Scott before
the great man’s death on February 19, 1980. As well as the live
set, the DVD features interviews with Lemmy, Rick Allen, Billy
Corgan and Scott Ian among others. Full track listing: ‘Live Wire’,
‘Shot Down In Flames’, ‘Hell Ain't A Bad Place To Be’, ‘Sin City’,
‘Walk All Over You’, ‘Bad Boy Boogie’, ‘The Jack’, ‘Highway To
Hell’, ‘Girls Got Rhythm’, ‘High Voltage’, ‘Whole Lotta Rosie’,
‘Rocker’ and ‘Let There Be Rock’.
June 9. Here's a sight to make the Taliban turn and run: the
prettier half of Wild Mutation, featuring (from left to right)
Jenny Drag, Shanne Bradley from the Nips, cross-dressing cock-tease
Sharron Slutt and a rather knackered looking Spizz.
Together with Marc Pearson of the Glitter Band and Roland Gift
they raised more than £12,000 for cancer research at their Saturday
night charity gig at The Springhead in Hull. (Technically it was
in a suburb called Analby - insert your own Ben Dover reference
here). Shockingly the sight of Shazza in full drag caused one
woman to swoon. Sharron tells us "she was so smitten she needed
two people to support her at all times!" (And someone else to
hold her guide dog - Ed). Even more surprisingly the very feminine
Jenny from the Priscillas got accosted in the ladies by some dozy
boiler saying, "Oh, I thought you were all men dressed up as women."
Their Friday night warm-up gig in Golders Green was also a success.
Says Shazza: "Apparently the audience included a 'who's who' of
punk rock personalities, but I was too busy fending off fans to
notice. Bizarrely, the male ones always start with the line 'I'm
not gay but...'." Sounds like the entire audience should've gone
to Specsavers. The Wild Mutation set consisted of Bowie songs,
a couple of Mick Ronson numbers, Alice Cooper's 'No More Mr Nice
Guy', and Spizz's 'Where's Captain Kirk?'
Random arse: the first two bands are confirmed for next year's
London Int Ska Fest: Neol Davies, aka The Selecter, and the mighty
Hotknives (original line-up)... Argy-Bargy are currently writing
their new album, which they'll record over the next couple of
months... Don't forget the Great Skinhead Reunion is in Brighton
June 8. No, your eyes weren’t deceiving you – that was Si Spanner
on Channel 4’s Four Rooms antique show last night, and that was
a trailer of the PM himself who appears in a future programme.
Former Gonads manager Si was selling a nifty looking Victorian
penny arcade shock machine (which once stood in the fabled Hall
of Wind-ups inside Prankster Grand Lodge), while the PM’s item
is much more punk rock. As both men are senior pranksters their
appearances have stoked rumours that the brethren are about to
break cover and “go public”, but we are assured that this is not
the case. Effete El, who also appears this series using his real
name, tells us: “Pranksters are dealers by instinct, we live to
trade, many of the brethren are market men, bookies and auctioneers
by profession, haggling is second nature to us, just as wind-ups,
stunts, hoaxes and elaborate capers are. Several brethren are
featured on this series, unbeknown to the producers. But rest
assured we will not be ‘coming out’ as Pranksters just yet, we
value our privacy too much for that. We remain an esoteric society
with secrets. That is all.” So mote it be.
We’re getting considerably pissed off with foreign record companies
who contact us about albums and/or tracks and/or merch and then
vanish into the ether for weeks, sometimes months on end. Listen,
you Muppets, you came to us! If we then reply with standard questions
have the decency to get back to us in a reasonable time. That’s
not much to ask is it? Poop or get off the pot, you time-wasting
bastards. Half of you clowns couldn’t run a whelk stall let alone
a ’kin punk rock label. At least our mind-blowing, hard-punching,
love-munching ‘Live In Charlton’ official bootleg double album
will be released in due course on the prestigious, and very English,
Ministry Of Delusion label, catalogue number: M.O.D. #1.
June 7. Lined up potentially for next year’s Punk Rock Bowling
Tournament: the Angelic Upstarts, the Gonads and the Cockney Rejects
– “the Holy Trinity of hooligan rock, the triumvirate of terrace
punk, the undisputed oligarchs of oi” (etc etc)... watch this
space for confirmation, and Viva Las Vegas!
2011 Punk Rock Bowling Update. The bowling winners were 1) BC
Smoke Shop 2) Rockaway Tavern 3) Double Down Devils 4) Team Danza
5) Septic Breath. (What? No Bev Elliott??) Missing from Dom’s
gig report but worthy of mention for a great show were our old
mates the Reducers SF who delighted the crowd on Day Three; blinding
on Day Two were the Bouncing Souls who treated the pogoing throng
to ‘Punks In Vegas’; and from Day One, the only reggae/Ska act
on the bill, the mighty Aggrolites.
The Harlow Help 4 Heroes gig raised a whopping £1200 for the
charity, with more still coming in from raffles and CD sales.
Well done, lads! Next year there will be two H4H oi/punk events
– one in Essex, one down Swindon way; both over the weekend of
June 2nd and 3rd.
Monkish play their fifth anniversary gig at the 12 Bar Club,
Denmark Street, on Thursday with support from Anarchistwood and
Oiz II Men, along with some burlesque courtesy of Miss Elle Revel,
and a few numbers by our old mate Max Splodge, of Splodgenessabounds
infamy. In addition, Bradders will be DJ’ing so expect some obscure
punk gems. Expect some guest appearances from past Monkish personnel
too. The band will play their debut album ‘You Can't Polish a
Turd’ in its entirety.
Fat Col calls to issue a statement on behalf of the RCSPA (Revolutionary
Conservative Skinheads & Punks Association) condemning “the paralysing
blight of so-called political correctness” which he says “emanates
from the UK music scene’s left-liberal establishment and its dupes”.
We ask about our missing lager, and the phone goes mysteriously
dead. So we ring his home number and are surprised when it is
answered not by Gannon but by a familiar if unexpected voice.
“Col can’t come to the phone,” says the Nosher (for it is she!).
“’E’s ill in bed.” Yeah. Hang-over, no doubt. Thieving fat bastard.
(Ed’s query, Fat Col’s surname, is it Gannon, Gammon or Gannet?)
June 6. A mixed day yesterday. We started in the recording studio
in a lackadaisical fashion, with most of the band running on ‘Contra
Records time’. The first big blow of the day was the absence of
the studio beer rider, which had been left with Fat Col for safe-keeping.
Leaving lager with Col is like leaving doughnuts with Homer Simpson,
neither it nor the fat fool turned up. This resulted in the first
entirely sober Gonads recording session for many a year. We were
then let down by two guest vocalists, one because of an unavoidable
family tragedy, the other through being a walking, talking personal
tragedy. A mighty big thanks to McMighty, however, who came along
as guest guitarist. New stormer ‘Backstreet Army’ was recorded
and mixed (ace guitar break from Nacho) with backing vox from
the Charlton Boys (cheers to Chris, Jel, Dave and Frazzle), and
‘Indestructible Wolves’ was demoed before time ran out and it
was on to the CCC for some pre-show liveners. The gig was an absolute
triumph, the finest Charlton has seen, according to one informed
observer, since The Who played the Valley back in the 70s. Our
thanks to publican ‘Eleven Bob’ Paul, to the local pranksters
and the many Charlton Loyal who made the show – especially our
friends from the East Stand, the Old Covered End, and of course
‘B’ Block. The set, delivered with Valiants venom, was: Punk Rock
Till I Die, It's A Yeti, Alconaut, Oi Mate, Gob, Grant Mitchell,
Oily Rag (extended version), The Growler, Infected, Rob A Bank,
Hey You, Jobs Not Jails, SE7 Dole Day, Franken-Skin, I Lost My
Love To A UK Sub, British Steel, Tucker’s Ruckers, Pink Tent.
First encore: That’s Oi, England’s Glory, Valhallaballoo, Second
encore: Charlton Warrior, Valley Floyd Road (with crowd), Threes
Up Muvva Brown (with crowd). Third encore: Beki Bondage Please.
Tattooed Love Girl. Alconaut. At one point, while FB attended
to technical issues Mick Maverick did an impromptu two minute
bass solo. It was such a big sound it made the beer froth in the
Charlton boys’ glasses! An official bootleg may be available
later this year. Franken-Skin took scores of pictures and they
will appear, along with a full gig report, in the Great Gonads
Annual #1, a book project that will be financed and published
by the Ministry Of Delusion. After the show, came the party, and
then the late night ruby (although only Gal, Mick and Allyson
Maverick made it that far.) Special thanks to the Nosher, whose
gob was cruelly likened to a crimson croquet hoop by FB. Never
has one mouth been responsible for so much joy for so many in
such little time.
The Gonads SE7 gig rider: two crates Stella, one crate Harvey’s
Best, ten bottles light ale; ten packs pork scratchings, one jar
pickled eggs, two doz somosas, assorted rolls and sandwiches,
one bottle Jack Daniels, one bottle Jagermeister, one bottle vodka,
Disturbing rumours circulated about Jason and South Coast Steve
sharing a tent ‘top to tail’ in Milton Keynes. But all talk of
a poison cucumber up the arse must surely be discounted as malicious
More word on Terry Hayes solo ep. As well as ‘Lions Pride’, the
PM’s tracks are likely to include ‘Ammonia Facewash’, ‘SCF’, ‘Memory
Man’, and ‘Colchester Cabbie’. It will be produced by scene veteran
Stan Cutter. Meanwhile, out this week is the Harrington Saints/Booze
& Glory split crossed-hammer shaped die-cut 12" single (from Pirates
Press; $16 – do the maths).
June 5. Here at last is Chelsea Dom’s eagerly awaited, but disappointingly
booze-free Punk Rock Bowling report: ‘Bright light city gonna
set my soul, gonna set my soul on fire…’, so says the song, providing
an apt introduction for my first trip to Vegas and the legendary
Punk Rock Bowling tournament. After a 10+ hour trip, our party
of three (myself, Oi Oi Gazza & the luscious Lynsey) embarked
into the blistering desert heat. The first few days were spent
getting used to the 8-hour time difference and our mind-boggling
surroundings, before relocating to the vicinity of the bowling
at Sam’s Town. This, it transpired, was a few miles out of town;
the actual gigs were around the Fremont Street area, just off
the top of The Strip. The whole event used to be housed at Sam’s,
but the bowling now seems to have become a sideshow to the gigs.
In addition to the trek back into town for the gigs, all tickets
(main festival + pre/after shows) had to be picked-up from a central
location near the venues. This meant people having to queue for
more than three hours...not a good start to the weekend. By pure
luck, we managed to swerve the queue and soon found ourselves
in the Azul Tequila club for Friday’s pre-show in time for the
Swingin’ Utters. (Not to be confused with The Utter Swingers,
whose interests vary considerably). The band put on a great opening
set for the gigs to follow, finishing with ‘The Streets of San
Francisco’. Due to lack of communication about passes, we didn’t
make it into Saturday’s gig until SLF were most of the way through
their set. This consisted of the usual classics, sung by an ever-porkier
Jake Burns (new name, Sausage-Like Fingers, maybe?). The night
was finished off with a fine set from the Dropkicks, playing numbers
from the new album ‘Going Out in Style’ and ending with a rousing
version of ‘Skinhead on the MBTA’, which merged into a proper
rock-out of ‘TNT’ with many of the crowd on stage. We also made
it late to the gig the following night, eventually making it for
Me First & the Gimme-Gimmes. First time I’ve seen this band, who
play fun, up-tempo tongue in cheek covers. My personal faves were
‘Rocket Man’ (why no dedication to Watford Jon?) and ‘Ghost Riders
in the Sky’. Next up were The Descendents, who despite their seminal
status, didn’t really do much for me. The after show at Azul Tequil
featured one of the weekend’s highlights, a tribute band like
no other - Cunt Sparrer! Like a true (shock) trooper, despite
being confined to a wheelchair due to a back injury, the singer/keyboard
player made it on stage. Along with the acoustic guitarist and
minimalist drum kit (suitcase for bass drum), the female trio
took us through a set of Sparrer numbers with enthusiastic audience
participation (us). Then it was on to the Country Saloon for what
was supposed to be a secret headliner - the worst kept Giggs secret
since Ryan. The Street Dogs hit the ground running with the best
gig I’ve seen them play, smashing through top songs including
‘Toby’s Got a Drinking Problem’ and ‘Up the Union’. Sparrer took
the stage and the crowd went ballistic, right from the opening
chords of ‘Riot Squad’ to the finale of ‘We’re Coming Back’.
On the final day we managed to get to the main show earlier,
in time for Manic Hispanic to entertain us with their Mexicanised
versions of punk classics. I didn’t catch much of the Dwarves,
although ‘He Who Cannot Be Named’ made an appearance at the end
of the set (I have to say Pete, oops, looks much different when
fully clothed). Whilst I have my views on politics, government
oppression etc etc, I have a bit of an issue with bands that like
to preach so self-righteously and Leftover Crack fall firmly into
this category, with their screechy whiney racket. Not really my
cup of cocoa. Killing Joke pulled out, so Agnostic Front took
their place and despite initially suffering from poor sound, they
soon got the crowd going. Their set nodded to the old school of
hardcore/streetpunk crossover with a cover of Iron Cross’s ‘Crucified’
and as ever the highlight was ‘Gotta Go’. Finally with Sparrer
waiting in the wings, the banner unfurled to huge cheers, followed
by the usual intro and crowd going into a frenzy for the opening
chords of ‘Riot Squad’. Again the band delivered, playing all
the favourites from Shock Troops (‘Where are They Now?’), back
to the early days (‘Runnin’ Riot’, ‘Chip on My Shoulder’), through
latter classics (‘Because You’re Young’) and onto the latest album
(‘Get a Rope’). All in all a great weekend (or week for some of
us) - I think I must be the first person ever to have returned
from Vegas and lost weight, although in truth not a single burger
passed my lips! (Yeah but what about the ’kin’ bowling? – Frustrated
June 3. Anyone coming to the secret gig this weekend should
contact Fat Col for final rendezvous instructions. We will be
meeting in That Charlton Place for a pre-show tipple before moving
on to the open air event. It is SE7 but it won’t be a Dull Day.
Meanwhile Nacho, Mick and South Coast Steve are preparing for
Sunday’s early doors recording session by going on a twelve hour
bender in Milton Keynes tomorrow. That’s the true Gonads spirit
Clyde Ward has demoed new Gal/Clyde penned Nads anthem ‘Rise
Up, England’ with guide vocals by the great Kid Punk. Expect the
finished version on the next studio album.
Modern Mod promoters the New Untouchables are bringing ‘Stax!’
to London. The Stax band features Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn
of Booker T & the MGs plus genuine soul legend Eddie Floyd on
vocals. The MGs were the house band at Stax Records throughout
the sixties, playing on sublime hits from Otis Redding, Sam &
Dave and Wilson Pickett. Steve Cropper wrote or co-wrote some
of the most famous songs in history including ‘In The Midnight
Hour’, ‘Green Onions’, ‘Soul Man’, ‘Time is Tight’, ‘Soul Limbo’
(TV’s cricket theme), ‘Knock on Wood’, ‘(Sittin’ On) The Dock
of the Bay’ and many more. You can expect to hear all of these
monster Stax smashes and loads more at the gig at The Venue, Portland
Street, on 27th July. Completing the line-up are Lester Snell
(Isaac Hayes band) on Hammond B3 and Steve Potts on drums. Tickets here.
Scientists have created an artificial brain with 12 seconds of
short-term memory. Strewth, that's twice as long as Gal’s, and
three times as long as Tel’s...
Random news: Green Day are working on a new “hi energy” album...
the PM has nearly finished writing his four track solo ep, working
title ‘Lions’ Pride’... and our correspondents are finally back
from the Punk Rock Bowling extravaganza, so the review should
June 2. Okay, here’s some news that sounds like it really should
be on the Ministry Of Delusion page. Wattsie Watts tells us she
will be producing Oi The Panto this Christmas – and that Fat Col
is helping her organise it (yeah, good luck with that, love!)
Wattsie tells us that she envisages Kiria as Cinderella, Gal as
Buttons, Dave Courtney as a Fairy Godfather, Sharron Slutt and
the Beast as Ugly Sisters, Terence Hayes, PM, as Baron Hard-On,
Bev Elliott as Drunk-At-The-Bar, The Yeti as Snow White and the
Seven Warts and Franken-Skin as, eh, Franken-Skin (what else could
he kin’ be?). The Gonads and King Hammond will be providing the
music. Sounds great. We’ll let you know if there’s any chance
of it actually happening.
Tony ‘Boozy’ Barker, ex Angela Rippon’s Bum, calls to tell us
about a new website which sets out to be a kind of Fiends Reunited for old-time skins,
suedeheads and “anyone who cares about true skinhead culture.”
Congratulations, we think, to former Def Leppard manager Peter
Mensch who has just married Tory MP Louise Bagshawe. Mensch, when
Gal knew him, was “like Ari Gold but with more swearing”. He now
manages the likes of Metallica. Oi Peter, any chance of a support,
for old fuckin’ time’s sake, you good-looking fuck? (Just getting
into the Mensch spirit, there.) A friend of Louise tells us they
married secretly in “a small, private ceremony in Manhattan”.
Fat Col reckons that Menschy has to go on top “cos Tory MPs can
only screw up.”
June 1st. Old faces, many of them now craggier than a Gordon
Ramsay close-up, turned up in Greenwich yesterday for the last
day of filming on the Cockney Rejects documentary, East End Babylon.
As well as the Geggus clan there were Vince Riordan, H from the
original 4-Skins, Skully from the original East End Badoes, Tony
Van Frater, Rejects drummer Lainey, former Bridgehouse guv’nor
Terry Murphy, current BH2 guv’nor Tony Nichols, Gal and The Beast,
Eugene Butcher (Vive Le Rock), Lee Drury (Eraserhead), Freddie
Brown, Fat Col and more (wot? No Yeti?). The doc should be out
next February, along with the new Rejects album of the same name.
Oi nutters, don’t forget we’re playing the Maiden’s Head, Canterbury
on Saturday week (11th) with Booze & Glory, The Warriors and the
Half-wits. More info from email@example.com We’re also currently discussing the possibility of recording split
singles, a Ska one with The Coverups ahead of the Buster Gonads’
Ska Battalion charity project, and a noisy one with US hardcore
band Sticky Buns.
Gal’s latest pod is up and running at Total Rock Radio featuring
tracks from Random Hand, the V8 Wankers, Intensified, Rival Sons,
Radio Dead Ones, The Heels, The 1-Stop Experience, The Hickoids,
The Riders of the Night, the 335, Antonella’s Klasse Kriminale,
The Usual Players, Sham 69 (Dave Parsons line-up), the Noxious
Toyz, Black Son, Shoot The Dead and Cynic Guru. Studio guests
are Jennie Bellestar, Dave Parsons and Jimmy Edwards. Gal’s near-legendary
technical incompetence also makes an appearance. Find it here.
The Riders of The Night have started working on a full-blown
album that you may be surprised to hear has feck all to do with
the Emirates and everything to do with modern life viewed from
the eyes of a bunch of ageing adolescents. Talking of full-blown,
veteran Nads fan Christine (aka The Norwood Nosher) is back on
Fans of veteran Aussie punk band The Saints, may be interested
in what Kym Bradshaw’s doing now; his website is www.kymbradshaw.com - bit of a change of direction!