June 29. Weekend round-up. A bit of bad news on the album
front. It looks like we won’t receive copies of Built For Destruction
until the very end of July. A pity, we know; but it’s worth the
wait, honest. We’ll set up an advance-order button for it just
as soon as Gal's PA Fit Bird comes back down to earth. It's a
bit of a sad story to be honest. Fit Bird has had trouble with
Bexley council. First they cut off her gas, then her water, and
this morning the bastards came round and cut off her gravity.
Right now she's higher than Pete Way was in the 70s.
Back in the real world, a shocking infiltration scandal came
to light at the first grand lodge meeting of the reformed Pranksters
last weekend. In dramatic scenes a broadsheet journalist was unmasked
during the traditional initiation ceremony of Dread House - an
arcane Prankster rite, worked by Scrotes (men of the powerful
thirteenth degree) in their ritual garb of rimless bowler hats,
white lab coats, ferret stools and Doctor Marten boots. During
the workings, the intruder failed to respond to the formal Scrote
greeting of “What Kung Fu Dat?” He was marched from the temple
(above a pub in Lower Sydenham) and forced to reveal, under extreme
torture – they played extracts from Arthur Kay’s new album at
him - that he was actually a Guardian journalist by the name of
Tarquin Marx-Duffer. His concealed camera was then trampled underfoot
and the wretch was ceremoniously dumped in a skip around the back
of Tesco Express. A spokesman for the Dreads’ most worshipful
Secret Master issued the following statement: “The so-called metropolitan
elite have long tried to imply that there is something sinister
about our simple brotherhood; the Guardian claims that we are
‘mired in an elysian England that never was’, an accusation we
will answer once we’ve googled the word ‘elysian’. They will have
to be smarter than this though if they want to film our noble
ritual.” In a previous attack, the snidey ‘newspaper’ patronisingly
wrote off Prankster members as ‘rustic simpletons, urban dregs,
boozers, football fans, lovers of rudimentary music and low humour,
boxing enthusiasts, tradesmen, market porters, Scrutonites, readers
of tabloids, anarchists, patriotic yobs, libertines, libertarians
and curry-house buffoons’ - charges that were greeted at last
year’s AGM with hearty cries of “I’ll drink to that”
Susan ‘Hurt So Good’ Cadogan calls – yes these are the circles
we move in – to tell us she has recorded a version ‘Love Story’
with the legendary Ken Boothe. Jamaica’s sweet-voiced queen of
lovers’ rock tells us that she is waiting to hear if Trojan Records
will release the duet, but mentions in passing that some scamp
has already stuck it on YouTube... Susie will be over for the
SkaMouth festival in October.
Arthur Kay says that his autobiography is now half written.
The streetpunk world can hardly wait. “It’s all in there,” the
great man tells us. “Mods and Rockers, Skinheads, early London
bike gangs...It reads like a history of something that disappeared.”
What, we ask, Frankie Flame’s follicles? “No,” he replies sternly.
“Teenage subculture.” Meanwhile the Resort’s current guitarist
Beef has got his own auto-biog coming out soon via the ever-busy
Randale Records which tells stories from his formative years as
a skinhead, his love of Chelsea FC (and related bovver) and his
life as a punk rock guitarist. You can check out the first chapter
at his new website
if you’re so inclined.
Oh dear. A shady character, a known associate of slippery Lee
Wilson, has approached us claiming that he has in his possession
a snatched photograph of John King “semi-naked” which he is willing
to suppress only if the noted author and veggie activist sends
us a picture of himself eating a bacon sandwich. If not, the CFC-supporting
rogue insists that we should publish the offending photo as part
of “a righteous carnivore counter-offensive”. It puts us in an
awkward position. JK is a friend of course and our first loyalty
is to him, but on the other hand that bacon sure is tasty...
Our pal Marco from good old Klasse Kriminale suggests a new
slogan for the modern Oi! scene: ‘Neither Washington Nor Moscow
But International StreetPunk!’ (Wot? No Brussels? – J. King)
Calling all Punk Rock Curry Club members – the East London meet
is ON! You know when, you know where, god knows why. No round-dodgers
Bruce Foxton is 58 in September, but don’t remind him, he gets
upset about it if you do, poor old soul. What’s that? Sorry, no,
we don’t know if he’s had a face lift or not. Yes, he does look
like he might have done, but who are we to speculate? All we know
is that Bruce really shouldn’t worry about aging; he could keep
going on and on like a cover band Bruce Forsyth. As long as he
saved all the “higher, higher” stuff for his surgeon...
Random news-bleed: Eddie Murphy has teamed up with Snoop Lion
(aka Snoop Dog) to record a Marley-esque reggae song called ‘Red
Light’; it’s probably on YouTube...Dave Parsons and that other
bloke headline North East Calling (formerly Durham punk fest)
in Newcastle, along with the UK Subs, Steve Ignorant’s Paranoid
Visions, Discharge, Mad Sin and many more (7/9); the real Sham
also play Edinburgh (6/9), and Manchester (30/11)... the solo
album from Mitch of Ska leg-ends the Communicators is about a
month away... but there is no release date for the Masons album
at the moment, say Randale. Why not? Sort it aht, Whaley!
Out now: new album Dead End Streets from Boston greats The Ducky
Boys, fifteen feisty tracks on their own State Line label. Also
pretty nifty, the new 7” single from The Hex Bombs ‘None Shall
Be Forgotten’ with guest vocals from Street Dog Mike McColgan...
June 25. This blog has still got its feet up, but we had to
nip back for this. Look at this nifty piece of Fan Art - a splendid
Gonads spoon, hand-carved by Prankster artisan Barry the Bard
of the East Sussex brethren. It has our punk bulldog symbol, above
the fabled words: The Gonads ENGLAND. (We can think of a few people
more deserving of a wooden spoon, but that's as may be...) Cheers
Bazza! You're a diamond.
News flash: The
Johnny Moped movie premieres in September.
Big trouble in little Shoreditch. Bloodstock Radio (formerly
known as Total Rock) has run into more difficulties. After losing
their fabled Rhoda Street offices/lockup, thirsty station bosses
had planned to move into the near-by Monty's Bar - only to find
that fire safety regulations made that impossible. The station
is currently operating out of a cardboard box in a South London
underpass. Anyone who can help find a permanent or semi-permanent
home for it, should let us know.
The PM has broken his silence about his mystic Ganges experience.
He told a source: 'It was life-changing - I would put it on a
par with something that happened to me 45 years ago. I was swinging
on a rope tied to a tree - we used to swing out over Limehouse
Cut - only for the rope to snap and me to end up in the drink.
It didn't help that I was about four stone heavier than most of
my mates back then, hence my nickname 'Pavement Crusher' given
to me by my older sister." (Not to be confused with trollop crusher
- that's Fat Col). This dip in the Thames is believed to have
washed away all of the PM's memory cells, his conscience and his
wallet, and to have permanently clouded his judgement...
This is odd. A geezer from Estonia has left a message on our
answering machine asking for contact details for "Oi! The Wazzock."
Who he? A wazzock is a strange Northern expression meaning a stupid
or annoying person. But who could this dim Northern person be?
Who is Oi! The Wazzock? Any ideas would be gratefully received.
June 21. SE7 JOi! Day... the flags are flying, the flag-girls
are buying, the Charlton Boys are on stand-by and even the FrankenSkin
is in tears because we are pleased to announce that The Gonads
will play in Charlton, London SE7 in November for the first time
since the 1970s. Details will be announced nearer to the time,
but the venue is in easy walking distance from The Valley, Floyd
Road. Big thanks to Ska DJ Paul Pettitt and Fat Col for sorting
out this glorious home-coming. Says Col: “The band’s last Charlton
gig was at the Lads Of The Village pub in 1977, so this really
is a historic moment.” To be part of that booze-drenched history,
watch this space...
In other Charlton news, don’t forget that The Blood, led by
Cardinal Colin Smith, play Camden Underworld on 31st August, with
supports from Crashed Out, Geoffrey OiCott and more...
The Oppressed are coming back. Roddy Moreno broke up the band
when he reached fifty (“Whippersnapper” – Charlie Harper) but
we hear that they are coming out of retirement to play a few “select
gigs”; the three-track Oppressed ‘Never Say Die’ e.p. is available
now on the militant Marxist-Leninist Mad Butcher label. So they’ve
not mellowed... Roddy is also involved with two spin-off bands
– Tighten Up (with Dom) and the D Teez (with Floyd), one 6Ts Ska,
the other punk. Staying with the mental Metzger, Ashpipe has just
released a six track EP with the unwieldy name of ‘Too much focused
about the current political and economical situation so let’s
talk about ironic and thoughtful matter’. Hmm. It’s a good try
but it doesn’t get into our Top Three songs with unfeasibly long
titles, currently standing at 1) ‘I Fell In Love With A Female
Plumber From Harlesden NW10’ – Splodge. 2) ‘There’s No Lights
On The Christmas Tree Mama, They’re Burning Louie Tonight’ – The
Sensational Alex Harvey Band 3) ‘How Could You Believe Me When
I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life?’
– Fred Astaire. (Wot? No ‘Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen
Bogen by the Sea’? – ghost of Max Bygraves) Our own longest titled
song, ‘Woosie’s Uzi & Why Boozy Suzy The Snoozy Floozie Got Choosy
In The Jacuzzi’ has yet to be recorded. Mercifully.
Our pal Tory Turk (don’t mock, that’s her real name) is curator
for this exciting Mod exhibition in Northampton. Consider it duly
Pathetique News: The Toy Dolls are touring the U.K. in November,
But be warned they’re going fast, Sunderland and Nottingham are
already sold out. Here’s
a handy tour taster promo vid.
June 17. This blog is still suspended while we attend to important
matters, but here for your edification and delight is some quick
and tasty news: 1) We’re playing Burslem, Stoke on Trent on 28th
September, 2) Gal’s old authorized Iron Maiden biog Running Free
is now available for the first time in decades as a Kindle edition
3) East End Babylon, the story of the Cockney Rejects, is finally
released on DVD today. Nine days ago the lads celebrated with
a gig, a screening and a party in Barcelona. 20 old faces flew
over for it, says Jeff, and enough beer was drunk to sink a cruise
ship. Did we get an invite? Did we fuck! How soon they forget!
Harry May’s wise words spring to mind: “Never trust no-one from
the wrong side of the water, son. They’re all kin’ wrong’uns.”
The East End Babylon DVD comes with 90 minutes of bonus features,
including Tour Memories - Jeff, Mick, H and Vince reminisce about
touring in the late eighties. Back to the Start - Childhood stories,
growing up in the East End. Bridgehouse Stories - Terry and Darren
Murphy, Lee Drury, Freddie Brown, Vince, Mick and Jeff discuss
the legendary Bridgehouse venue in Canning Town. Rejects Acoustic
set - Live at BH2, classic songs played acoustically. Jeff Turner
at West Ham Working Men’s club - His first live talk about the
history of the band. Silvertown - Promo for the song ‘Silvertown’
using film footage and archive material. East End Babylon - Promo
for the song ‘East End Babylon’ using film footage and archive
material. Where the hell is Babylon - Jeff and Mick discuss the
concept of Babylon and their search for it. Canvey Island - Holiday
footage of the Geggus clan on Canvey and Jean Geggus interviewed
in her caravan. How many Rejects? - Rejects and film director
Richard England attempt to frame a picture. It’s Alright? - Tony
Van Frater on guitar plays a couple of his Rejects favourites...
Terence Hayes, PM, took time off from his duties to seek inspiration
with his fellow sa-dhus in the holy waters of the Ganges recently.
Upon his return, the PM (aka The Lad Himself) announced that he
has “’ad an ’oly vision” and has pledged to work night and day
to “re-unite and restore the Jolly Pranksters in this life-time
of the next.” So mote it be.
Insiders whisper that the PM has been emboldened by shock developments
with the Eltham Young Hounds who recently attempted to take over
the East Sussex Pranksters only to be driven out of Burwash Weald
on the business end of Old Eric’s pitchfork. We’re told that furious
villagers poured out to confront the youthful urban insurgents,
bearing scythes, sledgehammers and those funny shaped vegetables
that used to tickle Esther Rancid so. When Barry the Bard discharged
his ancient flintlock, the Hounds retreated all the way back to
London SE9. Old Eric and Barry were carried should high into the
Bear Inn at Burwash itself, where Eric wowed a crowd of weeping,
woad-painted pensioners by reciting Chesteron’s The Secret People,
a poem which ends: ‘It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen
rose the first/Our wrath come after Russia's wrath and our wrath
be the worst/It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and
our rest/God's scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is
best/But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken
yet... ’(Hmm. If the people of England do have any plans on speaking
we wish they’d ruddy’ well get on with it - Waistrel).
Ska News: The Selecter will support PiL on their October UK
tour dates... The Skints new e.p. ‘Out My Mind’ (available as
a 4-track 12” vinyl) ships tomorrow – you can order it from www.BomberMusic.com...
Nick Welsh’s 14-track 'The Life & Times Of A Ska Man' album is
finished and he’s taking pre orders for it. It costs £10 (inc
p+p) in the UK or £12 for the rest of the cosmos. You can pay
via the King Hammond. The first hundred people who order will
get a FREE N.1. Records album + badge. All money from this release
will go into funding the next N.1. release which will be 'Hot
Skin Music' by King Hammond... in other Ska news, Ken Parker &
The Liptones have been added to the London International Ska Festival
What can we say about the weekend's brace of secret gigs? Sadly
photographers were banned at the first and useless at the second
- although we did get this picture of the luxury vehicle a beered-up
Fat Col left the Brands Hatch show in...
The gig was actually at a private party in Fawkham ("Fawkham
all" - Mick Maverick). The words to describe the night can be
found in any Stanley Unwin utterance, by which we mean the shows
involved an abundance of rhythmic contrapole, coupled with fine
tunes (cos Gal did trittly-how fine on the strims). By midnight
on Saturday night we'd reached the ephemeral colour dreamy most,
resulting in deep joy and doffly cap. We're now all knackerit
from the travelode, and despery need of a bed for falollop'n'snoozit
Set list for the secret gigs: Punk Rock Till I Die, Oblivion,
SE7 Dole Day, Rawhide, Valhallaballoo, Alconaut, C’mon Motherfucker,
Oi Along The Watchtower, Beano, Grant Mitchell, R.F.B., Pink Tent,
Skinhead Girl, Rob A Bank, The FrankenSkin, Charlton Boys, Tucker’s
Ruckers, Oi Mate. Encore: I Lost My Love to a UK Sub, Hey You,
Just out, the latest issue of Maximumrocknroll which includes
a report on punk in the United Arab Emirates. They've been exporting
oil since 1962, but how about importing some Oi, fellas?
Are we planning a farewell gig at the end of the year, a few
of you ask. Planning, yes. Playing, who knows, as Fat Col is the
man assigned to organise it. If it happens the gig will have the
catchy slogan of 'Non Omnis Moriar' - which is the only clue you're
getting. Don't speak Latin? Ask the frigging Pope. (Over to you
Barnius Rubblus: Amo fabam. Amo 'sauce'. Amo coitu.)
More hot news: Louise Distras supports the Street Dogs on their
UK and European summer tour, July/August... The Bermondsey Joyriders
will open for The Flamin' Groovies when they play London's Scala
on 2nd July - their first UK headline show for more than 30 years...
Walter Lure from the Heartbreakers is over for three shows in
August... tickets for the New Untouchables August Bank Holiday
Mod weekender in Brighton can be bought from here:
Live bands on Saturday include Faithkeepers (Spain) and Hypnotic
Out this week on Rise Records: the second album from Oakland's
Emily's Army, called 'Lost At Seventeen' - it's produced by Billie
Joe Armstrong and features 16 dollops of tasty pop-punk.
Clarification: the new Last Resort album won't be released until
mid-July - a week or two after our new one... however Jenny Woo's
new album is out, and says Diana Schuler "It definitely raises
the bar of Acoustic Oi! music.." (If you're at the bar, Di, we'll
have four lagers and Hennessey brandies all round, prost!). Six
of the tracks are acoustic, the other half featuring Jenny and
her Russian band, are as electric as the big chair on Death Row.
We were there - where were you?
June 8. Sorry, this blog is closing down for a couple of weeks
at least. See you at the secret gigs. First stop ‘Arcacia Avenue’...
but remember, loose lips sink ships. Or something.
June 7. The latest Control video is for their new song Our Tattoos
Are The Story Of Our Life. Have a look here:
Hmm. It strikes us that someone clocked the number of plays Booze
& Glory’s ‘London Skinhead Crew’ has notched up on YouTube...
PS. Fat Col has got a giant vagina inked on his back – that tatt
genuinely is the story of his life.
Out now from Pirates Press: a new vinyl single from Brazilian
streetpunk legends the Blind Pigs, called ‘Sentinela Dos Mares’
(no idea), and a new album called Capitania. The 7inch includes
a digital download of Capitania in full and is limited to 250
copies. Plus a single from female-fronted Aussie band Stranglehold
– ‘Trouble’ b/w ‘Endless Promises’ and ‘My World’... trouble from
women making endless promises? That’s a man’s world...
June 6. Bad news. The 2000 Tons Of TNT festival in the USA has
been scrapped – largely due to political bullshit. This is a bloody
shame as Pete and Max were trying to do something good over there,
but it’s happened a) because a band lied about their politics
and b) when they were dropped, the usual chorus of fuckwits blamed
completely innocent third parties for it, leading to a predictable
and tedious spewing of hate on Facebook. Result? The Fest isn’t
happening this year or next year or the year after. At the moment
it’s over for good. Well done, everyone.
Writes The Watcher: ‘the root cause was a band from the New
York area called Offensive Weapon who had claimed to be non-political
and had begged to go on the bill. Shortly after they were booked,
videos surfaced of them covering songs by Nazi band No Remorse.
They were about as “non-political” as a Grand Wizard, so they
were dropped. A rumour was then started, presumably by people
close to the group, that Booze & Glory and Perkele had conspired
to have them kicked off the bill. This was completely untrue,
but threats followed and the usual conspiracy-minded apologists
for the far-Right started spewing bile on Facebook. So Perkele
pulled out and TNT is now cancelled permanently.’ A source close
to the organisers said it has become too much trouble thanks to
“animals who shit where they eat.”
In a semi-related story, Keyside Strike and Rust have severed
all links to the USA’s Skinflint Records who continue to work
with allegedly ‘apolitical’ Nazi bands. Paul ‘Stoney’ Stone from
Keyside Strike issued a statement, which Rust have endorsed, disassociating
themselves from the label. He says that both bands feel betrayed
by label boss Dave Ellis. The Gonads and The Uprisers also expressed
deep regret that Skinflint had released their joint ep. Said Fat
Col: “Dave Ellis told us he was apolitical and claimed that he
‘hated White Power shit’; people we trusted vouched for him, and
he let us all down. The Gonads have never been a racist band,
full stop, and don’t wish to be associated with any bands who
are.” A furious Col went on: “I wish these arseholes would all
just fuck off back to their bunkers and stop polluting our scene.”
June 5. Dave Cairns of Mod legends Secret Affair calls. It seems
he is suffering from agonising back pains caused by “over-enthusiastic
strimming in the back garden.” In normal circumstances an-off
colour gag involving Dave’s gorgeous other half would follow but
we’re too scared of him to try it.
In Oi news, the Last Resort are playing the Boston Arms on 21st
December with the Guitar Gangsters, The Agitators (from Antwerp)
and Lion's Law (from Paris). It’s like Eurovision for nutters.
Ska disco to follow. 6pm – 2am. Tickets: £12 in advance, £15 on
the door from here.
PS Is the Resort’s new album out yet? If not, why not? If so
someone tell us FFS!
June 4. We popped in to see Nick Welsh recording his new Life
& Times Of A Ska Man album in Soho yesterday. Well eventually
we did. Fit Bird had written the address down wrong, and the first
place we went to had a red light in the window. A genuine cock-up,
but in only one sense, honest. “Nick Welsh?” said the bashful
Eastern European beauty with a face more lived in than a Deptford
doss-house. “I never hear of him.” But as the brief conversation
continued she stunned us with: “Gonads? Do you know Colin Gannon?”
Soho Steve’s studio was finally located, Nick played us back
the songs, which are terrific – especially the anthemic ‘Better
Days’ – and Gal added his own special carnival barker touch to
track one, side one... Being Nick, he has a new King Hammond album
on the go as well, and we spent the first hour remembering the
worst/best excesses of70s comedians.
The Dropkick Murphys have rushed out a new Stand with Oklahoma
t-shirt to raise cash for the poor sods devastated by last week’s
tornadoes. Meanwhile over here the slightly less well known Dejee
Tone asks us to plug this Help4Heroes night in the Britannia in
Aylesbury later this month, so here it is:
After this says Tone: “The owner of the venue has offered his
function room for bands to use for rehearsing, which could be
beneficial to artistes.” They’re also looking for retro bands
and DJs for regular retro mania nights. Not sure if we’re retro,
but South Coast has enough mania for a dozen asylums.
Fest news: the full line-up for Endless Summer has been confirmed,
including such delights as Agnostic Front, Perkele, Madball, Discipline,
Street Dogs and Buster Shuffle (they get about a bit don’t they?
Do you think Euro promoters love their cheeky Ska ditties or just
the sight of Carrie’s perfect pins?). Anyway, it’s August 8th
– 10th, inconveniently located in Torgau, Saxony. If it was in
Greenwich Park we’d have gone.
London gigs, various: The Boys headline the Borderline in London
on Saturday 22 June. The Crunch are playing the Garage tomorrow,
Bad Manners bombard Clapham Grand on Friday, with Max Splodge
and the Pukes. It’s, it’s the beergut blitz.
Meanwhile, for lovers of full-on pyschobilly horror, this is
June 1st. Some proper news, Gal’s extremely rare Iron Maiden
book Running Free is currently being digitalised and will be released
as an e-book later this year. Running Free has been unavailable
for more than two decades. It was first published in 1984, three
more editions followed in the late 1980s and 50,000 copies were
sold in total before the publishers called it a day.
Message to US fans: we are sorry we were unable to play Punk
Rock Bowling last weekend. We were willing but the finances were
weak. We definitely want to come back to the US one last time
so if you know any pukka promoters please put us in touch and
we’ll talk... Says Fat Col: “The Gonads ain’t one of these rip-off
‘punk’ bands who are only in it for the money, but it’d be nice
to cover travel expenses, you know what I mean?” As to PRB itself,
we’re told the Unseen were “electric!” Northern soul band the
Inciters were good and the Business were on top form. Positive
reviews are also coming in for Devo, Flag, Funeral Dress and Suedehead
who are described as “a sort of soul band.” Only pockets of unexpected
Nazi violence killed the mood. That’s Nazi spelt Nazzzi. Yawn.
Secret gig update. The June 15th event is going ahead ‘near Brands
Hatch’ as planned – for tickets see Fat Col. But on June 14th
we’re playing a very special gig for close friends of ours. We
can’t reveal too much or we’ll need... sanctuary from the law.
The PM has finished his lyrics for ‘Where Have All The Dockers
Gone?’, his song about the yuppification of Docklands, and you
know what? They’re fucking brilliant.
Madness return to Butlin’s Minehead over the weekend of 22-25
November. Tickets are £167 per person (based on four people sharing
a standard self-catering apartment) for the full 3-night break;
you get your accommodation, your ticket to the main event, and
access to all venues for the entire weekend.