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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.

March 30. Coventry was a blast. Huge thanks to Pete Chambers, Dave Eathorne (Isn’t that the Nosher’s nickname? – Ed) and all at 2-Tone Central for a memorable afternoon. Gal read from Dance Craze, and Paul ‘Toes’ Hallam then hosted a Q&A session for him followed by a book signing session. We were delighted to see Charlie H Bembridge from the Selecter there, and there were many more old mates at the Village Aid gig that night including Neville Staple, Lynval Golding, Roddy Radiation and the great Charley ‘Redlocks’ Anderson. Sadly Nev is in a bad way. His car crash in January set off mini-strokes which have affected his memory badly; worse, the doctors have told him he has to take it easy on stage. “But I was lucky,” he said. “I nearly died.”

In the absence of the Charlton Boys, Gal and Wattsie made the journey to the East Midlands with a small Millwall firm – Toes, Wids our driver, and Darren, cruelly nicknamed the Sex Pest for his vigorous pursuit of punani. The problem with anything organised by Toes is that he operates in a different time dimension than anyone else. So we all made the journey to the middle class hell-hole of Cobham to pick him up precisely on time, and then waited an hour for him to turn up. Cobham is one of those places where you can’t see a pub in the High Street but in the pay-and-display car park opposite Waitrose you’ll find Maseratis, a Porsche Carrera, a Bentley and more smoked window Range Rovers than a hunt meet... Similarly, after the afternoon Q&A session, Toes decided he needed a shave and shot off to a local barber’s (“we don’t get many white men in here”) and that took 90 sodding minutes. Possibly a full body shave, then...

The reason Paul is called Toes is because he walks on them, giving him a remarkable resemblance to Foghorn Leghorn... crossed with Frank Spencer because he’s so accident prone. In the course of just 24 hours he managed to fall over outside the Britannia Hotel and take a tumble in the shower that left him with badly cracked ribs. He also had a flick-knife pulled on him by a grumpy Roddy Radiation and somehow missed the cue for his DJ session with Gal, twice, meaning Toes only spun three discs in the whole night. (Though on the plus side, this did mean Gal managed to sneak ‘Oi Mate’ onto the decks, and it went down a storm...unlike Darren SP’s punani platoon who failed to materialise because he had no mobile signal...) On the more important side – the music! – we loved Stone Foundation (imagine Dexy’s with Paul Weller singing), Orange Street and Charley Anderson fronting the 2-Tone Collection – who knew he could sing so well? Small Joys of the trip: scampi and chips (eating like it was the 1970s)... Roddy, ratty cos he was hungry, offering virtual strangers a feel of his testicular lump...Toes turning up for a full English with his flies undone, which nearly put Wattsie off her sausage...Toes ducking his breakfast bill with the old pretend-phone-call ruse... the Toes quote: “I am gay in every way, except I don’t like willies” – matched only by Wattsie’s claim to be “a gay man in a woman’s body!” (Oh to be in Shona, now that Wattsie’s queer..., quipped Effete El on hearing the news) See what you’ve started Feedback? This is starting to become an epidemic. (No more semi-gay nonce-sense on this blog by order of t’committee).





Last night’s Shoreditch Heritage of Ska event was another fun evening, with a great guest-list full of legends including Rico Rodriguez, now a sprightly 77, Charley Anderson, Mik Whitnall from Babyshambles, Spizz, delicious Danie from The Feathers, Rhoda Dakar, and our new pal Fat Boy Cliff from Southend. Gal did a reading and a signing, Toes may have played a record or three, certainly no more, and the whole mood was well irie. Thanks and hugs to the Skarettes – Christine, Lorraine, and their many sexy sisters and daughters, and to everyone who came. Ska: for yesterday, today and tomorrow. Have it!


Judge Dread Memorial: you can’t keep a dead Dread down.

Music noos: Dawn Penn plays the 100 Club tomorrow night – it’s a score on the door, and the line-up is Dawn, Mikey Brooks (who worked with Lee Perry), The Moonstompers and Skanx with vinyl DJs plus excellent Jamaican food available...Dave Barker has a new single out next month with the Phoenix City All-Stars...Leah McCaffrey’s version of ‘East End Girl’ ( will feature on a Cock Sparrer audio book... New Jersey punks The Scandals have stuck the vid for their latest single ‘Allnighter’ up on YouTube, it’s from their forthcoming ep Trenchknife... Snoop Dog’s making a reggae album...

Chelsea Dom is back! And here’s his review of Sparrer in Frisco: ‘Cock Sparrer Conquer San Francisco’, would be a most appropriate headline, however my story starts last Tuesday, where despite a two and a half hour delay, due to air conditioning problems, our flight touched down in SF, birthplace of the hippy era, but no flowers in our hair! (No hair either, in most cases – Ed). The next couple of days were spent bracing ourselves for the forthcoming aural onslaught by indulging in some serious retail therapy – cheap Levis in Macy’s, before heading up to Haight Ashbury with the smell of dope forever present (something that seemed very difficult to escape at times). The Haight is synonymous with the flower power era, former residents including Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead & Sid Vicious (?!) among others. Today, tourists still cluster at the intersection of Haight and Ashbury, where a two-faced clock seems frozen at 4:20 and “high noon” – nudge-nudge references to dope culture. And although you will still find the odd hippy paying their respects to Jerry Garcia et al, today the area seems to be full of the great unwashed – maybe the blow is for taking the smell away. And so we came to the first night’s show. Moving towards the waiting queue of expectant concert-goers, past the tables of dope-addled chess players (can we now expect to see this as a sport that is subjected to drug testing?), the Warfield beckoned. This venue puts me in mind of the old music halls with the splendour of the interior décor, covered from wall to wall with posters and pictures of various performers (Robbie Williams next to the Cramps anyone?). Before a note had been played the silence was shattered when I bumped into the Queen of Oi and the mad cackling filled the air – yes, Diana from Randale Records was in the house! The gig itself was full of anticipation, for bands & crowd alike. After a support slot from Noi!se it was time for the dual-headliners to take to the stage. The lights went down, the intro kicked-in, the crowd roared and the weekend properly started. Sparrer steamed into ‘Riot Squad’ and from the first note to the last on ‘We’re Coming Back’, the band and crowd were as one. In all honesty I am probably biased towards Sparrer, however in truth Rancid struggled to follow them and didn’t achieve quite the same crowd reaction. However the second night was a different picture; whilst the first show was good, this turned into an exceptional evening. Following a set by Factory Minds, and having thrown off any sense of nervousness, Sparrer went about their business with a sense of real enjoyment. Blasting through a similar career-spanning set to the previous evening – including ‘Watch Your Back’, ‘Running Riot’, ‘Because You’re Young’, ‘Sussed’, ‘Teenage Heart’, ‘What’s it Like to be Old?’, ‘Tough Guys’ and a rare outing for ‘A Price Too High to Pay’. Cock Sparrer certainly did Take Em All!

As a consequence, Rancid had to seriously up their game and were well aware of this. Fighting hard to reach a similar peak. Lars gnarled and snarled like his life depended on it, Matt & Branden so accomplished with drums and bass, respectively, providing the backdrop for Tim Armstrong to swirl round the stage like a demented Frank Spencer. Again, the set was another career perspective, ‘If I Fall Back Down’, ‘Time Bomb’ being major highlights. Cock Sparrer were pulled on stage for a sing song of Happy Birthday, before finishing on ‘Ruby Soho’. Everyone finished with a smile on their face, due to what was a truly memorable evening. So, let’s do that math (It’s maths – Ed): 1 x band celebrating 40 years, 1 x band celebrating 20 years + 2 x sold out shows (1 in 12 minutes) = 1 big party! The weekend finished for us the next morning with a breakfast party with those very fine chaps (& chapesses), Pirates Press, at their HQ. Several Bloody Mary’s and portions of French toast (is that an euphemism? –Ed) later, we headed for the airport, tired and delirious, oh yeah and a tad merry. This carried on until we boarded, although this reporter’s jolly demeanour did not go unnoticed by those fine pillars of virtue at BA, who raised their concerns with my fellow travellers. Voice of reason Steve Bruce later commented, “You weren’t that bad, although we’re used to seeing you like that.” Thanks mate! Hic.

The Gonads Website

The Gonads Website
Diana’s in the pictures cos Chelsea Dom’s in the bar

Round-dodging Mod legend Eddie Piller is now tweeting and baking, sometimes simultaneously - experts believe this may be an early sign of the apocalypse. If he starts buying rounds we’ll know the foundations of reality are crumbling.

Random cobblers: Things Toes won’t do - Wednesdays, sat-nav, tomato sauce, punctuality... A ruling on the “distressing” Wok-Gate scandal is expected after the Pranksters Easter Conference, to which we’ll have limited access... and Jah Cris wants us to perform another all-Ska and reggae set with him. We’re working on it, matey. Oh yes. We just need to get over the memory of the last one.

Here’s footage of Mik and Drew from Babyshambles playing acoustic set in Luton last month: - see them LIVE at The Priory SOON! But here’s some good news, Mik tells us he is going to reform his Ska band 1,000 Men!

OUT this week, from Noi!se, the album ‘Pushing On’ – a compilation of all their vinyl-only releases, including debut ep, ‘Walk Beside Us’ and ‘This Is Who We Are’ (Pirates Press Records.)... the new Real McKenzies album ‘Westwinds’ on Fat Wreck Chords...and from The Alligators ‘Time's Up, You're Dead’ – a must for hc fans on Bridge Nine Records.

March 26. Gal’s new podcast is up here: with guests the Dualers, performing live in the studio, and Chelsea’s own John King, plus terrific tracks from Night Of Treason, the Shotglass Killers, the Caroloregians, Foreign Legion, Iron Cross, the Goddamn Electric, the Selecter, Patriot, Plasmapunk and many more. This blog returns on Friday with the full story from Coventry and possibly a review of Sparrer in the US from Chelsea Dom, who we hear was very nearly turned away from the plane by BA staff concerned about his inebriated state... it was not when he furiously announced “I know Lord Waisshtrel” that they relented.

Meanwhile, why exactly is Mensi wearing a dress in our earlier picture, asks a reader? We can only assume it’s down to the worrying influence of Sharron Stiletto. Why of the Gonads only Mick Maverick can be counted on 100 per cent to resist the perfidious transvestite tide, and that’s only because female clothing would hamper his streaking...

March 24. A very quick catch-up as a highly-trained Gonads team is just about to leave South London for Coventry – full reports on that, and Gal’s latest podcast to follow sometime next week. The pod was recorded yesterday with special guests the Dualers and John King, and terrific tracks from Night Of Treason, the Shotglass Killers, the Rival Sons, the Caroloregians, Iron Cross, the Goddamn Electric, Patriot, the Selecter and many more. We’ll let you know when it’s up.

In other news, the Beast tells us that he is negotiating East Coast Gonads shows for September. Whether it’s with the actual Gonads or the Gonads USA we couldn’t tell you, but clearly Gal will be involved. And yet there’s something fishy about it all as The Beast is refusing to provide dates and we don’t think the CIA is the name of a US promoter. Could it be we’re talking not so much a tour as an extradition? If the sulphurous swine turns up with a nice orange jump suit for you to travel in Gal, leg it mate!

New Gonads song ‘Beer Can’ is shaping up as a mini Oi-opera, according to Fit Bird, with several musical movements mirroring different aspects of pub culture, including drinking rules and lock-ins. The bad news? Only the punk movement will be released this year. The full version will be on our next studio album which won’t see the light of day until 2014.


How the other half live! Here’s our pal Mensi on his holidays in Bangkok, Thailand – why Mr Mensforth, we do declare, the bloom of your ugliness is starting to fade. Thailand! You’ll see us in Clacton-on-Sea...where our other halves will no doubt ‘ban-kok’ in their own way for letting them down again... Talking Upstarts, here’s a new song from the Toydolls about Decca Wade.

Wok dodger update: grim-faced Prankster officials have stripped Terence Hayes, PM, down to plain WM pending his hearing in the Wok-Gate scandal but he’s not going down with a fight. He told us he was “negotiating a second mortgage, to make good on my promises”, but then came the text message invite “to an £8 all-you-can-eat buffet in Hornchurch.” The text went on: “And if you bring the missus you’ll have to pay for her.” Very funny, we’re sure, but may we remind Mr Hayes that if found guilty of “transgressing the unwritten law” then a high priest from Church of Oi will be round his house the very next morning to rip his heart clean out of his chest and claim his goods, and chattels (“and daughters” – Fat Col) for the brethren.

Out this week: the nifty debut album from Sharks ‘No Gods’ on Rise Records...the second album from Underclass UK called ‘Kill The Poor’...and Fat Col recommends Ancient Wisdom’s ‘A Godlike Inferno’ which comes drenched apparently in the "mysteries of the occult.” They describe their sound as “the devil's blues, folk and rock 'n' roll."

Louis Distras single here.

In the absence of Chelsea Dom, reviewing duties this week were covered by Sandra Lane, who caught Paul Weller’s Roundhouse show and says the old Modfather is “still punk, still dangerous.” She goes on: “Paul played the whole of the new album ‘Sonik Kicks’. I particularly dug the single ‘That Dangerous Age’ and ‘Green’ with its catchy psychedelic chant... he sounded as vital and important as he did in the glory (boys) days of The Jam. And the only Jam song he performed was ‘English Rose.’ Brilliant.” (What? No mention of how much you drank or where you hung out before the gig? My head is reeling – Ed). PS. Our man in the States failed to file an in-depth review of Bruce Springsteen’s Austin gig, but he does tell us the Boss was joined on stage by notables including the great Jimmy Cliff (for ‘The Harder They Come’, natch) and Eric Burdon of the Animals for ‘We Gotta Get Out Of This Place.’ Bruce ended with Woody Guthrie’s ‘This Land Is Your Land’ – a moving anthem of people’s patriotism.

March 17. STOP PRESS. Despite popular demand, the Gonads will play Camden next month. We will headline Bar Solo in Inverness Street, on Friday April 27th with supports including Leicester punk band Burnin Clintuns. And as a special thank you for fans and for lovers of punk and oi everywhere, entry will be FREE! The Gonads: Keeping Punk On The Streets! Says Fat Col: “We’re not worried about competition but Lady Gaga is playing the Olympic Stadium in Seoul on the same night and she must be shitting herself.” (This gig has been set up via the KK Introduces booking agency; the venue is just round the corner from Camden Town tube, with easy parking too).

March 16. Morning all, Gal’s next two Dance Craze book signings are March 24th at the 2-Tone Museum, Coventry, and March 29th at the Light Bar, Shoreditch, with special guests Charley Anderson, Rhoda Dakar and almost certainly Rico Rodriguez. Tickets are a cockle.

Light Bar

Now to serious business. Come with us through the badlands of the soul as we reveal three of the most notorious round-dodgers on the modern music scene. Gaze upon their faces and recoil with horror, oh our brothers and only friends, for they are Men Without Shame. In no particular order they are 1) Andy ‘Scoops’, formerly of the Gonads and currently with Superyob, a man who travelled to Europe with both bands cheerfully accepting drinks from everyone while pleading poverty when in fact he was carrying several hundred quid he just hadn’t bothered to change up. 2) Eddie Piller, the Acid Jazz guru - a notorious ‘dodger’ who has leeched off his friends for more than thirty years. His favourite trick, when forced to get a round in, is to charge it to a mate’s credit card. 3) Spizz, real name Kenneth Spiers, another hardened swerver who lures naive star-struck, drink-buying concubines under his spell on the strength of one indie chart hit 32 years ago. Never mind where’s Captain Kirk, where’s your effing wallet, mate?

Round Dodgers   Round Dodgers   Round Dodgers

Speaking in a voice as cold and sad as Whitney Houston’s bathwater, our investigator Fat Col tells us: “There are other known offenders, but we felt that some, like Micky Fitz of the Business, were too well-established for people to need to be reminded of their crimes.” Others bubbling under, and currently under the scrutiny of our team are Nacho Jase, who allegedly “hasn’t bought a round in two years” and former Nads drummer Jim ‘The Piddler’ Piddington, who along with Scoops and Gentleman John inspired the heartfelt anthem ‘Buy Me A Drink You Bastards’. Says Col: “All proven round-dodgers will have their pictures prominently displayed in the bar at the Jolly Pranksters regional HQ in Kent, while their names will appear on the ‘Paul Devine List of Shame’ (named after the first notorious ‘out’ dodger, now resting in peace while boffins attempt to prise the very moths from his wallet). This a very serious matter. These anti-social, free-loading wretches will be denied entry to our clubs, and gigs, and most certainly any pub frequented by self-respecting drinking men.” He goes on: “We are investigating a couple of other suspected dodgers who have been ‘grassed’ by readers of this blog. They include Frankie ‘Boy’ Flame (Never! – Ed) and Watford Jon who has been described concisely by one informant as a ‘fuckin’ tight fucker.’ Further reports will follow.” So mote it be.

Please Note: Charges arising from the on-going Wok-Gate scandal have led furious Pranksters to suspend Terence Hayes as PM “pending an internal inquiry”. He will be replaced by a member of the executive committee whose identity has been kept from us. This well-known but bashful brother will act as ‘SM’, or Secret Master, until a decision on Wok-Gate is reached and a ruling issued.

Speaking of the Badoes, here at last is a picture of the original 1980s ‘Poplar Boys’ line-up of the band as they look today... but why the long wait? Says an insider: “The delay happened because we left it to Tel to organise; four months later he finally assembled us for a photo-shoot and guess what? He forgot to bring a photographer... and a camera.” Luckily a passer-by obliged them with her box brownie. She also took this pic. So when is the ‘Poplar Boys’ ep coming out, we ask? “Ah,” replied the insider. “The delay happened because we left it to Tel to organise...” (Continued on a loop-tape until hell freezes over...)

Polar Boys

Our dear friend and lifetime Gonad Tony Feedback faces a tricky dilemma. It seems he was recently clocked on camera doing 28kmh over the speed limit in Switzerland and now the authorities have caught up with him. He faces a “545 Swiss Franc fine” (about £400 – no wonder they yodel) “or four days in prison” if he ever sets foot in the country again and he’s going back there twice this year! Naturally Tone is appealing (“especially as Sharron Stiletto” – Manic Esso) but it looks they’ve got him bang to rights. Now here’s the dilemma: Gentleman John has told him that in Switzerland the cells are painted pink to keep the prisoners in a nice calm environment. So now he’s seriously considering doing the bird - as Shazza! - and saving himself the four ton...let’s hope he don’t give some big butch cell-mate the alpine horn... more details to follow.

Odd whispers are filtering back from Bologna. Apparently Gal and his wing-man Paul ‘Toes’ Hallam were initially put up in a bizarre hippified gallery/Buddhist temple owned by Piero Casanova, with a well in the middle, a priceless vault full of old soul vinyl, and just the one bed in which the knackered jet-setters grabbed a quick afternoon kip. Gal’s PA Fit Bird has angrily dismissed claims of a ‘Brokeback Bologna’ situation as “malicious gossip.” She went on, “They had a nap in the only bed available, it was as innocent as Morecambe and Wise, Laurel and ’Ardy or William ’Ague and that Chris Myers geezer...” Quite. In a completely unrelated story, Gal, Wattsie and Tony Feedback were seen in a Bexleyheath curry house earlier this week agreeing plans for the mooted “gay-friendly” Gonads spin-off, the GayNads, to perform at a charity gig later this year. The band will feature Gal, Sharron Stiletto, Wattsie, bassist Scarlet O’Harlette from Motley Kuntz and a yet to be recruited drummer. Said Wattsie: “The Gonads are opposed to prejudice against all minorities – except for round-dodgers.”

New track from the Mighty Mighty Bosstones here:

Record Noos: Anti-Flag release their new album, The General Strike on Tuesday, on Side One Dummy; the whole lot is being streamed on The original Sydney Ducks single ‘Stray Dogs’ has been remixed, remastered and released on colour vinyl by Pirates Press Records. The edition is limited to 250 copies so move sharpish... Night Of Treason release their debut album ‘Gentlemen & Hooligans’ on April 30th, but there’s a pre-launch party at the 12 Bar from 6-8pm next Wednesday (21st)... King Riot’s new four-track ep is out now on Randale with guest vocals from Willi Wucher and Franky Flame... Also out now ‘Fool’s Errand’ from The Sore Thumbs; “very catchy” says a music expert...

Random guff. Joe Escalante, bassist with The Vandals and a practising lawyer is campaigning to become a judge in Los Angeles County... Bad Religion are taking part in an anti-faith rally in Washinton DC on Sunday week, along with Richard Dawkin and sceptic James Randi, God help ’em... Sin City 2 starts filming this summer... Maximumrocknroll issue 347 is out now featuring interviews with Neon Piss, Indigesti, Iron Hand, Dark Times, Criminal Code and more, plus a report on the Hawaii scene. Aloha.

Separated at birth: Mick Maverick and Vladimir Putin – one an iron-fisted leader of men prone to posing shirtless, the other some crazy Russian dude.

Gig news: the Le Beat Bespoke retro weekender is back with surf legends The Trashmen, The Jim Jones Revue, The Pretty Things, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, The Sorrows, The Poets, and Northern Soul sensation Maxine Brown who will be singing with Catalan sensations The Pepperpots... Thu/Fri/Sat/Sun 5/6/7/8 April. @ 229 The Venue, 229 Great Portland Street, London W1W 5PN. For more info and tickets, check this out.

RIP Louisiana Red, the bluesman died in hospital in Germany on Feb 25 aged 79. Born Iverson Minter, possibly in Bessemer, Alabama (he told more porkies than Jeffrey Archer), Red’s mum died shortly after his birth and his dad was killed by the Ku Klux Klan when he was five. In his teens he hung around with John Lee Hooker in Detroit, and recorded as Rocky Fuller. By 1962, he was working in New York, where he recorded ‘Red's Dream’, imagining himself in the White House, giving advice to President JFK (although failing to advise him to keep out of Dallas). Red had his first success two years later with album The Lowdown Back-porch Blues (1963) and the single ‘I'm Too Poor to Die’. European tours followed, cementing his iconic status. His final album was last year’s Memphis Mojo.

Thought for the week: “There is but one path. We must kill them all." –Spartacus


March 13. HallOilujah! The Mutt’s Nuts has arrived at Gonads HQ. If you ordered a copy it will be dispatched from beautiful downtown Charlton Village this morning. And by the way, the vinyl version looks and sounds the dog’s bollocks.

Here’s Gal and Paul J. Hallam on DJ duty in Bologna – Charlton and Millwall united in the unholy pursuit of 2-Tone, Trojan and Ska (pictures by Marina). To buy a nifty, heavy cotton 2-Tone polo shirt (as modelled by GB), email





March 12. A message to you, Rudy: we apologise to everyone who has ordered the new album, the Mutts Nuts from the shop page. We have been unable to send them out because we still haven’t received the stock from Germany – even though the packages were apparently posted from the Black Forest more than ten days ago. We’re unsure what carrier they used. Possibly Contra Deliveries in association with Delaney’s Donkeys dotcom. All we know is that a blind hunchback with a hold-all could have got them here quicker than this and we are as frustrated as you are. As soon as the albums arrive we will make an announcement here. PS. And now – only because you’ve asked – a few words on our next recordings. There will be a Greater Hits Volume Three but not for at least eighteen months. It is far too early to say what tracks will be included, although it’s a safe bet to assume that They Died Heroes (about Afghanistan), Harry May’s Revenge, and Shitty Town will all be featured. No decision has yet been made regarding a Mutt’s Nuts extra ep for later this year. Aside from the split single with the Uprisers, the only new recording project in 2012 will be Gal’s solo ep, which is a taster for the solo album. Cheers for now, The Gonads.

March 11. Chaos in Bologna! Here’s Gal on stage with Nabat in Northern Italy last night. He performed the 4-Skins classic with the excellent Italian Oi band towards the end of their set, as what we thought was going to be a simple signing-and-DJ slot morphed into a major street-punk event. Before autographing copies of Dance Craze, Gal was interviewed at length by guitarist Ricardo in the band’s pilchard-packed club house. Paul ‘Toes’ Hallam (Millwall’s own Stalin of Style) tells us: “It was a long Q&A session that covered everything from punk ethics to last year’s riots. Every question and answer had to be translated. It was more like Newsnight than a normal book event, but all the more interesting for that.” After the signing, Nabat played – they nearly blew the roof off with their anthem ‘Laida Bologna’ (which translates as ‘Ugly Bologna’) – and then Gal and Sir Hallam blasted out a two hour set of Trojan reggae, 2-Tone and Ska. Now there is talk of the Gonads playing the city in November which would be top-hole. Our boys would like to thank Nabat and Mod legend Piero Casanova for organising the good-natured event. The trip was without upset until the morning when the pair had to climb over a six foot iron fence to get out of their b&b, attracting the unwelcome attentions of the poliziotto. “There might have bin another way out,” sniffs Fit-Bird, “but they’d downed 15 pints the night before, hit the Bob Hope and only had two hours kip... bless.”



*Youth cult footnote: there’s a long-standing anti-racist tradition amongst skins in Bologna which Nabat have always been at the forefront of. Formed in 1979 by singer Steno, Nabat staged national rallies in Monza and Bologna in the early 80s aimed at uniting skins and punks along class lines.

Thought for the week: “An insincere and evil friend is more to be feared than a wild beast; a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.” Buddha. (Yeah, you know who we mean.)

Blank Generation

March 9. Weekly Round-up # 3 Here’s Gal and Mr Pete Haynes with Gary Loveridge at his Blank Generation punk rock poster exhibition in Lambeth on Wednesday night. It was the last event in the run, and the walls of the 198 Gallery in Railton Road were blitzed with heady reminders of the anarchic glory days of the new wave. There were original posters for shows by, and album releases from, the Clash, the Pistols, Sham, the Skids and many more – back when punk had a real sense of danger and purpose, when it was more than a side-show. Former Gonads drummer Pete, aka Manic Esso, read from his book, God’s Lonely Men about his first band, the brilliant but under-rated Lurkers. A slim-line Gal (dubbed “Snake Hips” by Esso) read from his new 2-Tone book Dance Craze (Rude Boys On The Road). Gallery 198 is generally exhibits contemporary art by young artists, with IT and workshop educational facilities. The biggest visitors to Blank Generation have been local school-kids. Said Paul Hallam: “It was great to see a punk art exhibition somewhere grounded, rather than some stuffy West End gallery that knows nothing about it.”

Message for our Italian readers: if you’re coming to Gal’s Dance Craze event in Bologna tomorrow night, the signing session starts at 10pm, Nabat play live at half past midnight and Gal and Paul’s DJ set kicks off at quarter past one... Mama mia! Whatta mistake-a to make-a.

Check back here in a week’s time to see the biggest, living round-dodgers in youth culture history named and shamed (the biggest dead one being Malcolm McLaren). They are the faces of evil, my friends, and if we can get a certain super-injunction over-turned they will be exposed next Friday. Implications may be serious.

A worrying potential problem has arisen regarding our French gig on April 21st, where the promoters appear to have changed the deal. A shocked Beast tells us that their original offer of “unlimited beer” on the rider has been sneakily changed to “six bottles per person”. This, says the ashen-faced Beast, represents “a huge down-grading” and “a malicious act of bad faith not seen since Wok-Gate” (when the increasingly slippery PM reneged on his promised slap-up Chinese meal). He tells us that he hopes to reach a compromise involving Mademoiselle from Armentieres.

Actual Gonads news: we are holding back ‘We Are The Boys’ for a future studio album, instead our tracks on the Nads/Uprisers split ep will be ‘Glorious’ and “almost certainly ‘Beer Can’.

Further to our Black Forest report, we can reveal that although Argy-Bargy drummer Ray Dust did run through four foot of snow at the Randale Holiday Home, he kept his pants on. So technically it was not streaking. The most shocking thing we saw there? German men drinking lager with a coca-cola top – “an abomination.” Funniest thing? Strict vegetarian South Coast Steve being tricked into eating a spinach, pasta and PORK dish cooked in with the bratwurst. Most idiotic quote, SCS: “Are we still in the Black Forest?” as we drove along a road dwarfed by massive fir trees in all directions. No, you plum, it’s Oxleas Wood. PS A review of ‘Charlton Boys’ by Flo Puschke appears on German webzine Pressure Magazine.

Record news: out now Louise Distras’s powerful debut single 'The Hand You Hold' (engineered by Pat Collier and produced by Steve Whale). Louise is the new face of acoustic punk in the UK; her debut album is expected to be released later this year. Also out now, from Every Time I Die, the ‘Ex Lives’ lp (on Epitaph) featuring ‘Underwater Bimbos From Outer Space’, ‘The Low Road Has No Exits’ and much more. “Splendidly savage” – Fat Col. The vinyl version comes with the CD version free.

Random guff: The Aquabats launched their own TV show in the States last weekend. The Aquabats Super Show on cable channel The Hub is described as “a mix of live-action and animation, based around a band of superhero musicians on a never-ending quest to fight evil, destroy boredom, and seek justice for all.”...New Model Army need a new bassist. They are inviting applications from anyone who thinks they can make the grade. All serious applications should be made to with the subject 'Bass Player application'. It should include a detailed résumé of all musical experience to date, a photograph, a link to online video clip of a live performance and a written statement to support the application.

March 6. Never mind the pollocks! Here’s the Gonads... our Schramberg fish farm gig was a laugh-riot of drinking, streaking, room raiding, general punk rock chaos and the near murder of an excitable drummer. And it started so peacefully too... We arrived at Basel-Fawlty Mulhaus Freiberg airport at silly o’clock on Saturday morning where the delightful Diana Schuler greeted us in our luxury tour bus filled with crates of strong German ale. Di personally chauffeured us to the label’s “holiday home” in the heart of the Black Forest, revealing the first major surprise of the jaunt – a laugh like a seal being slaughtered. Lovely woman, but her chuckle could stampede cattle within a five mile radius. It would chill the blood of a platoon of Daleks...

The route took us through a veritable scenic heaven of rolling hills and valleys, past mist covered lakes, apparently endless clusters of black fir trees, and the quaint villages of Baden-Württemberg. It would have been idyllic, had it not been for the manic non-stop yapping, yelping, roaring and babbling of a certain South Coast Stephen Higgins. And it got worse the next morning, when the calm and rational drummer started bursting into bedrooms for a 4am chat. We love Steve and support him always, as a noose supports a hanging man, but it would be fair to say he would try the patience of a saint, let alone the meanest, hardest, loudest, shit-kicking, god-damn oi-punk band in the world. Even Jase was discussing ways of murdering him and disposing of the body, while easy-going Gal snapped, got him in a headlock and perhaps playfully threatened to “open you up like a can of tuna” with a dinner knife. Things got so fraught that the rest of the band could be heard chanting “RD-RD, RD-RD!” and “Will ye no come back again?”, which just goes to show what tricks the memory can play on you.

In fairness, though, it wasn’t entirely Steve’s fault. It’s his condition - in his previous existence he’d been a Jack Russell terrier left barking in the back of a very hot car until his brain boiled.

Black Forest 2012
The calm and rational South Coast Steve

The cherry on the Black Forest gateaux was the Die Forellenstube venue at the fish farm itself, a former brothel whose backrooms are stocked with the finest street-punk merch and memorabilia, everything from Fred Perry shirts to classic vinyl releases, plus room after room full of CDs, DMs, badges, and street fashion apparel. The bar is down to earth and friendly, run by people who love the scene, and we played probably the most enjoyable gig since the 100 Club last year with the largely young audience lapping up the 80-minute set except for ‘British Steel’ – in retrospect, perhaps a mistake. But not as big an error as sampling the local peppermint schnapps, which tasted like alcoholic mouthwash. Full marks to Lars for his sterling work as the stand-in Franken-Skin and to our fellow band Schusterjungs, a bunch of enthusiastic piss-heads from East Germany, who were great company and played a powerful anthemic set. Thanks also to Allyson Maverick for stepping in as flag-girl and for sternly making sure none of the band played hide the bratwurst with any passing Brunhilde. High on life itself, back at the holiday home at 1am Mick Maverick decide to strip off and streak through the forest wearing just his boots. And it was cold too. “You crazy English always does this,” said one of our new German friends. “The drummer from Argy Bargy did this also.” The set, for those who care about these things, was Punk Rock Till I Die, Alconaut, Grant Mitchell, Oi Mate, The Growler, Gob, Oily Rag, Lotto, Rob A Bank, Charlton Boys (by audience request), Jobs Not Jails, Beki Bondage Please, Franken-Skin, British Steel, I Lost My Love To A UK Sub, and Tucker’s Ruckers. Encores were many and we lost track of what we played but Hey You, Valhallaballoo, Yeti and Punk Rock Till I Die were in there somewhere. (Sadly our latest song ‘South Coast Steve: Shut Your Fucking Mouth’ was not). A big Gonads hug to all our new German pals, including Oli for cooking us breakfast, the lovely Bigge, Mick, and Alex for driving us back to Basel-Fawlty Aeroflot. There are no strangers in our global Oi scene, just friends you have yet to meet. And drummers you have yet to kill.

PS. South Coast was banished to the front seat with him on the way back. Steve doesn’t speak a word of German, and Alex couldn’t speak a word of English; but this didn’t prevent them babbling away to each other for most of the two hour trip... we left with big smiles on our faces, and Diana’s laugh ringing in our ears. Cheers all, until the next time!

Coast To Coast with South Coast Steve, Trans-European tapes, part ein: ‘Behind us stretches the Black Forest, with its lakes, hills, thick woodland and miles of hiking trails. In the distance are vineyards and the Rhine River. Below are tiled roofs, ancient lanes and the spire of the Gothic cathedral. Freiburg is an intriguing place. France and Switzerland are just a few miles away, so foreign influences are taken for granted. The city was badly damaged in the Second World War, but in the pedestrianised heart of town you cannot distinguish original features from reconstructed ones. Away from the, cobbled streets and steeply roofed houses, we strolled through the woodland on the outskirts of a city. Here I came upon a freshly dug grave with a small make-shift tombstone. The words on it were ‘R.I.P.’ Stephen Higgins, 1963-2012: a nightmare from which the world is trying to awake’. I felt a guitar smash against the back of my head. A black hole opened up in front of me and I dived in...’

Small joys of the trip: the lads “learning the lessons of Torgau” and drinking Heineken instead of Stella for breakfast... and Gatwick airport security checking Mick Maverick’s bass for Semtex traces – tsk, the only explosive thing about Mick’s bass is his playing! But another new song did come out of the Schramberg trip, Ticket To Ride. The chorus goes: ‘Maverick is tough and mean (wo-oh, wo-oh), shines his head with Mr Sheen (wo-oh, wo-oh), Maverick is tough and mean, left train fare in the cash machine (wo-oh, wo-oh-oh, wo-oh).

March 5. Guten tag! Sind hier die Abbildungen von Schramberg. Oi! Oi! More words will come in a day or two after Beast Legal Services plc have vetted them to remove unwise death threats directed at our misunderstood drummer and potential libels.

Black Forest 2012
South Coast Steve and Gal with Oi! The Diana from Randale Records. Dig our classy tour limo

Black Forest 2012
Mighty Mick Maverick takes drastic action to avoid “fuckwitted” tour nuisance South Coast

Black Forest 2012
Nacho and Mav chill before the show

Black Forest 2012
The gang’s all here - part of the Fish Farm crowd, shot through a haze of fag smoke

Black Forest 2012
Gonads: Unplugged & Undrugged – live in the Black Forest

Black Forest 2012
These beer bottles were empty when we found em, honest guv

Black Forest 2012
Frankenstein finally meets his match

Black Forest 2012
Schusterjungs’ ale monster bass player Schwabbel the morning after the gig before –
he was soon revived with a healthy beer breakfast

Black Forest 2012
Us, Schusterjungs and team Randale

Black Forest 2012
The Fish Farm crowd – wot? No Wattsie?

Black Forest 2012
Come with us and we’ll have it fuckin’ made

Black Forest 2012
South Coast takes the full force of Diana’s laugh; Gal looks on in abject horror

Black Forest 2012
Lars as FrankenSkin – his time has come

Thought for this week (and every week): “South Coast Steve, shut yer fuckin’ marf! South Coast Steve, shut yer fuckin’ marf! South Coast Steve, shut yer fuckin’ marf... shut yer fuckin’ marf, you cuuuuuuunnnnnttttttt!” Full report on our glorious Black Forest gig, plus pictures, to follow in due course.

Thought for the day: Ready your breakfast and eat hearty, for tonight we dine in Hell! – Leonidas, The 300. Okay, not so much Hell as Chislehurst, Kent. But it’s album launch party time in der Forellenstube on Saturday, folks. ACHTUNG BITTE TICKET ORDERN!!! Or don’t. It’s your call, old bean. Report to follow, no doubt...

March 2. Weekly Round-up #3: The great Round-Dodgers exposé has electrified the street-punk world. This week’s appalling dodge-pot is Riders Of The Night legend, Arsenal Binsy pictured here in the rare act of buying himself a drink. (Some of those coins have got George V’s head on them – Ed). Publication of the List has caused controversies however, with militant booze-hounds now calling for all those named and shamed to be pictured so as decent drinking class folk know whom to avoid. Some extremists are even demanding an “Eric Joyce solution” with known tightwads forcibly evicted from any bars where they dare show their faces. “The whole thing could have serious ramifications,” says an ashen-faced Effete El. “Being a proven round-dodger is grounds for automatic suspension and possible expulsion from the Jolly Pranksters.” Asked whether this ruling applies to senior piss-taking members who dodge buying “slap-up” Chinese meals, the loyal El merely grunted and said he’d get back to us.


Meanwhile last week’s rumours about Gal and Mick being exposed by the gutter press for liaising with show-girls in a cocaine, booze and slight masochistic scenario have been empathetically denied by Gal’s PA Fit Bird who says, “It’s all cobblers, darlin’. I was there and there nothing slight about the masochism, know what I mean?” Mercifully no. However there is fresh scandal brewing as this blackmail quality picture of Maverick and South Coast Steve auditioning to join the GayNads has come to light. Well it’s either that or they’ve started up a Right Said Fred tribute act. Either way it explains the steep rise in the amount of KY Jelly on the band’s accounts this year...


This is exciting, and what’s more it’s serious. There’s a brand new Ska comp coming out later this year, and the record label, Countdown, wants original songs from current Ska bands, “preferably ones with a sense of fun”. If that’s you contact for more info.

Good news from Algy Ward's camp – an album of new Tank material will be available for pre-order very soon... “track selection is happening NOW,” we’re told by our man on the inside who adds: “Algy is writing & playing better than ever, with two albums worth of material already recorded or demoed. Watch this space for details. Hammer on!

Intriguing! One of our old piss-head pals from Charlton reckons his brother has found a demo tapes of songs from the original 1977 Gonads incarnation, recorded on a battered old cassette recorder in Gal’s Dad’s garage in Kidbrooke. These apparently include ‘Red Army’ and ‘Antigallican Last Bell’ – the song that became ‘Anarchy Kebab.’ We’ll fill in more details when Gal is back in the UK for longer than a day at a time, but if this is true it’ll be the first time these tracks have been heard by anyone for 35 years. (Pedants note: ‘Antigallican Last Bell’ concerned the Antigallican pub in Woolwich Road, near the Valley, which was frequented by away supporters. It was re-titled ‘Anarchy Kebab’ by Gal when he and Clyde were demoing songs for ‘Back & Barking’. Other left-over B&B songs that have yet to see the light of day include ‘Mystic Meg’ and ‘Give Her A Dog For Christmas’).

Gal up-date: he’ll be in Bologna, Italy, on March 10th with veteran Italian Oi band Nabat and his “wing-man” Paul Hallam. (See flyer). Readings from Dance Craze will follow...


Gig news: Patrik Fitzgerald is supporting the English Dogs +at BH2 on March 10th... Maninblack will be back at the infamous Double Down Saloon in the East Village of Manhattan (14 Ave. A, 10009, near Houston) on Sunday, March 11th. 2012. The band will be hitting the stage early, around 6 PM, and is the only act performing that evening but will be preceded by DJ Agent Jay (of Slackers fame) and followed by DJs James Callahan & Trainwreck. This is day two of a special event weekend for the club's 6th anniversary so there's bound to be a few surprises in store. We recommend a few Bloody Bacon Martinis (the bar's hopped-up award-winning version of a Bloody Mary). If you see our NYC PR girl Sally Hand there please say hello and buy her a drink – and in return she’ll treat you to her trenchant views on male inadequacies... The rather wonderful Caroloregians are over from Belgium to promote their new album 'Fat Is Back'. Here’s a taste of their funked-up reggae grooves. Tour started last night in Oxford, tonight they play Newcastle Cluny, tomorrow High Wycombe Nags Head Blues Loft, 5th Cardiff Globe, 6th London The Workshop, Old Street (album release party),7th Harlow The Square, 8th Blaneau Fsteninog Cellb, 9th Leeds Wardrobe, 10th Manchester Band On The Wall

Record news, out last week: ‘Bastards Of The Universe: The 20 Year Anthology’ by Six & Violence: a 2xCD package of 59 tracks spanning the NY hardcore band's career from 1985 to 2005 (Dignified Bastard.)... also the Dead Swans ‘Anxiety & Everything Else’ colour 12" on Bridge Nine Records, described as "dangerous, venomous and downright shit-scary.”

We hear that The Who have fallen out over plans to film Quadrophenia 2 with not one but two possible sequels being mooted - and a war of words has erupted between guitarist Pete Townshend and the band’s management. They’ve already clashed about a novel, To Be Someone, written by Who fan Pete Meadows as a continuation of story based around the movie’s main character Jimmy Cooper (played in the film by Phil Daniels). Townshend gave it the go-ahead, against management wishes. It was finally published in December with ‘inspired by Quadrophenia’ emblazoned across the top. Now Meadows plans to turn his novel into a film, directed by Ray Burdis. He says Towno has given him the go-ahead but that manager Bill Curbishley (respect due) is the stumbling block, as Curbs wants to do his own version of Quad 2 directed by Richard Jobson of the Skids. A source close to the band says: “Curbs doesn’t actually have a script for his film, just a vague concept about Jimmy becoming a yuppie in the 80s after backpacking round Europe.” (Well any plan of Bill’s sounds good to us – Cowardly Ed).