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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
May 31. The Ministry of Delusion is coming. Click on the symbol
(above right) for a tantalising taster...
May 30. The big punk rock Help For Heroes fund-raising weekend
in Essex was a great success, despite a last minute intervention
by Harlow Council who tried to close down the gig. Apparently
locals of an intolerant religious persuasion objected to the official
H4H banners and the England flag being displayed, and bands were
forced to perform in doors rather than out. You’d think that if
you found the flag of the country you lived in “offensive” and
if you objected to age-old but essential English customs like
freedom of speech, you’d consider moving, but hey ho. Typical
of the out-of-touch council to side with anything anti-English.
We’re not sold on the logic of the Afghan war or the escalating
action in Libya, but as a band the Nads stand full square behind
our troops today, tomorrow and always. Well done to Stief of the
Noxious Toyz for making the weekend a success.
update. Stief tells us that the council rang The Swift pub on
the day before the gig and warned landlady Carol that if she went
ahead with the out-door event they would close her down and revoke
her licence. The official said that the council had been warned
by wankers unknown (not his actual phrasing – Ed) that “200 skinheads
were coming to Harlow to riot in the town.” Heroes of the hour
Carol and landlord Bill immediately removed all benches, tables
and chairs from the bar so that the bands and punters would all
fit in. Stief says: “Our lighting man built an amazing mini-rig
with a smaller but more than adequate PA, a terrific lighting
rig and a great stage area... all the bands were determined to
stick by us and were more than happy to come along and help us
carry on... Carol & Bill stuck their necks on the line to let
us go on with this. We got through the whole weekend with no trouble
whatsoever, and all the skins, punks and psychobillies and their
FAMILIES had a great weekend. I wasn't gonna give up, I believe
in what I do too much and am totally committed. Massive respect
to all nineteen bands that stuck with us and gave total commitment
and support to the whole weekend for HFH and didn't care for a
minute where they played, just as long as they could play and
support us and our brave fighting men and women.”
Rancid will record a new studio album (their eighth) in September,
and are lining up a world tour for 2012; we also hear that Lars
is considering a new non-Rancid street-punk project as well as
his Old Firm Casuals Oi combo, but we’re sworn to secrecy about
that for now... In other record noos, top drawer Psychobilly nutters
the Nekromantix are releasing a new album in August on Hellcat,
called ‘What Happens In Hell, Stays In Hell’; and coming soon,
a split album from Armed Suspects & Broken Heroes called ‘For
The Punks & Skins’ on Oi The Boat records.
May 29. Fat Col Gannon continues to plug the Pathetique Punk
cause. Col (activist, adventurer, beer drinker, passive smoker,
aggressive carnivore, Worst Dressed Man at the Valley 1977-2011
etc etc) tells us he is assembling a new PP compilation album
to “spearhead the Pathetique Renewal”. He is appealing for “high
calibre bands of quality silliness” to contribute tracks, an artist
“to design the album sleeve and that”, a record label to release
it, and “someone to write the sleevenotes, maybe Gal and Max Splodge
if they ain’t too busy.” Col’s own contribution? Mostly bullshitting.
The Sham row continues to rage, and in the interests of fairness,
here’s another response from Tim V Man (abridged due to limited
webspace): ‘There’s a lot more to all this than you know,’ he
emails. ‘I more than many went through shit loads taking over
from Jimmy Pursey and we achieved a lot in the last five years.
The situation in general was we did all that through hard work
and as such we all committed ourselves to this band, gave up day
jobs etc... Me personally I was the band bottle-washer, cook and
cleaner... taking the band to places they've never been as well
as getting them deals etc etc. Yes I’m sad that things have turned
out this way, but when you have a guy who through a change of
personal fortune becomes a very wealthy man and decides he no
longer wants to commit to a band, a band that works for a living
what do you do? When you’re trying to do things day by day, and
sitting in the van and all you get is misery and complaint you
wonder why... I have sat down for many hours over the years trying
to help Dave deal with stuff, I defended him against criticism,
I stood toe to toe with a guy in defense of him as this guy wanted
to spill some claret...I feel sorry more for Ian who’s been a
friend and member of Sham for 26 years; he’s hurt by what Dave
has done. So what do you do, walk away from something you’ve virtually
rebuilt single-handed and TRY to get a job, or do you give this
man who’s now financially comfortable his 20th ultimatum? We have
chosen to go forward and have the right legally to do so, we’ve
had to, but NOW! So again I’m sad and I hope Dave does do something
with his talent, but it won’t be as SHAM 69.’ Seconds away, round
May 28. There’s gonna be a Borstal Bust-up (Part 2): Sham 69
vocalist Tim the anarchist has hit back against Dave Parsons in
the great Sham Split Saga. Seems the problems all stem from a
festival the band were asked to headline this coming July, which
clashed with Dave’s family holiday (booked last October). The
band invited Dave to postpone his vacation to play the fest. When
Dave declined, they decided to play it with another guitarist.
Dave takes the view that as he is the only original member it’s
not Sham without him. Tim argues that a) Ian Whitewood has drummed
for the band for twenty-six years b) Dave Parsons has too many
holidays and c) “Dave does not, by law, have the right to disband
Sham 69” (questionable, says actual lawyer the Beast). Tim adds:
“We shall never continue as a tribute band as we collectively,
by democratic process, majority rule and signed documents own
the rights to use the name... Sham 69 shall now continue with
a new guitarist and if you don't like it then go somewhere else
because we will not compromise. This band has always been greater
than the sum of its parts and no one is indispensable. To those
critics who have taken pot shots at us without knowing the truth,
they will again label us as a tribute act, as they did when Dave
Parsons was IN the band, so what’s new?” Tim concludes: “Sham
69 over the last five years has become more of an ideology and
belongs to the people and the fans, and not to any one of its
members whose only concern is a life of ease, comfort and a bottle
of brandy and a lifestyle contrary its ideology.” He then signs
the statement ‘Ian Whitewood, drums Sham 69 (26 years)’. A friend
of Dave Parsons replied: “What a load of demented bollocks. A
holiday in Cornwall is hardly selling out. What’s wrong with drinking
brandy? And what is this so-called punk ideology? Johnny Rotten’s
ideology was I’m a lazy sod! Where can we get a copy of Tim’s
punk rock rule book? They can rant and rave all they fucking like
but without Dave and Jimmy it can never be Sham 69, just as it
ain’t the Rejects without Jeff and Mick, it ain’t the Gonads without
Gal and it ain’t the Stones without Mick and Keef. End of story.”
Part 3 is no doubt soon come. We await sight of the ‘signed documents’
*Meanwhile, here’s a taste of Dave Parsons’s solo material, his
new song ‘Framed’ on YouTube.
The eagle-eyed amongst you will spot Mick Geggus (with barnet!)
and Vince Riordan in the early Sham footage.
Several calls and texts were received at Nads HQ from Essex yesterday,
not least from the PM who informed us that word on the streets
was that the Gonads were playing a secret set last night at The
Bitter End, Romford, with the Last Resort and the LDs. Sorry to
disappoint you all, mates, but that was never on the cards. Our
actual secret gig is next weekend in South East London and only
close friends of the bands know when and where. We haven’t even
told Fat Col.
Those crazy cats at Walt Jabsco Recordings are offering a free
sampler CD with every t-shirt ordered from their store.
Not to be out-done, we’re offering a free packet of porky scratchings
with every t-shirt ordered from ours.
May 27. Gal recorded his new Total Rock podcast today with Sham
69’s Dave Parsons, the effervescent Jennie Bellestar and Jimmy
Edwards from Whacko!, sorry from Masterswitch. Dave revealed that
he fell out with the rest of the last Sham line-up after discovering
that the cheeky chaps were auditioning for another guitarist behind
his back. While they continue as a Sham tribute band, Dave is
planning to resurrect the real Sham with Kermit and Rick Goldstein
with Jimmy Edwards singing. (Jimmy Pursey was of course released
back into the wild by his carers some time ago). Gal’s pod, up
in a day or two, will include quality ditties from Random Hand,
Intensified, Rival Sons, the 335, The One Stop Experience, the
Riders of the Night, Antonella’s Klasse Kriminale, the Hickoids,
the V8 Wankers and many more. After the chaotic recording, the
party adjourned to the 12 Bar, where they were joined by Spear
of Destiny’s Kirk Brandon (slowly recovering from two years of
serious heart problems), Vince from Vince Ray & The Boneshakers
and of course Barnet Mark.
Record noos: Nekromantix new album What Happens In Hell, Stays
In Hell is out in August on Hellcat...Me First & the Gimme Gimmes
have recorded an EP of Japanese-language covers. It’s out this
summer on Fat Wreck Chords.
The film of Mark Baxter and Paulo Hewitt’s Cockney caper novel
The Mumper is due out in Autumn, starring the great Bob Hoskins,
Phil Davis, Jenny Agutter, and good friend of ours Terry Stone.
Talking Mods, a text arrives from Tony Feedback telling us he’s
in Monaco “shopping for slippers for Sharron Slutt”. We worry
about the boy...
May 24. Here it is, the confirmed final line-up for 2000 Tons
Of TNT with, as we suspected, Sham 69 and The Business in place
for Day Two. Sham’s Dave Parsons should be guesting on Gal’s next
pod-cast, about which more in time. Meanwhile, the Punk Rock Bowling
weekend is looming like a hangover on wheels so we have dispatched
our crack team of reporters to cover the madness. Bev Elliott
and Jimmy are already in Vegas while Arnie’s love-child Chelsea
Dom will defy the Icelandic ash clouds and fly out in the next
24 hours so expect an in-depth report sometime in the middle of
July. The difference between Cheryl Cole and the Icelandic volcano?
The volcano is still blowing ash (c) Fat Col Bad Jokes Unlimited.
May 22. It’s official. New Gonads anthem ‘Indestructible Wolves’
will be dedicated to Wolverhampton Wanderers who survived relegation
today. Well done, lads. We’ll see you at Molineux when the Valiants
are back in the Premiership in 2013. ‘Indestructible Wolves’ will
be recorded in early June, and all we want in return for it is
Billy Wright’s daughter’s phone number.
It looks like The Business and Sham 69 will be headlining day
two of the TNT show in Connecticut this September – Fat Col reckons
it’s “the best line-up since Carry On Girls.”
May 21. Workaholic King Hammond (the sovereign of Ska, the prince
of Princetown, the regent of rude etc etc) has finished his brand
new album, ‘Showbiz’ - his third in a hyper-productive twelve
month period. It features such modern gems as ‘Where Have All
The Rude Boys Gone’ and ‘Rockin’ On Ridley Road’ and will be out
soon on Nick Welsh’s own N1 label. This guy never stops. He must
be sweating more than Ryan Giggs watching his missus set up a
Twitter account. We’re not sure whether to blame monkey glands
or amphetamines but if everyone worked like the King the British
economy would out-strip China by Christmas. Stay rude, man. Stay
Fat Col calls ranting on about the need for a Punk Pathetique
Revival. “Everyone is bored shitless with bands singing about
fighting, football and ‘standing together’,” the Plato of Plumstead
tells us. “It’s time to get back to what really matters, pilchards,
bums, and porky scratchings.” Here, here. Col goes on to paint
a vivid picture of a summer seaside all-dayer featuring Max Splodge,
the Gonads, Peter & The Test-Tube Babies, The Postmen, The Toydolls,
Bad Manners and “if possible” The Macc Lads, with Wavis O’Shave
as DJ. This supersonic celebration of silliness will also, he
says, have a cabaret tent MC’d by FrankenSkin with a line-up of
Stavros Flatley, busty Ska balloon dancers, filthy comedians,
filthier pole-dancers, Chas n Dave impersonators, extreme jugglers
and assorted clowns; plus a recreation area including funfair
rides and side-show stalls, and a Speakers’ Corner for those who
insist on Having A Say as well as a laugh. We’re completely sold
and ready to sign up on the spot. “Col,” we say. “It’s genius,
when are you going to organise it?” Here is the fat fool’s reply,
verbatim: “Organise it? Don’t talk daft. I’m just calling for
it, I ain’t gonna organise it. Who am I? Richard fuckin’ Branson?”
Oh well, back to fighting and football then.
The thing you have to remember about Fat Col, the Beast tells
us, is they only call him “Plato” because of the size of his feet.
New Gaslight Anthem video for ‘Bring It On’ posted here.
They’re in London next month.
It’s the Rapture tonight. The world is due to end at 6pm. So
see you back here in a day or two...
May 20. Rocking For BLESMA: here is the finalised line-up for
the big benefit night for the British Limbless Ex-Servicemen Association.
It’s at the Garage on August 13th and features The Heavy Metal
Kids (legendary hard rock glam stars) PLUS Agincourt (classic
UK rock with the punch of Iron Maiden and a bucket-load of melody)
and of course The Gonads (South London’s premiere party punk band).
All profits to http://www.blesma.org/
Tickets from the Garage.
Random gigs: The Business play Paci Paciana in Bergamo, Italy
tomorrow. The Angelic Upstarts play the Alexandra Hotel, Jarrow,
on Wednesday (25th). We’re live in Welling tonight, playing crib...
May 18. Clarification: the Gonads appearing at 2000 Tons Of
TNT will be the US Gonads – featuring Gal and four of “the sickest,
oi-loving punk rock animals” that the East Coast has ever produced.
Auditions for flag-girl will begin in Connecticut on 2nd September,
bring your own stirrups.
A message to you, Rudy: The Specials are playing an extra London
date on the UK leg of their tour - at the O2 Academy Brixton on
October 31.The 2-Tone titans kick off in Amsterdam on 15th September
and finish up at Ally Pally on November 3rd. Tickets for all dates
go on sale at 9am on Friday.
She-male sauce-pot Sharron Slutt will be playing in Wild Mutation
– a new band put together for a Mick Ronson cancer benefit gig
– along with Spizz, Shanne Bradley (not Shane) from the Nips,
and Marc Pearson of the Glitter Band with guest spots from Jenny
Drag of the Priscillas and Roland Gift from the Fine Young Cannibals.
Dates are 3rd June, The Castle in Finchley Rd and June 4th The
Springhead in Hull. Talk of Shazza brings us to Fat Col’s joke
of the week (which we suspect is a true story): Fella spots a
good-looking sort on a Bromley Golf Course and asks her if she’d
like to play a round with him. She wins by four strokes. Sensing
the geezer’s embarrassment she offers to take him to the car park
and give him head to cheer him up. Every day that week, the same
thing happens: they play, he loses, she blows him. On Friday he
invites her back to his house for a meal. They tuck in to a take-away,
drink some LIDL plonk, and then, wallop, he makes a move on her
like an IMF President. The bird backs off immediately, saying
“Hold up sunshine, I have a confession to make. I’m not really
a beautiful woman, I am a transvestite, a bloke.” Well the geezer
goes Garrity. “You dirty cheating bastard,” he says. “You’ve been
playing off the women’s tee all fucking week.”
Here’s Boston punk-ska band the Have Nots covering Darkbuster’s
anthem ‘Skinhead’ live - here.
Finally never mind music, Seth ‘Family Guy’ MacFarlane is bringing
back The Flintstones! MacFarlane will oversee a new version of
the cartoon classic for Fox TV in the States. He said: “I think
America is finally ready for an animated sitcom about a fat, stupid
guy with a wife who's too good for him...” D’oh! (Which also means
the Septics may be ready for Fat Col...)
May 17. We’re lining up a secret gig in South London for an
invited audience; it may well be recorded...and it will also feature
the new extended version of ‘Oily Rag’...
Early bird tickets are now on sale for next year’s London
International Ska Fest. The fest will take place between May
3rd and 6th 2012 across three venues - Brixton Academy, The Shepherds
Bush Empire and The Islington Academy (one wristband gets you
into all of them). Line up details will start to follow shortly.
Brooklyn’s favourite sons the Slackers hit the UK Friday week
for their 20th anniversary tour. Dates: May 27 - London 02 Islington;
28th – Leicester, The Donkey; 29th - Belfast Empire; 30th Newcastle
Trillians; 31st - Manchester Moho Live; June 1 - Derby Old Bell.
The Funny Old Bastards blue collar comedy show has been cancelled
due to unforeseen last minute TV commitments; full ticket refunds
are available, the show will be rescheduled in due course.
May 16. A magnificent day in the studios yesterday, as ‘Buster’s
Ska Battalion’ project took tasty shape. The three track ‘Ska
For Heroes’ ep will be released in August and all proceeds will
be split between charities working for ex-servicemen - the Chelsea
Pensioners, the Erksine Hospital and Help For Heroes. The A side
is a World War I medley, arranged by Rob Sigston from The Coverup,
with vocals from Jack Kendall and Liberty Hayes. The b-side will
feature the Gonads vs The Coverup: Jack and Libs singing the unreleased
Gonads song ‘Cheeky Chappy’ (written by Gal and Tony Feedback),
which is said to be “like vintage Madness with a twist of bitterness”,
and Jack and Jennie Bellestar performing a new version of our
‘Long Ska Summer.’ The physical e.p. will come with a bonus track:
Resistance 77’s ‘Far Away’ with Libs on vocals. The three Ska
songs, engineered by Pat Collier and produced by Gal and Steve
Whale, are said to be “98% complete”. Musicians involved include
sax-player Joe Green (nephew of the great blues rock genius Peter
Green), drummer Dustin Lee Burgess (ex-Argy Bargy) and Jack Kendall
(ex Bad Lads’ Army!). The songs in the medley range from ‘Keep
The Home Fires Burning’ to ‘Rule Britannia’ via ‘Men Of Harlech.’
More details will be released in July.
Big Country will play six major UK/Irish festivals this year
- Isle of Wight, T in the Park, Oxygen in Dublin, V festival (Chelmsford
& Stafford) & Inverness with Simple Minds. And legendary producer
Steve Lillywhite, who produced Big Country's finest work from
the 80s, will be back over-seeing the band’s first single in more
than twelve years. Big Country tell us they’ll be announcing a
series of smaller dates soon, to "break in" new songs for a future
release, and according to Mike Peters have already started planning
for a new album and a 30th anniversary tour in 2012.
May 14. Tomorrow the Ska All-Stars will record the bulk of the
Erskine hospital charity ep, about which more will follow in due
course. We know for sure that it will feature The Gonads v The
Coverup, Jennie Bellestar, Liberty Hayes and eventually, fingers
crossed, the elusive but ineffable Buster Bloodvessel. And it
will be a stormer! Expect an August release. Meanwhile the campaign
to get the new Selecter single in the charts starts here.
Fit Bird reveals that Gal and Clyde’s new anthem ‘Rise Up England’
was inspired by the EU’s outrageous backdoor decision to lump
a slice of Southern England in with Northern France in some spurious
new made-up region called Arse Munch (Arc Manche actually – Informed
Ed). What a diabolical liberty.
A small group of thirteen Herbert gentlefolk assembled in That
Turkish Place tonight to celebrate Gal’s birthday, amongst them:
Charlton Tel, Big Jim, Steve Whale, Dirty Rob, Sandra Lane, Fit
Bird, Jeniera from The Blades and making a welcome return, the
Straw Hayes who sits in for the PM whenever he is otherwise engaged
on important Prankster business (and, it has to be said, buys
considerably more rounds). Not there was Wattsie Watts who unfortunately
got clamped at Lakeside, and that don’t half make your nipples
sore. Gal is 106.
Director David Markey has released his film of Black Flag’s final
tour, In My Head – on the road in the US in 1986 - on Vimeo. Have
a butcher’s here: http://vimeo.com/23499919
Other names being whispered about as possible headliners for
day two of 2000 Tons Of TNT: Rose Tattoo, the Anti-Nowhere League,
and even Slade. C’mon fill the void! Baby, baby, baby!
May 13. Happy b-oi-thday Gal! Some sad news: The Skatalites’s
orginal drummer Lloyd Knibb has died after a long battle with
liver cancer. He was 80. RIP also Manic Esso’s brother Dave who
was buried yesterday in West London in front of a large turn-out
of friends. Pete, we’re sorry for your loss.
Here’s the latest line-up for 2000 Tons Of TNT. Sunday’s headliner
is yet to be confirmed, but rumours that it will be Sparrer are
wide of the mark as they’ll be playing South America that weekend.
Unreliable whispers suggest that it could be the Resort (if Roi
can get in the country), the Specials (don’t think so), Infa-Riot
(possibly), the Postmen (sadly unlikely) or the Partisans (hmm,
wouldn’t rule it out). We hear that attempts have been made to
woo Oxo out of retirement – Hoxton’s Heroes! - but we’d lay good
money against that happening. Whoever closes the show, it must
be an constant irritation to the music press snobs of 1980/81
that while Oi is still sweeping the globe their own stuck-up,
arty-farty icons are probably sweeping the streets.
May 12. We were sworn to secrecy but now we can reveal: the
Last Resort have recorded a split single with the Old Firm Casuals
– out mid-July on Oi-The Boat records.
Gonads dream team of Gal and Clyde Ward are working on a brand
new anthem called ‘Rise Up England’; Fit Bird tells us the track
is “like vintage Blitz with a massive chant-a-long chorus.” Clyde
tells us the Freds’ tour got cancelled when Richard “smashed his
tooth on an olive pip.” Smashed his tooth on an olive pip? That’s
not very rock n roll is it! What next, tripping up on some loose
fennel? Aggravated avocado-related injuries? Pussies! Eat steak
like men! In the words of Gal’s grandad Johnny Barker: “Never
eat nothing that ain’t hot and shiney.”
Neville Staple is coming to 2-Tone Central in Coventry on 27th
May, tickets a tenner in advance, or £13 on door. Location: Coventry
Uni Students Union in Priory Street, CV1 5FJ.
Random news: LA Guns vocalist Phil Lewis is appearing with the
Heavy Metal Kids at their upcoming Camden gig... Gonads website
goddess kidnapped by UFO shocker! Batttttty last seen being sick
on a tour bus in Back-of-beyond, Shit Creek, Ohio. We’ve sent
emergency doctors, Jim Beam and Jack Daniels... Happy b-oi-thday
to Gal for tomorrow! He’ll be 35... for the 21st time...
May 11. Spotted on ebay in the USA: this fine bootleg t-shirt
representing the true face of Oi: the Brothers Grim – the scarifying
sight of Gal, beardless in 1980, and the even more scarifying
Hoxton Tom. Although which one was Reggie and which one Ronnie,
we’d rather not say. We don’t know who produced this t-shirt,
but one thing is for sure: they have bloody good taste!
The London International Ska Festival 2012 has been confirmed.
April’s mega four day fest went down so well that the organisers
have committed to make it an annual event. Watch this space for
news on the line-up, which is, we’re assured “soon come.” Discounted
early bird tickets will go on sale next week. And if you missed
it this year, they’re putting an album (CD, digital & collectors
vinyl), deluxe collectors 200 page book and film of the festival
The film is being directed by Michelle Golding (who made
The Specials 30th Anniversary doc), and it’s likely to include
backstage footage, artist interviews and even some unseen footage
from the first ever London Intl Ska Festival (held back in Dec
'88) as well as copious performance footage. Watch out for film
premieres/album release parties in LA, London, Copenhagen, Brighton
and more being scheduled now.
Chelsea Dom has filed his in-depth report from Zagreb, an even
Rougher Guide to Croatia, and has supplied his own mini-headlines.
Although disappointingly short on alcohol consumption breakdowns,
it is full of local colour. Here goes:
We’re Coming Back: On arrival at midnight, after dumping the
bags at the hotel, Igor the promoter took us to the quaintly-named
Spunk bar for a few liveners & local brews. (Normally it’s the
Yeti who goes looking for Spunk after midnight – Ed) These obviously
hit the mark, some people may think Sparrer are superheroes but
this didn't prove to be the case when one of the boys attempted
to walk through a wall (a feat repeated by another band member
the following evening, as if to prove a point). Both denied this,
so we've got CSI Zagreb currently working on the forensics from
the dents in the walls....So Many Things - The next day we had
some free time, so decided to explore the City. Zagreb itself
is very clean and quite Bohemian, in a similar way to Prague or
Vienna. I couldn't tell you much about the sites, not being too
familiar with Croatian history prior to the 20th Century, but
we saw the usual plethora of statues, churches etc, although the
palace was covered in scaffolding (and the palace was rather small
- maybe their equivalent of the Windsors were all Peggy Mitchell
sized!). Following a couple of pit stops for refreshments, we
headed for the sound-check followed by a slap-up meal of local
carnivorous delights...Quiet Squad - Prior to the main event,
three local bands played; but the venue seemed unusually empty,
with most people enjoying the hot weather and having a drink outside.
The venue, the Boogaloo, is a curious affair, black marbled floor,
black walls, black ceiling......a sense of perpetual darkness,
like Lemmy’s bedroom in a power cut...Got Your Number - A pre-gig
conversation relayed a feeling of guilt for not undertaking vocal
exercises like many other bands, although all were agreed when
the sound man suggested that a gargle of Jack Daniels would do
the trick. That's what I call professionalism!...Running Riot
- However, by the time Sparrer were due on stage the place was
packed & from the opening bars of the first number, the crowd
went ballistic. Someone in the crowd thought it was a bright (geddit?)
idea to light one of those flares you often see in the foreign
football grounds, which made for a great spectacle. The enthusiastic
nature of the crowd made for a great atmosphere and you could
tell the band were getting a real buzz from it...Argy Bargy -
As the band rattled through their set, the crowd maintained their
early energy and another flare was lit, as per the clips here
Because You're Young - The songs kept coming, the punters kept
dancing. It's encouraging that there are so many youngsters that
come to see the band, noticeably the female contingent, many of
whom were camped down the front for the evening... Sunday Stripper
(or What's it Like to be Old) - for the encore, one of the nubile
young ladies down the front decided to show us a unique dance
of her own, involving synchronous air-bags, presumably to brace
herself from the impact of the crowd surging from behind... Take
Em All - the band took the place by storm, leaving everyone on
a massive high, with some individuals letting the fire extinguishers
off for good measure. With the flares failing to set off any smoke
alarms or sprinklers, it was a wonder that these actually worked.
May 10. Loveable rascal Garrie Lammin has long wanted his Bermondsey
Joyriders to be the new Rolling Stones, but this disturbing shot
from the band’s recent 100 Club gig proves that instead of Keef
and Mick, Gal is turning instead into the new John McCririck!
Dodgy sideburns, dodgier views on women, unfashionable attire
and an interest in all things ‘horsey’... that’s Garrie. And McCririck
is just as bad.
May 9. Coming soon: a brand new Gonads initiative, the Ministry
of Delusion. Watch this space...
The two hour, 18-band, unreleased epic, StreetPunk - The Movie
(2000), is now available free to all on you-tube. Shot by Stewart
Newman between ’96 and ’99 at various locations, it includes the
Sex Pistols in the Park gig, the ’97 Morecambe (HITS/Wasted) festival
and Nottingham with Max Splodge hysterically trying to interview
Chaos UK. The film features tracks from the UK Subs, Menace, The
Varukers, One Way System, Special Duties, Guitar Gangsters, Sick
On The Bus, Oxymoron, Police Bastard, Airbomb, Short n' Curlies,
Road Rage, Contempt and Screamer, plus interviews and fly on the
wall footage with Eater, The Vibrators, Angelic Upstarts, The
Drones, The Lurkers and a cast of thousands. Newman, who shot
the Exploited doc Rock n Roll Outlaws, claims the 90s were “a
superbly productive decade”, and adds that the film shows three
sides of punk: “the ultra commercialism of what the Pistols had
become”, the crusty drop-out scene (“Effing scruff-bags!” – Fat
Col), and retro weekenders. This was Newman's final film before
he had to get a proper day-job and sign off the dole. See it here.
*Snoozy Suzy Fact Alert! Suze reckons old leather shoes are
sent to Third World countries for food! She tells us: “I heard
somewhere that cowboys used to eat their saddles so why not leather
shoes? I think you have to boil them down first, and throw in
a carrot or summit.” Gives a whole new meaning to beef wellington.
May 7. Stand by, incoming: the two new Nads songs are absolutely
brahmas! ‘Indestructible Wolves’ is as catchy as an STS in Walford,
while ‘Backstreet Army’ is as harder than Hagar The Horrible on
PCP. Both songs were written by Gal and McMighty and recorded
yesterday by the ever-efficient FB. Incredibly the whole of our
next studio album has now been written and will be recorded later
this year. Talk is cheap and hype is cheaper but hand on heart
these songs won’t so much take you by surprise as drag you up
an alley and beat the holy crap out of you. The album tracks are
almost certain to be: ‘Oi!blivion’, ‘Hands Of The Ripper’, ‘Dirty
Girl’, ‘Fighting’, ‘Horn Of Plenty’, ‘Son of Franken-Skin’ (an
oi opera!), ‘Beer Can’, ‘These Are Our Streets’, ‘Troosers’, ‘They
Died Heroes’, ‘Love Radio’, ‘Backstreet Army’ and ‘Indestructible
Wolves’ – which is likely to be a single, with an otherwise unavailable
live recording of ‘Charlton Lido’.
May 7. A distraught Fit Bird launched a search for Gal after
he went AWOL yesterday afternoon. He was finally located at 1.30am
by FB in a Kent gutter clutching wino-strength lager and a spinach
madras. The cause of this peculiar carry-on (curry-on?) is believed
to have been a seven hour drinking session in the Nell Gwynne
with Hoxton Tom, which may or may not have involved a cameo appearance
from Bev Elliott (we are officially endorsing Bev’s team in the
Vegas punk rock bowling tourney later this month). Many stories
were told and anecdotes remembered, but sadly none were written
down, and Gal, who is currently nursing a hangover “like a coshed
goat” can recall little after the eighteenth pint. Quite how this
will affect his planned writing session with McMighty today is
anyone’s guess although FB reckons “it can only improve it.” Gal
meanwhile claims that the riff for a “blinding” new Nads song
called ‘Well Jel’ came to him in his sleep.
Bad news, the Rejects had to pull out of tonight’s big Randale
Meeting because Jeff has gone down with laryngitis. Worst news:
plans to airlift the Gonads in as subs had to be abandoned at
the eleventh hour after we discovered that Mick Maverick’s niece
gets married this afternoon. (Congrats!) Scouts are now trying
to sober up Max Splodge in a bid to fill the ninety minute slot.
But a furious Beast condemned Mick’s decision as “frivolous” and
branded it “even worse than Gal deciding to attend his son’s wedding
rather than play at Punk & Disorderly”. He issued a stern warning
that “putting any wedding other than your own ahead of the band
is a disciplinary offence.” Mick, shall you hit him or shall we?
If you're in the Orange County, California on Thursday, as we
frequently are, you may be interested to know that movie-maker
Evan Jacobs is screening his ‘Orange County Hardcore Scenester’
doc at the Yost Theatre in Santa Ana. The film includes Gameface,
Quicksand, Farside, Sticky Buns, Texas Is The Reason and more.
Entry free. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. More info here.
A mysterious character called The Sentinel has got in touch.
He tells us his role is to “observe, record and expose extremist
attempts to infiltrate the streetpunk scene from the far-Left
and far-Right”. He tells us he is currently tracking a “laughable
not very subtle far-Right attempt to go mainstream” and “an absurd
anarchist bid to corrupt the core values of Oi”. Thank you, sir.
We await your reports with mounting indifference. Although we
do know of at least one overt neo-Nazi band who are currently
pretending to have “moved away” from hate-wank – which is frankly
about as likely as Nick Griffin claiming, “I’m not interested
in politics, I just want to play my kazoo.”
May 6. The Rejects will appear as guests of honour at the 2000
Tons of TNT fest in September, but will the Gonads join them?
The promoter is keen and intense negotiations are underway. The
Beast, Fat Col and Waistrel are liaising as a team to try and
make this happen...It’s like the Three Stooges never died.
We’re back in the studio early next month recording new songs
for two US Oi compilations. One of them will be ‘Backstreet Army’,
the other is provisionally titled ‘Indestructible Wolves’ (ooh-erh!),
although a more ‘socially aware’ number called ‘Pig Society’ is
also in with a shout.
We’ve have heard at last from Hechti, der große Käse at Germany’s
mighty but unhurried Contra Records, who assures us that ‘Oi!
Never Surrender’, the thirtieth anniversary Oi! album, will finally
and definitely be released in time for Rebellion in August. Hurrah!
Cynics raise eyebrows and mutter “We’ll see” but we’re such trusting
souls we won’t even crack the traditional ‘which year?’ gag. PS.
New suggested slogan for Contra: Rock against the clock. Time
matters not one jot.
Attracted by the availability of cheap, high-quality Karlovac(ko
beer, sorry, by the opportunity to see Cock Sparrer headline Boogaloo,
our intrepid reporter Chelsea Dom is off to Zagreb, Croatia this
morning. Full report when we return next week.
Random stuff: I-Scream are going to reissue the Murphy’s Law
back catalogue... A teenager has been nicked in Australia for
pelting Justin Bieber with eggs while he was onstage in Sydney;
let’s hope one of the charges is ‘failure to hard boil them first’.
May 5. Our roving reporter Chelsea Dom informs us that he was
unable to review Rebellion Amsterdam earlier than today because
he had been understandably traumatized by the sight of Max Splodge
popping one of his piles – the resulting mess ending up on Ronnie
Rocker’s head (Pile-Popper Rocker Shocker!) He has now sufficiently
recovered to file the following report: Day One, morning: 1 x
vodka, three pints of Guinness. Bands seen: none, but in fairness
we have not yet left the airport. Afternoon: We arrive in Amsterdam
late Saturday afternoon to encounter the biggest street party
I've ever witnessed. It’s for the Dutch Queen's Birthday (Konninginnedag)
and it’s huge; think Trafalgar Square on New Year's Eve but spread
across a much wider area. The sea of orange that greets us resembles
a mass break-out from Guantanamo Bay. It seems rude not to join
them for a beer....
After dealing with a f*ck-up at the hotel, we set about the
business of the weekend: serious drinking, music, more drinking
and erm, more drinking. That night ends up in the hotel bar with
the Cockney Rejects’ Mr Tony Van Frater, Chief Mong of the Sunderland
Pranksters, regaling us with various stories and the odd number
on acoustic guitar (but no Kum-Ba-Yah). Beers consumed: 17, bands
Day two. The gig itself. The Melkweg is one of the best venues
in Europe and makes a fitting stage (pardon the pun) for a strong
Rebellion line-up. The first band I see are the Cute Lepers with
their catchy brand of pop-punk, although I don't remember that
much about the set and hadn't drunk that much at that point (there's
a moral in there somewhere). Next up are Civet who leave several
of the more senior gentlemen somewhat disappointed - nothing to
do with the music, more the fact that there are now only two voluptuous
vixens in the band. After them, the energy levels are cranked-up
when hardcore favourite Roger Miret takes to the stage with his
band the Disasters providing an interesting mix of something old,
something new, with a bit of Agnostic thrown in. Personal favourites
include his tribute to the Ramones, which Hilly Kristal had asked
him to write, simply entitled ‘Ramones’ and the AF classic ‘Gotta
Go.’ From then on it is full on, with Argy Bargy bludgeoning through
a set with Watford Jon growling the vocals (and Ray Dust pulling
his (un)usual drummer faces). The frantic pace is tempered with
the melodious harmonies of Immaterial Girl. This theme continues
with Carol Clerk's old favourites, the Defects, one of the better
bands from the early 80s wave of punk, who belt out all the old
favourites, ‘Dance Until You Drop’, ‘Bitch’, and ‘Survival’ as
well as the classic ‘Brutality’ with an RUC-uniformed stage-hand
joining for a rousing chorus of 'S-S-R-U-C'. I look forward to
hearing the new album! Perennial favourites the Subs really get
the crowd going playing all the hits and more, with Charlie bouncing
around like he was 65 only yesterday (sorry Charlie!). Seriously
though, I love the Subs and have seen them more times than any
other band over the last 30 years, although I could have sworn
I saw Jet (current guitarist) earlier in the evening before his
hair was suitably coiffured, sporting an outrageous pudding bowl
affair. Boston's Street Dogs take to the stage next, putting in
an energetic set including favourite 'Up The Union', although
I sometimes wish bands would be a bit more original when choosing
cover versions. ‘Borstal Breakout’ is a classic song, but played
by so many over the years. Still, this didn't detract from the
sterling performance. When it comes to energy however, look no
further than Jeff Turner, who would put many a younger man to
shame with his on-stage mobility. I get exhausted just watching!
It has to be said the Rejects are on fire, launching into song
after song of their classic repertoire with keen audience participation.
Everyone agrees that it’s a top night brought to a fitting end.
Until the after-show high-jinx begin. One individual who charmed
a girl back to his hotel room. Said girl then decided that she
wasn't about to play to hide the sausage in a room full of blokes.
But her suitor can’t have been that bothered because by morning
he had forgotten he'd even brought her back. His identity will
remain secret as long as the crates of Grolsch turned up as agreed.
Chelsea Dom, News At Ten, Sober.
May 4. May the forth be with you... sorry about that. We’re
still waiting for the live review from Amsterdam Rebellion; unfortunately
our ace reporter Chelsea Dom hasn’t sobered up long enough to
file his report. It’s an absolute bloody disgrace and frankly
we’d fire him... if we were actually paying him in the first place.
Anyhoo, we hear the Rejects went down like Bin Laden...
In the meantime, our sophisticated new skinhead correspondent
Tonbridge Tracey asks us to plug the latest Club Skank do which
takes place this Saturday from 8pm till 2am, and promises “a night
of ska, rocksteady and skinhead reggae for £5”. Bargain! It’s
at the Cellar Bar, Command House, Dock Road, Chatham, Kent. And
if you don’t fancy that, then the Beat and the Coverup are on
down the road at the Beacon Court Tavern in Gillingham.
Oh dear, the PM is feeling chuffed after being befriended by
Lars Frederiksen on Facebook. We haven’t got the heart to tell
him that this ‘Lars’ is actually a love-struck imposter, a six
foot transvestite lorry-driver who likes to call himself Laura
and whose plans to invite the PM around to his/hers for a bottle
of wine, a small ‘roofie’ and an “album playback” may well end
in tears...Strap up! The consequences could be calamitous and
someone should warn him but we’ve got things to do, you know how
More skin-driven din: The Big40 Events in association with Big
Shot sound system proudly present the second ‘Skinhead Uprising’
in Cardiff on Saturday 28th May. Tickets £6.00 in advance only.
For ticket info, please go to www.big40.webeden.co.uk And don’t
forget The Great Skinhead Reunion beano is on Saturday, June 11
from 12:00noon - 11:30pm at the Volks Bar in Brighton; it’s a
free event with DJ, bands and fish ‘n’ chips (Wot? No whelks?
– Fat Col). The organisers say: ‘All are welcome, this event is
strictly for fun, but don’t come if you feel you don’t want to
meet new friends and people of all backgrounds.”
Oi - The AV Debate at the weekend was a bit of a wash-out, according
to Effete El who tells us: “The ELF representative went first
and basically said, ‘No to AV, yes to proportional representation’;
then Fat Col for the RCPSA got up and said he agreed absolutely,
so we all went down the pub and got pissed.” You don’t get that
on Question Time.
Quick reminder, the big Help4Heroes event is on May 28th and
29th at the Golden Swift in Harlow featuring The Last Resort,
16 Guns, the Pharoahs, the Cobras, the Black Marias, the Noxious
Toyz, Killing Seymour, the Uppercuts and many more. Plus DJs,
a merch stall, memorabilia, bbqs etc. Great line-up, great cause.
May 3. Has anyone seen FB? He was last spotted several days ago,
chasing a fireman (long story). We think they might both be stuck
up a ladder.