The Gonads Blog/Homepage Band News Shop Sounds Links Ministry Of Delusion The Gonads on Facebook The Gonads on MySpace

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.

MAY 25. This blog is closing for the Summer. We will pop back occasionally with urgent news – like the Punk Rock Bowling results, the Harlow H4H gig report, pronouncements from the Bitch and exciting SkaNads developments - but we won’t be returning full-time until September. If you’re new to this page, here, for future reference, is our handy cut-out-and-keep guide to the regular cast:

First off, the band: Gal – singer, leader, sex symbol for the desperate and confused. His single-minded vision and commitment has got this band where we are today. Absolutely sodding nowhere. Nacho Jase - guitar star, former Waysted rhythm guitarist and Beano cartoon character, currently denying damaging but unproven rumours of suspected round-dodging. Mick Maverick - beefy bass ace, former Royal Green Jacket, Vladimir Putin look-alike, midnight streaker and pioneer of the Adam & The Pants body-paint look originally popular with pants-pissing prepubescent teeny-boppers in 1982. South Coast Steve: temporary drummer, “pescatarian”, karate enthusiast, Church Of Oi pastor, persistent low-talker and gibbering lunatic.

The entourage: Wattsie Watts - Mod icon, girl about town, Paloma Faith look-alike and part-time backing singer. FB - rumoured to be our tour manager; unseen since 2010. Fat Col Gannon - long-time Gonads fanatic, so true to the band’s original ethos that he refuses to watch us outside of Charlton, London SE7; has recently “heard voices” urging him to campaign for the creation of “Hoxtonia” – an independent Oi-based nation state inside East London. The Beast - our fearsome legal adviser given to occasional flashes of indignation towards a world that doesn’t understand him; owner of the beast-mobile, the kind of vehicle not usually seen outside of Wacky Races or stockcar rallies.

Above us all looms Lord Waistrel - our aristocratic manager, ingrained reactionary and devoted feudalist, inventor of the Champagne Top, Cuban cigar aficionado, deranged cocaine freak and tax-dodging resident of Sandy Lane, Barbados. Scrotum – Waistrel’s wrinkled retainer. Terence Hayes - the Lad Himself, singer with the East End Badoes and a leading “brother” in the Jolly Pranksters, an international secret society of jokers, drunks, philosophers and poltroons; noted for his photographic memory. Now be upstanding for Shona Watts - well-behaved twin sister of wild-child Wattsie. Bev ‘Bevvy Blowjob’ Elliott - serious drinker, punk scribe, tattoo addict, faded vision of peroxide splendour. Antonia Moore - “the Black Marilyn”, former Hill’s Angel turned rock photographer. Allyson Maverick - acting tour manager and whip-cracker. Sandra Lane – the sexiest Trotskyist since Rosa Luxemburg. Sandra Bigg (really big) – unobtainable punk goddess. And Vikki Thomas – the first flag-girl, model, and minor TV starlet; thinks she hasn’t got a chance with us but she effing well has.

Then there is The Bitch - poison pen fashion critic and back-stabbing wretch, despised by most of humanity and all of decent society. Andre Schlesinger - our New York associate in the cause of global punk rock revolution and vodka consumption. Fit-Bird - Gal’s stunningly gorgeous personal assistant, innit. Sally Hand – proud lesbian, sex vamp and our NYC PR. The SkaNads – Gal’s Ska project. Paul Hallam, aka The Stalin of Style – Millwall-supporting Marxist and Mod’s answer to Peter York. The Nosher - Gonads groupie Christine, famous for letting things, uh, go to her head. Eddie Piller - round dodger. John King – veggie. Sharron Stiletto – guitar-playing glamour-puss, pin-up and female impersonator. Scoops - former bassist, Spurs fan, round-dodger. Franky ‘Boy’ Flame - long-time friend of the band, keyboard wizard, and the oldest man to be called “Boy” since the abolition of slavery; rumoured to have a secret life as ‘Septic Peg’, the bad news psychic. The Yeti – our original groupie, now retired from gigs and working as a lumberjack.

The blog’s big guns include Hoxton Tom – future President of Hoxtonia. Kiria La Pink – occasional guest vocalist and rubber fetishist. Si Spanner - Sex Shop Si, nuff said. Chelsea Dom - roving reporter, fashion icon for the partially sighted, water-bomb attack survivor. Effete El - leading Prankster, knowing, camp, ingenious and handy in a fist fight. Pavel - our man in Moscow. Ronnie Rouman - disreputable friend of Lord Waistrel, a ducker, a diver, a wheeler and a dealer; founder member of the Oi! Organising Committee. Steve Whale – ex-Gonad, punk guru, master of the universe (Kent branch). Sid the Lip – communist shop steward (retired); long-time Nads fan. David ‘Dodgepot’ Courtney – former head of Gonads security. Martin Sporrell - aggressive Gooner, Orgasm Guerrillas manager; was Gal’s personal manager too until the bootleg album scandal broke. Mickey Pugh - comedian, proprietor of the legendary Awkwrights bar (“CBGBs for the drinking classes”), co-writer of ‘Charlton Tel’s Stag Weekend’, Mike Reid impersonator. Billy Cribb - the “Tarmac Warrior”, unlicensed fighter, animal, legend. The SkaRettes – flag-girls in waiting. Fatty Lol – boss of MoonSka Europe. The Charlton Boys - Chris, Jel, Frazzle, Matt, Dave ‘Deslos’ Waldron, plus the Old Firm - Charlton Tel, Big Jim and Whippo.

Finally, there is RD MacGonad – former drummer, and “Jockney Reject”, dismissed by the band from a safe distance after “Torgau Gate”. Diana Schuler - German label boss, fish farmer, and Teutonic whip-cracker. Max Splodge – meths-swigging master of punk bingo; believed to be dating Wattsie “in revenge” for us “wrecking his career” with the ep ‘Max & Gal: the Brothers Gonad’. Gentleman John – SkaNad. McMighty - SkaNad. Stief A’Billy – Elvis’s love child and the man taking the FrankenSkin to levels of camp jollity not seen since the golden years of Larry Grayson’s Generation Game. Janice Gussett – the “young Janice” stolen from us by Charlie Harper. The GayNads – Wattsie’s spin-off project. Carrie Griffiths – rude girl, Buster Shuffle backing singer, part-time Gonadette. Debz Bridgeman – Buster Shuffle backing singer and world champion kebab nosher. Lee Wilson – Infas singer, slippery git, cravat-wearing practical joker, a disruptive element. Chenille Steele - glamour girl, Chelsea fan and anal sex enthusiast. Manic Esso - former Lurker, ex-Gonad, controversialist and beer-swigging bon viveur. Garry Johnson – the poet laureate of Oi, was famously “born in an ’ouse in ’Ackney with an outside loo”. Batttttty - legendary wit and beauty, our esteemed web-mistress and long-term Waistrel concubine (allegedly). Leah McCaffrey - the long-suffering Mrs. Gonad. These are the core ‘firm’. But we never forget those we have lost: Banjo Vic, Rocky, JJ, Gill, Chinese Tim, all R.I.P., and Paul Devine (the first round-dodger; not dead, just swerving). Now read on...

Some news before we go: The English Beat are releasing a 5-disc box set titled The Complete Beat this summer. It contains their three studio albums-- I Just Can't Stop It, Wha'ppen?, and Special Beat Service-- with bonus tracks and extra material including Peel sessions, live tracks from a Boston's Opera House show, and remixes of the band's singles. Released: July 10th.

Pauline Black is at the Library Gallery in Stoke Newington Town Hall at 8pm next Friday, June 1st, discussing Black By Design.

The Final Part of Buddy Ascott’s Chords Tour Diary: Sydney Airport, May 8th. Grazza the promoter soon discovered the joys of travelling with The Chords as he was hit with a bill for $120 AUD (that's about £75 in the Queen's currency) for excess baggage - possibly Mic had stocked up with pies, though I suspect he'd kept in a matchbox the moustache that the Hurricane's drummer had shaved off, fed it and nurtured it to adulthood. He's weird like that. The check-in lady was especially zealous as that very morning she'd become suspicious of a woman apparently carrying a baby in a sling. She'd summoned security who'd found it was actually a BABY KANGAROO in the sling!!! What the... ??! ... Good job Chris had left his platypus in Sydney... that could be a euphemism.

We were (mostly) put up in a sumptuous apartment building called OAKS on Collins Street, right in the very heart of Melbourne. I shared an apartment on the 13th floor (yes, it had elevators) with Billy, as Chris felt nauseous every time he looked down at the street below. The view was amazing, but Chris and Grazza decamped to a nearby hotel as rooms were at a premium. Reconvening at a traditional Aussie pub (The Irish Times!?!?) later that evening, we ended up at the Gourmet Curry Hut which was more of a shed really, but the food was the best we'd had for days. Back at OAKS, I finally spoke to Hidz for the first time in a week - and promptly fell asleep with the phone in my hand...not very gallant.

The next day was a day off, and what a corker - warm, sunny, cloudless. Mic and I went to the highest public-accessible viewing platform in the southern hemisphere - the Eureka Tower, where the lifts take you up to the 88th floor in about 4 seconds. The view is out of this world - you can even marvel at the curvature of the earth when you're not throwing up from effects of the lift. You're then invited to ‘Ride The Edge’ - which to be honest I thought was the sole privilege of Bono when on tour - but it turned out that it consisted of entering a glass cube inside the building, where they shut the door. The cube then travels about ten yards (or half a mile in scared-terms) OUT OF THE SKYSCRAPER - and it has a glass floor. Shortly before the ride, our lovely guide told us that the week before one of the floor panels had cracked and had to be replaced - I looked at Mic and remembered all the pies and prayed. It was amazing, though only Mic had the courage/stupidity to actually lay down on the floor and stare down at the ants below...The whole experince could only be improved by the presence of Jeremy Clarkson, Michael Gove and Simon Cowell, and I'll bring the glass hammer...

That night we went to the painfully hip ‘Workers Club’ in the fashionable Fitzroy area. The Hurricanes played as excellently as before, with the drummer's missing moustache proving the biblical story of Samson to be a one-off. They were supported by a dogged set from the wonderfully-named Hounds! Hounds!! Hounds!!!, a two-piece with a Dave-Grohl-a-like on drums and a grizzly bear on geetar - they were very good indeed. Grazza celebrated the music by drinking himself insensible and then insisting we all go for a News Of The World reporter, I made my excuses and left... straight to Pie Face!!!

May 10th was Mic's birthday and I thought it about time he saw some real Australiana, and insisted on a trip up t'north. We took a train to Castlemaine where we were collected by my dropkick mate Glen. We were treated to a tour of the area, including the town of Clunes, where scenes from Mad Max and the recent Ned Kelly fillums were shot. No sign of either of them now, we probably scared them off. We checked into a real motel - a totally new experience for me. I was especially taken with the stuffed birds in the reception, and the old house up on the hill - there was an old lady in a rocking chair silhouetted against the window. She looked so peaceful. The owner, Mr Bates, was charm personified. But later, when I took a shower, I kept hearing this terrible screeching violin - must be the plumbing. It was dusk so we went in search of kangaroos. Glen said he knew a place where he'd never failed to see them at this time of day. There were literally hundreds of them up in the fields, noshing away and having a great time. Glen was like David Attenborough with Tourettes... "F*** me Brettie, look at the f***ing size of that ****!!!” They are extraordinary creatures. Aussies. And kangaroos...When you see them in a zoo, you don't appreciate how they move...they bound effortlessly away in seemingly slow-motion, they're beautiful and powerful and I can't believe people shoot them for fun. We headed up to Glen and Anita's (his long-suffering wife) farm/animal sanctuary. As soon as we stepped out of the car we were set upon by Audrey, the biggest, ugliest, meanest pig I've ever met - and I've been to the Emirates Stadium! She really is an unpleasant beast. Her behaviour - totally unacceptable, even for a pig, I'm sorry - was explained away as simply that she was hungry, which basically means she's always like that...biting your ankles, squealing, was like being back in the apartment with the band. I'm sorry Audrey, I'm over you already. Anita had kindly made a cake for birthday boy Mic - he loves a bit of attention, as you may appreciate if you've ever seen him on a stage. Talk about hogging it! Even Audrey couldn't get a look in, and she was starting to complain about the smell, so we set off for the local (ie. 50 miles away) pub. That lasted about 10 minutes before we were thrown out for enjoying ourselves too much and not being local - it was like a scene from Deliverance. We had, admittedly, blinded 3 customers with our errant dart-throwing, but hey, we can't all be Jackie Wilson, reet petite? There followed a freezing cold expedition to the next pub - "just around the corner" according to Glen, in his thermally-lined fur coat. Two hours later we reached the sanctuary of The Railway Hotel - which was closed. But hark! What is that!? There was a TV on inside - we knocked, tentatively. The door creaked open and the owner appeared in the half-light. "Er... are you open?"... A pause... "Can be... come in". The owner, Dean, is what you might call "a character"... there is a statue of Ned Kelly inside - which he carved with a chainsaw. A chainsaw. He lets his horses into the pub. He allows people to ride their motorbikes along the bar - we saw the tyremarks. He drinks Jack Daniels until he passes out and then lets his customers run the place for him until he wakes up. It was a great night...

Waking up the next day in the Whispering Gums motel, I was surprised to find several holes in the wall of the shower room - what strange decor they have here. And Mr Bates' mother had disappeared too...could still hear those violins though... Back at Glen's farm we met the rest of the menagerie - five dogs, three cats, numerous ducks, chooks and geese, a horse called Beauty and a stunted pony called Xena. The real star though is an alpaca, Elmo. He looks like a hairy camel, is totally neurotic and thinks he is King of the Sheep, which he guards all night. If I could've got him into a baby sling I would've taken him home... The tour of Victoria continued, and we ended up at Hanging Rock, as in the film. Sadly, there was no picnic, nor schoolgirls, but we did find a real life wild (well, miffed, maybe) koala bear, stuck up a gum tree, trying to ignore all the tourists trying to get a photo of him - but he hadn't reckoned on my zoom lens!! I've posted pix of all the beasts (and some animals) on my facebook page – enjoy: - go to photos, dummy...

Saturday May 12th was the last gig of the tour - the Hi-Fi Club in Melbourne. There was a long and protracted soundcheck due to there being only one techie, the amiable Mick - I'm only surprised that the constant running between mixing desk and stage monitoring didn't induce schizophrenia (or quadrophenia, as we were very demanding). For me, a gig day involves sleeping as late as fate will allow, eating as little as possible, strictly no-booze pre-show and generally thinking about nothing but those 90 minutes onstage later in the day. It's one of the reasons I've always loved touring/gigging - from the moment you wake up until the point where you walk off-stage, only one thing matters... yes, that's right - will there be enough beers afterwards to get me through the night? Er, no, I mean the ability to perform to the best of my inabilities. I walked back to the venue at 10 pm with Mic, and the streets of central Melbourne were suddenly quite alarming - fights, drunks, beggars, abusive language - it was like being back in Putney on Boat Race day. At the Hi-Fi were friends and fans from London, Japan, Wales, Tasmania, Beatlemania, Perth...Deptford. I even met an old roadie for The Rage - John Wilkins - who has lived in Oz for over 20 years... "It's paradise mate". Yes, I'm starting to feel that... We were onstage at 10.45 - this is apparently normal for Melbourne - to a crowd approaching 250 (though the venue owner later told me they'd drunk the equivalent of 400 punters. She was very happy)... I had a good one. Some gigs you just have to get on with the sound/crowd/atmosphere/tiredness, get through it and hope everyone enjoyed it more than you did...but at some you're able to soar, to try new and outrageous fills, test yourself and your bandmates, push the band to better places. This was one of those. If this is to be the last-ever Chords gig (HERE we go again...) then I felt we at least gave our all. Thank you Melbourne. And thank you - Graham, Beccy, Sioux, Sara, Ian, Hurricanes et al - for making this happen for us. We flew home - on a new Qantas Airbus A380 - two days later, and none of the engines exploded - which was nice. Home - to Hidz with 'flu, a broken washing machine and Spurs out of the CL before they'd kicked a ball. Ain't life grand?

May 23. The Cockney Rejects are confirmed for the Download Festival on June 9th. Their superb documentary film East End Babylon hits UK cinemas in Sept, see the new trailer here. And there’s another preview screening at the East London Film Festival on July 4th. If you’re reading this in San Francisco, the Rejects play Thee Parkside next Tuesday with supports the Old Firm Casuals and the Harrington Saints. All ages, $15 on the door. The lads also play Punk Rock Bowling, Las Vegas, with Rancid on Sunday and Austin Texas (Emo’s) on May 29th. Dates in Philly and Boston follow in July.

Jenny Woo’s new zine Subculture Spirit contains an in-depth, Paxman-like interview with Gal, covering everything from the early days of Pink Tent to our new Mutt’s Nuts album via the state of TV, politics, Oi history, and the Rejects film. We’ll let you know where you can read it in due course.

We’re worried about Fat Col, who’s telling friends (well, okay, the Nosher) that he has been hearing voices “from the astral plane”. Apparently the voices have told him that his destiny is to fight for the creation of Hoxtonia, a “free and independent nation state” which will claim the rights to a small area of East London bordered by Regent's Canal on the north side, Wharf Road and City Road to the west, Old Street to the south, and Kingsland Road to the east. Hoxtonia will, he says, be “a colourful Cockneyland”, “the new Pimlico”, and “a small but loyal country of free men and women inspired by the legacy of Hoxton Tom, who naturally will be President.” We’d dismiss this out of hand except we hear he’s been talking to the Ministry of Delusion about it, and if those powerful bastards get on board there’s no telling what might happen. We asked if the voices told him to do anything else and he muttered something about stalking Kiria and went off smirking. Oaf.

Billie Joe Armstrong from Green Day played Mark ‘Facebook’ Zuckerberg’s wedding on Saturday. Billie played a love song he wrote for his own missus, Adrienne. Hear it here.

The Bitch has been sulking ever since we refused to run his/her devastating and highly personal attack on Cock Sparrer and their fine dress sense. However she/he has broken his/her silence to comment on our great friend Paul ‘Toes’ Hallam: “Have you seen the beer-gut on the so-called Stalin of Style?” the Bitch writes. “What self-styled man of fashion would carry that much weight over the ‘toy-shop’? He looks like he’s five months pregnant. Shape up Stalin, or you’ll be more aptly known as the Lenin of Lard, the Chernenko of Chavs or the Brezhnev of Bollocks.” How unnecessary.

Out now, a new five track ep from Iron Cross - all-new tracks. It comes on vinyl from Skinflint, with a poster and a free digital download.

Madness have announced a 14-date UK tour in November and December. Called The Charge of the Mad Brigade, the tour kicks off at the band's Butlin’s weekender and continues thusly: Dublin O2 (28/11), Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (30/11), Brighton Centre (December 1), Bournemouth B.I.C. (3/12), Plymouth Pavilions (4/12), Nottingham Capital FM Arena (6/12), Liverpool Echo Arena (7/12), Newcastle Arena (8/12), Glasgow SECC (10/12), Sheffield Motorpoint Arena (11/12), Birmingham LG Arena (13/12), London O2 Arena (14/12). Tickets for the arena shows go on sale at 9.30am on May 25.

An important message concerning the UK Order of the Golden Dawn: please note that the Prankster-connected society of this name has nothing at all to do with any obnoxious Greek political party. Although intensely private, the Order has asked us to state that it is in fact spiritually descended from the British Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, which was a magical society active during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Its members included Aleister Crowley, Bram Stoker, the poet Yeats and actress Florence Farr. That is all. (P.S. Memo to Essex pranksters from Terence Hayes (TLH): “The Door” has been erected.)

May 20th. Cheers, Bletchley!!! Last night’s end-of-tour show at the Dolphin was, aptly enough, the mutt’s nuts! Thanks especially to Mark Flynn, Saira Sherriff and the mighty Mavericks for setting it up, and our two drop-dead gorgeous flag girls Demi and Paige Blake. Opening with the theme from RAF film 633 Squadron, our set was: Punk Rock Till I Die, Tucker’s Ruckers, Alconaut, Oi Mate, Grant Mitchell, Oily Rag, Rob A Bank, Charlton Boys, It’s A Yeti, Gob, FrankenSkin, I Lost My Love To A UK Sub and Hey You. There were three servings of encores – largely because sawn-off stage invader Claire wouldn’t let Gal leave (and he does like a dominant woman, allegedly...). Somewhere in the chaotic mix were England’s Glory, Jobs Not Jails, The Growler, Oi Mate, a shambolic Skinhead Girl, Alconaut and Valhallaballoo. S-Girl and Beki Bondage would have been in the set if Wattsie hadn’t disappeared to watch the Chelsea penalties (There’s professional – FB). Although in fairness she was a bit stressed after what felt like 19 hours of rowing with her SatNav...seems she was trying to follow Terry Hayes’ intricate directions to “save time and avoid the motorways” by driving to Buckinghamshire from South London via Northumberland. Gal was so helpful during this crisis that she threatened to throw him out of the car twice. Cheers to Stief for reprising his kitsch but scarifying stint as the FrankenSkin (“Hitchcock meets Rubella Ballet” – Celia Molestrangler) and to all who came, not least Scotty (Mick’s old colour sergeant), Wing Commander Dave Maverick, Larissa and Troy, Mickey Billings and Ash and his missus from Brum (The Nads say: Pay Nurses More!). Our final, final show for the time being will be the Help4Heroes weekender at Harlow on June 2 (Golden Jubilee weekend). Dates start again in September, watch this space for details.

The Gonads Website
Mick and Scotty: Royal Nads Jackets

The Gonads Website
Flag-girls: Demi & Paige

The Gonads Website
Nads Live, with stage invader Claire

The Gonads Website
Bletchley Boys, we are here, wo-oh

Our brilliant Canadian pal, Jenny Woo is over on a European tour now, but isn’t playing the UK (Wot? No Bletchley gig? - Ed). But you can still grab hold of her Alberta Rose album on vinyl or CD from Randale Records. Also out now, Jenny’s Birds of Prey 7inch single featuring Franky ‘Boy’ Flame (100 yellow, the rest black – and that’s just Franky’s false teeth).

Out on 24th May: the cracking Old Firm Casuals/Klasse Kriminale split 7inch (Randale), featuring two brand new songs from each band.

Rock legends Van Halen have just cancelled more than thirty US shows with no explanation. We’re told the band, now reunited with David Lee Roth, “hate each others’ guts” and are “fighting constantly.” Said our man on the inside: “It’s like being on the road with Itchy and Scratchy.” They’ve pulled all tour dates after their June 26th show in New Orleans.

May 18. Many thanks to the Milton Keynes Citizen for giving tomorrow night’s Bletchley gig the write-up it richly deserves. The paper’s clearly perceptive Teenage Dirtbags column describes us as “having more staying power than most”, adding accurately that the Gonads are “better looking than One Direction” and that “these fellas could eat the pop squirts for breakfast.” (Well, we wouldn’t mind eating Caroline Flack – Fat Col). Calling us “punk blasters” and masters of “punk, rock, Ska and other blah”, they go on to say that Gal should get a medal for getting Twisted Sister their first recording contract alone. They even plug our flag-girl appeal. Thanks chaps! It’s only right that a town named after two economists would be bang on the money. Up the Dons!

The Last Resort play their first-ever Scottish gig 9th November, Ivory Blacks, Glasgow. (And Booze & Glory play Edinburgh with Runnin’ Riot the next night if you want to make a weekend of it). Meanwhile, we are lining up a select secret gig at Arkwrights in Essex, “the world’s most exclusive pub” – the Gonads + the original line-up of the East End Badoes, compered by Mickey Pugh with a special guest appearance from bare-knuckle legend Billy Cribb, the “Tarmac Warrior”. The gig will be by invitation only. By the way Billy has asked us to tell Martin Sporrell that he will “open him up like a village fete” if he goes ahead with his planned bootleg. We can’t condone that sort of thing, but in the words of the Cribbster “it’s the only language he’ll understand.”

News reaches us of a new London Punk Festival which will be held at the 229 in Great Portland Street over the weekend of the 28th - 30th of September. The fest will feature 30 bands playing in two rooms over the three days. Confirmed acts are Ruts DC, Anti-Pasti, The Business, Infa Riot, Glen Matlock & the Philistines, Vice Squad, Peter & the Test Tube Babies, Case, Menace, Department S and Abrasive Wheels. There are another ten bands to be announced, plus “a very special guest” whose identity they can’t announce as yet. (Terence Hayes, TLH? Fat Col? Norman Tebbit? The Beast? FB? We’re on tenterhooks – Ed). Tickets are already on sale here.

May 16. What ho, chaps, Saturday’s big gig at The Dolphin public house in Bletchley is the official last night of our Mutts’ Nuts tour. It is also our last but one gig until the Autumn, the final one being the great Help4Heroes fest at Harlow over the Jubilee weekend. We are now inviting gig offers for the second half of September, October and November. But please be advised: we will only work with genuine promoters and with written contracts in future. Too many cowboys and crooks in this business.

Annoyingly, there is still no end in sight to the on-going row about the so-called ‘Gonads bootleg album’. As regular readers will know, Martin Sporrell and FB are planning on bringing out a load of our songs as an unofficial bootleg sometime this Summer. Some are rare tracks, others are unfinished mixes, and still more are OTT or near-the-knuckle studio recordings from the Clyde Ward days that were never intended for release. We are absolutely against this album seeing the light of day and have instructed The Beast to go to court to stop it if need be. Unfortunately Mr. Sporrell (aggressive Gooner) is claiming ownership of many of these songs on the grounds that he paid for the recordings, and is planning to flog the CDs round the pubs of South East London come what may. We would have tried appealing to Mart’s better nature but he clearly hasn’t got one... An ashen-faced Beast warns us that English courts would be powerless to prevent a down-load version were it made available by a company based, say, in Eastern Europe, Asia or the former Soviet Union. Grim days, chums, but the fight goes on.

STOP PRESS: Bad Manners and Max Splodge are playing the Scala in Kings Cross on June 5th. Max asked us to tell you because although Doug has booked the venue himself he seems to have forgotten to publicise it...

Random shit: Jimmy Edwards of Masterswitch will be doing solo gigs featuring all his best songs “stripped down but still with passion” (strewth this acoustic punk stuff is spreading like bacteria in a bowl of pub peanuts)... Agnostic Front are re-releasing their mighty 1989 album Live At CBGB on Bridge Nine Records; it’ll be reissued in July on a limited run of red, white and blue striped vinyl... The Briggs are writing a new studio album, their first since 2008... our split ep with the Uprisers has been slightly delayed as their singer Todd Radict has throat problems... the Dropkick Murphys’ album ‘Live At Fenway Park’ is now out on vinyl as a double LP on the Born & Bred label; the record, pressed on 180g vinyl, comes with a digital download of the video of the show plus seven baseball cards featuring each member of the band.

While we were up in Sunderland, East End Babylon was screened in Southend in a packed movie theatre and got a standing ovation at the end; we’ll post the UK summer screenings when we have them...

R.I.P. US Gonads fan Ira Ostroll. A sad loss. Our thoughts are with his widow Lori and family.

Gal’s birthday weekend went off like a prize greyhound, with a jubilant Saturday night in That Turkish Place. But sad to report there was a slight cock-up at his actual birthday bash on the Sunday night. Fat Col had been asked to organise a Postmen reunion, and he did – sort of. He brought along a load of blokes who used to work at the sorting office in Blackheath. PLUM! (And don’t even ask about the “brass section”). As it was, the highlight of the night was a cruel prank played on a sozzled Max Splodge. Every time he tried to call Wattsie, the love-sick but booze-befuddled singer found himself talking to Steve Whale, or Gal or Mickey Billings, all of whom swore blind that Ms Watts wasn’t with ’em and why the hell was he ringing their numbers anyway? Childish yes, but at least no-one threw a water-bomb... Many thanks from Gal to the solid crew of oi-oi faces who turned up for the lavish pork scratchings and light-and-bitter reception, and for your many good wishes messages. How about a proper Bushell’s Birthday Bash with bands at BH2 next year, for old time’s sake?

PS. Chunky retard Col kept on about this great gift he’d got for Gal, “a brand new solar-powered tanning device.” It turned out to be a deckchair he’d nicked from the beach at Hastings...Muppet!

Ska Noos: the London International Ska bods are launching a series of all-nighters at The Islington Metal Works. First date is 26th August, which will feature three rooms of Ska, Rocksteady & Reggae. Full line up tba; tickets available now from here... JA legends Dave & Ansell Collins return to the UK from 23rd Aug – 1st Sept: they’ll play London, Manchester, Brighton and Isle of Wight scooter rally. Any promoters out there who'd like to book them email lastly, Nick Welsh has announced “the final ever” London show of King Hammond & The Rude Boy Mafia. It’s at the 12 Bar on Sept 8th with Sammy Buzz and Swagga, and will be filmed. Nick reckons he “can’t compete with the 2-Tone nostalgia bandwagon”. A damn shame.

By the way, if you watched Britain’s Got Talent (spit), you might be interested to learn that Charlotte of second placed Jonathan and Charlotte is the daughter of old Case and Long Tall Shorty drummer Derwent. Says Tony Feedback: “I would say she's from a musical family but he's a drummer.”

Buster Shuffle’s Carrie Griffiths on Bushell On The Box: “This is filth! I love it!”

Meet Luci Thomas, sister of our former flag girl Vikki, and singer with goth metal band Burn Thy Enemy who play the Rhonnda Hotel in Porth, mid-Glamorgan on 2nd June.

The Gonads Website
Luci: red hot & goth

STOP PRESS: Brand new NOFX single released very soon. You can pre-order ‘My Stepdad’s A Cop & My Stepmom’s A Domme’ right now from here.

Here’s more from The Chords’s world tour diary... Buddy Ascott writes: ‘We found themselves aboard a half-empty Boeing 747 from Tokyo to Sydney - this meant that as soon as the seatbelt signs went off there was a vast and frenzied game of musical chairs as everyone tried to grab as many seats as possible. With much jarring of elbows and pulling of hair, I managed to kick the two geriatric nuns out of the seats near me and get three to myself, but they grumbled all the way to Australia - selfish or what? I could hardly get ANY sleep with all that sobbing going on. Also, the turbulence above Borneo was horrendous, I don't know what those orang-utans are eating down there but it doesn't agree with them. One of the nuns got so hysterical at one point that I had to tell Billy to lock her in the toilet - people eh!?

We were met at the airport in real style - a classic 1960 Holden - a beautiful car which we did our best to wreck by passing our scuffed-up luggage all over the leather seats... sorry about that Ian, but great car...and with a crate of Coopers ale too, which meant a very relaxing breakfast ensued - all the way to Newtown. Here we were soon ensconced in the Monkees apartment - it was at that point I remember to phone Qantas to tell them to let the nun out of the plane's toilet. We are all of us men of a certain age, so having privacy and comfort is probably a higher priority than it once was. Suffice to say that Mic drew the short straw and was lumbered with the slumber of the sofa bed... I'm not saying Mic snores loudly but the stone cladding on the front of the building has to be replaced... My case had obviously been drop-kicked by Qantas, and when I opened it all my clothes were covered in a fine white powder - sadly, not some masssive coke smuggling operation gone awry, but my crushed pot of Andrews (ask your great grandmother to explain). The next day we were kindly driven to Bondi Beach by Grazza, the promoter. It was exactly as I remembered it from a previous visit in '93, same number of grains of sand and everything... the photo opportunity was exploited, then on to the Sydney Harbour Bridge climb office. Mic was unsure about if his asthma would prevent him joining us... “You can take your puffer up with you,” the lady selling tickets explained. I replied, “Why would you want to take a fish up the bridge?” She looked at me blankly. “I don't understand your sense of humour at aaallllll,” she whined.

The Sydney Opera House is as wonderful and as iconic as you could imagine, I don't think I could ever get bored with looking at it...unless I was on my way to a pub to watch a recoding of Spurs pummelling Bolton 4-1. You beauty. Talking of beauty, this was the night of our first visit to the ubiquitous chain of Pie Face pie shops. Mic felll madly in love with the woman mopping the floor in there and it is now known to be 'Pie-curious' would become THE stop-off point on the way home for the next three days...pies to die from, er, for... On Friday Billy and I did a telephone interview with a Melbourne music mag called The Beat and was impressively well-informed. At no point did he ask us where we bought our parkas, so thank you Nick! Later that night Pope played a short (5 songs! Hardly worth starting my motor up!) set to a crowd so sparse I actually went around the venue and thanked everyone individually for their support. Both of them. Hurricane Fighter Plane, a fine young band from Perth (no, not the Scottish one) headlined and blew everyone away - they really are excellent, especailly the drummer, Jamie, who is about a third of my age and about three times better than me! The git! Saturday was the day of the first Chords gig in Oz, and my good mate Glen had flown up from Melbourne to see the show. Glen is funniest man in the world, bar none (mmmmmaybe Austen Tayshus is better?), but has a potty-mouth that would shame Bernard Manning, drives like Mad Max, and looks like an unkempt sheepdog. The Chords played a stonking 16 song set (he writes modestly) that ended that in a proper '79-style stage invasion and mass moshing down the front - marvellous stuff. Back at the flat we fell asleep watching the FA Cup Final about 4 am, and then had to be up 3 hours later for the highlight of the Sydney weekender - the Harbour Cruise gig!

We boarded at the fish market (easy to find, just follow your nose), with a full backline of drums and Darling Harbour 150 well-attired guests (and Glen) joined us and we set sail. This may just have been the most surreal gig of my life - playing Mod-Punk rock at full volume to a boatload of freeloading revellers as the scenery passed the portholes - lighthouses, yachts, docks, oil tankers all flashed across the skyline as we progressed across the harbour. I only became alarmed when I saw an iceberg with a mermaid sitting on the top (boy that acid was good), but it's difficult to finish a drum roll when your stool takes you the opposite direction in which you want to go...yes, it got a bit choppy. After the first song I raced to the guard rail and pretended to throw myself overboard, which elicited screams... of delight. We had elected to play first which ensured plenty of time to enjoy the refreshments on the top deck - and it made sure we didn't have to follow the again-excellent Hurricane Fighter Plane. Monday Bill and I completed the overpriced but enjoyable Bridge Climb, shackled to the two most boring Brummies on this earth. Without the harness I would surely have hurled either them or myself onto the 8 lanes of traffic below, It would have been a mercy either way. What a pair of drongos. That evening the very lovely Becky and Ian, Grazza, Sara and Sue threw us a proper barbie that culminated in me with my foot in an ice-cooler (sure it was great for my athelete's foot and verrucas....WHAT?? What's wrong???), the drummer from the Hurricanes shaving his moustache off , and Popey downing the usual four vats of red wine. The day after we flew to Melbourne... where the fun really began...

MIDLANDS MOD WEEKENDER - BIRMINGHAM - JUBILEE WEEKEND, 2/3 JUNE: The New Untouchables return to Brum with a brand new event at in the city centre. The venue sports a very sixties space-age design, with three floors and two rooms of music complete with tasty sound systems. During the day-time there will be a market, a scooter run and a competition sponsored by local scooter shop Gran Sport in Bowyer Street, plus an open decks DJ session. Both afternoon events are FREE entry. The evening event hosts DJs from half a dozen clubs from around the East and West Midlands along with the NUTS DJ team. On Saturday night, sixties Mod legends The Sorrows from Coventry co-headline with Bongolian. Full event information is here.

May 9. This blog is going on holiday for a week. Back in time for Bletchley. Toodle-pip!

Breaking news: Madness have announced plans for their second annual House of Fun Weekender at Butlins Minehead (or Somerwest World, as holiday camp veterans will remember it). They’ll be playing two live sets over the weekend of November 23-26 – on Friday and Sunday night. The Nutty Boys will also release a brand new studio album later this year. For tickets and info visit

STOP PRESS: it’s Bushell’s Birthday Bash this Sunday. Fat Col and Leah McCaffrey are organising the event (So Leah is organising it – Cynical Ed), and surprises are said to be in store. Previous BBBs achieved historic status. Cock Sparrer reformed for Gal’s 25th and liked it so much they’ve been together ever since; while the following year saw the 4-Skins play with Judge Dread. Both events were at the old Bridgehouse in Canning Town. Other favourites were Gal’s 30th which featured Buster Bloodvessel, Beki Bondage (plus whip), Ronnie Rocker, and LBC’s Nick Ferrari (!) running amok at the Blackheath & Newbridge Working Man’s Club. His 40th was in Las Vegas with Engelbert (seriously – they played darts backstage at the Bali). However Fit-Bird has quickly moved to lower expectations this time round. “Sunday’s do will be less fancy but still blinding,” she tells us, adding: “Between us, Col reckons a Postmen reunion could finally be on the cards...” Wot? No Des O’Connor?

Record noos: The original East End Badoes look set to sign with US label Skinflint and finally release the brilliant ‘Poplar Boys’ ep this summer... out in July: new albums from Celtic-punk band Flatfoot 56, and from Strike Anywhere who are bringing out a live acoustic set called ‘In Defence of Empty Time’...Lowtalker, the Milwaukee punk band named after a classic episode of Seinfeld, have just signed to No Sleep Records...and if we didn’t mention it before, the new album from reggae-loving punks the Skints is called ‘Part & Parcel’, it’s out now and has got a big thumbs up from our own Sandra Lane.

Gal has been writing more songs for his SkaNads project. Fit Bird tells us: “He’s ’it a creative streak this week and come up with two blinders; it’s probably the beer, innit?” Undoubtably. The new songs are ‘The Old 12-Bar’ and ‘Dreamland’ which is about youth cult battles at Margate in the 1960s”. The SkaNads will record their debut e.p. at Pat Collier’s studio next month.

To celebrate the 40th Anniversary of John Sinclair’s release from prison, the old stoner has announced a special one-off show in memory of John Lennon with “Mr Nice” Howard Marks and other special guests at O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire on Thursday 14th June, 2012. John managed the MC5 from 1966 to 1969 and more recently has worked with The Bermondsey Joyriders. He was set up by undercover narcotic cops and was sentenced to ten years in 1969 (they asked him for drugs, he gave them two joints). A Free John Now rally was held at Ann Arbor's Crisler Arena in December 1971 featuring Lennon (who wrote the song, ‘John Sinclair’ about him), Yoko, Stevie Wonder, Bob Seger, and various drippy hippies. Three days later, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the state's marijuana statutes were unconstitutional and set Sinclair free. The O2 event will include a Q&A with John and Howard Marks, plus sets by The Deviants (featuring founder members, Mick Farren, Russell Hunter and Duncan Sanderson), the Dirty Strangers and more. Tickets are £17.50 in advance; £20 on the night from here.

Beast TV is moving on at a pace, with a second major pilot now under the great man’s highly-strained belt...

Tom Gabel, the lead singer of Against Me, has just come out as transgender – see what you’ve started Shazza!?! He told Rolling Stone: “I'm going to have embarrassing moments, and that won't be fun. But that's part of what talking to you is about – hoping people will understand, and hoping they'll be fairly kind." We hope so too, but steer clear of Fat Col mate.

Brett Gurewitz of Epitaph has launched a new comic book company called Black Mask Studios with 30 Days of Night creator Steven Niles and Halo-8’s Matt Pizzolo. They’re going to publish “subversive, experimental and literary comics.” Their first, Occupy Comics, will be a compendium featuring work from Mike Allred, Alan Moore, David Lloyd, Molly Crabapple, Douglas Rushkoff and more.

May 8. Our next show will be in beautiful downtown Bletchley on May 19th: the Gonads plus rockabilly nutters the Noxious Toyz LIVE in the Dolphin! There will be flag-girls! There will be Franken-Skin! And '(What's The Story?) England's Glory' will be back in the set. Entry is FREE but numbers are limited to 200, so get there early to avoid disappointment. It's also our last pub gig of the year (Or ever - FB) outside of Charlton or charity shows, so 'AVE IT, chums! 'AVE IT LARGE!

People ask why we're playing Bletchley. Isn't it obvious? Bletchley is best known for Bletchley Park, the HQ of Britain's greatest code-breakers in World War Two. If anyone can work out what the fuck South Coast Steve is going on about, these clever bastards can.

We're trying to get hold of one of the posters where the Toyz are referred to as 'physcobilly' - apparently, that's one step beyond psychobilly...

May 7. Yesterday’s Darlington Punk All-dayer was such a soar-away success that it’s likely to be a weekender next year. It was a strong bill, featuring the Business, Major Accident, the Vibrators, Gimp Fist and more; and the Forum was full of good-natured Oi fans and Mohawks. Our set was well-received, with many registering “pleasant surprise” at the sheer power of the mighty Nads onslaught, not to mention the big stage athleticism of Jase and Mick. For us though the highlight was without doubt the breath-taking performance of Stief A’Billy from Noxious Toyz as the Franken-Skin. In two full-on minutes, Stief managed to out-do even the Beast’s triumphant dance display in Berlin. Passing critic, Celia Molestrangler notes: ‘Stief brought something new and exciting to his portrayal of the Franken-Skin, he brought class, he brought culture and most of all he brought CAMP! Clad in a loud, loose-fitting t-shirt and check pantaloons, he filled his performance with playful exuberance. Stief’s vision was a theatrical experience... he took a masterpiece of Oi-Oi menace and stripped it down to its “essence” - the pain of a man reborn as monster and rejected by a cruel world. This essence was then rendered in physical terms, with some balletic-cum-gymnastic moves and a great deal of yearning, grappling, thrusting, mincing and posturing.’ Celia dubs Stief’s performance “a master class in elegant neo-classicism, with a modern twist” adding a warning to our MIA tour manager “watch yourself, FB, this agile clown will steal your crown.” Bravo Stief! The set list was: Punk Rock Till I Die, Tucker’s Ruckers, Alconaut, Oi Mate, Grant Mitchell, Oily Rag, Rob A Bank, Charlton Boys, Gob, Frankenskin and UK Sub, with encores of Hey You, That’s Oi and a shambolic Valhallabaloo. Many thanks to Mick Mav for driving, for the Toyz for giving Gal a lift home and most of all to June Daly for putting the show together and for promising us a flick of her whip.

PS. The Gonads thoroughly recommend the friendly, family-run Chaise Guest House in Roker, Sunderland. Cheers, John!

Out now: ‘Comedians’ the new single from Texas folk-punks the Riverboat Gamblers; it’s a taster from their new album, The Wolf You Feed, due out on May 22nd...

May 6. R.I.P. Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch, one of the founding members of the Beastie Boys, who has sadly died of cancer aged 47. Brooklyn-born ex-punk Yauch announced that he was being treated for cancer in 2009 after a tumour was discovered in his salivary gland. He is survived by his wife, Dechen, and their daughter Tenzin Losel. Our thoughts are with them.

R.I.P. also Lloyd Brevett of the Skatalites, the Jamaican bass ace was one of the key players in the development of Ska. Born in Jones Town, Lloyd retired in 2005 but suffered a debilitating stroke earlier this year following the shock shooting of his son Okeene, who was killed hours after picking up a reggae Lifetime Achievement Award for his father. Lloyd, 70, never recovered. Sax player Lester Sterling is now the only one of the original Skatalites still alive.

What can we say about last night’s Sunderland show? Not much as the events of the evening are likely to be the subject of a bitter legal dispute. So all we will report for now is that Michael Jones and his band Loudmouth are absolutely blinding. They write great punk songs sautéed in sing-along tunefulness and ale-fuelled passion. And Mick’s performance was electrifying. He went from ‘pissed’ to punk perfection as soon as he started playing. He even managed to make falling over look rock ’n’ roll. These boys should be on festivals. They’re class. Also worth seeing, our pals the Noxious Toyz whose lead singer Stief A’Billy adds layers of theatrical drama to his delivery. Imagine, if you will, a place where Morrissey meets Duncan Norvelle on the grave of Elvis, and that’s Stief. Unmissable. At the end of the night, after the intervention of the Northumbria Police (all this will be explained one day), we shot off down the sea-side and gate-crashed a hotel bar which appeared to be hosting a dance night for drunken, wind-plagued transvestites. But no, these were actual women, one of them quite scary. In the immortal words of Fat Col: “I’d rather fuck her than fight her.” (Sexist pig – Sandy Lane) We asked the security man what he’d do if he had to evict one of them. “Call for back-up,” he replied straight-faced.

The Gonads Website
Roker choker: note the 5 o’clock shadow, and six inch cock

While the band were away, the Watts did play... Max Splodge and Wattsie celebrated their engagement by watching the FA Cup. It took her till half time to get him wearing nail varnish and mascara. Max tells us “I woke up the next morning with pink toe nails and a full Barbara Cartland...” You wait until the honeymoon night pe-jazzle, mate.

The Gonads Website
Wattsie and Max before the make-up. Max Factor? Three times a night, we heard...

Gig News: blues-punk duo Taurus Trakker play London’s 12 Bar club on 17th May, ahead of the release of their second album 'Building Ten' on May 28th... the lovely Jennie Bellestar and her 1-Stop Experience headline Darwen Live on June 3rd.

May 3. Gird yer loins, Sunderland. We’re coming this Saturday, pets! (You too, Darlington – Sunday May 6th). Some kind of report may follow... Meanwhile down in Stoke on Saturday, Argy-Bargy play the Red Lion, Burslem. Also on the bill: The Bullet Kings, Angry Agenda, Epic Problem and Peckham Rolex. It’s a cockle on the door.

After the positive reception (Well deserved – Ed) for the Rejects’ blinding East End Babylon film, will the Gonads be the next Oi band to be immortalised on the big screen? Very possibly. The long-awaited Curry On Up The Gonads is now officially in pre-production; the script is fully written, casting is at an advanced stage - there is top talent attached – so it’s just the budget that needs to be sorted now. And we have every confidence for Fat Col is our man co-ordinating the fund-raising from his executive producer’s bar-stool in the Swan. What could possibly go wrong? Says Col: “Curry On Up The Gonads has got everything that Babylon has got – punk, football, drama and working class values - but with laughs, satire, cage-fighting, shagging and knockers thrown in. It’s a ’kin classic.” Who could doubt it?

HUSH NOW RUDE BOYS! The London International Ska Fest 2012 kicks off tonight. The four day event features Jamaican originators, Rocksteady, 2-Tone and present day acts, so there is something for everyone who ever skanked ’emselves silly. All details here: Tickets still available here.

Let the word be heard! We’re looking for new flag girls to join us for shows and festivals into 2013. Says Fat Col: “It is a prestige role and anyone who wants to audition should get in touch with our esteemed manager Lord Waistrel via with photo attached – and details of your performing talent (e.g. fire-eating, juggling, speed-eating) if you have one. Who knows, you might get a modelling career out of it! Or even a part in Curry On!” Former Gonads flag girls include Vikki Thomas who went on to appear in the Pipex TV ad with David Hasselhoff, Wattsie Watts who later joined the band and recorded the moving autobiographical number ‘Badly Done’, and Zoe Anderson who became both a Sport pin-up and a comedy actress. We can’t claim responsibility for all of that but a pattern of success through association with this great band is clearly emerging... Other distinguished Gonads flag girls have included England’s first licensed woman boxer Jane Couch and Antonia Moore aka “The Black Marilyn”.

The Gonads Website
Vicki: from the Gonads to the Hoff

May 2. Wattsie Watts and Max Splodge have announced their engagement and are planning an August wedding, although Wattsie is insisting on a Church Of Oi ceremony to be conducted by lay preacher South Coast Steve. The best man will be Buster Bloodvessel, the chief bridesmaid will be Sharron Stiletto and Gal Gonad will give the bride away (we could all do that – Fat Col). Gal was supposed to be driving the wedding limo too but Wattsie tells us she changed her mind after he ferried her back from Camden last weekend. She reveals: “He ranted, he raved, he hurled abuse at other drivers – it was like being in a car with Victor Meldrew crossed with Travis Bickle!” She goes on: “The trip could have degenerated into Falling Down 2 at any given moment.” Her first hen night (of seven) will be at our Bletchley gig on May 19th. Ms Watts is however refusing to take the name of Mrs. Splodge and will instead be known as Mrs. Everitt which we think is Max’s real name – he’s long forgotten. (For Everard see T. Hayes, TLD.)

Record news: Madball have just recorded a new four track ep...Jenny Woo has released a new single backed by Franky ‘Boy’ Flame. The A side is ‘Marching On’ by Jenny on her todd with Frank, the B side is ‘Don’t Want To Be Like You’ with her band Birds Of Prey, which also sees the Flamester guesting on the old Joanna. It’s out on vinyl on the Randale label and available here... also out now: ‘126 Inches Of NOFX: - The Singles Collection’, a vinyl box-set featuring eighteen 7" singles on colour vinyl (Fat Wreck Chords)... the latest e.p. from the Downtown Struts, ‘Anchors’ (Pirates Press)... From Pennywise, the new album ‘All Or Nothing’ (Epitaph). Vinyl version includes free CD of the LP... and out today, ‘Complete Control Sessions’ a new ep from Smoking Popes on SideOneDummy.

This is going to be good: Rancid, Evil Conduct and Salvation City Rockers live in Paris, at La Trianon, 2nd August.

May 1. Happy May Day! It’s international labour day! So if you know anyone actually in work, buy ’em a pint. May Day has also been re-branded as International Oi Day by the powerful but shadowy Oi Organising Committee. To celebrate their decision, the chaps decided to go on a “world drinking tour” last night at Ron Rouman’s rural retreat. First beer: Peroni, Becks, San Miguel, Budvar, Stella, Corona, Asahi, Cobra and London Pride. Then French and Italian wine, chased down with Belgian cidre, Irish coffee, Jamaican rum, Russian vodka and a very English “cheeky quart” of gin... 32hours later and they are all still as pissed as a Pete Way pudding and the veins on Ron’s forehead are bulging like Thames Valley contour maps.

Why have the Gonads got no gigs this Summer after the Jubilee Weekender, ask several readers? The truth is, Gal will be holed up for several months in a secure overseas location writing a “mind-boggling” blockbuster novel, South Coast is in the clinic for extensive psychiatric tests, Jase is ‘working’ with Pete Way, while Waistrel is off in the US liaising with a major fashion house in a bid to bring back the cape as a must-have menswear accessory. We will be back, but probably not before October.

Wattsie Watts is pressing ahead with the demented GayNads side project. Not only is she managing the dubious spin-off, she is also demanding equal microphone time with Gal. “We are the Sid James and Barbara Windsor of Oi,” she claimed. Although when reminded that Sid pressured Bar into bed many times (many, many times), she hastily replied: “Okay the Renée and Renato.” Save your love, my darling, save your love, we say, but it’s no use. We’ve lost her now to Max Splodge and no good will come of that.

Here, these are good, the Strypes: young, Irish and bluesy... the new Yardbirds? They play their London debut on Sunday 6 May @ TIMEBOX WEEKENDER @

This just in from The Bitch: “which faded punk legend always wears a cap because he is as bald as a billiard ball on top?” A few spring to mind, we say, but go on. “When seen from the back wearing his vest, with his bare head he looks like Andy from little Britain,” she/he adds teasingly, promising to reveal the little sprucer’s identity “if he keeps dodging ’is rahnds.”

We’ve had a message from the LA Bootboys telling us they’ll be back soon. Apparently they grew out of the West Coast Mod and Skinhead scene back in the 80s and iif this is the right link they sound pretty damn awesome.

Here’s Buddy Ascott’s diary of the Chords’ recent Japanese jaunt: I started with the best intentions... stuck to coffee, croissants and codeine at the airport, and as we got to the gate I took a 10 mg Valium... goodnight Vienna (well, Southall)... but then they took our plane away! So we had a beer... then a few more... Popey and Mic weren`t exactly helping my sobriety... Six hours later I didn`t need the replacement plane to fly... The flight to Japan never gets ANY easier... time crawls, films merge into one long epic, the food starts to congeal on your plastic tray and in your guts and eventually you just want to lie on the floor and die quietly...12 hours felt like 12 days and none of us get a wink of sleep... the glamour of air travel. But as we entered the Blade Runner landscape of Tokyo on the bus it felt like a sort of homecoming... at least for me - Mic looked like a nodding dog at the back of the bus as he fought the exhaustion. The hotel had the typically expansive rooms in which there isn’t room to swing an emaciated hamster... I was literally living out of my case for four days. Nowt else to do but get out and find the nearest izakaya if only to stretch our limbs and livers... Friday night saw the three of us (Billy still up north in Utsunomiya working, poor sod) at a Roger Daltrey gig in some out-of-town civic hall with all the atmosphere of a prison. But Rog was in good spirits, even managing an appalling Benny Hill-style Japanese impersonation that somehow drew laughter not outrage from the audience. Perhaps they weren’t rissening properly (see? It’s catching..)

The Gonads Website
Ah-So and so’s: The Chords in Japan yesterday.

The first Chords’ gig was in a small club in Yoyogi (I can’t bear it...) near Shinjuku, supported by a couple of genuine Japanese mod bands who were as dapper as they were proficient... good chaps one and all. We were onstage by 8.30 (considered late in these parts) and did a full set which went down a storm once the 200 locals lost their natural reticence... we played OK , but perhaps not a classic show as the nerves and fatigue showed at the beginning. At one point we had the support bands onstage with us to sing an acappella opening to The Japanese Way Of Life. Surreal. Ken - the maestro guitarist in Billy's band in Japan, the J-Chords, was due to join us for It's No Use... unfortunately he came on too early and I blurted out, "Not now Kato!!!" Fans of Peter Sellers would have appreciated it anyway... and Roger, probably.

Post-gig, the signings and photos took up almost as much time as the concert itself - but the fans were incredibly polite and patient, genuinely enthusiastic, and laden with armfuls of vinyl, dvd`s, t-shirts and parkas which all had to be autographed - it was a relief to get out and find a nice quiet tavern in which to relax - `til 4 am. I got so lost going back to the hotel on my own that I eventually flagged down a taxi - only to be driven 50 yards to the door. D`oh...Next day brought a Sunday gig in a trendy part of Tokyo called Shimokitazawa, a bit like Camden but without the crusty dogs (or crusty people). The crowd was marginally smaller, but younger, more energetic and just as demanding as the previous night after the gig - and we played a blinder if I say so myself. The only weird moment was when everyone's phones began to emit a warning sound - apparently an early earthquake alarm - but nobody moved an inch... A friend of Hidz was there with a present for me - a big bag of ice-cold beers, so the drive up north to Utsunomiya was a refreshing one. I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Hidz’ family yesterday, visiting the grave of my dear departed father-in-law, and seeing the plans for their new house - they are in remarkably good spirits, possibly due to the antics of our 18 month old niece, Princess Yu-Chan. Unfortunately not such great news from home, where Hidz fell down the stairs on Saturday and had to go to hospital to be x-rayed...fortunately nothing was broken (not even the bottle of meths she’d been necking in my absence), but she is very bruised so if you see her don’t ask her to sit down...A very weird and uncomfortable feeling to be 6000 miles from her when she needed me...and tonight I go even further away - we fly to Sydney (I think that’s his name) at 8.30 so the fun continues, as does the jet-lag...

Update - we're here - even more tired and jet-lagged...the plane encountered horrendous turbulence as we flew over Borneo - what are those orang-utans eating? We settled down again only for a kangaroo to apparently take charge in the cockpit as I swear we did the loop-the-loop a couple of times... We are living in an apartment with only three bedrooms - guess who's sleeping on the sofa? And put the kettle on Mic as well while you're up... It's like The Monkees so I must be Micky Dolenz... More soon... love you all!! Buddy x