May 31. It's nearly out! No, not our album, Gal and Wattsie's big screen, all-action crime movie Gatwick Gangsters! Sadly the 15 certificate means that Fat Col's part has been cut, and that footage is now only available under the counter from Spanner's sex shop. Just give Si the handshake and ask for Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Bollocks.
We're still expecting to take delivery of the new LP by the middle of June, but there are no guarantees. Some might criticise a record company for failing to release a band's album in the months (not even the month!) promised, and then failing to inform them of an accurate release date thus nobbling any attempt to organise a launch party, gigs and a promotional campaign, but Lord Waistrel is controversially backing Randale's confusing marketing strategy. "'Is Lordship says hit keeps the idle wretches on their toes," says Scrotum, Waistrel's wrinkled retainer. "Plus hit means they won't be spending none of 'is Lordship's precious champagne budget on no lavish Russell 'Arty."
Meanwhile, out next month for sure is the new Selecter album. Subculture (mixed by Prince Fatty) will be released on 15 June via DMF Records followed by the first single, 'Box Fresh' on 21 June.
Who dares to speak of Whitsun week? Not us. The Pranksters weekender, organised by 2-Tone lodge, was reportedly so traumatic that the PM has lost the power of speech. El Tel also needed an operation on his hand (for all possible wanking gags, see Fat Col immediately). Our picture shows some of the brethren dressed in their ceremonial garb for the arcane ritual known as "goat-rubbing". Col is first on left. Lee Wilson was due to be initiated last week but had to postpone the great honour as he was playing gigs in the States. "Our West Coast dates were a great success," Lee tells us. "We are One Direction for punk rock grannies there. They loved us. One fan told me 'Your money is no good in this bar'." That's not surprising though, is it? It's no good in any bar! The contents of Lee's wallet consist entirely of ten bob notes, white fivers, groats and moth-eaten guineas.
May 24. Quick update, our new album Greater Hits Volume 3 – The Complete Cobblers will be released "in mid-June" according to the ever reliable Randale Records, the pride of the Black Forest. Meanwhile our rehearsals for our first-ever acoustic set at Rebellion are sounding "as sweet as a nut" according to Fat Col who particularly loves the swing version of 'Grant Mitchell'. Yeah you heard that right. There's a touch of Elvis about the acoustic 'UK Sub', he says adding "and wait till you hear how Sinatra would have sung 'Anal Intruder'. I laughed my bollocks off." To which Wattsie sniffs: "I didn't know he had any."
The Cockney Rejects are doing their next album via Pledgemusic. The working title is Let's 'Ave It, it'll cost 12 sovs, and, as well as that you can pledge for signed DVDs, a Cockney Rejects Oi Oi Oi t-shirt, loads of other shirts and signed merch, bass guitar tuition from Tony Van Frater and a boxing lesson with Jeff in the ring ("Too risky" – Tucker Jnr). All details here.
In other news, Oi This Is Streetpunk! Volume Five is out now on colour vinyl from Pirates Press. The tasty collection includes tracks from the Last Resort, Infa Riot, Lion's Law, Duffy's Cut, Bishops Green, Evil Conduct, Last Seen Laughing, Geoffrey Oi!Cott and more. It was released on 15/5/15, and includes a digital download... Skippy's crew have also released a vinyl version of Lion Law's Open Your Eyes LP, which includes a digital download and a boot-shaped, promo flexi-postcard of Laced Up... Olga Toydoll has released an acoustic album on Randale Records, with artwork by the Toy Dolls bassist Tom Blyth.
May 20. Punk poetry legend Garry Johnson is to release a stinging attack on Prince Harry's call for the restoration of National Service and the Conservative government. Gal, who was the Stone Roses' first manager, has come out of retirement to record the single as "a double punch" of protest. The A-sided single features 'National Service – A Reply to Prince Harry' coupled with a dub reggae version of Garry's poem 'The Young Conservatives' composed and produced by the immortal Clyde Ward. It includes scathing lines such as 'Just like the days before the war/The Tory Party still stands for/Mass unemployment and poverty/A "Them & Us" society' and 'Silver spooned and bottle-fed, the Daily Mail is always read/By Young Conservatives born to win/Another world they're living in.' The Cockney poet and author, who found fame on the punk circuit in the early 1980s, said last night: "Cameron's Conservative Party of Bullingdon bullies have no understanding of life at the bottom of the pile. For them to try and sell themselves as the voice of the working class is an insult, a farce. Like Prince Harry, they see working class youth as just fodder for the dole queue or the army." 'National Service' has been given a new punk arrangement by Insane Society and includes the stanza: 'Soldiers wearing pin-stripe suits/Want us to wear marching boots/Army life they say is fun/Clear the streets of all the young/We want you to go to war/And kill another country's poor' Garry, 53, said: "I haven't been well but this week's news has got me out of my sick bed. I want this single to be a double punch against the class who want to grind us down. There is a new wave of angry working class poets like JB Barrington from Salford and we need to make our voices heard. We're Poets Against Austerity." He went on: "There is a new wave of protest emerging. Louise Distras has punk roots and is making the same points with her Dreams From The Factory Floor album." Barrington himself tweeted this week: "National Service doesn't work, it's too expensive to tax payers & it's an antiquated concept, a bit like #PrinceHarry then & the rest of 'em." The single will be released in July via Soitenly Records, the finest label in South London (lalala).
A great turn-out for Gal's birthday party. Living legend Garry Johnson was the first to arrive, followed by the ever dashing round-phobic Lee 'Daktari' Wilson, Chelsea Dom, Richie Rocker from the Crows and DJ Paul 'Stalin' Hallam who played a mighty fine mix of classic Ska, soul, punk, Northern Soul and sixties r&b – the authentic sounds of English Mod and original skinhead, apart from the punk. And of course it only took the Clash, Sham and The Jam to lure the likes of John King (Beer Monster Elite), Mandy (The Crows) and Shona Wattsie Watts onto the dance floor. Though it has to be noted that certain veteran pogoers could barely last the entire distance of 'White Riot' and it ain't a very long song. Mick Geggus arrived with Skully, Cass Pennant talked about the success of his 2-Tone inspired short film Beverly (showing in Cannes next week), Vicki Michelle posed patiently with an army of admirers, and Zoe Anderson recalled past flag-girl duties. Also in attendance, Mark Wyeth (Symarip), Steve Whale, Mr & Mrs Barnet Mark, a platoon of Charlton's finest including Charlton Tel and Chris Weeks, the radiant Carrie from Buster Shuffle, Si Spanner, Helen Keating from London's Burning, tireless promotions wizard Emma Rule and of course Gonads past and present. Leah McCaffrey and Phil Badoes treated the throng to a country arrangement of 'SE7 Dole Day', joined on the final choruses by Shona Wattsie Watts, Paul SkaNad, Miss Management, and newlyweds Mick and Allyson Maverick. In an impromptu speech Gal thanked his guests, largely for not inviting Freddie Starr, and later led a small firm back to Nads HQ where the "after-party" lasted until daybreak. It would be tedious to list the 100+ friends and family guests by name, and tiresome to recall the apologies for absence, some of which might even have been genuine. It was a great and magical night, with a simple message: Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think!
This website returns in a month or so. We'll let you know when the new album is out. In the meantime, life goes on within us and without us.
May 13. Happy b-oi-thday to Sir Gal of Gonad who hit a BIG event today. Sixty. Yeah 6-0. Please join us in channelling the spirit of Cock Sparrer to ask the caring question: Oi, Gal, What's It Like To Be Old?
*Bit of a set-back on the 35th anniversary Oi e.p. front. Seems a couple of over-enthusiastic bods had mistakenly pledged many times over, so the true total is currently back down at a feeble 58% of the target. Have a look at the pledgemusic site and see if anything floats your (Oi! The) boat. Cheers.
May 10. Issue eleven of Street Sounds is out on Wednesday, featuring Kevin Rowland, Christine Sugary Staple, Twenty Things You Didn't Know about Crashed Out, the Amphetameanies, Reverend Horton Heat, Rebellion news, Justice For Henry, Besserbitch, a Punk & Disorderly report, more poets, part two of Chelsea Dom's mammooooth chat with Matt Kelly of the Dropkick Murphys, the latest Superyob cartoon strip and much more. PLUS a definitive Top Ten of rock'n'roll round dodgers supplied by this blog. Some of you reading this might well be in it, Lee... Why not pre-order it here, right now?
Meanwhile we have seen the finished artwork for our new album, The Gonads – Greater Hits Volume 3, The Complete Cobblers. Like Fat Col at a lap-dancing club it really is soon-come, kids. Volume 3 will be initially available on CD and vinyl, it boasts 25 songs including three bonus tracks and one 'punishment track'. Watch this space for a definitive UK release date...
Calling all Pranksters! 2-Tone Lodge have taken over the organisation of the Whitsun Weekend event in That Essex Place and have decreed that the dress code is "Morris", the drink code is "Sailor Jerry" and they add "Bring cheese for the ferrets". Gulp. So mote it be.
May 9. Actual news shock! The new streetpunk compilation, Oi Still Fighting is due out this Summer. Compiled by Gal and Oi The Boat Records on behalf of Street Sounds, the LP includes hot tracks from Hard Evidence, Victory, Lion's Law, Blind Pigs, Drug Shock, Justice Blocc, NOi!se, Anger Flares, Harrington Saints, Die Trying!, Duffy's Cut, Brick Assassin and The Clichés. Watch the Street Sounds facebook page for a release date.
We have a limited number of Gal's Riff-Raff, Rebels & Rock Gods book back in stock, so if you want a signed copy now is the time to order it, chaps and chapesses.
Random news: The Slits have launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their official documentary. Here To Be Heard: The Story Of The Slits will include unseen film footage of the veteran punk band, and let's hope plenty of credit to Dennis 'Blackbeard' Bovell who made them listenable... Our Mod mates The Spitfires release their debut album Response on 21 August 21 through Catch 22 Records. The 13-track CD include the singles 'Stand Down' and the forthcoming 'When I Call Out Your Name'... Alternative TV release their new LP, Opposing Forces, in July – their first studio album in 14 years... Coldside's album Outcasts, Thugs And Outsiders is now out as a limited pressing vinyl LP; it's a proper butt-kicking, ball-busting bonanza of brain-boiling hardcore with guest appearances by Roger Miret and Freddy Madball on the title track, a cover of Darkbuster's 'Skinhead', and a live version of the Iron Cross anthem 'Crucified'. (Strength Records). .
May 7. Britain goes to the polls today but there is another burning question hanging over the nation – did Lee Wilson really describe himself as a living legend? Many reliable and in some cases sober witnesses have testified that the story is true but Lovejoy continues to deny it. “I actually told Jenny Woo to ‘kiss my bell-end’,” he says, in the misguided belief that such foul sexism is a) funny or b) acceptable from an elderly gentleman in a cheap safari jacket. We’d like to apologise unreservedly to Ms Woo for the foul oaf and suggest with respect that if there is any bell-end kissing going down, ours taste much sweeter and give generously... unlike Brother Wilson - pictured here showing his sensitive side.
May 5. Thank you! With 97% of the financing pledged, we are now just a few bob short of making our All-Star 35th anniversary of Oi e.p. a reality. The e.p., to be recorded later this year, will feature members and ex-members of the Cockney Rejects, The Business, The Gonads, The Badoes, Infa Riot and a few more proper faces. There’s still time to reserve your copy, or bag a tasty exclusive here.
*Talking Infa Riot, a few years back Jenny Woo asked Lee ‘Daktari’ Wilson how it felt to be back on the scene after so long. Lee told her, straight-faced: “It’s not easy being a living legend.” He’s tried to deny it, of course, but more people heard the exchange than have ever seen him buy a round...
*The new Ruts book, Love In Vain, is officially published on 29th June, but this Saturday, Segs and Dave Ruffy do their exclusive Pledgers only gig for it at The Islington, with an acoustic and an electric set, an audience Q & A and a book signing. It’s 35 sovs a ticket. Details here.
Record news: out again on vinyl, the Bouncing Souls’ four-track ‘Neurotic’ seven-incher (Chunksaah Records)... Pirates Press have just released Louise Distras’s debut album Dreams From The Factory Floor on vinyl... and Brass Tacks’ Just The Facts is out on vinyl for the first time from Beer City Records. You get the original album plus songs from the US Oi band’s The Good Life single, and the only recorded version of the Wisconsin band’s ‘Just The Facts’ song.
May 2. Okay dig this, you crazy kids. We’re only playing The Boot-boys’ Christmas Knees-Up at the 100 Club. You get The Business, us, Infa-Riot and Skurvi... all for a score. It’s Friday 18th December. Tickets on sale here.
May 1. Happy May Day. Our 35th anniversary Oi project is more than three-quarters there. You can help us get to the total, if you like by pledging for some goodies here.
Mods will return to Margate half a century on from the big 1965 Whitsun bank holiday bust-up. The New Untouchables are holding a Mod & Sixties festival at the Westcoast and Black Cat venues over Whitsun bank holiday (22nd – 25th May). Acts over the three day event include the JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET, GRAHAM DAY & THE FOREFATHERS and THE SMALL FAKERS. Saturday afternoon will see a ‘battle of the bands’ (not in a Cockney Rejects sense), open decks DJ sessions, and a scooter show and comp. For the full program and tickets go here. For details of the Pranksters weekend event, see your Tyler.
April 29. Grosse Neuigkeiten! Or big news, chaps: Diana from Randale emails us to say that our new album will “100%” be delivered by “the middle of May”. Hurrah! But hold up, is that just when the records reach the Black Forest? If so, when will they arrive in beautiful downtown Charlton, Diana? Diana? DIANA?!? Nope, she’s gone. Donner und kebab. Unser Hovercraft ist voller Aal.
Congratulations to Mick Maverick who marries our former flag-girl and MK Dons fanatic Allyson on Saturday. In true Gonads style, Mick will no doubt consummate the marriage by slipping as many past her defences on the big night as the Dons did against Leyton Orient. (Cue the distant sobs of Tim Wells, Ska & bar).
Random guff: the original line-up of Eddie & The Hot Rods play London’s 229 Club on 19th June. The Crunch and The Pukes are at the Borderline tonight. Our mate Louise Distras has announced US dates. And our own Wattsie Watts has been officially named “the Debbie Harry of Oi’ in a specially commissioned poll of niche music lovers to be published next month. No cheap jokes please. The visually impaired have great taste too.