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.
THE GONADS! CHARLTON! SOUTH LONDON! STREET ROCK N ROLL! COCKNEY CULTURE! COCKNEY ROCK! OI-TONE! SKA! BEER! CURRY! WORKERS’ RIGHTS! FLAG-GIRLS! ENGLAND! OI OI OI! THIS IS WHO WE ARE!
Sept 29. No-nonsense Gonads manager Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner) flew to Spain this week for a decisive if one-sided surprise meeting with Gal Gonad, who is currently holidaying in Sa Coma. Big Mart, backed by his psychopathic assistant Mitch “Mutton-Eye” Morgan, cornered Gal in a sleazy bar and told him firmly that the Big 69 album was definitely off and that instead he must write a brand new pure punk album “in the style of Glorious Bastards”. If Gal agreed, he said, then big-hearted Mart would allow him to write and release a solo album with Clyde Ward that would be “rule-breaking and mind-blowing, a game-changer”. When Gal started to ask how Sporrell had the audacity to tell him what to do, Mutton-Eye produced a large black rat from his unseasonal leather jacket and abruptly bit off its head. The conversation is said to have ended almost immediately. “It was an offer Gal couldn’t refuse, weren’t it?” sniffs his sunbathing PA Fit-Bird. We’ve also heard rumours that Mart is lining up one or both of Gal’s sons to take over from him for certain gigs and overseas tours but we haven’t got the guts to ring him up and ask him if it’s true…
Sept 27. Gal has attempted to go above Martin Sporrell’s head and persuade Lord Waistel to reverse the manager’s decision to postpone the Big 69 birthday album. Gal is off on holiday but when we called Waistrel for details, Scrotum – His Lordship’s wrinkled retainer – informed us that although Gal did speak to the reactionary billionaire Gonads owner before flying to Spain, the good Lord was too busy chuckling about Rupert Murdoch’s retirement to give him an answer. “’Is Lordship called Mr Murdoch a quitter, and a whipper-snapper,” the butler tells us. “’E halso called ’im a bally wet liberal.” So mote it be.
Sept 21. Martin Sporrell does not hang about. Within days of being “raised” to Gonads manager, the aggressive can-do gooner has 1) negotiated a settlement with Randale Records who have agreed to re-release our second official bootleg as a CD, eventually 2) confirmed a second acoustic gig for November – details to follow, and 3) controversially opened negotiations for a full-punk Gonads/Slugz mini-tour. But when we ring him to find out more, his assistant Mutton-Eye Mitch tells us, “Mart ain’t got time to talk to soppy blogs, he’s got things to do, people to see. ‘Action this day’ is our slogan and we don’t fuck about. Keep out of our way and you’ll be okay, son.” Strewth.
Sept 16. In a dramatic turn of events, Lord Waistrel last night appointed his can-do fixer Martin Sporrell (aggressive gooner) as new Gonads manager. Sporrell – 6ft 5 and built of oak, iron and festering belligerence – accepted the post without question, vowing to “undo six wasted months of inactivity and wasted momentum”. In a short blunt speech at a hastily assembled press conference, he announced that the Gonads are withdrawing from their twelve-year partnership with “time-wasting” Randale Records of southern Germany, adding that “a state of war” now exists “between Blackheath and the Black Forest… again!” Sporrell promised to release our Official Bootleg II album himself via Soitainly Records with a launch at the Triangle bar in Deptford this November. He also pledged: 1) to open negotiations with Rebellion Festival for our 2024 return. 2) To “sort” a California tour with Doug & The Slugz for Gal, Clyde and the American Gonads next year. And 3) to “forge links” with younger street bands like Crown Court. (Told that Crown Court supported Tottenham Hotspur, Mr Sporrell’s face drained of colour and he uttered the words “They will be dealt with”). The new manager added that he will work alongside Miss Management to achieve “maximum Gonadification of English working-class culture”. But, in a surprise twist, he announced that the pricey Big 69 project – already described as “the streetpunk equivalent of HS2” – will be “put on a back burner”, pending what he called “possibilities”. Nads HQ will now move back to Indus Road, London SE7. At the end of the press conference, to cheers from the watching throng, Big Mart told reporters that “with the Cockney Rejects semi-retired, the Upstarts kaput and Sparrer at war with themselves, there was room for a new band to take over as the true and authentic voice of Oi, and that band will be Gary & The Gonads”. He went on: “Who else is there? The Badoes are on the bench and Infa Riot are tarnished by a long history of round-dodging. We are your future!” The crowd erupted. He was then carried shoulder high by Fleet Street’s finest for “trebles all round” – all charged to the tab of a certain Lee Wilson. Revenge. It’s a dish best served with several gallons of Guinness and glass or seven of 12-years-old Islay single malt.
A Newsnight vox pop showed that most Club 77 members were “impressed and delighted” by Sporrell’s appointment, with Fat Col likening it to the charge of the Knights of the Vale when they smashed what was left of the Bolton army at the Battle of the Bastards on Game Of Thrones. A more sober Effete El sniffed “Charge of the Light Brigade” under his breath and edged away from the cameras…
Sept 10. Your questions answered! We have had more emails than usual in recent weeks, many of you asking about the same things. So we’re going to answer some of them now. The majority of Nads fans complain about the lack of gigs. Gal Gonad replies: “It’s been a difficult and frustrating year. We had a number of plans fall through, sometimes because the bookers were making promises they couldn’t keep and sometimes because the offers were unrealistic. We are doing a Christmas acoustic show, as is now traditional, and we might do a warm-up beforehand in Deptford or Camden, but it doesn’t look like we will do anything else this year. It’s fun but it’s not ideal. Like you I prefer the Gonads hard, fast and loud.”
What’s happening with the band in 2024. Miss Management: “Wakefield is a distinct possibility next year, and we will try again to make Ireland work.”
GG: “German and California dates are 50/50, although I suspect the US could only happen with the American Gonads. We’re open to playing anywhere as long as the promoters know what they’re doing.”
What about the promised live album? MM: “Frustratingly we are entirely dependent on the record company who are incredibly hard to get a response out of and have delayed the release of Official Bootleg 2 for reasons we don’t understand.” GG: “There has been a long silence like the quiet of the grave from their end.”
How about the Big 69 project? MM: “Again this is compromised by the problems we’re have getting coherent responses from the label.” GG: “After the cock-ups of this year, there’s a strong possibility we will cut them out of the equation and release something ourselves or with a US label. All sixty-nine tracks are either written or co-written but there isn’t the time or the resources to record them all by May.”
Have you read this new Oi book? GG: “In between fits of laughter. It’s terrible, it’s dotted with mistakes and the usual smears. It doesn’t do the bands, the fans or the scene any favours. I keep being asked to write a definitive account of those early years and I promise I will start it again next year. I am in talks with a publisher.”
Why is Wattsie’s alien cat called Colonel Tom and not Major Tom? Wattsie Watts: “He’s been promoted.”
We read on the blog about various projects. How likely are they to happen? GG: “I’d very much like to do An audience with Gal & His Gonads, but I also intend to do an entirely separate stand-up show. I’m looking for someone to take over management duties in order to make it happen. I’m open to all genuine suggestions.”
Is the blog back permanently? Effete El: “Sadly not. It’ll be updated in fits and starts until band activity resumes.”
Sept 1st. The great day has come. Early this morning, jubilant members of our Club 77 fan club logged into a Zoom meeting (whatever the fuck that is) to hear Shona Wattsie Watts address the waiting nation. With no hesitation or sign of stage fright, Wattsie broke the big news to the watching half dozen signed-up Cult of September 1st members (plus various debt collectors, stalkers, groupies and gutter hacks). Shooting from the hip, she announced that this year’s Great Gonads Acoustic Christmas Knees-up will take place at the Hopper’s Hut, Sidcup, on Saturday 9th December (tickets available direct from the venue or via their Facebook page). Wild cheers erupted across the interweb, followed by a long, expectant silence. What amazing news would come next? An album release date from Randale Records of southern Germany? Tour dates for next year? A green light for An Audience with Gal and his Gonads… A kind of hush fell all over the land but then – let-down of let-downs – the Zoom call fizzled out. Was that it? Of course not! More is clearly to follow. The ravishing Wattsie would not let us down. Would she? (Are you kidding? – Fat Col).