Nov 25. Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in Lord Waistrel's hat. If you haven't got a penny, a visit to our shop page will do... where you can order old albums, new e.p.s (and old ones), hot compilations, cold badges, tasteful books and classics Nads t-shirts at bargain prices. Well, prices at any rate.
Nov 24. After another intense day in the studio our new album is very nearly complete, and what a corker! Greater Hits Volume 3: The Complete Clobbers is likely to clock in at a record 25 songs, including four bonus tracks. Early highlights include the rock-hard 'Made In London', the tender (ahem) 'Love Song', the addictive punk-pop of Gentleman John's 'Temazepam', the new improved 'Beano', the tasteful reggae of 'What's Happening Now', the pure pathetique passion of 'Soap Trilogy' and treacherous bent of 'Barnet's Betrayal.' The PM himself, Terence Hayes contributed raw-as-razors vocals to the bold new version of 'Back Street Army', turning up at the studio with three oriental gentlemen who he introduced as representatives of The Sons Of The Laughing Dragon – the Chinese equivalent of the Pranksters – and their alluring assistant Lotus Blossom. Wattsie Watts of course materialised to croon a new, rib-tickling and absolutely clean version of 'Badly Done' while other guest artistes included the magnificent Leah McCaffrey and hard rock legend The Blue Rat. We have been ordered not to reveal the full track-listing until after the final mix next month – wait till you hear 'The Beautiful Sole' though – but we can pass on the quote of the day, from the formidable Miss Management herself: "I've got a whip and I'm not afraid to use it!" MM adds sternly: "That's not a quote, that's a fact!" And "I've got a collection of whips because of what I do for a living." Minds and groins boggle as one at the thought. The runner-up quote of the day came from Paul SkaNad: "Phil's still got to do Sandra." We make no comment. Although we're told that Wattsie uttered the year's filthiest bit of innuendo on the car journey home. Luckily for her, Gal has completely forgotten it, a side effect of his post concussion malarkey. She did tell us "I do love a bit of horn" however. She might have been talking about a brass section. Then again she might not... The Gonads, we've still got it.
IN other news, the mighty Gnarwolves have sold out their London show at The Underworld... The Crunch are just mixing their new record, which Sulo tells us is "a power pop/punk kinda album, a bit Gen X/Clash feel"... the East End Badoes will target Russell Brand in new ditty 'Your Revolution'... and Side One Dummy are giving away a Winter Sampler compilation here.
IN Prankster news, the Brethren will celebrate Festivus early this year to honour their special guests The Sons of the Laughing Dragon and their alluring assistant Lotus Blossum. The ticket-only event will be held at That Charlton Place on 6th December and will be chaired by the Reverend Loonbucket, WM. Donkey Laugh themselves will perform after the festive board, with an authentic sixties Ska DJ set from Group of Nine highflyer Effete El. The opening act is French legend Le Pissoir, the world's leading exponent of urine art-dancing... and also the wettest.
The Bitch tells us that senior pranksters are worried about the visitors' speech which is due to be given by Brother Sulaymaan from Shanghai. One whispers: "He has ill-fitting false teeth and cannot speak without spraying seas of saliva over everyone within a five foot radius." They are particularly concerned that Sulaymaan is due to introduce Sidmouth Susie and her Seven Shadowing-Boxing Sisters who specialise in Scrumpy & Western, Scottish Baroque and uncensored samba erotica. Oh shit. Ageing delinquent Fat Col tells us he is going "cos Lotus Blossom has got ninja tits, my life, they materialise when you least expect them and could easily have yer eye out." Oaf.
OUT now, the new Bombshell Rocks album Generation Tranquilized on colour vinyl from Pirates Press Records, containing twelve new songs as tough and catchy as desert cacti from the Swedish streetpunk herberts... COMING soon: Street Sounds the annual – every spit, every cough and every bloody word from the first two years together in one handy, handsome and historical keepsake – watch this space for details...
HEY, it's Wattsie Watts's birthday next month and it's a big un (to stay on her good side, let's call it her fortieth). So we'd like to ask all of Wattsie's many admirers to get in touch so we can sort her out a Russell Harty she won't forget in a hurry. What say ya? P.S. If you don't get in touch we won't bother. We love her and all that, especially Col, but y'know, we're busy people... bets to place, beer to sink, barmaids to slide into... (You wish – Sandra Lane)
Nov 19. The headlines today: Wattsie and Gal are set to record new clean version of 'Badly Done' for the next album... Stief throws himself into new Remembrance project... and Fat Col has come up with a half-decent gag. But first, our main news – Gal has been diagnosed with post concussion syndrome, which explains the double vision, tiredness, headaches and unusual levels of grumpiness; the good news is there is no internal bleeding. Gal spent six hours in A&E yesterday after finally realising his Gonads-style attempt to shrug off the post-crash trauma were getting him nowhere. Says Fit-Bird: "'E's been told to rest for a week - no drivin', no drinkin', and no stress the doctor said, di'n't she?" Though quite how no stress sits with no drinking escapes us all. Fit-Bird also reports that our singer's claims that the hospital had advised he should "be served breakfast in bed every day on a silver platter by women wearing 1970s sitcom negligees" were dismissed by Leah McCaffrey with a curt "Dream on, son." Gal is however using his free time to write the new lyrics for 'Badly Done', so some good has come of it. A stern-faced Beast cautions "No Gonads song has ever been written sober before. This is a break from tradition that Lord Waistrel might not tolerate", but considering some of the stuff he's written pissed, we somehow doubt it.
Fat Col on Paul Hallam's hairy chest: "Should have gone to Pecs-Shavers." Ouch.
Stief, still on the missing list in the distant land of the Geordies, emails asking us to support his latest pet project – a national kick-about "in Remembrance Of The 1914 Christmas Day Football Truce In The Trenches Of France" Now we thought the main festive truce, and first reported football match between British and German troops happened in Belgium – to be precise, at Saint-Yvon – Ploegsteert, Comines-Warneton. But leaving that aside, the wild one further proposes that the matches "KICK OFF XMAS DAY AT MIDDAY FOR 15 MINUTES." An exasperated Fat Col responds: "At mid-day?!? Is he 'kin' mad?? Everyone knows the pubs are only open for two hours on Christmas Day. Besides the loss of valuable drinking time, what would this achieve? Everyone who owns a TV set knows that it's a hundred years since the First World War! What's the point of a kick-about? Either play a match or don't. And who represents the Germans? It's bonkers." Controversy Corner, or what? And all we try to do is help people...
Out now: 'X-Spurts: The 1977 Recordings' – an extremely rare ten-track demo session from the legendary Aussie punks with more bad attitude than an half-starved angry croc (Ugly Pop Records)... and the new Suede Razors 7-inch 'Boys Night Out' (Pirates Press) – the band is made up by members of such Bay Area favourites as the Harrington Saints, Hounds & Harlots and the Sydney Ducks. Bit punk, bit glam, bit good.
Our mates the Friends of Luca Brasi are playing a Xmas gig at the Spice Of Life, London, on Friday 19th December... It's a Zani do, with Simon Wells, English Oceans and headliners ReWILD... Entry: £5. Bargain.
Nov 17. What a weekend! We've been busier than a one-armed builder in Syria – and just as shell-shocked. After a hyper-productive two-day studio session, the next Gonads album is now virtually finished with just Gal's vocals and Phil's lead guitar work to come before the final mix can begin. An over-enthusiastic Fat Col has already posted on line that Greater Hits Volume 3: The Complete Cobblers would come in at 24 songs, including at least one rare bonus track. That isn't the case. No decision has yet been made on the final track-listing and several new songs that were ear-marked for the album, including 'Son Of FrankenSkin', 'Fight All Day', 'Blue Rat' and the incredible 'Viva Humperdinck', will now be held back for a future e.p. release. But we can definitely tell you that a shed-load of bona-fide oi oi classics have made the cut, along with Phil and Gal's steel-hard 'Made In London' and our own raw version of the new Gal & Clyde's hearty Ska ditty 'What's Happening Now' - which is "as good as 'Oi Mate' according to Paul SkaNad.
Phil McDermott set the mood early doors following his gut-buster fry-up with a cheery Saturday morning cry of "Fuck the tea, bring me a bottle of Jacks." Other quotes of the weekend included "None of that Mod shit!", "Cor, that's the perfect length!", and Wattsie's bold "I'm so confident of my place in this group that I'll blow out the recording sessions and go and watch my mate's covers band instead" (or did we just imagine that?) Our own favourite was Phil's anguished cry of "What's an F sharp diminished chord?" There was no such musical hesitancy from Gentleman John who dazzled us all with his amazing organ skills (careful – Ed) on the new extended version of '(What's The Story?) England's Glory.' "It was like Rick Wakeman had turned up," remarked a passing wino. The Gent brought young son Jamie along to join in the mob choruses. Although a natural Gonads fan, the boy was swiftly removed from the studio by Miss Management before he could take part in (or hear) the appallingly misnamed 'Love Song'.
The album is so damn tough and tasty that there have already been calls from within the band for the Gonads to come out of retirement and play some live gigs in 2015. Lord Waistrel, and it must be said Gal, are dead against this. The formidable Miss Management and her acolytes are for it. So the matter will be settled in the traditional Nads manner – over 18 pints of wallop and a vindaloo, to which all band members are invited, even part-timers like Wattsie.
*Talking rubies, crafty John King has made a bid to recapture the Punk Rock Curry Club in the name of the Beer Monster Elite, wowing the faithful with his charismatic vision of "Buster Bloodvessel leading ten of the BME onto Southall Broadway at midnight." JK's eloquence has left his rivals in the so-called Babysham Brigade in disarray. Word from the frontline confirms "Chelsea have taken the PRCC, all is lost." May god have mercy on our souls - and particularly our livers.
Out now, Lee Loughride's book Punkrockpaperscissors (published by Image Comics). Lee, a colourist on top US comics including Deadly Class and The Batman Adventures, has put together a collection of 600 flyers from his punky 1980s past. These include every major club in the North East USA including CBGB and The Pipeline where we played in 1998. Bands featured include the Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Agnostic Front, GBH, Kraut and Murphy's Law.
Nov 13. Last night's Street Sounds knees-up was a sensational success, Donna Damage writes, with a barn-storming, show-closing performance by The Backhanders – the Manc band dubbed "the spirit of the Stone Roses reborn" by a passing music expert. Carol Harrison, 'Cushty' Kylie Olsson and DC Mickey Webb from The Bill rubbed shoulders with genuine street culture legends such as Rhoda Dakar (The Special AKA, The Bodysnatchers), Chris Pope (The Chords, Pope), Jock MacDonald (The 4be2s, The Bollock Brothers), Lee Wilson (Infa-Riot, RounddodgersRUs), Cass Pennant, Terence Hayes (PM, Badoes & Bar), and Arsenal's finest, The Riders of The Night. Engelbert Humperdinck dropped by early doors (honestly!), Mark Wyeth (Ruts DC, Symarip, The Moonstompers) cut an imposing figure, respected Mod author Terry Rawlings was there – and was that Keith Lemon we saw propping up the bar???
Guests were welcomed with free shots and a slap up pie and mash supper courtesy the wonderful London Pie & Mash Company Limited – voted an authentic hit by every Londoner in the gaff. Top DJ Tottenham Sean span quality Ska and punk and Antonia Moore broke off from looking gorgeous to take the occasional picture. The invited audience got to mingle with Street Sounds contributors – birthday girl Bev Elliott (Queen of Punk), Malcolm Dome, Craig Brackenridge, Chelsea Dom and Emma Suck – as well as film-makers, authors, actors and literary agents, while a film crew from ME1 TV caught the party-goers on camera.
The main event kicked off with Gal and Paul 'Stalin' Hallam on stage being grilled by a dapper "Lovejoy" Lee. The highlight of this alleged interview was Gal's revelations about Stalin's secret shame – a torso so hairy his Nan could have knitted him. "We shared a room at a Street Sounds event in Italy," Gal revealed. "It was like a scene out of Gorillas In The Mist!" The questions were followed by a reading from Riff-Raff, Rebels & Rock Gods before Tim Wells took the microphone to deliver some quality street poetry with a class war bite. Then Damon Coles belted out an acoustic set before The Backhanders closed the night.
The "Russell Harty" was put on to celebrate the second anniversary of Street Sounds – new issue, number nine is out now from our shop page. And the good news is issue ten is likely to be on sale in at least one high street retailer. Other guests included Wattsie Watts, stand-up comic Louise Michelle, various Crows, Russ Harper, Sarah SkaNad, Johnny WahWah, Gonads Phil McDermott and rockabilly ledge Paul Mummery, Model Society, Matteo from Zani, authors Tim Thomas and Paul Chambers, Jens from Hawkins & Joseph (Britain's finest street clothing firm), someone from Tarkus The Hedge, Oi The Ogden and the cast of A Fool's Circle. Big thanks from the organisers to Barnet Mark, and to those 24hour PR People Ian and Emma for their help. Apologies for absence were received from Garry Johnson, Hoxton Tom, Neville Staple, Watford Jon, Manic Esso, John King, the Cockney Rejects, Ashley Walters, Nick Ferrari (yes, that one), Gaye Advert (yes, that one), Fat Col (not that one), Buddy Ascott and many more. Sorry if your name isn't here, but it was one of those nights. Until the next one... PS. Some pictures might follow – if anyone sends us some! We hope that they include one said to prove that Lee Wilson finally bought a round, although various experts including Nessie dispute its existence.
Oh look - here are those pix we mentioned! Click on the photos below for the full size pictures with captions.
*THANKS to everyone who have been asking about Gal's health. He has been diagnosed with concussion and is suffering with double vision – which should make seeing Kiria again an extra special treat. Fit-Bird tells us he was pretty shaken on Wednesday morning. Concerned Bev Elliott offered to get the Street Sounds party postponed, but Gal over-ruled her saying "The show must go on!" What a trooper, eh kids?
Nov 12. Bad news last night as a German lorry smashed into a vehicle carrying Gal and Leah McCaffrey. No-one was badly hurt, but both were shaken up. The lorry struck the nearside back door, spinning the car round, and then hit it again shunting it along the road, smashing a rear light and tearing off the bumper. Mechanics are now establishing the extent of the damage. Fit-Bird tells us: "They were driving in the second of four lanes heading towards the Dartford Crossing when the lorry came in off a slip-road, crossed the first lane and slammed right into them. They're lucky to be alive." She went on "Leah has minor injuries, Gal just seems dazed and confused... so condition normal really, innit?" Being hit by a German lorry on Remembrance Day is "thought to have no significance" Fit-Bird tells us sternly. She denies rumours of sabotage insisting that the accident "will not delay the new album"... although it is unlikely to feature cover versions of 'Wreck On The Highway' or 'I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass'. Contacted this morning Gal joked: "This is the Gonads' greatest hit."
In other news, the Swingin' Utters have released a new album called Fistful Of Hollows on Fat Wreck Chords. And new movie We Are Twisted Fucking Sister! is premiering in Amsterdam at the documentary film festival IDFA on 23 November. Jay Jay French will be at a special showing that day at a theatre in the Melkweg. There will be another screening at a regular cinemas the next day. The film is also showing in Germany at a festival called Sound Track Cologne. You can check out the trailer here.
Nov 9. Lest we forget: They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. They mingle not with their laughing comrades again. They sit no more at familiar tables of home. They have no lot in our labour of the day-time. They sleep beyond England's foam.
Nov 7. Wotcha chums! We're back, and we've shot straight into the studio to get stuck in to Greater Hits Volume 3 which should be out around Easter time. Details and updates will no doubt follow later this month. While we've been away, Gal's chat with Lars Frederiksen was posted here - and his new music podcast went up here with guests Mik Whitnall, Chris Pope and Damon Coles, plus terrific tracks from the Bar Stool Preachers, Eight Rounds Rapid, Buster Shuffle, the Filth FC and many more.
WE don't want to sully our return with the malodorous stench of bad feeling, but sadly we have to report that there has been a concerted attempt to sabotage our new recording sessions orchestrated by a so-called rival singer who found his better half in a mirror. We know all about your foul machinations, "pal", and so does Lord Waistrel who has dispatched two of South East London's finest, One Punch Thompson and the Ghurkha, to extract a brutal and bloody revenge. (Although as we hear it, there might be quite a queue... ) In an unrelated story, the real Sham 69 - the classic 1977 line up - will be playing a very special gig at The Assembly in Leamington Spa on 28th November, with supports the Angelic Upstarts and Crashed Out...
RANDOM news: Our mates the Reducers SF, who supported us in Frisco way back in 1998, have released a colour vinyl box set called Essentials on Pirates Press. It includes all three of the band's LPs re-mastered plus a bonus 12inch of demos, live material, B-sides and extras... Garry Johnson is writing his autobiography which will include a detailed and hilarious account of how he duped Fleet Street out of "fortunes" for decades with a string of invented 'stories'... .Rancid's classic album ... And Out Come The Wolves has been re-reissued on vinyl by Epitaph... and the latest song from The Boys 'She's The Reason' can be heard here.
October 14 saw major Jolly Prankster festivities over two days in honour of King Harold Godwinson, said to be "the last true king of England" and the founding father of the original Pranksters – the "Léasbregdan." Convening in a handy Kent forest, the brethren were treated to a splendid celebration of Harold's life, complete with white dragon flags, mead, and a minstrel (Fat Col). Celebrations included archery, falconry, Morris dancers (punk and non-punk), enthusiastic "wenching" and colourful displays, both historical and hysterical. In an emotional closing speech, Terence Hayes (PM) drew a metaphorical line in the sand, from Harold at Hastings to comrades still to come; painting the brotherhood as a vibrant, living link between the past and the future. Wiping away a tear from his glass eye, the great man concluded: "In us and through us England lives." Amid cheers and jubilation, El Tel was then led away shoulder-high to a Wrotham pub where he was graciously allowed to buy a round for all assembled. All 157 of them. And that appeared to be the end... except it wasn't, for we can reveal that the next morning the Pranksters' all-powerful and entirely secretive inner group, the Gang of Nine, convened in Waistrel's bar (see picture on the left) to welcome Effete El into their higher order. Our slippery mole whispers: "Not much is known by the profane about the Gang, but they are believed to have mastered astral projection, aura analysis, telepathic communication, dream manipulation, past life regression and tantric drinking." He goes on: "Eric is the new Number Nine." Who is Number One, we ask? The line goes quiet. We think we hear the words 'Flame' and 'Frankie' although not necessarily in that order. Then follows a scream, a gunshot and the line goes dead...
*NEW reading material 1: issue three of Napalm Reborn is out now, featuring Maniac Youth – the legacy, CrOi!don, Autism Sucks, Yacov Masa from Israel, Protestant, Donkey Laugh, a Mr Pastry retrospective, the Save the 12 Bar campaign, a Fuck the 12 Bar rebuttal, United Skins For Fracking, UKIP Youth and a photo spread from 1977. £5.
*NEW reading material 2: Glen E. Friedman's My Rules photo-book is out now including much unpublished work. Glen was a pioneer of skate, punk and hip-hop snappery, and is best known, explains Fat Col for his work with the likes of Black Flag, the Bad Brains, Ice-T, Run DMC, the Misfits, Minor Threat, Public Enemy, Tony Hawk and "that tit Jello Biafro." It'll only set you back £30.
RECORD NEWS: OUT NOW - Knuckle Puck's 'While I Stay Secluded' 12inch on Bad Timing... The Misfits 'Horror Xmas' seven inch ep, featuring a cover of Dr. Seuss's 'You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch', new number 'Island Of Misfit Toys" debuts and a cover of 'Blue Christmas'... The Workin' Stiffs' 7in 'Moderation' on colour vinyl... and coming soon in 2015 – a brand new album from the East End Badoes. Apparently. Although going by past experience, that might actually be 2051.