Nov 25. Sad news: Micky Fitz will not be well enough to play the Boot-boys' Christmas Party on 18th December. But every cloud has a silver lining. Stepping in to replace Fitzy and his merry crew as headliners are… the Last Resort! Because nothing says Xmas quite like a one-eyed, tattooed Millwall bovver-boy singing 'Violence In Our Mind'. Get well quick, Mick.
Jeff Turner is putting together a new Cockney Rejects line-up for the band's shows next year. Could this be why this woman has been learning the bass???
New from Randale Records: The Warriors' Operation Oi! LP/CD, The Arch Rivals' One More round CD/tape/LP; and soon a second pressing of 'Duffys Cut' by Duffys Cut on coloured vinyl, plus the second pressing of Rancid's All The Moonstompers on green vinyl. The new Oxley's Midnight Runner's 7inch is out on Monday.
Julian Dorio, the Eagles Of Death Metal drummer has issued a statement via Instagram saying he wants to go back to Paris and "finish that concert". The full statement reads: 'November 13, 2015. I, along with my bandmates @eodmofficial, had the privilege to play to one of the most energetic crowds of our tour when, nearly half way through the show, the unimaginable occurred. Absolute and unnecessary evil turned our world on its head. I am beyond grateful that I was able to find a way out of the venue, but I am mourning those who did not, including our mate, Nick Alexander. My thoughts are with their families. I'm home safe. And now I have a new family abroad. To Arthur, who ran for his life right beside me and selflessly put us in a taxi before himself, thank you. To Fabrice, a fan who lent me his phone later that night so I could call @emilydorio and attempt to put her at ease, thank you. To everyone who, in the face of unrelenting evil, went toe to toe using courage, compassion, and love as their weapons. You all are my heroes. Last but certainly not least, the outreach and support back home is appreciated more than you'll ever know. I will never forget it. I am forever changed but hold fast to the love around us. I'm counting down the days until I get to finish that concert. Peace & love.'
Nov 23. It's not a wig!!! A team of scientists put the great Wattsie "syrup" controversy to the test last night - by sneaking up on her and giving her barnet a yank. We can now confirm that a) her hair is as real as Fat Col's morning glory (he says "In both cases, the proof is in the pulling") and b) hot tea don't half scald. Next, the merkin...
Here on the right: Weave it out! Wattsie in "unexpected jerk" joy...
Tickets are selling fast for next month's great Punk Literary Festival in London, featuring the likes of Stinky Turner, our Gal, John King, Rick Buckler and Manic Esso. But Fat Col tells us he is planning to stage a one-man "Campaign for Real Authors" picket outside the Cockpit Theatre "in the name of literature." He goes on: "How can Rick Buckler headline a literary festival? Nice bloke but how much of his book did he actually write? It's a travesty, like having that beer-stealing berk Lee Wilson on the literary stage at Rebellion. It insults our intelligence. And as for the fuckin' Ruts, how long can this ageing rhythm section get away with it?" Col is asking pro-author supporters to rally at the Traders Inn at midday sharp. Alerted to Gannon's intended protest, furious festival spokesman Arturo Daleyni, said: "All of the people on the bill have books out and are respected figures in punk rock. Ask your man 'Fat Col' how many punk or punk-influenced authors are household names in their own right?" Col thought about this for a full minute and then replied: "He may have a point. There's Stephen King, Tony Parsons, Richard Hell, Irvine Welsh, Julie Burchill, Brad Easton Ellis, Patti Smith, John Niven, Garry Johnson, Dave Barbarossa, Craig Brackenridge, Greg Graffin, Sab Grey, Jim Carroll, Bertie Marshall and Henry Rollins, but other than that…" Indeed. You can book your lit-fest tickets here.
STOP PRESS. Here is Micky Geggus's statement on leaving the Rejects: Dear pals, I thought that this day would never come, but today i have to make the sad announcement that after 36 years (the past 16 on the road) I am leaving the band that I created in 1979. It's been possibly the hardest decision I've ever had to make and believe me, it's taken a great deal of soul searching, but at the end of the day I have arrived at this conclusion and there's no going back. The shocking loss of my dear mate Tony Van Frater was obviously a major factor, life in the band would never have been the same without him. We've had a hellava ride. Been to the four corners of the earth, met some of the most fantastic people on the planet, many of whom I am honoured to count as friends. I know I'm gonna miss it, big time, but nothing lasts forever. I hope that you all can give your support to the new boys in the line up, whoever they may be, and I wish them well. I'll still be hitting the road with the Crunch and have several projects in mind, but that's up the road. Again, thank you to the greatest set of supporters that any band on this earth have been lucky enough to be blessed with. Hopefully I'll see you all again. Cheers and blessings, Mick
Nov 22. We can't ignore the rumours any more. It's no secret that Tony van Frater's tragic death has sadly led to a major split inside the Cockney Rejects, with Mick wanting to break up the band and stop touring out of respect to Tone who was an integral member for 16 years and a close friend, and Jeff saying "The show must go on" and "The best way to respect Tony would be to keep playing – it's what he would have wanted." Jeff had announced that the Rejects would be back on the road in January with or without Mick. The argument got heated and last night it took an unexpected turn with Jeff announcing on social media that 'Mick Geggus has retired, tragically accepted a teaching post in Australia! Rejects carry on regardless, all commitments will be fulfilled and new album will be recorded. Pledge Music pledges will be honoured. Any shit hot guitarists apply within. The fight goes on!' (Australia? But that's sarf of the river, guv...) Let's hope they sort out their differences soon.
Nov 21. Four-day Rebellion tickets will be available for £145 until 31st March – all details on the festival website. Early confirmed bands include the mighty Descendents, Cock Sparrer, Stiff Little Fingers, Jilted John, Evil Conduct, the original Slaughter & The Dogs, Giuda, GBH and Penetration.
Nov 20. Is this what you want, girls? WELL IS IT? Here is a taste of the many lascivious joys on offer if our proposed calendar goes ahead – Paul SkaNad unleashing his beergut at our rehearsal in the week. PHWOAR!
Record news: Bishops Green's self-titled debut 12inch ep had been re-pressed on yellow vinyl by Pirates Press... No Tag's 1982 12inch ep 'Oi, Oi, Oi' (not the Rejects' song) has been re-released by Radio Raheem for the first time in 33 years. The New Zealand band reached no 15 in the Kiwi charts with this beauty... Radio Raheem have also re-issued the Venom's album ''Arringtons, Crombies, Anarchy, Bondage' - that's the Swansea punk band, not the extreme metal herberts from Newcastle. Limited to 500 hand-numbered copies... finally Fat Wreck Chords have announced that they will re-release re-mastered versions of the Swingin' Utters The Streets of San Francisco, The Sounds Wrong EP and Brazen Head EP next month; the latter two platters have never been available on vinyl before.
A newly discovered fossil has been named in honour of Henry Rollins. According to Phys.org, the muscly fossil fireworm is called Rollinschaeta myoplena and it was discovered by the University of Bristol. Bristol PhD student Luke Parry said: ""Fossil muscle tissue is rare and usually not described in any detail by palaeontologists, but our discovery highlights that soft tissues preserved in fossils can offer details approaching what we can observe in living organisms. When choosing a name for our muscly beast, we decided to honour Henry Rollins, the legendary, muscular frontman of LA punk band Black Flag." And why not? There is no evidence to support claims the next prehistoric discovery will be named in honour of our own living Neanderthal Fat Col.
Nov 19. Lee Wilson has been up to his old tricks again. One eye-witness at the Last Resort show in Watford at the weekend reports seeing the despicable round-dodger "hovering a few feet from the bar, pestering people to buy him a beer... when no-one fell for it, Wilson walked into the Resort's dressing room and walked out moments later with two full pints of lager. He proceeded to drink both himself." The bloke is lower than a sperm whale's schlong.
A known enemy of the band is circulating a cruel rumour that Shona wears a syrup and that instead of Wattsie she should be Wiggsie. It doesn't strike us as likely as a) we'd have noticed. B) why would she dye the roots black? and c) it would have blown off in last night's gale.
Nov 18. Incredible scenes last night after the band were blocked in by a fallen tree after our three hour rehearsal session at beautiful downtown Erith. The 28ft birch tree obstructed the only road out of the deluxe Kent industrial estate. Wattsie Watts reports: “I rang the fire brigade but they wouldn’t come out, so Gentleman John took control.” The burly bassist led a small team of fit men armed with handsaws and angle grinders, some of them precariously balanced on ladders, while Wattsie helpfully posted pictures on Facebook. She continues: “They eventually sawed off the top twelve foot of the tree, but the bottom half still blocked the road. At this point Gentleman John just shrugged and lifted it out of the way on his own. It was like watching the Hulk or Mr Hyde in action.” But no potion was needed to transform our hero, just the urgent realisation that last orders were looming. On hearing the news, Lord Waistrel declared John a “hero of Oi” and demanded that he be awarded “a pint of champagne top” at the Gravesend Red Lion gig on 1st December (still the best value in town at just £5 on the door). Gonads spokesman Martin Sporrell (aggressive Gooner) said this morning: “It is probable that strong winds were responsible for the incident, but it would be naïve to rule out sabotage, especially now that Paul Devine (round-dodger) is rumoured to be back on the scene. Our forensic expert will examine the evidence today and extra security will be at our gigs for the foreseeable future.” Who, we ask? “Del the Butcher from Bermondsey,” he replies. Gulp.
Nov 16. Our brilliant book of lyrics I Lost My Love To A UK Sub... & Other Punk Rock Sob Stories will be out in about three weeks time and will contain forty of Gal’s finest oeuvres, including the words to two Prole anthems and ‘Whelks’ a song that was written in 1977. The first edition will be limited to one hundred individually numbered books and will come with a foreword by Oi the Poet Garry Johnson. More news when we have it.
That rascal Fat Col is spreading the rumour that we are planning a "saucy" punk rock calendar for 2016... and that Gal's gut is expected to cover May, June and July. But that can’t be true, can it? Surely Wattsie Watts would provide the darling buds of May? Gal’s gut must be June, July and August... On a more serious note, we’re looking for a permanent fiddle player and occasional female backing singers to join us for our acoustic gigs. Auditions to follow.
Nov 15. Last night’s Last Resort gig at The Flag was “cracking” according to our man on the spot (T. Hayes, PM) and another sterling job by the Watford Punk Collective. If only the same could be said for the big Essex Pranksters event in Buckhurst Hill, which was plagued with so many problems that brethren suspected the dead hand of our old nemesis Paul Devine (round-dodger). Not only did the venue supply a “trick” amp which meant Leah McCaffrey’s backing music faded every time she sang, but the most recent recording owned by the so-called “punk and Ska DJ” was the Andrews Sisters singing The Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy of Company C. Our spy reports “Half of the brethren walked out in horror and settled for the local pub and the kebab shop instead. We are certain the event was sabotaged by persons unknown and the finger of suspicion is pointing at Devine whose history of audacious practical jokes takes some beating.” This is true. Readers with long memories might remember the time that the rascal conned ITV into featuring him in a documentary about alien abduction and was paid £250 cash to sit in shadows and tell Chris Tarrant of his terrible ordeal in a ‘five cornered room’ on their space ship. This shit was broadcast without a laugh track! An ashen-faced Effete El warns: “If Devine is back on the scene none of us are safe.” To order, brethren, and step off with the left foot.
Nov 14. Our thoughts are with the families of the victims of last night’s horrific terror attacks in Paris, which saw Islamist gunmen open fire on the audience at an Eagles Of Death concert at the Bataclan. There were shootings and bombings at five other locations in the French capital. More than 100 people are thought to have died. Reports that guitarist Dave Catching was among the casualties have proved unfounded. Big love to all of our Parisian friends – let us know you’re safe when you can. It’s been a grim week. Fais attention. Reste libre.
Nov 13. Lemmy has paid tribute to Motörhead’s former drummer Phil 'Philthy Animal' Taylor who died yesterday aged 61. Lemmy told Classic Rock: “I'm feeling very sad at the moment, in fact devastated, because one of my best friends died yesterday. I miss him already, His name was Phil Taylor, or Philthy Animal, and he was our drummer twice in our career. Now he's died and it really pisses me off that they take somebody like him and leave George Bush alive. So muse on that.” He went on: “We're still going, we're still going strong, it's just first Würzel and now Philthy, it's a shame man. I think this rock 'n' roll business might be bad for the human life.”
Meanwhile it was Dickie Hammond’s funeral in Sunderland earlier today. Mensi reports: “The big soldier has now left the building. Great turnout from friends and family for his last show on earth. I had different feelings today from Tuesday... Dickie was a brilliant talented man with serious flaws. I suppose all genius is flawed. There were lots of things I didn’t get about Dickie... he was so full of life but seemed to be on a rollercoaster with no brakes, but he built the rollercoaster and decided to put no brakes on it. The journey was exciting and full of laughs, his song-writing was nothing less than awesome.”
Nov 12. We are now taking bookings for 2016 and are happy to offer a number of different packages including Classic Gonads, Nads Unplugged, and the new GBX project which comes in various exciting forms. Serious enquiries only to firstname.lastname@example.org
Our pal Rhoda Dakar will DJ at the Selecter’s big Clapham Grand show a week tomorrow. Tickets from here (they cost £22 a pop, enough to get FOUR people into our Gravesend gig with the Badies and still have change for half a pint of wallop... we’re not saying don’t go, just bear in mind that in these cash-strapped times, some shows are better value than others... )
STOP PRESS: We’re gutted to hear that Philthy Animal, of Motörhead’s greatest line-up, has died. He was a terrific drummer, a real character and great company. A sad loss. There are no details yet of the cause of death. Rest in peace, Phil.
Nov 11. Mick Geggus reports that “around 700” people turned out for Tony Van Frater’s funeral yesterday. “It was incredible,” Mick says. “The service summed him up perfectly and there were a lot of wet eyes in the room.” Mensi adds: “It was like a Sunderland state funeral. This man was blessed. Love him.” Steve Whale, Max Splodge, Vince Riordan, Crashed Out, Red Alert and East End Badoes veteran were among the multitude paying their respects.
Out now, Beach Slang’s surf-punk extravaganza The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us on coloured vinyl from Polyvinyl Records. LP includes free album download code.
Nov 10. It’s Tony Van Frater’s funeral in Sunderland this afternoon. We’re sorry we can’t be there in person, but like the Marseilles Ultras who unveiled this special banner at the weekend, we shall be there in spirit. R.I.P. Tony. You were special, mate. We’ll see you no more in this world, but we’ll meet you in the next one. Don’t be late.
Why did the cops get the Riders of the Night banned from their own Hope & Anchor gig last weekend? Could the real reason be the band’s commitment to numerous North London charities and causes? Recently the Riders collaborated on a single produced by The Archway One called ‘Justice for The Archway One’ which highlighted the story of an Arsenal fan unfairly banned from the Emirates Stadium after an Islington WPC told lies about them. They also donated the proceeds of their last gig in Islington to The Henry Hicks Foundation, a charity set up by the family of a young Islington teenager killed in a car chase with local cops – all of them currently suspended. Join the dots and what have you got? A petty act of revenge.
The Pukes’ festive single ‘Exmas’ is on out on 13th December; all proceeds will go to the Rock ’N’ Roll Rescue charity started by Knox. R’n’R Rescue aims to help folk ‘at the bottom of the welfare system’ and is based in Camden.
Nov 8. Gal’s latest spiky new music podcast is up and running at Litopia, with studio guests Nick Welsh and Garry Johnson plus terrific tracks from Stellify, All The Kings Men, Millie Manders, the Senton Bombs, The Crabs, 7er Jungs, King Hammond, Narrow Plains, Lion’s Law, Vita & The Visions, the Cockney Rejects, Thurst, Panic State, Jack The Lad, and Danie Cox of the Featherz LIVE. Hear it here. Or don’t. He hasn’t played us so we don’t give a monkey’s toss
Nov 7. Quick update: we will not now be playing Brittany next month, due to one band member’s long-awaited operation. Huge apologies to our French pals but sometimes fate intervenes. This means that our remaining shows this year are Gravesend on 1st December (£5 ‘Spirit of the Streets’ gig with the Badoes) and the 100 Club on 18th (dependent on post-op recovery). Meanwhile the Garry Bushell Experience (GBX) are looking for “a working horn section” (insert your own gags here) for their debut dates next year.
We’re sad to report that not all is well in the jovial world of the Jolly Pranksters due to the emergence of a sinister grouping known as “the Sons of Rolfe”. This shadowy organisation dedicated to “crying out in lusty song” at every conceivable occasion has been denounced as “a crankish cult”, “a bunch of c*nts” and “the greatest threat to Pranksterism since the dark days of Paul Devine (round-dodger)”. “They are noisy young bastards,” an ashen-faced Effete El tells us. “Worse than Gannon. And they’re organised. They infiltrated our loyal fraternity by getting Soppy Nige pissed last year and have been joining in small numbers ever since. Now they disrupt everything. We summoned Terence Hayes (PM) to deal with them at our festive board but he’d fucked orff to Belgium with the Dropkick Murphys. I don’t think he has realised how serious this threat is. If they’re not sorted by next month, Festivus will end in fisticuffs.” Grim days, friends.
Record noos: Randale have released Rancid’s Ska comp All The Moonstompers on vinyl... Four Blink-182 albums will be reissued on cassette tape next month: Dude Ranch, Enema Of The State, Blink-182 and live album The Mark, Tom & Travis Show... NOFX’s Maximum Rocknroll has also just been released on cassette by Mystic Records. Hmm. Our ancient (1977) song ‘Ripper’s Delight’ was only ever released on cassette (if running off a few copies in Al’s frontroom counts as a release). Anyone still got a copy?
Nov 6. Tomorrow’s night Riders Of The Night gig at The Hope and Anchor with The Featherz has been bollocksed by the Old Bill. Cops turned up at The Hope in Islington earlier this week and informed the guv’nor that if The Riders play they’ll shut the venue down. Consequently the Riders are banned. What is it about Monkey and his hard-drinking, Gooner-friendly hooligan crew that worry Her Majesty’s Constabulary so?
Good news, Pranksters! Hot new band The Missing Post are booked for Festivus along with the Bert & Col tribute act, Kurt & Bowl and DJ Don Letts (pending fee negotiations).
Nov 4. Today’s Micky Fitz update: “Woke up at 4am looking for the bus that had just run me over! I can't over-state the gratitude I feel for all the great get well messages I'm receiving! Despite the pain I'm in, the doctors say the stitches etc are doing well. Cheers!”
Nov 3. For those wishing to pay their last respects to old mates: Tony Van Frater’s funeral is a week today, Tuesday 10th (3pm, Sunderland crematorium); Dickie Hammond’s is on Friday week, the 13th (11am, Sunderland crem).
Micky Fitz update: Mick is recovering from yesterday's six and a half hour operation. The surgeon said it went well. Mick reports: "I'm now full of stitches, metal staples and blood draining tubes!" More news when we get it.
On a happier note, Festivus is coming and the Jolly Pranksters are on the verge of pulling off their biggest and boldest coup to date – infiltrating a major West End hotel for the occasion; see your Tyler for details. In other Prankster news, the brethren have announced the formation of a new lodge in the Eltham/New Eltham area. Agincourt Lodge incorporates some members of “Old Waltons” and will operate entirely separately from Bexley branch.
If you ain’t in France on 5th December, Menace are playing the Westcoast Bar in Margate with supports Butcher Baby and Arthur Kitchener’s new band, the Lords Of Lonesome.
Nov 1st. More bad news. After losing Tony Van Frater on Thursday, we were saddened to learn of the death yesterday of another Sunderland born streetpunk legend Richard Hammond. Dickie, who was fifty, was best known as the singer and backing vocalist with Leatherface, but had played in a legion of North East bands including the Upstarts, the Toy Dolls, HDQ and the Dipsomaniacs. Our thoughts are with his loved ones. Meanwhile we’re sending buckets of South London love and best wishes to our friend Micky Fitz of the Business who goes under the surgeon’s knife tomorrow. Mick was diagnosed with cancer of the lymph gland earlier this year, and has been undergoing radiotherapy. He has now asked us to let the world know and to tell you that his specialists are optimistic. We hope you’ll join us in wishing the operation is a complete success. You’re in our prayers, Mick. Don’t leave us yet, mate.