A ringing 12-string guitar introduction. A dreamlike lyric that seems to hold the cosmos in its hands. It’s still the most recognisable, covered and widely beloved song in the catalogue of a band that’s released a remarkable 26 albums. And it’s 30 years old this year. The song is ‘Under The Milky Way’, from The Church’s most successful album, the undisputed classic ‘Starfish’.
In 2019, the Australian paisley underground pioneers are still enjoying the unique celebrations, which started with a sold-out appearance at the Meltdown Festival in London on the personal invitation of curator, The Cure’s Robert Smith.
They return to British shores with the following tour dates in order to mark another remarkable anniversary:
Sat 8th/Sun 9th June – ‘Of Seance and Starfish’ – The Church Weekend, Bush Hall, London
Mon 10th June – Manchester Club Academy
Tues 11th June – La Belle Angele, Edinburgh
For these shows, ‘Starfish’ will be performed in its entirety, along with a selection of other gems from the band’s career, which now spans an incredible 38 years.
Starfish remains best known for its iconic singles ‘Under The Milky Way’ and ‘Reptile’. But like all classic albums, it’s a journey – and it starts with ‘Destination’, the six-minute opus which opens the album.
From there, the list of hits, band and fan favourites is long. ‘Myrhh’, which leader Steve Kilbey described in his memoir ‘Something Quite Peculiar’ as the definitive Church song. ‘Ripple’, from the masterful ‘Priest=Aura’. Almost anything from 1982’s ‘The Blurred Crusade’. Expect songs from ‘Hologram of Baal’, itself celebrating its 20thanniversary. And, of course, there’s ‘The Unguarded Moment’, the single that launched the band onto world stages on its release in 1981.
But this is not just a nostalgia trip. The Church have been revitalised since 2014 with the addition of guitarist Ian Haug, formerly of another iconic Australian band, Powderfinger. “Ian is a big part of the band now,” Fellow guitarist Peter Koppes says. “He’s a consummate, intuitive musician with fantastic tones.”
Koppes goes on to sum up the band. “Music is like inner space and we’re astronauts,” he says. It’s a spellbinding thing, it’s hypnotising. That’s why people like it. It takes them into another world and we’re here to open those doors.”
The Church’s strange journey remains an endless sea of possibilities. it’s time for the band to celebrate one of their crowning glories, not to be missed.
For more information visit www.thechurchband.net
Jeffrey Ross Hyman better known as Joey Ramone passed away at the age of 49. His fight against lymphatic cancer ended on this day after a long a widely reported battle. Hyman was born in Queens on the 19th of May 1951. Joey was born with a parasitic twin, the twin was surgically removed however he did have a sibling, brother Mickey Leigh.
His musical journey began when he played the drums from the age of 13 before picking up an acoustic guitar and then moving onto vocals and the rest, as they say, is history as he performed all over the world playing thousands of shows to millions of people. He loved the Beatles, The Who, and the stones as much as he loved 50’s girl groups and The Ramones managed to do a fine job of mashing up all those influences throughout their iconic career.
Joey has a street named after him in NYC but the band managed to play their farewell show in California. His iconic hunched form with tinted shades ripped jeans converse shoes and the black leather jacket has been copied a million times over as has his band’s music. He will forever be remembered in connection with CBGB and leaves behind a wonderful legacy of Ramones records as well as two solo albums before he passed away as well as being immortalised in the Simpsons and even got a speaking part as well as singing the Spiderman theme song doesn’t get cooler than that folks. Rest In Peace Joey Ramone one of the finest frontmen ever in music – period. King of the outsiders
The last song Joey heard was a U2 tune, not a band I usually like to share but hey it’s about Joey so it’ll do and the Ramones did support U2 at the Longest day way back in the 80’s so kudos to them for doing that at least besides where else was a kid going to see The Ramones?
anyone who ever saw the band can testify as to how good they were and even when they weren’t good they were still good – yeah? Iconic punk rockers amazing image – even more amazing catalogue of songs and albums – incredible characters – dysfunctional, goofy, awkward, enigmatic, influential. Lucky for us there has been something of an avalanche of reissues, bonus material, box sets, books, DVD’s. The Ramones will forever be remembered and rightly so. Rest In Peace Joey you ruled!
Morning rockers get an earful of some fine Welsh double Denim this Monday morning. Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard is their name and rock n roll is their game check em out.
That’s something new how about this olden but golden slice of rock from the valleys of South Wales care of 60 ft Dolls
and to wrap it up for this week keeping things Welsh here’s our favourite misfits those loveable Sick Livers with their Cocain Jeans. Chow for now as they say in Llandow. Next week its aJesuss three just for Easter 😉
Debut EP from Georgian garage rocker Rod Hamdallah has been around for a while fine tuning his craft in the dark arts of Garage rock and blues but imagine turning those amps up a little then a little better that’s where Rod is shooting from. ‘Think About It’ kicks off with the title track that is the sound of all guns blazing as the touch paper is lit and off he goes. A wild and simple ditty ‘Think About It’ has a vibrant – loud – simple set up of guitar – bass and drums before the vocals kick in and just tear it up. to accompany that and sew the seeds of variety ‘Carry You Home’ is a twist with a darker bluesy sound adding a Whurlizer for texture and some rhythmic floor tom thumping its a great side step. It also features Colonel J.D Wilkes from Legendary Shack Shakers who brings added soul to the party.
‘I Don’t Mind’ turns those guitars into fuzzed up overdrive heaven as the band gets their groove on as the buzz of the amps fills the speakers ‘I Don’t Mind’ brings some welcome attitude.
Flip it over side one is done. Fans of The Urban Voodoo Machine need to pay some attention right here as we get some swamp gypsy rock n soul going on with an epic widescreen western tune that is ‘Heartbeat’ it conjures up all the imagery of a tobacco chewing guy sat on the porch looking out over the savanna at the cotton fields between slugs of moonshine. Take nothing away from Rod here because his vocal is outstanding to be fair as he sings for his supper.
To take this sucker home the amps are turned back up for some bluesy soul straight out of the garage with the records most commercial number ‘Take Me Back’ ends this brief encounter on a high as it breaks out on the chorus into some loud Rock and Roll. Maybe a bonus tune or two wouldn’t have gone amiss but maybe not this EP is exceptionally well crafted and contains some excellent songs that cross several genres comfortably but it ebbs and flows really well. Check it out would be my advice not to sit there and ‘Think About It’ for too long.
Buy ‘Think About It’ Here
Author: Dom Daley
So this once amazing solo record from Keif Richards hit the streets like a stick of dynamite and exploded on stereos and record players across the globe. The Stones had stopped communicating and it looked like it might be terminal as Richards, Wood, Watts, and Jagger were reportedly busy doing their own things. Now Stones aficionados were sad but not I for I was quite excited as to what they might come up with on their own without having to fit into the tight Stones regime and to be fair whilst Jaggers ‘Wandering Spirit’ was a real diamond of a record it was ‘Talk Is Cheap’ that blew me away and I’ve since owned a couple of copies on Vinyl and CD over the years that it came out. I can remember when the needle hit the grooves and Richards familiar telecaster tone hits the speakers it was a total mind fuck and blew me away. ‘Struggle’ had the funk and from the choppin’ riff it was cool as and the sax was just so cool but it was Keith’s vocal delivery that is warm and absolutely on point and nothing like he’d really done before but still totally Keith -most of all it was exciting and the band he’d assembled was amazing the spirit and vibe they were cutting up was amazing. ‘Take It So Hard’ was a riff-a-rama as Keith traded with waddy wactel as the rhythm section just laid back and drove the song on to something special and again the vocal delivered by Richards is still stunning.
to be fair the whole record is still pretty mind-blowing and fresh as even now all there years later. Had Richards day job gotten a hold of songs like ‘Struggle’ and ‘How I Wish’ it would have been stunning but we’ll never know if these were ever attempted by a Jagger Richards combo. The record still makes regular trips to my record player and throwing shapes along to ‘You Don’t Move Me’ is a joy. Easily some of the latter-day Stones camp finest tunes and a more complete solo album from any single member of the band ever and that’s a fact!
I’m always a little skeptical about deluxe and super deluxe reissues of classic albums especially when it comes to bands like the Stones as I certainly wondered how hands-on Mr Richards was and did he really moot the idea about giving this a makeover and including all the extra bits n bobs? Anyway, it’s here there’s no point in moaning about it but I peek through my fingers at the screen to see how much the company wants for the deluxe version and then the super duper version and I did chuckle when it was explained that it was made out of the same wood that Telecasters are lovingly manufactured. righto, I thought just under £600 that’s hilarious.
So the Deluxe edition clocking in at anything from £100 to £140 you get the two records on 180g one the remastered original and the bonus material (to be honest what a load of cobblers) Blues Jam with no lyrics exactly what you might think it’s going to sound like a few covers bla bla bla. Inside a wallet, you get a load of stuff like the singles a laminate tour pass replica and a bunch of other guff like postcards, etc there is also a cool poster but not a lot of quality as the CDs are exactly the same as the records it could have had a vastly different version or mix maybe a couple of live shows or DVD even they’re not busting a gut here on content other than a plectrum and some paper lyric sheets its pretty cheap stuff not really justifying the cost of a box set and I don’t believe its super limited either so maybe wait a few months and pick it up for half the price somewhere which happened for the Guns N Roses box set. The Book at the back of the set is half decent but still doesn’t in any way justify the outlay. My advice would e to pick up the CD version as its a mini Telecaster case replica with some pics from the book and the album plus bonus disc of the extra material that doesn’t hold any hidden gems the only thing that crossed my mind when playing it was how most things always surface in time yet I’d never heard these songs the ones that have been bootlegged to death from the ’70s are much more interesting but being a stones completist is a tough job with something cropping up all the time – you need deep pockets and be able to turn a blind eye to quality at times and whilst there are aspects of this that are cool. The version you want is so overpriced its a real shame because something as good as ‘Talk Is Cheap’ deserves so much better than what it gets. the recent Strummer box set was a lot cheaper and the value for money was so much greater. Shame really but them is the choices innit? what remains a fact is the album ‘Talk Is Cheap’ is still the best solo record by any member of the Rolling Stones ever and that’s a fact! Maybe a reissue of ‘Main Offender’ will put all the faults of this to bed and will have a lot more content – we’ll wait and see.
Author: Dom Daley
Buy Talk Is Cheap Here
Wow just wow. As far as tribute albums go there have been plenty of duds and a few decent ones but when I saw the track list for this one I couldn’t believe how amazing this compilation is and how in times of need the Rock and Roll world can pull together and help out a brother when hard times come a knocking.
IF you don’t know the background to this one then you simply have to click on the links to read Sonny’s story and then you can see just why we need to pick up a copy of this and if you can’t buy one then why not share this review and post it on your facebook page or other social media so it gets maximum exposure and maybe your friends will pick up a copy because this compilation is three discs deep and choc-o-bloc with amazing bands offering up songs to help Sonny and his family. Coming from the UK I can’t quite get my head around a country that doesn’t want to help its people when they most need it but like I said I’m not here to give my view I’m here to play this CD and give a convincing load of words as to why you should invest in your copy.
Seventy-Six songs over three CD’s Yup I did say 76 you’ve not misread that and all for the price of a few drinks or corporate coffees it might go a long way to help Sonny out. There are a bunch of no brainers going on here like the Amazing Jeff Dahl, James Williamson, Flaming Groovies, The Boys, Corpse Grinders, Pagans, Streetwalkin Cheetahs, RFTC and a whole load more besides. These legends are pitted next to lesser known bands and singers but not lesser in quality there are plenty of bands I’ve obviously heard of whilst there were more than a few I’m hearing for the first time and I’m blown away by the sheer quality of it all.
Rough Kids ‘Lights Out’ bookends the fantastic The Dogs Riff-a-rama of ‘Call My Name’ with the other side being Richard Duguay with the sublime ‘Fuck You Fame Whore’. Damn The Viletones ‘Screaming Fist’ makes way for The Candy Snatchers for god’s sake how good do you want this to be? If it was just the one CD it would be mightily impressive but three CD’s is almost overwhelming. I’m almost embarrassed handing over my $35 and that includes shipping Europe folk seriously!
This could go down as the longest review in history if I were too big up everyone who contributed and I’m still looking for my favourite songs that I wasn’t already familiar with. Some much kudos to the bands from across the globe who’ve given up tracks for this it must be humbling to know that so many want to support Cayden and his continued recovery. Sonny, you should get a cut off each new sale these bands pick up my discogs finger is getting twitchy. The B Girls ‘Mystery’ is such a cool song and its great to hear bands like the Kopek Millionaires next to the Carbonas next to the Testors next to the Barracudas I love it all! there are exclusives and some from long since deleted records or not available on CD its a breathtaking project and done to such an amazing standard.
I can’t stress enough why you should support this CD release lets give a family a break and to get something in return is super cool. Let’s do this for one courageous kid and his family do it because it’s the right thing to do.
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76 amazing bands support Sonny to help support Cayden’s recovery. Including James Williamson (Stooges), Refused, Black Lips, The Dogs, Flamin’ Groovies and many more. Please share
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Despite last minute prep to travel across China, maybe I’ll catch some new music, maybe not, I opened up my email from RPM and paused to give this a listen before going. I’d never heard Damien Jurado before, never even read any background but what drifted out of the speakers made me scurry around the interweb, to do a little bit of background.
Now everything I’m reading tells me that Damien Jurado is a bit of a quick worker, but if the blurb is right In the Shape of a Storm came together with unprecedented speed. I mean recorded over the course of two hours one California afternoon? Guns and Roses it most definitely isn’t.
There’s a haunting fragility to the vocals backed with only acoustic guitar, both sparse and atmospheric in equal doses. Reading backwards I’m hearing about a trilogy of concept albums, heavily psychedelic and researching back further I’m hearing links to Sub Pop!!!! In fact there were four LP’s released on Sub Pop Waters Ave s. in 1997 followed by Rehearsals for departure produced by Ken Stringfellow (the Posies/Big Star/REM), then onwards to Ghost of David (2000) and I break Chairs (2002). This is another artist I need to take some time out and back track through a huge back catalogue and Sub Pop seems to be the place to start
If I had to categorise this I would definitely link towards Folk, but its not quite, it reminds me a little bit of Tom Baxter, the guitar work is a little bit more than something being strummed in accompaniment to whatever protest song is being espoused, the vocals weave around the accompaniment, ebbing and flowing painting a journey within each song.
This is often quite dark stuff, thought provoking and with a real edge but washes over you giving you time to drift with the music.
Stand out tracks for me opener “Lincoln” grabs your attention as does “South” possibly my favourite on the LP, closely followed by “Silver Ball” but the reality is this is a really powerful set of tunes and I think the crossover genre potential for this LP are huge.
I would love to catch this set in the live setting, in the right venue without the arseholes who turn up to gigs to talk I can imagine hearing the proverbial pin drop.
Buy ‘In The Shape Of A Storm’ Here
Author: Nev Brooks
Electric Bloom is the new solo album from Cromm Fallon. Joined by his band the P200, Fallon is kicking up a rock ‘n’ roll storm in the heart of Las Vegas. The album is set for release on 17 May on Rum Bar Records.
The album starts off with the Britpop-esque twang of ‘Second Bloom’, which is quickly complemented by Fallon’s unmistakably American drawl. It’s a catchy, poppy number and a good strong opener for an album that traverses various interrelated styles – it is followed by the garage-strong ‘East Bay’.
While it’s certainly a varied album, garage is the overriding vibe throughout and is offered up with asserted confidence by Fallon’s casually delivered snarl. Tracks such as ‘East Bay’, and the leading single from the album, ‘Scars from You’, present the familiar tones of that low-slung classic American garage sound, reminiscent of some Iggy Pop, maybe with touches of Velvet Underground which regularly pop up throughout the record.
Other songs are almost grungy, such as ‘No Sleep’, whereas ‘Out of Control’ hints at The Kinks or even The Kingsmen in style. The fresh and vibrant spontaneity of the album is refreshing, and it’s exciting to jump from one burst of energy to the other, easily turning something Brit-pop in to something garage. It’s a straddling of genres that easily complement each other, and which is done with a faithfulness and love of vintage sounds. Just note the way that new single ‘The Next One’ (feat. Darenda Weaver) rushes effortlessly from one highlight to the next in well under 2 minutes. It’s a high energy assault, and a perfect choice for a single.
‘Electric Change’ is somewhat dreamy, building in a heaviness that makes it sound like a punked up Suede. This continues with one of the finest songs on the album – ‘Circles’. The ballad ‘Death Room’ continues the slide into melancholy before the hypnotic ‘Hired Suicide’ finishes the album in suitably chaotic style.
Electric Bloom is a delight from start to finish, and the switching seemingly between euphoria and madness ensures that the albums never lulls. It’s a fine opening album from the Nevada rock ‘n’ roller, and surely a sign of greater things to come.
Author: Craggy Collyde
It’s been 10 long years since The Wildhearts released their last album ‘Chutzpah!’ If there was any justice in the world it would’ve been a massive hit album for them, and Ginger would have the recognition he deserves as one of the UK’s most prolific and constantly creative songwriters.
But lady luck has never shone down on The Wildhearts, she just threw shit in their general direction. Drugs & alcohol, in-band fights and shitty record labels got in the way. Even though they scraped the top 20 and featured on TOTP multiple times, sadly it was never meant to be. It would seem that sometimes, even the greatest bands are destined to never make it.
But the Wildhearts have a legacy, a fucking great musical legacy that will never be erased whatever the future holds. While they disbanded after ‘Chutzpah!’ (for the umpteenth time), there have been sporadic reunion gigs and anniversary tours. And with original bassist Danny McCormack back where he rightfully belongs, the classic line-up of The Wildhearts entered the studio to record the album many fans thought they would never get to hear.
It seems you can’t keep a good band down, and The Wildhearts are back in your face, fighting fit and stronger than ever before.
The metallic riff to ‘Dislocated’ blasts open the album like ‘Live Wire’ opened ‘Too Fast For Love’. Did I just reference Motley Crue in a Wildhearts album review? Yes, I did! But that’s where the resemblance ends, as ‘Dislocated’ goes off on a musical tangent to itself, as The Wildhearts are well known to do. Tackling mental health and alienation, the lyrics are spat with the vitriolic, reckless abandon of a man literally teetering on the edge of sanity.
Fuck me, that chorus! It builds and builds and keeps on giving. Then there’s the welcome return of Danny’s unmistakable bass rumble, as much a part of The Wildhearts sound as anthemic choruses and crunchy guitars. ‘Dislocated’ is a song for the outcasts in an age where Ginger’s lyrics are more relevant than ever.
Next, we are straight into ‘Let ‘em Go’. Classic, anthemic Wildhearts at their finest. A football terraced style anthem with an uplifting chorus you will be singing on first listen, and long after the needle has lifted. “Let ‘em go, let the shit-filled rivers flow” the whole band chant, as you wonder how you have survived for so long without this melody in your head. A future live favourite for sure. No one does it better…no one.
The following title track is a weird one, not sure about this yet. The almost tribal beats and backing chants bring to mind the film ‘Madagascar’ for some reason. With a cool riff and a great euphoric chorus, it’s a song about the band being back in your face, and hopefully, they are here to stay.
‘Fine Art Of Deception’ is a song I first heard Ginger and CJ play acoustic at The Fulford Arms in York last year. This is a tune that could have been lifted from the ‘555%’ sessions, I feel. The “bullshit” refrain stands out as pure Wildhearts fodder though and harks back to their early days.
‘Diagnosis’ builds on an AC/DC style riff before morphing into classic Wildhearts crunchy goodness. Air guitar and goosebumps (see Pilo Erection below) come hand in hand as Ginger and CJ’s vocal harmonies intertwine to create the magic we love and crave from The Wildhearts. It builds to a euphoric, killer chorus set to be a mainstay at hot and sweaty future gigs.
‘My Kinda Movie’ will kick off side two (if you are listening on cassette or vinyl). It comes on like a classic Wildhearts B side, and we all know how good those are, right? A metallic, staccato riff makes way for intense, urgent drums from probably the most underrated drummer in rock music, Ritch Battersby. Chugging, dampened guitars match the rhythm of the verse that makes way for a gang vocal chorus, a wild as fuck wah-wah solo and a section that goes up the musical scale again and again. Holy shit, that’s a workout!
‘Little Flower’ is again, a song I heard previewed acoustic last year and one of the most instant songs on the album. CJ penned I believe, it certainly has his knack of pop sensibilities stamped all over it. A hook as catchy as anything out there, it will bury deep into the subconscious on first listen and threaten never to leave, job done.
That signature Wildhearts dampened, crunchy regimental riffage introduces ‘Emergency (Fentanyl Babylon)’. The subject matter is pretty self-explanatory, here Ginger even name-checks Tom Petty and Prince before laying waste with a brutal chorus that will incite the listener to shout the “emergency” refrain and bang their heads until the beats abruptly cease. Glorious in all the right places.
‘My Side Of The Bed’ is disjointed riff-o-rama in god knows what time signature, with sublime vocal harmonies that suck you in on first listen. There is so much going on in this crazy song it’s hard to describe, but imagine Cheap Trick jamming with Primus for starters. So much love for this tune already.
The “one-two-fuck you” count in signals the closing track ‘Pilo Erection’. Crunch, bang, wallop! We are up and running for the final time as the band get a full-on workout, riff after riff and chanting gang vocals aplenty, a powerhouse performance especially from Ritch as his skills are tested to the max.
If you are wondering what Pilo Erection means, Google the fucker like I did! Let’s just say The Wildhearts give me a Pilo Erection everytime and you can quote me on that.
The arrival of a new Wildhearts album has always been an event. Call me biased, but it makes me realise that most other bands pale in comparison and it has been so long that I nearly forgot that!
I was expecting this album to be a cross between ‘Earth Vs’ and ‘Chutzpah!’, yet surprisingly it sounds like neither, in fact, it sounds like no other Wildhearts album that has come before it.
Like ‘Fishing For Luckies’ and the self-titled ‘White Album ‘, ‘Renaissance Men’ takes multiple listens to sink in and every time I listen, something new jumps out. My favourite track is changing on a daily basis and even though it’s early days, I can’t imagine I will hear anything better this year.
Hopefully, this is as much a resurgence as a renaissance and we can expect more from this band in the near future. But for now, bask in the glory that is the new Wildhearts album and come back in 6 months when it’s all sunk in and tell me how great it is.
Author: Ben Hughes
Buy Renaissance Men Here