Ben Hughes.

The first live review I ever did was back in 2011 when The Urban Voodoo Machine played at the old Fibbers venue in York. It seems fitting then that the first live review I write for RPM is of that very same band who are now celebrating 15 years of bourbon soaked gypsy blues bop ‘n’ stroll.

Billed as ‘An Evening With The Urban Voodoo Machine’, the band will play 2 sets and there will be no support band. Like entertainers did at theatre shows back in the day, the (virtual) curtain will drop between sets and there will be an intermission where you can go and buy merch, puff on your E-cig or go eat one of the Brudenell’s famous pies. Whatever you do, make sure you’re back in 20 minutes, as you won’t want to miss one second of the entertainment Paul-Ronney Angel and his gang of ne’er do well’s have to offer.

 

In black ‘n’ red, the band enter from the back in procession and take to the stage for ‘Theme From The Urban Voodoo Machine’, the rip-roaring instrumental from their debut album that opens most shows. There’s a good reason for that, it creates drama like a shot of adrenaline to the arm, a spaghetti western styled UVM theme song that distills everything that is to come into just a few minutes of carnival-themed chaos. The 8 piece band establish their onstage boundaries and try not bash into each other, as our ringleader of this crazy circus Paul-Ronney Angel bounds about the stage like the bastard son of Andy McCoy and Barnum on crack.

Where do you look? Do you watch the two drummers who have their own little sideshow going on, the ever cool guitarist Tony Diavolo, the accordion-wielding Slim Cyder, do you eye up the goddess of sax appeal Lucifire Tusk or just concentrate on their fearless leader? Your guess is as good as mine, but before you know it he stops the show, addresses the audience, mouthing words with no sound. The slapstick comedy has begun and we are all laughing and waiting on his every move, he has the packed room in the palm of his hand already and that’s when you realise they haven’t even played a song yet!

You want songs, they got em! What follows is the greatest hits set, sorry TWO greatest hits sets. ‘High Jeopardy Thing’ and ‘Cheers For The Tears’ fly by, they are just two of the many highlights from set one. ‘Not With You’ builds to a glorious, righteous sing-along and the shufflin’ ‘Train Wreck Blues’ is so, so good tonight. Dedicated to Nick Marsh and Robb Skipper, ‘Fallen Brothers’ is a firm live favourite that ends the set leaving us wanting more.

 

A short break and set two is where the real fun begins. The entertainment resumes with the surf-inspired instrumental ‘Police Paranoia’. With a fresh shirt and a killer straw hat and shades combo, Paul-Ronney Angel and the band take us ‘Down In A Hole’ before ‘No Bail Blues’ transports us back to the juke joints and watering holes of a different place, a different time.

You want swampy blues, cabaret, gypsy music, and the finest drunken sing-along’s the band can muster? You got it. Do you want audience participation? They even got that covered! ‘Orphan’s Lament’ is still one of my favourites and it’s performed to perfection. ‘Crazy Maria’ has become a live favourite the last few years, a typical example of the upbeat, gypsy folk drinking songs P-R pens seemingly at will.

The crazy chaos tonight includes P-R licking the legs of Lucifire (she’s his sister, don’t you know?!) when she knocks over his JD & Coke. That same woman later removes her high heels and performs a full-on Irish jig routine, in fact, the band members all get their solo spot to shine in the introductions. But it’s Paul-Ronney Angel’s invitation to buy everyone a drink if he manages to throw his hat on the mic stand that steals the show. Of course, his routine succeeds with a bit of help, before he wrings out his sweat-drenched headscarf into the mouth of a worryingly eager female fan, who then immediately spits it back at him. It’s all in a nights work for The Urban Voodoo Machine.

And just when you think they are done after two sets, the band return for encores. An acoustic ‘January Blues’ precedes a full band return for ‘Heroin (Put My Brothers In the Ground)’. You could not ask for anything more.

 

The Urban Voodoo Machine is still my favourite live band in the country. The fact that an independent band can fill The Brudenell and give fans what amounted to 3 hours of the highest quality entertainment, is a testament to all the hard work and passion this band has given over the last 15 years. They never compromise their music or their art and they never put on anything less than a top quality show, let alone a bad one. I’ll raise a glass for the next 15 years!

 

 

 

 

Paul Draper was the frontman of Mansun – one of the most iconic bands of the late ’90s. Over the course of three albums (a fourth issued posthumously), they achieved something unique – after fostering a fervent cult following, they managed to maintain critical and commercial success with a series of intensely radio-friendly yet increasingly experimental records. Off the back of their biggest radio record, Mansun imploded in 2003 and Paul all but disappeared from view.

Paul Draper’s long-awaited debut solo album, Spooky Action takes its cue from his two 2016’s EP releases which were recorded in collaboration with Catherine AD (the Anchoress) and longtime Mansun collaborator PDub, The record’s eleven tracks veer from warped voodoo psych (Don’t Poke the Bear) to glistening synthetic soul (Things People Want); from warped, razor wire rock’n’roll (Grey House) to glorious widescreen analogue pop music (Jealousy Is A Powerful Emotion). Collectively, they represent Paul’s strongest, most consistent set of songs to date – half a lifetime’s work condensed into just over an hour of perfectly formed music.

Paul will be performing a special ‘Six’ set, with tracks from the 1998 album.

 

Ex-Mansun frontman Paul Draper’s 14-date Spring ’18 tour celebrated the 21st anniversary of one of the most favoured British albums from the late Britpop era – Mansun’s Attack of the Grey Lantern.

When the band played in Manchester, Ronnie Stone who produced the original album agreed to come along and record the show to give us a new live version of the album recorded for the 21st anniversary, capturing Paul’s energetic stage presence, his fantastic band and classic Mansun tracks such as “Wide Open Space”, “Taxloss” and “Disgusting”, performed to a wonderful Manchester audience.

This 2LP Limited Edition Vinyl is available for Black Friday 23rd November in your local indie retailer and all good record stores. Includes an mp3 download of the album.

Great news! For anyone planning to come along to Paul’s acoustic tour in November, we will also have a very limited quantity, signed by Paul and available on this upcoming tour.

Tickets are ON SALE NOW for Paul’s November 2018 Acoustic Tour: http://pauldraperofficial.com/tour-dates/

Performing tracks from his debut solo album Spooky Action, as well as Mansun classics and deep cuts. PLUS as yet unheard songs from Paul’s second solo album, due 2019.

 

Buy LP Here

Every now and then somebody or somebodies come along and shape the person you are through their music.  One such larger than life character in Rock ‘n’ Roll who certainly had it all to offer and the potential to be one of the greats.  Born on this day back in 1962 Antti Hulkko was his name you and I would probably know him as Andy McCoy (The Cosmic Ted).  A man who had style, individuality and an abundance of talent as well as penning some of my favourite songs ever whether he realised that potential is another question for another time.

Here at RPM we’d like to wish Andy McCoy a happy birthday and whilst we haven’t baked him a cake nor have we got him a gift we have however got a few links for you to share the love and maybe watch a video of his unique talent and ability.

 

Many happy returns Mr. McCoy hows about a rock n roll album someday soon?

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Tickets

With this awesome live extravaganza happening this weekend there is still time to snap up some tickets to see some superb bands.  Rich Rags & The Digressions and Deathtraps will hit Reading one after the other on Castle Street so don’t think about it too much just pick up a ticket at the link.  All for a great cause support live music and support bands that support good causes.

Ben Hughes.

A decade of Eureka Machines. I don’t think Chris Catalyst ever dreamed his “silly little band” as he calls it, would still be around in 2018, let alone celebrating their 10th anniversary and the recent release of their 5th album ‘Victories’. But here we are, they may not be doing it full time these days, but they are still here and still releasing quality albums, and what better way to celebrate than with a short run of live dates. Not London though, why travel to stupid London when we have the best venues up North, which also means the boys can be home in time for tea and biscuits before bed each night.

The Fulford Arms is the first of just three dates the band will play this year, a bit of a letdown for those who live farther afield yes, but hell, a fan will get on a bus, a plane or a train to see their favourite band if they really want to. Me… I just walked here!

 

Of course, Eureka Machines don’t do these gigs on their own, they bring their mates along for the ride. So, as well as fellow Leeds band The Idol Dead here to back them up, they also have Manchester three-piece The Empty Page to open the evening.

Kelli, dressed in Day-Glo tie die, her bleached-out hair in bunches, smiles, and giggles for the entire set. A stark contrast to the dark and brooding alt-rock her band The Empty Page deliver. Their debut album ‘Unfolding’ takes the best parts of The Pixies and Veruca Salt and adds a heady dose of Northern charm. Live, it comes across as well as on record. The strong, visceral vocals cut through the mix, as she slams out deep, pulsating bass lines. To her side, the animated Giz weaves sonically seductive guitar lines as strangely quiet drummer Jim keeps a solid beat behind the duo.

The melodic suss of Robert Smith and the raw, chaotic power of Daisy Chainsaw make the likes of ‘Deeply Unlovable’ a killer tune full of angst and prove The Empty Page are a band with a fire in their collective belly.

Kelli introduces new song ‘He’s Good At Swimming’ as a story based on a high profile rape case, that’s topical right now, right? It’s a haunting and mesmerising tune that the singer delivers with passion and it bodes well for a release in the near future. The Empty Page goes down well tonight.

 

A few observations about The Idol Dead: They have more people on stage setting up their gear than Metallica, they have the most impressive merch on the table and they have a strong set of songs that can compete with the headliners.

Like Eureka Machines they have been around for a decade now, even Chris Catalyst later jokes from the stage that singer Polly “has his bus pass now”.  He may look like a pound shop Billy Idol at first glance, but the barefooted singer is a great frontman with charisma to match and has all the right rock star moves to front a band with the caliber of The Idol Dead.

Opener ‘Summer That Never Was’ is full on buzzsaw guitars and euphoric gang vocals and ‘Black Dog Down’ is a killer highlight from their latest album that sounds ace live. These dudes remind me of Hull herberts Rich Rags, those scruffy bastards had some top tunes with a metallic punk edge and they were also ace live. It’s no surprise then that The Idol Dead’s most recent album ‘Tension & Release’ made my albums of the year list last year.

The singer uses every inch of the stage available to him, whether that be standing on the monitors up front or holding up the low ceiling. Between songs, the singer and guitarist KC joke and slag each other off, it seems they have a bit of a comedy double act going on. Behind them, drummer Nish adds much-needed backing vocals.

This band is pros make no mistake, they channel the energy of their songs with a confidence and conviction of a stadium-sized outfit and should be playing larger venues to larger audiences more frequently than they currently do.

 

A Eureka Machines gig is always a high energy night of fun and frolics, that is a given. And now with 5 albums to pull material from, the band are spoilt for choice when choosing a set list.

Dressed in the customary black shirts, white ties & creepers combo, Leeds finest sons launch straight into ‘Champion The Underdog’ and continue with a relentless barrage of hits that should’ve been, fan favorites, deep cuts and comedy capers from the always entertaining  Chris Catalyst.

While the cramped confines of The Fulford Arms stage make for a truly intimate experience, Chris Catalyst still makes full use of his space and even manages a few trademark jumps without banging his head on the ceiling or bumping into bassist Pete or guitarist Davros. Behind them, drummer Wayne Insane keeps time with frantic precision and a look of immense concentration on his face.

New songs ‘Little Victories’ and ‘Misery’ fit perfectly in a set rammed with ridiculously catchy anthems to sing your heart out to. ‘These Are The People Who Live In My House’ is glorious and ‘Affluenza’ remains my favourite Eureka moment. But there are many highlights to savor;  the sentiment of newbie ‘My Rock n Roll Is Dead’, the epic harmony vocals and intensity of ‘Scream Eureka’, and the pogo-inducing closer ‘Zero Hero’ are up there, as is Johnny Cash’s ‘Fulsom Prison Blues’ which is given the high energy Eureka treatment.

It’s hot and it’s sweaty, Chris sticks plectrums to his forehead and takes phone selfies for those down the front. The only thing even remotely close to disappointment is not witnessing a Stevie Ray Vaughan style smooth-as-you-like guitar switch when Chris breaks a string mid-song, but you can’t have perfection every night, right?

Always engaging with his fan base, Chris thanks the crowd for coming, for supporting underground bands. Always humble, always entertaining and always on fire Eureka Machines played like they had never been away.

 

It says something about the state of the music industry today that these 3 bands do their thing part-time. 25 years ago it would be unheard of that bands of this caliber would have day jobs, but the struggle is real people. Times have changed for good, there are no record deals, and bands don’t make money selling albums anymore. Bands like this survive by selling merch at gigs and it’s up to us punters to keep them alive and touring.

Support DIY bands, go to gigs, buy a t-shirt and a CD or these bands will disappear for good and that really would be a crying shame.

 

Pictures by Neil Vary.

Buy Eureka Machines Here

 

 

 

 

Fraser Munro.

 

“She makes God mad, he wants to fuck her so bad” ….. yup welcome to Pussy Town!

Seven albums in and still balls deep in the kind of rock & roll that makes nice girls blush and bad girls raise a cold beer. Slip this bad boy in your music box and enter Col Blaine Cartright’s Fried Chicken and Coffee Joint. Get it while it’s hot.

“She Keeps Me Coming” kicks things off in full on Pussy style, Daniel Rey’s production is clean but dirty giving the track a real live raw feel. The guitars scream the drums crack and as for the bass… Bonnie’s got the bottom end covered.

When I saw the promo video for the second track “We Want a War” I thought it was okay-ish but sitting amongst these 12 other great tunes it stands tall; cocksure and kicking ass. Onto the triple rock treat of “Just Another White Boy”, “Go Home and Die” and “Low Down Dirty Pig”, classic sounding southern tunes, one and all. Parliment’s “Testify” notches things up a level with its southern baptist vibe, more fucked up than funk with Ruyter and Bonnie singing the hell out of the chorus while that big ol’ organ pumps away in the background.

“One Bad Mother” marks the midpoint of the proceedings. I’d love to say that I could flip the LP over now, but given the record notched up a staggering £24, I went for the considerably cheaper little silver version instead. Anyway, its the music that counts.

As if you couldn’t guess Pussy’s take on Nazareth’s dirty blues hard luck story “Woke Up This Morning” kicks some serious ass while autobiographical (?) “Drinking My Life Away” really hits the spot. New inmate Ben Thomas’ drums sound fantastic, nice a dry and well… live.

Into the home straight now, with the dirty riff of “Endless Ride” and the cool harmonica laden “Hang Tight”. Next up is a fine cover of mighty Steve Earle’s “CCKMP” (Cocaine Cannot Kill My Pain) from his 1996 album “I Feel Alright”, given the dirtiest of dirty treatments.

“Tired of Pretending That I Give a Shit” rounds this off in fine style. You get what you pay for in Pussy land and a ton more besides.  Is it up there with “Say Something Nasty?”…… yeah, it probably is.

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Nashville Pussy.com

 

 

South Wales power pop punkers have finally released their debut EP after a turbulent tragic beginning the band are on an even keel and plan to cast their net far and wide with tour dates emerging and some nice support slots to The Quireboys and Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind.  Frontman Ginge has been seen shouting at moving traffic on the M4 that he’s winging it he’s also been doing the artwork and Winging it, playing guitar and winging, singing yup you guessed it he’s winging that too.  But on the strength of this video, he’s doing a pretty good job at winging things.  The full EP review is coming to RPM soon but in the meantime, we thought we’d let you see what he’s been up to since the Sick Livers.  Captain Ginge has patched up his vessel and is ready to sail the often choppy shark infested rock and roll high seas.

 

“THIS SHIP AIN’T GOING DOWN” HAS LANDED!
“REAL LIFE GLORIES” PRESALES NOW OPEN!

Limited Edition (100 copies)…

CD in Glossy Wallet
2 Exclusive Pin Badges
Sticker
Immediate Download

http://www.nicotinepretty.bandcamp.com

 

Nicotine Pretty – This Ship Ain't Going Down (2018)

"THIS SHIP AIN'T GOING DOWN" HAS LANDED!"REAL LIFE GLORIES" PRESALES OUT!Limited Edition (100 copies)…CD in Glossy Wallet2 Exclusive Pin BadgesStickerImmediate Downloadhttp://www.nicotinepretty.bandcamp.com

Posted by Nicotine Pretty on Saturday, 22 September 2018

 

One of our favourite bands at RPM HQ The Alarm release a new video from the ‘Equals‘ album appropriately named ‘Transatlantic’.

Spending most of this year Crisscrossing across the Atlantic Peters and the band found time to shoot a promo video looking out over the Manhatten skyline.

Before the years out you can catch the band playing in the UK and US and as special guests, they have Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts along for what should be unmissable run of shows.

November
Wed  28th  ULU. London
Thur 29th Wedgwood Rooms Portsmouth
December
Sat 1st Arts Club, Liverpool
Sun 2nd O2 Academy 2,  Birmingham
Wed 5th Sub 89, Reading
Thur 6th Brudenell, Leeds
Fri 7th Liquid Room, Edinburgh

 

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https://www.instagram.com/thealarm/

https://twitter.com/thealarm

Whilst we’re here we’d like to point you in the direction of an incredible charity – Love Hope & Strength. if you do one thing after reading this news it should be to click here and get over to the site where incredible work is done, even Ozzy got involved with LH&S

After a quick jaunt across Europe, The DeRellas have been announced to perform at next years Rebellion festival on the back of an excellent show in the Opera House this past August. Joining them will be Headliners Cock Sparrer as well as the excellent CJ Ramone so already its shaping up to be a fantastic lineup. We’ll keep you posted as other acts are announced.

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Dom Daley.

Post-Clash Strummer was a prolific writer still and whilst he might not have always got it right or reached the heights of his former band he was still the icon and when he needed to could turn in a tune or two and when he was playing live he was still the captivating legend he always was… Its taken a few years for someone to go through his post Clash catalogue and by the look and sounds of it Ignition has done a fine job in preserving this material and uncovering some pretty decent finds as well along the way not just to satisfy the completists but to maybe open Strummers work up to a new audience who have no clue what he did after The Clash ended.
With several formats available from the super duper everything fanboy edition to the digital download the one thing you do get no matter what edition you invest in is new songs that have been lovingly preserved here.

The collection begins way back in ’75 and takes us right up to his untimely passing in 2002 (has it really been 16 years?) Everything you’ll hear has been remastered by Grammy award-winning producer Peter J Moore in Toronto Canada and in notes he said that Strummer had hidden tracks on cassettes sometimes twenty minutes after the original recordings had ended. With the deluxe set, you get Vinyl, CD Cassette and a hardback book, 7” single bells and whistles which is a must own for the serious Clash / Strummer fanboy.

Let’s get down to some of the nitty-gritty. On the CD the quality of the recordings is what you’ll first notice – whilst its effectively demoed on primitive equipment back in the mid 70’s the restoration work is exceptional and ‘Letsagetabitarockin’ is a 101Ers stomper and has the classic Strummer sneer as he spits out the lyrics.

You also get ‘Love Kills’ from the Sid and Nancy soundtrack with its 80’s drumming. Also, you have another soundtrack tune in the shape of ‘Tennessee Rain’ again from an Alex Cox flick ‘Walker’ which features a plethora of musicians as Joe kicks back for some folk driven campfire blues.
‘Trash City’ is the third film soundtrack song by Joe and was featured in 1988’s ‘Permanent Record’ and features Joe with The Latino Rockers. This one is lifted for the 7” version that most people won’t have heard and then we start to venture into fanboy territory with 7” single B sides like ‘15th Brigade’. There are twenty tracks on the CD disc one most are culled from obscure film soundtracks and singles. ‘Ride Your Donkey’ is selected from the difficult to find ‘Earthquake Weather’.

I’d forgotten Strummer featured with Isaac Hayes on a track for Chef Aid a South Park Movie that came out in 98 but ‘It’s A Rockin World’ is the sound of a track that someone like Strummer could write in his sleep.
A favourite and high point from his solo career was the excellent ‘Rock Art And The X-Ray Style’ and the albums finest song is ‘Yalla Yalla’ one that always stood out live for me and the Richard Norris E Bow always takes me back.

With a couple of Mescaleros numbers firstly ‘Johnny Appleseed’ from ‘Global A Go-Go’ and then ‘Black Hawk Downs’ ‘Minstrel Boy’ tickled me with the sleeve notes that Scott Shields just sat there staring into space which is a good place to be as any I would have thought? Then its a few star-studded duets firstly the Johnny Cash take on ‘Redemption Song’ which was easily one of the highlights of the Cash series of releases on Def Jam but I love the feel of the Jimmy Cliff track ‘Over The Border’ that has a pair of exceptional vocal performances so full of passion and it seems right to finish the first disc with the rockin’ ‘Coma Girl’ from ‘Streetcore’ and ‘Silver & Gold/Before I Grow Too Old’ from the same recording.

Disc two is pretty much more of the same and it also begins with the same two songs as disc one but with vital differences that are what these recordings are all about. With the first being an acoustic demo with just Strummer on guitar and vocals and then ‘Czechoslovak Song/ Where Is England?’ which is rescued from ½ inch tape and has Simonon on bass and is exceptional yet haunting with the reverb echoing throughout the track spine-tingling for sure. Presumably from the same recordings, there is the previously unreleased ‘Pouring Rain’ that is the same line up of Strummer, Simonon and Pete Howard.
To continue the uncovering of lost treasures ‘Blues On The River’ is a solo offering of vocal and guitar that is seeing the light of day for the first time and as we get into the meat of disc two I think disc one was softening up the fanboys for the plethora of unreleased material on disc two as the mid 80’s turned up some exceptional songs that could and would have been lost forever. One that will have Clash fans purring is the bluesy jam of ‘Crying On 23rd that features a certain Mick Jones on guitar and one time Johnny Thunders drummer Chris Musto its followed by another ¼ inch tape find featuring Jones, Musto Pearl Harbour, and B.J. Cole as well on ‘2 Bullets’ that was from the Alex Cox film ‘Sid & Nancy but ‘When Pigs Fly’ is another unreleased until now recording taken from Rockfield in South Wales that saw Strummer turn his hand to producing and it also sees the sets only real double up when ‘Pouring Rain’ gets the Rockfield treatment and with Accordion certainly has that authentic Celtic feel and the same must be said for ‘Rose Of Erin’ also used in the film ‘When Pigs Fly’.
As we head reluctantly into the final throws of disc two ‘The Cool Impossible’ has Strummer turning his hand to some Jazzy notes – with a shuffle on the brushes and the familiar Strummer strains it seems strange to think that these have only now surfaced. Penultimately 2002 sees Strummer record the previously unreleased ‘London Is Burning’ with the Mescaleros and with a sneer and more than a bark its classic Strummer. Which only leaves ‘U.S North’ to close off this solo career compilation and it seems fitting that this Mick Jones produced track put the full stop on an incredible career from someone taken way to early when he had so much to give and someone that has been sorely missed especially in some tough times when a spokesman – poet-activist – songwriter was needed Rest In Peace Joe, we love you, man, whilst his body turned to dust his soul and spirit will live forever.

 

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