It only seems two minutes ago that Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind released their fantastic sophomore long player ‘CollectiV’ on the world. But after a three month break they are back with a new stand alone single entitled ‘Get Down Get With It’ on hot pink 7” and they are doing a run of live dates to support its release. The first date happens to be at my favourite local gig venue The Fulford Arms. Having only witnessed this band in full flow supporting in larger venues and festivals, it would be rude not to attend a full headline show, right?

 

Immingham’s finest exports Ming City Rockers open the evening’s entertainment in fine form to an already packed out room. The core of singer/guitarist Clancy and guitarist Morley seem to be keeping the good ship Ming flying, yet it seems every time I catch them they have a different rhythm section. That seems to be beside the point though, as whoever they have on bass and drums this week are pretty much up to scratch. The band’s sound is raw and ramshackle, but tight and punchy as fuck. In fact this is the best I have seen them and playing to a full room where the temperature is rapidly rising, can only be helping.

It’s not long before Clancy is stripped to the waist and shouting in-between songs at the crowd like Zed from Police Academy. The garage punk cool of ‘Sell Me A Lemon’ and ‘She’s A Wrong Un’ go down well and are perfectly delivered with the style and attitude that many of their peers can only dream of.

Clancy demands a volunteer from the audience to come and play his guitar for the final number or he will jump in and pick someone himself. Luckily some hapless punter steps up to the challenge, removes his shirt and straps on Clancy’s guitar as the smiling singer disappears into the crowd to sing the final song and bring their set to a chaotic climax.

They came, they saw, they conquered. Someone give these dudes a support tour sharpish.

The atmosphere is electric and the anticipation high as the headliners finally takes to the stage and Jim Jones peels off the opening riff to ‘Boil Yer Blood’. The familiar tribal beats fill the room as the song builds and the singer has the attention of every man, woman and child in the room. To his left Matt Millership bangs the keys, to his right Gavin Jay brings the low end, and just out of sight guitarist Mal plays some sweet pedal steel.

‘No Fool’ follows, drummer Andy Marvel beats out the most powerful of regimental beats as the frontman matches with dirty guitar and a deep bluesy hollerin’. If you thought Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind needed a gig or two to brush off the cobwebs after a 3 month live hiatus, you would be sadly mistaken. Dressed all in black, with matching turtlenecks and necklaces, the band fire on all cylinders for the next hour and a half and the energy levels do not diminish whatsoever. Even the claustrophobic confines of The Fulford Arms cannot hold back the raw power of the JJATRM machine.

‘Till It’s All Gone’ is all mad tribal percussion, maracas and cool as you like full band backing chants.

Jim and Mal ring seven shades of shit from their guitars, licks and riffs are peeled off with ease as the pair and the bassist aim their instruments to the crowd and to the ceiling for the majority of the set.

This is how live rock ‘n’ roll should be; raw, loud and sweaty… sublime. None of this Liam Gallagher ‘staring at the floor’ shit! This band gives everything they’ve got and they deliver songs, without pausing for breath, like they are unloading the magazine of an AK47 on an unsuspecting crowd.

 

The likes of ‘Satan’s Got His Heart Set On You’ and ‘Sex Robot’ from the recently released ‘CollectiV’ fit the set perfectly,  as the singer struts the stage and hollers from the depths of his soul, channelling rock ‘n’ roll from another era. The aforementioned new single ‘Get Down Get With It’ is suitably raw and powerful and a highlight of tonight’s frantic set.

I thought I had already witnessed the hottest gig of the year, but tonight Jim Jones And The Righteous Mind turned it up another notch. You could say tonight was a near religious experience, but whether Jim and his band took us to church, or towards the gates of Hell is up for debate. One thing’s for sure though, tonight was a lesson in how to fucking deliver and raise the stakes for all who follow.

Author: Ben Hughes

NEW ALBUM ‘HAILZ’ RELEASED 8TH NOVEMBER (APF RECORDS)

Riff juggernaut Pist who release new album ‘Hailz’ on 8th November through APF Records (Mastiff, Battalions, BongCauldron, Desert Storm) have shared the new video for ‘Mind Rotter’. Featuring footage from their recent spring tour with Orange Goblin, guitarist John Nicholson states that the band decided to choose ‘Mind Rotter’ as their first single, ‘as it covers all bases of our new sound: psychedelic intro, stompy punk riffs, groove and black metal elements. A mix of vocal styles in there too”.

 

 The Bury, Lancashire based quartet’s new album features 7 tracks that see them taking a step away from the stoner-doom label they were tagged with. Vocalist David Rowlands explains, 

“Myself and John (guitarist) had loads of ideas for riffs and basic structures however when we entered the jam room with these ideas and the four of us put our heads together it started growing and growing. I feel this record reflects more of our personal influences from shit like Darkthrone to Elder, Orange Goblin to Uada. Musically I feel it’s a step away from the ‘stoner doom’ label we found ourselves with, something we’ve never considered ourselves to be, in our eyes we’re a heavy metal, rock n roll band who listen to a fair bit of Black Metal and Punk. This is really reflecting in the songs on this record from ferocious black metal kicking your head in to chilled psyched out bits that make you feel like you’re fucking floating or something.”

Formed in late 2013 Pist have since released an EP and album chock-full of NOLA-influenced, Southern-tinged heavy rock whilst traveling the UK playing gigs, festivals and drinking beer. Both long out of print on CD, APF re-released 2014’s “Riffology” EP and 2015’s “Rhythm & Booze” album on one disc under the title “68 OFO” in March 2018 with new artwork by Dominic Sohor. 

As with their debut EP and previous album, ‘Hailz’ was recorded with Chris Fielding (Conan, Witchsorrow, Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard), this time over at Foel studio. 

Only 2 years after starting out Pist had already supported Orange Goblin and Raging Speedhorn, toured with Ten Foot Wizard and Widows and come to the attention of Simon Hall at Bloodstock Open Air Festival who booked them to perform on Bloodstock’s the Sophie Lancaster Stage in August of 2015. 

During the six years since their formation Pist has also supported Napalm Death, Church Of Misery, Monolord, OHHMS and Dopethrone and played at Mammothfest, ‘Kinhellfest, Red Sun Festival, Hard Rock Hell and Hammerfest (twice). The band undertook UK tours in 2014 with Diesel King, 2015 with Foetal Juice and BongCauldron & Gurt, and with their label-mates BongCauldron again in 2016. Last year saw a co-headline tour with APF Records label-mates Battalions in the Spring, playing at Desertfest London in May. 

‘Hailz’ is a record that will grab the attention of fans of Orange Goblin, Kvelertak, Motörhead, Entombed, Uada and Black Breath making Pist one of the standout bands in the current UK underground heavy scene. ‘Hailz’ is Pist finally finding their sound as David concludes, 

“I finally feel like we’ve made a record we can all be proud of.”

Pist tour dates already in for 2020

9th November 2019 – Album release show – The Bread Shed, Manchester w/ Bast, Video Nasties

19th March 2020 – Hammerfest – Great Yarmouth
20th March 2020 – The Dev – London
21st March 2020 – The Old Salutation Inn – Nottingham
6th June 2020 – Stonebaked Festival – Temple of Boom – Leeds
The MJR Group by Arrangement with IAA Presents
SKID ROW Plus Special Guests
(The Quireboys + Crash Diet + Hollowstar + Matt Mitchell & The Cold Hearts)


Multi-platinum selling band SKID ROW will embark on a full UK tour this year, which will see the New Jersey rockers playing shows across the UK, starting in WINTERSTORM FEST, Scotland on 29th November and ending at The Mill, Birmingham on 8th December. Tickets are on sale on 19th June at 9 am on Eventbrite.co.uk.

Skid Row started in 1986 when a group of New Jersey kids, armed with their punk and metal attitude, and a collection of riff-heavy, high-octane songs, set out to conquer the world, one concert at a time. This determined and focused approach proved to be an unquestionable success, as the group went on to clock up numerous Top Ten singles, Gold and multi-Platinum selling albums and a Number 1 on the Billboard albums chart. In other words, the world was theirs.

They might have conquered the world several times over, but guitarist Snake Sabo admits the success hasn’t changed him or the band, and Skid Row are focused on making more earth shattering music. He says: “I will always be that 16-year-old kid in front of the mirror, pretending to be Ace Frehley or Michael Schenker. It’s still about writing a great song with your friends, praying it connects with someone. That has never left me. That willfulness will always exist, and there’s so much left to say!

Joining Skid Row for a special co-headline show at Winterstorm Fest, Scotland is Hollowstar.  Surging into the top five in the ‘Best New Band’ category at Planet Rock’s 2019 awards, HOLLOWSTAR are carving their own route to the top, paved with hard-hitting riffs and cemented by melodic yet inherently impactful lyrics.  Hollowstar will also be supporting Skid Row on every date of their UK tour apart from  Birmingham, along with quintessential British rock’n’roll band THE QUIREBOYS. Following the band’s inception in 1984, The Quireboys are certainly enjoying a revival – selling out venues around the world. 2019 saw the release of their new studio album ‘Amazing Disgrace’ – their 12th – on April 5th.

Ultimate sleaze hard rock band CRASHDIET will be joining Skid Row on five out of the eight dates of their UK tour. “Go big or go home” has been their motivational “catchphrase” for the Swedish group ever since they started out in 2000. Their undeniable flirt with the 80s big arena rock bands like Guns N’ Rose, Kiss and Skid Row themselves, combined with a notable element of punk, has made them a significant name in the revival of the sleaze and glam genre. In September 2019, they will release their fifth studio album.

MATT MITCHELL & THE COLD HEARTS will be joining Skid Row at both Winterstorm Fest, Scotland and The Mill, Birmingham. Matt started out singing and writing songs in his late teens, leaning his craft in several bands early on and Matt Mitchell & The Cold Hearts is Matt’s solo project with an array of extremely talented guests players. The project got off to a great start, with the first single ‘Black Diamonds’ released on January 25th 2019, being championed across the UK and the rest of the globe.

Full Skid Row Tour Dates:

Winterstorm Fest, Scotland – 29th November – Skid Row + Hollowstar
Warehouse, Wakefield – 30th November – Skid Row + Quireboys + Hollowstar + Matt
Mitchell & The Cold Hearts
Rock City, Nottingham – 1st December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet + Hollowstar
Engine Rooms, Southampton – 3rd December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet +
Hollowstar
Tramshed, Cardiff – 4th December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet + Hollowstar
Planet Rock Stock, Trecco Bay – 6th December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Hollowstar
Corp,
Winter Rocks, Corporation, Sheffield – 7th December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet + Hollowstar
The Mill, Birmingham – 8th December – Skid Row + Quireboys + Crashdiet + Matt Mitchell
& The Cold Hearts

*Tickets on sale from Eventbrite.co.uk, 19th June at 9am
https://www.skidrow.com/

STREAM [Hurricane of Change]

A BRAND NEW MASTER RECORDING BASED ON THE WORKS OF EYE OF THE HURRICANE AND CHANGE

Released October 1st 2019 exclusively via www.thealarm.com

 

Exclusive Pre-order date from Wednesday September 25th at 7.00 PM UK Time / 2.00 pm US EDT / 11.00 am PST

 

On October 1st 2019, Mike Peters will release a brand new LIMITED EDITION Alarm masterwork entitled ‘STREAM’ [Hurricane of Change].

STREAM [Hurricane of Change] will only be released as a limited edition collection exclusively via www.thealarm.com

The collection includes:

  • STREAM [Hurricane of Change] Double CD Edition – 39 Tracks including brand new songs and narration by Mike Peters.
  • EYE OF THE HURRICANE [30th Anniversary Vinyl Edition]10 track re-imagined vinyl version of the 1987 original.
  • CHANGE [30th Anniversary Vinyl Edition] 12 track re-imagined vinyl version of the 1989 original.
  • ELECTRIC FOLKLORE LIVE[30th Anniversary CD Edition]. Mike Peters recorded in concert at the Norwegian Church, Cardiff.
  • COLLECTORS TOTE BAG
  • LIMITED EDITION ‘500’ NUMBERED ART CARD Personally Signed by Mike Peters.

This brand new release from The Twenty First Century Recording Company is only available exclusively through www.thealarm.com and will not be made available anywhere else in this format (see below for artwork, track listings and recording information).

STREAM [Hurricane of Change]will take listeners on a unique musical adventure that flows both downstream and upstream, telling a moving autobiographical story as lived and breathed by Mike Peters and The Alarm from 1986-1990.

The double CD Edition features 39 pieces of brand new recorded music, all joined together by a Mike Peters spoken word essay, that weaves a brand new narrative into the original lyrical DNA of such classic Alarm songs as Rain In The SummertimeRescue MeOne Step Closer To HomeSold Me Down The Riverand A New South Wales. There’s also a host of brand new song recordings including the raging acoustic guitar driven Irish Sea, and the dramatic Ballad of Randolph Turpin.

‘In order to capture the very essence of these classic / new Alarm songs, and to try and further understand what they truly mean to me for this, their 30th Anniversary. I went back and re-examined all the original lyrics from beginning to end,” says Mike Peters. “By reading the collected lyrics in chronological order from the first song created – A New South Wales(written for Eye of the Hurricane, but only released as the last song on Change), I was amazed to discover a whole new perspective, and by putting the lyrics in chronological order (and including songs I was unable to present at the time), I began to realise that I had unknowingly written a very autobiographical account of how my life (and the life of the band), played out in the second half of the nineteen-eighties. By starting at the very beginning of the musical structure that these songs were born into, and following the lyrical narrative through to its natural conclusion, I was able to make sense of the songs in a completely new way.”

“I have often talked in interviews about the experience of leaving Wales at the beginning of the eighties, only to return through the creative process that gave birth to the Eye of The HurricaneElectric Folkloreand Change trilogy of albums”, continues Mike.“By looking at the lyrics afresh, I have now been able to fully realise what I was grasping for as a songwriter and lyricist in 1987-1989. Back then, my confidence had been blunted by a difficult creative process, and I had always privately felt that there was a lot more left to be discovered within the original body of music. With these new recordings, I have been able to realise a torrent of new possibilities and emotions and, in turn, draw them out of the very same songs. By recording STREAM [Hurricane of Change] in this new way, I feel that I have been able to liberate my original lyrical vision and re-present the music in a way that I believe, is just as relevant, if not more vital than ever before.”

STREAM [Hurricane of Change] has been produced in its entirety by George Williams who also produced Blood Red Viral BlackEqualsand Sigma.

George Williams (the producer), listened to all my demos and suggested that I should really examine the song sequence”, continues Mike Peters. “George thought that the new directions I had pushed the music towards were really strong, but because there was so much material, a unifying track-listing needed to be found early on. I accepted the challenge, and began reading through the lyrics to see if I could find a common theme that would pull everything together as one. As soon as I looked at the words in this new way, I was inspired to write STREAMas a complete story, which in turn led me towards the idea of using narration as a bridge between the songs.

By the time we got to Sain Studios in North Wales to record (just after The Gathering on February 8th 2019,) I proposed to both George and Alarm drummer Smiley, that we create each piece of music in chronological order, so that our individual roles and performances could be informed by the context of the STREAMnarrative. It was a revelation to literally go ‘Downstream’ through the music of Eye of the Hurricaneon the first session and then a month later (on March 21st), travel back ‘Upstream’ with the songs of ChangeA musical journey that inspired Smiley to perform at his absolute best, and myself to give what I believe, are some of the most emotive vocal performances of my entire career. Once we had completed the song cycle and with Jules helping out on piano and backing vocals, we all knew that something truly special had been created, and so from the 27th September, it’s going to be you – the listener’s turn to make the same musical journey as we did.”

I truly believe that Stream [Hurricane of Change], contains some of the best recorded music of my entire career, and I’m convinced that by sharing and recycling the music in this new exciting way, it will allow everyone who has ever loved the original ‘Eye Of The Hurricane’ and ‘Change’ albums to see them in a brand new light and to be able to enjoy them again – reborn.”

‘Stream’ [Hurricane of Change]will be released on Friday 27th September 2019 to coincide with the start of the Hurricane Of Change UK Tour, and will only be available as a special limited edition complete collection package. The Complete Collection is priced at £99.99 [plus p&p].

Where do I start with this one, I’m sure that anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the alternative/ independent scene, especially if your of a certain age would know David J from his part within potentially one of the best bands Britain ever produced Bauhaus, (just a personal view but one I’m happy to debate).

 

Before I start, lets put something out there this LP sounds absolutely nothing like Bauhaus, instead showcasing a musician happy to trade on and work with possible influences, while taking on board a real depth of knowledge learned within and from any number of cultural musical identities. Take first up Mosaic imagine Lou Reed half spoken vocals over an almost eastern esoteric guitar run, giving the song a real depth.

 

While next up Blue eyes in the green room picks at gentle, acoustic Americana, while third in Baudelaire, introduces a classical violin lead which the vocals weave around giving the song a very different structure and feel.

 

What I’m picking up at this point is what an emotive LP I’m listening to, one that needs you to sit back, listen to and allow the music to wash over you, which got me to thinking who else is part of this LP it’s so diverse, checking in on the press blurb, I find contributions from Anton Newcombe (Brian Jonestown Massacre), Toby Dammit (Nick Cave And The Bad Seeds), Paul Wallfisch (Swans), Sean Eden (Luna), Rose McGowan, Asia Argento, Emily Jane White, Annabel (lee) and the great Czech violinist Karel Holas. Only then do you start to realize the pedigree of what your listening to.

 

This is 100% an LP that fits within the late night, lights turned down time to contemplate the day just past and what’s to come. Time blurs as you drift, while imagery comes and goes. If I had to pick a fave it would probably be the poetic ‘Migenta and the frozen roses’ harking back to earlier times, hinting at Jim Morrison’s American prayer, with the female spoken vocal giving a real counterpoint as the guitar builds and weaves an almost industrial tone, seriously good stuff.

 

There’s a gorgeous San Francisco 60’s feel to ‘Pre-existing Condition’ really setting it apart from what’s come before while the trumpet that cuts in just gives it a different depth. As you drift through the next thing that catches you is ‘Missive to an angel’ a time for self reflection and internal focus. This is a seriously strong LP, but won’t be for everyone, one to approach with an open mind and the time and space to listen.

 Buy ‘Missive To An Angel From The Halls Of Infamy And Allure’Here

Author: Nev Brooks

TOUR DATES
Oct 08 Prague, Czech Republic @ La Loca
Oct 12 Berlin, Germany @ BiNuu
Oct 13 Cologne, Germany @ Helios 37
Oct 15 Rome, Italy @ Traffic Club
Oct 16 Lisbon, Portugal @ Musicbox
Oct 17 Leiria, Portugal @ Teatro José Lúcio da Silva
Oct 18 Porto, Portugal @ Hard Club
Oct 19 Barcelona, Spain @ Salamandra (with The Psychedelic Furs)
Oct 20 Madrid, Spain @ Teatro Kapital (with The Psychedelic Furs)
Oct 22 Paris, France @ Le Petit Bain
Oct 24 Manchester, UK @ Club Academy
Oct 26 London, UK @ Moth Club
Oct 27 Nottingham, UK @ Beta
Oct 28 Newcastle, UK @ Cluny
Nov 03 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Paladium (as Bauhaus)
Nov 04 Los Angeles, CA @ Hollywood Paladium (as Bauhaus)
Nov 08 Austin, TX @ Elysium (with Curse Mackey, Rosegarden Funeral Party)

POP CULTURE SCHLOCK at RPM: Exhibit D – The Black Crowes Rock ‘n’ Roll Comic

Greetings, RPM-people; I guess it’s time once again to dig into the Pop Culture Schlock archive and pull out something music-related to wax lyrical about. This month I’m fingering the comic book long boxes until I come across something particularly hard to handle…

Casting a dark shadow over both my comic- and music-buying in the late Eighties and early Nineties was a virulent strain of unauthorised biographies equal parts infamous and diabolical.

Inspired by ‘Hey Boss’, an independent Bruce Springsteen parody from the mid-Eighties, Todd Loren’s Revolutionary Comics launched its Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics strand in 1989 and, quite remarkably given that it came in the path of snowballing legal threats and action, the offbeat offshoot became the indie comic book publisher’s flagship product.

Hiring Larry Nadolsky, artist of the aforementioned Springsteen comic, to pen its debut issue, Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics hit the shelves with a first edition cover-dated June 1989. Guns N’ Roses were the subjects of this first issue and it was welcomed into the legal jungle via a cease and desist order from the GN’R lawyer, Peter Paterno. The subsequent press attention – Rolling Stone magazine covered the furore – saw the initial print run of 10,000 issues sell out completely within two weeks, with buyers assuming that the comic would soon be pulped as big business bulldozed small. As it happened, no actual lawsuits were filed and the debut GN’R issue would go on to have multiple reprints and eventually shift around 150,000 units. A first print copy resides in the Pop Culture Schlock archive, of course. Think it’s so easy to defeat legal issues when knocking on unauthorised material’s door, though? Think again…

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics issues 3 and 4 – featuring Bon Jovi and Mötley Crüe respectively – garnered legal challenges which forced Revolutionary Comics to found a new distribution network outside of the traditional comic book store, instead focussing on music- and gift-related retail outlets. The gamble paid off and Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics ran from 1989 to 1993, publishing 63 issues. The final issue (cover-dated November 1993 and titled ‘Sci-Fi Space Rockers’ – featuring the likes of Hawkwind, Pink Floyd, Marillion, and Genesis) was actually numbered 65 as two issues – Number 8 featuring Skid Row, and Number 61 featuring Yes – were never published due to legal problems that simply refused to have the kinks ironed out. Surprisingly, the highest profile legal case brought against Revolutionary Comics, in regards to the New Kids On The Block issue from 1990, ruled in the indie publisher’s favour, even after Todd Loren had set up a 900 number – “Nuke The New Kids!” – to raise funds for the company’s legal fees.

 

So, Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics are pure, unadulterated, unofficial Pop Culture Schlock… but which issue should I feature for RPM? Scores of bands were featured: Aerosmith, Rolling Stones, Living Colour, Metallica, Anthrax, The Doors, Queen, Van Halen, The Who, Vanilla Ice – basically any popular beat combo or sex symbol that the artists couldn’t draw very well. Need proof? Check out the Bon Jovi issue; the poundshop rendering of JBJ on the cover as realistic as David Rashbaum’s hair extensions. I have, though, for the benefit of RPM’s flowery shirt and waistcoat-wearing clientele, decided upon Issue 34 of Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics, cover-dated September 1991 and devoted to…

 

The Black Crowes, by the time of the comic’s publication, had seen two of their singles – their cover of Otis Redding’s ‘Hard To Handle’, and ‘She Talks To Angels’ – crash into the Top 30 of the Billboard Hot 100, the band tread the legendary boards at Castle Donington, and be bell bottoms-deep into preparations for album number two, ‘The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion’. Being immortalized in comic book form would be the band’s then-high point, surely?

 

As with pretty much every page of Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics’ output, ‘Flying High With The Black Crowes’ was well-researched but dogged by poor, oft-shit artwork; exposition too often reduced to ludicrous sentences spat from inked rock star mouths – “You just wait! Any minute now you’ll hear the first single, ‘Jealous Again’, on the radio and before you know it, we’ll top the charts!” said Chris Robinson, never.

 

Ah, yes, Chris Robinson, one of the greatest voices of his generation, whose first word (“cool!”) in this comic comes via a thought bubble when he is still in the womb…

 

This is the kind of bollocks that you have to squint your brain and accept if you’re gonna have some Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics in your collection, however. That “Unauthorised and Proud Of It!” mantra from the company emblazoned across the comic covers carte blanche to interpret a beloved history in as ludicrous a way as possible.

 

“By the way, how’s your guitar playing coming along?” seventh grade Chris asks little brother, Rich. Pretty good you’d think, because seven pages later Mr. Crowes’ Garden have a record deal and a new band name. Soon band members are recording the sound of cars crashing into trash cans, supporting Junkyard, dissing Milli Vanilli posters, and getting career advice from Steven Tyler: “You could learn from [Aerosmith’s] mistakes, that stuff can kill you!” “Rock and Roll and safety have nothing to do with each other,” replies Chris Robinson. A few pages later he’s spitting at concert security for roughing up gig-goers. Silly Billy.

 

The band is accused of dabbling in black magic, of inciting a Dutch riot. Chris slags off Milli Vanilli again; this time in the face of an autograph hunter who complains about the sound at a Crowes gig. Cutting edge stuff, I’m sure you’ll agree.

 

“Quit calling us The New Stones!” Chris Robinson rages at a journalist. “We’re doing this in and for the ’90s,” adds Rich. “Acts like ourselves, the London Quireboys, and Lenny Kravitz are playing a NEW tune…”

 

…and then they are gone, forever to reside in the comic boxes of nerds like myself, a faint “the future holds nothing but high-flying promise for The Black Crowes” inked farewell floating on the winds of time.

 

If you think that the bands featured in Rock ‘n’ Roll Comics got their bank balances bludgeoned by the unofficial output of Revolutionary Comics, spare a thought for the company’s main man, Todd Loren. He was brutally murdered in 1992, the body of the 32-year-old found at his San Diego condo. He had been stabbed to death and, I shit you not, members of both Guns N’ Roses and New Kids On The Block were linked with the murder due to the previous legal issues. The case remains unsolved to this day, though many believe Loren was the first victim of Andrew Cunanan; the American serial killer who murdered Italian fashion designer, Gianni Versace.

 

You didn’t expect that bleak shit when I was writing about Milli Vanilli a few paragraphs ago, right?!

 

I’ll be back in October with some horror-related musical Schlock just in time for All Hallow’s Eve. Smell ya later…

 

Follow Gaz & his Pop Culture Schlock 365 on Facebook Here

With their website closed down by the owners PledgeMusic reportedly froze artists’ funds and misspent hundreds of thousands of pounds of musicians’ and fans money to keep the site going for as long as they could before going to the courts to wind up the complany.

In a message clearing the company of any liability over artists’ losses, One executives wrote

To the Artists and Fans of PledgeMusic.

As many of you know, PledgeMusic suspended operations a number of months ago.  The company continues to work with outside counsel on the most appropriate next steps, and we will update you with those specifics as we get more information.

co-founder Benji Rogers (Rogers founded the company with Jayce Varden in 2009 as a platform in which artists can sell everything from music to personal concerts directly to fans)   After being widely chastised on social media for breaking his promise to return artists’ money, Rogers wrote,

I went back into [the company] just over three months ago as a volunteer to try and help the board and team turn around and sell the company, but I am sad to report that this effort has not met with success and that PledgeMusic will shortly be heading into administration.

It appears the company’s changed its mind over the right course of action. Instead of heading into administration, Pledge took the sneaky turn of filing a petition to wind up PledgeMusic in The Gazette.  The Execs remained anonymous and Rodgers left the company in 2016 and started his current company CSO to Dot Blockchain Media.

Pledge’s  CEO and another executive who chose to remain anonymous attributed many of the problems to an unexpected change in the company’s payment fulfillment system, restated their commitment to the company and its crowdfunding model, and insisted the company was “working through” the problems. That was almost a year ago. t CEO, Dominic Pandiscia, stepped down, but the company reshuffled its senior management and pointed to new investors.

If they’d headed into administration, it would have allowed musicians, fans, and vendors the opportunity to officially speak out against the company’s behavior, PledgeMusic has simply closed the platform through the High Courts. therefore kinda just walking away.

The RCOJ granted Pledge their winding-up order and appointed an Official Receiver (OR), who will liquidate all of the company’s assets. The official Receiver has commented via tweets  I guess a clearer picture will be made as to what course of action they will take but maybe parties affected should follow their twitter account to keep up to date with the state of play.  Sadly I guess the artists will go to the back of the queue behind the government (or HMRC) who always get paid in full and the fans will go behind the bands in the pecking order.  Most will have already written off their product as a bad job after artists gave their own updates to their individual predicaments. I wouldn’t have thought the company had many assets that can be sold on due to the platform it ran but I guess seeing the Execs being prosecuted would be a just desert and the guilty parties being brought to book, but its scant consolation to the all the bands, studios, labels, musicians and fans who are left out of pocket.

Not everybody will get involved no doubt but some have spoken up on behalf of artists such as UK Music who spoke out about the order.  In a letter to Business Minister Kelly Tolhurst, Deputy CEO Tom Kiehl urged the government to step in.

Many musicians across the UK relied on crowdfunding website PledgeMusic to deliver payments from patrons, to pay for album recordings, and other costs.  The winding up of this company represents an entirely unsatisfactory development for the many music fans and creators who have invested so much into projects through this scheme.

I ask you to again consider the merits of a ministerial referral to the Competition and Markets Authority to investigate what went wrong with this case.

I would also like to ask you to consider taking up the case with the Financial Conduct Authority, which holds responsibility for regulating certain types of crowdfunding, to consider the activities of PledgeMusic and whether there have been any regulatory breaches.

Furthermore, I would like to ask for a meeting with you to consider further possible Government interventions to ensure the issues which have arisen from PledgeMusic can never happen again.

One band L7 vowed to take the former company’s executives to court.  Calling the crowdfunding platform a fraudulent scheme, the band wrote,

To give a brief summary for those not familiar with the Pledge Music scam, in a nutshell, the funds that many bands and their supporters raised through the crowdfunding platform were absconded by the company with zero accountability and unreturned legal appeals.  Their site is no longer live and they are filing for bankruptcy protection in the U.K.

It’s been a disappointing, time consuming, and expensive mess for all artists and fans involved with this Pledge Music FIASCO.

they also commented,

We do not wish to further comment on this situation as we do not want to be the face of being screwed over.  L7 are bigger and mightier than this mess.  The only time we will speak of this again will be in a courtroom.

 

This might play out for some considerable time yet but once they do get to the bottom of just what went on we’ll hopefully have some news to give both fans and artists.  Don’t hold your breath though it might be some time. Other artists are joining together to see if a joint action can be taken but time will tell what will come.

Time & Matter Records are absolutely delighted to present

JANUS STARK’S BRAND-NEW ALBUM – ‘ANGEL IN THE FLAMES’

T&M are hoping to have the LPs available to post by the end of December or early 2020 it’ll be available on Vinyl (with insert and digital download code) CD (with 16 booklet) as well as a digital download.

If you can’t wait to get your fill of Janus Stark then fear not pop pickers because Time & Matter are selling the first album in their online shop along with other merch from the band just click the link to visit the page Here

Led by former Prodigy, English Dogs, U.K. Subs and Steve Ignorant guitarist Gizz Butt, Janus Stark return with their second album after a 20-year hiatus. This stunning new album really does set the guitar-led punk-rock world alight, with Gizz’s versatility and virtuoso six-string pyrotechnics more aflame and to the fore than ever, with the four-piece band equally on fire, they also have much to say via their thought-provoking socio-political, and highly personal lyrical content on an album you’ll love and repeatedly play… Dave Grohl once described Janus Stark as “a great melodic kick up the arse…” Little has changed on that front. Prepare to have your arse kicked all over again.

As with the debut album, legendary U.K. Subs frontman CHARLIE HARPER has co-written a song on the album and plays harmonica and provides backing vocals on some of the new tracks… Be sure to also check out the Janus Stark Facebook page

Janus Stark initially existed between 1996-2002, formed at the same time Gizz was also guitarist for The Prodigy in their ‘Fat Of The Land’ period, scoring a number one album in 38 countries in 1997. In the same year, Janus Stark recorded their debut album ‘Great Adventure Cigar’ which spawned the hit USA single ‘Every Little Thing Counts’ reaching No. 32 in the Billboard Top 40. Fast forward to 2018 and Gizz Butt decided to reform Janus Stark asking Richard Gombault of 90s Pop Punk trio Midget to join along with long-standing close friends Fozzy Dixon and Simon Martin.

The album will include a leaflet for the mental health MIND charity’s ‘Stop Suicide’ campaign, and in support of this, Gizz has penned a moving essay revealing his own personal struggles with mental health which is part of the LP insert, along with hand written lyrics to all the songs. With a prestigious support tour with THE WILDHEARTS and THE PROFESSIONALS coming up in October 2019, as well as numerous gig dates booked for the next 6 months, 2020 looks set to see Janus Stark rise again like a phoenix from the ashes…

PURCHASE VIA MAIL ORDER: Time & Matter Recordings

The oil painting featured on the album cover was painted by Gizz’s talented daughter Astrid, of which there are various meanings within, which augment some of the themes running through this album’s song-lyrics.

Not content with plying his trade in one of the best bands in the UK punk scene Sy Shields is also on his thirds album with his other mob the X-Ray Eyes where he doubles down as vocalist and guitarist.  If you’ve never heard either band now would be a good time to click some of the links and enlighten yourself and make your record collection a bazillion times better. He a Yorkshireman and he’s been busy writing, recording and playing live but can fit in five minutes to answer some daft questions from RPM so here goes… eh up, Tell us a little history of the band  Whos in it and where did it all begin?

Me and Deany (drums) have been pals since we were kids and been in a band together since high school. I met Jock (guitar) when I joined the band Lorimer (which eventually became Cyanide Pills) when I was 19. I met Amir (bass) in 2002 through my college friend and former bandmate Stevie. We formed The X-Ray Eyes in 2012 (I think!)

You don’t just reside in  The X-Ray eyes as singer and guitarist but you also play guitar in the awesome Cyanide Pills, what are the major differences between them that keeps you at it?

Firstly, the difference in music I guess. Most of the song ideas, music, lyrics and melodies comes from Phil when we play with Cyanide Pills. I’d like to think it’s similar to that with The X-Ray Eyes but it’s me instead of Phil. I quite like that with this band we don’t have a record label, publisher, manager, booking agent etc so it’s all pretty much DIY. We can do as little or as much as we want and do things exactly as we want them. 

As for Playing the guitar,  who influenced you to pick it up and how old were you when you realised it’s what you wanted to do?

I don’t think one particular person influenced me to start playing, it was just guitar based music in general. I started getting into bands such as Oasis, Blur and Supergrass at about 11 years old as I’d just started playing football for an older age group so I was easily influenced and liked what I heard. I started to teach myself to play guitar when I was about 14 and soon moved onto bands like Green Day, Rancid and The Offspring. By the time I was 16 I’d become a big fan of The Clash and Sex Pistols and got we our first band together. 

You’ve just released your new album , is it your best? 

I think every band says their latest album is their best! It’s my favourite one we’ve done because I think it sounds the best and it has our best songs on.

Do you enjoy singing and playing guitar? or are you more comfortable just playing guitar? 

I’ve been doing it for a long time now so I feel pretty comfortable doing both. I suppose I feel a bit more pressure playing with The X-Ray Eyes as I’m the lead singer/frontman and stand in the middle. I also have much more to remember! 

If you could jump on a tour who would you pick if that were an option?  What about growing up who were the bands you loved?

I’d love to tour with The Hellacopters, Rancid or The Briefs but who wouldn’t?! I’d say Oasis was the first band I loved then I went through a Nirvana phase……

Pick a couple of favourite songs and tell our readers why they’re favourites?

That’s a tough one because it changes all the time. Off the top of my head I’ll go for The Peepshows ‘Surrender My Love’, Jimi Hendrix’s version of  ‘All Along The Watchtower’ and Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, ‘The Tears of a Clown’. I think they’re all perfect songs in their own way. ‘My Sharona’ by The Knack should get a mention too! 

What about any music you like that might surprise our readers or fans?

I like pretty much anything so long as it’s tuneful and got a good melody or chorus. I’m more than partial to a bit of classical music, Motown, pop, dance or reggae. I draw the line at metal or jazz though. 

When you’re playing with Cyanide Pills is there a favourite track to play live?  What about favourite show? 

Not sure I have a favourite song to play live, I prefer the songs we never play live! We’ve played so many gigs over the years it’s hard to pick just one. My favourite gig of the last tour we did was probably the one we did for Stefan in Munich. It was a Tuesday night and it was hot, sweaty and busy. Just how we like it. 

What are your plans for both bands that you can tell us about?  We know Cyanide Pills have a new album recorded, what can you tell us about that?

We’re working on the next album with Cyanide Pills but it’s gonna be a while yet. All the songs are written but we’re only part way through the recording. We’ve started writing stuff for The X-Ray Eyes next album too so we’ll be working on that in between gigging. We’ve got a van so we’ll play anywhere within reason, providing we’re all available! 

As for Touring – are you a fan of getting in the van? when can we expect to see you guys play in South Wales (either band)  would taking X-Ray Eyes out supporting Cyanide Pills ever be an option?  

I love touring. Playing gigs is surely the best part of being in a band. I think we’ve only played in Wales once with either band and it was Cyanide Pills when we supported UK Subs in Cardiff a few years back. We’d definitely be up for going back. I wouldn’t rule out touring or doing a gig with both bands but it might be beneficial to have at least one band on in the middle so I can catch my breath.

What about vinyl pressings for X-Ray Eyes?

We’ve been wanting to release something on vinyl for a while now but it’s difficult as it’s so expensive. Hopefully, we’ll get some gigs in the next few months and sell some merch so we can afford to put out a single or EP on vinyl in the not too distant future. 

It is with regret that we have to announce the rescheduling of the remaining SAXON shows in 2019. Lead Vocalist Biff Byford has been diagnosed with a heart condition that requires immediate surgery and a post op recovery period that will last into the new year.

The shows affected are as follows:

September 26thSweden, Stockholm – Grona Lund
October 5th– The Netherlands, Eindhoven – Oktober Metal Fest
October 18th– UK, Glasgow – Braehead Arena
October 19th– UK, London – Eventim Apollo
October 20th– UK, Manchester – O2 Apollo
October 26th– Germany, Dusseldorf – Mitsubishi Electric Halle
December 1st– Mexico, Mexico City – Forcefest
December 6th– Colombia, Bogota – Knot Fest

The UK, London Eventim Apollo show has been rescheduled for Saturday March 28th2020
And UK, Manchester O2 Apollo for Sunday March 29th2020

The UK, Glasgow Braehead Arena & Germany, Dusseldorf Mitsubishi Electric Halle shows will be rescheduled and new dates announced as soon as possible.

All existing tickets will remain valid for new dates and in the case of a required refund