On August 23, Merge Records will release the much-anticipated Redd Kross LP Beyond the Door. Today, Beyond the Door can be pre-ordered now on CD, digitally, and on limited-edition opaque purple Peak Vinyl in the Merge store.
Redd Kross have also announced a massive US tour with the Melvins which kicks off on September 3rd in San Diego and includes shows in major markets including Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, and more.
Beyond the Door is an album inspired by the band’s “total commitment to having the best f*cking time we can have while we’re all still here” (what they like to call “The Party”). It’s a rock and roll record and a celebration of everything brothers Jeff and Steven McDonald love, from cultures both high and low. Musically, it’s guitars, bass, and drums topped with a generous portion of sweet vocal melodies often delivered with an ambiguous edge.
Beyond the Door marks Redd Kross’ most collaborative record to date. Steven describes this evolution: “Jeff is still very much the driving force behind the compositions, but with more help from me than ever. Jeff and I haven’t shared this much of the writing and singing since Born Innocent in 1981.” Guitarist Jason Shapiro and drummer Dale Crover (Melvins, OFF!) are longtime members of the Redd Kross live band, but this album marks the pair’s recorded debut with the group. Mixed in Los Angeles by Steven McDonald, Beyond the Door includes notable guest appearances from Anna Waronker (That Dog), Geré Fennelly, Buzz Osborne (Melvins), and Josh Klinghoffer.
On the surface, the album title is a playful reference to an Italian horror film the McDonald brothers watched as children, a loose rip-off of both The Exorcist and Rosemary’s Baby that stars Juliet Mills of ’70s television program Nanny and the Professor. But like all things Redd Kross, it would be a sad injustice to stop digging there. No one knows what lies Beyond the Door… but we’re all in front of it.
Inspirations as varied as K-pop, glitter gangs, embarrassed tweens, long-term relationships, a mysterious character named Fantástico Roberto, and much more all contributed to Beyond the Door, an album that lures the listener into Redd Kross’ secret club full of riddles and inside jokes, with the ultimate reward of the perfect pop moment!
The Norwegian black metal legends mark their return with a sublime new slab of relentless riffing in the true spirit of the underground.
“more metal than ever” Fenriz
The legendary Norwegian longstanding partnership of Fenriz and Ted “Nocturno Culto” Skjellum, return with their first studio album since 2016’s hugely popular ‘Arctic Thunder’, in the shape of ‘Old Star’. With a mastery and endless dedication to the art of the riff, the Norwegian legends cut through 6 new epic tracks, taking in the best of the old school of heavy & extreme metal plus a large dose of doom-laden riffing, & channeling it through the grime of the underground.
Fenriz enthuses «Old star – again we are here with THE RIFFS! A while after our previous ARCTIC THUNDER album it became apparent that we would continue in that same style, BLACK OLD HEAVY METAL with slow thrash, classic doom, and slow death metal.
As many have focussed on the 70s sound over the last 20 years, the mix on our new album has ended up being more 80s than ever. The songs are more metal than ever! Ted’s songs have a lot of black metal in them, faster and slower but also doomier parts and recurring parts. My songs are more linear written, it’s an ancient 80s underground trick, with breaks, all slow heavy or slow thrash, classic doom or slow death.»
He continues “All in all it is our most 80s album so far and our most metal one to date with drum sound typical for the 80s USA/German market and damned lyrics, which are all written by me. We feel that ‘OLD STAR’ is the big brother of ARCTIC THUNDER. More solid and with even better riffs.”
‘Old Star’ was recorded at the band’s Necrohell 2 Studios, with engineering and production duties carried out by vocalist/guitarist Nocturno Culto, complemented with a perfectly organic mix courtesy of Sanford Parker (Voivod) at Hypercube Studios, & mastered once more by Jack Control at Enormous Door. The stellar cover artistry comes courtesy of Chadwick St John, titled “The Shepherd of the Deep”.
Over the course of 30 years, Norway’s Darkthrone has become a staple of the global black metal genre, forging a legacy as one of the most renowned and influential bands in its illustrious & often infamous history. In the formative years following their 1987 inception, Darkthrone initially started with a strong concoction of thrash & then death/doom metal experimentation, with broader musical influences spanning from the 60s to the 80s, before the debut album Soulside Journey was unleashed in 1991. Never ones to follow convention or stand still even then, the band soon embraced a much darker, more primitive form of expression with the now iconic second album A Blaze in the Northern Sky, & the rest became history.
OLD STAR will be released on the following formats with each featuring handwritten lyrics in the booklet or insert:
Ltd Edition 7” vinyl box set – Old Star is presented on 3 coloured 7” (black, white, clear vinyl)
Black 180g vinyl LP
Ltd Edition 180g purple vinyl LP
Ltd Edition 180g green vinyl LP
Ltd Edition 180g orange vinyl LP
Ltd Edition 180g red vinyl LP
Ltd Edition 180g gold vinyl LP
Ltd Edition 180g white vinyl LP
Being together as a band for almost 40 years now – I guess it’s safe to say that D-A-D would have to be very comfortable in their own skins to have survived quite so long.
It’s hardly surprising then that ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ the band’s first new studio record in eight years is grounded in this ethos, the band having graduated from their humble Disneyland After Dark cow-punk beginnings into major label arena rock contenders who then, through their own hard work and helpyourselfishness, managed to survive the onset of grunge when most hard rockers perished through to eventually becoming the band they are today and have been since the release of ‘Everything Glows’ back in 2000. An album which coincidently not only saw the band change their name to D-A-D but also saw the band’s newest member Laust Sonne join the core trio of the band (singer/guitarist Jesper Binzer, bassist Stig Pedersen and guitarist Jacob Binzer) behind the drum kit.
So, what does almost two decades of being (this version of) D-A-D actually sound like?
Well, remember those days when new albums by the likes of Aerosmith and AC/DC used to leave you thrilled and wanting more? That’s instantly how I felt about ‘A Prayer For The Loud’, as both those hard rock giants sprung to mind during the first couple of spins, but of course this is always going to be a D-A-D record what with the instantly recognisable rich and raspy vocal tones of Jesper Binzer ever present and ready to strike.
Of the eleven new cuts on offer here at least nine of them are total bangers, pure four to the floor rock n roll music, with even glimpses of the mighty Gluecifer and The Cult (circa ‘Electric’/’Sonic Temple’) creeping into the mix during the simply immense ‘The Real Me’.
The album itself gets off to a blazing start with ‘Burning Star’ and the throbbing ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ and I challenge anyone to listen to either of these tracks and not draw an immediate arc back to the band’s commercial peak (here in the UK) of ‘No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims’ and ‘Riskin’ It All’, two albums that any connoisseur of quality guitar-driven rock music will have had in their collections for decades now.
Elsewhere with ‘Musical Chairs’ which crops up just past the halfway mark, the guys have written the song Airbourne have been searching for since they floundered for a sound to take them to the next level, whilst ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ and ‘The Sky Is Made Of Blues’ are the perfect soundtrack for top-down summer driving.
Of the two slower moments on ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ album closer ‘If The World Just’ is my preferred choice over ‘A Drug For The Heart’ purely because the latter sails a little too close to a certain Backyard Babies track for its own good, albeit with Jesper at the mic this is much more Aerosmith than Social Distortion ballad territory.
Kudos must also be given here to the production team of Nick Foss and Rune Nissen Petersen who have taken heavy hitters like ‘No Doubt About It’, ‘Time Is A Train’ and ‘Happy Days In Hell’ and given then an enormous sound that instantly fills your head with rock ‘n’ roll melodies that will live with you for days, no make that years, to come.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m so surprised by how amazing ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ is because D-A-D have always produced quality albums, it’s just this one is right up there with their very best work and is as a said at the beginning of this review the sound of a band very comfortable in their own skins.
Hands down this is the best classic/traditional (label it what you will) album I’ve heard in 2019.
Hands up how many people remember the track “Another Girl, Another Planet”? Talk about pop perfection, looking back The Only Ones kicked in as far back as 1976 and were active right up until 1982, Peter Perrett being the vocalist/guitar slinger. Now hands up how many people are aware of Englands Glory? Perrett’s band before the only ones and how dark the vocals were, always drawing comparisons with Lou Reed? This stuff finally got released in 1987 and I would suggest you check it out, especially if your into the more experimental side of music.
But lets not dwell on the past Humanworld is brand spanking new, and worth looking at as a representation of now and an artist rebuilding not just themselves, but their sound. The trademark sneer to first single “I want your dreams” sets the tone and really highlights the strength of the songwriting. Next up “Once is enough” brings the urgency, moving the LP up about three gears, biting, arrogant and in your face, this is the darkest pop imaginable. The guitar work weaves around that trademark vocal and at just over two minutes its way to short.
“Heavenly day” slows things back down trawling the memory banks weaving an image that we can all apply ourselves too. “Love comes on Silent feet” brings back the drive and intensity ripping out of the speakers and probably holding its hand up as my fave on the LP.
Right the way through there seems to be two sides to the LP “The power in you” dropping the intensity back down, we seem to have the balls out lets hit the future head on and the more reflective melancholia, you can really get under the skin of what’s being said and done.
The Sneer and scathing lyrics that opens up “Believe in nothing” paints a starkly nihilistic viewpoint, but every story comes from an experience, just as every songwriter utilizes the experiences that shape them. “War Plan Red,” takes off with a classic Punk Rock and Roll riff, then the vocals worm their way into your mind, this is a seriously tasty track.
“48 crash” has an almost Stonesy groove to it, then were straight into “Walking in Berlin” again painted from the memory banks, and I think that the thing I really take from this whole set of songs is how vividly the songwriting paints a picture, the lyrics draw you in, take your mind to where the writer wants you to be. The Stuccato groove to next up “Loves Inferno” draws a few Bowie comparisons, even if it’s just the changed vocal delivery, but what a clever track. Next up “Master of destruction” is absolutely blinding, all edge and intensity before the LP wraps up with “Carousel “ the cracked vocal leaving you wanting more, looking at a life gone past, and maybe just peeking towards a future.
Fair play this is a stunning collection of songs, well worth the purchase price.
There we are folks; I just felt I needed to get that off my chest and nail my flag to the pole with this review from the off.
You see it’s almost impossible for me to feel any other way about a man who with Warrior Soul has released some of the most important politically charged metal our generation has ever had the honour of hearing plus along the way he’s also given us one of the greatest glam punk albums I’ve ever heard in the shape of ‘The Space Age Playboys’. This is an artist who is always reinventing himself and always looking for boundaries he can break down in the process. He’s also as cantankerous as fuck, and I kinda like that in my rock stars.
With this in mind then I’m almost embarrassed to admit that after many hours spent in the company of ‘Rock’n’Roll Disease’ (the band’s 10th studio album to date) I’m still kinda left scratching my head a little.
I’ve lapped up everything Kory has released since getting Warrior Soul back on the road and with their last album ‘Back On The Lash’ I was left in awe of the power and energy the band had managed to cram into that release’s 9 tracks. Warrior Soul really had never sounded so vibrant or essential.
With the PR blurb for ‘Rock’n’Roll Disease’ proudly proclaiming that Kory had used the same team behind ‘Back On The Lash’ to deliver this 8 tracker and with the man himself declaring it to have the loose vibe of its predecessor but with everything pushed to “over the top”, you’ll forgive me if I admit to letting out a little squeal of excitement at the prospect of what might be.
Then, why after all of this and after listening to this half hour of all new music from Warrior Soul am I still not feeling the same buzz as I did when I first heard ‘Lash’?
Opener ‘Up The Dose’ is a magnificent way to start a record, it’s an immediate right hook to the jaw just to get you interested, and indeed it’s very much a continuation of the strutting cock ‘n’ roll that made ‘Lash’ such an instant hit with me. Here Kory screeches like a wild cat and everything in the Warrior world seems fine. Likewise, on tracks like ‘Off My Face’ (which is probably my favourite track here), ‘War Ride Children’ and ‘After The Show’ the band certainly rip along at a fair rate of knots. It’s just that with repeated listens I get a little perplexed that the bottom end needed to actually force this fucker down your throat seems just a little lacking. Yes Kory turns in a mighty fine performance as does the band, but I can’t help but wonder what the hell has happened to the drums? They pinned you to the wall on ‘Lash’ but here they appear somewhat muted, and given that Kory himself is a very fine drummer this comes as something of a surprise, and yes for me it’s a frustration, albeit a small one.
This is still very much a Warrior Soul record though and that alone makes it better than 99% of the beige shite that pollutes the metal/classic world right now, it’s just that right now I’m simply not warming to it as instantly as I have with the likes of ‘Destroy the War Machine’, ’Stiff Middle Finger’ and ‘Back On The Lash’, all of which I consider to be up there with the band’s much revered first four studio albums.
Perhaps I just need to stop being such a pernickety old sod and simply go down a few cold ones whilst listening to ‘Rock’n’Roll Disease’ at maximum volume like I imagine Kory would demand me to, because after all I love Warrior Soul and I love Kory Clarke and a world without either would certainly be a very boring place indeed.
‘Rock’n’Roll Disease’ is released via Live Wire/Cargo Records on 7th June 2019.
With The Camden Rocks Festival this weekend coming it seems only fair for RPM to look at a few more of the bands to watch over the weekend. with Camden still clinging onto its identity as a varied and embracing community and this festival growing year on year as a unique festival that embraces all genres of music from Rock to punk to indie to grunge to power pop to Action rock and beyond.
We’ve looked at the bands over the two days and Nev gave a list of his ones to watch over the two days. Here I’d like to throw a few more bands into the mix some will clash and others are headlining but they all rock so I’ll start on Saturday and the Dublin Castle.
First up how about trying Sick Love hailing from Dublin this four-piece kick off at 14.00 with their loud guitar-based rock they’re in good company playing alongside the likes of The Hip Priests I’m sure songs like ‘Soccer Mum’ will go down a storm
Also playing The Dublin Castle at 17.00 are Pet Needs who’s video we showed last week. Alternative punks based in Colchester (what where?) With a bunch of highly energetic songs in their Arsenal The Dublin Castle seems like it’s going to take some stopping as it stakes its claim as the place to be let’s just hope they have the air conditioning on they might just need it.
As Nev wrote about The Hip Priests in his briefing we won’t mention them again except to say we recently saw their set in Newport and they were devastating so if its Explosive uncompromising Garage Rock and Fucking Roll you crave then 19.00 is the time – The Dublin Castle is the place and The Hip Priests are the band.
Moving over to Kolis at the lounge you have a choice to make. Rich Ragany And The Digressions will be shaking it up and playing songs from their excellent ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It…’ but like the Hip Priests, Nev recommended them previously. Rags and his Digressions hit the Kolis stage at 19.00 but following them at 20.00 are the East Coast rockers The Sweet Things Having just released their debut long player we reviewed last week (Here) Such a cool timeless slice of Rock and Roll, these cats are laying down tunes in the time-honoured style of Primal Scream -that Black Crowes debut and a dash of the Stones for sure, Hell, they borrow from the good and great and one listen to ‘Borrowed Shoes’ you’ll draw your own comparisons but you won’t deny that they have a slice of magic under their belts. It will be great to hear what they do live and I’m sure the joint will be jumping when they perform. One not to miss me thinks.
Heading over to the Monarch there are a couple of sets we think you might like to catch firstly at 14.00 in the afternoon The Wild Things will be doing their thing. their thing being rock and roll with plenty of hooks as played out on their debut album ‘You’re Really Something’ which travels through the acoustic pop of ‘Better Off Alone’ the upbeat title track the power pop of ‘Loaded Gun’ this guitar band offer something different and in Sydney Rae White they have great vocals besides people might recognise her from Netflix / BBC show ‘Uncle’ but her band have variety and a bunch of great songs.
Another band to watch I’d certainly recommend Glen Matlock headlining @ Fest not only because he has a whole bunch of great songs at his disposal and always plays a blinder but he has a fantastic band featuring Chris Musto, Earl Slick and Jim Lowe. His album ‘Good To Go’ was one of the best albums last year and with this line up those excellent songs will come to life and I’m sure will make for a worthy headliner.
There are enough choices to send your head spinning on Saturday along with Nev’s recommendations this little bunch should make a mess of peoples laminated stage times and venues there are a few playing Sunday that I’d like to give a mention to. from The Underworld Headliners The Wonder Stuff who I recently caught in Cardiff now with Malc Trecce back in the line up and a new album being recorded they stormed through a greatest hits set and I’m sure there will be more of the same in store for The Underworld and hearing those classics in a tight Underworld club will sound fantastic and something not to be missed at 20.45 on Sunday night. Mark Gemini Thwaite, Malc Treece, Pete Howard, Erica Nockalls and of course Milo now make up the Wonder Stuff and with plenty off ‘Hup’, ‘eight Legged Groove Machine’ and ‘Never Loved Elvis’ making up a chunk of the set they’ve clearly still got it and worthy headliners on the Sunday.
If you’re quick you should be able to make that Wonderstuff set from the Electric Ballroom where Ash get on with their set at 19.00 and again they have a new release to promote in the shape of their 7″ singles set so expect a greatest hits performance there which will more than put you in the mood for Milo and co.
If hearing Ash perform ‘Kunk Fu’ and The Stuffies blasting out ‘On The Ropes’ isn’t your thing and you want to get down and get with some glam stomping rock and roll then the place to be will have to be The Lyttleton Arms for Last Great Dreamers who hit the stage at 20.00. Again they have a recent album to promote and a great live band, if it’s your choice to take in some ‘Dreamers’ then I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed as ’13th Floor Renegades’ was head and shoulders their best record to date and the band have been constantly on the road this year so will be match fit and up for the challenge of tearing the house down.
A resurgent Towers of London will be shaking their collective shit from 17.30 at Fest if their showing on the recent Wildhearts tour is anything to go by then Fest is in for a treat. Resplendent in their black boiler suits and buoyed by the feedback the band will be looking to hit the ground running and have the potential to steal the show. Expect plenty from that debut album that served them so well on the recent tour as well as some new songs that also sounded great.
16.00 at The Monarch you’ll catch The Pearl Hearts Two women that sound like a fuckin’ bomber full of dynamite as they rain down their garage heavy blues. It only needs two to sound like a bomb gone off as ‘Different Kinda Girl’ testifies. what better way to spend tea time in Camden Town?
Before you catch the Pearl Hearts why not head over to Kolis for Youth Illusion. Mid Afternoon or 14.00 to be precise will see these London homies play their brand of punk rock on their home patch. Melodic punk is the order and they do it rather well and Kolis will be a heaving mass of sweaty bodies I’m sure of that as the band knock out songs like ‘Better Off’.
Finally, if punk rock isn’t your thing then Dingwalls Canalside is the place to be at 14.30 to catch The Silver Bayonets and their anthemic rock proving that Camden Rock Festival is unique in its presentation and in its roster of bands with plenty of established battle hardened bands that make up the headliners in the larger venues as well as securing some big bands to play smaller venues that you might not get the chance to see them play in such surroundings ordinarily which makes for an interesting and memorable weekend. But the real magic will no doubt lie in discovering your new favourite band or checking out one of RPM Online recommendations and digging who we’ve thrown light on because they’ve impressed us either previously live or on record. Let us know what you thought and spread the word especially of the lesser known bands its the lifeblood of the underground and how bands survive and grow. Have a good one and I hope there aren’t too many clashes and if you do see any of the bands here or as part of Nev’s ones to watch let ’em know we sent you and most importantly support the bands and pick up their merch and music. Oh and wear comfortable shoes!
If you thought fans of Guns ‘n’ Roses had a hard time waiting for a follow up to the “Lose Your Illusions” albums, 17 years, spare a thought for disciples of Croydon’s (2nd) finest band Johnny Moped; 13 years between their 1978 debut “Cycledelic” and it’s follow up “The Search For Xerxes” and then a further 25 years until the band’s next album,“It’s A Real Cool Baby”, hit the real and virtual Record Shops in 2016. Splitting the difference Johnny Moped weren’t expected to be releasing anything new until at least 2038. That was until the band unleashed a new single in the shape and form of “Catatonic” in 2017. Part of the band’s renewed activity was the passing of Johnny’s legendary wife Brenda, who back in the day ruled his Social and Band Calendar with a Rolling Pin of iron and then in later years, due to her failing health, Johnny became her full-time, main carer, pretty much sidelining his quest to regain his poster boy crown for the disenfranchised “80% disabled” (his words not mine) Rock Star. Until now!
Earlier this the band decamped to Panther Studio in Reigate to hone their craft that would see Marty Love, formally of Case and currently of the Weird Things and The Sensible Gray Cells, making his full-length studio debut, taking over drum duties from the down stepping Dave Berk, joining Slimy Toad, Rock ‘n’ Roll Robot and JackoPistorious and of course the man himself Johnny Moped.The result of which is the 14 track “Lurrigate Your Mind” album. Unlike it’s predecessor all the songs on offer are new, none are from “back in the day” demos that have re-recorded, apart from the b-sides to “Catatonic” and “Livin’ In A Dream World” which were “Hard Lovin’ Man” and “Save The Baby Seals” respectively. Although the final track, that features the guitaring skills of original member Captain Sensible,lists all the pre-Moped band names “Black Witch Climax Blues Band Generic Breakdown” (what no ‘Assault & Buggery’?!) is an obvious nod to the past with its autobiographical lyrics and with the subject matter of “Where’s Shergar?” rather on the old side maybe the seeds to some of the songs had actually been sown earlier in Johnny’s career. With a cry of “Okay Tomcats, let’s do this” on the alternate album version of “Catatonic”at the start of the recordwe know that Johnny means business and business is going to be good. It’s been known from past Bootleg tapes that Johnny’s colleagues will on the sly record him in conversation and then put his missive to music. This is what seems to have happened with “The Little Shop”. Johnny is either reading a shopping or a price list from his local convenience store. “Beers, two for five quid” all accompanied by a piano. The ultimate music for a ride in a lift that’s never going to stop at your floor. As well as Captain Sensible, former member Xerxes makes an appearance adding Saxonette on “I Feel Like I’m Falling Away” and on “Oh Baby” it suspiciously sounds like Johnny has phoned in his vocals, which is fortunate as he sings about wanting to swim naked with some unsuspecting Boiler in a Swimming Pool. Hardcore Moped fans will lap this up, casual Punk Rock fans might need to see Fred Burns’ “Basically…Johnny Moped” documentary before fully appreciating why grown men will get all teary-eyed over the Moped mega-dross sound.
“Lurrigate Your Mind” is available on either Blue or Red vinyl, a limited mega bundle that includes split coloured vinyl, a scarf, a slipmat, and a Badge.
One of the albums of the year gets a re-press on Blood Red vinyl for those who missed out on the initial press. RPM reviewed it Here and we urge you not to sit on your hands a second time as this will sell out as the first run did. Go Go Go! Alvin says, “For all you vinyl junkies that missed out on obtaining my solo album ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ on 12 inch vinyl earlier this year due the initial 300 being sold out in short order, Time & Matter Records have manufactured a new batch of 300, this time on blood-red vinyl and minus the accompanying CD and download code. This release will, therefore, be sold at the lesser price of £17 (the first pressing was priced at £22) and can be ordered from this Here”
It features twelve songs written by yours truly and an array of very talented guest musicians that reads like this: Brian James – The Damned / Lords Of The New Church; Leigh Heggarty – Ruts DC; Mick Rossi – Slaughter & The Dogs; James Stevenson – Generation X / Chelsea / The Cult / The Alarm; Barry ‘Barrington’ Francis – The Saints; Timo Kaltio – Johnny Thunders band/Hanoi Rocks / Cheap ‘N’ Nasty; Mel Wesson – Keyboard player & Ambient music designer – TV Smith’s Explorers/The Verve ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ / U.K. Subs ‘Diminished Responsibility’ LP / Films Mission Impossible 2, Batman Begins, Hannibal etc; Steve Crittall – The Godfathers; Jamie Oliver – U.K. Subs.
“I would advise interested parties to get their orders in sharp to avoid what occurred last time, which was a lot of people missing out due to the speed that the original batch sold at. In fact it was due to so many people voicing their disappointment at not being able to get a vinyl copy in time that persuaded T & M Records to go with this colour-altered second run. For those of you that are not so disposed to a bit of vinyl, there is also a CD version of the album available from the same link. Ta! A x”
The Wonderstuff in the Tramshed on a school night? Couldn’t think of anything better if I’m honest. Deja Vega takes the stage at eight o’clock and the room is sparsely populated and the band proceeds to give the people who’ve turned up early doors their everything but I notice the guitarist is breaking all sorts of unwritten laws with regards to how high to wear one’s guitar and the belt buckle rule is broken. Me, I’m disappointed to say the least and can’t get beyond this. The band is alright knocking out their guitar driven indie but the songs just tend to go on and any tunes get lost in the muddy mix even if the bass player wields a decent sounding Rickenbacker round and the one track I could make out ‘Mr. Powder’ tended to go on a bit too long but tonight was all about the stuffies maybe on another night under different circumstances my opinion would be different.
The Wonder Stuff have been on a journey and I feel like I’ve been on that journey with them from the start when they showed up on the scene playing guitar driven music with a bit of folk – plenty of wah and a heap of attitude oh, and bad shorts. I love them then and I love them now from Milos lyrics and his spikey, abrasive, confrontational attitude and his mile-wide grin and cheeky chat as far as I was concerned they didn’t make a single bad song until ‘Rubbish Island’ and its not like it was rubbish but it just wasn’t what I wanted and maybe it was me and not them. Hell I even loved the acoustic solo shows the duet shows with Erica and I’ve loved their live sets they’ve mixed up in the last half decade tonight flanking Milo was old boy Malc Treece (guitar) and Mark Gemini Thwaite playing the Bass no less and finally on drums Pete Howard takes the stage along with mainstays Erica and Milo they get straight down to business with ‘Mission Drive’ followed by ‘Caught In My Shadow’ and already its obvious that the band are right on it and mean business. Milo announces that the band has been recording a new album and if it was alright they were just going to play a whole bunch of old tunes and weren’t going to fuck about with new songs (as if we minded). It seemed everyone in attendance was happy with that although I can’t help but think it would have gotten the same response had he said they were going to play just new unheard songs.
As I looked around the Tramshed it was pleasing that the place was rammed full of people out for a good time on a school night. As the band eased through the gears it looked like they were having the best of times and it was contagious. ‘Circlesquare’, ‘Red Berry Joy Town’, ‘On The Ropes’ and ‘Here Comes Everyone’ were sing songs as everyone got involved. As the intros kicked in I found myself daydreaming to past shows like Reading festival and hearing them blast through ‘Size Of A Cow’ or Bescott when ‘Welcome To the Cheap Seats’ burst into life.
Damn The Wonderstuff have got so many good tunes from the earlier songs like ‘Ruby Horse’ to the bigger hits it was songs like ‘Wish Away’ or ‘Ten Trenches Deep’ that had slipped off my radar but not tonight – they sounded fresh and a match for anyone tonight the Stuffies could have gone toe to toe with anyone and everyone. Although tonight was a greatest hits set they’ve remained fresh and continued to turn out albums that are worthy of the Wonder Stuff monicker and what a legacy.
Before we knew it the band had left the stage it seemed like ten minutes ago they began such was the good time we were having. With no less than five songs in the encore ‘Can’t Shape Up’, ‘Cartoon Boyfriend’ and the fantastic ‘Radio Ass Kiss’ closed off ‘Hup’ in fine style and probably my favourite album from the band which left the sublime ‘Disco King’ and to finish off a rare B Side ‘A Song Without An End’ to keep the anoraks like myself happy. As I make my way home I’m mulling over what they didn’t play and why no ‘Goodnight Though’ to finish off with or how it might be nice to hear a cover of ‘Planet Earth’ thrown in just for giggles. Oh well, maybe next time eh? If you get the chance go see The Wonder Stuff because they are excellent – most excellent regardless of what’s in the set list. Now get on with that new album – pretty please.
Following their sold-out “Still Got the Rock” European Tour legendary 70’s rock band SWEET embark upon the perfect Christmas gift for their UK fans, a 16-date nationwide tour November 28th until December 21st. Special guests on the tour will be alternative rock band Novatines. The four-piece from the UK recorded their debut album with Sweet’s Andy Scott as producer in 2018. Tickets go on sale via www.planetrocktickets.co.uk and www.thegigcartel.com, and from the 24-hour ticket box office – 08444 780 898. With over 55 million records sold worldwide, 34 number 1 hits worldwide, SWEET continue to tour and perform to sell-out audiences around the globe.
Gene Simmons of KISS says, “Without the Sweet there would not have been a KISS.”
“This is the band I wish I had been in.” – Joe Elliot – Def Leppard
By the early 70’s The Sweet were arguably the hottest ticket in town with a string of top ten records in the UK and Europe including Blockbuster, Hellraiser, Ballroom Blitz,Teenage Rampage and The Sixteens.
In 1975 the USA had discovered the band with Fox on the Run hitting the number 3 spot in the Billboard 100. Another self-penned hit Action followed in 1976 firmly establishing Sweet in the US charts.
On the face of it they were primarily a singles band however with albums including Desolation Boulevard (1975) and Give Us a Wink (1976), the band showed a much harder rocking band. The album Level Headed, released in 1978, brought with it another award-winning million-selling worldwide hit with Love is Like Oxygen written by Andy Scott.
In 1979 original lead singer Brian Connolly left the original line up leaving Andy Scott, Steve Priest & Mick Tucker to continue as a 3 piece. Sadly, both Brian Connolly & Mick Tucker passed away in 1997 and 2002 respectively and with Steve Priest relocating to the USA, Andy Scott was left to fly the flag. After a couple of line-up changes over the years, since 2006 the line-up has been primarily unchanged from what it is today.
Andy Scott (lead guitar, vocals), Bruce Bisland (drums, vocals) Tony O’Hora (lead vocal, bass) and Paul Manzi (guitar, keyboards, vocals). The Sweet still tour the world extensively with one of the most dynamic and slick live shows on the circuit. 1968 to 2019, 51 years and counting of hellraising, star chasing, trailblazing.