Hot on the heels of an expansive reissue set to commemorate the 30th anniversary of band’s multi-platinum selling ‘Sonic Temple’ album The Cult have long since sold out Cardiff University’s Great Hall, with this ten date run of shows across England, Wales and Scotland celebrating all things Sonic and Temple-like proving to be their most popular in many a year.

Myself having never been that big a fan of said opus (I much prefer the three albums that directly preceded it) I did initially dither a bit over whether to actually pick a ticket up for this one whilst in the weeks running up to the show itself I was half toying with the idea of passing it on to my RPM compadre Hotshot Hooper as he’d only recently discovered the delights of band’s largely superb back catalogue.

A few memory jogging spins of the aforementioned 5 CD ‘Sonic Temple’ box set though and suddenly I’m driving through stop/start Friday night traffic and seemingly endless sheets of rain (there’s a gag in there but I’m not doing it…yet) now actually half looking forward to seeing Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy back in the place they’d almost half flattened six years earlier on the opening night of their then UK tour celebrating the ‘Electric’ album.

Unfortunately due to my journey into Cardiff taking almost twice as long as usual I only get to catch the last two songs of tonight’s openers The Last Internationale with the band sounding a hell of lot feistier than the last time I saw them live just down the M4 at the Newport Centre (plying their wares for a much more sedate Robert Plant audience), and by the time I’ve finally taken up my prime viewing spot a few rows from the front of the stage singer/bassist Delila Paz is already in the crowd and loving every second of their chance to play Wales once again.  With new music to promote and upcoming dates across Europe with Rival Sons, what I did get to hear of The Last Internationale tonight sounded bluesy in a Buck & Evans kind of way yet still positively huge. So, if you’re off to one of these shows make sure you get in early doors and check them out. It’s not for me though.

After the longest intro tape known to humanity seamlessly segues into Grant Fitzpatrick’s gigantic bass rumble intro to ‘Sun King’ it feels like the audience in the Great Hall has suddenly trebled in size as the crowd slowly starts to wake up and dance along to the opening track of the night, but as Mr Astbury (who once again tonight looks and sounds back at his very best) states right from the off “it’s time to ease into things baby, let’s not rush it”.

‘Wild Flower’ quickly follows and unlike with the Love and Electric tours that have gone, it’s interesting to note that The Cult have chosen not to play ‘Sonic Temple’ in sequence or in fact as it would go on to prove in its totality, with the final trio of tracks from the album (‘Soldier Blue’, ‘Wake Up Time For Freedom’ and ‘Medicine Train’) all missing from the set list tonight.

Of the seven ‘Temple’ tracks aired during the first half of the set ‘Sweet Soul Sister’ complete with Damon Fox’s sublime Jon Lord-like keyboard intro and thunderous drumming from John Tempesta truly soars in all its stadium rock majesty whilst ‘Soul Asylum’ is still The Cult’s very own ‘Kashmir’, however aside from the new wave of classic rock brigade in attendance all trying to be teenagers once again, things (just like during the Love tour) don’t really shift through the gears until we hit the ‘Beyond Good & Evil’ pairing of ‘Rise’ and ‘American Gothic’ give us a glimpse of 21st century Cult at their very finest.

I never thought I’d be saying this after tonight’s drive, but the arrival of ‘Rain’ is welcomed with open arms (boom boom) as it finally gets all the old goths out of the shadows and going suitably bananas whilst ‘Phoenix’ complete with Stooges teaser intro courtesy of an on fire Billy Duffy sends the atmosphere off the scale. This leaves just enough time for ‘Spiritwalker’, Fire Woman’ and ‘Love Removal Machine’ all in quick succession and all those brand new £30 tour shirts in the crowd will certainly be in need of an immediate wash first thing in the morning.

Returning for an encore that sees ‘Horse Nation’ dedicated to the both long since departed and still very missed Nigel Preston and Swansea Circles club, its left to the ultimate goth anthem of ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ to close things out, and the delight on the faces of both Astbury and Duffy as the lights go up is there for everyone to see. Something that makes nights like these feel so much more special.

What lies ahead next for The Cult though I wonder? I doubt a Ceremony 30th anniversary tour is going to be high on many people’s must-see lists, so will 2020 see new music from the band, and a long overdue follow up to 2016’s Hidden City?

Whatever happens, It’ll always be CFFC.

Author: Johnny Hayward

Review of Sonic Temple 30 Here

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Pre-sales are up for one of our favourite Norweigan bands.  The Good The Bad And The Zugly will release their new album ‘Algorithm & Blues’ in January and pre-sales are already up for grabs. Available in Transparent blue vinyl (limited to 250 copies) Transparent yellow vinyl (limited to 250 copies) Standard black vinyl (limited to 800 copies)
and Digipack CD.

Artwork is done by Flu Hartberg as always and it’ll come out on Fysisk Format and as a taster, the single ‘Staying With The Trouble’ is released.

 

Pinch has announced that he is to move on after 20 years drumming for the Damned.  Let’s be honest he’s been the man behind getting the band to where they are now no doubt about that and he feels after playing MSG recently the Palladium show is to be his last as he steps aside.  No doubt this will fuel the rumours as to who his replacement will be

Pinch made this statement: “After 20 years with The Damned it’s time for me to move on. Having just fulfilled a dream playing Madison Square Garden, the upcoming London Palladium show seems like an obvious stepping off point for me. I’ve been lucky enough to meet some heroes and play shows with legendary bands and amazing characters. I send my love to my bandmates past and present as well as everyone in the Damned organization and wish them all the best for the future. Up the Punks. Pinch”

There’s some Indonesian Junk going around the streets of Milwaukee and it seems to be causing a bit of a glam punk riot. The new album, Spiderbites, from this American trio is full to the brim with punk attitude, pop hooks, and a rock ‘n’ roll swagger.
From the cool, stylish opener ‘Mean Christine’ to the rolling outro of ‘See the Light’, every track is full of confident, determined brashness, enveloped in melody and honey-like catchiness. Whether it’s the slick sounds of ‘City Lights’, or the enjoyable aggro of ‘When I Find You’, the record contains all the ingredients that make glam-punk immensely enjoyable. Sounds of the Ramones, Thunders, and Hanoi Rocks are oozing from every pore, but with modern drive and that extra layer of catchy stuff.
it’s a stomping beast from start to finish, with some twists and turns along the way. ‘Our Town’ veers between hard rock to almost horror punk choruses. ‘Through the Night’ is a fantastic 2-minute romp conjuring up evenings spent with your head in the toilet, and ‘I Could Die’ is a laid back stumble back through the night.
So paint up your ‘Animal Eyes’ and get ready for a ‘Wild, Wild Party’ with Indonesian Junk (the band only, obviously).

 

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Author: Craggy Collyde

First things first, this interview was conducted during the Rebellion Festival on the afternoon of the band’s performance.  Spunk and his Eruptions are about to head out on some dates around Europe so what better time to get the blood pumping and get you up for some loud punk rock n roll.

Considering how many times you’ve been asked back to perform at Rebellion in Blackpool would you know consider yourselves to be one of the fixtures and fittings along with the likes of the UK Subs?
A regular, um yeah I can’t argue with that so yes (ha ha ha)  Before I came here people said oh if you play two years in a row your going to get a gap and if you do three years in a row then your lucky so you’ll get that gap but Dirtbox will have done eight in a row including this year and SV are on number six so if that’s considered fixtures and fittings then yes I have that haha like the Subs and Nowhere League…
Out of the newer bands, Dirtbox has to be at the top.  there isn’t another band like em or loathe them Dirtbox has pretty much surpassed any other for festival callbacks and SV are getting there and it has to be said on merit as well and output.  I’d wager that of any band started in the last decade you guys are requested more than any other right?
I guess thanks, haha us knock off Bar Stool Preachers, wonk Unit they all do incredibly well for the so-called newer bands so can’t fault them…Wankers Ha Ha!
SV  pulling a fantastic crowd and the new double album are you phasing out Dirtbox?
Phasing out?
Well taking precedence over Dirtbox?
well due to the turn of events of weab leaving and none of us speaking to him since I’m sure people will have their own opinions and that’s fine it is what it is.  We were going to have a break anyway say have six months off just for everyone’s sake to see if we wanted to make another record.  I’d already demoed another album and an EP ready for the band. when Weab left we had sort of five minutes of absolute panic and we were like for fuck’s sake like when your frontman leaves it’s not a trivial thing is it? After a couple of texts went around the lads said well they’re your songs why don’t you do it.  We don’t want to stop it doesn’t matter let’s carry on for now and a lot of promoters and people who had booked the band were going well look we’ve booked you to play here and here etc are you going to do these gigs.  A lot of these people also presumed that I would just sing it wasn’t just the lads in the band.  Everybody just presumed that I would do it.  some bands you’d never find anybody capable of pulling it off and a guitar player doesn’t normally take over from the singer…
 
You did it before when Weab was ill though didn’t you?
Yes when he didn’t turn up
Did you find that an easy transition to go from the singer’s foil and guitarist in the band to fronting it?
It’s sort of harder to fuck about when you’re the guitar player. I spent ten years playing some of those songs playing the guitar and pointing and saying something but not the mindset of being the singer it is different.  Being stuck to the mic and singing all of it its harder trying to do it automatically.  I think I’m getting there but transitioning from one role to the other is hard you get what I mean, don’t you?
To be fair there was a chemistry between you both on stage. The Dirtbox thing of you two bouncing off each other worked really well.  Anyway SV. A Double album.  Who’s idea was a double album? Its a lot of music was it always planned as a double or did it just turn out with the number of songs you were writing feel you just couldn’t cut it down?  Was there a temptation to hold a bunch over and do two single albums or EPs over a period of time?
Yes, Initially it was going to be two separate albums. We started recording then family matters took over when we were about 80% through recording and when we got back to it a load more was written so we recorded that and found ourselves without a label and after shopping around we settled on doing it ourselves with Avenue Records set up by Maff. it is what it is and was the easiest thing to do at the time. these things you can sit on for ages as you know and shop around forever trying to sort a deal out that suits everyone so we were sat in a rehearsal room and Maff came up with the idea and we went with it and its done really well and we already have another recorded. That will come out next year  Its different from ‘Double Bastard’ which is good maybe the best way to describe it is ‘Double Bastard’ was what people would expect whereas this next one is a bit different…
(JH) – I thought Double bastard was quite angry in places as well.  Was that a reflection of where you were at the time? 
I don’t know to be honest because it was written over a period of time maybe.  I think a lot of that was prepared before we got to the studio because we knew we were going to do the double then…
(JH) you’re just an angry man aren’t you?
I can be Ha Ha Ha It depends where the mood takes me on that day haha
Last year we chatted about some of the songs on the first album and I said ‘Purely Medicinal’ was a great track and not at all what I was expecting to hear and you said you had a lot of material you’d written that you didn’t know what to do with.  Is any of that going to see the light of day as a project?
Yeah, I’ve got a whole album of about sixteen songs, It wouldn’t come out as an SV album.  I’ve recorded fourteen I think so far demoed I’ve called it Skeletons or spelt like a kid would spell it Skelingtons it’ll be like stories and thoughts a bit like that and I’m hoping to get that recorded over the winter.  It’s not Dirtbox and its not SV just stories of things I’ve seen and heard no names no people just memories and thoughts…
(JH) you’re the master of that though pulling stories or memories about stuff like XR3  you just pull out those ideas that a generation can relate to.
It’s like scared of needles.  All that came from was a visit to the dentist and my first thought of dentists was fuckin hell needles. and it got me thinking I can’t be the only one can I? So i started scribbling  like TCP that was me dad I did a gig and got a really sore throat and me dad said I should gargle with TCP and he said when we were kids he used to make us gargle with it and then thirty years later I read up and it said you have to dilute it first (Ha ha ha) How fuckin dull as kids just downing it out of the bottle! Ha Ha Ha  My dad then just smirked at me and that for me was hilarious and that’s where the words came from.
 
Do you have a favourite lyrics you’ve written from all these stories?
There’s a lot I like um I think there’s a lot on ‘Gatecrash’.  that was all true. haha pissed out me head eating the toilet blue.  I remember that and XR were based on two parties that stayed with me.  I also like the lyrics on ‘Spare Room’  it might be kind of cheesy but it does reflect real shit. On some of the faster songs like you think you are rock and roll but your not, based on knobheads you see sucking up in places like this and then behind your back, they say something different.  the people who walk in a dressing room and help themselves to your beer and you might think who the fuck are you? you’ve never seen em before.  That’s not me being rude but I’m thinking what you are doing, who are you? haha
When you’ve written with other people like you wrote with Ginger Wildheart do you get a lot of people asking to collaborate?
Well, with ginger he just came down to the studio and sang on the record and I said to him, here’s my guitar and he just freestyled he didn’t write as such he just played.
So on that is there anyone you’d like to write with or get to play on your album?
There are a few things happening which I can’t mention…
(JH) You were always a fan of Cowboy Killers and Bad Sam…
I can honestly say Beddis made me want to be a punk rocker and I know he wouldn’t give a shit about me saying this but for me when people say oh the Damned or the Buzzcocks are great for me He’s great I saw him going mad  in his songs and that was punk rock to me not chart hits or anything but when you’re an impressionable teen and music becomes everything else can go fuck itself he was doing Cowboy Killers and I was consumed by his madness and always giving it some…
(JH) Could you work with that then? Is he someone you’d work with if that could happen?
I don’t think so.  anything I do wouldn’t be conducive to how he works or what he does I love everything he does if I lived near Newport I’d be at every show he does.  when I was a kid just going to gigs and seeing the Cowboy Killers I’d be transfixed and it would be like fuck me that’s punk rock and I always think back to those times because as you guys know that was a real catalyst for me and at the time all that punk rock madness it was for me I mean I’m a massive Leatherface fan and listening to Frankie again, he sang about real things you know rather than dreaming or bands like Kiss who sang about birds and being famous and the punk stuff was real and thought fuck me you could write about things that are real to you and what you know about rather than all that other stuff.
What was it like when you got to tour with Wolfsbane what did you think of those dates?
I couldn’t think because I was so dead excited.  All the time I just stood there every night …
(JH) like a kid in a candy shop for the first time?
Yeah ha ha ha
You made them aware of that obviously?
Oh yeah, they knew it alright haha   I think they were like how old is he haha what an idiot. But, I keep in touch with Jase and I’d met Jeff before , but to answer the question it was great they were dead nice and I was like  Woah – howling mad shithead haha it wasn’t that he’d been in Iron Maiden because it was wolfsbane for me  – again going back to being a kid. I knew they were doing a tour and so I asked can I play with them and they said yeah which is great.  there was no more to it than that for me I was dead excited and it was the same for every show
Who else is on your bucket list then? Showaddywaddy?
Well, funnily enough, last week we did a show that was owned by an original member of the band. It was Mick the duke.  He gave me some CD’s and I told him I was genuinely a massive fan and he told me about the history and a few stories and again that was brilliant for me.  this is great – I know people would laugh at that you know Showaddywaddy but he’s got fuckin gold disks all around his office haha 500,000for this one 600,000 for that you know that’s respect right there he’s done it.  that was a man who’s had proper success.  for me that’s fantastic I’d love to be able to dream I could achieve a bit of that success.  He like 78 and he was chuffed watching us and we got a good crowd in and after he put a load of his songs on the jukebox it was brilliant.  You don’t have to be playing Wembley to go home with a massive smile on your face just because you’ve met somebody you admire and they were great.
Sticking with live shows you’ve been over to Germany a fair bit recently, Headlining? 
sometimes.  On the continent, it’s pretty much neck and neck some places its been more for SV and others Dirtbox.  At the moment Dirtbox pulls in the festivals which is fine.  Its dead well received and we get treated really nicely around Europe.  It’s never a bad place to go we get some really good turnouts and not so good in others that’s just the way it is.  You’ve got to break new territory and the main thing is we enjoy it.  we went over with 999 for three dates with SV and that was brilliant. You know us, We’re on on time and were off on time and we were really well received every night and it was great.
How do the songs go down in places like Germany?  Do they get the humour or the stories like XR3?
No
Ha Ha Ha 
I guess its if they already know Dirtbox or SV then they know what to expect so its a given they probably know about XR3 or ‘Crossfire’ but when we were out with 999 it was like 500 people looking at me like thinking what the fuck is this but the are dead appreciative when you put in the effort and sure I wouldn’t expect them to get ‘Hanging round The Shops’its hard to explain the British culture.  ‘Ram Raid’ it’s all alright here people know what a ram raid is.  there were other things they did get like ‘TV God’ with the riff and TV! I suppose ‘Teenage’ everywhere will get that and it’s great when you hear them sing along.  We go out with Electric Six for two weeks (starting next week as it happens ED) 
 
 
It’s great that you can cross over and play with wolfsbane then 999 then electric Six the Cock Sparrer…
Do you not find that weird though?
No not really it’s a reflection of what you listen to and I think we’re all like that a bit nobody just likes punk or metal or indie.
I think there’s a period in your life when you’re trying to be so cool and you turn your back on all those songs you loved as a kid because they are not cool anymore but its all just bollocks isn’t it? Like I said last night on stage we play punk and metal because boundaries just aren’t for us.
going back to last night did you hold an enquiry as to who fucked up the song?
It was Maff.  We skipped a song and he started playing the next one and I didn’t and it was like what the fucks happening…
I thought you were playing a new song
Ha Ha Ha I started laughing and said what are you doing and he said I missed it so I said let’s play the right one then so everybody plays the right song Go! haha how do you cover it?
you can’t its a fuck up everyone does it haha 
 
We did it in Leeds with Dirtbox supporting The Skids, me n Maff just went off playing one song and the others were like what you doing it was like two five-year-old kids just picked up instruments and started playing and so I started laughing and Maff said just fucking stop! and then everyone was laughing and I turned to the audience and said did you fucking just hear that and it won people over and sort of broke the ice and people were laughing with me  which was great its not embarrassing if you make light of it because it is what it is you’ve fucking gone now so stop laughing just stop! haha
what about last night?  (SV & the Eruptions played the casbah stage)
I really enjoyed last night I remembered getting to the top of the ramp and the crowd was fucking massive and that was great, I mean who’d complain when you’ve got a crowd like that coming to see you.
(JH) It reminded me when you played in here when the stage was on the side and us two were stood next to the stage and you were a bit nervous and then when you walked out it was like – fuckin hell! it was a similar moment this time for the Eruptions.
We did the Empress last year and I was really nervous and you never know how it’s going to go.  The thing is with Rebellion there are so many people and so many good bands all the time you can’t make people go in to watch you, you have to earn it.  they’ve always got that choice.
That year when Dirtbox first played the Empress I went up on the balcony to take a picture if was fucking mental in there from the front to the back it was packed.  It was one of those moments from when we first saw you play the Railway in Abertillery to twenty knobheads who knew every word to fill the Empress was a bit emotional.  It’s no small feat and something you should be immensely proud of.  There are bands who’ve been going decades who would love to have an audience like the one you’ve had at Rebellion and would be envious of it…
I’ve had bands come up to me face and say it.  After that initial rise we did get a lot of respect from a lot of bands but at the same time a lot of ridicule.  A lot of people to this day just don’t get it.  I’m like you can’t get everything you don’t have to like every band that’s fine.  there’s loads of band I never got.  There are loads of bands I never got growing up I’ve played with and have since listened to and got – you know what I mean.  Touring with the skids, they passed me by when I was younger but now having watched them I get it.
I think drawing your influences from a lot of bands that weren’t shit helps – I love the bands I’ve mentioned and bands like the Kinks Or Motorhead or songwriters like the Hollies and people say how do you like the Hollies and I’d say they write great songs with catchy choruses or melodies it good stuff.  I think if you listen to good songs from a good gene pool then it should help you write better songs.  Sure I blast out Lemmy but the Kinks were ace as well.  If you only listen to Extreme noise terror all your life how the fuck will you be able to write a great chorus or melody?  Hopefully having a wide and varied but good gene pool of influences hopefully will help me to be a better songwriter and will help me appeal to a wide audience even if its a little bit.  You can learn to be a better writer.  I never take playing places like Rebellion for granted it’s never a given you still have to work hard to earn what you get and hopefully you get the rewards.
I think that’s why yourselves and The Bar Stool Preachers and Wonk are getting invited back year after year you all have eclectic influences and you all write great songs that win people over. and you’ve earned your stripes.
A lot of people don’t see that we’ve played Halifax on a Monday night and then Southampton and Nottingham followed by Leeds.  A lot of people here probably don’t even know we slog it around Europe playing loads of shows.  I doubt if no more than a handful of people on the Wolfsbane tour knew who we were but now I see people turning up at SV gigs wearing Wolfsbane shirts and patches and that’s great. that makes me smile. I’m proud of that and the band I’ve got they’re all good lads I’m really happy with Scott, Joey and tom and Maff obviously.  they’re all steady and reliable…
Do you think that’s the best you’ve been?
It’s hard to say,  I feel really good about it it’s a different beast to the first line up but they were good but they approached it differently.  Now it just feels right.  I don’t have any concerns at all, I just feel like we’re all right into it and like Scott gives it a bit of a grunt and I like that. Even with Dirtbox, I think we’d run out of a bit of steam and now with Weab going there might have been all the internal issues that people never know about but now all that’s gone it’s like we’re on the same page again.  What happened, happened and I think everybody is happier weab has Kid Klumsy and I hope he’s happy and we can all move on with our own things.  we’re going to have a break then next year we’re going to play a few dates we’ve got pencilled in for April and a new album as well.   We had started some but I’ve got a load of new material with my voice in mind and not Weab so it’s different styles and demoes some and the lads were chuffed they had a real live feel and you could see the boys felt the same again which is great. The songs have a raw feel maybe more like ‘Legends’  but that might be just at the moment.  We’ll see how we approach it in the studio because we love the songs and think Dirtbox has still got legs it would be a shame for me to see the name disappear because the singer left. We don’t want to hang up the Dirtbox flag, it’s not just about us four in the band and you know how hard we’ve worked because you boys have been with us from the start, we’ve worked really hard to get noticed and people seem to like us so we owe it to them as well.
There you have it folks the one and only Mr Spunk Volcano saying it as it is.  We actually chatted for an age with some really exciting things happening for both SV & The Eruptions and Dirtbox Disco so strap yourselves in and get your fix as I’m sure all will be revealed as and when and we’ll try our best to keep you up to date with what’s going on in both camps.  Thanks to Spunk for taking the time and indulging us and making us bloody laugh every time we cross paths.

Today we remember a couple of people who deserve to be remembered first up is the one and only Wayne from Auf Weidersein Pet but we know him from being the lead vocalist from Heavy Metal Kids who brought us the classics ‘Shes No Angel’ and ‘Delirious’.  Gary left us on this day in 1985 after an overdose of Morphine and Alcohol.

Gary was an accomplished actor plying his trade at the old vic as well as working with the Royal Shakespeare Company and he got minor roles in Quadrophenia and Breaking Glass but it was as Wayne and performing with the Heavy Metal Kids and his recordings with Casino Steel from the Boys that really brought Gary to prominence.  In a strange twist of fate he was considered for the role of Nasty Nick in Eastenders a role that went to John Altman who later went on to front The Heavy Metal Kids after Gary.

Holton also turned down the chance to front AC/DC after the passing of Bon Scott but turned it down. Instead, he went on to front Holton / Steel who managed three albums together.  Holton left behind a string of failed relationships but he did have a son in the mid-80s.

He lived his short life to the full and experienced all the Rock and Roll cliches of the time wine, women and drugs.  Holton managed to quit Heroin and come out the other side making some memorable records and his music has been covered by some of our favourite artists His ashes are laid to rest in the small Welsh town of Welshpool.

 

It’s easy to see why people like Angus and Malcolm were attracted to him to replace Bon because Gary oozed Rock and Roll and had the looks to match his distinctive vocal style. He was a very underrated frontman and his singing was maybe overshadowed by his acting but we won’t forget Gary Holton.  Rest In Peace sir.

Another who deserves to be mentioned today is none other than broadcaster John Peel OBE.  His story is well known and his record collection was as big as the national library.  His knowledge of alternative and underground music was vast and he was also the go-to guy for championing new bands coming through many of whom became his friends and went on to big things in the industry.

 

Born just outside Liverpool Peel is forever linked with BBC late-night Radio and punk and notably The Undertones and ‘Teenage Kicks’ Up until his sudden death Peel was the longest-serving DJ on the BBC and was something of an institution doing things his own way and given pretty much carte blanche on his show. He was a massive fan of The Fall and in the 80s you hadn’t made it until you were on a Peel Sessions record released on Strange Fruit records.  The list of bands who queued up to lay down a session for John Peel is endless.

 

He has a train named after him, a stage at Glastonbury, part of the BBC is now the Peel Wing. He also sat on set with The Faces and mimed the Mandolin whilst the band played ‘Maggie May’. John is very much missed on the radio.  Why not blast out ‘Teenage Kicks’ in his honour.  After his heart attack whilst working abroad, John was only 65 and it’s now been fifteen years since his passing.  rest in peace John and yup “Teenage Dreams So Hard To Beat”. but every time we hear that one we’re reminded of you.

DUE OUT 6TH DECEMBER VIA PARTISAN RECORDS

PRE-ORDER HERE

IDLES have announced their first live album ‘A Beautiful Thing: IDLES Live at Le Bataclan’, and have shared the live version of ‘Mother’ taken from the record.

The limited double LP edition will be available across three different colours, each with their own individual artwork. All will be housed in deluxe gatefold packaging, and each will contain a booklet designed by Joe, featuring photographs from the show and a selection of poetry.
“A Beautiful Thing: IDLES Live at Le Bataclan” will also be available to buy on CD and as a download.

The album follows a recent Mercury Prize nomination (and incendiary televised performance) for their critically acclaimed second album “Joy as an Act of Resistance”, and celebrates a landmark couple of years for the band with a top 5 official UK album chart position, an Ivor Novello award for ‘Best Album’, a breathtaking Glastonbury performance, a completely individual appearance on Later With… Jools Holland and a number of sold out tours across the world. IDLES were also recently chosen for Apple’s ongoing Shot On iPhone campaign, with billboards up now across the globe.

Speaking about the album, vocalist Joe Talbot says, “Our show at Bataclan was the end of a very long journey for us. On that tour we learnt so much about ourselves, each other and the audiences we have grown with over the past 10 years. That show was nothing short of catharsis and nothing more than love. We love what we do and the people who have carried us here, there was no hiding that at Bataclan and we are so very grateful that the moment was captured in all its glory, love and fatigue. Long live the open minded and long live the moment.”

IDLES also recently announced a short tour for December to celebrate the bands recent string of achievements – including their biggest headlining date yet on Saturday, 7th December at London’s Alexandra Palace. All five dates went on to sell out within the first 24 hours.

Mon 2 Dec Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom SOLD OUT
Tue 3 Dec Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom SOLD OUT
Wed 4 Dec Manchester, Academy SOLD OUT
Thu 5 Dec Leeds, O2 Academy SOLD OUT
Sat 7 Dec London, Alexandra Palace SOLD OUT

‘A Beautiful Thing: IDLES Live at Le Bataclan’ will be released 6th December via Partisan Records. Pre-order HERE

Photo credit: Lindsay Melbourne

What’s the prerequisite for a great record then? Catchy hooks, killer riffs, meaningful lyrics and some snazzy cover art are high on my wants, needs and hopefuls list. Well, ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ by The Speedways ticks all the boxes, as it has all those things and more.

We like this album so much we have reviewed it twice! Well, sort of. Released last year, ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is a concept album of sorts, about a summer romance, written and recorded by one dude called Matt Julian. Matt used to be in Nottingham band The Breakdowns, until they broke down. With his new project The Speedways, he took that same pop suss and magnified it tenfold, recording all instruments by himself and made an album that sounds like it was recorded live in the studio in just one take.

This new re-mastered edition is presented for the first time on CD for the US market with 5 additional tracks to savour and very cool artwork, again by the uber talented Josh Clark.

 

So let’s cover the album for those who are yet to catch up. Someone recently told me ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is the best album Elvis Costello never made, and that’s as good a place to begin as any. But if I bandy about names such as The Replacements, Ramones and Tom Petty, and if I drop in gone but not forgotten gems like The Soho Roses and The Exploding Hearts, then you get an idea of the record sleeves Matt Julian has been fingering for inspiration. Yeah, we are talking low-slung, guitar driven power pop of the highest order.

The thing about The Speedways is that they have potential hit singles in their arsenal… massive hits. ‘Seen Better Days’ is the perfect 3 minute pop single, full of a youthful innocence that takes you back to summer daze creating mixtapes to send to the girl of your dreams. ‘In Common With You’ hits you right in the feels, as dampened chords lead to an emotive and yearning chorus. The sort of tune Tuk Smith was smashing out of the ball park before his Biters signed with a major label.

On the title track, Matt Julian takes us on a tube train ride to Holloway Road to reminisce about the girl with glitter in her hair. The pop-tastic melody is as familiar as the tale of heartbreak we have all experienced at some point in our life. Matt has the ability to draw the listener in with his descriptive storytelling, as we clench hands and eat ice cream on the bench with the couple and hope their love will last…at least until the record stops spinning!

Elsewhere ‘That’ll Be The Day The Earth Stood Still’ is an upbeat and glorious slice of Spector-lite pop and The 50’s guitar twang of ‘One Kiss Can Lead To Another’ has an instant familiarity, as does the warming vocal harmonies.

 

Included on this US version are both tracks from their recent 7” single release. The single mix of ‘Seen Better Days’ hardly differs from the album version to these ears, but the flipside is worth the entry fee alone. Pop fact: Kirsty MacColl’s ‘They Don’t Know’ was made popular by Tracy Ullman in 1983 and was only kept off the number one spot by Culture Club’s ‘Karma Chameleon’. That’s the version I know best and so do you, just admit it! They tackle the track to great effect; a perfectly crafted pop song about teenage love that fits the album concept like a crushed velvet glove.

The addition of rough acoustic demos of ‘Just Another Regular Summer’, ‘Reunion In The Rain’, and ‘Seen Better Days’ present the songs in their rawest form, all dirt under the fingernails goodness, proving a good song is a good song even in its unpolished form.

 

Choc-a-bloc with bubblegum induced choruses ‘Just Another Regular Summer’ is a tale of love and heartbreak, set to a soundtrack of youth.

The Speedways were intended as a one-album project, done and dusted. And that would’ve been a crying shame, as these songs are too good to go unnoticed. I’m happy to report the project has grown to a fully-fledged band since the initial release. So, joining Matt are Mauro Venegas on guitar, Adrian Alfonaso on bass and Los Pepes tub-thumper Kris Hood. They have been sporadically gigging and are currently recording The Speedways album number 2. We await the follow up with baited breath, but for now, this expanded edition CD is well worth seeking out to tide you over.

Buy the Deluxe Edition Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

Keyboard player and howler John Wesley Myers, aka Rev James Leg, (Black Diamond Heavies, The Immortal Lee County Killers ) travels around the world preaching the punk blues.

The son of a Texas preacher raised in The South on Gospel music, James Leg distils his particular brew of traditional roots and urban feedback.  the result is as explosive as it is pure Rock and Roll!

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EAST EUROPE TOUR DATES
November 18 @ Chelsea — Vienna, AT
November 21 @ Hard Place — Zagreb, HR
November 22 @ Štedna — Virovitica, HR
November 23 @ Caffe Bar King — Ðakovo, HR
November 24 @ Dorcol Platz w/ Detroit Cobras — Beograd, RS
November 25 @ Dorćol Platz w/ Guitar Wolf — Beograd, RS
November 26 @ Bar Amok — Sofia, BG
November 27 @ Aigli — Serres, GR
November 29 @ Bizzarnica — Ljubljana, SI
November 30 @ Kino Ebensee — Ebensee, AT
December 10 @ Cafe Glocksee — Hannover, DE
December 12 @ TIEF — Berlin, DE
December 14 @ Zum Faulen August — Cottbus, DE