Right let’s get this out of the way early door so I don’t have to mention it again.  Yes JC Carroll is the lead singer behind the Members and yes they did have a smash hit with ‘Sound Of The Suburbs’. Right, We’re gathered here today to celebrate a whole generation of inspirational tunes that helped shape the musical landscape of the 20th century.  The Members have gone down the covers route, in itself its no biggie lots of bands tip the hat so to speak and turn in exceptional interpretations of songs and bands that inspired them and some band spectacularly miss the point but, I guess it’s an individual thing. A classic song is exactly that to the individual so when a band takes on an iconic tune and flips it on its head sometimes it misses the point of that original.  ‘Version’ has fourteen covers some more widely known than others and some done fairly straight whilst others are not just flipped on their heads but totally rebirthed as something so far removed I don’t know what to make of it at times.

First up is a Prince song taken to the charts by Cyndi Lauper Not afraid of taking a chance and opening with a big hitter then? To be fair it’s not a million miles from Prince with the synth hook its got a cars sort of power pop feel to the melody but JC doesn’t have the high falsetto that the former artist known as Prince had but its an intriguing introduction to say the least. Covered by many artists over the years and now the opening track for The Members.

Come out from behind the sofa folks its only a song by the Swedish phenomena better known as ABBA.  Yup ‘Does Your Mother Know’ gets a roughing up and I don’t know whether to laugh or cry its one of those songs from your childhood that is burnt into your memory.  Not sure ABBA ever translate into any sort of guitar-based music its a weird one and I’d like to accept the offer of a free pass on this one.

Ah, Bowie and a clear favourite on Carroll as he apes Bowie in the vocal department and to be fair does a good job as the band actually do ‘Boys Keep Swinging’ some justice and don’t try and be clever and just do a pretty straight take on it.  Next up things get weird as they take on the classic Buzzcocks ‘What Do I Get’ and reggae-fy it using its superb melody to slow it right down and skank. Bells and whistles thrown in along with the natty keyboard stabs I don’t think I like it at all.  Whilst I try to get the taste of the last one out of my mouth along comes another weird take on the classic ‘Sheena Is A Punk Rocker’ and it’s given a trip on an altogether different route than Joey and the boys took it originally and again I can’t work out if I’m listening to genius or a messed up piss take – help I’m confused.

More Ramones crop up with ‘Chinese Rocks’ and a suitably scuzzy riff is dutifully relayed and a fairly straight route is taken. The band then go down the reggae road covering the John Holt track ‘Police In Helicopters’ all about da herb brother.  A fairly standard cover to be fair and fairly true to the original. Continuing the theme the band does ‘Soul Rebel’ from Bob Marley and what you hear is exactly what you get.  laid back and chilled out. In for a penny and all that it’s no surprise to hear the band take on the Gregory Issacs iconic track ‘Night Nurse’ personalising the lyrics and doing a decent job on this chilled out five minutes.

Wow now, C’mon JC turning ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ into a trumpet tooting reggae song is just not on or is it? Maybe Shelley was a visionary and this was how it was intended to sound?  It’ll take you a while to get your head around it and again I’m really not sure what to make of it, firstly with it being such an iconic punk rock song its hard to get your head around this departure.  Brave or crazy who knows what’s done is done now and there is no going back maybe JC just hears it differently to some of us.

Grandmaster Flash anyone? This is more interesting and one I think would make more sense hearing it live with the horns and finishing with ‘Waiting for my Man’ JC and The Members certainly haven’t taken the easy route here and to some it’ll be red rag to a bull whilst others with be in love with old songs newly arranged.

Me I’m undecided.  Maybe I’ll give it another go but give it a bit of distance as well. brave or crazy I can’t decide.

Buy ‘Version’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

 

 

 

 

How about some Junkie Logic on a Monday morning with this new video from Spike Fuck

Having just played The RAH with Buzzcocks it seems fitting to play the new video from Penetration which just happens to be their take on the classic Shelley track.  You can catch the band at –

12.07.19  LONDON 100 Club
13.07.19  LEWES Con Club
14.07.19  HALIFAX Lantern
03.08.19  BLACKPOOL Rebellion Festival
06.10.19  SHEFFIELD O2 Academy
18.10.19  NEWCASTLE Cluny
19.10.19  GLASGOW Audio

Check the video out below.

I guess it’s only fair and fitting that after the remaining members of the band paid their respects along with past members at the Royal Alber Hall recently we leave you with this stone cold classic.  Rest In Peace Pete  we’ll miss you

In celebration of their 40th anniversary, we’re pleased to announce the reissue of our third album, ‘A Different Kind of Tension’, and the ‘Singles Going Steady’ compilation on Friday 14th June.
Restored from their original tapes for the first time, both titles feature newly curated booklets and unseen images, with Jon Savage contributing the liner notes for ‘A Different Kind of Tension’ and Clinton Heylin for ‘Singles Going Steady’.
Pre-order on deluxe edition coloured vinyl and CD:Here

Hear the newly re-mastered versions of ‘Love You More’ and ‘You Say You Don’t Love Me’: Here

In other Buzzcocks news –
We can confirm the contemporary line up of Steve, Chris & Danny, original band members and guest vocalists will be performing at London’s Royal Albert Hall on June 21st 2019 for our Celebration of the Life of Pete Shelley performance.
We expect to start announcing our guest vocalists in the next two weeks.
Please join us for what will be a very special and unique evening.
tickets:  Here.

Canada does it again I don’t know what they’re putting in the water up there but fuck me sideways they’ve got the rock and roll happening all over the country at the moment no doubt about it and Isolation Party join the, Um, Party!

Post punk power pop with melody and enough Buzzcock vibe going on to reel you in Isolation Party are more than that. Songs like the happy go lucky ‘Fine Lines’ remind me of the trashy elements of The Replacements.  there isn’t much polish going around but the tunes are really hitting the spot.

 

They keep up the trashy power pop noise going on ‘Mr Telephone’ as it hurtles along sounding like when Dando recorded ‘Lick’ but with more melody. The songs are short and oh so sweet with plenty of snot mixing it with New Yorkers Wyldlife and Baltimore’s  Ravagers Isolation Party are the real deal.  The Briefs and The Stitches must have a bearing on Isolation Party’s record collection because they dance to the same beats on tracks like the frantic ‘Pointing fingers’ and how can you not love ‘Sleeves’? for all its trashy drug talk and bittersweet melodies.

Throughout the ten tracks, the band weaves a really enjoyable tapestry of twisted melodies and its very listenable and fairly instant as well. I guess if you have even a mild interest in any of the bands that I’ve referenced then you really should check out Isolation Party because they’ve definitely got the chops and this album is really consistent and most definitely doesn’t fade away and right up to the last chorus of ‘These Things’ I know I’m going to hit repeat and go right back to the beginning and play it all over again.  Great album!

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Author: Dom Daley

“Didn’t we have a luvuly time the day we went to Blackpool, Kiss me quick and Lets Rock Like Fuck!”

August

August.  All roads lead to Blackpool, for it’s time to head into the Winter Gardens for the UK’s finest alternative extravaganza and catch an awesome line up at this year’s Rebellion Festival.  However you look at it this year was one of the finest line-ups ever at the festival and RPM scribes were in attendance for plenty of giggles, wobbles and plenty of old and new favourites. I wouldn’t know where to start to sum it up and do justice to the bands who played, however, there were a couple of outstanding performances at this year’s festival most notably Michael Monroe who stole the show with the Sunday night headline in the Opera House.

There were so many other high points so many great bands and looking back there are so many memories that I’ll never have again. As the year unfolded and I look back bands and people that I’ll never see again which makes me grateful to have had these moments however brief in the first place.

There were a few mentions I need to make as I mentioned the performance from Michael Monroe.  sure its no secret I think the guy is the best in the business and an incredible talent and has never had the credit he deserved by wider audiences but those who get it just get it and can see that the guy and his band ooze class and he has a back catalogue so full of great songs its one of life’s mysteries how he’s not selling out stadiums and sitting on a pile of platinum records globally but hey life ain’t like that and he just gets on with it and does it with a smile and a wink as he and his band rocks like Fuck! at least now Rebellion knows this as well.

TSOL rocked like fuck – Pizzatramp turned up like fuck (well except Dan) – Clowns blew my mind – Neville Staples skanked like teenagers and considering we stood on the side of the stage to take them in for a song or two we ended up staying for the whole set and loving every minute of it – The Adolescents did Soto proud with an awesome heartfelt performance and all power to them for having the balls to turn up and play and not cancel. The Briefs showed that not all Americans are stupid – Buzzcocks were once again worthy headliners knocking out over an hour of power pop buzzsaw classics. Bar Stool Preachers were also worthy headliners and with their new album in tow, they showed a lot of established bands with decades under their belts how to rock the house and do it with a smile an outstanding and memorable performance.

Idles told it as it is and their assessment of the Tories was spot on. We danced with The DeRellas and pogoed with the Cyanide Pills. We boogied with The Boys who did two sets on two stages and ripped it up on both possibly with the Acoustic taking first prize maybe because it was a little different but the songs sounded so good acoustic.  All in all, Rebellion was once again the highlight of the festival season and as far as the UK goes still the best there is beside where else are you going to chat with Supla and see his action figure – you should try it sometime you’d enjoy it. To be fair Rebellion has so much going on besides the bands its championing alternative culture in so many ways and they also had Mr. Lydon trying to be so controversial but only making himself look like a silly billy as a result but even his bizarre words can’t damped what was a massively enjoyable four days and we’re proud to be a small part of championing them because its a platform that’s pretty much free from the clutches of the big circus-like festivals that charge a fortune and treat the fans like customers in a supermarket and only want your cash because that could never be leveled at Rebellion that’s for sure and we’ll be back next August if they’ll have us to do it all again If they’ll have us that is.

But this was only the first weekend of August and this budget-busting month was barely alive and already there was so much going on.

Ben managed to take in The Wildhearts acoustic performance in York where all the hits were stripped bare.  Before we could even get over Rebellion it was back to South Wales where we had a date with some Big heads oh and Duncan Reid who turned in a spectacular performance on a night that decided it was going to rain like when Noah built his ark, in fact, it was rumoured that Duncan had to swim back to the Severn Bridge where his band had hired a bigger boat but it didn’t matter to the hardy souls who braved some water falling from the sky because there was rockin’ and rollin’ to take care of.

To kick back a little Leigh Fuge took a leisurely stroll through Hyde Park and happened upon one of his guitar-slinging heroes – none other than old slow hand Eric Clapton kicking up a bluesy stink in Hyde Park along with some other six string slingers (you say that after a few bottles of house red at British Summertime Events prices) namely Carlos Santana and Gary Clark Jr. it really was the Cream (sorry couldn’t resist it) of old-school blues guitarists.(who said we aren’t a broad church here at RPM?) Leigh had to tick this one off his must-see list and was glad he did as the bluesmen certainly delivered. He also took in Maiden in Birmingham he said this about it, “Even after 40 something years of rocking, this band seem to improve with age like a fine wine. While they may not be to everyone’s taste, this year’s Legacy of the Beast tour was one of the highlights of my year. I’ve seen the band 14 times now and this one felt like something very special.” Who said we’re not a braod church?

As far as album releases in the month of August go – There was Idles releasing their ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ which went down rather well at RPM. there were also albums released by some old friends that were more than welcome making a return to our turntables namely Mr Walter Lure who managed to put out a new album with the Waldos for the first time in 24 years!  has it really been 24 years? My God, I feel old but ‘Wacka Lacka Boom Pop A Loom Bam Boo’ yeah that’s right it is called ‘Wacka Lacka Boom Pop A Loom Bam Boo’ but its Waldo and its rock n roll just accept it and move on.  Ian McNabb also put out his latest long player this month with ‘Our Future In Space’ rocking out like he promised he would.  There were also notable releases from The Ringleaders with their superb effort ‘Bi-Coastal Blasphemy’ and if that wasn’t enough Lovesores released ‘Gods Of Ancient Grease’. Craggy was outside his local record shop at half eight in the morning to purchase his copes of The Dahlmanns ‘American Heartbeat’ and Fertile Hump ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ in August as well he hasn’t stopped playing them since. sneaking in through the back door right at the last minute of August was a fantastic record that I was shocked to hear but in a good way and the more I played it the more I liked it and to be fair its been easily one of the highlights of the year. Oh yeah, The Brutalists with their debut long player ‘The Brutalists‘. go check it out its a belter.

As far as singles go those 45 RPM releases saw the wonderful Damaged Goods celebrate being in existence for 30 years by releasing a whole bunch of cool singles and the first one being those wonderful chaps Cyanide Pills and their take of the Glitter Band single and what a job they did on ‘Just For You’ which we picked up at Rebellion along with a new 7″ from TSOL and The Briefs ‘Kids Laugh At You’ but I have to mention TV Crime as well because their single ‘Hooligans’ was pure earworm and once it was in the old noggin I couldn’t shake it.  Fantastic stuff. Hopefully, 2019 will see them release a long player we can hear never mind “shitty attitude – killer tunes” sort it out gents I want the album, thank you kindly.

In a nutshell that was the briefest glimpse into our August. On to September…

 

In a week that was overshadowed and pretty much dominated by one thing and that was the sad and sudden passing of the incredible talent that was Pete Shelley.  It seems everyone throughout social media had a picture and/or a nice touching story about meeting or working with Pete who passed away at the age of 63 at home in Estonia of a suspected Heart Attack.

It was warming to see that even the BBC found it fitting to round off the day’s news with the reporting of his passing. It seemed that only when passing many people realise what an impact someone has on pop culture.  Sure Pete was never a style icon but man could he write a bittersweet song he spoke to the lovestruck teen who wasn’t part of the cool club and outsiders everywhere were affected as well as many up and coming musicians who fitted the remit of his songs  bands who later took his influence and turned it into something all together bigger.  BAnds such as Nirvana who took Buzzcocks on tour to audiences they could only dream of pulling which gave them a new lease of life.  Bands such as Green Day wouldn’t, in turn, have made the music they did if it wasn’t for Pete and his tunes – in fact, he wrote dozens of them quite literally he was the undisputed king of punk rock 45’s enjoying numerous forays into the top 40 as well as the soundtrack to many a film and tv advert looking for a catchy, snappy immediate tune Shelly had em by the bucketload.

As recently as this past summer Buzzcocks were easily one of the standout bands from the Rebellion festival weekend where they understood that having seventy minutes to play it was a case of 1-2-3-4 hit after hit which they usually delivered at ear-splitting volumes. Taken way to early Pete’s passing is monumental and a real loss to fans globally and our thoughts go out to his bandmates, crew and family at what must be a very difficult time. Rest In Peace Pete Shelley.

As for happier things over the last seven days, RPM brought you reviews from Poland in the shape of the excellent Jack Saint, Scotlands Heavy Drapes and to round the week off the brand new EP from UK Subs. The big-ticket items on the live front would have to be a bunch of shows we covered by The Damned, The Alarm & Ryan Hamilton, as well as a cracker Ben witnessed by the Virginmarys and we started it all off last weekend when Nashville Pussy played Cardiff.

 

Keep it RPM and stay sick!

 

The news is filtering round social media that Pete Shelley of Buzzcocks has passed away in his home of Estonia.  Being a massive fan of the band and Petes work I am truly gutted by this news Rest In Peace Pete you were one of a kind.

RPM’s thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends at this time. He was only 63 and its believed he lost his life as a result of a suspected heart attack.