Dom Daley.

When a term gets hijacked and used for bad things or at least if I were to say retro many would already have turned off but if I were to say T Rex, 60’s pop and walking on the darker side of the road inspired Noo Yawk Rock and Rollers from the shady recesses of the lower east side who tap into some of musics historic veins and draw inspiration then it means the same thing right? To me it does but not to others it would seem but when I drop a track from the new Beechwood record I hear ghosts from some of my favorites drifting through the laid back chilled out airwaves.  T Rex, for example, is all over ‘Bigot In My Bedroom’ and as good as Marc was he wasn’t Noo Yawk cool though was he as he strutted around Barnes and Roehampton.

‘Over On Everyone’ has a fantastic melody that could have been written by a pop-savvy Boys rather than their boys in the bar style and had hung out in the lofts with Andy and co. Beechwood ooze style and a laid-back class on this record (their second in less than a year) Clearly these cats can rock out and I wouldn’t mind betting Keith and Mick features heavily in their collection but so would The Beach Boys and the Everleys as some of the melodies are forged in the past.  Take ‘Nero’ and its biting guitar riff that shows a doff of the cap to Ron Asheton and his Stooges for sure and me not being a fan of the instrumental I love this and its groove.

There is a darkness that hits upon the likes of the Jesus And Mary Chain on ‘I Found You Out’ from the roaring chords to the hushed tones on the lead vocals to the clean picked guitar lick its certainly got style and substance and then as it crashes to its conclusion its followed up with the 60’s pop of ‘Up And Down’ and before we’re done here the beautiful ‘I Don’t Blame You Anymore’ is a killer tucked away nicely at the death and it kinda falls into the country-tinged drink up its time to go home of ‘Our Love Was Worth The Heartbreak’ that sounds like the Dolls jammin with Keith n mick and shooting the breeze with Bukowski whilst he’s observing these barflies.

Another day another great band falls out of the club and onto my ever-expanding list of bands to keep an eye on, on the basis of them making great records that look good and sound better.  Get yourselves some Beechwood I’m serious you be glad you did.  Remember kids you snooze you looze!

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BEECHWOOD upcoming European tour dates :
November 13 @ Merleyn — Nijmegen, NL
November 14 @ Paard — Den Haag, NL
November 15 @ Patronaat — Haarlem, NL
November 16 @ Q Factory — Amsterdam, NL
November 17 @ Espace B — Paris, FR
November 18 @ Kesaco — Puymirol, FR
November 19 @ Stereolux — Nantes, FR
November 21 @ Blah Blah — Torino, IT
November 22 @ Arci Taun — Findenza, IT
November 23 @ Cox 18 — Milano, IT
November 24 @ Super Bock Under fest — Lausanne, CH
November 27 @ Les Pavillons Sauvages — Toulouse, FR
November 28 @ Amperage — Grenoble, FR
November 29 @ Le 106 — Rouen, FR
November 30 @ La Bulle Cafe — Lille, FR
December 1 @ La Grange à Musique — Creil, FR
December 2 @ Le Galion — Lorient, FR

With a brand new album out and in the shops the king of power pop took up our invitation to have a chat about his career and the new record.  He shouldn’t need an introduction but seeing as I’m here I’ll give him one for those of you not familiar with any of his work.  He began his recording career with The Nerves back in the early 70’s and weaved his tapestry through the halls Of Power Pop N Roll playing with his band The Beat and as a solo artist he’s penned many a classic tune and continues to this day recording records and playing shows he’s taken the stage with the likes of The Ramones and Green Day over the years and just put out one of the years best power pop albums ‘Out Of My Head’.

Back in the early days of The Nerves How come the three of you didn’t co-write the songs together back then?  
When I joined The Nerves I had not begun to write songs yet, it was only after hearing what Jack and Peter were writing that I decided I had to try too. Jack was the main writer at the time and he was adamant about keeping everything separate. Each of us were to write and sing our own songs. He was very helpful to me though. He spent a lot of time listening and critiquing my songs. He was a great mentor in that respect.
Did you ever imagine you’d be part of the band that spawned such a classic song as ‘Hanging On The Telephone’?  
I knew Hanging on the Telephone was a hit the moment I heard it. It was the first day that I had met Jack Lee, he played me the acetate of the demo he had made and it blew my mind!
Did you think your original version was the best?  
I am very proud of our version it stands up to the test of time.
Have you heard the Def Leppard version or L7’s?  
Yes, and I like the credit Def Leppard gave it on their record. 
After you settled on the west coast was it easy putting the band together?
Back then, The West Coast was a better environment for me and the kind of music I was trying to do. After The Nerves, I had the very good fortune to meet Steve Huff. He became my main songwriting partner for many years. Writing with people is a very personal thing, it has never been easy for me to do. I’m that regards I was very happy to meet Paul Stingo who I worked with on the last record, Out Of My Head.
Bomp have done a great job of reissuing all the older stuff that was pretty hard to get hold of and you managed the and sorted out the tours and stuff did that set you in good stead for later on trying to negotiate the deals?
I have been DIY now for many years, there isn’t a lot of hard negotiating really mostly verbal agreements with people who are more or less friends.
They put out the comp in the noughties with bonus unreleased previously songs is that it now the well completely dry or is there more to eventually come?
There might be a few odds and ends but most of the recorded unreleased tracks have been used.
Moving onto more recent times, were you contacted by Green Day for them to include a track on the American Idiot play?
They never contacted me, they just played the song quite frequently but they always told the audience who it was by, I really appreciated that.
Didn’t you join them on stage as well?  that must have been so cool.
Yes, I played ‘Walking Out Of Love’ with them (2 times in a row!) onstage at the Bowery Electric here in New York for the end of show party they had when ‘American Idiot’ closed. Billy Joe was extremely gracious to me, I will never forget how nice he treated me!
You played with a lot of influential punk bands back in the day when it was all fresh and new, how did the audiences take to the difference in sound from say the Germs and the Weirdos compared to your more melodic power pop.
At the time it seemed to me that the audience related more to The Germs and The Weirdos. We always seemed to be on the outside.
You’ve always championed bands and artists in a business that doesn’t always reward the best; hardest working bands or the most talented, who in your opinion were the ones who fell through the cracks are there any noticeable bands you were convinced were going to be stars?
It such a relative question, nowadays my idea of success has changed. If you can somehow make your living doing what you love then you are a success. I think if you can stay in the game that’s a big part of it. That’s what I am trying to do.
From the king of power pop until this year’s release you’ve released three albums with Alive is it as enjoyable making records as it sounds?
Actually making a record is always a pretty gutwrenching experience. I am constantly ripping it apart and building it up again in an effort to make it as good as possible.
Your records always sound like they were made with a smile on your face and you are totally happy with what your doing would that be a fair assumption?
No, but that is the trick, you have to make it sound effortless even though you drive yourself nuts trying to do it!
How do you find recording now compared to back in the 70’s is it easier with technology or not?
It has never been easy and hopefully, it never will. I think you have to make a big effort to create something worthwhile.
In fact, it seems like everyone is trying to get back to recording as we did back in the 70’s!
You’ve also recorded with some exceptional players like Chuck Prophet, Greg and Cyril from the Flaming Groovies to name a few do you get a bigger buzz now making a record or touring?
I enjoy what I am doing a lot now mainly because I think I am more in the present. It was a great experience making the Paul Collins record in SF I got to record with so many fantastic musicians, that record will always be a special one for me!
You also do your own management and play an active role with new bands trying to break through.  Is that still exciting for you or is the industry still a massive ballache.
It’s a tough business that is for sure! Being DIY has its pros and cons, the pros are you pretty much get to do what you want. I have come to accept my position in the business and I’m ok with it. I do what I love to do, more or less on my own terms.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received
From Jimmy the Greek who owned The Downbeat in SF. “You gotta have tight beginnings and tight endings and everyone will think you’re great!”
What advice would you give to a hungry young band looking to someone of your skill and status for advice and guidance?
Work your ass off and never give up!
Finally, when do you begin work on the next album?
Still basking in the afterglow of this one!
and what about some shows in the UK?
Love too, it’s just a matter of working out the logistics.
so until he hits the road and someone in the UK offers him some dates I guess we’ll have to make do with the records which is no bad deal.  So thanks to Paul for taking the time to chat to RPM now go check out the new album at the link.

PAUL COLLINS BEAT “Out of My Head” EURO TOUR 2019 – Buy tickets here
This tour will be done completely by train, a new model for the new millennium of touring! Arrive alive and on time!

Feb 7 Stockholm Melodybox
Feb 8 Malmo Folk å Rock
Feb 9 Hamburg Nochtwache
Feb 12 Mannheim Altes Volksbad
Feb 14 Berlin Cortina Bob
Feb 15 Essen Freak Show
Feb 16 Kortrijk Den Trapp
Feb 17 Utrecht dB’s
Feb 18 Brussels CHAFF
Feb 19 France Orleans Blue Devils
Feb 20 France TBA
Feb 21 Clermont-Ferrand Bombshell
Feb 22 Saint-Etienne Le Clapier
Feb 23 France TBA
Feb 25 Alicante Sala Stereo
Feb 27 Valencia Loco Club
Feb 28 Madrid Fun House
Mar 1 Spain TBA
Mar 2 Spain Segovia

 Nev Brooks.

When this gig flashed up on my watching list, the juices really started to flow, I mean an essential part of the great Green on Red (Chuck Prophet) that I have vague recollections of catching way back in the day at the reading festival in 1989 when it returned, taken over by The Mean Fiddler group.

 

Add into the mix probably my favourite live artist at the moment Jesse Malin part of the superb D-Generation and more to the point an incredible live act on his own, electric or acoustic. Tickets were booked instantly,

 

But enough of the waffle, arriving at the venue I have to say, parking was a bit of a nightmare, be warned, (it’s a venue I’m going to watch out for in the future) Hey Ho! The joys of driving everywhere!! Moving upstairs I did a bit of a double take, a seated gig? Hmm, and then we’re into it with Jesse Malin and I have to say what a set, even though shortened to 50 mins, we had a sample from the new LP, scheduled for release mid 2019 (my little life, meet me at the end of the world) an awesome cover of the Pogues classic,” If I should fall from grace with god”, a great collection from the St Marks social LP-love it to Life, including all the way from Moscow and an absolutely blinding “Burning the Bowery” were I to say none of the audience remained sitting would be more than fair.

 

The songs from New York before the war just keep getting stronger and tonight we had “The year that I was born” and a track that stopped me cold “Turn up the mains”. Without going track for track, we had his whole career represented, from The fine art of self destruction, through to the Outsiders with Glitter in the gutter getting a more than welcome representation.

 

With such an outstanding catalogue the music itself was always going to be top drawer, but what came across tonight was Jesse Malin the storyteller, if you get chance to catch this tour anywhere don’t miss, but also what should also hit you is why isn’t this guy huge!! I suppose a damning inditement on the malaise that the mainstream music world is currently investing it’s time in.

 

Now you’ve probably guessed I’m a bit of a Jesse Malin fan and his set was my main reason for travelling over tonight, but I was 100% in the minority the audience were here to catch Chuck Prophet so strapping in, not really knowing what to expect from a solo Chuck I entered the set with an open mind.

 

Struggling with a virus I have to say what a set followed from Chuck, and what a vocalist Stephanie Finch is, a perfect foil from that swamp blues drawl, splitting vocal duties her voice very much came across with hints of early Marianne Faithful, that innocence embedded in pop sensibilities, while also giving a nod to that world weary Americana style. This was part of a series of Americana gigs being promoted by the Hen and Chicken after all.

 

As a singer/songwriter Chuck Prophet is faultless, but the track that caught me was a track by the McCoys from 1965, re-interpreted by David Bowie on the Hunky Dory LP-Sorrow, stripped down, slowed up and re-interpreted as an Americana classic. Other tracks that stuck with me, were “Bad year for Rock and Roll, The left hand and the right hand, doubter out of Jesus” and the Bob Dylan cover “Abandoned Love”.  Again what hits you are the stories between songs, holding the audience enthralled, these two have toured together for years, hit the same audiences and made the same connections and what came across to me was the link both had to a fledgling Ryan Adams and again the though flits across my mind, they should be standing alongside him on the much larger venues.

 

As an aside, I picked up a vinyl copy of Glitter in the Gutter, one I was missing and ended in a conversation with Jesse, and what a humble guy, wrapped up in music, grounded and focused.

 

Pick up the Jesse Malin back catalogue here

Pick up the Chuck Prophet here