Some of the writers managed to send in their list of the top ten live shows they went to in 2019.  they attended hundreds of shows all over the place via trains, planes and automobiles.  On another day I’m sure these lists would change many times over.  RPM Online supports Rock and Roll and loves a live show and as you browse through the lists there are many genres covered as well as some familiar suspects there are many new entries this year.  We’d love to take this opportunity to thank all the bands who toured and played shows all over the UK and continue to do so, All the festivals that supported independent music from Rebellion Festivals and Camden Rocks to Steelhouse Festival in South Wales and all the festivals around Europe and wider thank you.  Continue to look after independent Rock and Roll and help it thrive and reach a wider audience if you want to get involved get in touch we always welcome fresh eyes and ears to spread the word: rpmonlinetcb@yahoo.com

 

 

Leigh Fuge 


John Mayer –  02 Arena London

Ryan Roxie –  The Asylum, Birmingham

Michael Monroe –  The Fleece, Bristol

The Cult –  University Great Hall, Cardiff

Kenny Wayne Shepherd –  City Hall, Salisbury

Kiss –  The Arena, Birmingham

Alice Cooper –  Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Paul Gilbert –  The Fleece, Bristol

The Wildhearts  – The Tramshed, Cardiff

FM & The Quireboys  – The Globe, Cardiff

Nev Brooks 
Pulled Apart By Horses – Newport Le Pub (Reviewed Here)

Primal Scream –  Great Hall Cardiff

Alice Cooper, MC50, The Stranglers – Motorpoint Arena Cardiff

Nick Cave – Millenium Centre Cardiff

Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Bar Stool Preachers – O2 Bristol

The Hip Priests, DC Spectres, Deathtraps – Le Pub Newport

The Wildhearts, Towers Of London – SWX Bristol

Wonk Unit – Drogonfly Pontypool

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Sin City Swansea

Holy Holy – Tramshed Cardiff

 

 Gareth Hooper
Duncan Reid, Cyanide Pills, Bruno – Louisiana Bristol

Ginger & The Sinners – St John’s church Cardiff

Clowns, BBSC – The Exchange Bristol

Amyl And The Sniffers – Louisiana Bristol

Rich Ragany & The Digressions, The Speedways, More Kicks, The Spangles – The Blackheart London

The Wildhearts, Janus Stark – Komedia Bath

The Hip Priests – Le Pub Newport

Bar Stool Preachers, Rich Ragany & The Digressions – Clwb Ifor Bach Cardiff

Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind – Jacs Aberdare

The Stray Cats, Selector, The Living End – Hammersmith Eventime London

Johnny Hayward
Bar Stool Preachers, Rich Ragany & The Digressions, Social Experiment –  Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff (Reviewed Here)

The Hip Priests, Rotten Foxes, Flash House, Glitter Piss –  The Pipeline, Brighton

Rebellion Festival 2019 – Winter Gardens, Blackpool

Jim Jones & The Righteous Minds, Heavy Flames, Deathtraps –  Jacs, Aberdare

Death By Unga Bunga, Seek Warmth –  Hy Brasil, Bristol

Dboy, The Vega Bodegas, Nigel –  Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

The Stray Cats, The Selector, The Living End –  Hammersmith Apollo, London

Grave Pleasures – The Fleece, Bristol

Pulled Apart By Horses, Baba Naga, Dactyl Terra –  Le Pub, Newport

Clowns, Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club, Glug – The Exchange, Bristol

Fraser Munro
Adam Ant – St Davids Hall Cardiff

Kiss – Kiss Kruise, Miami

Michael Monroe, Electric Eel Shock – The Fleece, Briatol

The Hip Priests – The Drippers, Deathtraps – JT Soar, Nottingham

Alice Cooper, MC50, Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Turbonecro, The Hip Priests – The Chameleon, Nottingham

Dboy – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

The Damned – KK’s Steel Mill. Wolverhampton

Skidrow, Backyard Babies – The Forum, London

the Wildhearts, Towers Of London – Tramshed, Cardiff

Ben Hughes
Michael Monroe – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds (Reviewed Here)

Duff McKagan/Shooter Jennings – Academy 3, Manchester

The Wildhearts – Stylus, Leeds

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Low Cut Connie – The Fulford Arms, York

Amyl & The Sniffers – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Ryan Hamilton Songs & Stories Show – Bloomfield Square, Otley

Tyla’s Dogs D’amour – The Fulford Arms, York

Levellers – The Minack Theatre, Cornwall

Hands Off Gretel – The Fulford Arms, York

Nigel Taylor 

The Stray Cats – O2, Birmingham

Saint Agnes – Plymouth Junction, Plymouth

The Wildhearts – Cavern, Exeter

Motörgoblin (Orange Goblin plays Motörhead) – St Moritz Club, London

Ginger Wildheart – St Johns Church, Cardiff

Queensryche – Islington Assembly Hall, London

Mother Vulture – End of the World Festival, Plymouth

Uriah Heep – Steelhouse Festival, Wales

Cradle of Filth – London Palladium, London

Ghost – Motorpoint Arena, Cardiff

Blaze Bayley – The Junction, Plymouth

Dom Daley
Rebellion Festival – Winter Gardens, Blackpool (Reviewed Here)

The Damned – London Palladium, London

Michael Monroe, Electric Eel Shock – The Fleece, Bristol

Duncan Reid &The Big Heads, Cyanide Pills, Bruno – Louisiana, Bristol

Amyl & The Sniffers – Lousiana, Bristol

Ginger & The Sinners – St Johns Church, Cardiff

Clowns – The Exchange, Bristol

Rich Ragany & The Digressions, The Speedways, More Kicks, The Spangles – Black Heart Camden, London

New Model Army – Tramshed, Cardiff

The Wonder Stuff – O2, Bristol

I’d still describe Clowns a new band  but then they’ve been doing this hardcore rock n roll lark for six years which would hardly make them new really, it’s a tough one but one of the best records released this year without a doubt is ‘Nature / Nurture’ and its a great move on the face of it signing for Fat Wreck Chords. About eighteen months ago I stood in the Ballroom at Blackpool Winter Gardens in the early afternoon and watched Clowns own the day and turn in a pulverising and quite beautiful set and that was before we even had a sniff of the latest album (which, Incidently is their best by a country mile)  and before that I’d seen them in one of the smallest stages of the festival a year or two before that where they’d just released ‘Bad Blood’ and that was a brutal – pulverising performance that made those present sit up and take notice of these Australian loons kicking the shit out of our ears with their punk rock.  Wind forward to a cold November in Bristol as part of their jaunt around Europe in support of Nature/Nurture’ Clowns are in the motherfuckin’ house boys and girls and it’s a school night and the place – whilst not packed to the rafters is in decent shape and very busy indeed.  Anyway rewind the evening a little and first up is three-piece Glug.  Two ladies on guitar and Bass swapping vocals in the briefest of sets that was basically ten minutes and a bit but ten songs and plenty of between-song banter. they were never going to steal the show they knew it and we knew it but it was great to see them doing what they do on a school night.

Next up were the four-piece local lads The Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club. who to be fair have been around the block and are used to this kinda Monday night punk rock show as they proceeded to smash out their tight set of Hardcore punk rock for the next twenty-five minutes or so.  Flip is a bundle of energy and turns the screw on the rest of the band as they get pushed harder and faster and tonight it really works.  Cookie is our prowling the audience poking for a reaction and its working.  Tonight The Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club are smashing it (as the kids say) as for what they played I couldn’t even begin to break it down as song titles were irrelevant. Maybe they played ‘Reasons’ maybe they didn’t but what mattered was tonight they were on form and took no prisoners and impressed those who’d bothered to turn up on time and give these punks the time of day.  Great effort.

Finally, Clowns are ready as the busy venue is up for what is about to unfold and I’ve been looking forward to this since it was announced. Stevie has a sharp new haircut (since last time) and after a few stretches were ready to go and without any fanfare and ‘I Shaved My Legs For You’ is riffing the fuck out of the room and from the off this is going to be something special. Hanny J is a great foil for Stevie as they are both penned in by the dual riff maesters Rod and Will either side as they unleashing the venom. What a blistering opener, then it’s back to the rapid assault of ‘Infected’ off the uncompromising ‘Bad Blood’ album and that’s where they stayed for the title track and low and behold they open up ‘These Veins’ as well and the band sound on fire.

Next track up is ‘Freezing In The Sun’ which was released as a single prior to the last album but it only gave a slight glimpse into what was to come as the band took a giant leap sonically from the first two albums to ‘Lucid Again’ and then ‘Nature / Nurture’ where they seem to have really come of age and grown into something really special. Some of the songs steered them into Janes Addiction Territory (when Janes were on fire of course) and this single was their most accessible track to date and tonight it was pounding and they executed it to within an inch of perfection.

The band then flip-flopped between the most recent couple of albums with the pick of the tunes from both slotting in very nicely indeed. It took Williams a while to get into the audience but when he was comfortable he was like a cat on a hot tin roof not standing still for a second as the band hammered home the tunes giving him the space to do his thing and boy did he do it.  ‘Like A Knife At A Gunfight’  grew into a swirling beast that it is but it was overshadowed by the monumental ‘, I Wanna Feel Again’ that showed how much this band has grown over their short tenure and all those shows are paying off because I wouldn’t want to be in a band and follow these on stage on this evidence. To suggest it was epic isn’t an understatement at all.

By the time we hit ‘Soul For Sale’ and a quick check of the time we knew we were reaching melting point in the set, the whole place was twitching at the very least as some lost their collective shit it was only ‘Never Enough’ to wrap up the evening. A  fitting ending to a superb night of Hardcore entertainment from a band that was on fire and one I can’t recommend highly enough they were simply a sight to behold.

If you get the chance you really should check these Clowns out. It’s never too late to pick up one of the albums, hell even go for the first one that they sadly neglected this evening but I guess its fair that you can’t have everything. Now, these and Bronx on a doubleheader would be just the best idea if someone could make that happen in 2020 I’d be grateful.  Clowns from Australia I salute you, you came – we saw – you rocked.  Fuckin Awesome!

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Author: Dom Daley

RPM favorites Clowns join Teenage Bottlerocket, Mean Jeans,  and Jen Pop (The Bombpops) are currently tearing it up on the FAT Tour! TBR will be performing their latest effort, ‘Stay Rad!’.  Mean Jeans released their second full-length on FAT, ‘Gigantic Sike’.  Clowns hail from Australia and will support their debut FAT release, ‘Nature/Nurture’. Opening the show is Jen Pop from The Bombpops. If you would like a copy of any of the FAT bands on the tour, just holler. GET THERE!

Clowns Nature/Nurture’ album was reviewed by us HERE as was Men Jeans HERE

  • 07 Sep in Oklahoma City, OK @ 89th Street FAT TOUR
  • 08 Sep in Kansas City, MO, US @ Riot Room FAT TOUR
  • 09 Sep in St. Louis, MO @ Fubar FAT TOUR
  • 10 Sep in Omaha, NE @ Lookout Lounge  FAT TOUR
  • 11 Sep in Green Bay, WI @ Lyric Room  FAT TOUR
  • 13 Sep in Minneapolis, MN, US @ Turf Club FAT TOUR
  • 15 Sep in Chicago, IL @ Douglass Park – Riot Fest
  • 15 Sep in Chicago, IL @ Cobra Lounge ( Fat Tour) SOLD OUT
  • 19 Oct in Sacramento, CA, US @ Punk In Dublic Fest – Papa Murphy’s Park
  • 21 Oct in Portland, OR, US @ Paris Theater
  • 22 Oct in Seattle, WA, US @ Tractor Tavern
  • 23 Oct in Vancouver, BC, Canada @ Rickshaw Theatre
  • 24 Oct in Rossdale, BC, Canada @ The Flying Steamshovel
  • 25 Oct in Calgary, AB, Canada @ Dickens w/ The Isotopes
  • 26 Oct in Edmonton, AB, Canada @ The Rec Room South
  • 01 Nov in Gainesville, FL, US @ FEST 2019 November 1st-3rd
  • 14 Nov in Osaka, Japan @ Fandango
  • 15 Nov in Nagoya, Japan @ Huck Finn
  • 16 Nov in Tokyo, Japan @ Koenji High
  • 17 Nov in Tokyo, Japan @ Koenji High
  • 18 Nov in Hiroshima, Japan @ Conquest
  • 19 Nov in Fukuoka, Japan @ Kieth Flack

‘Nature/Nurture’, album number four from Australian punk rockers Clowns, not only sees the band further shape their unique twist on a well-worn genre but also get a (clown-sized?) shoe in the door of the mainstream by signing with Fat Wreck for distribution outside of Australia/New Zealand.

Not being what you might call “your typical Fat Wreck type of band”, I had feared that signing for such a well-known label might have meant that Clowns would be required to come up with more commercial tracks to suit their new paymasters, however it takes just a few bars of the explosive opener ‘Bland Is The New Black’ to put my mind at rest that this is certainly not the case. This is the sound of one angry bunch of muthafuckers as Stevie Williams spits out the lyrics with just as much venom and intensity, as he did on the band’s corrosive ‘I’m Not Right’ debut.

In the six years that have passed since that amazing debut album first impressed the hell out of most of us back over at our old Uber Rock haunt, Clowns have certainly broadened their palette of sound and in many ways ‘Freezing In The Sun’ (the lead single from the album which I first saw live back at last year’s Rebellion Festival) is the benchmark by which they are likely to be measured on subsequent releases. Largely because this track is the perfect example of how to play heart and soul punk rock music whilst adding your own identity into the mix.

I’ll admit there’s a moment during the intro to ‘I Feel Again’ where I fear that the five-piece may have taken the “light” (in their light and shade sound) a little too far and during the aural onslaught that is ‘May I Be Exhumed?’ they perhaps go a little too dark, but you know what, in the context of the album it all fits together perfectly, and that ladies and gentlemen is what makes ‘Nature/Nurture’ such a thrilling listen.

Influences fly at you thick and fast just like the eleven tracks that make up the album’s 35 minutes running time and you’d be pretty ambivalent to what constitutes great music if you didn’t get reminded of bands like The Bronx, Fucked Up, The Explosion or (yes I admit it) Jane’s Addiction along the way. The thing is Clowns don’t merely imitate these great bands they innovate and that is what makes them oh so special, whilst only adding to the ‘Nature/Nurture’ debate you could have about the band themselves.

Whether it’s the brutal Clowns of old that you are looking for (in which case check out ‘1:19’, ‘Soul For Sale’ or ‘Prick’) or the more “polished” Clowns of 2019 (which is perhaps best exemplified by album closer ‘Nurture’ which even contains a hint of The Verve about it) this a record designed to make you stop in your tracks and think.  This is music for people who want to change the world, and if one listen to ‘Nature/Nurture’ doesn’t immediately make you appreciate these guys are the real future of rock music in 2019 then you might as well just go buy a fucking Greta Van Hire (or whatever the fuck they are called) album instead.

‘Nature/Nurture’ is quite simply essential listening.

 

Buy Nature Nurture Here

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Not a country I could visit seeing as every creature there wants to kill you and I’m terrified of snakes so I’ll just settle for them producing some of the best bands old and new and that’s good enough for me.  First up today we have the brand new video from the most excellent Clowns

 

Second up and its a right banger from Amyl & The Sniffers who are about to drop a new record and tour the UK which we can’t wait for so the new single will just have to do

Couldn’t decide what to throw in for the third was it going to be The Living End or Black Heart Breakers it would have been Main Street Brats if they only made a video maybe in the future so this time its a classic bit of footage from Radio Birdman with ‘Descent Into The Maelstrom’

“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…