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

Bristol is like band central tonight, Angelic Upstarts, Terrorvision and  Fat White Family are all in town and with all of them playing within easy walking distance of the rather splendid Hy-Brasil Music Club  you could be forgiven for thinking that a gang of five nerdy Norwegian garage punks might be struggling for a crowd in such a claustrophobic gigging situation.

Rest easy though my RPM chums because common sense (and that Ash support tour from last year) has saved the day and by the time Death By Unga Bunga take to the venue’s compact and bijou stage the dance floor if full of people, who just like me, have just happened to have discovered one of the best-kept secrets in rock music right now.

Up first though tonight is local Indie (as in proper mid-80s/early 90s Indie) trio Seek Warmth who plough a kind of 4AD furrow whilst managing to be somehow understated yet also remain intriguing all at the same time. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this kind of music personally, but the band is tight, have some very decent tunes and have one hell of a drummer behind the kit. I actually found it kind of refreshing to be whisked back to that age before grunge when Indie guitar music didn’t sound as forced and manufactured as it does today, so credit indeed to Seek Warmth for making that happen.

With Iron Maiden’s ‘Ides Of March’ booming out from the PA there is an immediate shift in my 80s throwback mindset, as I travel back to an age when metal also was nowhere as stylised as it is today and taking one look at the five musicians that are clambering onto the stage like extras from the Ant Hill Mob it makes me feel warm inside to say Death By Unga Bunga are never going to be called fashionistas. One look at the already sneering face of frontman Sebastian Ulstad Olsen and I can’t help but chuckle at his ‘70s Dennis Waterman meets Blakey (from On The Buses) image and he radiates that bad boy you love to love persona to absolute perfection. On the downside, he’s forgotten his Killers T-shirt tonight and is instead sporting a Dickinson-era Iron Maiden affair so he loses a few instant cool marks for this. Still with songs as amazing as opener ‘Into The Night’ who really give a flying fuck what Death By Unga Bunga look like, the sounds they create are some of the most original feelgood sensations you’ll ever experience live, and I’m just going to let myself be totally immersed in the next 30 odd minutes of absolute powerpop perfection.

With their roots in the Norwegian punk scene watching Death By Unga Bunga is not unlike that fist in the face experience you would expect from a hardcore show, especially when Sebastian is off the stage and prowling the raised area of the club looking for even more converts to join us on the dancefloor, its just that songs like  ‘Turn My Brain Off’ and the knock out blow of ‘Soldier’ could very easily be hit singles and have seen the band on Top Of The Pops, if such a thing still existed of course.

Amongst all the tongue in cheek between song banter there’s also an underlying appreciation of all things hard rock that makes the Bunga truly bounce live, with ‘Cynical’ sounding even more like Thin Lizzy live than it does on the band’s amazing ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ album, and is something which manifests itself into all out fanboy status when the guys (jail)break into a brief segment of ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ before leaving us all wanting “10 more songs” (something the dreadlocked punk next to me is screaming like his bus fare home depended on him securing the deal for us).

Watching Death By Unga Bunga live makes you smile, it makes you sing and most of all it makes you want to dance, and in the world we live in right now that’s all you can really ask for from a great rock n roll band, the thing is watching Death By Unga Bunga makes me want to do it every night. I wonder if they need a sixth member?

Author: Johnny Hayward

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“Its hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain”

November

November was truly the month for live shows as the scribes got their gig legs and ventured far and wide for our fix of live rock n roll. With RPM in full swing, we were getting the hang of this as the albums poured in to keep us out of trouble and keep the air full of excellent Rock n Roll.

We brought you interviews with some up and coming talent in the shape of Jack Jones from Trampolene who have been prolific both in the studio and on the road.  Earning their stripes by hitting the road zigzagging across the country Jack also found time to travel to Japan and just completed another round of dates as recently as December. As mentioned yesterday Jeff Dahl dropped by to tell us about his plans for the new mini album and that he was currently busy recording a new album that will be out in 2019.

Then Gerald caught up with Vienas Reverend Backflash for a great interview about the band and their grand plans for the future and it was an opportunity for those of us unfamiliar with the band to get acquainted and we were glad we did as Gerald has said the new album is easily one of his highlights of the year.

we also scoured the globe as you would expect to uncover some of the best music currently available like Black Heart Breakers who were ‘Rotting Out’.  We welcomed The Erotics and Beechwood from the East coast. Canada’s Sick Things were in the house before we headed North to Norway for a few words about the most excellent Death By Unga Bunga then as we headed south Leigh was mightily impressed with Thomas Silvers solo album headed back to the big smoke for the years biggest turkey that was Billy Idols remixed revisited rejected disco versions of classic Idol. Dear dear, what was he thinking?

however One of the brightest albums of the month was easily that belonging to Glen Matlock who was ‘Good To Go’ and along with his star-studded list of special guests, he turned in a mightily impressive record – again!

Right we’ll break the album list up with a quick rundown of some of the best shows writers went to in November where better to start than when Martin and Rags popped into London town to see a newly reformed for one night only Jony Cola & The A-Grades and Martin described it as a bit of an experience and a show he was delighted to have witnessed for himself whilst Rags was equally impressed, man I think its fair to say that there are several amongst us who thought Jony Cola put out the flame way too soon but it was nice to have been reminded of tracks as good as ‘Halo’ once again.

Craggy took in a couple of shows over on mainland Europe notably in the shape of TV Smith in Viena but he raved about the Levellers in Prague and best of all was finally catching up with Buffalo Tom in Berlin I haven’t read the reviews either so does that mean that they didn’t happen? Fortunately, they did happen because I’ve seen the pictures of Craggy swapping singles with Buffalo Tom.

As for us lot still on this island well we weren’t forgotten because there was the Damned tour dates to catch up with as Armitage caught their performance down in Brighton as they went around shit island for a second time this year. There were several sightings of Nashville Pussy as Martin ventured across the channel to see them in France but Johnny and Fraser took in their performance at the Globe in Cardiff which didn’t disappoint either. MC50 played some great shows but the daddy of all live shows in November just had to be the incredible line up that was put on in Holland under the banner Helldorado.  Boy, what a tremendous lineup.  There were many discussions as to why we couldn’t see a bill that good in the UK for a festival and it was decided there isn’t enough appetite for a fantastic jam-packed underground festival outside of what they do at Rebellion but this as a slightly different beast to be fair; even if most of these bands could cross over under the rebellion banner would it be raved about by a wider audience? It remains to be seen but I’d love to have a discussion about it with promoters in the UK. Anyway I digress, those that went agreed that Danko Jones were on fire and whilst they might not be the best band at the festival they put on the best show that weekend. Oh, apart from the little guy who came on stage during The motherfucking Dwarves set oh and the guy who set himself on fire also during the Dwarves set. Spectacular! I’m sure you’ll agree?

Whilst we’re on the live front Rpm was reporting at some superb shows like The Alarm and Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts in York where Ben was impressed by the performance of Peters and his levels of energy he also reported on another superb showing from The Virginmarys and Hands Off Gretel. Whilst down south Armitage got to see another exceptional performance from The Damned in Brighton

Another band covered in November was Junkyard who played Fibbers as headline act before they headed out around the rest of the country supporting Blackberry Smoke. Finally, on the live front, there was another epic performance from The UK Subs in Bristol who continue to turn in top performances and records. To cap off an amazing November Leigh went to Prague to see  Buddy Guy certainly a player and event you won’t get the chance to see every month. This is what he had to say about it..not Buddy but Leigh, “After years of waiting to see one of my guitar idols I finally got to see him in 2018. This could be the gig highlight of my entire life. I’d been waiting what felt like a lifetime to hear a bonafide blues guitar legend do this thing before my very eyes. In his 80s but with the charisma and energy of a fresh-faced 20-year-old, Buddy Guy is the man.”

The King Of Power Pop Paul Collins sat in the interview chair in November to talk about his new album and tour commitments but ti was a fantastic interview with Rich Jones letting us in on what is coming up in the Michael Monroe camp as ‘One Man Gang’ is finished and off to the manufacturers ready for a 2019 release.  We got some background on Jones and his impressive CV.

On the interview front we weren’t finished there because we only had a chat with the frontman of the finest power poppin punk rockin band on the UK live circuit bar none  Phil from Cyanide Pills  also said about the plans to release the follow up to the awesome ‘Sliced And Diced’ in 2019 which is good news for people with exquisite taste and an exceptional ear for a top tune. November wasn’t finished just yet because we also had a quick word with Sal from Electric Frankenstein who told us about his compilation releases and what EF were up to.

To wrap up  a quick foray into November I’ll leave you with Leighs feature where he talks guitars, amps and pedals this time with Mike Christie under the microscope we hope to satisfy the tech-heads amongst you as Leigh dreams about guitars – he plays em when he’s awake he even has his duvet printed with Gibson guitars and his pillowcase is Fender prints oh and he sleeps on Les Paul Jr shaped bed. I kid you not.  I’d like to add here that he’s just submitted a 7000-word tech talk interview with a legend out of New York that’s coming up on RPM but its as good a place as any to wrap up November or at least a brief glimpse into the month that gave so much and there was so much we left out.

Come back tomorrow when December or at least part of it gets nitpicked. Some of the choice picks from November are as follows

Johnny Hayward.

With RPM barely a month old there is obviously a huge stash of great music already released in 2018 that we’d never had the chance to share with you guys, until now!

The bizarrely named Death By Unga Bunga and their fifth studio album ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ is about as perfect a place as any to start though as having just wowed audiences across the UK in support of Irish rockers Ash we thought it was about time you also discovered why this 5 piece from Norway were handpicked by Tim Wheeler and Co out of relative obscurity to secure such a prestigious slot.

Originally released back in April of this year I first got to hear about the band when a Facebook mate of mine sent me a link to the total nerdgasm that is the video to their track ‘Into The Night ‘with a note that simply said “this is your new favourite band.”

Well that infectious slab of powerpop was certainly enough to grab my attention and the fact that the band also just happened to look like the bastard sons of Biff Malibu only helped to increase my interest. The real game changer happened just before ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ was finally due to hit the streets though when the guys dropped the second video from the record, the superb ‘Soldier’, a song so catchy I just had to get my shots at my local rock ‘n’ roll doctor and experience the full majesty of Death By Unga Bunga.

Having lived with this record (it’s also out on CD and download) for nearly six months there is rarely a day that goes by when ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ isn’t actually on my stereo, as the 11 tracker (note 2 tracks are quirky incidental interludes) is simply one of the best powerpop records you will hear anywhere this year.

With a particular penchant for writing instantly memorable 3:30 minute pop/rock tunes just like say Cheap Trick, Thin Lizzy, The Knack and yes, their UK touring buddies Ash what Death By Unga Bunga do ever so well is make their own particular brand of powerpop sound totally unique to them, something I haven’t really felt since the heady days of when Scandinavia was seducing my eardrums at an alarming rate with genre defining bands such as Gluecifer, Division of Laura Lee and Randy.

It’s simply impossible to pick a stand out track amongst the 9 equally brilliant tracks captured within the all killer no filler grooves of ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ but ‘Boys’ really is up there with the very best hard rock tracks released this year and in ‘So Cool’ the Bunga boys give Turbonegro a lesson in how to use synths without having to sound like Van Halen circa ‘1984’.

‘So Far So Good So Cool’ is quite simply essential listening for anyone who has albums by the likes of Fuzzbubble, Sugarbomb and The Semantics within their collection. I’m just gutted I didn’t get a chance hear this record played live.

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