Sami Yaffa has had a unique career as a musician both in Finland and around the world. First in Finland in the band Pelle Miljoona Oy and then as a founding member of the band Hanoi Rocks, with whom Yaffa lived the life of an international rock musician with all its spices. Fortunately for the man, there have been enough callers since Hanoi to keep him busy: Joan Jett and The Blackhearts and Hanoi Rocks’ big influence, the New York Dolls, to name a few were Yaffa’s bands for years before forming a new band with his old Hanoi Rocks partner Michael Monroe in 2009. This collaboration continues, but now Yaffa is also releasing music under his own name.

The second single from Sami Yaffa’s solo album ‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’ will be released. A song called ‘Down at St. Joe’s’ had been sitting in Yaffa’s desk drawer for a long time as a finished composition, but the lyrics were not coming together. Fortunately, Sami’s bandmate from the Monroe band, Rich Jones, came to the rescue.

“Rich had already written some lyrics for my album when I decided to send this song to him. I definitely wanted this song to be included on the album because it differs from the electronic world of the other songs on the album with its down-home acoustic approach. I wanted to raise a glass with the song to thank The Faces, Stones and Dylan for their brilliance and innovation. Eventually, the theme of the lyrics was found to be the king alcohol, its pros and cons and especially how close to a complete collapse one can get if it gets to take a stranglehold on your life. Richie’s ingenious lyrics brought this song to life, and it became one of my favourite songs on the album,” says Sami Yaffa.

 

Sami Yaffa: The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind album will be released on September 3, 2021, in Finland by Vallila Music House and internationally by Cargo Records

 

 

Find Sami Yaffa online at: WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / INSTAGRAM

SAMI YAFFA, best known for his work with New York DollsMichael Monroe Band and Hanoi Rocks has announced the release of his first solo album “The Innermost Journey to Your Outermost Mind”, out on September 3rd, 2021 via Livewire/Cargo Records.

 

SAMI YAFFA has had a long and unique career as a musician. He played at the tender age of 16 on the Finnish punk legends Pelle Miljoona Oy’s legendary album Moottoritie On Kuuma. As an original member of the band Hanoi Rocks (1980-85) he recorded 5 albums with the band and toured the world extensively until the tragic events that ended the flight of the pioneering band. Hanoi Rocks became a major influence on many bands that later became huge like the Guns N`Roses and Pearl Jam.

Yaffa’s career continued after the break-up of Hanoi and ended up playing with Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, the legendary New York Dolls, the Swedish RnR machine The Hellacopters and many more artists. Sami began playing with the Hanoi Rocks lead singer Michael Monroe again in 2010, the collaboration with Michael continues to this day.

But now it’s time to put out an album under his own name. “The idea for the solo album started to take shape a few years back. I had written music for the New York Dolls and the Michael Monroe Band, but a lot of the songs and ideas were starting to sound more like me than the other bands.

Recording lineup:

Sami Yaffa (HANOI ROCKS, MICHAEL MONROE, NEW YORK DOLLS) – Vocals, Bass Guitar
Rich Jones (MICHAEL MONROE) – Guitar
Christian Martucci (STONE SOUR) – Guitar
Rane Raitsikka (SMACK) – Guitar
Timo Kaltio (IZZY STRADLIN, CHEAP AND NASTY) – Guitar
Janne Haavisto – Drums

What kind of music does Yaffa then release under his own name? Versatile. “I’ve always loved the music of the bands like The Clash and The Rolling Stones. They can play country, funk, reggae and rock`n`roll, and still sound like themselves. I wanted the same kind of versatility for my own album. ” The album has influences on a fairly wide scale, but it hardly surprises those who have followed Yaffa’s career: in addition to his own music career, he has been seen getting to know the musical cultures of different parts of the world as a host of the Sami Yaffa: Soundtracker TV series. However, the beating heart of the album is in rock`n`roll and punk, I don’t shy away from that.

Even though it’s a solo album, Yaffa mentions a few of names without whom the album wouldn’t have been completed. One being the drummer Janne Haavisto, with whom Sami played already as a teenager. And the other being his Michael Monroe Bands band mate Rich Jones who co-wrote a bulk of the songs with Sami. Also the Stone Sour guitarist Christian Martucci and Smack guitarist Rane played an important role in the creation of the album.

SAMI YAFFA is ready to hit the road after the release of the album with a line up of Janne Haavisto on drums, Linde Lindström (HIM) on guitar and Burton (HIM) on keyboards.

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SAMI YAFFA, best known for his work with New York DollsMichael Monroe Band and Hanoi Rocks has released “The Last Time”, it’s the first single taken from his first solo album “The Innermost Journey to Your Outermost Mind”, out on September 22nd, 2021 via Livewire/Cargo Records. ‘The Last Time‘ can be streamed on Spotify

The Last Time is one of the first songs I wrote for this album when still living in Brooklyn NY back in 2015. It’s a story about two people whose communication is stuck. How hard it is to change one’s habits, no matter how much one wants it. It’s about the frustration and distress of addiction” – Sami Yaffa

Line Up:

Sami Yaffa – Vocals, Bass Guitar (Hanoi RocksMichael MonroeNew York Dolls)
Rich Jones – Guitars (Michael Monroe Band)
Christian Martucci – Guitars (Stone Sour)
Rane Raitsikka – Guitars (Smack)
Timo Kaltio – Guitars (Izzy StradlinCheap And Nasty)
Janne Haavisto – Drums

Produced by Sam Yaffa. Mixed by Erno Laitinen. Mastered by Pauli Saastamoinen At Finnvox Studios. Recorded by Erno Laitinen / Sam Yaffa / Janne Haavisto / Jose “Puter” Puigserve.

Sami Yaffa has had a unique career as a musician. He joined the punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy at the tender age of 16 and played on the bands now legendary album Moottoritie On Kuuma. Pelle Miljoona Oy was Finland’s number one band at the time, but Yaffa and his future cohorts were aiming higher: as an original member of the band Hanoi Rocks, he spent the first half of the 80’s as an international rock musician with all its ups, downs and trappings. The band influenced many of the acts that would later become huge in the world of Rock n’ Roll – including Guns n` Roses.

After the break-up of Hanoi Rocks, Yaffa was asked to join some of the most notable artists in R’n’R history such as Joan Jett and The Blackhearts 2002-04, as well as one of Hanoi Rocks’ major influences, the New York Dolls 2004-10. In 2009 he started a band with the Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe. This collaboration continues to this day, but now Yaffa is also releasing music under his own name.

The idea for the solo album started to take shape a few years back. Previously I had written music for the New York Dolls and the Michael Monroe Band, but now some of the songs that I was writing and had written, started to sound more and more like my own stuff instead of what I would write for those bands.

What kind of music does Yaffa release under his own name then? Versatile. “I’ve always loved bands like The Clash and Rolling Stones. They could write country, funk, reggae, rock`n`roll or jazz without fear and make it their own. I wanted to have that same kind of versatility and freedom for my own record.

The album has wide influences, but that is hardly surprising to those who have followed Yaffa’s career: in addition to his own musical career, he has been getting to know the musical traditions from different parts of the world as the host and co-creator for the Sami Yaffa: Sound Tracker TV series. “However, my roots are deeply in punk and rock`n`roll. I don’t shy away from that.

Even though it’s a solo record, Sami has always been a member of bands and because of that, a team player. Yaffa mentions a couple of names without whom the record would not have come to completion – at least the way it finally became. The first to mention is a childhood friend, drummer Janne Haavisto with whom Sami made his first forays into the world of music. Sami and Janne created the basic tracks together and invited valued friends and musicians to collaborate on the album. Rich Jones, the guitarist from the Michael Monroe band helped pull together a lot of the songs lyrically, Christian Martucci from the band Stone Sour played guitar on half of the album, the other half was played by another old friend Rane from the cult band Smack and Sami’s old bro from the Hanoi days, Timo Kaltio.

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A guy who needs no introduction around these parts is SAMI YAFFA, best known for his work with New York DollsMichael Monroe Band and Hanoi Rocks has announced the release of his first solo album “The Innermost Journey to Your Outermost Mind”, out on September 22nd, 2021. The first single “The Last Time” will be released on June 11th via Livewire/Cargo Records.

The Last Time is one of the first songs I wrote for this album when still living in Brooklyn NY back in 2015. It’s a story about two people whose communication is stuck. How hard it is to change one’s habits, no matter how much one wants it. It’s about the frustration and distress of addiction” – Sami Yaffa

 

 

Produced by Sam Yaffa. Mixed by Erno Laitinen. Mastered by Pauli Saastamoinen At Finnvox Studios. Recorded by Erno Laitinen / Sam Yaffa / Janne Haavisto / Jose “Puter” Puigserve.

Sami Yaffa has had a unique career as a musician. He joined the punk band Pelle Miljoona Oy at the tender age of 16 and played on the band’s now-legendary album Moottoritie On Kuuma. Pelle Miljoona Oy was Finland’s number one band at the time, but Yaffa and his future cohorts were aiming higher: as an original member of the band Hanoi Rocks, he spent the first half of the ’80s as an international rock musician with all its ups, downs and trappings. The band influenced many of the acts that would later become huge in the world of Rock n’ Roll – including Guns n` Roses.

After the break-up of Hanoi Rocks, Yaffa was asked to join some of the most notable artists in R’n’R history such as Joan Jett and The Blackhearts 2002-04, as well as one of Hanoi Rocks’ major influences, the New York Dolls 2004-10. In 2009 he started a band with the Hanoi Rocks singer Michael Monroe. This collaboration continues to this day, but now Yaffa is also releasing music under his own name.

 

The idea for the solo album started to take shape a few years back. Previously I had written music for the New York Dolls and the Michael Monroe Band, but now some of the songs that I was writing and had written started to sound more and more like my own stuff instead of what I would write for those bands.

What kind of music does Yaffa release under his own name then? Versatile. “I’ve always loved bands like The Clash and Rolling Stones. They could write country, funk, reggae, rock`n`roll or jazz without fear and make it their own. I wanted to have that same kind of versatility and freedom for my own record.

The album has wide influences, but that is hardly surprising to those who have followed Yaffa’s career: in addition to his own musical career, he has been getting to know the musical traditions from different parts of the world as the host and co-creator for the Sami Yaffa: Sound Tracker TV series. “However, my roots are deeply in punk and rock`n`roll. I don’t shy away from that.

Even though it’s a solo record, Sami has always been a member of bands and because of that, a team player. Yaffa mentions a couple of names without whom the record would not have come to completion – at least the way it finally became. The first to mention is a childhood friend, drummer Janne Haavisto with whom Sami made his first forays into the world of music. Sami and Janne created the basic tracks together and invited valued friends and musicians to collaborate on the album. Rich Jones, the guitarist from the Michael Monroe band helped pull together a lot of the songs lyrically, Christian Martucci from the band Stone Sour played guitar on half of the album, the other half was played by another old friend Rane from the cult band Smack and Sami’s old bro from the Hanoi days, Timo Kaltio.

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My love for The Speedways is no secret. You should shout about the bands that you love. So, while we wait for album number three, they’ve used the time to release an EP of well-chosen cover versions.

 

Hanoi’s ‘11th Street Kids’ is a perfect choice, especially on the cusp of summer. It suits the band’s style and Matt’s voice. A less obvious choice, perhaps, is ABBA’s ‘S.O.S’, but it works perfectly, the change from minor chord verse and major chorus being used to full effect.

 

Included here are the two covers from previous singles; they pull off the rare feat of covering a Kirsty MacColl song without lowering the standard. ‘They Don’t Know’ is one of my favourite songs, and I’d be obliged to say if it didn’t work, but it’s an absolute treat. And Billy Ocean’s ‘Love Really Hurts Without You’ will get your feet bopping, it’s a belter.

 

I wasn’t aware of ‘Starry Eyes’ by Roky Erickson, but, to be fair, it sounds like a Speedways song, so it’s a natural choice, and will make me check out his poppier tunes. Five songs, 5 out of 5 for me, pop pickers? Nod arf! Get on it now.

 

Buy Here

 

Author: Martin Chamarette

 

 

 

Coming outta Helsinki Finland, Plastic Tears have been around for ages knocking out a glam-punk sound on their own terms. They’ve just recorded a brand new album and to be fair it’s taking them to the next level with some excellent songs and they have undoubtedly found their own sound and added some good time Rock and Roll into the mix.  We thought it was about time we sent out the call and brought them in for questioning. So it’s with great pleasure frontman and mainstay of the band Miqu who joined us for a chat and talk about all things Plastic Tears…

 

The band has been through some changes since starting out – how do you look back on the band’s career so far? You claimed that break-ups, lineups changes, record company changes and drama enough for a soap opera.  Talk us through some of those soap opera moments?

We’ve been around for long, so we’ve seen a lot of ups and downs. The dramas are mostly stuff that happened in the beginning of our career. But we’ve split up on stage, had fights on stage, been filmed completely wasted for national TV and so on. We were wild, young and cocky then, I guess we’re a bit more stable nowadays. We’ve had a lot of lineup changes back in the day, and Eco and I are the only ones that are left from the early days. But I’m not much for nostalgia myself, I prefer to focus on the present.

 

 

The lineup is settled now, right?  who writes the tunes in the band?  and why?

Yeah, we’ve had this lineup since the last album, ‘Angels With Attitude’, and the band has matured a lot I think. I guess that’s what happens when you find the right guys who stay together. If you look through the band catalogue I seem to have written most of the songs. But I guess that’s kind of natural as I’ve been in the band from the start. But everyone in the band is welcome to contribute to the songwriting, and on our new album Juha has also written a couple of tunes. And that’s good because it widens the band’s sound.

 

 

The new album ‘Anthems For Misfits’ is about to be released, tell us about who’s releasing it an Italian label I believe?  Where it was recorded? Give us some of the background as to how it was recording under lockdown during a pandemic or had it already been tracked?

Wormholedeath Records is releasing it worldwide. We’re really excited to work with them as they seem to be doing good work and still leave us the freedom to do stuff ourselves. That’s important to us, as we’re used to being independent and doing a lot of promotion ourselves. We had a European tour at the end of 2019, and before that we had already recorded the base for the album, the drums and bass.

 

When we got back we continued recording, but soon after that the pandemic started showing signs of itself. We were still able to continue recording, even though it progressed slower than originally intended. Our original plan was to release this album in the summer of 2020. We had to look for a new keyboard player too, as the one that was lined up didn’t want to expose his family to the virus. That’s understandable, but luckily we found Ville who did a marvelous job in the studio. We recorded at East Sound Studios in Helsinki with Sammy Aaltonen who also did the previous album with us. It’s easy for us to work with him as he comes from similar musical backgrounds and we could well fit on the same bill as his band Private Line.

 

As somebody who has been lucky enough to hear it, it’s fair to say it’s your strongest album thus far.  Is that fair?  I think the songs are stronger and the songwriting is really good there have been a few risks taken would that be a fair assessment?

I agree, it’s our strongest album this far. ‘Angels With Attitude’ already got a great response, and people have doubted me when I’ve said the new album is even better. I guess that’s how bands always feel about their new release, but I honestly think this is true. The band, the songs, and the production is better. We gave a lot of thought to the arrangements and wanted it to be a diverse album. I guess there are some risks, but, it’s not like we’ve consciously calculated what risks to take, the songs just came out like this.

We’ve always mixed in a bit of this and that, like ‘Spanish Whispers’ (still one of my favorite songs) reggae vibe on the first album, ‘Beat Me Blue’ on the second and so on. But I guess this time the production makes these things stand out better, and overall the album is diverse in a good way I think.

 

 

The first video/single is ‘Riot Zone’ which has a good hook but is only a fraction of what’s on offer why choose this one as the first to go public off the new record?

We had a lot of choices so this was a hard decision to make. The label wanted to make an animated lyrics video to go with the single, so in the end we made the choice based on which song would fit that kind of video the best. It’s also a strong ‘bang your head and raise your fist’ style of song that shows our punkier side and is easy to sing along to. And it has a really funny midsection!

 

The album opens up with a real shot of energy with ‘Doomsday girls’ which is a real Rocker with some fantastic piano that really lifts the song – whos playing that? and how important is the running order of a record?

‘Doomsday Girls’ is a great opener, and it immediately gets you into a party mood. The piano was played by Ville Tolvanen, aka Doc Tolvanen. He also played all the other piano/organ/keyboard parts on the album. He’s a blues/roots guy, but he did fantastic work on all the different styles of the songs. He himself said he’s never used as many different sounds and styles in a studio session, that kind of sums up the album. A big thank you to Ville, his parts were the icing on the cake! The running order is really important. We’re old school in the way that an album is the crown of your work and want it to be strong and balanced from start to finish. So we spent a lot of time thinking of the running order, and I think it worked out pretty good.

 

 

Talk us through some of the highlights of the album in your opinion? I love the opener but in the first three songs, there is a wealth of rock and roll all different but all obviously by the same band.  Has this lineup struck on its identity?

‘Doomsday’ is one of my favorites too. I also love the dark gothic feel of ‘Candlelight Hate Affair’, the pop sensibility of ‘Clash in the Night’, the New York Dolls meets Elvis of ‘Crybaby’ and Hallucinations is a really special song that I can’t really categorize. I think we have. We’ve never wanted to be a band that’s easy to define. There’s rock, punk, glam, power pop, hard rock and more blended into our own sound, and I think all the pieces fell together like they were meant now.

 

What’s the scene like in Helsinki? for fans of Rock and Roll, live music? places to go bands to see?  I know you have support over here on plague island are there any plans to play any shows further afield?

Well, there used to be clubs and venues before the pandemic, let’s see what’s left once this is over. The scene is pretty good, there’s good rock bands of all kinds, and of course a lot of metal bands as we’re talking about Finland. What I’m missing here is the kind of small half-sleazy rock bars, like old Loose and Bäkkäri were. But as always, clubs and bars come and go. Still, good venues to go see bands here, like Tavastia, Semifinal, (new) Loose, On The Rocks, etc.

We had a UK tour scheduled for last year with Paradise Alley, but then came the virus. The plan was to reschedule them for this year, and we’re still on the lineup for HRH Sleaze in August, hopefully, it can be carried through. And if, then we’ll hopefully get some other gigs booked there too. We’re also looking forward to getting back to mainland Europe once that’s possible.

 

What formats will the new album be available on?

Italian label Wormholedeath Records is releasing it on CD and digital. There have been requests for vinyl too, but as our deal doesn’t include vinyl, we’re still trying to find a way to get that done.

 

With regards to the new record tell us how it comes together?  How do you go about putting it together?  Do you demo the songs as individuals? What works for Plastic Tears?

Usually, someone makes a rough demo at home which is then played to the other guys. We then start arranging it and everyone puts in their own parts before entering the studio. As we recorded over a quite long time frame with Sammy we still had the chance to make some changes at Sammy’s East Sound Studios. I think this a couple of days of recording every now and then works well for us, as it gives us time to do changes, as opposed to doing it on a tighter schedule.

Tell us a bit about yourself Miqu. Did you always want to front a band?  Who were your influences growing up and what other artists still make music you relate to and get inspired by?

Me, I’m just a rock’n’roll singer, who writes a lot of songs of which only a fraction are completed. I guess since I fell in love with rock’n’roll at about the age of ten I knew I someday wanted to work with music in one way or another. Elvis was my first step into the world of rock. Shortly after that, I got hooked on punk and soon widened my musical taste with bands like Lords of the New Church, Cheap Trick, Hanoi Rocks, Slade, and many more. Of older artists that still make music I can relate to and get inspired by, I would say, Alice Cooper, Blondie, Social Distortion, John Fogerty, and Rolling Stones. Of the newer bands, I love The Interrupters, Tiger Army, The Sounds, and The Baboon Show. I’m a music fan so I listen to a lot of old and new music.

Thats always good to hear, someone still in love with music.

Congratulations on the album I think it’s your best to date and a big step up in production and songwriting and the whole package (that’s not to say the previous ones were bad, they weren’t but this is excellent)

Thank you Dom, happy to hear this and I agree completely!

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I think we’re up to reissue number sixty nine or something like that but I couldn’t care a less. When it’s the Diamond Dogs it’s all about the song and the Double D’s have ’em in spades.

Record label Wild Kingdom is re-releasing Diamond Dogs’ first 5 classic Long-Players (1993 – 2003). and including the singles and EPs from the same period.

Diamond Dogs were formed in 1991 in Katrineholm, Södermanland. From the very beginning hugely influenced by British Early 1970s R&B rock like Rod Stewart and The Faces, Frankie Miller, Dr. Feelgood, etc. and they are most unapologetic about that and so they shouldn’t be too.  When a band rocks up with an opener like ‘Charity Song’ and along with that huge swing, they have more horns than you can shake a big stick at, and before you know it whatever shitty day you were having will be transformed.

By the time the band made it to ‘Too Much Is Always Better Than Not Enough’  they’d changed personnel a bazillion times except for the lifers and integral members the Diamond Dogs built a formidable reputation for their live shows, with the charismatic singer Sulo, as well as The Duke of Honk and his organ (ooh er Mrs) The sound and style of gritty rock’n’roll was cast in stone. Sören ‘Sulo’ Karlsson also being the main songwriter, and Henrik ‘The Duke of Honk’ Widen serving as the group’s principal producer. as long as the quality of songs was being written the sound was going to be died in the fabric of the bands DNA. Former Oddball Stevie Klasson has the deft touch of a Keith Richards or a Ronnie Wood and could crash out a chord when he needed to like his old boss Mr. Thunders. Such is his quality and the fact the guy oozes it every time he picks up a guitar he was exactly what the Diamond Dogs stood for and then some and he really came into his own on this record.

This their third proper album ‘Too Much Is Always Better.. ..Than Not Enough’ showed they weren’t done yet, the album was released in 2002 (almost twenty years!),it opened some cool doors enabling the band to tour with the likes of The Cult, Nazareth, Ian Hunter, Hanoi Rocks, The Damned, The Quireboys, Dan Baird/Georgia Satellites, Sensational Alex Harvey Band to name a few.

‘Bound To Ravage’ was released as a single and its slide guitar-driven upbeat rocker was classic boogie-woogie. but the band weren’t just about the good times as they mixed it up with the slower more reflective rockers ‘Sad To Say I’m Sorry’ and the epic balladeering of ‘Somebody Else’s Lord’ with the swirling organ is a match for the Rod the Mod classic ‘I Would Rather Go Blind’ or the Stones ‘Get Your Ya Yas Out’ version of ‘Love In Vain’ and I kid you not when I say that. Then to follow it up with the wonderful ‘This Ones For My Lady’ shows that The Diamond Dogs had many strings to their bow and were experts when dealing with the precious tunes that were bestowed upon them. They step back into the beginnings of Rock and Roll with the 50s inspired swing of ‘Desperate Poetry’. Strangely this album is preserved with the same twelve tunes that made up the original release but somehow after all this time the wonderful tones of Stevie Klasson have somehow elevated it for me and his playing gives it the edge on the previous releases.  It might not have the bands best songs on it but as a complete album it’s exceptional.

Now had the Black Crowes continued on the trajectory of the first two and a bit albums I would hold them in the same esteem but alas they went all beardy Casey jones on us and fucked it up.  It always puzzled me how the Robinson brothers could fill large arenas and got people wetting their panties at the prospect of their reunion to play the money maker album but the real tunesmiths are here hiding in plain sight.  Ripping the shit out of rock and Roll and cooming up with top-notch album after top-notch album yet playing in local pubs.  Sometimes life does indeed give you lemons but if my words help one soul turn the way of The Diamond Dogs then I’d be happy and if you remember the band who dished this treat of an album up almost twenty years ago and want the chance to hear it on vinyl – well this is your chance because Too Much Diamond Dogs is never enough just buy it!

Buy it Here

Author: Dom Daley

I had the pleasure of reviewing the original unearthed Sleazy glam rock n rollers many years ago after these tapes had been unearthed and dusted down from the bowels of some DC studio. Sure there is a healthy mid to late ’70s Stones going on but these cats did a great line in sleazy Rock and roll not a million miles from the Lords and Hanoi as well as a few another top tier Punk n Rollers.

I’ll confess to not playing this CD for a while and when this cropped up with bonus songs I gave it another spin and wondered why the hell I’ve not pulled this out from time to time to go for a spin. Songs like ‘True Romance’ were a match for early Dogs D’Amour and the Lords meets Hanoi jonesing on the Mid to late ’70s Stones still sounds exciting.

The Factory burned like a roman candle, then disappeared into the night. The Washington D.C. opened for Iggy Pop, The Ramones, Public Image, Ltd. and Johnny Thunders, in the late ’80s and gained a lot of fans.

Led by Vance Bockis it was Unfortunate that outside influences got the best of them and The Factory broke up in 1992 without formally releasing anything more than a track on a compilation LP. Until this that is. To be fair ‘Ecstacy’ is perfect Lords meets Hanoi from that James jangle crossed with the saxophone its a great tune.

Growing up in DC, Acetate Records president Rick Ballard was a fan of the band and he held on to their demo for the last 20 years. He recently found the band online and immediately contacted them to discuss a release – the master tapes were located, cleaned up and mastered.

‘That Girl That I Want’ is a belter.  Pure sleazy Punk n roll with some top horn honking over a great Thunders like rolling riff.  The band gets a little funky on ‘Love To Dance’ which could have easily fallen off The Second Lords Album But the band really excels when they cut loose and just strut their stuff.  The last two tracks being excellent cases to ram home my point especially ‘Six Feet Down’ with its dirty riff but it ain’t over quite yet as the bonus material that’s been unearthed is a trio of live tracks kicking off with a belting take on the Dolls classic ‘Chatterbox’ when a band gets it they just get it and effortlessly sizzle. ‘Sweet Jane’ is the perfect LES anthem for these DC rockers to pour into the speakers and a jolly fine job they do of it as well. Then to wind it all up they throw in a live rendition of their own ‘Misfortunate Son’ wrapping up a really awesome thirteen.  If any of the bands I’ve mentioned in the same company as The Factory then you should down tools and clock in and give this long lost band a new lease of life and this really impressive record a second chance.  You know what to do kids…I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – Buy it!

Bandcamp

 

As my learned colleague, Craggy waxed lyrically when he reviewed ‘Honked’ the first of these Anniversary albums from Diamond Dogs, I went on a journey down the Rock and ROll highway and played every Diamond Dogs album released and the overriding thought I had was –  Damn this band was smoking hot when they got in that groove.

They were honking on the whole Faces early ’70s Stones vibe and they were killing it every time and the most important thing was they had the tunes to go with the swagger and if those five albums were my gift to the world I’d be so proud of my band and the songs we’d created. Its quite some collection and as the band aged like a good wine they changed taste but remained true to their roots and sound.

On reflection, it seems like yesterday the band were rolling into my small village and pitching up their amps in a restaurant at the rear of my local boozer on a Sunday night after having a show in the City cancelled they then proceeded to Rock the socks off the locals with a wonderful and impressive set. These sets are pressed on vinyl as well as CD and contain a plethora of bonus tracks (singles B Sides) to wrap up the tunes from that period in a perfect set.

As Your Greens Turn Brown: After the keys introduce the listener with a bit of ‘Bloodshot’ before kicking up a shitstorm in the shape of the fantastic no holds barred ‘Goodbye, Miss Jill’ even now it makes me smile a five-mile smile when the band kicks in and the harmonica starts honkin’.

The record ebbs and flows superbly with the highs being particularly high and when the band gets going man they sounded authentic and passionate.  The lulls when they’d kickback. Their blend of Hammond and Rock and Roll overdrive mixed with a few horns stabs here and there is timeless. Let the good times roll on the ballsy ‘Hardhitter’ and then they can drop a few gears as they venture off into Small Faces territory via ‘Singing With The Alleycats’ it’s easy to see how these guys got gigs with Punk rockers like the Damned or Rockers like The Cult and Nazareth when you hear the raw ‘Bite Off’ with its too fast to live riff and with that variety in mind you pick up the flavour of just how talented a songwriter Sulo is and he lives these songs and wears them on his sleeve you can’t bluff Rock and Roll this good which is why he attracted the likes of Darrel Bath and Steve Klasson into the fold.

 

The band were comfortable letting go and cutting loose as they were doing the jig is up country-tinged ‘Anywhere Tonight’ as they were doing the whole Thin Lizzy duel guitar kick-off that had songs like ‘Boogie For Tanja’ being so effortlessly good. Then when they needed to turn down the lights they could glide into ‘Yesterdays Nymph’ in one fell swoop. When Sulo took the mood down he has a wonderful tone on his voice and as far as taking on the Brits doing the whole R&B thing there’s no contest Diamond Dogs were more consistent than a lot of their contemporaries churning out albums of exceptionally high quality and this bad boy is right up there with the best of them and when your B Sides are as good as your A-Sides you know you’re onto something.

Fifteen songs of exceptional quality its like they once said Too much is never enough! Bring on the next one and I’ll get me filled up on more trips down memory lane and promise myself to play these records more often they deserve it and so do you – Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

THE LEGENDARY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EVENT CONFIRMED TO TAKE PLACE AT THE 02 SHEPHERD’S BUSH EMPIRE APRIL 1ST

 

RENOWNED PRETENDERS FRONTWOMAN CHRISSIE HYNDE CONFIRMED TO RECEIVE ICON AWARD

 

Staking its reputation as an essential rock ‘n’ roll date in the annual calendar, with two now fabled awards nights at the 02 Islington Academy in 2018 and 2019 which saw a vast array of iconic artists performing and rubbing shoulders, the 2020 Vive Le Rock Awards is confirmed to take place this coming April 1st.

 

This time, however, the event has gone bigger and bolder, moving to the 2000 capacity 02 Shepherd’s Bush Empire for the party of the year that also celebrates Vive Le Rock’s tenth anniversary in print, having published its first issue in 2010, it is now the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll and punk magazine, independently published by Big Cheese Publishing Ltd in London.

 

The two previous years have featured live appearances from The Damned, The Stranglers, Shakin’ Stevens, Suzi Quatro, members of AC/DC, Sex Pistols, The Specials, Buzzcocks and even England football legend Stuart Pearce, and the event this year continues to grow in stature and size!

 

This year the 2020 Vive Le Rock Awards takes great pleasure in honouring Chrissie Hynde, the primary songwriter and frontwomen for the enormously successful American rock band The Pretenders, with a much-deserved icon award. Chrissie Hynde has long been the embodiment of rock’n’roll cool; a woman of principles and a gifted songwriter with a voice that can melt hearts. Her pivotal role in the early days of punk saw her working in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s Sex shop, leading to musical involvement with the majority of punk’s key players, including even a brief stint in Johnny Moped’s band, before embarking on a multi-million selling rock career with smash-hit songs such as ‘Brass In Pocket’ and ‘Talk Of The Town’.  She is truly worthy of this special award.

 

 

Vive Le Rock are also very proud to welcome London rockers The Only Ones onto the line-up. Frontman Peter Perrett returned in recent years to launch a  successful solo career with two fabulous albums in 2017 and 2019 and now we celebrate The Only Ones legacy, who will be picking up a ‘Classic Song’ award for their timeless 1978 hit ‘Another Girl Another Planet’, which will be performed on the night.

 

Also confirmed to join the melee is soul-brother Jim Jones; Hypnotic, Righteous Mind and Revue, a man who IS rock ‘n’ roll incarnate, who will bring his hand-clapping grooves to the night, alongside former Hellacopters and Backyard Babies guitarist, Swedish rock-god Dregan, who will present an award on the night.

 

Then, just when you thought the evening couldn’t get any hotter, along comes the crazy world of Arthur Brown with his red-hot 1968 hit ‘Fire’, bringing his wild show and worldwide number one smash hit to the event.

 

These join the previously announced artists, Original Rudeboy – The Specials Neville Staple, along with a very special one-off reformation of 80’s goth rockers The Lords of The New Church, fronted by Finnish Hanoi Rocks legend Michael Monroe on vocals. The Vive Le Rockers all-star band will once again back specially invited singers and compere for the night which will see the return of Ed Tudor-Pole of Tenpole Tudor fame (and also 80s T.V show, The Crystal Maze!) and The Damned’s Brian James will accept the Pioneer award.

 

There will be a special section for rockers we have lost in 2019 including Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill, Eddie and The Hot Rods Barrie Masters (who played the 2019 VLR awards) and surf guitar legend Dick Dale.

 

The audience will comprise of invited members of the media, television, fashion and the music world as well as an allocation of tickets for the general public. The VLR Awards are a truly unique, international event celebrating the legends of our music scene. “This isn’t some chicken in a basket awards show, this is a party with the coolest people in rock n’ roll” said Vive Le Rock editor Eugene Butcher.

 

Tickets available HERE:

 

Find Vive Le Rock HERE:

 

You can watch action from the last two VLR Awards here