A UK based sleaze Rock band from the 90s have picked up the baton and began treading the boards again.  After a recent return to the stage at Camdens Dublin Castle Paradise Alley are back in the ring taking another swing so we thought it was about time we got comfortable with frontman Stevie Vincent and found out who the hell is Paradise Alley and where do they fit in in 2019.
Can you remember the point when you realised you wanted to be in a band?
I remember when I was a little kid being obsessed with Elvis and Glam Rock. My Uncle gave me his old Elvis signature guitar which was as big as me and I would thrash away on it singing Elvis and Sweet songs so the spark probably started there, lol. Consciously though it was probably when I was around twelve and my friends and I started to talk about having a band, it just seemed to make you really cool and I was never one of the cool kids, hahaha.


How did you find your music as a kid?
To begin with, it was just through watching Top Of The Pops every week which when you were a kid in the 70s was the law, you had to watch it. Even your parents watched it just so they could moan about these new-fangled bands making a racket. Then I became friends with this other kid who was a year older and was totally obsessed with music, regardless of the type of music, he was into it so through that friendship I just started trawling record shops for hours every weekend and being exposed to lots of different types of music and bands.

Was it tough putting a band together when you first started out compared to now in 2019?
I would say easier back then than now. You could just meet people when you were out at the pub or in record or music stores which was really organic. Plus you had lots of ways to advertise for musicians, local music stores were everywhere and had notice boards and you had Sounds, Melody Maker and Kerrang classifieds so it seemed easier to network then. Strange when you think about social media now but so many “musicians” now seem purely driven by how much money are they going to get paid or when you ask for influences they just blurt out what they like and then say I want a band like that – there isn’t a band that sounds like Guns N Roses mixed with Slayer and Perry Como as far as I know, hahahaha. I mean, I like a lot of diverse stuff, but when it comes to the music I play, all of us in the band know where we are coming from musically.


When or what was the spark that made you want to resurrect the band?
Never say never eh? I was actually in Helsinki at the time and was with my friends from Plastic Tears, Miqu and Edu and we started talking a bit about our shared history and stuff and it cam up about how we had never actually managed to tour together which was something we had mentioned in the past. Anyway, by the end of the night I had contacted Taj and asked him if he fancied us putting the band back together and carrying on the legacy.


Did you reach out to the other past members or don’t they do Rock and Roll anymore?
Other than Taj, no. We had tried that before back in 2013 and that did not work out at all. People’s heads were in different places, old habits that had caused problems in the past were still there and it just became hard work to be around. In the end we were doing it for fun and certain individuals were making it anything but so we played our last show with a rag tag line-up in June 2015 and just walked away.


You recently returned to the stage. How was it?
It felt really good, we had some fire back in the belly and the audience reaction was just like the old days. It was a bit rough round the edges but that’s rock’n’roll and as we play more shows, etc things will smooth out more.


You have finally got all the pieces of the band together tell us about the band in 2019? who what and where did you find them?
Well, we are still drummerless actually and relying on session drummers to do the shows at the moment so that’s not ideal. We have a couple of really good guys helping us out on drums but it would be good to have the role filled permanently. Sadly everyone who contacts us either assumes we are signed to Universal Music and expects a massive salary, or just does not get what we are doing musically, so the search continues. 
Taj has been in the band since 1998 and been a friend even longer (since about ’89 or ’90), I always say he is my Nasty Suicide. We work together well and we both have a shared love of Hanoi Rocks.
Ben Webster, the other guitarist we actually found through Facebook. We had been looking for ages and his name kept cropping up and in the end, his mate put him forward for it. We met up and just sat around, had a few drinks, jammed and it gelled right away. He had the right attitude and was under no illusions that we were about to get signed for 10 million dollars or any of that crap. He has definitely helped put the fire back in the belly. Ben Alexander on bass was actually a fan of the band and again we were linked through social media. We knew he played bass so when we started putting the band back together we asked him if he was up for this  That was pretty much it.


The music climate has changed massively since the 90s what are the biggest changes you’ve noticed?
How people consume music. I mean, there does seem to be a bit of a shift back to CD and vinyl and actually listening to albums rather than just random tracks which is a good thing, but also, we don’t have the whole tribe culture that was there when we were growing up. There are punks, rockers, mods new romantics, goths in the way that there used to be. I think that is really sad. No one nails their colours to the post anymore and you don’t see people having the same passion for music or bands. Mind you, how could anyone be passionate about Ed Sheeran or bloody Jess Glynne? hahahahahaha


what about new music? Have you picked up a guitar and written any material?
We are right in the middle of doing that now. When we tried back in 2013, that had been one of my hopes but no one showed any real interest. When I first spoke to Taj in 2017 about doing this, I said I wanted to move forward and not just play the same ten songs forever or I would knock it on the head. So, we are looking to release something very, very soon as a bit of a taster and then work towards a full new album sometime next year. So, we ARE writing new songs, we are demoing too and something will be coming VERY soon.


You spent time in NYC and LA have you been recently? They were always great Rock and roll towns but it seems the world is heading to hell in a handcart and not holding a bottle of jack but wearing loafers and no socks with a lovely smelling beard? Do you think sleazy Rock and Roll will ever come full circle? 
I think it will always be there as long as there are people out there showing interest. It is very niche but then, I guess it always was. Even when GnR went massive, there were a lot of confused Mums and Das and “normal” people at the live shows because it wasn’t all sweetness and light, hahaha. Look at events like HRH sleaze, there is an audience and a younger audience too. I love seeing another generation coming through wearing cool clothes again and embracing the rock’n’roll world, without that music just becomes gentrified like all our cities and towns. I mean, look at the crap we are force-fed by the mass media, it’s Starbucks /identikit bland rubbish designed not to offend or make you think. I want music that makes you go “holy fuck!”, I want the musicians to look like they landed from another planet, not like they are here to fix a leaky tap.
Haven’t been back to LA or NYC recently although I know they are both shadows of their former selves. There are plans to visit both from a band point of view, but I’m not saying more than that just yet, don’t want anyone else stealing my plans.


What new music have you been listening to? (If any)
Does the Michael Monroe band count? hahahaha. I try and listen to new stuff but most of it just leaves me cold and even when I say I have listened to something new, it usually turns out to be from the late 90s or early 2000s. I do like The Struts. Got into them when the first album came out and no one here had a clue who they were. Sadly, I can see the rough edges getting chipped away and they are becoming slicker and slicker. I hope they resist it and keep that little British edginess, but I reckon the mighty dollar will win in the end. Can’t blame em, they are there to make money, but I like my artists to have a little bit of integrity.


Will there be any other live shows? who would you like to tour with?
Of course, there will, we are back and live is where we shine. We’re back in London at The Big Red on August 10 then off to Y Lew Coch in Mach as part of the Rock’n’Roll Circus weekend on August 25. There are other dates confirmed but we’ll be announcing those soon enough. We will tour with anyone we can. I don’t want to get stuck in the nostalgia circuit though which is very easy to do. It’s lazy on the part of some sections of the industry to just lump you in with certain bands but we seem to attract all types of music fans and we aren’t out to just live in the past.


If you were to explain what your band is all about how would you best describe your sound (we all love a pigeon hole) 
oooooh, that’s sneaky, hahaha. We’re just a rock’n’roll band that takes influences from all over the place and it comes out sounding like Paradise Alley. If you wanted to narrow it down I guess I would say Aerosmith meets the Ramones….that sound like a good pigeonhole to you Dom?


If you have anything else you’d like to say nows your chance –
Just that we are glad to be back and to be moving forward, if you love rock’n’roll in all it’s forms, check us out, listen on Spotify or Amazon or one of the other streaming platforms. We are here to entertain and make rock’n’roll glamorous and fun again. The world needs a little bit of escapism right now
One of the best debut albums I’ve heard in quite some time happens to be ‘Out Of My Head’ it’s jam-packed with influences ranging from the good to the greats and the passion and energy poured into every groove of the LP is evident to the listener.  I tapped Matt up for an interview with RPM and he was happy to oblige.  If you’re lucky enough to have the band roll into a town near you I suggest you cancel whatever it is you’re doing and get down to the Rock and Roll show.  But hey check em out then support them and Dead Beat Records because we need more bands like this making music on labels like that.  So lets cut the crap and get down to the chatter that mattered  Ladies and Gents boys and girls  Matt from Poison Boys…
When did the band form and let us know a little about where you grew up and what inspired you guys to pick up an instrument and play Rock and Roll?
I grew up right outside of Chicago in Northwest Indiana, about 1 minute from the border of Illinois. Been obsessed with rock n roll since I was a kid. Me and my friend Mike Lippman had been playing in punk bands together since we were young teenagers and finally decided we wanted to start a rock n roll band. I played drums throughout those years but wanted to play guitar if it was a rnr band so started figuring out Ramones songs and went from there.
Can you remember what the first songs you wrote as a band was?  
Mike and I collaborated on nearly all of the early songs, he’d write riffs or I would, and I’d write vocals and he’d help me with the lines sometimes. First ones we wrote were Been Here All Night, Out of My Head, Cut Right Out, Bad Mouth, Without You and a couple of others. Unfortunately, Mike passed away before we could complete a lot of other songs which I ended up finishing later like Headed for Disaster, Got to Tease, and Up to the Sky among others. We always wanted it to be a well rounded rock n roll group, not just one specific sound the whole record or anything. But not to stray too far outside of the rock n roll spectrum.
You’ve released a couple of singles before the album came along with the first two being on the excellent UK label no front teeth.  How did that come about?  How did a label out of London pick up some guys in Chicago?  Is the line up stable now? your almost in Spinal Tap territory for past members already 
I found out about No Front Teeth from reading a PORK magazine and either seeing an NFT ad or a record review with NFT as the label it was released on. Just emailed Marco and he was super down to help us get our first (and second) 7″ out. Really I could not find any snotty punk labels in the states at all. Even now I only know of like 2 or 3 and that’s it. And if they aren’t interested or are too busy or whatever you turn to labels elsewhere that’s all.
As for the lineup… When people don’t wanna play rock n roll anymore or move out of state what do you do? The band hasn’t been around long enough to make much of an impression with anyone lineup, hasn’t had an LP or anything out prior to now so it didn’t matter to me. Granted I don’t exactly enjoy having members flake out or whatever but it is what it is. We’ve had a pretty solid lineup for about a year and a half or so with Matt “Chainz/the Chainblaster” Chaney on drums and Steve  “Stevsie/Stevie Poison” Elfinger on bass at home/guitar on the road, and touring members Nico Bones on bass and Julius Lange on guitar. It’s been pretty killer getting to know and hang with all of them.
The first single was back in 2016 then ’17 then you got White Zoo to release the last one last year.  Had you already signed up to dead beat to do the album by then?  How come you switched for the album? 
Dead Beat came about through me asking them earlier this year if they’d be interested in releasing the LP. They were very stoked especially after hearing the record, so we just had to finish up art and final mastering for it and it was a go. The 7″s were released on the other side of the pond, we were just looking for somewhere closer to get the records released by and knew Dead Beat had put out records by some of our favorite newer rock n roll bands.
Is there a chance of a European release for the record?  What about touring Europe and the UK?
We’d love for it to be released by a European label! Haven’t heard anything about that yet but time will tell I suppose. We plan to set up a European tour for hopefully next year.
As far as the album goes I was really pleased to hear plenty of influences in there and some choice covers.  Obviously, I have to ask why those covers? (apart from them being great songs) 
Well, I was listening to a Beatles singles comp called ‘Past Masters’ and heard a banging rocker called ‘Slow Down’. Knew it had to be a cover and found out Larry Williams was the original and sounded killer!! I figured we could pull it off and should give it a go. It delivers well live so we figured it’d be a good way to help open up the album and add more bitchin’ piano to it which we love big time. As for the Dead Boys cover… that one’s always been relatable to me and it fits with our style really well I think. It’s, of course, a tribute to them and our influences getting into punk at an early age.
I love the album and think it’s one of the best debut albums I’ve heard in an age and the attitude in the songs is superb – really authentic sounding. Is there a plan to tour then record some more? are you someone who writes all the time? 
Thanks man I really appreciate it. We worked hard on these songs and it’s good to finally let them have their day. Really nice to hear that people like them. We’re leaving for our “Out of My Head” East Coast/Canada Tour 2019 this week and beginning recording for our 2nd LP this week as well. Plenty still on the horizon for the Poison Boys. I write all the time even if it’s just little pieces and put them together as I go. Show ’em to the guys and get opinions and we work em out from there.
How has the reception been at the live shows?  How would you describe the scene over there in Chicago? is there much of an appetite for real rock and roll?
The live shows are killer and what we love the most. People seem to love it too and get down to our set so that’s cool. I think people need this type of rock n roll but just aren’t getting it much from bands these days. Not a lot of people go to rock n roll shows around here anymore unless it’s the Stones or KISS or something. A lot of bands around here either play washed out reverb’d out psychedelic shit or shoegaze or grunge or a mixture of all that. There’s like 3 bands in Chicago that don’t do that. As with many bands, the reception on the road is way greater than at home.
There seem to be pockets of superb music coming out of America right now – any chance you cats hooking u with bands like Wyldlife, Ravagers and The Sweet Things and stealing over here for a package tour?  Are there any bands you hear about currently tickling your fancy so to speak?
We generally like touring alone but are open to whatever if the situation’s right. One of our first shows ever was in Indianapolis in 2014 opening for Wyldlife. Alex from Ravagers does a lot of our artwork and we have a gig with our boys the Sweet Things coming up at Coney Island Baby in Manhattan in a couple weeks, Friday 8/02. Yeah favorite bands going on right now in the states are mostly in California, like Black Mambas, the Crazy Squeeze, the Flytraps, Dr. Boogie (although they just broke up), and also bands like Terry and Louie, our boys Jonesy from Montreal, the Rubs, our buds Big Blood from out here, stuff like that. And of course the Sweet Things out in NY. There’s a good amount of rock n roll going on elsewhere and I think it’s growing thankfully.
Listening to the album I hear some obvious inspirations from the likes of Dead Boys, Thunders, then I hear classic Stones and Faces – you guys have some of the swagger that made early Guns N Roses shine (tear Me Apart)  and I love the confidence of songs like ‘Up To The Sky’ but you can also mix it up like Hanoi Rocks on songs like ‘Desperado’   it opens up options for you to go in any direction what’s on in the van currently? What are you listening to?
We listen to old protopunk shit like Berlin Brats, Hollywood Brats, Razor Boys, Nervous Eaters, Rockpile, Flamin Groovies, Stooges, all that. A lot of Johnny Thunders and Dolls stuff of course, their solo stuff right after the Dolls broke up too. Hanoi Rocks, Dogs D’Amour. But also stuff like the Nuggets comps and other more obscure comps like the Bonehead Crunchers comps and shit like that. A ton of old punk bands like Menace, the Only Ones, Teenage Head, the Saints, Chelsea, Testors, Slaughter and the Dogs, Gen X… Then Mott the Hoople for 24 hours straight, Lou Reed, Kiss, T Rex, Motorhead, the Faces, Stones. All the goods all the time. Oh yeah and the RAMONES.
If there is anything you guys need to get off your chests here’s your chance.  Anything you’d like to add?
Come see us on tour!!! Buy merch, support rock n roll and keep us on the road. If you play rock n roll start a band get a shitty van and a mechanic friend and go tour. Keep this shit alive and growing and spread the love not shit talk and hate. We’re too small of a scene to be separated all the time by trivial cool guy bullshit and life’s too short to waste energy tearing each other down. It ain’t like the old days, we all know that… Rock n roll is so unimportant to modern society and we’re all we have left. We’re all in this together. Be inclusive there’s no room for hate against each other.
Buy The Album Here or coloured vinyl Here
pic by tommy@tommyfoto.no

Matti Antero Kristian Fagerholm (Born 17 June 1962), you might know him as the legend that is Michael Monroe.  Not content with being the leader of the 80s best band Hanoi Rocks he then went on to form Demolition 23 (ok so Jerusalem Slim was before but that was something of an experiment) after Demolition 23 broke down he went on to record some superb solo albums as well as reform Hanoi for a few years with Andy before forging ahead with his solo career.

Beginning with ‘Nights Are So Long’ Monroe spent time living in NYC before returning to his native Finland where he still lives today.  You can debate til the cows come home as to which album is the best but for me ‘Nights Are So Long’ was the first and best.  ‘Not Fakin’ It’  followed and whilst it was commercially more accessible I never really liked the sound of the record as it tended to lean towards to Rock fraternity stateside and was the least Rock and Roll album of his back catalogue even if it did have some great tunes on it.

During the two thousands, his solo work contained some excellent self-penned songs as well as some awesome covers that gave the listener a glimpse into his record collection and what shaped him musically, before arriving at the last decade where his output and stable(ish) line up consisting of longtime collaborator and accomplice Sami Yaffa, Karl Rockfist and Steve Conte and Rich Jones are helping churn out some of the best live performances of his career as well as his most consistent albums since Hanoi.  ‘One Man Gang’ is eagerly anticipated and I’m sure will be a massive hit with fans old and new.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Svart Records were responsible for doing an amazing job on ‘Nights Are So Long’ and ‘Peace Of Mind’ and work is well underway on the next reissues. So with these the tour and new album its all ramping up to an exciting second half of 2019 and no sign of Monroe slowing down any day soon.

Ask anyone who’s seen him live as he still performs like a teenager. Constantly touring around the world playing songs from all corners of his career he still has the chops that’s not even up for debate  – the energy and above all the songs are there as is his energy  Monroe is a lifer to the cause of Rock and Roll and the multi-instrumentalist still has the passion.

Having just announced an extensive UK tour for later this year to coincide with the release of this album as well as working on re-releases of his solo albums with new packaging and bonus tracks Michael Monroe is a formidable force of nature.  when the album comes out buy it and when the tour comes around watch it.

Over twenty albums and countless singles and guest appearances, Monroe deserves all the plaudits he gets and the adulation of his many fans.  Keep Rockin’ like Fuck and Happy Birthday from RPM Online.

Should have been huge! How many times do we hear that said of a band?  We’ve all seen bands we think should have – could have, but there is one in particular band I love who seemed to slip between the cracks and time overtook them and alas that moment was gone.  Darren Birch was a quarter of one of if not the most exciting bands of the UK underground scene who played around the toilet scene in the late ’80s early ’90s – they were Garage punks from Birmingham who, with a pocketful of excellent tunes and a strong image had it all.  In Ant, they had a frontman who had the swagger of a Jagger and the cool spirit of Iggy.  They stormed Londons Marquee Club on numerous occasions and put on a show every time. They were head and shoulders the best band anywhere at the time, yet, they remained unsigned with only a seven inch and twelve-inch singles to their name. It was years later they released a CD that delivered all the tunes they played live and managed to capture that magic onto tape yet their moment had gone and sadly had their frontman.  They lost frontman Ant under tragic circumstances so the chance of a reunion had gone. 
Bass player Birchy has a story to tell and has played with some of the pioneers of the first wave of punk and some – he currently plies his trade in several bands namely the Godfathers and Black Bombers (currently)  if you’re not familiar then you need to change that pronto. But not until you read the words from our little recent chat. Over to you Mr. Birch.
Let’s take it back to the beginning for you.  What made you want to pick up a guitar and why the bass? 
I had my first Bass at fourteen years old. A Jazz copy with an awful high action…The guys I played with in my first band called it the Bow and Arrow.  I loved the Damned as a kid and was inspired by hearing Algy play that intro to ‘Love Song’ and then the sound Paul (Gray) had when he joined the Damned.
Who else was influencing a young kid in Birmingham?
There were others I was drawn to like JJ Burnel and Lemmy they were certainly influences on me at the time. I’d also say around that age I was discovering Bowie and the Spiders era and loved Trevor Bolders playing.  then as I was growing older I was discovering all sorts of players from Dennis Dunaway, Bootsy Collins, Barry Adamson…Even in my Jazzier moments Charles Mingus!!
What about early memories of playing shows?
The earliest shows I was playing was in punk bands.  I’d only been playing about six months and even though the other guys I was playing with were three and four years older than me I guess it was the usual story of ropey PA’s just for vocals in pubs I wasn’t anywhere near old enough to be in – Fun Though.
My first memory of seeing you play was in London with Gunfire Dance.  You were always a band I’d go and see and I found the live shows so exciting? Tell us how the band came into being?
Gunfire Dance was the first 2Proper” band I was in.  Me ‘n Ozzie started the band around 83/84we were influenced by the growing scene of Hanoi, Lords, Thunders…that kind of thing. The line up you all know and love (haha ) with Jeff and Ant (R.I.P)  consolidated around 87/88.
Yeah, We always wanted to be a high energy band… We loved gigs like the Cramps, Lords, Iggy that kind of unpredictability.  I think the band is more appreciated now than back in the late ’80s were certainly more understood…We were never part of that Stones/Face thing that was going on nor were we part of the Glam/Hard Rock scene I think we were out on our own at the time…our influences stretched back to the ’50s, 60’s the whole punk scene maybe bands like Thee Hypnotics were kind of our kindred spirits back then.
What about memories of playing abroad? Did you enjoy touring? 
The tours we did around the UK were always self-financed and self-organised except the tour with Tigertailz (Island paid for that.  We had a publishing deal with them but alas no record deal) we also went out with Bang Tango!!! We certainly had a lot of fun and those Marquee shows were always great (as I recall)
Most people will know of your work with Gunfire Dance.  I remember buying a demo cassette and eventually a 7″ single and 12″ why did it take so long to get a long player out? 
We spoke to loads of managers , labels  etc… But fo rone reason or another it just never happened. We recorded lots of stuff at Island some with Rat (Scabies) and some with Brian (James) but none of it got released until the Evil Boy Records put out ‘Archway Of Thorns’ in 2005.
When we played CBGB with D Generation and The Waldos a guy named Rat Boy (Motorcycle Boy) was playing in Pillbox put us in touch with Jeff Dahl and he released the 7″ on his Ultra Under label in the States then the ‘Killing Time’ 12″ we did that ourselves.  Then we went back to the States for a second time and did New York but the band was falling apart, I guess the combination of doing it without success will do that.
What did you do after the band broke up?
After the band called it a day I didn’t play for a while the “Music Business” had left a bitter taste in my mouth for a while anyway.  I had been DJaying and had a club called ‘Stay Sick’ which lasted a few years – That could get messy.  Then Oz, Ant and myself got together with a friend called Mark Barrows and started Stepping Razors which came about inadvertently by us being asked to tour with Tyla (now that’s another story).  Jeff had left for New York by this time so we got together and it was fun…We were a great band – We cut a demo at the famous Toe-Rag Studio and then got some interest from Island (again) after a great show with Royal Trux but again it fell apart for one reason or another it was around this time I’d also started playing with Alan (Black Bombers) in the Morricone influenced Horse Feathers. Still going to this day we even got as far as recording that album (reviewed Here)
Me and Oz ended up playing with Brian (James) he’d asked us back in the Gunfire Dance days if we’d play in his band doing his solo album (the one on New Rose Records) we would have been The Brian James Gang but Brian suffered the loss of both his parents and then he had the money from Guns N Roses for using his song so he moved to France to raise his Son away from London.  some years later we got a phone call out of the blue it was Brian – he’d moved back to the UK and was now in Brighton and he wanted to do something so we resurrected the Brian James Gang with Jez Miller on guitar and vocals doing some Lords, Early Damned and his solo stuff… my ears still have yet to recover!!
I guess the next time I caught you live was when you were playing with Walter Lure.  Tell us how that all came about?
The Walter thing was when Oz got in touch via myspace we saw he’d been to Europe and released a live CD so we asked if he’d be interested in coming to the UK and we’d put a band together for him.  He said yes and the first show was that 100 Club gig where Walter flew in the day before we had one rehearsal and did the show it was brilliant.  He hadn’t played here for twenty-five years.  I can remember the expectancy and when I see the youtube footage of that gig I feel proud of what we did with one rehearsal!! Ha ha, We ended up doing a few more plus the Rebellion show and supported Jim Jones at their final show at the Forumthen when Walter finally retired from Wall Street we did a full UK tour.
Was there ever a chance to record as The Waldos?
It would have been good to record with Walter but there was never the time……He’s over here soon with Mick Rossi….When we played with Brian the plan was to record an album but it got sidetracked by that Lord’s reformation and never happened…
Onto your recent exploits – Black Bombers and Godfathers.  Firstly tell us how the band came together (Black Bombers)?
It came out of the Blue to be honest. Having not done anything for ages Alan and I got together with a few friends and ended up pulling a few songs together originally it was a four-piece but we struggled to find a direction. Eventually, it went down to a three-piece and when Dave joined on Drums we sort of found our sound.  We wanted to just play Rock and Roll but it had to be adult rock and roll musically and lyrically and try and avoid cliches…cranky…and gnarly – much like us men of a certain age! Haha.
The sound of the recordings is unbelievably good and I always tell people to go listen to the sound of the songs it’s huge. Have you always used the same guitar and amp?  What if any effects do you go through? We did the first 7″ in our rehearsal room, miked everything up and blasted away, even the vocals came straight from the PA ala ‘Funhouse’.  We did it that was not only to keep the cost down but we really liked it.  Recording like they used to back in the day – old bluesmen or something at Chess and that’s pretty much how we’ve done everything since.
In fact ‘Vol 4’ the backing tracks are all first takes we never played a song twice.  We rehearsed them without vocals so we knew them inside out and when it came to recording we just bashed them out. as for gear I have the same Precision that I bought with the Island advance back in Gunfire Dance days and I use no effects at all just crank it up!
You’ve recently found a home with Easy Action who also appreciates and releases some fab music and the packaging is always quality who came up with the artwork and design of the LP?  Dave our drummer is our resident artist, He designs all our covers he does a lot of work for easy action on the Dave Kusworth albums, in fact, he plays on some of them.
 
With a new Mini album or is it an EP? just released what next for the band? Yeah we just put out ‘Vol 4’ a 10″ mini album its been having some great reviews and we did a short run of shows to support it with the likes of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, The Folk Devils and a few more throughout the year (any promoters get in touch)  Also we’ve started putting some new songs together that will make a new album.
You’re also a member of Godfathers and recently released a live album, the sound of the band is exceptional and the band sounds like its having a ball really attacking the back catalogue. A lot of those old songs sound amazing and really fresh.  Tell us how and why you got involved with Peter and Godfathers?
I’ve been involved about three years now.  I stood in for a few festivals originally then Peter said they were going to record a new album and asked if I’d be involved and it’s as simple as that really. We made ‘A Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ which I think is a really good album and it stands up to any of the early 80’s Godfathers albums.
Before we finish up I wanted to ask why ‘Archway’ has never had a vinyl pressing.  Any chance of one?
 I would like to do a vinyl version of Archway of thorns…..Maybe get a band page up first see if there is enough interest…
Songs like ‘Blue’ sound timeless, how did the songwriting work in the band? The songs would come together in rehearsals really…’Blue’ for instance was just written around the bass line and some chords I threw together…Jeff put his thing over the top and Ant wrote the lyrics…We were all quite individual musicians and everyone played their part.
Is there anything still on the cutting room floor or did ‘Archway Of Thorns’ have the lot? 
There are some songs that we never recorded…..A few on YouTube clips…I have some live tapes from the Marquee with songs on that we never did in a studio…
Good Quality?
Not Bad.  The tapes I have were recorded by our driver on a minidisc player…There are a couple from Edward’s in Brum too.
You ought to celebrate the band and release the album on vinyl.
Jeff is coming over and doing a couple of Electrajet gigs in November…Oz is gonna play drums. ..Black Bombers gonna support. …That’s probably as near as you’ll get to a reunion…. Ha…
and that’s where we’ll end for now.  Thanks, Birchy for your time and effort.  I loved gunfire Dance still do and they shouldn’t be forgotten they should be championed as should his contribution to music whether it be through Walter Lure when he tours or as part of The Godfathers or with his own band Black Bombers if you’ve never heard any of them then be prepared for a treat  all mightily fine bands that deserve people time oh and if you would like to see ‘Archway Of Thorns’ on vinyl where it belongs then the campaign starts here.

Further adventures in Rock and Roll featuring Darren Birch can be found below

Horse Feathers Review Here

Black Bombers Review Here

Godfathers Review Here

One of the albums of the year gets a re-press on Blood Red vinyl for those who missed out on the initial press.  RPM  reviewed it Here and we urge you not to sit on your hands a second time as this will sell out as the first run did.  Go Go Go!
Alvin says, “For all you vinyl junkies that missed out on obtaining my solo album ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ on 12 inch vinyl earlier this year due the initial 300 being sold out in short order, Time & Matter Records have manufactured a new batch of 300, this time on blood-red vinyl and minus the accompanying CD and download code. This release will, therefore, be sold at the lesser price of £17 (the first pressing was priced at £22) and can be ordered from this Here”

It features twelve songs written by yours truly and an array of very talented guest musicians that reads like this: Brian James – The Damned / Lords Of The New Church; Leigh Heggarty – Ruts DC; Mick Rossi – Slaughter & The Dogs; James Stevenson – Generation X / Chelsea / The Cult / The Alarm; Barry ‘Barrington’ Francis – The Saints; Timo Kaltio – Johnny Thunders band/Hanoi Rocks / Cheap ‘N’ Nasty; Mel Wesson – Keyboard player & Ambient music designer – TV Smith’s Explorers/The Verve ‘Bittersweet Symphony’ / U.K. Subs ‘Diminished Responsibility’ LP / Films Mission Impossible 2, Batman Begins, Hannibal etc; Steve Crittall – The Godfathers; Jamie Oliver – U.K. Subs.

“I would advise interested parties to get their orders in sharp to avoid what occurred last time, which was a lot of people missing out due to the speed that the original batch sold at. In fact it was due to so many people voicing their disappointment at not being able to get a vinyl copy in time that persuaded T & M Records to go with this colour-altered second run. For those of you that are not so disposed to a bit of vinyl, there is also a CD version of the album available from the same link. Ta! A x”

Way back in the mists of time there were records that got released that a small collection of people went absolutely nuts over much to the bemusement of the rest of the population and still to this day some bands – records are the things of legend and that first Fallen Angels album can certainly be placed into that bracket somewhere near the top if you please.  Sharing the same management and having the stars align meant Knox could have what some (me included) to have the dream team rhythm section helping knock these tunes into shape that would eventually make up The ‘Fallen Angels’ album.  It originally surfaced early 84  after being recorded late 83.  Fallout records released it The band consisted of Knox, Sami Yaffa, Razzle, Nasty Suicide Knox cousin Richard Wernham (The Motors), Michael Monroe and Andy McCoy also guested on the recordings.

The sleeve notes are the same as those used on the CD reissue in 2006 but this RSD exclusive has an extra two tracks to that CD so don’t dismiss this out of hand because those of us who know – know right? Right!

Judging by the sleeve notes it was a bit of a riot recording this and those Hanoi boys had a ball as Sami testifies but lets not gloss over their efforts here because those kids could play and whilst they did like to indulge they were also extremely talented players and Knox knew this and with the rock and roll songs he’d written they would lend themselves perfectly to each other.  From the single ‘Inner Planet Love’ to the ‘Chinese Rocks’ of ‘Rain Rain Rain’ its blistering stuff.

What’s not to love about the snotty ‘Runaround’ and the magnificent ‘Amphetamine Blue’ probably the definitive version right here edging it due to Razzles sense of rhythm and his floor tom rolls having said that how he managed it with Yaffa and Nasty trying to put him off god only knows. The album proper finished with the melancholic ‘Vipers In The Dark’ with its acoustic strum which just about wrapped up an absolute 24 carrot album from the middle of the ’80s make no mistake about that and seeing as its celebrating its 35th year this year why not bring it back for more people to enjoy.

This version pulls in the singles and B sides over the two discs and to complete the set and make this the definitive copy it also has the 12″ version of ‘Inner Planet Love’ and the 7″ version of ‘Amphetamine Blue’ oh and it does come pressed on a couple of lovely coloured records.  Make this one you head straight for on RSD on forever kick yourself its a belter! The biggest shame is the line up never got to play these songs live now that would have been something.

Author: Dom Daley

Website: Here

Terence Dale “Buffin” Griffin (24 October 1948 – 17 January 2016) Buffin was a founder member of Mott The Hoople and also famed producer of bands on the John Peel show between 81 and 94. Most famously he produced sessions for Nirvana, Pulp and the smashing pumpkins and also in his own right he noticeably produced Hanoi Rocks album ‘Back To Mystery City’.

As a founder member of Mott The Hoople Dale managed to attend the Hammersmith reunion shows back in 2009 but had been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers so only played on the encores of the shows which were extended from three to five after an incredible demand although he didn’t feature at all in the warm-up shows the band did near Rockfield studios prior to the London gigs. his place was taken by Martin Chambers. Diagnosed at 58 he sadly passed away in his sleep back in 2016 at the young age of 67.

Rest In Peace Buffin   24 October 1948 – 17 January 2016

On a brighter note on this day in history, The Rolling Stones released their first EP, which included, ‘You Better Move On’, ‘Poison Ivy’, ‘Bye Bye Johnny’ and ‘Money’. It peaked at No.15 on the UK chart. Also by some coincidence, Happy Birthday today to Mick Taylor, Mick joined The Stones in 1969 (aged 20), replacing Brian and left the Stones in 1974. He has appeared on some of the Stones’ classic albums and widely regarded as their finest period of songwriting including Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main St. Taylor has also worked with Bob Dylan, Mike Oldfield, Jack Bruce and Ronnie Wood.

Richards gave Taylor this fine appraisal when recording Its Only Rock And Roll’  during the Munich sessions, Richards confronted him and said, “Oi! Taylor! You’re playing too fuckin’ loud. I mean, you’re really good live, man, but you’re fucking useless in the studio. Lay out, play later, whatever.” Richards erased some of the tapes where Taylor had recorded guitar parts too.

Taylor responded by saying “I was a bit peeved about not getting credit for a couple of songs, but that wasn’t the whole reason [I left the band]. I guess I just felt like I had enough” Yeah right so you just leave The Stones and that’s it? He later said of his time in the band – “We used to fight and argue all the time. And one of the things I got angry about was that Mick had promised to give me some credit for some of the songs – and he didn’t. I believed I’d contributed enough. Let’s put it this way – without my contribution, those songs would not have existed. There’s not many but enough, things like “Sway” and “Moonlight Mile” on Sticky Fingers and a couple of others” Oh well your contribution was recognised by the fans for sure and with the power of hindsight I doubt the band would have existed had Mick Taylor not joined the band.

They must have made their peace because Taylor has joined the band on stage many times since so Happy Birthday Mick aged 70 Today!

Originally out a quarter of a century ago makes me feel old as fuck. However, slipping into my Kensington Market PVC jeans and sharpening my boots guyliner then spraying my Aqua Net before leaving the house it feels like yesterday, a time when just about anything was possible.

Pre-mobile phones (just), pre-internet, pre-grunge, and Soho was still a wonderful seedy adventure as was Camden. Those places still had character – certainly not the sterile hipster coffee shop or Vape emporiums of today.  Back then Rock ‘n’ Roll was still a little different if you wanted it to be and without the interweb bands like Paradise Alley were like pirates sailing the seven seas looking for like-minded allies of which there were plenty, every town and backwater village had one or two but they didn’t have the internet to join forces.  Until now.

Lumped in with the whole glam rock scene that wrongly pigeonholed the likes of Hanoi Rocks as glam in the same breath they would put Poison or God forbid Danger Danger or even a Tigertailz. Although pretty much poles apart (tigertailz and Paradise Alley) influence wise (with a few exceptions) they had to stick together and I guess there are comparisons with the two Stevies they both have similar gruff deliveries in their melodies and vocal style but musically Paradise Alley was dining out on Hanoi and their siblings such as Shooting Gallery or Kill City Dragons, not any surprise to see Damian Cullen set up camp with members of these other bands later on. Anyway,  Not so much the punky side of Hanoi but a more American influenced guitar sound Paradise Alley certainly had a punk rock attitude like on ‘Shot Down’.

They were dedicated you have to give them that. It might not always have been about the music but those were the times we were in and the image played a massive part in this kind of music and all these years later I applaud those who stuck to their guns and lived it like they loved it and stayed true to who they were and that can certainly be said of several members of this band.

I like the street balladeering of ‘Empty Spaces’, A little cheesy at times and cliched – for sure,  but isn’t any city boy knocking out a duet of this kind? All these years later it sounds alright maybe even better with a tinge of nostalgia. To be fair I like ‘Leave Me Alone’ its more the whole punk rock ‘n’ roll thing that I loved at the time had they hit Soho a few years earlier they might have stood a good chance of joining bigger bands from the era. The kings of punk ‘n’ sleaze in the late 80’s had to be the Soho Roses for me but even they bowed out supporting Tigertailz and the real gems were Gunfire Dance who themselves toured with the Welsh Glamsters. Wrong time wrong place maybe who knows.  They reached for the stars and had their fifteen minutes of fame and lived to tell the tales.

This reissue is bolstered by adding the acoustic ‘Baby Don’t Go’ which is cool as is their take on ‘Shakes’ which to be fair is spot on and bang on the money as far as covers go. To be fair these demos put onto the end of this sound great and if I might be cheeky enough to suggest are the best songs on here (Hanoi cover aside) ‘Family Ties’ is good as is the closing track ‘Leave Me Alone’ which has a great guitar sound that the band should have used on the earlier tracks in my humble opinion.  That Joe Dog clank is far better suited to the band’s style.

 

Good work Stevie and the boys for reissuing this lot you should be proud and staying true to themselves. Anyone who ever wandered from the Ship to the Intrepid Fox and round the block to the Marquee wearing Chelsea boots suckin’ on a cigarette thinking they were the coolest kid in town this is for you.  I look back fondly on those times and these tracks make me smile in a good way.  Thanks for such great memories guys and some top tunes whilst I reminisce on what was a ‘Psychotic Playground’.

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Every now and then I vanish down one of those wormholes on this here internet and several hours later with my ears ringing, I’m several pounds lighter as paypals til is ringing due to places like Bandcamp where I’ve happened upon some band or other. Well, I’ll be honest The Dahmers name raised an eyebrow and then another once I heard the first three bars of ‘Down In The Basement’ it was obvious to me that this was a band I had to contact and hear the rest of this brand new album.

These cats aren’t from The northern states of America or some sickos from California or Noo Ywk their from the sleepy town of Bromölla, Sweden. Ah, it makes sense now, of course, their from Scandinavia.  There is a spooky vibe as album opener ‘Blood On My Hands’ is like a Gatling gun firing off in all directions at a rapid pace with a sound not a million miles from The Hives with a frantic 12 bar riff and great hook. This is a fine opener and as the song breaks down and the drums sound like an out of control Keith Moon I’m already sold. Third album? fuck me where have I been hiding? I feel embarrassed as ‘Murder Ride’ kicks my backside from the opening lick we’re off like Hanoi Rocks going out of control these punks have really got it going on.

 

With eighteen songs on the album, they have a sackful of energy and hooks aplenty.  It’s catchy as hell, on ‘Street of  The Dead’ it’s like an unheard T Rex number that’s got a modern edge upgrade and it’s so damn good I’m loving it. Drunken sing-a-long choruses and with a real raw Rock ‘n’ Roll bite.  There isn’t anything new here but they’ve obviously found that secret formula and I congratulate them on that. Either that or they sold their souls to a snake oil salesman in exchange for some magic Rock ‘n’ Roll beans that need to be nurtured in the sweat of another five kids from backwater nowheresville who just want a good time and are happy selling some vital organs to get there.

I honestly couldn’t pick a favourite song because there’s so many there are enough tracks here for two albums let alone one and songs like the frantic piano tonking ‘The Ripper’ just sound so fresh.  I mentioned earlier that there is Hanoi vibe happening maybe ‘self-destruction Blues’ era and when the band mix up the melodies and backing vocals on ‘Howling’ its a simple formula but damn it’s so good.

They touch on early Hellacopters flair on ‘I Spit On Your Grave’ and who wouldn’t be down with that? The sax on ‘Creepiest Crawl’ is inspired as is the breakdown. Pulling these spooktacular tunes together from recordings over the last two years sounds inspired.  The backbeat of the pop-tinged ‘Man Obsessed’ shows that they have variety with its almost 60’s jangly guitar is the sound of a band who haven’t got boundaries and if it sounds good for them then it’s going in and it’s not just crash bang wallop (although they do that really nicely too). ‘November’ could certainly be a Bolan inspired strum. and they even end the album with a late 70’s early 80’s horror flick synth spookout and that makes me smile.  The Dahmers are my new favourite band and I can’t get enough.  Is there still time to write to Santa to send me all their records? I’ve been a bad bad boy and totally deserve their records and I suggest you click the link and join me.

Buy ‘Down In The Basement’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

I like it when a band takes its time to get the album they want but we all giggled when Axl took however long to knock out a guns n Roses album well Johnny Seven don’t like to rush a record release either but these punk rockers took forty years! Yup, I did say Forty Four Zero.  Don’t giggle at the back it’s true. Anyway its here now the format might be different to what was originally envisaged but times change and so do lineups.

 

you might well ask yourself what this Teeside foursome are all about well, let me tell you they clearly have a collective ear for a decent tune and I’m pretty sure judging by the songs they wrote we’d share a lot of similarities in our record collections.  One thing they got spot on is when they declared you can’t escape Rock and Roll and that spot on as is this tune.  It’s sloppy – it’s rough and ready – its got a great guitar sound and I love a good gang sing-a-long chorus and ‘Can’t Escape’ has certainly got that. ‘LSD’ is a rolling riff borrowed (or Stolen) and the lyrics show the band has a sense of humour and a rollicking interlude between the more serious elements of Rock and Roll. Don’t do drugs kids they’re bad for you.

‘In Detroit’ they give the Wah Wah a good work out and rattle through Motor City Nice n sleazy does it boys nice n sleazy. They turn the clock back for a sid style romp through ‘Burning Love’ I wouldn’t say its rubbish because its not but if you want to pop the kettle on nows your chance.  I’m not sure this record needed a cover smack bang in the middle to be honest because they were going so well with their own material. ‘Pumping The Pop’ is more like it.  snot ‘n’ sweat flying everywhere as the band get trashy not a million miles from The DeRellas here or the Babysitters when they weren’t singing about trembly noses. and the guitar and handclaps remind me of Hanoi when they were doing the duck and the guitar lick isn’t a million miles away from ‘Shakes’ so I was always going to like this one.

There’s a reckless edge to ‘Car Crash Girls’ and I like it it sounds spontaneous and at any point could fall or stumble over and Rock and Roll needs that sometimes it keeps proceedings exciting which is where we head as the album moves towards its conclusion.  ‘Skinheads’ is a wonderful stomping slice of glam pop in the same snotty vein as The Boys, great melody and a great look back. Finally, we reach the end of what has been a really good record and one I have enjoyed and ‘Hang Loose’ takes this bad boy home with another sleazy rocker that kinda pulls all the previous influences together for one last hurrah as the band goes over the top and into battle once more.

I spose like busses the follow up will be right behind this one dyou think someone should tell the band that Blakey won’t be collecting the fares on it though? Forty years for fucks sake but like a good wine it’s finally reached maturity and its ready to be enjoyed and I certainly did that.

Buy The Album Here

Author: Dom Daley