With a brand new box set ready for release we thought we’d catch up with Boys legend Matt Dangerfield and ask him about his time on Safari Records as we look back on the time the Boys went down to a four-piece and all things Safari. I also ask what’s next for one of the finest bands ever to come out of the United Kingdom.

 

How was it revisiting the Safari catalogue of releases?  Did it bring back fond memories?

Yes it did. Best of all was listening to the “Hell” tracks because this is the first time that it’s sounded good on CD. CDs didn’t exist when the album was released, and later when the first CD version came out it sounded like over-compressed shit. All subsequent CD releases of “Hell” were copied from that CD so I feel sorry for anyone who bought any CD copies of “Hell” prior to this release.

 

Were there any songs from the ‘To Hell’ record that you have since revisited during remastering changed how you feel about them? I’ll admit I’ve not played the records for a while and when the news came through about the box set I have since given them a good listening to and there are parts of songs that jumped out at me that I feel I previously missed or had forgotten.  Was this the same for you?

Very much so. For the reason I just mentioned, I couldn’t bring myself to listen to “Hell” on CD since the last century! So listening to it now for me is almost like hearing it for the first time and it all sounds fantastic from start to finish! We still usually include four of the songs in our live set: “Can’t Hurt a Memory”, “Terminal Love”, “See Ya Later” – and we use “Sabre Dance” as our intro music.

 

I loved reading your notes along with the specific song playing and was surprised to see you wrote lyrics on the way to the studio, and I chuckled at the thought of it happening due to studio time and schedules, etc did you not ever get worried you wouldn’t come up with anything?  Out of this process what would you say were your best lyrics?

Well, that was mainly in the early days when we weren’t given much studio time and I was working on two or three songs at a time. But generally speaking, I’ve always responded well to deadlines and would often leave things until they really need to be done and then work like Hell. There’s nothing like a deadline to focus the mind.

 

Your notes for ‘Waiting For The Lady’ and the Beatles reference I hadn’t really put it together previously but ‘Independent Girl’ has a real Lennon feel to it. Some of the harmonies throughout ‘To Hell’ have a certain Lennon and McCartney feel is that fair? They were obviously an influence but more so that album (Not that The Beatles would have sounded like you guys they weren’t that good) 😉

Flattery will get you nowhere, but thanks anyway! The backing vocals on “Waiting for The Lady” in particular, were Beatles inspired. But we were inspired by lots of bands and all the music that we grew up within the 60s which was a great era for musical creativity and innovation.

 

Who Owns The ‘Junk’ tapes now? How complete was the ‘Junk’ album? How does the process go with masters? If you didn’t own them the label did but they didn’t own the songs did they? If they weren’t finished,  Could you have gone away – changed a lyric here or a title there and released it anyway?  How involved were you with the day to day business of the band and management and label?

The ‘Junk’ tapes are just the rough monitor mixes on cassette from Rockfield Studios that I took away with me to work on ideas, lyrics etc. with the intention that we would come back and complete the album there. But after NEMS didn’t pay the studio and Rockfield wouldn’t release the two-inch tapes, we finally lost our patience with NEMS and went on strike for a few months until they eventually let us go. Our manager, Ken Mewis, generally dealt with the label, promotion and tour bookings, but we took care of the creative and recording side of things.

 

How do you look back on the time spent On Safari!?

We had a great relationship with Safari, which was basically John Craig and Tony Edwards. Two great guys who did all the right things for us in terms of albums, tours etc and generally looked after us and gave us the freedom to be creative. What more can you ask for as a band?

 

I always loved the cover of ‘Boys Only’  whose idea was that?

The designer was John Gordon (I fished out the original vinyl copy to get that detail) who was responsible for the concept. All I remember that it was our longest and most tiring photo session ever and took a whole day to get all the necessary pics.

 

Going out as a four-piece was it ever not going to happen?  Did you think around that time that the band was done? What about the recording process, how different was it?

It was different without Cas but we took it in our stride, I knew that the band wasn’t finished and it didn’t feel that much different playing live. Recording was as easy going as ever and John and myself were writing enough songs but we did have to work harder on the backing vocals and harmonies without Cas being there.

 

Would you say that John recording with Pete Stride made him a more confident writer and bandmember?  He brings quite a bit to the table for Boys only and sings on quite a few.  How did you decide who sang what?  are there versions recorded say of ‘Monotony’ with you delivering a vocal and Duncan or was that never done? because you say he (Duncan) sang it live.

Yes, John had become more confident and also had become a better singer. As regards who sang what, I usually only sang the songs that I’d written or written with Cas, and Duncan usually sang John’s and a few Steel/Dangerfield songs that we thought would suit his voice. I think “Monotony” was only ever likely to be sung by John on record.

 

You got to record in some iconic studios such as Rockfield, Pye and Olympic were you aware of your surroundings at the time?  Was there a favourite? or a particular song you look back on that you really nailed because of where you were.  Rockfield had the toilet at the end of the hallway with a mic in the hall did you ever apply such techniques?

Yes, I was definitely chuffed to be using the same studios where some of my favourite tracks had been made. Rockfield/Dave Edmonds/Sabre Dance; Pye/The Kinks etc; Olympic/lots of Stones stuff etc. Rockfield was probably my favourite for its vibe because you also lived there and could totally concentrate on the recording. “Brickfield Nights” was definitely ‘nailed’ there.

 

When the band gets back to playing live is there a chance some of the more obscure tracks might creep into the set?  You mention songs like ‘Little White Lifeline’ and its solo would sound great live.

We sometimes slip in a lesser known track. We do “Lifeline” at acoustic gigs sometimes but without the solo, because even straight after recording that solo, I was never able to play it again.

 

When you have writing credits say like on ‘Schoolgirls’ Cas yourself and John how do you decide who gets on the credits?

It’s usually decided on the spot – if anyone added anything of substance to the song they’d get credit.

 

Changing up songs like ‘Kamakaze’ in the style of VU for ‘Jap Junk’ whose idea was that and was this done on any other songs because it’s quite a departure the saxophone is great on the single mix

The minimalist drums were my idea of a tribute to the Velvets, who first opened my eyed to punk, and I think we’d always had it in mind to get a sax on the song.

 

How many more tapes might there be with the likes of ‘Cry Tomorrow’ on them? Fantastic stuff, maybe another acoustic album is on the cards with some of the rare tunes mixed with the more popular ones you did on the acoustic album. a live acoustic album recorded at Rebellion because a couple of acoustic sets were fantastic from the pubs almost acoustic stage and then the opera house were real highlights?

Well those tapes turned up out of the blue, so who knows what else might turn up. We may consider another acoustic album – it’s a lot easier to make than a full studio album, as is a live album.

 

The band always did great covers are there any you think would have really suited you guys?  Any you worked on that never got recorded?  The other side of it is other people covering The Boys.  Who have you particularly admired any jump out as doing a great job or really getting what the song was about?  Michael Monroe did jimmy Brown and it must always be great when Die Toten Hosen release a covers album and include a Boys Song.

I love Michael’s version of “Jimmy Brown”. I also like the Hosen’s versions of “First Time” and “Brickfield Nights”, and Nicky Sudden’s cover of “Independent Girl”.

 

The live album sounds fantastic,  I’ve always liked the BBC sessions, from some of my favourite bands possibly, because the BBC always had great engineers and their sound recording was top notch and the live ones always sounded so good what are your thoughts on the live album?

Yes, it’s true those Beeb producers and sound engineers were very good and worked very quickly, which really suited us as we generally record fast. I remember that the BBC sound people always seemed to have beards, maybe it was a job requirement.

You illude to it not being your usual audience.  The applause sounds great even after the ‘worm song’ their faces must have been a picture.

They were very polite.

I’ve mentioned it to Steve but it would be great to have these ‘Safari’ recordings as a vinyl set I wouldn’t need my glasses then for the booklet which is great to read your memories of each song.  Did you ever keep diaries or is it just a sharp knack for remembering.  What next for the Boys?  Is there anything left in the archive or what about new material.  ‘Punk Rock Menopause’ was such a great album is there going to be a follow-up?

We’d love to get them out on vinyl and a lot of our fans would love it so who knows?

 

 

“Anyone buying the Box Set directly from The Boys this month (September 2020) will be given a PDF document of Matt Dangerfield’s full Safari notes along with an unreleased 1979 demo of “New Guitar In Town”. For more information email The Boys at info@theboys.co.uk

Special thanks to Steve Metcalfe for always having The Boys corner and doing a sterling job keeping their flame alive and making running features on them such a pleasure.

Always an absolute pleasure to get an earful off The Boys and this much-anticipated box set has come at just the right time in what has been or rather what is a bonkers year.
In a nutshell (or should that be clamshell), what we have here is Safari Records five-disc set of Boys material beginning with the fantastic ‘To Hell With The Boys’ followed by ‘Boys Only’ then the ones that will have fanboys salivating. One CD of Rarities (Granted many of which have already seen the light of day, here and there, like when Captain Oi! released the ‘To Hell’ they included five bonus cuts which are all present in one form or another.
These discs have been lovingly remastered by Matt and James Bragg and are a cornucopia of loud guitars and cheeky chaps doing what they do best… play exceptional Rock and Roll.  The five discs are all accompanied by a really smart  booklet with excellent notes from Matt Dangerfield which gives you a feel for where the band was at the time and corresponding pictures that help paint what the band were up to at the time.
From Cas’ swirling keyboards that sit on top of the mix of ‘Rue Morgue’ these songs could have been mastered underwater and they’d still sound sharp as a tack.  The fact that a lot of these songs still sit prominently in the live set would show how highly the band still regards the ‘To Hell’ album. Tunes such as ‘Terminal Love’, ‘You Can’t Hurt A Memory’ & ‘See You Later’ shows how versatile and creative the band was.
Man, they don’t make Rock and Roll bands like this anymore The Boys had everything, more than the one songwriter, a pair of great guitar players who had their own styles and a whole extra dynamic with more than one vocalist helps with some fantastic backing vocals.  They were never afraid to put a rocker like ‘See You Later’ next to such a mellow laid back and sweet song as ‘You Can’t Hurt A Memory’ with one of Matt’s finest vocal deliveries hitting the spot perfectly, a fantastic arrangement and getting John Mayall to hoot along on this was inspired and all for the price of a bottle of Vodka! Brilliant.  I love ‘Kamikaze’ for those honkin’ Sax breaks and I didn’t realise it was Johns first foray into lead vocals.
To be fair having this all pulled together in one place long after most of this is hard to get hold of unless you have deep pockets is an achievement in itself and the booklet with all the fantastic memorabilia is a great addition and well worth checking out even for the casual its the perfect gateway into the band and their music.
The BBC live album is a corker but then if you’ve ever seen the band live you’ll know they don’t do bad shows and this foray into the BBC and the heart of the establishment, mixes up their output thus far with old and new songs and spot-on delivery.
As the blurb says 71 tracks in all, 22 rare and previously unreleased songs, the X Rated Yobs Crimbo album just in time to play around the table as your nan tucks into her Christmas dinner round your house. Of course, I highly recommend you buy this box set, its a keeper and for those who are looking to tie up loose ends, this is perfect maybe 2020 hasn’t been a total bust after all its not every year you get a Boys box set.  Buy it!
“Anyone buying the Box Set directly from The Boys this month (September 2020) will be given a PDF document of Matt Dangerfield’s full Safari notes along with an unreleased 1979 demo of “New Guitar In Town”. For more information email The Boys at info@theboys.co.uk
Buy it from Cherry Red Here
Author: Dom Daley

To celebrate the 6th anniversary of The Boys critically acclaimed album “Punk Rock Menopause” as well as the album track “I’m A Believer” passing a quarter of a million plays on Spotify, Action Records will release a Special Limited Edition yellow & black marbled vinyl copy on 20 June 2020. The release is strictly limited to 100 individually numbered copies. This Limited Edition will also come with a free mp3 download of the whole album.
Action Records will also release “Punk Rock Menopause” on regular black vinyl, the original black vinyl release having been unavailable for four years.
 
On its release “Punk Rock Menopause” became The Boys first new studio album for 33 years and featured original founder members and creative core of Matt Dangerfield, Casino Steel and Honest John Plain. The album is packed with 13 iconic songs bearing the band’s classic trademark blistering guitars, hard-edged melodies, killer hooks and layered harmonies. 
Copies can be ordered from The Boys & Action Records
 
 “An absolute belter” – Uber Rock
 “If you love music, give this album a home. This Menopause is red hot!” –  Rice Cooker
 “Matt Dangerfield, Casino Steel, and Honest John Plain, the writing nucleus of arguably the greatest punk-pop-power-pop band of all time, are back!” – Audio Ammunition
 “Comeback Album of the Year!” – Soundtrack 4 Life
 “Album title of the year” – Classic Rock
 “Ringing guitars, booming drums & bass, punk swagger and grit, mixed with pure pop melodies, vocal harmonies and most importantly great songs – A scorcher!” – Nippertown
 “Power chord riffs, harmonies and titanic choruses were always this outfit’s stock in trade and they’re not about to skimp on them now” – Vive Le Rock
 “It’s absolutely great, everything you’d expect from The Boys” – Bucket List
 “With the opening chords of ‘1976’ you recognise that distinctive guitar sound and when the vocals start, it takes you right back to the glory days of 1978. One catchy song after another, full of simple effective melodies, lovely harmony vocals, great chugging guitar and winning vocals” – Punky Gibbon
 “The Boys are indeed back in town, and it sounds better than ever” – New Noise Magazine
Spotify: Here

 

Albert wrote the following. but I’d like to say ignore his last sentence if you can, please do make a donation no matter how small, every penny counts as they say but obviously if you don’t have the spare dosh then do take up his free offer.

In these trying times some people need more help than others and if you can help please do you know it makes sense.  Besides look what you get in return, Twenty Four fantastic covers  Get on it cool kids and spread the word.

“Long story cut short.
About 20 years ago, I started working on a tribute album to the Hollywood Brats and The Boys. If you’re reading this, you already know what these two legendary bands had in common…Casino Steel! And a few amazing songs. And bad luck. They never achieved the success they deserved, but found a place in the heart of any true lover of rock’n’roll music.
I contacted some of my favourite bands around the world, who I knew were huge fans of the Brats & the Boys, and they recorded some amazing versions of those classic songs. The tribute album never came out at the time (sorry guys!) and remained shelved for almost 20 years.
Fast forward to 2020…the world is in lockdown because of the Corona virus disease. About time to release this goddamn tribute and let people have a good time listening to some great music while in isolation!
All the 24 songs were recorded specifically for this project. You might have heard some of them over the years, as a few bands used them as b-sides or included them in other releases. But most of them have remained unreleased until now. So here it is. Better late than never, I guess. The good news is that it’s absolutely FREE. Bandcamp allows 200 free downloads each month, so first come first served.
You also have the option to pay whatever you want”

Right, let’s dig into this bad boy.  First up is the magnificent talent of Jeff Dahl and a rocket-fuelled ‘Chez Maximes’.  It’s snotty and sets the tone as it blasts off first out the traps, follow that everyone. Blimey, Some bands I’ve obviously heard of and some that are new to me as well as some I’d forgotten about.  ‘USI’ complete with Cass like piano plonk courtesy of The Turpentines is a band that clearly got the remit and duly obliged in sending in their dirty punky pop n roll.

Oh man, Beat Angels taking on ‘Terminal Love’ is worth a few quid of anyones money.  I loved Beat Angels they like the Boys should have been huge and they clearly get what this cracking Honest John number is all about. I wasn’t going to mention every band but as the songs unfold I’m feeling guilty for not mentioning this one or that one and Sour Jazz knock out a beautiful ‘Zurich 17’ the vocals work really well and the sleazy guitars walking all over the song is blissful.  Of course Gyp Casino & the Honest Brats were going to totally get ‘TCP’ that was a given wasn’t it? The Alley Gators show Backyard Babies how the sleazy Rock n Roll should be done with their rip snorting take on ‘I Don’t Care’.

 

They might not be household names taking on the tunes but boy do they get it whatever it is you know that X Factor that these songs possess from the insane melody of ‘Soda Pressing’ that Hundred Million Martians clearly believed in followed by those Streetwalkin Cheetahs and their ‘Kamikaze’.  Thee STP goes full trash on ‘Tumble With Me’.  It’s fair to say that nobody tries to be clever and totally recreate one of these classic songs with a nu metal or rap version and some are better than others but the one thing that does shine through is how bloody good the songs are.  ‘First Time’ is a perfect slice of chart worthy Rock and Roll and hearing The Bullys romp through ‘No Money’ is a blast.

Highschool Hellcats take ‘Classified Susie’ back to school and rock the fuck out.  Bastet turn their amps up for a belter of ‘Brickfield Nights’ is it possible to have too much cowbell?  Nah didn’t think so either. I have to admit that Aerobitch turn in the sleaziest cover of the lot with their full throttle ‘Neighbourhood Brat’ and its great to hear Freddy Lynx with a beautiful rendition of ‘Heroine’

I’m glad to see that there aren’t multiple takes of ‘Brickfield’ or ‘Terminal Love’ and bands were brave enough to take on classics like ‘Living In The City’ and its fitting and the perfect sign off for Trash Brats to nail ‘Sick On You’ which is where it signs off.  What a blast, one of the best compilations I’ve had the pleasure of and being a massive Boys fan its a big deal to hear so many bands paying tribute to one of the best bands out there.  Now all that’s left to say is please give generously (if you can) and enjoy the songs Stay safe kids and turn up that Rock and Roll oh and how about pressing this up on a couple of sweet albums? I’d get one

ALL THE PROCEEDS WILL BE DONATED TO THE ITALIAN RED CROSS. https://www.cri.it/home

Buy the album Here

Author: Dom Daley

Rock n Roll is often meant to be a lot of fun and some artists get it whilst others don’t. Lester comes from a hard-working background where you have to earn your stripes and boy has he earned his. With a fantastic bunch of fellow musicians and friends like Honest John Plain, Wilko Zanni, Davide Ferrario, Francesco-C  to lean on Lester always sounds like his records are the hippest party to be at and Out Of Tune Out Of Key is no different as it sways from good time barroom rock ‘n’ roll like The Boys to Some Hanoi Rocks saxophone  mixed some rollicking piano and at times its not all party party party sometimes like on ‘Until Wrong Turned Right’ his sound reminds me of early Waysted when Fin was bossing it its got elements of the classic 70’s rock of a UFO with a side order of Slade thrown in for good measure.

Songs like the uptempo hard rockin’ ‘Love Me’ would have you punching the air if you were to walk into a bar with the band playing this. Lesters modus operandi is a simple one.  Rock ‘n’ Roll hard and keep smiling but do it to the best of your ability. Don’t do anything clever unless you consider writing catchy hooks and sing-a-long choruses clever because that’s this album in a nutshell. Catchy hooks a plenty, great arrangments, knowing when to throw in a stomping guitar lick or a punky riff or the old classic one-fingered piano roll like on ‘Maybe’ but then again Lester seems to have thrown the full makonky into this one making it dangerous to listen to in confined spaces (be careful out there kids) this is seriously good rock n roll.

 

‘Here She Goes’ introduces some tasty Jonesy like riffola on the intro and has one foot planted into that Professionals camp whilst the other is toe-tapping to be fair that pretty much could be any song on this album. Well, not quite because the title track that sits at the end of this record has a sober opening but soon enough it builds to the big chorus that has the gang arm in arm and singing along before dropping back into the verse.  A fine way to put a full stop on a really enjoyable record. I know Its Only Rock ‘N’ Roll but damn I like it!

Buy It Here

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“And The Beetle Trumpets…”. Recorded at Rock On Studios in Annecy, France in May this year. The Band is called Vocal Remover Requested. Not a band name that rolls off the tongue I’ll admit but when you see the personnel involved.  Those of you of a Rock and Roll persuasion will be all over this record like a rash and so you should be.
With the songwriting duties shared between mr Honest John Plain
and Sergeant No Voice with arrangments from Lester Greenowski and hitting the drums a certain Stéphane Renaud who many will know from the Punk Rock Menopause album released by the Boys.  now you know a bit about the people involved take a second to wonder what this might just sound like.  Ready? … There that wasn’t rocket science, was it?  Its a rock and fucking roll record of course and boy does it rock and roll.
Vocal Remover Requested has got everything bar the kitchen sink thrown in (it might even have that) laid out over fourteen songs.  As soon as you get that crisp slap of the snare they’re off.  The sludgy distorted Rock and Roll is happening and honest John Plain is right on form. ‘Personal Rain’ is a fine opener on this plain and simple rockin’ record.  There are no airs and graces here just a good time, No make that a great time played by people who really mean it man, not some Johnny come latelys jumping on a bandwagon but lifers with rock and roll coursing through their veins, playing rock n roll music that’s best left to the professionals and shouldn’t be tried at home unsupervised unless you’re sufficiently proficient like say Honest John Plain.
I love the melodies and the deadpan delivery of ‘Handle With Care’ as the music motors on and crashes into the next one ‘Self Sorryness’ is a traditional romp with Honest John shouting the counter chorus back at Sergeant and then ripping into the solo.  Classic and always a joy to hear. You just know that these songs would make for one hell of a great night out imagine happening upon some sleazy smokey bar and this is blasting out from the stage – me I’d be ecstatic and you just know that the louder you get your speakers the better this is going to sound.  the songs are about everyday life birds, booze with a cheeky wink and a smile.  the songs never go too fast nor do they  venture into genres or territories they don’t know this is a close relative to Plains day job with The Boys and not a million miles from The Amigos or the Crybabys and to end it all they take a seat and grab those acoustic guitars for a more gentle exit and I doubt they give a flying whatsit what any of us think but for what its worth I love it and highly recommend you grab yourself a copy before they’re all gone and then you’ll give a flying whatsit.
Author:Dom Daley.

These weeks Monday morning video selections are all culled from some of this weeks revies starting with today’s album review the fantastic Nikki Hill performing a Chuck Classic. view away those Monday mornings. blues.

Next up, Later this week we review the brand new album from Californian punk legends the US Bombs. until then we’ll leave you with this classic.

Finally this week we bring you the brand new album that features Honest John Plain so its only fair that we round up this week three videos with a classic released on the same label as this weeks review.  Take it away John…

Seven days in Rock and Roll can be a long time or if you like us then it’ll fly by.  With some exclusive interviews and a whole lot of records reviewed we hope we’ve at least shone a little light into a corner of the entertainment world we think houses the best of the best and having the likes of Rich Jones give an interview with some snippets about the new Michael Monroe album revealed ‘One Man Gang’ is now out of the bag and having the likes of Nasty Suicide and Captain Sensible playing on the record 2019 is shaping up nicely or as someone here at HQ said “that’s album of the year sorted for 2019”.

We also brought you Paul Collins interview who is the self declared king of power pop although I did get a call in to HQ saying that wasn’t quite true as Rags now holds that title but I’m not getting involved in that debate but we did announce that Rich Ragany is holding an album launch in London Town in January and the line up is a very impressive set of bands that shouldn’t be missed details can be found on RPM online News section.

There were live reviews from Japanese Garage legends King Brothers as well as acoustic platinum seller Eric Martin and on Friday we brought you a review of The Feelgood Band playing in London which rounded up a pretty diverse bunch from around the globe I’m sure you’ll agree?

For our bread and butter album reviews, we had some old new um very old and one turkey so a festive collection of records were covered by a crack team of scribes.  We previewed Black Friday RSD must own – Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers ‘DTK’ as well as newcomers Estrons that went down extremely well here.  We took a trip to New York for Palmyra Delran and her doppelgangers and whilst we were there Beechwood were heading out the door to Europe for a tour but left us their new long player which is also an impressive second album this year from the three-piece.  The Turkey well we couldn’t sit Idol let Billy off without mentioning his revisited best-of collection that has been given the dance remix treatment which could have worked but cutting edge it isn’t.  90’s dated Ibiza dance off it might have been but disappointing is what it is and we can only bring you the truth here at RPM even though we love William Broad we’re excited for Generation Sex but not his new collection of remixes. There were the likes of the excellent Bitterlicks and Dave Kusworth records reviewed before they hit the shops as well as Thomas Silvers much anticipated solo album.

 

Not wanting to finish on a downer we look forward to the coming week where you have to keep it RPM online because we’re bringing you The Hip Priests and He Who Cannot Be Named live and where else are you getting that and Junkyard bookending Cowboy Junkies?  Nowhere that’s where. Also, we have albums from Honest John Plain, Australians Civic, New York Sick OF It All and Europeans like Youth Avoiders and Fertile Hump.  So remember to keep it RPM online and as Lux would say Stay Sick.