Bath based power pop loons Ulysses have been delivering quirky, glam-slam slices of noise for many years now. With more facial hair than a cave full of cavemen and a wardrobe half-inched from Huggy Bear, they have produced 3 albums of vintage noise steeped equally in both 70’s nostalgia and Brit Pop goodness. You see, these fun loving chaps owe as much to the likes of Super Furry Animals and Supergrass as they do to heroes like Bowie and Bolan. And it’s a good mix of influences that shine through to make their fourth long player ‘On Safari’ a fantastic ride from start to finish.

 

Check out the cover art by the wonderful Caitlin Mattisson for starters. Lions, giant snakes and a hot medieval babe with 8 arms and a broadsword….fair play, I’m sold on that alone! Let’s hope the music is up to it too.

And of course it is, Ulysses does not disappoint. Opener ‘Looking For A Guru’ sets the scene with a glitter-coated, platform boot stomp. What sounds like a sitar introduces the song that rides on a catchy refrain over big beats, handclaps and Paul Stanley helium vocals. It’s more 70’s than a packet of Spangles and twice as sweet. A glorious album opener.

The following funky, yet spunky ‘Doctors And Nurses’ out-foxes Foxy Shazam. Sirens wail and sweet vocals harmonise the intro. Tongue-in-cheek lyricism and double-entendres are rife. Its disco groove shouts Scissor Sisters, while its wailing guitar outro shouts Kiss, what’s not to like here? A total contrast to the opener, yet still in tune with their retro sound.

These boys have a handful of singles on offer for you too. “For those about to rock…for those about to roll’ drawls the singer over sloppy, cool riffs and cowbell accompaniment on the fantastic ‘Bad Tattoo’. The following ‘Dragons’ is full of instant, quirky melodies and fuzzy guitars, coming on like the perfect mash-up of Weezer and the Super Furries. Whether it’s actually about dragons is debatable, what’s not debatable is that it was the perfect single choice.

 

They veer into classic sounding 60’s pop territory and make it sound so effortless. ‘This Useless Love’ has  Beach Boys/Everly Brothers vibes and ‘She’ is a glorious slab of 60’s pop with urgent beats, killer vocal harmonies and ripping guitar solos, coming on like Kula Shaker at their finest.

The trippy, prog fest that is ‘Situation Man’ is out there maaan! A full on Hammond organ jam out and elsewhere, ‘Fuzzy Lion’ mixes up a ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ drum beat with Silver Sun vocalisin’ in the most sublime of ways.

‘Let’s Move’ prove that Giuda and Biters aren’t the only cool cats to channel Thin Lizzy and Slade all in one double denim-clad 3-minute pop hit or two. Even the reggae-infused mid-section breakdown can’t detract from their ability to create songs that should be on 7 inch and riding high in the hit parade, pop pickers. Killer tuneage!

It’s no surprise that singer Luke Smyth has seemingly morphed into a young Jeff Lynne. Check out the likes of ‘Married Woman’ and the eccentricity of closer ‘Calendar Street’ with its immense ELO layered harmonies climax. I even had to YouTube and Google ‘Why Aren’t These People My Friends’ just to be sure, as I feel like I should already know it… I don’t and it’s ace!

It may be raining outside, but Ulysses bring the sunshine to your stereo with their new long player ‘On Safari’. I didn’t think they made the sort of drugs that could inspire this sort of music anymore, maybe I’m wrong, or maybe it’s just the Bath water (sic). But Ulysses has created a trippy, hippie-fied, love-fest of an album. A soundtrack to the summer we have yet to experience. And certainly one of the most entertaining albums you will hear this year.

Author: Ben Hughes

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You wait a while for one then a few come together isn’t that whats always said? It seemed like that waiting for a new Waterboys record and no it’s not ‘The whole of the moon’ or ‘fisherman’s blues’ revisited.  This is Mike Scott kicking over quite a few genres in one go from rockin’ out (the title Track and opener) to a bit of post-punk (London Mick) to some smooth pop (Right Side Of Heartbreak) to …ah wait n see.

Rewind to the opener and some raw reckless rock n roll and not for a while have I been this excited to hear what Scott has come up with and this is excellent. As is ‘London Mick’ as Scott regales us with tales of The Clash and Mick Jones. Vibrant and a fine piece of writing and as always Scott has a great tale to tell.

‘In My Time On Earth’ is Dylan if Dylan could still sing.  An achingly beautiful song that builds but not to such grande epic proportions but to a gentle raised voice rather than a shout.  This album ebbs and flows and the epic ‘Ladbroke Grove Symphony’ is classic Waterboys with a great arrangement then, you’re hit by the funk of ‘Take Me There I Will Follow You’ and from the scratches and backing vocals and Rap, this is a departure and one hell of a curveball nothing new for the Waterboys as there have been dalliances with different genres on previous albums ‘If I Was Your Boyfriend’ off the last album was slightly funky in a Stones ‘Miss You’ kinda way..  I’m not saying I’m against taking a departure – he’s not the first to mix things up but I don’t think I like the song regardless – there I’ve said it.  I can pass on this one.

The curveballs keep coming as we go down synth wormholes that again lose me momentarily. To be fair the second half of this record seems to have fallen off a cliff for me which is a real disappointment as it started out oh so well.  No, I’m quite partial to a bit of Beck and Eels and I can get it when a songwriter wants to push back some boundaries and I get the Prince thing but first and foremost the songs have to draw you in an so far that’s not happening.  Sure the first half of the record was an easy reel in for me but I’ struggling right through side two up until the melancholy ‘Piper At The Gates of Dawn’ all ten minutes of it. Much like the last studio album, I felt a little out of step and it never did really click with me not even the Scatman tune.

There is a CD version with a bonus disc where Scott really gets to fuck with the listener.  ‘Where The Action Is’ get the full Primal Scream treatment and I did raise a smirk on ‘London Mick’ with the introduction – I won’t Spoil it for you.  In fact, the whole second Cd is a homage to symbol or Prince maybe the Celtic Prince as Scott will call himself in future as he vanishes in a puff of experimental smoke as this will truly test his fanbase who might be looking for him to grow older gracefully  that doesn’t sound like it happening any day soon and I salute Scott for that.

Buy Where The Action Is Here

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Author: Dom Daley

Ok, so we’ve been sitting on this album for a while at RPM…literally! I found it, seemingly forgotten, stuffed between a pile of unopened bills, unread Labour pamphlets, punk rock flyers and various promo CDs on my coffee table (yes, it’s a rock ‘n’ roll mess, I’ll tidy it one day I’m sure!).

Damn, how did I miss this fucker? But better late than never, I’m on it like Graham Bonnet. The brand new album from that self-proclaimed “hooligan rock ‘n’ roll” band known as Control.

‘Democracy Is Dead’ is the 5th long player from a band who look as mean as they sound. This band has a fire in their bellies for sure, but singer Iain Kilgallon and his band are more than bovver booted boys in combats and Harrington jackets. They have proper quality tunes as well as a message, and they are passionate about it.

 

Bells chimes and rousing beats introduce the album as the title tracks spews from the speakers. It’s “Oi-Oi” at full pace, the buzzsaw guitar riffs and low slung licks of Reesy and Ryan prevail, as Iain spits a diatribe of class divide, paranoia and overall disdain.

It’s over in a flash, the first of several anthemic songs that are rich in both melody and meaning. Don’t get me wrong, Control are angry fuckers, they have good reason to be, as do we all. They deliver their diatribes with a clenched fist in the air and a boot towards any authoritarian who questions their motives.

With attitude and melody dished out in equal measures, the likes of ‘Violent World’ and ‘Anti Social Media’ are both clever and well written songs that have staying power and an uplifting vibe, yet still retain the raw, punk rock power we desire. The production is spot on too and brings out the best in this band. The guitar sound is fantastic and the quality riffs are dished out again and again.

 

There’s something distinctly British about their brand of punk ‘n’ roll music, in part due to the accented delivery of the vocals. Only a British band could deliver tongue in cheek lyricism so well. “Toughen up, or take a long walk…off a right short pier” the singer spits on ‘Snowflake Generation’, reminding me of the Anti-Nowhere League. Elsewhere on the title track “Daddy was a banker. A crooked sod” is delivered in full on Steve Jones style. And if you can keep up with Iain on that tongue twister chorus of ‘American Gangster’ then hats off to ya!

It’s no surprise to find that Rancid’s Lars Fredrikson is a fan; they even supported The Old Firm Casuals recently. When you have a song as good as ‘Just Don’t Understand’ in your repertoire, it’s easy to see why.

 

In these trying times, with our country rapidly turning to shit and a government hell-bent on flushing us all down the Brexit toilet, it may be the perfect time for a band who wanna stand up and shout from the terraces and tower blocks of the working class Brits to say, they are not ok with the overly monitored police state we live in, and they are not ok with the lying, power-hungry politicians who run it.

‘Democracy Is Dead’ is a fiery beast of an album, choc-a-bloc with choruses that will incite you to chant, lyrics that could incite a riot and a defiant 2 fingers raised in the general direction of our crumbling government. Control could well have delivered the perfect punk rock soundtrack to broken Britain in 2019.

 

Buy ‘Democracy Is Dead’ Here

Author: Ben Hughes

 

The Membranes release the heaviest album of the year so far.  Not heavy in the way of an Iron Maiden (obviously) but heavy as in dense physical mass as it lurches from the shade into the light and back again like a beast that’s bee in the wilderness for decades and then suddenly it wanders into the metropolis as the opener will testify covering everything about this record in one track.

The title track is Robbs punchy throbbing bass line right front and center in the mix is a heaving throwback to the days when Joy Division was kicking up dust over the Northwest. These aren’t rounded soft and pleasant noises the band is throwing out there. ‘A Murder Of Crows’ is like the bastard child of Bow Wow Wow as the song jerks and leers towards the listener in an uncomfortable noise yet its compelling enough to keep you listening.  Like some sort of musical cooperative if you want in just turn up and shake a tambourine or blow a horn I’m sure there’s someone hitting a kitchen sink in there somewhere along with throwing a piano down a flight of stairs.

There has to be a Bauhaus influence in there as ‘Black Is The Colour’ about the dark epicenter of winter bloody well sounds it.  Not what you might call TOTP material for a single unless its the post-apocalypse TOTP with a chaotic reverb emanating of Robbs jagged bass line it’s uncomfortable yet listenable and they’ve got the levels spot on.

this double album is an ambitious project and it’s often dark yet alluring uninviting and cold yet warm at the same time one thing it is for sure and that’s epic.  If you’re trying to take it in in one sitting then strap yourself in it might be a bumpy ride just listening to the Janes Addiction sounding chaos of ‘The 21 St Century Is Killing Me’ from its choir on the chorus to the juddering riff its a whole load of epic in one track. the final track ‘Pandoras Box’ is like a headfuck with Choirs, strings, thumping bass, Dead Kennedy’s riff, at times it sounds like a lost Stranglers track and others it sounds like a gift from above its exhausting listening but in a good way.

Another feature of this record is the guest list Kirk Brandon (Theatre of Hate, Spear of Destiny) and 84-year-old folk singer Shirley Collins.  TV presenter Chris Packham also contributes to ‘Winter’, also Jordan turns up, yes she of the Kings Road and a woman who practically invented the punk Rock shock look in 1975. Half the tracks also feature the 20-piece Choir.  So you can’t fault the band for trying to include the Jewson lot into this record besides it doesn’t always work but what the hell they’re trying and that’s a strength.  when it works its a beautiful thing I can’t tell you where it works that’s for you to decide but I would suggest you at least give this a try you never know it might reel you in.

 

The band must have driven themselves half round the bend recording this but I bet once they had the record in their hands and dropped the needle in that first groove they’ll feel it was all most definitely worth it.

 

Buy What Nature Give Here

Author: Dom Daley

As of today, ‘What Nature Gives … Nature Takes Away’ will be available on vinyl and CD, and digitally from stores such as iTunes and streaming platforms. There is also a deluxe double vinyl ultra limited edition of 150 copies.

This summer, cosmetics company Lush will also release a Membranes perfume called ‘A Strange Perfume’ after the album’s opening track. I bet you weren’t expecting that were you?

Being together as a band for almost 40 years now – I guess it’s safe to say that D-A-D would have to be very comfortable in their own skins to have survived quite so long.
It’s hardly surprising then that ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ the band’s first new studio record in eight years is grounded in this ethos, the band having graduated from their humble Disneyland After Dark cow-punk beginnings into major label arena rock contenders who then, through their own hard work and helpyourselfishness, managed to survive the onset of grunge when most hard rockers perished through to eventually becoming the band they are today and have been since the release of ‘Everything Glows’ back in 2000. An album which coincidently not only saw the band change their name to D-A-D but also saw the band’s newest member Laust Sonne join the core trio of the band (singer/guitarist Jesper Binzer, bassist Stig Pedersen and guitarist Jacob Binzer) behind the drum kit.
So, what does almost two decades of being (this version of) D-A-D actually sound like?
Well, remember those days when new albums by the likes of Aerosmith and AC/DC used to leave you thrilled and wanting more? That’s instantly how I felt about ‘A Prayer For The Loud’, as both those hard rock giants sprung to mind during the first couple of spins, but of course this is always going to be a D-A-D record what with the instantly recognisable rich and raspy vocal tones of Jesper Binzer ever present and ready to strike.
Of the eleven new cuts on offer here at least nine of them are total bangers, pure four to the floor rock n roll music, with even glimpses of the mighty Gluecifer and The Cult (circa ‘Electric’/’Sonic Temple’) creeping into the mix during the simply immense ‘The Real Me’.

The album itself gets off to a blazing start with ‘Burning Star’ and the throbbing ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ and I challenge anyone to listen to either of these tracks and not draw an immediate arc back to the band’s commercial peak (here in the UK) of ‘No Fuel Left For The Pilgrims’ and ‘Riskin’ It All’, two albums that any connoisseur of quality guitar-driven rock music will have had in their collections for decades now.

Elsewhere with ‘Musical Chairs’ which crops up just past the halfway mark, the guys have written the song Airbourne have been searching for since they floundered for a sound to take them to the next level, whilst ‘Nothing Ever Changes’ and ‘The Sky Is Made Of Blues’ are the perfect soundtrack for top-down summer driving.

Of the two slower moments on ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ album closer ‘If The World Just’ is my preferred choice over ‘A Drug For The Heart’ purely because the latter sails a little too close to a certain Backyard Babies track for its own good, albeit with Jesper at the mic this is much more Aerosmith than Social Distortion ballad territory.

Kudos must also be given here to the production team of Nick Foss and Rune Nissen Petersen who have taken heavy hitters like ‘No Doubt About It’, ‘Time Is A Train’ and ‘Happy Days In Hell’ and given then an enormous sound that instantly fills your head with rock ‘n’ roll melodies that will live with you for days, no make that years, to come.
I’m not entirely sure why I’m so surprised by how amazing ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ is because D-A-D have always produced quality albums, it’s just this one is right up there with their very best work and is as a said at the beginning of this review the sound of a band very comfortable in their own skins.

Hands down this is the best classic/traditional (label it what you will) album I’ve heard in 2019.
BUY IT!!!!

Author: Johnny Hayward

Buy ‘A Prayer For The Loud’ 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”

When I saw Aussie punks Amyl & The Sniffers live recently, singer Amy Taylor launched herself into an excited and sweaty pit to sing and mosh with her fans for the first of several times…the band had been on stage less than a minute.

Part Yolandi Visser, part Wendy O Williams, Amy Taylor is a tiny, platinum-haired Aussie whirlwind of fun. Along with her mullet sporting flatmates; Declan (guitars), Bryce (drums) and Gus (bass) whom she formed the band with back in 2016. They have steadily been making waves since writing, recording and releasing their debut EP in the space of 12 hours.

These waves have made it across continents since the vinyl release of their ‘Giddy Up/Big Attractions’ EP, culminating with the band recently touring the States and the UK to rave reviews and packed clubs.

 

They don’t fuck around when it comes to music and live they are a high-octane blast of energy guaranteed to incite riots. That riot-inciting attitude is captured perfectly on their debut, self-titled album.

Just look at that goddamn album artwork and tell me you don’t need a piece of that in your life right now? Imagine a mash of The Rezillos, The Dead Boys and X-Ray Spex covering The Breaking Glass soundtrack and you might get close to their sound.

No one is doing late 70’s punk right now with as much balls, as much energy and certainly with as much authenticity as Amyl & The Sniffers are.

 

‘Starfire 500’ is simply one of the best album openers of the year, what a track! It blasts from the speaker with a statement of intent, riding on some out-of-this-world  Ramones-a-like riff. In Sniffers terms it’s an epic beast; Amy’s distinctive, snotty vocals don’t even start until the 1 minute 30 mark.

It’s clear from the off that the band have taken things up a level and they have come a long way since that lo-fi debut EP. While the production has improved, the songs are still full of raw, undiluted garage rock goodness.

If Kylie had been mentored by GG Allin instead of Pete Waterman she would probably have come out with a song like ‘Gacked On Anger’, a furious diatribe set to a wall of fat distortion.

Previously released singles are present and correct. The brilliant ‘Cup Of Destiny’ has a hook that will embed itself in your brain instantly and album closer ‘Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)’ is like some anti ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. A “fuck you!” song to an ex about his new bird (or dog in this instance). Amy even throws in some choice “woof-woofs” for good measure.

The band bashes out 3 chord bangers like they were born to do it, with every track worthy of 7” release, like old school punk classics. ‘Monsoon Rock’ rides on a stabbing Dr. Feelgood style riff before descending into a power trip of Dead Boys proportions. The vocals spat with venom and the dirty guitars delivered with the power of a DC 10. The Stooges-like ‘Control’ is a chaotic, death trip jam, and ‘Angel’ is as close as the band gets to a love song…at least I think it’s a love song, but it sure ain’t no ballad, folks!

‘Got You’ sounds like an early Adam & The Ants b side. Riding on a rumbling bass line and a great chanting chorus, the lead vocals delivered with a most nonchalant punk rock attitude. The accompanying video features the boys in the band on leashes being walked by their singer. You gotta love it, and I have so much love for this tune right now.

 

Garage rock bands are two a penny, but Amyl and The Sniffers are the dirty penny you want to scrub up and keep for good. They have the tunes, the style and the attitude to match. They also have a growing fan base, a ferocious live reputation and now a killer album to boot. How can they possibly fail? An essential purchase.

Buy Amyl And The Sniffers Here

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Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Setzer, Rocker and Phantom back together in the same room recording kick-ass rock and roll after forty years together.  who’d have thought that?

Whilst they might be plying their tried and tested trade they’ve never been about reinventing the wheel they just want to preserve 1950’s Rock and Roll as best they can and look cool as doing it.  Whilst techniques have changed and equipment has changed dramatically – Hell, how we listen to our music has also changed significantly over the last decade never mind forty years!

I guess it doesn’t matter what decade or timeline you’re preaching from if it ain’t got no soul it can’t Rock and Roll and the one things The Stray Cats can still do all the decades later is Rock and Roll and they’ve never forgotten how to write a tune or two either.

The album was recorded as a live band in a room in a couple of takes, pretty much as you’d hear them live I guess which in today’s money is a nuts way to do things and would puzzle a new bunch of kids.  Most people don’t even spend time in the studio together they post in their parts and record ’em at home for the most part. To go back to the old school is a brave move even for these cats but the rewards are a rich sound that full of vitality and vibrancy.

Twelve cuts of prime lean Stray Cats is expected and to be fair the trio duly delivers the goods  No special guests, no studio trickery – No autotune no sirs. It’s not so much the standard Rockabilly tunes that do it for me either, it’s the curveballs that I’m gonna champion.

Sure they kick off in super safe territory with the familiar shuffle of ‘Cat Fight’, ‘Rock It Off’ and ‘Got Love If You Want It’.  All fairly safe even if they’re done to perfection this is the stuff these three can do in their sleep.  It’s the rougher ‘Cry Danger’ that sets this record alight for me with its rolling guitar lick from Setzer and the cool backbeat that makes it a fine fine tune. Some impressive guitar playing from one of the greats but very understated.  A top tune.

To follow that with the excellent ‘I Attract Trouble’ which is the coolest song they’ve come up with for many a year.  again a great riff and throwing in a ‘pipeline’ riff as the swamp tone is smokin’.  You can settle down then for some classic rock and roll fifties style with ‘When Nothing Going Right’ being an uptempo song that’s cool as but I’m not sure there was any need to throw in a mid-tempo instrumental in the middle with ‘Desperado’ but hey nobody said it was perfect.

If you’re looking for that smoldering ballad to close this bad boy then have a word with yourself because ‘I’ll Be Looking Out For You’ is a mean uptempo scorcher and one of the best tunes on offer and its a joy to hear Setzer let rip on that old Gretsch of his but they leave no room for a soft song for tough guys instead ‘Devils Train’ is swashbuckling and a really good ending to a well above average record.  I was hoping it was going to be good but I think to be fair its exceeded my expectations, by including a few really good songs that aren’t so formulaic and honoring that traditional 50s structure is great to hear even after all these years that The Stray Cats can challenge themselves whilst keeping the quality of the songs so high.  So ’40’ is a big Yes from me and if you like a bit of old school teaching you new tricks in these fast-moving times then you won’t go far wrong with this new Stray Cats record.

Buy ’40’ Here

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Author: Dom Daley

The Making Of ’40’

Watch behind the scenes of the making of '40'

Posted by Stray Cats on Monday, 11 March 2019

Not been so wet recently as summer seems to have graced Shit Island so let’s give you a few tunes to mull over on your Monday travels to work.  first up from Derby brothers Johnny and George Marriott, PET NEEDS play fractured party music (apparently)  so you decide but we think ‘How To Perfectly Pretend’ is a pretty good introduction to the band that I’m sure we’ll all be hearing a lot more form.

 

 

If that didn’t impress you how about this bunch of loons. Dboys is the name punk fuckin’ rock is their game.  Check out this video before we hit you with a live review this very week.

Finally, take a squizz at this absolute cracker courtesy of Hillbilly Moon Explosion.  Sparky from Demented Are Go features on ‘Jackson’ taken from their new album out this week on Jungle records.

 

When this tour was officially announced I think just about everybody connected with RPM, booked their tickets for a venue somewhere in the UK, not just for a re-invigorated Wildhearts, but to check out the late addition of Towers of London to open the proceedings.

 

As the time approached I got really excited by the thought of a night with such a variety of music on one bill!

 

It’s been a while since I caught up with the Wildhearts live, I’ve dipped in and out of them since the early days, (I remember catching them supporting a fledgling Manic Street Preachers in Cardiff University) as well as numerous festival and venue appearances, even catching Ginger on his Ghost in the Tanglewood foray into Americana. But the real kicker for me was the addition of Towers of London to this 3 band bill. I’d never managed to catch them back at the height of their notoriety, when they were being touted as Britain’s answer to G’N’R, it seemed like every week they’d hit the press with their latest outrageous incident or behavior, building to a frenzy that resulted in the group exploding, the music they created actually getting lost in the carnage.

Opening with “I’m a Rat” I think you could have picked my jaw off the floor, and I think the smile just got bigger as the gig went on. I couldn’t believe how tight and in your face the music sounded, how focused the musicianship and how much the band seemed to be enjoying things. Do you know what that enjoyment spread to an ever-increasing crowd and by the time we hit set closer “Fuck it up” the audience was well involved. To me, it seemed that the band had relaxed, stopped playing up to a tabloid image and were there for the music, for the crowd and to give things a real shot. It will be interesting to see in the future the support slots they pick up and if rumours are confirmed there’s a real biggie coming up which will connect them to an audience better suited to their brand of Punk/R’n’R. But ultimately if the new LP due hits the heights of this live performance they’ll be headlining SWX in their own right.

 

In the lull between Towers of London and Massive Wagons, I had cause to smile at a conversation between two Massive Wagons fans, noticeable by the T-Shirts about how easy it had been to get tickets for the Pink gig in Cardiff! Made me think about how diverse their audience is and how easily they could cross into the mainstream, which they seem to make a hell of a fist of doing. Now at this point I feel I have to be upfront and honest, I don’t particularly like their take on classic Rock, don’t get me wrong they are great at what they do but for me music has to have a sprinkle of stardust, something that sets it aside, an edge if you like, there is no edge to Massive Wagons.

Nothing I saw in the stage show changed my mind in any way, but I was very much in the minority, they went down a storm.

Waiting for the main Act to hit the stage thoughts drifted to what type of Wildhearts performance we were going to get, I needn’t have worried, with the p.a. turned up to 11 they hit the stage to a storming version of “Dislocated” from the new LP Renaissance men, and the drive and energy of the band hit you straight away, what an aural onslaught! Every time I catch the Wildhearts live my thoughts is always how clever the band is, how catchy the songs and how huge they should be, maybe this LP will put them right on the top of the pile.

Rolling into “Suckerpunch”, leading on to “Sick of Drugs” you could feel the paint peeling from the wall’s, this was one of those performances that made a statement. Without going into every song, I don’t think there was a weak track played or performed tonight, standouts in the main set for me? “Urge”, “Caffeine bomb” and “Love you til I don’t”.

But the band weren’t done we had a monster encore with “The Renaissance men” followed by “Someone that won’t let go”, “You took the Sunshine from New York,” “Mazel Tov Cocktail”, “My Baby is a Headfuck” and the evergreen” I Wanna go where the people go”.

The Earth definitely needs the Wildhearts/ Rock and Roll needs the Wildhearts, especially a Wildhearts, flat out, throttle down, focused and delivering an LP as consistently powerful as this newbie. Happy days!!!!!

Author: Nev Brooks

Buy ‘Renaissance Men’ HERE