As previously announced Peter Doherty and Carl Barât play two acoustic shows at London’s Hackney Empire on Thursday 5th September and Friday 6th September, as part of Somewhere Festival, which sold-out within minutes of going on sale.
Hey, Ho Lets Go! Geoff Palmer has got this power pop punk rock off to a tee. He’s nailed the melodic Ramones melodies for that 50’s feel and the playing is street tough, not brawling but tough enough to wear a leather jacket after dark kinda tough.
Sixteen tracks of hard luck no luck tough love boy meets girl falls in love falls outa love has a beer hangs out with his buddies you know the drill. One thing I have to say is this record sounds like it was recorded on a lot of laughs and was such a fun record to make I can’t believe this was a hard job pulling these tunes out of the band at all – Hell I might be way off but that’s what these tunes are singing to me.
‘I Like Murder Too’ (oh that love song) has a touch of The Dwarves about it. I could certainly hear Blag wagging his finger to this one in some flea pit out on the road somewhere. What separates it is the acoustic guitar underneath the buzzing electric guitar riff but those backing vocals are top notch.
‘Got The Skinny’ is time honoured and the loud overdriven guitars sound great doesn’t it. ‘We Can’t Do It’ is way over there in Beach Boys territory on the intro – No seriously but fear not the distortion pedal is pressed and away we go its 16ths on the hi-hat and woohoo! the end.
‘Everything Is Cool’ hell yeah! and so it is. great riff, great fun lets go! When you’re onto a good thing don’t stop don’t try and be cool or be hip just keep rolling and so ‘All The Hits’ scratches that pop-punk itch. When we hit ‘Paper Heart’ Palmer introduces some keys and jolly nice they are too. Adding another colour to the pallet whilst its just a slower pace its a great piece of songwriting sure it won’t see him inducted to the Hall Of Fame but it will put a smile on someones face when they spin this record loudly on their stereo on a Friday night and that’s just the point isn’t it. One piece at a time – we’ll get there in good time.
‘Donut’ is a cool tune and ‘Make It’ is a great way to wind down the record from the arrangement to the melody its borrowed a bit from the 80’s new wave of the Cars and alternative Westerberg in his later Replacements days. Which just leave a couple of tracks with one being ‘Punker Than You’ which is as you’d expect but the finale is acoustic – slide guitar and a rocking horse upbeat stroll like a long lost Exploding Hearts track. Get Geoff Palmer on tour with Shit Islands The Speedways and together they can conquer the world I guarantee it (maybe)
Much Like Brad Marino these talented so and so’s make up the songwriting duo of garage rock faves The Connection or Geoff is also one-third of pop-punk darlings The Guts, punk rockers, power-poppers, and garage rockers this is one you can feast on whenever – it’s like a little ray of East Coast sunshine.
Author: Dom Daley
I know what you’re thinking,” just who the fuck are Dboy?”
I thought exactly the same when just a few days before this gig I was instructed by the one and only Simon Phillips (yes he of Cheap Sweaty Fun fame) that I had to go to this show at all costs, “this band are the new Turbonegro” he boldly claimed, ”yeah Turbonegro or The Dead Boys”.
High praise indeed I’m sure you will agree…. but most importantly he had me intrigued.
A couple of Bandcamp listens later (I’ll never truly understand the anti-streaming brigade like multi-millionaire Steve Lukather I really won’t) and I’ve secured a ticket for tonight’s show, the last on the band’s debut UK visit. £6 is all it cost me and I feel like Charlie Bucket as I bowl up to Clwb Ifor sixth sensing I’m about to witness something very special indeed.
Also on the bill tonight are two local supports; Nigel, who plough a late 80s early 90s alt rock furrow seemingly intent of making me dig out my Chuck Mosely era Faith No More LPs when I get back home, by splicing the agit punk undertones of that band with some of the more “out there moments” from Pearl Jam into one glorious cacophony of sound. Plus there’s The Vega Bodegas who take the influence gene pool of their predecessors and add a twist of the pop suss of Grunge complete with the dry sense of humour that only growing up in the south Wales valleys can gift you. ‘Complete History of Witchcraft’ which comes complete with frontman/guitarist Jimmy telling a seemingly true story of sitting next to a witch on an Easyjet flight is for me the highlight of the band’s uber tight set. Before a frenzied ‘Monkey Ate The Monkey’ also sees Nigel re-join the band on stage for one last foray into the mosh pit. I can’t help but wonder what chaos these two might be able to conjure up if they were ever to head off on a tour of the UK’s fast diminishing smaller live venues.
The delights of which tonight’s headliners have been experiencing for themselves this past week or so, but then again when you have escaped the Gulags of Russia just to be able to deliver your debut record, I’m sure stomaching a few motorway breakfasts will seem like a dawdle by comparison.
Granted the Soviet refugees decamped to Canada back story that Dboy trade on might be bending the truth just a little bit, but the trio’s mission statement regarding “ending sonic austerity” is one we should all buy into. I mean just yards away there is a venue promoting tribute bands like they are the live music scene’s one and only salvation, and that brothers and sisters I can assure you they are fucking not, bands like Dboy are the salvation and their debut album ‘Prove Your Love – Live in Belem’ is one I demand you all go out and buy! It’s brilliant in its ability to stun the listener.
Hitting the stage (okay make that floor) with their sublime ‘Dboy for President’ single, I’m immediately mindful of that original comparison Mr Phillips made regarding the mighty Turbonegro. Yes they sound like them (well early days Turbo anyway), yes they have an instantly recognisable image and yes they also have a horde of insane fans (all wearing balaclavas) who seemingly worship the band. There’s no messing around either as the band take us on a rip ride of 13 songs in what must have been 20 minutes maximum, and as the masked bass player launches himself into his devoted Scouts (that’s what the band’s fans like to be known as) I can’t help adding the muthafucking Dwarves to the list of influences Dboy display.
Special mention must go to the band’s masked drummer who not only hammers his kit like he’s on a hand forging episode of Forged in Fire but also somehow manages to out mince the king of mincing the legendary Pål Pot Pamparius in the process.
Finishing with the double whammy of ‘Born With A Hard On’ and the awesome ‘Three Piece Band’ before then trashing their backline and this ensuring no encore, tonight once again reinforced the fact that great live bands playing original music are still out there, you just need to do the digging, or have your mates do it for you.
Simon Phillips, I owe you one.
Author: Johnny Hayward
As part of Alt-Rockers Press Clubs European Tour their Cardiff date was the final headline show on the tour and opening tonight are PeachFuzz who are a three-piece band from Bridgend and are the vehicle for the excellent songsmith that is Adam Jones. tonight they open up with a short but sweet burst through their box of excellently crafted songs such as ‘Where Do I Stand’ and ‘Kicking My Heart Around’ and the audience warms to their craft as Adam shows that its not only the likes of Bob Mould or Evan Dando who can write great alternative music and turn the guitars up just as they were hitting their stride with ‘Down To Me’ and ‘Lets Get Healed’ it was time to call it a night but I’m sure anyone in the audience who was new to their songs would have been impressed with what they heard.
Next up were human Heat and their alternative tunes – again a three-piece again influenced by the American College scene of Dinosaur Jr and Husker Du but quite different to Peachfuzz the band alternated between the two vocalists for their Emo screamo tunage. There seemed to be a lot of Against Me happening at times as well as big dollops of Taking Back Thursday but whilst they went down well it wasn’t really my thing at all.
Then came the headliners led by the hyperactive Natalie Foster who couldn’t stand still and led from the front with a wonderful voice full of passion and conviction. She drew every ounce out of her performance as she worked the room really well. the band sounded like a band who’d been on the road a while and were comfortable with their surroundings as they crashed through songs like the rush of ‘Let It Fall’ or the anthemic ‘Crash’ but the band have enough catchy songs that will see them a success and the obvious work ethic that sees them travel halfway around the world to entertain a room full of strangers in Cardiff.
Seemingly genuinely chuffed that people are into what they are about and singing along to songs like the epic ‘My Bodys Changing’ and the excellent ‘Suburbia’ the album ‘Late Teens’ was obviously well represented and for the hour on stage they showed a hunger and passion for the music that was infectious and a joy to behold. I’m sure the next time they sweep through South Wales it won’t be in the small room of Clwb Ifor on a school night it’ll be a much bigger room regardless of what night of the week. Great effort guys see you again no doubt.
Author: Dom Daley
Bandcamp: Press Club
Bandcamp: Human Heat
After releasing their new critically acclaimed album “Shock” in March 2019, Tesla will play worldwide throughout 2019.
The band have a series of European dates in June 2019. The band have just added a UK headline date to their existing June 2019 tour. Details below
Fri 14thJune 2019 Download Festival, Donington UK
Sun 16thJune 2019 O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London UK
Wed 19thJune 2019 Colos-Saal, Aschaffenburg GERMANY headline
Thurs 20thJune 2019 Rock The Ring Festival, Hinwil SWITZERLAND
Sat 22ndJune 2019 Azkena Festival, Vitoria SPAIN
Sun 23rdJune 2019 Hellfest Festival, Clisson FRANCE
For Shepherds Bush Empire date tickets are on sale Thursday 28thMarch, 2019 at 9 am GMT HERE
For the New Album ‘Shock’ Pick it up HERE
Buy ‘Dawn Of The Deaf’ Here
Author: Dom Daley
Bristol is like band central tonight, Angelic Upstarts, Terrorvision and Fat White Family are all in town and with all of them playing within easy walking distance of the rather splendid Hy-Brasil Music Club you could be forgiven for thinking that a gang of five nerdy Norwegian garage punks might be struggling for a crowd in such a claustrophobic gigging situation.
Rest easy though my RPM chums because common sense (and that Ash support tour from last year) has saved the day and by the time Death By Unga Bunga take to the venue’s compact and bijou stage the dance floor if full of people, who just like me, have just happened to have discovered one of the best-kept secrets in rock music right now.
Up first though tonight is local Indie (as in proper mid-80s/early 90s Indie) trio Seek Warmth who plough a kind of 4AD furrow whilst managing to be somehow understated yet also remain intriguing all at the same time. I can’t say I’m a huge fan of this kind of music personally, but the band is tight, have some very decent tunes and have one hell of a drummer behind the kit. I actually found it kind of refreshing to be whisked back to that age before grunge when Indie guitar music didn’t sound as forced and manufactured as it does today, so credit indeed to Seek Warmth for making that happen.
With Iron Maiden’s ‘Ides Of March’ booming out from the PA there is an immediate shift in my 80s throwback mindset, as I travel back to an age when metal also was nowhere as stylised as it is today and taking one look at the five musicians that are clambering onto the stage like extras from the Ant Hill Mob it makes me feel warm inside to say Death By Unga Bunga are never going to be called fashionistas. One look at the already sneering face of frontman Sebastian Ulstad Olsen and I can’t help but chuckle at his ‘70s Dennis Waterman meets Blakey (from On The Buses) image and he radiates that bad boy you love to love persona to absolute perfection. On the downside, he’s forgotten his Killers T-shirt tonight and is instead sporting a Dickinson-era Iron Maiden affair so he loses a few instant cool marks for this. Still with songs as amazing as opener ‘Into The Night’ who really give a flying fuck what Death By Unga Bunga look like, the sounds they create are some of the most original feelgood sensations you’ll ever experience live, and I’m just going to let myself be totally immersed in the next 30 odd minutes of absolute powerpop perfection.
With their roots in the Norwegian punk scene watching Death By Unga Bunga is not unlike that fist in the face experience you would expect from a hardcore show, especially when Sebastian is off the stage and prowling the raised area of the club looking for even more converts to join us on the dancefloor, its just that songs like ‘Turn My Brain Off’ and the knock out blow of ‘Soldier’ could very easily be hit singles and have seen the band on Top Of The Pops, if such a thing still existed of course.
Amongst all the tongue in cheek between song banter there’s also an underlying appreciation of all things hard rock that makes the Bunga truly bounce live, with ‘Cynical’ sounding even more like Thin Lizzy live than it does on the band’s amazing ‘So Far So Good So Cool’ album, and is something which manifests itself into all out fanboy status when the guys (jail)break into a brief segment of ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ before leaving us all wanting “10 more songs” (something the dreadlocked punk next to me is screaming like his bus fare home depended on him securing the deal for us).
Watching Death By Unga Bunga live makes you smile, it makes you sing and most of all it makes you want to dance, and in the world we live in right now that’s all you can really ask for from a great rock n roll band, the thing is watching Death By Unga Bunga makes me want to do it every night. I wonder if they need a sixth member?
Author: Johnny Hayward
Buy DBUB Here
The first wave rightly gets the recognition but hot on the heels by a matter of days, or weeks bands like Generation X and Buzzcocks took things to new levels. So the Clash had the slogans and Politics, The Pistols the nihilism and snot and The Damned were the first for everything it was bands like Buzzcocks who brought the poetry and teen love and With Idol and James Generation X brought the Legacy and homage to who passed before them from the silver screen and music clubs they openly embraced Elvis, The Beatles and The Who to name a few. It was their thrift store chic and boyish good looks and that swagger that they put to maximum use with Idol and his lip curl these magpies soaked it all up like a sponge punk, pop, rock and a dash of glamour.
This Deluxe Edition house in a solid slipcase is expanded to three LP’s. LP one is the debut album complete with lyric inner bag and the first thing that grabbed me was how fresh the songs sound. I still love ‘One Hundred Punks’ and the energy from the frantic drumming and the edge on Derwood-Andrews guitar playing. so Idols lyrics were a bit shit at times such as ‘Kleenex’ but it certainly doesn’t detract from his sneer as he spills the lyrics left right and center. But don’t forget these were just a bunch of snotty kids to be fair why shouldn’t their lyrics be a bit juvenile because at the end of the day that’s exactly what they were.
Musically they weren’t some kids picking up their instruments for the first time and a bit wet behind the ears as songs like ‘Listen’ might have been a bit sloppy but they used echo and time changes really well and it all weaved an awesome tapestry. ‘Kiss Me Deadly’ being the platform that Idol broke away and used throughout his career wasn’t the sound of a bunch of kids making a racket with volume and adrenalin it was and still is an exceptional song.
Be honest who doesn’t like shouting the refrain of ‘Youth Youth Youth’? A great way to end a great record fuck the detractors and the purists Generation X made a few exceptional albums and this was the first. Don’t even get me started on ‘Valley Of The Dolls’ which I trust will also get the same treatment as this?
The second LP features the singles and their B Sides now who doesn’t really think those couple of singles weren’t fantastic? ‘Ready Steady Go’, ‘Wild Youth’ and the slew of B Sides are a welcome addition to this collection housed as part of a double album. The Remaster has taken away all my clicks and pops and has me thinking how good would that album have been had these two been included on that as well? “Wild Wild Wild Youth!” Hearing the Dub version was probably the first time this young kid had ever heard any Dub – trailblazers for sure. Not sure how or why the B Side of ‘Fridays Angels’ is included here but I’m not complaining ‘Trying For Kicks’ is decent.as is ‘This Heat’ it has cowbell for Gawds sake!
Probably the main reason a lot will have picked up this set is the third LP (it certainly swayed it for me) with twelve previously unreleased tracks which include a couple of Phil Wainman recordings such as ‘Ready Steady Go’ and ‘No No No’ and the Us versions cover of Lennon’s ‘Gimme Some Truth’. the kind of material I’d expect to have on a set like this. The big revelation is still to come with the Alan Winstanley mixes. Alan Engineered the first album and also mixed these versions and to be honest Maybe its time playing tricks with me but boy these songs really do come to life on these versions.
There are seven songs in total and they take on a fresh and even more raw sound which is excellent. If I was to have a complaint about this set its the lack of little extras that aren’t essential but do tend to make this anniversary box sets a bit special. I wasn’t looking for silver rings or signed art reproductions (although that would have been nice) for £500 but maybe a 12″ book with essay from people who were there and pictures maybe a DVD with live footage who knows it must all exist maybe have gotten the band to do a short piece each because all that’s contained here is one side of the innerbag has an essay from Adrian Thrills which is nice to read but sort of a little lite. That something of a minor gripe because for less than 40 sheets this is a must-own for punk rockers and anyone who ever had a soft spot for these four scamps and their Rock and Roll sound because it really was a boss sound and I loved it then and still love it now. If anyone from the James, Idol, Chrysalis camp happen to read this I look forward to the ‘Valley Of The Dolls’ set it needs to happen for continuity and because I’d love it. Never mind a hundred punks I know four who ruled. Tony, Billy, Mark and Bob.
Buy Generation X Here
In a career that’s lasted nearly forty years and a whopping seventeen albums, this isn’t a band who’ve sat back and looked away from flexing their socio-political views whenever possible, and for a band with tracks like American Jesus and 21st Century (Digital Boy) that rank among their biggest, there’s been a clear response to it. And as the world continues to burn more and more each day, what better time for Bad Religion to resurface and take society’s ills to task once more?
Essentially its Bad Religion doing Bad Religion; For a band as right on as Bad Religion these are times that just keep giving and in return, Bad Religion keeps giving back.
As Brett Gurewitz said, “The band has always stood for enlightenment values. Today, these values of truth, freedom, equality, tolerance, and science, are in real danger. This record is our response.”
I guess it was time to don the shit kickers and kick some shit then. From the opening frantic burst of ‘Chaos From Within’ it’s slick it’s fast it driven and the guitar solo is a ball of fire lasting the blink of an eye there’s no time for bloated introductions, it’s on with the punk rock show. ‘My Sanity’ is fast but has a heartfelt melody with lush harmonies mixing sweet tunes with fast sharp punk exactly what Bad Religion is best at. The pace is constant for the first four songs and its not until ‘Lose Your Head’ does the pace relent. Another excellent song By the time you get to the album highpoint that is the acoustic driven ‘Candidate’ the band demonstrates right there how vital they are and how their sound is timeless and ageless. Graffin and Gurewitz have plenty of anger and are articulate enough to relay it through their music in a constructive and authoritative way. They go from the melodic ‘Candidate’ to the pounding ‘Faces Of Grief’ that thrashes and gasps for oxygen before ending sharply.
The ebb and flow through fourteen tracks is the sound of old pros knowing exactly how to deliver what they do to perfection its not easy staying ahead of the curve and remaining relevant in todays music scene but with such a plentiful pool of inspiration how can you not love the groove on songs like ‘Big Black Dog’ and if I’m honest the second half of this record is even stronger and the band also take a chance on breaking the pace and frantic style and their canon of songs is expanded further.
Bad Religion are one of those bands I never realise how many of their records I have until a new one comes out and I always like what I hear and am slightly taken aback at their body of work. Yet their standards are always really high even if you probably know what you’re going to get before the needle drop. That’s not a criticism by the way if the music is consistently strong as their is which is exactly why they’ve released so many and have maintained their popularity after all these years. Long may it continue because the world needs BAd Religion right here right now.
Buy Age Of Unreason Here
Author: Dom Daley