A band that were once heralded as the next big thing by Kerrang (back when Kerrang used to have decent bands grace its pages) faded away then basked in the afterglow as a resurgence saw them tread the boards and release a few fantastic albums and the band got more column inches purely on merit and the strength of the albums they were writing and shows they were playing find themselves upon the crest of a wave and when Someone asks how would you fancy having a chat With one of two of the original members, of course, I was going to accept so here without further waffle from me ladies and Gents I give you slyder Smith from Last Of The Great Dreamers.

Firstly 2018 couldn’t have gone any better, could it?  With the critically acclaimed album and some great shows, you must be pleased? We’ll get to the latest album but first a quick catch up of sorts, After the first album and the lengthy hiatus, you got together for a few shows take us back. Was there a great master plan?

Not initially, Marc & I got back in touch again over a few chance meetings back in 2012. We talked on the phone but didn’t discuss getting the band back together then. It wasn’t until a bit later I rediscovered the tracks on cassette we’d recorded after Retrosexual in the mid/late 90s & thought they were too good not to be released. There seemed to be a bit of a rejuvenated rock scene out there so when we did decide to put LGD back together it began to gather momentum then.

Firstly we decided to release those tracks as ‘Crash Landing in Teenage Heaven’ to coincide with our reunion show in London in September 2014.

 

‘Retrosexual’ came out in 1994 and then what?  You were heralded by the press such as Kerrang what happened then?

Kerrang heralded us as ‘Glams great white hopes’, we were nominated for “best new band” at the Kerrang Awards 1995. It was an exciting time; we had the record deal, an agent, manager, all we’d been working for since forming in 1989. We did a few European tours with Bang Tango & Warrant & everything was happening. We got out of our deal with Bleeding Hearts Records & had lots of interest from labels through our new manager. We pursued one with a large independent, X Records. It was a 2 single deal with a sizable advance. Things were taking their course & at the 11th hour, the deal collapsed through funding so fell through.

Although we pushed on a bit after that I think the moment had passed, our manager quit the business completely & we were left trying to pick up the pieces & salvage something. Eventually, we decided to call it a day, sadly our creativity was at a peak at that point but we were just emotionally drained by the whole thing.

 

Since you got back together was there a plan?  You seem to have worked harder and harder and played plenty of dates all over the place and if you don’t mind me saying got better and better as songwriters as well would that be fair? ‘Dope School’ and ‘Glitterball Apocalypse’ were two of the best songs you’ve written in my opinion. Great videos as well. 

Once we’d done the comeback show & a handful of others we did a 12 date club tour in April 2015 still promoting the Crash Landing album. Marc & I had discussed new material & it was that summer we started writing together again. In actual fact Glitterball & Dope were probably the first two we worked on. It was a bit daunting at first as I stopped playing for about 10 years & hadn’t written anything since about 2002. As soon as we started though it kept flowing resulting in the  Transmissions from Oblivion album released in 2016. We also set about trying to get onto festivals & tours. The first was with Cherie Currie(The Runaways) in November 2015. This was when we released our first ‘brand new’ single Dope School since reforming.

How did the business change for you or was it more you changing how you viewed the business?

It has changed massively since we were doing it before, obviously no internet back then, digital releases or social media. I think the product is devalued a lot because of that but it is very easy to get your product out there & connect with people but with that, the market place is flooded with bands so there’s a lot more competition.

 

 

‘Transmission From Oblivion’, was another advance in songs and a really strong album, you picked up some great tours with the likes of the Quireboys which would be fair to say is a great fit for the band, was having a steady line up a plus at the time with Denley on drums must have been a massive plus?

The Transmission album was the first new album proper since reforming. It was probably 75% brand new plus Marc & I had a few songs we had in our lockers that we’d written after LGD split that were rejuvenated. That was released in late 2016 & we secured the Quireboys tour just after for the following Spring. That tour was a great fit, we played to some brilliant audiences over about 20 dates & won over a lot of new fans.

Having a steady line-up is definitely very important, we do have a few different bass players that play with us live which isn’t ideal but we get by. It’s a big commitment at this level to do what we do; financially it’s a struggle plus juggling homelife is also difficult. Sadly after 3 years with us, Denley has had to take a step back from touring for this reason as the band gets busier & busier. We do have a new man in, also from South Wales, Rik Pratt, along with a new bass player Tim Emery who will be the number 1, you may see deps in every now & then but that’s just the nature of it at this level.

 

What about the songwriting.  Do you work differently these days compared to the first time around? What motivates you? To keep the constant touring, writing and releasing records?

Things are slightly different this time around, especially Renegades which was pretty much written over a period of 3 or 4 months whereas the 1st two albums – the songs kind of accumulated over years. We collaborate on lyrics perhaps more now than we did but I guess the formula we have is that Marc & I will usually work on our own ideas & then bring them to the table each adding bits to each other’s songs. We would sometimes have a clear vision of how we thought a song would end up but also hear different things in each other’s ideas. We would then knock them into shape a bit before bringing in the rhythm section to fine-tune the arrangements & try out different feels & tempos.

I think having started writing again & realising we can still do this it has become very exciting, we are very proud of what we’ve done since reforming & feel each album we have made bettered the last so I guess that drives us to keep doing it. Also, we love playing live & want to reach more & more people & travel to different places. We’ve made a lot of friends & new fans on the road & really enjoy meeting & touring with other bands, it’s a great feeling & what it’s all about.

The last album, in my opinion, was the bands finest and a consistently strong record where the bands sounded really confident and you knew the songs were excellent.  Is it something you notice when writing or recording?

I think we were feeling confident whilst writing & arranging in the rehearsal studio. We knew we had some real gems there. The songs all develop differently, some quicker than others, some easier than others. As you go along that journey adding harmonies & guitar parts they evolve & develop & quite often there will be moments when you think wow this is going to be amazing!

 

You did some great shows in 2018 off the back of the new album what can we expect in 2019?  tours the UK and further afield?  what are your hopes for the coming year?

We have a lot of dates planned for the year, mostly during the Spring, we are on a European tour with Enuff Znuff in February & reaching a few new countries like Austria, Italy & Sweden, We return to both Norway & Spain this year & have a UK tour opening for the Electric Boys. Plus some other dates & festivals throughout the summer. We just want to keep reaching more people & getting our music heard as much as possible. Also November this year it will be 25 years since the release of our debut, Retrosexual so we may do something special for that, a one-off show maybe with an anniversary release on vinyl?

Finally how many new songs are written and are there plans to get back into a studio this year?

We’ve discussed album number five & both have some songs we’ve started working on individually. Hopefully, we will get together for a writing session together over the summer & at the moment we have some free time in the autumn to maybe start recording.

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Live shots were taken by Tom Gold, Goldwood Images

Well, we certainly didn’t stand still in the last seven days as we brought you reviews from a range of artist old and new with The Lemonheads starting things off with the second studio album of cover versions entitled ‘Varshons 2‘.  As Evan Dando and Co, head out on a UK tour this week to promote the record RPM gave it the thumbs up as Dando led the band through some pretty diverse waters.  Westerberg, Cave and the Eagles all made it onto the record which as an aside came out in a scented banana yellow version as well.

 

 

It was also a week that saw two live albums hit the death decks at RPM with Metallica lending a ‘Helping Hand’ Where they released a double album with proceeds going to a most admirable cause and helping the most vulnerable in society a real genuine act of kindness that doesn’t get the exposure it truly deserves as the rock stars are often castigated for their excesses but seldom praised when they do reach out with a simple yet effective act of kindness.  So a huge well done from us at RPM as Johnny H gets stuck into the double slice of vinyl trouble.

 

 

The second of our live reviews came when Martin gave The Godfather a good seeing to with their fantastic ‘This Is War’ the once over. describing it as, “Loud Sharp and Beautiful”, is about as close a summery as you can get.  It’s fair to say that it damn near captures the current line up right at the top of their game.  It’s certainly raw it’s certainly loud and no question it has the Godfathers roaring on all cylinders and has you wondering why all live albums can’t sound this good.  Essential listening no doubt about it.

We also brought you a summary of this years Gathering from North Wales as Mike Peters and the Alarm romped through a huge chunk of their back catalogue over two nights with plenty of special guests that included original Alarm Guitar player Dave Sharp, from Texas Ryan Hamilton and 80’s pop rockers Mark Shaws then Jerico. This year’s festivities weren’t without incident as the PA went down twice but it didn’t deter PEters who climbed into the audience with his acoustic guitar and un mic’d got the audience singing along and making the most out of a potentially bad situation and making it a memorable evening no doubt about it.  Gathering twenty-Seven was again a privilege to attend and I can’t wait for 2020 and number twenty Eight.

We also brought you The Spangles album launch show from way up North otherwise known as Harrogate as Ben Hughes had an equally splendid evening with an immensely talented band playing one hell of a debut album.  I for one hope there is a lot more to come from these three guys because their album was easily one of 2018 best releases.

As far as news goes we joined the rock world in wishing Bernie Torme a speedy recovery from his hospitalization from double Pneumonia and hope he’s back to full health as soon as possible. The same for our Australian friend Hayden McGoogan from The Black Heart Breakers who also found himself in Hospital this past week – Get yourselves fit and health please gents and I’m sure I speak for all the writers at RPM in wishing you both speedy full recoveries.

There was also some superb festival news as The Dead Boys were announced as headliners for this year’s Rebellion Festival in Blackpool along with Walter Lure who will be playing L.A.M.F. at the festival and across the channel in Belgium Sjock Festival announced a raft of superb bands added to this years festival including RPM favourites The Hip Priests and Barstool Preachers who play alongside The Hives, Hellacopters, Electric Frankenstein, the Briefs  and Gluecifer. To be fair news wise last week was a bumper week for great rock n roll news.

 

Anyway, that was last week on RPM and as we are always looking forward here’s what you can expect this coming week on the website. We’ve got a couple of bumper interviews with the likes of Slyder from Last Great Dreamers as they announce a lot of dates for 2019 in what appears to be a hugely busy year for the band.  Also, we have a monster interview with “Demons” Matheus Carlsson which should see your Friday seem a lot more enjoyable as we spoke about the past present and future of the band in what also looks like a great year for the band.

As for album reviews we’re once again scouring the globe for great bands and we’ve certainly got those coming at you with the debut long player from ‘Wet Dreams’ reviewed today by Johnny H and there is also the long-awaited long player from Jim Jones & the Righteous Mind’ coming later this week as ‘CollectiV’ has certainly been entertaining RPM HQ and what will be one of the years top albums no question about that. We also look back on some significant happenings this coming week in punk, rock and pop music history so keep it RPM folks for all your turbocharged Rock n Roll!

Stay Sick,

L-U-V RPM

 

pic by Louise Swift

 

LAST GREAT DREAMERS hit the ground running with a period of solid touring over the next couple of months. The dates follow on from a very busy year last year, touring around the release of their acclaimed fourth album 13th Floor Renegades. Next week they head out as special guests of Illinois glamsters Enuff Znuff, which will take them around the UK and then of to Italy, Norway and Sweden. After a couple of weeks’ laundry break, they then join rejuvenated Swedes Electric Boys for another quick run of UK dates. Somewhere in there, they’ll be stopping off at HRH AOR in Prestatyn on 16 March. Then on 18 April, they play a special one-off headline show at London’s legendary Hope & Anchor, where they’ll be joined by fast-rising Brummies, Black Bombers. After that, they’ll be returning to Spain to capitalise on the success of last year’s dates. The band have also just been added to the bill for this year’s Camden Rocks Festival on 1-2 June.

Catch Last Great Dreamers at…

Wed 13th February     EDINBURGH Bannermans (w/Enuff Znuff)

Thu 14th February      LONDON Underworld (w/Enuff Znuff)

Fri 15th February        NUNEATON Queens Hall (w/Enuff Znuff)

Sat 16th February       BRADFORD Trash (w/Enuff Znuff)

Sun 17th February      BUCKLEY Tivoli (w/Enuff Znuff)

Mon 18th February     STOKE ON TRENT Eleven (w/Enuff Znuff)

Thu 21st February      VELDEN Bluesiana (AUSTRIA) (w/Enuff Znuff)

Fri 22nd February       VERCELLI Sonore (ITALY) (w/Enuff Znuff)

Sat 23rd February      SAN DONA DI PIAVE Revolver (ITALY) (w/Enuff Znuff)

Sun 24th February     BERGAMO UFO (ITALY) (w/Enuff Znuff)

Wed 27th February    VARBURG Backstage (SWEDEN) (w/Enuff Znuff)

Thu 28th February     GOTHENBURG Tregaarden (SWEDEN) (w/Enuff Znuff)

Fri 1st March              OSLO Olsen (NORWAY) (w/Enuff Znuff)

Fri 15th March            BRADFORD The Underground (w/Electric Boys)

Sat 16th March           HRH AOR Festival (Prestatyn, Wales)

Sun 17th March          BLACKPOOL Waterloo (w/Electric Boys)

Mon 18th March         EDINBURGH Bannermans (w/Electric Boys)

Tue 19th March          NEWCASTLE Think Tank (w/Electric Boys)

Wed 20th March         LONDON Underworld (w/Electric Boys)

Thu 21st March          MILTON KEYNES Crauford Arms (w/Electric Boys)

Fri 22nd March           BUCKLEY Tivoli (w/Electric Boys)

Thu 18th April.            LONDON – Hope & Anchor (Rockaway Beach Club)

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March Madness

If you thought February was a bit full on then welcome to March.  Whilst the UK did its usual shit the bed over some snowfall the rest of the planet got on with what it had to do without much fuss. Such was the panic, Fraser had to abort his trip to Londinium to see Turbonegro unless he hired a chopper then paraglided in, he was stuffed due to the Baltic conditions and an inefficient panic-stricken country. Anyway.

RPM scribes did manage to leave the house at some point because Ben caught Ryan Hamilton & the Traitors up North whilst Dom caught the tour in Cardiff. When Ben saw the tour party it was as advertised because on the night in Cardiff the Main Grains couldn’t attend due to…Um… snow on the roof of their car! No Car couldn’t find it under snow, leaves, it had blown away or they couldn’t make it because it was waaay too far when London was next on the schedule, ticket sales weren’t exactly great or some similar excuse, oh well, it wasn’t to be so Hamilton was left to break the news of the Main Grains transport issues cough, cough. Like the trooper he is he and the Traitors played an extended set to the few hardy souls who ventured out into the great wide open to fly their freak flags and a thoroughly enjoyable evening was had. It would have been nice to have both bands but there we go.

So with most people tucked up in their castles listening to punk rock praying that those hardy postal workers managed to get into work so they could deliver a veritable avalanche of new releases, some even made it onto the death decks of future RPM scribes such as Dirt Box Disco with their ‘Immortals’ album and joining them this month would be Eureka Machines with their brand new pledge endorsed campaign ‘Victories’, which went down well (to be fair) all Eureka pledges go well as Chris Catalyst seems like a guy with a plan and knows how to execute  a well-oiled campaign always full of little extras.

 

 

There were also some notable records released in March by the likes of Christmas with their most excellent ‘Scum As You Are’, Ryan Hamilton also got recording this time with Tony Wright and their ‘Grand Ole Otley’ and showing that we’re not all about the crash, bang, wallop! Boss Caine and his album ‘Loved By Trouble, Troubled By Love‘ was also released this month.

The most hotly anticipated release of the month has to go to those speed dealers Zeke and their brutal, frantic and breakneck take on rock n roll that made ‘Hellbender’ such a success. There was also tour dates announced for a few months that would have some of the scribes at RPM all hot and bothered. Last Great Dreamers released their latest offering also through Pledge it was the most excellent ’13th Floor Renegade’ it certainly got HQ rocking and rolling.

Hot Snakes released ‘Jericho sirens’ mid-March which also bothered turntables and speakers all over our gaff. Its no secret that we love a single here at RPM and seeing as we love the little things in life who could forget some epic 7″ releases in March most notably in the shape of Fireburn and their EP ‘Shine‘ a band that will feature later in the year under more tragic circumstances. Fireburn might not have had the sheer brutality of Todd Youths Bloodclot project it certainly was pretty damn good and along with their EP something we are delighted to champion.

Finally and thankfully people managed to stay out of jail or the morgue this month which is always a good thing. Again its quality over popularity for RPM scribes and the champions of March are plenty but I’d have an inkling if we had a vote it would have to be Zeke for the ‘Hellbender’ album. 1-2-3-4 woosh!

 

 

 

After a very successful debut show at Planet Rockstock, The Dreamers are now looking forward to their ‘Festive Five’ UK dates.

Rock comic Pete K Mally will be compering every show & we have a fantastic local band each night. Whore No More at Birmingham, Cyster Scalpel at Glasgow, Boomville (feat. Mark Yates of Terrorvision) at Sheffield, Anita Chellamah at London & 60th Parallel at Southampton.

Details of Pete & all the bands can be found at the facebook events page. https://www.facebook.com/pg/lastgreatdreamers/events

Advance tickets are still available via the links below:

Fri 7th December – BIRMINGHAM Asylum 2 – TICKETS

8th Sat December – GLASGOW Nice ‘n’ Sleazy – TICKETS –TICKETS-SCOTLAND

9th Sun December – SHEFFIELD Corporation – TICKETS

15th Sat December – LONDON Black Heart (Camden) –TICKETS

16th Sun December – SOUTHAMPTON Heartbreakers –TICKETS