Nick Knox, the drummer with the Cramps from 1977 until 1991, died at the age of 60, (born Nicholas George Stephanoff; March 26, 1953).
He was the band’s longest-serving drummer and appeared on their biggest selling albums including 1986’s ‘A Date With Elvis’. Knox died of Cardiogenic shock (which is a condition in which your heart suddenly can’t pump enough blood to meet your body’s needs) on 15th June 2018.
Knox played drums for proto-punks the Electric Eels before joining Lux Interior and Poison Ivy Rorschach in the Cramps. He played on ‘A Date With Elvis’ – which was the band’s most commercially successful album. It followed 1980’s ‘Songs the Lord Taught Us’ and 1981 follow-up ‘Psychedelic Jungle’. Knox’s final recording was, 1990’s ‘Stay Sick!’ before his departure. The band extensively toured Europe under Knox’s watch and hes regarded as being the glue that pulled the Cramps sound together.
After retiring from The Band Knox didn’t surface until he appeared on stage with The Pagans in 2003and it wouldn’t be until 2017 when he was credited as “senior advisor” to the Cleveland-based punk band Archie And The Bunkers in 2017.
After his passing Knox had some wonderful testimonials from his peers such as his predecessor Miriam Linna, the Cramps’ drummer Knox replaced, She Said she’d visited Knox in the intensive care unit in Cleveland. She added, “I thank God that Nicky was a friend of mine. He was one of the kindest, funniest, most amazing human beings ever and I was very lucky to have been in his orbit.”
On his passing Former guitarist Kid Congo Powers tweeted, “Nick Knox Coolest of the cool. R.I.P. Glad to have played to your boss Beat. Meet you on the mystery plane.”
On a happier note RPM favourite, Noddy Holder was born on this very day in 1946. Noddy went on to front The UK’s most successful singles band of the ’70s scoring 17 consecutive top 20 hits and six No.1’s impressive legacy by anyone’s standards. Neville John Holder was born in Walsall, West Midlands. Sadly Holder isn’t interested in joining his ex-bandmates for any shows and prefers to spend his time hosting radio shows and acting. What would we give to hear him belt out a Slade tune with Jim, Dave, and Don. We can but hope, anyway, Happy Birthday Noddy.
Also sharing his birthday on this day is current Wonder Stuff Bass player Mark Gemini Thwaite (born 1965) ordinarily known as a guitarist of the six-string variety Mark is standing in on Bass for shits and giggles according to Hunt and on the recent tour the band has never sounded so good largly down to the fantastic musicians in the current line up.
The list of artists Thwaite has recorded and toured with is incredible – The Mission, Tricky, Peter Murphy, New Disease, Spear of Destiny, Theatre of Hate, Mob Research (with Paul Raven of Killing Joke), Canadian band National Velvet and he recorded with Gary Numan, Al Jourgensen of Ministry, Revolting Cocks, Roger Daltrey of the Who, P.J. Harvey, Alanis Morissette, Primitive Race(with Chuck Mosley of Faith No More), Ricky Warwick of The Almighty, Ginger Wildheart, Stan Lee of Marvel Comics, Franz Treichler of The Young Gods, The Wonder Stuff, Ashton Nyte of The Awakening, Burton C. Bell of Fear Factory, Laurence “Lol” Tolhurst and Porl Thompson of The Cure and Ville Valo of Finnish band HIM. And breath; Mark has kept himself busy to say the least and landed himself some exceptional jobs with a whole variety of cool bands. Happy Birthday, Mark!
With The Camden Rocks Festival this weekend coming it seems only fair for RPM to look at a few more of the bands to watch over the weekend. with Camden still clinging onto its identity as a varied and embracing community and this festival growing year on year as a unique festival that embraces all genres of music from Rock to punk to indie to grunge to power pop to Action rock and beyond.
We’ve looked at the bands over the two days and Nev gave a list of his ones to watch over the two days. Here I’d like to throw a few more bands into the mix some will clash and others are headlining but they all rock so I’ll start on Saturday and the Dublin Castle.
First up how about trying Sick Love hailing from Dublin this four-piece kick off at 14.00 with their loud guitar-based rock they’re in good company playing alongside the likes of The Hip Priests I’m sure songs like ‘Soccer Mum’ will go down a storm
Also playing The Dublin Castle at 17.00 are Pet Needs who’s video we showed last week. Alternative punks based in Colchester (what where?) With a bunch of highly energetic songs in their Arsenal The Dublin Castle seems like it’s going to take some stopping as it stakes its claim as the place to be let’s just hope they have the air conditioning on they might just need it.
As Nev wrote about The Hip Priests in his briefing we won’t mention them again except to say we recently saw their set in Newport and they were devastating so if its Explosive uncompromising Garage Rock and Fucking Roll you crave then 19.00 is the time – The Dublin Castle is the place and The Hip Priests are the band.
Moving over to Kolis at the lounge you have a choice to make. Rich Ragany And The Digressions will be shaking it up and playing songs from their excellent ‘…Like We’ll Never Make It…’ but like the Hip Priests, Nev recommended them previously. Rags and his Digressions hit the Kolis stage at 19.00 but following them at 20.00 are the East Coast rockers The Sweet Things Having just released their debut long player we reviewed last week (Here) Such a cool timeless slice of Rock and Roll, these cats are laying down tunes in the time-honoured style of Primal Scream -that Black Crowes debut and a dash of the Stones for sure, Hell, they borrow from the good and great and one listen to ‘Borrowed Shoes’ you’ll draw your own comparisons but you won’t deny that they have a slice of magic under their belts. It will be great to hear what they do live and I’m sure the joint will be jumping when they perform. One not to miss me thinks.
Heading over to the Monarch there are a couple of sets we think you might like to catch firstly at 14.00 in the afternoon The Wild Things will be doing their thing. their thing being rock and roll with plenty of hooks as played out on their debut album ‘You’re Really Something’ which travels through the acoustic pop of ‘Better Off Alone’ the upbeat title track the power pop of ‘Loaded Gun’ this guitar band offer something different and in Sydney Rae White they have great vocals besides people might recognise her from Netflix / BBC show ‘Uncle’ but her band have variety and a bunch of great songs.
Another band to watch I’d certainly recommend Glen Matlock headlining @ Fest not only because he has a whole bunch of great songs at his disposal and always plays a blinder but he has a fantastic band featuring Chris Musto, Earl Slick and Jim Lowe. His album ‘Good To Go’ was one of the best albums last year and with this line up those excellent songs will come to life and I’m sure will make for a worthy headliner.
There are enough choices to send your head spinning on Saturday along with Nev’s recommendations this little bunch should make a mess of peoples laminated stage times and venues there are a few playing Sunday that I’d like to give a mention to. from The Underworld Headliners The Wonder Stuff who I recently caught in Cardiff now with Malc Trecce back in the line up and a new album being recorded they stormed through a greatest hits set and I’m sure there will be more of the same in store for The Underworld and hearing those classics in a tight Underworld club will sound fantastic and something not to be missed at 20.45 on Sunday night. Mark Gemini Thwaite, Malc Treece, Pete Howard, Erica Nockalls and of course Milo now make up the Wonder Stuff and with plenty off ‘Hup’, ‘eight Legged Groove Machine’ and ‘Never Loved Elvis’ making up a chunk of the set they’ve clearly still got it and worthy headliners on the Sunday.
If you’re quick you should be able to make that Wonderstuff set from the Electric Ballroom where Ash get on with their set at 19.00 and again they have a new release to promote in the shape of their 7″ singles set so expect a greatest hits performance there which will more than put you in the mood for Milo and co.
If hearing Ash perform ‘Kunk Fu’ and The Stuffies blasting out ‘On The Ropes’ isn’t your thing and you want to get down and get with some glam stomping rock and roll then the place to be will have to be The Lyttleton Arms for Last Great Dreamers who hit the stage at 20.00. Again they have a recent album to promote and a great live band, if it’s your choice to take in some ‘Dreamers’ then I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed as ’13th Floor Renegades’ was head and shoulders their best record to date and the band have been constantly on the road this year so will be match fit and up for the challenge of tearing the house down.
A resurgent Towers of London will be shaking their collective shit from 17.30 at Fest if their showing on the recent Wildhearts tour is anything to go by then Fest is in for a treat. Resplendent in their black boiler suits and buoyed by the feedback the band will be looking to hit the ground running and have the potential to steal the show. Expect plenty from that debut album that served them so well on the recent tour as well as some new songs that also sounded great.
16.00 at The Monarch you’ll catch The Pearl Hearts Two women that sound like a fuckin’ bomber full of dynamite as they rain down their garage heavy blues. It only needs two to sound like a bomb gone off as ‘Different Kinda Girl’ testifies. what better way to spend tea time in Camden Town?
Before you catch the Pearl Hearts why not head over to Kolis for Youth Illusion. Mid Afternoon or 14.00 to be precise will see these London homies play their brand of punk rock on their home patch. Melodic punk is the order and they do it rather well and Kolis will be a heaving mass of sweaty bodies I’m sure of that as the band knock out songs like ‘Better Off’.
Finally, if punk rock isn’t your thing then Dingwalls Canalside is the place to be at 14.30 to catch The Silver Bayonets and their anthemic rock proving that Camden Rock Festival is unique in its presentation and in its roster of bands with plenty of established battle hardened bands that make up the headliners in the larger venues as well as securing some big bands to play smaller venues that you might not get the chance to see them play in such surroundings ordinarily which makes for an interesting and memorable weekend. But the real magic will no doubt lie in discovering your new favourite band or checking out one of RPM Online recommendations and digging who we’ve thrown light on because they’ve impressed us either previously live or on record. Let us know what you thought and spread the word especially of the lesser known bands its the lifeblood of the underground and how bands survive and grow. Have a good one and I hope there aren’t too many clashes and if you do see any of the bands here or as part of Nev’s ones to watch let ’em know we sent you and most importantly support the bands and pick up their merch and music. Oh and wear comfortable shoes!