There are tales of bands getting together back in the heyday of new music and adventure that was the 60s ’70s & ’80s when things were new and adventures were fresh for kids who had instruments and an ambition to tread new exciting frontiers only to find that the streets weren’t paved with gold (well, not for everyone they weren’t) and fell into jobs and relationships and gave up on their dreams.  Now sometime later after they’ve had their career and kids they find they had unfulfilled passions and ambitions but had the means to investigate the songs they had written together as part of a gang and as time falls behind then they contact their former bandmates who have been through similar life journeys and find themselves thinking if only’s and what if we do it nows. We’ll its been Forty years between recordings for post-punks that are Cult Figures.

 

After trudging around the midlands during their ’77-’78 incarnation and releasing their debut in 2018 it seems only right to put out the follow up amidst a pandemic ravaged time these tracks are not old songs given a restart but have been written from 2016 onwards since they reformed and enthused they embrace punk rock attitude, pop melodies and some psychedelic Rock to mix it up with a modern-sounding record that embraces their past and tips the hat to whats gone before them from the sprightly opener ‘Chicken Bones’ through the melodic and catchy ‘Donut Life’ and energetic and excellent ‘Lights Out’.  There an alignment with some of the recent SLF songs and the opener reminds me of Kirk Brandens recent releases.

 

There is a maturity to the songs because it doesn’t sound like carefree kids that’s for sure.  ‘Silver Flames’ has an energy and a well-constructed song more power pop with the layered big acoustic guitar chords is great to hear and really well recorded with warmth and energy.

 

I see they mention that Roger Taylor from Duran Duran once held the drum throne in the band however relevant and thin the tenure is why not throw that clang! out there. They follow up ‘Silver Flame’ with ‘White Noize’  ‘Julie Anne’ that has a great floor tom thump. Again, keeping up the energy levels is good midway through the album and the chorus is uplifting before the first track to be accompanied with a video is ‘Concrete And Glass’ that nods to the past lyrically slightly reflective but with a present sound and comes across as reflective laying back after the sprightly previous songs.

Finishing off with a bit of a dancefloor filler ‘Privilege’ is a fitting full stop to a really good record. With a post-punk meets a bit of a mod vibe Cult Figures prove that it’s never too late to strap on those guitars and turn those amps up and get your groove on from releasing your debut single with Swell Maps helping out Gary Jones and Jon Hodgson should be well proud of this record shame it took so long to get here but grateful it did.  Check em out.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

FOLK DEVILS have returned with their first new music in 33 years. The band blazed a trail across the UK’s independent music scene of the mid-80s with their unique brand of post-punk energy, known for their acclaimed indie-chart singles ‘Hank Turns Blue’, ‘Beautiful Monster’, three John Peel sessions, plus live dates opening for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, The Fall, The Gun Club, Screaming Blue Messiahs and others.

The 3-track Forever EP lands on 10” (clear red vinyl) and digital on 18 September via Optic Nerve Recordings and features two new compositions, the title track ‘Forever’ and ‘My Slum Soul’, plus an incendiary new version of an old live favourite ‘Ink Runs Dry’.

Recorded at London’s famous Konk Studios in North London and mixed and co-produced by Grammy Award-winning engineer Rik Simpson, the re-born Folk Devils drew inspiration for new recordings from the release of their 2016 career retrospective Beautiful Monsters (Singles & Demo Recordings 1984-86) and the excellent reactions at subsequent live shows around the UK with kindred spirits Membranes, Inca Babies, The Wolfhounds and The Cravats.

Founder members, guitarist Kris Jozajtis and bassist Mark Whiteley, reformed the group by recruiting members of a short-lived 1987 version of Folk Devils; guitarist Nick Clift and drummer John Hamilton. Together with singer Dave Hodgson they soon discovered they had created a well-oiled twin-guitar juggernaut that brimmed with the same restless, twisted blues that characterized the first and second iterations of the band from 1983-87 when they were fronted by the highly underrated and now sadly-departed singer/songwriter Ian Lowery. Hodgson, a fellow transplant from the North-East, had known Lowery in the early 80s prior to Folk Devils, when the two were in their respective post-punk bands Ski Patrol and Parting Shots.

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Italian upstarts SMALLTOWN TIGERS have just unveiled the video for their debut single ‘Just Friends’.
The release comes just in time for their first ever UK dates which kick off on Thursday 10 October in Southend and include an appearance at Loud Women’s 4th Birthday Party at London’s iconic Hope & Anchor venue.

Hailing from the Adriatic resort of Rimini, the Tigers hit the road last Spring for a tour with NYC powerpoppers Baby Shakes, and have been preparing their debut album for release in the New Year. The album was produced by blues-punk guru Stiv Cantarelli (Silent Strangers, J.D. Hangover) with the tracks mastered for release by legendary Detroit producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs, Sonics).

Smalltown Tigers play the following dates…

Thurs 10 Oct – The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea

Fri 11 Oct – The Shacklewell Arms, Dalston, London (w/ The Speedways)

Sat 12 Oct – The Hope & Anchor, Islington, London (Loud Women 4th Birthday – onstage 5pm)

Sat 12 Oct – Biddle Bros, Clapton, London (w/ The Dublo)

Out now, ‘Just Friends’ is available from Bandcamp and all the usual digital platforms.

Dom Daley.
So when is it a good time to look back on a recording catalogue thas rich with quality yet seemingly something of an unknown quality to the general music buying population?  Right here right now I guess.  Dave Kusworth is something of an enigma in the music world he still writing and recording and making music but modern technology and social media tools have somewhat bypassed the guy and he will happily carry on in his own inimitable way creating music for his dedicated fanbase to feast upon and he’s teamed up with the good people at Easy Action Records to put together an amazing double album that spans his career and showcases just what a talent he has.
this record begins with the band he formed with the sadly passed Nikki Sudden who wrote this song whilst on acid and it was Kusworth that stole the music from the barracudas and changed the title which kinda makes it as good a place to start as any as the guitars jangle along to the uptempo beat.  Next its ‘Shame For The Angels’ from the EP of the same name that I love. Great lyrics an interesting story about what happened to the tapes of this allegedly.  Rock and Roll pirates and vagabonds to the end.
The Bounty Hunters are up next and with Glen, David and Alan  Kusworth rocked things up to a “Happy” pitch and songs like ‘Threads’ led the way in boozy rock and roll and could or possibly should have seen these guys become as popular as The Quireboys and The Dogs D’Amour. Over the next side and some The Bounty hunters rock and roll like their lives depended upon it ending up with ‘Riches To Rags’ which sort of seems quite fitting.
The second record in this collection sees a solo recording of ‘Next Tuesday’ that is taken from the fantastic ‘All The Heartbreak Stories’ and is a beautiful melancholic wander through the mind of Kusworth.
His tenure with the Tenderhooks are up next and the loose version of ‘All I’ve Got Left’ is fantastic and whilst I tend to lose the thread(no pun intended) as to what he was calling the band at the time and what album this one or that one is off because as long as the title contains the words Dave Kusworth – I’m in.  bounty Hunters or Dave Kusworth Band who knows or to be honest who really cares ‘Paint And Sugar’ is a pretty simple song and it mixes up perfectly the whole Keith and Johnny vibe with his more Waterboys tinged side.  To be fair to Kusworth having his output condensed down into twenty songs seems a bit of a headache for whoever contrived this and not a project I’d have liked bestowed upon me.  Sudden had a boxed set and I’m thinking this could easily have been the case because for every reason there is for including the rocking and excellent freak out of ‘Someone Else’s Shoes’ there must be another ten tracks you could have snook in but for consistency and variety this collection could always be considered a starting point eh?
The World Of Dave Kusworth can often be a magical and terrifying adventure and judging by the soundtrack on offer from Easy Action one that should be grasped at with both hands but the best thing is this being Vol 1 & 2 suggests there is more to come so watch this space.  Fantastic talent – fantastic legacy – Buy it!