As far as cover versions go I think its fair to say I didn’t see this one coming did you? Prima Dona unleash their inner teeny-bop with their take on ‘Cruel Summer’

Just incase that’s left you feeling slightly queazy why not cleanse your pallet with something by the Damned seeing as all roads today lead to the London Palladium for the night of a 1000 Horrors where the Damned will be playing one of their most audacious sets yet at the famous theatre. a fan-made video this time for one of the bands finest tunes never to make an album – please enjoy ‘Limit Club’

Finally seeing as this past week has been mostly about the live shows we’ve been to and with The Cult turning in one of their best live performances to date enjoy this slice of slick Rock that was taken from the film soundtrack ‘Gone In 60 Seconds’

 

This will let a little sunshine into your Monday morning blues.

Second up we have got this blast from the past.  Firstly to wish Bernie a speedy full recovery from his recent hospitalization and also because Mr. Philip Lewis released a brand new album last Friday with LA Guns on their 30th year as a band but we delve further back when he was singing about being a star!

Finally to finish off this fanciful three here’s one from Black Bombers whos new EP is reviewed later this week. happy Monday folks!

 

It’s a heatwave

with Summer just around the corner, the (dis) United Kingdom was warming up nicely surprisingly  May was a rather quiet month for the scribes at RPM well before RPM but you get my gist. Ben was getting his head around The Future Shape Of Sound and their ‘Showdown Gospel’.  Whilst we’re on the subject of the Gypsy Hotel it might be the right time to mention that Urban Voodoo Machine also released a record this month which happened to be a compilation record entitled ’15 Shots From The Urban Voodoo Machine’ which wrapped their singles and bits and bobs up very nicely into the one package and it seemed like the best idea to then go out and tour the record.  I also got to see them once again and same as before and the time before that etc etc they were absolutely awesome and never fail to play the most entertaining live show out there. 

whilst we’re on the subject of records released in May 2018 I have to mention a few of my personal favourites that put out great records firstly a man who should need any introductions but I’m going to anyway – James Williamson & The Pink Hearts. featuring (The Streetwalkin’ Cheetahs) and Petra Haden (Haden Triplets) with the fantastic ‘Behind The Shade’. also I have to note that Kevin K also put out his something like 95th solo album ‘Too Much too Sun’ I might jest about how many records the guy has released but he’s a phenomenon and deserves respect for the amount of time and effort he puts into his music and I love it when he does release his next CD and even if he says no more, trust me he will.

Also in the pre-summer rush, those cool cats from Burbank California Prima Donna saw fit to release ‘S/T’ and much like Urban Voodoo Machine they can do no wrong in my eyes and have never made a bad record. Kevin Preston leads the band into their Fourth Long Player this time coming out on the excellent Wicked Cool Records now a four piece line up ‘4 Real’ was released as the lead single from the album.

Also casting our minds back to May, Beach Slang released their long-awaited Quiet Slang altar ego that featured a whole long player full of orchestrated tunes entitled ‘Everything Matters But No one Is Listening’. James Alex is one talented guy and going from alternative rocker to string arrangements and softly delivered tunes such as the amazing ‘Dirty Cigarettes’ is no easy step. Fantastic record and not only one of this month’s highlights but one of the years highlights.

On the live front, there were a few tours that went out most notably the doubleheader that was Zeke and The Hip Priests tearing it up across the UK which Fraser noted as one of his years’ highlights.

However, it has to be noted he (Fraser Munro) also managed to see Steps play Waddon Road which is Cheltenham Towns football ground the same month he saw Zeke and the Hip Priests so maybe Zeke affected his head or he bumped it whilst on the good ship Thekla? Maybe he didn’t and he’s really a massive steps fan as he also is rumored to have a picture of Ian Watkins on his wall lets hope its the real H and not some imposter – you decide.

 

On that bombshell maybe its best we leave May and quickly delve into June.  I’ll leave you with two of the finest albums of 2018 in the shape of ’15 shots’ from the magnificent Urban Voodoo Machine and Quiet Slang’s ‘Everything Matters’.

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Billed as an incredible rock ‘n’ roll freakshow there will never be any chance of Helldorado being done for false representation. With over 30 live bands, live wrestling, burlesque acts and a whole lot more besides the 40 odd Euros I shelled out for early bird tickets made me feel like I’d bagged myself one of the gig bargains of the year. But would it really live up to my expectations?

Arriving at the Klokgebouw (an arts/theatre venue in a huge multi room warehouse complex situated on an industrial park within a bicycle kick’s distance of PSV’s ground) with about half an hour to spare before the doors were due to open this gave one or two of our travelling group the chance to walk off their fragile states following the previous night’s Turbojugend meet up in the city’s Café The Jack (steady on Daley there were no retrievers in sight here) which had proven to be as colourful an introduction to the city as the Glow art event that was also taking place that same evening.

After finally making our way through the airport style security (which was done as quickly as possible by very friendly staff who seemed to be able to speak a multitude of languages all at the same time) I finally made my way into the venue and hit the main Cobra stage just as Prima Donna were launching into the 2nd song of their set.   With just 30 minutes on stage there was no time for banter or messing about so Kevin Preston and his prima donnas (ouch) just do what they do best and play a set packed full of infectious rock ‘n’ roll anthems largely drawn from their excellent ‘S/T’ album. A better sound mix (something which you’ll see becomes of a recurring theme throughout the day) might have drawn out some of the band’s poppier saxophone driven moments but at 1pm in the afternoon, warming up a largely still hungover crowd, the boys did mighty fine indeed. Now make sure you catch them on the road with Danko Jones right now!

Moving over to the adjoining Lion stage for a little bit of fun with Cirque Du Mort’s Trashy Pandas and it’s somewhat confusing to discover that after travelling all this way this UK troop’s lead hostess speaks with the broadest of Welsh accents. Alright butt. Then just as The Devils (no not the Nick Rhodes pre-Duran act) prepare  to take to their makeshift stage in the middle of a wrestling ring situated mid dancefloor one of our group (whose been on a proper walkabout around the complex) points out we best make our way over to the Tarantula stage as it’s a tad smaller than the other two stages and the buzz surrounding the arrival of The Hip Priests complete with their very own trashy panda on lead vocals might just see us left out in the cold (and boy was it cold outside) if we’re not sharpish. On our way over though we just have time to check out the doom drone of Monolord on the Cobra stage which on another day in another venue might have inspired me to throw my horns in the air, however today I’m all about the Priests. 

Getting into position a few rows behind the Spasm Gang diehards who follow The Hip Priests all over the globe the most rewarding thing for me (and I’m sure the band too) was to glance around and see the venue was indeed fully packed out. If ever there was a reason for this band to exist then there really was no time like right now to fully deliver on their musical promise. With the Fuck Cancer t-shirted Von Cruz dedicating their set to Kathy Rocker this just seemed to light their fuse as they sped off through a set littered with career defining tunes that just exploded right in our faces. The ever present ‘Instant Delinquent’ got the first proper pit of the day going whilst in ‘Zero Fucks Given’ I still say the band have the best Stooges song Iggy never wrote, and it’s not just me that thinks this as the crowd literally hollered the song’s title back at them during the extended coda outro. ‘Stand For Nothing’ might be the ironic(?) title of the band’s soon to be released fourth studio record, but for the thirty minutes spent in their company today they stand for everything, so cheers to you guys you really are muthafucking superior.

It’s almost impossible to get my bearings after such an incendiary set so I drift between Death Alley and The Rock N Roll Wrestling and then Vintage Caravan (none of them able to get anywhere near what had preceded them) and in the meantime I also manage to somehow miss The Dahmers (who talking to someone later were apparently excellent) altogether. Bollocks!

It was the lure of witnessing Nicke Andersson back behind a drum kit (for the first time since his days spent with the mighty The Solution) playing with Lucifer over on the Cobra stage that dragged me out of my stupor, and as the band unfurled its very own fringed tops take of Psych-Doom I suddenly started to have flashbacks to a few years back when a good mate of mine made me watch Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats and Witchcraft back to back at Hellfest and I honestly thought I’d just woken up in 1972. In many ways I feel Lucifer are perhaps not unlike an Andersson’s Night for the Scando-Doom generation, and whilst I personally don’t dig it the many people around me who headbanged constantly throughout the band’s 45 minutes set treated them like headliners in waiting. I’ll stick with my Blues Pills LPs thanks.

Price pointing their merch at 10 and 15 Euros a pop the muthafuckin’ Dwarves really were living up to their rock legends tag long before they had even played a note today. It’s simple acts of punk rock genius like this that see most people either sporting or carrying a cross-boners themed item of  merch by the time the band hit the Cobra stage, and initial dodgy sound aside Blag and his gang of reprobates simply could do no wrong as they stampeded their way through the likes of ‘Way Out’, ‘Sluts Of The USA’, ‘Back Seat Of My Car’ and ‘Devil’s Level’ leaving me with barely time to take a gulp of my beer between the classic tunes crammed into the set list this afternoon. With added human fireball, smurf and a bevvy of lovelies providing visual stimulation for a mosh pit seemingly set on self-destruct (especially during a frenzied ‘I Will Deny’) the only thing that was really missing was more tunes from the band’s superb ‘Take Back The Night’ LP. Then again when you’re as good looking as these fucks you can do whatever the fuck you want and still end up being one of the best bands of the day.

Moving back to the Lion stage for the highly anticipated return of Supersuckers, out on the road promoting the (almost) 20th anniversary of ‘Evil Powers Of Rock N Roll’, it actually took me 2 or 3 songs before I realised this was the same band that totally blew me away all those years ago. The current 3-piece version of the band seem to favour the type of flat-out wall of noise approach to gigs that Motorhead pretty much made their trademark, and to be honest it all kind of goes over my head, especially early doors. Couple this with an Eddie Spaghetti who is obviously trying to warm up and not over stretch his voice (for obvious totally understandable reasons) I simply found the whole thing very frustrating indeed. Yes of course the band still soared majestically when they aired the likes of ‘Born With A Tail’ and ‘Pretty Fucked Up’ but I’d be gobsmacked if anyone went out and bought a copy of ‘Suck It’ as a result of hearing any of the songs aired from that here this evening, and that’s a crying shame because it’s actually a very good album.

Jogging back over to the Cobra stage to find Zeke were just about to into ‘All The Way’ from their ‘Hellbender’ LP the packed out room then proceeded to just totally lose it. This being my third time of seeing the band on this tour meant I knew what was about to come and the odd beer shower was an almost welcome relief from the already oppressive heat being generated by the Olympic sized pit moving at pace stage front and centre. With side stage also packed full of other bands all keen to experience the Zeke-effect it was reassuring to finally put to rest the urban myth that Nick Oliveri and Blind Marky Felchtone were in fact the same person, Oliveri screaming most of the band’s back catalogue from the wings like their number one fan whilst the more eagle eyed amongst us also spotted Austin Rocket from The Hip Priests revealing himself as a closet KISS fan by singing along to the Zeke-ified version of ‘Shout It Out Loud’. If you’ve seen Zeke live yourself recently, you’ll get what I mean when I say they are impossible to critique, they just are muthafuckin’ Zeke end of.

With prospect of the night turning into a progressive/psych type of affair if I hung about in the main stage areas to watch DeWolf and then Kadavar, I instead plumped for the much more sensible (and less satin flared) option of checking out Nick Oliveri – Death Electric back in the Tarantula stage. Backed by his Dwarves bandmates and dedicating his set to Todd Youth, from the opening ‘Tension Head’ to the final chords of ‘Millionaire’ what we were given tonight was a simple lesson into why Nick is so badly missed by Josh Homme in his now piss weak stadium filling version of the once great band. I could have listened to this stuff all night but with barely an hour before the first of the two!! headliners were set to take the stage it was time to finally catch my breath.

Chatting with friends old and new in the food concourse for the best part of that hour the highlight of which involved us people watching two lads trying to get a 12” record into a 10” locker that eventually ended up with said record being bent slightly in half in order to get it in (yeah I’m still cringing writing about it here) it was thankfully the sound of Rich Knox’s kick drum heralding the arrival of  Danko Jones over on the Lion stage rather than the snap of an LP that brought us back into reality with a bump.

Now having mentioned how off the mark the sound had been for a number of bands earlier in the day the immediate thing that impressed me when I took up my place on the barrier for Danko was just how clear and powerful it now was. Could the curse of Castle Donington have made its way all the way to the Netherlands? Oh, what the hell, I’d last seen the band about 5 or 6 years ago at Hellfest struggling a little bit to get a reaction from an audience only looking to throw devil horns and headbang but here at Helldorado Danko Jones (the band) really were in their element, plundering their extensive back catalogue to keep people dancing and humming their tunes long after their hour long set had ended. ‘The Twisting Knife’, ‘Had Enough’, ‘Play The Blues’ and of course ‘Sugar Chocolate’ (which took me right back to 2001 and the band’s  debut UK support slot with Backyard Babies) were all present and with Danko (the frontman) on top form banter-wise tonight really was theirs for the taking and just like with The Hip Priests earlier in the day it was absolutely fantastic to see a band with originality high on their menu (even if it’s the bits they steal from other bands) getting the reception they so justly deserve. Karma indeed!

Having released an album that has caused some pretty diametrically opposite reactions from their diehard fans the Turbonegro of 2018 have certainly come a long way since I first saw them live back in the early noughties playing a small club in Birmingham promoting their then reunion LP ‘Scandinavian Leather’. However, whilst I’m man enough to admit to quite liking ‘RockNRoll Machine’ it’s the distinct possibility of Queen covers (something they have been doing more recently) being played that found me entering into this Cobra stage headline set with more than just a bit of unease. I shouldn’t have worried though because here tonight the band blended the post-Hank and pre-Tony years into a set of high-octane stadium rock that must have had even the out and out haters of ‘RocknRoll Machine’ nodding along. I mean how can you sing along to the likes of ‘Wasted Again’, ‘All My Friends are Dead’ ‘Get It On’ and ‘Back To Dungaree High’ and then not also be drawn in by the likes of ‘Hurry Up & Die’ or the hilariously titled ‘Hot For Nietzsche’ (the pereft counterpart to the band’s love letter to Van Halen’s ‘1984’ that is ‘Chrome Ozone Creation’)?

With an encore consisting of 2 more classics from ‘Apocalypse Dudes’ (‘The Age Of Pamparius’ and ‘Selfdestructo Bust’) before the ultimate vinegar stroke of ‘I Got It Erection’ was dispatched to send some of us off into the cold night air night, I’m not entirely sure where all the anxiety I had about seeing Turbonegro in 2018 came from, they are still the same fun loving bunch, they’ve just polished the whole thing up a bit that’s all.

So as the party raged on hard well into the wee small hours back at the Klokgebouw I walked back to the hotel reflecting on the fact that with hotel, train and gig tickets plus flights, this trip worked out around £275 for each of our party. That’s for a weekend in a fantastic city we’d never been to before, the chance to meet some great new mates plus catch up with some great old ones, plus watch a shit load of superb bands in the process. I just know I’m gonna wake up feeling like I want to do it all over again next year. That’s because you gotta live life people – take some risks- because you never know what you might discover just around the corner even on an industrial park somewhere near PSV Eindhoven’s stadium.

Thank you Helldoardo for being so fucking amazing!!!!!

Author : Johnny Hayward

Helldorado