Duff McKagan releases a video for ‘Cold Outside’. A great song with a greater message.

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Seeing as its Christmas why not enjoy a couple of Christmas choons starting with Michael Monroe and his inclusion on this Crimbo classic from Saara Aalto

Finally to get you all in the mood here’s a banger from The Breakdowns ‘Christmas Time Alone’

I’d still describe Clowns a new band  but then they’ve been doing this hardcore rock n roll lark for six years which would hardly make them new really, it’s a tough one but one of the best records released this year without a doubt is ‘Nature / Nurture’ and its a great move on the face of it signing for Fat Wreck Chords. About eighteen months ago I stood in the Ballroom at Blackpool Winter Gardens in the early afternoon and watched Clowns own the day and turn in a pulverising and quite beautiful set and that was before we even had a sniff of the latest album (which, Incidently is their best by a country mile)  and before that I’d seen them in one of the smallest stages of the festival a year or two before that where they’d just released ‘Bad Blood’ and that was a brutal – pulverising performance that made those present sit up and take notice of these Australian loons kicking the shit out of our ears with their punk rock.  Wind forward to a cold November in Bristol as part of their jaunt around Europe in support of Nature/Nurture’ Clowns are in the motherfuckin’ house boys and girls and it’s a school night and the place – whilst not packed to the rafters is in decent shape and very busy indeed.  Anyway rewind the evening a little and first up is three-piece Glug.  Two ladies on guitar and Bass swapping vocals in the briefest of sets that was basically ten minutes and a bit but ten songs and plenty of between-song banter. they were never going to steal the show they knew it and we knew it but it was great to see them doing what they do on a school night.

Next up were the four-piece local lads The Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club. who to be fair have been around the block and are used to this kinda Monday night punk rock show as they proceeded to smash out their tight set of Hardcore punk rock for the next twenty-five minutes or so.  Flip is a bundle of energy and turns the screw on the rest of the band as they get pushed harder and faster and tonight it really works.  Cookie is our prowling the audience poking for a reaction and its working.  Tonight The Broken Bones Gentleman’s Club are smashing it (as the kids say) as for what they played I couldn’t even begin to break it down as song titles were irrelevant. Maybe they played ‘Reasons’ maybe they didn’t but what mattered was tonight they were on form and took no prisoners and impressed those who’d bothered to turn up on time and give these punks the time of day.  Great effort.

Finally, Clowns are ready as the busy venue is up for what is about to unfold and I’ve been looking forward to this since it was announced. Stevie has a sharp new haircut (since last time) and after a few stretches were ready to go and without any fanfare and ‘I Shaved My Legs For You’ is riffing the fuck out of the room and from the off this is going to be something special. Hanny J is a great foil for Stevie as they are both penned in by the dual riff maesters Rod and Will either side as they unleashing the venom. What a blistering opener, then it’s back to the rapid assault of ‘Infected’ off the uncompromising ‘Bad Blood’ album and that’s where they stayed for the title track and low and behold they open up ‘These Veins’ as well and the band sound on fire.

Next track up is ‘Freezing In The Sun’ which was released as a single prior to the last album but it only gave a slight glimpse into what was to come as the band took a giant leap sonically from the first two albums to ‘Lucid Again’ and then ‘Nature / Nurture’ where they seem to have really come of age and grown into something really special. Some of the songs steered them into Janes Addiction Territory (when Janes were on fire of course) and this single was their most accessible track to date and tonight it was pounding and they executed it to within an inch of perfection.

The band then flip-flopped between the most recent couple of albums with the pick of the tunes from both slotting in very nicely indeed. It took Williams a while to get into the audience but when he was comfortable he was like a cat on a hot tin roof not standing still for a second as the band hammered home the tunes giving him the space to do his thing and boy did he do it.  ‘Like A Knife At A Gunfight’  grew into a swirling beast that it is but it was overshadowed by the monumental ‘, I Wanna Feel Again’ that showed how much this band has grown over their short tenure and all those shows are paying off because I wouldn’t want to be in a band and follow these on stage on this evidence. To suggest it was epic isn’t an understatement at all.

By the time we hit ‘Soul For Sale’ and a quick check of the time we knew we were reaching melting point in the set, the whole place was twitching at the very least as some lost their collective shit it was only ‘Never Enough’ to wrap up the evening. A  fitting ending to a superb night of Hardcore entertainment from a band that was on fire and one I can’t recommend highly enough they were simply a sight to behold.

If you get the chance you really should check these Clowns out. It’s never too late to pick up one of the albums, hell even go for the first one that they sadly neglected this evening but I guess its fair that you can’t have everything. Now, these and Bronx on a doubleheader would be just the best idea if someone could make that happen in 2020 I’d be grateful.  Clowns from Australia I salute you, you came – we saw – you rocked.  Fuckin Awesome!

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Author: Dom Daley

Boy Oh Boy.  It’s always nice to have a few words off one of the Boys and with a couple of special shows coming up what better time to catch up with Matt and see what’s happening.  Ticket details and links are below the interview for their Lewes and London shows along with the posters with all the details.

 

Hi Matt.  The boys have been announced as headliners at Resolution Festival in the 100 Club this coming January. Having been two years since you headlined there was it an easy choice to say yes to doing it again?  It is a great line up as well with Last Great Dreamers and Menace playing as well.

Hi Dom. We’re always happy to play at the 100 Club. It’s almost a New Year tradition for us to play there now. It will also be great to hook up again with special guests Last Great Dreamers who we shared a festival stage with in Norway last year.

It’s already announced as the bands only show in London for 2020 is that an easy decision to make with it being so early on in the year?

Not at all, we’re usually planning gigs a year or so ahead and there are only so many gigs we want to do per year in any particular city or country as we don’t want to overplay anywhere. But we are playing Brighton before the London gig as well as Rebellion in 2020 and there might also be one or two other gigs in the UK later next year.

London is an ever decreasing hotbed of Rock and Roll with venues and gentrification closing down places is it harder to find suitable places these days compared to when the Boys started?

Sadly, I think that’s the truth, which is why I have a soft spot for the 100 club as one of the few surviving venues in London that have been around since the beginning of British rock ’n’ roll. When we started out in 1976, there were probably 100+ small music venues and pubs in London where we could feasibly get gigs as a new band, I doubt there’s more than a handful now.

It seems like a whole new world out there for bands what with the internet being so instant and making the world a smaller place.  Bands can record at home from anywhere is it a good or bad thing?  there seems to be less chance of there being a community or movement like when you opened up your flat in Maida Vale. Have those kinds of days totally gone do you think? 
The music business has always been changing. Other than live performance, income from music evolved from sales of sheet music to vinyl records, cassettes to CDs. and downloads to streaming. And even live performance evolved with the advent of music videos and once again with the arrival of the internet as well as audience smartphone recordings now all available online. The main problem now is that music is so easily available that it’s in danger of being taken for granted and devalued
Did you keep all the tapes from those recordings? Were there any particular people who impressed you who went on to great things in music that you could sense from the time? 

I have some early Boys’ recordings that I’d mixed down to cassette but all the original multi-track tapes went missing at some point and I don’t know who took them. If someone had stolen them to sell on or release as a bootleg I think they would have resurfaced by now so either they were stolen to record over or maybe removed by one of the bands who didn’t want their embarrassing early efforts aired. Who knows?

Most of the people that hung out in Warrington Crescent went on to greater things, including non-musicians like Magenta Devine, but one person who did impress me was the new guitarist with Chelsea who had only just started playing. I showed him a few guitar licks and he picked them up so quickly I thought this boy’s going to be a great guitarist. His name was Billy Idol.

A little bird tells me that The Boys in 2019 have also been busy recording is there any details you could reveal about that?

All I can say is that we’ve started recording and it’s sounding good – but at the moment it’s just new tracks with as yet no specific end-use and we’ll work on them and possibly more tracks in the New Year.

Going back to playing the 100 Club.  Its such an iconic venue for many reasons its steeped in history and one of the only remaining places still standing.  How does it stack up playing the 100 Club in 2018 or 2020 compared to 40 years ago and which of the venues hold the best memories and why?  The Roxy,  Marquee club when it was on Wardour Street.  I guess the Hope And Anchor which is also still standing.  Wasn’t that the venue the band made their live debut?  What do you remember about that?

Funnily enough, we never played the 100 club back in the day. I think after the first punk festival there when an audience member was hit by a thrown beer glass, they were a bit wary of booking punk bands for a while. Me, and I think Cas and John were in the audience for that gig. I also remember our debut at the Hope and Anchor shortly after, as it was such a relief to get our first gig safely under our belt after all the rehearsing. Mick Jones, Gene October and a lot of other fledgeling punk rockers were at the gig.

The Roxy was special because it was so short-lived. It was open only a couple of months but it that short time it gave punk its own home and helped to turn the UK music biz on its head and give the fledgeling punk bans the upper hand over the record companies, who were suddenly all desperate to sign a punk band. Also, venues, radio stations, recording studios, newspapers and music magazines were all forced to open up their minds to the punk phenomenon.

Re the Marquee, I saw so many great bands play there that it was a privilege for me to use the same stage and tiny dressing room. I’m still angry about the Marquee being lost forever after the developers promised there would still be a live music venue as part of the new development. I went to the opening of that ‘live music venue’ which was actually the basement area of a Conran restaurant. It was packed with tables and chairs for diners and had a tiny cabaret-style stage that you could just about fit a grand piano on. What really annoyed me was the ashtrays (you could smoke in restaurants back then), which were embossed with the names of some of the great bands such as Jimi Hendrix, Rolling Stones etc that had played the Marquee, implying that this was where they had played.

When I go there (Hope & Anchor that is)  I don’t know why but I’m always slightly taken aback how small it is. Again its got a lot of attachment to some bands history like the Stranglers and The Damned playing there. The 100 club seems palatial in comparison.
Are there any plans to play further afield again in 2020? the USA shows went down well and I know bands and fans were thrilled with the experience of hearing you guys play live.  What about china is that due for a return visit or are you now banned?

We are in talks about doing another South American tour and also Japan plus a few other things in the pipeline. I’d personally love to visit China again and tour there properly as we intended last time but it would be risky as we don’t know if we are still banned and probably wouldn’t know till we arrived there.

As for the band will John be playing the Resolution show?  It would be great to see him up there with you guys.

As you probably know John hasn’t been well for a long time. He is showing signs of improving. It’s a slow process so we don’t know if he’ll be able to be at the show but we do hope so.

I live in Swansea and the local museum recently had an exhibition to celebrate 50 years as a city and 50 years of music in the city and low and behold there is a feature from the 70s of Circles night club down the marina with pictures of yourself from when the Boys played on a Monday night. With a great bill poster advertising the show.  Do you have any memories of that show which was bootlegged and the first Bootleg I ever heard of the band.  Sounded like an electric night in an infamous local venue. Were they good memories of getting in a van with the band and togging it around the UK in the late ’70s.

With these memories in mind would you ever consider penning an autobiography?  The Boys history is an exceptional one and would make for a riveting read.

I’d like to have seen that exhibition. Do you have any photos of that feature? It was indeed great fun touring in the 70s because in many cases we were the first punk band that anyone had seen so it felt like we were trailblazing. As to an autobiography, no plans at present but if I get bored maybe.

Lewes Con Club 10 January –Tickets
Resolution Festival (100 Club) 11 January – Tickets

 

It seems every time I see Dalston’s finest gypsy blues merchants The Urban Voodoo Machine, it’s a different venue. They sure like to get around. I’m not complaining though, great variety gives a different feel to each show. Not that this London collective need any help in the variety department. Every show The Urban Voodoo Machine perform is different due to the ever revolving line up and the crazy stage antics that go down. So while regular guitarist Tony Diavolo and saxophonist/all round entertainer Luci Fire Tusk are MIA for tonight’s performance, their replacements for this tour do a mighty fine job in bringing their own thing to Paul-Ronney Angel’s party.

The last time we crossed paths was an epic two hour/two set 15th anniversary show at The Brudenell just a few miles away. That was an incendiary, packed out and sweaty gig, probably the best I’ve seen them. Tonight at The Wardrobe is a much more intimate affair, but none the less a bombastic rock ‘n’ roll show to behold. After all, it is The Urban Voodoo Machine and this band does not do mediocre.
Joining the core band that includes upright bass, two drummers and accordion/keyboard player Slim, are a two piece brass section and a young guitar slinger who happens to be the offspring of one of the band’s past players.
Instrumental surf jam ‘Police Paranoia’ gets things off to a ripping start, as ringleader Paul-Ronney Angel, a whirlwind of black ‘n’ red and his face grease painted white, leads the 8 piece band through a magnificent set that spans their 15 year career.
Our illustrious leader takes us into old classic ‘Down In A Hole’. With its bluesy, big band sound and cool gang backing vocals, it’s an early highlight that gets the crowd a-movin’ and a-groovin’. Live favourite ‘High Jeopardy Thing’ is brassy and classy in equal measures, the band incite the crowd to click their fingers, as the reverend Gavin Smith plays that skulking bass line. P-R, his voice as gravelly as his soul, has the crowd in the palm of his hand, taking us back in time to some sleazy speakeasy for a shot or two.

New single ‘Johnny Foreigner’ fits the set just fine. The laid back groove leads into a jubilant and overly-catchy chorus. The topical lyrics are backed up by the ‘Fuck Boris’ pin badge P-R wears proudly on his hat.” I’ve been living in this country 25 years” he shouts…” Fuck the Tories!” Well, this is billed as the ‘fuck Brexit Autumn Tour’ after all!
The sombre ‘Fallen Brothers’ and ‘Goodnight My Dear’ are dedicated to lost band mates; guitarist Nick Marsh and fiddle player Rob Skipper, gone but never forgotten. Other highlights? Well, ‘Orphan’s Lament’ sounds as fantastic as ever and ‘Crazy Maria’ is a high energy blast of mariachi infested glory that can never fail to get the crowd moving and the glasses emptied.
Crazy stage antics and slapstick comedy moments are rife. They include the frontman wringing the sweat from his headscarf into someone’s glass, getting a crowdsurf lift to the bar to collect a shot, and miming into a supposedly broken mic (is this thing on?). Paul-Ronney Angel is a pro who has this entertainment lark down to a fine art and manages to enrapture a whole room no matter the size or the clientele.
The band end the show as they began by forming a procession through the crowd, and culminates with the whole band standing on tables by the merch stand for an impromptu jam to close a memorable show that was more of a raw, rock ‘n’ roll show than the usual over the top circus.

With a new single and a tribute album (‘Friends & Family Album’) on record shelves, plus a new album due out before the spring, the future looks bright for The Urban Voodoo Machine. Let’s just hope those damn Tories don’t scupper their plans for world domination. With so much uncertainty in the world right now, it’s reassuring to know every night is a good night when The Urban Voodoo Machine rolls into town.

Author: Ben Hughes

Photo credit: Matt Seddon

Revered Southern California rock ‘n’ roll legends Social Distortion have announced their first European tour in five years. The month-and-a-half long tour, in June and July of next year, will include both headlining shows as well as appearances at some of the biggest summer festivals in the region. The band will perform at Manchester’s 02 Ritz on 15th July and London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 17th July.
Mike Ness has a special message for the European fans: “We can’t wait to get back to Europe this coming June! We’ve missed our fans and all of your beautiful cities. Five years is WAY too long! See you soon.”
Please see below for the full list of dates. Tickets are on sale now via the band’s website.
Social Distortion European 2020 Tour Dates
June 2nd, 2020 – The Circus, Helsinki (FI) – SOLD OUT     
June 3rd, 2020 – The Circus, Helsinki (FI) – SOLD OUT
June 8th, 2020 – Sentrum Scene, Oslo (NO)
June 9th, 2020 – Store VEGA, Copenhagen (DK)
June 12th, 2020 – Nova Rock Festival, Nickelsdorf (AT)
June 13th, 2020 – Zenith, Munich (DE)
June 16th, 2020 – Volkshaus, Zurich (CH)
June 17th, 2020 – Carroponte, Milan (IT)
June 19th, 2020 – Azkena Rock Festival, Vitoria (ES)
June 22nd, 2020 – Paradiso, Amsterdam (NL)
June 24th, 2020 – Lokschuppen, Bielefeld, (DE)
June 25th, 2020 – Capitol, Hannover (DE)
June 27th, 2020 – Haus Auensee, Leipzig (DE)
June 28th, 2020 – Columbiahalle, Berlin (DE)
June 30th, 2020 – Den Atelier, Luxembourg (LU)
July 3rd, 2020 – Ruhrpott Rodeo, Hünxe (DE)
July 4th, 2020 – Mission Ready Festival, Giebelstadt (DE)
July 6th, 2020 – Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg (DE) – SOLD OUT
July 7th, 2020 – Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg (DE)
July 10th, 2020 – Mighty Sounds Music Festival, Tabor (CZ)
July 12th, 2020 – Sjock Festival, Lille (BE)
July 15th, 2020 – O2 Ritz, Manchester (UK)   – TICKETS     
July 17th, 2020 – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London (UK) – TICKETS     
Social Distortion have been in their studio writing since March of this year, but took the summer off to tour North America with Flogging Molly, The Devil Makes Three and Le Butcherettes as a warm-up to their 40thanniversary celebration in Orange County, California on October 26th. The special hometown concert acknowledged a remarkable forty-year career and was an incredible day of music, where they were joined by an eclectic array of artists such as Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, The Distillers, The Kills, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, The Eagles of Death Metal, The Black Lips, Plague Vendor, Bully and Mannequin Pussy.

Since their formation in 1979 in the Southern California working-class suburb of Fullerton, Social Distortion have created a recharged rock ‘n’ roll sound merging outlaw country, classic punk and swaggering blues. Their last release Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes was the first album with their current label Epitaph Records and the band’s highest-charting album in their career. Produced for the first time by Ness himself, the album debuted at #3 on German Album Charts and #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart.  The band is currently preparing to head back into the studio to start a new chapter in their already rich legacy.

Two of our favourite bands have joined together in unholy matrimony once again for our listening pleasure and have released a brand new single entitled ‘Trillion Dollar Man’.

 

The two The Hip Priests and two Bitch Queens members recorded four high energy action rock tracks in one day. 7″ will come in red and blue vinyl. All you streaming folk out there in cyberspace can also shove it on your playlist like we will be doing from here – Spotify

 

There’s something gloriously familiar about this second long-player from UK bovver rockers Hard Wax, something that I can’t quite put my finger on, but it’s something that right from the very first spin has me beaming from ear to ear, so it must be something good right?

They say the make of any band is the strength of their tunes…and here on ‘This Is The Sound’ Wax main man Tom Boutwood (ably assisted by Paul Bond on drums, Tom Murphy on lead guitar and Matt Colton on bass) has penned some of the finest Oi! infused terrace anthems you’ll hear anywhere this year. Just like the recently released Michael Monroe album it’s not exactly groundbreaking or genre-bending stuff but sometimes I just need my punk rock music to be just that, straight ahead and no-frills, and right here on ‘This Is The Sound’ what you get for your entry money are ten premium cuts of bovver boy rock ‘n’ roll.

Kicking off with ‘Welcome To Bovver Rock City’ this just shy of two-minute long intro bears all the hallmarks of Hard Wax’s upcoming UK tour partners Giuda, albeit a Giuda fronted by someone who sounds a hell of a lot like Ginge Knievel.  And that right there is the familiar thing I couldn’t quite put my finger on at the top, because at times during ‘This Is The Sound’ it’s just like Mr Knievel has returned from his self-imposed exile and is finally fronting the band he’s always wanted to front. The similarity really is uncanny, but trust me, there’s a whole lot more to this record that the singer sounding a hell of a lot like the ex-Sick Livers/Nicotine Pretty frontman.

Things really kick off in style on ‘Living The Dream’, a proper piece of punk rock argy bargy designed to get your oxblood a-stomping. Elsewhere ‘This is The Sound’, ‘Days Of Glory’ (ooh hello Sailor) and ‘Razor Part Rebels’ (complete with an otherworldly Ace Frehley guitar riff) all steam out the blocks full of cock-sure 70s glam rock swagger and just a few spins later you’ll be singing along like you’ve had this album in your life since your childhood.
When the world outside your window is slowly turning to shit ‘This Is The Sound’ is the perfect pick me up record with tracks like ‘Have A Good Time’ and ‘Not Just a Pin-Up Girl’ guaranteed to make you smile once again, and in ‘Boys Of A Saturday Night’ and ‘Stomp All Over The World’ you have the near perfect soundtrack for a right proper tear up…on the dancefloor of course.

Which just leaves ‘In For a Penny’, a track I went straight to when I first got my copy of ‘This Is The Sound’ simply because I initially thought “wow a Slade cover that’s gonna take some balls”. Well, it’s actually not a cover, although the guitar riff is equal parts Hill and Holder and it’s the kind of glorious call to arms tune that would have seen Hard Wax on Top Of The Pops had it been released back in the 70s.
With a whole raft of great new punk rock records released by UK bands in 2019 (if you think otherwise then you really do need to read RPM more) I’m delighted to say that ‘This Is The Sound’ is right up there with the very best of them.

Now go get your boots on and get down your record shop and get yourself a copy.

Buy this is the sound Here

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Was it really twelve months ago today we got the really sad news that friend of the website todd youth had sadly passed away.  A year flys by and there have been plenty of times several of us have talked about his sad passing and the legacy he left behind whether it be introducing some of the magnificent bands he was a member of or telling stories of the brief moments we shared with the guy.  We’ve had a whole year to think about his effect on our little scene and some of our favourite bands have to be the line up he was in alongside Johnny Martin (Now an LA Gun) as part of Jesse Malins St Marks Band.  It has been said that this was the finest line up Jesse has been in since D Generation no doubt about it.

Another band he spent a brief time in was the magnificent hardcore racket that was Bloodclot alongside legend vocalist John Joseph (Cro-Mags), Nick Oliveri (Dwarves) and Joey Castillo (Danzig).  But it all began when Youth was still Todd Schofield a New Jersey boy who ventured over to the LES when it was a tough neighbourhood and not the sanitized high street it is today. He started out in Warzone before graduating to Murphys Law where he stayed until 95. Todd then went on to replace Richard Bacchus in D Generation in ’96 and recorded ‘Through The Darkness’  after D Gen split he formed Chrome Locust with fellow D Gen Michael Wildwood. 

It was after the Chrome Locust album that he then moved onto Danzig and worked with Joey for the first time after turning down the chance to join Foo Fighters and the Hellacopters. Whilst playing with Danzig he got to record the one studio album with Glen that featured his fellow Bloodclot mate on drums former D Gen legend Howie Pyro on bass and of course Danzig on the ‘ I Luciferi’ album as well as the live Danzig album. later in 2007 he left Danzig and became the guitar player for none other than Glen Campbell.

Sometime later when we got to meet him he had formed the awesome Chelsea Smiles with Karl Rosqvist, Johnny Martin,  and  Skye Vaughan-Jayne and also reformed Son Of Sam.  He also almost made it into Gunfire 76 with Wednesday 13 and the inaugural line up of Michael Monroe’s band but Youth split at the 11th hour to play the guitar with one of his heroes Ace Frehley.  youth lasted four years playing with Ace and we spoke once when he played Bristol with the St Marks Social that he had been stranded in the UK as Ace pulled his shows leaving members of his band in the UK without a show. Anyway, it was 2017 when youth hooked up with Bloodclot  (I hope you’re keeping up here folks?) to record the epic ‘Up In Arms’. To be fair to Youth he turned in some epic performances in his time on this planet and along with Chelsea Smiles and Chrome Locust or Bloodclot and Fireburn he certainly left his mark with some amazing records.

Todd was 47 when he passed away and that’s way too young.  We miss you man see you in the next life.

 

Todd Youth R.I.P

 

Another East coast Legend who sadly passed away on this same day was the one and only Lou Reed. Lewis Allen Reed was born in Brooklyn March 2nd 1942. He’s somebody who doesn’t need any introduction and was forever pushing the envelope of Rock and Roll from way back when he was part of the whole Warhol scene and originally moved to NYC to be an inhouse writer for Pickwick Records before forming a partnership with Welshman john Cale whom he lived with in the LES and went on to form the Velvet underground.  It was through Warhol that his association with Nico (A German Model) that Reed wrote some songs after initially rejecting the idea of working with her.

In the 70s Reed signed with RCA who also had some notable other significant Glam Rock pioneers on their roster and he went on to form lasting friendships with bowie and Iggy Pop.  It was 72s ‘Transformer’ album that broke through for Reed which happened to be produced by Bowie and his fellow Spider from Mars Mick Ronson.  The single “Walk on the Wild Side” got him noticed as his anthem for the misfits of the world and the so-called weirdos and gender benders of the time but it was Reeds biggest hit managing to evade scrutiny for its playful lyrics of New York nightlife. Ahead of his time?  For sure he was.  He had a rather tempestuous friendship with Bowie and wasn’t afraid to disagree with his friend with his fists.

Reed had some success with ‘Berlin’ but decided to follow it up with an album primarily made up of metallic feedback and almost unlistenable music that was ‘Metal Machine Music’ no doubt an inspiration to many noisemakers further down the line such as ginger Wildheart for his Mutations records and Endless Nameless albums (possibly).

Drugs and booze might have had something to do with Reed’s creative mindset at the time but it wasn’t long before he would indeed clean up his act (as Bowie had previously requested) He got married at the turn of the 1980s and went on to produce some of his finest work in that decade. ‘New York’ ended the decade for Reed and gave him only his second Gold Record.

the 90s saw him work with former VU compadre Cale on the album ‘Songs For Drella’.  He also played Glastonbury was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his fellow VU bandmates.  He also went on to record a bizarre record with Metallica after playing with the band at MSG in NYC ‘Lulu’ had only sold 13,000 copies in its first week of sales and ever the philosophical musician Reed joked that he’d finally pissed off all his fans and didn’t have any left.

It was in 2013 after suffering for years with hepatitis and diabetes Reed was diagnosed with Liver Cancer and after undergoing a transplant in the May of that year it was in the October Reed said he was bigger and he eventually passed away from liver disease at the age of 71. He was posthumously inducted into the #Hall Of Fame as a solo artist a year after his passing and Reed will forever be associated with the city he loved Lou Reed and New York go hand in hand and many of his songs are about the city and its only right that we remember such a legend on this day. Rest In Peace Mr Lou Reed. #Legend

Pre-sales are up for one of our favourite Norweigan bands.  The Good The Bad And The Zugly will release their new album ‘Algorithm & Blues’ in January and pre-sales are already up for grabs. Available in Transparent blue vinyl (limited to 250 copies) Transparent yellow vinyl (limited to 250 copies) Standard black vinyl (limited to 800 copies)
and Digipack CD.

Artwork is done by Flu Hartberg as always and it’ll come out on Fysisk Format and as a taster, the single ‘Staying With The Trouble’ is released.

 

First things first, this interview was conducted during the Rebellion Festival on the afternoon of the band’s performance.  Spunk and his Eruptions are about to head out on some dates around Europe so what better time to get the blood pumping and get you up for some loud punk rock n roll.

Considering how many times you’ve been asked back to perform at Rebellion in Blackpool would you know consider yourselves to be one of the fixtures and fittings along with the likes of the UK Subs?
A regular, um yeah I can’t argue with that so yes (ha ha ha)  Before I came here people said oh if you play two years in a row your going to get a gap and if you do three years in a row then your lucky so you’ll get that gap but Dirtbox will have done eight in a row including this year and SV are on number six so if that’s considered fixtures and fittings then yes I have that haha like the Subs and Nowhere League…
Out of the newer bands, Dirtbox has to be at the top.  there isn’t another band like em or loathe them Dirtbox has pretty much surpassed any other for festival callbacks and SV are getting there and it has to be said on merit as well and output.  I’d wager that of any band started in the last decade you guys are requested more than any other right?
I guess thanks, haha us knock off Bar Stool Preachers, wonk Unit they all do incredibly well for the so-called newer bands so can’t fault them…Wankers Ha Ha!
SV  pulling a fantastic crowd and the new double album are you phasing out Dirtbox?
Phasing out?
Well taking precedence over Dirtbox?
well due to the turn of events of weab leaving and none of us speaking to him since I’m sure people will have their own opinions and that’s fine it is what it is.  We were going to have a break anyway say have six months off just for everyone’s sake to see if we wanted to make another record.  I’d already demoed another album and an EP ready for the band. when Weab left we had sort of five minutes of absolute panic and we were like for fuck’s sake like when your frontman leaves it’s not a trivial thing is it? After a couple of texts went around the lads said well they’re your songs why don’t you do it.  We don’t want to stop it doesn’t matter let’s carry on for now and a lot of promoters and people who had booked the band were going well look we’ve booked you to play here and here etc are you going to do these gigs.  A lot of these people also presumed that I would just sing it wasn’t just the lads in the band.  Everybody just presumed that I would do it.  some bands you’d never find anybody capable of pulling it off and a guitar player doesn’t normally take over from the singer…
 
You did it before when Weab was ill though didn’t you?
Yes when he didn’t turn up
Did you find that an easy transition to go from the singer’s foil and guitarist in the band to fronting it?
It’s sort of harder to fuck about when you’re the guitar player. I spent ten years playing some of those songs playing the guitar and pointing and saying something but not the mindset of being the singer it is different.  Being stuck to the mic and singing all of it its harder trying to do it automatically.  I think I’m getting there but transitioning from one role to the other is hard you get what I mean, don’t you?
To be fair there was a chemistry between you both on stage. The Dirtbox thing of you two bouncing off each other worked really well.  Anyway SV. A Double album.  Who’s idea was a double album? Its a lot of music was it always planned as a double or did it just turn out with the number of songs you were writing feel you just couldn’t cut it down?  Was there a temptation to hold a bunch over and do two single albums or EPs over a period of time?
Yes, Initially it was going to be two separate albums. We started recording then family matters took over when we were about 80% through recording and when we got back to it a load more was written so we recorded that and found ourselves without a label and after shopping around we settled on doing it ourselves with Avenue Records set up by Maff. it is what it is and was the easiest thing to do at the time. these things you can sit on for ages as you know and shop around forever trying to sort a deal out that suits everyone so we were sat in a rehearsal room and Maff came up with the idea and we went with it and its done really well and we already have another recorded. That will come out next year  Its different from ‘Double Bastard’ which is good maybe the best way to describe it is ‘Double Bastard’ was what people would expect whereas this next one is a bit different…
(JH) – I thought Double bastard was quite angry in places as well.  Was that a reflection of where you were at the time? 
I don’t know to be honest because it was written over a period of time maybe.  I think a lot of that was prepared before we got to the studio because we knew we were going to do the double then…
(JH) you’re just an angry man aren’t you?
I can be Ha Ha Ha It depends where the mood takes me on that day haha
Last year we chatted about some of the songs on the first album and I said ‘Purely Medicinal’ was a great track and not at all what I was expecting to hear and you said you had a lot of material you’d written that you didn’t know what to do with.  Is any of that going to see the light of day as a project?
Yeah, I’ve got a whole album of about sixteen songs, It wouldn’t come out as an SV album.  I’ve recorded fourteen I think so far demoed I’ve called it Skeletons or spelt like a kid would spell it Skelingtons it’ll be like stories and thoughts a bit like that and I’m hoping to get that recorded over the winter.  It’s not Dirtbox and its not SV just stories of things I’ve seen and heard no names no people just memories and thoughts…
(JH) you’re the master of that though pulling stories or memories about stuff like XR3  you just pull out those ideas that a generation can relate to.
It’s like scared of needles.  All that came from was a visit to the dentist and my first thought of dentists was fuckin hell needles. and it got me thinking I can’t be the only one can I? So i started scribbling  like TCP that was me dad I did a gig and got a really sore throat and me dad said I should gargle with TCP and he said when we were kids he used to make us gargle with it and then thirty years later I read up and it said you have to dilute it first (Ha ha ha) How fuckin dull as kids just downing it out of the bottle! Ha Ha Ha  My dad then just smirked at me and that for me was hilarious and that’s where the words came from.
 
Do you have a favourite lyrics you’ve written from all these stories?
There’s a lot I like um I think there’s a lot on ‘Gatecrash’.  that was all true. haha pissed out me head eating the toilet blue.  I remember that and XR were based on two parties that stayed with me.  I also like the lyrics on ‘Spare Room’  it might be kind of cheesy but it does reflect real shit. On some of the faster songs like you think you are rock and roll but your not, based on knobheads you see sucking up in places like this and then behind your back, they say something different.  the people who walk in a dressing room and help themselves to your beer and you might think who the fuck are you? you’ve never seen em before.  That’s not me being rude but I’m thinking what you are doing, who are you? haha
When you’ve written with other people like you wrote with Ginger Wildheart do you get a lot of people asking to collaborate?
Well, with ginger he just came down to the studio and sang on the record and I said to him, here’s my guitar and he just freestyled he didn’t write as such he just played.
So on that is there anyone you’d like to write with or get to play on your album?
There are a few things happening which I can’t mention…
(JH) You were always a fan of Cowboy Killers and Bad Sam…
I can honestly say Beddis made me want to be a punk rocker and I know he wouldn’t give a shit about me saying this but for me when people say oh the Damned or the Buzzcocks are great for me He’s great I saw him going mad  in his songs and that was punk rock to me not chart hits or anything but when you’re an impressionable teen and music becomes everything else can go fuck itself he was doing Cowboy Killers and I was consumed by his madness and always giving it some…
(JH) Could you work with that then? Is he someone you’d work with if that could happen?
I don’t think so.  anything I do wouldn’t be conducive to how he works or what he does I love everything he does if I lived near Newport I’d be at every show he does.  when I was a kid just going to gigs and seeing the Cowboy Killers I’d be transfixed and it would be like fuck me that’s punk rock and I always think back to those times because as you guys know that was a real catalyst for me and at the time all that punk rock madness it was for me I mean I’m a massive Leatherface fan and listening to Frankie again, he sang about real things you know rather than dreaming or bands like Kiss who sang about birds and being famous and the punk stuff was real and thought fuck me you could write about things that are real to you and what you know about rather than all that other stuff.
What was it like when you got to tour with Wolfsbane what did you think of those dates?
I couldn’t think because I was so dead excited.  All the time I just stood there every night …
(JH) like a kid in a candy shop for the first time?
Yeah ha ha ha
You made them aware of that obviously?
Oh yeah, they knew it alright haha   I think they were like how old is he haha what an idiot. But, I keep in touch with Jase and I’d met Jeff before , but to answer the question it was great they were dead nice and I was like  Woah – howling mad shithead haha it wasn’t that he’d been in Iron Maiden because it was wolfsbane for me  – again going back to being a kid. I knew they were doing a tour and so I asked can I play with them and they said yeah which is great.  there was no more to it than that for me I was dead excited and it was the same for every show
Who else is on your bucket list then? Showaddywaddy?
Well, funnily enough, last week we did a show that was owned by an original member of the band. It was Mick the duke.  He gave me some CD’s and I told him I was genuinely a massive fan and he told me about the history and a few stories and again that was brilliant for me.  this is great – I know people would laugh at that you know Showaddywaddy but he’s got fuckin gold disks all around his office haha 500,000for this one 600,000 for that you know that’s respect right there he’s done it.  that was a man who’s had proper success.  for me that’s fantastic I’d love to be able to dream I could achieve a bit of that success.  He like 78 and he was chuffed watching us and we got a good crowd in and after he put a load of his songs on the jukebox it was brilliant.  You don’t have to be playing Wembley to go home with a massive smile on your face just because you’ve met somebody you admire and they were great.
Sticking with live shows you’ve been over to Germany a fair bit recently, Headlining? 
sometimes.  On the continent, it’s pretty much neck and neck some places its been more for SV and others Dirtbox.  At the moment Dirtbox pulls in the festivals which is fine.  Its dead well received and we get treated really nicely around Europe.  It’s never a bad place to go we get some really good turnouts and not so good in others that’s just the way it is.  You’ve got to break new territory and the main thing is we enjoy it.  we went over with 999 for three dates with SV and that was brilliant. You know us, We’re on on time and were off on time and we were really well received every night and it was great.
How do the songs go down in places like Germany?  Do they get the humour or the stories like XR3?
No
Ha Ha Ha 
I guess its if they already know Dirtbox or SV then they know what to expect so its a given they probably know about XR3 or ‘Crossfire’ but when we were out with 999 it was like 500 people looking at me like thinking what the fuck is this but the are dead appreciative when you put in the effort and sure I wouldn’t expect them to get ‘Hanging round The Shops’its hard to explain the British culture.  ‘Ram Raid’ it’s all alright here people know what a ram raid is.  there were other things they did get like ‘TV God’ with the riff and TV! I suppose ‘Teenage’ everywhere will get that and it’s great when you hear them sing along.  We go out with Electric Six for two weeks (starting next week as it happens ED) 
 
 
It’s great that you can cross over and play with wolfsbane then 999 then electric Six the Cock Sparrer…
Do you not find that weird though?
No not really it’s a reflection of what you listen to and I think we’re all like that a bit nobody just likes punk or metal or indie.
I think there’s a period in your life when you’re trying to be so cool and you turn your back on all those songs you loved as a kid because they are not cool anymore but its all just bollocks isn’t it? Like I said last night on stage we play punk and metal because boundaries just aren’t for us.
going back to last night did you hold an enquiry as to who fucked up the song?
It was Maff.  We skipped a song and he started playing the next one and I didn’t and it was like what the fucks happening…
I thought you were playing a new song
Ha Ha Ha I started laughing and said what are you doing and he said I missed it so I said let’s play the right one then so everybody plays the right song Go! haha how do you cover it?
you can’t its a fuck up everyone does it haha 
 
We did it in Leeds with Dirtbox supporting The Skids, me n Maff just went off playing one song and the others were like what you doing it was like two five-year-old kids just picked up instruments and started playing and so I started laughing and Maff said just fucking stop! and then everyone was laughing and I turned to the audience and said did you fucking just hear that and it won people over and sort of broke the ice and people were laughing with me  which was great its not embarrassing if you make light of it because it is what it is you’ve fucking gone now so stop laughing just stop! haha
what about last night?  (SV & the Eruptions played the casbah stage)
I really enjoyed last night I remembered getting to the top of the ramp and the crowd was fucking massive and that was great, I mean who’d complain when you’ve got a crowd like that coming to see you.
(JH) It reminded me when you played in here when the stage was on the side and us two were stood next to the stage and you were a bit nervous and then when you walked out it was like – fuckin hell! it was a similar moment this time for the Eruptions.
We did the Empress last year and I was really nervous and you never know how it’s going to go.  The thing is with Rebellion there are so many people and so many good bands all the time you can’t make people go in to watch you, you have to earn it.  they’ve always got that choice.
That year when Dirtbox first played the Empress I went up on the balcony to take a picture if was fucking mental in there from the front to the back it was packed.  It was one of those moments from when we first saw you play the Railway in Abertillery to twenty knobheads who knew every word to fill the Empress was a bit emotional.  It’s no small feat and something you should be immensely proud of.  There are bands who’ve been going decades who would love to have an audience like the one you’ve had at Rebellion and would be envious of it…
I’ve had bands come up to me face and say it.  After that initial rise we did get a lot of respect from a lot of bands but at the same time a lot of ridicule.  A lot of people to this day just don’t get it.  I’m like you can’t get everything you don’t have to like every band that’s fine.  there’s loads of band I never got.  There are loads of bands I never got growing up I’ve played with and have since listened to and got – you know what I mean.  Touring with the skids, they passed me by when I was younger but now having watched them I get it.
I think drawing your influences from a lot of bands that weren’t shit helps – I love the bands I’ve mentioned and bands like the Kinks Or Motorhead or songwriters like the Hollies and people say how do you like the Hollies and I’d say they write great songs with catchy choruses or melodies it good stuff.  I think if you listen to good songs from a good gene pool then it should help you write better songs.  Sure I blast out Lemmy but the Kinks were ace as well.  If you only listen to Extreme noise terror all your life how the fuck will you be able to write a great chorus or melody?  Hopefully having a wide and varied but good gene pool of influences hopefully will help me to be a better songwriter and will help me appeal to a wide audience even if its a little bit.  You can learn to be a better writer.  I never take playing places like Rebellion for granted it’s never a given you still have to work hard to earn what you get and hopefully you get the rewards.
I think that’s why yourselves and The Bar Stool Preachers and Wonk are getting invited back year after year you all have eclectic influences and you all write great songs that win people over. and you’ve earned your stripes.
A lot of people don’t see that we’ve played Halifax on a Monday night and then Southampton and Nottingham followed by Leeds.  A lot of people here probably don’t even know we slog it around Europe playing loads of shows.  I doubt if no more than a handful of people on the Wolfsbane tour knew who we were but now I see people turning up at SV gigs wearing Wolfsbane shirts and patches and that’s great. that makes me smile. I’m proud of that and the band I’ve got they’re all good lads I’m really happy with Scott, Joey and tom and Maff obviously.  they’re all steady and reliable…
Do you think that’s the best you’ve been?
It’s hard to say,  I feel really good about it it’s a different beast to the first line up but they were good but they approached it differently.  Now it just feels right.  I don’t have any concerns at all, I just feel like we’re all right into it and like Scott gives it a bit of a grunt and I like that. Even with Dirtbox, I think we’d run out of a bit of steam and now with Weab going there might have been all the internal issues that people never know about but now all that’s gone it’s like we’re on the same page again.  What happened, happened and I think everybody is happier weab has Kid Klumsy and I hope he’s happy and we can all move on with our own things.  we’re going to have a break then next year we’re going to play a few dates we’ve got pencilled in for April and a new album as well.   We had started some but I’ve got a load of new material with my voice in mind and not Weab so it’s different styles and demoes some and the lads were chuffed they had a real live feel and you could see the boys felt the same again which is great. The songs have a raw feel maybe more like ‘Legends’  but that might be just at the moment.  We’ll see how we approach it in the studio because we love the songs and think Dirtbox has still got legs it would be a shame for me to see the name disappear because the singer left. We don’t want to hang up the Dirtbox flag, it’s not just about us four in the band and you know how hard we’ve worked because you boys have been with us from the start, we’ve worked really hard to get noticed and people seem to like us so we owe it to them as well.
There you have it folks the one and only Mr Spunk Volcano saying it as it is.  We actually chatted for an age with some really exciting things happening for both SV & The Eruptions and Dirtbox Disco so strap yourselves in and get your fix as I’m sure all will be revealed as and when and we’ll try our best to keep you up to date with what’s going on in both camps.  Thanks to Spunk for taking the time and indulging us and making us bloody laugh every time we cross paths.