Hello again, RPM-people, it’s been a while. A limited skirmish with a failing hard drive meant that I lost the first attempt at this article for the cultured readers of this fine web-based tome and, as with all tortured artists, I found myself shaking a fist at the Gods of technology rather than simply getting back on the horse and writing it again while the effortless cool (possibly) was still fresh in my mind. This article’s featured item was going nowhere, however, so new words about old stuff came easy.
Now, if you’re hitting up this webzine regularly then I would imagine that you are well-versed in all forms of rock ‘n’ roll rebellion; trouble is, many of those rebels that litter our record collections are now asking for new dress socks on gig riders or peddling butter on shit TV channels. With that in mind I have had to roll back the decades to find, not only a true rebel of the music business, but also an item of music memorabilia that is as decadent as it is delicious.
And that’s where Andy Gibb comes in.
“Andy Gibb?!” I hear the RPM head honcho exclaim as this hits his inbox like the late Scott Columbus hit those cymbals in Manowar’s ‘Blow Your Speakers’ music video, the Double Diamond tearing at the neck of his Maiden shirt, Ozzy-style. Hear me out: Andrew Roy Gibb was a true rock ‘n’ pop tearaway, and the ultimate piece of merchandise released to tie-in with his all-too-short career is collectable excess par plastic excellence. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
Andy Gibb was the youngest of the Gibb kids: brother to Barry, Robin, Maurice, and forever-forgotten sister, Lesley. He was born in Manchester, was raised in Australia until the age of eight before the Family Gibb returned to the UK. When his brothers were looking nailed-on for pop stardom, Andy was looking for trouble: he quit school at the age of thirteen and, armed with an acoustic guitar given to him by big bro Barry, he toured the clubs of Ibiza and the Isle of Wight (both places where his parents lived at some point). He was married, divorced, and had fathered a child before he was even out of his teens. Minor pop stardom came a-calling when he returned to Australia, but it was when Bee Gees manager, Robert Stigwood, signed him to his label and persuaded him to relocate to Florida that things really started to take off for Andy Gibb.
With Barry producing, and Joe Walsh guesting on guitar for a couple of tracks, Andy’s debut album, ‘Flowing Rivers’, sold over a million copies and, by the time the lead single from his second long player, 1978’s ‘Shadow Dancing’, hit the top spot, he had become the first male solo artist to have three consecutive Number One singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. He dated Dallas star, Victoria Principal, starred on Broadway in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, sang with Queen (on a version of the song, ‘Play The Game’, which has never seen commercial release, with some believing that a recording doesn’t actually exist), and co-hosted American television music show, Solid Gold. He would, however, be fired from both the television and Dreamcoat gigs due to absenteeism, with the blame laid firmly at the door of his cocaine binges. The fall was rapid. Guest appearances on US shows Gimme A Break! and Punky Brewster followed, as did gigs in Vegas, but Andy was now tabloid fodder; the Betty Ford Center now a date on his tour itinerary.
In early 1988 it was announced that Andy would become an official member of the Bee Gees – the six-legged tooth machine mutating into quite the quartet – but it was never to be: just two days after his thirtieth birthday in March of that year, Andy was hospitalized in Oxford complaining of chest pains. He died on March 10th as a result of myocarditis; an inflammation of the heart muscle caused by years of cocaine abuse.
Dying young is a sad by-product of rock ‘n’ roll excess the history of which many of you are well-versed in, I’m sure; but I am here to wax lyrical on music-related memorabilia (I had to get there eventually!) so I have to roll everything back to 1979, when Andy was on the covers of teen magazines, on the walls of pop-smeared children’s bedrooms, and on the Toy Fair brochures of the Ideal Toy Company.
Now, there’s a saying amongst the elite of vintage toy collectors that goes, and I’m paraphrasing here, “buy mint and you buy once, buy not mint and you buy many times.” I’m not sure of the exact words because I always scoff when I hear it as, in my humble opinion, it is utter bollocks. Who wouldn’t pick up something über-cool for their shelf because some bloke on the internet has one in better condition? Not me, and that’s why I back-flipped all the way to Nerdtopia when I found myself a vintage Andy Gibb doll.
In 1979, Ideal graced the toy shelves of the coolest US stores with the Andy Gibb ‘Disco Dancin’ With The Stars’ doll. There is, in collector circles, many a debate over whether a toy is a doll or an action figure: never call a middle-aged white guy’s Action Man a doll for Gawd’s sake! Well, let me tell you, the Disco Dancin’ Andy Gibb toy is a doll. He came packaged in neon-littered box art with the supreme tagline: “move him to a disco beat on his dancin’ disc!” Yes, the disco dance stand that came packaged with the doll would actually move mini-Andy’s feet so that it looked like he was actually disco dancing. Sublime Seventies innovation, right there.
Thing is, I don’t have the box. Or the stand. Forgive me, men in sensible footwear in village hall toy fairs the length and breadth of the UK. I do have a mint condition Andy Gibb ‘Disco Dancin’ With The Stars’ doll still attached to its original box inlay, though, so I guess I’m still a winner at life. Also, someone, in their confused wisdom, decided that penning “one of the Bee Gees” on the back of said box inlay was going to help with the identification of this toy. All it did, however, was make me love it even more. Who needed to read that curious inscription anyway? The doll is wearing a lurid pink waistcoat with the “Andy Gibb” logo printed on it!
So let’s recap: a mint condition (save for a few age-related garment marks) Andy Gibb doll, still attached to its original cardboard inlay, wearing a white jumpsuit and pink waistcoat, and with a piece of inked graffiti completely lacking in irony administered to its forever home? Who the frig wouldn’t want one of those?! Not me!
This toy sits happily in my collection alongside the Sonny Bono, Cher, ABBA, KISS, Boy George, Rob Zombie, Alice Cooper, Sex Pistols, and Elvis toys and, do you know what? They all get along. Now, if we all just got along a little better then this revolving rock that we call home would be a little easier to negotiate. Not those people who told me not to buy the Andy Gibb doll because it didn’t have the box, though – they can fuck off.
I’ll be back as soon as possible, technology permitting, with more curios from the Pop Culture Schlock collection. I might even get my studded wristband back out for the next installment. Thanks for reading, keep watching the skies and, most importantly, don’t be a twat!
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THE 2020 VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS GOES LARGE ON THE MAGAZINE’S TENTH ANNIVERSARY!

 

THE LEGENDARY ROCK ‘N’ ROLL EVENT CONFIRMED TO TAKE PLACE AT THE 02 SHEPHERDS BUSH EMPIRE APRIL 1ST

 

ICONIC 80S ROCKERS LORDS OF THE NEW CHURCH TO PLAY ONE-OFF REUNION WITH FINNISH HANOI ROCKS LEGEND MICHAL MONROE FRONTING AND MUCH MORE!

 

Staking its reputation as an essential rock ‘n’ roll date in the annual calendar, with two now fabled awards nights at the 02 Islington Academy in 2018 and 2019 which saw a vast array of iconic artists performing and rubbing shoulders, the 2020 Vive Le Rock Awards is confirmed to take place this coming April 1st.

 

This time, however, the event has gone bigger and bolder, moving to the 2000 capacity 02 Shepherds Bush Empire for the party of the year that also celebrates Vive Le Rock’s tenth anniversary in print, having published its first issue in 2010, it is now the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll and punk magazine, independently published by Big Cheese Publishing Ltd in London.

 

The two previous years have featured live appearances from The Damned, The Stranglers, Shakin’ Stevens, Suzi Quatro, members of AC/DC, Sex Pistols, The Specials, Buzzcocks and even England football legend Stuart Pearce, and 2020 continues to up the ante.

 

This year sees Original Rudeboy – The Specials Neville Staple joining the party along with a very special one-off reformation of 80’s goth rockers The Lords of The New Church, fronted by Finnish Hanoi Rocks legend Michael Monroe on vocals. The Vive Le Rockers all-star band will once again back specially invited singers and compere for the night will see the return of Ed Tudor-Pole of Tenpole Tudor fame (and also 80s T.V show, The Crystal Maze!).  Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders are set to pick up an Icon Award and punk legend, The Damned’s Brian James will accept the Pioneer award. Two extra special guest performers are due to be announced soon along with a wealth of awards.

 

There will be a special section for rockers we have lost in 2019 including Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill, Eddie and The Hot Rods Barrie Masters (who played the 2019 VLR awards) and surf guitar legend Dick Dale.

 

The audience will comprise of invited members of the media, television, fashion and the music world as well as an allocation of tickets for the general public. The VLR Awards are a truly unique, international event celebrating the legends of our music scene. “This isn’t some chicken in a basket awards show, this is a party with the coolest people in rock n’ roll” said Vive Le Rock editor Eugene Butcher.

 

Tickets available HERE:

 

You can watch the action from the last two VLR Awards Here

 

2020 VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS!

2020 VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS! It's gonna be a wild night. Lords of the New Church- FEATURING Michael Monroe, Ed Tudor Pole, The Specials (Official) Legend From The Specials – Neville Staple, BRIAN JAMES- The Damned , 2 extra special acts and our Headline band! Plus All star guests and Presenters! Here's a sneak peak at the last 2 years.Tickets and VIP Packages at https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/the-2020-vive-le-rock-awards-tickets/artist/5330131

Posted by Vive Le Rock on Monday, 27 January 2020

Legendary Northern Irish punk rock act Stiff Little Fingers are delighted to announce a full UK tour in March 2020 – The 2020 Tour.

The tour will see the band play their29th consecutive Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom St. Patrick’s Day show as part of their traditional March tour. The band also headline London’s Roundhouse to end the 13-date run.

All the dates will feature support from The Professionals and TV Smith. The Roundhouse show only will also feature a very special guest slot from the Neville Staple Band. With an iconic career of over 40 years, Stiff Little Fingers remain as vital as ever.

The full tour dates are as follows:
Thursday 12thMarch 2020                               Bristol, O2 Academy
Friday 13thMarch 2020                                     Cardiff, Great Hall
Saturday 14thMarch 2020                               Birmingham, O2 Academy
Monday 16thMarch 2020                                Norwich, UEA
Tuesday 17thMarch 2020                                 Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
Thursday 19thMarch 2020                               Troon, Concert Hall
Friday 20thMarch 2020                                     Newcastle, O2 Academy
Saturday 21stMarch 2020                                Leeds, O2 Academy
Monday 23rdMarch 2020                                Northampton, Roadmenders
Tuesday 24thMarch 2020                                 Nottingham, Rock City
Thursday 26thMarch 2020                               Portsmouth, Pyramids   
Friday 27thMarch 2020                                     Manchester, Academy
Saturday 28thMarch 2020                               London, Roundhouse

Tickets are available from www.slf.rocks

In addition to the dates announcement Stiff Little Fingershave just put out two special ‘Virtual Reality’ videos filmed with a 360 degree camera attached to the drum kit, from this years “Putting the Fast In Belfast 3” show in August. This gives the user, via their mobile viewing device or computer, the option to view whatever part of the stage and or band member they so wish via movement of the viewing device or via a mouse or pointing tool. The two tracks are their iconic punk anthems “Alternative Ulster” and “Tin Soldiers” available via the links below and on the bands own YouTube Page.

 

Stiff Little Fingers have been incredibly active in recent years, playing some prestigious live shows, including: three years of headline sold-out hometown performance in Belfast’s Custom House Square; London’s Hyde Park British Summer Time concert with Green Day; the 28th traditional St. Patrick’s Day sold-out show at Glasgow iconic venue Barrowland Ballroom.

In addition to the live performances, the past five years saw Stiff Little Fingers release two records: their tenth studio album “No Going Back” in 2014, which showcases a band at the height of their powers, still able to capture the heart of the listeners with relevant topics and honest sound, reaching #1 in the UK charts; and a live album “Best Served Loud – Live At The Barrowlands” in 2017, which immortalises Stiff Little Fingers’ epic performance at their annual St. Patrick’s Day show.

Formed in 1977 in Belfast Stiff Little Fingers were among the pioneers of punk rock. Joining ranks with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks, and Undertones they brought in a new era of music and they’re still keeping that spirit alive 42 years on!

www.slf.rocks  / www.facebook.com/StiffLittleFingers  / www.twitter.com/RigidDigits

Band picture credit to :  Bernie Mcallister

FOLLOWING THE DEMISE OF PLEDGEMUSIC, PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN FULFILL ALL EXISTING PRE-ORDERS FOR THE GROUP’S LIVE AT THE 100 CLUB ALBUM

 

PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN’S LINEUP FOR THIS ‘ONE NIGHT ONLY’ CONCERT FEATURED ALFIE AGNEW (Adolescents, D.I.), SEAN ELLIOTT (D.I., Mind Over Four), RAT SCABIES (The Damned), AND PAUL GRAY (The Damned, Eddie & the Hot Rods, UFO)

Live at the 100 Club is available now on red vinyl, CD, and download

Professor and the Madman announce that they have personally fulfilled all orders for their Live at the 100 Club album. Recorded in August 2018, Live at the 100 Club was initially offered for pre-order exclusively through the crowdfunding website PledgeMusic. However, after months of delays, the campaign was temporarily derailed when PledgeMusic operations shuttered in May.

“Pledge was such a great conduit between the artists and the fans and it should have been bulletproof,” says the band’s Sean Elliott. “I’m sad to see it gone.”

Picking up where PledgeMusic left off, Live at the 100 Club is now available exclusively on red vinyl LP and CD Here. It is also available digitally at all retail platforms.

The album features a dozen tracks which span PATM’s trio of studio albums alongside two new entries to the band’s discography. “Nuclear Boy” is a cover of the 1981 power pop entry by Hollywood-based 20/20, while “Quit This Town” was first released in 1977 by UK rock act Eddie and the Hot Rods. The live version of the latter track features a guest appearance by former Hot Rods songwriter/guitarist Graeme Douglas.

Live at the 100 Club was recorded at the famed London hotspot on August 10, 2018. In existence since 1942, the venue located at 100 Oxford Street began as a jazz and swing music nightclub but is now best known for its role in the evolution of Britain’s punk rock movement. In September 1976, the 100 Club hosted an international punk festival which included performances by the Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Stranglers, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, among others.

With its rich punk history, the 100 Club was the ideal venue for Professor and the Madman’s UK debut. The group’s lineup is comprised of members with deep roots in the scene: singer/guitarist Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.), singer/guitarist Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four), Rat Scabies (The Damned), and Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie & the Hot Rods, UFO).

Billed as a ‘One Night Only’ event, the 100 Club show provided a rare chance to see this version of the band. Due to the distance between Agnew and Elliott in Southern California, and Scabies and Gray in the UK, logistics make it difficult for the quartet to convene for live performances. For the majority of PATM’s live dates in America, Agnew and Elliott are joined by fellow musicians from Orange County, CA.

Professor and the Madman released their third studio album, ‘Disintegrate Me’, in February 2018. Choosing the group as one of its “Bands to Watch in 2018,” Classic Rock Magazine declared “Disintegrate Me is an infectious cocktail of power-pop/rock, ‘60s British Invasion and melodic psychedelia. It’s rich, quality stuff.”

Agnew, Elliott, Scabies, and Gray are currently at work on a new album for release next year.

 

CONNECT WITH PROFESSOR AND THE MADMAN: 

Stiff Little Fingers are pleased to announce additional UK/EIRE tour dates this summer.

After the traditional and critically acclaimed run of UK dates in March, the band is back on the road in May and August to deliver their usual energetic and spellbinding performance to fans across the country. With a career spanning over more than 40th years, Stiff Little Fingers’ live shows always become something special and a unique event that never disappoints.

2019 Celebrates 40 years of the band’s iconic debut album ‘Inflammable Material’.
Released on 2nd February 1979, the album features the legendary tracks ‘Suspect Device’ and ‘Alternative Ulster’.

Stiff Little Fingers have been very incredibly active in recent years, playing some very prestigious live shows, including two years of headline sold-out hometown performance in Belfast’s Custom House Square; London’s Hyde Park British Summer Time concert with Green Day; the 28thtraditional St. Patrick’s Day sold-out show at Glasgow iconic venue Barrowland.

In addition to the live performances, the past 5 years saw Stiff Little Fingersrelease two records: their 10thstudio album “No Going Back” in 2014, which showcases a band at the height of their powers, still able to capture the heart of the listeners with relevant topics and honest sound, reaching #1 in the UK charts; and a live album “Best Served Loud – Live At The Barrowland” in 2017, which immortalizes Stiff Little Fingers’ epic performance at their annual St. Patrick’s Day show.

Formed in 1977 in Belfast Stiff Little Fingers were among some of the pioneers of punk rock. Joining ranks with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks, and Undertones they brought in a new era of music and they still persevere in keeping that spirit alive 42 years on!

UK TOUR DATES 
Fri 16thAug – King George’s Hall, Blackburn
Sat 17thAug – Hardwick Live Festival – Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield, Co. Durham
Sun 18thAug – Tivoli, Buckley
Tue 20thAug – KK.’s Steel Mill, Wolverhampton
Wed 21stAug – Guildhall, Gloucester
Fri 23rdAug – Academy, Dublin
Sat 24thAug – Putting The Fast In Belfast – Custom House Square, Belfast

Tickets available from all usual outlets. 
USEFUL LINKS 
www.slf.rocks / www.facebook.com/StiffLittleFingers / www.twitter.com/RigidDigits

I like it when a band takes its time to get the album they want but we all giggled when Axl took however long to knock out a guns n Roses album well Johnny Seven don’t like to rush a record release either but these punk rockers took forty years! Yup, I did say Forty Four Zero.  Don’t giggle at the back it’s true. Anyway its here now the format might be different to what was originally envisaged but times change and so do lineups.

 

you might well ask yourself what this Teeside foursome are all about well, let me tell you they clearly have a collective ear for a decent tune and I’m pretty sure judging by the songs they wrote we’d share a lot of similarities in our record collections.  One thing they got spot on is when they declared you can’t escape Rock and Roll and that spot on as is this tune.  It’s sloppy – it’s rough and ready – its got a great guitar sound and I love a good gang sing-a-long chorus and ‘Can’t Escape’ has certainly got that. ‘LSD’ is a rolling riff borrowed (or Stolen) and the lyrics show the band has a sense of humour and a rollicking interlude between the more serious elements of Rock and Roll. Don’t do drugs kids they’re bad for you.

‘In Detroit’ they give the Wah Wah a good work out and rattle through Motor City Nice n sleazy does it boys nice n sleazy. They turn the clock back for a sid style romp through ‘Burning Love’ I wouldn’t say its rubbish because its not but if you want to pop the kettle on nows your chance.  I’m not sure this record needed a cover smack bang in the middle to be honest because they were going so well with their own material. ‘Pumping The Pop’ is more like it.  snot ‘n’ sweat flying everywhere as the band get trashy not a million miles from The DeRellas here or the Babysitters when they weren’t singing about trembly noses. and the guitar and handclaps remind me of Hanoi when they were doing the duck and the guitar lick isn’t a million miles away from ‘Shakes’ so I was always going to like this one.

There’s a reckless edge to ‘Car Crash Girls’ and I like it it sounds spontaneous and at any point could fall or stumble over and Rock and Roll needs that sometimes it keeps proceedings exciting which is where we head as the album moves towards its conclusion.  ‘Skinheads’ is a wonderful stomping slice of glam pop in the same snotty vein as The Boys, great melody and a great look back. Finally, we reach the end of what has been a really good record and one I have enjoyed and ‘Hang Loose’ takes this bad boy home with another sleazy rocker that kinda pulls all the previous influences together for one last hurrah as the band goes over the top and into battle once more.

I spose like busses the follow up will be right behind this one dyou think someone should tell the band that Blakey won’t be collecting the fares on it though? Forty years for fucks sake but like a good wine it’s finally reached maturity and its ready to be enjoyed and I certainly did that.

Buy The Album Here

Author: Dom Daley

 

Johnny Hayward.

It seems like only yesterday that RPM top boy Dom Daley and myself were watching Glen Matlock, Earl Slick and Slim Jim Phantom deliver a very promising headlining set on one of the side stages at the annual Rebellion Festival in Blackpool. It was, however, four years ago…so that’s how long I’ve been waiting to finally get to hear what this trio actually sound like on record.

 

That live appearance was certainly a tough one to try to pigeonhole, largely because whilst it was an infectious blend of all three musicians’ previous bands along with elements of some of their key influences, it also included their take on Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy’, an audacious curveball for any reviewer to try and get to grips with if ever there was one. Thankfully Glen Matlock decided well ahead of the release of ‘Good To Go’ to come out and badge the dozen tracks he’s recorded here with Slick and Phantom as “loud skiffle”, a genre he has apparently wanted to try since seeing Bob Dylan at the Albert Hall a few years back.

 

Dropping the CD into my player the opening 1-2 of ‘Won’t Put The Brakes On Me’ and ‘Wanderlust’ get an immediate thumbs up from me with the former a track that has a real 60s strut to it whilst the latter chugs along on a top-notch Slick lick chock full of lip curling attitude. However just as when I saw them live it’s Matlock’s vocal similarity to his Pistol-packing chum Steve Jones that really seals the deal for yours truly. Whilst we are talking of fat cockneys who like to sit around in swimming trunks ‘Sexy Beast’ is the first out and out rock and roller containing some trademark Slim Jim stick work and it’s a track that really wouldn’t look out of place on an Urban Voodoo Machine album with one hell of a catchy call and response chorus.

 

Elsewhere for your entry money, we get ‘Speak Too Soon’ which contains a wonderful Bowie-esque vibe whilst ‘Hook In You’ swaggers and sways on a dirty way past midnight 12 bar refrain. It’s at the midway point of the album though that I have to admit starting to feel a little bit of déjà vu creeping into ‘Good To Go’, but then up pops ‘Montague Terrace (In Blue)’ totally out of the blue (ouch) and yeah that’s the sound of me picking up my jaw back up off the floor. Tracks as sumptuous as this are exactly why the album format will always live long with serious music fans as this brooding bastard of a torch song is the main reason this record has been on constant loop on my stereo of the last few weeks. You really must listen to it all in sequence to get it though, okay?

 

As ‘Good To Go’ reaches the home straight ‘Strange Kinda Taste’ and album closer ‘Keep On Pushing’, both bring to mind the kind of thing Ian Hunter does these days, in so much that this is music that the musicians have grown into over their long and varied careers, and they sound very comfortable in their skin. Yes, it’s ultimately rock ‘n’ roll music (which I guess is what “loud skiffle really is anyway) but with ‘Good To Go’ Glen Matlock is certainly not trying to swindle you into thinking it’s anything else. Great stuff!

Buy Here

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