Social Experiment hit the stage at the early time of seven-fifteen due to Cardiff seemingly giving up its city to the busiest night in a long time as the Stadium Across the road having seventy thousand petrol heads in for a show but the clued in people of South Wales braved the gridlock for the main event happening on one side of Womanby Street. Puddle is quite the striking frontman with his wonderfully pert mowhawk as he belted out the words to their songs stalking the front of the stage like a caged beast the four-piece sound tight and deliver their hardcore punk with gusto.  Tackling social issues and hammering out tracks drawn from their most excellent album ‘Rumours Of Our Demise Are Not Greatly Exaggerated’. The only local boys on tonight’s bill kick things off with a really impressive set they’re hard to ignore and certainly prove to be a tasty chaser for tonights session.

 

Rich Ragany and The Digressions have battled horrendous motorway traffic and vuvuzela brandishing speedway maniacs to make their Welsh debut tonight. So, after all that just as they launch into the sublime late summer sounds of ‘Little Let Down’ and guitarist Gaff’s amp decides to go up in flames, I must admit my heart kind of sinks a little bit for them.

Fear not though (power)pop pickers as after a quick on-stage tactical reshuffle this little hiccup is quickly put to one side and the remaining Digressers set about delivering a finely woven set of songs largely drawn from the ‘Like We’ll Never Make It’ album, Rich’s debut solo release.

Highlights? Well, there’s the rambunctious ‘Scotty Thompson’ which crops up mid-set, which is a song that could very easily out Cockney tonight’s headliners in its composition. Then there’s the bristling energy of ‘Your Distance’ where Rich along with rhythm guitarist Kit Swing combine their voices to lift even the hardest of hearts in attendance tonight.

Having already supported the likes of alt-rock legends The Lemonheads and The Rolling Stones buddies The Dirty Strangers it’s easy to see why Rich Ragany and The Digressions have such a broad church appeal and I must admit I was enjoying myself so much along with most of the rest of the audience that I didn’t really scribble down anything else. Then again isn’t this what Saturday nights are supposed to be all about?

With the good decision to take this to the main room it was time for headliners The Bar Stool Preachers to stand tall and show the good people of this city exactly what all the fuss is about.  Without fanfare they didn’t so much hit the stage but gave it a right seeing to with a size ten. The energy and enjoyment oozing from the band is a joy to see and they waste no time at all winning the crowd over who have come to dance and have a seriously good time.

Without the blink of an eye this (now) five piece really work the stage and audience alike and their love of the music wins over even the hardest cynic and with ‘One Fool Down’ coming fairly early on in the set is a real blast.  There are plenty of people singing every word as the songs from their first two studio albums get peeled off the bands hard work ethic is really paying off as they might be a guitar lite they are still tighter than a pair of soaking wet rizlas the three out front lock-in and move like its been choreographed or rather a well-oiled machine who’ve toured their backsides off in Europe and America over the last few years.

There was time for a few new songs as well which even on first or second time of hearing already sound like the band has taken another step up the ladder thats not to say songs of the first two are weak because they are absolutely not but this is shaping up to be next level stuff. older sounds are welcomed like old mates songs like ‘Ballad Of The M1’ and ‘Start New’ are fresh and ‘DLTDHYOTWO’ sounded magnificent and Tom was (Bar Stool) preaching to converted as he expressed his feelings towards the current unwanted encombant of Number 10.  It’s great to hear a band so driven and right up for it and bloody well enjoying every second of their journey and its a journey I’m more than happy to jump on board with.  One of the best bands the UK has to offer right now and if you get the chance to see them play a club show anytime soon then take it because when the next album comes out you’ll be having to see them headline venues the size of the University across town and who knows from there.

One of the most enjoyable night’s entertainment for a long long time with three quite different bands but all with a common bond – they love music and play with their hearts on their sleeves and leave nothing behind (well apart from a Bass guitar), They have something to say and say it well – with passion, conviction and enthusiasm that’s infectious and great to see.

This was The Bar Stool Preachers third time in South Wales and their first headline show and they totally owned it and looked so comfortable like they’d been headlining for years and years.  Come the revolution if there’s to be a soundtrack then these boys will provide it.

Author: Dom Daley & Johnny Hayward (who reviewed Rich Ragany)

With summer fading fast its time to cwtch u to your stereo or however you currently listen to your music and check out the RPM Spotify Playlist to hear who are the movers and shakers at RPM Towers.  From the albums, we’ve reviewed and are reviewing and the shows we’re attending to the interviews we have coming up.  Here is a playlist to accompany your reading.

 

This month we feature the following bands who have new albums or are playing live shows.

Hollywood Brats, Andy McCoy, The Bar Stool Preachers, Cock Sparrer, Jim Jones and the Righteous Minds, Duff McKagan, Jesse Malin, Queen Zee, Subhumans, Black Star Riders, Strung Out, Dead Shed Jokers, Pardon Us, Paradise Alley, Dead Furies, The Chuck Norris Experiment, TSAR, New Model Army, Ginger Wildheart

It’s the first weekend of August and that can mean only one thing for the more discerning music fan as all roads (or as in our case trainlines) lead us to Blackpool for the annual Rebellion Festival. With one of our mates setting an all new record by taking 13 hours to get to the punk rock capital of the world (well for this weekend anyway) me and Dom Daley feel positively smug getting to our hotel for a 2pm check in and on site as planned for the first of the weekend’s rock ‘n’ roll action and the first of many stage clashes to follow.

It’s probably best I get this elephant out of the room right away really as with 7 stages and over 350 bands playing (just in the Winter Gardens never mind the fringe events) it would take  a football team of reviewers to cover everything on offer and with just me and RPM Editor In Chief Dom Daley on duty this weekend you’ll have to forgive us if you are in a band that played and we didn’t get to see you, as even with some of the bands we did want to catch, things like; band interviews overrunning, turning up at the wrong stage and waiting for 20 minutes before you realised it was the wrongs stage (yup that was me) or even something as simple (but essential) as getting something to eat, just got in the way. So, with this in mind, go pour yourself a libation, sit back and relax and sweat along with us as we take you into the heart of the action at Rebellion 2019.

Kicking things off for me this year are The Kingcrows, a band I’ve wanted to check out live ever since I reviewed their ‘Funland’ album for Uber Rock way back in 2015 but I always epically failed to do so.  Today I’m in the Arena early doors to make sure I catch all the sleaze punk anthems from their latest ‘Brute Force and Ignorance’ album, like ‘Saturday Night Rock City’ and ‘City Kids’ and what I along with the very healthy looking mid-afternoon crowd get is a lesson in how to play your music and enjoy every minute of it. If you can imagine Soho Roses playing Oi! with KISS guitars and like the sound of that curious hybrid you do need to go check out The Kingcrows, because they really are impeckable (ouch!)

Hot tailing it over to a packed-out Club Casbah just in time to catch the tail end of Mille Manders and The Shut Up’s set, Millie with her leg in a cast still manages to cut a commanding figure out front and the double sax attack of ‘Obsessive Transgression’ is enough to get me breaking into an impromptu early afternoon skank. Playing ‘Bacchus’ (a song about drinking) at Rebellion is always going to be like pushing at an open door and is an instant crowd favourite. Its when The Shut Ups tackle ‘Pretty Green’ though that they really show their true class making the Jam track sound like one of their own and promptly hitting the ball right out the park.

With a few minutes to spare between bands I quickly stick my head into the Pavilion to catch Time For Action and get it promptly knocked off by the band’s swaggering Manc attitude. Playing tunes from their debut album ‘Turn It Up’ the four piece’s set gives their old school punk influences a Samba trainer up the arse and in the process makes them immediately stand out.

Having been together for almost 4 decades Brazilian hardcore punks Inocentes are legends of the scene and that’s why the Empress Ballroom is very respectably full when I arrive ready to get a good spot for The Bar Stool Preachers. Stuart “Psycho” Pearce is stood next to me too most probably still trying to make amends to Brazilians worldwide for his blatant handball back in 1990. There’s no excuse for the Fergie-time Inocentes seem to magic up at the end of their set though and the time constraints it imposes on the band due to follow them.

Not that it really bothers The Bar Stool Preachers who sauntering onto the stage to ‘The Ecstasy Of Gold’ already look like all-conquering heroes as the house lights reveal a crowd of over 3,000 people packed into the Empress at 5pm on a Thursday (see what I meant about Thursday no longer being the warm-up day in my preview) and with opener ‘One Fool Down’ proceed to take the bloody roof off the place.

‘Trickledown’ follows and T.J. McFaull is (for once) almost lost for words at the crowd response then we are quickly into ‘Warchief’ and the avalanche of crowd surfers begins. It’s during ‘Choose My Friends’ that I notice Cock Sparrer’s Colin McFaull stood side stage and I half hope he’ll appear dressed as Hilda Baker to share the female lead vocal, sadly it’s a no this time and Tom delivers this thrasher solo for once. A new track (which I think is called ‘Late Night Transmission’) follows and this could see the band moving in a much more Clash-like direction with their follow up to ‘Grazie Governo’.

With the Rebellion family celebrating the life of Kathy Rocker along with other lost friends this weekend T.J. dedicates ‘Start New’ to his good friend and then it’s all over in the blink of an eye with a rousing ‘Bar Stool Preacher’. With a US Tour with Bouncing Souls and The Bronx to follow almost immediately after this weekend before the band return to the UK for a ten-date headline tour in September I can but wonder if 2020 will be the year The Bar Stool Preachers get to headline the Empress Ballroom. What do you think?

Looking to cool down after the sauna of the Empress I catch the last song of Dead Objectives playing to a packed out audience on the Introducing Stage before quickly hot footing it back to the Empress once more for New Orleans hardcore punks Pears, yet another band I’d wanted to catch live for some time.  Sadly technical issues with Zach Quinn’s microphone means the band’s normally explosive music is lost in stuttering translation for the first few songs and its only when they break into ‘Mollusks Mouth’ that things truly start to fire on all cylinders. Still with songs as fantastic as the multi-platinum selling (yeah right Zach) ‘Victim to Be’ in the set the earlier sound issues are pretty much soon forgotten.

Taking some time out to grab some much-needed sustenance and to try and cool down I’m quickly back in the sweltering heat of Empress in time for Birkenhead’s very own glam slammers Queen Zee and thankfully I’m not alone in wanting to see them. There’s an almost tribal thump to the glam meets grunge majesty of ‘Lucy Fur’ and the epic ‘Loner’ is where most people will find their entry point. I really don’t want to try and force Queen Zee into some kind of musical pigeonhole as they deserve so much more but ‘Sissy Fists’ which closes things out this evening actually reminds me of Exit_International so I’m sure you’ll agree that’s high praise indeed from RPM Towers. Politically on point with ‘Victim Age’ the band’s choice of backdrop hammers their inclusive message home too and in ‘Fuck The Pain Away’ they have their perfect cover song.  This time last year I witnessed Idles wow an early evening crowd at this very same festival, Queen Zee today give me the exact same buzz. New band of the weekend for me by a long mile.

With Dom promising his old mate Dave Sharp he’d catch him live on the Almost Acoustic stage I tag along hoping to finally cool down with a quiet pint and some Dylan-esque background music, however the place is rammed and hotter than an oven so I leave behind the folk ballads and instead head over to the Club Casbah for some D.I. back in Europe for the first time in over 30 years. Having never been a D.I. fan back in the day but having a few close mates who were and still are I was hoping hearing songs like ‘Chiva’, ‘Pervert Nurse’ and ‘Johnnys Got A Problem’ live might make me an immediate fanboy but even with the crowd going absolutely bananas around me it still all kind of washed over me. That’s not saying the band were poor, far from it, it just didn’t fire me up like The Adolescents (another band I wasn’t a huge fan of back in the day) did just 12 months earlier at this very same festival.

Moving back to the Almost Acoustic stage for the second set of the day from The Bar Stool Preachers I thankfully can’t get into the venue itself as its rammed to the rafters and instead I end up standing (or make that manspreading myself) in front of the only functioning air conditioning unit in the adjoining bar area. Playing a set consisting of tunes largely missing from their earlier Empress set I can but once again marvel at the magic these 6 guys create, and if the call and response during opener ‘All The Broken Hearts’ doesn’t move you to tears then you really are without emotion. Dom finally gets to hear ‘Raced Through Berlin’ live so he’s beaming from ear to ear too as are most of the crowd in fact, who unlike with most of the other shows on the Almost Acoustic stage are all up on their feet and dancing. Rumour has it that the Preachers tried to cheat and sneak a drum kit into their performance tonight, but I reckon they could do this stuff on kazoos and still get people involved, such is their appeal.

Having admitted to you already to not really having liked D.I. back in the day, one band I did love and still do is Portland Oregon heavyweights Poison Idea. Their ‘Feel The Darkness’ LP is one of my all-time favourite hardcore albums so with the prospect of catching one of the last four shows they will ever do on UK soil as part of their ‘The King Is Dead’ tour I found myself letting out an excited little squeal as the band takes to the Casbah stage…but I must admit what follows isn’t exactly what I was expecting. In fact, it takes until ‘Plastic Bomb’ a good 5 or 6 songs in before anything really starts to kick me in the head the way the band did back in the late 80s/early 90s. Working without a set list seems to be the root cause of this and whilst spontaneity can and does work in small clubs here playing to over a 1,000 people it leads to some quite long between song silences which just doesn’t work for me and seems to sap the energy and momentum from the performance.  I want Jerry A in my face and bleeding not pondering over which song to play next and as such even when they do eventually play ‘The Badge’ they’ve kinda lost me already. I love Poison Idea and whilst I enjoyed some of tonight’s set it could and should have been the one I was shouting about loudest but I’m not and that right there is what hurts the most folks.

With Poison Idea playing one of their last UK shows at Rebellion 2019 Fear, over forty years into their punk rock career, are tonight playing their first-ever show on UK soil and Club Casbah is suitably packed out for such an event. Lee Ving might look more like an aged teddy boy these days but he still spits out the 1-2-3-4, 1-2-3-4 mantra like a teenager and tracks like ‘We Destroy The Family’, ‘I Love Livin’ In The City’ and  ‘Fresh Flesh’ all sparkle with the magic of that seminal ‘The Record’ LP. Yes the band can at times have a loose almost falling apart approach to their art, and Lee’s tendency to sing rather than shout the songs makes them something of an acquired taste, but with the hour fast approaching 1am and my eyes starting to feel more than a little heavy they still manage to keep me enthralled something I fear (ouch) the Empress headliners The Descendents would never been able to do. Still each to their own I suppose and what a great way to finish day 1 of Rebellion 2019. See you in just a few hours folks…that is unless you are doing one of the fringe events well into the wee small hours…in which case see you tomorrow night, maybe?

 

Author: Johnny Hayward

Pt 2 sees a brief summary from Darrel Sutton who managed to catch a whole bunch of band John and Dom missed so without further waffle here goes…

It’s been quite a while since I last made the pilgrimage to Rebellion and, despite having to fit in the small matter of performing two sets with my own beat combo, I was gonna make damn sure I’d try and catch as much of the stellar line-up on offer as the heat and stupid amounts of alcohol and schmoozing would allow.

As well as spending far too much time talking utter shite with my RPM amigos I also sloped off and caught quite a few bands with loads of other acquaintances (such is the nature of Rebellion, allowing catch-ups with old friends from all over the place).

A hectic start which takes in the obligatory Millie Manders and Bar Stool Preachers sets gets a serious adrenaline blast from In Evil Hour whose Rise Against tinged set translates perfectly from the club stages they’ve ruled over recent years to a packed Club Casbah. Vocalist Al positively rules the place and it sets the tone nicely for a quick dash into the Arena to catch Wiltshire’s finest sons The Blunders.  The trio has always been a bit different with their quirky acerbic tunes of disdain and disgust and this slot combined with their slot at Boomtown is no less than they deserve and staples like ‘TV Bastard’ and ‘People Get Smaller’ positively rip.  The festival’s pace doesn’t really slow as the temperature shows no intention of dropping and so with the alcohol kicking in a bit of a break, via a pretty tidy few songs from Diablo furs in the Pavilion, sees me return to action in the company of Flipper. The Arena is, luckily from a heat perspective, not too full to see David Yow and Mike Watt complete a legendary line-up for the band, but unless you are a total nostalgic die-hard their open salvos made The Melvins sound like the Ramones, so I slip off for a much more uplifting closing trio of the Bar Stool Preachers acoustic set, Poison Idea and Fear and a dehydrated stroll back to the hotel.

Bungle, Poison Idea & Fear pictures courtesy of Dod Morrison Photography

With the new video in the can and doing the rounds, The Bar Stool Preachers are continuing their never-ending tour schedule for the brilliant ‘Grazie Governo’ and RPM highly recommends you catch them at one or more of these dates.

 

 

 

August 2019

1st BLACKPOOL, UK – Rebellion Festival, Winter Gardens
1st BLACKPOOL, UK – Rebellion Festival, Winter Gardens
4th COMPTON MARTIN, UK – Outcider Festival, Fernhill Farm

Bouncing Souls + The Bronx + THE BAR STOOL PREACHERS

August 2019

9th MONTREAL, QC, Canada – Foufounes Electriques
10th TORONTO, ON, Canada – Phoenix Concert Theatre
11th PITTSBURGH PA, USA – Mr. Smalls Theatre
13th CLEVELAND, OH, USA – Grog Shop
14th DETROIT, MI, USA – Saint Andrews Hall
17th CHICAGO, IL, USA – Metro
18th MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA – Varsity Theater
19th MILWAUKEE, WI – X-Ray Arcade

THE BAR STOOL PREACHERS + The Raging Nathans

20th DAYTON, OH – Blind Bob‘s
21st LANCASTER, PA – American Bar & Grill
22nd ASBURY PARK, NJ – Asbury Park Brewery
23rd ALLSTON, MA – O‘Brien‘s
24th DOVER, NH – Brickhouse

THE BAR STOOL PREACHERS

September 2019

13th KINGSTON, UK – Fighting Cocks
14th DERBY, UK – Hairy Dog
15th MANCHESTER, UK – Star ’N Garter
16th LEEDS, UK – Brudenell Club
17th NEWCASTLE, UK – Trillians
18th GLASGOW, UK – Stereo Cafe
19th CARLISLE, UK – Brickyard
20th BLACKPOOL, UK – Waterloo Bar
21st CARDIFF, UK – Club Ifor Bach
22nd ILSON, UK – Latch Lifter (ALL AGES)

Ticket details for all shows are Here

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Pirates Press is incredibly proud to announce more of the details and the list of bands playing the 15th Anniversary “ROCK THE SHIP” weekend, October 17-20, 2019 in the Bay Area (CA).

It’s not every day that you get the opportunity to host an epic punk rock show on the flight deck of a legendary AIRCRAFT CARRIER! Three months from TODAY, your favorite Pirates are doing just that – and have tagged on a bunch of other shows scattered around Oakland and beyond, so everyone can celebrate with us in style!

350 LIMITED Weekend Passes will go on sale at 9 am Monday morning (California time) @ ROCKTHESHIPFESTIVAL.COM. If you want to see most of these bands, you need one.

Individual tickets to the Saturday show aboard the USS Hornet will be sold once the weekend passes are gone, but having a weekend pass is the only way to attend the 4 other official “ROCK THE SHIP” events at the Starline Social Club & Ballroom. You’ll get a poster and free gift too!

Trust us, you’ll be kicking yourself for missing this. Don’t assume you’re going to be on a list or get one later – get ready for MONDAY.

Again, 9 am PT MONDAY. ROCKTHESHIPFESTIVAL.COM – Don’t miss out!

***All of the Pirates would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to TIM ARMSTRONG for this brilliant piece of artwork he made for us, as his contribution to the festivities – followed by another round of praise and THANK YOU’s to HOLDMYTICKET, LAGUNITAS, USS HORNET FOUNDATION, The City of Alameda, Audra and Greg @ Dino & Luigi Presents, and everyone at all the venues for helping make this all come together!***