Whilst the world is still in the grip of this Pandemic it’s always great to have a distraction from the daily grind of life currently under restrictions and social distancing and not being able to get out there and spend time with like-minded music lovers. However, one thing this damn virus hasn’t stopped is the release of great rock and roll records and one of 2021’s most impressive releases so far is without a doubt the awesome new album from Swedens The Boatsmen so with our masks on we made contact with the self-confessed kings of Party Rock and Roll and fist-bumped before we engaged in the chatter that matters. Welcome to your new favourite band kids please be upstanding for The Boatsmen…
Give us a bit of background to the band? You formed in or around 2008 when the first demo came out but didn’t get around to releasing the debut album in 2013 right?
That’s right, we started out wanting to be a contrast to a lot of the other bands around at the time. The Boatsmen is about letting loose and doing exactly what you feel like, just for the fun and the thrills with no boundaries. Stop taking yourself so seriously, stop overthinking and psychedelick my ass. During our first years, the focus was more on partying than recording. After a while, though we had mastered the art of partying to its full extent and got to work with our first album.
Yes, the band is from Örebro in the middle of Sweden and we grew up with a great music scene with bands like The Accidents, The Peepshows, The Strollers and The Pricks. When we started the band however the scene had been losing some action and we felt the responsibility to show the kids how it’s done.
I’m curious as to where the name comes from?
The band is named after the dog “Båtsman” (“Boatsman”) in the Swedish 70s kids show Saltkråkan. We thought a logo with a big anchor as the T in the middle would look cool.
Who were your influences?
We have a big mix of influences but we have a steady ground in the old 60s garage music with band such as The Sonics and Music Machine but with the rock action from MC5 and The Stooges, some boogie from The Hurriganes and Eddie Meduza, and a whole lot of punk approach from bands like GG Allin, The Damned and Ramones. But the main influence is good songs in general. Of course, we listen to and love the Scandinavian rock scene with bands such as Turbonegro, The Hives, and The Hellacopters. Reigning Sound and Henry Fiats Open Sore are two other favorite bands.
We have worked with Ghost Highway before and we really like the stuff they put out and the way we work together. They also got American Spaghetty Town on this boat and we like many other bands dream of the US so we are really happy about that.
Where was the new record recorded?
We recorded ourselves in our rehearsal room/studio, Super Studios, that we have together with our friends in V8 Interceptor.
How has it been since Covid hit the globe? Sweden didn’t strictly enter a lockdown is that right? We there live shows then?
The main difference in Sweden compared to most other countries is probably that the lockdown is more about “recommendations” than laws. No public gatherings with more than 8 people allowed so no shows.
Who writes the songs in the band and how do you come to the finished record? Is everything done before you enter the studio? Did any of the writing get changed much when you started recording?
The last record we rehearsed a lot before we went into the studio and recorded everything live, all songs in one weekend. This time we pretty much recorded every song as soon as it was made, less rehearsing. We jam the music up together and all the lyrics/poetry are written by lead singer Håkan.
What about how long it took to get it finished from the start of the process?
Martin the drummer moved to another city so we just met during weekends and partied and recorded. It took almost two years because we really like to party. Also, we were waiting and hoping for the pandemic to be over before putting the record out, but eventually, we had teased ourselves too much and had to release it.
We would love to bring our rock’n’roll circus to the UK as soon as we can!
The Boatsmen profess to have a good time all the time. What constitutes a good night out with The Boatsmen and where do we sign up?
There´s a discussion about a repress and we hope we can get it done soon.
What has the band done differently from album to album? The new one is so good you seem to have hit a rich vein of form did it feel good when the songs were finished? Having had some distance from finishing recording and releasing is there anything you’d have done differently? What’s the process for The Boatmen.
For every record, we have had a different approach just to keep it fresh and not to do the same thing over again expecting a different result. This record we did everything ourselves, even the cover design, so maybe next record we’ll do nothing ourselves.
Talk us through the songs on the new album. Obviously, there are some reoccurring themes but are there any hidden depths we need to know about?
First off is the track “Action Delivery” and it’s about the anxiety and excitement of playing in a rock band that believe they´re the best. Next up is “Friday Night Forever” and that song is summed up in one of the lines of the lyrics: “Close your eyes and close your ears, be shitfaced don’t face your fears”. “Blame It On Me” was the first single from the album and it’s about the fact that everyone already thinks we are fucked up drunks, so if you do anything bad you might as well blame it on us. “Thirst Song” is a love song about a drunken relationship. “Saved By Rock” is about the fact that rock’n’roll saved us from boredom, sobriety, and virginity. “Even The Good Times Were Bad” is about how the times you thought then were good times can look like from behind. “I Don’t Wanna Lose This Time” is about not wanting the weekend to end. “When I’m Drunk” is about the superpowers you get when you’re drunk. Everything good that I have achieved in life I have done while being drunk. “Big Waves” is about remembering that you are the captain of your own ship. “Clap Canon” is a Swedish expression that describes when someone is really drunk. We have with our magic linguistic capabilities turned it into a story about making the audience clap their hands to keep the band on fire. “Gimme Your Money” is about the fact that alcohol is very expensive in Sweden. “Better Man” is what I keep telling my wife every day that I’m going to be. After Party In Hell is about the fact that if you end up in hell for doing the things you like I’d rather go there already.
What next for the band?
We would like to tour the world, but since the world is closed down right now we’ll release a bunch of music videos and do stuff online to keep the people’s thirst and hunger up until we can bring our exploding rock’n’roll chaos to your town! Cheers and thanks for the interview man, keep up the good work!
Verses The Boatsmen review Here
The Damned’s upcoming shows have been rescheduled to 2022. The events will now take place in Feb 2022-
11th Feb for Glasgow, 12th for Manchester whilst Birmingham is now set for the 16th Feb and the two London shows
Friday 9th July 2021 moves to Friday 18th February 2022
Saturday 10th July 2021 moves to Saturday 19th February 2022
They will be joined on tour by the following guests:
Friday : Special guests Skids + TV Smith & The Bored Teenagers + Small Town Tigers
Saturday: Special guests Wildhearts + Penetration + Small Town Tigers
THE DAMNED original line-up has reunited for a UK tour featuring the founding members Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies, Captain Sensible and Brian James.
*If you cannot attend the rescheduled date, you are eligible for a refund* for the face value of your ticket(s).
All tickets must be returned to and received by us prior to the rescheduled date. Please return them, along with a quick note stating your order number to: Eventim Customer Services, PO Box 75668, London, WC1A 9QE.
(Please note: we recommend sending tickets via recorded delivery, as we cannot issue a refund if these are lost in transit)
If your tickets are TicketDirect (print at home), for venue collection, or if you haven’t received them, please contact our customer service team at email@example.com.
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Paul Ronney Angel
The Urban Voodoo Machine
Celebrates the Anniversary of
LIVE IN LOCKDOWN – live stream
Sat 20th March 8pm (GMT)
Yes Sisters and Brothers, it’s been a whole year since our Prime Minister BoJo made his “Stay At Home” announcement! One day later The Urban Voodoo Machine main man Paul-Ronney Angel (P-R) took to the stage in his East London living room with fellow musician and partner Ane Angel to entertain a locked down community starved of live music.
The show was a storming success and a weekly engagement was born. Throughout the year P-R and Ane have delivered a bourbon-soaked foot stomper of a show every Saturday night featuring Urban Voodoo classics and freshly written tunes making comment on the pandemic. Social distancing permitting, guests have been invited to perform, including Rat Scabies of The Damned, widow and backing singer of James Brown, Tomirae Brown, Jim Jones (Jim Jones Revue) and various members of The Urban Voodoo Machine themselves over the year.
Be sure to tune into The Urban Voodoo Machine’s facebook page this coming Saturday at 8pm and every Saturday till this pandemic’s beaten (Anniversary show / Episode 53 is Sat 20th Mar) – each week is special and who knows what’ll happen!
- Dress Code: Black ‘n’ Red
- Streaming Link: facebook.com/TheUrbanVoodooMachine
Other dates for the diary include Paul-Ronney Angel’s debut solo album ‘London Texas Lockdown’ out in June and The Urban Voodoo Machine’s new studio album ‘$nake 0i£ €ngine’ released September.
Lately I seem to hear the term Garage Rock attached to just about everything I’m listening too, as it was to this baby, without going into a rant about how many different styles and eras there are of Garage Rock (again). I’m just going to look at this as a release grounded in influences, but ultimately standing up on its own as of today, it’s going to just be classed as seriously cool music.
For the uninitiated (I would expect very few who read RPM to be uninitiated) the Sensible Gray cells consist of Captain Sensible and Paul Gray from you know where alongside Marty Love (Johnny Moped amongst others) on drums with a guest appearance from Monty Oxymoron.
As the LP kicks off I’m not so much drawn into a garage rock vibe but instead led back to thoughts of Phantasmagoria era Damned ‘Sell her Spark” is a great opener, but I can’t help but wonder what it would have sounded like with Dave Vanian on vocals? And that’s a thought that I just can’t shift, and it comes back to me intermittently throughout.
The fact is this could be an absolutely cracking Damned LP, and to court controversy, I rate it a better Damned LP than Evil Spirits, but lets not go there! As I’m blasting through the first few tracks, “Black Spider Memo man” for some strange reason hits at “Eloise” but at the other end of the scale “So long” smashes through the speakers more in tune with classic Who material, were the Who ever a garage rock band? Where as ‘Just a little Prick” runs everywhere from Pink Floyd to the kinks via the Beatles its ridiculously catchy and holding on to some classic influencers.
“DJ with half a Brain”, hits that Fuzztones vibe raw American garage rock, but presented from a typically British standpoint. I wonder as I’m listening through for the umpteenth time how great this would have been as a Damned track with Vanian to the fore, lets hope it can somehow be assimilated into a Damned live show. “Jam tomorrow” is a great track, different to everything that has come before, with some seriously cool guitar work from the Captain and a great keyboard run, hinting at Dub and Pschedelia with maybe a hint of the Orb within the samples.
Taking stock this is a seriously good LP, grounded in that guitar based underground rock that we’ve grown up with not afraid of experimentation, not afraid to push some boundaries, but at times I just wish certain tracks could have been recorded by the Damned! You’ll be able to pick them out.
There’s an early Syd Barrett quintessentially English vibe to “What’s the point of Andrew” a very definitive anti Royalist sentiment that any sane individual would wholeheartedly agree with, yes it takes the Piss.
“Fine Weather friend” could have been written for Dave Vanian, that name just keeps coming up, but when you listen the theatrics are just there, the vocal presentation is tailor made, again with some serious guitar work and a terrific locked down bass run. Next up “I married a monster” is a real burner, grounded in the underground, and “You and me” follows suite before we’re into LP closer ”Another world” weaving it’s way forward as a real slab of Psychedelia, an almost Eastern feel to the guitar led intro.
Great LP, now how do we persuade the Captain to hand over some of the vocal duties to his day job vocalist and introduce them to a Damned live performance?
Buy ‘Get Back Into The World’ Here
Author: Nev Brooks
In October 2010 The Damned, The Boys and 999 were booked to play at Zakk in Dusseldorf, Germany. The Damned had to pull out due to an injury to Dave Vanian’s back. But the posters all showed them as playing. There are 3 left in the world of which Duncan Reid is kindly auctioning off to raise funds to help small music venues survive these hard times https://saveourvenues.co.uk/watch/#/
You can place a bid on one of the posters Here
2020 has been a year that we all would rather forget due to the pandemic live shows have been sorely missed so any new music we must grab with two hands so that brings me to the latest EP release by The Damned titled ‘The Rockfield Files’.
The Damned has recorded some of their classic material at Rockfield and the welsh studio was where the band decided to record their last album Evil Spirits.
‘Keep em’ alive’ is the first track on Rockfield files and it doesn’t disappoint with a chanting intro the track then bursts into life with guitars and drums crashing in and with Dave Vanian’s glorious vocals over the top the tune is a sure-fire winner.
‘Manipulator’ is next up and is a melodic punk ripper with sneering vocals from Dave and some great slashing chords on the guitar courtesy of the Captain. This track also contains some powerhouse drumming from Pinch who sadly said goodbye to the band and with the Palladium and now this EP as his swansong he is leaving on an extreme high.
The spider & the fly’ is an interesting track as the beginning sounds like something off ‘Phantasmagoria’ but quickly morphs into the psychedelia of “The Black Album” and shows what a diverse band The Damned are.
The last track ‘Black is the Night’ is a song most Damned fans will know as it was the bonus track on the anthology of the same name released last year albeit this is an extended version and a welcome edition here for any fan who has not picked it up.
Overall this EP is top quality with some more great songs from such a great band.
Do yourself a favour and go and buy it and cheer yourself up cause after the last couple of months we all need some happiness in our lives and what better way to do that than with music.
Buy ‘The Rockfield Files’ Here
Author: Gareth ‘Hotshot’ Hooper
Record label Wild Kingdom is re-releasing Diamond Dogs’ first 5 classic Long-Players (1993 – 2003). and including the singles and EPs from the same period.
Diamond Dogs were formed in 1991 in Katrineholm, Södermanland. From the very beginning hugely influenced by British Early 1970s R&B rock like Rod Stewart and The Faces, Frankie Miller, Dr. Feelgood, etc. and they are most unapologetic about that and so they shouldn’t be too. When a band rocks up with an opener like ‘Charity Song’ and along with that huge swing, they have more horns than you can shake a big stick at, and before you know it whatever shitty day you were having will be transformed.
By the time the band made it to ‘Too Much Is Always Better Than Not Enough’ they’d changed personnel a bazillion times except for the lifers and integral members the Diamond Dogs built a formidable reputation for their live shows, with the charismatic singer Sulo, as well as The Duke of Honk and his organ (ooh er Mrs) The sound and style of gritty rock’n’roll was cast in stone. Sören ‘Sulo’ Karlsson also being the main songwriter, and Henrik ‘The Duke of Honk’ Widen serving as the group’s principal producer. as long as the quality of songs was being written the sound was going to be died in the fabric of the bands DNA. Former Oddball Stevie Klasson has the deft touch of a Keith Richards or a Ronnie Wood and could crash out a chord when he needed to like his old boss Mr. Thunders. Such is his quality and the fact the guy oozes it every time he picks up a guitar he was exactly what the Diamond Dogs stood for and then some and he really came into his own on this record.
This their third proper album ‘Too Much Is Always Better.. ..Than Not Enough’ showed they weren’t done yet, the album was released in 2002 (almost twenty years!),it opened some cool doors enabling the band to tour with the likes of The Cult, Nazareth, Ian Hunter, Hanoi Rocks, The Damned, The Quireboys, Dan Baird/Georgia Satellites, Sensational Alex Harvey Band to name a few.
‘Bound To Ravage’ was released as a single and its slide guitar-driven upbeat rocker was classic boogie-woogie. but the band weren’t just about the good times as they mixed it up with the slower more reflective rockers ‘Sad To Say I’m Sorry’ and the epic balladeering of ‘Somebody Else’s Lord’ with the swirling organ is a match for the Rod the Mod classic ‘I Would Rather Go Blind’ or the Stones ‘Get Your Ya Yas Out’ version of ‘Love In Vain’ and I kid you not when I say that. Then to follow it up with the wonderful ‘This Ones For My Lady’ shows that The Diamond Dogs had many strings to their bow and were experts when dealing with the precious tunes that were bestowed upon them. They step back into the beginnings of Rock and Roll with the 50s inspired swing of ‘Desperate Poetry’. Strangely this album is preserved with the same twelve tunes that made up the original release but somehow after all this time the wonderful tones of Stevie Klasson have somehow elevated it for me and his playing gives it the edge on the previous releases. It might not have the bands best songs on it but as a complete album it’s exceptional.
Now had the Black Crowes continued on the trajectory of the first two and a bit albums I would hold them in the same esteem but alas they went all beardy Casey jones on us and fucked it up. It always puzzled me how the Robinson brothers could fill large arenas and got people wetting their panties at the prospect of their reunion to play the money maker album but the real tunesmiths are here hiding in plain sight. Ripping the shit out of rock and Roll and cooming up with top-notch album after top-notch album yet playing in local pubs. Sometimes life does indeed give you lemons but if my words help one soul turn the way of The Diamond Dogs then I’d be happy and if you remember the band who dished this treat of an album up almost twenty years ago and want the chance to hear it on vinyl – well this is your chance because Too Much Diamond Dogs is never enough just buy it!
Buy it Here
Author: Dom Daley
Rock veterans Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.), Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four), Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie & the Hot Rods) & Rat Scabies (Sinclairs, The Damned) share the first video from forthcoming album Séance
Sung by Agnew, who takes center stage in the video, “Time Machine” is a psychedelicized stroll through cultural and political events of the last century. Additionally, the clip features footage of Elliott, Gray and Scabies during PATM’s live debut at London’s 100 Club in 2018, cartoon versions of the band members designed by NYC artist Cliff Mott, a Madness-influenced “nutty boy” dancer, and a not-so-menacing plastic dinosaur. Agnew’s white lab coat isn’t merely a costuming prop; for his day job, Agnew is a mathematics professor at Cal-State Fullerton.
“’Time Machine’ says a lot about how Sean and I feel about the state of affairs in the world—all the tumult—and it’s even more relevant now than when we were writing it a year ago,” says Agnew. “The song’s title works on a couple of levels. It ties in with the concept of revisiting our youth which is at the heart of the new album, and it also references the music of the 1960s-1980s which greatly influenced our new set of songs. Although I initially thought the main muse for ‘Time Machine’ was Wings-era Paul McCartney, I quickly realized Brian Wilson was also in our heads. I guess you could say we were channeling Paul McWilson.”
RELEASED NOVEMBER 27TH VIA DAMAGED GOODS RECORDS
Album pre-order is Here
Back in 2013, when the world was still pretty weird, but markedly less bizarre than it is now, Captain Sensible and then former Damned bassist Paul Gray reunited for an album called ‘A Postcard From Britain’ under the name The Sensible Gray Cells. This was long before Paul Gray re-joined The Damned for their ‘Evil Spirits’ album in 2018 and allowed the pair to reacquaint their musical partnership and explore their love of the quintessentially British late 60s psych-pop period that has always been their passion.
And now, with live music derailed for the foreseeable future and 2020 already proving to be an unforgettable year for all of the wrong reason, Sensible and Gray were inspired to reignite their Sensible Gray Cells persona, together with Johnny Moped drummer Marty Love, for ‘Get Back Into The World’, released via Damaged Goods Records this coming November 27th.
“PG and myself being garage psych aficionados feel there should be more of this kind of music and this is our contribution to the cause,” explains the Captain. “If I said that some of these songs were ‘Damned rejects’ that shouldn’t be seen as an indication of inferior song writing, more that they’re not wearing the right shirt.”
“I’ve never been a prolific writer being a lazy so and so, I think it’s best to wait for inspiration to call, which explains the 7 year gap ( how many albums could the Beatles have crammed in that period!) but in the meantime Paul re-joined the Damned and we’ve gigged about a bit, which is always fun – CAN WE HAVE LIVE MUSIC BACK AGAIN PLEASE!”
‘A Postcard From Britain’ was a snapshot of modern life and similarly, ‘Get Back Into The World’ provides a comparable document.
“It’s sad that high streets around the world have been destroyed by online shopping but nobody’s forcing people to do it – what can you do,” he states. “These are very strange times we’re living though – I just count myself lucky to have been around to witness the 2nd half of the 20th century; a fab time for music, culture, ideas and that without even mentioning Benny Hill and On The Buses. The new album coincides with all this virus malarkey, which, unpleasant as it is will undoubtedly be used by the powers that be to tighten the screws on us little people on behalf of their billionaire paymasters. Blah blah, etc. There’s a bit of that hidden away in the album.”
Back in June, listeners got their first taste of the new Sensible Gray Cells in the form of the ‘So Long’/’What’s The Point In Andrew?’ seven-inch, now long since sold out. Show-casing what to expect from the album, the strutting rock n’ roll of ‘So Long’ was a stark contrast to the whimsical royal-baiting of ‘What’s The Point Of Andrew?’ (“Known forever as the royal spare”) and shows the variety of moods and styles on offer here.
Now comes ‘I Married A Monster’, a stomping 60s garage punk nugget that pays tribute to their love of old horror films.
“We love all those old Ealing comedies, ‘Carry On’ films and 1950’s hammy-horror movies like The Blob and I Married A Monster From Outer Space,” explains Paul. “This is our musical tongue-in-cheek spoof homage to them….after all, you never can quite be sure…can you??”
Get Back Into The World is available for pre-order in the following formats HERE:
The title track will also be released on a 7” single along with an exclusive B-side two weeks prior to the album release.
ALBUM OPTION ONE
An exclusive black and yellow splatter vinyl LP (12 tracks) + a black vinyl 12” single containing two extra tracks + a set of three signed postcards. Limited to 500 copies.
ALBUM OPTION TWO
Standard release grey vinyl LP (12 tracks)
ALBUM OPTION THREE
CD (14 tracks)
ALBUM OPTION FOUR
Cassette (14 tracks). Limited to 100 copies
‘Get Back Into The World’ 7” single featuring exclusive B-side ‘World of Confusion’
Blue vinyl – mail order only – Limited to 400 copies
Grey vinyl – mail order only – Limited to 400 copies
Clear vinyl – shops only – Limited to 400 copies
Find Sensible Gray Cells online at: