Along with the recent announcement that Trigger McPoopschute will  be making their festival debut, The Damned have also been added to this summers bill along with a whole list of other great bands really strengthening these years line up after the early announcement of Cock Sparrer then The Stranglers

For all the latest updates and additions to the bill like the facebook page Here or their website Here

 

Also announced today was the inclusion of The legends that are The Dwarves and also from the USA Descendents.  We’re sure you’ll agree that this years festival is really beginning to take shape now.  for tickets Here

Plenty of Easter eggs for RPM

It seemed normal service had resumed and the UK was no longer under thread or code red because of the weather and the armed forces were asked to stand down from the impending doom that was heading our way if the week-long snow caused the country to slide into the Atlantic. April would see the customary Record Store Day madness that had clogged up pressing plants and caused delays right across the board as the majors jumped the queue with their plethora of reissues and one direction picture discs ready for the record buying public readily camping out on high streets across America and the UK hoping to get their hand on the Bowie seven inch that would only set them back £20 but hey if we didn’t buy into this it wouldn’t happen. 

 

I digress. April was to be the month The Damned would finally get around to unleashing their new long player on the public after something like a decade since their last long player but this time they’ve gone all out to impress with Tony Visconti taking care of the production and in my humble opinion making it more about him and his knob twiddling duties than The Damned and as a result, an album that promised so much, in reality, delivered so little and won’t feature as anyone’s album of the year even though its not without merit as there are good songs on board but where is Paul Grays signature sound thumping its way through the songs? Did I not mention Gray was back in the fold? Oh sorry, how rude of me.  yup Paul Gray was back in the fold and ‘Evil Spirits’ expectations hit the roof. It is certainly one of those albums you so desperately wanted to love but couldn’t quite convince yourself it was up there with some of their back catalogue but hey ho onwards and upwards and any Damned record however bad is still better than most other bands good albums. Fact. And the live dates were as expected – superb.

As far as other records to come out in April well, there’s always the ever-reliable Wonk Unit and this time out they’re unleashing ‘Terror’ upon us all. Once again it was recorded at the Brook and producer Andy Brook brought the best out of Alex and all who sail or should that be ride on the back of this thoroughbred stallion. it featured some classic Wonk none more so than this festive banger ‘Christmas In A Crackhouse’ but remember this is April.  Nice one Alex.

other worthy mentions have to go to the bonkers Cavemen who wanted to ‘Nuke Earth’ whilst Sarah Shook & The Disarmers impressed Ben with the album ‘Years’

On the 7″ front there were a few notable entries with the top of the pile being The DeRellas with the fantastic ‘High Rise Supersize’ seeing the recording debut of their new frontman and excellent fit Joey DeRella former frontman of the excellent Breakdowns.also on the singles front The Hip Priests released an excellent split with Demons and young upstarts The Kenneths put out a really excellent single in the shape of ‘Favourite Ex’ from the E.P ‘EX’ and hopefully 2019 will see RPM hear more from this most excellent of noise makers.

Onto the live front and a few notable entries would have to be when the country went RSD nuts – south Wales upstarts and ne’re do wells otherwise answering to the name Deathtraps played at what was a marathon of live shows all over Newport which began with Mike Peters of The Alarm playing the towns best venue the rather splendid Le Pub on the Friday night. It then spread to other venues throughout the day keeping live independent music alive and well in this corner of the world.

 

Also on tour in April was the splendid reformation of Thee Hypnotics who impressed Ben so much he went out and picked up a copy of their box set and Dom and Johnny also parted with some folding money for copies of their documentary when they rolled through Newport south Wales to play Le Pub (once Again). April was really hotting up as some mighty fine new bands rolled into town as part of tours to promote their new records two notable bands were Cabbage who were promoting the excellent ‘Nihilistic Glamour Shots’ and Trampolene who also played Clwb Ifor Bach and both shows were sellouts and both ended in hot sweaty messes just like the best club gigs should.

The only death to report in April would be that of Jesus Christ but that for another website and not here. Keep it RPM as we roll into May…

In a week that was overshadowed and pretty much dominated by one thing and that was the sad and sudden passing of the incredible talent that was Pete Shelley.  It seems everyone throughout social media had a picture and/or a nice touching story about meeting or working with Pete who passed away at the age of 63 at home in Estonia of a suspected Heart Attack.

It was warming to see that even the BBC found it fitting to round off the day’s news with the reporting of his passing. It seemed that only when passing many people realise what an impact someone has on pop culture.  Sure Pete was never a style icon but man could he write a bittersweet song he spoke to the lovestruck teen who wasn’t part of the cool club and outsiders everywhere were affected as well as many up and coming musicians who fitted the remit of his songs  bands who later took his influence and turned it into something all together bigger.  BAnds such as Nirvana who took Buzzcocks on tour to audiences they could only dream of pulling which gave them a new lease of life.  Bands such as Green Day wouldn’t, in turn, have made the music they did if it wasn’t for Pete and his tunes – in fact, he wrote dozens of them quite literally he was the undisputed king of punk rock 45’s enjoying numerous forays into the top 40 as well as the soundtrack to many a film and tv advert looking for a catchy, snappy immediate tune Shelly had em by the bucketload.

As recently as this past summer Buzzcocks were easily one of the standout bands from the Rebellion festival weekend where they understood that having seventy minutes to play it was a case of 1-2-3-4 hit after hit which they usually delivered at ear-splitting volumes. Taken way to early Pete’s passing is monumental and a real loss to fans globally and our thoughts go out to his bandmates, crew and family at what must be a very difficult time. Rest In Peace Pete Shelley.

As for happier things over the last seven days, RPM brought you reviews from Poland in the shape of the excellent Jack Saint, Scotlands Heavy Drapes and to round the week off the brand new EP from UK Subs. The big-ticket items on the live front would have to be a bunch of shows we covered by The Damned, The Alarm & Ryan Hamilton, as well as a cracker Ben witnessed by the Virginmarys and we started it all off last weekend when Nashville Pussy played Cardiff.

 

Keep it RPM and stay sick!

 

God bless Rudi Protrudi and God bless The Fuzztones and all who have sailed the turbulent Rock and Roll seas aboard this curious vessel.

Early 90’s ‘Tones sees Rudi with a new crew on board yet they obviously kept their trademark organ swirl and shimmering guitar aplenty and those B movie vocals dripping with echo. This the band’s 3rd album hasn’t been in print and available for some time so it’s always a joy when a label like Easy Action steps up and gives people a second chance to get their mitts on a copy with the added bonus of a 7″ single to boot.

The covers of some of the most influential psychedelic bands like  LOVE and THE DOORS are here alongside original Rudi Protrudi tracks such as the live favorites ‘Romilar D’ (named after some cough medicine a theme here maybe considering the band also dabbled with snake oil), ‘Rise’ and ‘Skeleton Farm’.  Jordan Tarlow, (Lead Guitar) John “Speediejohn” Carlucci, (Bass) Jason Savall, (Vox Organ) & “Mad” Mike Czekaj did a fantastic job of just slotting right in with Rudi’s Fuzztones sound and vibe and the transition from East to West coast was seamless for Rudi.

The band gained a decent fanbase here in the UK as a result of the tour they did supporting The Damned during their most commercially successful ‘Phantasmagoria’ period,  Which was where I first got reeled in by The Fuzztones at a show in Cardiff on that tour. The band were “cool as” and their messed up Rock and Roll was mysterious and the real deal for this young scribe and a fantastic introduction to the B movie, horror psychedelic Rock and Roll that Rudi has stayed true to all his career and the genre they labelled psych garage or whatever retro nametag they hang the likes of the Fuzztones off of these days.

Possibly the bands most commercial record ‘Braindrops’ was a stab at the mainstream whilst kinda keeping it real. The possible including of the three covers was a cry for attention from Rudi using the Love and The Doors as well as the ever-catchy ‘The People In Me’ Music Machine cover might be a stretch on reflection but considering its not a ten track album Rudi might have got away with it besides he’s only ever danced to his own tune (figuratively of course) and ‘Braindrops’ which has now been expanded to a bumper seventeen tracks when you include the three that feature on the 7″ single, this is certainly a splatter reissue you simply must-own.

Be mindful that there are only 700 of these so don’t snooze. I did chuckle when I read that Rudi is alleged to have called this record the bands Sgt Pepper! so I’ll have some of whatever he’s on (not that I’m a massive fan of The Beatles) but whichever way you look at this album you should check it out. If you’re new to The Fuzztones then remember this – The Fuzztones don’t do bad records never have and never will so what are you waiting for?  2018 hasn’t really been a bad year for reissues and this is most certainly at the top of the pile.  Go get it, folks, before they’re all gone.

 

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Author: Dom Daley

Cards on the table, full disclosure but The Damned were the second of my three life-changing first was The Beatles and the third was The Hellacopters. Growing up in Croydon during the 70’s and 80’s you couldn’t really avoid bumping into Captain Sensible either down The Dog & Bull or walking through the demilitarised zone in the Whitgift Centre. The same can be said for Johnny Moped, during their Big Band phase I was one of their Roadies, with original Moped drummer, Dave Berk, coming to my Wedding. So yes, you can call me a fan. At this point, you are probably thinking “If you’re such a fan how you can be impartial when it comes to reviewing them?” Fair point, but hard-core fans can be the most critical of a band that they love and over the years spent a small fortune on. Between the end of The Damned’s “Not of this Earth/I’m Alright Jack and the Beanstalk” and the “Grave Disorder” line-up, admitting to still being a fan was fraught with derision and plausible deniability and with the best intentions at heart; technology nixed The Mopeds “The Search for Xerxes” album.

But there I was travelling down from East Croydon, both The Damned’s and Moped’s former unofficial spiritual home, to Brighton their new one, for the first date of the “Evil Spirits” Pre Christmas Tour.

The Brighton Dome is like a scaled down Royal Albert Hall, also scaled down were the prices at the Bar, which pleased my wallet. Now for those of you Tom Cats that don’t know anything about Johnny Moped he would be the first to tell you he is 80% disabled. There is a Spectrum dedicated solely to Johnny, Chrissie Hynde was sacked from the band, twice, Dee Dee Ramone loved them and Michael Stripe cited them as influential, I kid you not.  At the appointed time of 8’o clock Johnny Moped, the band, wondered on stage with guitarist Rock ‘n’ Roll Robot asking where their esteemed leader was, before Johnny Moped, the man, appeared from the wings like some papal figure. With a quick “One, two, cut yer hair” the band were off with “Incendiary Device” which led into another “Cycledelic” classic “Panic Button” that features probably the greatest line of all time “Picking off my acne ‘cause I haven’t had a meal”. The band didn’t rest on past glories with a healthy dose of material culled from 2016’s “A Real Cool Baby” album fitting in perfectly. Talking of culling; “Save The Baby Seals” from the “Xerxes” album made a welcome appearance. For “Darling Let’s Have Another Baby” brief keyboard playing member Francesca joined Johnny on vocals to replicate the Kirsty McCall and Billy Bragg version of it. Unlike Francesca, Kirsty had not discovered both the Moped’s and Damned’s alcohol quota for the whole tour and drunk the lot. Over a very short period of time. On an empty stomach. This was not lost on Johnny as he dedicated the next track “Catatonic” to her. Johnny Moped are very much a Marmite/Brussel Sprout band. You either get them and get them big time or you wonder what the heck just happened. With the band finishing with the Roxy Album classic “Hard Lovin’ Man” I think the partisan Damned crowd got them big time.

For a 9 year period, The Damned were happy to rest on their laurels, to gig and tour without a new product to promote, knowing that their fans, like me, were all to easily appeased, happy to hear live material that was mainly recorded during the chaos years of 1976 – 1986. All that changed with the Fan Funded album “Evil Spirits”, which raised enough money to be recorded in NYC with Tony Visconti on production duties. Cited as being what “Phantasmagoria” would’ve sounded like had Captain not left and with “Black Album”/”Strawberries” era bassist Paul Gray returning it was a win, win situation. An album fans bought and an album fans wanted to hear played live. However, it was “Born to Kill” from the band’s debut album that kicked things off with the somewhat apt “Democracy?”, from the band’s 2001 album “Grave Disorder” following on. “Standing on the Edge of Tomorrow” was the first of 4 songs taken from “Evil Spirits”, but nothing from “Music for Pleasure”, not even “Stretcher Case”, nothing from “Phantasmagoria”, “Anything”, “I’m Alright Jack” (as if, but please) or even “So, Who’s Paranoid?”. Early fans might’ve bulked at “Grimily Fiendish” and “Eloise” but these tracks introduced a whole swath of new fans to the Damned and their back catalogue, in the same manner as “Love Song” enticed fans of the NWOBHM back in 1979, so their omission was puzzling. (“Alone Again Or” from “Anything” was added to later dates).  Much has been made over recent years over the maturity of David Vanian’s vocals, but the surprise for me were Captain’s vocals on “Silly Kids Games”; like Vanian’s they have become much more measured, warming and fuller sounding. I only wish that the demo lyrics of “Balls to Monkhouse, fuck off Forsyth, piss off  Parsons” would be reinstated and I’m sure, talking of original lyrics, during “Smash it Up” Dave sang “I don’t wanna end up like Rudolf Hess” but I could be wrong. Original Damned guitarist Brian James lives in Brighton, with Captain, just before playing the James penned tune “One of the Two” asking if he was in the audience and if he was “to get up on stage where he belongs” Sadly he wasn’t. The Damned 2018 come across much more professional, I, thankfully, can’t remember the last-time I saw Captain strip off, even if for “There Ain’t No Sanity Clause” the whole band sported Father Christmas hats procured from the local Pound shop. Travelling back to East Croydon Train Station the next day I spotted around the Haywards Heath area some fantastically wealthy looking houses that backed onto a lake with their own wood. Slap bang in the middle of this private arboretum, with no noticeable access, was a 1970’s caravan that looked like it was missing its Robin Reliant. The caravan, with its burst corners, looked like some invisible giant foot had exerted just enough pressure to “pop” it rendering it this way. For some strange reason, this totally summed up The Damned and Johnny Moped the previous day.

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Pictures by kind permission from Jamie Macmillan Photos

Author : Armitage Smith

 

 

Ladies And Gentlemen How Do?…On this very date in 1979 one of the finest punk rock records hit the shops.  Sure there was no Brian James genius to steer the band and it was now down to Sensible, Scabies, Vanian and the new bloke Ward to move to the next level and take the band on a more adventurous journey that’s for sure.

They still had the genius and mainstay tunes on the album that have been in the bands set ever since and it would seem strange not to see the band play and hear that killer Algy Ward grunt on ‘Love Song’ or the set closer and conductor of pandemonium over the years ‘Smash It Up’.

Its had the Anniversary treatment more times than the queen and had its fair share of reissues but one thing they’ve never done is fuck about with its exceptional sonic boom.  It might have been the Damned mark two dipping their collective toes into the songwriting pool and doing it exceptionally well and paving the way for the far more diverse ‘Black Album’ but it has never had the respect it should on a wide musical scale.  For me, you can keep your Pistols and your Clash (as much as I love both bands)  because my go to punk band from the class of the 70’s has always and will always be the Damned.  Never mentioned in the same breath as the other two but they were the first to this and first to that and first to the other and the only band that possibly could have come up with this record.  It might not have the might of the debut album but it’s not far behind that’s for sure.

 

What other groups could have called on the services of Lemmy, Strummer, Headon and Simonon to do backing vocals? Finally what better excuse to show how splended the band were than showing this TOTP footage of them performing ‘Love Song’  – Happy Birthday MGE the finest 39 in all the land.

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Punk legend BRIAN JAMES has announced a special one-off London show in December, to be recorded for a prospective live album.

James made his name as the founder and principal songwriter in The Damned, going on to find further success with The Lords Of The New Church during the 80s, later teaming up with Wayne Kramer, Duff McKagan and Clem Burke for the Mad For The Racket project.

In the year that The Damned returned with a new album and a newfound appetite for touring, James’ long out-of-print self-titled debut solo album was reissued in deluxe vinyl form by Easy Action Records.

Brian and his band will play a special seasonal show on Friday 7 December at Nell’s Jazz & Blues in West Kensington.

Says Brian, “Well, I figure it’s about time to host an Xmas party and where better to make a whole lotta noise than Nell’s Jazz and Blues Club in West Kensington. It’s looking like the Brian James Gang are going to record the gig on 7 December for a future live album, so be prepared to scream your bleeding heads off.”

Tickets for the gig are on sale from https://nellsjazzandblues.com/gig/brian-james/

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