Last week we had Ben reviewing one of the early shows on this tour and by all accounts another memorable night in the company of one of music most exceptional performers. Catching the tail end of the tour there were no plans to run a review but when we have bands this good it seems only right we should cover them as much as possible. Damn this band should be playing bloody arenas and be a household name but we know the world doesn’t work like that. for now, the people who get rewarded are the ones who just know, right? right!

Tonight the Fleece is very busy which is always a good sign, the last time this band played here in Bristol was aboard the good ship Thekla and the attendance wasn’t great. Tonight, with a brand new album in tow it was already looking promising as the room was busy for the opening band – Mother Vulture. They took the stage but quickly they weren’t my cup of tea at all, from the soaring vocals to the new wave of classic rock schtick of the band’s repertoire it’s just not what I listen to but there are plenty of satisfied punters digging their thing.

Next up Electric Eel Shock. A three-man ’80s cock rock assault on the senses, sure it’s bordering on the Barron Nights comedy but these guys do have a song in the shape of ‘Bastard’ that is so ’80s it’s wearing its own spandex and coughs up its own hairnet hairspray can.  They throw in enough shapes to make a Whitesnake tribute band blush and Don Dokken’s hair would fall out (again) if he were to follow these guys on stage.  But they have the audience smiling and wearing a Hanoi Rocks t-shirt is always going to go down well. Job Done I guess they have fun paying their dues and the audience goes along with them. 

Now, the reason we’re all here. Michael Monroe band, strap in, its time to Rock Like Fuck! After hearing many reports of how good the band has been on the tour so far and with only three shows left on the tour surely this one was going to be off the scale with the Fleece being such a good venue even with the pillars running through the venue it’s steeped in Rock and Roll. (even if they make their bread and butter off bloody tribute bands but if that means that nights like tonight and bands like The Monroes can tour and play then even I’ll turn a blind eye).

With ‘One Man Gang’ on heavy rotation the albums growing in stature on every play,  it’s a breath of fresh air to hear the band blast off with the opening five songs all taken from the new record! A bold move for any band but one that gets my approval that’s for sure. From the frantic punky title track to the catchy chorus of ‘Last Train To Tokyo’ to the New York cool of ‘Junk Planet’ this is cooking up to be an exceptional performance. With the band locked in and moving like a cat on a hot tin roof its hard to keep up,  with plenty of smiles on stage it looks like they’re having an absolute ball in this band. Of the songs on the new record to hear them run through ‘In the Tall Grass’ is super cool and such a great song to take on so early on in the set is a supremely confident move from such a great band.

Monroe and Conte make themselves comfortable on the barrier for a nice run through ‘Ballad Of The Lower East Side’ before ripping up ‘Old Kings Road’.  the band were flying through a rapid set that had ’78’ up next before cooling things down with a mellow ‘Black Ties And Red Tape’ (Not)  I’ve seen Monroe many many times live and with many line ups and in many venues all over the UK and I have to say with the exception of Hanoi Rocks classic line up in the mid 80s this is by far the best line up he’s had and the entertainment value is off the scale (it does help having such a strong cannon of songs to pick from for sure) but tonight they are on fire.

Step forward Mr Yaffa as we get the first Hanoi song of the evening as he thumps his way through the intro of the classic ‘Motorvatin’. Always wearing some splendid headwear and playing his bass with such style and having a Perma-smile its such a pleasure to be in the company of such talent. We get another new one in the shape of ‘Hollywood Paranoia’  before we head into the home straight as another thumping rendition of ‘This Aint No Love Song’.

I could have stayed all night listening to new songs or solo material played with an energy most bands could only dream of achieving but its also always nice to hear that Saxophone and a couple of Hanoi rocks tunes so things do slow down for a minute or two as ‘Don’t You Ever Leave Me’ makes way for ‘Malibu Beach’ before they hit the cover that the band took ownership of on the ‘Two Steps’ album ‘Up Around the Bend’ sees people lose their shit as the kids say and there are going to be some saw heads come the morning. The main set is wrapped up with a pulsating ‘Dead, Jail Or Rock and Roll’.

Play Vi

I’m still scratching my head as to how fuckin’ good this show was and how the hell this band isn’t playing venue ten times this size. I will console myself in the fact that if the world won’t listen then that’s their loss and you can only lead a horse to water and all that. The night wasn’t quite done yet as we had the pair of tunes from Demolition 23  and ‘Nothing’s Alright’ followed by the high kicks that go with ‘Hammersmith Palais’ which only left a blistering duelling rendition of the Stooges classic ‘I Feel Alright’ and then they were finally done. Until the next time that is and the sooner the better.  If you get the chance to see this band then take it they have a superb new album they’re showing off and its raised the bar for everyone else to follow.
There aren’t many bands who can compete with this one on the kind of form they were on tonight and it’s why going to live shows is still so much fun. Great company, great venue, great band, great songs, great memories and great fun and always a frontman who Rocks Like Fuck! always a pleasure – never a chore.
Author: Dom Daley

Born Robert W. Derminer on December 12, 1944, we know him as Rob Tyner the voice of Motor City powerhouse The MC5 where he originally played bass before putting his talent to use as vocalist.

With moves like James Brown and a wardrobe like Marc Bolan he will forever be remembered for his rally cry of ‘Kick Out The Jams Motherfucker’ The band released three albums from ’69 and the classic ‘Kick out the Jams’ through the ’70s ‘Back In The USA’ to the bands final album ‘High Time’ a year later. The band fell apart due to infighting and drug problems but before it turned sour they really blazed a trail and managed to bug the powers that be – Big time!

Their impact cannot be denied and Tyner was a big part of that from his unique afro and his distinctive voice to their political stance in quite volatile times not just in the USA but around the world.  The MC5 featured on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine even before they had a record out. The band had strong left-wing political ties and were happy to air their Anti-establishment views through their lyrics.  Along with Iggy And The Stooges they were punk way before punk was even a thing. They were loud, energetic and had style but most of all they had songs! Their back-to-basics rock and roll included now classics like ‘Ramblin’ Rose’ ‘Kick Out The Jams’ which must be one of the most covered songs in history. ‘Rocket Reducer No. 62 (Rama Lama Fa Fa Fa)’ and ‘Looking At You’ (Another that’s been covered by bands such as The Damned and The Mission). They were certainly unique and at the time caused quite a stir to the mainstream who didn’t know what to do with a bunch of young men who were clued up and armed with a voice their spat with Hudsons Department Store being a good example.

Tyner (going by his real name) was first approached by Wayne Kramer via the underground left-wing hipster scene in Detroit and his talent wasn’t on the bass but out front and center via the microphone. It was also Tyner who named the band MC5 which if you didn’t know it’s short for Motor City Five and the legend was born.

They were well known locally as the band to see with their incendiary live shows that were full of energy and it’s well documented that they were already hypnotising audiences in excess of a thousand people with a blistering energy and loud garage rock. It was Danny Fields who signed the band to Elektra at the same time he signed The Stooges but it was the MC5 who was the first hard Rock band signed to the label.

In ’68 the band performed at an anti-Vietnam war rally and allegedly played for eight hours straight!  Hold onto that and it might explain how the band were closely tied with LSD and Marijuana usage. They also use to have firearms as part of their stage show brandishing rifles on stage and then a sniper would shoot Tyner as part of their act to end the set.

Controversy was never far from the band’s door as they were embroiled in an ad campaign when a store (Hudsons) refused to stock their album so they took out an ad that claimed the store should go fuck themselves. in response, the store pulled all Elektra artists which led to the band being fired and subsequent signing to Atlantic for their second album so when McLaren thought he was unique engineering the Pistols labels fiascos it had already been done years earlier by the MC5.  Imagine being in an audience not having a clue who the band was and hearing Tyner announce Kick Out The Jams and then witnessing the kind of performance seen in the video?  It must have been life-changing.

After MC5 split he kept himself busy with a number of acts such as fireworks and then the Rob Tyner Band who played shows with the likes of Cheap Trick and AC/DC but by the end of ’78 the band fizzled out having not released an album.  Tyner then chanced his arm in the UK where he worked briefly with Eddie & the Hot Rods before he headed back to the states to work on Detroit legend Scott Morgan’s benefit project. the Guitar Army, which helped to organise and promote the music of Vietnam veterans. There was a solo record released in 1990 entitled ‘Blood Brothers’, but sadly, the singer died from a heart attack a year later, on this very day in 1991.

Several years after his passing, a live release surfaced courtesy of the Motor City Music label/website, ‘Rock and Roll People’, which documented a pair of Rob Tyner Band concerts from 1977 (at the Kramer Theatre and the Embassy Hotel). His legacy might be limited with regards to his recording output compared to many of his peers but never underestimate the influence of the MC5 – Gone but not forgotten Rob was only 46 at the time he passed away Rest In Peace Rob Tyner.

Australia has always had the chops and churned out the most excellent quality bands dishing out quality records.  Many didn’t always get the respect they deserved or Maybe not respect but certainly the attention they deserved. Asteroid B-612 (I know not the most memorable name but hey give it a chance) and their garage classic ‘Not Meant For This World’ is deffo one of those that has gone under the radar on a wider stage.  Fuelled by the genes of the Stooges and other garage rock legends their DNA spilled onto the grooves of this record and the fuzzed-out classic like opener ‘Destination Blue’ with its unhinged saxophone howling and wailing out of control is a beautiful thing and is like the distant overseas cousin of ‘Funhouse’.  But the Stooged up homage doesn’t end there (obviously).

Recorded back in ’96 in Sydney Johnny Casino (going by the name John A. Spittles its Detroit baby but from the baking hot sun of the Southern Hemisphere.  Sonically its spot on and the playing is a wonderful thing. The title track is like music from a parallel Hip Priest world and that’s a huge compliment. They were clearly cut from the same cloth.

First time out it was available far and wide on Cd but this is another press on vinyl but again it’s limited to 500 copies. So plenty of opportunities to pick up on this one second time around.

‘True Romance’ has a more pop melody and edge and draws on influences like The Who. But it’s back in the saddle for a romp across ‘Emotional Tattoo’ which preceded the likes of The Hellacopters who had to be influenced by this super shitty sounding blast.  ‘Thanks For Nothin’ is like Motorhead grooving on the Dead Boys ‘Ain’t It Fun’ or the Dead Boys Chillin’ on ‘Capricorn’ either way it’s a great tune.

I guess the real beauty of this release its the fact that someone has taken the time to remaster it and bring it kicking and screaming into the 21st Century ready or not and it doesn’t sound dated or out of step, christ, it could have been recorded last week. weather the band are holding back and relaxing or kicking out as on ‘Farewell To The Cosmic Commander’ the songwriting is exceptional and they’ve really captured the vibe.  It’s energetic, the songs are tight but loose if you know what I mean (if you love ‘Funhouse’ Or The Stooges and ‘Super-shitty To The Max’ then you’ll know.

To finish this bad boy off they get their boogie on and turn in ‘Where Has All The Fun Gone’ which is a daft question really with all due respect because listening to this is answering their own question all the fun is right here right now just pick up a copy before these are all gone as well. Excellent!

Author: Dom Daley

Other related references on BANG! Records:

  • ASTEROID B-612 “Always Got Something To Lose” b/w “Murder City Revolution”, 7” single.
  • LOS DINGOS “13 crook road” E.P. 7” single (featuring Johnny Casino alongside Kent Steedman from The Celibate Rifles and Gorka Munster from La Secta)

Info and orders: Here 

Or buy it on vinyl  Here

 

 

Kevin Michael “GG” Allin was born Jesus Christ Allin on August 29, 1956. One of the most divisive members of the punk rock community he courted controversy wherever and whenever he could.  Love him or loathe him he certainly left an impression on the punk rock scene in the 80s and early ’90s.  Passing away on this day back in 93 is possibly one of the least surprising things to have happened in punk rock.  Let’s face it GG was never going to grow old and after promising to take his own life on stage as part of his act many times he sort of quietly slid off his mortal coil in tragic circumstances. Playing his last ever show in NYC the club turned off the power after a couple of songs which caused Allin to trash what wasn’t already trashed and then roaming the street almost naked covered in blood and shit the performer ended up partying at a friends house where he took a lethal Heroin overdose and never woke up being pronounced the morning after by paramedics exactly where he laid down the night before.

I guess whilst it wasn’t a surprise to hear the news it’s still a shame to hear about anyone passing away under such tragic circumstances.  Allin was fairly prolific throughout his career and moving from his early more glam roots he passed through punk, hardcore and country as well as spoken words performances Allin was no slouch when it came to what he considered art.

Even in death, the Allin circus continued when he was laid to rest his open casket was videotaped and he can be seen wearing a jock strap accompanied by a bottle of booze whilst friends posed with his corpse, placing drugs and whiskey into his mouth. As the funeral ended, his brother Merle put a pair of headphones on Allin.  plugged them into a cassette player which had a copy of The Suicide Sessions on it.

The film ‘Hated’ features the footage of that final performance and chaos that went on after.  Sadly GG’s grave was frequently vandalised urinated on, cigarette butts left as well as feces and alcohol left by so-called fans, an act that was greatly discouraged by his mother Arleta. His tombstone has since been removed because of this.

Musically he was a Beatles fan and that was reflected in his early songs other bands that greatly influenced him were the likes of Alice Cooper, the Stooges and Kiss.  when he put the Jabbers together.

Allin became popular when ROIR released a cassette-only ‘Hated in the Nation’  containing tracks from the Jabbers, the Scumfucs and Cedar Street Sluts. All unavailable elsewhere.  The tape also featured recordings with the likes of J Mascis of Dinosaur Jr. on lead guitar and  Mark Kramer on bass. The most famous person to work with GG would have to be none other than Dee Dee Ramone who toured with the band as part of the Murder Junkies.

It wasn’t until the mid ’80s that he began to spiral out of control as his commercial career failed to take off he took full advantage of his underground personal and the myths began to appear (remember kids this is pre-internet) Allin was already making record designed to offend and provoke and he certainly achieved that with titles and collaborations to cause outrage (which they certainly did) the subject matter was attacking gay people, promoting drug use and his fascination with serial killers like Gacy led him to go visit the guy in prison. Live he couldn’t finish a set either because the fans stopped it or the police and/or venue interrupted him for his behavior. 

There was nothing big or clever about his behavior from the mid-’80s as he tried to stir up a hornet’s nest at every opportunity by saying repulsive comments about women, children, and boasting of his antics.  The music had long since stopped being relevant and instead he’d turned into a parody of himself and covered in ones own blood and poop began to fade into history and be a figure of fun that people would poke fun at and goad on to carry out his threat of killing himself on stage. In 91 he recorded with Antiseen what he described as his best album that most closely connected with himself.

If you’ve never heard him or fancy seeing what all the fuss was about then I suggest you check out ‘Hated’ it sure is an extreme ride and one you won’t forget in a hurry. I hope finally after such a chaotic life GG found his peace and afterlife and he can finally rest in peace.

you can pick up his records on the net but this company Aggronautix make a whole bunch of GG related collectibles as well as other bands and iconic figures in punk you really should check them out.

 

Also passing on this day back in ’81 a guy named Robert “Bob” Davis better known as Chuck Wagon from the punk band the Dickies. Chuck was a talented multi-instrumentalist who played Drums, Bass, Rhythm Guitars, keyboards and Saxophone. He will be best remembered for their iconic debut record  ‘The Incredible Shrinking Dickies’.  He also returned to the band to record its follow up ‘Dawn Of The Dickies’ as well as playing a few tracks on the third album which came out after his untimely suicide. suffering from depression after the breakup of his relationship Wagon returned after a show with the band and shot himself with a rifle this was 1981 and he was only twenty Five years young.  Rest in peace Bob.

 

Finally today former Gun Club guitarist Rob Graves also known as Rob Ritter.  Rob died of a Heroin Overdose on this day in ’90.  Rob played with the Gun Club, 45 Grave as well as a bunch of other lesser known bands like The Bags and. Graves played on Gun Clubs early 80s ‘Fires Of Love’ and ‘Miami’ as well as 45 Grave ‘Sleep In Safety’. Gun Club will always be remembered as the vehicle used by Jeffrey Lee Pierce but 45 Graves were part of the art Goth Rock scene with their striking images and this outlandish video for ‘Party Time’.  Its believed that Hole and Courtney Love dedicated ‘Pretty On The Inside’ to Rob when it came out.

 

Detroit High Energy rock at its purest essence!!!! Niagara (DESTROY ALL MONSTERS) & Ron Asheton (THE STOOGES) among other great Detroit musicians recorded this killer album back in 1996.
And now it is finally reissued on vinyl with 2 added tracks to the original vinyl release, remastered in order to get its purest sound, and new artwork courtesy of Mrs. Niagara Detroit and Mr. Colonel Galaxy.
And guess what…. This is an extension of Destroy All Monsters with absolutely killer guitars in line with The Stooges´ “Funhouse” with the unique stamp and signature of Mr. Ron Asheton.


10 classic shots which need to be in your record collection right by The Stooges, Destroy All Monsters, MC5, Sonic´s Rendezvous Band, Radio Birdman, The New Christs, Bored!

I can’t vouch for how improved the sonic assault is compared to the original because I never owned the original slab of wax and digital is a whole different ball game especially if your listening on a PC but I can vouch that it’s not muddy in fact it’s positively bright in the mix department  Niagras voice is as seductive and sinister as ever and has a dark quality that sounds dangerous and then you throw Ashetons guitar soloing into the mix and you have a potent force to be reckoned with. Just listen to ‘Heaven Can Wait’ in the dark and loud and you’ll get the point. I love Ron’s guitar work on ‘Bang’ he’s really Rockin it out and the absence of any low end makes for interesting listening.

I love the boredom and fuck you attitude of ‘Good Morning, Headache’ and ‘The Last Great Ride’ is epic and the perfect way to end this collaboration and the guitar work gives me goosebumps with the solos absolutely killing it.  with only 500 copies of this pressed it won’t be long before this becomes rare as hen’s teeth so time is of the essence and you can’t say you haven’t been warned.  Get it!

Buy Dark Carnival Here

 

Should have been huge! How many times do we hear that said of a band?  We’ve all seen bands we think should have – could have, but there is one in particular band I love who seemed to slip between the cracks and time overtook them and alas that moment was gone.  Darren Birch was a quarter of one of if not the most exciting bands of the UK underground scene who played around the toilet scene in the late ’80s early ’90s – they were Garage punks from Birmingham who, with a pocketful of excellent tunes and a strong image had it all.  In Ant, they had a frontman who had the swagger of a Jagger and the cool spirit of Iggy.  They stormed Londons Marquee Club on numerous occasions and put on a show every time. They were head and shoulders the best band anywhere at the time, yet, they remained unsigned with only a seven inch and twelve-inch singles to their name. It was years later they released a CD that delivered all the tunes they played live and managed to capture that magic onto tape yet their moment had gone and sadly had their frontman.  They lost frontman Ant under tragic circumstances so the chance of a reunion had gone. 
Bass player Birchy has a story to tell and has played with some of the pioneers of the first wave of punk and some – he currently plies his trade in several bands namely the Godfathers and Black Bombers (currently)  if you’re not familiar then you need to change that pronto. But not until you read the words from our little recent chat. Over to you Mr. Birch.
Let’s take it back to the beginning for you.  What made you want to pick up a guitar and why the bass? 
I had my first Bass at fourteen years old. A Jazz copy with an awful high action…The guys I played with in my first band called it the Bow and Arrow.  I loved the Damned as a kid and was inspired by hearing Algy play that intro to ‘Love Song’ and then the sound Paul (Gray) had when he joined the Damned.
Who else was influencing a young kid in Birmingham?
There were others I was drawn to like JJ Burnel and Lemmy they were certainly influences on me at the time. I’d also say around that age I was discovering Bowie and the Spiders era and loved Trevor Bolders playing.  then as I was growing older I was discovering all sorts of players from Dennis Dunaway, Bootsy Collins, Barry Adamson…Even in my Jazzier moments Charles Mingus!!
What about early memories of playing shows?
The earliest shows I was playing was in punk bands.  I’d only been playing about six months and even though the other guys I was playing with were three and four years older than me I guess it was the usual story of ropey PA’s just for vocals in pubs I wasn’t anywhere near old enough to be in – Fun Though.
My first memory of seeing you play was in London with Gunfire Dance.  You were always a band I’d go and see and I found the live shows so exciting? Tell us how the band came into being?
Gunfire Dance was the first 2Proper” band I was in.  Me ‘n Ozzie started the band around 83/84we were influenced by the growing scene of Hanoi, Lords, Thunders…that kind of thing. The line up you all know and love (haha ) with Jeff and Ant (R.I.P)  consolidated around 87/88.
Yeah, We always wanted to be a high energy band… We loved gigs like the Cramps, Lords, Iggy that kind of unpredictability.  I think the band is more appreciated now than back in the late ’80s were certainly more understood…We were never part of that Stones/Face thing that was going on nor were we part of the Glam/Hard Rock scene I think we were out on our own at the time…our influences stretched back to the ’50s, 60’s the whole punk scene maybe bands like Thee Hypnotics were kind of our kindred spirits back then.
What about memories of playing abroad? Did you enjoy touring? 
The tours we did around the UK were always self-financed and self-organised except the tour with Tigertailz (Island paid for that.  We had a publishing deal with them but alas no record deal) we also went out with Bang Tango!!! We certainly had a lot of fun and those Marquee shows were always great (as I recall)
Most people will know of your work with Gunfire Dance.  I remember buying a demo cassette and eventually a 7″ single and 12″ why did it take so long to get a long player out? 
We spoke to loads of managers , labels  etc… But fo rone reason or another it just never happened. We recorded lots of stuff at Island some with Rat (Scabies) and some with Brian (James) but none of it got released until the Evil Boy Records put out ‘Archway Of Thorns’ in 2005.
When we played CBGB with D Generation and The Waldos a guy named Rat Boy (Motorcycle Boy) was playing in Pillbox put us in touch with Jeff Dahl and he released the 7″ on his Ultra Under label in the States then the ‘Killing Time’ 12″ we did that ourselves.  Then we went back to the States for a second time and did New York but the band was falling apart, I guess the combination of doing it without success will do that.
What did you do after the band broke up?
After the band called it a day I didn’t play for a while the “Music Business” had left a bitter taste in my mouth for a while anyway.  I had been DJaying and had a club called ‘Stay Sick’ which lasted a few years – That could get messy.  Then Oz, Ant and myself got together with a friend called Mark Barrows and started Stepping Razors which came about inadvertently by us being asked to tour with Tyla (now that’s another story).  Jeff had left for New York by this time so we got together and it was fun…We were a great band – We cut a demo at the famous Toe-Rag Studio and then got some interest from Island (again) after a great show with Royal Trux but again it fell apart for one reason or another it was around this time I’d also started playing with Alan (Black Bombers) in the Morricone influenced Horse Feathers. Still going to this day we even got as far as recording that album (reviewed Here)
Me and Oz ended up playing with Brian (James) he’d asked us back in the Gunfire Dance days if we’d play in his band doing his solo album (the one on New Rose Records) we would have been The Brian James Gang but Brian suffered the loss of both his parents and then he had the money from Guns N Roses for using his song so he moved to France to raise his Son away from London.  some years later we got a phone call out of the blue it was Brian – he’d moved back to the UK and was now in Brighton and he wanted to do something so we resurrected the Brian James Gang with Jez Miller on guitar and vocals doing some Lords, Early Damned and his solo stuff… my ears still have yet to recover!!
I guess the next time I caught you live was when you were playing with Walter Lure.  Tell us how that all came about?
The Walter thing was when Oz got in touch via myspace we saw he’d been to Europe and released a live CD so we asked if he’d be interested in coming to the UK and we’d put a band together for him.  He said yes and the first show was that 100 Club gig where Walter flew in the day before we had one rehearsal and did the show it was brilliant.  He hadn’t played here for twenty-five years.  I can remember the expectancy and when I see the youtube footage of that gig I feel proud of what we did with one rehearsal!! Ha ha, We ended up doing a few more plus the Rebellion show and supported Jim Jones at their final show at the Forumthen when Walter finally retired from Wall Street we did a full UK tour.
Was there ever a chance to record as The Waldos?
It would have been good to record with Walter but there was never the time……He’s over here soon with Mick Rossi….When we played with Brian the plan was to record an album but it got sidetracked by that Lord’s reformation and never happened…
Onto your recent exploits – Black Bombers and Godfathers.  Firstly tell us how the band came together (Black Bombers)?
It came out of the Blue to be honest. Having not done anything for ages Alan and I got together with a few friends and ended up pulling a few songs together originally it was a four-piece but we struggled to find a direction. Eventually, it went down to a three-piece and when Dave joined on Drums we sort of found our sound.  We wanted to just play Rock and Roll but it had to be adult rock and roll musically and lyrically and try and avoid cliches…cranky…and gnarly – much like us men of a certain age! Haha.
The sound of the recordings is unbelievably good and I always tell people to go listen to the sound of the songs it’s huge. Have you always used the same guitar and amp?  What if any effects do you go through? We did the first 7″ in our rehearsal room, miked everything up and blasted away, even the vocals came straight from the PA ala ‘Funhouse’.  We did it that was not only to keep the cost down but we really liked it.  Recording like they used to back in the day – old bluesmen or something at Chess and that’s pretty much how we’ve done everything since.
In fact ‘Vol 4’ the backing tracks are all first takes we never played a song twice.  We rehearsed them without vocals so we knew them inside out and when it came to recording we just bashed them out. as for gear I have the same Precision that I bought with the Island advance back in Gunfire Dance days and I use no effects at all just crank it up!
You’ve recently found a home with Easy Action who also appreciates and releases some fab music and the packaging is always quality who came up with the artwork and design of the LP?  Dave our drummer is our resident artist, He designs all our covers he does a lot of work for easy action on the Dave Kusworth albums, in fact, he plays on some of them.
 
With a new Mini album or is it an EP? just released what next for the band? Yeah we just put out ‘Vol 4’ a 10″ mini album its been having some great reviews and we did a short run of shows to support it with the likes of Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind, The Folk Devils and a few more throughout the year (any promoters get in touch)  Also we’ve started putting some new songs together that will make a new album.
You’re also a member of Godfathers and recently released a live album, the sound of the band is exceptional and the band sounds like its having a ball really attacking the back catalogue. A lot of those old songs sound amazing and really fresh.  Tell us how and why you got involved with Peter and Godfathers?
I’ve been involved about three years now.  I stood in for a few festivals originally then Peter said they were going to record a new album and asked if I’d be involved and it’s as simple as that really. We made ‘A Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ which I think is a really good album and it stands up to any of the early 80’s Godfathers albums.
Before we finish up I wanted to ask why ‘Archway’ has never had a vinyl pressing.  Any chance of one?
 I would like to do a vinyl version of Archway of thorns…..Maybe get a band page up first see if there is enough interest…
Songs like ‘Blue’ sound timeless, how did the songwriting work in the band? The songs would come together in rehearsals really…’Blue’ for instance was just written around the bass line and some chords I threw together…Jeff put his thing over the top and Ant wrote the lyrics…We were all quite individual musicians and everyone played their part.
Is there anything still on the cutting room floor or did ‘Archway Of Thorns’ have the lot? 
There are some songs that we never recorded…..A few on YouTube clips…I have some live tapes from the Marquee with songs on that we never did in a studio…
Good Quality?
Not Bad.  The tapes I have were recorded by our driver on a minidisc player…There are a couple from Edward’s in Brum too.
You ought to celebrate the band and release the album on vinyl.
Jeff is coming over and doing a couple of Electrajet gigs in November…Oz is gonna play drums. ..Black Bombers gonna support. …That’s probably as near as you’ll get to a reunion…. Ha…
and that’s where we’ll end for now.  Thanks, Birchy for your time and effort.  I loved gunfire Dance still do and they shouldn’t be forgotten they should be championed as should his contribution to music whether it be through Walter Lure when he tours or as part of The Godfathers or with his own band Black Bombers if you’ve never heard any of them then be prepared for a treat  all mightily fine bands that deserve people time oh and if you would like to see ‘Archway Of Thorns’ on vinyl where it belongs then the campaign starts here.

Further adventures in Rock and Roll featuring Darren Birch can be found below

Horse Feathers Review Here

Black Bombers Review Here

Godfathers Review Here

When I saw Aussie punks Amyl & The Sniffers live recently, singer Amy Taylor launched herself into an excited and sweaty pit to sing and mosh with her fans for the first of several times…the band had been on stage less than a minute.

Part Yolandi Visser, part Wendy O Williams, Amy Taylor is a tiny, platinum-haired Aussie whirlwind of fun. Along with her mullet sporting flatmates; Declan (guitars), Bryce (drums) and Gus (bass) whom she formed the band with back in 2016. They have steadily been making waves since writing, recording and releasing their debut EP in the space of 12 hours.

These waves have made it across continents since the vinyl release of their ‘Giddy Up/Big Attractions’ EP, culminating with the band recently touring the States and the UK to rave reviews and packed clubs.

 

They don’t fuck around when it comes to music and live they are a high-octane blast of energy guaranteed to incite riots. That riot-inciting attitude is captured perfectly on their debut, self-titled album.

Just look at that goddamn album artwork and tell me you don’t need a piece of that in your life right now? Imagine a mash of The Rezillos, The Dead Boys and X-Ray Spex covering The Breaking Glass soundtrack and you might get close to their sound.

No one is doing late 70’s punk right now with as much balls, as much energy and certainly with as much authenticity as Amyl & The Sniffers are.

 

‘Starfire 500’ is simply one of the best album openers of the year, what a track! It blasts from the speaker with a statement of intent, riding on some out-of-this-world  Ramones-a-like riff. In Sniffers terms it’s an epic beast; Amy’s distinctive, snotty vocals don’t even start until the 1 minute 30 mark.

It’s clear from the off that the band have taken things up a level and they have come a long way since that lo-fi debut EP. While the production has improved, the songs are still full of raw, undiluted garage rock goodness.

If Kylie had been mentored by GG Allin instead of Pete Waterman she would probably have come out with a song like ‘Gacked On Anger’, a furious diatribe set to a wall of fat distortion.

Previously released singles are present and correct. The brilliant ‘Cup Of Destiny’ has a hook that will embed itself in your brain instantly and album closer ‘Some Mutts (Can’t Be Muzzled)’ is like some anti ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’. A “fuck you!” song to an ex about his new bird (or dog in this instance). Amy even throws in some choice “woof-woofs” for good measure.

The band bashes out 3 chord bangers like they were born to do it, with every track worthy of 7” release, like old school punk classics. ‘Monsoon Rock’ rides on a stabbing Dr. Feelgood style riff before descending into a power trip of Dead Boys proportions. The vocals spat with venom and the dirty guitars delivered with the power of a DC 10. The Stooges-like ‘Control’ is a chaotic, death trip jam, and ‘Angel’ is as close as the band gets to a love song…at least I think it’s a love song, but it sure ain’t no ballad, folks!

‘Got You’ sounds like an early Adam & The Ants b side. Riding on a rumbling bass line and a great chanting chorus, the lead vocals delivered with a most nonchalant punk rock attitude. The accompanying video features the boys in the band on leashes being walked by their singer. You gotta love it, and I have so much love for this tune right now.

 

Garage rock bands are two a penny, but Amyl and The Sniffers are the dirty penny you want to scrub up and keep for good. They have the tunes, the style and the attitude to match. They also have a growing fan base, a ferocious live reputation and now a killer album to boot. How can they possibly fail? An essential purchase.

Buy Amyl And The Sniffers Here

Facebook

Author: Ben Hughes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott Randolph Asheton (August 16, 1949 – March 15, 2014) born in Washington, D.C. but famous for when he and his brother Ron moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan where He co-formed the Stooges in 1967 along with his older brother, Iggy Pop, and Dave Alexander. The rest, as they say, is history.

During the Stooges’ separation, Scott was one of the few ex-members to play again with Pop, with the mini-reunion occurring during a 1978 European tour. Asheton also played drums with Scott Morgan in different bands, among which were the Scott Morgan Band, Scots Pirates, and most notably Sonic’s Rendezvous Band. He then went on to play drums touring in a late incarnation of Destroy All Monsters, under the name Dark Carnival. He also recorded extensively with Sonny Vincent, playing drums on four full studio albums along with Captain Sensible on bass, as well as making special guest appearances on other Vincent releases. In addition to recording with Sonny, Asheton toured the U.S. and Europe with Sonny and Steve Baise (on bass) of the Devil Dogs.

The Stooges reformed in 2003, and remained active until 2016, releasing a fourth album in 2007. Following the death of Ron Asheton, the group worked with guitarist James Williamson. Other than Iggy Pop, Asheton was the only consistent member of the Stooges after the death of his brother, guitarist Ron, in 2009.

After they played Hellfest Festival on June 17, 2011, he went into temporary retirement from live duty. He was replaced by Larry Mullins (a.k.a. Toby Dammit), who had played in Iggy Pop’s band in the 1990s. He died of a heart attack in March 2014 at the age of 64.

 

I love that during an interview about the Ashton Brothers Iggy said of Scott hes the least talkative person I know any words he needs to say he does it with his drums.  He played on some of the most influential records of all time for many of us here at RPM no question about it and it was pleasing that before he passed away he was able to reap some of the benefits of his work finally after the Stooges split the first time he was reduced to teaching drums to anyone who wants teaching and scratching around for a wage which is a travesty considering his contribution to an industry that couldn’t particularly give two shits for a period.  A rock and roll hall of Famer and drum legend.

Scott leaves behind a pretty impressive catalogue of records he played on from The Stooges and Sonny Vincent to Sonic’s Rendezvous band The guy deserves legend status and that’s what we afford him, Rest In Peace Rock Action you had rhythm coursing through your veins and a style and swagger that was the power behind such a monumental band as the Stooges. Gone but never forgotten.

One of shit Islands finest “Best-kept secrets” Black Bombers have only gone and recorded another barnstorming slab of garage rock n roll that played at volume will I guarantee – knock you off your feet. the only downside is this is only six tracks but then for the sake of our sanity it makes sense as anything more would be a waste besides, why release ten when you can say it all in six? ‘Volume 4’ begins with the call to arms riff-o-la and anvil pound before Alan Byron joins in with his vocals as his drawl is hitting the nail squarely on the head as the off kilt melody draws you in and then slips a Black Bomber under your tongue then you can relax as the trip takes you through a garage wormhole that’s dripping with attitude and bang on the money tunes. Over the next three minutes and fifty-two seconds this power trio give you a fantastic one-note guitar solo a bass and drums breakdown that is as good as anyone and all roads lead to the smashing climax and we’re straight into ‘Relentless’ and its train kept a-rollin’ rhythm mixed with enough Brian James tone playing some fuzzed up Stooges licks that is healthy to try and once you imagine that you’re in the right ballpark.  Its taken me quite a few plays to get through this record because as soon as one finishes rather than let the next one play I can’t help but press repeat.

Dave Twist (drums), Darren Birch (bass guitar), and Alan Byron (guitar and vocals) were clearly paying attention to what was the good and the great when spinning the black circles in their bedrooms now older and (hopefully) wiser they are unraveling all that pent up aggression and knowledge into their records with Black Bombers because this is excellent.  Sure there are shades of previous bands happening here and there (why wouldn’t there be) but the power and execution is exquisite on ‘Animals And Cages’ even with the ‘I Wanna Be Your dog’ lift it nails their colours to the mast with style but the real ace in the pack here is ‘Gnarley’ Now this is something I never thought I’d be saying out loud but a song with no words is absolutely fuckin’ killer.  Brooding with menace and mesmerizing from the opening chord through the Bass breakdown its worth the price all on its own.  Astounding stuff.

‘Sometimes’ is more of the same with its raw power (sorry couldn’t help myself) and boundless energy. Closing with a cover of the most excellent ‘Hair Of The Dog’ that’s every bit as sleazy and hanging on by a thread as the original if you’re going to do a cover then this is how you do it.

These Black Bombers aren’t illegal but they will keep you up all night my only advice would be to pick up a copy of this right now and enjoy the trip it’s awesome.

 

Buy Vol 4 Here

 

Facebook

Author: Dom Daley

Dave Alexander original Stooges Bass Player (June 3, 1947 – February 10, 1975) in Ann Arbor where he met brothers Ron and Scott Asheton. “Zander” (as Alexander was known) dropped out after 45 minutes on the first day of his senior year in 1965 to win a bet. Later in 1965, Ron sold his motorbike and they left for England to see The Who and to “try and find The Beatles”.

Alexander and the Asheton brothers soon met Iggy Pop and formed The Stooges in 1967. Although Alexander was a total novice on his instrument, he was a quick learner and subsequently had a hand in arranging, composing and performing all of the songs that appeared on the band’s first two albums, ‘The Stooges’ and ‘Fun House’. He is often credited by Pop and was credited by the late Ron Asheton in interviews with being the primary composer of the music for the Stooges songs “We Will Fall”, “Little Doll” (both on The Stooges), “Dirt” and “1970” (Fun House).

Alexander died of pulmonary edema in 1975, at the age of 27 in Ann Arbor after being admitted to a hospital for pancreatitis, which was linked to his drinking. Sadly it was drinking that ultimatly got him sacked from the Stooges as its believed to have been the reason he was fired in August of 1970 after turning up drunk to a show and not being able to perform. Rest In Peace and thank you for those awesome tunes. ‘Funhouse’ has one of the greatest basslines ever in Rock n Roll music, full stop not even up for debate.   Gone but not forgotten. 

Buy The Stooges Here

On a happier note on this day in 1979, Rod Stewart started hit No.1 on the US singles chart with ‘Da Ya Think I’m Sexy’,  Also today Rod started a three-week run at No.1 on the US album chart with ‘Blondes Have More Fun.’ An absolute killer record in my humble opinion.  right up there with his earlier work.  It might not have been of the same quality as his work with The Faces but has stood the test of time as he demonstrates in this video for the title track.

Buy Blondes Have More Fun Here

Finally how about this for some news. On this very day in 1977, The Clash started recording their debut album at CBS studios in London,  The album was recorded over three weekends at CBS Studio 3 in the month of  February 1977. By the third of these sessions, the album was completed, CBS then sent it for production in the March.and then released in the April, It cost just £4000 to produce! Imagine that? Such an iconic album recorded so quickly and for 4K you’d be lucky to replicate that today it would take you three months in the queue at the pressing plant.