“Its hard to hold a candle in the cold November Rain”
November was truly the month for live shows as the scribes got their gig legs and ventured far and wide for our fix of live rock n roll. With RPM in full swing, we were getting the hang of this as the albums poured in to keep us out of trouble and keep the air full of excellent Rock n Roll.
We brought you interviews with some up and coming talent in the shape of Jack Jones from Trampolene who have been prolific both in the studio and on the road. Earning their stripes by hitting the road zigzagging across the country Jack also found time to travel to Japan and just completed another round of dates as recently as December. As mentioned yesterday Jeff Dahl dropped by to tell us about his plans for the new mini album and that he was currently busy recording a new album that will be out in 2019.
Then Gerald caught up with Vienas Reverend Backflash for a great interview about the band and their grand plans for the future and it was an opportunity for those of us unfamiliar with the band to get acquainted and we were glad we did as Gerald has said the new album is easily one of his highlights of the year.
we also scoured the globe as you would expect to uncover some of the best music currently available like Black Heart Breakers who were ‘Rotting Out’. We welcomed The Erotics and Beechwood from the East coast. Canada’s Sick Things were in the house before we headed North to Norway for a few words about the most excellent Death By Unga Bunga then as we headed south Leigh was mightily impressed with Thomas Silvers solo album headed back to the big smoke for the years biggest turkey that was Billy Idols remixed revisited rejected disco versions of classic Idol. Dear dear, what was he thinking?
however One of the brightest albums of the month was easily that belonging to Glen Matlock who was ‘Good To Go’ and along with his star-studded list of special guests, he turned in a mightily impressive record – again!
Right we’ll break the album list up with a quick rundown of some of the best shows writers went to in November where better to start than when Martin and Rags popped into London town to see a newly reformed for one night only Jony Cola & The A-Grades and Martin described it as a bit of an experience and a show he was delighted to have witnessed for himself whilst Rags was equally impressed, man I think its fair to say that there are several amongst us who thought Jony Cola put out the flame way too soon but it was nice to have been reminded of tracks as good as ‘Halo’ once again.
Craggy took in a couple of shows over on mainland Europe notably in the shape of TV Smith in Viena but he raved about the Levellers in Prague and best of all was finally catching up with Buffalo Tom in Berlin I haven’t read the reviews either so does that mean that they didn’t happen? Fortunately, they did happen because I’ve seen the pictures of Craggy swapping singles with Buffalo Tom.
As for us lot still on this island well we weren’t forgotten because there was the Damned tour dates to catch up with as Armitage caught their performance down in Brighton as they went around shit island for a second time this year. There were several sightings of Nashville Pussy as Martin ventured across the channel to see them in France but Johnny and Fraser took in their performance at the Globe in Cardiff which didn’t disappoint either. MC50 played some great shows but the daddy of all live shows in November just had to be the incredible line up that was put on in Holland under the banner Helldorado. Boy, what a tremendous lineup. There were many discussions as to why we couldn’t see a bill that good in the UK for a festival and it was decided there isn’t enough appetite for a fantastic jam-packed underground festival outside of what they do at Rebellion but this as a slightly different beast to be fair; even if most of these bands could cross over under the rebellion banner would it be raved about by a wider audience? It remains to be seen but I’d love to have a discussion about it with promoters in the UK. Anyway I digress, those that went agreed that Danko Jones were on fire and whilst they might not be the best band at the festival they put on the best show that weekend. Oh, apart from the little guy who came on stage during The motherfucking Dwarves set oh and the guy who set himself on fire also during the Dwarves set. Spectacular! I’m sure you’ll agree?
Whilst we’re on the live front Rpm was reporting at some superb shows like The Alarm and Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts in York where Ben was impressed by the performance of Peters and his levels of energy he also reported on another superb showing from The Virginmarys and Hands Off Gretel. Whilst down south Armitage got to see another exceptional performance from The Damned in Brighton
Another band covered in November was Junkyard who played Fibbers as headline act before they headed out around the rest of the country supporting Blackberry Smoke. Finally, on the live front, there was another epic performance from The UK Subs in Bristol who continue to turn in top performances and records. To cap off an amazing November Leigh went to Prague to see Buddy Guy certainly a player and event you won’t get the chance to see every month. This is what he had to say about it..not Buddy but Leigh, “After years of waiting to see one of my guitar idols I finally got to see him in 2018. This could be the gig highlight of my entire life. I’d been waiting what felt like a lifetime to hear a bonafide blues guitar legend do this thing before my very eyes. In his 80s but with the charisma and energy of a fresh-faced 20-year-old, Buddy Guy is the man.”
The King Of Power Pop Paul Collins sat in the interview chair in November to talk about his new album and tour commitments but ti was a fantastic interview with Rich Jones letting us in on what is coming up in the Michael Monroe camp as ‘One Man Gang’ is finished and off to the manufacturers ready for a 2019 release. We got some background on Jones and his impressive CV.
On the interview front we weren’t finished there because we only had a chat with the frontman of the finest power poppin punk rockin band on the UK live circuit bar none Phil from Cyanide Pills also said about the plans to release the follow up to the awesome ‘Sliced And Diced’ in 2019 which is good news for people with exquisite taste and an exceptional ear for a top tune. November wasn’t finished just yet because we also had a quick word with Sal from Electric Frankenstein who told us about his compilation releases and what EF were up to.
To wrap up a quick foray into November I’ll leave you with Leighs feature where he talks guitars, amps and pedals this time with Mike Christie under the microscope we hope to satisfy the tech-heads amongst you as Leigh dreams about guitars – he plays em when he’s awake he even has his duvet printed with Gibson guitars and his pillowcase is Fender prints oh and he sleeps on Les Paul Jr shaped bed. I kid you not. I’d like to add here that he’s just submitted a 7000-word tech talk interview with a legend out of New York that’s coming up on RPM but its as good a place as any to wrap up November or at least a brief glimpse into the month that gave so much and there was so much we left out.
Come back tomorrow when December or at least part of it gets nitpicked. Some of the choice picks from November are as follows
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.
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…
After all the touring and recording Trampolene have something of a messy yet splendid evening ahead of them at this their hometown show on the run-up to Christmas. But first tonight, they are supported by two bands that I managed to miss and I just about enter the venue in time for The Sandinistas to take to the stage and knock out their set of well, early Manics tunes if I were to describe them to somebody having never heard the band before seeing the white jeans and White Les Paul and naming yourself after a clash album might be a bit of a no-brainer for most haggard hacks and I guess the band didn’t disappoint on that front. The songs sounded decent to be fair and one or two actually had decent choruses and hooks. The band sounded tight with a really good locked in rhythm section. As was noted when the drummer fired on the snare it was very Tommy Gun like and along with the bass player they drove the songs really well. One I’d like to hear more from on record to see if they have the chops in the studio.
With a packed house, this rowdy hometown crowd are treated to a young lady playing the national anthem on her violin causing a sigh of relief as a potentially horrific Yoko moment was averted had she played on the violin whilst someone read poetry or warbled out of key over the top of it anyway with a further ten minutes but thankfully it was just the national anthem but the band took the stage some ten minutes later so the intro sort of flopped on the dancefloor that was quickly filling up with beer spillage and sweaty young men chanting.
Jack Jones climbed around the PA with his coat on and full of Tonsillitis but once he clocked the crowd his beaming smile gave him the adrenalin rush he needed after being forced to cancel a couple of shows earlier in the week and it was straight into the mele of bodies rolling across the dance floor as the band hit the crowd over the head with song after song – it might not have been their tightest performance but the energy was fantastic. ‘Under The Strobelight’ followed by ‘It’s Not Rock and Roll’, ‘Alcohol Kiss’ were all present and accounted for and sounded huge and was exactly what this audience needed to lose their pre-Christmas shit to which was nice to see them duly obliged.
By the time the band smashed into ‘Tom Hardy’, it was a beautiful racket, beer, sweat, smiles and ringing ears all around just what a club gig should be. It wasn’t all full tilt mind as one of the highlights of the evening was a magnificent performance of ‘The Gangway’ but they did save the best til last as ‘Storm Heaven’ in all its extended glory was groovetastic with the band locking into one another and just churning out that riff hypnotising and mesmerising in equal measures.
Being a Friday night and in their hometown it wouldn’t be right if Jack didn’t attempt a rendition of ‘Merry Christmas Everybody’ or some other recognised Crimbo classic but in true rock n roll fashion he didn’t really know it but neither did he know his way around a verse of ‘Ever Fallen In Love’ which he dedicated to Pete Shelley who passed away the night before which was touching besides the crowd took over for the chorus then it was a final hoorah as a joyous rendition of ‘Friday I’m In Love’ and finally ‘Poundland’ before we were kicked out onto the street smiling; knowing that we’d just seen one hell of a band that even when under the weather can achieve great things and hometown shows can either bomb due to the pressure or soar as the locals carry their heroes off into the sunset over their heads tonight was the latter as Trampolene smashed it they well and truly smashed it. Next time they play locally it won’t be in this venue it simply won’t be big enough. Swansea needs nights like this. A sweaty little venue fizzing with rock n roll – awesome.
Author: Dom Daley
Pictures: Nigel Drean
In a week when RPM brought you interviews Live Reviews and album Reviews from far and wide, we scoured the globe to bring you bands and releases that matter so you don’t have to do the hard work. Sit back skive off and enjoy.
As far as interviews go we went to Vienna for Reverend Backflash Swansea for Jack Jones out of Trampolene who head out on tour this month all over the UK. we also brought you the words of Jeff Dahl and what his plans are for 2019. Right there are three reasons to keep it RPM for all the chatter that matters in the same week as well! Damn, how good was that?
If those interviews weren’t enough we also brought you album reviews from legends like Glen Matlock who released a new record with some help from the likes of Slim Jim Phantom and Earl Slick. If that wasn’t enough to make you good to go then we also brought you music from Australia in the shape of the excellent Black Heart Breakers, Noo Yawk City in the shape of The Erotics and obviously it wouldn’t be right if Canada didn’t wade in with a new record from a band with immense potential and a bunch of tunes you’d expect from a band who have been around the block a few times in the shape of Sick Things whose album is just getting the vinyl treatment from Gods Candy Records.
We might have been a bit stingy on the live front this past week but we did venture to Vienna for some TV Smith and finish the week wiping the sweat and maybe a tear or two from one’s cheek as Jonny Cola And The A-Grades said hello goodbye and thanks for the ride which was a great place to check out for the week.
Now. This week we’ve already brought you Rich Jones and Paul Collins interviews and we have some killer live reviews from the likes of King Brothers and Eric Martin as well as plenty of albums we crack open from Dave Kusworth, Palmyra Delran and Estrons as well as a classic reissue that’s coming on RSD Black Friday that people shouldn’t miss.
Not too shabby on the old rock and roll front there I’m sure you’ll agree? Remember to keep it RPM and don’t let anyone tell you there isn’t any rock and roll anymore because we know and you know that’s just bull shit right? Right! If you think you have what it takes to join our band of scribes then drop us a line at email@example.com and introduce yourself – we don’t bite and are quite a welcoming bunch. thanks and as Lux said – stay sick!
If you’re new here welcome. If you missed a thing or two then welcome back and if you’re a regular then what harm does a recap do? Right, this past week we brought you Live reviews from Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts as well as another show another town same old awesome show for The Urban Voodoo Machine and we also had The Dirty Strangers, The Brutalists and Rich Ragany & The Digressions live in London for your reading pleasure. We also introduced you to several debut albums and EP’s that have or are recently coming out like the driving Rock of Mike Christie formerly of The Black Marquee LA who really impressed with his debut mini album and there is more to come over the next few weeks from Mike as catch up with him for a new feature we’re cooking here at RPM Online. We also brought you reviews from Canada, Australia, Scandinavia, Germany and the UK
There was a live albums from Iggy and a very nice reissue of an album that could have been but has only recently seen the light of day for Primal Scream. Where we wondered if you the readers had an opinion of which version was better the one that saw the light of day several decades ago or this the Memphis sessions Please feel free to get into it over on the facebook page. there was also the comeback album from The Electric Boys reviewed and more. In the UK at the moment there are a few new bands making a noise that is going down really positively and one of those bands is The Speedways from Nottingham and the record was the brainwave of Matt formerly of the Breakdowns and making what could be argued as his debut solo album but instead he named it The speedways and we caught up with Matt for a few words about his fantastic album ‘just another regular summer’ thats just been released via Gods Candy Records and we think you should check it out and read Matts interview here.
there was also news of new records from Springsteen. Ginge Knevils charity CDs that shouldn’t be passed up and we couldn’t ignore the show of the week which happened in LA at the Roxy where Cook, Jones, James and Idol took the stage for a short but oh so sweet set under the banner Generation Sex. hopefully its the start of something very special to come in 2019 but who knows.
Anyway enough looking back here’s to the week ahead and RPM Online brings you more interviews from the likes of Jeff Dahl, Jack Jones (Trampolene) .and Reverend Backflash have already been covered We also have plenty of new albums from the Likes of Glen Matlock, Death By Unga Bunga, The Erotics, and Black Heart Breakers so global -a-go-go again for RPM and we leave no stone unturned around this Rockin’ and Rollin’ planet. There is also time for TV Smith in Vienna for you enjoy so keep it RPM for a music revolution and remember to Stay Sick folks! and keep it RPM!
Rising stars Trampolene are forever on tour it would seem after finishing one support tour they head off in the old tradition of doing the rounds themselves and with a live show that is a fantastic showcase for their talent and always a sweaty heaving mess, there is something special in the air. Not content with being on the road the band also managed to record a debut album ‘Swansea To Hornsey’ to much critical acclaim only to quickly follow it up with a double album of singles and other cuts in a bold move the band is certainly doing things on their own terms. If that’s not enough to put most bands to shame frontman Jack Jones also found time to record his debut solo single which he released recently via the pledge platform. RPM thought it was about time we let you lot in our this exciting band from South Wales so we caught up with Jack for a few quick words before he was out the door for another round of live shows.
How pleased are you with the reception ‘Pick a Pocket or Two’ has had?
Very pleased to be honest – I suppose it is quite amazing to be able to look back at all the songs you’ve put out and realise they weren’t half bad.
What about the reception the solo single has had?
Couldn’t have asked for more…I was so glad that people took it to their hearts for what it is…just moving forward and expressing myself for the good of Trampolene and not the end of the band!
How do you decide what you put on a solo release rather than using it for the band? Seeing as your material is quite eclectic anyway with Poetry, the loud guitar songs, and the gentler ballads? Are they songs the other two didn’t fancy?
I usually write all the solo stuff in a different way…in a bedroom studio with my friend Mike Moore…so it’s easy to know what fits where…
Joking aside, are we to expect a full solo album? How do you approach the recordings? Do you write the songs complete then present them to the boys or is it a more collaborative approach?
I think there will be a solo album…I’ll just keep on writing…
Trampolene works in all sorts of different ways…sometimes I’ll have a song completely done and sometimes I’ll just have a riff…or sometimes Wayne will have a tune he wants to work…but it usually ends up with the three of us bashing our heads together in a rehearsal room to agree on the final structure….
Coming from the same town what is it about moving away in your teens that we all have done but the city shapes us in so many ways it is an ugly lovely town and there is always a pride when writing about the place. What is it that since the begging of time people seem to not be immensely proud of our own like Manchester, Liverpool or Sheffield seems to champion their own.
I don’t know really, we had to leave and challenge ourselves, If I had stayed in Swansea I would be a very different person maybe for the worse maybe for the better. I heard someone say that the older you get the more you mellow and I enjoy being in Swansea more now than I did 5 years ago…but it’s still not good for my health
Considering Trampolene is one album in do you see it as a brave step putting out a double album with a big varied track list?
I just see us a great band – and all great bands do a double album at some stage…don’t they? We just had the songs to do it now, so we did it now…no messing. This was also a way of showing that we are already past the difficult second album and also ending the first chapter of the band.
Your heading out on a support tour then straight out the door headlining that’s a fantastic old-school work ethic that many bands won’t take the chance on these days is playing live what its all about for you?
I think so, playing live is your bread and butter these days (although we tend to live off the crusts) but playing live is everything we are about a band…
You’ve done the toilet circuit and played the big arenas and taken to it like ducks to water is the plan to keep playing headline tours as well as support shows and grow it certainly makes the band sound tight yet natural and the smaller shows more intimate shows are something else. I was at the Clwb Ifor Show and it was a hot sweaty experience and the performance was memorable for all the right reasons. It was exciting and the setlist had an audience leaving knowing they’d seen something special happen not something I can say leaving many shows. What have other memorable shows there been for you do you feel it from the stage?
That Clwb show was SPECIAL…god we’ve had so many now…Scala…supporting Liam at Finsbury was class…playing with Peter Doherty at the reopening of the Bataclan…I love them all…and give everything no matter where we are – if it’s in a toilet or if it’s in a big field it makes no difference to me…
What plans for 2019?
Stay alive. New album. New dreams. Have a haircut.
There are a few covers on the new album what is it about The Cure and The Smiths you are drawn to? Any other bands or writers you admire? What about listening at home what bands started this journey off for you?
I just love those songs the guitar and pop of “Friday I’m In Love” and the lyrics for “Please Please…”…I was listening to Elliott Smith and John Grant when I started the band…
Finally, you fancy yourself as a bit of a baller what position do you play and have you got any Trundle like skills?
I used to have the skills to pay the bills…but now I can’t run without needing an oxygen mask!
But yeah I still love a kick about any day.
Pictures courtesy of Daniel Quesada.
Never let it be said that Trampolene sit idle waiting for their dream to come true as they hit us with a brand new song ‘The One Who Loves You’ which follows hot on the heels of Jack Jones debut solo single and recent compilation album ‘Pick A Pocket Or Two’ and that’s on top of some incredible shows and critically acclaimed debut album ‘Swansea To Hornsy’.
The band are about to head out once again on a never-ending tour of the UK – Catch them whilst you can playing these sized venues