With what seems like a couple of hour’s kip we’re up and at ‘em in the RPM Camp. Breakfast looked like it was on the critical list and had been out in the rain all night but we eat it all the same.  We have the dilemma over breakfast of who we won’t be able to catch due to the number of quality bands on today’s bill.

We wanted to catch so many bands today it looked nuts however we looked at it. It came down to the flip of a coin on what will forever be known as Fandabi-Friday (Don’t ask but our sides almost split).  If you need an explanation I’m sorry but it’s locked in a chest and buried at the bottom of the ocean off the North Pier.

TFG and Riskee & The Ridicule were on early so we had to take a pass on as it was our annual Ratboy Magic show but we got sidetracked on the way so missed the lot before we paid an early doors visit to the Empress to catch a bit of brass courtesy of The Popes Of Chillitown  (that our esteemed fellow writer Nev recommended) they kicked up a fair old racket with their ska /punk hybrid and nailed it.

Everywhere we looked there was someone we wanted to watch – Miss Fragile in the Almost Acoustic – The Snivelling Shits in the Opera House but it was Knock Off  who got the nod as they knock out their street punk which they claim is fuelled by the state of the country and play like it with added anger and disillusionment and on this evidence its hard not to disagree even with their technical difficulties the band deal with it and get on with business and turn in a solid performance. We hang around to catch Dragster in Club Casbah who have a great new(ish) ‘Anti Everything’ album under their belts.  Fi and the boys were cutting a fine jib upon their return to the festival and they sounded ferocious. They attacked songs like ‘Anti Everything’ and ‘Vultures Circle’ and the epic ‘Death By 1000 Cuts’. It’s always good to hear ‘Dead Punks’ the band play like their lives depended on it and it would seem that the punters were out early enjoying the audio assault. With Fi spending a lot of the set on the barrier getting amongst it and the band dog deep by dragging up ‘Eat The Dirt’ from their debut back in 2006. A tonne of energy and a raft of tunes that are getting better and better.

We quickly realised we haven’t yet been to the Opera house and it’s already Friday evening.  but it has to wait a little as were back in the Casbah to catch some of Disciplines set (whilst over in Empress TV Smith was playing ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ so we’re reliably informed).  Discipline did a split some years ago with Argy Bargy so to have a one-two jab from the Dutch boot boy rockers followed by Argy Bargy’s return in Casbah at Teatime for the RPM bootboys was a real treat. Discipline were good To be fair and their love of all things PSV came across loud and clear.

  It was a most welcome sight as Watford John rustled up a tea time treat with some choice cuts from the most excellent album ‘Hopes Dreams Lies & Schemes’ as ‘Looking For Glory’  sounded fresh as the first time they played it. We were also treated with songs off ‘Drink Drugs & Football Thugs’ call it Oi! Or Thug Rock but I’ll just call it quality Rock and Roll and a most welcome return it’s been today in the Casbah.

To have a break we wander through the labyrinth of backstage corridors to navigate our way quickly around the venue and find ourselves in the surreal surroundings of the Arena.  Nothing different with the venue it’s just Brazils action figured self-proclaimed Billy Idol Of the Amazon Supla S&V along with his trusty accomplice for the evening is Victoria Wells as the due knock out what can only be described as house meets dance meets punk sampled mash up whilst wearing a nice blazer and skin-tight shorts.  I kid you not – Supla is out there on his own when it comes to entertainment and vision but the good people of The Winter Gardens didn’t get the memo and the dynamic duo of dance were left playing to a few clued up disciples.  As for what the songs were? Fuck knows. Your guess is as good as mine. Anyway, we too had to cut and run as Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions were about to take the stage back in our haven that was Casbah.  The temperature must be about 120 degrees plus (it certainly seems like it) and the most sensible person in the room seems to be the guy in the pants…oh hang on he’s wearing a woolen balaclava with just one eye!

There’s no fucking about here and the bodies start being flung around in an impressive pit as the band doesn’t have time to fuck about and it’s straight into ‘Death Or Glory’ from the impressive ‘Double Bastard’. sure the classic SV tracks are present and accounted for like ‘Hanging Round The Shops’, ‘Shit Generation’, ‘Ram Raid’, ‘Xr3’ and ‘Sellotape’ and ‘CrossFire’ as the Rebellion audience sing along in all the right places  and by the end of the set the Casbah is full to bursting and for the next few hours at least I can’t get ‘Knobhead’ out of my noggin’ I even think he dedicated to us as well, how rude but bloody entertaining.

Right it’s just gone 8 pm and we’ve not stopped for any food yet so whilst my colleague is on the blower to his union to see if it’s lawful to have this much fun and no breaks I’m off to the chippy before Duncan Reid goes Acoustic.  Right, That was a quick hour and without delay, we’re back in Almost Acoustic to catch the full set from Duncan Reid & The Big Heads and after a few of those dreaded technical difficulties were off and running and Mr. Power Pop is showing exactly how to write great pop tunes that can be played both electric and acoustic as the pub like venue joins in the sing-a-long and we all have a jolly good time. ‘Kellys Gone Insane’ from the debut solo record sounds fantastic as does ‘The One’ also from the re-released debut record. ‘Cèst La Vie’ is aired from that difficult second album along with ‘Long Long Gone’. Duncan shares some very nice words for his former bandmates in The Boys before cracking open a take on ‘Brickfield Nights’ where Nick Hughes did a very commendable job on Matts vocals.  It only leaves ‘First Time’ and a standing ovation seems about right – Always smiling – always looking like they’re having the best of times -its infectious. 

We head out the door for a wander knowing we can catch the end of the UK Subs set over in the Empress after a cheeky dark fruit we head upstairs to see the subs do what the do best and thats kicks out the jams in what felt like watching a band inside an oven on 180.  The band show no sign of relenting as they justify their prime spot on the bill once again.

We head outside to wring off the t-shirt again before catching some of the Stranglers set luckily for us we caught a portion of the set where they played a few classic Stranglers ‘Peaches’, ‘Nice N Sleazy’ and ‘Duchess’ we go for a walk around the balcony and by the time ‘Something Better Change’ erupts I’m done.  the heat has got the better of me and I bow out.  After what has once again been a full-on Fandabidozy Friday in The Winter Gardens wandering from room to room catching band after band all offering something different but mostly offering exceptional quality. Now if I could be in two places at once then now would have been a good time to give that ago.  Luckily for us, Mr. Darrel Sutton was on hand at the same festival but watching totally different bands to us so without further waffle over to Mr. Sutton…

 

Friday sees an extended pub lunchtime forcibly ended by a raging (ouch) set from Ohio’s Raging Nathans.  I’ve wanted to catch these lot for ages, having actually booked them for a date on an aborted tour a few years ago, and they do not disappoint. Between song banter is kept to a minimum and Josh Goldman and crew literally rip the arena a new one with a fast and frantic set that Zeke would have struggled to match.

A few hours in the RPM inner circle sees me catch Discipline, Argy Bargy and Spunk Volcano in an exhausting triple-header before an enforced break sees me return to catch Leftover Crack in the same venue.  A band that have never grabbed my attention for any prolonged period on record, their live show is positively intense.  The subtleties of their ska-infused records are pretty much abandoned in a total rager of a set.  A quick venture into the Stranglers set in the Empress is curtailed by the unbearable heat of the utterly packed room and a very wise decision to grab a pew for what is billed as Alex Wonk’s acoustic set.  However, it soon becomes apparent this isn’t going to be a solo set as the full Wonk Unit line-up (Ok so Kenny only gets up for one song as Alex is back on six-strings) are crammed onto the stage.  And that’s also where the normal acoustic rules also go out of the window with chairs being discarded, a pit being formed for most songs and even two human pyramids and numerous crowd surfers popping up along the way.  The likes of ‘My Nagging Wife’, ‘Awful Jeans’ and ‘Lewisham’ lose none of their charm through being unplugged and alternate versions of songs like ‘Go Easy’ in an acoustic form further add to the charm.  A total master stroke to round the day off.

Popes of Chillitown, Argy Bargy, Discipline, UK Subs pictures courtesy of Dod Morrison Photography.

All other pics courtesy of Johhny And Dom.

Author: Dom Daley & Darrel Sutton

With just four weeks to go to our annual trip to Rebellion Festival at the Winter Gardens in Blackpool we thought it was high time we gave you a flavour of what RPM would be doing over the four days that make up the absolute jewel in the crown of the UK summer festival season. Johnny H kicks things off with his look at the opening day and a line up that combines the old with the new in one huge celebration of everything great about punk rock music.

The opening day at Rebellion was always about meeting up with old mates to share a pint or two, then making some new ones in the process, it was about rummaging through the market to find long sought after gems, popping into the Punk Art Exhibition to see what twisted genius my old mate Colin Creamcrop Scott had been up to, and then perhaps maybe catch the odd band in the middle of all of this.

I’m telling you this so you understand the seismic shift I’ve seen in the last ten years of going to Rebellion. Thursday was kind of like the appetiser, or a quiet introduction if you will, for what effectively was about to follow over the next three day. Now I look at the bill and I wonder how the hell am I going to do any of the above as its just so jam packed full of great bands right from the off that I’m seriously thinking that next year I’m going to have to go up on the Wednesday as that now appears to be the new Thursday!

Anyway, this year thanks to the train taking the strain once again RPM should be on site just in time to catch Millie Manders & The Shutup and/or The Kingcrows. I say and/or because right from the start we have a band clash, something that undoubtably will see me going one way and our Editor In Chief Dom Daley going the other more than once over the course of the weekend.

Regrettably, our eta means we will have already missed System of Hate and The Murderburgers in Club Casbah and our Brazilian pal from last year Supla performing an exclusive acoustic set, but it doesn’t mean you have to too. In fact, go check them all out as from doors open this year this promises to be one hell of an action-packed weekend.

Back for the 5th year running (by my reckoning anyway) I would bet my Kiss Me Quick hat that Rebellion 2019 is going to be all about The Bar Stool Preachers. The Brighton based ska punks very much on the rise right now and promising to preview tracks from their soon to be recorded 3rd album their 5:15 slot (5:15 geddit?) on the Empress Ballroom stage plus headlining the Almost Acoustic stage later in day are going down on my laminated colour coded band planner as must see performances.

Again I’m not exactly sure where there will be time to anything else other than watch bands after this though as in quick succession we have Pears in the Empress, (our old Slugfest mates) The Blunders in the Arena, cricketing nutters Geoffrey Oicott in the Pavilion, with TV Smith and Slice Of Life both in the Opera House all playing within a two hour window. I can’t of course watch whole performance but I’ll try my best to catch at least some of each.

One band I really do not want to miss this year are Birkenhead’s Queen Zee who will be bringing their Eno goes grunge influenced glam rock stylings to the Empress Ballroom for an 8:30 slot promising to take us on a much welcome trip into the unknown ahead of the hardcore onslaught that is to follow. I was at their recent sold out Newport Le Pub gig but had to leave early when it overran and was truly gutted to miss them, and right now they seem to be everywhere, Download, Glastonbury and thankfully for me Rebellion. Queen Zee may be a bit mainstream for some tastes but they certainly a hell of a lot less pop than Masked Intruder who they follow in the ballroom, I just hope I don’t turn out to be a ‘Loner’ in such huge surroundings.

With Dom no doubt fluffing his mullet to Dave Sharp over at the Almost Acoustic stage and Flipper and The Descendents playing in the Empress plus D.I, Poison Idea and Fear all playing over in Club Casbah you’ll forgive me for thinking that I’ve just somehow quantum leapt back into the early ‘80s (I know there’s a Blackpool gag in there folks but I’ll let you make up your own punchline).

Fear playing their first ever UK show will surely be a must-see for many but for me it’s the lure of Poison Idea that will see me making the short dash from The Bar Stool Preachers in Almost Acoustic to Club Casbah for what might very well be their last ever UK show. ‘Plastic Bomb’ anyone? Fuck yeah!

With everything I’ve covered already I’ve rather shamefully not even touched on the new bands all playing on the Introducing Stage on the opening day, but from London ska punks Lead Shot Hazard through to The Outlines from Nottingham the Jonny Wah Wah curated stage promises a packed house and a total of 51 bands across the weekend coming from all across the world to play Rebellion, and who knows one of two familiar faces to RPM might just creep out on stage along the way too.

Right that’s me knackered and I’ve only just written about day one not lived it, time for some shut eye back at the B&B then I’ll up bright and early for some Bingo with Max Splodge before the not to be missed Rat Boy Magic Show, and we are well and truly into Friday.

Want to join us on our Rebellion escapades? You can buy tickets for Rebellion here.

Author: Johnny Hayward

 

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 rpmonlinetcb@yahoo.com and introduce yourself – we don’t bite and are quite a welcoming bunch.  thanks and as Lux said – stay sick!

When a good friend of mine had planned a trip to Vienna to watch TV Smith, it was a no-brainer when he asked if I’d like to join him. Vienna is a little over an hour away from my home in the Czech Republic, and I assume due to the differences in economies many touring acts stop at Vienna rather than here.

I’d never seen the Adverts main man on stage in any form, and to be honest, he’d fallen off my radar for a while so I was intrigued to know what this would be like, and in a venue, I’d never been to before – the Chelsea Club. My friend had informed me that his most recent album ‘Land of the Overdose’ was excellent, so I didn’t let the ‘Chelsea’ nature of the club (the Wi-Fi was Stamford Bridge so it was no accident) put me off.

We entered the club to the sounds of Austrian ska polka ensemble Skolka. Not being a big ska fan myself, I was surprised when I was being unwittingly attracted by their vibrant energy. Before I knew it, I was buying CDs from the groups, enigmatic singer, while my friends were buying T-shirts. Fair play, they were fantastic and absolutely won me over. All that brass and dancing went down a storm and we were a little apprehensive about how one man with his acoustic was going to follow that.

Luckily, the crowd who had fully enjoyed that show remained in the tightly packed, smoky club to witness TV Smith take to the stage. Again, I can admit being a bit ignorant on the Smith front, but I’d recently heard the song ‘Replay’ (from the 2014 album ‘I Delete’) somewhere and loved it. However, it wasn’t until he pulled it out early on in his set that I remembered it was him! It had been lost somewhere to the back of my mind. Truly though, it is a fantastic song and it was immediately obvious that this one guy with a guitar was going toe to toe with an 8-person strong band full of brass.

TV Smith shines with energy, and to prove it he must’ve played for around two hours that night, playing pretty much the new album entirely, alongside numbers cherry-picked from his extensive back catalogue. A party from the off, songs such as the title track of the aforementioned ‘I Delete’ really got the crowd going but of course many will know him for the Adverts songs which he held on to until the end, particularly ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ and ‘Bored Teenagers’. A fantastic night all round, and well worth a trip across the border.

Buy TV Smith Here

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