Today we’re still trying to get our heads around the loss of Walter Lure so heres our little tribute to his work.
Your waking up to the sad news that Walter Lure, who was guitarist in iconic NYC punk band The Heartbreakers, has died after battle with lung cancer and liver cancer. He was 71. Walter was diagnosed with liver and lung cancer in July 2020, which spread rapidly and he died from complications related to cancer at the age of 71, peacefully in the hospital, surrounded by family. He was very much loved and respected for all he contributed to the world of music. He will be dearly missed. He last played Rebellion festival here in the UK last Summer and continued to perform songs from the classic L.A.M.F. as well as his solo material. We’d like to send our best wishes to his family and close friends for their loss. Rest easy Walter.
Lure was the last surviving member of The Heartbreakers Walter leaves behind a lean but incredible musical legacy and will be missed by many. The perfect foil to Thunders onstage, Walter leaves behind the L.A.M.F album that spawned and influenced several generations of Rock and Rollers as well as a couple of classic solo records with the Waldos. I was lucky enough to interview him many years ago and he was engaging, charming, humble and funny and it was great to meet one of your heroes who deserved to be on the pedestal you put them on. Rest In Peace Walter Lure – Rock and Roll Legend.
John William Cummings (October 8, 1948 – September 15, 2004), Professionally known as The Legend – Johnny Ramone. Right-wing Regan supporting Legend, Not something I find myself saying every day. He always or most of the time on TV he came across as a bit of a miserable git to be fair always moaning always complaining but fuck me he was Johnny Ramones and that was the currency for all the above and some in my book. Not the most gifted guitar player by a long chalk but none of that mattered because it was his downstroke genius that fueled the band as much as Joey’s voice or Dee Dees 1-2-3-4. He was a founding member of the band, and remained a member throughout their entire career I’m sure he would have threatened to walk on more than one occasion but he didn’t and from the first chord til the last, he was the man.
He was born in Queens on October 8, 1948, the only child of a construction worker and first met future bandmate Douglas Colvin, (Dee Dee Ramone), while working a job delivering dry cleaning. They would do lunch together and discuss their love of the Stooges and MC5. Together the two went to Manny’s Music in New York City in January 1974, where Johnny famously bought a used blue Mosrite Ventures II guitar for just over $54 his weapon of choice throughout the bands career Mosrite Guitars were cheap and nasty but it seemed like the perfect weapon of choice for the budding musician he remained loyal to the Mosrite throughout his playing days. His arsenal of effects was made up of a tuner and the overdrive of a Marshall head and that’s it, you could say he traveled light but that would be an understatement.
Throughout the bands tenure, there were plenty of disagreements and fallings out which is hardly surprising considering the time spent in each others company whilst on the road but Johnny was responsible for initiating one of the major sources of animosity within the band when he began seeing Linda Daniele (who he later married), she dated Joey before swapping him for the guitarist. Allegedly, this prompted Joey to write songs like “The KKK Took My Baby Away” and “She Belongs To Me”, Though the band remained together for years after this, relations between Johnny and Joey remained strained often hostile and they spent days touring and not even speaking. Years later, when Joey was in the hospital dying of cancer, Johnny refused to telephone him. He later candidly discussed this incident in the film ‘End of the Century: The Story of the Ramones’, saying an attempt at such a reunion would have been futile. He did add that he was depressed for a week after Joey’s death. When pressed, he acknowledged that this was because of the bond forged by the band. In their road manager Monte Melnick’s book about his time with the Ramones, Johnny is quoted saying, “I’m not doing anything without him. I felt that was it. He was my partner. Me and him. I miss that.” a rare moment of tenderness and brotherhood from Johnny.
Johnny was known within the punk rock community as one of its few conservatives and was a staunch supporter of the Republican Party. He made his political affiliation known to the world in 2002 when the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After thanking all who made the honor possible—clad in his trademark T-shirt, ripped blue jeans and leather jacket—he said: “God bless President Bush, and God bless America”, “I think Ronald Reagan was the best President of my lifetime.” there must have been plenty of discussions within the band around the time they released “Bonzo Goes to Bitburg” in ’85; With Johnny insisting on a name change, finding the title insulting to Reagan, the others in the band compromised and changed it to “My Brain Is Hanging Upside Down (Bonzo Goes to Bitburg)” for the American market. Such band politics seem hilarious now looking back because everybody knew it as the UK release title.
His limitations in the six-string department was a closely guarded secret (not) with the likes of Daniel Rey and Walter Lure claiming to have laid plenty of guitar parts down over the years as well as bandmate Tommy. I might be wrong in saying but the only guitar solo he played was on ‘I Can’t Make It on Time’. Johnnys style has been copied by many over the years and was a huge influence on many players who tried to copy his downstroke style.
Before he died Johnny lived in Los Angeles where he spent his dying days and he’s laid to rest in Hollywood Forever Cemetry with an incredible statue to mark his grave. Johnny was diagnosed with prostate cancer and passed at the young age of 55. johnny loved baseball and Elvis
His legacy is being immortalised in The Simpsons. Having a flunko pop character made of you, dozens of books about you and your music, being part of one of musics coolest most iconic images, having one of the best back catalogues by any band ever and even if you think they haven’t The Ramones have had an impact on your life if you ever liked a loud fast rock and roll song chances are there is a tiny piece of the Ramones in it somewhere down the line I guarantee it. Forever being associated with the look the logo the sound and the City of New York.
Rest in peace Johnny Ramone we love you!
“Slow down Cunthead!”
I get to hear this profanity being hollered by a rather worse for wear Blackpool local just after 10am on a glorious Saturday morning and actually take it that its aimed at me as I admit I feel like death warmed up after our Fan-dabi-Friday spent in the unprecedented heat of the Winter Gardens with The Stranglers in The Empress last night possibly setting the record for the hottest gig I’d ever been in. It’s not though, the comment, it’s actually aimed at a local taxi driver who dared to pass the unhappy chappy on a pedestrianised area, but still I find it a life lesson worth taking on board as with the prospect of another full day spent in the punk rock pleasuredome ahead the last thing I really want to do is crash and burn with so many great bands still to check out.
To counter this I feel a bit of retail therapy is in order to restore some balance as I plough through the local second hand record shops looking for that ever illusive vinyl copy of Alistair Terry’s ‘Yonge At Heart’, which of course I never manage to find, but instead I come away with 10 cock rock albums that would make any grown man blush if they were ever caught in the possession of them. Let’s hope then that I don’t happen to bump into The Bar Stool Preachers on the way back to the hotel and become the brunt of some brutal ribbing for actually buying an album by a band called Dirty Blonde… oops!
With my sanity partially restored I head back into The Empress for my first band of the day at the still ungodly hour of 12:35 to catch the return of South Californian hardcore outfit Spider to Rebellion. Featuring former and current members of bands such as Channel 3, Walk Proud, Total Massacre and Bullet Treatment Spider provide a thunderous wake up call for those brave enough to leave their pits early doors. There’s a cover of Black Flag’s ‘Depression’ slotted in somewhere within their energetic blur and it’s a song which also features on the band’s new ‘Energy Gone Wrong’ EP. ‘Barcode Baby’ and ‘Metal Detector’ help them deliver some killer blows too. You know I’d pay good money to see a double denim rocker actually turn up at a show played by this lot thinking it was the 80s UK boogie band who went by the same name and get the shock of their baldy longhaired lives, I really would.
Taking a trip up to the Rebellion Punk Art show is always on my list of “must-dos” if not just to see my old mate Colin Creamcrop Scott who as always is entertaining the masses with his tales of 80s Polish hardcore bands as well as wowing them with his use of reclaimed items to deliver his stunning visuals. There’s always something that catches my eye here not least this year the ever-growing mixture of media being used but I must admit what I do miss having witnessed some right corkers over the years are the old John Robb curated literary interviews that used to take place throughout the weekend in this very venue. Still this year there’s Micky Geggus and Jordan popping up for some Q&As and signing sessions so all is not yet lost.
Heading back to the Arena just in time to catch kung fu kicking Swedish garage punks Zero Zero this bunch of mentalists leaves a lasting impression me both on and off stage with their intoxicated antics. There’s no nudity to write about this time around but bassist Felix later revealing to me and Dom that The Sick Livers are one of his all-time favourite bands was indeed a weekend defining moment.
Quickly shuffling over to the Opera House ready to catch The DeRellas playing what has become their Rebellion second home (and duly rechristened The DeRellaDome by yours truly) the immediate thing that hits me – other than the rather welcoming air conditioning – is just how packed it is down the front ready for Joe, Timmy, Luca and Billy to make their appearance, and this alone really restores my faith in the UK music scene right now as it’s great to see the guy’s continuous hard work making such a noticeable impact. Of course, delivering a set packed full of glam pop goodies like ‘Don’t Go’, ‘Rip It Up’ (where Luca channels his inner Spaceman) and the simply fantastic ‘High Rise Supersize’ is only going to help the fan devotion grow even further and a year on with Billy Chaos holding down the backbeat The DeRellas really are sounding like the band I think they’ve always dreamed of being. I once saw The Only Ones play the Opera House and they weren’t anywhere as good as The DeRellas were today. You better believe it brothers and sisters.
It’s at this point in our Rebellion Saturday that me and Dom normally find a local boozer and enjoy the first weekend of the football season unfold on a TV screen but this year Dom’s interviewing Mr Spunk Volcano for a soon to be published RPM exclusive interview so instead I tag along to listen to possibly one of the most in-depth discussions the masked man has ever given and trust me when I say this one is certainly going to make for some interesting reading.
Returning to the Winter Gardens with every intention of watching my old mate, ex- Glitterati and current Rich Ragany & The Digressions guitar dude Gaff, playing with Desperate Measures I arrive at the Arena for their allotted slot only to find the place in band changeover mode so I assume they are running a little late and get myself a drink. Then when Blitzkrieg finally do make it onto the Arena stage the penny drops and I realise I should have been in the Pavilion all along and even with a quick sprint to the correct venue I literally turn up just as the final chord is echoing out around the horseshoe. Bollocks! Sorry lads, that’s gotta be a first for me, but at least I’m man enough to admit it and hopefully raise a smile or two in the process.
Angry with myself at this band faux pas I make sure I’m in The Opera House well in advance of Alvin Gibbs and The Disobedient Servants taking to the stage and yes I do triple check my planner this time, because having see this band deliver one of my gigs of the year so far I was not about to miss out. Especially when today the core trio of Alvin, Leigh and Jamie that I saw just a few months back are being joined by the master of guitar crunch Steve Crittall and for just a couple of songs birthday boy Gizz Butt who looks positively delighted to get to shred his way through the solos on the raw power of ‘Clumsy Fingers’ and the Iggy tribute ‘Down On The Streets’ . The setlist is pretty much the same as the one I’d seen previously but with the added bite of Crittall on guitar, I can’t help but wish I’d seen this line up play these songs in a small club. Still here’s hoping for the future as with the band sounding this great the ‘Your Disobedient Servant’ album surely can’t be the end of the solo adventure for Alvin.
Moving back to the Empress Ballroom just as Italian boot boys Giuda are about to take the stage with an uproarious version of ‘Overdrive’ from their excellent if somewhat sonically different ‘E.V.A’ LP it’s the intensity of the slightly rejigged line up that immediately hits me. I admit I was half expecting them to have turned into Giuran Giuran (thanks to Jim Rowland at Uber Rock for that one) given the use of synths on the new record, but no, as they rattle through the likes of ‘Back Home’, ‘Number 10’ and ‘Get It Over’ they actually sound tougher than ever before, which with no between-song banter and this time around no cover versions makes for the almost complete version of Giuda yet. Leaving the stage with ‘Cosmic Love’ from ‘E.V.A’ blasting out of the PA was certainly a bit odd though.
At this point, I admit I could have just stayed in the Empress for the veritable smorgasbord of tasty Oi! bands that were about to follow but with the lure of Duncan Reid playing the Opera House and that venue’s rather splendid sound and air-con I decided to play it cool ahead of Cock Sparrer and catch the 1-2 of The Big Heads and then later Walter Lure before sweating out half my body weight back in the Empress.
Opting to catch Duncan Reid And The Big Heads proves very quickly to be an inspired choice of band as the quartet rattle through some of their very best songs including a poptastic ‘Baby Doll’, a huge sounding ‘Bombs Away’, along with the uplifting ‘Just Because You’re Paranoid’. It’s also guitarist/keyboardist Sophie K Powers’ birthday and that seems to add an extra bounce to the whole band tonight and as guitarist Nick Hughes takes to the microphone for a run through ‘Brickfield Nights’ and the whole band join in on ‘First Time’ (a song Duncan dedicates to the songwriting genius of Honest John Plain) the whole party atmosphere seems to engulf the front rows right through to the last chord.
Picking up a quick bag of chips to keep me going I’m soon back in the Opera House in time to catch the only remaining Heartbreaker Walter Lure and his all-star LAMF band that also features Mick Rossi on guitar, Mark Laff on drums and Nigel Mead on bass. Now the cynics out there might be thinking this has car crash written all over it, but I’d actually say after watching these guys live it felt a hell of a lot more like a real band than the last time Lure played Rebellion back in 2013 with a few (admittedly excellent) hired guns. In particular, Laff and Mead are a watertight rhythm section and Rossi has always been something of a Johnny Thunders disciple can barely hide his excitement tearing off the riffs to the likes of ‘Pirate Love’, ‘Chinese Rocks’ and ‘Born To Lose’. Lure again adds in a few Waldos numbers along the way plus this time there’s also a couple of Slaughter & The Dogs tunes sung by Rossi. What we have here ladies and gents is a highly entertaining set that once again treats the Heartbreakers legacy with the respect it deserves.
Saturday night at Rebellion 2019 is all about the return of the mighty Cock Sparrer to the Empress Ballroom, and trying to get a good vantage point from which to watch their set is proving an almost impossible task even a good 15 minutes out from the scheduled start time. Having previously watched them from the pit, from half way back by the sound desk and from when the stage was side on almost from the side, tonight I choose a balcony view from behind side stage which means I not only get to watch the band without obstruction but I also get to watch the huge crowd too. As the lights dim and the ‘Overture’ intro tape booms out the PA I can feel the beads of sweat already running down my head, heaven only knows how hot it must be onstage under those lights or down the front, as once again the opening trio of ‘Riot Squad’, ‘Watch Your Back’ and ‘Working’ send the (shock) troops into a veritable frenzy. I’ve seen Sparrer live a good few times now and tonight really is one of the very best performances I’ve seen to date (even right up there with that show stealing Hellfest slot a good few years back now) and its perhaps made all the more significant and special when mid set Colin asks Andy (the husband of Kathy Rocker) to join them onstage for a truly heart wrenching rendition of ‘Gonna Be Alright’. Elsewhere from the 2017 album ‘Forever’ we get the awesome ‘One By One’ along with the tongue twisting ‘Nothing Like You’ whilst the rest of the set is packed full of classics like ‘AU’, ‘Runnin’ Riot’ and ‘Where Are They Now?’ and never mind how many times I hear these songs live I never grow tired of them. That Sparrer play for 80 minutes and it feels like 10 minutes also shows what an immersive experience seeing them live really is, and yes, I’ll be doing it all over again when they hit the UK club circuit for one last time in 2020 along with support from Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions.
Joining back up with Dom at the Opera House for the end of The Godfathers set (and in fact as it turns out the end of that band) we ponder for a minute about going to watch another band before the night is out, but me, I need to go back to the hotel to wring out my T-Shirt as that really was the kind of day Saturday was at Rebellion 2019. (JH)
Whilst Johnny went off to lace his Doc Martins up and iron his Fred Perry I stayed in the Opera House, took five and waited for The Godfathers to take to the stage. Starting the set with ‘Birth, School, Work, Death’ seemed like a great idea as the band sounded thunderous and little did we know what was brewing. ‘This Is War’ had Steve Crittalls guitar slashing like a samurai sword through the super locked in and tight rhythm section. It was a ‘Big Bad Beautiful Noise’ and it was, a Beautiful noise that is. It was commented that the band was ripping it up and I think it’s fair to say that this was shaping up to be one of the performances of the weekend. ‘If I Only Had Time’ had never sounded so good and following that up with the flip flop of ‘Til My Heart Stops Beating’ throughout the fifteen or so songs the band played they were on fire and ending the set with ‘Defribulator’ seemed apt under the circumstances.
The band returned briefly for a romp through the Ramones ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ and then they were gone. Little did we know that some days later Peter was making the public removal of the whole band on Facebook!
Sure it’s his baby and his prerogative to shake the lineup and hire and fire but Facebook? From a fan of the music and the legacy of The Band I’m gutted – shit happens, I get that but this line up was channeling some incredible MC5, Stooges, Detroit sounds which makes it all the more sad to see it unfold so publicly and after such an electrifying performance.
Alex, Steve, Tim, and Darren’s contribution should be recognised because they seriously rocked, it’s a real shame that the legacy of The Godfathers might very well be damaged (I hope not) because I was buzzing after the set and that was largely down to the band who just played, Peter included. Who said Rock and Roll was boring? (DD)
Now over to Mr. Sutton to fill in the blanks of what else went on elsewhere in The winter gardens…
Saturday is something of a tactical battle as alcohol intake has to be tempered by an impending midnight gig to be played. As a result, many intended viewings fall by the wayside. ut there’s no way I could miss the Cockney Rejects and there’s also no way you can miss the full-blown Wonk Unit set after last night’s masterclass and it’s good to see a totally packed Club Casbah agree wholeheartedly. Two blinding sets in 24 hours? Wonk Unit shit them!!! The early day logistics meant that one of the bands I missed was Informal Society but that aforementioned midnight set we had to play at a fringe gig also happened to have Informal Society playing the 2am slot, so actually catching them was a real bonus, as the LA troupe really ripped out a high energy set for their second stint of the waking day.
Authors (JH) Johnny Hayward additional words from (DD) Dom Daley and Mr. Darrel Sutton.
Pictures of Alvin Gibbs, Gizz Butt, Cock Sparrer, Cockney Rejects courtesy of Dod Morrison Photography
All others from the shakey Dark Fruit sponsored phones of Hayward & Daley
Saturday has always felt like the most popular day over the Rebellion weekend and this year is certainly no exception with day tickets selling out a full four weeks before the event (at the time of writing day tickets for the other three days along with full weekend tickets are still available here).
The main draw this year is without doubt the return of the legendary Cock Sparrer to a UK stage following their back to basics club tour of 2017 which they undertook to promote their awesome ‘Forever’ album, and looking at the quality undercard that is also on offer this is definitely the day to get your cherry reds out of the cupboard and buffed up ready for.
When the Saturday was first announced I did detect an excited squeal originating from within RPM towers as Editor In Chief Dom Daley saw that a band called Spider are opening the Empress Ballroom at 12:35 without first realising this four-piece are gothic-tinged punk rockers from Long Beach California and not Sniffa’s straight edge boogie metallers from the eighties. This is something of a get out of jail free card for yours truly so I’ll be raising my first Dark Fruits of the day to this Spider safe in the knowledge that they don’t sound fuck all like Status Quo. Result!
With the Introducing Stage once again showcasing a further thirteen bands over the course of the Saturday our old chums and graduates of the rock ‘n’ roll high school Brocker make a very welcome early appearance at 13:15. So if high octane rock ‘n’ roll music delivered with plenty of punk rock attitude is your bag then I suggest you add this one in your laminated gig planner too.
Returning to their second home of the lavish Opera House stage glam punkers The DeRellas are next up for me at 14:20. Last year Joey, Luca, Timmy and Billy took the capacity crowd on a non-stop Rock n RollerCoaster Ride, without even playing the song by the same name that first got me into them. This year I expect more of the same insanity with the new boys now fully gigged in across sold out European shows.
After a weekend of full force punk rock (whatever your choice of sub-genre) if you are looking for a place to chill out on a Saturday afternoon then Club Casbah from 4:20 onwards is going to be your ting as Rebellion celebrates the influence dub, reggae and ska has had on punk rock via a four hour four band line-up that kicks off with The Rhythm-ites and also includes sets by RDF, Citizen Fish and HR from Bad Brains.
The lure of Alvin Gibbs and The Disobedient Servants in The Opera House (kicking off at 5:15) where the core trio of Alvin, Leigh Heggarty and Jamie Oliver are no doubt going to be joined by a huge array of guest guitarists is always going to be enough to tempt me away from an afternoon of skanking plus when you also add the return of the mighty Giuda to the Empress Ballroom stage at 17:50 its safe to safe I’ll be doing the ‘Space Walk’ down the front ready for some ‘Ravers Rock’.
With Club Casbah celebrating all things reggae the Empress Ballroom meanwhile takes a trip down the skinhead/Oi! route with Lions Law kicking things off at 4:45 with sets following from the likes of Giuda (who I’ve already mentioned), Evil Conduct and Cockney Rejects along with a special set from The Business celebrating the life of Micky Fitz set to feature special guest vocalists (with Al Barr (Dropkick Murphys) and Roi Pearce (Last Resort) are already confirmed) all singing the songs of their fallen brother. There won’t be a dry eye in the house that’s for sure, and all of this is before Cock Sparrer hit the stage at 11pm to deliver what has become THE definitive Rebellion set of punk rock music, delivering classic tune after classic tune into the wee small hours.
Of course, if Oi! isn’t your thing then there’s still plenty to see elsewhere with Duncan Reid & The Big Heads delivering the powerpop goodies in spades over in the Opera House from 7:25 and then in the very same venue from 10pm onwards there’s the back to back awesomeness of Walter Lure’s LAMF and The Godfathers to revel in. Proper low-slung guitar punk rock ‘n’ roll just how RPM loves it, and I must admit this stage clash is one of the biggest of the weekend even extending to a third stage for me as I’d love to also be catching Wonk Unit over at Club Casbah from 21:50….and then there’s The Exploited at 11pm back to headline the Club Casbah after Wattie’s umpteenth bout of fisticuffs with the Grim Reaper, surely that alone is reason enough to raise a pint and celebrate the band’s back catalogue?
I’ll openly admit I’m really not sure how I’m going to fit all of this in folks but I’m certainly going to give it a try…ahhh you know fuck it I might just spend all day watching new bands over on the Introducing stage and say “what the hell.”
One things for sure though and that is Rebellion Festival is the place to be from the 1st to the 4th of August 2019 and you can get your tickets RIGHT HERE!!!!
Birmingham proto-punks BLACK BOMBERS have announced a new mini-album and a handful of dates to go with it.
The six-track 10” vinyl Vol 4 is due for release on Easy Action Records on 29th March and follows on from their three previous releases, their self-titled full-length debut and two 7”singles, ‘Crazy’ and ‘Rush’.
Black Bombers comprise guitarist and singer Alan Byron, bassist Darren ‘Birchy’ Birch and drummer Dave Twist. Between them, they have done time with the likes of The Prefects, Gunfire Dance, Brian James, Walter Lure, The Godfathers and seminal Birmingham garage band, TV Eye, and been compared to The Stooges, Third World War, Pink Fairies and early Motörhead
The trio laid down the tracks in the band’s lock up with engineer Simon Bishop and his Dragon Electric mobile studio. Vol 4 serves up five band originals, plus a striking cover of Paisley Underground band Green On Red’s ‘Hair Of The Dog’ from their classic 1985 album Gas Food Lodging.
“Al and I are fans of Green on Red and thought that ‘Hair of the Dog’ would sound great with a heavier treatment,” says Birch. “We imagined a cross between Crazy Horse and Blue Cheer…”
Vol 4 is preceded by the single/video ‘Relentless’…
The band has a handful of shows lined up in April. Catch them live at…
4 April – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (w/ The Folk Devils)
7 April – Westgarth Social Club, Middlesbrough (w/ Eight Rounds Rapid)
14 April – Hare & Hounds, Birmingham (w/ Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind)
18 April – Hope & Anchor, London (w/ Last Great Dreamers)
Pre-order Vol 4 from iTunes at Here
Black Bombers are on Facebook
Well, we certainly didn’t stand still in the last seven days as we brought you reviews from a range of artist old and new with The Lemonheads starting things off with the second studio album of cover versions entitled ‘Varshons 2‘. As Evan Dando and Co, head out on a UK tour this week to promote the record RPM gave it the thumbs up as Dando led the band through some pretty diverse waters. Westerberg, Cave and the Eagles all made it onto the record which as an aside came out in a scented banana yellow version as well.
It was also a week that saw two live albums hit the death decks at RPM with Metallica lending a ‘Helping Hand’ Where they released a double album with proceeds going to a most admirable cause and helping the most vulnerable in society a real genuine act of kindness that doesn’t get the exposure it truly deserves as the rock stars are often castigated for their excesses but seldom praised when they do reach out with a simple yet effective act of kindness. So a huge well done from us at RPM as Johnny H gets stuck into the double slice of vinyl trouble.
The second of our live reviews came when Martin gave The Godfather a good seeing to with their fantastic ‘This Is War’ the once over. describing it as, “Loud Sharp and Beautiful”, is about as close a summery as you can get. It’s fair to say that it damn near captures the current line up right at the top of their game. It’s certainly raw it’s certainly loud and no question it has the Godfathers roaring on all cylinders and has you wondering why all live albums can’t sound this good. Essential listening no doubt about it.
We also brought you a summary of this years Gathering from North Wales as Mike Peters and the Alarm romped through a huge chunk of their back catalogue over two nights with plenty of special guests that included original Alarm Guitar player Dave Sharp, from Texas Ryan Hamilton and 80’s pop rockers Mark Shaws then Jerico. This year’s festivities weren’t without incident as the PA went down twice but it didn’t deter PEters who climbed into the audience with his acoustic guitar and un mic’d got the audience singing along and making the most out of a potentially bad situation and making it a memorable evening no doubt about it. Gathering twenty-Seven was again a privilege to attend and I can’t wait for 2020 and number twenty Eight.
We also brought you The Spangles album launch show from way up North otherwise known as Harrogate as Ben Hughes had an equally splendid evening with an immensely talented band playing one hell of a debut album. I for one hope there is a lot more to come from these three guys because their album was easily one of 2018 best releases.
As far as news goes we joined the rock world in wishing Bernie Torme a speedy recovery from his hospitalization from double Pneumonia and hope he’s back to full health as soon as possible. The same for our Australian friend Hayden McGoogan from The Black Heart Breakers who also found himself in Hospital this past week – Get yourselves fit and health please gents and I’m sure I speak for all the writers at RPM in wishing you both speedy full recoveries.
There was also some superb festival news as The Dead Boys were announced as headliners for this year’s Rebellion Festival in Blackpool along with Walter Lure who will be playing L.A.M.F. at the festival and across the channel in Belgium Sjock Festival announced a raft of superb bands added to this years festival including RPM favourites The Hip Priests and Barstool Preachers who play alongside The Hives, Hellacopters, Electric Frankenstein, the Briefs and Gluecifer. To be fair news wise last week was a bumper week for great rock n roll news.
Anyway, that was last week on RPM and as we are always looking forward here’s what you can expect this coming week on the website. We’ve got a couple of bumper interviews with the likes of Slyder from Last Great Dreamers as they announce a lot of dates for 2019 in what appears to be a hugely busy year for the band. Also, we have a monster interview with “Demons” Matheus Carlsson which should see your Friday seem a lot more enjoyable as we spoke about the past present and future of the band in what also looks like a great year for the band.
As for album reviews we’re once again scouring the globe for great bands and we’ve certainly got those coming at you with the debut long player from ‘Wet Dreams’ reviewed today by Johnny H and there is also the long-awaited long player from Jim Jones & the Righteous Mind’ coming later this week as ‘CollectiV’ has certainly been entertaining RPM HQ and what will be one of the years top albums no question about that. We also look back on some significant happenings this coming week in punk, rock and pop music history so keep it RPM folks for all your turbocharged Rock n Roll!
This Rebellion Festival news announcement gave RPM HQ heart aflutter as the already strong line up just got a little stronger with the inclusion of Walter Lure putting together a pretty decent line up for Something very special for the OPERA HOUSE. Like we weren’t going to be all over this one.
Walter Lure’s LAMF featuring
Mick Rossi of Slaughter & the Dogs with
Mark Laff of Gen X
Nigel Mead of The Duellists
They will be playing tracks from The Heartbreakers iconic L.A.M.F. album on Saturday night in the Opera House.
“Didn’t we have a luvuly time the day we went to Blackpool, Kiss me quick and Lets Rock Like Fuck!”
August. All roads lead to Blackpool, for it’s time to head into the Winter Gardens for the UK’s finest alternative extravaganza and catch an awesome line up at this year’s Rebellion Festival. However you look at it this year was one of the finest line-ups ever at the festival and RPM scribes were in attendance for plenty of giggles, wobbles and plenty of old and new favourites. I wouldn’t know where to start to sum it up and do justice to the bands who played, however, there were a couple of outstanding performances at this year’s festival most notably Michael Monroe who stole the show with the Sunday night headline in the Opera House.
There were so many other high points so many great bands and looking back there are so many memories that I’ll never have again. As the year unfolded and I look back bands and people that I’ll never see again which makes me grateful to have had these moments however brief in the first place.
There were a few mentions I need to make as I mentioned the performance from Michael Monroe. sure its no secret I think the guy is the best in the business and an incredible talent and has never had the credit he deserved by wider audiences but those who get it just get it and can see that the guy and his band ooze class and he has a back catalogue so full of great songs its one of life’s mysteries how he’s not selling out stadiums and sitting on a pile of platinum records globally but hey life ain’t like that and he just gets on with it and does it with a smile and a wink as he and his band rocks like Fuck! at least now Rebellion knows this as well.
TSOL rocked like fuck – Pizzatramp turned up like fuck (well except Dan) – Clowns blew my mind – Neville Staples skanked like teenagers and considering we stood on the side of the stage to take them in for a song or two we ended up staying for the whole set and loving every minute of it – The Adolescents did Soto proud with an awesome heartfelt performance and all power to them for having the balls to turn up and play and not cancel. The Briefs showed that not all Americans are stupid – Buzzcocks were once again worthy headliners knocking out over an hour of power pop buzzsaw classics. Bar Stool Preachers were also worthy headliners and with their new album in tow, they showed a lot of established bands with decades under their belts how to rock the house and do it with a smile an outstanding and memorable performance.
Idles told it as it is and their assessment of the Tories was spot on. We danced with The DeRellas and pogoed with the Cyanide Pills. We boogied with The Boys who did two sets on two stages and ripped it up on both possibly with the Acoustic taking first prize maybe because it was a little different but the songs sounded so good acoustic. All in all, Rebellion was once again the highlight of the festival season and as far as the UK goes still the best there is beside where else are you going to chat with Supla and see his action figure – you should try it sometime you’d enjoy it. To be fair Rebellion has so much going on besides the bands its championing alternative culture in so many ways and they also had Mr. Lydon trying to be so controversial but only making himself look like a silly billy as a result but even his bizarre words can’t damped what was a massively enjoyable four days and we’re proud to be a small part of championing them because its a platform that’s pretty much free from the clutches of the big circus-like festivals that charge a fortune and treat the fans like customers in a supermarket and only want your cash because that could never be leveled at Rebellion that’s for sure and we’ll be back next August if they’ll have us to do it all again If they’ll have us that is.
But this was only the first weekend of August and this budget-busting month was barely alive and already there was so much going on.
Ben managed to take in The Wildhearts acoustic performance in York where all the hits were stripped bare. Before we could even get over Rebellion it was back to South Wales where we had a date with some Big heads oh and Duncan Reid who turned in a spectacular performance on a night that decided it was going to rain like when Noah built his ark, in fact, it was rumoured that Duncan had to swim back to the Severn Bridge where his band had hired a bigger boat but it didn’t matter to the hardy souls who braved some water falling from the sky because there was rockin’ and rollin’ to take care of.
To kick back a little Leigh Fuge took a leisurely stroll through Hyde Park and happened upon one of his guitar-slinging heroes – none other than old slow hand Eric Clapton kicking up a bluesy stink in Hyde Park along with some other six string slingers (you say that after a few bottles of house red at British Summertime Events prices) namely Carlos Santana and Gary Clark Jr. it really was the Cream (sorry couldn’t resist it) of old-school blues guitarists.(who said we aren’t a broad church here at RPM?) Leigh had to tick this one off his must-see list and was glad he did as the bluesmen certainly delivered. He also took in Maiden in Birmingham he said this about it, “Even after 40 something years of rocking, this band seem to improve with age like a fine wine. While they may not be to everyone’s taste, this year’s Legacy of the Beast tour was one of the highlights of my year. I’ve seen the band 14 times now and this one felt like something very special.” Who said we’re not a braod church?
As far as album releases in the month of August go – There was Idles releasing their ‘Joy As An Act Of Resistance’ which went down rather well at RPM. there were also albums released by some old friends that were more than welcome making a return to our turntables namely Mr Walter Lure who managed to put out a new album with the Waldos for the first time in 24 years! has it really been 24 years? My God, I feel old but ‘Wacka Lacka Boom Pop A Loom Bam Boo’ yeah that’s right it is called ‘Wacka Lacka Boom Pop A Loom Bam Boo’ but its Waldo and its rock n roll just accept it and move on. Ian McNabb also put out his latest long player this month with ‘Our Future In Space’ rocking out like he promised he would. There were also notable releases from The Ringleaders with their superb effort ‘Bi-Coastal Blasphemy’ and if that wasn’t enough Lovesores released ‘Gods Of Ancient Grease’. Craggy was outside his local record shop at half eight in the morning to purchase his copes of The Dahlmanns ‘American Heartbeat’ and Fertile Hump ‘Kiss Kiss Bang Bang’ in August as well he hasn’t stopped playing them since. sneaking in through the back door right at the last minute of August was a fantastic record that I was shocked to hear but in a good way and the more I played it the more I liked it and to be fair its been easily one of the highlights of the year. Oh yeah, The Brutalists with their debut long player ‘The Brutalists‘. go check it out its a belter.
As far as singles go those 45 RPM releases saw the wonderful Damaged Goods celebrate being in existence for 30 years by releasing a whole bunch of cool singles and the first one being those wonderful chaps Cyanide Pills and their take of the Glitter Band single and what a job they did on ‘Just For You’ which we picked up at Rebellion along with a new 7″ from TSOL and The Briefs ‘Kids Laugh At You’ but I have to mention TV Crime as well because their single ‘Hooligans’ was pure earworm and once it was in the old noggin I couldn’t shake it. Fantastic stuff. Hopefully, 2019 will see them release a long player we can hear never mind “shitty attitude – killer tunes” sort it out gents I want the album, thank you kindly.
In a nutshell that was the briefest glimpse into our August. On to September…
I have several versions of this including the original release from the early 80’s that has more clicks and jumps than any record should have, then I got the CD version in the 90’s – I’ve also got a cassette of it somewhere. When the hipsters jumped on RSD I tend to have a sideways glance at what being released and then sigh at the amount of shit that passes for a new release or the turgid boring procession of tripe that gets reissued or remastered but every now and then something pops up that makes my heart skip a beat. When I saw Jungle were doing this one how the fuck could I resist not owning another copy? This time all these years later without the self-inflicted bumps and knocks and as I drop the needle into the groove its not long before I get that euphoric rush of adrenalin as Johnny introduces ‘Chinese Rocks’ to the rowdy audience at one of Londons most salubrious haunts and then before you know it we’re balls deep into one of the finest bands ever to grace the earth and leave a footprint or should that be footnote on the history of rock and roll?
Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers ruled and don’t let anyone tell you different – sure they were sloppy – sure they were drug-addled – sure they were rude – sure they thought their shit was chocolate but isn’t that what we wanted from our Rock and Roll bands? I wish they were still with us and took a little more care of their lives but fuck me the music they left behind is as good as it gets no scratch that its better than 99.9% other bands and this release proves that and besides it has the added bonus of hearing the mid-song banter as Thunders really lets those Limeys have it both spiteful barrels and both sets are here for your listening pleasure.
I have a cassette with this on one side and L.A.M.F on the other and that’s about as perfect as it gets and if my house went up in smoke I think I’d be inclined to rescue that combo because whilst everything I own goes up in smoke I’d still have what amounts to a solid gold bar of Rock and Roll that pretty much reached a new high in perfect music. Listening to the sheer power behind ‘Let Go’ as Thunders and Lure exchange riffs its mesmeric and don’t get me started on Nolan’s groove; the guy had swing and style but man did he hit those drums so hard and with a passion that goes straight to your heart and breaks it clean in two.
“kids go home, your boring the shit out of me. You boring Motherfuckers. Should have gone to Birmingham they know how to rock up there” Ha Ha Thunders always had his finger on the pulse and hearing Lure sing Cant’ Keep My Cock In You’ is still, at my age – hilarious.
You know what, for all the bashing RSD takes and a lot of it totally justified. The original idea was great and having records like this see the light of day again makes all the gripes worth it. Jungle has always had Thunders back and continues to do so and preserving this document of when Giant walked the earth makes everything alright and having this expanded with both the sets in place is magnificent. If you own a copy of L.A.M.F and not this then you shouldn’t need me to tell you what you need to do next.