The Polaris Music Prize has announced D.O.A.’s Hardcore 81 and Oscar Peterson Trio’s Night Train albums have received 2019 Slaight Family Polaris Heritage Prize designation.

D.O.A.’s genre-defining hardcore punk album from 1981 was chosen over 11 other nominated albums in the Re:Sound-supported Heritage Prize public voting category, which ran this year from September 17 to October 18. This marks the first time a British Columbia artist has won the Heritage Prize. The Oscar Peterson Trio’s 1963 album by the legendary jazz pianist was selected by a 10- member Polaris Heritage Prize jury made up of music media and historians.

“Congratulations to these two winning artists. You’ve created important memorable recordings that have had a lasting impact on the musical landscape. I have tremendous appreciation for the work that has gone into creating these timeless albums,” said Gary Slaight, President and CEO of Slaight Communications.

The winners appreciated that these albums remain so relevant with the jury and the public decades after their initial releases.

“It’s pretty cool for D.O.A. and our fans to have Hardcore 81 recognized by Polaris. When it was released, we never realized that this album would give birth to the hardcore music genre and make an impact around the world,” said D.O.A.’s Joey ‘Shithead’ Keithley. “So this is an amazing moment for us.”
D.O.A. and the Oscar Peterson Trio now join a list of past Heritage Prize winners which include the likes of Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Alanis Morissette, Peaches, Glenn Gould, Dream Warriors and Harmonium.
“Re:Sound is proud to sponsor the Polaris Heritage Prize for the third consecutive year,” said Ian MacKay, Re:Sound’s president. “By spanning numerous decades and musical genres and incorporating both the jury and the public’s selections, we see winners who reflect Canada’s diverse and dynamic musical history. The shortlist and winners reinforce why we do the work we do to help build a thriving and sustainable music industry in Canada.”

Like the Polaris Music Prize, winners and nominees for the Heritage Prize are Canadian albums of the artistic distinction, without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity. This is the Polaris version of a hall of fame where we try to determine who would have been nominated or won the Prize before it began in 2006.

The Office of Gilbert Li, who curated the 2019 Polaris Music Prize posters and the posters for the 2018 Heritage Prize winners, will once again select the visual artists who’ll pay tribute to the two winning records in the form of Polaris Posters.

The 2019 Polaris Heritage Prize jury included Stephen Cooke, Del Cowie, Francella Fiallos, Stuart Henderson, Bob Klanac, Valerie Lessard, Trevor Risk, Tabbasum Siddiqui and Andrea Warner. Mary Dickie was the jury foreperson.

About the Polaris Music Prize
The Polaris Music Prize is a not-for-profit organization that annually honors and rewards artists who produce Canadian music albums of distinction. A select panel of music critics judge and award the Prize without regard to musical genre or commercial popularity.
D.O.A. was formed amidst a whirlwind of controversy and upheaval. In 1978, three guys fresh out of high school from the backwaters of Canada’s suburbs heard about the punk rock revolution. In February of that same year, the band formed and started playing shows. They soon realized that there were no record deals coming in any time soon.
Keithley (aka Joey Shithead) who was working towards being a civil rights lawyer before he found punk rock, concluded that the band had to take the “do it yourself” approach long before DIY became a popular concept. He formed a fledging record label called Sudden Death Records and the label released D.O.A.’s first snarling slab of vinyl, the Disco Sucks 7″ EP.
Disco Sucks soon became an underground hit and the band started touring from Vancouver to their newly adopted “home base” of California five to six times a year. In 1980, Keithley coined the term “hardcore” and the band soon released their landmark album Hardcore 81. The album became a hit, the hardcore movement took off, and D.O.A. pushed that expression into common vernacular.
Over the last four decades, D.O.A. have released 17 studio albums, sold over a million albums, and played 4,000 shows on five different continents. The band’s albums, shows, and attitude have won over three generations of fans and influenced the likes of Green Day, Nirvana, Offspring, Henry Rollins, David Grohl and The Red Hot Chilli peppers, to name a few. Keithley has also written two books: I Shithead: A Life in Punk and TALK – ACTION = 0.
From day one, D.O.A. has helped organize and lead hundreds of benefit concerts and protests for good and just causes like environmental issues, women’s rights, food bank benefits, and First Nations’ rights. They have organized protests and stood against war, racism, weapons proliferation, and countless other causes.
Keithley has been called a cultural politician, trying to change the world from outside the system. He’s currently running for Mayor of his home town of Burnaby, under the Green Party banner, attempting to change the system from inside. Keithley and the band were also ardent supporters of the Occupy Movement, realizing this was a step towards equality in our world. He is always looking for a way to push “grassroots democracy” and like his idol Pete Seeger, he and the band won’t give up.
When the band takes their wild, unbridled show live show on the road, it’s a must see, because it’s a chance to see one of the last real punk rock bands that gets out there, kicks ass, and tells it like it is. It’s a perpetual atmosphere of chaos, veering out of control, but somehow, at the last minute, D.O.A. manages to reign all of it back in. And in an indescribable way, you are not quite the same person afterwards.
Ya Hey! D.O.A. – Forty years and going strong
Follow Joe and the D.O.A. gang on Twitter and on Facebook


It seems every time I see Dalston’s finest gypsy blues merchants The Urban Voodoo Machine, it’s a different venue. They sure like to get around. I’m not complaining though, great variety gives a different feel to each show. Not that this London collective need any help in the variety department. Every show The Urban Voodoo Machine perform is different due to the ever revolving line up and the crazy stage antics that go down. So while regular guitarist Tony Diavolo and saxophonist/all round entertainer Luci Fire Tusk are MIA for tonight’s performance, their replacements for this tour do a mighty fine job in bringing their own thing to Paul-Ronney Angel’s party.

The last time we crossed paths was an epic two hour/two set 15th anniversary show at The Brudenell just a few miles away. That was an incendiary, packed out and sweaty gig, probably the best I’ve seen them. Tonight at The Wardrobe is a much more intimate affair, but none the less a bombastic rock ‘n’ roll show to behold. After all, it is The Urban Voodoo Machine and this band does not do mediocre.
Joining the core band that includes upright bass, two drummers and accordion/keyboard player Slim, are a two piece brass section and a young guitar slinger who happens to be the offspring of one of the band’s past players.
Instrumental surf jam ‘Police Paranoia’ gets things off to a ripping start, as ringleader Paul-Ronney Angel, a whirlwind of black ‘n’ red and his face grease painted white, leads the 8 piece band through a magnificent set that spans their 15 year career.
Our illustrious leader takes us into old classic ‘Down In A Hole’. With its bluesy, big band sound and cool gang backing vocals, it’s an early highlight that gets the crowd a-movin’ and a-groovin’. Live favourite ‘High Jeopardy Thing’ is brassy and classy in equal measures, the band incite the crowd to click their fingers, as the reverend Gavin Smith plays that skulking bass line. P-R, his voice as gravelly as his soul, has the crowd in the palm of his hand, taking us back in time to some sleazy speakeasy for a shot or two.

New single ‘Johnny Foreigner’ fits the set just fine. The laid back groove leads into a jubilant and overly-catchy chorus. The topical lyrics are backed up by the ‘Fuck Boris’ pin badge P-R wears proudly on his hat.” I’ve been living in this country 25 years” he shouts…” Fuck the Tories!” Well, this is billed as the ‘fuck Brexit Autumn Tour’ after all!
The sombre ‘Fallen Brothers’ and ‘Goodnight My Dear’ are dedicated to lost band mates; guitarist Nick Marsh and fiddle player Rob Skipper, gone but never forgotten. Other highlights? Well, ‘Orphan’s Lament’ sounds as fantastic as ever and ‘Crazy Maria’ is a high energy blast of mariachi infested glory that can never fail to get the crowd moving and the glasses emptied.
Crazy stage antics and slapstick comedy moments are rife. They include the frontman wringing the sweat from his headscarf into someone’s glass, getting a crowdsurf lift to the bar to collect a shot, and miming into a supposedly broken mic (is this thing on?). Paul-Ronney Angel is a pro who has this entertainment lark down to a fine art and manages to enrapture a whole room no matter the size or the clientele.
The band end the show as they began by forming a procession through the crowd, and culminates with the whole band standing on tables by the merch stand for an impromptu jam to close a memorable show that was more of a raw, rock ‘n’ roll show than the usual over the top circus.

With a new single and a tribute album (‘Friends & Family Album’) on record shelves, plus a new album due out before the spring, the future looks bright for The Urban Voodoo Machine. Let’s just hope those damn Tories don’t scupper their plans for world domination. With so much uncertainty in the world right now, it’s reassuring to know every night is a good night when The Urban Voodoo Machine rolls into town.

Author: Ben Hughes

Photo credit: Matt Seddon

Infectious power pop trio Autogramm release a new digital single and accompanying video through The Orchard worldwide. While the title song keeps with Autogramm’s tradition of crafting sing-along pop anthems, the lyrical content delves into the more serious theme of depression. Singer Jiffy Marx tells a tale of pain, pills, and helplessness brought on by the often debilitating affliction. He delivers a very personal account, as the subject of the song is a close friend to him. Live footage for the video was captured at The Astoria in Vancouver, BC by Justin A. Stadig. All proceeds for this song will be donated to The World Federation for Mental Health

Save “Bad Day” to your preferred music service:

Donate to The World Federation for Mental Health:

Autogramm is a synth-driven, power-pop trio from Vancouver drawing influences from the likes of The Cars, The Go Go’s, Gary Numan, 20/20 and Devo. The band members are Jiffy Marx of Brooklyn’s Hard Drugs and Vancouver’s Blood Meridian, CC Voltage of Berlin’s Dysnea Boys, London’s Loyalties and Vancouver’s Black Halos and Spitfires, and The Silo of Vancouver’s Black Mountain, Lightning Dust and Destroyer.


 L I V E

March 21 @ Born to be Cheap, Mexico City

March 22 @ TBA

March 23 @ TBA, Guadalajara

March 24 @ Loud Open Stage, San Luis Potosi

March 25 @ TBA, Irapuato

March 26 @ TBA, Queretaro

March 27 @ Santos Remedios, Puebla

March 28 @ Gato Calavera








Legendary Northern Irish punk rock act Stiff Little Fingers are delighted to announce a full UK tour in March 2020 – The 2020 Tour.

The tour will see the band play their 29th consecutive Glasgow Barrowland Ballroom St. Patrick’s Day show as part of their traditional March tour. The band also headline London’s Roundhouse to end the 13-date run.

All the dates will feature support from The Professionals and TV Smith.

The full tour dates are as follows:
Thursday 12thMarch 2020                               Bristol, O2 Academy
Friday 13thMarch 2020                                     Cardiff, Great Hall
Saturday 14thMarch 2020                               Birmingham, O2 Academy
Monday 16thMarch 2020                                Norwich, UEA
Tuesday 17thMarch 2020                                 Glasgow, Barrowland Ballroom
Thursday 19thMarch 2020                               Troon, Concert Hall
Friday 20thMarch 2020                                     Newcastle, O2 Academy
Saturday 21stMarch 2020                                Leeds, O2 Academy
Monday 23rdMarch 2020                                Northampton, Roadmenders
Tuesday 24thMarch 2020                                 Nottingham, Rock City
Thursday 26thMarch 2020                               Portsmouth, Pyramids   
Friday 27thMarch 2020                                     Manchester, Academy
Saturday 28thMarch 2020                               London, Roundhouse

Tickets are available from

In addition to the dates announcement Stiff Little Fingers have just put out two special ‘Virtual Reality’ videos filmed with a 360 degree camera attached to the drum kit, from this years “Putting the Fast In Belfast 3” show in August. This gives the user, via their mobile viewing device or computer, the option to view whatever part of the stage and or band member they so wish via movement of the viewing device or via a mouse or pointing tool. The two tracks are their iconic punk anthems “Alternative Ulster” and “Tin Soldiers” 

Stiff Little Fingers have been incredibly active in recent years, playing some prestigious live shows, including three years of headline sold-out hometown performance in Belfast’s Custom House Square; London’s Hyde Park British Summer Time concert with Green Day; the 28th traditional St. Patrick’s Day sold-out show at Glasgow iconic venue Barrowland Ballroom.

In addition to the live performances, the past five years saw Stiff Little Fingers release two records: their tenth studio album “No Going Back” in 2014, which showcases a band at the height of their powers, still able to capture the heart of the listeners with relevant topics and honest sound, reaching #1 in the UK charts; and a live album “Best Served Loud – Live At The Barrowlands” in 2017, which immortalises Stiff Little Fingers’ epic performance at their annual St. Patrick’s Day show.

Formed in 1977 in Belfast Stiff Little Fingers were among the pioneers of punk rock. Joining ranks with the likes of The Clash, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Buzzcocks, and Undertones they brought in a new era of music and they’re still keeping that spirit alive 42 years on!  /  /


About two weeks after The Damned played a sell-out gig at the 2,286 capacity London Palladium the man who gave birth to The Damned and arguably British Punk is playing 3 ½ miles South West in the considerably smaller basement of the Troubadour Club in Earl’s Court. That man, of course, is Brian JamesBrian isn’t renowned for reeling off gig after gig in the same year. Normally, it’s just the one up at the 100 Club in July to mark the anniversary of The Damned’s first appearance there, but as John Wombat has just published his authorised biography of Brian, the subject matter is making an exception, with both before the gig signing the book and Brian putting his name to a veritable smorgasbord of memorabilia. Is it fair that Brian is consigned to such small club whereas The Damned can play the likes of The Royal Albert Hall, Madison Square Gardens and The Palladium? The simple answer is no, but having been at the Palladium gig I have to say in all honesty Brian’s gig was what I want a Punk gig to be all about; people standing on tables, hands pressed against the low ceiling to keep balance and to get a half-decent view, with the line between band and audience blurred because everybody is on top of everybody else. 


From where I was, if I’d had the devil in me, I could’ve put my hand out and detuned Brian’s Telecaster. Seeing Brian’s fingers almost drunkenly stagger across his fretboard with the strings vibrating unnaturally but still producing the most wonderful sound ever I caught myself muttering, as my jaw swung open, “Far. King. Ell”. Towards the end of the set when the opening chords of “I Feel Alright” rang out I had to look to see if the Ghost of Ron Asheton hadn’t descended onto the stage. The gig starts off with Brian playing a slow stripped-down drawn-out version of “Alone” that he tells us afterwards originally was written when he was in Bastard, his pre-Damned outfit. It’s not the first time Brian has reworked Damned songs in this manner as “Neat, Neat, Neat” got that treatment when played live in Tanz Der Youth. After “Walking About Naked” from his “Guitar That Dripped Blood” album and a blistering version of “Born To Kill” Alan Clayton, frontman with The Dirty Strangers, took to the stage to relieve Brian of vocal duties launching into Bo Diddley’s “Mamma Keep Your Big Mouth Shut”.


In the frontman stakes, Brain struck gold twice with Vanian and then Bator. Doing it for the third time I think is highly unlikely unless either Adam Becvare or Jake Hout wish to leave North America but Al, who pretty much is on home turf, knows how to work the crowd, welcoming everybody and then telling them to “Fuck off” with a huge grin on his face. His R’n’B vibe, when R’n’B actually stood for something good, is perfect for Brian’s live cross-section of a back catalogue that covers nearly all aspects of it; Damned, Solo, Lords of The New Church (Dave Tregunna was in attendance) and even The Stones get a look in, sadly no Mad For The Racket. Oh, to hear ‘Chewed Down To The Bone’ live and with his onetime London SS bandmates of Tony James and Brady in the crowd I wondered if they would join him for their version of “Fish”. Again this was not to be. However, author John Wombat donned a guitar for the set and show-closing song, “New Rose”. It was a perfect end to a perfect night. 

Brian is in the throes of writing his autobiography that he hopes will be out in 2021. In conjunction with the publication, Brain told me he hopes to have his own anthology released that will collate his non-Damned and Lords works together, with some surprising additions. For me, neither can come soon enough.    

Author: Armitage Smith


Revered Southern California rock ‘n’ roll legends Social Distortion have announced their first European tour in five years. The month-and-a-half long tour, in June and July of next year, will include both headlining shows as well as appearances at some of the biggest summer festivals in the region. The band will perform at Manchester’s 02 Ritz on 15th July and London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire on 17th July.
Mike Ness has a special message for the European fans: “We can’t wait to get back to Europe this coming June! We’ve missed our fans and all of your beautiful cities. Five years is WAY too long! See you soon.”
Please see below for the full list of dates. Tickets are on sale now via the band’s website.
Social Distortion European 2020 Tour Dates
June 2nd, 2020 – The Circus, Helsinki (FI) – SOLD OUT     
June 3rd, 2020 – The Circus, Helsinki (FI) – SOLD OUT
June 8th, 2020 – Sentrum Scene, Oslo (NO)
June 9th, 2020 – Store VEGA, Copenhagen (DK)
June 12th, 2020 – Nova Rock Festival, Nickelsdorf (AT)
June 13th, 2020 – Zenith, Munich (DE)
June 16th, 2020 – Volkshaus, Zurich (CH)
June 17th, 2020 – Carroponte, Milan (IT)
June 19th, 2020 – Azkena Rock Festival, Vitoria (ES)
June 22nd, 2020 – Paradiso, Amsterdam (NL)
June 24th, 2020 – Lokschuppen, Bielefeld, (DE)
June 25th, 2020 – Capitol, Hannover (DE)
June 27th, 2020 – Haus Auensee, Leipzig (DE)
June 28th, 2020 – Columbiahalle, Berlin (DE)
June 30th, 2020 – Den Atelier, Luxembourg (LU)
July 3rd, 2020 – Ruhrpott Rodeo, Hünxe (DE)
July 4th, 2020 – Mission Ready Festival, Giebelstadt (DE)
July 6th, 2020 – Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg (DE) – SOLD OUT
July 7th, 2020 – Grosse Freiheit 36, Hamburg (DE)
July 10th, 2020 – Mighty Sounds Music Festival, Tabor (CZ)
July 12th, 2020 – Sjock Festival, Lille (BE)
July 15th, 2020 – O2 Ritz, Manchester (UK)   – TICKETS     
July 17th, 2020 – O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London (UK) – TICKETS     
Social Distortion have been in their studio writing since March of this year, but took the summer off to tour North America with Flogging Molly, The Devil Makes Three and Le Butcherettes as a warm-up to their 40thanniversary celebration in Orange County, California on October 26th. The special hometown concert acknowledged a remarkable forty-year career and was an incredible day of music, where they were joined by an eclectic array of artists such as Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, The Distillers, The Kills, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls, The Eagles of Death Metal, The Black Lips, Plague Vendor, Bully and Mannequin Pussy.

Since their formation in 1979 in the Southern California working-class suburb of Fullerton, Social Distortion have created a recharged rock ‘n’ roll sound merging outlaw country, classic punk and swaggering blues. Their last release Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes was the first album with their current label Epitaph Records and the band’s highest-charting album in their career. Produced for the first time by Ness himself, the album debuted at #3 on German Album Charts and #4 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums Chart.  The band is currently preparing to head back into the studio to start a new chapter in their already rich legacy.

Two of our favourite bands have joined together in unholy matrimony once again for our listening pleasure and have released a brand new single entitled ‘Trillion Dollar Man’.


The two The Hip Priests and two Bitch Queens members recorded four high energy action rock tracks in one day. 7″ will come in red and blue vinyl. All you streaming folk out there in cyberspace can also shove it on your playlist like we will be doing from here – Spotify


Woohoo! A new record from Gino and The Goons.  Always a good day when some trashy punked-up garage Rock n fuckin’ Roll winds its way into my speakers.

It might look like its thrown together in some sweaty smelly garage on the wrong side of town, made on cheap beers and even cheaper guitars but hey who cares? I don’t and I very much doubt Gino and the Goons wive two hoots either way. With  Songs borrowed from the good and the great and thrown into some thrift store blender then poured out into the heads of Gino and the gang then poured into the speakers for our listening pleasure.  Hell, that might well be the formula right there and do you know I don’t much care.  To be honest, Gino and The Goons have a knack of writing killer punk rock songs and plenty of them and ‘Do The Get Around’ deserves to be heard far and wide. ‘Pills In My Pocket’ sounds like Mick n Keeth have been on a five-day bender dropping as many pills as possible and then end up in stiv n cheetahs basement.  It might not end well for all concerned but for us the listener we get some dirty Rock n Roll and I’ll take that every time.  The title track is pure trash with distorted vocals and squealing feedback Why would you go back and do a retake and turn the amp down?  this is punk as fuck! for gawds sake and they’re having a ball that much is evident. Take the trashy ‘Take It Off’ its a throwback to the dawn of Rock and Roll just a hook and a melody and it gets kicked around in some parking lot and rolls in the dirt Jerry Lee will be along shortly to set the whole shebang on fire. Yeehaw! lets rock kids.

‘Prissy Missy’ wraps up side one with some pure evil fretwork like these guys stumbled on some dirt road and came to a crossroad and ended up hockin’ a lurgy on old nick and making off with his latest tune.

‘Break Your Hearts’ sees Gino struttin’ and laying down some mighty fine six-string licks and duckwalkin’ through the chorus. This record reminds me of a couple of bands from about a decade ago when sleazy scuzzy rock n Roll was the order of the day and Flash Boys ruled but Gino has handclaps whilst declaring He’s your man besides I might be wrong but ‘Monkey Love’ is illegal and this one is pretty infectious.  Top tune though there can’t be any denying that.

‘SAMF’ channels the finest vintage of the Stooges when they were wild and reckless then to finish off they strap up their chaps and saddle up their horses as they ride off into the sunset with ‘Better Belief’ playing in the distance like a punk rock Zoro, Gino and The Goons are on fire on this here record and if you want to know what the fuss is about then I suggest you hop on right here and click the link and get Drunken sailor to send you a record before they’re all gone and you’ve missed the party and are left wondering what if and why didn’t I.  Quick!


Buy ‘Do The Get Around’ Here

Author: Dom Daley

Cast your mind back thirty years When the debut album came out. It’s the late ’80s Bon Jovi and their ilk ruled the airwaves so maybe the time was right for Portlands premier Funk Rock radio-friendly rockers Dan Reed Network to walk right through that open door.  With a suitably big production and tours with the likes of Bon Jovi Dan Reed Network were the perfect blend of musicianship and showmanship and offered something different to the AOR radio-friendly market we can debate all night and day with regards to their best record be it that ground-breaking debut or the awesome follow up ‘Slam’  both lovingly remastered at Abbey Road by Mike Showell.

Quite why its taken thirty years to remaster the first two albums is a mystery but with no bonus material, it’s a bit of a head-scratcher for sure but brings back some lovely memories of hearing the perfect blend of pop, rock and funk.  Maybe the intention of reissuing these first two is simply because they can and that’s it or the chance of having them  Remastered at Abbey Road and released on CD and Vinyl as well as streaming and downloads. Perhaps the intention was to bring the funk to a new generation and the time is right for a resurgence in Radio Friendly Funk Rock thirty years after its birth.   Sure there is a tour on the horizon but going from analogue to digital my hearing can’t really tell the difference (audio dudes don’t hate on me) sonically speaking I guess it depends on what you’re playing these back on in 2019. But, these albums haven’t aged badly at all.  I’ll admit I’ve not played these for quite a few years so I was really pleased how good they sounded in 2019regardless of it being stream or the CD.

The radio-friendly funk meets pop meets rock was always a niche market and nothing has changed with those keyboard stabs of the debut albums ‘Get To You’ mixed with the funky chic bass guitar work still sounds fresh and innovative much like a lot of the production tricks used when making this record. So I guess Abbey Road is the place to give Big sounding records like these two a new lease of life.  The perfect example of this would be ‘Forgot To Make Her Mine’ with those slaps and lush keyboard fills still sound huge.  Let’s not forget having Nile Rodgers produce your record and take you under his wing is still a big deal and on merit, the band did that huge New Jersey tour with Jon Bon Jovi and the boys which then lead to hitting the road with none other than the Rolling Stones.  Why not pick up the albums and pop along to one of the tour dates this December and recapture the magic of ‘Ritual’.

Of the two albums ‘Slam’ is a masterpiece, sure the debut self-titled record paved the way buy they perfected the songwriting side on ‘Slam’ from the Bon Jovi stylings of the opening track ‘Make It Easy’ the band were really rocking it on this sophomore record.  ‘Rainbow Child’ is as good as AOR got with hints of Prince thrown into the mix Dan Reed could cross many genres and did and this was the proof.  The band had also got much better at writing from the hard groove of ‘Under My Skin’ to the big ballad of ‘Lover’ via the epic ‘Stronger Than Steel’. ‘Slam’ had it all and it’s great to be reacquainted. Now, where are my fingerless gloves and waistcoat I’m heading down the front.






Buy Dan Reed Network Here

Author: Dan D

Ah, Miles Hunt and his Wonder Stuff. A brand new album hitting the shelves what’s not to like? Thirty years in the bathroom from their first record being released is quite some achievement, sure they have hit some bumps in the road along the way and success has come and gone and come again. The important thing is we’re here now on the dawn of this their ninth album and whilst nobody is pretending it will instantly gratify the listener in the same way that debut did or ‘Hup’ or ‘Construction For The Modern Idiot’ But to believe it will be as instantly gratifying as those would be something else in 2019. however I do get excited when the Stuffies are planning a new record or going out on tour even now in my 50s,  I’m well up for it and on the strength of the last few tours and what might unfold this could be the dawn of something special.

Thirty years have passed and Miles and the band have learnt a thing or two but I can assure you that this has the hallmarks of classic Wonder Stuff and some. They’ve always appreciated the opening song needs to be something of a statement piece, be it a mood creator or one that sets the tone. Be it angry or mellow, whatever it needs to be good. so when ‘Feet To The Flame’ has the lush bass tones and ebow howl before the signature violin swings into action this is an impressive grand entrance. As it builds towards the first chorus you can’t help but smile, that knowing smile that this promises to be another great Stuffies recording and to move into the considered ‘Lay Down Your Cards’ is dramatic and building alright,  this is everything I was hoping for and more.

Eleven tracks covering plenty of emotions from the safe Stuffies territory or the mellow and reflective  ‘Don’t Anyone Dare Give A Damn’ with some great lyrics and plenty of twists and turns.  I love that some will be instant, others will grow and the pecking order of what I love will change. Opening up their records with a super-strong tune from the smouldering ‘Mission Drive’ or the bombastic ‘Red Berry Joy Town’ or the epic ’30 years’ this album has something for everyone, sure there is a feeling of nostalgia at times due to the trademark licks ‘n’ riffs but there is also strides into new territory.  ‘No Thieves Among Us’ has a heavy riff (the bands heaviest to date) but as the song unfolds it veers into Bowie glam rock territory but a great riff is a great riff and no quarter is spared.  To follow it with a lighter more dreamy pop orientate song.  The title track is poptastic with a great melody and some familiar rhythmic drum patterns.

‘Bound’ sounds like it was made for being performed live grand and full of big guitar strokes both acoustic and electric. ‘Its the Little things’ has some classic Stuffies vibe to it but its also go ta jarring electric guitar riff weaving through the verses behind the fiddle, excellent stuff! ‘when All This Is Over’ has some tribal beats and sounds like it might have fitted nicely on to a Mission album like ‘Children’ no bad thing in my book and the sound of a band expanding their reach. In contrast to filling every available space with sound ‘The guy With The Gift’ is sparse and laid back with the acoustic taking centre stage and some great vocal harmonies its some wonderful respite and time to maybe take stock of what has to this point been one hell of an album and one that will I’m sure over time stand toe to toe with what has gone before it in the bands illustrious career.

Every member of the band has their space to shine and that comes through in the songs, no single aspect outshines the overall record and the songs are what it’s all about which is the main reason we’re here right?

Sure there are high points so far and that’s great but the points I’m taking are the Stuffies are still pushing boundaries with a sparkling production (something you’d expect), Strong vocal and lyrical content. Excellent arrangments and a modern record that’s not out of step nor is it nostalgic or a definitely not going through the motions record.  It might be ‘Better Being Lucky’ but I think it’s better being a Wonder Stuff fan right here right now when they’re making records this good. Buy this record and get a ticket for the tour you won’t regret either.

Buy ‘Better Being Lucky’ Here


Author: Dom Daley