As this line up was months in advance of the show I know several were disappointed to see White Trash fall off the bill but they were replaced with the maverick that is Bruno & the Outrageous Methods Of Presentation (to give him his full title) this local lad is pushing the boundaries of punk / art/ audio interference call it what you like its often in incoherent racket but to be fair its engaging and as Bruno marches out into the audience and barks the lyrics into the faces of the unsuspecting audience its engaging and you can’t ignore him and what it is he does.  As for the names of the songs I couldn’t telly you and half the time I doubt Bruno could either.  Enjoyable?  Of course it was he was only on stage (in the loosest terms) for a short period and in that time he sounded like a youthful Jilted John (same barber) , Early Stooges and bands like ex ray Spex gone loco jamming on Suicide as a band with no synths in sight just a fistful of 70s garage riffs.  Basic and primal you should all go see Bruno.

Next up and it was the turn of the highly rated much anticipated Yorkshire men that are Cyanide Pills. First up I’d like to declare my admiration for this band by stating on the record that they’ve never ever written a bad song but they have written some of the brightest bestust power pop punk rock tunes and some of the finest lyrics ever in punk rock not just recently but ever! there I’ve said it.  With the results leaving the four of us Welsh tourists venturing across the Severn with our tits on the deck after the last evenings political catastrophic shit shower we decided only rock and Roll could save us and there was nowhere I’d rather be than in the Louisiana tonight  turning my frown upside down and trying to stay positive with some of the fiest bands the UK has to offer.

Right, Cyanide Pills entertain me, pretty please. As if I needed to ask. Right from the top they proceeded to knock out top tune after top tune and then for good measure they dispatch another. With songs pulled from all their albums, its without pause mind, and tonight they were on fire. What you get is some absolutely on point punk rock n roll with some of the best power pop melodies and harmonies ever written. Its power pop with snot , full of clever and intelligent social observational lyrics that are nothing short of genius, I kid you not. With stand in bassist BB Quattro fitting right in  they kicked off with ‘Wrong’ and never looked back. You know the drill its one bosh two bosh three bosh and so on.  Theres no time for chatter its on with the relentless entertainment. ‘up Against The Wall’ seems apt for last nights Election victors. Anyway mustn’t dwell it ‘Mail Order Brides’.

If I had to pick a favourite album I couldn’t but I can pick my favourite tunes and one of them is ‘Dance With You’ and ‘Sliced And Diced’ opens with the epic ‘I Don’t Remember’ and when they chimed up with that this was turning out to be the ultimate post election tonic. They were thundering through the set plucking tunes for all three albums unable to stand still  to enable us to snap many decent pics but fuck it ‘Alone tonight’ tips the hat to the Ramones (of course it does). A lot of bands like to meander their way to the high point of the set before attempting to go out in flames but Cyanide Pills just start high and aim higher coz simply they have the tunes to do it but by the time ‘Can’t Get It up’ rips through the speakers you wonder how they can top it and then ‘Johnny Thunders Lived In Leeds’ struts in like a punk rock peacock (no Leeds pun left unturned) I was going to avoid punctuation and gaps between the words and just blast through (much like the band), I do wonder how they manage to grab a breath between songs and what would happen if they broke a string? it would be carnage. Did they play ‘Apathy’? of course they did.  ‘Still Bored’, ‘Government’ then ‘Suicide Bomber’ and we’re done.  Fan-fuckin-tastic! just what the doctor ordered yet again a suitably smashing set from the best punk rock n rollers anywhere great tunes, great lyrics and great entertainment – follow that!

Duncan Reid & The Big Heads do follow that and with consummate ease.  They’re not the competition but equals and whilst Duncan writes fantastic power pop the dynamics and the sound are poles apart but has the same DNA and another thing they share is they all have tunes!   Kicking off with ‘Can’t Stop’ off ‘Bombs Away’ Duncan commands his big heads and rises to the occasion and the gauntlet laid down by the opening bands. With a new album in the bag Duncan is buoyed and after a quick romp through ‘Soda Pressing’ its a glimpse into the new album with ‘Welcome To My World’.  Now it’s fair to say he’s been at this for a number of years and has seen a thing or two and happened to work with some exceptional songwriters in his time and that time wasn’t wasted as the band take care of the exceptional ‘Lets Skip To The Good Bit’ then its an introduction to some new tunes and one in particular politely entitled ‘Motherfucker’ about a certain Tory politician we are all familiar with that goes down rather well and whets the appetite for the new album.

This line up of Big Heads Duncan has assembled have worked really well together and playing more and more shows is paying dividends and Nicks backing vocals on ‘Rolling On’  sound great much like the chemistry between the band as well.  the minutes are flying by and from ‘Bombs Away’ through ‘Kelly’s Gone Insane’  this is proving to be an immense nights entertainment. the room is jumping by the time ‘C’mon Josephine’ pipes up and the final new song ‘Better Get Them In’ is dispatched. With the clock ticking there’s time for a doff of the cap to previous employers as Nick gets the punters involved on the classic ‘Brickfield Nights’ followed by some high praise for the wonderful songwriting of Honest John Plain from his old pal as ‘Terminal Love’ leaves just one song left before we all have to steal away onto the cold Bristolian cobbles and back home.  The inimitable Mr Reid leaves us for ‘The Last Time’ tonight (other than to run his merch table) after another faultless performance of great songs that fly’s by The curtain falls on 2019s live gigs for me as I try to take it all in and what a way to end the decade with a punk rock n roll show thats up there with the best of them in fact it is the best of them.  Variety, consistency, smiling faces, great tunes what more could you ask for of a gig night?  If in 2020 you get the chance to witness Cyanide Pills and / or Duncan Reid & The Big Heads don’t hesitate or procrastinate just buy your bloody ticket it’ll be a memorable nights entertainment that much is a given.  Brilliant as expected – always a pleasure and never a chore.

Author: Dom Daley


Anyone who has ever visited New York has a story to tell about the city, so you can bet your bottom dollar that having lived there all his life Handsome Dick Manitoba has volumes of the buggers just filed away ready to regale you with.


Mantitoba’s debut solo album ‘Born In The Bronx’ takes a dozen of these tales and adds a rock ‘n’ roll soundtrack (provided by al all-star cast) to truly bring them all to life, and the resulting sound is so authentic you can almost taste the New York City air.  Add in a cover version of P.F. Sloan’s ‘Eve Of Destruction’ to the Big Apple pie and what you have is a 13 track album that Handsome Dick Manitoba has been waiting all of his life to release.


With it being 18 years since ‘DFFD’ and 29 years since ‘And You?’ I have to admit a Handsome Dick Manitoba solo record was the last thing I’d expected to be reviewing as 2019 draws to a close. The surprises don’t stop there either as ‘Born In The Bronx’ was actually recorded in Nashville not NYC, thus enabling producer Jon Tiven to draw on the local talent pool of Buddy Miller, Harry Stinson, Beth Hooker, Shannon Pollard, Chuck Mead and Donte M’Shawn alongside the likes of  Mickey Curry, Mat Reale, Simon Kirke and Mike Shrieve who provide a rock solid backbeat throughout.


Opener ‘Shelley’ sets the tone of the record perfectly, a rock ‘n’ roll love story that shuffles its way into your heart on 6 inch platform heels it’s a song that is instantly recognisable due to Manitoba’s unique vocal delivery. ‘Back To My TV’ and ‘Surfside’ which fall either side of the faithfully reproduced run through of ‘Eve Of Destruction’ are for me the highlights of ‘Born In The Bronx’ both of them being raw blast of proto-punk that take the Sonics and dresses them up as Dolls. Likewise, ‘Big Army Brass’ is a one finger piano boogie bastard that will have you dancing all night long and ‘Callie May’ sees Manitoba’s songwriting influences extend into late 60s/early 70s Detroit for a truly riotous shindig.  Absolutely breath-taking stuff!


After this ‘The Cooker & The Hit’ treads more of a bluesy path whilst ‘Thicker Than Blood’ could very well be a song written for a certain Mr Springsteen, and then there’s the title track which saunters in like The Thin White Duke after spending a weekend missing in the Bronx in the mid 70s, and here Manitoba allows his storytelling to go into overdrive cramming as much history as he can into 3 minutes and 59 seconds.


Look I’m not going to do my usual track by track run through here because there is so much to discover within the grooves of ‘Born In The Bronx’ that I’d really like you to go and discover the record the same way that I did. It’s a really up sounding set of songs that’s for sure, and it’s an album that deserves to be played in full and given repeat listens -something quite exceptional in this age of here today gone today one hit wonders.


With ‘Born In The Bronx’ the party really does start now!! So go out and get your copy and tell the ‘Soul Punk King of NYC’ that RPM Online sent you.

Buy ‘Born In The Bronx’ Here

Author: Johnny Hayward


The power of hindsight is a wonderful thing and for the most part, my mind was elsewhere today rather than on attending another Stuffies show in 2019 but once I get inside the packed venue I take stock and switch off the outside world and prepare myself to be entertained.  With a fantastic new record, Milo has certainly turned back the clock and tonight he’s promised to turn the clock back a full thirty plus years and dish up a helping of ‘Eight Legged Groove Machine’ and ‘Hup’ as well as some off the new album ‘Better Being Lucky’.

Milo took to the stage and individually introduced the band to the stage Malc Treece, Erika, Mark Gemini Thwait on Guitar and Bass, Pete Howard On Drums and Tim Sewell on Bass milo explained that before the band set about turning the clock back that they would be opening up with some off the new album ‘Better Being Lucky’ and with Mark joining Malc on guitar duty  they opened up with the fantastic ‘Feet To The Flames’ which opens the new album and already it sounds like its been in the set for ever with a familar wonder stuff rhythm and Erika adding her considerable talent all over the song its then into ‘Lay Down Your Cards’ a more gentle number but showing how the band have evolved and are still capable of writing exceptional music. Tonight with the two electric guitars riffing it up ‘No Thieves Among Us’ sounded great with the audience welcoming the new material and considering it was the third new song at the top of the set and their heaviest in a long time this is being brought to the boil nicely. Bringing the end of the new songs (the fifth to be exact) ‘When All Of This Is Over’ the band take to the stage left and announce that that was the end of act 1 and in a short while they would be returning with ‘Hup’.

As you might imagine there would be many in attendance tonight who might have had considerable more hair when this album came out a full 30 years ago!  The Wonder Stuff were about to try and wind the clock back to some of those memorable nights when they were the darlings of the NME and ‘Hup’ hit the indie charts full on and carrying on where ‘eight Legged Groove Machine’ left off Milo had unquestionably improved as a songwriter and possibly written their career defining album.  Me, I still love it and hearing the intro tapes go up for ’30 Years In The Bathroom’ I get the hairs on my arm stood to attention and think back with a beaming smile of times gone by and following the band around on some amazing adventures. By the time we reach ‘Golden Green’ the audience are loosening up and the 40 – 50 year olds throw caution to the wind and gingerly get into the spirit of the evening. Milo (still ) with his mob of curly hair which he throws around to good effect is like the peter pan of indie tonight complete with beaming smile as ‘Cartoon Boyfriend’ sounds as fresh as the first time I heard it.

Milo does comment that by the time ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ chimed in Manchester peaked too early but he had high hopes for Bristol that they had more stamina and he wasn’t wrong. the place was alive as ‘Hup’ cruised to a finale with the brilliant ‘Room 410’.  As we wound the clock back a little further for the thirty first anniversary performance not quite the same as the twentieth or thirtieth but still, totally in keeping with the Stuffies doing it their own way  it was time for the ‘Eight Legged Groove Machine’ portion of the set as the band predominantly stripped back to Mark picking up the bass and milo and Malc sharing guitar duties with Pete still behind the kit it was ‘Red Berry Joy Town’ time and we’re off.

To be fair they played it in sequence and true to the debut album and boy did it sound good. they managed to capture that urgency and vitality that was what ‘Groove Machine’ was about it was youthful and fresh and still to this day reminds me of my youth and seeing a band kick ass not giving two flying fucks what people thought and if you were with them then jump on board they were happy to have you and if you didn’t like em then so what they never gave a fuck but thirty one years later not a lot has changed they still fill decent sized venues and this is their second time around the UK this year and with that new album in tow the Wonder stuff are having it and without much fanfare they seem to be going about their business with purpose and contentment less a lot of the drama from the early years but with a back pocket stuffed with great songs. Tonight saw two albums in their entirety and half a brand new album seamlessly work together and had they played the best of the rest we’d have been there all bloody night.

I started to day dream about some of the amazing shows I’d witnessed in the early years of seeing the band and songs like ‘wish Away’ were great markers. Damn, by the time Milo introduced ‘Ruby Horse’ as the “horsey One” I realised it was almost time and the evening would be done. I didn’t want it to end it had been that good.  Mark and Malc worked well together and Mark fitted right in with the Wonder Stuff 2019 and as the band left the stage again after a spectacular and anthemic ‘Poison’ I realised there had to be an encore as there was one song missing.  It was the obvious encore even if Milo didn’t have his loud hailer at hand it was time for ‘Good Night Though’ and one by one as the song played out they left the stage for a final time that was it 2019 done and dusted there were no awful songs and all that glittered was indeed gold the best line up of the wonder stuff for a long time just tore Bristol a new one.  Can we do it all again next year for the twenty ninth anniversary tour of ‘Never Loved Elvis’  to coincide with the twenty seventh year tour of ‘Modern idiot’ you know it makes sense. why wait? call the bookers, It has to happen. Over and out.

Author: Dom Daley

Legendary drummer Bam Ross of Dogs D’Amour fame has joined The Quireboys for the US and Australian legs of their Amazing Disgrace World Tour.  We can think of no better man to have on the sticks while the lads visit some iconic locations including Hollywood, Las Vegas, New York, Salt Lake City, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide.

Due to public demand, further dates have been added to the extensive US tour, with the band now stopping in Merriam Kansas, Corpus Christi Texas, Jefferson New Orleans Louisiana, W Dundee Illinois and Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

In addition, VIP Meet and Greets are now available which will give unprecedented access to the band during soundcheck. The package also includes a souvenir laminate, signed poster and photo opportunities.  These are available to order now from:

The US and Australian tour schedule in full :

8th – 13th Feb 2020 MONSTERS OF ROCK CRUISE – Florida
14th Feb 2020 The Boardwalk, Orangevale, USA
15th Feb 2020 Whisky A Go Go, Hollywood, USA
16th Feb 2020 The Parish @ House of Blues, Anaheim, USA
20th Feb 2020 Adelaide, The Gov, AUS
21st Feb 2020 Marrickville – Factory Theatre, AUS
22nd Feb 2020 St Kilda – Prince Bandroom, AUS
23rd Feb 2020 Newstead – The Triffid, AUS
5th March 2020 Vamp’d, Las Vegas, NV, USA
6th March 2020 Liquid Joes, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
7th March 2020 The Venue, Denver, CO, USA
8th March 2020 Aftershock, Merriam, KS, USA
11th March 2020 Warehouse Live, Houston, TX, USA
12th March 2020 Rich’s Billiards, Corpus Christi, TX, USA
13th March 2020 Your Mom’s Place, Oklahoma City, OK, USA
14th March 2020 The Rail Club, Ft Worth, TX, USA
15th March 2020 Southport Hall, Jefferson, LA, USA
17th March 2020 Diamond Music Hall, St Peters, MO, USA
18th March 2020 Rochaus, W Dundee, IL, USA
19th March 2020 Token Lounge, Westland, MI, USA
20th March 2020 Peecox, Erlanger, KY, USA
21st March 2020 The Odeon Concert Hall, Cleveland, OH, USA
22nd March 2020 Hard Rock Café, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
25th March 2020 The Kingsland, Brooklyn, NY, USA
26th March 2020 Jewel Nightclub, Manchester, NH, USA
27th March 2020 Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ, USA
28th March 2020 Vault Music Hall, New Bedford, MA, USA

Born John Graham Mellor  on 21 August 1952 in Ankara Turkey to a Scottish mother and Diplomat Father. John had a mixed bag as a kid being shipped off to Boarding School paid for by the state due to his fathers job he spent the next seven years at Boarding school alleging he rarely saw his parents due to his fathers job.

Mellor changed his name in the mid ’70s from Woody (after Woody Guthrie) changing it to Strummer as a way of self deprecation as to his style in the band 101ers .  Upon his insistence the name stuck and how different would the history books have looked no Joe Strummer instead Woody Mellor!

Early ’76 saw an unknown band called The Sex Pistols support the 101ers at the Nashville Rooms, shortly after he was approached by Bernie Rhodes and Mick Jones to join their band that also included Keith Levine, Terry Chimes and Paul Simonon.  It was Paul who named the band just before their July Debut in Sheffield supporting The Pistols and as they say the rest is history.

When the Clash broke up after a whirlwind decade of chaos and destruction and some very high highs and ultimately low lows. After a luke warm solo career and getting dropped by Sony, Strummer spent some time producing the likes of The Pogues and playing a bunch of shows with them as a repecement for Shane McGowan before he put together the Mescaleros.

It wasn’t until the late ’90s that they put out their first album  ‘Rock Art and the X-Ray Style’.  After touring heavily Strummer headed straight back into the studio to record its follow up ‘Global A Go-Go’ for Hellcat Records. After heading back out on tour on  the 15th of November 2002, Strummer and the Mescaleros played a benefit show for striking fire fighters in London, at the Acton Town Hall. Mick Jones was in the audience, and joined the band on stage during the Clash’s ‘Bankrobber’. An encore followed with Jones playing guitar and singing on ‘White Riot’ and ‘London’s Burning’. This performance marked the first time since 1983 that Strummer and Jones had performed together on the same stage stage.  the news that fans had been waiting for seemed like it might become a reality with The Clash reforming and heading out on tour. Strummer’s final gigs were  Liverpool Academy on 22 November 2002, yet his final performance, just two weeks before his death, was in a small club venue ‘The Palace’ in Bridgwater, Somerset, near his home.

Heartbreakingly, Strummer died suddenly on 22 December 2002 in his home at Broomfield in Somerset, the victim of an undiagnosed congenital heart defect.  Strummer was cremated, and his ashes were given to his family. Strummer was instrumental in setting up Future Forests (since rechristened the Carbon Neutral Company), dedicated to planting trees in various parts of the world to combat global warming. Strummer was the first artist to make the recording, pressing and distribution of his records carbon neutral through the planting of trees. In his remembrance, Strummer’s friends and family have established the Strummerville Foundation for the promotion of new music, which holds an annual festival with the same name.

At the time of his death, Strummer was working on another Mescaleros album, which was released posthumously in October 2003 under the title ‘Streetcore’. It was discovered following Strummer’s death that he was an archivist of his own work, having barns full of writings and tapes. Over 20,000 items were stored in the Joe Strummer archive and on 28 September 2018, a 32-song compilation album titled ‘Joe Strummer 001’ was released. The album, which was overseen by Strummer’s widow, Lucinda, and producer Robert Gordon McHarg III, features 32 songs, 12 of which have never been released. The set spans Strummer’s career from the 101ers to the Mescaleros and features some unheard demos from the Clash following the departure of Mick Jones, along with an unreleased song recorded by Jones and Strummer in 1986. The set also features two of Strummer’s final recordings and is one of the best box sets available not just for Strummer or Clash completists its well worth getting hold of..  Joe Strummer will never be forgotten and will always be held up as one of the true musical geniuses and pioneers.  He was responsible for writing and recording some of the best song to come out of the punk scene in the ’70s and always came across as one of the good guys and he’s sadly missed today its hard to believe hes been gone seventeen years.  RIP Strummer you legend.

Due to overwhelming demand, the new digital album of 35 & Live, along with the film recorded and released on Amazon Prime Video will now be released as a very limited special edition full length DVD on one side and the audio CD on the other.

The Quireboys record label Off Yer Rocka Recordings has been inundated with requests for a physical disc of the rockers for a keepsake. Jonni Davis, CEO of Off Yer Rocka said “We knew this would be a special reaction for the bands 35th Anniversary show and the gig itself was amazing but we never envisaged such a demand for the DVD and CD which just shows the love and support for The Quireboys is growing”.

This special DVD/CD is available for pre-order via OYR website and will be dispatched at the end of January 2020. There will be a limited run of just 500 copies available worldwide.


PreOrder Here

It’s time for my final gig of the year (well reviewing wise anyway) and I can think of no better way of wrapping up an excellent year of live music than by spending a few hours in the company of one of the acts behind one of the best albums of 2019, The Mark Lanegan Band


I also have something of a confession to make too as whilst I’ve been an admirer of John Robb’s work for quite some time now (via both his writing and his time spent fronting the awesome Goldblade) I’ve never actually seen his first band The Membranes live before, in fact I’ve only ever heard the odd track by them before tonight. As a result, and true to RPM form, brother Brooks and I are in Bristol’s SWX venue very early doors to make amends for this fact, and as it transpires boy are we glad we did.

For those of you like me who are perhaps unaware of their music, The Membranes kick out a kind of gothic post punk jam that only has Robb’s trademark creepers and haircut in common with those turbo-charged garage punk rockers Goldblade. Oh and ‘blade guitarist Peter Byrchmore whose been in the band since they reformed back in 2009, who mangles the six strings along with 80s Membranes guitarist Nick Brown, and creating a kind of Reeves Gabrels meets Robert Fripp six string sonic assault between them. Goldblade drummer Rob Haynes has along been along for the ride since the reunion but he’s missing from these European dates with Mike Simii providing the backbeat over some tripped-out samples and keyboards from the enigmatic Amelia Chain who also chips in with some kooky Ofra Haza style backing vocal too.

Having been on the road with Lanegan since early November The Membranes really have got their allotted 30 minute stage time down to a fine art, slotting in tracks from their recent ‘What Nature Gives​.​.​.​Nature Takes Away’ album like the throbbing ‘Black Is The Colour’ alongside the likes of ‘The Graveyard’ and ‘Dark Energy’ from their 2016 album ‘Dark Matter/Dark Energy’ with the always moving frontman (and here bassist) Robb cutting a very different figure here from the one he commands in Goldblade. At times it’s almost like someone has taken Shaun Ryder and somehow channelled the spirit of Phil Lynott through him (albeit correcting Lynott’s above the belt bass height failure). It really shouldn’t work, but by God it does, and as soon as the band wrap up their six song set with ‘Myths and Legends’ I find myself immediately rushing to the front of the stage to buy a copy of the band’s new album. (Robb having previously voiced on social media his uneasiness with the percentage certain venues were demanding for the band to sell their merch choosing to sell his wares from the photo pit.) So, I think we can say that’s mission accomplished as I certainly wasn’t alone in the rush for the new album.


If Alanis Morissette is looking to update her examples of irony for her 2020 tour then she need look no further than the fact that tonight RPM has a photo pass for this show, and for anyone who knows Mark Lanegan shows you’ll already get where I’m coming from, as its near impossible to take any decent photos, other than silhouettes, due to his penchant for blue and red backlighting, so as a result instead of making his way to the photo pit as Lanegan and band amble onto the stage just before 9pm Grandmaster Flash (aka Nev Brooks) instead steps into the mosh pit alongside me and gets ready to let the whole experience melt his brain as we have done on so many previous occasions in the company of Lanegan and Co.

Tonight though turns out to be unlike any other Mark Lanegan Band show we’ve ever attended, as by the time we reach ‘Emperor’ towards the end of tonight’s ninety minute main set people really have started something resembling a mosh pit, and earlier during ‘Penthouse High’ you better believe me when I say we were just a strobe light and a few glow sticks away from this being a regular club night at SWX.


This is the sound of Mark Lanegan Band in 2019 though folks, and with ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ featuring high in my RPM Albums of the Year list I really wouldn’t want it any other way. In the past when I’ve lost my cool with people around talking through the more melancholic moments of Lanegan’s shows tonight the chances of that happening are reduced to just one or two songs (with ‘One Hundred Days’ also getting one of the loudest shouts of the night and thankfully absolute silence around me) and everywhere else it’s very much the electro gothic sound that dominates his latest album that drives proceedings.


Lanegan himself seems to be loving every minute of it too, taking the time to address the audience after just one song and that banter (albeit brief) continuing pretty much for the rest of the night. Me, I’m totally lost in the moment, the sound enrapturing me and making me feel that there really is a force for good in the world after all. Plus when older songs like ‘Hit The City’ and ‘The Gravediggers Song’ pop up alongside the (I think) nine songs aired from ‘Somebody’s Knocking’ it all kind of falls into place as the true band sound & vision Lanegan has been working on for many a year now. There are times tonight where you could strip away the rock schtick and I could just as easily be watching Jeffrey Lee Pierce as I could Astrud Gilberto, the vocal key changes are at times totally sublime, and if you don’t see this then please just take one listen to ‘Dark Disco Jag’ live and tell me I’m wrong.  This track alone conjures up images of what Kraftwerk might sound like jamming Burt Bacharach, and is truly inspirational.


Closing the main set out with the mandatory ‘Death Trip To Tulsa’ before returning for a double whammy encore of  ‘Harbourview Hospital’ and (the ‘Thousand Miles Of Midnight’ version of) ‘The Killing Season’ Lanegan is soon out front on his merch table signing things for his faithful with no hint of paid meet and greet bollocks anywhere to be seen, and that right there is what makes this guy (as well as his music) so God damned punk rock. This is a singer who not only turned his back on an easy pay cheque with QOTSA but continues to stick his middle finger up to anything that is considered conventional in the rock n roll world, and I simply can’t help but love him for it.


If we hadn’t already submitted our gigs of the year list to RPM HQ tonight would have cruised into the top three with some ease, I just wish this every night could be like this, albeit maybe a little more well lit.


See you down the front in 2020!!!


Author: Johnny Hayward


It’s a cold Wednesday night at the start of December. You’d think by now people would be winding down for the big, fat man in red to come and empty his… ahem… sack of goodies, but no. Cardiff is alive tonight and ready to rock. For the first time in a long time, there was a long queue outside the venue. I haven’t seen a smaller gig venue with a queue for quite some time.

I got there just as Hollowstar were launching into their final song, which was a shame. I really wanted to catch their set but traffic and the newly extended 50mph zone in Port Talbot aren’t a good mixture when coupled with an early starting gig! After all, there are 4 bands to get through here.

Second on the bill are Swedish sleaze meisters Crashdiet. I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for Crashdiet. I loved their first album with Dave Leppard on vocals. Admittedly, I was never a huge fan of much they put out beyond that, but I’ve caught the band live a few times but never been as blown away as I was at the sound of their first album.

Tonight, they are here promoting their new album Rust with a new singer in tow (Fourth singer in five albums!), but boy, do they deliver. Hard hitting, headbanging, big haired rock and roll is back with a vengeance. Or at least it was for the short time they tore up the stage. The new singer Gabriel has brought a new fire to the band. New songs like ‘Rust’ sounded perfect alongside old favourites like ‘Riot in Everyone’ and ‘Breaking the Chains’.

Main support tonight are the UK’s finest blues rock and roll exports. You know them, you love them, you’ve seen them 10 times already this year because they are the hardest touring band in the world… ladies and gentlemen, The Quireboys.

Can the Quireboys play a bad show? Probably… Have I seen them play a bad show in the 10 or so times I’ve seen them? Not a chance. I saw them perform in Swansea in mid-November to a tiny crowd and they nailed it. Tonight, the room is full, beer cups are in the air and it’s party time and Spike really comes alive. You can see he’s at home on the big stage, and so he should be. They deserve gigs of this size.

Their set is full of all the usual suspects from ‘7 o’Clock’ to ‘Mona Lisa Smiled’ to ‘This is Rock and Roll’. They’ve got so many tracks to get the room bouncing that it’s probably hard to pick a setlist this short. Spike stated at one point that while he loves a good chin wag between songs, tonight he had to be kept on a tight leash as they had to get through as many songs as they could in a short time.

A few new songs made an appearance in the set, after all, they have a new album they are currently promoting. Original ‘Black Eyed Sons’ and ‘Sinners Serenade’ have all the swagger of a Quireboys classic.

9:30pm arrives, the lights go down and The Ramones ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ comes blaring over the PA. It’s time for the main event. Now, I should admit that Skid Row certainly aren’t my favourite band but tonight they really captivated me. From start to finish the band were firing on all cylinders and having a great time doing it. I’ve actually seen them a few times in recent years and always thought they sounded great but tonight they seemed to have an extra spark under them.

The set was littered with 80s mega hit after 80s mega hit. Opening with Makin’ a Mess was a nice change. I lose track of how many times I’ve seen them open with Slave to the Grind. Big Guns, Piece of Me, Livin’ on a Chain Gang, that’s a pretty hard and heavy first 4. The majority of the set it high octane, high energy with only a few slower moments for the usual suspects 18 and Life and I Remember You.

Skid Row have plenty of albums under their belt and they choose a diverse setlist that covers every era of the band. ZP Theart showing the crowd just why he’s the man for the job. He sings the old songs in vocal ranges unheard since Sebastian Bach fronted the band. ZP is known already for his soaring vocal style from his days with Dragonforce but Skid Row is a different animal and he shows the crowd that rock and roll is alive and well as he pours a bottle of Jack Daniels over himself and the crowd.

For a brief period, Cardiff turned into a dingy rock and roll club in LA. Skid Row took the crowd on a trip back to when the beer was flowing, the rock was loud and the roll was louder.

They may be over 50 now, but these youths can still get wild.

Author: Leigh Fuge


“Strange Unit: A tale where Big Black took the greatest hits album from 90’s baldies Black (Francis) and Corgan (Billy), and physically ate them, creating a case of acid reflux being involuntarily regurgitated into the public domain as a multicolored, textual mess that is rightly disgusting and mesmerising in equal measures.” Mmm, fair summary I spose.  Scott Lee Andrews is all or nothing and when he does his music its never going to conform or come from inside the box that a given. From the opening salvo of ‘Ghandi Warhole’ you just know for the next twenty-five minutes you might need some protection from the sonic assault, some headgear and maybe a gumshield as the feedback howls and the guitar creepy crawls inside your head after you’ve had the initial tap from that snare drum that’s slapping away.  It’s already too late and you should begin to feel your heartbeat quicken as Scott screams it’s like Blare Witch the audio assault. He’s got a ‘sick sense’ we’re in and it’s definitely happening. ‘Chew’ is like an angry slice of Sigue Sigue Sputnik if they had been serious punk rock pioneers and genuinely a bit bonkers. The guitar lick that’s holding this together is viscous and the chorus is taking root inside your head its the soundtrack to what’s going on behind Travis Bickle’s eyes it’s intense but wholely enjoyable.
Go over and turn up the speakers as much as you can for the grinding ‘Learn To Luv It’ ‘Sick Sense’ is tasty as it creepy crawls through the verse only to explode at the chorus it’s like an industrial headfuck with huge guitar riffs filling all available space. I thought for a brief moment ‘victimology’ was going to chill out in a David Bowie sort of way but how wrong was I?  Chalk and cheese it would seem as Scott rants over the albums most full-on track thus far. Oh hang on a minute ‘Tattoo’ is up and it’s like anxiety audio sprinting like a hunted man.  Make no mistake Scott is as punk as fuck – He dances to his own beat and the music that comes out of his head won’t appeal to everyone but it will to some and when it does engage it all makes sense and plays out like a fuckin’ symphony other times its terrifying but you could never accuse him of being boring.  ‘Everything Ends’ would encapsulate all of that in its blistering almost five minutes and then silence… Go for a walk have a lie down in a darkened room then do it all again – go on you’ll enjoy it Let Strange Unit shine a light into your life and fuck you right up.  Don’t be safe be adventurous, be open-minded and saddle up this beast of a record and take it for a ride you never know what you’re going to get and depending on your mood the sounds and songs will change he’s clever like that is Scott.  Bloody show-off!
Author: Dom Daley

Until recently you’d have thought punk rock was invented by Malcolm McLaren and Bernie Rhodes and that’s about it nobody else was involved and the history books also tend to gloss over the real nuts and bolts and the details that really matter but those who know really do know.  Punk wasn’t invented by chancers or clothes shop owners it was invented by kids on both sides of the Atlantic who felt forgotten and lost and had something to rally against and one of the biggest magnets of the scene happens to have been one Brian James.  From the gushing introduction from Henry Rollins something of a punk rock fact nurd who actually puts things into perspective.  James deserves respect and with respect has carved one hell of a catalogue of work and reinvented himself several times and was a success every time.  I’m delighted to have this book in my hands and feast on the details and exquisite picture catalogue Wombat has amassed.

Brian was a visionary and someone people wanted to be around as this book will testify sure he borrowed heavily from the likes of Richards and Ashton and those Mc5s but he didn’t just copy them he went away and created a new sound and style that exploded for a brief second in time and the ripples are still being felt in and around our little corner of the world where music matters and not just being the first to this or that Brian made records that mattered and was above all life-changing and life-affirming.  This biography tells Brian’s story from dingy basements to where he is today still creating and everything in between.

I don’t want to tell Brians story (He’ll do that when he finally releases his autobiography) in the interim Wombat (who also has some excellent books on Johnny Thunders and Bryan Gregory & The Cramps) has gathered painstakingly some fantastic anecdotal memories and pictures to open up Brians world in music to the reader who if your a fan of all or many of Brians works you’ll find this a real treat. If you’re looking for the true embodiment of punk rock then you’ve found the holy grail Brian James is punk rock and as he said himself he didn’t do this for fame or fortune he did it because its the only thing he ever wanted to do and still is!  That warms the cockles of my heart and confirms what I’ve always known.  Brian James is a legend.

The book starts off right at the beginning and with a classic cowboy picture of James as a nipper and takes you through the various periods of his life – It’s not overly indulgent and keeps things brief but you do get a good picture of where he comes from and the man himself his first meeting with Johnny Thunders, Breaking up the Damned, the Pistols, Anarchy tour its all covered but just giving a brief outline and not reaching into minute details unlike many books on the subject of say the Anarchy Tour it was only a few weeks of one year move on people, please.

The book flows well and some of the pictures are fantastic as are a lot of the clips of tickets and bill posters that are reproduced which is really nice for us anoraks. The stuff around the Brains and Tanz Der Youth period then into Brians thoughts on touring with Iggy on ‘Soldiers’ and ‘New Values’ is great stuff but I wanted to get to the Lords stuff and it doesn’t disappoint with some fantastic pictures spread out over many pages then chapter seven and the Lords with some great insight from Dave (Treganna) and roadie and friend Ivor who knocked out one of the best quotes in the book when he is explaining that the band were forever on tour and they were indeed heady wild times and he’d tuned Brians guitars more times than Brian ever had Dave summary of recording ‘Like A Virgin’ is succinct and the picture taken from the photoshoot is hilarious. I could read about the Lords all day and night to me they were one of the magical bands in my lifetime and along with Hanoi Rocks will always hold a special place.

If you’re a fan then what’s not to like its an easy read and the pictures are great. John wombat has done a sterling job and pulled together a very readable book of one of my musical Heroes and on finishing this it’s only cemented my initial fanboy thoughts go to the link and click and pick up a copy you won’t regret it at all.  Now Mr. James get on with the autobiography this has only whet my appetite for more ramblings and pictures. buy it!


Buy ‘The authorised Biography Of Brian James’ Here

John Wombat