Earlier this year they got together and played a live set from Chicago’s infamous dive bar/music venue Liar’s Club. They donated the money raised to the owners of Liar’s Club. Criminal Kids consider Liar’s their home base, and after being around since 1995 they wanted to help in the best way they know how, and boy what a blistering and tight set this EP is. the playing is exceptional and the interplay between the band is almost magical, No it is magical. One play through some decent headphones is enough to convince me I’m hearing sleazy punk rock n roll magic as the band kick the living shit out of ‘Little Bitch’ as the attitude comes through that bass thump holding this little bitch together and the band are throwing the riffs around like a rag doll. the band then performs their debut single ‘Outcast’ and all they do is turn up the ante and before that filthy bass line walks in they twist the intro like a corkscrew and then shake it a little and everything comes pouring out like some cheap champagne. Then ‘Vanity’ from the bands previous ep is up and it sounds more vital, more like a hand grenade has gone off and the explosion leaves your ears ringing. Like a filthy snotty early AC/DC if they were a punk rock n roll band.
Before you can draw breath your neck deep into the final offering of ‘Takin’ It Back’ and then maybe you can indeed draw a breath. Fuck me that’s about as good as it gets for full tilt Rock n Roll played with passion, commitment and a mile wide fuckin’ grin. I love the Criminal kids and hope they never grow up but I do hope they help save Liars Club and they get to release another record in the not too distant future and make it at least ten tracks long. Absolute fuckin blast! Buy It!
You’ll find “Live At Liar’s on all major streaming and download outlets now.
Author: Dom Daley
Danny Bowes and Luke Morley from British Rock giants Thunder will be heading out on tour throughout November of this year with their Spoken Word and Acoustic Music tour ‘The First 50 Years’. The show features an evening of funny and personal tales based around their brilliant new book, ‘Danny Bowes & Luke Morley – The First 50 Years’, which is published in October by A Way With Media [pre sales are open now]. The shows also offer a scattering of acoustic versions of some of the fans’ favourites from throughout their remarkable career.
At these intimate, unguarded and very funny shows, the Thunder stalwarts will tell the remarkable story of one of rock music’s most enduring friendships. Danny & Luke became friends in September 1971, when they met at secondary school. Through the ups and downs of life on the road, their friendship has never wavered; though this tour may test it!
The book ‘Danny Bowes & Luke Morley – The First 50 Years’ charts the duo’s history with the band, is narrated by Mick Wall, and told by Danny & Luke. Packed with pictures and full of facts, the book is in a strictly limited edition of 2000 [with many sold already] and comes with hardback cover, as a cloth bound edition, with luxurious heavy duty paper and presented in a hard protective “clamshell” case.
Tickets and VIP packages are available from Here
With both the tour and the book, ‘Danny Bowes & Luke Morley – The First 50 Years’ offers fans not just of Thunder but of Rock music in general a peek behind the curtain, stories about the great and the good that the band have collected along the way, some fantastic live music, and plenty of laughs. In short: the perfect night out. Here’s to the next 50…
Monday 1st– Whitley Bay, Playhouse
Tuesday 2nd– Scarborough, The Spa
Wednesday 3rd– Hamilton, Town House
Thursday 4th– Greenock, Beacon Arts Centre
Saturday 6th– Shrewsbury, Theatre Severn
Sunday 7th– Birmingham, Town Hall
Monday 8th– Loughborough, Town Hall
Tuesday 9th– Stourbridge, Town Hall
Sunday 14th– Ipswich, Corn Exchange
Monday 15th– Bury St Edmunds, Apex
Wednesday 17th– Exeter, Corn Exchange
Thursday 18th– Porthcawl, Grand Pavilion
Friday 19th– Llanelli, Ffwrnes
Monday 22nd– Ilkley, King’s Hall
Tuesday 23rd– Crawley, The Hawth
Thursday 25th– Bedford, Corn Exchange
Monday 29th– Leicester, The Y
Whilst the rest of the UK seems to be going batshit crazy, the Fleece really is the place to be tonight if you want to feel any degree of post-lockdown normality. There’s even one of those much hated 10pm curfews in place and arriving early for a pre-gig catch up with some old mates it’s almost like the last 18 months haven’t happened at all. Especially as the “sold out” flashes had been up on tonight’s gig posters long before anyone had ever heard of Covid-19. That’s right folks Cock Sparrer are finally back in Bristol for what was originally going to be their 2020 Not The Albert Hall Tour of smaller venues and boy does it feel good to be back inside a packed out and sweaty club. That’s not to say that the Fleece hasn’t had to make some changes to deal with the ever evolving post-lockdown situation though.
The most immediately obvious of these changes is perhaps the venue’s turbocharged air-con system, which is cranked up high enough to make the early evening air positively ice-box. So much so that Spunk Volcano has even ditched his trademark on stage action pants for tonight’s show. Then again, this is probably the least of the band’s concerns as having a guitarist walk out just prior to going out on tour and then having to quickly rework your set as a four piece (with the aforementioned Mr Volcano now also taking up second guitarist role as well as being singer) must have been a much more serious matter for them to deal with.
Not that you’d really notice the line-up change though, as the likes of ‘Death Or Glory’, ‘Cellotape’ and ‘Crossfire’ all blast out of the PA at maximum volume and velocity much to the joy of those eager enough to get in early doors. The Eruptions’ excellent lockdown released album ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ gets an early look in too via the awesome ‘Only Got Eyes for You, and I can’t help thinking the misfits might never have sounded better.
Whether its cruising in his ‘XR3’ or standing on ‘Platform 3’ the ability of Spunk Volcano to turn everyday situations into memorable rock anthems is what really draws people in, and be it a metal or punk audience the band are playing to if you can’t relate to the likes of ‘I Can’t Stop Thinking About You’ then you’ve obviously led a very sheltered life indeed. By almost direct contrast though tonight’s closing track ‘DNA Failure’ stubs a finger in the chest of the crazy world outside the Fleece and screams “fuck you” in its face, seemingly much to the delight of everyone around me.
It’s all over way too quickly, but with an eleven date tour booked for early 2022, if the Eruptions can just slot in a Welsh/Bristol date into their already busy itinerary that would make the ideal early Spunkmas pressie for yours truly and many others here tonight.
Cock Sparrer will also be looking forward to a busy 2022 as they look to celebrate their 50th anniversary, with their recently announced one off “two set” show at London’s Roundhouse close to selling out at the time of writing. It’s their 49th anniversary we’re all finally celebrating tonight though, and as the ‘Overture’ intro segues seamlessly into ‘Riot Squad’ and the inevitable mosh pit follows swiftly kicking any social distancing well into touch, for the next 90 minutes at least we are back to the “old normal”, something I openly admit I’d had my own reservations about. However, once we’re into ‘Watch Your Back’ and the frenzied boogie of ‘Working’ it is impossible not to be a part of it all.
Throwing in a few setlist curveballs is always something Sparrer enjoy doing, largely to keep it fresh for everyone, and tonight we get a searing ‘Sussed’ from the ‘Here We Stand’ album to put everyone’s memories to the test. Meanwhile, three tracks from their 2017 released ‘Forever’ album sees ‘One By One’ emerging to stand shoulder to shoulder with the likes of ‘Argy Bargy’ and ‘Take Em All’ as a real fan favourite. For yours truly I’ll never tire of hearing the likes of ‘AU’ and ‘Tough Guys’ or in fact (Colin McFaull’s very own favourite Sparrer song) ‘Because You’re Young’. These songs all proving without a doubt that the band has always been more than just their seminal ‘Shock Troops’ record in the songwriting department. Although granted it’s the likes of ‘Take ‘Em All’ and ‘Where Are They Now? that really get the Doc Martins moving on the dancefloor and the previously mentioned ice-cold air con is seriously struggling to keep up by the time the band has ripped through the three song encore of ‘Suicide Girls’, ‘England Belongs To Me’ and We’re Coming Back’.
Along with a grin stretching from ear to ear the overriding thought I’m left with leaving the Fleece tonight is the songs that Sparrer didn’t play. You know the ones that you hear people around you shouting for at all Sparrer gigs, songs like ‘Sunday Stripper’, ‘Chip On My Shoulder’ ‘Bird Trouble’ and ‘Bats Out’ (granted that one was me), songs that would make the “two set” Roundhouse show seem even more essential than your usual Sparrer gig. There’s only a year to wait to find out if they will get played again folks, and trust me that time will fly by.
Hit the ticket link below to make sure you don’t miss out on this once in a band’s lifetime event. You can thank me later.
Author: Johnny Hayward
Filmed in The Netherlands during the summer of 2021 by Director Jacoba Cornelisse, the video beams the positive sensations everyone is yearning for. A family event of sorts, Conte, as well as his wife and kids, all appear in the video as a complimentary visual to lyrics which remind us to appreciate the simple things in life, embrace them, and never let go.
Seconds out we have got the new video from the very talented Carol Hodge. ‘So Much For Summertime’ is an ode to the lost summer of 2020, and the Covid hangover continuing today. Instead of being a lamentation, Hodge digs deep to find the irony and positivity in the precariousness of our current existence. Wall of sound vocal harmonies, synths and swooping guitars ensure an uplifting listen, a counterpoint to the wry lyrics about imbalance and feeling trapped.
was created by video artist Daniel Mudford Of Balham. Daniel has an impressive back catalogue that includes shooting BTS documentaries for classic movies Scott Pilgrim Vs The World, Pirate Radio and Hot Fuzz. Dan also composed the soundtrack for one of Carol’s favourite films, Shaun Of The Dead, and has toured with Bill Bailey, so she is very excited to work with him.
Finally how about some rock from Toronto? Toronto’s premiere buzz band, Wine Lips, have just announced their latest full-length release Mushroom Death Sex Bummer Party due out this Fall on Montreal’s Stomp Records.
Pareidolia is the latest release from Norwegian prog metal band Ohmwork. The band have been quite prolific releasing four albums and an EP since 2012. Consisting of guitarist/vocalist Anders L. Rasmussen, bassist Helge Nyrud, and new drummer Einar Petersen from death-metal band Deception, the band make an impressive noise.
Their sound merges metal with many different genres, opening track ‘Born from Black’ has echoes of ‘Synchronicity’ era Police with pummelling riffs mixed in. The guys are superb musicians, and they seem to be able to switch styles effortlessly. Other highlights include the extremely catchy ‘Liquid Fire’ and ‘Mental Meltdown’ which features some classy drumming from Petersen. The album is an interesting and enjoyable listen which constantly catches you off guard with the music heading in different directions.
If you like Dream Theatre, Porcupine Tree etc than you should take the time to check out Ohmwork. A well-crafted album with quality songs wrapped up in an unusual package. A double thumbs up from me!
Author: Kenny Kendrick
Remember when rock n’ roll was young, dumb and full of cum?! Stevie R Pearce does, and he’s here to raise the roof, put the X back in sex and deliver the fun big time. You may know him from his days (or should that be daze?) in The Black Bullets, or more recent stints with Warrior Soul or Jizzy Pearl’s latest incarnation of Love/Hate. Well, the singer/guitar slinger is back with The Hooligans for another stabs of turbo-charged rock n’ roll in the shape of the sophomore long player ‘Major League Son Of A Bitch’.
Originally slated for release pre-pandemic, this album has been a long time coming, but it sure is worth the wait. The dirty, metallic riffage and sleazy vocalisin’ of opener ‘Rip It Out’ sets the scene with a statement of intent. The band play hard and fast and with a top-notch production job from everyone’s go-to-guy Dave Draper, it seems first impressions really do last. Remember when rock bands sounded dangerous? Yeah, I’m talking everyone from Gn’R and AC/DC to Marilyn Manson, they all had their moments. Now, I’m not saying The Hooligans are in the same league as the big hitters, but they have that certain something that just makes my ears prick up and go “oohh!”
Let’s take the commercial, radio friendly single ‘Rush Of Blood To The Head’. Now back in the day this song would’ve been serious MTV fodder. I can visualize the video now, dry ice, the band all dressed in white, with strippers writhing around them…but its 2021 right now, so there’s none of that nonsense! But, hell that’s a tune alright. And there’s more where that came from. ‘How High’ channels turn of the century Scandinavian rock n’ roll to the max. Sonically seductive guitars are slung from the crotch, and the ghosts of Turbonegro and Backyard Babies scream along to the gang vocals.
The title track features Love/Hate screamer Jizzy Pearl and was apparently inspired by that time the singer crucified himself on the Hollywood sign as a publicity stunt. Yes, that actually did happen folks, you didn’t dream it! Actually, the metallic riffage and the sleazy demeanor does bring to mind Love /Hate at their finest. A major league chorus, gang vocals and a killer guitar solo. Sleazy does it boys, you’re ticking all the right boxes here.
Yet ‘Major League Son Of A Bitch’ is far from a one trick pony. They tackle trippy 70’s rock in ‘Just A State Of Mind’, And they nail dumb ass punk n’ roll on the tongue-in-cheek ‘Lunatics By The Pool’. With its epic, soaring guitar solo, the former is a highlight, and the latter is a degenerated cacophony with an anthemic hook designed to party. An ‘oi oi’ punk melody that is as British as fish n chips on Blackpool Pier.
An album highlight must be the acoustic ballad ‘If I Were Blind’. A song that shows the development of Stevie’s songwriting and showcases the softer side of his rock n’ roll pallet. With its piano and string section it may not be quite as epic as ‘November Rain’, but it sure feels better than an April shower. Emotive and heartfelt, it tugs at the heartstrings in all the right places, building nicely to a sweet chorus that begs you to hold your lighter in the air. Boys, don’t be afraid to shed a tear and hold your girl’s hand just a little bit tighter.
‘Major League Son Of A Bitch’ is a diverse, yet classic sounding rock record that embraces the past, yet feels contemporary. While Stevie and his Hooligans sure bring the party to the max, they carry with them an element of danger, something that is lost on the majority of so many so-called rock n’ roll bands these days. Get this album on your ‘to buy’ list and when you do, crank the volume to the max, you know Jizzy would approve.
Author: Ben Hughes
German heavy metal legend Udo Dirkschneider returns with his 18th studio album under the U.D.O. moniker – ‘Game Over’. Ah, I remember as if it was yesterday (it was actually 1986) when I heard Accept’s ‘Restless and Wild’ album for the first time. The opening double bass drum barrage of Fast as a Shark had a huge impact on this young drummer. That album was a major influence on the thrash and speed metal genre with Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, Megadeth, Testament et al citing Accept as a huge inspiration. They had further worldwide success with the follow up ‘Balls to the Wall’ which went gold in the US and Canada.
Accept’s then frontman Udo Dirkschneider made an impact with his distinctive voice and image. After leaving (or being fired from) Accept in 1987 he formed U.D.O. and enjoyed continued success. With this latest album Dirkschneider tackles important subject matter ranging from climate change, war, and political corruption. The album delivers everything you expect, and I have to say Dirkschneider sounds fantastic, he sounds as good today as he ever did. The band also deliver some top-notch performances with riffs galore from guitar duo Andrey Smirnov and Fabian Dee Dammers and Udo’s son Sven delivers a fantastic performance on the drum throne.
Great song titles like ‘Fear Detector’, ‘Metal Never Dies’ and ‘Like A Beast’ sound just like you would imagine, metal to the core! One track that stands out though is ‘Kids and Guns’ with its almost AC/DC like groove. It feels a little out of place with the other tracks, but I like it all the same. Let’s be honest, if you’re checking out this album you know what to expect, it’s true head banging heavy metal that delivers what it says on the tin. A strong album that will appeal to U.D.O.’s hardcore fan base.
With a career that spans over forty years you must admire Dirkschneider for sticking to what he does best for all these years. As Accept famously said… ‘Shake Your Heads’!
Game Over is released on October 8th through AFM records.
Author: Kenny Kendrick
Well folks, here we are again as the Sabbath catalogue gets another Super Deluxe version on both CD and Vinyl and once again to be fair to whoever is curating these reissues much like the Motorhead ones these are some of the best box sets out there from the packaging to its content a lot of love has been poured onto these reissues and be it the box office Sabbath biggies or the lesser releases they all have the same quality and eye to detail. ‘Technical Ecstasy’ is no exception, from the mini-poster to the four-CD packages it’s top-notch in the reissue department.
The reprint mini-tour book is quality even if I do need my readers to dive into the text as is the period reflected in the hardback book that’s included. Man, these gents were into their satin even as punk broke they were oblivious somewhat. Iommi sat in the produces chair for this the seventh studio release from the original line up and whilst it has one foot in the prog camp there is also an indication of the direction that Ozzy would head sooner rather than much later.
Maybe Sabbath was for the first time taking their cues from elsewhere rather than leading the genre and with the heavy influence of Gerald Woodroffe’s swirling keyboards the band couldn’t be accused of standing still from the proggy opener of ‘Back Street Kids’ through the swirling keyboards creating a good foil for Iommi’s doom-laden riffs on ‘You Won’t Change Me’ is a good example as Iommi and Woodroffe trade solos whilst the rhythm section gets that Sabbath heaviness anchored down. The Beatles tinged ‘It’s Alright’ is one of the best tracks on offer for me and has stood the test of time and proven that Ward didn’t need a bucket to carry a tune on his moment in the sunshine. Then there’s ‘Gypsy’ again with its keyboard-driven workout.
Side two of the album sees the band go for a groovy workout where they get their collective funk on ‘All Moving Parts (Stand Still)’. I do however love the groove the band gets on ‘Rock And Roll Doctor’ throwing another curveball by just jamming out a real Rock and Roller when everything else screams trying hard to be hip and adventurous it’s as if they just decided to go easy and rock out. Then step forward ‘She’s Gone’ the album’s hushed acoustic introed song with strings n all and a chance for Ozzy to try out what he would later perfect through his solo career. Then to close it’s Dirty Women’ and on reflection, it’s a decent album and unpackaging the extras this labor of love has unearthed some new mixes and the usual Instrumental mixes of tracks like ‘She’s Gone’. As for the hardback book, well, it’s full of great pictures and well-researched Japanese single sleeves as well as interview snippets from the band and a well-covered history of the mid 70s Sabbath for the hardcore fans and newcomers alike. But for me, the treat inside the box of goodies is the live album – recorded on the 76-77 world tour.
Mixing together classic Sabbath from the awesome ‘Symptoms Of The Universe’, ‘War Pigs’ and ‘Black Sabbath’ there is also room for ‘Technical Ecstasy’ tracks like ‘Gypsy’ and ‘Dirty Women’ the quality of this live recording is exceptional and through a decent pair of headphones it’s like being sat next to the sound engineer with Bill Ward’s bass drum sounding as big as an arena all by its self. It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and actually played a drum solo and Guitar solo on a record but they are here in all their glory and the one thing that stands out is what a powerhouse Bill Ward is – absolutely outstanding. Capping it all off with the monster that is ‘Children Of The Grave’ and whilst listening it makes me smile that the reproduction tour book also has all those tour ads intact especially the £2.50 tour shirt imagine what one of those would be worth in 2021? Wow!
So in a nutshell of course its a no brainer for Sabbath fans old and young this is another of those box sets that is a must-have and another exceptional package to while away the hours and marvel at the masters of heavy metal and what a class act they really were even when they weren’t at their best they were still better than most.
Buy Vinyl Here
Buy CD Here
Author: Dom Daley