As we reach the end of 2021 many of us reflect on what’s happened over the last twelve months and in these strange times we live in it seems inevitable that we lose more and more of our heroes and heroines. We seem to have lost a few more good ones this past twelve months and here at RPM Online, we’d like to celebrate some of our favourites who passed away. Rather than dwell on the morbid side and how or why they died let’s celebrate with some videos they featured in and look back on some of the fantastic music they left behind.

Sylvain Sylvain February 14, 1951 – January 13, 2021

New York Dolls guitar legend Sylvain Sylvain died aged 69 on 13th January 2021 following a two-and-a-half-year battle with cancer. Apart from being the mainstay in the Dolls, Sylvain released some decent solo albums either under his own name or The Criminals album. It’s usually when they’re gone do we realise how treasured these guys are and when I met him he was warm and engaging. Sylvain was a larger-than-life personality and played with a smile on his face. I loved those reformed Dolls shows from the Festival Hall right up to the bitter end, Sylvain was a legend. Early memories being the incredible Whistle Test performance which would have been one of the earliest glimpses we Brits had of Sylvain in an infamous clip from the glib intro to the incendiary performance the Dolls were the beating heart of real glam rock n roll not mock rock at all. It’s an iconic moment when Rock and Roll stole many a teenage heart.

Like a lot of his generation who have now sadly passed we don’t have many left and when he announced his diagnosis people were already praising him for his originality and style and for lighting a flame in many of his fans who went on to form their own bands. A trailblazer and original rocker Sylvain was and is a genuine legend.

Mark Keds 28 October 1970 – 11 January 2021

Singer and guitarist with Senseless Things, died aged 50 in the early hours of Sunday 10th January 2021. Former bandmate Ben Harding broke the news, writing: “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we have to tell you that, sadly, Mark – our singer, friend and main songwriter – is no longer with us. It’s no secret that he had struggled on and off with drug abuse and a pretty chaotic lifestyle for a long while, and his health suffered substantially over the years due to this. While this had sometimes created friction within the on-off workings of Senseless Things and his other projects, we choose to remember the friend, the brother and the talent we’ve lost today.”

Senseless Things released four studio albums and a Peel Sessions album between 1989 and 1995, had two Top 20 singles and he then went on to hold down a brief stint with The Wildhearts started a new band Jolt before getting a writing credit for ‘Can’t Stand Me Now’ by the Libertines. Keds and Jerome Alexandre formed Deadcuts who did a split with The Hip Priests and released a couple of albums as well but never managed to reach anywhere near the heights of success he had with Senseless Things. Sadly Mark had been suffering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is treatable. His talent will be greatly missed as he shuffled off at the young age of 50.

Charlie Watts – 2 June 1941 – 24th August 2021

A man who certainly doesn’t need an introduction is Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts who died at the age of 80 on 24th August 2021. He passed away peacefully in a London hospital surrounded by his family. Charlie was the driving force behind The Rolling Stones, one of the greatest drummers of his generation. A unique character who was the backbone of the band often overlooked by the larger-than-life characters who played in front of him but his style and drive were a huge part of what made the band sound as good as they did. Often the center of some quality stories and recollections with some of the best being when he punched Jagger and put him in his place about being the singer in HIS band and his quote about spending twenty-five years hanging around. He had a fantastic calm and dry sense of humor and what seemed like the patience of a saint amidst all the chaos that surrounded him for decades and decades. He was indeed one of a kind and it’s fair to say there will never be another Charlie Watts. A cause of death is yet to be revealed.

Malcolm Dome 1955 – 29 October 2021

Not a musician who influenced any scene but a huge influence on Rock music. Malcolm Dome died on 1st November 2021 aged 66. During his 40+ year career, Dome wrote for various influential publications including Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Record Mirror and Classic Rock. In a February 1984 article for Kerrang!, Dome is responsible for the term “thrash metal” while describing Anthrax’s ‘Metal Thrashing Mad’.

Stars from many genres paid tribute to Dome following his death including Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Saxon, Geezer Butler, Lars Ulrich and Doro all artists he championed be it on the pages of Kerrang! or the airwaves of Rock Radio. A font of knowledge and a genuinely lovely guy to all who met him. Dome was one of a handful who filled the pages of magazines with bands that broke big, they happened to be the soundtrack to millions of teenagers, growing up with the music of a certain type it was impossible to avoid his words, and his words filled some iconic books on the subject of Rock, all this prior to this wonderful interweb. Always passionate, always on the money rest in peace mr wordsmith.

Mick Rock – 21 November 1948 – 18 November 2021

Legendary British photographer Mick Rock, who was responsible for some of the most iconic images of David Bowie, Queen, Syd Barrett, T. Rex, Lou Reed and many more, died on 18th November 2021 aged 72. No cause of death has been revealed. A statement read: “Those who had the pleasure of existing in his orbit, know that Mick was always so much more than ‘The Man Who Shot The 70s.’He was a photographic poet – a true force of nature who spent his days doing exactly what he loved, always in his own delightfully outrageous way.” He happened to create seminal sleeves such as, Lou Reed’s ‘Transformer’ and ‘Coney Island Baby’, Iggy Pop and the Stooges’ ‘Raw Power’, Queen’s ‘Queen II’ and ‘Sheer Heart Attack’, The Ramones’ ‘End of the Century’ and Joan Jett’s ‘I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll.’ He was also famously David Bowie’s chief photographer in the 1970s and captured many images of the Ziggy Stardust era. and I’m sure we’ve all stared at his pictures for hours over the years such was his talent for capturing the moment.

Hank Von Hell – 15 June 1972 – 19 November 2021

Former Turbonegro singer Hank Von Helvete (born Hans-Erik Dyvik Husby), passed on 19th November 2021 aged just 49. Turbonegro said in a statement: “It is with immense sadness we received the tragic news that Hans-Erik Dyvik Husby has passed away. We are thankful for the times, the moments and the magic we shared with Hans-Erik in Turbonegro during the years 1993-2009. As a charismatic frontman who equally channeled humor and vulnerability, Hans-Erik was crucial for the band’s appeal. He was a warm and big hearted human, a spiritually and intellectually seeking person who loved having a conversation with anyone. We are proud of what we created together as rock brothers in Turbonegro – the music, the characters, our whole universe.”

Darrell Bath – Dec 24. 1966 – Sept 27. 2021

Sadly passed away in his sleep Darrell was a master of his craft and was often spoken about as being a genius and one of the most naturally gifted guitar pickers of his generation. whether he was playing some punk, glam or acoustic Daz didn’t play the same way twice, he played from the heart and had the touch of a master. He was a pretty decent songwriter as well when he put his mind to it and probably his biggest downfall was he didn’t assemble an album as often as he should have but when he did be it as part of The Crybabys, Vibrators, Subs or Ian Hunters band or as a solo artist it was a joy to hear.

When he stood in the Dogs D’Amour he was the perfect choice to replace the departed Jo Dog who also had incredible touch and style Bath was the perfect choice to fill such stylish shoes and do it with style and panache. His last album ‘Roll Up’ was superb but that was in 2016 way too long ago but it was a bit bloody good.

We were however lucky to have a few 7″ singles drop out of his vagabond case ‘Greedy Green Eyes’ a year after ‘Roll Up’ and then finally Rockin The Streets with Los Tupper that signed off with a brilliant cover of the David Essex classic ‘Hold Me Close’

“Darrell Bath was a fine guitarist and a walking lyric. He will be missed. My condolences to his loved ones.”

– Ian Hunter

Timo Kaltio – 17 August 1960 – Sept 02. 2021

Timo was best known as a guitarist in Cherry Bombz and of course Cheap and Nasty.  Kaltio also wrote the chorus for Guns N ‘Roses ‘, ‘Right Next Door To Hell’. In more recent times the talented artist also played sweet guitar in the Peckham Cowboys and toured the UK with this old school band of rock n rollas and most recently contributed to the Rich Ragany & The Digressions album.

Timo had not long moved back home to his native Finland before passing on which came as a shock to us fans. He will be sadly missed by many fans as well as his loved ones. He had some amazing heartwarming tributes paid to his talent and his lovely soul will be missed by many. His contribution to some fine bands should never be underestimated. Rest In Peace Timo.

Having recently reviewed the magnificent Scaramanga Six, I was sent a link to the new audio-visual project by Shatner main man, Jim Bower. As the Scara’s Paul Morricone has played with Shatner, it seemed a good idea to explore ‘Life Support’. Clearly, this has been a labour of love for Bower; ten tracks, each with an accompanying video, one released each month until December 2021. The loose concept is an environmental journey “from apathy to activism”. So, not Ramones, then? No, but we have room at RPM to embrace a variety of music, as long the quality is high.

Which it is. For fans of the Scaramanga Six, yes, and anyone with an ear for a tune and a story. Shatner often sounded, to these ears, like a relative of Chris Catalyst of Eureka Machines. And if Chris wrote a concept album, it could sound like this. ‘When David Bowie Died’ is a case in point, a subject Chris has written about. Things have, indeed, been unsettlingly weird since then.

‘Sun Will Rise’ seems written from the point of view of a conspiracy theorist; “I’ve got the right to believe what I like”. ‘Wrong’ is the reply to the keyboard warrior; “I’m sure you found a Facebook group who totally agree with you”.

‘All You Need Is Time’ laments the time wasted, while trying to provide for the future. The eternal conundrum of work/play balance? “We’ll skip through fields, sea air we’ll breathe, on statutory days of leave”.

‘Can Of Worms’ sees the protagonist using silence as a shield, rather than confronting the disturbed ideas of other people. ‘Life Support’ pleads with their partner to save them, to make life worthwhile; “You’re my life, so be there, be my health care, hold my hand”.

Lyrically, not easy listening, but it bears fruit if you’re ready for it. The music is lightly psychedelic in parts, which suits the hypnotic nature of the themes. Half-dreamed, half-remembered? For fans of the aforementioned Scaramanga Six, Chris Catalyst, Mansun/Paul Draper. A bold, but ultimately satisfying project.

Buy Here

Author: Martin Chamarette





Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators


10. Steve Conte – ‘Bronx Cheer (Wicked Cool Records)

09. David Ryder Prangley – ‘Vampire Deluxe’ (Serena Records)

09. Captain Future – ‘Ghostman’ (Gypsy Hotel Records)

07. Sonny Vincent – ‘Snake Pit Therapy’ (Svart Records)

07. Rich Ragany & The Digressions – ‘Beyond Nostalgia & Heartache’ (Story Highway Records)

05. Jesse Malin – ‘Sad And Beautiful World’ (Wicked Cool Records)

04. Alice Cooper – ‘Detroit Stories’ (earMUSIC)

03. Bronx – ‘Bronx VI’ (Cooking Vinyl Records)

02. The Wildhearts – ’21st Century Love Songs’ (Graphite)

The RPM Online Writers Album Of 2021

01. Sami Yaffa – ‘The Innermost Journey to Your Outermost Mind’ (Livewire)


Who voted for what.

Gaz Tidey

The Bronx – ‘The Bronx’ (Cooking Vinyl/White Drugs)

Sami Yaffa – ‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’
(Livewire/Cargo Records)

Alice Cooper – ‘Detroit Stories’ (earMUSIC)

The Wildhearts – ‘21st Century Love Songs’ (Graphite Records)

Duran Duran – ‘Future Past’ (BMG)

Royal Blood – ‘Typhoons’ (Warner Records)

Rob Zombie – ‘The Lunar Injection Kool Aid Eclipse Conspiracy’
(Nuclear Blast)

Death By Unga Bunga – ‘Heavy Male Insecurity’ (Jansen Records)

Ricky Warwick – ‘When Life Was Hard And Fast’ (Nuclear Blast)

Weezer – ‘Van Weezer’ (Atlantic)


 Gareth ‘Hotshot’ Hooper

The wildhearts – ’21st century love songs’ (Graphite Records)

Crashdiet – ‘Rust’ (Frontiers)

Ricky warwick – ‘when life was hard and fast’

Elvis Presley – ‘Elvis Back In Nashville’

Sixx am – ‘Hits’

Alice Cooper – ‘Detroit Stories’ (earMUSIC)

Cheap Trick – ‘In Another World’

L.A. Guns – ‘Checkered Past’

Motley Crue – ’40 year Anniversary Remasters’

Ginger Wildheart – ‘Love In The Time Of Cholera’

David Ryder Prangly – ‘Vampire Deluxe’ 


Martin Chamarette –

David Ryder Prangley – ‘Vampire Deluxe’

Luke Haines ‘Setting The Dogs On The Post-Punk Postman’

Mad Daddy – ‘self titled’

Radio Days – ‘Rave On’

The Speedways – ‘Borrowed And Blue’

Mad Rollers – ‘Get Mad’

Dan Sartain – ‘Arise, Dan Sartain, Arise!’

The Scaramanga Six – ‘Worthless Music’

Sami Yaffa – ‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’

CUIR – ‘L’album’


Fraser Deathtraps

Bronx – IV

The Wildhearts – ‘Twenty First Century Love Songs’

The Drippers – ‘Scandinavian Thunder’

Alice Cooper – ‘Detroit Stories’ (earMUSIC)

Bitch Queens – ‘Custom Dystopia’ (Lux Noise Records)

Chuck Norris Experiment – ‘This Will Leave A Mark’

Mike McKinnon – ‘Silent Like A Bomb’

The Boatsmen – ‘Verses The Boatsmen’

Governess – ‘Never Going Home’

Dead Furies – ‘Midnight Ramble’


Johnny Hayward –

Sami Yaffa – ‘The Innermost Journey to Your Outermost Mind’

The Bronx – ‘VI’

Rich Ragany & The Digressions – ‘Beyond Nostalgia & Heartache’

Mike McKinnon – ‘Silent Like A Bomb’

Gary Numan – ‘Intruder’

Nestor – ‘Kids In A Ghost Town’

Table Scraps – ‘Coffin Face’

Green Lung – ‘Black Harvest’

Watts – ‘Shady Rock & Rollers’

Chuck Norris Experiment – ‘This Will Leave A Mark’

Also recommended

Razorbats – ‘Mainline Rock N Roll’, Wonk Unit – ‘Uncle Daddy’, Black Spiders – ‘Black Spiders’, The Limit – ‘Caveman Logic’,  Alice Cooper – ‘Detroit Stories’, Death By Unga Bunga – ‘Heavy Male Insecurity’, Bitch Queens – ‘Custom Dystopia’, The Chisel – ‘Retaliation’, Roger Taylor – ‘The Outsider’, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – ‘Raise The Roof’

Ben Hughes

Vintage Trouble – ‘Juke Joint Gems’

Sami Yaffa – ‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’

Ryan Hamilton – ‘1221’

The Brothers Steve – ‘Dose’

Alabama 3 – ‘Step 13’

Delilah Bon – S/T

Steve Conte – ‘Bronx Cheer’

Jesse Malin – ‘Sad And Beautiful World’

Amyl and The Sniffers – ‘Comfort To Me’

Captain Future – ‘Ghostman’


Dom Daley

Sami Yaffa – ‘The Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’ (Livewire)

Jesse Malin – ‘Sad And Beautiful World’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Richard Bacchus & The Luckiest Girls – ‘Viva La Wattage’ (Sioux Records)

Sonny Vincent – ‘Snake Pit Therapy’ (Svart Records)

Killer Hearts – ‘Skintight Electric’ (Spaghetty Town Records)

Rich Ragany & The Digressions – ‘Beyond Nostalgia & Heartache’ (Story Highway Records)

7. Steve Conte – ‘Bronx Cheer (Wicked Cool Records)

8. Trampoline – ‘Love No Less Than A Queen’ (Strap Originals)

9. Civic -Future Forecast (ATO Records)

10. The Yowl – The Yowl’ (Sioux Records)


Kenny Kendrick

Green Lung – ‘Black Harvest’ (Svart Records)

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – ‘Raise the Roof’

3 Black Label Society – ‘Doom Crew Inc.’

4 Flotsam & Jetsam – ‘Blood In The Water’

5 The End Machine – ‘Phase 2’

6 Manimal – ‘Armageddon’

7 Smith/Kotzen – ‘EP’

8 Motorhead – ‘No Sleep till Hammersmith (40th Anniversary Edition)

9 Armored Saint – ‘Symbol of Salvation Live’

10 Steven Wilson – ‘The Future Bites’


Dan Kasm

Iron Lizards – ‘Hungry for Action’

Pretty Sick – ‘Come Down’

AFI – ‘Bodies’

Jackson Reid Briggs and the Heaters – ‘Waiting In A Corner’

Sonny Vincent – ‘Snake Pit Therapy’

Dinosaur Jr – ‘Sweep It Into Space’

Zeahorse – ‘Let’s Not (and say we did)’

Governess – ‘Never Coming Home’

The Boatsman – ‘Versus the Boatsman’

The Wildhearts – ’21st Century Love Songs’

Special entry: The Dogmatics – ‘Est 81 Retrospective’

Gerald Stansbury

The Wildhearts “21st Century Love Songs”

The Damn Truth “Now or Never”

Helloween – ‘Helloween’

Jesse Malin – ‘Sad and Beautiful’

Cradle of Filth – ‘Existence is Futile’

Dropkick Murphys – ‘Turn Up the Dial’

The Middlenight Men – ‘Issue 1’

Thunder -‘All the Right Noises’


Nev Brooks

Bobby Gillespie/Jenny Beth -‘Dystophian Ashes’

Nick Cave – ‘Idiots Prayer’

Nick Cave/Warren Ellis – ‘Carnage’

Paul Ronnie Angel – ‘London Texas Lockdown’

Sister Cookie – ‘In the Blue Corner’

Wildhearts – ’21st Century Love songs’

Sammi Yaffa- ‘Innermost Journey To Your Outermost Mind’

Ferocious Dog -‘The Hope’

Robert Plant/Alison Krauss – ‘Raise the Roof’

Primal Scream- ‘Live at Levitation’

Lady Blackbird -‘Black Acid Soul’

Jesse Malin- ‘Sad and Beautiful World’

Captain Future – ‘Ghostman’


Books & EP’s/singles

One thing we do love here on RPM is a bloody good music-related book.  We’ve read loads and lockdown was a really good time for sitting about fingering the pages of a good autobiography or a book of lists from closed venues to record shops to biographies.  Here is a selection from some of the writers at RPM Online.  If you have any suggestions or books you’d like us to review then please get in touch at and we’ll be sure to get our reading gogs out and give your recommended book the once over.

As for the singles club, we do love a good EP or 7” single be it the real thing on wax or a virtual one with a video.  It’s a sign of the times that we have more and more digital singles or one-track album samplers drop through the email but we do love a slab of wax and 2021 provided us with some right belters. So please find below a limited run of highly recommended singles.

Gaz Tidey

‘Grammar Free In The U.K.’ – D&D Philpott (irondig books)

 ‘Nöthin’ But A Good Time’ – Tom Beaujour & Richard Bienstock (st. Martin’s press)

‘The Twenty Seven Club’ – Lucy Nichol (lark)

Johnny Hayward

‘Diminished Responsibility ii’ – Alvin Gibbs (Tome & Metre Books)

‘Grammar Free In The U.K.’ – D&D Philpott (irondig books)

Grebo-‘The Loud And Lousy Story Of GBOA and Crazyhead’ – Rich Deakin (Headpress)

‘Pete Way’ – Ross Halfin (Rufus publications)

‘All Or Nothing (The Authorised Story Of Steve Marriott)’ – Simon Spence (omnibus press)

Dom Daley

‘Diminished Responsibility ii’ – Alvin Gibbs (tome & Metre books)

 ‘The Scene That Would Not Die’ – Ian Glasper (Earth Island Books)

‘Ever Fallen In Love (The Lost Buzzcocks Tapes)’ – Pete Shelley & Louise Shelley (octopus books)

‘To Hell And Back’  Walter lure & Dave Thompson. (Backbeat Books)

 ‘Snake Pit Therapy’ – Sonny Vincent (Far West Books)

Kenny kendrick

 ‘Rainbow In The Dark’ – Ronnie James Dio/Mick Wall (Constable)

Dan kasm

‘Sing Backwards And Weep’ – Mark Lanegan (White Rabbit)

‘Nöthin’ But A Good Time’ – Tom Beaujour & Richard Bienstock (st. Martin’s press)

Nev brooks

‘Sing Backwards And Weep’ – Mark Lanegan (White Rabbit)

‘Tenement Kid’ – Bobby Gillespie (White Rabbit)

Grebo-‘The Loud And Lousy Story Of GBOA and Crazyhead’ – Rich Deakin (Headpress)

Gareth ‘Hotshot’ Hooper

‘Diminished Responsibility ii’ – Alvin Gibbs (Tome & Metre books)

Singles & EP’s

Johnny Hayward

Desperate measures – ‘Rinsed’ (Easy Action Records)

Hip Priests – ‘No Stranger To Danger’ (Ghost Highway Recording)

The Lickerish Quartet – ‘Threesome’ Volume 2

The Chisel – ‘Enough Said’ (Wardance Records)

Lars Frederiksen – ‘To Victory’

Ben Hughes

The Lickerish Quartet – ‘threesome’ Vol. 2Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes – ‘Go Get A Tattoo’ (International Death Cult)

Bob Vylan – ‘GDP’ (Self Release)

The Urban Voodoo Machine – ‘Empty Plastic Cup’

The Speedways – ‘Borrowed and Blue’

Dom Daley

Hip Priests – ‘No Stranger To Danger’ (Ghost Highway Recording)

RMBLR – ‘RMBLR’ (Spaghetty Town Records/Wanda Records)

Criminal Kids – ‘live at liars club’ (spaghetty Town records)

The Black Halos – ‘Uncommonwealth’ (Cursed Blessing Records) 

Desperate measures – ‘Rinsed’ (Easy Action Records)

Suzi Moon -‘Call The Shots’ (Wanda Records/Pirates Press)

Kenny Kendrick

Ghost – ‘Hunter’s Moon’ ( Loma Vista Recordings)

Murder Van – ‘Crooked Smiles’ EP

Sea of Snakes – ‘World on Fire’ EP

Smith/Kotzen – ‘Better Days EP’ (BMG)

Bob Vylan – GDP (self Release)

Gaz Tideys BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2021 was the mighty Redd Kross cancelling rather than just postponing (again!) their UK/European tour.

However, he is MOST LOOKING FORWARD to Recording an album with his long-lost late’80s/early ‘90s band, Sister Morphine.

Johnny Hayward spent most of 2021 being Dissappointed that Terry & The Idiots didn’t getting back together. But he is mostly looking forward to 2022 andTerry & The Idiots finally getting back together. Also Hopefully getting to see Stiff Richards live some time next summer. Oh and Rebellion is looking very interesting with the R Fest stage just announced.

When we caught up with Ben Hughes he expressed that he was Disappointed he didn’t much care for The Wildhearts – ‘21st Century Love Songs’. He was however Most looking forward to More live shows than in 2020 and 2021 combined!

Dom Daleys thoughts looking back are being disappointed Bristol ticket shop going under with my money from the cancelled Redd Kross show and Redd Kross cancelling rather than rearanging.

The amount of cancellations due to covid but mostly The Damned reunion being put back once then again until late 2022.

Also The vinyl meltdown and pushbacks for smaller independent artists in favour of reissues from big labels.

The deaths of some of my favourite music people (Charlie Watts, Sylvain Sylvain, Waldo, Timo, Darrel Bath and Scotty Mulvey)

Looking forward to…

The original line up of the Damned reunion shows in Hammersmith  and the amount of new albums that should drop in 2022.

As for Kenny Kendrick.

Biggest Disappointment this year? “TheDeaths of Charlie Watts & Malcolm Dome”. Skunk Anansie tour postponed (again).

When we asked what Kenny was Looking forward to in 2022 he said, “Skunk Anansie tour! and Green Lung playing Steelhouse Festival”

Dans thoughts on 2021

“I’ll just say, certain bands publicly airing their handbags at dawn…. yet again”.
Looking forward to 2022 for me.
“If the year doesn’t take a nosedive akin to what we’ve become accustomed to, I’ll be seeing Pavement for the first time on their latest cash in reunion tour, I’ll also be seeing Psychedelic Furs, Bambara and Killing Joke. I will also be forgetting that I am 36 and attending 2000 Trees festival in July.”

Well, that’s another year almost done. Its been tough for live venues running at reduced capacity punter hesitancy (understandable) It’s only really been half a year when the Governments mucked us about, major labels took over pressing plants at the expense of independent bands, the pandemic hasn’t fucked off, we’ve lost some special people from our Rock n Roll world and we’ve all grown a little older and possibly unwiser (is there such a word?) but on times it felt fantastic to get back out there to some of our favourite venues for half the year. It did feel great to see some of our fellow live show warriors and on times it felt like we’d never been away.

But, there have been some fantastic albums released, concerts seen, books read people interviewed and new bands made.  Here at RPM Online we’re going to celebrate those achievements with our lists.  We all love a list or a pigeon hole, or a debate as to what genre our favourites fit into but the bottom line is we need this thing called Rock and Roll more than ever to see us through some tough times as we reengage with old friends and make new ones.

People, welcome to the next few days as the fine writers of RPM Online offer up their choices of the runners and riders of 2021.  Before I open up this can of worms can I just thank this fine body of men for their efforts over the past year and if you’ve bought an album on the recommendation of RPM then thank you. Also, The PR people who’ve done right by their clients and of course the musicians and songwriters who put in the hard yards in these very difficult times thank you thank you thank you we love you all.  So without further waffle here are the lists for 2021. Starting with some of the live shows that helped put smiles back on people’s faces. There might no tbe the quantity yet but we sure as hell saw some quality shows in the latter half of 2021.

BEST LIVE SHOWS OF 2021 as seen by the writers of RPM Online

  Fraser Deathtraps

The Hives – Guildhall, Portsmouth

 Wildhearts – Fleece, Bristol

 The Hip Priests – Chameleon, Nottingham

 The Hives (Offspring & Bob Vylan) – CIA, Cardiff

 Wildhearts – Tramshed, Cardiff

 The Hip Priests (& Electric Shakes) – Le Pub, Newport

 Rebellion/Hits (Maid of Ace & Dirtbox Disco) – Wintergarden, Blackpool

 Goldie Lookin’ Chain – Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl

 Fleur East – Butlins, Bognor

 Platinum Queen  – Butlins, Bognor

Johnny Hayward

Roger Taylor – Cardiff, St David’s Hall

The Bar Stool Preachers – Flemfest, Pontllanfraith Rugby Club

Cock Sparrer/Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions – Bristol. The Fleece

The Hip Priests/Deathtraps/Electric Shakes – Newport, Le Pub

Gaye Bykers On Acid – Newport, Le Pub

Ben Hughes

The Future Shape of Sound/The Urban Voodoo Machine – Gypsy Hotel 15th Anniversary Show, Brixton

Bob Vylan – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

The Wildhearts – The Tramshed, Cardiff

Hands Off Gretel – The Crescent, York

The Professionals – Brudenell Social Club, Leeds

Gareth ‘Hotshot’ Hooper

Jesse Malin – Fleece And Furkin, Bristol

Wildhearts – The Tramshed, Cardiff

The Hip Priests – Le Pub, Newport

Urban Voodoo Machine – Bunkhouse, Swansea

Dom Daley

Jesse malin. Fleece, Bristol

Trampoline.  The Globe, Cardiff

Wildhearts. Tramshed, Cardiff

Hip Priests, Deathtraps, Electric Shakes. le pub, Newport

Bar stool preachers, Riskee & The Ridicule, Bottlekids. le pub, Newport

Urban Voodoo Machine. Bunkhouse, Swansea

The Shunkos. Neath, The Duke

Dan Kasm

Jesus and Mary Chain, Albert Hall Manchester

Mysterines, Grand Central Liverpool

Crawlers, East Village Arts Club

Video Nasties and Zetra, Outpost Liverpool

Panic Shack, Jacaranda Liverpool

Nev Brooks

Fields of the Nephilim- The Tiv. Buckley

Jesse Malin, Kris Gruen – Bristol , Fleece

Cock Sparrer, Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions – Fleece, Bristol

 Gaye Bykers on Acid – LePub, Newport

Bar Stool Preachers/Riskee and the ridicule/Bottlekids – LePub, Newport

Ane Brun- Shepherds Bush O2, London

The Brokendolls have a brand new video for their banger ‘We’re All Crazee Now’. Enjoy!

 Swedish rock duo Johnossi have released a new single ‘A Passenger’ from their forthcoming new album ‘Mad Gone Wild’.  Dramatic, melodic rock stomper, drenched in reverb and noisy guitar!

There were many bands that got tagged with the New Wave of British Heavy Metal label back in the early eighties. Some of those bands embraced it, Saxon, Iron Maiden, Angel Witch, Samson etc, and some hated being lumped in with it, Def Leppard being the most obvious example. Even bands like Budgie, Judas Priest and Motorhead who had been around long before the NWOBHM moniker was thought up by Sounds magazine, were getting pulled into the whole NWOBHM movement. Of course, Budgie and Priest were nothing to do with it, but it was easy to see why they got caught up in it. Budgie’s Power Supply album was by far their most heavy metal sounding album and was released in 1980. Priest had released their breakthrough album British Steel in 1980 as well. It can be argued that Motorhead were indeed a NWOBHM band though because their seminal albums Overkill and Bomber were released in 1979 just as the NWOBHM got started, and their most successful period started in 1980 with the ‘Ace of Spades‘ album. Anyway, I digress!

Tokyo Blade were forged in the fires of the NWOBHM and released their first self-titled album in 1983. By this time the wind in the sails of the NWOBHM had started to die down. The album is a full-blown classic in my eyes with songs like ‘Powergame’ and ‘Break the Chains‘, it’s just heavy metal personified. The band suffered with many line up changes but continued to release material until the late nineties.

The current line-up of Andy Boulton (Lead guitar), John Wiggins (Rhythm guitar), Alan Marsh (Vocals), Andy Wrighton (Bass) and Steve Piece (Drums) have been together since 2016 and recorded the albums ‘Unbroken’ (2018) and ‘Dark Revolution’ (2020). Their latest release ‘Fury’ was written and recorded in lockdown with Andy Boulton utilising his home studio to record the album.

The end result sounds great with a powerful mix. There is some fantastic traditional heavy metal on offer here with solid performances and some well-written songs. The opening track ‘Man in a Box’ highlights the vocal abilities of Alan Marsh and is polished with some guitar wizardry from Boulton. ‘Blood Red Night’ has an epic feel to it, ‘I am Unbroken’ is a full-on chugger with some tasty drumming from Piece holding the track together. The album flows well but my only real criticism is that is overly long with fifteen tracks.

The album has both a foot in the past and one very much in the present. A solid metal album that deserves to be listened to. There’s plenty on offer here for old and new fans alike. The cover art is fantastic too, let’s not forget that Tokyo Blade had utilised the Samurai on their artwork long before Iron Maiden’s Senjutsu! The album is released via Cherry Red Records in Jan 22.

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Author: Kenny Kendrick

Lavish tabletop book, packed with a treasure trove of never-before-seen photos, to be released December 30th in the UK

Graham Mitchell, who was Motörhead’s tour manager in the late 1970s and early ‘80s, was also an avid photography enthusiast. A new large-format tabletop book, Fast & Loose: Snapshots from the Graham Mitchell Archive, 1977-1982, collects nearly 100 of his snapshots, including many that have never been published before.

“I somehow knew how important it all was,” Mitchell says. “I knew I needed to capture at least some of those moments. I’d see the band to the stage and then immediately go out into the house, jostle with the punters, and get what I could.”

One of the most influential hard rock bands of all time, Motörhead mixed rock, punk, and heavy metal into an aggressive blend of pure explosive energy. During the era documented in Fast & Loose, the classic “three amigos” lineup of the band (Lemmy Kilmister, Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, and “Fast” Eddie Clarke) toured relentlessly and recorded a half dozen classic albums that continue to impact the music world today. All three of their estates participated and gave their blessing for Fast & Loose.  

In the period covered in the photographs, Mitchell was not only the band’s tour manager but, in his own words, “their babysitter, their procurer of women, their procurer of drugs, procurer of everything.” Somehow, in the midst of the whirlwind, when Graham picked up his camera he snapped amazing images of the group that document the raw power of Motörhead with an unparalleled intimacy that only a trusted member of the inner circle could capture.

Rather than posed promotional images, these are gritty and off-the-cuff shots that catch the band in the studio, on stage, in rehearsals, partying in dressing rooms, clowning around in the van, and even getting into a shaving cream fight with fans. From side-stage performance shots, to up close images of band gear, to Lemmy wearing a slice of turkey as an eye patch, what’s presented in Fast & Loose is a true insider’s view.

“Most of my images,” Graham reveals, “are one-shot photos, and there’s no flash on any of them. They were done at 400 ASA to speed up the film and take advantage of whatever natural light I could get, so I was always flying by the seat of my pants whenever I clicked the shutter.”

Through it all, he managed to capture the harsh realities of the road (band members washing their hair in a tiny sink), the inevitable fun (living it up with members of the band Weapon backstage in Glasgow), and even the tender moments (spending time with Phil Taylor’s dad).

Rather than cleaning and sanitizing the photos, each one is presented with the gritty immediacy of the moment. There are scratches and blemishes, but that’s the point. It preserves an era.

“You know, there used to be a Motörhead saying,” Graham reflects. “Take no fucking prisoners. It always made sense to me, and I like to think these photos capture that in all its (occasionally grotty but never boring) glory.”

Fast & Loose is an up-close-and-personal look at a one-of-a-kind group that is essential for any diehard fan. Published by BMG, it’s available now in the US, and will be released in the UK on December 30th.

With a slew of singles being dropped down the RPM HQ chimney this past week, it seemed only fair to reconvene the Singles Club before the Christmas shutdown. What a bunch of bangers they are no wonder Santa had them on the Sleigh stereo

Rich Ragany and the Digressions –  ‘December In My Heart’ (self Release) Written as a dare Rags penned this chirpy little ditty for yuletide. It might be missing some sleigh bells and children singing but apart from that, I think it’s fair to say Rags can collect on the dare if any wager was laid down.

It’s like a glass of mulled wine around the old campfire and a cheeky wink to absent friends as we toast goodbye to another difficult year and look forward to what’s ahead. It’s got one foot in the traditional Slade camp and one in that Ragany style he’s carving out for himself. Get the eggnog on my loves and I’ll fetch the snowballs its Christmas!!!

The Dogmatics – ‘Automat Kalashnikov’ (Rum Bar Records) Always a good reason to open up the Singles Club when Rum Bar Drops a new tune especially when it’s from the epic Dogmatics. A thumping barroom brawler of a tune it is too. The best news isn’t this single seeping out into the Christmas cheer but it’s from a new full-length album due in the new year.

But wait the title track isn’t even the best song on the single, nope that award goes to the primitive, unoriginal but totally awesome ‘You Say’ which is to be fair what some might call a Total Banger of a snotty 77 slice of punk rock n roll.

Get on it Here

Rob Moss- ‘A Rocket Ship To You’ (Self Release) A brand new two tracks from Rob sees him lurch from the modern punk rock mixed with a little dash of cool Goth rock on the lead track. With a pocket full of energy the song fils the room with a cool backbeat that’s part bla bla bla era Iggy mixed with a little Eldrich or even Bowie after several plays. A really impressive tune. The second track is in a similar vein maybe with added Alice Cooper as the track entitled ‘Two Slices Of Bread’ is laid back and darker with some excellent guitar work courtesy of Sal Baglio. Pick it up from Bandcamp Here

Matty James Cassidy – ‘Extra Souls EP’ (Self Release) Crack open a bottle and turn up the stereo because Matty James Cassidy is having a knees up. The acoustic-driven ‘Make It Out Alive’ is a breezy upbeat bit of Rock and Roll. There are four tracks on offer here and second up is the bluesy acoustic rambling ‘Rosary’ but the beautiful piano ballad that is ‘Down On My Luck’ is simple but oh so effective from the excellent harmonica wheeze to the introduction of the brushed snare its a really impressive tune.

Not sure how we missed this one but I’m glad I stumbled across it now. It might be only the four tunes but when they sound this good it’s all gravy. Check it out Here

The Good The Bad And The Zugly – ‘Nostradumbass’ (Frysk Format) Things are certainly hotting up for what’s to come musically in 2022 none more so than waiting for a new GBATZ record to drop. This is the third slice of new music from the Oslo legends and it’s just what the doctor ordered. It’s loud, melodic and full of charm.

lifted from the band’s new album ‘Research and Destroy’ I can’t get enough of their tunes. Its got a great hook and those gang vocals are so aggressive but subtle its Deathpunk to the end baby and RPM loves it

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More Kicks – ‘Christmas In Prison’ (Self Release) Ah seasons greetings me hearties, this is one of those festive bangers from the heartwarming lyrics and the cotton-picking guitar all that’s missing is the sleigh bells. Oh, the joy I hear you call. Seemingly incapable of penning a shite song you should head over to the link and put this cracker on your festive playlist. Getoutofhere you scoundrels

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Diamond Dogs – ‘Rocket Richochet’ (Sound Pollution) Not a Christmas tune but it’s got that honking keyboard and a sleazy backbeat as Sulo and the boys n gals guide you through a retro rockin’ banger. From their soon-to-be-released double album that’s full of top tunes, this is just an appetite wetter so to speak and it does a jolly good job too. Of course the playing is top-notch on what is a most excellent little rocker hell it’s got handclaps backing girls on the, oh oh’s and the only thing it’s missing is a little cowbell.

Hear the single and pre-order the album:

The Peppermint Kicks – ‘It’s a Peppermint Christmas’ (Rum Bar Records) Yeah baby! Of course Rum Bar Records knows how to parteee I bet they throw the best parties and that’s a fact. This is how a Crimbo tune should Rock. Plenty of Roll and no pretenses just having a good time by turning up the amps and rocking out! Cheers guys you nailed it! Glockenspeil, Oboe, Strings, Flute, Mellotron, Sleighbell, Handclaps, Piano and loud guitars Hell, I bet there’s a kitchen sink in here as well.

The Erotics – ‘Hungover At Christmas’ (Self Release) the more the merrier folks this time it’s the turn of those sleazy Noo Yawk types The Erotics. Packing a punch its like the Christmas grinch learned how to pick a tune on his stolen guitar as he wakes up from his drinking binge and is looking for something to play. Not a sleigh bell in sight nor a ho ho ho but plenty of hungover attitude from Mike Trash and the gang.

But once you’ve shaken off the bar humbug of the lead track you have the grooving ‘Spiders And Snakes’ punching you to pour another and say cheers for the sleazy punk n roll that is The Erotics God bless em one and all. Get it Here

The Dirty Truckers – ‘3 Shots EP’ (Rum Bar Records) Saddle up to the bar with The Dirty Truckers celebrated heart-worn sleeve songwriting, delivering a sonic wall of ’70s FM thunder welded by earnest blue-collar rock n’ roll that’s a pretty spot-on description of what to expect from this band. The Truckers have a wonderful tone on those there guitars and following in a fine tradition of Roots rockers like Mellencamp and a tougher Westerberg they leave you feeling warm and fuzzy in a nice way but with enough dirt and rough ass rock n roll under the hood.

These three songs will testify. ‘Remember One’ being the pick of the bunch with a tonne of youthful energy it’s a rocker that won’t fail to get your toes tapping. Three gems to be fair that are Free at the link for Gawd’s sake, what more do you need to know? Get involved kids its only Rock n Roll whats the worst that could happen?

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