First things first I’m looking at the artwork wondering what on earth it is and then after about a week I see the eggbox. It’s been like one of those early 90’s deep-sea pictures you have to stare at, or at least that’s what I felt like. Right onto ‘Un Scene’ and it’s important to document of 78-82 timeframe in England’s second city and how it was developing following the youf explosion of 76-77.

I guess considering Birmingham or the wider area of the middle part of England has generally been ignored or rather overlooked compared to the contribution to youth/pop culture of the 20th Century. the North West gave the world Merseybeat and Beatlemania then post-punk we had that jangly guitar of Icicle Works, Teardrop explodes, Pete Burns, The Bunnymen, and a whole load of other post-punk bands. Madchester (Still in the northwest) followed that with the whole Hacienda scene and Stone Roses. The East Midlands gave the world Two-Tone but what about Birmingham? Sure Slade was west midlands and the Duranies hailed from Brum in the wake of punk but once you scratch the surface there was a whole underground world of creative forces and this wonderful little time capsule offers up a small dark corner of Birmingham and shines a light on in with a very nice booklet documenting the featured bands with some fantastic pictures, live shots, band images, posters and magazine covers of the main protagonists of this featured record/CD.

Laid out over nineteen tracks this snapshot doesn’t always reach the dizzy quality of your modern recordings but often that’s the charm. No doubt these bands worked and played hard to scrape together the dosh to record these songs and it’s important that records like this exist. Maybe there’s a good reason why none of these bands achieved the same adoration some of the other midlands genres achieved but bands like Swell Maps, the Nightingales, Nikki Sudden and TV Eye had a modicum of success and remained firmly placed as underground heroes and icons.

Some of the live recordings are sort of tape deck quality and proper old school whereas other more notable inclusions such as Stephen Tin Tin Duffy’s The Hawkes have ‘Big Store’ included and Comedian Stewart Lees wonderful doc about The Nightingales sees them included with their new wave-like ‘Idiot Strength’. I guess it wouldn’t be complete without Swell Maps who see ‘Vertical Slum’ included. My personal favourite is obviously the inclusion of Nikki Sudden with ‘Channel Steamer’. But what really is the crowning glory is the booklet giving all the meat on the bone from Dave Twists’ own collection, with all the cuttings it’s a fascinating insight into a whole world that is captured in this wonderful time capsule (Besides Twist plays drums on a lot so as long as his memory is half decent his stories must be amazing). Stewart Lee says it perfectly as Birmingham in the UKs motor City and seeing as the likes of Dave Kusworth and John Taylors inclusion also here (Duranies take note), sudden and his brother are no longer with us and the recent passing of Dave Kusworth this is a wonderful artifact that serious fans need to absorb and marvel at what the cold concrete of England’s second city had going on beneath the city lights I implore you to hear and read this most excellent offering. buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

It’s always something special when an album drops on your desk, you nothing about the band, and then said record proceeds to blow your socks off.

Take a bow then Brooklyn based post punk rockers SAVAK for being the first band in quite some time to do just this for me. They are a band I admit I almost skipped over, but thank God I didn’t, because ‘Human Error / Human Delight’ – the band’s upcoming FIFTH (yup I know) album – is an absolute cracker from start to finish.

‘No Blues No Jazz’ (which actually sounds like the record player rules in my house) kicks things off in fine style and with its’ chanted refrain of “No counties, no countries, no pledge of allegiance,” it could be a tribute to the fact that the dozen tracks contained on the album were recorded entirely over Zoom, although it’s not, I’ll leave you to go figure what it’s actually all about by hitting video link below, where all will soon be revealed.

Influence wise ‘Human Error / Human Delight’ really is all over the place, and that’s really what hooked me in, it also sets it well apart from the many other new “rawk” records I could have chosen to review. Be it the melodic Alt-rock delights of perhaps the most immediate track on the album (the truly excellent) ‘Empathy’, or the jammed-out Krautrock meets Detroit in a sleazy Manchester back-alley post punk of ‘Set Apart’, there really is something here for pretty much everyone…well everyone with an open musical mind that is.

As the album literally flies by song hooks come at you thick and fast with the likes of ‘Baltimore Moon’ and ‘Dealers’ bristling with overdriven guitar and glorious vocal harmonies, this really is American guitar rock par excellence. Well, when it wants to be. It’s the subtle twists the album throws you via the likes of the Angelo Badalamenti-tinged atmospherics of closing track ‘Dumbinance’ or the initial downbeat 4AD bass throb of ‘Oddsmaker’ that really take things to the next level and has me returning for multiple listens.

With a history of playing in bands like Obits, The Cops and Holy Fuck, Sohrab Habibion and Michael Jaworski, along with drummer Matt Schulz, have moulded the SAVAK sound (in their own words) as straddling the line between ‘Be Bop a Lula’ and ‘Wap Shoo Wap’ whilst connecting the dots between The Adverts to Bubble Puppy to The 101’ers to MDC, and you know what? They sound absolutely bloody amazing doing it!

‘Human Error / Human Delight’ is released on 15th April 2022, but you can check it out right now via the Bandcamp link below. Get on it folks – this album is very special indeed!

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Author: Johnny Hayward

Ghost first appeared on my radar when I saw them live at a festival, it may have been Download, or it may have been Sonisphere? Anyway…I didn’t really get them. I thought they were a little bit like Kiss, the image and the music don’t sit well together. I heard the odd song here and there; I loved the track Ritual from their debut ‘Opus Eponymous’ but didn’t really explore them much further at the time. It was with the release of the Rats video from 2018’s Prequelle that I really started to sit up and take notice of Papa and the boys. That album is never too far away from my turntable or CD player, it really is an exquisite piece of work, ‘Dance Macabre’ should have been a worldwide hit for the band, it’s their ‘I Was Made For Lovin’ You‘! I then delved deeper into Ghost’s back catalogue and loved it all. There really is no denying Tobias Forge’s genius, and I genuinely feel that Ghost is one of the only bands around now that can take the reigns from the old guard and headline big shows and festivals.

I did of course wonder how they could ever top the Prequelle album, it really is their ‘Master of Puppets’ or ‘Led Zeppelin IV‘. The first glimpse of the new material was sprung on us last October with the first single and video ‘Hunter’s Moon’ which was included on the soundtrack to ‘Halloween Kills’, (I waited for the end credits in the cinema to hear it in all its glory). While it’s a decent enough track, it does feel a little bit like Forge just phoned it in.

Next single ‘Call Me Little Sunshine’, however, is Ghost doing what they do best. Atmospheric, heavy when it needs to be and downright catchy. The video is great too. Let’s get to the new album then! ‘Impera’ is Ghost’s fifth studio album, and it gives us twelve new tracks to get our teeth into. Opener ‘Imperium’ is an atmospheric instrumental leading into ‘Kaisarion’ which jumps out of the speakers with abandon. A brilliant, up-tempo song with some superb guitar work from whichever of the latest ghouls are crunching the fretboards.

Spillways’ is next up, it really shows us the vocal acrobatics that Forge is capable of, he has a fantastic range. Another ear worm of a song with a keyboard riff that isn’t a million miles away from Bon Jovi’s ‘Runaway’!Watcher In The Sky’ kicks off with a riff that George Lynch would be proud of, some lovely crunchy accents combined with another memorable chorus make this a real stand out track. Twenties is my favourite track on the album as I write this, just purely bonkers, it shouldn’t work but it works perfectly. A combination of prog, metal, and pop with some hilarious lyrics: We’ll be grabbing em’ all by the hoo – has. It’s just so damn catchy! Darkness ‘At The Heart Of My Love’ is one of those power ballads that Forge churns out effortlessly. It should be a major hit. Honestly, if Ghost could get mainstream airplay, I’m sure they would be huge, such is the quality of their songs. Griftwood sounds like something that would sit perfectly on a Ratt or Van Halen album from the 80s. I can imagine it on a montage from a Rocky film. The album closes with the epic ‘Respite On The Spitalfields’, a sprawling, atmospheric beast that enters a myriad of musical styles.

A solid album with everything thrown at bar the kitchen sink! Is ‘Impera’ as good as ‘Prequelle’? Not yet…But there’s still time.

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Author: Kenny Kendrick

English rock’n’roll band The Quireboys will make a triumphant and welcome return to the States to finish what they started back in 2020. 

Here are the first ticket links to be announced:

05.07.22    ARTIE’S    FRENCHTOWN, NJ
05.13.22    THE VENUE    DENVER, CO
05.15.22    DIVE BAR   LAS VEGAS, NV    TBC

Meet N Greet packages Here

The lads were in the throws of a stunning country-wide tour when the pandemic hit – and have been itching to get back ever since.  That time is now, and May 2022 sees the band – most famous for their hit album “A Bit Of What You Fancy” – embark on a fresh tour of the USA taking in New York, Denver, Las Vegas and many more cities across the country including a stop at the prestigious M3 Festival in Baltimore. The tour will reach a triumphant conclusion at the world-famous Whisky a Go Go in West Hollywood – and for the tour The Quireboys are joined by the amazing Midnight Devils and Steve Ramone.

In addition to tickets which will be available shortly, the band are available at most venues for meet and greets – follow the link below to reserve your spot!

Following the band’s inception in London, UK in 1984 – originally as The Choirboys, then The Queerboys, before settling on the less controversial name of The Quireboys – there followed 6 years of hard graft and personnel changes before the inevitable happened – a UK number 2 album.

Spike and Guy have been the backbone of THE quintessential British rock’n’roll band ever since – a journey that has seen them play to 72,000 at 1990’s Monsters of Rock at Donington with the likes of Whitesnake, Aerosmith and Poison – supporting The Rolling Stones that same year, and joining Guns N’ Roses again a couple of years later on their “Use Your Illusion” tour.

Asian Dub Foundation play five UK shows in April and proudly release deluxe remastered editions of ‘Enemy Of the Enemy’ and ‘Tank’ on through X-Ray records; both albums are released with bonus tracks and will be available on CD and for the first time ever 12” vinyl.

Remastered by Kevin Metcalfe, ‘Enemy Of the Enemy’ and ‘Tank’ are both lovingly issued as 140g on limited edition double vinyl records and are housed in a gatefold sleeves with printed inners, Tank also includes a poster. 
We’re very happy that X Ray have put together these magnificent packages, the remasters sound crisp and a lot of the subject matter is still relevant, such as the opening lines of “Fortress Europe” exclaims Steve Chandra Savale.

First released in 2003 ‘Enemy of the Enemy’ Asian Dub Foundation’s fourth album opens with the lyrically prophetic ‘Fortress Europe’; “2022, a new European order. Robot guards patrolling the border. Cybernetic dogs getting closer and closer. Armoured Cars Immigration Officers.” . The album also includes ’1000 Mirrors’, featuring the inimitable Sinead O’Connor, and Ed O’Brien who also played the title track. This new edition includes three bonus tracks: ‘Illegal Minds’ featuring Mark Stewart, plus two remixes by Adrian Sherwood and The Bug.

‘Tank’ their fifth studio album released two years later sees the original twelve tracks joined by three bonus tracks including; “Easy Man’ ft Perry Farrell, plus two remixes by San J and Shiva Sound System.

Asian Dub Foundation are a genre unto themselves. Their unique combination of tough jungle rhythms, dub bass lines and wild guitar overlaid by references to their South Asian roots and militant high-speed rap has established them as one of the best live bands in the world. During their long and productive career Asian Dub Foundation have shared the stage with the likes ofRage Against The Machine, the Beastie Boys and Primal Scream also collaborating on record with the likes of Radiohead, Sinead O’ Connor, Iggy Pop and Chuck D.

On top of that X-Ray has managed to secure Brexit-busting shipping rates, so treat yourselves to these ADF classics today! The remasters by the legendary Kevin Metcalfe sound fantastic as well.To pre -order / pre save ‘Enemy Of the Enemy’ and ‘Tank’ go to:

Asian Dub Foundation April UK showFri 1st Bristol  TrinityFri 8th Manchester  Band On The Wall Sat 9th Glasgow Studio Warehouse Fri 15th London  Earth Hackney Fri 22nd Brighton Chalk

Dub War share new single & lyric video “Blackkk Man”

Taken from new album “Westgate Under Fire”

Out 5th August via Earache Records

Fusion metal pioneers Dub War have released their brand new rousing single “Blackkk Man”, the first single off of their first album of all-new material in over 25 years, ‘Westgate Under Fire’.

The track packs a punch with jagged guitar, furious rhythms and tough vocals from founder and frontman Benji Webbe (who many will also recognise as the mighty Skindred’s frontman). Released in the midst of the celebration of Black History Month in the US, “Blackkk Man” is a furious revolt against racism and a bleak reflection of crucial events from this decade in particular, including the murder of George Floyd.

“This song is exactly how I was feeling at the time of Mr Floyd’s murder. This is a cry from my heart for equal rights and justice – and the other boys in the band feel the same as I do. No one chooses the skin they’re in – should the skin you’re in help you to win? It’s a question we all need to think about!” declares Webbe. “This racist injustice has been going on way too long and, unfortunately, even with all the cries and the pain, it still continues.”

The accompanying lyric video, compiled and edited by Aran Webster, serves to drive the critical message contained in the lyricism of “Blackkk Man” further, putting society’s outrageous double standards in plain sight via news footage and articles.

A thought-provoking statement song, “Blackkk Man” and the album it resides on launches Dub War back into the industry as the band who turned heads with their groundbreaking genre-bending once more. Alongside this potent punk rock-laced track, ‘Westgate Under Fire’ offers up dance infused metal, ragga-punk and sinister metal with exotic beats.

A band born and raised in Newport, ‘Westgate Under Fire’ shines a light on a crucial event in their hometown’s history, the Newport Uprising. An event which would play a role in transforming democracy in Britain and the world, the uprising in 1839 saw thousands from the Chartist movement march through south Wales, seeking social reform, including the right for men of all classes to vote. The marches ended in a bloody battle at the Westgate Hotel, which saw many of the Chartists dead or wounded. ‘Westgate Under Fire’ aims to embody the empowerment that Chartists took upon themselves and coincides with the local community resurrecting the derelict Westgate Hotel into an exciting new venue.

‘Westgate Under Fire’ is available for pre-order worldwide on signed, limited edition coloured vinyl, black vinyl, signed CD and limited cassette at Due for release 5th August 2022.

This band has a catalogue of over 100 LPs, EPs, CDs, and DVDs recorded with various line-ups and have performed all over the world.  Eat More Possum is Antiseen’s most acclaimed album, originally released in 1993 and now remastered (honestly) for this vinyl reissue. 

Antiseen was formed in Charlotte, North Carolina by Jeff Clayton and Joe Young in 1983. These punks wanted to be outsiders from the start and I guess they managed to become so underground it was difficult to know what the hell they were up to even when the internet became a real thing we all had access to.

It’s fair to say Antiseen are influenced by the Ramones and Stooges, employing short, heavily distorted power chord-driven songs largely free of guitar solos or advanced musicianship, punk as fuck I guess.  

From a time when it was still possible to offend people and shock with your music and image Antiseen managed that alright even without the pull of GG Allin. ‘Eat More Possum’ (From the artwork) to the musical content was always going to offend people. described as “gun totin’, meat eatin’, society rejectin’ punk rock” isn’t far of the mark. 

Young’s guitar tone is nasty and primitive. Perfectly played on the Ramones cover of ‘Today Your Love’ Antiseen are relentless. On the verge of chaos somewhere between Motorhead and the Ramones ‘, ‘I Am Stormtrooper’ is a buzzsaw flying through your speakers with no pause for breath or any concept of compromise. It fighting music – drunk, nasty and dangerous.

Flip that with the cowpunk of ‘I’ve aged twenty years In Five’ then revert to the ultra-metallic punk of ‘Cactus Jack’

The extreme edges of punk rock have always been prolific, just ask Blag and the Dwarves but there’s something altogether uneasy like a dueling banjo about ‘Warning’ but the gargling razorblades vocals of the big Rock of ‘Animals Eat Em’ isn’t going to be used in any veganism campaign any day soon.

eighteen tracks not all musical but value for money that’s for sure. If some shock punk is your bag then you might already have a battered copy of this from your youth – Well, here’s your chance to get a clean-mint copy from those purveyors of garage punk rock n roll at Bang! Records. Christ, they even get funky and slap some bass on ‘Shittin In High Cotton’ but what they do best is the buzzsaw punk of ‘Star Whore’ and the super fuzz Garage Stooges style of ‘Break It Off’ or the chaos of ‘Trapped In Dixie’ and the albums final real offering of ‘Fuck all Y All’ that is the perfect sound of a Southern Motorhead fan channelling ole Lemmy, Yeah Haw! Motherfuckers! go get some antisocial Antiseen right now!

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Author: Dom Daley

Hope everyone is feeling good this morning after the weekend and didn’t indulge too much. Anyway here’s some sunshine music to take you to a brighter place – fill yer boots kids

First up is Kurt Baker and A brand new and super fun animated video for “New Direction”, created, produced and directed by Peregrine Starr “New Direction” is from the album “After Party”, out now on Wicked Cool Records!

Next up is another Wicked Cool band, this time it Soraia with a cover of the awesome ‘My Sherona’ – check it out.

Finally, as a tribute to Nick Tesco who recently passed away, we thought it would be right to air this banger. Rest In Peace Nick.

‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime’ sees Peter Doherty twist a melancholic turn down a path this time without his puta madres or his comrades in The Libertines but with Frédéric Lo as his companion and songwriting partner in crime. Doherty has been rather prolific over the last half-decade finding time to get hitched wander off on several tours with his various projects but above all, he’s managed to weave several different paths but remains very Peter Doherty if you catch my drift? Much like Strummer Doherty does what he wants when he wants and as long as the end result is of a suitably high standard then play on sir. Don’t write him off as a one-trick pony because he’ll rise to that challenge and keep on keeping on defying the odds. Tune in, switch off and float downstream as the majestic relaxed opener and title track sets the tone as the pair make sweet sweet music.

Doherty’s street poetry and lyrical meanderings are on the money as the dreamy ‘The Epidemiolagist’ is the wonderful sound of a hazy dash around some sleepy Parisian backstreets as the filter of the strings lifting you above the haze is majestic.

Written during lockdowns and produced by Frédéric Lo ‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime’ was recorded at Cateuil in Étretat (Normandy) and Studio Water Music in Paris and mixed by François Delabrière at Studio Moderne, Paris. All words are penned by the seemingly content Doherty whilst the music composed by Lo.

‘The Ballad Of…’ is lush in its string brush strokes and simple acoustic guitar strumming and Doherty’s hushed vocals are reassuring and comforting and reminiscent of Johnny Thunders ‘Hurt Me’ album with grander layers as it builds when the drums kick in but it lays back down gently in a very engaging manner.

The first video is for ‘You Can’t Keep It From Me Forever’ is probably the album’s most Doherty tune (if that makes sense) with a Smiths-like melody and uptempo poptastic beat. This record is like a huge sigh after a hard stressful day. It’s a gentle loving hand on the shoulder, reassuring you that everything will be alright.

The fact this record came together in six months is reflected in the uncomplicated arrangements. Sure there are strings and grande sweeping soundscapes but it doesn’t sound forced at all and very natural. The sweeping strings on ‘The Monster’ sound fantastic and Doherty’s vocals have never sounded so content and strong. He knows how to add enough emotion and where to display vulnerability and married with the talent of Lo’s arrangments make this a must-own record and loyal Doherty fans will love what they hear from one of the UK’s best indie songwriters.

when the duo keep it simple and just write a pop song like ‘Invictus’ then they nail it, what else did you expect? The Harpsichord on ‘The Glassblower’ is exactly what’s needed even though you couldn’t have guessed it. The 60’s alternative guitar-driven pop is relaxing yet exciting all at once. Then finally ending the album with the piano-led ‘Far From The Madding Crowd’ strangely reminds me of Dean Friedman and some New York late-night smokey jazz club from the late 70s and putting a full stop on a wonderful album of heartfelt and life-affirming tunes from an extremely talented pair of contemporary musicians right at the top of their game. ‘The Fantasy Life of Poetry & Crime’ is exactly what I needed to hear right here right now. Join me and let’s drift downstream with this as the soundtrack to better days.

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Author: Dom Daley

AEG Presents announce that, following a much-postponed but largely sold-out tour of 2021, The Nightingales will again tour the UK in Spring 2022.  Described by John Robb as “The misfits’ misfits”, The Nightingales are the subject of the documentary feature film, “King Rocker” – written and presented by comedian Stewart Lee, directed by Michael Cumming (‘Brass Eye’, ‘Toast Of London’). The reviews were amazing: “One of my all-time favourite rock-Docs” said Mark Kermode, “The new Gold standard for rockumentaries” agreed The Scotsman. This is a band that matters.

there will be a Special edition King Rocker Bookback DVD/CD and  Vinyl Soundtrack Out 18th March 2022. The   
DVD/CD features full-length film with over 90 mins of extras, soundtrack cd & liner notes from Stewart Lee & Michael Cumming.

Comedian Stewart Lee and director Michael Cumming (Brass Eye, Toast Of London) investigate a missing piece of punk history. Robert Lloyd, best known for fronting cult Birmingham band’s The Prefects and The Nightingales, has survived under the radar for over four decades. But how, if at all, does Robert want to be remembered? The anti-rockumentary ‘King Rocker’ weaves the story of Birmingham’s undervalued underdog autodidact into that of the city’s forgotten public sculpture of King Kong, eschewing the celebrity interview and archive-raid approach for a free-associating bricolage of Indian food, bewildered chefs, vegetable gardening, prescription medicines, pop stardom and pop art.

All of the highlights from the film are here, along with rarities which won’t appear on any of the deluxe reissues of the Nightingales’ catalogue, among them 7″ versions of “Use Your Loaf”, the Bob Luman hit “Let’s Think About Living” and “Black Country”, a glam remix of crowd favourite “Thick And Thin” and a version of Christy & Emily’s “Ghost” which rivals the Nightingales’ take on TLC’s “Unpretty” for sheer beauty.

The only act with roots in the punk era that have gone on to make records more captivating, cutting and entertaining today than at any point in their past; 2022 will be a busy year for the Nightingales, with months of live dates planned, a limited edition remix 12″, deluxe reissues of both ‘Hysterics’ and ‘In The Good Old Country Way’, and a hardcover book collecting Robert’s lyrics.

Tickets for the bands UK tour can be found on sale: Here

Birmingham’s original punk group The Prefects had been part of The Clash’s ‘White Riot Tour’, recorded Peel sessions, released a 45 on Rough Trade and, years after splitting had a retrospective released by Fire Records offshoot label Call Of The Void to glowing reviews.  The Nightingales was formed by a few members of The Prefects following that band’s demise in 1979. Comprising an ever-fluctuating lineup, based around lyricist/singer Robert Lloyd, they enjoyed cult status in the early ’80s and were championed by John Peel, who said, “Their performances will serve to confirm their excellence when we are far enough distanced from the 1980s to look at the period rationally and other, infinitely better known, bands stand revealed as charlatans”.

In the late Eighties, the Nightingales stopped working but, following the occasional gig between times, they re-grouped in 2004, arriving at the current (and now long-standing) line up, which features Lloyd, Andreas Schmid from Faust on bass, ex Violet Violet wonder drummer Fliss Kitson and on guitar James Smith, who Lloyd had spotted playing with Damo Suzuki. The latest album ‘Four Against Fate’ is out now on Tiny Global Productions.

The band’s career-spanning soundtrack to ‘King Rocker’ will be released by Fire Records, alongside a bizarro 12″ remix EP ‘The New Nonsense’, and these will be followed by deluxe expanded versions of the band’s ‘Hysterics’ and ‘In The Good Old Country Way’ albums, and a bookback DVD of ‘King Rocker’. This activity is all capped off with the autumn release of their stunning new album, recorded in Spain, as well as a subsequent support tour and rescheduled shows in Europe and America.