Lee Love Affair – EP (Lux Noise Records) A man that doesn’t need any introduction other than to say Brother Lee Love has gone Rogue on those Hip Priests and knocked up a four-track EP and got Lux Noise to snap it up and release the bad boy.

Like an explosion of Garage Rock and Roll through the medium of Northern Soul as the guitars then bass line kicks in on ‘Hold Me Down’ a big rumbling hip swinging foot twisting slab of is kicking through my speakers. It’s Detroit Baby but UK Style. What a choon this is. Of course, it isn’t a wall of noise like the day job but it’s got swing and a catchy chorus and weighs in like equal measures of International Noise Conspiracy and some of that 80s alternative underground post-punk rock n roll courtesy of the likes of 60 ft Dolls. ‘Better Man’ has a choppy dry electric guitar riff that is a straight-down-the-line Rock n Rolla heading to the chorus with some sweet guitar licks along the way – excellent stuff.

‘Real Cool Time’ is of course self-explanatory the clue is in the title garage rock, it’s got the beating heart of Ann Arbour and a honking rhythm of Detroit. Wrapping up this four-track dalliance is ‘AAA’ which has some “Greebo” scene going on with yet another strong melody and some wicked playing, all that’s missing is some honking horns and that one-finger piano roll and this would be perfect. EP of the month? Fucking right it is

The Penetrators – ‘Skateboard Girl’ (code 213 records) Another fantastic 7″ this time from New Yorks The Penetrators. With a laid back New York Groove thats handed down from Lou Reed and David Johannsen this single has it going on from the NYC licks to the sweet handclaps The Penetrators have penned a super summer seven inch. Claiming to be the kings of Basement Rock wont be too far away from the truth if they keep releasign records this good. Check out the dynamic duo on Facebook

Scumbag Millionaires – ‘So Long’ (Screaming Crow Records) From Gothenburg, Sweden, Scumbag Millionaire have offered up a killer track for Screaming Crow Records Action Rock Jukebox 45 series. These dirty bastards took ABBA’s 70’s hit “So Long” and injected it with a whole heap of Scumbag Rock n Fuckin’ Roll and a little attitude and a heap of swing. It’s given a make under not over and sounds terrific. The B side is their own “Gluehead!” which just about makes this the record of the week in my eyes. A fantastic slab of wax and just what a 45 should be. What a killer 45rpm, it’s even a large holed 7″ pressed on regular black vinyl and limited orange vinyl with a custom 45 adapter,  sticker, and jukebox title card. YES, these are made to go on a 45 playing jukebox!. Beautiful workScumbags and those at Screaming Crow – Top of the class!

RMBLR – ‘Breakin’ It Off’ (Self Release) RMBLR are one of those bands that have pedigree and history that dictates that it’s impossible to release a bad record. This new track was released without fanfare via Bandcamp and just oozes quality. What else can I say? It’s a banger of a Rock and Roll tune and RMBLR just get “IT” whatever “IT” is.

You’ll be singing along before the end of the first chorus and fist punching the air in your cut-off battle jacket wondering where the party is. It’s only Rock and Roll and I like it RMBLR just delivers…again Check it out Here

Andy McCoy – ‘Take Me I’m Yours’ (Cleopatra Records) Lifted from his brand new covers album Andy takes on this classic Squeeze track and being one of the finer tracks off the album, He nails it McCoy style. It maintains the original groove and melody but Andy gives it the McCoy treatment and twists it before draping it as only he can. It’s a grower of a tune and discarding the video that is a bit bizarre but so McCoy it’s well worth checking out ‘Jukebox Junkies’ is exactly that full of mystery, intrigue, and quality from one of the undergrounds greatest ever talents

Tropical Fuck Storm – ‘Ann’ (Joyful Noise Rexcordings) What a twisted take on The Stooges but the video is pure genius. Lifted from the EP. Bassist Fiona Kitschin steps up to the microphone on a cover that swaps Ron Asheton‘s scorching guitar part for a deranged sound collage of guitar freakouts, siren noises, and electronics. The EP also has a Talking Heads cover to twist your mellon. Will the EP be up their with their satanic slumber party who knows but covering the Stooges is a great starting point.

Wolf Rd – ‘Burn All Of Your Bridges’ Noisy shouty kids mixing up melodic metal and hardcore sludgy riffs. Might be good in a tiny club at ear shattering volume but in my liounge on a laptop it just doesn’t cut through to be fair its got tones of Chester Benningtons Linkin Park tip but its not for everyone but it does have an energy. Make your own mind up. Chicago noise bringers can be found on Facebook Here

Belushi Speed Ball – ‘Magic Conch’ (sonaBlast Records) Great name for a band and releasing it on Nintendo 64 sort of tells you where this arty goofy combo are coming from with their super fast punk rock with full on goofyness and wacko solos from the Berkley school of music speed licks – check out the video and it should all make sense or not either way its made the cut

THE GASÖLINES – ‘Rum Runner 500’ (Speed Club Records) described as high octane rockers is just about on the money. Loud guitars oily injection fueled Rock n Roll. The song is well constructed and I’m sure the guy live it like they love it and walk the walk. If they have some variety in the songwriting then they could be onto a winner with it. I look forward to what they serve up on this evidence.

As a follow up to their debut album ‘Rum Runner 500’ is the perfect take on Cars, booze and hellraising whats not to like? Facebook

Gun – ‘Word Up’ (Cherry Red Records) Glaswegian rockers GUN are back with their latest release from the forthcoming album, ‘The Calton Songs’ and finally it’s the turn of ‘Word Up’ TODAY, 28 July. So tell all the boys and girls, Tell your brother, your sister, And mama too…  This massive track was originally covered by GUN in 1994, winning an MTV Europe Music Award for Best Cover and featuring on the Top 5 album ‘Swagger’. The song itself is of course a retooled version of the evergreen Cameo hit from 1986, but now in 2022 it has been reimagined and revived and sounds amazing. This new version is a totally different beast to the one that the fans know. The track now also boasts the vocal talents of  Beverley Skeete & The Sisterhood [ Noel Gallagher, The Chemical Brothers, Mick Jagger] and The Selecter provide some phenomenal Brass. The band are describing it as the ‘Word Up Summer Jam’ and it has all the energy that implies!

Dead City Ruins – ‘The Sorcerer’ (AFM Records) Melbourne’s DEAD CITY RUINS new single & video ‘The Sorcerer’, lifted from their new album ‘Shockwave’ out on 19th August. Its a big phat slice of Rock hailing back to the likes of Zepplin and Sabbath influences with big grooves and musicianship.

Honest blue-collar rock n roll written and played from the heart with passion and as much gusto as you could muster, that would be my assumption of the Legendary Swagger that features Geoff Yeaton on Vocals & Honking Saxophone,  Skot Pollok on six sring Guitars, Joe Jennings also on Guitars and Vocals.  Dino Everett thumping the Bass and Vocals and finally Richie Mendez on the Drums, so it’s no shock that this has quality running through its veins from a beating heart of true Punk n Roll quality.

Take ‘She’ with its horn-honking slice of Rock and Roll it’s like the best of the E Street band and a dash of California for good measure. Saxophone in this punk rocking swagger is such an underrated addition to the rich tapestry of Rock n Roll from Hanoi rocks to JJ & The Real Jerks, Springsteen, Jesse Malin and X Ray Spex they all have something Xtra in their DNA that adds swing and this record has got that.

‘I’m On The Outside’ has a strong melody and cool chorus with its Social Distortion swagger from those chunky riffs to the gravel in the vocals – its rich and full bodies. ‘City’ has got that Steve Jones overdrive going on and with some familiar licks it’s such a cool song. It may lack originality but who gives a shiny shit when it’s got the tone and drive and your toes are tappin’ it’s job done for me. This is quality from a band of seasoned pros who know their way around a top tune and this is oozing quality all over the damn record.

Listen, if it’s on Rum Bar then odds on its going to be quality and I’d take that to the bank. The tunes just keep on coming as ‘Convicted’ crashes and bangs into ‘City’ the quality is plateauing out with a solid groove and some fantastic arrangements as this Rock n Roll keeps giving. It’s hard to come up with superlatives that do justice to a record but the quality is in the name of this one the legends have got a tonne of swagger and it’s banger after banger be it just punching out a rocker or giving it some swing The Legendary Swagger has it going on baby and I love it!

I love the acoustic sunshine of ‘Circles’ with its laid-back groove it rolls along towards that inevitable gang vocal chorus that has you smiling because you know this is damn good. There are chops on ‘Beautiful Disaster’ that travel the world and back it’ll get its hooks in and you’ll be craving some more of this it’s addictive rock n fuckin roll that’s for sure.

An album that might go under the radar but one I stress you should check out and play loud – it’ll iknock you off your socks and one you can thank me later for introducing you to – Buy It & tell yer mates.

Available Here

Author: Dom Daley

Sami Yaffa should be a household name.  Some of the bands he’s played with should be household names, and some of the records he’s made should be in every self-respecting music lover’s collection.  Sami Yaffa is a Bass guitar-playing Legend. 

I know the term legend gets banded about willy nilly and people refer to players who should be nowhere near the word but there are some artists who are the absolute embodiment of Rock and Roll and worthy of the word legend. From his humble beginnings and his love of music from many genres through his time as the bass player in Hanoi Rocks through his dalliances with Joan Jett, Demolition 23, New York Dolls, Jetboy, Hellacopters and most recently old sparring partner Michael Monroe who to be fair have been a going concern for the best part of a decade and most recently his solo album that wiped the floor with everything released last year Sami Yaffa is a Rock and Roll Icon as far as I’m concerned and now the fucker is a published author with magic in his pen and a wonderfully engaging style that shines like his personality from his humble beginnings right up until 2016. 

Mysterious yet open.  Up for a party yet shy, charming and seemingly always living life with a smile and a jour de Vivre that has seen him through some horrendous challenges yet the guy rolls with the punches and pulls through stronger and more determined.  Yaffa must be a fucker to be around with such qualities most mortals can only dream about achieving and boy has he got a story to tell.

The book opens with his humble beginnings as he sets the scene of how his formative years set him in good stead for what was to come. Yaffa’s style is engaging and you feel like you’re in the passenger seat for the ride there’s a flow to his story that’s engaging and throughly captivating, especially for a fan of his work.  The stories aren’t bogged down with detail but the sense of adventure and ability to roll with the punches shines through and his unwavering love of music no matter what genre is always about how it affects your heart and soul.

I’m always a bit miffed when I speak to musicians who claim to not listen to music or keep an interest in what’s happening around them nor seemingly give a shit about their own music once it’s been put in the can.  Yaffa is like a sponge and his modesty shines like a star when working with others every day is a school day and striving to be better is never a bad thing.  I’ve lived my whole youth and adult life with Sami’s music and whatever he gets involved with usually turns out to be something I need to be listening to be it his punk roots, the reincarnation of the Dolls, his roots music through Mad Juana, Jetboy, Joan Jett to Hanoi Rocks (the best band ever) to his debut solo album in 2021 He’s also a documentary maker his skills make you sick if he didn’t have such a warm smile.

As a teenager, Hanoi rocks dished up everything I loved about music and Sami was a vital part of the story and his input was a huge part of the sound. He talks fondly about the band, especially some of the trips they had but he never shys away from being honest and how they fell apart or at least how his time was done and how being in the band was affecting his health physically and mentally.  Sure they were flawed and it was their imperfections that were a big part of why people loved them so much even if their story is tragic and a well-trodden path reading Sami’s take is captivating and heartbreaking.  Apart from the pretty shambolic Sherrif McCoy book, it’s the first English worded inside track from any member of the band. But seeing it all laid out in front of you as big a part as Hanoi was there is so much more to Sami’s legacy than one band. I particularly loved reading about his chaotic time working with Steve Stevens which then led to the Demolition 23. period and the band that grew for that record.

I love reading biographies and autobiographies and the master of this genre is Alvin Gibbs another bass player whose career overlaps with Yaffa’s on several levels as far as players go, I’d probably have them both at the pinnacle of style in playing and approach to music as well as both playing on some of my favourite records and had Sami not been so loyal he might have had the Iggy gig and Alvin’s legacy would have been a little lighter than it is, sliding doors and all that.

I don’t was to give any spoilers except to say I laughed out loud at some of the stories and drifted off into what could have been with others but throughout the book it is a real page-turner, heartfelt, warm, insightful, honest and engaging – exactly what you’d want from the writer and another excellent addition is that excerpts of the book come on a 12-inch record to accompany where Sami reads excerpts from the book.  I love it all and if there’s one book you need to check out this year then it’s this, absolutely fantastic – makes you piggin sick. Hopefully, it won’t be so long before we get the second volume where Sami brings us up to date and spills the beans on what he did from 2016 to right here right now! Brilliant

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

Liquids recorded this album with the help of Erik Nervous. Then Erik mixed, mastered and released it via his label Nail Biter Records. It is distributed by Drunken Sailor Records (for the UK) and Australia’s finest Computer Human Records. In the United States the record is available from Violent Pest Records and is limited colour pressing. That should be all the background you need when investigating this album.

Ok Ok maybe not all the info you need to make an informed choice but its like the seal of quality. Liquids’ Mat Williams seemed like one of those creative punk rockers who was going to release what he wrote and as often as the weeds grow in my yard. Prolific is another word you could useif you kept your ear to the ground but don’t take your eye off social media or you’ll miss a release. Two albums (one a double) and a whole lot besides were pumped out of Indiana between 2015-18. You know the drill hardcore, Ramones pop, A splash of Devo, and more but that gives you the gist. I guess I’d align with Alex Wonk for quality of output maybe even more prolific Then it went quiet. then after several years of nowt, it was a new album last year this fucker but this has some added junk in the trunk and on vinyl. Twenty-seven tracks to be precise. Sure it’s Lo-Fi it’s not going to be high fidelity half-speed remastering but to be fair most of the songs only last under a minute with a couple barely stretching out over two FFS! Hell, how did I miss this even as a digital release it’s got a cover of Meat Loaf ‘Bat Out Of Hell’ that is almost prog length reaching out over three minutes although I’m sure Meat would have liked this version much better than his bloated anthem. It reminds me of The Briefs goofing around, Genius? Hell Yeah!

Some of the jerking rhythms are like a sped-up Undertones ‘Nobody Likes You’ is like a fucked-up Scooby Doo tune The Briefs meets NomeansNo at times and some of these songs are so rapid that even some speed metal bands would bow down with respect. ‘Life Of Oi’ is a pair of 18-holers moon stomping all about the place. The covers don’t end there as ‘Strutter’ is taken to school and given a proper punk rock makeover even Gene would raise an eyebrow for. The four bonus tracks are also all killer and no filler. A hot mess of an album that I can’t recommend highly enough. It’s punk rock baby but not of this earth what a top top record! Buy it!

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Author: Dom Daley

The Sheriff McCoy is back in the saddle again, and he’s packing a 14-track shooter of an album. ‘Jukebox Junkie’ follows his 2019 long player ‘21st Century Rocks’, and is a collection of cover versions by artists that have influenced the ex-Hanoi Rocks guitar legend, songs he feels should get more love.

Andy’s influences cover a broad spectrum. Whether it be reggae, new wave & punk, or power pop & country, it seems all bases are covered in his own imitable style. Some familiar, some not so, these 14 tracks (only 13 if you’re a vinyl junkie) are obscurities and oddities that need further exploration.

While Andy of course handles guitar duties, the lead vocals are shared between other artists on this collection. He does however share lead vocals on several tracks with his bass player and co-producer Matthew Janaitis, but there is a whole host of vocalists on board this project.

The most notable is CKY singer Deron Miller who sings lead on first single ’Take Me I’m Yours’. The highly amusing video for the Squeeze classic bizarrely has Andy lip synching along, looking like Jack Sparrow’s drunken uncle. It’s a great version, the harmony guitars sound great, and the uplifting power pop melody is intact. It gets better with every spin.

Elsewhere, Andy’s love of reggae is covered with Toots & The Maytals’ ‘54-46 That’s My Number’, Phil Lynott’s misty-eyed ‘Solo In Soho’ and Ronnie Wood’s ‘I Can Feel The Fire’. The latter, with Andy’s familiar vocal drawl and killer guitar break, is suitably ramshackle, fits McCoy to a tee and is just as good as you would want it to be.

Don Williams’ countrified ‘Shot Full Of Love’ seems to have been written for Andy to sing. The lyrics are full of reflection and sentiment, and seem quite fitting. “I used to be a moonlight bandit, I used to be a heartbreak kid”, he croons before unleashing a guitar solo to match Hanoi’s classic ballad ‘Don’t You Ever Leave Me’. This could’ve fitted nicely on the Suicide Twins album methinks.

With retro sounding synths, ringing guitars and haunting female lead vocals courtesy of Sofia Zida, The Divinyls ‘Back To The Wall’ is brought bang up to date for 2022. There’s a certain power and assertiveness to the vocals that surpasses the original and I just love the delivery and production here. Another killer McCoy guitar break seals the deal. 

You’ll know the funky ‘I Couldn’t Get It Right’ as soon as you hear that chorus, but whether it’s from the Sunday chart rundown as a kid, or simply as the opening track from Fun Lovin Criminals ‘Mimosa’ album is purely down to either good luck or good taste! It’s a killer version of the Climax Blues Band tune that adds more rock n’ roll that the smooth FLC take on it. Again, Matthew Janaitis’ vocals work well against the funky backbeat.

Wanda Jackson’s ‘Funnel Of Love’ is a great tune, surely it’s been used in a Tarantino movie? If not, this take would be a worthy addition to the next one! While Sofia Zida lacks the raw, raspiness of Wanda Jackson’s original vocal, it comes over as fresh, sweet and vibrant. The cool wah-wah guitar lines giving it a boost as well.

If you are old school and purchase the retro CD format, then you get a bonus track by the guy who was the Womble with a flying V guitar! Yes, Andy and co admirably tackle Chris Spedding’s 1975 top 20 smasher ‘Motorbikin’, and you know you need it in yer life, right?

Covers albums are usually hit and miss affairs. Sometimes made as a contractual obligation, or hastily cobbled together when an artist is going through a creatively bleak period. But sometimes they are just made for fun or as in this case, they are simply made to bring obscure songs to a wider audience and give them the attention they so rightly deserve.

‘Jukebox Junkie’ is certainly littered with obscurities. It made me search out and appreciate the originals I was unaware of, and reacquaint myself with the ones I had forgotten about. And if that was Andy’s one intention then, its job done. While several fall short, most match and some even surpass the originals. I implore you to listen, learn and make up your own mind which have come out on top.

Buy Here

Author: Ben Hughes

Titled ‘1-2 Cut Your Hair’, the book has been written and compiled by ex-NME journalist and Fierce Panda head honcho Simon Williams and tells the full story of the band who were recently the subject of their own film ‘Basically, Johnny Moped’ – currently streaming very successfully on Netflix.

Johnny Moped – The man, the band, the punk myth, the none-hit-wonder, the absent singer, the comeback (and back, and back again) king. Five decades of heroic eccentricity, elusive musicality and accidentally saving The Electric Light Orchestra.

As seen on the documentary ‘Basically, Johnny Moped’ – currently streaming on Netflix.

Johnny Moped – The man, the band, the punk myth, the none-hit-wonder, the absent singer, the comeback (and back, and back again) king. Five decades of heroic eccentricity, elusive musicality and accidentally saving The Electric Light Orchestra.

This story has it all and so much more.

Featuring brand new interviews with Dave Berk, Slimy Toad, Xerxes and Johnny himself, plus exclusive insights from Captain Sensible, Marco Pirroni and a litany of old school expert fans and perturbed modern Moped riders, this is the only book you will ever need to read about one of the all-time great misunderstood and frequently mislaid rock ‘n’ roll troopers.

Formed in Croydon in May 1974, the band were a proto-punk band, initially calling themselves Johnny Moped and the 5 Arrogant Superstars before reverting to just Johnny Moped by January 1975. They became one of the pioneering punk bands that played at London’s legendary Roxy Club. 

Their track ‘Hard Lovin’ Man’ appeared on the hit various artists album Live at the Roxy WC2 (1977). The band went on to sign with Chiswick Records and released three singles and one album, Cycledelic, before splitting up. A low-key reunion album (The Search For Xerxes) came out in 1991. Sixteen years after its release Cycledelic was listed as one of the best fifty punk albums of all-time by The Guinness Encyclopaedia of Popular Music.

A documentary about the band, Basically, Johnny Moped, produced by Fred Burns, premiered in September 2013. The film further cemented the band’s legendary status. ‘It’s currently available to watch in the UK via Netflix. 

In 2016 the revitalised band released a new album It’s A Real Cool Baby’ on Damaged Goods Records, with a fourth studio album ‘Lurrigate Your Mind ‘following in 2019. With interest in the band at an all-time high, the time is now right for their story to be told.

Available to order Here

Tek is best known for his stint as Radio Birdman guitarist and songwriter but he’s been a prolific solo artist over the last few years with an excellent output of fantastic Garage Rock n Roll which is exactly what you get with ‘Long Before Day’. The 2020 co-release with James Williamson was a masterclass in how to play Rock n Roll.

Thirteen tracks of honest good time Rock n Roll with guitars at the forefront and opener ‘Taking One For The Team’ has a cool slide ahead of the overdriven six-string – with a strong melody it reminds me of a garage rock version of Neil Young and Crazy Horse when they turn the amps up and jam. It’s an album that’s got a loose vibe.

The album meanders through the rivers of rock n roll stopping off at various tributaries offering different takes on the subject, from countrified rock that tells a story like ‘Ballad Of Chief Joseph’ the band kicks back on the moody ‘Speak Of Ice’ that has a sleepy quality as it creeps around the blues tempo and structure. If you’re willing to invest in the songs then sit back and float downstream and let the Teks take you on a fantastic journey. The quality of the songs is the key to this record with ‘Home’ just a few notches up in tempo from the previous tune with the acoustic guitar adding an earthy layer.

The title track is a mellow acoustic introduction that rolls through the speakers. ‘Truck n Roll’ shifts a few gears and blows off a few cobwebs and you get the impression that there are no egos at play here just a guy who loves his music and wherever the breeze takes him, it’s all about the music.

If I was looking to offer up a favourite track it might well be ‘Close To You’ another chilled song that would have fitted in spectacularly well on a playlist that included Chuck Prophet, Neil Young, and maybe some acoustic Johnny Thunders around the ‘Hurt Me’ recordings.

IF you want the louder end of the spectrum then look no further than the uptempo ‘Rear View Mirror’ but there’s magic sprinkled all over this album from the soulful ‘You Cry’ or ‘Mother Earth’ or the album closer sees the reflective Tek contemplate ‘Where’. A hugely impressive album that probably won’t get the respect and attention it thoroughly deserves except for places like RPM Online because we just know.

An absolute winner of an album for many reasons – the playing is from the heart and has a boundless soul. Tek isn’t afraid to venture into territories that people possibly won’t expect and doesn’t just rip it up with a garage Rock wham bang thank you man it’s so much better than that. It’s a no-brainer and it might just be the most well-rounded offering from all of Teks solo records. Buy it!

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley




Rebellion Festival, the largest punk and alternative festival in the world, is returning in 2022 even bigger and better with the launch of new outdoor event R-FEST – the festival within a festival.

Taking place this coming 4th to 7th of August 2022, in addition to Rebellion Festival at its annual home the Winter Gardens, R-FEST will be located slap bang in front of Blackpool Tower on the promenade, directly down from the Winter Gardens.

Although the country and government might have stopped clapping for the NHS, R-Fest want to show their gratitude for everything they did during the pandemic and continue to do, by offering one hundred tickets per day to the wonderful NHS workers.

If you’re an NHS key worker and fancy coming along for a day of music, food and sunshine all you’ll need to do is visit the Winter Gardens box office on Victoria Street, Blackpool this Wednesday 3rd August (12pm – 9pm) and show your NHS ID card to receive a free ticket for the R-Fest day of your choosing.

T&Cs apply: only one ticket per NHS ID can be given for free, though you may be able to purchase additional tickets from the box office. Up to 100 tickets available for each day of the festival – Thursday 4th to Sunday 7th August.

Note: this is a goodwill promotion and as such refunds cannot be issued for existing ticket holders.

The full line-up for R-Fest is.

THURSDAY 4th AUGUST: Levellers, Hawkwind, Misty in Roots, Dreadzone, Ferocious Dog, Beans on Toast, Millie Manders and the Shut Up

FRIDAY 5th AUGUST: The Stranglers, The Undertones, The Skids, From the Jam, Toyah, Jilted John, The Vapors

SATURDAY 6th AUGUST: Gary Numan, Peter Hook & the Light, Pop Will Eat Itself, Spear of Destiny, The Wedding Present, Primitives, Pete Bentham & the Dinner Ladies

SUNDAY 7th AUGUST: Squeeze, Billy Bragg, Tom Robinson Band, Hollie Cook, Buzzcocks, Altered Images, I, Doris

R-FEST will quickly establish itself as the North West’s premier music festival and Rebellion Festival look forward to welcoming many fans that could be experiencing one of their events for the first time. We’re sure they will be welcomed by the Rebellion Family and soon realise why Blackpool is such a special place for our summer gatherings.

R-FEST is a standalone festival and day tickets are available at £50 per day. However, if you are a REBELLION weekend or REBELLION day ticket holder your ticket will get into R-FEST Free Of Charge!

R-FEST is all ages and there is re-entry available.

Rebellion Festival also looks forward to hosting the best punk from around the world in 2022 with the likes of Sham 69, Bad Religion, Circle Jerks, Cock Sparrer and Stiff Little Fingers confirmed to play the Winter Gardens August 4th-7th 2022.

Tickets for Saturday R-FEST are available HERE:

Rebellion Day & Weekend Tickets gets you in to R-FEST and the Winter Gardens full festival and are on sale HERE:

Head to www.rebellionfestivals.com/r-fest for all info and tickets.  

In an age of playlists where music has seemingly become a throwaway, background commodity to the multi-faceted lives of many, a 70 plus minute prog rock odyssey, recorded on a long-discarded format favoured by 70’s rock giants, seems as out of time and out of place as a Commodore 64 in 2022. But Texas based alt rock legends …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead have never been ones to buckle and follow trends, preferring to experiment and do what the fuck they like, regardless of what is going on around them.

2020 should have seen the core duo of Conrad Keely and Jason Reece touring latest album ‘X: The Godless Void And Other Stories’ with a brand-new 5-piece line up, but Covid had other ideas. Following months of doing nothing, Keely decided to write a new album, and the band retreated to a rehearsal studio/barn in their native Austin, Texas with their new 6-piece line up, to do things on their own terms with no interference or pressure to deliver. They set up 2 drum kits, 3 guitar stations and a bank of keyboards to record an album in quadrophonic surround sound. The fruits of their labour is their 11th studio album and it is called ‘Bleed Here Now’.

Inspired by ‘Behind The Music’ and ‘Classic Album’ documentaries featuring their favourite 70’s artists, …Trail Of The Dead have crafted a 22 track, 73-minute rock album that features multi-layered vocals, swathes of cinematic strings and organs, cleverly thought-out arrangements and melodies aplenty.

Following a couple of trademark atmospheric intros that set the scene, first song proper ‘Field Songs’ is a euphoric offering of guitar and piano. Both upbeat and melodic, it harks back to classic TOD material. ‘Penny Candle’ with its bombastic drums and effect-ridden guitars, carries the melodic feel through and seems the perfect backdrop for Conrad’s wailing alt rock vocals.

‘No Confidence’ is a full-on rock monster, riding on a Zep-like riff and a killer rhythm. Energetic and invigorating in equal parts, it brings to mind ‘Worlds Apart’ to my ears. The odd wavering, vocal effect gives it an unnerving feel that may have you checking your speakers to make sure they are not broken. The ensuing tribal gang vocal section takes us out of classic rock, further afield than alt rock, yet with our feet firmly planted in …Trail Of Dead territory.

The segues do what it says on the tin and bleed into one another, giving the feel of one whole body of music, a trip if you will, into the mind of Keely and Reece during the pandemic days and months. From the subtle and dreamy, to the cinematic and the in your face, it certainly piques the interest and keeps the listener coming back for more.

The fast and furious ‘Kill Everyone’ could be the only lead vocal cameo this time around from Jason Reece. It may only last 1 minute and 22 seconds, but it showcases the frenetic live punk energy the band are capable of.

Yet, ‘Bleed Here Now’ certainly seems more like Conrad’s baby this time around. With multi-layered, dreamy vocals and mournful piano chords ‘Golden Sail’ is a proggy, space rock odyssey. The breakdown and the ensuing, galloping space rock mid-section is as trippy as you like. Every listen brings new, trance like noises that hypnotize, enrapture and take the listener to another realm.

This brings us to the 11-minute album centerpiece ‘Taken By The Hand’. A fuzzy wall of guitars contrasts nicely with Conrad’s wailing vocals and stark use of space in the verses, before the guitars crank things up again. Guitar solos wail, before another time change that gives way to the tribal beats of 2 kits in unison that battle with layered, effect-ridden guitars, building and creating drama in the most epic of ways.

The influence of the likes of Rush and Yes are prevalent on the likes of ‘Protest Streets’. Chanting vocals befitting a monastery of monks, a folky, acoustic outro featuring female vocals that travel the Enya/Kate Bush trail. This leads us nicely to the duet with Amanda Palmer that is ‘Millenium Actress’. The juxtaposition of the two lead vocals works well over the orchestral instrumentation, as the song builds over regimental drums and soaring strings.

In 900 words I can only really scratch the surface of this album. The proof is in the pudding so to speak, but from the opening ‘Our Epic Attempts’ to the closing epilogue of ‘Calm As The Valley’, …And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead certainly take the listener on a journey like no other.

As immersive as it is refreshing, ‘Bleed Here Now’ is a grandiose, 73-minute rock masterpiece that gives more with each listen. But you have to give it the time it deserves to reap the rewards. As much thought and effort has gone into the sequencing as it has the writing and recording of the music. It plays out as one piece of music, one whole body of work, the many segues leaving you unsure where one track ends and another begins. Like a book, it becomes an exciting aural adventure with many twists and turns through its cleverly designed arrangements and glorious musical interludes.

As powerful as their first three albums and more ambitious than mid-career highlights such as ‘Worlds Apart’ and ‘Tao Of The Dead’, ‘Bleed Here Now’ is Conrad Keely’s ‘Dark Side Of The Moon’, his ‘Melancholy & The Infinite Sadness’, and it could turn out to be …Trail Of The Dead’s finest moment.

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Author: Ben Hughes