Wow, maybe one of the most contentious movies associated with rock/metal ever. If you only have a passing interest you will be familiar with Norweigan Black Metal that came to prominence in the early ’90s and what went down. well, music fans, ‘Lords of Chaos: Truth And Lies’ is really gonna split the audience (those who know and those who don’t give two shits). It’s dark, It’s goofy, it’s horrific but most shockingly it was real.

Sure from a movie perspective, it’s Hollywood and glossy and slick which is everything that Norweigan Black Metal wasn’t. It’s not the kind of movie you would want to take that girl on a first date. You wouldn’t want to put on your best Waynes world baseball cap and those high tops and go with your mates to watch a Metal movie especially if they’re true Black Metal and to be honest, it doesn’t paint the community in a very good light at all not to the uninitiated it doesn’t – No sir.

There is a certain authenticity with this move in some of the cast are fans of the genre and knew the story and the Director was an original member of first wave pioneers Bathory so they know their shit before the purists jump on it.

Casting Varg as a larger Jewish actor couldn’t have been a coincidence, Whilst in the main, the acting is excellent its not the most PC of communities to begin with (tolerance wasn’t exactly a motivator) and they generally lived by their own rules (or so they thought) It mostly focusses around Øystein Aarseth otherwise known as Euronymous the leader of Mayhem one of the forerunners of the second wave of Black Metal and the people who circled around his orbit.

Right enough of the back story. One thing I struggled to get my head around was the Americanisation and the accents, that was a shame, seeing as they were Norwegians no attempt to even put an accent on was made which might have added to the whole Bill and Ted goofy-ness of parts of the film. I thought the writers made a good fist of making it unglamorous and painting the main baddie (Varg) in a suitably bad light. The guys political beliefs are extreme as are a lot of the people in this genre they don’t come across as welcoming – accepting people and the whole church burning is dangerous criminality.

There is very little that was cool about what happened back in the early 90s especially to four of these people (one suicide, two murders and a firefighter who died trying to clean up their handiwork) The film doesn’t cover him (Varg) in glory at all and he comes across as an unstable loser and help was what he really needed not women feeding his narcism. The scorpions patch made me giggle as did the fact that one of the most Black Metallers real names is Kristian – and not The Count – perfect. Not the nicest of people and that really comes across in the movie. I also think that needed to be the case you couldn’t make what these guys were doing acceptable and paint them as victims I do think a lot of the time it was one-upmanship that got out of hand and they aren’t really full-on criminals just a bunch of sheep being led by a few truly dark characters and it got way out of hand. If it were a made up story from start to end you’d be commending the writer on such a twisted dark story but the fact that it’s based around true stories is staggering.

The casting is engaging (that’s not to say likable) there is a certain amount of Goofy Bill and Ted about the whole thing (the way its narrated) but that’s the point – its not gone down well within the metal community (was it ever going to?) The thing is there doesn’t seem much inward reflecting going on in extreme metal, quite the narcissists I mean c’mon, to the man on the street kids running round in corpse paint is gonna look a bit goofy and dorkish – its cosplay for extremists isn’t it? Venom took the piss people didn’t really think their misogynist ways were real and they didn’t sleep in coffins and I don’t think they ate sacrificial virgins either.   If you can’t see the humour and piss-taking then you’re maybe a bit of a lost cause. Sometimes its good to take time to have a bit of a laugh at ones self isn’t it?

The church burnings look convincing and the bloody scenes are hard to watch.  It has to be said that the Director has gone the extra mile in the attention to detail especially on things like the record shop ‘Hellvete’ time period t-shirts, patches, the transition from famous pictures from the scene cutting to real-time acting is excellent.  As for the cast,  Rory Culkin is spot on and his portrayal of Euronymous and is really watchable as is Dead and he does make the character engaging and believable.

 

The thing with ‘Lords Of Chaos’ is I can’t say I enjoyed watching it but did find it well done and captivating.  I kept having to remind myself that it’s real and these things did happen. My God (sorry satan or Odin), they barely touched upon the horror of Faust’s murder of an innocent man in Olympic Park and it seemed like it was added as an afterthought and what went down is truly shocking. I find myself questioning whether I should be listening to their music  I know they were kids when all these things happen and you’d like to think that what they did in their teens they’ve learned the lesson that it isn’t acceptable and you hope they are sorry for their crimes and today they are decent humans who aren’t just nice to their mams.

I think since the early ’90s there has been an amount of the rewriting of history and revising of beliefs and the whys and wherefores to justify what happened but at no time does Lords Of Chaos glorify what happened.

The one thing this movie does is it manages to make the main players in the scene look daft as brushes (albeit sinister and unrepentant cold-blooded dangerous people)  They started out a bit childish none of the people come out of it in a good light and there isn’t any back-patting going on in the writing and performing.

Years in the making its a shame that the bands didn’t sign off their music except for the opening bit of ‘Deathcrush’.  Take care kids – treat Black Metal with care and continue dissecting genres into subgenres then subgenres of the subgenres and making the metal more extreme than before but remember, the general public is indeed sniggering behind your backs. and why not look in the mirror laugh at yourself it’s not the be all end all (all the time) so for now party on dudes!

Now let the metalheads bicker over the shape of the actors -the music genre labels and how authentic the metal is. but if you haven’t got a clue about the detail and took the movie for being just a movie as an uninitiated then it makes for a great Horror flick based around a music scene in a beautiful yet dark part of the world – hail Santa! it is Santa isn’t it?  Christmas metal now that’s a genre not investigated.  shockin?  You bet. To unravel what went on is mindblowing for some quite literally – Prepare to be shocked.

Buy the DVD ‘Lords Of Chaos’: Here

Author: Dom Daley

It’s been six years since I last ventured into a Butlin’s holiday camp for one of their boutique music events, and vowing never to return after the last one, it was always going to take something very special indeed to get me hugging Billy Bear once again. So, the first thing that grabbed me about this 2020 Alternative Music weekend event in Minehead was the fact that we could now seemingly get a room for six cheaper than we could back in 2014, okay it’s an entry level chalet (kind of like what you expect when booking a Travelodge) but when that equates to £75 per person sharing (and when you have the likes of The Wildhearts, The Undertones and The Boomtown Rats all playing) you don’t have to be a maths genius to work out this is great VFM. So, just when I thought I was out…they pull me back in for another weekend of great music, chips and Flash anti-bacterial wipes.

FRIDAY

Arriving on site early and then being allowed to check into our room at 2pm means that our bedrooms are allocated out and the cans and vodka are soon flowing warming things up rather nicely for Duncan Reid & The Big Heads who are opening the festival’s Introducing Stage in Jaks bar. The irony of this for such an already established musician is certainly not lost on the great man himself when he declares that in another 35 years he hopes he can make it to Centre Stage, however hearing the likes of ‘Terminal Love’, ‘Brickfield Nights’ and ‘First Time’ being sung en masse by the packed out audience simply reinforces the fact that Duncan Reid & The Big Heads are already way ahead of where the promotor must think they are in the punk rock nation’s hearts, something that must be a very rewarding feeling for the band themselves too.

Wandering around the Skyline trying the find something edible before the evening gets into full swing it’s interesting to observe that there a far less stag/hen weekenders here than during my previous visit. It really does feel much more like a mini Rebellion and of course just like Rebellion I quickly realise (thanks to the event’s very useful mobile app) that I have the obligatory stage clashes to contend with, and this is my only real criticism of how these weekends are run. I realise why it is done, but seriously with a few little tweaks (maybe have venues sub-themed by genre?) I think this could possibly be made a lot easier on the punters many of whom are having to make some tough choices. So tonight, we have to choose between Goldblade who clash with Plague UK and then we have The Wildhearts who clash with Angelic Upstarts. Thankfully having not seen Goldblade live in quite some time my first choice is an easy one and I’m in Centre Stage long before their 8pm start to witness the recently reunited “classic” line up with Johny Vincent returning on guitar. Kicking off with a riotous ‘Fighting In The Dancehall’ and along the way slotting in classics like ‘Black Elvis’ and ‘Strictly Hardcore’ Goldblade simply don’t put a brothel creepered foot wrong during their eleven song set and closing things out with ‘Hometurf’ the guys really look like all conquering homecoming heroes as they leave the stage.

With The Wildhearts up next the crowd in Centre Stage thins out slightly as people appear to opt for the Angelic Upstarts option down in Reds (something Ginger himself later professes to being gutted not to be able to watch), but having sacrificed going to the band’s recent co-headline shows with Backyard Babies safe in the knowledge that I would soon be seeing the band play in front of a largely neutral audience there is only one place I want to be, and that’s pressed up again the barrier ready to immerse myself in the aural delights of the self-styled ‘Renaissance Men’ of British rock.  ‘Everlone’ leads us into a hour long masterclass in how to do this festival malarkey just right with the band mixing old classics (like the opener) with newer tunes (like the amazing ‘Diagnosis’) and in the process winning over a crowd who largely openly admit to having not heard anything by the lads before. It’s heart-warming to see the 7-legged hit machine smiling and enjoying themselves quite so much and when the final chords of ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ ring out I along with many “new” fans simply wish this could go on all night. Please excuse this opportunity to use a cliché but right now The Wildhearts really are on ‘Top Of The World’, and it was worth every penny of my admission money just to witness this performance. In fact, I could almost go home, albeit I quickly remember we have two more days to go yet and Big Country are hardly going to be able to follow what preceded them. So, after a couple of songs from a very polished sounding version of a band I once saw giving the headliner a run for his money when I saw them supporting Elton John in Wembley Stadium, tonight its all about reliving their 80s former glory, something I’ll leave to their legions of dad dancing fans as I head off for a quick night cap ahead of day two.

SATURDAY

Given that a few of our gang had hit the vodka a little bit hard in the wee small hours it’s somewhat remarkable that two of us actually make it to Centre Stage in time for Knock Off to open up proceedings at half-past one. It’s also remarkable just how many others also achieve this feat as the place is packed out for such an ungodly hour on a Saturday afternoon. Knock Off guitarist and singer Andy Town might be unable to down his pint in one but he and the lads are soon ducking and diving their way through a truly memorable set littered with streetpunk/oi! anthems like the always amazing ‘This Ain’t No Love Song’ all spurred on by this early afternoon show of punk rock camaraderie.

As kick-off time comes and goes Centre Stage’s clientele changes from mohicans to mohair as Nine Below Zero play out a set of R&B standards with everyone seemingly waiting (myself included) just to hear ‘Eleven Plus Eleven’ just to see who can do the Rik from the Young Ones dance the best. In many ways watching Nine Below Zero here today was a lot like watching ZZ Top playing a mid-afternoon slot at some metal festival, they both exude coolness and charm that has everyone dancing, and that my friends is the secret to both band’s longevity in the music business.

In the search for something a little bit more frantic I head over to Jaks just in time to catch Nottingham’s Headstone Horrors who are barking out a mixture of hardcore and horror that in many ways has a lot in common with the likes Horrorpops and Dragster, and they go down an absolute storm with those sensible enough not to be watching a Clash tribute band over on Centre Stage. One of the guys in our gang picks up a CD and T Shirt for £15 so at least here in Jaks it’s great to see the bands keeping it real on the merch front. Please don’t get me started on the main stage prices.

After a few more cheeky ones watching the football results come in and then a quick bite to eat we are back in Centre Stage ready to greet Glen Matlock and band featuring the one and only Earl Slick on guitar. Playing a set of tunes mostly taken from his excellent 2019 album ‘Good To Go’ I have to admit I’m more than just a little star struck simply watching Slick do what he does best. The set highlight for me (just like on the album) is Matlock’s take on Scott Walker’s ‘Montague Terrace (In Blue)’ a song that just exudes class whilst finishing with a crowd pleasing ‘Pretty Vacant’ means this band are always going to be one of the most talked about following this weekend.

The clash of the stages is up again next with our gang splitting in half as some choose to stay in Centre Stage for all the fun of The Adicts whilst the rest of us cram ourselves into Reds early doors to catch The Undertones. At the top of this review I specifically mentioned The Undertones because they are a band who I initially didn’t get as a teenager. Now four decades on I absolutely love their back catalogue yet I’ve yet to see them live, until tonight that is. Granted Fergal Sharkey has long since retired from the microphone but I’d heard nothing but good things about his replacement Paul McLoone (he’s been fronting them for just over two decades now) and as the band hit the stage with ‘Jimmy Jimmy’ smack bang  on their nine thirty stage time I can see exactly why people rave about him (and them). Gambolling around the stage like a cross between Brett Anderson and Father Damo, McLoone is the perfect anthesis to Sharkey’s jumper and parka image, and with him singing their canon of hits with just enough of a hint of his predecessor the band achieve what so many other fail to do, replace the almost irreplaceable.

As for those songs its fantastic to finally hear the likes of ‘The Love Parade’ and ‘Here Comes The Summer’ live and when they can play a song as influential as ‘Teenage Kicks’ half way into their set and still not lose a single audience member after that you know you are witnessing something very special indeed. Just like The Wildhearts had done the night before The Undertones deliver an absolute blinder of a set, wrapping it all up with the essential pop punk anthem ‘My Perfect Cousin’, and everything in our troubled world feels right again.

Now shall I go and watch some more live music in the shape of Hung Like Hanratty or The Members or shall I head off into the night and have a few late-night snifters with the lads instead? Wait for me guys…I’ll have a large brandy.

SUNDAY

Waking early to sound of the local seagulls going ballistic over the first proper sunshine of the weekend, there’s only one thing to do to prepare us for our third and final day of live music, and a line up largely dominated by ‘80s UK Mod bands, and that’s to watch Jonas Åkerlund’s ‘Lords Of Chaos’, in fact I’m half toying with the idea of doing the final day corpse painted up I’m not entirely sure how well that would go down with the Ace Faces on camp as we head over to Centre Stage to catch From The Jam.

Breezing into our Sunday afternoon with ‘David Watts’ the sound levels are initially noticeably lower than for other bands and as a result Bruce Foxton and Co don’t so much hammer you to the wall with their energy as politely introduce themselves with a gentile handshake. How very British. It’s certainly great to hear the likes of ‘Going Underground’ and ‘Start!’ live but devoid of the adrenalin kick of the Weller years its all a bit too much like Big Country on Friday night for me and instead I head off to Jaks just in time to catch Pete Bentham & The Dinner Ladies.

Pete Bentham has been a regular feature at Rebellion for a good few years now but somehow I’ve never actually witnessed him live before today and whilst his band’s brand of artpunk might not be exactly my type of thing musically, what these guys have is set of songs (largely drawn from their ‘England’s Up For Sale’ and ‘This Is Kitchencore!’ albums) that you’d have to be a braindead moron not to enjoy. Easily the surprise band of the weekend for me, and I’ll be interested to see them live once again.

A band I’d been wanting to see live for quite some time now is The Blue Carpet Band so today is my chance to rectify that matter. Mixing pulsating rock ‘n’ roll beats with a garage punk attitude, in many ways The Blue Carpet Band are very much the band The Sick Livers always threatened to be.  ‘Back In The Trash’ sounds absolutely irresistible and ‘I Love The City’ almost wins the award for the best song of the weekend. I’ll hold off on dubbing them the best thing since sliced bread just for now though as I get the feeling the five-piece has even more to offer us via their second album due later in 2020, and I for one can’t wait to hear it.

Returning to our chalet for the last couple of tins we have left ahead of the final night’s stack of bands, and we have the March of the Mods to look forward to split across Centre Stage where The Chords are set to play whilst in Reds I can hopefully finally get to see Secret Affair live. To be honest it’s no contest though as after arriving early doors for Secret Affair they seem content just to be noodling away caught up in some acid jazz odyssey, so I quickly make a b-line for Centre Stage to watch the rest of The Chords who appear to be having the times of their lives and even though I don’t know a single song by them, they are still hugely enjoyable.

With The Boomtown Rats celebrating the imminent release of their first new studio album in thirty six years you can perhaps forgive Geldof and Co for opening with a couple of songs from said album (‘Citizens Of Boomtown’), and whilst drawing perhaps the second biggest Centre Stage crowd of the weekend it takes until the oldies for the floor to really start bouncing. ‘Rat Trap’ still sounds like the best Springsteen song he never actually wrote (or played) and if ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’ wasn’t already on everyone’s Spotify playlist before tonight then it most certainly would be come the morning.

It would be oh so easy to take a caustic swipe at Sir Bob especially after his toys out the pram “black t-shirt” episode with the crowd at Rebellion a few years ago, but really (the godawful 30 years too late ‘The Boomtown Rats’ rave tune aside) tonight is a great mix of old and new and the near perfect way to end the weekend. Yup I know The Stiffs and The Rezillos are still to play, but I’m absolutely knackered and need my pit, even if my roommate is already crashed out and is in the process of single handily gazumping all comers in the Butlin’s loudest snorer competition.

Thinking back to the last time I attended The Great British Alternative Music Festival I posed myself the simple question of “would I attend again?” and at that time I suggested that I might if some new bands be added so we could all take a break from the almost relentless emotional tourism of the nostalgia acts. Well, the Introducing stage proved to be the perfect answer to this call, so answering that same question six years on my answer would be a resounding “YES”. Now if only someone could sort out those stage clashes eh!

Author: Johnny Hayward

Black Metal uber lords Mayhem is in the fuckin house!  Hide your bibles, guns, knives, false metal iconography and without question any Stryper albums.  Now on a more serious note the name Mayhem is probably more famous than any of their music that’s for sure and with the recent interest in the band following the movie ‘The Lords Of Chaos’ its fair to say Mayhem has been many things over the last thirty-five plus years and not all of it good but some of it great.  I’ll admit right here that I was always intrigued as an impressionable schoolboy in the whole Venom, Hellhammer first wave of Black Metal and then when I heard ‘DeathCrush’ I was blown away and for me (remember this is pre-internet) there wasn’t a great deal of information about Norway and what was going on over there it was hard to keep up and by the time I had a better idea two of them were dead they’d been through several singers (if singers is the correct term) and by the time the mid 90s had passed I was done occasionally dipping back in from time to time and usually when there was a book out covering the church burnings or a documentary  then I’d dip back in to find out what the hell happened to the likes of Bathory, Hellhammer, Venom and Mayhem.  Id’ say in the last few years I rediscovered ‘Deathcrush’ and latterly ‘De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas’ I’m afraid to say it was a gradual decline downhill for me as a lot of Black Metal had turned into some classical technical jizzfest and it had lost its spark for me.

With the exception of a few albums here and there the scene was done and then I heard a Darkthrone album and watched a few Mayhem clips on youtube and I was back in and when I read that Mayhem was recording a new album and the band had been listening to live tapes of them playing that ‘Mysteriis’ album and using the sounds to write the new album I was intrigued. Then when I heard some of the new tracks and they were a little slower and more experimental and more akin to old school Mayhem I was pleased, there is an energy about this record that hasn’t been there for a while.

It’s easy to say it’s just a rehash of that first album would be unfair It’s fair to say its more in keeping with it and maybe that’s why I’m excited to hear it. sure Attila’s vocals are an acquired taste at times terrifying and other times so guttural and indistinguishable it would be fair to say scratch some nails down a pane of glass would be more preferable.  This is the extreme end of extreme music no question about it and from the exceptional artwork you know you are in the company of the darkest shade of darkness Mayhem dance only to their own tune they do what they want when they want to do it and this album as a complete piece of work is going to make fellow black metallers sit up and pay attention ‘Daemon’ begins with ‘The Dying False King’ with no spooky intro or long winding lead up – Bosch! they’re off like a salivating three-headed dog barking like fuck until the breakdown halfway through and already this pisses over anything they’ve done for over a decade and a half – make no mistake Mayhem are on fire! ‘Agenda Ignis’ is like shit off a stick as it meanders its way out of Hell poor old Hellhammer he’s drumming like his backside is on fire but again there is a twist after about a minute but worry not you mega paradiddlers its momentary and the thunderous noise continues.

The production is suitably hellish as you’d expect and with headphones, it’s another experience altogether.  In an hour-long bombardment I think I need a lie-down but leave the lights on please I don’t want any more darkness but I do know I’m going back in for some more. ‘Malum’ twists and turns and goes from breakneck to a slower more evil tempo and back and forth we fight.

‘Falsified And Hated’ is almost six minutes of pure darkness its as bleak as the album gets oh no it isn’t ‘Aeon Daemonium’ builds up like a waking Beelzebub before the double bass sparks up I must admit that I’ll have to listen to the middle songs a lot more because currently, they’re blending into one great big dark ball of Metallic noise as Attila growls and belches out his lyrics and the songs meander back and fore in epic fashion but flow over my head a little but I feel they’re dragging me in slooooowly.

I know they’re never going to write a love song or play a soft ballad nor would I want them to but at times the intensity is too much right up to the kettle drums on ‘Invoke the Oath’ along with the military snare beats it’s like a call to satanic arms and the dead are rising to the call.  Cramming so much into five minutes is like ‘At War With Satan’ on double speed but I don’t know what the fucks going on here.

 

There are bonus tracks but they’re long and repetitive and complex-sounding but saying that the final one ‘Black Glass Communion’ sounds fuckin’ thunderous on the headphones a real sonic kick to the temple. ‘Daemon’ is the blackest shade of Black and if anyone tells you that Black Metal is long done then throw this on the stereo and tell them to fuck off.  Mayhem is black metal and ‘Daemon’ is Mayhem job done!

 

Buy Daemon Here

Author:Dom ‘Daemon’ Daley

Euronymous was a founder of and central figure in the early Norwegian Black Metal scene. He was a co-founder and guitarist of the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem and was the only constant member from the band’s formation in 1984 until his death in 1993. He was also founder and owner of the extreme metal record label ‘Deathlike Silence Productions’ and record shop Helvete in Norway.

Euronymous professed to be a Satanist and was known for making extreme misanthropic statements. He presented himself as leading a militant cult-like group known as the “Black Metal Inner Circle”. How much of this was image, bravado, bullshit or just youthful boasting to create a bigger image? We’ll never truly know.

In August 1993, he was murdered by fellow musician Varg Vikernes. Its a complicated and tangled web of who did what to whom and when and staggeringly why but ultimately several people lost their lives in all of this and today we remember one of the pivotal figures of Norweigan Black Metal Euronymous.

Recently the subject of the shocking and true film ‘Lords Of Chaos’ Øystein was one of the lead roles for all of the above.  He was possibly responsible for taking what the likes of Venom were doing in the UK and taking it across the line and making the sounds of Bathory, Hellhammer more extreme more brutal more antisocial. For the pioneering groundbreaking contribution to extreme metal, we remember Euronymous and hope he rests in peace wherever that may be.

The recent film ‘Lords Of Chaos’ loosely tells the story of Euronymous and his inner circle and depicts his horrific and violent demise at the hands of Varg. We reviewed the film Here It does depict their scene as a band of misfits bonded by dark ideals and metal.  It was Aarseth who discovered his singer after his suicide and it was he who took the picture of his dead bloodied body and took pictures and allegedly took pieces of Deads skull. However, he was also the guy who set up his own label, set up his own record shop and pioneered a network of worldwide black metal fans (remember this is pre-internet) he also set up base in his own record store Hellvete.

Its his raw and brutal songwriting that set the blueprint for many others to follow check out the riff on ‘Deathcrush’

 

The Best Of The Best

according to the team at RPM Online

 

It’s gotten to the time of year when everyone seems to be putting the past twelve months in order and creating their lists or best of and we read on social media that it’s been a bit of a rubbish year for new releases etc. Now we know that’s not quite true and bands and solo artists have been making good use of lockdown and releasing some pretty impressive albums and singles be it virtually or remotely or when possible in an actual studio.

Here at RPM Online, we pride ourselves on bringing you the best of those releases from far-flung places and the darkest recesses of the Rock and Roll world and this is where the talented bunch of writers get to reveal what is at the top of their lists for 2020.

I’d personally like to thank the writers for the hard work and dedication during such a difficult year for everyone and first and foremost would like to thank them for their efforts in bringing such talented writing to everyone’s attention.  the one thing that stands out is whilst we all champion alternative music it’s generally a very diverse pool we dive in for our musical highs yet there are many common threads.  I’d also like to thank the PR that send through the countless emails and the ones who do an outstanding job above and beyond for the bands to make this past year work and not totally collapse as well as the labels who release a lot of these albums at great personal expense thank you one and all and the biggest thank you goes to those of you who’ve taken the time in real life to check in on us be it a daily read or the occasional glance thank.  so without further delay please check out our end of year list from Best Albums, Best EP, Best Single, Best Reissue, Best music-related Book, and yes live concert (there were plenty in the first few months honest)

Enjoy –

 

 

Craggy

Albums of 2020

Levellers – ‘Peace’ (On The Fiddle Recordings)

Bob Mould – ‘Blue Hearts’ (Merge Records)

Kathleen Edwards – ‘Total Freedom’ (Dualtone)

Soul Asylum – ‘Hurry up and Wait’ (Blue Elan Records)

Craggy Collyde – ‘Wrapped up in Ribbons’ (Break Me Records)

Warner E Hodges – ‘Just Feels Right’ (JCPL)

Pete Berwick – ‘Too Cow to Punk’ (Self Release)

Dark Rags – ‘Suburbia’ (Backstab Records)

Parketový Lev – ‘Parketový Lev’ (Papagájův Hlasatel Records)

Rabbit Slow – ‘Coming Waves’ (Self Release)

 

 

Nev Brooks

Albums of 2020

Bob Vylan – ‘We live Here’ (Self Release)

Jesse Malin – ‘Sunset Kids’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Humanist – ‘Humanist’ (Self Release)

Suzie Stapleton – ‘We Are The Plague’ (Negative Prophet Records)

Mark Lanegan – ‘Straight songs of Sorrow’ (Heavenly)

Duncan Reid and the Bigheads – ‘Don’t Blame yourself’ (Lbh Records)

Psychedelic Furs – ‘Made of Rain’ (Cooking Vinyl)

Asaf Avidan – ‘Agnorisis’ (Telmavar Records)

Me and that Man – ‘New Songs, Same shit vol 1’ (Napalm Records)

Nick Cave – ‘Idiots Prayer’ (Bad Seed LTD)

Dystopian Future Movies – ‘Inviolate’ (Lasairfhiona Records)

The Levellers – ‘Peace’ (On The Fiddle Recordings)

Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts – ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ (Wicked Cool Records)

The Cravats – ‘Hoorahland’ (Sef Release)

Sault – ‘Untitled (Black is)’ (Forever Living Originals)

Bill Fisher – ‘Mass Hypnosis and the Dark Triad’ (Septaphonic Records)

Stay voiceless – ‘Lies to Tell Your Children’ (GMC)

The Dowling Poole – ‘See You See Me’ (Self Release)

Jehnny Beth – ‘To love is To Live’ (20L07 Records)

The Strokes – ‘The New Abnormal’ (RCA Cult Records)

 

Top 5 e.ps

 

Bar Stool Preachers – ‘Soundtrack to your Apocalypse’ (Pirates Press Records)

Jesse Malin – ‘Ameri’ka’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – ‘Non Stop e.p.’ (Communion Records)

The Damned – ‘Rockfield sessions’ (Spinefarm Records)

Paul Ronney Angel – ‘Seven Spanish Angels’ (Self Release)

 

Top 5 Re-issues / Boxsets

 

Twin Temple – ‘Present Their Signature Sound (Satanic Doo Wop)’ (Rise Above Records)

New Model Army – ‘Carnival’ (Attack Attack Records)

David Bowie – ‘Metrobolist’ (Parlophone)

Rolling Stones – ‘Goats Head Soup’ (Rolling Stones Records)

Prince – ‘Sign Of The Times’ (NPG Records, Warner Records, The Prince Estate)

 

 

 

Dom Daley

Albums of 2020

Stiff Richards – ‘State Of Mind’ (Legless Records/Drunken Sailor Records)

Chubby & The Gang – ‘Speed Kills’ (Partisan Records)

Mud City Manglers – ‘Give Me The Hammer’ (Beluga Records)

Wayne Hussey & The Divine – ‘Live At The Bridge’ (Eyes Wide Shut Records)-

Thee acid tongue – ‘Snake Rattle And Roll (Bear Beach Records)

Bob Mould – ‘Blur Hearts’ (Merge Records)

Bob Vylan – ‘We Live Here’ (Self Release)

Marylin Manson – ‘We Are Chaos’ (Lorna Vista)

Cabbage – ‘Amanita Pantherina’ (Brassica Records)

Deathtrap – ‘Stole Your Rock and Roll’ (Spirit Of Disaster)

Lovesores – ‘Bats From Planet Skull’ (Self Release)

Wyldlife – ‘Year Of The Snake’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Duncan Reid & The Bigheads – ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ (Lbh Records)

The Good The Bad And The Zugly – ‘Algorithm And Blues’ (Fysisk Format)

Midnight – ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ (Metal Blade Records)

Tommy Ray  – ‘First Hits Free’ (Cool Cat Music)

Mick Rossi – ‘All The Saints & All The Souls’ (TJM Records)

The Hip Priests – ‘Solid Gold Easy Option’ (Speedo Wax Records)

Chuck Prophet – ‘The Land That Time Forgot’ (Yup Rock)

Bruce Springsteen – ‘Letter To You’ (Columbia Records)

 

Single of the year

The Black Halos -‘ Ain’t No Time To Say Goodbye’ (Self Release)

Rock ‘n’ Roll Manifesto vol 1(Stamp Out Disco)

Jesse Malin – ‘Todd Youth’ (Wicked Cool Records)

 

Reissue / Boxset

The Boys – ‘The Safari years’ (Cherry Red Records)

Motochrist – ‘Greatest Hits’ (Dr Wu Records)

New Model Army – ‘Carnival’ (Attack Attack)

Buzzcocks – ‘Sell You Everything’ (Cherry Red Records)

Keith Richards – ‘ Live At The Hollywood Palladium’ (Virgin America)

Coloursound – ‘Coloursound’ (The Great North Western Recording Company)

Manic Street Preachers – ‘Gold Against The Soul’ (Sony Music)

 

 

Music-related Books of the Year

Alvin Gibbs – ‘Diminished Responsibility Volume 1’ (Tome & Metre Publishing)

‘Clang!’ (Smiley drops a few) – Steve ‘Smiley’ Barnard (GTP)

‘What Makes The Monkey Dance’ – Chuck Prophet & Green On Red – Stevie Simkin (Jaw Bone)

 

Best E.P. 

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – ‘Non Stop’ (Communion Records)

Bar stool preachers. – ‘Soundtrack To The Apocolypse’ (Pirates Press Records)

Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘Em Ups – ‘Covered In Blood! Quarantine Covers’

 

 

Live show of the year

Bar stool preachers – Bristol, Rough Trade

Mike Peters – Gathering – Llandudno North Wales

The Bellrays – le Pub, Newport

The Wildhearts – Cardiff, Tramshed

The Interrupters – Cardiff, Tramshed

 

2021 wishes?  I’d love to see an end to restrictions (stating the obvious I know) but it would be smart to see the Proposed Vive Le Rock show take place with Michael Monroe fronting the Lords Of The New Church and live shows becoming a thing again.  Other than that Stay Safe and look out for each other.

 

Dan Kasm

Albums Of 2020

Bambara – ‘Stray‘ (Wharf Cat Records)
…Trail Of Dead – ‘X The Godless Void and Other Stories’ (Dine Alone Records)
Airborne Toxic Event – ‘Hollywood Park’ (Rounder Records)
Bdrmm – ‘Bdrmm’ (Sonic Cathedral)
Zombeaches – ‘Zombeaches’ (Self Release)
The Blinders – ‘Fantasies of the Stay at Home Psychopath’ (Modern Sky Music)
Neonic Sundrive – ‘Lies Paradise’ (Self Release)
The Wildhearts – ’30 Year Itch’ (Round Records)
Neil Young – ‘Homegrown’ (Reprise Records)
Reissues / Boxsets
The Guilty Hearts – ‘The Guilty Hearts’ (Voodoo Rhythm Records)
Anna Calvi – ‘Hunted’ (Domino Records)
Virgin Suicides – ‘ost’ (Parlophone)
Neil Young – ‘After the Gold Rush’ 50th anniversary (Reprise Records)
Iggy & the Stooges – ‘You Think You’re Bad Man’ (Cherry Red Records)
EPs
Eyesore & the Jinx – ‘The Exile Parlour’ (Eggy Records)
Grow Rich – ‘Frantic Semantic’ (Self Release)
The Lotts – ‘We Are The Lotts’ (Self Release)
The Mysterines – ‘Love’s Not Enough’ (Self Release)
Various Artists – ‘Not Psycho Enough?’ Cosmic Psychos Tribute (Dull City Records)
Singles
The Dry Retch – ‘12000 Miles From New’
Murmur – ‘Shame’ (Self Release)
Salt The Snail – ‘Junkyard Cat’ (Self Release)
Psychedelic Furs – ‘Don’t Believe’ (Cooking Vinyl)
Silverbacks – ‘Drool’ (Nice Swan Records)
Music-related Books of the Year
Dave Haslam – ‘Looking for Love – Courtney Love in Liverpool’
Justin Quirk – ‘Ain’t Nothin’ But A Good Time – The Rise & Fall of Glam Metal’ (Unbound Digital)
Mikel Jollett – ‘Hollywood Park’ (Sceptre)
Gigs
The Wildhearts, Backyard Babies – Manchester Ritz
The Dry Retch, Tio Rico – Liverpool Outpost
Mysterines, Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard –  Liverpool Jimmys
2021
I’m hopeful for the new year that I will get some normality in order to attend the inaugural event of the new Futurama festival as well as 2000 Trees, HRH Sleaze & Psych as well as numerous other gigs and events. Like a lot of people the past 9 months has put things in perspective, grab things with both hands and tick off ‘bucket list’ life events instead putting them off.

 

Fraser Munro

Albums Of 2020

Scumbag Millionaire – ‘Poor and Infamous’ (Suburban Records)

The good, The Bad And The Zugly – ‘Algorithm & Blues’ (Fysisk Format)

Beat City Tubeworks – ‘Top Rock’ (The Sign Records)

Mud City Manglers – ‘Give Me The Hammer’ (Beluga Records, Spaghetty Town Records, Ghost Highway Records)

Supersuckers – ‘Play That Rock ‘N’ Roll’ (Acetate Records)

Christmas – ‘Hot Nights In Saint Vandal’ (TNS Records)

DBOY – ‘New Records In Human Power’ (Dine Alone Records)

Hank Von Hell – ‘Dead’ (Sony Music)

Kvelertak – ‘Splid’ (Rise Records)

ACDC – ‘Power Up’ (Columbia)

The Wildhearts – ’30 Year Itch’ (Round Records)

 

Reissues / Boxset

Black Halos – FFTS Demos & Rarities (Bandcamp)

The Hip Priests – Solid Gold Easy Option (Speedowax Records)

Midnight Evils – Straight ‘Til Morning (Sweet Ohm Ramalama)

 

 

Gigs

Undertones et al – Minehead

Wildhearts / Backyard Babies – Cardiff

Wildhearts / Backyard Babies – London

Guida – Bristol

Showaddywaddy – Swansea

 

 

Johnny Hayward

Albums Of The Year 2020

Aerial Salad – ‘Dirt Mall’ (Plasterer/Roach Industries)

Henrik Palm – ‘Poverty Metal’ (Svart Records)

The Wildhearts – ‘30 Year Itch’ (Round Records)

Mondo Generator – ‘Fuck It’ (Heavy Psych Records)

Then Comes Silence – ‘Machine’ (Oblivion/SPV, Metropolis Records)

Midnight – ‘Rebirth By Blasphemy’ (Metal Blade Records)

Kvelertak – ‘Splid’ (Rise Records/World Records)

The Dowling Poole – ‘See You See Me’ (369 Music)

Lovesores – ‘Bats From Planet Skull’ (Self Released)

Dirt Box Disco – ‘TV Sex Show’ (Avenue Recordz)

Division Of Laura Lee – ‘Apartment’ (Welfare Sounds)

Spunk Volcano & The Eruptions – ‘Barry Milner Is Thick’ (Avenue Recordz)

Stay Voiceless – ‘Lies To Tell Your Children’ (GMC)

Deathtraps – Stole Your Rock ‘N’ Roll (Spirit Of Disaster)

Scumbag Millionaire – ‘Poor and Infamous’ (Suburban Records)

HMLTD – ‘The West Is Dead’ (Lucky Number)

The Hip Priests – Solid Gold Easy Option (Speedo Wax Records)

The Speedways – ‘Radio Sounds’ (Alien Snatch Records, Snap!! Records/Hurrah Musica and Beluga Records)

Marilyn Manson – ‘We Are Chaos’ (Lorna Vista)

Mariachi El Bronx – Musica Muerta Volumes 1&2 (White Drugs)

 

EPs

The Bar Stool Preachers – ‘State Of Emergency’ (Pirate’s Press)

Lickerish Quartet – ‘Threesome Vol 1’ (Lickerish Quartet/Label Logic)

The Wildhearts – ‘30 Year Itch’ (Encores) (Round Records)

Buzzard Buzzard Buzzard – ‘The Non Stop EP’ (Communion Records)

Bob Vylan – ‘We Live Here’ (Venn Records)

 

 

Reissues / Boxset

UFO – ‘Strangers In The Night’ (Super Deluxe) (Chrysalis)

Def Leppard – ‘The Early Years’ (Mercury)

Bob Mould – ‘Distortion’ (Demon)

Keith Richards & The X-pensive Winos – ‘Live At The Hollywood Palladium’ (Mindless Records)

Black Sabbath – ‘Paranoid’ (50th Anniversary) (Sanctuary Records)

 

Music-related Books of the Year

Alvin Gibbs – ‘Diminished Responsibility Volume 1’ (Tome & Metre Publishing)

Rob Halford – ‘Confess’ (Headline)

Reuben Archer – ‘Rock N Rollercoaster Ride’ (Toxic Arrow)

 

Live Gigs

The Bar Stool Preachers – Rough Trade, Bristol – 6th March 2020

Great British Alternative Weekend – Butlins Minehead – 28th February – 1st March 2020

Bad Sam – Le Pub, Newport – 14th February 2020

Giuda – Louisiana, Bristol – 18th January 2020

The Bellrays – Le Pub, Newport – 17th January 2020

Wonk Unit – Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff – 11th January 2020

 

Bandcamp Discovery

Guerrilla Teens

 

Best Single

The Hip Priests – ‘Zero Fucks Given’​/’​Social Hand Grenade’ (Shitpark Records)

 

Most Looking Forward to in 2021

Going to a gig.

 

 

 

Ben Hughes

Albums of 2020

Butch Walker – ‘American Love Story’ (Ruby Red Records)

Ryan Hamilton & The Harlequin Ghosts – ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Wyldlife – ‘Year Of The Snake’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Baby Chaos – ‘Ape Confronts Cosmos’ (Three Hands Records)

Dangereens – ‘Tough Luck’ (Alien Snatch Records)

Hellbound Glory – ‘Pure Scum’ (BCR Los Angeles)

Hello Operator – ‘S/T’ (Self Release)

Me And That Man – ‘New Man, New Songs, Same Shit’ (Napalm Records)

Low Cut Connie – ‘Private Lives’ (Contender Records)

The Speedways – ‘Radio Sounds’ (Alien Snatch Records, Beluga Records, Snap Records, Hurrah Records)

 

EPs

The Lickerish Quartet – ‘Threesome Vol. 1’ (Label Logic)

Saint Agnes – ‘The Family Strange’ (Death Or Glory Gang Records)

Junkyard – ‘Rome Is Burning’ (Acetate Records)

Hands Off Gretel – ‘The Angry EP’ (Puke Pop Records)

The Future Shape Of Sound – ‘It’s Gone All Wrong’ (Self Release)

 

Reissues / Boxset

Diamond Dogs – ‘Too Much Is Always Better Than Not Enough’ (Wild Kingdom Records)

Diamond Dogs – ‘Weekend Monster’ (Wild Kingdom Records)

Diamond Dogs – The Atlantic Juice’ (Wild Kingdom Records)

 

Gigs 

The Wildhearts/Backyard Babies/CKY – 02 Academy, Newcastle

Jesse Malin – Headrow House, Leeds

 

Livestreams

Jesse Malin – The Fine Art Of Self-Distancing

Baby Chaos

Low Cut Connie – Tough Cookies

 

Gerald Stansbury

Albums

Soraia – ‘Dig Your Roots’ (Wicked Cool Recotrds)

Massive Wagons – ‘House of Noise’ (Earache Records)

Ward Davis – ‘Black Cats and Crows’ (LLC)

Karen Jonas –  ‘The Southwest Sky and Other Dreams’ (Self Release)

Brooke Brown – ‘Troubled Heart’ (Self Release)

The Nude Party – ‘Midnight Manor’ (New West Records)

Vulvarine –  ‘Unleashed’ (Self Release)

Dangereens – ‘Tough Luck’ (Alian Snatch)

The Rumours – ‘Suck It’ (Self Release)

Lucifer Star Machine  – ‘The Devil’s Breath’ (The Sign Records)

Gareth Leach – ‘Trigger’ (Self Release)

Steve Earle & the Dukes –  ‘Ghosts of West Virginia’ (New West Records)

Randy Rogers and Wade Bowen – ‘Hold my Beer Volume 2’  (Lil Buddy Tunes)

Tyla – ‘Isolation Crossing Collection’ (King Outlaw Records)

Low Cut Connie – ‘Private Lives’ (Contender Records)

D.L. Marble – ‘One Line at a Time’ (Self Release)

Reckless Kelly  – ‘American Jackpot/ American Girls’ (No Big Deal Records)

Givvi Flynn –  ‘Tomboy’ (Self Release)

Armored Saint – ‘Punching the Sky’ (Metal Blade Records)

Butch Walker ‘American Love Song’ (Ruby Red Production)

 

Single of the Year 

Charlotte Leigh – ‘Life’

 

EP of the Year

Quinn the Brain – ‘Wide Open’

 

Reissue of the Year

Def Leppard ‘The Early Years’

 

Gareth ‘Hotshot’ Hooper

Albums 

Duncan Reid And The Bigheads – ‘Don’t Blame Yourself’ (Little Big Head Records)

The Network – ‘money money 2020 part 2 we told ya so’ (Warner Records)

Billie Joe Armstrong – ‘No Fun Mondays’ (Warner Records)

Green day- ‘Father Of All Motherfuckers’ (Warner Records)

Deathtraps – ‘Stole Your Rock’n’Roll’ (Spirit Of Disaster)

The Damned – ‘The Rockfield files’ (Spinefarm Records)

Stop worrying and love the bomb – ‘Fake Nature’

 

Gigs

The Bellrays – Le Pub Newport

The Wildhearts  / Backyard Babies – Cardiff Tramshed

Reissues / Boxset

Iggy and the stooge – ‘From KO to chaos’

The Boys – ‘On Safari’

Johnny Thunders – ‘Que sera Sera Resurrected’

Buzzcocks – ‘Sell You Everything’ (Cherry Red Records)

Buzzcocks – ‘Late For The Train’ (Cherry Red Records)

 

Music-related Books of the Year

Alvin Gibbs – ‘Diminished Responsibility Volume 1’ (Tome & Metre Publishing)

Joe Strummer – ‘Redemption Song’

The Replacements – ‘All Over But The Shouting’

Gaz Tidey

Albums of the Year

Butch Walker – ‘American Love Story’ (Red Ruby Production)

Larkin Poe – ‘Self Made Man’ (Tricki Woo Records)

Lamb Of God – ‘Lamb Of God’ (Epic)

Bob Vylan – ‘We Live Here’ (Venn Records)

Ryan Hamilton & the Harlequin Ghosts – ‘Nowhere To Go But Everywhere’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Onslaught – ‘Generation Antichrist’ (AFM Records)

Baby Chaos – ‘Ape Confronts Cosmos’ (Three Hands Records)

C.J. Wildheart – ‘Siege’ (Devilspit)

Foxy Shazam – ‘Burn’ (EEEOOOAH Records)

Kvelertak – ‘Splid’ (Rise Records)

Tairrie B. – ‘Feminenergy’ (Self Release)

Cro-Mags – ‘In The Beginning’ (Mission Two Entertainment)

Mommy Sez No – ‘The Dwellers Below’ (Self Release)

EPs of the Year

The Lickerish Quartet – ‘Threesome Vol. 1’ (Label Logic)

Chesty Malone and the Slice ‘Em Ups – ‘Covered In Blood! Quarantine Covers’ (Self Release)

American Hi-fi – ‘Anywhere Else But Here’ (Rude Records)

Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour – ‘The Powder Dry EP’ (King Outlaw Records)

Chris Catalyst – ‘Acoustic Machines’ (Self Release)

Singles of the Year

Tyla’s Dogs D’Amour – ‘Superhuman’ (King Outlaw)

Jesse Malin – ‘Todd Youth’ (Wicked Cool Records)

Royal Blood – ‘Trouble’s Coming’ (Warner Records)

Reissue/Boxset of the Year

Sigue Sigue Sputnik – ‘Flaunt It’ 4CD Deluxe Capacity Wallet  (Cherry Red Records)

Music-related Books of the Year

Pete Paphides – ‘Broken Greek’ (Quercus)

Rob Halford – ‘Confess’ (Headline Publishing)

Justin Quirk – ‘Nothin’ But A Good Time’ (Unbound Digital)

There you have it a fine selection of music you’re likely to find anywhere as diverse as you like yet common threads woven throughout.  It would be a boring place if we all liked the same records that’s for sure and I’m sure there are records released we’ve forgotten about in the deluge.  Don’t let anyone tell you that there were no good albums released during the pandemic because we know by looking at the list that there were plenty & plenty of reissues and Boxsets that were released during 2020.

Onwards and upwards we move into 2021 and we hope to bring you more new albums to fill yer airwaves and a return of the live show and festivals.  We need em and so does the industry.  So raise a glass to days gone by and to a better future when we can all meet again and watch our favourite bands.  Be good and stay safe RPM Online looks forward to a great 2021!

“Easy Like a Sunday Morning” (like Fuck it is)

Three down and one to go and Sunday is a pretty big deal around RPM HQ as our mates are playing on the Introducing stage later but everywhere we look its clash city.  At one point we wanted to see four bands all playing at the same time across the complex so it literally came down to the toss of a coin where we would go and who we would see. With the venue opening at midday we needed to be in the Empress to catch a band we’ve covered a lot lately and who’ve impressed everyone whos seen and heard them.  Hands Off Gretel take the stage to a really healthy crowd considering the day and time and proceed to entertain with a really tight performance as the band really locked in like their lives depended on it and the audience was right there with them. After catching the first 30 minutes of the set we then had to cross the divide via Almost Acoustic where Ratboy was performing his magic to a full room we managed to catch him driving swords through someone’s arm and a more gentle coin trick but we couldn’t stay as all roads lead towards the Introducing stage where Trigger Mcpoopshute took the stage looking rather splendid in their religious outfits.  I even heard some punter comment that Shovel had a decent set of pins in his sheer stockings! I did turn to see what depraved human had such thoughts on the lords day. To be fair Trigger knocked out a rather impressive set of Welsh hardcore fuelled by late-night kebabs and strong cider whilst entertaining and putting a smile on peoples faces with their tales of everyday folk and cheeky charm.

Having seen the band turn in some loose sets this was a different Trigger with a much tighter sound with Bam at the drum stool.  Songs like ‘Skidmarks and Spenser’, ‘Sheep’ and ‘Drinking With The Big Boys’ were going down a storm in front of a very impressive audience and it was only 1.15pm but the only question people were now pondering was ‘Fish Or Bird’? Fuckin’ loons.  Who writes songs about penguins? Bloody entertaining though.

Right that’s three rooms already and it’s not even 2 pm so it must be time to head to Casbah to see if Dan Banger has turned up this year and low and behold he’s bloody made it and finally, Pizzatramp are in the house and what a fuckin’ beautiful noise they make live.  Regardless of if its some tiny venue in the bowels of South Wales or the cavernous Club Casbah at Rebellion Pizzatramp are on fire right now as Sammy plucks that thunderous bass and locks in with Dan they are a formidable force and their Hardcore is a beautiful thing they open with ‘CCTV’ and its brutal ‘Claire Voyant’, ‘He’s Gone Full Mitchell’ and the quite brilliant ‘Millions Of Dead Goffs’ pretty much make up the opening salvo of their set and I’m happy and it seems like half of Blackpool have gotten the memo and decided to turn up to see Pizzatramp with ‘Grand Relapse’ getting a decent airing their (Brown puckered) Star(fish) is burning brightly. We cut the set short and dash over to the Opera House for Johny Skullknuckles Kopek Millionaires who have just gone on by the time we catch our breath.

‘sometimes (Love Just Isn’t Enough)’ sounds fantastic and the change of pace from hardcore Sunday to power pop punk rock was just what I needed. I love Johnys style of writing and a lot of his material reminds me of early Hanoi Rocks and ‘Tell Me Baby’ sounded great as did ‘1981’ from ‘Dirty Beef Hands’ but the ray of sunshine in what has been a difficult time recent for Johny was his touching tribute to Kathy which touched everyone in the Opera House and got a standing ovation and the track of the set ‘Punk Girl From Another World’ an exceptional set from The Millionaires.

After recently seeing Suede Razors in Bristol Johnny and Darrel urged me to pop into the empress and catch the set so if it’s good enough for those two, of course, I was going to be there. so grabbing my spot on the barrier more for something to lean on than anything else the band duly took the stage and Darrel Wojick fresh from checking out Trigger McPoopshute takes the stage and proceeds to ram down some sweet boot boy rock and roll mixing the best of Slade with Rose Tattoo with a bovver boy take on the Four Horsemen.  ‘My city’ kicked off proceedings and for the next half an hour and some they rammed it down the Empress ‘TV175’ going down a storm and the punters flooded in. ‘Passion On The Pitch’ was dedicated to Blackpool fans and their fight for their club and it was nice to hear some Americans and a Canadian knowing their shit and fuck the Oystens would have gone down well.  ‘Bovver Boy’ was a particular high point of the set.  a band who have the chops and know-how to rock and roll and will always be welcome over here if the USA still won’t let them ply their craft.

One of the must-see bands on the introducing stage had to be Rotten Foxes who turned up looking rather splendid in their double denim, cut off nut huggers and wrestling belts. They really put on a show for those gathered in the sweatbox. As for what they played fuck knows, it was absolute pandemonium and punk as fuck with Charlie Harper whistling on the sidelines whilst members of Zero Zero, Pizzatramp and Trigger knew where the only place to be at half three on a Sunday afternoon was and that was in this very room sweating like Ian Krankie in a wardrobe. The songs came thick and fast, fuck, make that very fast as bodies flew around, Hardcore as fuck. An absolute pleasure to witness such beautiful chaos done so well. True to their single ‘Arrive Raise Hell Leave’ Rotten Foxes absolutely killed it.  I wish it had gone on longer and it would have been awesome to see these boys tear somewhere like Casbah a new one with this racket. Don’t quit it’s only just begun. Rotten Fuckin’ Foxes!

We needed to grab some food so Svetlanas were forfeited as was our planned peek at Teenage Bottlerockets (next time for sure). Dirt box Disco are up next and with a quick pint, we head for Club Casbah. Having Weab quit the band to go his own way it left Spunk Volcano to take over lead vocals and this being the first opportunity for us to see the band we first caught way back when they had no more than a couple of shows under their belt this was going to be interesting but seeing so many people turn up and stay til the end must have put wind in their sails as they knocked out classic Dirtbox after classic dirt box with ‘My Life Is Shit’ seeing a frenzied pit chanting the chorus back to Mr. volcano must have felt good that they decided to carry on post Weab. Something of a Rebellion fixture it wouldn’t be the same without them.

Empress is beginning to heat up again as CJ Ramone takes the stage and for the next hour we’re treated to a whole bunch of classic Ramones tunes and some choice cuts from CJ’s solo records all that was missing was a track or two from Bad Chopper. ‘One High One Low’ from the new album slipped in comfortably alongside classics like ‘Bonzo Goes To Bitburg ‘, ‘Rock n Roll High School’ and ‘Rockaway Beach’. ‘This Town’ also off the new album sounded huge but was the aperitif for Blag The Ripper who entered the fray to creepy crawl around the Empress knocking out ‘KKK Took My Baby Away’. CJ then gave a wonderful tribute to his former bandmate Steve Soto who had been performing with him and who died only little over a year ago as last year Adolescents gave a tearful tribute to Soto ‘Rock On’ was apt. the next special guest happened to be Blags bandmate Nick Oliveri.

as if the Empress wasn’t hot enough ‘Warthog’, ‘Commando’, ’53rd’, ‘Sedated’, ‘Blitzkreig Bop’ and to wrap it all up why not go over the top with a sparkling version of ‘R.A.M.O.N.E.S’. Thank you and goodnight.  Fuck me that’s how to do a festival – No bullshit – no fucking around just bish bash bosh!  It reminded me of Buzzcocks who were mentioned several times over the weekend and amusing stories were regaled they were a band who got festivals and usually just blitzed it – well, CJ Ramone just did that – 29 songs in an hour, Smart!

We’re in the home straight now and it’s still pretty full-on We toyed with the idea of going into Empress for The PRofessionals but it was too hot so we went for a wander around the bizarre and dipped in to catch the start of The Skids who weren’t mucking about and once they’d put up the correct graphic giving away the fact that The Damned were indeed playing the Machine gun Etiquette set later gave the game away, oh well the rumours were true. Doh!. ‘Of One Skin’ followed by ‘Charade’ it looked like they were playing the same set they were dishing out around Europe which is fine I’ve not seen the band since they reformed and by the sounds of it they were bang on form. Knowing I had one last lap to complete the heat upstairs on the balcony was almost unbearable and it literally felt like the ‘Saints Were Coming’ if I’d have stayed up there so back to Club Casbah for a glance at Conflict and DOA then settled for a few tunes from King Kurt a band I’d not seen for over twenty years hoping to catch some ‘Destination Zulu LAnd’ but alas it wasn’t to be as I had to venture via the backstage bar for some refreshments before making my way down the front for one final hurrah.

The Damned doing ‘Machine Gun Etiquette’ although I’d seen them several times on the last MGE Anniversary tour this time it was with added Paul Gray who always did justice to the Algy bass lines.

As the band took to the stage and Captain offered up the introduction of “Ladies And Gentlemen, how do?” the place seemed to be absolutely rammed and didn’t need an invitation to go nuts as the album was unfurled in sequence well,  up until ‘These Hands’ that seemed to have been left off.  Again not quite its entirety but it would have been fun to hear it for us anoraks. Man The Damned are on fire at the moment and seem to be really enjoying their time on stage. Vanian being quite animated tonight taking the lead with amusing anecdotes whilst Sensible being, dare I suggest it, quite restrained.  Maybe the Wintergardens heat was taking effect whereas we all know Vanian has spent the day relaxing in his air-conditioned crypt so would be fresh as a daisy.  Once they wound up MGE also missing ‘Liar’ as well I might add. They then proceeded to indulge a few extras like ‘Street Of Dreams’ and a rather splendid ‘Ignite’.

I guess they had to play ‘Standing On The Edge Of Tomorrow’ before hitting the home straight with ‘Wait For The Blackout’ followed by the anthemic ‘New Rose’,’Neat Neat Neat’ and ending the set with ‘Jet Boy Jet Girl’ and the curtain was brought down on another exception headline set from the original punk rockers and still the best there is. Don’t let Hayward and Sutton tell you otherwise 😉 (DD)

With Dom over in the Empress watching The Damned for the bazillionth time it was left to yours truly to witness rock legends The Dwarves, big dicks swinging, give Blackpool’s punk rock community the bloodiest nose of the weekend. With HeWhoCannotBeNamed back in the fold, there is that added sense of danger and anarchy about the band as they launch straight into ‘Way Out’ and the Club Casbah mosh pit goes suitably apeshit. ‘Sluts Of The USA’, ‘Devils Level’ and ‘We Only Came To Get High’ follow like repeated punches to the face and just when I thought it couldn’t get any crazier a minor drunken skirmish breaks out in front of me during ‘Speed Demon’ and the sight of a topless female pit member sends Blag and the boys off into a world where there ‘Better Be Women’ and ‘Free Cocaine’. ‘We Must Have Blood’ sees He Who and Blag demolish the drum kit, and in a shower of beer, they are gone. Wow! Band of the weekend for me and many others. Don’t agree? Go fuck yourselves. HA! (JH)

Rebellion Sundays are real hardcore as the body is usually wondering why it is being subjected to continued alcohol, dehydration and stairs, stairs and stairs. So having an unbelievable line-up makes it all worthwhile and following playing another set I shot across to the acoustic stage to catch Catlow (of the Poly Esters) set the afternoon on a great footing. A Pizzatramp, Suede Razors 1-2 gets me right in the mood to swing by the Arena to catch Birmingham’s utterly brilliant The Liarbilitys.  Their Antagonisms record sounds fantastic live and Birmingham’s Bleeding is surely one of the best punk rock songs of recent times.  I made a point of popping into the Introducing Stage at numerous points throughout the weekend, sampling some really excellent bands (that Rotten Foxes set was something else!!) but one that really stuck with me was Tequila Mockingbyrd. The female quartet were devastating and really should be checked out, as their Hanoi Rocks meets L7 swagger is infectious.  This led me nicely into catching something very familiar but no less good in the shape of Welsh stalwarts Foreign Legion. Marcus Howells might have led the band in its many forms for decades but they show no signs relenting in any way and are on top form with a set of old standards are spot-on new songs.  With the finish line in sight, I head back to join the hordes watching the Professionals before watching The Dwarves deliver the ultimate coup de grace.  What a weekend?  When can we do it again? (DS)

 

 

Rebellion 2019 was an absolute pleasure from the superb company to the many bands I met shook hands with, had conversations with to the work colleagues also covering the festival to the incredibly hard-working and always smiling staff keeping the bars stocked to make sure everything was hunky-dory.  The bouncers who did their jobs well especially the guys n gals in the Empress who did amazing jobs and always with a smile to the catering staff and stallholders to the people like Darren Russell Smith and Jeannie Russel Smith, Stu Taylor and Daryl for putting this incredible Festival together keeping the prices real. Dod and the photographers who do such an excellent job in capturing it all, the stagehands and sound and light guys for doing such an amazing job under so trying circumstances and the good people of Blackpool for being so welcoming time after time and all the band we saw turn in such awesome sets and the bands we didn’t get round to seeing maybe next year. The PR people for running such a smooth operation you all make this festival lark look like a piece of piss.  The artists upstairs along with the people who were interviewed and interviewers and finally all the punters who love alternative music and keep the scene ticking over buying the music and the merch.  I have a list of bands who should play next year who would go down a treat if anyone wants to know.

Rebellion is always a pleasure and never ever a chore. Now can I go to bed and get some sleep please?  Same time and same place next year? Fan-Fuckin-Dabi-Dozy!

Authors: Dom Daley, Johnny Hayward & Darrel Sutton

Happy Birthday Brian James the guy who kickstarted punk in London –  Hell he Invented UK Punk for God’s sake even The Captain says as much. Brian was the force behind The Damned who were the first to do this first to do that – The FIRST! remember that.

It didn’t end there for Brian Who when he left The Damned (the band he started) he went on to play for Iggy Pop then put together his own supergroup – The Lords Of The New Church. Before heading out under his own name.

Born in In Hammersmith in 1955.  Brian Robertson as he was christened first came to prominence when he picked up the guitar alongside fellow punk icons Mick Jones (the Clash) and Brady (Hollywood Brats) under the banner SS London, he then formed The Damned and the rest, as they say, is history.  I don’t think Brian or The Damned ever got the props they truly deserved and history has ushered The Pistols and The Clash to the top of the pile yet it was The Damned led by Brian that reached all the firsts and has remained punk to the core until this day where he still writes and occasionally plays.

 

If you don’t know Brians style then you’ve not really heard real punk rock from the first chords of ‘New Rose’ to his unique style on ‘Grand Cru’ or ‘The Guitar That Dripped Blood’ Brian has always done things on his own terms and stayed true to himself.  He has an impeccable CV and a list of albums he’s played on that can go toe to toe with any of his peers no question about it.

Buy Brian James: Here

Brian switched from his Les Paul to the Telecaster and that drag as seen on the Lords footage is what sets the great from the good.

Ten years after Brian James popped into the world Ray and Dave Davies as The Kinks were at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘Tired Of Waiting For You’, the group’s second UK No.1. According to Ray Davies, the music for ‘Tired of Waiting for You’ was written on the train to the recording studio and the words were written at a coffee shop during a break in the session. So let that be a lesson pop pickers last minute changes can work.

On a sadder note on this day in 1995 Replacements guitarist, Bob Stinson passed away. Stinson was found in his apartment in Uptown Minneapolis. Bob was only 35. He founded The Replacements with Chris Mars and His Brother Tommy and later roped in Westerberg. He lasted up until the sessions for ‘Pleased To Meet Me’ before leaving due to creative differences Now this stacks up more than for his drug or alcohol use C’mon this was the Replacements.

The band headed down a more commercial route after Bob left but he hadn’t finished with music quite yet as he Went on to form Model Prisoner with Sonny Vincent, Static Taxi who recorded two albums.  In a rather amusing anecdote, Vincent remembered a time when former Dead Boy Cheetah Chrome relocated to Minneapolis to play in shotgun rationale “quite insane for a while… You have to imagine a band consisting of both Bob Stinson and Cheetah Chrome playing and working together.. then add to that I was no angel and you start to get a glimpse of the mercurial energy and intense chaos that we lived in, it didn’t last long but it was like living in a constant lightning storm and the sound was the same, tight and concentrated but always exploding over the edge”. Stinson didn’t die of a drug overdose but the frequent drug use caused his overall health to diminish, resulting in organ failure. So if you get the chance put on one of those early Mats records or Model Prisoner and toast a life most certainly lived. Rest In Peace Bob Stinson.

Buy Bob Stinson Here