It’s the 14th of February 2020, so that can mean only one thing being marked in H-Bombz diary, right? Yup, its gig time as I head to Le Pub in Newport for Bad Sam’s all-new single launch party.
Braving storm Dennis along with what appears to be a head on collision of a Friends Reunited meeting for Arkham Asylum and a Pokemon Go adventure party gone a little off course I have just enough time to grab myself a quick pint before local alt-rock trio The Oversights kick off proceedings with a punchy selection of what we used to broadly describe as “indie music” back in those halcyon days of TJ’s.
With ‘Hello Adventure’ their debut 5 track EP available at the merch table and a healthy number of people already looking to catch them live I feel The Oversights just need to get some gig experience under their belts before they become true contenders, but at this very early stage in their career things are certainly looking more than just a little rosy.
With The Oversights idea of image being three Hawaiian shirts slung on quickly before they play it takes a mere glimpse out of the corner of my eye at Igam Ogam wandering through the crowd to really restore my faith in true musical eccentricity. These crazy fuckers look like a band formed by the cast of Psychoville and what’s more they actually sound like it too. It’s all a bit too Primus-y for my tastes but the between-song banter from drummer/singer General Waste is absolutely priceless and bassist Grotty the Clown and guitarist The Third Person look and sound absolutely amazing even if ole Clowny could do with losing about 5 strings off that 6 string bass of his. As I say it’s not my thing musically, but the packed audience seems to love the likes of ‘Happy Families’ so who am I to argue?
Any new music from the Newport’s favourite hardcore sons Bad Sam is worthy of a celebration so it seems completely right and proper that they have chosen tonight and Le Pub (the city’s venue renowned for welcoming lovers…not fighters) to act as the springboard for the band’s all new 3 track ‘Alcoholic’ 7” single. It also feels right and proper that the band should kick off their set with a track from said release, and as ‘Looking Back’ unravels in all its Sabbath meets Bad Brains glory, this sets the tone perfectly for what is to follow with Beddis and the boys playing eighteen tracks from throughout their back catalogue.
I’ve honestly never seen the band tighter or more focused than they are tonight as the likes of crowd favourites ‘Bastard Son Of A Teddy Boy’, ‘I’m A Terrorist’ and ‘Black John Wayne’ sit alongside deeper cuts like ‘3 Little Pigs’ and ‘Sweet Dreams’, and never mind how much Beddis claims to dislike playing these latter tracks live, they still sound absolutely amazing through the Le Pub rig. What is surprising is that ‘American Fat Fucks’ isn’t given a run out, albeit the long overdue reintroduction of ‘I Love The Port’ (which ends things in total chaos) almost makes up for this.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth repeating, that in the times we find ourselves in the UK needs bands like Bad Sam to give us something to believe in. So get off your arses and drop Beddis a message to secure your ‘Alcoholic’ 7” for £5 plus P&P, or if you live in South Wales why not pop into Kriminal Records in Newport Market and pick one up first hand. These vinyl bad boys ain’t going to be around for long, do don’t be snoozing.
Welcome, Welcome, Welcome. The 45 RPM Singles Club is open for business. It’s 2020 and a new decade is ushered in and the jukebox is positively bulging with quality. Right up till the 11th hour we were taking on new releases and this merry lot are exceptionally good so, Check out these new releases starting with –
More Kicks – ‘Blame It On The Satellite’ (Wanda Records, Snap Records, Beluga Records) BANG! More Kicks new double A-side single ‘Blame It On The Satellite’ / ‘Ain’t That Just The Way’ & ‘Your Vibration’ it’s available for pre-order now! Released 7 Feb on Wanda Records, Beluga Records and Snap Records! The band will have copies for sale on their February tour too! but if there was any justice they’d be sold out by then because its an absolutely exquisite couple of tunes all taken from their magnificent long-player released towards the end of 2019. ‘Blame It On The Satellite’ punches through with that throbbing bassline before building towards the chorus. I loved it when I first heard it live and it just got better and better on the record. to throw ‘Ain’t That Just The Way’ as another A-side is just spoiling the listener with such a memorable and lovely melodic slice of power pop. Then finally ‘Your Vibration’ is jumping like a cat on a hot tin roof it’s there to show how to get a dancefloor jumpin’. As good an EP you’ll not find released all year (as good maybe but not better) Buy It! Pre Order from Wanda Records
Ryan Hamilton and the Harlequin Ghosts.- ‘Can I Get An Amen’ (Wicked Cool Records) I guess in answer to Ryans question the simple answer is a resounding “Hell Yeah!”. On the subject matter for the single Ryan explained about being brought up attending church which would explain the lyrics and subject matter but being co-written with Stevie Van Zandt is a feather in the cap and clearly the pair have chemistry and understanding its got a great uplifting feel to it and it oozes optimism. Then to back it up with a cover of the classic Durannies ‘Ordinary World’ seems like a no brainer now he’s recorded it beautiful song and beautiful cover. Keep on rockin’ Mr Hamilton you’ve got this and those Harlequin Ghosts aren’t too shabby either. What a Fantastic single Buy it here
Bad Sam – EP (Self Release) Always a great day when you can crack open some Bad Sam on your stereo. What better way to start a new decade than with Newport’s finest. Four tracks for your bucks and of course its the usual high-quality punk rock with something to say. It’s been mooted for a while that they had music recorded and apart from the one track that sneaked onto the Bristol Skate compilation (‘Darker Days’), there are another three tracks of pure genius for your ears to take on board beginning with ‘Alcoholic’ and the expected caustic assault from Bedis with a chorus we can all bark along to. If you want a copy you’ll have to be quick as these will go in the blink of an eye. ‘Looking Back’ is like some fucked up Sabbath trip of doom but fear not kids, of course, all hell breaks loose but a fantastic track none the less. Leaving just ‘Tag’ to rattle along and shake your core like a rag doll, of course, they’re meant to be heard live and hopefully it won’t be long before we have that pleasure as well. I’m left chuckling as Bedis signs off with a succinct message and a life-affirming satisfaction that Bad Sam is back in the room taking no prisoners just the way it should be. Great Stuff!
Tuk Smith & The Restless Hearts – What Kinda Love (BNM) – What kinda music more like. After Tuk called time on Biters or put them on hiatus (however you look at it) he’s gotten himself some restless hearts and ‘What Kinda Love’ is the first glimpse as to what he was going to do next and those expecting a massive departure can rest easy has Tuk merely tweaks his sound but still knocks out infectious, radio-friendly rock and roll with lashings of power pop and radio-friendly tones. Check out the video and those in North America can catch him opening for Joan Jett and Def Leppard. The album will be along shortly so check out his socials for news.
Videostore – My Back (self Release) Videostore makes bedroom oriented indie songs for an imaginary eighties brat pack movie soundtrack. That’s the claim on their Bandcamp page and on this evidence who am I to disagree?
Side project from Argonaut is a lo-fi slab of alt-indie and that’s cool. Its got a hint of Sonic Youth going on and is quite addictive, you can check em out on Facebook or find em on Bandcamp and pick up the track there.
The Claws – Stumblin Around (Dead Beat Records) Yeah Haw! rock and Roll is alive and kicking folks and Dead Beat Records Recording artists The Claws have released a second single for their debut album ‘No Connection’. Sipping from the same bottle of red that The Faces and Keif n Mick once sipped from these cats have the threads and barnets to compete and most importantly they have the chops as this video will testify to. Check em out peeps its good stuff. They’re fronted by Chad Cherry (of the Last Vegas!) Facebook
Wyldlife – Neon Nightmare (Wicked Cool Records) Over the last few years there have been a number of bands who’ve blown me away with every record they release yet when I think they might crawl out of the shadows they disappear and hibernate for another year or two well put Wyldlife at the top of that list. Then hey presto up they pop with a single that just snuck out at the last knockings of 2019. This time they have a fighters chance by getting signed to the excellent Wicked Cool roster of wicked cool acts. Whats a couple of months anyway I’m including this one on the grounds of it being excellent and therefore you should check it/them out.
BBQT – Fever Rocket/Savage (Surfin Ki) You want some sleazy glam rock? Of course you do you filthy punks. This digital double is full of sleazy snotty glammed up punk rock and fuckin’ roll and don’t you forget it. The opening track is Glitterband mixed in with some fucked up bowie meets Bolan glam but if they were brought up on a steady diet of The Dolls and early ’70s Keith Richards. But it doesn’t end there, no sir. ‘Savage’ does what it says on the tin it opens up like a long lost outtake from too much too soon before going off like a speedball ricocheting off every wall it comes into contact with. Rock and Roll is still exciting kids and don’t you forget it because BBQT has the proof. Strap yourselves in and enjoy the ride I did.Facebook / Bandcamp
Prima Donna – Sing To Death (Wicked Cool Records) Its no coincidence that Prima Donna finds themselves recording on Wicked Cool as well seeing as its the magnet that pulls in these awesome rock and roll bands. Wyldlife, Prima Donna, Steve Conte, Kurt Baker, Ryan Hamilton to name a few. Well ‘Sing To Death’ came out in 2019 and it was about time we featured it and as much as it is an embarrassment that Kevin Preston and the boys haven’t been regularly on RPM (not that I haven’t asked him for an interview mind) regardless, the deal is this as long as Prima Donna keep making great music RPM will keep featuring them. Now the A-side is an ‘Eat To The Beat’ inspired slice of rock and roll whilst the B-side is not. in fact the B side is the poptastic cover of ‘Cruel Summer’ I kid you not The video is online and should be checked out. Prima Donna can do no wrong so suck it up, kids. Dancing to their own tunes (and other pop ones) this is another must-hear. Facebook
Dead Friends – Cis White Whale’ (Standby Records) “Cis White Whale” is the first single from Dead Friends’ upcoming EP ‘High, Wasted Genes’ out this month via Standby Records. This tune got right under my skin and I like it. Can’t wait to check out the full EP on this evidence its got potential. Click play and turn it up LOUD!
Kurt Baker Combo – Can’t Go Back (Wicked Cool Records) Come and get your fix of power pop via the immensely talented Kurt Baker and his beat Combo. they play rock and roll with lashings of Costello and the attractions inspired new wave. The lead track is polished and like a summers breeze on a winters day put your shades on to play this one whilst the other track is ‘No One’s Home’ and more in line with some sloppy Stray Cat struttin’ old school Rock n Rollin’ then when your done checking out these guys back catalogue it’ll be summer for real and hopefully time for another new record from Kurt. Facebook
Grande Royale ‘Out Of Gas’ (The Sign) Grande Royale releases a music video for their single ‘Out of Gas’. The single is taken from their album ‘Take It Easy’, released last September on The Sign Records. Its Swedish Southern Rock if there’s such a genre. Facebook
The Black Watch hails from the city of Angels and play lush pop-influenced rock in the same dark vein as Echo and the Bunnymen and The Cure and if you make a connection it’ll be a real earworm and you won’t shake it for days. Bandcamp
The Lovely Eggs – This Decision (Cargo Records) These bonkers punks are back swinging with this slab of unrepentant noise taken from their soon to be released new album ‘I Am Moron’ check this out and catch em live before (or just after) the album is released.
Jonny Polonsky –The Weeping Souls (Ghostworks Recordings) Jonny Polonsky announces the new album ‘Kingdom of Sleep’, teases first single ‘The Weeping Souls’. A melancholy single that’s laid back and has a bright production driven by big acoustic strumming. It’s easy to see why the likes of Mark Lanegan and Black Francis are fans Polonsky has a great voice and this first single is thoroughly engaging. Makes for a good appetizer for his sixth album that’s due soon. Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram
Do you know it’s been a fantastic year for gig’s, The Bellrays, Thee Hypnotics, Lee Bains, to name just a few and all in Le Pub. A superb year for Lp’s loads of new artists discovered, and a time to watch some I’ve followed for a while step out of the underground on to a much larger stage the Bar Stool Preachers, Estrons, and tonite’s support Pizzatramp to name just a couple.
Pizzatramp have put in the miles this last year, as they did the year before, levelling Rebellion in the process, they are a well-oiled machine and so far from those beginning couple of gigs, in fact, I’d go so far as to say they just get better every time I see them. Tonite’s showing was a foot down, full throttle, flat out fucked from the time they hit the stage.
Now if you haven’t caught Pizzatramp live, the first thing you’ve got to ask yourself is why the next the next thing you have to do is find out where their playing and strap yourself in for the next big thing to hit the punk rock scene.
I mean anyone who’s penned a song called ‘Bono is a cunt’ deserves the time of day, it was played tonight and levelled the place, as was Millions of Dead Goths, blowing chunks, Scumbag Boogie, Nunchucks of Hell, My Backs fucking Fucked and” I got work in the morning”. 100% the greatest punk rock band in Caldicot!!!
Following on from the lunacy that Pizzatramp bring it was over to Newport’s finest Bad Sam, now anytime around Xmas your not quite sure of what your going to get from Bad Sam, Beddis pulled out all the stops this year and we’re confronted with the pope stepping in all the way from the Vatican to mumble absolutions overall in attendance and fair play it was packed solid, as the mask drops what we actually have is Bad Sam, Beddis fronted, firing on all cylinders, gone was that metal sheen brought in by the last guitar player, and what a noise and twin guitar carnage now bestowed onto us by Jeff and the Glove, what we now have is punk at its very best.
Looking deeper into the band you begin to see the reality which is you also have a shit hot rhythm section locking it all down. I mean come on starting with “I’m a Terrorist” from the Bring me the head of Lp its only going one way.
Now if you’ve ever caught Bad Sam or The Cowboy Killers back in the day, you’ll know that usually the last place you’ll find Beddis is on the stage watching the “Pope” tear through the crowd was a little disconcerting but watching the Pope sings “Dicks with dogs” “Newport Hotel” “Valium”, “Cocaine me” even “Christ Betrayed” took on a whole new dimension.
To finally finish off the crowd “I love the Port” was what was demanded and duly delivered. Now if your hoping to see a lot more of Bad Sam in 2019, this line up has shifted things up about three gears, you might be disappointed, in fact, if you see any gigs advertised anywhere get in there!!! The only thing you’re likely to get is the unexpected.