Having seen The Cult play a blinding set in the summer when they announced Death Cult dates it seemed only fair to head to Duffys turf and catch the show in the spectacular surroundings of The Albert Hall. Once inside the old church after giving the merch a swerve due to the prices being £40 for a cap and £30 for a poster I put my wallet back in my pocket and headed for the bleachers as Lili Refrain who once again played a thirty minute set of Native chanting and floor tom loops. The minutes flew by and we were ready for what was promising to be an interesting evening of old school Cult. I’d seen social media posts complementing the band on how good they were but I’d avoided too many spoilers then the house lights went off and the swirls of dry ice engulfed the high room as the shadows took to the compact stage as ’83ed Dream’ creaked out of the PA system to howls of approval from the paced room. Duffy hunched over his White Falcon picked the chords whilst Asbury held the mic with a sturdy grip, some dark glassed his hair tied in a ball whilst wearing a leather jacket and black robe the clock was certainly turned back.

The pit was in full flight as ‘Christians’ punched into the ether and ‘Gods Zoo’ confirmed we were really doing this and the band sounded fantastic. I think its fair to say that live Asburys voice hasn’t always been as strong as it does on record but I have to say that in the summer and in Manchester he sounded unbelievable better than I’ve ever heard him. He looks in shape and his voice is strong and powerful and it really struck home on ‘Flowers In The Desert’ as the two bandmates stood alone on the stage and knocked out a really powerful rendition. It was the first sort of break in the set which had been full throttle up to that point.

Its fair to say that the next hal fof the set was spectacular and trying to think of superlatives to pour upon the set is tough because ‘Resurection Joe’ was huge sounding and it elevated the set to the next level but to follow it With the huge ‘Horse Nation’ I began to daydream as to why these songs went missing from the Cult setlist over the last few years of shows. Duffy seemed in the zone as he picked the opening riff from ‘Go West’ only to hit a hattrick of songs starting with ‘Loves’ ‘Hollow Man’ another they should play more often followed by ‘Dreamtime’ and the epic ‘Spiritwalker’ was magnificent and might well be up there as one of the pest live shows I’ve ever seen them do going back to the Love era tour.

It only left ‘Rain’ to finish the main set before the band retired, Earning a thoroughly deserved encore of ‘Moya’ and of course ‘Sanctuary’ and Manchester was now done. The Death Cult came, saw, and conquered and it felt a real privilege to have been there and witnessed such a special performance in such excellent surroundings. The band seemed to enjoy the show as much as the fans did and I hope this isn’t the last of these kind of tours because The Cult are on fire at the moment. They sound and perform better than they have done for decades and that is a fact my friends. Simply stunning.

Author: Dom Daley

A more spectacular setting for a Rock n Roll show you won’t find. Set inside the grounds of Cardiff Castle it’s a great place to watch live music. The date is Tuesday the 4th of July and one epic lineup of three of my favourite bands are gathered together for a show. I’ve had the privilege of seeing these three bands as a collective mass of well over three figures. Stretching back to the ‘Love’ days for tonight’s headliners and seeing them on several continents as it goes. I’ve seen some remarkable performances as well as the odd indifferent one it must be said. So, let it rain down, no, quite literally let it rain.

As I made my way through the gates the skies opened and we managed to get drenched for the first time. As Lili Refrain took to the stage for her performance which has to be said, is an acquired taste, she works her magic with loops, a floor tom, and telecaster. It’s certainly captivating as she weaves her way through her 30-minute set winning over new admirers looking for some ambient vibes. She also set the tone by looking delighted to be there rain or shine.

Next up, The Mission. I’ve had the pleasure of reviewing them at a recent show in Barcelona as well as reading the second installment of Wayne’s new autobiography. So believe me when I say that their addition to the lineup was a majestic announcment in my house. So Even if it was at the ungodly hour of before 7 pm when they took to the stage. Goths out in the wild before sundown? What sun I hear you say wasn’t it pissing down. Daylight and we’re treated to the intro of ‘Tower Of Strength’. Not a place any self-respecting Goth would be other than under such exceptional circumstances.

The Gods however held the sun back and instead decided to drench the audience just as the band took the stage. Opening with the big hitter that is ‘Tower Of Strength’ set us up nicely for what was to come over the next forty-five minutes. If I was to say I didn’t notice it was pissing down would be a bit of a fib but I couldn’t care any less as ‘Beyond The Pale’ collided into ‘Met-Amor-phsis’ before ‘Severina’ gave us a breather. Hussey and the band have been on the road for a while and looked and sounded locked in and battle ready and understanding that when playing for an audience, possibly made up of other bands’ fans (obviously there’s a decent cross-over tonight) its important to give em something they might know and a reminder that, Bloody Hell these are pretty bloody good at this Rock n roll lark.

With the clock ticking it was time to smash it out of the grounds with a hattrick of ‘Butterfly On A Wheel’, ‘Wastelands’, and finishing off with the punchy ‘Deliverance’ and just as they were hitting their stride it was adios amigos. Now that’s a way to take a short and sweet set early doors and lay down the gauntlet to the rest. Now follow that. See you in the Roundhouse in October – Can’t wait.

With the unenviable task of following a short sharp set from The Mission, Mike Peters and The Alarm seem up for the challenge, and whilst you’d think it was a no-brainer playing in Wales it’s not a foregone conclusion that someone elses audience will “get you”. Starting their set with ‘Coming Home’ there were no vocals or guitars in the PA and the rain had thrown a spanner in the works it would seem, what a bummer. Never undeterred the band carried on as you’d expect. Next up they went with their biggest hitter or at least a track that most people (unless they lived under a rock for the last 40 years) would at least be familiar with. Now I’m all for trying new things and I’ve seen Peters enough times to know he does like to rework old songs but not sure this was the place to do it, even if the vocals and guitar were restored I think it would have been better to just pile into the song as most would know it. A lost opportunity? Maybe, Who knows considering they only have 45 minutes to impress but that’s just my take on it.

Next up was ‘Warriors’ which offered something more aggressive and something with a bit of grunt that would grab the attention of the soaked masses, lifted from their recent(ish) ‘War’ album. It got the crowd involved with its rattling rhythm and tempo and sound problems seemed to have been sorted so nothing to distract the band further, just what the crowd needed.

‘Where Were You Hiding’ went down a treat and might have been responsible for the weather Gods being stirred again and the heavens opened once more. Some recent songs from ‘Sigma’ and ‘Equals’ were aired which is great for people like me who are happy to hear newer material pepper the set but for the casual fan there to see The Headliners maybe it was time to bang out a greatest hits set and do it with plenty of punch. But hey, I only want the best for the bands I love and I do love the Alarm. Peters was manouvering his way across the stage making full use of the four mics even if they were all set at different volumes and the sound guys seemed slow to react. Keeping the engineers on their toes is always nice.

As we headed into the final third of the set it was a great choice to play ‘Superchannel’ a song I’ve always loved and maybe one to open with it has a great energy and helped pick the soaked crowd up with some good crowd interaction. It was the home straight as ‘The Stand’ preceded the opening piece of ‘Spirit of 76’ which made way for the apt ‘Rain In The Summertime’ which then segwayed back into ‘Spirit’ and that was that over way too quickly but that’s outdoor events for you. I thought they could have run wth the Weather theme maybe included ‘Raindown’, ‘Two Rivers’, ‘Howling Wind’, ‘Only The Thunder’, ‘Sold Me Down The River’, there are several more water or rain based songs I never realised and ended with ‘Rescue Me’ ok I’ll get me coat (I wish I had).

Anyway, a set that was dogged by technical issues like when James Guitar just fell out of the mix for no reason that must have played a factor in the performance, but from the audience’s view, I found it frustrating. However, not a band that’s easily deterred they gave their all under trying circumstances. Had they stopped to sort out their issues it would have cut the set list which nobody wanted but them is the breaks at gigs like this.

Now if the Rain could fuck off for the rest of the evening I’d be very grateful, soaked to the skin I wasn’t going anywhere, thank you kindly.

Now, I saw The Cult play support to Alice Cooper and I have to admit it I found that particular performance a bit lackluster, a performance that seemed a little phoned in I believe is the term used. Maybe due to it being at the tail end of a huge North American tour where they played the same set night after night and ‘Sonic Temple’ heavy.

So, on that recent experience, I had dampened my expectations as I didn’t want to get carried away. I’ve seen The Cult over many years in several countries from America to Europe and a lot of shows from every tour, from the Marquee on Charing Cross Road to Wembley Arena or Fields at festivals. they’ve played a million places and rocked them all and to be fair they always pull me back in just when I think we’re done. I know they have it in their locker to dazzle as they’ve done so many times so the odd off night is alright.

The rain seems to have finished and the dark skies have drifted so it was time for The Cult and opening the set with the monster that is ‘Rise’ sort of set the tone for the next hour and a half. A crystal clear sound that was significantly louder than the other bands and the benefit of it going dark by the time they hit a wicked ‘King Contrary Man’ it was obvious to everyone inside the castle grounds that The Cult mean business and this set was so far from a phoned in tired set it seemed crazy that I could ever doubt them.

I also have to admit that one of my least favourite records by the band is ‘Sonic Temple’ I guess the early years were part of my impressionable youth and the likes of ‘Born Into This’ and ‘The Cult’ albums don’t get near enough airtime live or kudos from critics and fans alike. so seeing that ‘Sonic’ was kept to a minimum with the obvious big hitters in attendance I was delighted. The ‘Electric’ tracks sounded huge and it has to be said Astbury sounded better than he has live for decades, you’d possibly have to go back to the ‘Love’ era to hear him singing so well, and he seemed in a really happy place as he prowled the stage apron engaging with the crowd and sending out hugely positive vibes.

Whoever decided on the setlist should take a bow – it played into the very best of Billy Duffy who pulled all the shapes as the notes flew from his fretboard like cascading waterfalls ‘Aphrodisiac Jacket’ was a prowling beast bristling with energy and following ‘The Riff-a-rama of ‘The Witch’ this was turning into an epic night and showing why The Cult can still draw massive outdoor crowds.

With a new album in tow, they slid ‘Vendetta X’ and ‘Mirror’ in seamlessly. There was even time for the brilliant ‘Spiritwalker’ to ricochet off the castle walls before the home straight of the big hitters as the apt ‘Rain’ preceded ‘She Sells Sanctuary’ before leaving the stage for a well-deserved ovation.

For a thoroughly deserved encore of ‘Peace Dog’ the air guitarists in attendance tuned up and were pleased with the performance before finally setting the stage alight with a full tilt ‘Love Removal Machine’ and then they were gone. They’ve always been good to South Wales have the Cult from their debut show in Swansea all those years ago to this their biggest show on this epic performance in a Castle The Cult came, saw, and conquered, oh, and Rocked like fuck, Tonight the Cult left everyone in attendance in no doubt that they were the kings of this particular Castle and rightly so. What a line up, What a day, Fan-bloody-tastic!

Author: Dom Daley

Dead Men Walking is the long-time side project of Theatre Of Hate & Spear Of Destiny founder Kirk Brandon; an evolving collective of friends from the punk scene that over the years has seen its numbers swelled by the likes of Glen Matlock, Slim Jim Phantom, Mike Peters, Capt. Sensible, through to Pete Wylie, and Billy Duffy; the current and seemingly stable line up consists of Brandon, Jake Burns from Stiff Little Fingers and both Segs and Dave Ruffy from Ruts DC.

From 2001’s debut album, A few live recordings have been released, whilst ‘Graveyard Smashes Volume 1’ was the first studio recording, this was followed up in 2015 with ‘Easy Piracy’ coming out as the Jacktars minus Brandon – both releases being something of a rare find. ‘Freedom – It Ain’t On The Rise’ is Brandon at the wheel and Peters being dropped off a few stops back.

On this new release, we get thirteen tracks which include four new Brandon and Segs compositions specifically written for Dead Men Walking during the recent lockdown. With lockdown seeing bands have to take a new approach to recording and members having to phone in their parts or each individual recording their parts at Pat Collier’s Perry Vale Studio in South London and Jake Burns recording his contributions at his home studio in Chicago. The album was then mixed in Brixton by Greg ‘Wizard’ Fleming. This being the new way I guess.

Most people will be familiar with Ruts DC doing the acoustic thing after their Rebellion sets are some of the highlights of the festival of the entire weekend, so that transition from loud electric to a more subtle acoustic band not being such a stretch.

Both the mournful ‘Man Down’ and ‘Blame’ are new tracks, the former, a slower, brooding song but with the beating heart of their punk attitude as Brandon tells the guys story of being the Man Down. ‘Blame’ has Segs providing the vocal on this more bluesy number. The interaction of both guitar players Burns and Brandon is excellent throughout playing for the song and not interacting for the sake of it.

Brandon heads back to 1988’s ‘The Price You Pay’ album to revisit The Price. Arguably one of Brandon’s best songs and to have it interpreted by such talented musicians all looking from different angles pay dividends with Brandon’s howls never sounding so good.

‘Golden Boy’ was the Ruts DC ode to Malcolm Owen and was released on the bands ‘Music Must Destroy’ album, apparently a favourite of Kirk Brandon who insisted that it be included here; somehow this partnership has added extra emotion and a haunting string arrangement that compliments the vocals that sound like they could be a beat away from heartbreak the classical guitar break only adds to the heartbreak and drama making it such a monumental track. A beautiful highlight for sure.

‘Slave’ taken from Theatre Of Hate’s 2016 ‘Kinshi’ album, Is stripped back with an acoustic lick and minimal shaker and percussion before the backing vocals usher in a thicker arrangement. The whole album is given a kiss-off with each artist offering up a classic from their respected catalogues. The Ruts ‘Staring At The Rude Boys’ was almost a skiffle take but captivating and I found myself nodding in appreciation. Spear Of Destiny’s ‘Never Take Me Alive’ always one of the highlights at the countless DMW shows I’ve seen over the years. SLF’s ‘Wasted Life’ being something of a country-tinged vibe with the lyrics being poignant and the hushed tones of Burns vocal being spot on. Expect the unexpected being my advice on these classics. It’s like they’ve been given a lick of paint from the original owners but using different shades and tones. Of course you recognise them but shifting the focus a little is interesting. Not meant to upstage the originals (how could they) but they stand as a talking point and stand alone as worthy soundwaves.

A real melting pot of old and new borrowed and blue this Dead Men Walking is exceptional labour of love from four supremely talented artists. I love these collaborations and ‘Freedom It Ain’t On The Rise’ is a wonderful collection of songs that are arranged really well with thought , love and respect and that shines through.

Not sure if we have Covid and lockdowns to thank for this seeing the light of day but I’m glad these guys took the time and patience to work it out. Don’t be daft and pass this by you won’t regret investigating this release, not for a minute. It’s like a ray of sunshine streaming through a crisp morning haze.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

COLOURSØUND is a project created by none other than Billy Duffy of The Cult and Mike Peters of The Alarm, who first recorded under the name COLOURSØUND in 1998 /1999 when both Duffy was on extended hiatus from the Cult and Peters was going through all sorts with the use of the Alarm name.

The project was unveiled with a set at the Legendary Gathering weekend in North Wales when along with Craig Adams and Johnny Donelly it still to this day rates as one of the highlights of any Gathering and I’ve seen every single on for the last 25 plus years. There was a demo CD ep first and then the album that I’m about to review containing a remastered version with a few added bits here and there I guess but listening to it on record is a real joy.  What essentially is the best Cult album the Cult never recorded. It might well have been the catalyst to Asbury regaining his Mojo and getting back with Duffy for Cult duty but that wasn’t until I’d managed to catch a whole bunch of shows from Coloursound in sweaty venues with plenty of volume and a handle on the new material. Revisiting this once again all these years later is cool and its lost none of that rawness and joie de vivre it had back then in the late ’90s. So much so that when I heard that under lockdown they had reconvened to record another album but this time its Duffy and Peters minus the talent of Adams and Garrett.

If I’m being honest Duffy brought out the best in Peters and maybe having that creative riff machine to bounce off Peters excelled and turned in a fantastic performance and it has to be said the same vice versa.  Duff plays some of his finest licks for many a year on this album and I have even imagined how it would sound if it were Astbury singing these songs would it have been a smash hit?  I believe it would have been but them is the breaks,  I’m glad we have this album now and the best-kept secret remains in all the participant’s resumes.

‘Under the Sun’ kicks off with a classic Duffy riff – loud – distorted – loud and with plenty of punch a fantastic album opener in anyone’s book. I remember attending a Coloursound weekend in North Wales where we were played the album in its glory and asked to pick which track should go where and I think I remember correctly everyone in that room had ‘Under The Sun’ as the opener.  Still to this day a corker. Considering the album is now twenty-one years old it sounds as fresh as a daisy and the remastering has given it a new lease of life.  The record sounds bigger than the CD ever did or at least that’s what my vain brain is telling me (sonically Speaking of course). Maybe changing the tracklist for the vinyl is a time consideration for vinyl or the original running order wasn’t what it should have been (can I collect my prize now?)

I have no clue as to who brought what to the table which must be a compliment to the band seeing as they are all capable fo being involved with some of my favourite songs with their respective bands but with the distance of not having played this in some time songs like ‘State Of Independence’ take me right back to those nights in the Barfly in London and squeezing into the back room with the psychedelic lighting and the melody rattling around my head for ages and loving that bridge.  One of the albums standout tracks on an album full of stand out tracks.

For the people who aren’t keen to jump on board with Peters and his day job songwriting need to check out ‘Heavy Rain’ and then give themselves a good shake. A fantastic, vibrant and pulverising song that builds and builds with a thunderous rhythm courtesy of Adams bass thump which enables Duffy to keep it simple sure it leans on The Cult formula on the chorus and the bass distortion before that solo is still fuckin’ awesome.

‘Alive’ still has the brooding drama before the punch and who doesn’t like a trademark pause before Duffy unleashes his trademark riff and I would say solo but he does that all over this one. Sounds awesome through my speakers sir. Even if it does seem weird with it ending side one after all this time.

‘Fade In Fade Out Fade Away’ opens side two and always was a great sing-along and again time hasn’t dulled the song at all. from the moment Adams bass enters as Duffy wanders across the fretboard this song was a live favourite and the remastering hasn’t killed any of that live feel when the drums kicks in.  Peters best vocal performance on the record hands down. The original long sold out versions came with a bonus single-sided lockdown re-recording of ‘FIFOFA’ but its never going to hit the heights of the original.

I’m happy for the rejig of the running order its breathed new life into songs like ‘For The Love Of’ which might have been overshadowed on the original running order (if that makes sense?) sometimes its nice to just put on your shit kickers and do it!

The album does chill for a bit with ‘A View From A Different Window’ I always liked the rhythm and the acoustic guitar fits in nicely. I’ve no clue why but it always reminded me of Bowie maybe from his Tin Machine project but I always loved this song. with only a couple of tracks left I guess it’s fair to say I love the fact that this record finally gets a vinyl release which it most certainly deserves.  The news that it will soon be joined by Coloursound two is a beautiful thing and I’m excited to hear what they’ve come up with a couple of decades later. Now if this virus would kindly fark off maybe just maybe we could accompany the release of Coloursound two with a live show or two that would be jolly nice please Gents.



Author: Dom Daley

Richard Davies & the Dissidents – ‘Echo Road’ (Bucketful Of Brains)  Excellent grower from a really impressive album ‘Echo Road’ builds via a really earthy swirling keyboard and great barroom vocals the song is excellent for dusty road trips but the real gem here is the B Side and the bands take of the classic Lords tune penned by Tony James and Tory Crimes and whilst I have the Lords on a pedestal this is a pretty impressive take on a classic song and well worth checking out.  To be fair whilst you’re at it go the full hog and bag yourself the album ‘Human Traffic’. Great band great songs.


ReMission International – ‘TOS2020′ (SPV Records) Wayne Hussey and friends release classic Mission ‘Tower Of Strength’ anthem with Proceeds to charities personally chosen by each contributor. There’s nothing not to like about a classic song being reinvented for a bunch of great causes and it features a glittering line up with people like Andy Rourke, Billy Duffy, Budgie, Evi Vine, Gary Numan, James Alexander Graham, Jay Aston, Julianne Regan, Kevin Haskins, Kirk Brandon, Lol Tolhurst, Martin Gore, Michael Aston, Michael Ciravolo, Midge Ure, Miles Hunt, Rachel Goswell, Richard Fortus, Robin Finck, Steve Clarke, Tim Palmer, Trentemøller.

With pre-orders already reaching over 40K its a truly outstanding contribution. Spread the word, share, tweet, post it everywhere to tell others about it. Shout it from the rooftops and tell your friends, tell everyone. The digital bundle contains 5 awesome tracks for just £2.99, it all helps those that need it most and the proceeds will be divided and distributed equally among all the beneficiaries. It’s an awesome song always has been and always will be and now its been put to great use.  Keep up with ReMission International  Website | Mission Facebook | Mission Twitter | Mission Instagram |

Fast Eddy – ‘Game Of Love’ (Spaghetty Town Records) A couple of things struck me about this here single.  One, Ted at Spaghetty Town sure does know quality Rock and Roll. Two, Fast Eddy sure do play quality Rock and Roll. The title track is a strut and swagger down the blvd. It’s as confident and cocksure as anything you’ll hear all year these cats know they have a swag bag full of top tunes and from the great vocals to the big singalong piano-driven middle eight it’s fuckin’ huge sounding and I mean grande canyon huge sounding.  The flip side is another great tune but a little something different.  It’s hard to pigeon hole these guys it’s catchy and radio-friendly but there’s an edge and a tension in a sort of Afghan Whigs way.  The B Side gets it for me but by a whisker.  Check em out Fast Eddy will make a dent – trust me.  Facebook / Instagram

Poison Boys – ‘Mean Queen’ (Hobo Wolfman Records)  Don’t be sneaking out no new 7″ singles without consulting the RPM Singles Club with the news cmon boys that’s just not fair especially when it’s one of our favourite bands from the good ole US of A. From the opening engine roar this is a sleazy slice of punk rock n roll. Its got the Stooges fueling the engine and that guitar break sounds like they’re in the room with me it’s so alive.  Awesome tune (not that I would ever doubt it) and it’s backed by a cover of the Jerry Nolan ‘Take A Chance With Me’ so what’s not to like?  Cool cats that just ooze quality and a single you should most definitely have in your collection and hopefully a sign that an LP is on the way!

Buy Here

“Mean Queen” is a celebration of bad ass women, queens, and sex workers everywhere. Make a donation to www.swop-chicago.org to support current and former sex workers, who have been hit extra hard since the start of the covid-19 pandemic.

DEAD DIRTY DINOSAURS – ‘Revenge’ (Riot Records) A restrained, slow burner with a raw, loud, and abrasive guitar riff with a chilled vocal its a smolderer that burrows into your ear.  This Brisbane three-piece might be onto something other than having a great band name they can knock together a pretty good noise between them.  I guess the only thing now is I want to hear more. So, if you’d be so kind send over a few other tunes or the album would be nice. But as far as introductions go this is impressive. Facebook / Twitter / Instagram 





The Richmond Sluts – ‘Walkin’ Tall’ (Rock Box Records) Always a good day when The Sluts strut into your life with a new earworm. What a cocksure slab of Rock and Roll this is.  It has swagger and that early ’70s Stones strut that a lot of bands attempt but fall short of but not The Richmond Sluts.  They nail this from the solo on the geetah to the reverb-heavy vocal that sounds like too many late nights and cigarettes n whisky.  A real tonic in these tough times. Three and a half minutes of pure unadulterated Rock and Roll good times.  All hail the Richmond Sluts.




Ben Wood & The Bad Ideas – ‘Black’ (Back2Forward Records) With a rapid steady beat this is a little belter.  A right ray of sunshine.  I was expecting something altogether different but this uptempo ditty came banging out of the speakers and I like it, I like it a lot.

Just when you’re waiting for something along comes a bolt out of the blue and whilst its nothing original its quality.



Wanted Noise – ‘Go Get’ (self release) San Diego what’s up?  Surf/skate punks have a brand new single for your consumption.  It’s upbeat and in keeping with the whole sound you’d expect from a bunch of young guns into skating and surfing.   Bandcamp


Heap – ‘EP’ (Rave On Records)  Who needs Westerberg and The Replacements? OH OK, so that’s a lie but in the absence of such an iconic Rock and Roll band the void is ably filled by the likes of Beach Slang and for a brief period Gaslight Anthem well you can throw Heap into that mix.  Coming across like a latterday Westerberg with all the right roots rock and roll moves and refrains Heap have penned three really strong tunes on this here EP. Its dive bar rock and roll from the heart its got dirt under those fingernails and a book of stories in their hearts -Well worth checking out.




The Jailbirds – ‘Dull My Brain’ (Golden Robot Records) This three-piece mix up some cock rock gang vocals with some big bluesy 80s influenced Hard rock chops.  Guns n Roses or more specifically Slash sound like they were a big influence.

A really confident new track from the Canadian trio will no doubt turn some heads in the classic rock circles.  Check em out here

Smarts – ‘Small World’ (Anti fade)  Australia has consistently been churning out some of the best music for quite some time now and we’re constantly turning up bands on our radar that are impressing us with their releases and Anti Fade are constantly pushing the boundaries with a lot of the cassette releases and the ever helpful Bandcamp platform who it has to be said are championing alternative music and not just beating them as a cash cow we find ourselves with another Melbourne band Smarts and their four-track cassette ‘Small World’ which is somewhere between Devo, Tubeway army and a whole host of punk rock band we love.  Don’t hang about though because the four songs run in at just a hairs breath over four minutes from the opening ‘Smart Man’ and its robotic Numan like mood to the frantic head fuck of ‘Smart World’ to their ‘Golden Arches’ and final hurrah of Devo like ‘Don’t Slap The Hand’  Smarts are smart and you should try some. Here


The Wake – ‘Hammer Hall’ (Blaylox Records) Get your Goth on kids this is as dark and Goth like as you could possibly get without actually being a member of the Sisters Of Mercy jammin’ with Robert Smith on a couple of Bauhaus tunes.  ME, I love a bit of Goff and this is really well done and is a really decent track.

Keep up with The Wake
Website | Facebook | Bandcamp | Twitter | Instagram I Soundcloud |

This September, The Cult‘s 1989 album Sonic Temple turns 30 and for its birthday those lovely people at Beggars Arkive are giving it a 5 CD, 53 – track deluxe makeover, along with a couple of rather special vinyl editions to boot.

Across the 5 CDs you get the original album on disc 1, alternate edits, mixes, extended versions and acoustic versions on disc 2, limited-release demos on discs 3 & 4 and Live at Wembley recorded by the BBC on disc 5. Six of the live tracks are previously unreleased.

So lets take it one disc at a time….

Disc 1 contains the Bob Rock, Sonic Temple album, complete with its 3 UK top 40 hit singles (Fire Woman, Edie (Ciao Baby), Sun King). You know the score with this one, the follow-up to the Rick Rubin produced mega-album Electric, that took The Cult into the arenas and stadiums of America. Listen back to it, it has the late MTV eighties sheen and while not quite up there withit’s predecessor (at least for me), it’s still a damn fine album, that certainly did the business, shifting in excess of 1.5 million copies in the USA alone. The album catapulted The Cult into superstar status, job done!

Disc 2 is more a luxury than a necessity. You get short, long and very very long versions of the album’s singles, along with a very unnecessary radio advert for the album. Though amongst the chaff there are some jewels. Single b-sides  Messin’ Up The Blues, Medicine Train, The River and most notably Bleeding Heart Graffiti are fine reminders of those great singles tucked safely up in the attic.

Now onto the really interesting stuff, the Sonic Temple demos. During 1988, The band recorded the first (14-track) demo version of this album with soon to be KISS drummer, Eric Singer. Then, a further 15-track demo version of the record with Bob Rock’s drummer, Chris Taylor. Twenty of those 29 tracks are presented here across 2-discs, a fine treat they are.

Disc 3 presents 6 of the 10 tracks that made it to the final album (New York City, American Horse, Sun King, Automatic Blues, Fire and Wake Up Time For Freedom), along with future B-sides  (Medicine Train and  The River) and a couple of also-rans ( Yes Man and Citadel ). Even at this early stage you can hear why Fire was a chorus short and a drum more than the classic Fire Woman hit single it became and why Yes Man got dropped. This disc is a great listen, sounding really stripped down and raw. Sure, Billy over-plays it throughout, chucking in what seems like every lick he knows and Ian’s vocals are rough but that’s cool, very cool.

Disc 4 is bursting with another 10 demo tunes and along with the previous disc make this package an essential purchase for any self respecting Cult fan. This time only Edie (Ciao Baby), New York City, Medicine Train and Fire (Woman)  feature from the final album, with another largely lost 6 tunes (The Crystal Ocean, Cashmere, Bleeding Hearts Revival, My Love, Star Child and Spanish Gold) making up the numbers. While the content is a little more sketchy than on Disc 3, it’s a great listen. The whole CD is pretty much a Zep-out, not only from the obvious lift of Cashmere but the general stripped down vibe of the whole thing. Billy’s playing is a little more restrained and Ian’s vocals a little more hesitant and thoughtful but, the jam demo of Spanish Gold is a real gem.


Disc 5 pulls together 9 tracks from a BBC recorded Wembley live show. While 3 of the 9 tunes (American Horse, Soul Asylum and Sweet Soul Sister ) have previously appeared as B-sides, 6 of them are previously unreleased. It’s a decent listen but nothing particularly exciting. Just your standard soundboard kind of recording. Astbury sounds like an out of breath yank, Duffy riffs like a muther fucker and even Jamie Stewart gets a bit of a bass solo…. it’s cool but nothing earth shattering and hardly the pick of the vaults. Much like Disc 2, this isn’t a disc you’ll rush back to time-and-again.


All this loveliness comes packaged in book form with rare photographs and interviews with the band by journalist James Brown, though I’ll have to wait until the official release to check that all out.

There are also another vinyl two editions of this bad boy to seperate you from your hard earned cash. Firstly, there’s a double re-vamped 16 track reissue of the original album, spread across 2 discs and adding 6 B-sides to the original 10-track LP. Secondly, there’s a mouth watering  limited (to 3000) mega box set containing three slabs of vinyl (featuring the original album, B-sides and live tracks), along with a cassette of demos plus tour memorabilia and other goodies (replica of original laminate, backstage pass, original press releases and label copy and more). Not sure why the hell anyone would want the demos on a cassette to be honest as they are the highlight of the package so why shoove them on a hipster format you can’t listen to…. unless of course it comes with a download code.

So where does that leave us? While not as essential as 2013 Electric/Peace Train re-issue, £35 for the CD box-set is a great deal. The double LP at £22 is an attractive proposition too, though weighing in at a hefty £85, the box-set may be for the hardcore only.

The Cult bring there Sonic Temple anniversary tour to the UK this coming October. Dig deep and check it out, it’ll be a hell of a night out !!!


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Author: Fraser Munro