We live in strange times, and strange times call for creative solutions. Everybody has been affected but the coronavirus in one way or another, and for us musicians, it has meant an end to touring and all the financial and promotional complications that come with it. For fans, it has meant an end to memorable nights out with our favourite music. All is not lost, however, as we luckily (depending on your perspective) also live in the time of the internet, meaning musicians have sought to fill the gap by playing live shows across social media platforms. It works better for some than others, and while not replacing the dynamism of a live show, it at least offers us something to enjoy while we rot away at home, trying not to kill each other.


Buffalo Tom’s Bill Janovitz is certainly someone who makes good use of this style of delivery, and I am thoroughly enjoying the second week of Happy Hour with Bill. Using the opportunity to replace one of his cancelled live shows with these intimate performances, he is also donating much of the proceeds to help pay the wages of those working in independent music in his area, and to other worthwhile causes. Certainly a nice touch. Bill Janovitz is a natural entertainer, and it’s almost as enjoyable to watch him mix cocktails as it is to watch him play the songs. But of course, it’s the music that makes all this sitting at home among the crisis feel not quite so bad. Whether it’s the beautiful Overtime and All Be Gone (from the most recent album Quiet and Peace), the superb but rarely heard Bottom of the Rain (Three Easy Pieces), or a rousing version of Your Stripes (from Sleepy Eyed), acoustic songs on a live stream from his house is a warmth we could all do with these days.


This is the second week of the Happy Hour, following on from the success of the previous week. The two hour set tonight is full of gems voted for by fans through an online poll, such as Taillights Fade and Larry. His family jumping in to join in for a chorus of Tangerine the previous week and then again for another rendition of it here were highlights, as was him being joined by his daughter for covers of New Order’s Leave Me Alone, Simon and Garfunkel’s Only Living Boy in New York (also on Quiet and Peace), and the Everly Brothers Let it be Me. Moments like this at least offer us something we would never have got otherwise. Every cloud… These live streams we can all tune into will perhaps never replace what we love so much about live music, but they are a small, welcome Porchlight in the dark. And while times are hard for musicians as their careers temporarily stall, supporting them is something we should all be doing now if we’re able, whether they are in a position to donate earnings or whether they are merely trying to keep themselves afloat.


At the end of tonight’s show, Bill announced that he would probably be doing another one this Saturday. I certainly hope so – at least it makes a Saturday evening somehow feel like it really is a Saturday evening.

Find it on the Buffalo Tom Facebook page: Here

Author: Craggy Collyde


February 2018

Foulmouthed Filthy February or something like that.

February began with a road trip to see a band who for me has been my go-to pilgrimage in North Wales for The Gathering weekend for the last quarter of a century (almost). A weekend celebrating the music of Mike Peters & The Alarm reached a high point on the Saturday night as a Four-hour performance rounded off an impressive weekend. I’ve enjoyed going for almost quarter of a century where special guests have included Billy Duffy, Craig Adams, Steve Diggle, Pete Wylie, Dave sharp, Ian McNabb, Eddie McDonald and a whole bunch of other musicians I’ve forgotten and I’ve managed to attend without missing a single year.

I must admit the thought of such a marathon performance on a Saturday night filled me with dread can any fans watch for four hours? The answer is a resounding yes! It flew by and was one of the best Saturday night shows I’ve ever seen Peters perform especially when he was joined on stage by Craig Adams for the final hour (that still doesn’t sound right – the final hour). Roll on February 2019 when I can do it all again.


Staying on the live front, Other RPM scribes went to some far-flung countries to catch their Rock n Roll with Craggy taking in an excellent show from Fertile Hump live at Kabinet Muz, in Brno. but a large gathering of writers took in a show or two when the Damned went around the UK this time with the added excitement of Paul Gray back in the fold for the first time in decades which was rather nice.  Seeing the Damned with a new album in tow and playing sold out shows all across the UK in decent sized venues was awesome and it has to be said so were the band.  Gray seemed to give them a right shot in the arm just in time for this stint of dates was easily the highlight of February. But with the recent news of our Brother Scott Sorry battling a serious illness the Rock and Roll community rallied and a series of benefit shows were arranged to raise funds for Scott at such a difficult time what with the American Health system being what it is  The likes of Role Models, Main Grains and  The Empty Page rocked out at The Parish to rave reviews whilst Wakefield Warehouse saw the Professionals, the Wildhearts, Massive Wagons and Sonic Boom Six take care of business and send Positive vibes across the ocean as well as money raised at these spectacular shows.

Before Feb was done The UK also saw the return of Bullets And Octane and Ben attended a memorable show in York that proved that Gene Louis had lost none of the fire he had inside his beating heart when he first toured the UK.


As for recordings to hit the shelves, historically early in the year, things open slowly in the music business and January being about new resolutions before finally seeing new releases hit the shelves, so, Feb saw an avalanche of really big hitters for RPM writers.  We had the release of Imperial State Electric’s Live album ‘Anywhere Loud’ as well as some garage awesomeness from the likes of the Cavemen and The Bellrays getting round to release records. 

Several writers were also impressed by the latest Buffalo Tom long player ‘Quiet And Peace’ with Craggy picking it as one of his albums of the year. February belonged to a few foul-mouthed releases, the first came in the shape of Jonesey with their self titled long player with its down n dirty sleazy punk rock n roll and song titles and lyrics that would make a sailor blush no doubt about that. But one of the years highlights hit us like a sledgehammer between the eyes has to be Motherfuckin’ Motherfuckers with ‘MFFFMF’ (I think that’s the correct amount of F’s) inspired by Supershit 666 and the idea of some friends from the most splendid Bitch Queens and Oz and Lee from the mighty Hip Priests recording a mini album packed full of songs that were written in the shortest of times. I’ll let Lee Love tell you, good people, what happened, ” Ah the dumb Lee Love story. Well, me ‘n’ Oz went To Basel for a few days to hang out with our mates from Bitch Queens and we ended up getting pissed (as you do) and I was winding them up saying I could write and get em to record a mini album in a day. So we went into the Queens studio the next day and played through everything once maybe twice and hey presto it was done”.  Creating that Copters supershit 666 vibe.

To be fair this pack of loons rose to the occasion and absolutely knocked it out of the park in fact they didn’t just knock it out of the park they followed out tied it to the back of their pick up truck dragged it around the wood then kicked any life left in it out then did it all again for shits and giggles.  An absolute giant of punk rock n fuckin roll – make no mistake about that! Motherfuckin’ Motherfucker should and one day will rightfully be seen as a classic of its genre.


Also, The motherfuckin’ Dwarves were taking back the night in February as well and a jolly fine record that was.  Maybe it should be renamed Fuckin’ foulmouthed February from now on.  What a month. Outstanding stuff.