I loves a last-minute gig, so I does. And after banging on about Sweden’s finest exponents of post punk the Viagra Boys for the last 12 months, it would be a travesty if I didn’t put my money where my mouth is and actually catch them live wouldn’t it? My gigging buddy and I toyed with the idea of going to London, we ummed and aahed about going to Manchester, and of course the old adage of ‘you snooze, you lose’ happened yet again and those gigs came and went.

Then the text message came: “Viagra Boys playing Sheffield tomorrow”. A swift reply of “Shall we?” was all that was needed and we found ourselves off to Sheffield on a sunny Saturday evening for the last date of the UK tour.

After 3 attempts to find the right venue (it’s not The Forum and there is more than one Foundry in Sheffield!) we finally make it to The Foundry, a venue that is part of Sheffield Uni. A decent size venue that holds 500-600 maybe, it has a great vibe and is filling up quickly as we enter.

The Viagra Boys are back with a new album called ‘Cave World’ on July 8th and the first single ‘Aint No Thief’ is a banger of a tune. A hardcore dance mash-up that sits somewhere between The Beastie Boys and The Prodigy, and to me it makes Viagra Boys the most exciting proposition since Alabama 3 in their prime. I will put money on this tune being a highlight of tonight’s gig.

They open with ‘Research Chemicals’ and the place erupts, the whole dance floor bouncing as one. Singer Sebastian Murphy is the center of attention, and for good reason. He brings the punk rock attitude to a band that are the tightest live unit I have seen in a long time. Within a minute of the opening song, he has removed his white wifebeater to reveal his heavily tattooed torso. He swings from the mic stand like Iggy Pop meets Shane MacGowan as ‘Ain’t Nice’ takes the room to another level. A killer hook and a massive groove. Viagra Boys sure bring the party and the energy levels rarely dip below high octane all night.

New single ‘Troglodyte’ is sounding better with every listen, hell it’s only been out 3 days! Heading in a more dance-orientated direction than previous material seems to be a good move. This tune sounds like Devo, its killer and live it sounds fantastic. It may be surprising to some but a Viagra Boys show is a high energy dance show. Don’t get me wrong, there’s a punk rock attitude, but this is a live dance band, tight as fuck and designed to pop a pill and lose yourself in the moment. And it seems many around are doing just that. A good crowd, a mix of alternative students and the sort of seasoned, middle-aged gig goers we usually see at Alabama 3 and Primal Scream gigs.

It’s a packed room, everyone is into it and its not one of those ‘stand there with your arms folded’ gigs, those who venture near the front had better prepare to get a flailing limb in the face, as the crowd surfing is up to metal band proportions tonight. I’m loving this!

It’s all about the drums, the bass and the groove they create. The keyboards, electronica and bursts of sax give an edgy, alternative feel to the live sound and the tight band work well, while the singer brings the onstage destruction. He disappears from view on many occasions, lying on the stage floor singing his lines in a sweaty, fucked up mess.

There’s a couple of highlights tonight. As expected, ‘Ain’t No Thief’ is insane live. That bassline sounds awesome live and takes the Foundry crowd to yet another high. ‘Sports’ has become their signature tune and gets probably the biggest reception of the night. Many songs are extended and jammed out to control the ebb and flow of the crowd, just highlighting what a great live band they are.

With a charismatic frontman, a tight as fuck band and a catalogue of pure bangers, you have to ask yourself what the fuck do they put in the water in Helsinki? Viagra Boys are on the verge of greatness, make the most of seeing them in small venues while you can.

Author: Ben Hughes

20th March 2007 was the last time I saw the “classic” line up of Towers of London live, in of all places London. It was also to be one of their last headline gigs together. Fast forward 12 years and the prospect of seeing Donny, Dirk, Rev, Snell and Tommy back together on stage really is getting me all nervous. Not least because I’m due to meet up with the guys beforehand to hand over some much sought-after film footage that has been in possession all these years that the guys now need for an upcoming documentary. A film, as I was soon to find out, they want to be a true reflection of their time together back in the mid-noughties, not some cheap expose piece only looking to create headlines.  

That reckless sense of irresponsibility that drove the band first time around has very much been replaced by a more focussed and mature set of heads all looking to finally set the record straight both off and on stage, and what better way to start than by heading off on an eight date UK tour supporting The Wildhearts with Massive Wagons also along for this rock ‘n’ roll rollercoaster ride too.

Unfortunately tonight I can only stick around to witness the return of  Towers Of London so I’ll leave the full gig reviews to my RPM colleagues to pick up at subsequent dates, but this is a very well-attended tour that’s for sure, with two dates sold out in advance and quite a few of the others close to capacity . This, in turn, means Towers of London get to play to full rooms and most importantly to a largely new audience, so come 7:30 sharp I’m stood a couple of rows from the barrier waiting for that infamous air raid siren intro tape to go up, before the 5 black boiler-suited Towers guys open fire with ‘I’m A Rat’ and suddenly all the years they’ve been away just seem…well….insignificant.   This is the band who I thought could be the UK’s answer to Guns N’ Roses and save for a few, ahem, “misplaced” career decisions along the way what this line up did leave us with was one of the finest debut albums of the last 40 years.

Tonight then their nine-song set is split 60/40 in favour of that ‘Blood Sweat and Towers’ album and along with the likes of ‘Beaujolais’ and ‘Air Guitar’ the newer tracks (all set to be included on their as yet untitled third album) like the stadium rocker ‘Shot In The Dark’ complete with Snell thumping the kit and Rev adding the guitar chops now come over as with much more sneer and a lot less veneer, and the more polished sound that had been creeping into the band’s musical direction really has been toughened up with the return of the old guard. ‘Kill The Popscene’ indeed, but sadly that anthem is nowhere to be seen tonight.

Finishing their 30-minute set with Donny face to face with the front rows for a stinging ‘Fuck It Up’, it’s his comment “we’ve all fucked something up” just as he lets the microphone fall to the floor that perhaps best sums up this new/old version of Towers Of London. It’s that old Drink Fight Fuck spirit but without any of that “baggage” getting in the way of you finally realising that Towers of London were never really a guilty pleasure they were always a fucking great rock ‘n’ roll band. 

Now, let’s have album number three and the highly anticipated documentary and perhaps finally we’ll get see Towers of London make it big. Who’s with me?

Author: Johnny Hayward


In support of their fourth album, Giuda returned to rock London. Having seen them twice before, I knew that this was going to be an unmissable gig. Last time around, they had White Trash and Cyanide Pills on the bill; one of the best line ups I’ve ever seen. Tonight, it’s the turn of Suicide Generation to open proceedings. You can’t fault their energy, though their set seems blighted by guitar/amp issues, and they are a little light on tunes, but they reminded me of the great Ray Zell’s Marionette, so I warmed to them.


Thee Dagger Debs were more to my tastes. Indeed, so fine was their performance that I bought their vinyl album at the end of the night, and risked it on a packed tube train. To some, ‘pub rock’ may be faint praise, but they recognise its value; there’s a whiff of good, old Canvey about them. More rhythm than solos, punchy bass lines, and tunes to get the feet moving, I hope to see them again soon.


So, what can be said about Giuda that hasn’t been said before? After tonight’s show, I’m running out of superlatives. You are guaranteed a great night out at a Giuda gig. While their records are fabulous, they are even better live. From the first chord, they are in control. Tenderer embodies the joy of their music, a frontman immersed in every song, urging the crowd on. And the choruses keep on coming, new songs like ‘Space Walk’ and ‘Overdrive’ fitting seamlessly into older classics.


As ever, they keep the gaps between songs to a minimum. If like me, you’re singing along, you barely have time to catch your breath before the next chorus hits. And, most of us were singing; it’s a celebratory atmosphere. We’re all here to forget the world and have a good time, and Giuda are built to deliver. I can’t give you a set list, as my feet were moving all night. This is music to lose yourself in. We danced, we sang, we smiled. Some of the most important things in life. What more do you want? Tonight belongs to Giuda. They were glorious. Thank you.

Author: Martin Chamarette

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Review Of Giuda album ‘E.V.A’ Here