Losing my sense of taste – There is an air of darkened intent and menace ‘Losing MY Sense Of Taste’. Hynde sounds fantastic as she leads the band into this wonderfully sounding rocker. As the subtle melody unfolds behind a wall of guitar noise as the solo howls with delight as every ounce of emotion is rinsed out of the fretboard. Hyde has hit paydirt finding James walbourne who has tone and a swagger that is instantly likeable and has a style that makes the guitar sing in whatever mood he so wishes.

‘A love’ begins with that jangly chorus laden guitar that is something of a Pretenders / Hynde trademark but yet again the standout feature of the track is the mix  – it sounds huge. Excellent guitar pop.

On ‘Domestic Silence’ with its slow groove steeped in controlled overdrive gives the song an air of a well-oiled group locking in on each other, that small club tour they undertook to break these songs in as a unit was a masterstroke. This album sounds like a band, and not a solo Hynde project with hired top-tier session players which it could have sounded also co-writing with Walbourne is a winning team. Again the solo is exceptional as Walbourne delivers with feeling and some.

‘The Copa’ kind drifts Into the promise of love with its melancholy piano sounding like a late night in a smoky hotel lobby after one too many cigarettes and cognacs. The vocal is spot on here and Hynde is peeling back the years sounding as good as twenty years ago.

Side one taps out with ‘Merry Widow’ and another smokey slow number takes center stage. I think three in a row is a bit much as good as they are individually back to back they would have benefitted from being broken up with a more uptempo rocker. Even if the oriental drifting works well. It’s the guitar tone that pulls the end of side one through.

‘Let The Sun Come In’ is more on it, with a quality mid tempo feel and guitar lick lapping round the lips of a really good deep album cut. I like how the chorus soars. Next ‘Look Away’- is a melancholy acoustic pick through a sparse arrangement. Works well with the minimal percussion shaking it up from being just another slow album track it has room to breathe. The theme continues as ‘Your House Is On Fire’ continues with the laid back ambience a more relaxed Pretenders record than the last one but no lesser quality album. ‘Just let It Go’, another bordering on balladeering but is a fuller more traditional slow dive.

Hynde and James work really well together and their songwriting is in sync showcasing a unique voice that is instantly recognisable and can pull through a less than excellent song and with the addition of some superb guitar work throughout the record it’s a really good listen.

‘Vainhlorious’ is exactly what I was looking for as the album heads towards its conclusion, Turn the amps up and let’s play some loud rock n roll because when this band goes for it they can rock out with the best of them.

The record closes out with the beautiful ‘I Think About You Daily’ with strings arranged by the Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood on what is a perfect album full stop with some great arrangment of the finely balanced strings for the pick of the slow songs on offer. Very decent album yet again from The Pretenders who show no sign in giving up their craft just taking it to different destinations along the rocky road.

Buy Here

Author: Dom Daley

Its been a while. No doubt about it.

This is the Eleventh studio album from Pretenders and I can honestly say I’ve not felt a real buzz off one of their records coming out since the second one came out way back in 1981 almost forty years ago! Gulp.  sure they’ve hit paydirt in the pop charts since but they’ve not really dished out a record bristling with top tunes, until now that is. Damn, On the second single off the album ‘The Buzz’ shes even managed to recreate the vibe of ‘Kid’ on that guitar break. It appears that the past might have been embraced and maybe explored in order to strip back those past forty years to create ‘Hate For Sale’ which seems an odd title because there seems to be an overwhelming “love” going on.

The other noticeable feature is a sparkling production that lets everything breathe where it needs to and the crunchy dirty bits are backstreet dirty and not polished into oblivion fake dirty.

Hyndes vocals are as good as they ever were sounding fresh and captivating and at times comforting.

In the first four tracks, you have everything that made the original line up such a great band. A roaring call to arms on the intro track and album title followed by the more pop-friendly ‘The Buzz’ Something different and maybe a little risky in ‘Lightning Man’ and the rock-solid handclap heavy ‘Turf Accountant Daddy’ then to close off side one the retro pop ballad of ‘You Can’t Hurt A Fool’ which might be the weakest on side one with its soul trappings but Hyndes vocal is exceptional and delivers a stunning performance that elevates the whole song which is anything but tokenistic.


It’s great to drop the needle onto side two and hear the power chords clash and strut on ‘I Don’t Know When To Stop’ enhanced with some great gob iron blowing and a bowery staggering solo. Then to bump straight into ‘Maybe Love Is In NYC’ which makes a great dive bar buddie maybe not as strong but great to hear those guitars being rinsed with passion and some attack.

Chrissie Hynde might well have found her Mojo and really delivered a great record.  there isn’t one weak track on offer and whilst side two might lack the variety that you have on the opening few songs they are immensely enjoyable like the punky hand jive of ‘Don’t Want To Be This Lonely’. To be fair the piano balladeering of the albums closer ‘Crying In Public’ had to be and the strings and big chords make it listenable without becoming lush or too polished and it retains the feel of the rest of the record and has grit and charm.

Pretenders have turned back the clock and knocked out one of 202s finest records without any shadow of a doubt.  It’s short, sharp and exactly the pick me up needed during this oddest of summers. Something new with an old feel that’s comforting and downright bloody entertaining. ‘Hate For Sale’? Yes please.


Buy ‘Hate For Sale’ Here


Author: Dom Daley







Staking its reputation as an essential rock ‘n’ roll date in the annual calendar, with two now fabled awards nights at the 02 Islington Academy in 2018 and 2019 which saw a vast array of iconic artists performing and rubbing shoulders, the 2020 Vive Le Rock Awards is confirmed to take place this coming April 1st.


This time, however, the event has gone bigger and bolder, moving to the 2000 capacity 02 Shepherds Bush Empire for the party of the year that also celebrates Vive Le Rock’s tenth anniversary in print, having published its first issue in 2010, it is now the world’s biggest rock ‘n’ roll and punk magazine, independently published by Big Cheese Publishing Ltd in London.


The two previous years have featured live appearances from The Damned, The Stranglers, Shakin’ Stevens, Suzi Quatro, members of AC/DC, Sex Pistols, The Specials, Buzzcocks and even England football legend Stuart Pearce, and the event this year continues to grow in stature and size!


This week, further icons of rock ‘n’ roll have been confirmed to join the event and Vive Le Rock are very proud to welcome London rockers The Only Ones onto the line-up. Frontman Peter Perrett returned in recent years to launch a  successful solo career with two fabulous albums in 2017 and 2019 and now we celebrate The Only Ones legacy, who will be picking up a ‘Classic Song’ award for their timeless 1978 hit ‘Another Girl Another Planet’, which will be performed on the night.


Also confirmed to join the melee is soul-brother Jim Jones; Hypnotic, Righteous Mind and Revue, a man who IS rock ‘n’ roll incarnate, who will bring his hand-clapping grooves to the night.


Then, just when you thought the evening couldn’t get any hotter, along comes the crazy world of Arthur Brown with his red-hot 1968 hit ‘Fire’, bringing his wild show and worldwide number one smash hit to the event.


“I am the God of Hellfire and I bring ‘Fire’ to the Vive Le Rock Awards 2020,” exclaims Arthur, now in his 57th year of performance, he has launched his new immersive multi-media tour in the UK. One review calls it “A lesson in psychedelic individuality, ingenuity and madness!” Get ready to rock!


These join the previously announced artists, Original Rudeboy – The Specials Neville Staple, along with a very special one-off reformation of 80’s goth rockers The Lords of The New Church, fronted by Finnish Hanoi Rocks legend Michael Monroe on vocals. The Vive Le Rockers all-star band will once again back specially invited singers and compere for the night which will see the return of Ed Tudor-Pole of Tenpole Tudor fame (and also 80s T.V show, The Crystal Maze!).  Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders are set to pick up an Icon Award and punk legend, The Damned’s Brian James will accept the Pioneer award.


There will be a special section for rockers we have lost in 2019 including Gang Of Four’s Andy Gill, Eddie and The Hot Rods Barrie Masters (who played the 2019 VLR awards) and surf guitar legend Dick Dale.


The audience will comprise of invited members of the media, television, fashion and the music world as well as an allocation of tickets for the general public. The VLR Awards are a truly unique, international event celebrating the legends of our music scene. “This isn’t some chicken in a basket awards show, this is a party with the coolest people in rock n’ roll” said Vive Le Rock editor Eugene Butcher.


Tickets available HERE:


You can watch action from the last two VLR Awards below:



2020 VIVE LE ROCK AWARDS! It's gonna be a wild night. Lords of the New Church- FEATURING Michael Monroe, Ed Tudor Pole, The Specials (Official) Legend From The Specials – Neville Staple, BRIAN JAMES- The Damned , 2 extra special acts and our Headline band! Plus All star guests and Presenters! Here's a sneak peak at the last 2 years.Tickets and VIP Packages at https://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/the-2020-vive-le-rock-awards-tickets/artist/5330131

Posted by Vive Le Rock on Monday, 27 January 2020