Bowie’s debut album gets a vibrant revival on Deram with a reissue on both CD and coloured vinyl, boasting exclusive tracklists and keeping with the reissued Bowie records as of late this comes with a wonderful tri gatefold CD and equally nice gatefold LP. This version is Presented with the single B-sides for the very first time on vinyl, including a rare version of ‘Space Oddity’

Originally released on 1st June 1966 Bowie was an artist bursting with ideas that would later prove to be the work of something of a genius, very much the epicentre of uber cool and Swinging London. sure Critics of the time commented; with the NME praising Bowie’s fresh sound as “all very refreshing” and hailing him as “a very promising talent.” Melody Maker lauds the album as “a singularly rewarding collection” with “excellent” production while expressing surprise that Bowie hadn’t yet made a bigger impact on the pop scene. Meanwhile, Disc & Music Echo raves about the album, describing it as “a remarkable, creative debut album by a 19-year-old Londoner” and declaring Bowie as “a new talent that deserves attention.”

This re-issue features the original stereo album, produced by Mike Vernon, with a further fourteen tracks, including the first fruits of Bowie’s long relationship with producer Tony Visconti; ‘Let Me Sleep Beside You’, ‘Karma Man’ ‘In The Heat Of The Morning’ and ‘London Bye Ta-Ta’, the last making its vinyl debut in this collection.

Looking back on his debut album many years later with characteristic self-deprecation, Bowie mused: “Lyrically I guess it was striving to be something – the short story teller. Musically it’s quite bizarre. I don’t know where I was at. It seemed to have its roots all over the place, in rock and vaudeville and music hall and I don’t know what. I didn’t know if I was Max Miller or Elvis Presley.

These early recordings reveal an earnest young artist at the dawn of his career, working hard on material in which he passionately believed. David Bowie poured his young heart into this music – and it shows. Looking back it often sounds foppish like the opening track and Bowies own comments about Max Miller or Elvis showed the sound wasn’t lost on him either and he never lost sight of who he was and never took himself too seriously (ok Glass Spider apart) It’s great to have this album in pristine condition and its integral part in Bowies story that an essential part of how he evolved and where he came from. My collection is now complete and so should yours. This might not be as accomplished as his recent record store day release but the Bowie archive has to be almost drained. Buy it if only for ‘Space Oddity’ that closes off this window in time. Awesome.

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Author: Dom Daley

Episode 35 sees banger after banger from all corners of the Rock n ROll world ripping out of the speakers – so turn it up peeps and get down to the likes of openers Thr Drips who kick things off with the opening track of their album ‘Broken’.

After playing the A side last week it seems only fair to play the catchy ‘You Got Me Hummin’ from the wonderful Head Hunters. you need to get over to Bandcamp and pick this up before they’re all gone.

Quickly followed by a track off Californian punks Bloodstains who are singing about ‘Public Hangings’. This four-piece include Brothers David and Nick Espinoza. you should check em out.

Coming thick and fast we bring you a song off the brand new His Lordship live album ‘Live At The Lexington’ and it’s the opening track ‘I Live In The City’ turn it up and play it loud and look forward to their next jaunt around the country but until then this will do very nicely thank you very much. They very much take a traditional approach to Loud 50 and 60s rock n roll and turn it up and kick out the jams I’m sure JErry Lee and Little Richard would be down with these cats.

One of my favourite power pop bands over the last decade has to be Wyldlife and its great to have new music from them in 2024 so after last week’s track it would be rude to not play ‘You Don’t Know How It Feels’ and it’s an instantly satisfying rocker.

One of the best exports over the last 30 years from the UK has to be the mighty Dogs D’Amour and this new box set that’s on the horizon from Cherry Red Records that pulls together the bands entire China catalogue including B-sides and live tracks its eight discs of ragged Rock n Roll. I love this version of ‘I Don’t Want You To Go’ the band were peerless and have a catalogue of albums and singles that were a head and shoulders from Tylas unmistakable husky poetic lyrics and vocals to Jo Dogs distinct style and licks that elevated each and every track perfectly and when Jo left Darrell did a sterling job right through to Steves punchy Bass lines and excellent backing vocals to Bams flamboyant style that pulled it all together. It’s a magnificent song from a magnificent band that should have been absolutely huge.

Next on the playlist is a project from Chain Whip frontman Pack Rat who release the album on Drunken Sailor Records in a couple of weeks this is another fantastic slice of Power Poppin Punk rock. ‘Sleepless’ is the song played and I’m excited to hear the rest of the album. The artwork is magnificent and at Drunken Sailor Prices you’d be mad to pass this by.

Following that new song is a classic live cut from the Bob Mould compendium of solo or post Husker Du work that came out over several awesome box sets and this is a live cut from Distortion Live ‘New Day Rising’.

UK Subs have a new EP out with Dead Boys the EP is called ‘Carnaby Street’ and the track played is a cover of the Stones classic ‘Paint It Black’. Another new album on the way in August and some UK tour action is none other than Swami John Reis and his latest project Swami & The Bed Of Nails so its a no brainer we were going to play one of the new songs entitled ‘Privacy’.

Its no coincidence that Chain Whip feature this week as well seeing as Pack Rat is on the way and Chain Whip just put out their new album and to be fair Patrick McEachnie is on fire as ‘Call Of The Knife’ smashes out of your speakers. I delved back a decade next and played a track from the eclectic Brandy Row & The Troubadours who play the fantastic Thunders esk ‘Dirty Street’ Not enough music came from the former Gaggers guitar slinger but we live in hope.

Sonny Vincent has been around the block and back again with a wonderful catalogue from his Testors days through his solo releases and the collaboration called The Limit released also on Svart Records. The track is lifted from his last studio album ‘Snake Pit Therapy‘ and this is ‘Messed Up In Blue’. It seems right to play a track from someone who came out of the same scene as Sonny – none other than the legend Stiv Bator with ‘Circumstantial Evidence’ taken from his LA sessions.

As we head into the home straight how about some classic London power pop punk rock from Los Pepes who never ever let you down with their bright and breezy take of melodic buzzsaw punk rock. They’ve released an impressive catalogue and here’s ‘Still Belong To Me’.

As we head into the past three songs its our first band from Austria in the shape of Tours with their new single ‘Language School’ injecting yet more power pop goodness into proceedings.

Smokers is another new band with a new track called ‘Irish Tenor’ These Oakland punks released their debut LP, The Rat That Gnawed the Ropeand is a really excellent album that we’ll review over the next week. Finally, we reach the end with a cut from the brand new Torme box set released by Cherry Red Records it features predominantly the Phil Lewis era of his work with Back To Babylon and Die Pretty and the live Bootleg album which we’ve got the track ‘Star’ to play out Episode 35 and I hope another show where we’ve brought you a whole bunch of top tunes. Let us know what else we should be playing or what you want to hear. Like – Share and Follow

In 1979, two school kids all hopped-up on punk-rock started their own group in their hometown of Hawthorne, Los Angeles (birthplace of the Beach Boys) and soon found themselves opening shows for notorious scene pioneers Black Flag. Jeff McDonald was fifteen, and his brother Steven McDonald was only eleven still an amazing story to this day maybe even more so today imagine an Eleven year old pulling his face off his phone to learn an instrument and go play a punk roc show.

Redd Kross’s forty-fifth birthday― an important anniversary for any group whose heart pulses at 45RPM―and the brothers celebrate the event with a veritable multimedia extravaganza. There’s a memoir, Now You’re One Of Us, due in November, with author Dan Epstein telling the group’s story in the McDonalds’ unmistakable (and occasionally contrary) voices. A brilliant rockumentary, ‘Born Innocent’, directed by Andrew Reich, will premiere later in the year. Most exciting of all, this new album―an eponymous double-album, no less, is packed with eighteen of their sharpest, most addictive songs thus far. The album is of course smattered with their now trade mark dayglo widescreen power chords, huge choruses with more layers than puff pastry rolls and tunes that will take up residency in your skull for weeks. Redd Kross are in the house ladies and gentlemen and thank fuck for that.

The record – oh didn’t I mention it’s a double LP? well, it is. Begins with one of the songs that was leaked out a few weeks ago with its gentle acoustic intro and those layered vocals I alluded to earlier then – Bang! we’re in the fuzzed-up Bass is leading the charge.

I don’t want a long drawn-out review I’ll just give a brief airbrushed overview and let you rush out and get your own copy. Hell, click the link and get the record it even comes with a download so you can get an instant hit.

‘Stunt Queen’ goes a little more aggressively which is nice before we head back into the gentler more melodic ‘The Main Attraction’. The album is a smidgeon under the hour mark which is nice and the ebb and flow is obvious from the off as ‘Cancion Enojada’ is louder whereas ‘Good Times Properganda Band’ is again more gentle with its psychedelic intro with the bass holding down the groove baby whilst the melody is classic Kross.

The album sounds like a slice of unabashed joy, really upbeat and packed with excitement. The middle of the record gets to the heart of the matter with ‘Terrible Band’ and ‘Stuff’ having its jangly moments and thick with melodies before ‘Too Good To Be True’ races off with my mind hitting on that dirty throbbing bassline before the guitar licks are choked out of the speakers, fantastic stuff.

There seems to be plenty of Ringo’s drum licks recycled here to great effect. ‘The Witches Stand’ is that a power ballad I hear? one of those late-night songs telling stories and catching everyone’s attention. Two albums worth of material wrapped into the one release is more than Redd Kross fans could have wished for and not for a second does it disappoint. There’s even time for a foot on the monitor rocker in the shape of ‘Lay Down And Die’ which is nice. All things considered, it’s a magical album with twists and turns and the vital Redd Kross non-negotiables included, we even have the sitar fused alt-rock of ‘Emanuelle Insane’ before the record is closed off with the fantastic first single off the record ‘Born Innocent’ now when is the film out again? and when can we get those UK tour dates put out again and the sooner the better please gents. Another must-own record courtesy of Redd Kross.

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Author: Dom Daley

DEALING WITH DAMAGE RETURN WITH NEW SINGLE ‘HEAD FULL OF FEEDBACK’

UK TOUR WITH MIDWAY STILL STARTS JULY 9th

Following the release of their second album ‘Use The Daylight’ in early 2023 and a raft of gigs with the likes of Girls Against Boys, Soulside, Moving Targets, Messthetics, Diaz Brothers, Danger!Man, Ruts DC amongst many others, London post-punk band Dealing With Damage are set to return afresh in 2024 with new music. Having spent the last few months working up new songs, and a new bass player in Owen Cox, Dealing With Damage are ready to release the first finished track from these sessions in new single ‘Head Full Of Feedback.

Recorded once again at Perry Vale Studios with the legend that is Pat Collier, then mixed at The Mix Dungeon by long-term collaborator Roop Coulson and mastered by Paul Yeadon, ‘Head Full of Feedback’ is dripping in melody, noise and propulsive drums and bass, clattering and swirling as it oozes out of your speakers directly into your head.

“It’s a somewhat elaborate thank you note to my daughter for chipping away over the past 5 years at my previous refusal to listen to Sonic Youth,” explains vocalist and guitarist Ed Wenn. “I had seen them a couple of times in the 80s and didn’t like what I saw or heard, so consigned them to the ‘Do Not Resuscitate’ pile. A couple of years ago I investigated the music that I heard coming out of her room and discovered that these off-kilter, twisted, intelligent, sometimes downright beautiful pop nuggets were from none other than Sonic Youth.

“As for the song itself, it was nice to write a story song about something light-hearted for a change. A lot of DWD lyrics walk along the serious side of the street, so it was great fun to write about art, music and memories of the 1980s when life was full possibilities and we had more than 3 weeks left to save the planet. We made full use of our new bass player, Owen’s playing style to come up with a solid bass/drums platform and built everything up from there. It’s an evolution of the DWD sound and I think reflects a growing confidence in our ability to spread our wings after the positive feedback (pun intended!) that the experimentation of the second album, “Use The Daylight” received in the press and from audiences.”

Following the new single release, Dealing With Damage will head out on a UK tour with friends Midway Still that starts July 9th in Sheffield. The band are working on new material for further releases throughout the year. Watch this space.

Catch Dealing With Damage on tour with Midway Still in July at the following dates:

July 9     Sheffield, Record Junkee

July 10   Birmingham, Sunflower Lounge

July 11   Portsmouth, The Edge Of The Wedge

July 12   London, The Hope & Anchor

July 13   Brighton, Prince Albert

July 14   Southampton, The Hobbit (*headline gig)

Tickets onsale at skiddle.com

Find Dealing With Damage at: WEBSITE FACEBOOK BANDCAMP TWITTER INSTAGRAM YOUTUBE

This Week I’m joined in the Pumphouse by Chris ‘Not Too Posh To Mosh’ Davies as Hotshot is on annual leave and we bring you some of the best releases around as well as a host of old classics from the RPM Online vault.

We begin with a record we reviewed on its 10th Anniversary as LA Drugz take us to the ‘Outside Place’ before we drop one of the new songs of the brand new album from Dion Lunadon that we reviewed last week as ‘Memory Burn’ is out soon on Beast Records and will be well worth the wait for fuzzed up garage rockers everywhere.

Blackwater popped into my head recently as one of those bands who promised so much but kinda faded off the radar and then the next thing you know they’ve called it a day so we bring you their finest track in ‘Moon On A Stick’. The Mighty Chuck Norris Experiment have a brand new album out and it features a cover of Zodiac Mindwarps ‘Prime Mover’ which we feature for your listening pleasure. Check out the review and head over to their Bandcamp page or the excellent Ghost Highway Records who have a veritable feast of records you need to own as do the American partners in this release over at Savage Magic Records. .

With a double damage headline tour set for next week Suede and the Manics are up next with a track each one being their most recent single and the Manics featured with their debut ‘Suicide Alley’ taking us down memory lane with a choice cut. We head further down the wormhole with a track from the mighty Tin Machine and their song ‘Under The God’.

One artist we miss at RPM Online is the constant presence of Jesse Malin and his UK tours but since he had his illness and his spinal Stroke diagnosis he’s obviously been putting his health first and rightly so. RPM Online sends Jesse all the PMA we can muster and are delighted to feature a track off his new Wicked Cool Records Album and its a stunning rip through ‘State Of The Art’, Hit up the link in his name and check out the review and get involved we need Jesse fighting fit and back doing what he was born to do. Maybe next week we’ll feature his version of the Bad Brains classic ‘I And I Survive’ featuring his good pal HR and its a stunning version.

We head down under for some C.O.F.F.I.N. and a cut off their amazing new album and this time its the epic ‘Fast Love’. A stunning song from a stunning album that’s still as fresh as the day it was released. Ruts DC have recorded volume three of their Elecra Acoustic albums and this one is equally as strong as the first two and this one also has a new track but we’ve chosen the awesome ‘Dope For Guns’ like you’ve never heard it before. We were super excited to get news that one of our favourite Noo Yawk bands has a new single recorded and we were lucky enough to be able to bring you the lead track ‘Fast Dreams’ a song that will be a real rush for fans of the band as they deliver their punked up power pop and do it like only Wyldlife can. Welcome back guys we’ve missed you and we look forward to the new album. No Pressure.

This summer has already seen some awesome touring festivals and Spain were treated to a set from Canada’s finest The Black Halos so it would be rude for us not to feature them with a track from their Bandcamp release of Demos and F.F.T.S. is a banger so it fitted right in with this week’s awesome line up. Wish we could have been at that festival with those guys Demolition 23 and Scott ‘Deluxe’ Drake Man, it would have been a blast.

South Wales’s finest and one of The RPM Online Its A Revolution team has only gone and recorded a brand new bunch of songs to make up their debut record. The Shunkos made us hungry with the first song off the album ‘Chippy Tea’ in all its battered glory. Keeping it in the UK it’s time to squeeze in Yobs and their dirty sleazy garage banger ‘Shitty Eye’ you could do a lot worse than check out these masked marauders and their fuzzed-up fucked up garage punk.

The Penultimate track is courtesy of the Japanese CD from Endorphiends featuring Damian Cullen and a couple of Kill City Dragons. Who knows why this album popped into my head but I’m glad it did and ‘Supersonic’ still sounds fantastic. Leaving just one track left to play and this week Chris lets of some steam with a short sharp blast of Noo Yawk Hardocre in the shape of the mighty Bloodclot with the pure Fire ‘Fire’. Until Next week keep it RPM Online – Turn it up and Horns Up! Follow (and don’t miss an episode)-Subscribe (keep updated)-Share(it would be selfish not to get these awesome songs and bands into as many ears as humanly possible. Its a jungle out there but it needs a soundtrack and we can provide it.

Is it really volume three of the Ruts going Acoustic? How time flies when you’re enjoying as the saying goes and to be fair the first two volumes were bloody excellent. Punks might no like it but it seems to be in vogue and when you have the songs and the talent then why the hell not. The Ruts and Ruts DC certainly had the tunes and the talent and giving these volumes a through listen it makes perfect sense to reimagine so many great songs.

Hearing bands like Ruts DC strip it back to the very bare bones and the essence of where the songs come from makes sense and gives another flavour or way of interpreting what the songs are all about it also gives further appreciation for the originally released format of the music. Johnny Cash, Woodie Guthrie, and Johnny Thunders they all used acoustics when they felt like it so why not?

What you do have with Ruts DC is the power and the attack still captured in the DNA of the songs as well as that deep Bass groove. there’s no bullshit just bare live rock n roll stripped of any pretentions or studio fuckery. From the off ‘Vox Teardrop’ through the superb ‘Dope For Guns’ you get the clarity of a band who clearly love what they create and are precision performers who leave nothing to luck. Alongside old classics and more recent numbers, you have a brand new song in the shape of ‘Bound InBlood’ with its haunting melody and vocal delivery its sheer class and alongside the diversity of ‘Jah War’ and the punk rock of ‘Human Punk’ what you have is a solid slab of loud acoustic rock n roll. It might not be for every taste bu those who have it will get on board and love this volume and as the band says play it loud because that is how it was intended and recorded melody, ideals, rhythm and bloody great songs is all the information you need now stop procrastinating and go get a copy. remember these guitars kill fascists and the Ruts DC knows how to use them.

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Author: Dom Daley

Ruts DC head out on tour –

ELECTRacoustic Tour 2024
Tue 9th July WALTHAMSTOW Trades Hall

Wed 10th July BRIGHTON The Albert
Thur 11th July BEDFORD Esquires
Fri 12th July HUDDERSFIELD The Parish

Sat 13th July NUNEATON Queens Hall
Sun 14th July DERBY Hound Dog
Tue 16th July WORCESTER Marrs Bar
Wed 17th July BRISTOL Fleece
Thur 18th July YORK Crescent
Fri 19th July DUNFERMLINE PJ Molloys 
Sat 20th July STOCKTON Georgian Theatre 
Sun 21st July  CARLISLE Old Fire Station
Fri 26th July WORCESTER Marrs Bar  
Sat 27th July DARWEN Library Theatre

Man, I love Jesse Malin’s work from the first time I heard D Generation through his solo work and side projects I’ve chased the lot also having seen the guy live with bands in D Gen and on his own his output is magical and nothing short of genius so when I heard he was cancelling his UK tour and had fallen ill to some debilitating illness that turned out to be a spinal stroke. I was worried for the guy and wished him a full and speedy recovery (and still do) I know the process is long and hard for Jesse but if anyone has got this then it’s him I still send him all the PMA in the world and hope he reschedules that tour of the UK so can welcome him back to the fold personally.

Tommy Stinson, Cat Popper, and Gogol Bordello’s Eugene Hütz, who sings with Malin on the Pogues’ “If I Should Fall From Grace with God.” The concert was filmed over two shows in January 2022 at the Sheen Center in New York City, a year before Malin suffered a spinal stroke that affected his ability to walk. He’s currently undergoing physical therapy and stem-cell treatments at a Buenos Aires, Argentina clinic. “I am getting some strength back in my legs, but it moves much slower than I would like. I don’t want to portray it like I’m ready to do the James Brown splits onstage,” he told RS in December. “I definitely have a long way to go, but I’m blessed and so grateful for the amazing fans and friends that I have.”

The record comes in a lovely gatefold and my copy also contains the Blue Ray of the show which is a nice bonus and it also comes with a really nice twelve-page picture booklet. the album spans Malin’s career thus far and the post-Covid electric band he was touring with that I was lucky enough to see when he hit the UK.

The album starts with a cool rendition of ‘State Of The Art’ its raw Baby and the songs benefit from that raw emotion and the production has really managed to capture that feeling perfectly, the Guitars are jumping out of the speakers with the mix coming across like you’re in the middle of the room as the show is unfolding. Awesome stuff.

Even on the slower more stripped bare songs like ‘Amerika’ the power of the song is fantastic. This isn’t Malin’s first live album but it just might be his finest. There are special guests like the legend that is Tommy Stinson from The Replacements and the incredible duet with H.R. from Bad Brains for a run-through ‘I and I Survive’ which gives me goosebumps as I type with the song blasting over the stereo whilst the guitar gently weeps on the solo – stunning isn’t hyperbole or a superlative over the top, its just that good. The rip through ‘If I Should Fall From Grace With God’ is as much fun as anyone has ever had covering the mighty Pogues and I’m sure Shane would most definitely approve.

The album ends with a rustic piano-heavy ‘Meet Me At The End Of The World’ which gives the Stones a run for their money post ‘Exile’ those Noo Yawk horns are magnificent and sleazy when they hit the spot. This only leaves an emotional and sultry ‘Greener Pastures’ with its shimmering guitar work it’s a behemoth way to end the record with my personal favourite from the last studio album.

‘Chasing The Light’ has got me daydreaming of the day we get to stand in the same room again as Malin and his band and we get to hear these songs once again live in the flesh but until that day I’ll take the superb ‘Chasing The Light’ as the next best thing. PMA Jesse, you go this and until we meet again keep on rocking and getting back to your old self. Buy It

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Author: Dom Daley

Seemingly having been around forever it’s right here right now that The Chuck Norris Experiment have reached their full loudest potential after spending the best part of two decades honing their skills and perfecting their song it’s finally here.

’20’ is the loudest heaviest and fuckin best record these Scandinavian marauding punk n rollers can offer. No longer just players in a scene these ruggedly handsome noisemakers are leading the scene after the Turbonegro sized void that has been needing filling CNE are here to poke their flag in the ground and stake their claim and after the metallic intro of ‘Fight’ has died down you are left in no doubt about how fuckin good this record is. Gothenburg is the place to be at the moment with CNE and Upploppet leading the charge both with new albums to champion.

Apart from sounding loud as fuck on the recording the riffs are huge and the band have never sounded so focussed. I thought ‘Shortcuts’ was on point but this is next level. ‘You Go Boom’ is sharp to the point and has a bassline to give the earth tremors and the guitars are sharp as samurai blades. Ok so I’m not so keen on their take on ‘Prime Mover’ sure it’s a no-brainer to cover and it fits right in but I’d have preferred they do another original not that there’s anything wrong with it mind its banging but a bit of a surprise.

With eleven tracks on offer played loud, this is exhilarating stuff. ‘Surprise (everybody Dies)’ is a blast as it goes through the gears but then so does ‘Hard Time/Easy Living’ and not a single fuck is given, true enough Chuck my man. Hell, ‘Life In Hypercolour’ is thrashing it taking no prisoners it’s like bloodletting from those razor-sharp riffs to the crisp backing gang vocals they nail this death punk hard rock crossover and it should see them play bigger shows across the globe they’ve worked their collective backsides off for it and nail it. If you thought they were taking it easy duck! ‘Deadshot’ is heading outta the speakers at breakneck speed and taking no prisoners.

If you’re waiting for the comedown and acoustic ballad to reset your heart rate then forget it. this record only ups the ante and the final cuts ‘Out Of Your League’ and ‘Bats!’ are killer cuts. In fact this record gets better and better the deeper you get into the record. Sublime and I truly mean that The Chuck Norris Experiment have finally delivered the good from start to finish this is absolutely top-notch punk n roll. Turn it up and fill yer boots you won’t regret it CNE are in da fuckin house and taking no prisoners. Buy IT!

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Order at the official CNE webshop here>>

EU orders here>>

US orders here>>
Big Cartel here>>

Author: Dom Daley

Big Paul Ferguson – drummer, cofounder, co-writer of the seminal UK band Killing Joke, and former member of Murder, Inc., Crush and The Orb, has joined forces with guitarist/writer Paul Williams, of UK industrial rock band Chaos 8; and Fred Schreck, vocalist/bass player/writer of NYC-based rock band The Ancients, Satellite Paradiso and Crush, to form a new project named Light of Eternity (LOE). 

Started in August of 2023 as a side project, LOE quickly became the focal point for the musical skills of each of these seasoned musicians. Their first release, Edge of Fate (downloadable on https://lightofeternity.bandcamp.com), is an impactful collection of four songs displaying a taste of their collective range. 

With plans to release new material every few months, their aim is to expand their audience with their musical power, depth, and emotional charge.  

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OK here’s where I am. The Music business is often like swimming with sharks, which is not at all pleasant but if you feel the need to get in that beautiful rewarding blue water you have to take the plunge and take a chance. The murky waters often reward and make that risk worthwhile. Now The Wildhearts have had the wonderful uplands and sadly the lowlands of turmoil and very public self-harm. Often with such risk you have a real high (Album releases, great tours the full Makonky) followed by the low of lows and acrimonious fall outs all exasperated by the modern world we live in where the mere mortals have access to the main players and a social media content that is available at the blink of an eye.  It wasn’t that long ago we all thought we’d seen the last of the Wildhearts and this time they were indeed broken beyond repair and the band simply couldn’t exist in each other’s orbit and couldn’t or wouldn’t admit it but as soon as that was realised the main players moved on and wounds started to heal. Rumours around a return of the name The Wildhearts were rife and alas a brand new lineup emerged. Fast forward to an album in the can acoustic shows from Ginger where the general vibe was really positive and the band had a new mojo and were ready to rock. Ginger seemed really up about what was happening and the day arrived it was all roads to Shepherds Bush Empire and lets Rock.

First up were the hard-rocking amigos that are Asomvel. They are unashamed hard rockin’ mofos. The four-piece take every hard rock cliché and embrace it and live it like they clearly love it. Marshall stacks unlike any band has used for about three decades that Biff n Lemmy would be proud of, plenty of Studded bullet bets and leather jackets, not to mention the odd legs akimbo and fist punching. Its game on as they embrace the void left by the mighty Motorhead and unashamedly try and fill an infinitesimal spec of it. Whether you like em or loath them you have to admit they do it with panache and a true belief that there is no other way from the hoarse vocals to the screaming les Pauls they go for it with boundless energy and enthusiasm. Vocalist and bass playing Lemmy lover Ralph pirouettes when prowling the stage like Lem did and even bares a passing resemblance the only thing lacking was the big hook, but hey, that can come, one step at a time. Besides  they were having a ball even ending their set with a full band bow that was lapped up by many who got in early to catch their set. Being unfamiliar with their music didn’t help but their brand of hard rock is a fine art and one that isn’t being practiced by many so more power to them. These gents were ‘Born To Rock and Roll’ just like their song said and who would deny them?

Merthyr three-piece Florence Black were up next with their heavy as hell Soundgarden meets Alice In Chains style. It’s the perfect platform for powerhouse vocalist Thomas who has thr vocals to fit that style perfectly. What they offered is a hard rock,  sludgy, ‘riff-heavy as breezeblocks’ sound that this scene needs. Even with some technical problems that potentially tried to derail them, they recovered to entertain large sections of the audience – someone else’s audience I might add, and to be fair they had the best sound of the night where a rich crystal clear sound filled not only the Empire but half of West London I’d imagine. Safe to say my Rockin Welsh brothers delivered the good and went down really well. ymdrech dda bachden.

Whilst I might not have read Kerrang for about 30 years I would imagine they are some hot shit at the moment with a critically acclaimed record on the shelves. In vocalist and guitarist Tristan Thomas he has a voice right up there with the best of this genre and one that deserves to be heard and not buried in time. Even if you aren’t a fan of the genre you have to surrender to their enthusiasm and passion for what it is they’ve chosen to do.

With the stage cleared to reveal a minimalist set made up of an old school drum riser and some platforms flanked by some confetti canons and big boys sparklers, The latest incarnation of The Wildhearts were about to be birthed so without delay the band took to the Empire Stage to be greeted like returning heroes. The set promises plenty of twists and turns so opening with ‘Sleepaway’ isn’t safe at all (good effort) the band cover pretty much every inch of the stage and new boy Ben Marsden is beaming like a Cheshire cat as he lays down the riffs like he’s been at this for years, offering a different style and approach to some very familiar songs and I liked his Angus Young style solos. He offered up an excellent alternative style to what Ginger does and it worked, because they worked and he was laying his stamp on some fan favourites all with a contagious beaming smile across his cheeky chops. 

Ginger seemed in good spirits and wanted to get on with his job and entertain the masses. He seemed genuinely moved as well with the feedback from the rapturous audience who embraced every second of the set, which was exactly as promised, varied and with pyro – It was a new band with new energy obviously the set had its non-negotiable must plays like ‘Caffeine Bomb’ ‘Shitville’ and ‘Headfuck’ but the best songs of the night for me were the excellent inclusion of ‘Slaughtered Authors’ with that magical bassline opener as well as ‘The Jackson Whites’.  Sure I love to hear the “classics” but with such a vast catalogue its great to hear songs from outside the box or what might be deemed the safe set.

Sure they could have ploughed through 90 minutes of bangers but this is the Wildhearts for fucks sake that’s not going to cut it. There was also time for a pair of new songs that will make up the new album set for later in the year and the latter being almost Ballad like ‘Hurt People Hurt People’  and the most out of the Wheelhouse for the Wildhearts and dare I say not your typical Ginger solo song either. The first however was much more a “Wildhearts” song ‘Eventually’.

All things considered, this was a win for The Wildhearts and having Ben on board seems like a great move from Ginger his positive PMA and quality of playing can only be a boon going forward and for a first outing this can only be considered a win. oh, and having big boys sized sparklers and confetti cannons is always nice – not enough bands go the whole hog mog. Just when you thought it might be all over they rise from the ashes and exciting times are once again there for The Wildhearts to grasp with both hands. Onwards and upwards the music world is always better when The Wildhearts are making music and entertaining us live. Now, let’s get the album released and get this shit on the road around shit island so everyone gets to see the triumphant rebirth of The Wildhearts it’ll make you happy.

Author: Dom Daley