With the release of this their seventh album on the then-new label Epic, The Stranglers wanted to shake things up a bit, veer off on a tangent and explore new sounds and push back those punk boundaries they never felt a part of anyway.

This expanded reissue on coloured vinyl and two-disc CD is celebrating the band’s 40th anniversary I thought that this day would even be of any significance in the band’s rich tapestry of a career.

With the synthesisers and electronic drums to the fore, ‘Feline’ delved into a much more diverse career path for the band, with a more European feel to proceedings. Recently departed David Greenfield is very prominent in the mix.

So that’s the early 80s with synths and acoustic guitars over electric, a new wave was certainly in the air. The press at the time was most unkind probably because it didn’t fit into any comfortable genre of convenience and we still know that that is never good. It did, however, follow on from the absolute monster crossover hit that was ‘Golden Brown’ which might have signalled the band’s shift into new more comfortable shoes perhaps?

The opener ‘Midnight Summer Dream’ with its mellow intro and snapping 80s synth the transformation was underway. The spoken vocals of Hugh Cornwell were also supported by Jean-Jacques Burnells lead vocals on the single ‘European Female’, via the acoustic-driven ‘Small World’. Maybe looking back and the power of hindsight it’s now no big deal to hear this twisted New Wave experimental Stranglers but back in the day it was a big deal and punk rock points were most certainly removed.

Whilst still very much a Stranglers album, with the power of hindsight there are a lot of chances taken by a brave band who didn’t follow convention nor pay lip service to the press its an experiment that clearly didn’t really hamper the band at all and looking back possibly with more grown-up eyes and ears there is a bigger appreciation for this brave new world the men in black stepped into.

The initial press of ‘Feline’ had ‘Aural Sculpture Manifesto’ single sided single which is part of the second disc along with a plethora of different mixes, like ‘Savage Breast’ and ‘Pawsher’ and the reggae-infused ‘Permission’ so there are no excuses not to get the full picture of where the band were at in 1983.

If you passed this by the first time around now is the chance to play it back and have a newfound appreciation for the band spreading its creative tentacles far and wide and not just churning out the thumping bass-driven alternative rock they were known for.

order here 👉https://stranglers.tmstor.es/

Author: Dom Daley


Rebellion Festival, the largest punk and alternative festival in the world, is returning in 2022 even bigger and better with the launch of new outdoor event R-FEST.

Confirmed to take place this coming 4th to 7th of August 2022, in addition to Rebellion Festival at its annual home the Winter Gardens, R-FEST will be located slap bang in front of Blackpool Tower on the promenade, directly down from the Winter Gardens. The organisers are building an arena with the sea on one side and the town on the other, with a capacity for 15,000 punters and space for bars, food, and band merchandise.

Today, R-FEST are proud to announce the line-up of bands now confirmed to perform across the four days. Whilst still staying true to the punk and alternative roots of Rebellion Festival, R-FEST looks to broaden the scope of artists playing to include acts who had their origins in alternative music but went on to achieve huge mainstream success.

With Levellers, The Stranglers, Gary Numan and Squeeze all set to take headline positions, they join a host of other artists scheduled to play and R-FEST can announce the following line-ups.

THURSDAY 4th AUGUST: Levellers, The Wildhearts, Misty in Roots, Dreadzone, Ferocious Dog, Beans on Toast, Millie Manders and the Shut Up

FRIDAY 5th AUGUST: The Stranglers, The Undertones, The Skids, From the Jam, Toyah, Jilted John, The Vapors

SATURDAY 6th AUGUST: Gary Numan, Peter Hook & the Light, Pop Will Eat Itself, Spear of Destiny, Chameleons, Primitives, Pete Bentham & the Dinner Ladies

SUNDAY 7th AUGUST: Squeeze, SPECIAL GUEST TBA, Tom Robinson Band, Hollie Cook, Buzzcocks, Altered Images, I, Doris

“At last!” exclaims organiser Jennie Russell-Smith. “After the long delays and world craziness we are absolutely delighted to give you the full R-FEST line up for 2022 (apart from one special guest slot that will be worth waiting for). It has not been easy to pull all of these amazing bands together for four days, many bands are still rescheduling shows from 2020, but we are all incredibly excited for our first ever R-FEST line up; four days of bands in the incredible headland arena with the tower and the Wintergardens on one side and the Irish Sea on the other! It’s going to be amazing!!

R-FEST will quickly establish itself as the North West’s premier music festival and Rebellion Festival look forward to welcoming many fans that could be experiencing one of their events for the first time. We’re sure they will be welcomed by the Rebellion Family and soon realise why Blackpool is such a special place for our summer gatherings.

R-FEST is a standalone festival and day tickets are available at £50 per day. However, if you are a REBELLION weekend or REBELLION day ticket holder your ticket will get into R-FEST Free Of Charge!

R-FEST is all ages and there is re-entry available.

Rebellion Festival also looks forward to hosting the best punk from around the world in 2022 with the likes of Sham 69, Bad Religion, Circle Jerks, Cock Sparrer and Stiff Little Fingers confirmed to play the Winter Gardens August 4th-7th 2022.

Head to www.rebellionfestivals.com/r-fest for all info and tickets.  







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 2020 continues to up the ante.


This year sees Original Rudeboy – The Specials Neville Staple joining the party 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 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. Two extra special guest performers are due to be announced soon along with a wealth of awards.


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 the action from the last two VLR Awards Here



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

I’d witnessed every Alice Cooper show in Wales… until the last one. Why the sabbatical? It was an all-seated affair – the anathema of the true rock ‘n’ roll fan. So why, a number of years later, did I find myself taking a seat in the very same venue to attend the final show on the UK leg of the Godfather of Shock Rock’s ‘Ol’ Black Eyes Is Back’ tour? Well, after squinting my RnR morals and convincing myself that Alice’s legendary live show fusion of vaudeville and Grand Guignol would be the one thing that would suit an all-seated affair, and questioning just how many more times I would get the chance to see the artist formerly known as Vincent Furnier, I conceded that there were worse things to do on a Saturday night in the run-up to All Hallow’s Eve than watch one of the most iconic performers of his generation.

“Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!” A curious choice of term to administer to the auditory canals of hundreds of ageing rock fans sat down at around teatime, you’d think. Not when it’s coming from the MC50, the alternative supergroup of sorts put together by the legendary Wayne Kramer to honour the legacy of his original band, the MC5. With Kramer, bedecked with red, white, and blue outfit and matching guitar, flanked by guitarist Kim Thayil of Soundgarden, bass player Billy Gould of Faith No More, with Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty bringing up the rear and Zen Guerilla frontman Marcus Durant finger-snapping front and centre, this would be a true rock ‘n’ roll spectacle to see based on line-up alone; if, of course, the band didn’t have a slew of time-honoured tunes to back it up.

‘Kick Out The Jams’ came early (second song in, following a Kramer-fronted ‘Ramblin’ Rose’) but it was a lighting of the touch paper of an incendiary nine-song set that didn’t shave an inch off the original MC5’s legendary status. A classic one-two-three of ‘Come Together’, ‘Motor City is Burning’, and ‘Borderline’ was given a riotous rock ‘n’ roll run for its money by the similarly pulsing ‘Everything’, ‘Call Me Animal’, and ‘Sister Anne’, before Durant – a masterstroke of frontman recruitment, it has to be noted: towering in both stature and vocal prowess – took off his seemingly perma-shades for a set-closing ‘Looking At You’. “Fight The Power!” a Trump-baiting Kramer shouted as the band left the stage, victorious… and I fought the urge to tell the clod-eared jokers around me who had retreated to the bar to swill overpriced beer down their insipid, Planet Rock-loving necks that they had turned their backs on probably the best band to ever open a three-band-bill at the ungodly hour of 7 pm.

The gentleman seated next to my good self was witnessing The Stranglers live for the thirty-fifth time and, it soon became very clear, a lot of people were there to see the veteran act. It’s almost thirty years now since Hugh Cornwell left the band, but his current replacement, Baz Warne (as featured on a lengthy list of former Toy Dolls band members), is more than a worthy successor to the position; the singer/guitarist more than at home alongside original members, bassist/vocalist Jean-Jacques Burnel and keyboardist Dave Greenfield, plus (baby-faced in comparison) drummer Jim Macaulay.

‘Relentless’, from 2016’s ‘Suite XVI’, reminded everyone in attendance that this band isn’t just a nostalgia act on the retro tour circuit, but the core of the setlist (as many would have expected/hoped of a shorter, eleven-song support set) was culled from the most famed corners of the band’s back catalogue. From opener ‘Toiler On The Sea’ to the set-closing ‘No More Heroes’, via ‘Nice ‘n’ Sleazy’, ‘Peaches’, ‘(Get a) Grip (on Yourself)’, and, of course, ‘Golden Brown’, The Stranglers did nothing but impress upon those not already converted that they had been spectators of a classy performance from one of the truly great British bands. It may have lacked the adrenalin kick of the MC50’s set, but the Meninblack produced something as cool and slick as black ice.

All-seated? Pah! The curtain hiding Alice Cooper’s latest stage set – his Nightmare Castle – hadn’t hit the deck before almost every single person in the floor seating area was on their hooves, bolt (in the neck) upright, raising fists and yelling in the direction of opener, ‘Feed My Frankenstein’. That opener (culled from 1991’s ‘Hey Stoopid’) was an early indicator as to the tone of the show, with many tunes pulled kicking and screaming from that mid-eighties onwards cock shock rock period of the Alice Cooper story. Guitarist Nita Strauss, a whirling dervish throwing out, at times, Vinnie Vincent-like numbers of notes, was perfectly suited to paying the utmost rocking respect to this era; her hard-hitting shredding style underpinning ‘Bed Of Nails’ (from 1989’s ‘Trash’), ‘Roses On White Lace’ (from 1987’s ‘Raise Your Fist And Yell’), and the ‘Constrictor’ duo of ‘Teenage Frankenstein’ and ‘He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)’. The latter was, of course, featured on the soundtrack of 1986 horror sequel Friday the 13th, Part 6: Jason Lives, and this unashamed Eighties horror obsessive loved hearing it in the set. Jason himself made an on-stage appearance too; goring the throat of a teen with a plastic machete before revealing that the man behind the mask was none other than – yep, you’ve guessed it – that fella whose face was on those thirty quid T-shirts in the foyer.

The song choices weren’t purely focussed on big hair and big scares, however: ‘Raped and Freezin’ made a most welcome return to the setlist, a true highlight to be honest, and ‘My Stars’ and ‘Muscle of Love’ checked the same box too. ‘Fallen in Love’, from 2017’s ‘Paranormal’, appears to be a mainstay in the set nowadays and fits in perfectly and, writing of mainstays, ‘Poison’ appeared surprisingly early at the mid-point of the set, following a seminal one-two of ‘I’m Eighteen’ and ‘Billion Dollar Babies’.

Babies, you say? Arguably the most ludicrous yet entertaining of Alice’s stage props appeared after a breathless ‘execution’ section where a twisted fusion of ‘Steven’, ‘Dead Babies’, ‘I Love The Dead’, and ‘Escape’ saw the Coop rid himself of straightjacket, cleaver a baby’s head off, lose his own head via tried and trusted guillotine, then burst back from the dead via a coffin adorned with his legendary eye make-up: interspersed by a giant inflatable baby toddling around with his severed head, of course.

There was a Chuck Garric-sized hole on the stage – the bass player temporarily replaced by Hollywood Vampires four-stringer Chris Wyse, who certainly has the pedigree (The Cult, Ozzy, Ace Frehley) if not the same stage presence – but Strauss attempted to fill it at every available opportunity. Glen Sobel remains one of the finest drummers hitting the skins today – that punters didn’t return to their seats during his drum solo says a lot – and the über cool six-string pairing of Ryan Roxie and Tommy Henriksen never fails to impress, inspire, and make a little jealous, even if the latter has added a meta twist these days by channelling his inner Andy McCoy and looking not unlike Electric Angels era Roxie.

After the aforementioned ‘Teenage Frankenstein’ closed the main set, Alice reappeared for the two-song encore wearing a Wales football shirt – with Cooper and the number 18 on the back, obviously – and parked the proverbial bus for an understandably incredible run through the classic ‘Under My Wheels’. Only one song could have brought the night(mare) to an all-too-early conclusion. Original Alice Cooper band bass player Dennis Dunaway had joined the stage for ‘School’s Out’ earlier on the tour, but for the Welsh date it was first Wayne Kramer, then Kim Thayil who stepped up; the latter half-inching Henriksen’s guitar and having to be guided through the now-expected mid-song segue into ‘Another Brick in the Wall’. Before class was over, the rest of the MC50 and all of The Stranglers were on the stage for proper throwback end-of-tour hijinks in keeping with the Eighties feel of the setlist.

I have never seen a bad Alice Cooper show, and nothing changed on an October night in the Welsh capital. In fact, if the stewards employed at the Motorpoint Arena had been as torch-happy as the cinema ushers of my youth (when I first experienced some of these Cooper tunes) then I would have found myself on the edge of my seat…

Author: Gaz Tidey

Photos courtesy of Nev Brooks




Live at the 100 Club is available now on red vinyl, CD, and download

Professor and the Madman announce that they have personally fulfilled all orders for their Live at the 100 Club album. Recorded in August 2018, Live at the 100 Club was initially offered for pre-order exclusively through the crowdfunding website PledgeMusic. However, after months of delays, the campaign was temporarily derailed when PledgeMusic operations shuttered in May.

“Pledge was such a great conduit between the artists and the fans and it should have been bulletproof,” says the band’s Sean Elliott. “I’m sad to see it gone.”

Picking up where PledgeMusic left off, Live at the 100 Club is now available exclusively on red vinyl LP and CD Here. It is also available digitally at all retail platforms.

The album features a dozen tracks which span PATM’s trio of studio albums alongside two new entries to the band’s discography. “Nuclear Boy” is a cover of the 1981 power pop entry by Hollywood-based 20/20, while “Quit This Town” was first released in 1977 by UK rock act Eddie and the Hot Rods. The live version of the latter track features a guest appearance by former Hot Rods songwriter/guitarist Graeme Douglas.

Live at the 100 Club was recorded at the famed London hotspot on August 10, 2018. In existence since 1942, the venue located at 100 Oxford Street began as a jazz and swing music nightclub but is now best known for its role in the evolution of Britain’s punk rock movement. In September 1976, the 100 Club hosted an international punk festival which included performances by the Sex Pistols, The Damned, The Clash, Buzzcocks, The Jam, The Stranglers, and Siouxsie and the Banshees, among others.

With its rich punk history, the 100 Club was the ideal venue for Professor and the Madman’s UK debut. The group’s lineup is comprised of members with deep roots in the scene: singer/guitarist Alfie Agnew (Adolescents, D.I.), singer/guitarist Sean Elliott (D.I., Mind Over Four), Rat Scabies (The Damned), and Paul Gray (The Damned, Eddie & the Hot Rods, UFO).

Billed as a ‘One Night Only’ event, the 100 Club show provided a rare chance to see this version of the band. Due to the distance between Agnew and Elliott in Southern California, and Scabies and Gray in the UK, logistics make it difficult for the quartet to convene for live performances. For the majority of PATM’s live dates in America, Agnew and Elliott are joined by fellow musicians from Orange County, CA.

Professor and the Madman released their third studio album, ‘Disintegrate Me’, in February 2018. Choosing the group as one of its “Bands to Watch in 2018,” Classic Rock Magazine declared “Disintegrate Me is an infectious cocktail of power-pop/rock, ‘60s British Invasion and melodic psychedelia. It’s rich, quality stuff.”

Agnew, Elliott, Scabies, and Gray are currently at work on a new album for release next year.



What’s that musty smell? Ah yes, it’s emanating from the veritable feast of vintage collectables housed in the Pop Culture Schlock archive. For your delectation today I take you back to the Christmas of 1979; a seminal decade of music about to come to an end and give way to the dawn of a more brash, more brazen ten year period…


If you were a good, music-loving boy or girl in 1979 and had a.) done well in school, and; b.) not scratched your big brother’s vinyl, then there was a good chance that you’d find the Rock On! Annual 1980 nestled under the Christmas tree in your modest living room.


“The Rock What Annual?” I hear you exclaim, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed at your lack of knowledge on this subject because, truth be told, Rock On! magazine was a short-lived, oft-forgotten publication… if you’d ever heard of it at all.


Rock On! magazine debuted with an issue cover-dated May 1978. Debbie Harry featured on its cover and the mag – costing a whole 25p – promised a healthy mix of punk, new wave, heavy metal, and prog rock. It kept its promise too as, over the course of seven eclectic issues, Rock On! dished out features and photo spreads on a dizzying cadre of top musical combos; from Status Quo to Sham 69, The Clash to KISS, Rush to The Rezillos. Meat Loaf graced a cover, Ozzy, too, until Issue 7, with Jimmy Pursey as its cover star, and cover-dated November 1978, when Rock On! disappeared from newsagent shelves. The editorial in that final issue wrote of the outrage of cutting off such a desirable publication in its prime but, if anything, Rock On! was a victim of its own blurring of genre lines: readers seemingly wanting specialist publications dedicated to singular strands of the rock ‘n’ roll world rather than this ambitious crossover style.


That final editorial, though, did offer some hope for the future; stating that it was the last Rock On! “in its present form”. Fast forward to around a year later and, in the Autumn of 1979, the true final piece of the Rock On! jigsaw arrived in shops and catalogues to complete the punk ‘n’ prog rocking picture.

With a scorching hot live photo of Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott on the cover, Rock On! Annual 1980 (price – £2.00) may well have been jostling for attention on the shelves alongside big-hitting television and film spin-off annuals, but it certainly looked the most badass. It was, the cover screamed, packed with pictures, facts, and quizzes on your favourite rock bands. It did not disappoint.


The heady mix of photo spreads and more in-depth features on select bands really did make Rock On! stand out from its competitors, and this annual amps that angle right up to eleven. The first photo spread was a “Tribute to Vocal Power!!!” (yes, with three exclamation marks) and featured cool live action shots of Joe Strummer, Johnny Rotten, Cherie Currie, Pete Townsend, Willy DeVille, Graham Parker, Joan Jett, and Mick Jagger. A good start, I’m sure you’ll agree.

Next up, a photo diary detailing a “hard band” going “soft” as The Stranglers met their devoted fans, followed by a quartet of stinging live shots of “the band the critics love to hate”, Status Quo. Rock On!’s attitude to those Quo critics could be “summed up in two fingers” readers were informed.


With barely a pause for breath, a six-page A-Z of Heavy Metal feature detailed the prime acts in the genre, from AC/DC to, erm, Wishbone Ash. A-W, then. A few curious names in this run-down, too: Prism, Quartz, and Mahogany Rush rubbing shoulders with the expected likes of Whitesnake, Black Sabbath, Judas Priest, and, a firm favourite on the turntable at RPM HQ, Uriah Heep. A “Heads Down Heavy Metal Quiz” followed: a select question being “On Your Feet Or On Your Knees was a double live album for which heavy metal superstars?”


A Ten Years of Genesis feature followed, the first in a series of in-depth essays by John Tobler. His similar two-page spread on the history of Queen followed, as did those dedicated to Thin Lizzy, Blue Öyster Cult, Rush, and KISS. The latter, subtitled “Kings of Shock Rock”, wrote of “the forty foot columns of fire that emit from Gene Simmons’ mouth” and, c’mon, if you were eight years old at Xmas 1979 you had every excuse for then falling head over platform heels in love with the idea of the hottest band in the world.

There was a Rock On! reggae report, a fashion guide of sorts where the Quo’s Rick Parfitt spoke of his love of jeans and Hugh Cornwell of The Stranglers of his love of raincoats (!), a Hi-Fi buying guide, a feature on sound engineers, a top DJ article covering John Peel and Anne Nightingale, plus one-page specials on Peter Gabriel and Ken Hensley of the Heep.


A photo spread of Ian Dury swimming (just your seven shots) padded out the pages, but not before an impressive photo set of live Black Sabbath shots appeared, a Star Cars article featuring Steve Jones, Meat Loaf, Midge Ure, and, ominously, Cozy Powell, a “Cult Heroes” feature detailing the likes of Iggy Pop, Nils Lofgren, Todd Rundgren, Tom Petty, and Bruce Spingsteen, and a “Sex ‘n’ Girls ‘n’ Rock ‘n’ Roll” spread featuring Debbie Harry, Joan Jett, Siouxsie Sioux, Linda Ronstadt, Annie Golden, Poly Styrene, Stevie Nicks, and Rachel Sweet.


A “That Was The Year That Was” feature dedicated to 1978 was an obvious leftover from the previous year’s magazine and makes for entertaining if a little sombre reading amongst the other genuinely funny articles. Rock On! was a cool magazine, with its tongue firmly in its cheek and its love of a broad range of music at the forefront of any thinking. Your Uber Rocks, your RPMs are all subconscious descendants of Rock On! magazine.

No annual is complete, however, without a pull-out poster section (even if no kid ever dared pull a poster out of an annual!), and Rock On! Annual 1980 does not disappoint in that department. There are pin-ups of the aforementioned Pursey, Rezillos, Dury, Harry, Clash, and Lynott, plus Bob Geldof, Paul Weller, Freddie Mercury, David Lee Roth, Jon Anderson, Elvis Costello, Paul Stanley, and the Buzzcocks. Great photos too.


The Rock On! Annual 1980 may well be an uncommon piece in the average music memorabilia collection, but it is certainly a worthy one. Copies turn up on the secondary market relatively cheaply and, yeah, you should pick one up if you get the chance. The Rock On! staff were most certainly music journalist mavericks, and we’ve all tried to go there, right? Search for this precious, rockin’ tome… or you might never know how Rick Parfitt’s aunt ironed his double denim.


Thanks for reading, and for the feedback on my first column on the debut Alice Cooper comic. I’ll be back next month with something suitably archaic that the rock ‘n’ roll world tried to forget. Search for Pop Culture Schlock 365 on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook

Friday is always a day where you are either confident that your pre Rebellion training is paying off or the first day that the hair of the dog feels like a great idea and you start to feel the burn.

After a hearty breakfast in some greasy spoon or a vegan falafel and a power walk. Or if your of a certain age like us a banana and a bowl of bran. then a quick blast along the seafront to get some of that sea air in your lungs and then its good to go for round two.

After some Bingo with Max (fingers crossed we win the trouser press from his hotel room (cough cough) eyes down for a line (its bingo speak) then it’s some magic with Rat Boy before the Rock and Roll starts proper.

After a decent perusal of the running order, I would recommend partaking in some limbering up and stretches to T-F-G or as you would know them – The Fucking Glorious (what? we don’t know or ask) but they make a decent noise so pop into the sauna that is the Arena nice n early before the walls start perspiring. Then I suggest you stay put for some of that Grime street punk that is the Riskee And The Ridicule. A band we’ve been following since we were introduced to their recent debut (reviewed Here) With barely time to grab an ice cream and wipe off the sweat it’ll be a hop skip and jump into The Pavillion for Turbulent Hearts but here goes the first clash of the day as Raging Nathans are on at the same time back in the Arena – a band who were seriously good in the Introducing stage last year.  Proving that the organisers do take notice and bands do progress.  so, always worth getting your tapes in or whatever constitutes a demo these days. Hard work certainly pays but don’t forget you have to have some tunes too.

The one thing you try not to get bent out of shape over are the clashes.  Sure its often unavoidable and when it happens its a bummer. Make your choice and stick to it sometimes its good to watch the first half of one then go to the other for the last half especially if it’s later in the day and the bands are playing for an hour you can comfortably see half a set.  Sadly for me, Friday is going to be all about choices I’m going to either plan ahead (military style) or just flip a coin and stick to it.

As for the Empress early evening, you can catch up with some established acts like Penetration who are immediately followed by TV Smith playing The Adverts. Tonight the UK Subs also hit the Empress Stage and will turn in their usually epic set over the last few years their sets have become more and more epic and The Empress usually fills up so if you are partaking in some Subs get in early it’ll get very busy.

But, Let’s not get ahead of ourselves because over  on the Club Casbah stage at 3.15 we welcome back Dragster after missing them last year they’re back with a new album and a sharper more focussed sound. If the weather has anything to do with it they’ll be on when only Mad Dogs and Englishmen (and a few Welshmen)  will be out and about in support of that ‘Anti Everything’ album it’ll be a wild ride if previous performances are anything to go by and one I would recommend catching.  If Casbah is an escape from the greenhouse effect of walking around the pop-up shop stalls then its only a short wait until another band who was widely missed last year hit the stage, Argy Bargy. They only made a return to the stage in May so that will be a popular set no question that’ll be busy and you might as well hang around because fresh from the studio Spunk Volcano and The Eruptions are on after Argy with their ‘Double Bastard’ epic in tow. Why not join in and throw yourself around like a teenager it’ll will be the perfect loosener.

I might then Pop over to the Opera House for some 1-2-3-4 with The Avengers who are back again from Sunny California. Damn, I feel bad for not mentioning what on the Almost Acoustic stage where you can sit (not always) in relative comfort and see the whites of your favourite punk rockers eyes as they’re stripped bare (not literally unless its HeWho). My top tip for who where and when would be Duncan Reid who is picking up the acoustic for a run through his fantastic power pop repertoire. This is listed to happen at the highly responsible time of 9.25 by which time the beer will have kicked in so a fine chance to sing-a-long could be on the cards.  If Duncan plays the final number quick enough it shouldn’t be  a problem hot-footing it over to the Opera House for Cheetah Chromes Dead Boys sure, sure, sure we’ve heard the rumours about whos playing will they won’t they; well, so far it hasn’t been cancelled so I guess I’ll be elbowing my way to the front for some ‘Sonic Reducer’ whilst the night is still young.


So Hopefully Dead Boys show but if not you could head over to the Empress for some ‘Golden Brown’ and The Stranglers or why not head back to the Acoustic stage for Alex Wonk and join him for some songs about plastering and/or race horses, either way, it’ll be good. I could keep going as to where to be and at what time but such is the quality on offer. You could be in any vicinity of a PA and I’m sure if you stand still long enough a quality tune will waft over the airwaves towards you and if you have a beer in your hand there will be someone to talk to and shoot the breeze with.

Now that’s two down and two to go hopefully you’ll just need a gentle cool down because like we say its not a sprint. I’ll be off to bed dreaming about the morrows fry up and we’ll no doubt dissect the action so far.  Onwards and upwards and bring on the weekend when things tend to get a little messy.

Ticket details Here

Author: Dom Daley

Along with the recent announcement that Trigger McPoopschute will  be making their festival debut, The Damned have also been added to this summers bill along with a whole list of other great bands really strengthening these years line up after the early announcement of Cock Sparrer then The Stranglers

For all the latest updates and additions to the bill like the facebook page Here or their website Here


Also announced today was the inclusion of The legends that are The Dwarves and also from the USA Descendents.  We’re sure you’ll agree that this years festival is really beginning to take shape now.  for tickets Here