Thursday, 29 November 2018

Union Carbide Productions - Reunion Show at Stora Teatern, Gothenburg November 9th 2018

Union Carbide Productions, Stora Teatern Gothenburg, Photo Retro Man Blog
Earlier this year came the exciting news that Union Carbide Productions, the legendary Swedish Psychedelic Punk band who were to evolve into The Soundtrack of Our Lives, were getting back together to promote the release of the “Live At CBGB’s New York 1988” album. They played two high profile summer outdoor shows at the Liseberg and Gröna Lund amusement parks in Gothenburg and Stockholm respectively. I was gutted that I had to miss these, even more so when I heard reports about how great they were afterwards. However, following the success of these two gigs there came the sudden announcement of three more quick-fire dates in Malmö, Stockholm and Gothenburg. I could only make the Gothenburg show and the initial excitement was dampened somewhat when I saw that the venue would be the Stora Teatern. Now I like this place, it is a beautiful building right on the canal side at Kungsparken but it is a proper all-seater theatre with balconies and boxes and all that. When we saw Ebbot & The Indigo Children there earlier this year, we nearly got caught out as the gig started promptly at 7pm. Surely, it couldn’t be the same for Union Carbide Productions, one of Sweden’s most outrageous and confrontational bands? 

Union Carbide Productions, Stora Teatern Gothenburg, Photo Retro Man Blog
However, there were clues that it was going to be an early night as we saw advertisements that Ebbot was playing another solo gig in the city at 10pm. Friends speculated that sometimes the Stora held gigs at the back of the venue and that was all standing so we might be in luck. Unfortunately not. We entered the venue into the seated auditorium. Suddenly, the house lights dimmed and the band appeared on stage promptly and crashed straight into the classic “Financial Declaration” with Ebbot screaming the songs central theme “I want more!” as we were still trying to find our seats. There were photos of people stagediving at the Stockholm gig the night before and I saw videos from the Liseberg after-show party where the band played an intense, highly charged set at a smaller venue. Even Ebbot stage-dived at that show, much to the consternation of those in the front row I can imagine. That was more of what I was expecting and looking forward to but there was no chance of Ebbot stagediving at the Stora Teatern, that’s for sure! It is quite difficult to explain the feeling when you are watching a band like UCP sitting down, you want to get up and jump about and go crazy but everyone remained seated throughout the whole show and it was a surreal experience. It must have been a bit weird for the band too, after all Ebbot in particular thrives on interaction and often confrontation with an audience but they channelled any restrictions they must have felt into the music and they sounded amazing. It reminded me of seeing The Brian Jonestown Massacre last month where I had seats at the front row of the balcony at a reasonably large venue. 

Union Carbide Productions, Stora Teatern Gothenburg, Photo Retro Man Blog
Now that Anton Newcombe has managed to curb his more confrontational behaviour and people are no longer turning up at gigs trying to goad him into violence, you are left to concentrate on the performance, and most importantly, the music. This is where I can have no complaints with the Union Carbide Productions show. In fact, just like the BJM, once you take away the unpredictable, chaotic and dangerous elements of each band you just have to appreciate and marvel at the sheer quality of the song writing. It was something that certainly shone through in this environment and proved what a superb back catalogue and musical legacy they have left behind. The Stooges were an obvious influence on early UCP but Ebbot didn’t just take Iggy’s primal howl as his vocal inspiration – he took on his crooning baritone too. I can understand why Ebbot also loves early Misfits with Glenn Danzig’s impressive voice floating over their primitive Punk music. It’s what our good friends The Fallen Leaves spoke about in their Retrosonic Podcast special episode – that juxtaposition of Rob Green’s ‘proper’ singing against the discordant angular guitar of Rob Symmons, it’s a special chemistry. However, Union Carbide Productions also absorbed The Stooges sax driven Free-Form Jazz stylings too and tonight the addition of the excellent Lisen Rylander on Sax and Keyboards was a really nice touch, allowing the songs to develop just like on the records. 

Union Carbide Productions, Stora Teatern Gothenburg, Photo Retro Man Blog
For example the slow and hypnotic “Career Opportunities” which is based on a great repetitive bass riff and Ebbot sings “I'm waiting for change, for a different song" as it segues into the instrumental psych wig-out “Down on the Beach”. One of my highlights of the night is “San Francisco Boogie” which again is built around a snaking bass riff and is shot through with an exotic Eastern feel. In fact they were to record a sitar version and it’s certainly a distinct precursor to The Soundtrack of Our Lives classic “Mantra Slider”. There is so much going on in my head when I listen to UCP, from the Stones swagger to touches of the abstract Post-Punk of bands such as Pere Ubu and the challenging, thought-provoking music of Captain Beefheart. Take the classic “Born in The ‘60’s” which at first sounds just like a straight ahead storming Rock’n’Roll number but then you realise that the drumming is totally off the wall, the time signature is mind-bendingly weird and that is down to Henrik Rylander’s brilliance as a drummer. It also reminds me that there must have been some influence of Krautrock bands such as Can and Neu! in UCP’s relentless groove. The tribal, almost Glam Rock drum pattern that kicks off the immense “Glad To Have You Back” is a reminder that Ebbot has been lucky enough to work with some truly fantastic drummers over the years such as Henrik, Fredrik Sandsten in TSOOL and then with Hugo Mårtensson and Anton Fernandez in The Indigo Children. The rhythm section is completed not by one but two bassists. 

Union Carbide Productions, Stora Teatern Gothenburg, Photo Retro Man Blog
There’s original member Per Helm, who played on the first two LP’s and his replacement Adam Wladis, who despite appearing at the infamous CBGB’s show and the subsequent live album (which, after all was the initial reason for the reunion) didn’t get to record in the studio with the band as far as I know. Rather than take turns on songs they play the whole set simultaneously, both looking cool dressed in black and flanking Henrik’s drum kit. At first, I was a bit sceptical about the two basses but it worked really well, it wasn’t as bombastic as I was expecting, they built a nicely menacing wall of sound. The machine gun staccato attack of “Three Mile Eyes” is counterbalanced by the brooding “Down On The Farm” with Ebbot sounding like Jim Morrison as he draws out the “beautiful friend” line. Patrick Caganis is an undoubted genius on the guitar and I was so pleased to finally get to see him play live. Looking good with his blonde hair and mirror shades, he channels all the best of Ron Asheton and James Williamson into his stinging guitar riffs and as the songs whizz past I’m getting flashes of Denis Tez, Fred ‘Sonic’ Smith and Wayne Kramer all swirling round in the mix. He also sings the main vocals on “Got My Eyes On You” a rare excursion to the third album “From Influence To Ignorance”.  I think everyone was hoping for an appearance by Patrick’s original guitar partner Björn Olsson, even if it was just for the encore, but sadly, it was not to be. It would have made this home-coming show even more special, after all the band are forever tied to Gothenburg and you can even hear it in Björn’s solo music, which is heavily influenced by the stunning local Bohuslän coastline. In recent years, he has shunned the limelight and concentrated his attention on song writing and production work with some high profile Swedish acts such as Mando Diao and Håkan Hellström and has rarely, if ever performed live since he left TSOOL in 1997. 

Union Carbide Productions, Stora Teatern Gothenburg, Photo Retro Man Blog
Björn’s place in the current line-up has been taken by the talented Billy Cervin from Side Effects who has been used to playing some of the old UCP songs with Ebbot & The Indigo Children over the past couple of years. He has already proved himself a mighty fine deputy, having previously stood in for Mattias Bärjed in TSOOL on a few occasions. Billy single-handedly rescued our recent Retro Man Blog gig for Ebbot in London by drafting in equally talented musicians for a new Indigo Children line-up at very short notice and it was great to see him again and chat about the London show. Talking of guitarists…I’m also left wondering if further reunions will see an expanding of the set-list to take in more songs from their last two LP’s and if so will we see appearances by Ian Person who is currently busy with his new band Pablo Matisse, now that really would be something really special. Anyway back to the music, a quite remarkable “Maximum Dogbreath” is another personal highlight, the set draws to a close with the classic swaggering “Be Myself Again”, and finally we can stand up and show our appreciation. The well-deserved encore sees a raucous run though of the early Punk favourites “Cartoon Animal” and “Ring My Bell” from the first album and the band are even coaxed out for a second curtain call and a crunching “So Long”. So despite my initial reservations, Union Carbide Productions triumphed against the odds and I feel emotionally drained from finally having witnessed such a superb show from a band I never thought I would get to see play live. 

Ebbot & The New Places Orchestra at Nefertiti, Gothenburg
As everything was finished by 9:15pm it meant there was plenty of time to enjoy the after show party which took place at the excellent Nefertiti venue and saw Ebbot fronting the impressive 20 piece New Places Orchestra. It was great to hear Jazz takes on some TSOOL songs such as “Galaxy Gramophone”, “You Are The Beginning” and “Second Life Replay” along with Ebbot’s debut solo single “(Drowning In A) Wishing Well” and UCP’s “Glad To Have You Back”. There were also surprising covers of The Misfits, The Residents and a bit of “Pipeline” thrown in for good measure and all highlighted Ebbot’s excellent vocals. It was great fun and nice to catch up with Kalle & Fredrik from The Soundtrack of Our Lives and the music journalist and long-time TSOOL supporter, Andrew Perry. A perfect ending to a superb night’s entertainment.



Union Carbide Productions have another confirmed gig in Oslo in February and there is some more exciting news as it has just been officially announced that the filmmaker Hans-Erik Therus and Producer Hjalmar Palmgren are working on a documentary about the band. It started out as a documentary about Björn Olsson but the idea soon grew to incorporate the complete UCP story. The film is currently under production and there is a start-up Facebook page here where you can get more news on the movie’s progress. For more photos from the Stora Teatern show please check out the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here and there are some videos at our YouTube channel here. Ebbot discussed the reunion and “Live at CBGBs” album in our recent interview in the build up to his Retro Man Blog London show last month and you can check it out in the Blog archive here. You might also be interested in the story of Nymphet Noodlers; the other great pre-TSOOL band in the archive here. For the full story on Union Carbide Productions, you cannot better the immense feature in issue 16 of Mike Stax’s superb “Ugly Things” magazine. 

Monday, 5 November 2018

Joe Strummer 001 - Photos From the Recent Exhibition of Joe's Personal Archive at the Fred Perry Store Covent Garden


To celebrate the release of the stunning limited edition deluxe box set "Joe Strummer 001" the Fred Perry store in Covent Garden put on an excellent free exhibition of memorabilia which ended on October 14th. The majority of the exhibition came from Joe's own personal collection, he left an archive of over 20,000 items including lyrics, set lists and notebooks, artwork, photographs and audio recordings; as well as instruments, clothing and studio equipment and many of these have never been seen before. It was quite moving to see a couple of my Retro Man Blog colleague Paul Slattery's photos were there among the collection too. Here are a few photos from the exhibition, you can see more at the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here.










All photos copyright Retro Man Blog
The "Joe Strummer 001" anthology is a comprehensive pick of the best of Joe's non-Clash related material from the 101ers to The Latino Rockabilly War and The Mescaleros taking in solo various releases and collaborations with other artists such as Jimmy Cliff and Johnny Cash along the way. For more info on the various options please check out the Joe Strummer web-site here.

Thursday, 1 November 2018

Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Children with The Galileo 7 - Paul Slattery Photos from the Retro Man Blog Night at The Half Moon Putney October 13th

Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Childen at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
I'd like to say a huge thank you to all those that came along to our last Retro Man Blog Night at The Half Moon Putney on October 13th which saw the return of Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Children. Despite the usual engineering works that cripple our capital city on most weekends there was a really great turn-out and we really appreciate all the various trials and tribulations that went into getting to the venue. It was also great to see that so many people had travelled over from Sweden too including the original webmaster of The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Daniel, and fellow moderator Hans. Long-time TSOOL video crew Matz and Chicago were there along with photographer Katarina Hansson, who took the great photos for our gig poster. Thanks also to staff at The Half Moon and of course to our Special Guests The Galileo 7 who opened the show and treated us to a superb set which included some very promising new songs.

The Galileo 7 at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
The Galileo 7 at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
The Galileo 7 at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
The Galileo 7 at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
The Galileo 7 at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
Ebbot and a new-look Indigo Children, who included recent additions Alfred on bass, Stina on keyboards and Anton on drums along with Ebbot's regular guitarists Billy and Oskar, put in a mind-blowing performance that nearly took the roof off the packed out Half Moon. The set included "Golden Age" by Ebbot's first, and recently reunited band, Union Carbide Production and some Soundtrack of Our Lives favourites such as "Rest In Piece", a blistering "Galaxy Gramophone" and a rapturously received encore of the classic "Mantra Slider". A pick of songs from his debut Indigo Children album were also played alongside two new numbers, the atmospheric opener "Comfort Zone" and the raucous Punk Rock of "Planet Earth Through a Stethoscope". 

Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Childen at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Childen at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Childen at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Childen at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
Thanks to Ebbot, Billy and The Indigo Children, The Galileo 7, Nina and staff at The Half Moon, Katarina Hansson and all those who helped to promote the show and of course to Paul Slattery for the excellent photos. Union Carbide Productions will play three reunion shows in November, first of all at Malmo on the 7th, Stockholm on the 8th and Gothenburg on the 9th and for more information on ticket and venues check out the UCP Facebook page here. Retro Man Blog will be at the UCP Gothenburg show so expect a full report and photos to follow on our return. 

Ebbot Lundberg & The Indigo Childen at The Half Moon Putney - photo copyright Paul Slattery
For more info on Ebbot & The Indigo Children check out their web-site here. For more photos of the show please head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here and hit "Like" (if you are not already following) to access the photo album. Some videos filmed at the gig can also be found at our Retro Man Bog YouTube channel here.


Tuesday, 30 October 2018

The Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Kentish Town Forum, London Tuesday October 23rd

The Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Forum - Photo by Retro Man Blog
I realised that I hadn't seen The Brian Jonestown Massacre play live since 2006, I think by that time I’d just had enough of attending some pretty fractious gigs where there was vitriol in the air and the atmosphere was getting unpleasant. It seemed that the success of the documentary "Dig!" was turning out to be something of a double-edged sword. Sure, there was no doubting that the film raised their profile considerably but by concentrating on the violence surrounding the band, gigs started turning into a bit of a freakshow as people were turning up seemingly more intent on goading Anton than appreciating the music. However, I think hearing the brilliant “Aufheben" on its release in 2012 piqued my interest in the band once again and I started to keep a look out for their new releases. I remembered what I originally loved about the BJM and each consecutive release seemed to get better and better, culminating in this year’s stunning album “Something Else”. I suddenly got the urge to catch them play live again so here I am at a sold out packed-to-the-rafters Kentish Town Forum waiting impatiently for my first BJM gig in 12 years to start. Thankfully, as I was to discover through the course of tonight’s gig, the audience has grown with the band, there was zero heckling during the show and now it’s all about the music and nothing but the music.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Forum - Photo by Retro Man Blog
For me, the enduring impression that I got from “Dig!” was that no matter what physical or mental state Anton was in throughout the movie, he always seemed to be consumed by the urge to make music. You could feel it coursing through his veins, bursting to get out. He also reminded me of some other uncompromising maverick favourites of mine working outside the usual corporate music business and all rooted in 60’s Psychedelia such as Julian Cope, Michael Head of Shack and Ebbot Lundberg of The Soundtrack of Our Lives. No matter what extremes these Artists go through, they cannot avoid writing beautiful melodic and moving music. In fact, as an aside, in a recent interview I did with Ebbot, I asked if there was anyone that he wanted to collaborate with and his answer was succinct - “Anton Newcombe”. At our recent Retro Man Blog Night for Ebbot’s return to London with his new band The Indigo Children, we played the BJM’s “Panic In Babylon” as his intro music and it sounded amazing. Anyway, back to the gig and I could feel a buzz of excitement as the band takes the stage, Anton is on the right side facing more towards his band mates than the crowd and I notice there has been a significant change in the line-up that I was once familiar with. I only recognise tambourine maestro Joel Gion (surely a cultural icon...!) and guitarist Ricky Maymi but it’s soon clear that all the new (to me at least) members fit in seamlessly. There is a somewhat low-key opening as they kick off proceedings with a sultry new song "We Never Had a Chance".

The Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Forum - Photo by Retro Man Blog
This is followed by the hypnotic “What Happened to Them" which might be more familiar under its Swedish title (not something you'll hear said very often...) "Vad Hände Med Dem?” the opening track on "Revelation". There are only two songs from the excellent new album “Something Else” and these were "Hold That Thought" and the brilliant "Who Dreams of Cats?" which is as catchy as hell. However, Anton’s already moving on and it is testament to his prolific nature that there were more new as yet unreleased songs as there were from the current album. The new single “Forgotten Graves” was absolutely stunning and "Drained" was a revelation, riding in on an acoustic groove and a great guitar riff; it has immediately been transported up there among all my old BJM favourites. Talking of old favourites, the set is peppered with a selection of classics from throughout the band’s career. "Sailor" was sublime, and sums up the very reason why I want to experience live music in the first place, it made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. During “Anemone”, the crowd lifts their arms into the air in unison as Anton sings "You should be picking me up" and from my vantage point on the balcony it looked pretty damn impressive. The Brian Jonestown Massacre know how to play with your emotions and the stripped back Gospel-Blues of "The Devil May Care" and its heart-breaking opening line "say goodbye to mum and dad, the two best friends I never had", brings a lump to the throat. Things get a bit more lively with "That Girl Suicide", a breath-taking "Nevertheless" and the Garage Rock singalong nugget "Who?" The familiar riffing of "When Jokers Attack" and a shimmering, almost transcendental "Pish" are both real highlights tonight.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Forum - Photo by Retro Man Blog
There’s not much interaction between band and audience tonight, just a few words from Anton, mainly about his radio show, but he looks relaxed and in good spirits. Joel is his usual laconic self although he does blow his cool once by failing to catch his tambourine after hurling it into the air and it crashes into the photographer’s pit. He redeems himself by trying again and falling to the ground as he successfully catches the next attempt, it’s a classic slapstick moment that injects a bit of warmth and humour into the show. Towards the end of the set Joel produces the biggest tambourine I have ever seen, it’s of Spinal Tap 'one louder' proportions. The band end the show with another new number "A Word" and a couple of roadies with guitars join them. I haven’t seen so many guitarists on stage since the last time I saw The Blue Aeroplanes run through their customary free-for-all encore of Tom Verlaine’s "Breakin' In My Heart". It’s a powerful way to end the set and as the song collapses into squalls of feedback with Ricky playing with his effects pedals, Anton gets behind the drums and suddenly everything turns into a Psychedelic Krautrock rave-up until the house lights go up and I file out of the venue, thoroughly satisfied after such a great show.

The Brian Jonestown Massacre at The Forum - Photo by Retro Man Blog
I must just mention one incident though. Sometime during the set, a fan at the front of the stage gave Anton a cool knitted lookalike doll and the delighted singer props it up next to his amp. I later hear that the doll, who the band had named Tony, was stolen by some backstage chancer; it’s unbelievable that someone could be so dumb and thoughtless. So if anyone has any information please do contact the band. The Brian Jonestown Massacre have a new single “Forgotten Graves” out soon on 'a' Recordings and Anton has collaborated once again with Tess Parks on a fantastic new album "Tess Parks & Anton Newcombe". Tess will be playing a Bad Vibrations show in London at the Dome in Tufnell Park on December 13th, we have our tickets booked and will definitely report on that show for the Blog. Anton has also been working with the brilliant French band The Limiñanas and they are definitely well worth checking out. Finally, as regulars to our Blog and Podcast will know, we are also big fans of Joel Gion’s solo work and I would really recommend his latest self-titled album, you can hear a track in Retrosonic Podcast Episode 29 here
 


More photos of the show can be found at the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here and there are some videos at our YouTube channel too, here's a taster...



Monday, 29 October 2018

Eight Rounds Rapid - New Live Album "Live at Kulturzentrum Merlin in Stuttgart"

Eight Rounds Rapid - Photo Copyright Paul Hughes
One of Retro Man Blog's favourite bands Eight Rounds Rapid will release a brand new live album recorded at Kulturzentrum Merlin in Stuttgart on Kosmik Orgon Kanister Broadcast Records on November 2nd. It's out on limited edition numbered vinyl in Deluxe and Regular versions and is available to order from the band's Bandcamp site here. The Deluxe version includes a bonus 7" Single and comes with two cue sheets, A2 poster, three printed photographs and a copy of the setlist of the night that the broadcast was recorded. Rooted in the infamous Canvey Island R'n'B tradition, Eight Rounds Rapid channel the fervour of Dr Feelgood, Wire, Gang of Four and PIL with gritty tales of the underworld that rankle beneath the seaside kitsch of their hometown, Southend-on-Sea. With a blast of no-frills, bullshit-free excitement, the English four-piece take you back to the angular, drugged-up thug punk of the 1970s — but they’ll remind you of nobody but themselves. Enigmatic singer David Alexander commands the chaos with an outsider intelligence and nutty humour that shines through in barbed verse worthy of Mark E Smith — always delivered with a thick Essex drawl. To his right, guitarist and R&B ruffian Simon Johnson leads a sonic assault, his unusual style of thrashing out rhythm and lead simultaneously often leaving his scratch plate splattered with blood making for incendiary live performances. Geezer-rock rhythm comes in the shape of a cut-and-shut Mk1 Ford Capri as bassist Jules Cooper and drummer Lee Watkins wildly push each other to furious speeds. With quality lyrics and an erratic sound, the band have found a devoted following of fans that sing along to unique songs like "Steve", "Dostoyevsky" and "I Like It". Eight Rounds Rapid released both of their LPs "Lossleader" and "Objet d’Art" to critical acclaim in the UK music press. They’ve played prestigious support slots at The Royal Albert Hall and Koko Camden and have performed in England, Wales, Scotland, France and Germany.


The album was produced by Jürgen Jankowitsch and Michael Piltz for Kosmik Orgon Kanister and Incognito Records. Recorded live at Kulturzentrum Merlin in Stuttgart 02nd October 2017 with an old fashioned Tascam 4-track to tape recorder. Mixing and Mastering: Oberst Gregor. Live Tape Operator: Barny Trouble. Live Sound Merlin: Haufi. Graphic Design: Agnes Wagner. Host Merlin: Arne Hübner. Pictures (Deluxe Edition): Paul Hughes (band sheet + poster). Thomas Waldhof (band live). Introduction: Günter Verdin. For more info on ERR please check our their web-site here.



Sunday, 28 October 2018

Punk Art Show Opening Night Party at The Underdog Gallery

Gaye (Advert) Black at The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog
We went along to the opening night party of the Punk Rock 'n' Roll Art Show at the Underdog Gallery, a great space situated underneath the railway arches of London Bridge station. Curated and hosted by Martin Stacey from The Bermondsey Joyriders and Luigia Minichiello we were treated, not only to a fine display of Art by various notable Punk Rock musicians and Punk-inspired Artists but also some entertaining live sets too. First onto the Art itself and there was a real variety on offer including some fine pieces by the legendary Buzzocks designer Malcolm Garrett, Gaye Black (Advert) and Clara Basoni of Raw Cuts. There were impressive displays by JC Carroll of The Members and Nick Cash and it was really great to finally meet David Worth and see some examples of his superb Punk Rock Cartoons. It was also nice to bump into Ian from Damaged Goods Records and Andy from Fear & Loathing fanzine and my Retro Man Blog colleague Paul Slattery was pleased to catch up with fellow Rock Photographers Ray Stevenson and Erica Echenberg. I didn't get chance to chat to the night's DJ Jeff Munday as he was spinning some great tunes from what must be the most precarious DJ booth I have ever seen! The Action Men monkeyed around to our amusement and live music was provided by Taurus Trakker, Spizz and our good pals The Fallen Leaves. Overall, it was a excellent night and a great exhibition, the only problem is that it closes on Monday October 29th which is a shame as it deserves a much longer run. Great work by Martin, Luigia and their team.

Punk Rock Raffle! - Punk Rock 'n' Roll Art Show
The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Martin Stacey at The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog
The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog
The Fallen Leaves at The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog
The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Spizz at The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog
The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Erica Echenberg, Gaye, Ray Stevenson & Paul Slattery by Retro Man Blog
David Worth from Punk Rock Cartoons - Photo by Retro Man Blog


The Action Men at The Punk Art Show - Photo by Retro Man Blog

For more photos of the Punk Art Show opening night, please check out the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here to access the Photo Album. If you are not already following, please give us a 'Like'.



Thursday, 4 October 2018

Les Kitschenette's & The Voo-Dooms - Photos & Videos from Weirdsville Saturday September 29th

Les Kitschenette's at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog
It was great to see our friends Les Kitschenette's over from France again, it seems such a long time ago since they played their very first U.K. gig at one of our Retro Man Blog Nights at The Half Moon Putney and tonight they were back, headlining another superb Weirdsville, which had the added attraction of the excellent DJ Tracey ScreamCheese. There has been a line-up change since I last saw them with only dual vocalists Ludo Kitsch and Lucille and drummer Claude remaining but the new members take to the task perfectly and they sound as good as ever. Some of my own personal highlights of a thoroughly enjoyable set included a fuzzed up "Psycho!" with Lucille on the flute and Ludo on a stylophone and a great version of Serge Gainsbourg & France Gall's "Dent de Lait, Dents de Loup". Then there's covers of Andre Verchuren's quite bonkers "Le Jerk à Pépé" and that timeless classic by Delphine "La Fermeture Eclair" with its stinging guitar riff intro which sends a shiver down the spine, all given that unique Les Kitschenette's twist.

Les Kitschenette's at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Les Kitschenette's at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Les Kitschenette's at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog
However on their latest EP - the snappily entitled "C'est pas d'la Physique Quantique, du Chant Grégorien, ou du Lapon" which is the third in a series of 10" red, white and blue vinyl releases (a tricolore-trilogy I suppose) - they break with their usual tradition of mining the vaults of 1960's French Yé-yé to include some English language originals all given a Gallic twist. These include a rockin' "Route 66" ("Jusqu'en 66"), The Kinks classic "Well Respected Man" ("Un Jeune Homme Bien") although Petula Clark got in there first with that one, and Shocking Blue's "Send Me a Postcard" ("Envoie-moi un Sexto"). Ludo teases us, "you might know the words to this next one, but do you know them in French?" If they were ever to make a French remake of Austin Powers, Ludo would be nailed on to play the lead role, with Lucille as his glamorous side-kick and as if to reinforce my idea they play a cracking version of Ming Tea's "BBC" from the Austin Powers movie as their final encore. A very fitting way to end a truly uplifting performance.

Les Kitschenette's at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Les Kitschenette's at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog


Beforehand, The Voo-Dooms opened proceedings with a superb show that was befitting the launch of their excellent debut album "Destination Doomsville" which has just been released by the Trash Wax label on suitably splattered coloured vinyl. I'm a bit surprised they didn't hang back a bit to get it out on Halloween as it's a deviously fiendish collection of mighty fine horror-tinged tunes. However, copies of the LP sold like hot cakes on the night and there was an abundance of Voo-Dooms T-Shirts being proudly worn by their sizeable following. Not bad at all for a band that only formed in January earlier this year by Mick Cocksedge on lead vocals and guitar, Dave Prince on drums, ex-Milkshake current Masonic Bruce Brand on bass and guitarist Kevin Smith, who you might recognise from The Baron Four. The spooky "Teenage Ghoul" is followed by the equally danceable "Doing The Plague" which you can hear played in the latest episode of our Retrosonic Podcast.

The Voo-Dooms at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog
The Voo-Dooms at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog
I thought they were much tighter since I first saw them at the Beatwave weekender back in July and they seemed to be enjoying themselves as much as we were in the crowd. It's not all death, gloom and horror though - "Meet Me Here" is a heartfelt country-tinged number and "Come On and "Von Devil's Girl" are classic examples of catchy Rock'n'Roll. They up the pace again with a great version of Shel Naylor's 1964 stomper "One Fine Day" which is powerful enough to raise the dead. There's a sudden crisis though, "Oh no, I've dropped my shrunken head" says Mick, "you don't hear that every day in Camden do you?" and someone in the crowd replies "actually, you probably do!" So, all in all a great set from a band that promise a lot more ghoulish fun to come in the future - get doomed!

The Voo-Dooms at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog
The Voo-Dooms at Weirdsville - Photo by Retro Man Blog


You can check out more photos of the gig at the Retro Man Blog Facebook page here and there are some more videos at our YouTube channel here. You can also hear a track from the Voo-Dooms new LP in the latest episode of our Retrosonic Podcast, which you can stream or download below:



Thanks to Mr A & Alex for yet another great night of Weirdsville entertainment! Don't forget to check out the You Got Good Taste web-site for what's up next! You can order The Voo-Dooms album "Destination Doomsville" from Trash Wax Records or signed copies direct from the band at their Facebook page here.