Saturday, 12 April 2014

Retro Man Blog Presents: Graham Day & The Forefathers + The Len Price 3 + Galileo 7 at The Half Moon Putney June 06th

We are very proud to announce another Retro Man Blog Night at The Half Moon Putney, this will be a Medway Garage Rock night on Friday June 06th featuring Graham Day & The Forefathers, The Len Price 3 and Galileo 7. This is in conjunction with the excellent new book "The Kids Are All Square, Medway Punk & Beyond 1977-1985" by Ian Snowball and Bob Collins. Copies of the book will be on sale at the gig and hopefully the authors will also be there to sign copies.

Graham Day & The Forefathers by Paul Slattery
Graham Day & The Forefathers are the crucial ingredients of The Prisoners, Prime Movers, Solarflares and The Gaolers extracted and squeezed into one stripped down power trio. Cranking out choice live cuts from four Graham Day-fronted bands, The Forefathers (triple) distil 30-odd years of high quality song writing, low-fi production and high energy performance to their stripped down garage-rock essence. After a handful of dates as the Prime Movers, Graham Day, Allan Crockford and Wolf Howard, now rechristened Graham Day and the Forefathers, are unashamedly pumping out the best material from all the line-ups, including the Prisoners, with an uncompromising verve and energy, undiminished from their earliest days.
Graham Day & The Forefathers by Paul Slattery
The Len Price 3 are an adrenaline pumped pop band from England, forged in the traditions of their Medway Delta roots. They are a revelation to those who encounter them, encompassing all of what you would want from a band in one invigorating sonic experience. Their dazzling live performances feature a thunderous set of well-honed melodic nuggets played at breakneck speed, complete with shiny pop hooks and chrome glazed harmonies. But dig a bit deeper and you will find a rich lyrical content that is full of acid tongued lyrics and wry social observations. With each album and single release receiving glowing reviews and every live show leaving behind a highly satisfied audience full of enthusiastic devotees, The Len Price 3 are fast becoming a true national treasure…

The Len Price 3 by Paul Slattery
As well as bashing the bass in Graham Day & The Forefathers, Allan Crockford also plays guitar, sings and writes the songs in his psych-tinged four-piece garage-pop combo, Galileo 7. He'll be doing a double shift on June 6th as they warm up early-comers before the evening's power trio extravaganza. Also featuring Mole (from the Higher State) on bass, Russ Baxter (Secret Affair) on drums and Viv Bonsels on organ, their 3rd album 'False Memory Lane' is out in a few weeks.

Galileo 7 by Paul Slattery
Tickets are only £13.50 in advance but are strictly limited to 200 so please book now "to avoid disappointment" as the old cliché can get tickets in person directly at The Half Moon (to avoid any booking fee) or at their ticket booking link here.

You can listen to our announcement about the gig and hear some great tunes from The Prisoners and Thee Mighty Caesars as well as an exclusive track from Galileo 7's forthcoming new album "False Memory Lane" in Episode 13 of Retrosonic Podcast. There's also music from The Chocolate Watchband, The Sonic Jewels, The Movements, The Afex, The Uniques, The Clique, Otis Clay, Fogbound, The New Alchemy and another exclusive, this time from the excellent Modern-day French Ye-Ye Beat group Les can listen in and download for free below or visit our Soundcloud page for the whole archive of previous episodes. 

Gig Poster designed by Eric Boitier at Flying Lunchbox with Graham Day photo by Paul Slattery.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Oasis: Opening Night Party "Chasing The Sun 1993-97" Photo Exhibition featuring Paul Slattery

Photo by Paul Slattery
"Chasing The Sun: Oasis 1993-1997" is an exhibition of rare and iconic photographs, artefacts and memorabilia from the early years of Oasis, the most significant band to emerge from the U.K. in the past two decades. "Chasing The Sun" takes us on the band’s supercharged journey from a Manchester rehearsal studio to international rock stardom, via three landmark albums - "Definitely Maybe", "(What’s The Story) Morning Glory", and "Be Here Now" - and many legendary gigs, from London’s 100 Club to Glastonbury Festival to their era-defining two night stand at Knebworth House. Curated by renowned photographer Lawrence Watson, who has photographed Oasis several times and worked on Noel Gallagher’s solo album, the exhibition includes previously unseen images from the photographers who had fly-on-the-wall access to the band, including Jill Furmanovsky, Paul Slattery, Tom Sheehan, Kevin Cummins, and Jamie Fry. The exhibition will also display some of the iconic instruments played on the early albums (lent by the band members themselves), vintage merchandise, artefacts from the album sleeves, plus rarely seen early audio-visual content. There's also a full size mock-up of the room from the "Definitely Maybe" album cover where you can recreate your own take on the photo. Opening 20 years to the day since the release of their debut single "Supersonic" (released 11th April 1994), "Chasing The Sun: Oasis 1993-1997" is the first ever exhibition dedicated entirely to Oasis.

Paul Gallagher, Bonehead, Paul Slattery & Liam - Copyright Retroman Blog 2014
The Exhibition takes place at the Londonewcastle Project Space at 28 Redchurch Street, Shoreditch, London E2 7DP, it's free to enter and runs until April 22nd. The Opening Times are: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday & Saturday 12:00-19:00hrs, Thursday & Friday 12:00-20:00hrs, Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday 12:00-18:00hrs.

I went along to the private view launch party last night as my Retro Man Blog and Retrosonic Podcast colleague Paul Slattery has some of his excellent early Oasis photos on display and I got there early to make sure I could check out the exhibition itself. I can thoroughly recommend a visit, there is an excellent selection of superb photos and memorabilia on display, some as yet unseen and the gallery space is large so it's easy to view the exhibits. Liam Gallagher made an appearance along with brother Paul and guitarist Bonehead and it was nice to see them meet up with photographer Paul Slattery again. Here are some photos from the opening night. 

Paul Slattery signing copies of his book "Oasis: A Year On The Road"
...and some of his photos that feature in the book

You can order Paul Slattery's excellent book "Oasis: A Year On The Road" from Amazon or decent book shops with good taste in music and photography. Paul also has a stunning book, "The Smiths: The Early Years" available which features many iconic photos of the band's formative years. 

Nowadays, Paul is still to be found at the front of many a stage photographing the underground Garage Rock and Psych scenes with bands such as The Fallen Leaves and The Len Price 3 and contributing to Retro Man Blog. He is also one of my regular co-hosts on Retrosonic Podcast and we will be discussing his time with Oasis in a future Episode, so please follow our various Facebook, Twitter, Soundcloud sites for news and updates on when that will be released. You can hear Paul talking about his very early days in Rock Photography in this Episode of Retrosonic Podcast

Check out the excellent Oasis website for further information on the Exhibition and for a huge archive and on the bands' gigs, press, videos, discography, memorabilia and much more. Exhibition Photos Copyright Retro Man Blog 2014, Black & White Portrait of Liam and Noel Gallagher Copyright Paul Slattery 2014. For more photos from the exhibition's opening night "Like" the Retro Man Blog Facebook page for access to the photo album.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

The Fuzztones + Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons + The Go Go Cult at The Tufnell Park Dome March 22nd

The Fuzztones by Paul Slattery
It’s hard to believe that I first saw The Fuzztones back in 1985, the band had just released the faultless “Lysergic Emanations" and from the classic horror-comic cover to the unbelievably strong collection of songs within, it still ranks up there as one of my all-time favourite albums. The band were at the forefront of the mid-80’s American Garage Rock Revival, and with their paisley and leather, authentic Vox instruments, bowl haircuts and bone necklaces the timing was right for the Fuzztones to hit the U.K. Over here we had The Damned’s alter-ego Naz Nomad & The Nightmares, and their superb album of classic Nuggets cover versions along with The Cramps inspired Psychobilly scene. There was the Klub Foot at the Clarendon in Hammersmith putting on acts such as The Playn Jayn and not forgetting The Medway bands such as The Prisoners and The Milkshakes, all finding inspiration in those nuggets of American Sixties Psychedelia and Garage Rock. Now all these elements are certainly in vogue again and The Fuzztones are back for a rare return to the U.K.

The Go Go Cult by Paul Slattery
Opening the show tonight at The Dome in Tufnell Park, were The Go Go Cult who took the stage resplendent in matching stripey shirts and black masks, looking like villains from The Green Hornet or Batman. Powered along by a really great drummer they also had an impressively ear-shredding raw guitar sound and laid down a swampy, hypnotic beat that reminded me a bit of The Meteors or Clinic, who coincidentally also wear masks. So, a good start and the band were well received although it was a bit disappointing to see them come back on stage after their set and dismantle their own equipment. Seeing them unplug guitars without the masks somewhat ruined the air of mystery and I would recommend they employ a couple of similarly clad henchmen/roadies to handle their gear while the band make a secretive and mysterious exit!

Puss Johnson of Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons by Paul Slattery
Next up were Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons who cranked it up even louder and drew a few more interested people to the front of the stage. This turned out to be a rather dangerous place to be as Puss kept leaping off into the crowd every now and then to prowl and preen around us. She is a live wire alright, a real ball of energy on huge platform boots, Catwoman hair and yes, she does have a swinging tail too. Despite having a bad cold, Puss put on a great show and she and guitarist Jake have a nice chemistry between them. As a three piece, with no bass and Puss’s confrontational blur of a stage presence, there are bound to be comparisons with the Yeah Yeah Yeahs but the band are difficult to categorize and that's certainly to their benefit. They end a thoroughly enjoyable set with the great single “Trouble With The Devil” and got a really good reaction from the audience.

The Fuzztones by Paul Slattery
So here I was, eagerly awaiting my first glimpse of The Fuzztones in almost 30 years…but that eager wait was to drag on for what seemed like another 30 years, well OK it was about 45 minutes actually, but it didn't half drag and the crowd were starting to get irritated. It didn’t help as there was no DJ so we had to endure a tape of some awful tuneless stuff over the P.A. which was made even more frustrating by the fact that Dirty Water Records had a stall there and they had lots of great vinyl on sale (I picked up some 7" singles from King Salami & The Cumberland 3 and the Lyres, lovely…!) and it was a shame they couldn’t have commandeered the sound system to keep the crowd warmed up. By the time The Fuzztones came on there was a distinct thaw in the atmosphere, and there were some shouts of "Why are we waiting?!" which was a real shame as the momentum of the two excellent support acts was somewhat lost.

Rudi Protrudi of The Fuzztones by Paul Slattery
But then finally The Fuzztones appeared and blasted into Davie Allan's manic surf instrumental "Blue's Theme" closely followed by "Caught You Red Handed" and "I Never Knew". Only lead vocalist guitarist Rudi Protudi remains from the original line-up, however the current band does feature the super-cool Lana Loveland on organ, who I had seen a few years ago playing brilliantly in The Sean Bonniwell Music Machine. Rudi then speaks "I'd like to say how nice it was to be back in London, well I'd like to say that but..." He then goes on a scatter-shot rant about fox hunting, Obama, the "crisis" and living in Germany before introducing a great version of The Shadows of Knight' "I'm Gonna Make You Mine" and finally the atmosphere has warmed up considerably. A slinky "Romilar D" and storming "Brand New Man" pick up the pace even more but then things grind to a halt again. "Has anyone got a guitar I can borrow?" asks Rudi "I've been banging my guitar around so much that I've snapped a string". Someone shouts back, "just put a new string on then!" Rudi replies "I haven't got any spare strings either, I blame the Government! It's the crisis...I couldn't bring our other guitarist over, or a roadie or even a spare guitar..." Then someone shouts out for the classic "Gotta Get Some", and Rudi quips, "Hey we all gotta some but we can't even get that anymore, there's a crisis going on!"

Lana Loveland by Paul Slattery
Luckily Jake from Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons hands Rudi his guitar to use and they start up a cover of Bevis Frond's "Eyes In The Back of My Head", this shudders to a halt suddenly, "I can't hear the guitar now" says Rudi and they try again with what is a pretty damn good version. "This is going to be our last show in London, we had so much hassle getting here so enjoy it!" I do, there's a great double hit of "Bad News Travels Fast" and "Highway '69" before Rudi asks us all to "Get Naked!", nobody does although some chap at the front takes his shirt off. "I'm old enough to remember the Sixties and we didn't need to be asked to take our clothes off!", luckily the subject is changed by the slow burning classic "Ward '81" which is one of my highlights of the night. Rudi chats again, "In 1984 we did our very first and only tour and recorded a live album "Leave Your Mind At Home" so we would like to do a few songs from that album" and then they played great versions of Gonn's "Blackout of Gretely", The Sparkles' "Aint No Friend of Mine" and We The People's "Burn Me Up and Down". Unfortunately the late start and delays caught up with me and as the band blasted out The Sonics' "The Witch" I had to dash to catch my last train home feeling disappointed to say the least. Let's hope Rudi changes his mind and brings The Fuzztones back to the U.K. again!

Here are some more photos of the gig by Paul Slattery, all photos Copyright 2014.

For more photographs please head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and hit "Like" for access to the exclusive photo album. With thanks to Paul Slattery.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 14: Steve from Retro Man Blog, Rock Photographer Paul Slattery and Adam from The Jetsonics with an eclectic mix of goodies from the Retrosonic record box...In this Episode there's a track from The Monochrome Set's latest album "Super Plastic City" and news about our gig with the band on May 24th at The Half Moon Putney, there's scary tales from Killing Joke gigs and a classic slice of KJ Dub. Paul and Adam talk about the good old days at The Nashville and pick a couple of their favourite bands who played at the legendary venue. There's a new one from Shack and Pale Fountains front man Michael Head with The Red Elastic Band, power pop at it's best from Cotton Mather and old school Rockabilly from Walter Brown & His Band. Some Slap Shot inspired Ice Hockey Punk from The Hanson Brothers and a tuneful blast from Hot Hooves. There's talk about Hamburg's Neue Deutsche Welle scene and some German Psych Soul from The Soul Explosion and the Surf Guitar twang of Dresden's The Roaring 420s...If that's not enough there's sleazy guitar boogie from Eagles of Death Metal and a Psychobilly Garage Rock opener from The Things...Listen or download below...Enjoy!

Tickets for our Retro Man Blog Night at The Half Moon Putney on Saturday May 24th are available from the box office here at the special advance purchase price of only £12.50.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Len Price 3 + Galileo 7 + The Sonic Jewels live at The Pipeline March 01st: Exclusive Paul Slattery Photos

The Len Price 3 by Paul Slattery
Phil Moore at Sweet But Deadly Promotions put on yet another great line-up, this time at the Pipeline near Liverpool Street Station, on Saturday March 01st. Unfortunately I missed the first band, the hotly-tipped Sonic Jewels, but luckily photographer Paul Slattery was there to witness their set and he was mightily impressed. I did manage to chat to the band after the show and Paul picked up a copy of their album "The Dark Road To Venus" from which he chose an excellent track "The Slide Of Time", as one of his top-tips in Episode 13 of Retrosonic Podcast. I have been listening to the album a lot recently and can't recommend it highly enough, so I am even more disappointed that I missed them. Let's hope they play live again very soon and I will try and make it along.

The Sonic Jewels at The Pipeline by Paul Slattery
I was very keen to see Galileo 7 play for the first time and tonight I thoroughly enjoyed their set of tuneful Garage-Psych numbers that reminded me a bit of "World Shut Your Mouth" (the album, not the single...) and "Fried" era Julian Cope. The Galileo 7's singer, guitarist and songwriter is none other than Allan Crockford, who is currently also playing bass with his ex-Prisoners and Solarflares pals Graham Day and Wolf Howard in Graham Day & The Forefathers, blasting out a raw high energy set of all their old classic to delighted crowds at packed-out venues. Galileo 7 also feature drummer Russ Baxter from Secret Affair, Keyboard player Viv Bonsells, who took over lead vocals on one song, and bassist Mole who had his turn on a great cover of The Nerves "Paper Dolls". I saw Mole play drums with The Higher State and Groovy Uncle last year and he also helps to run State Records, so he must be a very busy chap. Galileo 7 played a well received set including a few of my favourites such as "Orangery Lane", "Anne Hedonia" and "Are We Having Fun Yet?" along with some new numbers from their forthcoming album "False Memory Lane". You can hear "Don't Follow Me", an exclusive track from the album played in Retrosonic Podcast Episode 13.

Allan Crockford of Galileo 7 by Paul Slattery
Headliners The Len Price 3 are currently riding high on the acclaim lavished on their latest album "Nobody Knows" which has been getting some really great reviews recently, including a 10/10 in Vive Le Rock magazine. Kicking off with a storming version of "Words Won't Come" there's a false start on the next song but the band pick it up and soon everyone is singing along to a breakneck version of "Billy Mason" which speeds past in just over a minute and a half, "it's not fast enough!" shouts someone from the crowd ironically. Despite being one of the newest songs in the band's set "My Grandad Jim" is fast becoming a fan's favourite, and then we are treated to some more well established classics in "Rentacrowd" and "The Girl Who Became a Machine" which get the crowd worked up even more. On stage The Len Price 3 are an all-out attack on the senses, visually they are a blur of red, white and blue striped blazers as bassist Steve Huggins and lead vocalist and guitarist Glenn Page career about the stage, and off it too!

Glenn Page of The Len Price 3 by Paul Slattery
Drummer Neil Fromow is not one to be upstaged though, and his Keith Moon style attack on the drum-kit and magnificent backing harmonies ensure he is not just left in the shadows. "Preying Mantis" and the Kinksian "Vultures" are next and prove that deep down the band are not afraid to tackle dark and cynical subject matters in their lyrics. "If I Ain't Got You" and "Pictures" are blasted out and then "Lonely" from the new album slows the pace so we can have a bit of breather before we're off again with "With Your Love" and then their cover of "Comanche!" which sees Glenn get in amongst the crowd. Next up is "The London Institute" which most people agree is the outstanding track on the new album as it stretches the band into a new dimension, and despite it's dream-sequence like psychedelic interlude on the record, it also works really well live.

The Len Price...errrr 5...! Photo by Paul Slattery
"Girl Like You" ends the set but it's not long before the band are called back for more and the first encore of a scathing "You Tell Lies" is swiftly followed by the touching "After You're Gone". Next is their first single, the Garage Rock classic "Christian In The Desert" after which Glenn kindly plugs our two upcoming gigs with The Len Price 3, firstly at The Railway in Southend on April 26th and then the Half Moon Putney on June 06th (with Graham Day & The Forefathers and The Galileo 7) and he sticks the flyer on his forehead for added promotional value. They play a rampant "Chinese Burn" and then "Shirley Crabtree" sparks another stage invasion and mass singalong. The band get called back for yet another encore with various requests being shouted out before settling on a totally wired version of "Chatham Town Spawns Devils" and then it's finally all over, another great gig from The Len Price 3! Here are some more exclusive photos from Paul Slattery.

The Sonic Jewels by Paul Slattery
The Sonic Jewels by Paul Slattery
Galileo 7 by Paul Slattery
Galileo 7 by Paul Slattery
The Len Price 3 by Paul Slattery
The Len Price 3 by Paul Slattery
The Len Price 3 by Paul Slattery
Retro Man Blog presents an evening of wild Garage Rock from The Medway featuring Graham Day & The Forefathers, The Len Price 3 and Galileo 7 at The Half Moon in Putney on Friday June 06th. This gig is in conjunction with the great book "The Kids Are All Square (Medway Punk & Beyond 1977-1985)" by Ian Snowball and Bob Collins and there will be copies for sale at the gig. Advance tickets are selling fast and can be booked from the Half Moon's direct link here

Check out Episode 13 of Retrosonic Podcast where you can hear Galileo 7 and Sonic Jewels along with a top selection of groovy Psych, Soul and Garage Rock including The Chocolate Watchband, The Clique, The Afex, Otis Clay, Thee Mighty Caesars, The Movements, Fogbound and more...

Thanks to Paul Slattery for the photos, for more pics of the gig head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and hit "Like" for access to the photo album.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Tom Hingley (ex-Inspiral Carpets) live at The Railway Hotel Southend-on-Sea March 22nd by Mark Lancaster

Tom Hingley at The Railway, Southend - Photo by Mark Lancaster
In my opinion Inspiral Carpets were the best of the bands to come out of, what the music press dubbed (somewhat incorrectly), as Madchester. For starters the band hailed from, in the main, Oldham. They produced a string of excellent singles in the late 80’s/early 90’s and even had one of their songs ‘I Want You’ reworked for the BBC Saturday morning children’s show ‘The 8.15 from Manchester’. Part of their success was no doubt down to Tom Hingley’s excellent vocals. Whereas Happy Mondays and The Stone Roses were bands where the vocalist couldn’t sing for toffee, the Inspirals had a really good singer in Tom (who is, fact fans, actually from Oxfordshire, which is not a suburb of Manchester). Tom, who must be one of the hardest gigging acts in the UK, returned for his third visit to Southend-on-Sea’s premier music venue The Railway Hotel (home of many Retroman/Podrophenia projects) since last August, so it is obviously a venue he enjoys playing. A decent sized audience settled down for a free (yes free!) gig on a Saturday afternoon. 

Photo by Mark Lancaster
Tom’s acoustic set started off with a reworking of the Inspiral’s 1993 Top 20 hit ‘Saturn 5’. The song, which on this solo version has slowed down considerably, shows off Tom’s excellent vocals and took on an almost torch-song quality. This was swiftly followed by two other Inspiral’s favourites ‘She Comes In The Fall’ and ‘Dragging Me Down’. We then had a five minute break because Tom had to pop outside and feed the parking meter before taking to the stage to continue with the gig. Rock and Roll eh? 

What is also evident is that Tom is an excellent guitarist. Playing an acoustic guitar which looked like it had been round the block a few times he, in the words of one Railway punter, “made it sing”. His Bottle-Neck Blues playing is right up there with the best of them and the sounds he gets from his guitar without the use of pedals is fantastic. My highlights of the gig were ‘Good’ from his 2009 ‘Thames Valley Delta Blues’ album, an a cappella version of Janis Joplin’s ‘Mercedes Benz’ with added audience hand claps and a great version of the James classic ‘Sit Down’ which segued into Erma Franklin’s ‘Another Piece Of My Heart’. Tom then cemented his ‘hardest working man on the circuit’ credentials by heading off to Gillingham in Kent for his second gig of the day straight after his set. I am already looking forward to the next time Mr Hingley returns to Southend for an afternoon of great music. Tom is also playing at the 100 Club in London’s Oxford Street with his Tom Hingley Band project on 16th April. They play, what has been described as “Electric Dirty Blues”. Now that sounds like a gig to go to!

Tom Hingley - Photo by Mark Lancaster
Review and Photographs copyright Mark Lancaster 2014. 

With many thanks to Mark for contributing the great review. You can check out Tom's up to date news at The Tom Hingley Official Facebook page and pre-order tickets for the 100 Club gig here.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

The Jetsonics + The Fallen Leaves + The Transients at The Fighting Cocks, Kingston-Upon-Thames March 21st: Exclusive Paul Slattery Photos

The Fallen Leaves by Paul Slattery
Thanks to everyone who came along to The Fighting Cocks in Kingston-Upon-Thames to see a great triple bill of bands - The Jetsonics, The Fallen Leaves and The Transients - it was an excellent turn-out considering the unusually high amount of gigs being held on the 21st and we really appreciate it, especially as we know there were quite a few cases of divided loyalties...! All three bands were on top form and rock photographer Paul Slattery was there to capture the action...

The Transients by Paul Slattery
The Transients by Paul Slattery
The Fallen Leaves by Paul Slattery
The Fallen Leaves by Paul Slattery
The Fallen Leaves by Paul Slattery
The Fallen Leaves by Paul Slattery
The Jetsonics by Paul Slattery
The Jetsonics by Paul Slattery

Thanks to Paul Slattery for contributing the photos. For more photos of the gig head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and, if you are not already signed up, hit "Like" for access to the photo album. You can see The Fallen Leaves supporting The Monochrome Set at our Retro Man Blog night at The Half Moon Putney on Saturday May 24th, advance tickets can be booked here.