Saturday, 8 August 2020

Alvin Gibbs "Diminished Responsibility: My Life as a U.K. Sub and Other Strange Stories" (Tome & Metre Publishing)

Diminished Responsibility cover
This excellent new book from U.K. Subs bassist Alvin Gibbs "Diminished Responsibility: My Life as a U.K. Sub and Other Strange Stories" (the first from those good folks at Time & Matter) works on all levels – whether it be as an evocative autobiography, travelogue and tour diary or a thoughtful take on the various machinations of the music industry over the years. Take your pick, Alvin has all bas(s)es superbly covered within these fast-turning pages. Starting off with a foreword by Henry Rollins, we are soon plunged into Alvin’s earliest childhood memories and his first love, surprisingly not music but football, both as a handy player and then as a passionate supporter of his local team Crystal Palace. He soon gets hooked by the music bug though and inspired by Glam Rock he forms various bands with school friends and ends up striking up an unlikely friendship with Guy Stevens, the inspired, if somewhat erratic, producer of Mott The Hoople and The Clash’s “London Calling”. Alvin then gets sucked into the burgeoning London Punk scene, seeing early bands in legendary venues like the Roxy but it’s experiencing the Ramones play at the Croydon Greyhound that really seals the deal and he joins Cambridge based Punks The Users. He then lands playing bass for Brian James who had just left The Damned to form his own band, The Brains, later to become The Hellions and there are some hilarious tales of Brian’s less than benevolent handling of the tour expenses. Alvin then recalls his audition with the U.K. Subs which would be the first encounter of an on-off relationship that endures to this very day and, as we are about to discover, would go on to provide so many experiences that he will soon be publishing Volume 2 of these memoirs.

Alvin Gibbs onstage with the U.K. Subs - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Alvin’s recollections are shot through with a conscience which may be one reason why he re-wrote his (initially rather discreet) first book about touring with Iggy Pop. He mentions that he struggled against expected social conventions of the time such as pressure from family versus becoming an all-out Rock ’n’ Roll monster. But therein lies the charm of the story. For example, this paradox leads him to get married at an early age because he felt it was the right thing to do but it only causes him sleepless nights, in more ways than one, when he can’t stop himself from succumbing to the pleasures of being on tour. It’s these frank, soul searching elements that elevate the book to another level and prevents it being much more than just another lurid Rock ’n’ Roll memoir. Don’t get me wrong, there are enough amusing, sometimes eye-opening vignettes of on-the-road bad behaviour, particularly when the Anti-Nowhere League and Hanoi Rocks are also involved. But despite his honest recollections of these wild adventures, Alvin comes across as a likeable and thoughtful person who manages to find the time to discover the joys of foreign travel amongst the hectic tour schedules and after-show carousing. For example, his vivid portrayal of New York and his evident passion for places as diverse as Florence in Italy and Austin in Texas are really evocative and you can understand why he now resides in France, seemingly someone totally at ease with different cultures thanks, I’m sure to his globe-trotting experiences as a touring musician. It’s not all seen through rose-tinted glasses though as is evident in the hair-raising encounters with right wing factions in Germany, a sobering visit to the Dachau concentration camp and even run-ins with Rednecks and Hell’s Angels in the States, which he compares to the movie Easy Rider. 

Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants "Ghost Train"
However, it’s in his description of the U.K. Subs ground-breaking but ultimately ill-fated tour of Poland in 1983 where his writing really hits its stride. The Subs were the first Punk band to play there and they experienced not only their largest crowds and biggest venues but the intense, claustrophobic atmosphere of life behind the Iron Curtain as the Solidarity movement gained momentum. But let’s rewind a bit and I’ll let you in on a selection of other goodies that you will encounter as we accompany Alvin on his literary tour bus. There are encounters with John Lydon, Billy Idol and Arturo Vega in New York, there’s The Cramps, The Police and Thin Lizzy and some less than pleasant experiences with Adam Ant and Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden. There’s loads of interesting snippets of information and gossip for U.K. Subs fans and various vignettes that could come straight from the movies “Almost Famous” and “Spinal Tap”, from death defying air journeys to Drummer Steve Roberts spectacular ego-driven meltdown. There are backstage punch-ups and the reasons for original rhythm section Paul Slack and Pete Davies leaving the band. We discover the secret behind the ‘live’ album “Crash Course” and how their stint at Jacobs studio in rural Farnham inspired the Guns n’ Roses favourite “Down on The Farm”. We learn how the Subs’ press photos for “Keep On Running” caused a furore amongst the Hardcore Year Zero Punk fraternity and find out how the band got scrubbed from Top of The Pops. It’s all here and more…! 

Alvin Gibbs onstage with the U.K. Subs - Photo by Retro Man Blog
Obviously, Alvin opens up on the relationships with his various band-mates but I was a bit surprised that guitarist Nicky Garratt remains an elusive figure throughout the book. Nicky, it seems generally preferred to do his own thing on tour, not partaking in the usual on the road chaos around him, and in fact even gets labelled a Boy Scout at one point. However, it’s not until the very last chapter where Alvin explains the unexpected twist regarding the band’s split in 1983 that he expands on the importance of Garratt’s role. Admitting that Garratt played a major part in bringing Charlie’s somewhat sketchy ideas for songs to life and how he tried his best in the studio to rescue the disappointing “Diminished Responsibility” LP, not forgetting his incendiary live performances. Yes, the way the band ended here comes as a bit of a surprise, not what I was expecting at all and I won’t go into the details here, you’ll just have to buy yourself a copy to find out! The book is the first to be published by Time & Matter Recordings new publishing wing Tome & Metre and can be ordered directly from here. Keep an eye on their site for news on the forthcoming Volume 2.

You can hear my colleague Paul Slattery's favourite Subs track and a song from Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants in Retrosonic Podcast Episode 32 (see below). Paul photographed the U.K. Subs for various single and album covers such as "Stranglehold" and "Original Punks, Original Hits".

Useful links - Please click on the highlighted links below for further information

Time & Matter Recordings - Official web-site
Time & Matter Recordings - Facebook page
Alvin Gibbs - Some Weird Sin: On Tour With Iggy Pop
U.K. Subs - Official web-site
Retrosonic Podcast - with Leigh Heggarty from the Disobedient Servants & Ruts DC
Retro Man Blog - Alvin Gibbs archive features

Friday, 7 August 2020

Ms Sheringham-Boom reviews brand new releases from Palooka 5 and The Space Agency

- The Space Agency "The Celestial Sounds Of…" (Tremolo Records)
These Brighton based instrumentalists formed out of a serendipitous meeting in 2002 (see for the whole story) and now present their fifth (but first vinyl) LP of 'out of this world instrumental sounds’. The thing I really love about a good instrumental LP (and I do LOVE a good instro) is that the music tells the story without those pesky things called lyrics getting in the way, thus allowing the listener to set their imagination free, and because this LP is fully instrumental (unless you count the chattering birds) there is a requirement to keep things fresh and somewhat varied, which of course The Space Agency do with aplomb. In their owns words they offer ‘music and sounds inspired by places, avian disputes, descriptions of sound, nature, cravings, spicy Eastern foods, other worlds, euphoria and glittering galaxies of nonsense & stupidity’.

Make no mistake, this is an album packed full of all of the above and held within a retrofuturistic context. There may be fads in instrumental music, for example the third wave of Surf with it’s heavy metal connotations and booming basslines, which honestly leaves me stone cold. I prefer a sound that is in keeping with the rawness, energy and experimentation of the original masters, and mistresses. Another thing that endears this LP to me is that I can hear the distant waves of Japan throughout, so much so that I swear it’s Kayama Yuzo playing his Mosrite on "Teringo". "Bombay Potatoes" takes us to South Asia with it’s psychedelic fuzzed-out sitar sounds. "The Devil’s Saddle" evokes the sound of Mr Space Age Pop himself, Joe Meek (we are not worthy), and as hard as it is to choose a favourite track from the LP, this is one of them. So here it is, The Space Agency presents "Celestial Sounds of The Space Agency". What else can one say except superlunary! - Ms Sheringham-Boom (August 2020)

- Palooka 5 "Ultra Marine" LP (Spinout Nuggets)
With a bent for dressing like extras from Apocalypse Now, the Palooka 5 certainly aren’t the fools that their name suggests. With regular airplay already secured on Radio 6, they return  with a follow up to 2018’s "Rough Magic" in the form of mini LP number two "Ultra Marine" this time on the Spinout Nuggets label. Based in the heart of Somerset, the Palooka 5 have broken out of camp and made it to London (which is no small feat) and have done the rounds of a few festivals to boot; a wealth of gigs under their camouflaged belts. Hopefully the other boot will propel them further afield into Europe, the US and beyond. Despite the difficulties that 2020 has presented, with no live gigs since April and an uncertain future for grassroots music venues, I admire theirs and the label's ‘the show must go on’ spirit. Actually, it’s perfect timing because we, the people, definitely need a shot of this upbeat Garage-Surf-Pop conglomeration to brighten up the current climate.

So, just what is it the Go-Go girls are getting their tassels in a twist about? Well, to start, title track "Ultra Marine" comes on like The B-52’s kicking the whatsit out of "Rockaway Beach". Yes, I know every man and his dog uses that comparison when there’s a female vocalist in a band with a certain twang or fuzz, but in this case it’s actually true. I’m grateful that we get to hear more of Mrs BE Baigent other than the backing vox and maraca shaking she so deftly dispenses. It’s my favourite track of the eight for sure.  Other tracks such as "Possession of the Surf Tsar" (it’s where you’ll find the Cossack-tion), and  "Missy Mousetrap" which conjures up mid ‘60s Californian Garage R&B at its very peak, are just a few of the stomp, shout and work it on out numbers on this mini but majestic offering. A great balance of vocal and instro with some crackley radio bits thrown in for fun. If this record doesn’t sell out quickly then the world truly has gone AWOL. - Ms Sheringham-Boom (August 2020)

For more information and details on how to buy the albums please check out the following links:

Ms Sheringham-Boom is the bassist in Edinburgh's premier purveyors of Garage Rock, Thee Girl Fridays. You can hear a great track from Palooka 5 in Episode 38 of Retrosonic Podcast.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 6 with Ian Person of The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Union Carbide Productions & Pablo Matisse

Photo courtesy Ian Person
In Episode 6 of our special Lockdown Lowdown series we welcome Ian Person into the virtual Retrosonic Podcast studio. We take an entertaining and in-depth journey through Ian's musical life - not only as a guitarist, singer, songwriter and composer but as an enthusiastic music fan. We go back to Ian's earliest musical memories - from the very first record he bought, the first gig he went to and the first band he formed. He discusses his favourite albums, 7" singles and the influences on his guitar playing. There's also some of his own memorable shows and tales of touring with Robert Plant and Oasis and working with Denise Johnson, who we found out had sadly passed away just a few days before we did the interview. Along the way there's some great music from The Who, Black Flag, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Damned, Minor Threat, The Stranglers, Oasis, Ebba Grön and Led Zeppelin to illustrate Ian's stories and choices. We also take a comprehensive look at Ian's own music from being a part of two of Sweden's most influential and important bands - the wild, untamed Union Carbide Productions and Psych Rock legends The Soundtrack of Our Lives. We take in his time with P-Funk innovators Stonefunkers and on collaborations with his ex-TSOOL colleagues Fredrik Sandsten and Kalle Gustafsson Jerneholm on such projects as legendary Swedish singer Jerry Williams comeback album to his movie and TV soundtrack work such as Box 21 and The Eternal Road. Then there's new music from his current band Pablo Matisse and we also feature a pick of his own solo music including the superb score to the documentary on his favourite football team IFK Göteborg and his Diamonds In The Rough album. Finally we end the episode with an exclusive unreleased song from his forthcoming solo album, a duet with Swedish singer Alice B.

Full Tracklisting
The Stranglers "The Raven"
Ebba Grön "Hang Gud"
Black Flag "Rise Above"
The Who "Baba O'Riley"
Union Carbide Productions "Golden Age"
Union Carbide Productions "Coda"
Stonefunkers "Mardi Gras Stomp"
The Soundtrack of Our Lives "Instant Repeater '99"
Ian Person "Valencia Theme"
Ian Person & Kalle Gustafsson Jerneholm "Theme from The Eternal Road"
Ian Person "Box 21"
Ian Person "Diamonds In The Rough"
Pablo Matisse "Is There Anybody Out There?"
Jerry Williams "Ghostrider"
Oasis "Champagne Supernova"
Led Zeppelin "Good Times Bad Times"
The Soundtrack of Our Lives "Mind The Gap"
Creedence Clearwater Revival "Fortunate Son"
The Damned "Love Song"
Minor Threat "Betray"
Ian Person & Alice B "Forever and a Day

Ian Person photographed by Paul Slattery
Useful Links - Please click on the highlighted link below to explore further
Ian Person - Official Facebook page
Ian Person - Bandcamp site
Pablo Matisse - Official Facebook page
Pablo Matisse - Bandcamp site
Svenska Grammofon Studion - Official web-site
The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Official Facebook page
The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Facebook Group
(for all things TSOOL related including Fan's Forum, Archive & news on all ex-Bandmembers)
Retrosonic Podcast - Special Episode with Ian Person
Retrosonic Podcast - Special Episode with Ian Person & Fredrik Sandsten 
Retrosonic Podcast - Special Episode on IFK Gothenburg movie "Football's Last Proletarians" 
(with ex-IFK & Liverpool legend Glenn Hysén, Directors Martin Jönsson & Carl Pontus Hjorthén)

This episode can be streamed/downloaded directly below or you can check out our Retrosonic Podcast site at Soundcloud or subscribe for free at iTunes or Apple Podcasts.

Retrosonic Podcast has a valid PRS certificate. Podcover photo courtesy of Ian Person. Check out our previous Lockdown Lowdown episodes with Duncan Reid of The Boys, Leigh Heggarty of Ruts DC, Raymond Gorman of That Petrol Emotion/The Everlasting Yeah, Buddy Ascott of The Chords/The Fallen Leaves and Mike & Elsa from The Jack Cades. Retrosonic intro music by Adam Donovan.

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

Thee Moot release new video "No More Dreams In The Hollow"

Thee Moot have just released a great new video to a track "No More Dreams in the Hollow" taken from their excellent full-length album "Peel It To Reveal It" which made it into Retro Man Blog's top LP's of 2019. The band, who feature bassist Mark Leech and vocalist Nick Stone from early 80's Psych-Mod legends The Onlookers and Mark's former bandmates from The Transient's, guitarist DC and drummer Freezer Pinch have been one of our favourite bands of the past couple of years and "Peel It..." follows on from their equally impressive debut mini-album "Tomorrow's Calling". Check out the video below and please subscribe to their YouTube channel here as more videos will follow.

You can order "Peel It To Reveal It" from Thee Moot's Bandcamp site here and please do visit their official Facebook page here for news and further information on the band.

Sunday, 26 July 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 5 with Duncan Reid of The Boys & The Big Heads

Podcover photo by Peter Andersen courtesy of Duncan Reid
In Episode 5 of our special Retrosonic Podcast "Lockdown Lowdown" series we welcome Duncan Reid, formerly the bassist with original Melodic Punk Pop legends The Boys and currently performing and recording with his own band The Big Heads, into the virtual Retrosonic studio. In this thoroughly enjoyable romp through Duncan's life we go right back to his earliest childhood musical memories including seeing the Rolling Stones on TV amongst his disapproving Beatle-loving family and we discover the first record he bought with his own pocket money. He tells us of the first gig he went to and what he found in his Dad's cupboard and how it played an important part in his life. There are examples of his favourite singles and albums along with the artists and gigs that have had an impact on him over the years. He explains who influenced his bass playing and confesses to how he upset Bass Guitar magazine. Then we learn why he was awarded the freedom of a South American capital city, how he became big in Kensington and Chelsea and even bigger in Japan (without even knowing it!). All this and much, much more! Generously soundtracked by Duncan's own pick of the Pops throughout the episode and of course, including some of the very best of his own recorded work from his time with The Boys and Hollywood Killers to his debut solo album and bang up to date with The Big Heads excellent new LP "Don't Blame Yourself".

Retrosonic Podcast can be streamed and downloaded directly below or from our Soundcloud site here. Alternatively, you can subscribe for free at iTunes and Apple Podcasts.

Full Tracklisting
Rolling Stones "You'd Better Move On"
The Beatles "Penny Lane"
The Jam "Funeral Pyre"
The Who "Pictures of Lily"
Mr. Bloe "Groovin' With Mr. Bloe"
Alice Cooper "School's Out"
Heavy Metal Kids "Delirious"
Queen "Now I'm Here"
Hollywood Killers "No Joke"
The Boys "First Time"
The Boys "I Don't Care"
The Boys "Brickfield Nights"
Duncan Reid "Kelly's Gone Insane"
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads "Bombs Away"
Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers "Born To Lose"
Duncan Reid "Montevideo"
Marc Bolan & T-Rex "Jeepster"
Chris Isaak "Wicked Game"
Ramones "Swallow My Pride"
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads "To Live Or Live Not"

Useful links: Please click the highlighted links below for further info, news and merch:

Duncan Reid & The Big Heads official web-site
Duncan Reid & The Big Heads Facebook page
You can order the new Big Heads LP at Duncan Reid & The Big Heads Bandcamp site
The Boys official web-site
The Boys Facebook page

Here's the great video for "To Live or Live Not" from the new Big Heads album, enjoy!

Retrosonic Podcast has a valid PRS certificate. Podcover photo by Peter Andersen courtesy of Duncan Reid. Check out our previous Lockdown Lowdown episodes with Leigh Heggarty of Ruts DC, Raymond Gorman of That Petrol Emotion/The Everlasting Yeah, Buddy Ascott of The Chords/The Fallen Leaves and Mike & Elsa from The Jack Cades.

Sunday, 5 July 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 4 with Mike & Elsa from The Jack Cades

Mike & Elsa from The Jack Cades
In this episode of our Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown series we welcome Mike and Elsa from one of our favourite new groups, The Jack Cades, following the release of their superb second album "Perfect View". Mike and Elsa take us on a musical trip through some of their favourite albums, singles, gigs, happenings and people that had an influence on their own impressive work with Thee Vicars, The Baron Four, The Missing Souls and of course with The Jack Cades. Generously soundtracked by some of their favourite songs including Nirvana, The Milkshakes, The Masonics, Rodriguez, The Stone Roses, Buzzcocks, The Beatles, The (International) Noise Conspiracy, Spacemen 3, The Squires and The Brian Jonestown Massacre. There's also a pick of their very own music from Thee Vicars, The Missing Souls, The Baron Four and of course The Jack Cades.

James Brown "I Got The Feelin'"
Nirvana "All Apologies"
The Missing Souls "The Alligator"
Thee Vicars "Introduction To Thee Vicars"
Thee Vicars "The Beat"
The Baron Four "Shut Your Mind"
The Milkshakes "Out of Control"
The Masonics "When You Cry At Night"
The Stone Roses "What The World Is Waiting For"
The (International) Noise Conspiracy "Smash It Up"
Buzzcocks "Time's Up"
The Zombies "Friends of Mine"
The Beatles "You Won't See Me"
The Squires "Going All The Way"
Rodriguez "I'll Slip Away"
Spacemen 3 "Losing Touch With My Mind"

Please click on the highlighted links above for more information on the featured bands and how to buy their music. The Jack Cades Facebook page is here for news about on-line performances and releases. Please kindly do what you can to support Bands, Artists, Record Companies and Venues in these difficult times. Subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast for FREE at iTunes or at our Soundcloud site/archive here. This episode can also be downloaded or streamed directly below.

Monday, 29 June 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 3 with Raymond Gorman from That Petrol Emotion & The Everlasting Yeah

Raymond Gorman - Photographed by Paul Slattery
In the third episode of our Lockdown Lowdown series, we welcome Raymond Gorman, guitarist and vocalist with The Everlasting Yeah and That Petrol Emotion into the virtual Retrosonic Podcast studio. In this thoroughly entertaining episode Raymond talks us through some of his most memorable musical moments from hearing The Beatles for the first time and impressing the girls with his dancing to T-Rex. He explains about various gigs and records that made an impact on him and his guitar playing and there are some candid stories of why he stopped playing piano, why he couldn't get into the legendary Casbah Club and how That Petrol Emotion almost signed to Creation. Along the way we learn about his encounters with Iggy Pop, Kevin Rowland, John Cooper-Clarke, Pete Wylie, Dieter Meyer of Yello, Ian McLagan and of course The Undertones. This hugely enjoyable trip down memory lane is soundtracked by some of Raymond's favourite tunes from The Beatles, Marc Bolan & T-Rex, Taste (featuring Rory Gallagher), Horslips, The Undertones, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Iggy Pop, The Sweet and David Bowie. There's also a pick of some of Raymond's own work with That Petrol Emotion and The Everlasting Yeah along with a rare snippet of his first live performance with John O'Neill. "Self-consciousness is the enemy of good art" - Raymond Gorman

Full Tracklisting:
The Everlasting Yeah "A Little Bit of Uh-Huh"
The Beatles "She Loves You"
Marc Bolan & T-Rex "Metal Guru"
David Bowie "Life on Mars?"
Horslips "Furniture"
Taste (feat. Rory Gallagher) "Same Old Story"
The Undertones "True Confessions"
The Undertones "You're Welcome"
Raymond Gorman & John O'Neill "Pale Blue Eyes" (live)
That Petrol Emotion "Keen"
That Petrol Emotion "Lifeblood"
That Petrol Emotion "Abandon" (Boys Own Remix)
That Petrol Emotion "Sweet Shiver Burn"
That Petrol Emotion "Heartbeat Mosaic"
Iggy Pop & James Williamson "Kill City"
Dexy's Midnight Runners "Tell Me When My Light Turns Green"
Marc Bolan & T-Rex "20th Century Boy"
The Sweet "Ballroom Blitz"
The Everlasting Yeah "New Beat On Shakin' Street"
The Everlasting Yeah "The Grind"

Here's a Playlist that Raymond compiled for us featuring some more of his recommended records.

Television "See No Evil"
Roxy Music "Beauty Queen"
Stevie Wonder "Maybe Your Baby"
New York Dolls "Jet Boy"
Love "Maybe The People Would Be The Times..."
Bryan Ferry "Love Me Madly Again"
Buzzcocks "Time's Up"
Bob Dylan "My Own Version Of You"
Low "Congregation"
Free "Oh, I Wept"
New Order "Nothing But a Fool"
Jimi Hendrix Experience "Castles Made of Sand"
Bobby Charles "Small Town Talk" 

Useful Links - Please click on the highlighted links below for further information:

The Everlasting Yeah - Official website
Everlasting Yeah/That Petrol Emotion Story - Retrosonic Special with Raymond, Damian O'Neill & Ciaran McLaughlin
The King Alphonso Radio Hour - Raymond's own Podcast
That Petrol Emotion - Facebook Fan's Group
The Undertones - Official website
Rocking Humdingers Club - The Undertones Facebook Fan's Group
Damian O'Neill - Retrosonic Special with Damian on his "Refit Revise Reprise" LP

Podcover photo by Paul Slattery. Subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast for FREE at iTunes or at our Soundcloud site/archive here. This episode can also be downloaded or streamed directly below.

Saturday, 20 June 2020

Ms Debbie Sheringham-Boom Reviews Two New Spinout Nuggets Releases from The Hurricanes and Paul Groovy & The Pop Art Experience

Paul Groovy & The Pop Art Experience "He's A Liar"
Ms Debbie Sheringham-Boom, bassist with the fabulous Thee Girl Fridays has a listen to two new releases from our busy friends over at the rapidly expanding Spinout Nuggets label. 

Paul Groovy & The Pop Art Experience "He’s A Liar / You’re Gonna Miss Me" (Single)
"With a musical history spanning no less than four decades, Paul Groovy and his band The Pop Art Experience release their first vinyl offering on Spinout Nuggets with original composition "He’s A Liar". From the get-go, Groovy’s gnarled vocals let you know that he’s in a bit of a tizzy about something, and luckily backing vox Jane Hornet provides a soothing counterbalance. If you like your Garage with the emphasis on Rock a la The Fleshtones, The Miracle Workers, The Stooges and even The Saints then this will be a sure fire hit for you. The flipside is a cover of a ‘60s garage holy grail classic - The 13th Floor Elevators "You’re Gonna Miss Me". It is a brave move to attempt such a monumental tune, but as it is done in their own Pop Art style, it is more of a compliment than a copy and thus sounds, you guessed it. Groovy."

The Hurricanes "Look Out! It's The Hurricanes"
The Hurricanes "Look Out! It’s The Hurricanes" (LP)
"I have been looking forward to hearing this The Hurricanes 2nd LP since last year’s single release on Spinout Nuggets "Look Out!/Shake It", the latter of which was a personal favourite from 2019. Although I admit I hadn't heard their output prior to that, but that’s not always a bad thing. The album opens with the velocity of a souped-up Vespa burnout, and indeed it is aptly named for the first track "Take A Ride Tonight". Shall we take a ride with The Hurricanes? The Hurricanes employ that powerful ‘dun-duh-na dun-duh-na’ guitar sound - the accumulation of many British ‘60s bands such as The Eyes, The Creation and of course The Who, and latterly that of many revivalist bands. Tracks like "Right Down Inside The Blackout" and blazer "Don’t Hold On" evoke a touch of pre-Brit Pop Mod Indie rock reminiscent of the criminally underrated Five Thirty, but theirs is a less frivolous, more mature model thereof. Jones’s wall-of-sound guitar barely lets up throughout the whole album. There is no room for ballads here. Stand out tracks for me are power pop driven "The New Contenders" and the more garage-esque "Look Out!" and "Dancing On The Rubble". Why? Distortion, fuzz guitar, and the addition of a keyboard adds an extra layer of sound synonymous with that of their influences; and in this case it is a triumph. Loud Garage Mod. Does what it says on the tin." - Thanks to Debbie, don't forget you can check out Thee Girl Fridays here and grab their brilliant 7" vinyl EP "The Love Witch", also released by Spinout Nuggets, directly from the label here.

You can hear the new single from Paul Groovy & The Pop Art Experience and a song from "Look Out! It's The Hurricanes" in our brand new Retrosonic Podcast Episode 39. Check it out here...

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 39: Be Seeing You - with The Clash, The Courettes, Jetstream Pony, The Prisoners, Fleur, Eight Rounds Rapid and more!

Podcover Star: Flavia Couri/Photo by Martin Couri
Welcome to Episode 39 of Retrosonic Podcast and you can probably tell that we've been watching a lot of TV during the lockdown as there are some musical montages inspired by two of our favourite shows (the original) Star Trek and The Prisoner. So, we have tracks by The Clash, Ron Grainer, The Vapors, The Prisoners, SpizzEnergi, The Times, The Galileo 7, The Wedding Present and William Shatner, yes indeed, Captain Kirk singing The Cramps no less...seriously! Then there's a round-up of some fantastic new releases from Damaged Goods Records with the new single from The Courettes, Bickerton Records give us some superb Dutch Ye-Ye from Fleur and also The Colour Collection and then our busy friends at Spinout Nuggets have yet more great stuff out now from Paul Groovy & The Pop Art Experience and The Hurricanes. The Plastic Pals provide their cinematic new single, there's a track from the excellent debut Jetstream Pony LP and a blistering unreleased taster from the forthcoming album by Eight Rounds Rapid. My original Podcast colleague Adam is back with Sam, the singer/guitarist of his old band The Jetsonics, in a new duo called Keller Machine and there's a track from the first of three EP's by The Cult Figures. Then there's some rip-roaring Punk Rock from The Anabollic Steroids and one of Sweden's first Punk bands, GLO. I hope you enjoy this episode, if you are interested in finding out more information on the bands/artists/record labels or would like to buy any of their music, then please click on the highlighted links below to take you directly to their web-sites. Thanks to all the featured bands and you for listening, be seeing you!

Full Tracklisting:
Ron Grainer "The Prisoner opening sequence"
The Clash "The Prisoner" (Studio version)
The Prisoners "Be On Your Way"
The Vapors "Prisoners" 
The Times "I Helped Patrick McGoohan Escape"
The Clash "The Prisoner" (Live version from the Rude Boy movie)
SpizzEnergi "Where's Captain Kirk"
The Galileo 7 "Too Late"
William Shatner "Garbageman"
Jetstream Pony "The Very Eyes of Night"
The Cult Figures "Under The Overground"
Fleur "Petit Homme de Papier"
Eight Rounds Rapid "Passive Aggressive"
The Hurricanes "Baby Move On"
The Courettes "Want You! Like a Cigarette"
Keller Machine "Mystery Bag"
Anabollic Steroids "Abnormal"
GLO "Bajs!"
The Plastic Pals "Hangin' In The Louvre"
The Colour Collection "Ne Decide Pas Pour Moi"

Podcover Star: Flavia Couri, Photo by Martin Couri (The Courettes). Ms Debbie Sheringham-Boom from the fabulous Thee Girl Fridays has reviewed the latest Spinout Nuggets releases featured in this episode - you can check out her feature here. Retrosonic Podcast has a valid PRS Licence. You can listen/download/stream directly below or via our main Retrosonic archive on Soundcloud or subscribe for free on iTunes so you don't miss an episode!

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 2 with Leigh Heggarty from Ruts DC

Leigh Heggarty at The 100 Club - Photo by Terry Heggarty
In the second episode of our Lockdown Lowdown series, we welcome Ruts DC guitarist Leigh Heggarty into the virtual Retrosonic Podcast studio. Leigh talks us through some of his most memorable musical moments from hearing The Beatles for the first time to gigs and records that made an impact on him and his guitar playing, right through to the present day touring and recording with Ruts DC. Along the way we learn about his encounters with Henry Rollins, Wayne Kramer, The Stranglers, Alvin Gibbs, Wilko Johnson and of course Paul Fox, Segs and Dave Ruffy of The Ruts/Ruts DC. There's also a look back on the now legendary but hugely emotional benefit show for Paul Fox, his last with The Ruts, which featured Henry Rollins on lead vocals and many special guests including The Damned, Misty In Roots, U.K. Subs, Tom Robinson and many more. This hugely enjoyable trip down memory lane is soundtracked by some of Leigh's favourite tunes from The Beatles, Marc Bolan & T-Rex, The Who, Rory Gallagher, Bruce Springsteen, Dr. Feelgood, The Stranglers and The Flamin' Groovies and of course The Ruts. There's also a pick of Leigh's own work with The Price, Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants and of course, Ruts DC.

Full Tracklisting:
Ruts DC "Music Must Destroy"
The Beatles "Ticket To Ride"
Marc Bolan & T-Rex "Metal Guru"
The Who "I Can See For Miles"
Rory Gallagher "Tatoo'd Lady"
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band "Candy's Room"
Dr. Feelgood "Roxette"
The Who "Won't Get Fooled Again"
The Price "So What About Love"
The Ruts "West One (Shine On Me)"
Ruts DC "Mirror Smashed"
Ruts DC "Psychic Attack"
The Stranglers "Hanging Around"
Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants "Ghost Train"
The Flamin' Groovies "Shake Some Action"

Ruts DC are keeping busy during the lockdown, broadcasting regular Ruts TV episodes, details of which can be found at their official Facebook page here. They are now taking orders for a new live album "40 Years of The Crack" recorded throughout the 2019 "Crack 40" tour and expertly mixed in the USA by Lee Groves. This very limited edition release will be available with unique double gatefold packaging containing two beautiful clear vinyl platters from 5th June 2020. Each gatefold sleeve will be lovingly signed by Segs, Ruffy and Leigh and will include a full download code sent to you personally on the morning of release while you await delivery of your package. You can order the album and keep up to date on all Ruts related news at their official web-site here. As discussed in the episode, you can also check out Leigh's excellent Blog/Tour Diary "Leigh's Mad World of Guitars" here. Info on Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedients Servants releases can be found at the Time & Matter web-site here and you can check out our features on the band in our Blog archive too.

Podcover photo by Terry Heggarty. Subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast for FREE at iTunes or at our Soundcloud site/archive here. This episode can also be downloaded or streamed below.

Wednesday, 3 June 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Lockdown Lowdown Episode 1 with Brett "Buddy" Ascott from The Chords & The Fallen Leaves

Photo by Retro Man Blog
Brett "Buddy" Ascott, drummer with The Chords and The Fallen Leaves (and many more besides...) is our first special guest in a new series of Retrosonic Podcasts entitled "Lockdown Lowdown". Buddy tells us of his earliest musical awakenings, the first record he ever bought, his first gig and what event changed him from innocent fan of Pop music to the dark side of Rock & Roll. Along the way we hear who inspired him to pick up the drumsticks, some of his own memorable experiences as a musician and the favourite tracks from his own recordings. Buddy tells us of his favourite albums and singles and most treasured item of music related memorabilia. The episode is soundtracked by songs by David Bowie, The Kinks, Sex Pistols, The Who, Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers, The Undertones, That Petrol Emotion, The Auteurs, Dodgy, Lightning Seeds, The Thrills, Arcade Fire, The Clash and of course The Chords and his current band, The Fallen Leaves.

Full Track-Listing:
David Bowie "Jean Genie"
The Kinks "Dead End Street"
Sex Pistols "Problems"
The Clash "Garageland"
The Who "Doctor Jimmy"
That Petrol Emotion "Sensitize"
The Thrills "Found My Rosebud"
The Lightning Seeds "Pure"
The Kinks "Days"
The Who "Baby, Don't You Do It" 
The Chords "I'm Not Sure"
The Chords "What Are We Gonna Do Now?"
The Undertones "Get Over You"
The Auteurs "New French Girlfriend"
The Fallen Leaves "So Much More"
Arcade Fire "Modern Man"
Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers "Born To Lose"
Dodgy "In a Room"

You can order The Chords box-set "Re-Chordings 1979-1982" here. For more information on the forthcoming book "Remembering The Chords" by Ray Butler, please check out the link here. Details on how to donate and bid for the signed drum-skin can be found at the Roll Out The Barrel Trust web-site here. The Retrosonic Podcast special featuring the full story of Buddy Ascott's musical journey is still available to download/stream at our Retrosonic Podcast Soundcloud archive here.

Subscribe to Retrosonic Podcast on iTunes for free or download/stream at Soundcloud below:

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 38: Get Sa-Ni-Ti-Zin' - with The Parkinsons, BMX Bandits, Elephant Stone, Autoramas, Shack etc.

Photo (and mask) by Maki
In Episode 38 of Retrosonic Podcast, Steve from Retro Man Blog plays some great brand new and recent releases from the worlds of Garage Rock, Punk, Indie, Psych and Power Pop to help ease the Lockdown Blues. In this episode there's a look back at some of the gigs we did manage to attend so far this year and there are songs from Jah Wobble (featuring Keith Levene & Richard Dudanski from Public Image Ltd, Mark Stewart from The Pop Group and Youth from Killing Joke), Shack as Michael Head & The Red Elastic Band played this rare Shack song at Earth in Hackney, The Parkinsons, The Past Tense and Elephant Stone. Then there's more brand new releases from The Jack Cades, Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants, The Sanitizers, Martin Savage & The Jiggerz, The Veras, Palooka 5, The In-Fuzzed, Groovy Uncle and Goodbye Victory Road. There's a look back at our last proper night out at the Poor Cow bar in Tokyo before the Lockdown and a track from the owner's old band, Japanese Punk legends Teengenerate. Then, inspired by the superb "Teenage Superstars" documentary there's a couple of classics from BMX Bandits and The Shop Assistants. Finally, as it should have been our favourite event of the year, Hipsville-A-Go-Go down in Margate, there's one of the best bands we've seen at the Weekender over the years, Brazil's Autoramas. Anyway, here's the full track-listing, please click on the highlighted links below for more information on the relevant band, artist, record company, promoter etc.

AUTORAMAS - "Homem-Cliche" 
THE PARKINSONS - "Heavy Metal"
JAH WOBBLE - "A Very British Coup"
ELEPHANT STONE - "Darker Time, Darker Space/The Court and Jury/Land of Dead"
SHACK - "Up"
THE IN-FUZZED - "Motor City Baby"
TEENGENERATE - "Dressed In Black"
THE STRIPES - "Tell Me Your Name"
THE PAST TENSE - "She's Got The Time"
GOODBYE VICTORY ROAD - "Grandad's Miscellaneous Military Memorabilia"
GROOVY UNCLE - "God on a Bike"
PALOOKA 5 - "Ultramarine"
THE VERAS - "I'm Not Afraid"
THE JACK CADES - "Dead Star"

Please kindly support the bands! This Episode's cover star Eric Baconstrip. Photo (and mask) by Maki. Retrosonic Podcast has a valid PRS licence. Thanks to Amy K-B, Lee Grimshaw at Spinout Nuggets, Mark Chadderton at Time & Matter, Michel Moimême at Wattsville, Daniel Taylor, Pat McVicar and Eric Baconstrip. You can subscribe to Retrosonic on iTunes or listen/download directly from our Soundcloud archive, all episodes still available.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Amy Catches up with Dave Diamond from The Voo-Dooms & The Primitive Club

The Voo-Dooms - Photo by Grant Unstead
Amy caught up with Dave Prince (aka Dave Diamond), drummer with The Voo-Dooms to find out more on the band and the growing success of their Primitive Club nights.

Q: Tell me about The Trash-O-Men and The Primitive Club! How did you get started?

A: Since 2016 I had been discussing with my wife Susie about opening my own 1950's/1960's club night to showcase bands that have either not played London for some time, or for an exclusive show with two DJs playing records to keep everyone dancing to the early hours! We had already been looking at Clapham Junction as a possible location in those early days and around West London too, then the following year we started to consider The Dublin Castle or The Fidler's Elbow in Camden. At the tail end of 2017 I really started looking at putting on a club once again and started to realise that this project was not something that I could do on my own; it was around this time that myself and my best mate Mike were starting to form The Voo-Dooms and after going over the idea with him, we decided to join forces and run a 1960's beat, garage and twist night.

Dave Diamond, Eric Baconstrip & Bruce Brand - Photo by Susie Prince
Dave & Mick, The Trash-0-Men - Photo by Susie Prince
The Primitive Club name is from my style of drumming and the old drums that I collect and Mike came up with the pseudonym The Trash~O~Men to use when we are putting on the event nights. I then decided to bite the bullet and contacted The Fiddlers Elbow in Camden in 2018 and booked three dates for 2019. For our opening night on 17th August 2019 we wanted to go for an explosive headliner; King Salami & The Cumberland Three. Then we chose The Hurricanes, an exclusive band to play London for the first time, and as our band The Voo-Dooms were now up and running, it was a natural choice to have us as openers for our debut night. We used a We-Got-Tickets advanced ticket booking link and sold 80 tickets and then on the day over 70 more which made the night a sell out with some coming as far as Germany and France just for the night! The first 25 through the door got a free limited edition Primitive club badge and the place was buzzing for the whole night. All three bands were amazing and the finale was King Salami & Cumberland Three ending with their version of "Tainted Love" which sent the audience into raptures. It was so fab to see Bruce 'Bash' Brand and Eric Baconstrip DJing together for the first time in over 15 years and CK Smith spinning some fab tunes til 2am! The night was captured by our official photographer Jeff Pitcher and at the end of the night the 100 leaflets we had printed to advertise our next event in November had all gone!

The Masonics - Photo by Sara Louise Bowrey
The King & The Prince - Photo by Susie Prince
For The Primitive Club #2 on November 2nd we booked The Masonics as our headliners with Ludella Black, and for our support we chose Thee Girl Fridays for their debut London Show. I had been speaking to the band at Beatwave in 2018 and said how fabulous they were and that they had to play London soon, so it was ironic when I messaged them the following year to book the band for The Primitive Club! Then we had our resident band The Voo-Dooms to kick off the night and DJs Lee 'Grimmers' Grimshaw from the Spinout Show and CK Smith to end the night playing back to back top tunes. Due to the huge success of the opening night we booked Steven Tagg Randall from The Archivist of London to capture everything on video and Sara Louise Bowrey as our official photographer. It was so amazing to see people coming through the door right when we opened at 7:30pm, and by the time The Voo-Dooms kicked off the night there were already nearly 100 in attendance. Once again all three bands stormed it with Thee Girl Fridays throwing big knickers into the audience and The Masonics with Ludella Black crowning yet another very successful high octane night! The Primitive Club #3 we billed as The Leap Year Twist Night; we had 80's garage legends The X-Men headlining, The Go-Go Cult and The Voo-Dooms and our DJs were Lee Grimshaw and Bruce 'Bash' Brand. There was a real buzz in the audience once again and this time many 80's legends had turned up on the night, including Nick Garrard (The Meteors manager), Mike Spencer (The Cannibals), Bal Croce (The Sting-Rays), and Miles, the original X-Men guitarist. Yet another electrifying night with all the bands receiving an encore and playing their socks off! At the end of the night Bal joined The X-Men on stage for an impromtu version of the Kenny and the Kasuals track "Come On"; the crowd went wild jumping and twisting! It was an amazing experience and such a phenomenal end to yet another fab night at The Primitive Club.

The Primitive Club - Photo by Jeff Pitcher
Q: You've played host to a diverse range of bands and DJ's - what kind of audience are coming to your gigs?

A: So far we've had a very diverse audience, with Beatsters, Twisters, Rock 'n' Rollers, Surf lovers, 60's Groovers, Hipsters, music lovers, Garage, Trash and European music lovers from France, Spain and Germany. Even some original musicians from the 80's have turned up to all three gigs so far which has been amazing to see. Also, it has been great to see all the bands after their show staying and watching the other bands, chatting to everyone who has attended the night and then dancing the night away once the DJs start spinning their tunes! Obviously, current events are making things very tough for promoters.

Q: What do you hope to return with when the lockdown restrictions are lifted? 

A: All being well our future nights will be:

1st August: our debut Primitive Bop #1 with headliners Carlos & The Bandidos, The Danny McVey Trio with Lil Di and Demon Barber DJs.
22nd August Primitive #5 with The No-Things (exclusive London show), Paul Groovy & The Pop Art Experience (Exclusive first London show since 1986!) & The Voo- Dooms.
21st November Primitive #6 with The Wildebeests (exclusive London show) and Kings of Hong Kong (Exclusive London show) and The Voo-Dooms...and then we will be looking at dates for 2021!

Unfortunately, due to the current Corona Virus situation, we have had to CANCEL the 30th May: Primitive #4 with The Courettes.

King Salami & The Cumberland 3 - Photo by Jeff Pitcher
Q: And while we're here, what's the latest from the wonderful world of The Voo- Dooms?

Dan Whaley (Dustaphonics, Charles Napiers, Shockwaves etc.) has joined the band on lead guitar this year and we have just finished recording six original tracks at Jim Riley's Ranscombe Studios that are due for release on Lee Grimshaw's Spinout Nuggets label in June, and then we are really looking forward to our next gig and playing live once again. Stay safe everyone, thank you to all the bands, DJs, Primitive Club team and to everyone for all the support during the past year and remember Trashin' n' Twistin' in London town at The Primitive Club - stay tuned folks! 

- Amy K-B, May 2020
Primitive Club signed poster
Photographers: Grant Unstead, Jeff Pitcher, Sara Louise Bowrey & Susie Prince. For further information on The Voo-Dooms you can check out their official Facebook site here, and to keep up to date on the Primitive Club please check out the site here. Please also do take the time to click on the highlighted links above to support the featured bands, photographers and labels etc.