Monday 29 August 2011

Button Badges Part 8 - Peter Skidmore's Punk & Mod Badges

Peter Skidmore from Back In The Fire Blog, has kindly sent in this superb collection of Punk and Mod badges with the odd Football and Reggae one thrown in too. There's The Clash, The Jam, The Stranglers, The Skids and The Boys and some 80's Mod Revival from The Chords, Labrettas and Secret Affair. These designs are actually for sale from his Punk and Mod Badges site here where you can also find a comprehensive selection of Paul Weller, Beady Eye and Pretty Green badges in addition to those featured in the photo above.

Peter's Back In The Fire Blog is excellent and well worth checking out here

Wednesday 24 August 2011

Band Button Badges Part 7 - Miscellaneous Contributions

Here's a selection kindly contributed by Fiona Menzies featuring The Jam, Undertones, Sex Pistols, The Damned and The Stranglers as well as a rather fetching "Sid Did It" badge. Creamola Foam was not a band (although I'm sure I heard them do session on the John Peel show once...!) but a Scottish drink of soluble crystals that when stirred into water foamed up into a bubbling fruit flavoured concoction...yum!

Helen Goldsmith contributed a Ramones "Mondo Bizarro" badge and probably the ultimate in band logos, the Rolling Stones famous lips. There's also one from the all-girl Japanese pop-punk group Shonen Knife.

Thanks to Helen and Fiona for the contributions, I'm still on the look-out for more so please feel free to get in touch.

Wednesday 17 August 2011

The Len Price 3, The Jetsonics & The Past Tense Live at the Half Moon Putney Friday October 14th 2011

I'm very proud to be involved in helping to promote a special gig at the famous Half Moon in Putney on Friday October 14th. The night will include performances from three excellent bands that I have featured on the Blog, The Len Price 3, The Jetsonics and The Past Tense.

Tickets are a bargain at £5.00 advance £6.00 on the night, kick-off is from 8pm, finish by 11pm.

3 Steps To Garage Pop Heaven
It's a case of "All The 3's" - a night of 3 minute garage-pop-punk-mod nuggets and melodies from 3 classic 3 piece line-ups headlined by the Len Price 3...!
This is a night that brings together all the truly great elements of The Half Moon's illustrious history and musical heritage. Three contemporary bands that reflect either the golden age of the Sixties raw R&B and Mod scenes or the high tempo energy of the Seventies Pub Rock boom.   

The Len Price 3 are a garage pop band hailing from the Medway Delta, home to garage rock heroes Graham Day (The Prisoners, The Gaolers etc) and Billy Childish (Milkshakes, Buff Medways amongst others). Their sound is forged in the Medway tradition, fusing driving energy, catchy hooks and a raw 60’s garage sound. On disc and at live shows The Len Price 3 offer a truly memorable and invigorating sonic experience. Now with three unbelievably strong albums behind them and signed to Wicked Cool Records, run by Springsteen side-kick, and host of the Underground Garage radio station - Little Steven Van Zandt - this is a chance to catch the band in a perfectly suited venue.

The Jetsonics offer a speedy and punchy mix of infectious tunes and raw beats. It’s a fine accompaniment to Sam’s gritty vocals. Their influences include old-style R&B, glam rock, first generation punk and a bit of powerpop – and the result is a decidedly British sound. Think The Yardbirds, Mott The Hoople and The Buzzcocks, all with a 21st Century tweak.

The Past Tense have a collective love of 60's beat, mod, psych, garage and punk - all coming together to make music that will hopefully appeal to many. With an enthusiastic take on the powerpop/mod revival sound of the 80's and a lively and fun nod to garage greats, past and present.
 Legendary Venue

Not only is The Half Moon a fantastic boozer with excellent ales, friendly service and a great outdoor terrace, it is also a legendary venue in it's own right. Hosting live music Events since 1963, The Half Moon has featured an amazing array of talent over the years including: The Who, Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Steve Marriott, Pretty Things,Van Morrison & Dr. Feelgood.
It also saw the live debut of Kate Bush, she made her first apperance here in the late '70's!
You can read more about the history here

Transport links are very good too, it is easy walking distance from Putney Bridge underground and Putney mainline rail stations.

The Half Moon
93 Lower Richmond Rd
SW15 1EU
Telephone: 020 8780 9383
Ticket bookings (Ticketweb): 08444 77 1000

Tuesday 16 August 2011

Band Button Badges Part 6 - Punk & Post-Punk contributed by Neil Menzies

Neil Menzies, the bassist from Glasgow's excellent The Goldenhour, and now The Fast Camels, kindly got in touch and contributed a great scan of his badge collection. Now this lot is right up my street and takes me back to what I still consider to be my "golden age" of music. There are some examples of The Stranglers, The Damned, Nina Hagen, Devo, Dead Kennedys, The Cure, Crass, The Birthday Party and Killing Joke amongst others.

There's quite a few here that I had in the bag that I sold all those years ago, in fact it's almost as though Neil was the one that bought it from the record store! I'm a bit misty eyed looking at The Stranglers "Raven" badges, which were always my favourite. So kids, a word of advice - never sell anything music related, no matter how hard up you are or how you think you will grow out of it. Your parents might say "it's just phase", but don't listen to them, it's a phase that can last a hell of a long time! 

Thanks to Neil for contributing, The Fast Camels are working on their second album so watch out for that.

Monday 15 August 2011

Band Button Badges Part 5 - The 80's contributed by Ruth

Ruth has kindly contributed a selection of classic '80's pop badges including A Flock of Seagulls, KajaGooGoo, Wham, Bucks Fizz and Deep Purple to rock it all up a bit!

Here's some Stray Cats, Specials, Adam Ant and The Beat - I like the Bad Manners Buster Bloodvessel badge top right.

Thanks very much to Ruth for sending the scans in, I appreciate that! Don't forget if you want to contribute some of your own then please email a jpg and I will post them up. 

Thursday 11 August 2011

Band Button Badges Part 4 - Miscellaneous

Here's a bit of a mixed bag, clockwise from top right: Swedish punk icons Union Carbide Productions (forerunners of The Soundtrack of Our Lives), promo Pixies badge given away with the DVD of the "Loud Quiet Loud" DVD, special Teenage forum badge given to me by a member at a gathering before a show at the Forum Kentish Town. Teenage Fanclub "Bandwagonesque" swag-bag badge.
Robyn Hitchcock "Jewels For Sophia", great badge from Killer B's given to me by the band's guitarist/vocalist Chris Thompson who used to play bass in one of my favourite bands, The Screaming Blue Messiahs. The Sonics "Boom", the most recent addition, picked up at their blinding show for Ray Davies' Meltdown Festival.
In the centre is a promo from the superb Norwegian garage rock band Cato Salsa Experience. 

These badges were given away with an issue of Mojo music magazine:

Badges created by Drakeygirl for a Word magazine forum regulars booze-up:

Promo badges for Yep Rock Records and Riot On The Rocks fanzine:

Brian Jonestown Massacre have an excellent classic logo, shown in the centre here:

Finally, cannot go without a selection from my all-time favourite band -
The Soundtrack of Our Lives!

If you have any cool badges or music memorabilia that you'd like to share here then please drop me a line with some scans or photos, be great to see some of your favourite items and even better if there's an interesting anecdote behind them.

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Band Button Badges Part 3 - Post-Punk and 80's Pop

Here are some badges from 80's Post-Punk and Indie bands, starting off with Echo & The Bunnymen, Aztec Camera and Orange Juice.

Next up is a collection of Smiths badges, I like the simple logo one in the centre best of all.

These are quite nice black and white designs.

And some Pop and Electronic bands from the 80's too (errr, these are not mine, honest...!)

Finally, the fantastic Monochrome Set and singer Bid's side project Scarlett's Well.

If you have any cool badges or music memorabilia that you'd like to share here then please drop me a line with some scans or photos, be great to see some of your favourite items and even better if there's an interesting anecdote behind them.

Tuesday 9 August 2011

Band Button Badges Part 2 - Mod, Reggae, Ska & 2-Tone

Some Mod badges, clockwise from top: The classic Mod target/roundel, The Who "Maximum R&B" logo, The Mods target, The Jam "Down In The Tube Station at Midnight", two more from The Who and in the centre a bit of a naff Jam one from the late 70's!

Here's an assortment of Ska, 2-Tone and Reggae badges. The Beat had a fantastic logo and their badges and T-Shirts were superb - the "dancing girl" logo got copied onto many a school exercise book and satchel!

Here's some colourful Reggae badges including Steel Pulse, Bob Marley and Aswad.

If you have any cool badges or music memorabilia that you'd like to share here then please drop me a line with some scans or photos, be great to see some of your favourite items and even better if there's an interesting anecdote behind them.

Friday 5 August 2011

The Kinks North London Excursion - Text and Photos by Steve Worrall

Inspired by the recent showing of Julien Temple’s “Imaginary Man” documentary about Ray Davies on BBC4, I decided on a DIY excursion of Kinks related landmarks in North London. The film followed Ray strolling through locations from his life and being interviewed in venues that had played some part in The Kinks story. The fact that most of these venues seemed to be pubs made it a quick and easy decision to try and re-trace his steps! So a little band of trusty Kinks (and pub) appreciating friends and family joined me and my meticulously planned itinerary on a lovely sunny afternoon, no time for lazing though…
We started off at East Finchley underground station, which is in itself a wonderful Art Deco design. In the film you can see Ray walking underneath the stunning sculpture of a kneeling archer on the station’s roof. Just up on the opposite side of the road, Ray is interviewed in front of another 1930’s Art Deco masterpiece, The Phoenix cinema. This was one of the first in the country to be built specifically to show films, as opposed to the usual concert halls or ballrooms.
It’s then a walk up the High Road and a right turn onto Fortis Green and after a short stroll we come to the first and probably most important landmark, Number 6 Denmark Terrace, the Davies old family home. What strikes me first is that the house is tiny, and considering Ray and Dave had six older sisters, it’s hard to imagine how they all squeezed in. The documentary features some great old home-movie footage shot in the house showing a happy, boozy family gathering around the piano on which Ray would later write the riff to “You Really Got Me”.
Directly opposite is the Clissold Arms, the pub where Ray and Dave made their first public appearance as musicians. I’d heard that this had been turned into a gastro pub and was expecting the worse, but it was excellent. 

There’s no hiding away a couple of old snap-shots of the band in a back room to avoid upsetting the rather well-heeled clientele, no way! The first thing you see when you walk in is the Kinks Room, a whole room dedicated to and decorated with all things Kinks, it was fantastic, more of a gallery or museum than a bar in a pub.
The room is decorated with loads of old posters, record sleeves, vinyl and memorabilia – there’s even a marvellous Kinks sofa that you can sit on to enjoy a pint. Yes, the pub is pricey and more geared towards the food, but it was very well done and I was impressed with the way they had embraced the Kinks links and provided an excellent destination for fans of the band.
It would have been very easy to have stayed there all afternoon enjoying the great food and yet another pint in the sunshine, but there was no time for rest, onto the next location. Straight down Fortis Green and a left turn onto Spring Lane is Fortismere School, or the William Grimshaw as it was known at the time. This is where Ray and Dave first met Pete Quaife and started their first band together named The Ravens. Actually, Rod Stewart also attended the same school and was once considered as a singer for the new band before Ray had the confidence to take the lead vocals.
Then we reach a fork in the road and take the right turn onto Fortis Green Road where you will soon come across Les Aldrich Music at number 98. In the documentary Ray is seen going into the store and explaining that he came in here and bought a copy of his own single “You Really Got Me” on its’ release.
Then follow Ray’s route past the church and left onto Muswell Hill Broadway, stopping at the top of Hillfield Park with the HSBC bank on the corner. Here you will get a spectacular view down onto East London. You can see the new Olympic Stadium and Canary Wharf and understand how, living in this elevated position, the views of London from Muswell Hill, Hampstead and Primrose Hill must have had such an effect on Ray’s song writing.
Then at the end of Muswell Hill Broadway go right down Muswell Hill, cross over and take the 144 bus past Alexandra Palace to Tottenham Lane. Get off before the railway bridge and walk down to the bottom where you will come across Konk Studios. It’s a very unassuming building and there’s a big For Sale sign outside, although I understand that that there might yet be a reprieve. Opened in the early 70’s as the band’s own private studio, Konk later opened its doors to other acts as diverse as The Bee-Gees and Thin Lizzy to Stone Roses, Suede and Arctic Monkeys amongst many others.
Here we had a bit of a dilemma as we had to make a choice between going on further down to the Hornsey Town Hall, main focal point of the documentary where Ray is interviewed on stage playing guitar and piano, or having a breather and another beer. We settled on the latter and at the Lane Café, which could have been an inspiration for “Working Man’s Café”, we got on the 41 bus to Archway.
The Archway Tavern, famous location for the Muswell Hillbillies album cover is a bit of a disappointment, the interior has changed a lot from the well known photo on the record’s sleeve and you might want to move on to the next destination quickly. Cross the busy road and catch the number 210 bus from the stop opposite the Tavern towards Highgate. 

We pass Dick Whittington’s cat monument and, as if by magic, the bus stop is perfectly located right outside the Prince of Wales at 53 Highgate High Street. Ray is interviewed in the back bar of this excellent pub recounting tales of drunkenness and affairs with the Landlord’s wife. It’s a great boozer, with some wonderful ales, friendly staff and a nice little terrace outside at the rear. 

So, that’s where we ended the North London leg of our little Kinks excursion, just a shame that we had to miss a few places out. However, it does mean that we have a reason to go back and fill in the few gaps left – or just stay and enjoy the beers at the Clissold Arms and Prince of Wales! 

Tuesday 2 August 2011

Band Button Badges Part 1 - Punk & New Wave

I was never a great hoarder or collector of stuff when I was younger, something that is still slightly annoying to the older "anorak" nostalgic oldie that I have become! I even sold  a huge stash of original Punk and New Wave vinyl albums and 7" singles, along with a big bag of classic button badges, due to financial woes in my twenties. Of course I really regret this now as I realise that I am still actually going through the phase that I was meant to have grown out of. In fact a great deal of my mid-thirties and forties has been spent trying to track down copies of those very records that I stupidly sold. Anyway, myself and Mrs Retro have cobbled together as much as we can from our meagre left-over collections and  here are some of them.

Pictured above clockwise from the top: the classic Public Image Ltd logo, three Siouxsie & The Banshees badges, Undertones "Hypnotised" lobster, The B-52's and The Slits. 
In the centre is a great XTC "Drums & Wires" badge.

Here are a selection of Clash badges including some unusal promos from Japan (top row).

These are a selection of Blondie badges:

If you have any cool badges or music memorabilia that you'd like to share here then please drop me a line with some scans or photos, be great to see some of your favourite items and even better if there's an interesting anecdote behind them.