Tuesday 28 February 2012

News: Sophie Lo Poster Exhibition at London's Rough Trade East - Now Extended April 02nd-May 03rd

Exhibition now extended to May 03rd...

The excellent Poster Artist/Graphic Designer, Sophie Lo, has an exhibition of her music related posters at Rough Trade East, 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL from April 02nd - 29th.

Be sure to go along and check out her great designs and I'm sure copies will be on sale too.

I've already featured Sophie's Art on the Blog HERE, check it out to see some examples of her work.

Closest Underground/Mainline Rail Station to Rough Trade East is Liverpool Street, then it's a short walk through Spitalfields Market.

Thursday 23 February 2012

Review: The Godfathers "Valentine's Day Massacre" + The Len Price 3 + Lone Sharks live Islington Academy Feb 14th

The Godfathers backstage, Islington Academy - Photo by Paul Slattery
It was a real thrill to be spending Valentine's Day in the company of The Godfathers once more. Who needs, chocolates, roses and fine dining when you can treat your loved-one to a feast of raw and primal rock 'n' roll? The last time I saw The Godfathers live was back in 1990 supporting The Stranglers at The Alexandra Palace, in what turned out to be Hugh Cornwell's last gig with the band. In a strange twist, shortly after the gig last Tuesday, the Godfathers' vocalist, Peter Coyne released a statement mentioning his intent to leave the band following their next round of touring and recording commitments. 
Peter Coyne - Photo by Paul Slattery
This has come as a bit of a shock, well maybe I should say a huge disappointment rather than a shock, as there was a bit of tension on stage at one point just before the encore. But I do sincerely hope they can sort out their differences and get the long awaited new album released, as it was shaping up to be very promising indeed, if the new songs they played tonight were anything to go by. As we discussed in the Pilot Episode of the Retrosonic Podcast, The Godfathers were hugely important to us lovers of guitar-fuelled loud and honest Rock - they blazed a burning, aggressive path through the barren musical wastelands of the late 80's and early 90's. So, it was great to have the chance to see the band back together with the original guitarist of The Sid Presley Experience, Del Bartle alongside brothers Chris and Peter Coyne and drummer Grant Nicholas. There was a big buzz in the crowd as the band took the stage, and launched into a trio of faultless classics - "She Gives me Love", "I Want Everything" and their anthem, "Birth, School, Work, Death". I always thought Peter Coyne was one of Rock's great vocalists, oozing a menace that makes you involuntary duck when he picks up his mic stand and raises it above his head. 
Grant & Del - Photo by Paul Slattery

He has a snarl that seems to wrap around every lyric in a way reminiscent of John Lydon. Bassist Chris Coyne and guitarist Del Bartle are ice cool behind their shades, and there's an underlying tension that crackles and spits in their spiky, cynical songs. The great tracks come thick and fast, "Lonely Man", "Love Is Dead" amongst many others culled mainly from their first three albums. There is a lot of pushing and shoving in the mosh-pit, resulting in a couple of near casualties as the dancing gets a little too energetic.Whilst there isn't quite the all out visual assualt of the Kris Dollimore/Mike Gibson line-up, musically, Del covers the old two guitar attack extremely well on his own. The band end on a cover of Ramone's classic "Blitzkrieg Bop" and then it's over. Let's hope it's just this gig that finished abruptly and not the band itself!

Chris Coyne - Photo by Paul Slattery
Peter Coyne - Photo by Paul Slattery
The Godfathers - Peter, Del, Grant & Chris - Photo by Paul Slattery
Before The Godfathers, The Len Price 3 got a well deserved encore for their thunderous set of well-honed, melodic Garage Rock. Space restrictions meant that drummer Neil Fromow was pushed centre stage and his moment in the spotlight was not wasted. 

This was Neil's best performance of all The Len Price 3 gigs I've seen, his backing vocal harmonies are a crucial part of the band's appeal, lifting the songs to another level of insistently catchy gems. He resembles Keith Moon, not just in appearance but also in the way he drums and immerses himself in the music. He's flanked by bassist Steve Huggins, Steve has no regard for his own safety or for that of the audience as he careers around the stage. His bass is a weapon of mass destruction, and I'm not joking, as I've nearly been decapitated by it..!! On Neil's other side is livewire vocalist and guitarist Glenn Page, who is also a hyperactive performer, leaping into the crowd during their cover of "Comanche". As a band they are a blur of energy, and the audience certainly took to them and were rewarded by the encore of "Shirley Crabtree".
The Len Price 3 - All photos by Paul Slattery
First band of the night were The Lone Sharks from Bristol. I only caught a bit of their sound check and one song unfortunately, and from what I heard they were good too and I'd certainly like to see them again. Their album "Supply & Demand" is really great, a mixture of good time Punk Rock & Roll that brings to mind The Buzzcocks and New York Dolls. Worth checking out indeed...

News: The Len Price 3 - Seaside Special Part 2 Saturday March 17th Live at The Railway Hotel, Southend-On-Sea + Bif Bam Pow! + Radio Podrophenia Roadshow

The Len Price 3 will play at The Railway Hotel, Southend-on-Sea on March 17th. A joint promotion with Retro Man Blog and our chums at Podrophenia, the support comes from the excellent local Beat 'n' Soul combo Bif Bam Pow!. DJ's Piley & Mondo will be spinning the discs under their Radio Podrophenia Roadshow guise so it's sure to be a superb night!

Sunday 19 February 2012

The Glory Boys Mod Radio Show on 6 Towns Radio

I was recommended this radio show from some pals who have great taste in music, and I'm having my first "live" experience as I type and I must say I'm really enjoying it. Host Alan May, rattles through proceedings with a minimum of chat but a maximum selection of great music. There are some classic tracks from the big hitters such as The Jam, Chords and Merton Parkas but these are joined by lesser known numbers from bands such as the excellent Cycle Paths and The Mild Mannered Janitors. Here's some info on the show, I recommend you tuning in, they have a friendly bunch of listeners too!

The Glory Boy Mod radio show Presents a feast of Modernistic delights kick starting from the 6T's revving it thru to the revival period and speeding into the modern day...Sunday's 7pm till 9pm with replays Fridays at Midnight

This week we feature 'The Advance of the Ace' EP from The Ace, along with showcasing Detour records latest release from SEMA 4. The show is mashed with grooves from the following Mod bands..Secret Affair, The Clerks, Phaze, Small Hours, The Loop, Speakeasy, Merton Parkas, The Who, Long Tall Shorty, The Moderns, Mild Mannered Janitors, The Cycle Paths, The Mods, Squire, Blind Alley, Purple Hearts, The Same, Beatboy, The Sharp Darts, The Crooks, Wideboy Generation, Run229, The Chords, 5:30, The Lambrettas, Dress Code, The Jam, The Vapours, The Len Price 3 and Seventeen...

I do hope you can listen in and even join us in the chat house.....

Listen to the Glory Boys Radio Show live here 6 Towns Radio and check out the Facebook page here.

Saturday 18 February 2012

Review: Monica & The Explosion - Live at The Grey Lady Music Lounge Royal Tunbridge Wells February 08th

Monica & The Explosion - Photo by Paul Slattery
A nice little excursion to picturesque Tunbridge Wells to catch my first Monica and The Explosion show and it was well worth the trip. I'd been impressed by the album "Shut Up!" so was really looking forward to seeing how the songs would come across live. Although on the album they enlist a drummer, recently the band have been performing with the rather unconventional two-piece line-up of Monica on Vocals and Acoustic Guitar and Paul Slack on Bass. Any reservations on how this will work are soon dispelled as Monica & Paul take the stage and launch into their first song titled (I think...) "Heart".

Monica & The Explosion - Photo by Paul Slattery
Monica strums away energetically on her guitar, laying down a solid rhythm and Paul's inventive bass lines add a swing to the songs so you soon forget the lack of drums or percussion. Next up is one of "Shut Up!"'s stand out tracks "Take It Or Leave Me" followed by the excellent "Ran Away". Monica is a great performer, full of energy and charisma and there is a natural chemistry between her and Paul that makes for a very engaging show.

Monica & The Explosion - Photo by Paul Slattery
"That's It" from "Shut Up!" is another highlight but it's new track, the superb and emotional  "Volcano" which is my personal favourite of the night. In fact most of the set is made up of new songs from their, as yet untitled, forthcoming album. Monica and Paul will head to the studio in early March to start recording tracks and it is promising to be a great record judging by the excellent songs peformed tonight. The too-short set is ended by "I Wanna Go Home", which is a rousing finale, the gig was over but we're left with the promise of much more to come in the future from this great band.

Monica & The Explosion - Photo by Paul Slattery
We had a chat with Paul and Monica after the gig and both were extremely friendly so I hope to do a more in-depth feature for the Retro Man Blog and Retrosonic Podcast soon. I was also very chuffed to have a go on Paul's bass, the very one that he wrote the inspirational riff to the U.K. Subs classic "Warhead" on...I was transported back to the early 80's when I learned to play bass hammering along to "Warhead"...in fact my band performed a cover of it during our very first gig in our school hall...so I was very honoured! Nice for photographer Paul Slattery to meet Paul Slack too, they hadn't seen each other for many years since Slatts took some of the first iconic photos of the U.K. Subs original line-up.

Monica Welander and Paul Slack, Monica & The Explosion - Photo by Paul Slattery

I must also mention the great work that Paul Dunton put in to organising the night and it was really encouraging to chat and find out all he is doing to promote local music. The Grey Lady Music Lounge was also a very nice venue to see acoustic based music. Not the sort of genteel venue Slatts and I usually find ourselves in on our quest for raw Rock 'n' Roll...but the friendly atmosphere was wonderful. Please check out and support Paul Dunton's events if you are local.

Monica and The Explosion will head off to Germany in March after recording their new album and then play an extensive tour in France in April and May. Check their Gig page here for all the latest news on dates and venues.

Also, keep your eyes on the Retro Man Blog for exclusive news of a special gig at the end of June...!

Friday 17 February 2012

Retrosonic Podcast review on Pushblog...

We were very happy to notice the review of our first Retrosonic Podcast Episode from journalist and Author, Push, on his excellent Pushblog. The feature "Pod Gave Rock 'n' Roll To You", is very encouraging so we would like to thank Push for the kind words. Also mentioned in the feature is the influential Podrophenia, who have now expanded from Blog and Podcast to an eclectic live Radio show on Chance Radio. The show airs every Tuesday evening from 9pm. and has an interactive message board where you can pass comment during the show itself. Podrophenia has just celebrated its' 50th Episode, so we have a lot to aspire to with Retrosonic! Coincidentally, Mondo and Piley from Podrophenia will be DJ'ing at The Len Price 3 gig at The Railway Hotel in Southend-On-Sea on March 17th. More details on this to follow soon.

Please check out Pushblog too, as it features, not only a wide selection of interesting and often very funny musings, but also an Archive of Push's reviews and interviews from his time as a music journalist with Melody Maker and Mondo amongst others. Push has also co-written "The Book of E, All About Ecstacy" with Mireille Silcoff and most famously his collaboration with The Damned and (now...) The Members' Drummer, Rat Scabies on "Rat Scabies and The Holy Grail" under his real name Christopher Dawes. The Holy Grail book is a great read, part buddy-story, part road-movie travelogue and part, well...search for the Holy Grail...! It has been described as "The Da Vinci Code gets the Punk Rock treatment" and the cover carries great the tag-line "Can a Punk Rock legend find what Monty Python couldn't?!" There were rumours circulating that a film of the book was in production, which would be excellent, so I'll try to find out more.

Don't forget  to check out our Retrosonic Podcast, the first Episode features a selection of groovy tunes from The Chambers Brothers, The Rezillos, The Playn Jayn, The Carpettes and The Saints amongst others. There is a "bonus track" interview with Rock Photographer Paul Slattery too.

Thursday 16 February 2012

The Len Price 3 - Seaside Special Part 1 Saturday March 31st Live at the launch night of Vinyl In The Attic, Torquay

The Vinyl Avengers Present - Vinyl In The Attic Launch Night March 31st 2012.

At The Attic Club & Lounge, 13 Torwood Street, Torquay TQ1 1ED Tel: 01803 450 350

 Featuring vinyl selections from Punk, Post-punk, Motown, 60's Garage Punk, Northern Soul, Ska and live Special Guests...The Len Price 3

Vinyl Avengers are DJs Loadz and Lady Jade who run Torquay's premier Mod & Soul Nights "Friday On My Mind" & "Retro Soul" on the first and third Friday of every month at The Green Room.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

The Jetsonics - upcoming gigs...Croydon & Kingston

 Catch The Jetsonics live, London's premier exponents of three minute power-pop-new-wave-reggae-punk-rock, live! Compared favourably to The Ruts, Buzzcocks and Supergrass, this great band is worth catching in their element - live and on stage!

February 23rd Scream Lounge, Croydon & March 10th Grey Horse, Kingston-Upon-Thames

Monday 13 February 2012

The Past Tense live at The Fighting Cocks, Kingston-Upon-Thames February 10th

The Past Tense - Photo by Paul Slattery
We had a nice little excursion to Kingston-Upon-Thames on Friday to catch The Past Tense at the excellent venue The Fighting Cocks. The freezing temperatures outside were soon forgotten after a pint of superb Tribute ale and the friendly atmosphere in the bar. The Past Tense took the stage and proceeded to play through their as yet untitled, forthcoming album, give or take one or two songs. If this set was anything to go by it will be one of the albums of 2012 that's for sure.

The Past Tense - Photo by Steve Worrall
Kicking off with their great single "Feeling Bad" they then play two songs I haven't heard before "Angel Face" and "Jimmy's Love Song" which are both superb catchy numbers. Singer Andy Norrie-Rolfe loses his guitar strap through his energetic playing but keeps on going. It's then into their classic "My Baby", which was featured on the Retrosonic Podcast Pilot Episode as one of my favourite songs of 2011.
The Past Tense Guitarist/Vocalist, Andy - Photo by Paul Slattery
They play a cover version next, "Fighting My Way Back", then it's "Poison Arrow" which has a great chorus and then the night's highlight for me, the Ska-tinged "Nervous", which goes down really well with the appreciative crowd. This is a great track and would surely make an excellent choice as a lead-in single for the new album. The rhythm section of Ken on bass and Nuts on drums are very tight and keep the songs danceable and punchy. Sometimes they remind me of vintage Dr. Feelgood with Andy's chopping guitar and those great beats.

The Past Tense Drummer, Nuts - Photo by Paul Slattery
Then it's "The Optimist" and it's time for "The Wolfman", one of their best tracks with its' great 60's Psych style guitar riffs and singalong chorus. Vocalist and guitarist Andy is an engaging frontman, although he really doesn't have any need to keep apologizing for his guitar playing, he should just bash it out with more confidence, he has nothing to be worried about. "Wolfman" highlights all that is great with The Past Tense, sharp power pop with a punky edge, a nod to the past whilst still sounding fresh and contemporary. They end on new track "No No Blues" which although a promising song, maybe lacked that immediacy to end a show on, especially following "Wolfman". Still, a minor complaint, which if they had had time to play an encore would have been forgotten.
The Past Tense Bassist, Ken - Photo by Paul Slattery
So, definitely a band to keep an eye on, especially with the news of their forthcoming debut album which will be something well worth getting hold of. Good news is that I will be putting on another Retro Man Promotions gig at The Half Moon in Putney on Friday May 4th and I have invited The Past Tense to join up with The Jetsonics and The Len Price 3 for a repeat performance of last year's successful show. Details to be announced soon, don't miss it!

Here's one of my videos taken at the gig - "The Wolfman"

Keep up to date with news on The Past Tense at their web-site HERE.  

Sunday 5 February 2012

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 1 Bonus Track: Part 1 of our interview with Rock Photographer Paul Slattery

Paul Slattery photographed by Steve Worrall in Ranscombe Studios, Medway 2011
Steve from the Retro Man Blog talks to Rock Photographer Paul Slattery. Paul has released two books, "The Smiths: The Early Years" and "Oasis: A Year On The Road" both published by Omnibus Press. He has been there at the beginning with U2, Oasis and The Smiths, been taught the Rock 'n' Roll lifestyle by Lemmy and Phil Lynott, toured with The Stone Roses and Manic Street Preachers in Japan and captured such icons as Bob Marley, The Clash, Mark E Smith and Jeffrey Lee Pierce amongst many others. In Part 1 we discuss Paul's early influences and first steps into the world of Rock Photography.