Monday 30 April 2012

The Past Tense new album "Take Three" out on May 14th!

Retro Man Blog favourites, The Past Tense, will release their debut album "Take Three" on the excellent Paisley Archive/Detour Records on May 14th. If you want a taster of the album, then come along to The Half Moon in Putney this Friday, May 04th, and you can catch the band in their element live on stage, along with The Jetsonics and the fabulous Len Price 3.

You can order the album from Detour Records HERE.

Next Mousetrap "Fuzz For Freaks" All Nighter May 12th....

A Mousetrap special on Sat 12th May with a post Le Beat Bespoke 8 Festival party and launch for the new album with free raffle prizes. Details as follows:

Mousetrap! Attention cellar dwellar!
The platters that matter will be spun on good old chunky vintage vinyl on Saturday 12th May in our Beat Basement to a backdrop of Kaleidoscopic visuals from just before midnight to six! Primmest Psychedelia, Garage & Freakbeat Soundtrack supplied by deejays Dr Robert & guests Borja Go Goristiza (Valencia), Alex Cozzi-Lepri (Embrooks), Imogen (Velvet Vintage Cave) & Scott Copeland.

Saturday 12th May 10pm-6am £8 before midnight/£10 after

@ Orleans, 259 Seven Sisters Rd, Finsbury Park, London N4 2DD
1 min walk from Finsbury Park bus/tube/train (Victoria/Piccadilly lines)
Venue contact 07740 290 992

Friday 27 April 2012

The Len Price 3 new poster design by Sophie Lo

The superb Rock 'n' Roll Artist, Sophie Lo, has designed this fantastic poster for The Len Price 3. It's a design that really highlights her talent for capturing a band's sound and image in graphic form. The poster also features photos by rock photographer, Paul Slattery, oh and one of mine too!

A limited amount of A3 size posters will be available for sale at the band's headlining show at The Half Moon  in Putney on May 04th. If you wish to reserve a copy signed by the band then please email me at (for collection at the gig only).

If you cannot make the show and would like to order via the internet, then please check out Sophie Lo's excellent Web-site and Poster Store - I'm sure you might be tempted by some of the other goodies there...!

Sophie Lo's Exhibition at Rough Trade East Record Store in London ends next week on May 03rd, so it's the last chance to see the great artwork on display there.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Retrosonic Podcast Episiode 2 Playlist

Due to requests from Listeners, here's the complete Play-List for Retrosonic Podcast Episode 2:

Marsha Hunt "Hot Road Poppa"
Graham Day & The Solar Flares "Windsor Oval"
The Mekons "Where Were You?"
Stormy "The Devastator"
The Cute Lepers "Tribute To Charlie Harper"
Devo "Be Stiff" (live version)
The Del-Vetts "Last Time Around"
Fabienne Delsol "Just Like A Rose"
The Monochrome Set "I Can't Control My Feet"
The Dickies "Give It Back"
The Soundtrack of Our Lives "Busy Land"

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 2 is now up on Soundcloud. Steve from the Retro Man Blog and Adam from The Jetsonics are joined in the Pod by the legendary Rock Photographer Paul Slattery (The Clash, The Smiths, Oasis and The Len Price 3..!). In this Episode we have an exclusive track from the upcoming new album (and maybe their last..?!) from The Soundtrack of Our Lives along with a brand new song by The Monochrome Set. Other tracks include sultry Soul from Marsha Hunt and Stormy, Garage Rock icon Graham Day with The Solarflares, a Punk Rock classic from The Mekons and 60's Psychedelia from The Del-Vetts. There's also the usual chat, news and "Sid James style guffaws", oh yeah and more music too...!

You can play from the Artwork above or visit The Retrosonic Podcast Soundcloud Page HERE. You can also still catch up with Episode 1 along with it's "Bonus Track" interview with Paul Slattery where he discusses the impact of seeing and photographing early Dr. Feelgood, Mick Green and The Pirates and The Flamin' Groovies. You can also still access the original Pilot Episode and download all Episodes as MP3 Files so you can carry around with you on your iPod (other portable devices are also available!).

We hope you enjoy the Podcasts, please have a listen and drop us a line with any comments, we'd love to hear your opinions on the music!

Sunday 22 April 2012

Stones Roses Photography & Memorabilia Exhibition at Whiteley's Centre, London from June 13th-August 12th

The Stone Roses - Photo by Paul Slattery
An exhibition featuring photographs of The Stone Roses taken by Kevin Cummins, Ian Tilton and Paul Slattery is set to open in London this summer.
Running from June 13 to August 12, the exhibit coincides with the Manchester band's comeback shows in Manchester and at a number of European festivals. The Stone Roses: The Third Coming is being called The Definitive Stone Roses Exhibition and will feature over 70 images of the band as well as memorabilia.

The exhibition, which takes place at Whiteleys Shopping Centre in Bayswater, London, will be made up of live, on the road, in the studio and previously unseen portrait shots of the iconic group, and has been curated by Dave Brolan. Of the exhibition Brolan says: "These three photographers – Kevin Cummins, Paul Slattery and Ian Tilton – have, between them, captured pretty much every major artist of the last 30 years, many as they were still unknown or emerging...Together, they helped shape the image of The Stone Roses."

Ian Brown, The Stones Roses - Photo by Paul Slattery
  Thanks to Retro Man regular contributor, Paul Slattery, for allowing us a sneak preview of some excellent and exclusive images from the exhibition.

Thursday 19 April 2012

James Fearnley "Here Comes Everybody: The Story Of The Pogues" - Book reading at The Faber Social, April 16th

We attended a thoroughly enjoyable night of spoken word performance on Monday featuring James Fearnley of The Pogues and Viv Albertine of The Slits. The intimate setting of The Social with it's super cool candlelit basement bar was ideal, as was the DJ's great selection of tracks from bands such as The Monochrome Set, Wire, The Fall and Gang of Four. Unfortunately, there was no appearance from Photographer Kevin Cummins which was a shame, as I was looking forward to seeing him. But anyway, the main event was James reading from his new book, "Here Comes Everybody": The Story of The Pogues", and from the excerpts we were treated to tonight, it seems it will become a classic of the music autobiography genre. James was one of the founder members of the Pogues, in fact he worked with Shane MacGowan even earlier, as guitarist in The Nips, or to give them their full name, The Nipple Erectors, as James took delight in telling us. Once The Nips disbanded, James gave up the guitar and tried his hand at writing until he was approached by Shane and Jem Finer to play accordian with their new band, who they envisaged would fuse traditional Irish music with the energy of Punk.
Photo by Paul Slattery

It appears that they imagined that, as James had some musical talent and had taken piano lessons, that he could master the accordian! It's hard to believe now with so many Folk-Roots-Rock cross-over acts around, that when they first arrived on the scene, the band were very unique indeed. In fact I saw them as Pogue Mahone, third on the bill if I remember correctly, to King Kurt and The Adicts at The Lyceum in 1983. Most of the audience just stood there mouths agape at this unruly bunch of scruffy musicians bashing away enthusiastically on a selection of very "un-Punk" instruments - accordians, banjos and penny whistles - not to mention metal trays bashed on heads as percussion!  

It is very difficult to imagine that the band I saw that night would later go on to such huge international acclaim and commercial success, let alone be responsible for writing one of, if not the greatest Xmas songs of all time, "Fairytale Of New York". Far from a deep Irish brogue that one might expect, James actually has a very droll Mancunian accent that really accentuates the humour in his writing. In fact, in one hilarious anecdote - where he tries to escort the inebriated Shane home after a night of excessive boozing - he reminds me a little bit of John Cooper Clarke. The lyrical and evocative description, violently punctuated by recollections of Shane's foul language (as he falls into yet another hedge or gateway) are vividly bought to life. Judging by the groans of recognition amongst the crowd - who included fellow Pogues Jem Finer, Darryl Hunt and Phil Chevron - I could sense that I was not the only one present to have found themselves in a similar scenario!

James, on the left, with The Pogues - Photo by Paul Slattery
James Fearnley at The Faber Social - Photo by Steve Worrall
He touches on other stories too, from the break up of The Pogues in Yokohama, Japan - where they try to decide who will tell Shane he is out of the band - to who was the first choice to sing the female part on the duet of "Fairytale of New York", and no I'm not telling, you'll have to buy the book to find out..! Unfortunately, there were no copies of the book available on the night, which was a shame but I ordered a copy as soon as I got home, and I'm really looking forward to reading it. I shall end on a lovely quote from James' talk, the wonderful line that Shane MacGowan "turned Artlessness into Beauty." 

The Pogues - Photo by Paul Slattery

James Fearnley - Photo by Paul Slattery
James Fearnley has a Blog called "Here Comes Everybody" and more information on the book can be found at Publishers Faber & Faber. Retro Man Blog contributor, Paul Slattery has some of his early Pogues photos featured in the book and I'd like to thank him for allowing me to use some here, along with the excellent portrait of James taken on the evening.

Wednesday 18 April 2012

Wilko Johnson at The Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury April 12th by "A Howlin' Wind" Author John Blaney. Photos by Steve Worrall.

Wilko Johnson at The Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury - Photo by Steve Worrall
Following my recent excursion to Southend with The Len Price 3, I took the time to visit some of the areas' Dr. Feelgood related sites such as The Kursaal and the Jetty on Canvey Island, which you can read about HERE. Then yet another viewing of the superb Julien Temple "Oil City Confidential" movie, and I was really in the mood to see Wilko! Sure enough, he didn't let me down...
Wilko Johnson - Photo by Steve Worrall
John Blaney, author of "A Howlin' Wind", the story of the Pub Rock boom, was also there at the gig and he has written an excellent review of the night. You can see the full feature along with some of John's own photos on his Blog, also called A Howlin' Wind.

Wilko Johnson - Photo by Steve Worrall
"The Arlington Arts Centre, Newbury, is set in the rolling countryside of West Berkshire. To be honest, it doesn't look like the kind of place you'd expect to see a rock concert. It has a vaguely institutional look, like it might have once been home to an insane asylum or secret military establishment. But it's home to a modern arts centre, which tonight is playing host to quite possibly the best R&B band in the country, if not the world, the Wilko Johnson Band. The joint was packed and the management had the good sense to remove a large chunk of seating, because as we all know the only way to enjoy the kind of music Wilko and Co. make, is in the vertical position and preferably dancing.
Wilko Johnson - Photo by Steve Worrall
Come show time and Wilko, Norman and Dylan bound on stage dressed in matching black outfits and before you can say, "mine's a pint", they’re tearing into the first number. The set is a real crowd pleaser, mixing classic Feelgood songs ‘Roxette‘, Paradise‘ and ‘She Does It Right‘, all written by Wilko, naturally, with solo favourites like 'Dr Dupree' and carefully selected covers such as ‘Bye Bye Johnny‘.Wilko was on top form, singing and playing with incredible energy and soul. He's an exemplary showman who knows exactly when to up the excitement levels, bursting into a wild tarantella every time he takes a solo. Norman Watt-Roy is no less impressive, an incredibly gifted and energetic performer, he's the perfect foil for Wilko's minimalist guitar style.

Wilko Johnson - Photo by Steve Worrall
His melodic and inventive playing adds subtle nuances to Wilko's pithy compositions that flesh them out but never make them flabby. Combine Norman's powerhouse playing with Dylan's mighty yet tasteful drumming and the result is a near perfect rhythm section. This band swings, and there are few that can do that. The show is over far too soon, but the band launch into a series of encores that culminate in one last song for the road, a revved up version of 'Route 66'. Everybody had a great time, including the band, they didn’t stop smiling once during their performance. You can't fake that, and when a band is having fun you can bet the audience is having fun too. If you haven't caught Wilko, Norman and Dylan in concert, it's not too late and you won't be disappointed."

Wilko Johnson - Photo by Steve Worrall
Many thanks to John Blaney for the great review.

John Blaney's book "A Howlin' Wind" traces the history of pub rock from its Mod roots through to its reinvention as British New Wave. He covers all the essential bands such as Eggs Over Easy (who started it all at the Tally Ho in Kentish Town), Brinsley Schwarz, Kilburn & The High Roads, The101ers, Dr Feelgood, Elvis Costello, Graham Parker and more, in a fascinating study that has been painstakingly researched. Stiff Records were crucial to the movement, signing Ian Dury, Nick Lowe, Dave Edmunds and Elvis Costello who were all on roads to nowhere, but made it big as a result of Stiff’s involvement and the book ends with the "Be Stiff" tour of 1979. In addition to an 8 page plates section, there are black and white images of people and memorabilia scattered throughout the book, making this a lovely memento of an era known as Pub Rock, "A Howlin’ Wind" that blew away the cobwebs from a moribund music scene. You can find out more information about the book, including reviews and links to order a copy at Soundcheck Books.

Sunday 15 April 2012

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 2 - "All of My Heroes, They Die Rockers..."

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 2 is now up on Soundcloud. Steve from the Retro Man Blog and Adam from The Jetsonics are joined in the Pod by the legendary Rock Photographer Paul Slattery (The Clash, The Smiths, Oasis and The Len Price 3..!). In this Episode we have an exclusive track from the upcoming new album (and maybe their last..?!) from The Soundtrack of Our Lives along with a brand new song by The Monochrome Set. Other tracks include sultry Soul from Marsha Hunt and Stormy, Garage Rock icon Graham Day with The Solarflares, a Punk Rock classic from The Mekons and 60's Psychedelia from The Del-Vetts. There's also the usual chat, news and "Sid James style guffaws", oh yeah and more music too...!

You can play from the Artwork above or visit The Retrosonic Podcast Soundcloud Page HERE. You can also still catch up with Episode 1 along with it's "Bonus Track" interview with Paul Slattery where he discusses the impact of seeing and photographing early Dr. Feelgood, Mick Green and The Pirates and The Flamin' Groovies. You can also still access the original Pilot Episode and download all Episodes as MP3 Files so you can carry around with you on your iPod (other portable devices are also available!).

We hope you enjoy the Podcasts, please have a listen and drop us a line with any comments, we'd love to hear your opinions on the music!

Saturday 14 April 2012

TV Smith live at The Railway, Southend on June 22nd

Following the success of our recent Len Price 3 gig, I'm pleased to announce Retro Man Blog will again link up with Radio Podrophenia at Southend's superb music Pub and Venue, The Railway Hotel. This time we are being helped out with promotions by Steve Pegrum's amazing archive web-site, Southend Punk. The gig will take place on Friday June 22nd and we are extremely proud to announce that the headliner will be TV Smith, the legendary voice of The Adverts. Expect to hear a selection of songs from his impressive back catalogue including the excellent new album "Coming In To Land" and hopefully a few Adverts goodies thrown in too. 

Special guests include Andy J Gallagher who will be playing tracks from his latest release "Helicopter Dolphin Submarine". The album was produced by Roman Jugg of The Damned and Naz Nomad fame, and we are very pleased to say that Roman will be joining Andy on a couple of numbers. Kicking off the night will be Dick York from Cryssis and Sta Prest performing a solo acoustic set. Then to round things off we will be treated to another storming DJ set from Radio Podrophenia's Mondo & Piley.

If that wasn't enough, The Railway have generously declared this a FREE gig! The only thing we ask of you is that you arrive early to support all the acts - and more importantly to ensure you do get in - oh yeah, and buy lots of beers, it's the least you can do...!!

For Part 2 of our "Punk Rock Legends" gigs we move to The Half Moon in Putney, London, the following week on Saturday June 30th. Headliners will be The Members, the original "Sound of The Suburbs", now including Rat Scabies from The Damned, on drums. Support comes from the excellent Monica and The Explosion, featuring original U.K. Subs bassist, Paul Slack and they are joined by The Jetsonics. For tickets and info check the Half Moon web-site HERE.

In the run up to the gig I'll be doing separate features on all the Artists appearing and hopefully a special edition of the Retrosonic Podcast too, so keep a look out here on the Blog or Facebook page for news.

Wednesday 11 April 2012

The Word Magazine May Issue - Review of the Retro Man Blog/Podrophenia night with The Len Price 3

Fantastic review of the Retro Man Blog/Podrophenia night at The Railway Hotel in the new issue of The Word Magazine, great Paul Slattery photo of The Len Price 3 too. This issue has a Damon Albarn front cover and should be in all newsagents so rush out and buy a copy now..!

Tuesday 10 April 2012

Public Image Ltd live at Heaven, Charing Cross, London - Monday April 02nd

Public Image Ltd live at Heaven April 02nd - Photo by Steve Worrall
Two intimate sold out shows at the Heaven nightclub under the arches at Charing Cross heralded the start of PIL's shows to promote their upcoming new album "This Is PIL". I was a bit sceptical about a gig in what is better known as a nightclub, but it was a pleasant surprise, and it turned out to be an excellent venue for live music. There's a long narrow main hall with a high stage, and the bars are hidden away behind alcoves which meant that any irritating chatter was kept to a minimum. The awful thudding nightclub music thankfully stopped and PIL took to the stage at around 8:30pm - no support band, so it seemed we were going to be in for a treat of a long set. John Lydon approaches the mic stand and lectern at the front, a pair of spectacles perched on his nose. He looks in great shape. His voice is superb throughout, probably the best I've heard it and the excellent sound means you can hear every familar rolled "R" and vocal intonation perfectly. They open with new song "Deeper Water" built around a repetitive, circular bass riff and catchy chorus. With Lu's slashing guitar work it sounds contemporary yet also hints at the band's early sound of "First Edition" and "Metal Box."

Public Image Ltd live at Heaven April 02nd - Photo by Steve Worrall
Then it's into familiar terrority with "(This Is Not) A Love Song" and the crowd perk up considerably. Lu plays a strange long-necked bazouki style stringed instrument with a slide. He looks like he should be in Nick Cave's Grinderman rocking away with his wild locks and beard on conventional guitar, the bazouki thing or banjo played with a violin bow. He's been with PIL for a while now and certainly brings his own sound, whilst not imitating Keith Levene, he certainly has the same effective and innovative sonic assualt. 

"Albatross" from "Metal Box" is next then another new track "The Reggie Song". Drummer Bruce Smith, once of The Slits, is an amazing musician, as is the bassist Scott Firth who, Lydon aside, is probably the stand out of the band. Huge slabs of Dub Reggae style riffs, boom out and during "Religion", Lydon urges the sound man to push up the bass volume further and further "to cleanse our souls". Even the soundman looks nervous as the walls reverberate and shake. It's exhilarating, my guts feel like they have been blasted out and put back again, just not neccesarily in the right order. 

"Lu, Bruce, Scott & John" Public Image Ltd live at Heaven April 02nd - Photo by Steve Worrall
Surprisingly there are three songs from the album "9" with mixed results "Disappointed" is up next and with it's refrain of "well, isn't that what friends are for" was the highlight of a patchy album. "Warrior" actually surprises, a far superior version than on the record but the inclusion of the weak "USLS1" is the only noticeable lull of the evening. The choice of this over classics like "Public Image" or "Annalisa" was my only gripe of the night. Still, amongst those was a thunderous "Religion" so I suppose I couldn't complain too much. Next up are my two highlights of the evening, "Death Disco" and a superb verison of "Flowers of Romance" with the percussion building up into a huge wall of noise. New song "Lollipop" is a strange one, half rap half Cockney knees up, but it has an insistent nagging chorus. "Bags" is another track played tonight that is far superior to the recorded version, stripped of the annoyingly dated synth lines, the track is an awesome bass driven monster and this segues nicely into "Chant". 

The set ends on "Out Of The Woods" another new number that sees Lu sawing away on a banjo with a violin bow and Lydon declares it a song written "from the point of view of a black Confederate soldier". Encores start with another new song, the new single "One Drop" which is destined to be a classic PIL number. Crystalising PIL into one number, a huge dub Reggae style bass riff with intro lyrics reminiscent of Ian Dury,  "Hello, I'm John and I'm From London" - a tale of being raised in multicultural North London, it seems to be the perfect PIL song. "Rise" is a huge singalong anthem and the crowd respond. The set draws to a close with a raw and extended blast through the Leftfield collaboration "Open Up", the lights go up and the satisfied audience leave in an almost stunned silence, kicking through the sea of plastic beer glasses littering the floor.

Public Image Ltd live at Heaven April 02nd - Photo by Steve Worrall

Monday 9 April 2012

Sparks - Two Hands One Mouth Live at Bush Hall, London on Wednesday June 13th

Sparks announce an extraordinary performance that will see them deconstruct and reinterpret songs from their own extensive and unique catalogue.

For the first time, Ron and Russell Mael will play an entire concert as a duo using just voice and keyboards, a typically bold and unexpected move from the American brothers.

Having inspired musicians and delighted fans throughout the years with their extraordinary songwriting and inimitable style, Sparks’ live shows have become increasingly spectacular - in 2008 they performed all 21 albums in 21 nights in London and in 2011 their 22nd opus, The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman, was performed as a live musical at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

Now, forty years since the release of their self-titled debut album in 1972, they will present a selection of Sparks songs in their purest form. Stripping away the often lavish production we will rediscover the essence of Sparks, - the whipsmart, penetrating lyrics, those incomparable melodies – Russell's vocals and Ron's keyboards coming to the fore. All that's needed.

Wednesday June 13th 2012
Bush Hall, Shepherds Bush, London, W12

Tickets from / or telephone 08700 603 777

Mick Jones' Rock & Roll Public Library at Subway Gallery, Joe Strummer Subway, Edgware Road, London

Here are some photos from the recent Subway Gallery installation of The Clash and Big Audio Dynamite's Mick Jones' Rock & Roll Public Library. Unfortunately, the exhibition only ran for about a month and has now finished, but it would be great if the collection could find a permanent home somewhere soon. 

The Subway Gallery web-site explains the idea behind the public showing of the collection: "The Rock & Roll Public Library, a testament to popular culture, springs directly from the enormous personal archive of Mick Jones, a collection that began well before The Clash were formed in 1976. As such it forms an invaluable guide to the collision of cultural influences that informed The Clash and Jones. The collection is also a testimony to the manner in which pop music came to its first full fruition at the same time as Pop Art. 

Envisaged as a permanent reference library for use by both the local and international community, it comprises, believes Jones, 'a personal, cultural and social history of our times, and through that it extends beyond the local to the global'. Popular culture is now established as part curriculum of many universities: it is intended that ultimately, the library will be an invaluable and essential aid to academic research and personal inquisitiveness. 

Great song-writing partnerships are hard to break up, and so it is apt that the Joe Strummer Subway on London's Edgware Road (in the shadow of the Westway) will lead you to the latest edition of the Rock & Roll Public Library at the Subway Gallery - a home for underground art."  Here are some of my photos taken on the Exhibition's last day.

All photos by Steve Worrall
You can see some of my photos of the original, and much larger, Exhibition at Chelsea Space back in 2009 HERE.

Saturday 7 April 2012

News: The Members release new album "IN_GRR_LAND" + Live at The Half Moon Putney on June 30th

For the last 18 months, The Members, JC Carroll, Rat Scabies and Chris Payne have been touring all over the UK and Europe playing to packed houses, concert halls and small clubs, playing material from their 70'-80's albums and from this brand new album "IN_GRR_LAND". They have been re-doing their groundwork or re-paying their dues.

JC Carroll, the Ray Davies of Punk Rock, the man who  brought us the 6Music Favourite "Sound of the Suburbs" and Occupy protesters anthem "Offshore Banking Business", has a new album with The Members. With Nicky Tesco retired from rigorous touring, the band comprise of JC, original Bassist, the mad Professor of Punk Dub Bass, Chris Payne and the man that played the first drum roll on the first ever UK Punk Record, Grail Hunter, Archeologist and Living Legend from The Damned, Rat Scabies. The New album "IN_GRR_LAND" starts with the Anthemic "New English Blues Part II", a  Mott terrace anthem of  Hoople catchiness and bravado. Air Raid sirens howl, guitars scream and a cornet plays the last post as the Lyrics explain.

"Tho' the Mill has Closed the Band's Cornet still Blows, a mean New English Blues"
"Manchester in the Rain will never be the same without you and the New English Blues"
"From the docks of Liverpool to the best Private Schools we rock to the Beat of the New English Blues"

Next up is a Ramonesque cover of The Move's classic "Firebrigade" sung by Bassist Chris Payne. Payne is doing a lot of the singing live and this song is a favourite.

Then  "NW10"  is a Sound of the Suburbs mark 2 with  the punk rockers from the Sound of the Suburbs now a grown up DIY man, with a marriage on the rocks in North West London.
"We moved up there when the girl was four, I painted the walls, I sanded the Floor"
"When the weather was nice, we'd barbecue, talk property price with the neighbours wife,
"On those long hot summers nights I thought I was in paradise…but I was in NW10"

Next up is "Bleak", Chris Payne's pessimistic song about emptiness and financial hardship.

The Members, Then...and Now
Next "(I Love My) English Girls" is an irreverent  romp round all the women in JC's life from past girlfriends and wives to his daughters and current wife, this song  boasts perfect pop harmonies via Michael Giri from the Lilac Time, a Beach Boys accapella breakdown and a rocking play out.

"Parisian ladies are famous for their coolness and haute couture but I do not know if I could love one even tho she whispers je t'adore"
"I lost one I left one I divorced one I got a new wife down West Byfleet way,"
Tracks 6 and 7 are the Post Punk and apocalyptic "Virus" and the live favourite "Aint Gon' Be Yo' Bitch No Mo'" Track 8 is the self explanatory "M1DL1FECRi5i5" which should be played on Radio 2 every hour on the hour...

"I'm 'aving a Midlife Crisis I've 'eard they are all the rage, I'm gonna get a massive motorbike and a girlfriend half my age".
"I'm gonna get a Loft in the City, maybe even get a tattoo, I've already started making a list of the fun things I'm gonna do"

"Remember Us" is the only slightly political song on the album the ghosts of dead doldiers and Jarrow Marchers sing over a Marching Drum.
"You used to bring us flowers, roses every year, the blossoms are all withered now but still we lie here"
"We were the 99% the Average Joe and Jill, we wiped the glass and cut the grass for the Folks upon the Hill"

"(We Are Gonna Be) Huge" is a Song written by Carroll for Ben Miller and Simon Godley's Film "Huge" which Carroll had a cameo in. The song never made it onto the Soundtrack but its here in all its glory, the song of two stand-up comedians who are gonna set the world on fire.
"Stand up comedy is what we do best, we are Warren and Clark so f' f' f' forget all the rest - We are Gonna be Huge".

The final track of the album is the Chris Payne masterpiece "Free At Last". This was was recorded secretly  by The Cure and Human League producer David M. Allen as Carroll and Payne played live in the Studio. It's not a punk record, it's a great song and shows Payne to be an accomplished singer as well as a Bass Player and Songwriter.

The album also features contributions from Nick Cash from 999 and original Members guitarist Nigel Bennett. You can order a copy of the album from The Members store HERE.

I'm also pleased to announce that Retro Man Blog has put together a superb line-up for Part 2 of a double hit of Punk Rock Legends gigs (news of Part 1 to be announced very soon..!). The Members, with Rat Scabies, will be headlining The Half Moon on June 30th along with Monica & The Explosion who feature original U.K. Subs bassist, Paul Slack and Swedish singer songwriter Monica Welander. Completing the line-up will be The Jetsonics who bring their New Wave Power Pop to the party.

Tickets for this gig can be pre-ordered from the Half Moon web-site HERE

Thanks to JC for the information.

Retro Man Blog night: The Len Price 3, The Past Tense & The Jetsonics at The Half Moon Putney May 04th - Start the May Bank Holiday celebrations off with a bang!

Poster designed by Sophie Lo

I'm very pleased to announce a return of the Retro Man Blog night to The Half Moon in Putney on Friday May 04th. Featuring three, three-piece purveyors of perfect three minute Garage Pop classics The Len Price 3, The Jetsonics and The Past Tense. Fresh from their trips to the seaside at The Retro Man/Podrophenia extravanganza at The Railway in Southend and the opening night of Vinyl In The Attic in Torquay - The Len Price 3 put their buckets and spades away and prepare to blow the candy floss away!
Tickets are a bargain at £6.00 advance or £8.00 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 Len Price 3 - Photo by Steve Worrall
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 Jetsonics - Photo by Paul Slattery
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.

The Past Tense - Photo by Paul Slattery
 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!

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
Click here for Tickets 

Thursday 5 April 2012

The Soundtrack of Our Lives new album "Throw It To The Universe", will it be their last....?

"Throw It To The Universe" cover by SelanderArt's exactly one year today (Happy Birthday!!) since I first started the Retro Man Blog, and the very first post was about the release of The Soundtrack of Our Lives "Golden Greats No. 1" greatest hits album. Now, exactly one year on, I'm pleased to announce that the band have a brand new album out called "Throw It To The Universe", released by EMI in Sweden on April 18th. You can pre-order via the band's official website

I'm also honoured that the band have kindly granted us an exclusive - you will be able to hear a brand new track off the album for the very first time on Episode 2 of the Retrosonic Podcast, which will be released very soon. Keep a check on the Blog and Facebook page, for news of when this will be available - or register at the Retrosonic Podcast Soundcloud site HERE. Along with playing a brand new Soundtrack of Our Lives song for the first time, myself and photographer Paul Slattery discuss the impact of the mind-blowing TSOOL live experience!

There was a bit of a shock though when during an interview on Swedish Radio, vocalist Ebbot Lundberg announced that this will be the band's last album and they will cease to exist at the end of 2012. Very sad news indeed, yet there is always the hope that it won't be the last time the band will work together in some capacity. All the members are very active with numerous side-projects, and I will be doing an in-depth feature on the band and their various extracurricular activities very soon. In the meantime, I would like to say a heartfelt "thank you" to Ebbot, Ian, Kalle, Fredrik, Mattias and Martin for some of the greatest music and certainly the best live-shows I have ever had the good fortune to experience. Also, thanks to their trusty side-kick and my great friend, Hans Selander of SelanderArt, for allowing me to use the advance cover art.

The Soundtrack of Our Lives - Photo by Paul Slattery

Tuesday 3 April 2012

Review: The Jetsonics live at The Grey Horse, Kingston on Thames

The Jetsonics - Photo by Paul Slattery
It was good to see my Retrosonic Podcast colleague, Adam Donovan, back at his day-job as bassist of The Jetsonics. I'd missed their last gig in Croydon but heard that it went down a storm, so was looking forward to seeing the band live again to catch their much-vaunted new "look" and have a listen to some of their well received new songs. The Grey Horse is a good unpretentious hot and sticky pub venue and the band always get a good crowd here.

Photo by Paul Slattery
Tonight is probably the best time I've seen the band, they were on top form from start to finish. Soundwise they seem to have toughened up, the guitars seem more gritty and Adam's bass growls menacingly, it suits do their suits...! They are now sporting natty black suits with white shirts and black ties...although in the heat of the venue how Adam manages to keep his jacket on throughout the whole set I don't quite know. The unified look seems to have given them added confidence too, singer Sam Day left behind his good guy "everyone join in" persona and really gave one of his best peformances. He's a tall, charismatic frontman and this new found hint of menace was very effective. His voice, too was much improved, live it can occasionally crack under the strain but tonight was faultless.

Photo by Paul Slattery

The chemistry between him and Bassist Adam was also more effective, highlighted when at one point, mid guitar solo, Sam lent over and planted a smacker on the top of Adam's head, yes Sam is that tall...! The much anticipated new songs went down really well, with particular highlights being "Night Of The She Wolves" and the excellent "Chelsea Drugstore", which must be in the running as the A-Side of the next E.P. Drummer Dave Lombardi, again shows his superb grasp of reggae drumming on the crowd favourite "Somewhere Else" which has been compared favourably to The Ruts. So, another great Jetsonics gig, and they will soon be off to the studio to record E.P. number 3, judging by tonight's new songs, it's going to be a cracker! You can catch the band at the two up-coming Retro Man promoted gigs at The Half Moon in Putney - on May 04th  with The Len Price 3 and The Past Tense and then on June 30th  with The Members and Monica & The Explosion.

Sam Day of The Jetsonics - Photo by Paul Slattery

Thanks to Paul Slattery for contributing The Jetsonics photographs.