Friday 30 November 2012

Goldblade at The 100 Club Monday December 10th

Goldblade, the rabble-rousing Punk Rock outfit led by ex-Membranes front man John Robb, play the 100 Club on Monday December 10th with support from The Fits and Vince Ray & The Boneshakers. Tickets are £10.00 and either available on the door, in person from the 12 Bar Club or in advance from We Got Tickets. Goldblade will release their new album "The Terror Of Modern Life" in 2013, so expect to hear some new songs at the gig! Don't forget to check out John Robb's excellent music web-site "Louder Than War" for up to date music news and reviews, interviews and features as well as discussion on international Punk Rock and Pop culture. This is going to be the first time for me to see Goldblade and I am really looking forward to it, so expect and review and photos as soon as we have sufficiently recovered!

Wednesday 28 November 2012

The Fallen Leaves: Passion over Precision

Rob Green by Svenja Block
We are delighted to welcome The Fallen Leaves to our Retro Man Blog night at the legendary Half Moon, Putney on Friday December 07th. The band will be joining our superb line-up of DJ Jeff Munday, along with The Past Tense, The Legendary Grooveymen and our headliners The Len Price 3, for a top night of melodic Garage Rock 'n' Roll. The Fallen Leaves were formed in 2004 by guitarist Rob Symmons and bassist Paul Myers from the original Subway Sect. They were joined by ex-Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and vocalist Rob Green. Originally, Symmons and Myers, along with Vic Godard, were founding members of Subway Sect. During the recording of their first album, manager Bernie Rhodes sacked the band in the hope of concentrating on solo success with singer-songwriter Vic Godard. Myers went on to play bass with Paul Cook and Steve Jones in The Professionals following the break-up of The Sex Pistols. Symmons gave up on music for over twenty years until persuaded out of retirement by old friend, Rob Green. Green had built a reputation singing at Bernie Rhodes' "Club Left" and by performing with Vic Godard's later version of The Subway Sect.

The Fallen Leaves by Svenja Block
Green and Symmons had been writing songs together on various occasions and in 2004, spurred on by a shared love of 60's Garage, stylish vintage suits and their long-held belief that a good idea played badly is better than a bad idea played well, got into action. The first incarnation of The Fallen Leaves featured Symmons' ex-Subway Sect colleague Paul Myers on bass and, for a number of their early rehearsals, Paul Cook on drums. Various drummers and bassists have passed through the band's ranks over the years including ex-Lush bassist Phil King and former High Llamas drummer Daniel Strittmatter but the ever-present Symmons and Green are now joined in the current line-up by bassist Matthew Karas and drummer Bill Lewington. The band recored their first E.P. "Trouble" in Pete Townshend's Eel Pie Studios near the band's hometown of Richmond, and this was released in 2006 on the band's own Parliament Records.

Photo by Svenja Block
The band's debut album "It's Too Late Now" was released on Parliament to critical acclaim in the spring of 2008, and then they crossed the Atlantic to play two shows in New York and record a session for WFMU Radio. The Fallen Leaves play with passion rather than precision and are based around Green's Italian-American crooner-influenced vocals over Symmon's distinctive discordant guitar sound. They prefer to use vintage valve amps and mics and record live without overdubs to conjur up the classic sound of British R 'n' B Beat groups such as The Pretty Things and The Downliners Sect. The second album featuring ten excellent tracks is out now, it's called "That's Right" and is available from the official web-site store. The band also put on regular Parliament Club nights, something they have been doing since they formed back in 2004, and have hosted many great bands including T.V. Smith, The Past Tense, The Len Price 3, Billy Childish, The Masonics and John's Children amongst others. The Parliament Club runs the first Wednesday of every month and the current location is Denmark Street's 12 Bar Club, the next Club night will be on December 05th where the band will be appearing along with The Mynd Set, The Transients and others. The Fallen Leaves also play tomorrow Thursday November 29th at the Buffalo Bar in Islington, along with The Masonics.

With many thanks to Svenja Block for the excellent photographs, please check out her site HERE

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Black Xmas Exhibition Curated by Gaye Black (Advert) at Signal Gallery Nov 29th-Dec 21st: featuring Sophie Lo, Ben Edge from Thee Spivs, Jowe Head and many more...

Don’t expect jingling bells, carol singers or a Santa’s Grotto this year at Signal Gallery for Christmas. After a year of jubilees and twinkling medals, the Gallery really felt the need to redress the balance with something not festive at all. So they asked their resident Punk legend Gaye Black (aka Gaye Advert), who’s always in favour of a good dollop of the dark side, to curate this one with malice. All the artists in the show have been given strict instructions not to have a good time and have been chosen for their penchant for the quirky, anyway...Expect the worst!

Features Artwork from Gaye Advert and Retro Man Blog's favourite Rock 'n' Roll poster designer, Sophie Lo, who has also designed our new Retro Man gig poster for TV Smith and The Len Price 3.

Ben Edge – Front man from the neo-punk band Thee Spivs and damn talented artist
Brian P – Extraordinary artist from Australia.
Carrie Reichardt - Renegade potter and mosaic artist.
Dale Grimshaw – Dark & moody gallery/street artist with a punk past.
Ella Guru - A founding member of Stuckist movement.
Espira – Purveyor of edgy/controversial images.
Gaye Black – The legend herself! Many shows this year, including USA, London and Berlin.
Jason Atomic – Cartoon artist from London and much more.
Jowe Head – Punk legend from the influential 70s punk band the Swell Maps.
KEELERTORNERO - Collaborative artists producing surreal collage and paintings.
MyDogSighs – Known for painting on crushed tin cans and more.
Rufus Dayglo - Comic book artist of Tank Girl fame.
Sophie Lo - Parisian artist/designer – iconic poster & album design.
Tom Spencer - Tattoo stained glass artist and bass player in a number of bands including the Loyalties
Wreckage International – From Mutoid Waste.

Black Xmas: November 29th-December 21st at  Signal Gallery, 32 Paul Street, London EC2A 4LB

Monday 19 November 2012

The Soundtrack of Our Lives at Slussens Pensionat Part 2: Exclusive Paul Slattery Photos of the Final Shows

As the saying goes...all good things must come to an end. And so it is that fans of one the greatest Rock 'n' Roll groups of recent years, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, are still coming to terms with the news that the band have decided to split up after their final shows at Stockholm's beautiful Södra Teatern at the end of the year. Starting off on December 17th with their debut "Welcome To The Infant Freebase", The Soundtrack of Our Lives will then run through all six of their albums on consecutive nights, up to the last stand on December 22nd, where there will be, no doubt an emotional, run through of the latest, and the last, album "Throw It To The Universe", and then that will be it...! The band will then fragment into their various side projects, studio production work, solo albums and movie there will still be plenty for fans to look forward to.

However, one of the saddest things to come to terms with the band splitting up, is the realisation that there will be no more of their now customary gigs at the stunningly beautiful Slussens Pensionat. The Soundtrack of Our Lives have turned these shows into a regular annual tradition ever since they first played at The Pensionat over ten years ago. And so it was that September 14th and 15th 2012 were fixed as the last ever dates the band would play here. I must admit to feeling quite sad about it, Slussens had become somewhere very special, so many great experiences and friendships, and of course so much great music. The band have always utilised the relaxed atmosphere to the maximum, and it was often the chance to do something completely different from their usual full-on tour dates.

Whether it was a run through of an album in it's entirety, the chance to try out brand new songs or an opportunity to plunder their immense back catalogue to play B-sides, album tracks and rarities, the Slussens shows were always a Fan's dream. Often playing three hour sets right on into the small hours of the morning, the shows usually ended up with the audience engulfing the band, joining in on tambourines and backing vocals. Ebbot would, by that time have dispensed with the semi-acoustic niceties, and be leaping across the tables, scattering beer bottles and wine glasses in his wake. At the thrilling climax of a Slussens show, it was often hard to imagine that a few hours earlier diners were sitting peacefully, enjoying the wonderful food in the relaxed and friendly restaurant.

The band would appear through those famous red drapes, usually while food was still being served, and take their places, Martin far left and the others seated on bar stools crammed around Fredrik's drums. They would start off with some laid back semi-acoustic run throughs of their more quieter numbers. "Not Kinda Worried", "All For Sale", "Reality Show" maybe, certainly songs that suited the mood. However, as the final plates were being cleared and more (and more...) pints of Ebbot Ale were consumed, tables were pushed back and the band and audience let loose. Occasionally, over the years, I witnessed other unsuspecting Hotel guests look on in consternation as this "Slussens fever" took hold and they realised their quiet romantic dinner for two was quickly coming to an end. Such was the growing reputation of these live extravaganzas that Fans from many countries, including Norway, England, Scotland, America and even as far afield as Chile, have made the pilgrimage to Slussens.

It was great chance to hear those rarely played old favourites and obscurities, to chat to the band, stock up on merchandise and meet other like-minded music fans too. Back in 2004, the band even chose Slussens Pensionat, and the beautiful surrounding countryside on Orust, as the location for the filming of the superb mock documentary fantasy film, "Ebbot The Movie" that was broadcast on Swedish TV. The film includes lots of footage from those shows, and the Director did a great job in perfectly captured the whole experience. So, we can live in hope that The Soundtrack of Our Lives may just feel that emotional pull and one day decide to reconvene at Slussens Pensionat once more... Photographer Paul Slattery was invited by the band to document the last ever Slussens shows, and we are delighted to be able to share some of his excellent and exclusive photos on the Retro Man Blog. You can also see Paul's photos from the last ever London show HERE.

The band with Robert Sohlberg of Slussens Pensionat
All photos above copyright Paul Slattery 2012.  

Both myself and Paul would like to sincerely thank Ebbot, Martin, Ian, Fredrik, Kalle and Mattias from The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Vibs and Robert Sohlberg from Slussens Pensionat, Hans Selander, Wayne Lundqvist-Ford, Anders Magnusson and Daniel Eriksson.

Ebbot with Photographer Paul Slattery - Photo by Hans Selander
Typical Slussens Audience Participation - Photo by Nellie Selander
Thanks to Hans and Nellie Selander for contributing the great Photos.

Friday 16 November 2012

Retrosonic Podcast: Mattias Hellberg Special Edition

Mattias Hellberg & Nikke Ström - Photo Steve Worrall
Our final Episode in the Retrosonic Podcast series on Sweden is a special feature on the Gothenburg based singer, songwriter and guitarist, Mattias Hellberg. Mattias has been a pivotal figure in the Swedish music since the late 1980's, and as he finishes off recording his next album with new band The Fur Heads, he kindly took the time to discuss his eclectic and exciting career with us. Mattias talks about his first forays into the music scene back in his hometown of Karlstad, putting on gigs in the college canteen for bands such as Union Carbide Productions. Then he formed his own band Ugly Jake, which later transformed into The Nymphet Noodlers with Martin Hederos, Mattias Bärjed and Jan Martens. Following the Nymphets' split he went on to work with ex-band mate Martin as the duo Hederos & Hellberg, which was an unexpected success and ended at a sold-out show at the Gothenburg Concert House. He has also toured and recorded as a guitarist with Stefan Sundström, and various bands including The Solution, The Hellacopters and The Soundtrack of Our Lives. In between his collaborations with the Dub Reggae band Kanzeon and working with Ugandan/Swedish soul singer Jaqee on her successful album "Nouvelle d'amour", he has also released two solo albums and one with his Psychedelic Funk Rock outfit The White Moose. As if he wasn't busy enough, in 2005 he was asked to sing with legendary Swedish rock outfit NationalTeaterns RockOrkester for a summer tour, but ended up becoming a full member of the band, touring with them every year. Along the way Mattias mentions some admirers such as Iggy Pop, Ryan Adams, Van Morrison and the MC5's Wayne Kramer. Now, surrounded by a great band including NationalTeatern's bassist Nikke Ström, he seems to be putting all his experiences and eclectic influences together with some fantastic genre-defying new material. The next album promises to be something very special...

Hederos & Hellberg (and friend...) - Photo by Anders Magnusson
The Episode is generously soundtracked with lots of great music from a selection of Mattias Hellberg's many phases. We're also honoured to have some superb exclusive and unreleased songs from his forthcoming album. I'd like to sincerely thank Mattias for his generosity and time. You can download the Episode free of charge from the Retrosonic Podcast Soundcloud site. Many thanks also to Anders Magnusson for contributing the excellent Hederos & Hellberg photograph.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

The Soundtrack of Our Lives at Slussens Pensionat Part 1: The Venue and Ebbot The Movie

Slussens Pensionat - Photo by Paul Slattery
Slussens Pensionat, located on the island of Orust on the beautiful Bohuslän coastline, was originally a Herring cannery built in 1926. The fish were landed directly from the lake and the original long table where the fish were cut, is actually still at the Hotel and currently being used as the breakfast buffet table on the restaurant's veranda. In the early 1930's, the factory went bankrupt and was bought by an enterprising woman from Anfasteröd on the other side of the fjord. Alfrida Andersson had worked a long time on the steamboats that went into service on the Slussens lock and was impressed by the factory's beautiful location in the bay. She built a porch and an annex on the hill, furnished rooms and painted the whole building in a glorious white. Affluent residents came to stay on a full or half board package to take an invigorating salt bath and enjoy Alfrida's famous cuisine. 

Ebbot with Vibs and Robert Sohlberg - Photo Paul Slattery
When Vibs and Robert Sohlberg first visited Slussens Pensionat in 1987, it was a Guest House run by a small non-profit cultural organisation which put on art exhibitions and music evenings. The couple were only meant to stay for the summer, but after working hard in the restaurant they liked it so much they decided to buy the place! For the first ten years, the Pensionat was run purely as a summer resort, but since 1997, the hotel and restaurant are now open almost all year round for conferences and weekend guests. Now, 25 years since their first visit, Vibs and Robert, have overseen the gradual evolution of the Pensionat into a 30 bedroom hotel, beautiful waterside restaurant and conference centre. There is a big emphasis on providing organic, local seasonal produce and running the venture as ecologically friendly as possible. But it's in continuing with the tradition of live music at the Pensionat where Vibs and Robert have truly excelled. With Robert being a musician himself, performing under the name Big Is Less, they could call on some of their contacts from the Gothenburg music scene to create what must be one of the most stunning music venues in the world.

The concept of presenting the bands and artists in such an intimate setting, along with the choice of dining in the beautiful restaurant before the show, has proved an enormous success. There is always a full programme of music throughout each summer and artists such as Freddie Wadling, Nisse Hellberg from Wilmer X, Nationalteatern, Moneybrother, Timo Räisänen, Christian Kjellvander and Augustifamiljen amongst many more, have all appeared. I am certain that I will return to Orust one day to get my fix of the wonderful hospitality and the beautiful surroundings regardless of whether The Soundtrack of Our Lives decide to get back together or not. Although I have a feeling they might find it difficult to resist the lure of Slussens Pensionat too!

Robert and Ebbot after the final show - Photo Paul Slattery
The Soundtrack of Our Lives were so taken with the venue that they decided to use the Pensionat and the beautiful surrounding Orust countryside as the location for their excellent fantasy documentary "Ebbot The Movie". The film, somewhat ironically now as it was released in 2004, features a journalist trying to track down the various members following the band's (fictional at the time) split. They do eventually get back together to perform a storming set at the Pensionat. Let's hope this is a good omen! "Ebbot The Movie" is a delightful film, whimsical and fun, but with some amazing live performances running through the narrative. Of course there is also the added bonus of the beautiful Slussens scenery which almost threatens to become the star of the show. Here's a clip from the Swedish TV mock-documentary "Ebbot The Movie" - this pretty much sums up what the Slussens Pensionat shows are all about. Starting off as a quiet semi-acoustic dinner show and quickly descending into a crazy all action freak-out with dancing on the tables and loads of audience participation...

 Here's a great photo of Ebbot by Nellie Selander taken at the very last Slussens show.

Photo by Nellie Selander
Steve from Retro Man Blog chats to Ian Person, guitarist of The Soundtrack of Our Lives, just before their last ever show at the Slussens Pensionat. We concentrate on Ian's solo music and his work on the soundtrack of the new IFK Gothenburg documentary movie "Fotbollens Sista Proletärer", and Ian discusses the decision to split The Soundtrack of Our Lives at the end of 2012...
The Podcast also features clips of some of Ian's solo and soundtrack music, including two excellent brand new and unreleased  songs.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

The Smiths Exhibition including Photos by Paul Slattery at "Rock City Art Gallery" Bedford until November 29th

Retro Man Blog's regular contributor and resident rock photographer Paul Slattery, has some of his excellent Smiths photos included in a new exhibition at Bedford's Rock City Art Gallery. A career spanning exhibition entitled "The Smiths and Morrissey Photographs", the show features well known classic images, such as Stephen Wright's shot of the band outside the Salford Lad's Club, alongside more obscure, lesser known photos. You can see Mark Allan's shot of Morrissey on stage holding a union jack flag, an image that was to be used as a famous NME cover. There are contrasting portraits of the band shot by Paul Slattery, solo photos by Peter Anderson and recent shots of Morrissey taken by Pieter M. Van Hatten. The show opened at the end of October and runs until November 29th, entrance is free.

Morrissey & Marr - Paul Slattery Photograph, photographed by Paul Slattery
The Rock City Art Gallery was founded by leading UK music photographers Mick Hutson and Andy Willsher. The idea evolved from the phenomenally successful Six Shooters shows of 2010 which inspired them to create a gallery for photographers run by photographers.

Paul Slattery in front of his photo of The Smiths at Glastonbury 1984
(L/R) Paul Slattery, Mick Hutson, Mark Allan, Andy Willsher
Rock City Art Gallery is located at 26 Castle Lane Bedford MK40 3US Tel: 01234 910448

Paul Slattery's excellent photographic book "The Smiths: The Early Years", which was published by Omnibus Press, has been re-printed. The beautifully presented book features many iconic shots, including the band posing with flowers in the ruins of the Central Manchester Railway Station (now the G-Mex), candid backstage photos and live shots documenting the first murmurings of the soon-to-be hysteric crowd reaction, to the main stage at the 1984 Glastonbury Festival via the back streets of Montmartre in Paris. There are also many candid off stage photos, many of which are previously unpublished. The book is available in all good bookshops or on-line via Amazon. You can follow Paul's "Adventures in Rock Photography" in our special series of the Retrosonic Podcast and Paul  will be talking about his experiences of working with The Smiths in a future episode. You can listen and download the first two episodes in the series for free at the Retrosonic Podcast Soundcloud web-site. Please keep a check on the Blog, Facebook or Twitter page for news on release dates.

Friday 9 November 2012

The Ruts "A Tribute to Paul Fox" new fund-raising album - Plus a look back at The Ruts 2007 reunion concert

The Paul Fox Social Club have announced the November 16th release of "A Tribute to Paul Fox", the legendary guitarist with The Ruts, who sadly passed away due to cancer in 2007. The twenty four track compilation boasts some of the biggest names in Punk Rock, it's available from Foxy's web-site and hopefully at gigs by the featured Artists. The album features a mixture of previously released material along with exclusive live and studio recordings from Bands and Artists including Ruts DC, UK Subs, Chelsea, The Priscillas, TV Smith, Duncan Reid of The Boys, Texas Terri, Menace, The Phobics, The Urban Voodoo Machine and Laurel Aitken amongst others. The album was mastered by Chris Kimsey at Olympic Studios and the cover art has been designed by Gaye Advert. The idea behind this charity compilation came from the simple desire to help raise more funds and continued support for the Michael Sobell Hospice who made Paul's life more comfortable during his terminal illness. Profits will be added to those raised by The Paul Fox Social Club, which is an annual fund raising event for the Hospice. The Club was originally set up a few weeks after Paul passed away by family and friends to celebrate the life and career of one of the most energetic, versatile and influential guitarists of his generation. Every year since 2007, on or around October 21st, an annual gig is arranged to raise funds for the Hospice to say thank you for the palliative care received by Paul during the final months of his life.  

Paul Fox at The Ruts reunion 2007 - Photo by Steve Worrall
Michael Sobell Hospice is a specialist centre at Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex. The hospice is a 16 bed In-Patient Unit, Day Therapy Centre and Outreach Service as well as providing a wide range of complementary therapies. There is no charge for the care they provide but Michael Sobell Hospice relies heavily on charitable donations. It costs £6,000 a day to maintain their current levels of care, £2,500 of which is provided by fund raising. For more info please check out the Michael Sobell Hospice web-site or the Paul Fox "Foxy's" web-site

For me, The Ruts were always one of the best of the second wave of Punk Rock bands, and their appeal was mainly down to Paul Fox's guitar work. Their debut, "The Crack", was certainly one of the most diverse and exciting of all the Punk albums, and probably only America's Bad Brains could play such great reggae one minute and then such visceral aggressive rock the next. A hugely exciting future was so tragically cut short when vocalist Malcolm Owen died of a drug overdose in 1980 and the band decided to continue as Ruts D.C. playing mainly dub reggae. Unfortunately they never reached the heights of the original Ruts but the band, and Paul Fox in particular, remained hugely influential and popular. In 2007 it was announced that The Ruts, Paul Fox on guitars, bassist Segs and drummer Dave Ruffy would reform for the first time in 27 years, with Black Flag legend and huge Ruts fan, Henry Rollins taking over the vocal duties.

Henry Rollins - Photo by Steve Worrall
I remember there was a moment of euphoria when I first heard the news, the chance to hear those classic songs again, and as a big fan of Black Flag I thought that Rollins was the perfect choice to do justice to the legacy and memory of Malcolm Owen. The euphoria dissipated quickly when I found out that the reunion gig, to be held at the Islington Academy on July 16th 2007, was a benefit for the Ruts very own Paul Fox, who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. It was terrible news but the gig was a huge success, a joyous yet highly emotional celebration. It must have been very daunting for Rollins to try and fill the Dr. Martens of Malcolm Owen, but he took to the task extremely well. Showing the perfect balance of respect for Malcolm, the band and the audience along with an impressive knowledge of the material and compassion for Paul. Yet you could feel the unbridled honour and joy of a fan's dream come true, the rare opportunity to actually perform with their heroes. A stellar line-up compered by John Robb, including the UK Subs, The Damned, Tom Robinson, TV Smith, Tenpole Tudor, Splodgenessabounds, John Otway and fittingly, Southall's Misty In Roots, all played short sets and paid tribute to Paul Fox and The Ruts. Then it was the moment we had all been waiting for and Rollins, Segs, Ruffy and a frail looking Fox took to the stage to an amazing reception and tore into "Something That I Said", closely followed by "Staring at The Rude Boys".

Henry Rollins - Photo by Steve Worrall
What a start, and what a sound! Paul Fox's guitar was a joy to behold and Segs and Ruffy locked into their Rhythm, propelling those two classic singles along at breakneck speed. Rollins' guttural voice was perfectly suited to the material, and with his shaved head and barely controlled aggression, he certainly looked the part too. He self effacingly asked the crowd to sing along to help him and the audience responded enthusiastically. Next up was the menacing intro to "S.U.S." with that ominous bass line building to the slashing chords of the chorus which then fades into reggae to allow Fox's superb guitar lines to shine. "West One (Shine On Me)" was always a very underrated single, and tonight it gets a well deserved play and it sounds amazing. Vocalist Molara joins the band to sing The Ruts own reggae classic "Jah War", and you get the surreal sight of Rollins skanking away in the background covering on backing vocals. "Babylon's Burning", one of the classic Punk Rock singles, and one of my favourite Top Of The Pops moments, sees the crowd going crazy and as the song fades they start up a football terrace style chant of "Foxy, Foxy"...Paul is visibly moved. The full on onslaught of "Society" gives way to the singalong "In A Rut", which sees all the bands who appeared invade the stage to join in on the chorus. It's a chaotic but fun ending which gradually dissolves to leave Rollins, Segs, Ruffy and Paul Fox to take a well deserved bow and lap up the applause. There are mixed emotions of course but to see Paul Fox's huge smile, despite the pain he must have been in, as he stood in front of the crowd, was hugely inspiring. So, please buy the new compilation album and get out all those great Ruts records, they are a wonderful legacy for us to celebrate the unique talents of both Malcolm Owen and Paul Fox. Here's a few more of my photographs of some of the great bands who appeared at the July 16th 2007 gig.

TV Smith with Tony Barber - Photo by Steve Worrall
Charlie Harper from the UK Subs - Photo by Steve Worrall
John Otway - Photo by Steve Worrall
Misty In Roots - Photo by Steve Worrall
The Damned - Photo by Steve Worrall

Thursday 8 November 2012

London's Burning! A Celebration of the life of Joe Strummer December 21st with The Phobics and more at Surya, London

Surya at 156 Pentonville Road London, presents "London's Burning!", a night of live music celebrating the life of the great Joe Strummer and to help raise money for Strummerville, the Joe Strummer Foundation for new music. The show features Ignore Alien Orders, Band Of The Underhand, The Phobics, Riot In Paradise, Skinny Girl Diet and DJs Jamie Headcharge & Zowie Carr so, expect Clash songs aplenty and some of London's finest punk/alternative bands and maybe one or two guests along the way. Ignore Alien Orders are made up of members of various Sheffield bands such as Artery and Protex Blue and brought together on the first anniversary of Joe Strummer's death for what was to become an annual event in Sheffield. They decided to bring the concept to London to mark the tenth year of his untimely passing and will be closing the evening in their inimitable fashion with some Clash classics! Riot In Paradise feature Terry Sex-Gang (ex-Sex Gang Children), Michi Sinn (ex-Jnr Manson Slags) and Pete Novakowski (ex Miguel and The Living Dead), they describe themselves as Trancy, Punky, Dubby, Jazzy, Spikey, Dancey and Dark 'n' Sparky. Skinny Girl Diet are an exciting, uncompromising all-girl 3-piece, wringing-wet with 1977 attitude that belies their tender years. Fast becoming one of the most exciting new young bands on the London circuit, do not miss them!

The Phobics formed in Deptford a few years back by punk survivors and misfits with a love of raw rock 'n' roll and bored of the smug and complacent music scene. Sometimes tight, sometimes not, occasionally sober but always eventful, faster and louder. A kick up the arse with great tunes that’ll hook you deep. The band are busy in the run up to Xmas, as they will support the legendary Heavy Metal Kids at the Merton Manor Club on November 10th, and also appear on the bill at the Borderline in London with Sham 69 and Menace on November 24th. The Phobics have also contributed to the Paul Fox Tribute album, a 24 track compilation released on November 16th to help raise money for the Hospice that cared for the popular and influential Ruts guitarist during his last days. The album also features tracks by The UK Subs, TV Smith, Ruts DC, Laurel Aitken, The Priscillas, Chelsea, The Duel, Splodge, Duncan Reid, Urban Voodoo Machine and Texas Terri amongst others with the cover art work designed by Gaye Advert.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

The Len Price 3 - On location with the band filming for the forthcoming movie "Pubmonkey"...

Retro Man Blog's favourites The Len Price 3, will be providing the theme song and incidental music to the forthcoming movie by writer Jamie O'Hara and Director Jean-Claude Deguara entitled "Pubmonkey", and they will also be making an appearance as "themselves". Pubmonkey is a pleasantly dark comic tale of a depressed shoe shop assistant  who's strategy upon hearing that his girlfriend has been kidnapped, is to call on a group of unhinged characters from his heavy drinking past in order to mount a rescue mission. Retro Man Blog was lucky enough to be invited along to the final day's filming and wrap party, where the band treated us to a full show once the filming had been completed. First of all here's a brief synopsis of the movie: Eddie is the Pubmonkey - amateur philosopher, chronic loser, Sinatra fan and shoe shop employee whose only discernible talent is entertaining lowlifes for free drinks. 

Film Still courtesy Jamie O'Hara
One morning he receives a phone call from an irate addict known as Loony Noonie saying that he has kidnapped his girlfriend and is demanding his cocaine back. Eddie knows nothing about the cocaine or why his girlfriend has been taken. He decides to rally a bunch of people from his colourful but essentially pointless past in a bizarre rescue attempt. Firstly he calls upon his former flatmate, the ultra-violent obsessive-compulsive debt collector Bingo, who plies him with pot and takes him to his mother’s house for a birthday party. After this bizarre event he heads to The Elephant and Flute pub to recruit the various crooks and chancers known as The Berts who operate as a building firm with whom he briefly laboured for. As the story unfolds, the hostage situation becomes increasingly horrific as Loony Noonie, and his demented henchman Dodgy Roger, become increasingly intoxicated and unhinged. Meanwhile Eddie begins to discover just how many of the people he knows are already involved in the deal...

Film Still courtesy Jamie O'Hara
I asked Writer Jamie O'Hara what made him choose The Len Price 3 to provide the music. "We’d done about seven or eight days of principle shooting for Pubmonkey and it was about time to start seriously thinking about music. I’d followed The Len Price 3 for a few years and thought they were one of the best and most underrated bands around. We thought it was a bit of a long shot to get  them involved, but we thought they'd be a perfect fit. The original script for Pubmonkey had been inspired by the same kinds of Medway misfits that informed their work. It was suggested that we'd ask them for one song, while we hoped to get them to do more, to use their music almost like another character. We thought it would be good to apply the band’s knack for writing songs that are sometimes like mini-rock-operas to a wider palette. 

Photo by Steve Worrall
Thankfully, they liked the script, so we met for a pint in a dingy Medway boozer and they agreed to work with us. They delivered "Swing Like a Monkey" shortly afterwards which everyone agreed was a perfect fit for the main theme, with its seedy Mancini-esque organ line and typically brilliant lyric. When it came to shooting the final scene, we'd always hoped to use some footage of the band. To cast them as themselves, playing a function band, capturing their unique look and a bit of their humour,  while attempting to get a sense of their boundless live energy. Thankfully they agreed and we shot the scene at the end of last month. The rushes look great. Even better was the chance to catch a live set from them, demonstrating just how good a live act they are to those in the cast and crew that remained unacquainted with their shows". Work on the film is now firmly moving into post-production with some pick up shots, editing, grading, sound and scoring. 

Film Still courtesy Jamie O'Hara
Photo courtesy Jamie O'Hara
Photo courtesy Jamie O'Hara
The Len Price play a special gig after filming - Photo by Steve Worrall
Writer Jamie O'Hara with The Len Price 3 - Photo by Steve Worrall
Film Still courtesy Jamie O'Hara
Jamie hopes to have a cut ready for screening by the middle of 2013 when they will be hitting festivals and arranging distribution. For updates on the production and news of the official website and when you’ll be able to see it, you can keep an eye on the film's Pubmonkey Facebook Page.

Don't forget The Len Price 3 headline the Retro Man Blog night at The Half Moon, Putney on December 07th ably supported by The Past Tense, The Fallen Leaves and The Legendary Grooveymen. Click the poster to the right of the page for more information and tickets.