Sunday, 26 March 2017

The Fallen Leaves: Paul Slattery Photos from the New Album Launch Party at The Hope & Anchor with The Killer B's & The Nu Vandals

The Fallen Leaves at The Hope & Anchor photographed by Paul Slattery
Hot on the desert-booted heels of their "Best of" compilation "Punk Rock For Gentlemen", The Fallen Leaves have just released an album of all new material entitled "What We've All Been Waiting For" on their own Parliament Records. The band put on an excellent launch party as part of their residency at the legendary Hope & Anchor venue in Islington where copies of the album were on sale for the first time. It's on CD only for now and if we get any news of a vinyl release of course we will let you know. Some of the new songs have featured in the band's set over the past couple of years now and have become firm favourites alongside all those much-loved classics. New titles including "Motorcycle Girl", "All That Glitters", "Lavender Girl" and "Prodigal Son" are particularly impressive. We've played exclusive pre-release versions of a couple of the new songs in various episodes of Retrosonic Podcast and you can hear the brilliant "Funny World" in our latest Episode 26 here. The band had just got back from a mini-tour of the UK, taking in Manchester and another Marc Riley session and gigs in Glasgow and Middlesbrough and tonight they were on top form. Vocalist Rob Green pulls out all the stops and props - the cool shades, the flask of tea, the maracas, the blowing of smoke rings and even gunning down the crowd with a walking stick! Bassist Matthew Karas looks cool with his cravat and velvet smoking jacket, a bemused Cheshire Cat grin playing on his lips. Rob Symmons' assault on his guitar is still one of the most exciting visual treats you will see at any gig and Buddy Ascott's mightily impressive drumming once again proving that there's much more to these "Simple songs for complex people". Here's some great photographs from Paul Slattery...

The Fallen Leaves at The Hope & Anchor photographed by Paul Slattery
Rob Green of The Fallen Leaves at The Hope & Anchor photographed by Paul Slattery
Rob Symmons of The Fallen Leaves at The Hope & Anchor photographed by Paul Slattery
Buddy Ascott of The Fallen Leaves at The Hope & Anchor photographed by Paul Slattery
Matthew Karas of The Fallen Leaves at The Hope & Anchor photographed by Paul Slattery
The night started off with some down and dirty good time Rock 'n' Roll from The Nu Vandals which certainly put a smile on everyone's faces. A Punky cover of "The Harder They Come" was ambitious but they pulled it off thanks to some great drumming from Richard Grealish and impressive sax work from Natalie Lane. Vocals are shared between guitarist Alan Blizzard, who oozes Keith Richards style and imposing bassist Dale Senior who looks like he's stepped out of a Martin Scorsese movie. In fact the band do bring a touch of that New York Johnny Thunders Lower East Side Manhattan to Islington. One of my favourite songs was the short, sharp Ramones tribute "Ask Me No Questions" but "Feeling Good About Feeling Bad", "Have You Seen My Mama" & "My City" are all great tracks and I would thoroughly recommend catching The Nu Vandals play as soon as you can.

The Nu Vandals photographed by Paul Slattery
The Nu Vandals photographed by Paul Slattery
Next up it was the welcome return of The Killer B's who's raw, hypnotic R'n'B really went down well on the night. There's a slightly off-kilter twist to their take on the Blues to keep things interesting particularly on "You Don't Bug Me". It was when Chris Thompson started off that stuttering, scratchy Wilko Johnson style guitar on the superb "Unforgiven" that it reminded me of his old band The Screaming Blue Messiahs. I knew bassist Ricky McGuire had been in The Men They Couldn't Hang and I just found out he had also been in the early 80's Punk band The Fits, if I'd have known that I would have taken along my old "Last Laugh E.P." for him to sign...! He's a great bass player and both him and his rhythm section colleague, the dapper and laid back drummer David Morgan Mathias, keep things effortlessly in check. They don't play any songs at all from their only album "Love Is a Cadillac Death Is a Ford" so I'm hoping they will get round to recording some of this excellent new material very soon and not forgetting getting out there and playing some more gigs too.

The Killer B's photographed by Paul Slattery
The Killer B's photographed by Paul Slattery
The Killer B's photographed by Paul Slattery
The Killer B's photographed by Paul Slattery
Thanks to Paul Slattery for the excellent photos (copyright Paul Slattery 2017). Paul started off taking early photos of his heroes Dr. Feelgood and Link Wray and was inspired by Lemmy of Motorhead to dive head first into the music world. Over the years he's produced iconic shots of The Flamin' Groovies, Ramones, The Clash, The Fall, Joy Division, Manic Street Preachers, The Stone Roses and many more besides. Paul has had two books published "The Smiths: The Early Years" and "Oasis: A Year On The Road" which are available from Amazon. For more photos of the album launch party please head on over to the Retro Man Blog Facebook page and hit "Like" to sign-up and check out the exclusive photo albums. You can see some videos of all three bands filmed on the night too at our Retro Man Blog YouTube channel here. You can order copies of The Fallen Leaves new album  "What We've All Been Waiting For" from band's web-site here and don't forget our very special Fallen Leaves Podcasts where the two Robs talk us through their fascinating history and play a pick of some of their influences and favourite Fallen Leaves songs along the way. Episode 1 is here...




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