Monday 21 March 2022

The Others - Local 60's R'n'B Legends Celebrate the Reformed Crawdaddy Club's Tenth Anniversary - Photos & Report by Paul Slattery

The Others by Paul Slattery - Pete Hammerton & Paul Stewart

Last week the Tenth anniversary of the reformed Crawdaddy Club at Richmond Athletic Ground was celebrated in true style by R&B maestros The Others, a fitting band for such a tribute. The band who originally formed at the local Hampton Grammar School back in 1963, played a fantastic two set gig of around thirty songs laced with legendary R&B standards such as "Route 66", "Oh Yeah", "Goin’ Down" and "Can’t Judge a Book" alongside Paul Stewart’s own superb compositions "I’m Taking Her Home", "What’s Wrong With Me?", "Redwood League" and "Rockman".  I love this place as it’s so friendly and has a real authentic vibe to it, after all The Stones, The Yardbirds, The Pretty Things, The Others, and The Downliners Sect all played here back in the Sixties. Sad to note the recent passing of The Downliners Sect Don Craine who was a lovely guy and a local legend. You can see our features on the Downliners Sect live at The 100 Club and recording a BBC Session at our archive here.  

The Others by Paul Slattery - Paul Stewart

The Others by Paul Slattery - Geoff Grange from The Blue Bishops

After the Crawdaddy Club closed down, forty years passed by until it was resurrected back at The Athletic Ground by fans Mike and Sylvie Rivers just over ten years ago. They’ve tried to recapture some of the atmosphere of those times and host monthly gigs with new and established top name acts, both veteran and current bands. Unfortunately, Mike’s been ill for a while and was unable to make it to the gig, but by the wonders of technology was able to give his congratulations to the assembled crowd during the interval, receiving a great round of applause. The second set saw the band ramp up the pace and the dance floor fill up with some amazing shapes thrown by an energetic and lively crowd. Pete Hammerton on guitar & vocals, Geoff Coxon on drums and Paul Stewart on guitar and lead vocals all go right back to the beginning of The Others in 1964. Paul saw the Stones play the original Crawdaddy back in ’63 and the Others played at the Club in ’64 so you can’t get much more of a West London pedigree than that! Paul’s a mean mouth harp player too. 

The Others by Paul Slattery

The Others by Paul Slattery - Geoff Coxon

Bassist Rob Tolchard is now based in Australia so Steve King from The Great West Groove stepped up superbly to fill in on bass and Tim Staffell who plays regularly with Paul added a superb third guitar and vocals. Tim also went to Hampton Grammar School where he met Brian May and became the lead singer in the pre-Queen trio Smile. Geoff Grange from the Blue Bishops made an appreciated guest appearance on vocals for a couple of songs, accompanied by some of his excellent mouth harp playing. The Stones traditionally finished their sets at the club with "Hey Crawdaddy" and in the spirit of the night so did the Others with a few local lyrics added for the occasion! This band may be veteran but they are steeped in blues and R&B and it really shows. What a great night! They got soul! You can read our feature on the story of The Others in the archive here and there’s also a good piece in Garage Hangover here

The Others by Paul Slattery - Steve King

The Others by Paul Slattery - Tim Staffell

Just to prove it's not all about nostalgia, Tim Staffel and Paul Stewart got together in 2019 to record "How High" which also features Steve King on bass and the Great West Groove’s drummer Paul White. Incidentally, The Great West Groove have now resumed their superb blues night at The Brewery Tap in Brentford on the third Wednesday of each month and Tim and Paul often drop by to play. This is always a great night – it feels like Louisiana even though you’re in the West Thames Delta! You can find our more information on The Great West Groove at their official Facebook page here.

A big thanks to Julia Lewis at The Crawdaddy for all her help - Paul Slattery, March 2022.

Please click on the highlighted links below for further information.

The Crawdaddy Club - Official web-site and Facebook page

Tim Staffell - Official web-site and Bandcamp site

The Great West Groove - Official Facebook page

Paul Slattery on Amazon 

The Others by Paul Slattery - Paul Stewart

All photos copyright Paul Slattery.

Sunday 20 March 2022

The Price - Photos from the "No Justice?" In-Store Launch at Sounds of The Suburbs Records

The Price - photo by Retro Man Blog

I'm just back from a thoroughly entertaining Sunday afternoon at Sounds of The Suburbs in Ruislip which hosted an in-store acoustic show from The Price to celebrate the release of their "No Justice?" compilation album. You can read more about the background to the album in our previous Retro Man Blog feature here. The band, appearing with all five members for the first time - guitarist Leigh Heggarty, taking time off from recording the new Ruts DC album, vocalist Malcolm Andrews, bassist Huggy Harewood and both drummers, Paul Mullineaux and Mick Francis - treated us to a set of their melodic guitar pop and seemed to enjoy themselves as much as we did. They had signed copies of "No Justice?" available for sale and were more than happy to chat with fans, (who today included Punk icon and Adverts bassist Gaye Black), and indulge in lots of photo opportunities, especially once the Pricewise store was spotted across the street! Tony at Sounds of The Suburbs did another superb job organising the afternoon and I'd recommend following the store on social media as I know he has some really good events coming up. 

The Price - photo by Retro Man Blog

The Price - photo by Retro Man Blog

The Price - photo by Retro Man Blog

The Price with Tony from SOTS (3rd L) - photo by Retro Man Blog

Gaye (Advert) Black & Leigh Heggarty - photo by Retro Man Blog

Here's some links for you, please do kindly check them out for more information...

The Price official Facebook page

"No Justice?" CD for sale on-line from Cadiz

...or why not buy a copy from a proper record shop such as... 

Sounds of The Suburbs Records

Ruts DC

Leigh Heggarty's Mad World of Guitars Blog

Retrosonic Podcast Episode 46 (featuring tracks by The Price & Ruts DC)

Don't forget our Retrosonic Podcast with Leigh Heggarty is available to stream at Spotify, iTunes, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts or you can listen/download from our SoundCloud below.


Sunday 13 March 2022

The Price "No Justice?" New Compilation & Launch Event at Sounds Of The Suburbs Records Ruislip on March 20th.

33 1/3 years after they released their first single, The Price release their debut album "No Justice?" on Cadiz Records featuring nineteen studio recordings from 1988-1993. The Price played hundreds of shows during this time, including support slots to Transvision Vamp, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, The Lords Of The New Church, Wilko Johnson, Mega City Four, Senseless Things, John Otway and many more, as well as sharing the stage with contemporaries like Red Letter Day, The Newtown Neurotics, The Chairs, Action Pact, TV Smith’s Cheap, Who Moved The Ground?, The Shout and Porky The Poet (now better known as Phil Jupitus) among others. They also toured the UK with The Lurkers and were one of the few bands to play in East Germany (including gigging in Leipzig and East Berlin and a recording session in Halle as well as supporting Half Japanese in Magdeburg and Cottbus) before The Wall came down. The band appeared on a compilation album with The Manic Street Preachers (who they were booked to support but who got too big for the gig!) and their two 7” singles 'The Price You Pay' / 'The Man With The Smile' and 'So What About Love?' / Between The Lies' were both Single Of The Week in The NME and Sounds magazines. BBC radio presenter Steve Lamacq was an early champion of the band, and ex-Ruts guitarist Paul Fox produced their second single ‘So What About Love?’ They also went on to work with famed and fabled producer Pip Williams who also produced Status Quo, Dr. Feelgood and more. Although the band released a six-track mini-album ‘The Table Of Uncles’ in 1990 they were never able to release a full-length LP at the time, so this release collects together many of their best-loved songs in a long overdue overview of their career. Price guitarist Leigh Heggarty now plays in Ruts D.C., and has also worked with Henry Rollins, Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants, Wayne Kramer, T. V. Smith, Department S and many more. Leigh explains further...

Tony from Sounds of The Suburbs Records (R) & Leigh Heggarty - Pic Retro Man Blog

"One day in the dim and distant past, I received a cassette of The Price in the post. Way back in those pre-internet days one of the main ways you got your music to promoters, journalists, indeed anybody who might be interested in what you were doing, was to send them a tape. Most of them disappeared forever, but this one had been sent back to me in the stamped addressed envelope that I invariably included in the package along with a plea to send the tape back if they didn't like what they heard so that we could use it again. This was an unusual occurrence, which is probably why it's stuck in my mind. The accompanying note said that the music was interesting, but that we needed to think more about our melody lines; also we should look at making the arrangements more commercial - maybe by listening to the sort of things that were getting into the charts at the moment - and while we were doing that, perhaps think about the sounds on those records, especially on the drums. Oh and we should always include at least one photograph of the band so that people could see what sort of image we had. Needless to say we did none of those things.  

It's interesting to speculate on what might have happened if we had taken even any of those points to task...Would we now be thinking about reforming for yet another money-spinning World Tour to coincide with the latest box set reissue of our illustrious back catalogue? Would we all be in poverty-ridden obscurity, bitter and twisted at the way that our music has been sold and resold by a ruthless music industry without any of us ever seeing a penny for it? Would we be somewhere between the two? And if so which would we be nearer to? These are obviously all rhetorical questions, as we were far too naive to have even considered considering any of it. Well, I certainly was anyway. 'No Justice?' collects together 19 tracks recorded between 1988 and 1993 - here are some of my memories from that time". Leigh Heggarty January 2022 

The excellent Sounds of The Suburbs Records in Ruislip will be hosting a free in-store live show from The Price to celebrate the release of "No Justice?" on Sunday March 20th at 2pm and you'll be able to buy the album on the day too. Please check out the event page here for more details. If you can't make it you can order the album from Cadiz here. Leigh Heggarty has his very own Blog "Leigh's Mad World of Guitars" and you can also check out our thoroughly entertaining Retrosonic Podcast special episode with Leigh. if you search and subscribe at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or Mixcloud or you can listen/download directly from SoundCloud below:

Thursday 10 March 2022

Hoodoo Gurus - Australian Garage Power Pop Legends Celebrate 40 Years with New LP "Chariot of The Gods"

Hoodoo Gurus by Christopher Ferguson
I first saw the legendary Australian band Hoodoo Gurus at the Hammersmith Palais back in 1985 when they were touring to promote their breakthrough second album "Mars Needs Guitars!" This LP built on all the great things present in their classic debut "Stoneage Romeos" which to this day remains one of my all time favourite records. Hoodoo Gurus combined all the best bits of my favourite music from 60's Garage nuggets, stomping Glam Rock, the down-town Punk Rock of New York Dolls and Ramones and melodic Power Pop to the swampy Blues of The Gun Club and The Cramps...they have it all! But most of all they have the tunes...the songwriting genius of frontman Dave Faulkner, ably abetted by guitarist Brad Shepherd, lifted the band to another level and earned them international recognition with songs such as "I Want You Back" and "Bittersweet". Well, the good news is that they are back with a new album "Chariots of The Gods" and they've lost none of their trademark brilliance. Thanks to Hungry Promotion, I'm able to give you an in-depth look into background behind "Chariots of The Gods".

Hoodoo Gurus "Chariot of The Gods" cover
Hoodoo Gurus hold a singular place in Australian and indeed international Rock’n’Roll history. Comprising members of seminal ‘70s Aus-Punk outfits including The Victims and Fun Things, the band were unrepentant Garage-rockers whose colourful personality and pop culture smarts, superb songcraft and unabashed rocking took them to the top of the charts at home and to the forefront of an international Garage-rock, Alternative-rock and Power Pop movements in the mid-‘80s. Accepted as friends and contemporaries by bands ranging from The Bangles to The Fleshtones and Flamin’ Groovies to Redd Kross, the band became real-deal, Rock’n’Roll heroes of the pre-Grunge era, playing to packed houses across the US and in the UK and Europe and making their way to the top of the US College charts. Now with the addition of a couple of members who have added both the Divinyls and Radio Birdman to th group’s extended family tree, the Gurus have solidified a sound that combines a range of ‘60s and ‘70s influences into a classic Punk/Garage/Hard rock sound that – like that of their heroes the Ramones – is instantly recognizable even as it is wide-ranging. The album includes five songs that were released as singles. The Punk-snarl of "Answered Prayers" emerged in late 2019 followed by the politically charged "Hung Out To Dry" in July 2020 and a slice of soaring power pop in the form of "Get Out Of Dodge" in October last year. "World Of Pain" was released in June 2021 and the band ended the year with "Carry On", an anthem celebrating resilience and tenacity. The releases follow the official reprisal of Hoodoo Gurus owned and operated label "Big Time Phonograph Recording Co" in 2018 - under which the band reissued their entire album recording catalogue on coloured vinyl in the same year. So, while celebrating their 40 years of touring, recording and global success – Hoodoo Gurus are embracing 2022 with full vigour. Bassist Rick Grossman explains: "40 years as a band this year. I’ve spent half my life with these guys and looking forward to making more memories with them. When I played in Divinyls, I bought the first 2 Gurus albums and the single Tojo. So, I was a fan. And now, 33 years later, I still am. I always dreamt as a kid to be a member of a band, so my dream came true. The Gurus are a great live band so it’s always exciting to play - and to play great songs. I love Dave's writing and how we as a band, turn them into Hoodoo Gurus songs. And we still are. And so it goes on."
Hoodoo Gurus
2022 looks like it will be one of Hoodoo Gurus most eventful years to date. They were going to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the band’s formation in 2021 but COVID messed with that! The release of "Chariot of The Gods", their first album in over a decade, alongside a welcome return to the stage sees the band full of a palpable level of determination, drive and spirit as Hoodoo Gurus’ founder Dave Faulkner explains: "The last twelve months have been frustrating and nerve-racking for everyone but, for the Hoodoo Gurus, this dark cloud has had a silver lining. Forced to rely on ourselves instead of the outside world for validation, there has been a creative rebirth within the band that has resulted in a string of singles and a new album. Most important of all, the musical bonds between the four of us have never been stronger. When the discussions are all about which songs we're sad about having to leave off the record, that's a damn good sign. I'm tellin' ya, folks, we've got a real spring in our step right now". The new album is the first with new recruit on drums, Nik Reith, a veteran of some of Australia’s most esteemed Rock’n’Roll bands including Radio Birdman, The Celibate Rifles, The New Christs and Tumbleweed. Nik said: "It's a real honour to be playing for such an iconic band. I've been a fan for a long time (since cassettes!) and to be playing for them in a milestone year is a privilege. We've recorded some wonderful songs that I hope continue the rich Power Pop/Rock catalogue that fans will recognise and love. I’m looking forward to a huge year for the band's 40th birthday to celebrate with past members and the extended family, and hopefully a few more years of doing what Hoodoo Gurus do best".

My first time - London 1985.
The announcement of the original, pre-COVID rescheduled 2021 tour with The Dandy Warhols coincided with the release of a new Hoodoo Gurus’ single, the explosive Glam-stomper "World Of Pain". The track simply, enthusiastically leaps from the speakers, demanding your attention. It’s a sign of the revitalised approach to writing and recording the band have undergone in recent times as guitarist Brad Shepherd beautifully articulates: "There were times as younger men when making a record seemed easier; we operated largely on initial impulses and others were more or less OK with it. Through the years, as a consequence of us becoming more confident in our abilities, and developing an acute responsibility to the songs, our process has evolved into a more meticulous pursuit. These tunes haven’t simply happened by accident. Very few details have been left unattended, although on occasion the most important idea may be to have no idea at all, which can be challenging when we’re rolling tape. I learned it a long while back, but it holds true: tolerance and patience are your allies, easily as valuable in a band as creative aptitude or ability on your instrument. Nonetheless we’ve stayed the course, working hard into nights of long hours, revising and fine tuning. It was a pleasant surprise then, amidst the close scrutiny and hand wringing, that one day strong songs revealed themselves unannounced in a kind of miracle. It would appear that even at this late stage of our game, we are capable of turning in some of our best work". 
Hoodoo Gurus

For more information on Hoodoo Gurus please check out their official web-site here. With thanks to Roberto Calabro and Hungry Promotion. We'll be playing a track from "Chariots of The Gods" in the next episode of Retrosonic Podcast so, make sure you don't miss out by subscribing for free at iTunes, Spotify, Amazon Music, Apple Podcasts or direct from our main SoundCloud site here. Thanks to Hungry Promotion.

Tuesday 1 March 2022

Alvin Gibbs "Diminished Responsibility: My Life as a U.K. Sub and Other Strange Stories Vol. 2”

Here’s another rollicking, rip-roaring Rock ‘n’ Roll memoir from U.K. Subs bassist Alvin Gibbs courtesy of the always excellent Time & Matter Recordings publishing wing Tome and Metre. “Diminished Responsibility: My Life as a U.K. Sub and Other Strange Stories Vol. 2” picks up the tale from the aftermath of Alvin’s sudden and unexpected dismissal from the Subs in 1983 and ends some 11 years later with a cliff-hanger phone call from Charlie Harper and a tantalising offer. First of all, I was pleasantly surprised to read in the foreword that Alvin and T&M have decided to expand this thoroughly entertaining autobiography series to a trilogy of books with Volume 3 hopefully due to be published at the end of the year. This will continue with Alvin’s adventures following that fateful phone call from Charlie right up to the present day. 

Cheap And Nasty in Berlin, 1991 by Mark Plummer

Anyway, back to Volume 2 which starts up with Alvin going through a bit of a musically quiet patch following his departure from the U.K. Subs and the realisation dawns that he might have to get some real work to make ends meet. So he gets a job as a Hospital Porter! This is where Alvin’s writing comes into its own and the descriptions of his day job are shot through with a hilarious, if occasionally morbid humour, when it comes to unexpected autopsies and navigating corpses on trolleys through the Hospital car parks. It’s like a cross between Carry on Doctor and the best of Dave Allen’s sketch show. In fact, near death experiences loom large throughout Volume 2 – whether its narrowly avoiding drug overdoses, being hit by an earthquake of magnitude 5.9 on the Richter Scale or getting his parachute cords twisted during a sky dive, Alvin certainly does get into some scrapes. A lot of the danger and the drama however, does seem to stem from one person and that’s Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy. On one hand, his - what can only be described as a love/hate - relationship with Andy does offer Alvin quite a lot of opportunities including the chance to join Iggy Pop’s band for his “Instinct” period world tour and the chance to replace Sami Yaffa in Hanoi Rocks. However, the hand that gives can also take away and Andy’s hedonistic lifestyle often scuppers the best opportunities that the pair find themselves in. 

Alvin on stage (centre) with Iggy Pop in 1988 by Paul McAlpine

Along with Andy, it’s also Alvin’s relationship with his American wife Mary that’s at the heart of Volume 2 and the strains on their marriage caused by a life in Rock ‘n’ Roll music are laid bare with a searing honesty. The couple move to San Francisco and L.A. where Alvin is immersed in the local music scenes. He tells us of his bands Revolver and Broken Glass and his relationships with Timo Kaltio and Nasty Suicide and mixing with Hollywood stars such as Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp, James Russo and most impressively (to me at least…) George Wendt or Norm from “Cheers”.  There’s some funny tales of auditions including an offer from Kathy Valentine of The Go-Go’s to try out for her band World’s Cutest Killers and an infuriating encounter with John Lydon’s brother Martin.

Alvin in Revolver, 1986

Things do get better after that thankfully, Guns N Roses cover the Subs “Down on the Farm” on their “Spaghetti Incident” LP, there’s a reunion in New York with Charlie Harper and Nicky Garratt and then of course, Andy McCoy recommends Alvin to Iggy Pop. Although the “Instinct” tour is covered in Alvin’s excellent book “Neighbourhood Threat – On Tour with Iggy Pop” he does add quite a bit of extra background info and gossip to his time spent touring the world with Iggy, which makes for fascinating reading. The book ends in 1994 and his time with Cheap & Nasty, which sadly is beset by the usual music industry problems and hassles with management and record labels. It’s another thoroughly satisfying read and as I mentioned in my review of “Volume 1”, Alvin excels with his evocative reminiscing of travels and experiences in places such as India, Singapore, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Japan and this lifts his books far above any standard Rock ‘n’ Roll memoir. Although, don’t worry, there’s still plenty of on-the-road debauchery thrown in for good measure! I’m already looking forward to “Volume 3”.

Alvin with the U.K. Subs photo by Retro Man Blog

To order the book please check out Time & Matter here. For our feature on "Diminished Responsibility: My Life as a U.K. Sub and Other Strange Stories Vol. 1” please check out the Blog Archive here. Alvin Gibbs & The Disobedient Servants official page is here and more info on the U.K. Subs can be found here. Thanks to Mark & Rob at Time & Matter.