Wednesday 22 June 2022

Retrosonic Podcast with The Gruesomes, Canada's Legendary Tyrants of Teen Trash

For this very special episode of Retrosonic Podcast we caught up with all four members of the legendary Canadian Garage Rock band The Gruesomes as they rehearsed for their upcoming debut London show at Weirdsville on July 2nd, hard to believe this will be the first time the band have ever played the U.K. since forming in Montreal back in 1985. In this comprehensive and thoroughly entertaining show, singers and guitarists Bobby Beaton and Gerry Alvarez, bassist John Davis and drummer John Knoll take us on a wild ride from their formation in 1985 to their split in 1990 and right up to their resurrection and classic comeback album "Cave-In!" in 2000. Along the way we discuss their debut E.P. "Jack The Ripper" and how it became a favourite of The Horrors, along with their first album, the impeccably titled "Tyrants of Teen Trash". We play tracks from each of their albums and their latest single alongside a pick of various influences and favourite songs from The Haunted, The Chords, Kit & The Outlaws, The Prisoners and The Sorrows. We also cover Canadian culture and music including the Montreal scene that spawned The Gruesomes. There's life threatening road accidents, Buddy Ascott's drumming, touring Europe for the first time, why Spain loved The Gruesomes and the band's love of lemon curd! All this and lots, lots more in this teen-trash packed episode of Retrosonic Podcast. You can subscribe to Retrosonic for free at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music or direct from SoundCloud below:

The Gruesomes play their first and only UK show at Weirdsville at the Fiddler's Elbow in Chalk Farm on Saturday July 2nd with support from Retro Man Blog favourites The Jack Cades and DJ's Keb Darge, Mr A and Miss A. Psychotronic visuals will be provided by Dave Taylor at Enjoy Yourself. Tickets are available from We Got Tickets here. Don't miss out! For more information on The Gruesomes please check out their official Facebook page here. With sincere thanks to The Gruesomes - Bobby, John, Gerry & John and especially to Grant Fisher.


The Gruesomes "Bikers From Hell"

The Haunted "1-2-5"

The Prisoners "Hurricane"

The Chords "Maybe Tomorrow"

The Gruesomes "Leave My Kitten Alone"

Kit & The Outlaws "Don't Tread On Me"

The Gruesomes "Jack The Ripper"

The Gruesomes "What's Your Problem"

The Gruesomes "Je Cherche"

The Gruesomes "Way Down Below"

The Gruesomes "Hey!"

The Gruesomes "Stop It, Girl"

The Sorrows "No, No, No, No"

The Gruesomes "Make Up Your Mind"

The Gruesomes "Someone Told a Lie"

Friday 10 June 2022

The Courettes at The Louisiana, Bristol, June 1st 2022

The Courettes at The Louisiana Bristol by Retro Man Blog
The Courettes, probably the hardest working couple in show business, are back again. It doesn’t seem like five minutes since I was down the front of a packed out Lexington in London witnessing another mind-blowing performance from Martin & Flava Couri, the Danish husband/Brazilian wife duo. However, here I am again down the front of another packed out Courettes show, this time at The Louisiana in the fabulous city of Bristol. It’s a music city and there are members of bands and DJ’s all around me. I see Mimi & The Miseries, Ananda and Glauco from AlterModerns and Craig & Alex from the Frathouse among other familiar faces from many Hipsville and Weirdsville events; it’s a very friendly and welcoming crowd to us out of towners. The Courettes seem to be on one never-ending tour, Bristol is the first date of an 18 shows in 18 nights jaunt around England and Scotland following hot on the heels of a phone book length list of dates in Europe and Scandinavia. “We hate days off”, Flavia told me in our thoroughly entertaining Retrosonic Podcast special, which ironically, had to be recorded on two separate occasions as they were so busy. 

The Courettes at The Louisiana Bristol by Retro Man Blog
The Courettes at The Louisiana Bristol by Retro Man Blog
It was great to catch up with Flavia and Martin again, after all they are two of the nicest and most positive people you could wish to meet. Of course, they look fabulous too. When we meet for breakfast in a café the next morning, they both appear looking as if they are going to step on stage and they draw admiring, awestruck glances from people tucking into their pastries and cappuccinos around us. Tour van driver, cheerleader and general fixer Patrice Picard of Raw Fun and The Cannibals is also present and he shows off his leather jacket emblazoned with The Courettes logo. Both Martin and Flavia have similar jackets and they presented one to Fabrice as a gift at the start of the tour but underneath his logo Martin had added ‘Cannibal’. A nice touch, and as I help them with their luggage and gear I wonder when I will qualify to wear a leather Courettes jacket? I’m not sure that I would look a fraction as cool though!
The Courettes and Patrice at The Louisiana Bristol by Retro Man Blog

The Courettes at The Louisiana Bristol by Retro Man Blog
So why are they back so soon? Well, they’ve only gone and released another album haven’t they – the stunning collection “Back In Mono: B-Sides and Outtakes”. Most bands stick these kind of records out unheralded, often due to contractual obligations but not The Courettes, no chance, they go and build yet another tour around the release. You thought their wall of sound masterpiece “Back In Mono” was great. Well, yes so did we, as it was Retro Man Blog’s Album of The Year 2021. In fact, it was so great that they had to leave off eight superb songs all now handily collected in yet another beautifully packaged Damaged Goods Records release. There are not many bands I can think of who can release an album of B-Sides and unreleased material of such quality. Swedish Psych-Rockers, The Soundtrack of Our Lives spring to mind and their immense “A Present From The Past” which was far superior even to the record company rush-job “Best of” compilation “Golden Greats Part 1”. After that, I’m struggling. So yes, “Back In Mono: B-Sides and Outtakes” does deserve its own tour. 
The Courettes at The Louisiana Bristol by Retro Man Blog

The Courettes at The Louisiana Bristol by Retro Man Blog
Back to The Louisiana, Martin and Flavia take the stage, unfortunately, the lights don’t seem to be working and it’s apparent after the high-octane opening double hit of “Hoodoo Hop” and “The Boy I Love” that the air-conditioning isn’t working either. It’s like a sauna and they’ve only played two songs. The temperature rises even higher as the hits keep coming, “I’ve Been Walking” and the classic ode to Richard Starkey “R.I.N.G.O” are fantastic. Around me, people are dancing and fanning themselves with T-Shirts at the same time. Patrice asks me if I want a beer from backstage but all I can think about is water. Sweat is dripping off the walls and someone shouts out to the be-suited Martin “take your jacket off!” He declines, always the cool dude. Martin is a superb drummer and the perfect foil for Flavia who leaps into the crowd and revels in the adoration. She encourages the girls to get to come forward and comments that more bands and venues should encourage a safe space at the front. More great tracks crank up the pressure cooker atmosphere such as “Edge of My Nerves” and then the ultimate fuck-it-let’s-dance nihilistic statement “We’re Gonna Die”, which is very apt as I think I am going to die, only from heat exhaustion, not from excessive partying. 

The Courettes at The Louisiana Bristol by Retro Man Blog
The band deliver a faultless set-list crammed full of their classic Phil Spector meets The Cramps meets The Shangri-La’s meets the Ramones nuggets. “Boom Dynamite” and “T-C-H-A-U” are perfect call and response crowd participation party pieces and they end with a blistering “Hop The Twig”, Flavia giving her guitar to a member of the audience to have a bash on. It’s a beautifully chaotic ending to another quite magnificent Courettes show and I would urge you to check the remaining tour dates and get out and see them if you can. Chances are though; if you miss them this time round, I’m damn sure they will be back very soon. Let’s bloody hope so. Check out the official Courettes website here for tour dates, further information and merchandise. “Back In Mono: B-Sides and Outtakes” can be ordered from Damaged Goods Records here. More videos from the show can be found at our Retro Man Blog YouTube channel here. Finally, don’t forget our special “Retrosonic Podcast presents the Fabulous Courettes” episode, which is available at our archives on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, iTunes and SoundCloud or directly below: