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The Incredibly Strange Music Box: LP Review

The Incredibly Strange Music Box: 60 Songs from The Cramps’ Crazy Collection (Righteous Psalm 23 85D)

CRAMPS CRAZY COLLECTION

Anyone picking up this monster compilation has probably already guessed that legendary schlock horror rockers The Cramps didn’t get their chops from listening to Eagles LPs. Come to think of it, they probably didn’t learn their licks here either, but the inspiration behind their scuzzy 60’s rock ‘n’ roll formula lurks in the bit stream of this double CD.

First up, one of the more familiar names of Rock n Roll history, Mickey & Sylvia treat us to their jittery, battle of the sexes washboard shuffle, ‘No Good Lover’. The Collins Kids’ innocent-sounding name leads us into a false sense of security, ready for their licentious ‘Whistlebait’, with a strangulated boy (or is it a girl?) vocal. Skip Manning’s basic Elvis grunt is enriched with fine distorted guitar on ‘Ham ‘n‘ Eggs’, a slightly comical take on the ‘We go together like…’ simile beloved of songwriters.

Smokey Joe’s Fats Waller-like croak provides a suitable voice for the crazy jungle rhythm of   ‘Signifying Monkey’, a ditty that’s less than the sum of its parts, although easily the best song title here. In our more sensitive age, we would probably baulk at ‘Stutterin’ Cindy’s mockery, but it’s easy to guess why Lux Interior would have liked this Charlie Feathers song.  The familiar scrape of plectrum on steel guitar string signals the appearance of the great Bo Diddley, in a steady rocker, ‘Congo’, with a heady infusion of exotic jungle atmosphere.

The hurtling comedy of The Aladdins’ harmony piece, ‘Munch’ comes on like an even dumber ‘Give Me Back My Bubble-gum’, and with a crazy sax break cranking it higher. The sax is downright salacious on Joe Dodo’s ‘Groovy’,  but we get a chance to cool our heels and our ardour in Jim Backus & Friend’s ‘Delicious!’, a sort of guffawing, Stateside take on Champagne Charlie furnished with an equally bibulous female companion. Sticking with the inebriate theme, we get a fairly standard country whine, ‘Here I Am Drunk Again’, from Clyde Beavers.

Sparkle Moore’s ‘Skull and Crossbones’ has our tough gal giving her man a good ticking off, and how easy it is to imagine the young Poison Ivy Rorschach hearing this little gem and filing it away under ‘Personal Style’. Rusty Draper’s stammering vocal on the banjo-driven country stomp ‘Tongue Tied over You’ might have been a little too much for the age it was minted in, but has its moments. Charlie Ryan & The Timberline Riders’ ‘Hot Rod Guitar’ is a steady roller with nimble fretwork, but there’s not much here to elevate it above the usual fare.

The Sheiks’ ‘Baghdad Rock’ instro is an obvious Cramps favourite, with its ‘The Walk’ style beat and weird, haunting horn. The Duals’ stormy ‘Lovers Satellite’ has a crystal clear guitar solo to clean the eardrums out, and The Invaders ‘Shock Treatment’ comes on like a lost Jo Meek track, all ghostly calls over a standard surf backing. Freddie & The Hitch Hikers’ ‘Sinners’ makes good use of a not-so-heavenly chorus, in this sermon-infused chugger. It would be nothing but a low swindle to leave out ‘Tequila’, and it’s ‘The Three Suns’ take which does the honours here.

A solid hint of menace and some icy-cool guitar work in The Ventures’ ‘Green Onions’, followed by a Billy Fury-like moody vocal performance from Gary Warren, in ‘Midnight Rain’, a memory song with a whispering chorus that provides two high spots in a row on this first disc. A genuine, murmuring blues with brooding guitar, in the form of Kenyon Hopkins’ ‘Let Me Out’, takes us deftly into a crazy rocker with heavily distorted guitar and primitive lyrics in ‘Hot and Cold’ by Marvin Rainwater.

Hank and the Electras’ ‘Get Lost Baby’ is a tepid little number, in spite of its great title, but redemption is on the way with The Bikinis’ ‘Crazy Vibrations’ a rattlesnake-like sound, with tinkling piano behind and a snaky, pumping sax with deep twangy bass fattening up the beat. Those of you with a taste for low-end comedy will love Jerry Neal’s ‘I Hates Rabbits’, but we’re soon into the truly inspired ‘Twistin’ In The Jungle’, Buddy Bow’s near-horror movie soundtrack with its bonkers bongos and brass.

James and Septette’s ’‘Congo Elegy’ comes on like a perverse Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett out-take, with a mambo struggling to get out of the piece, and desperate, salacious lyrics. A standard Bill Haley-o-like beat for ‘Tarzan’ from Glen Reeves & His Rock-Billys, and to end this disc, two songs entitled ‘Voodoo Doll’. The Interiors (dig that name…) piece is an R ‘n’ B chugger and Glenda and Glen’s has an unnerving female vocal and random raindrop sound in the bass that does the job the more effectively of the two. (Heard that name before somewhere, too.)

The innocent sounding Buddy Holly-ish performance of ‘Straight Skirt’ by Gene Summers that opens the second CD belies the rather lecherous subject matter. The Ventures are in fine form in ‘Bumble Bee Twist’, picking their way precisely through a ‘Man of Mystery’ style riff. The Romans’ ‘Uh Huh’ is every bit as primitive as the title suggests a crazy piece of exotica, chugging guitars and exclaiming sax. Art Wood’s hillbilly hiccupping on ‘My Jib’ is a little too stereotypical to satisfy. The fast, jazzy rock ‘n’ roll and sax craziness of Sil Austin in ‘Fallout’ is far more pleasing to the ear.

Charlie Feathers’ ‘Wild Wild Party’ shuffle has its moments, as does Gene Simmons and the Rebels’ ‘Twixteen’, an Eddie Cochrane-a-like treatment of a tale of perilously young sexual allure. Martin Denny’s ‘Misirlou’ uses creepy woodwind and drum brushes hissing their snakeish rhythm in a very different take on the classic tune.

The Forbidden Five show us why they’re called so, with their bongos, animal noises and weird Eastern/Western rhythms in ‘RFD Rangoon’,  and continuing with the Eastern stylings, Preston Love and Orchestra serve up a tasty slice of exotica in ‘Ali Baba’s Boogie’. The Bambinos’ ‘Algiers’ is another entry in the downright disturbing category, and Marvin Rainwater’s distorted echo sounds like it was produced with some species of elastic band, on his bizarre ‘Boo Hoo’. Dick Penner’s ‘Cindy Lou’s slightly mocking guitar notes and sinister twang perfectly suit this borderline suggestive song. Skip Manning’s ‘Devil Blues’ is more big band than bottleneck, with its ‘behave or face the consequences’ message.

The Red Callender Sextet offer up more exotica in ‘Voodoo’, and Garry and Larry’s hard driven ‘Garlic Bread’ is by way of total contrast.

Moving into the Red Zone, The Blenders’ ‘Don’t F*ck Around With Love deliver the doo-wop  song sweetly, making the profanity all the more of a surprise, but The Empallos’ ‘Hi Cups’ mighty sax creep is true instro-salaciousness.  The Midnighters’ rock ‘n’ roller ‘Sexy Ways’ fully lives up to its name.

‘Gumbo’ by Shades of Rhythm has a loose, crazy feel, and The Voxpoppers ‘The Last Drag’ has a screechy-voiced treatment with the faint air of Fats Domino about it. Roland Janes’ ‘Guitarville’ has the fabulous spacey twangy bass and subtle, tapping drums of a surf classic. The Ventures’ ‘Ginchy’s faintly Neo-Classical high-note guitar workout pleases, and Spot Barnett’s loud, brash, Rock ‘n’ Blues ‘Sweetmeats’ is enlivened by a wavering sax. For my money, the standout track here is ‘Young William & The Jamaicans’ urgent, echoed ‘Limbo Drum Part 1’. Ike Turner Orchestra’s ‘Cuban Get Away’ seems a little too far removed from Ike to be all his work. Our CD selection closes with Bobby Rhines and the Rogues’ call-and-response  festival, ‘Port Zibee Part II’ and Tommy Mercer and the McBrides’ ‘Volcano Rock’, a left-field rock ‘n’ roller with enough sound effects to make even Joe Meek blush.

What’d’ya mean, you’ve got ‘em all?

GRAB  A COPY HERE

Scenester

Scenester

Scenester lives in London and Brighton, as time allows. Enjoys music, film, television, books, design and anything else which won’t leave well alone. Old enough to know better.

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July 20, 2015 By : Category : Cult Front page Music Picks Punk Reviews RnB Rockabilly Tags:, , ,
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Cherry Red Album Reviews – Apr 2015 by Scenester

Rock! Wreck! & Rule!

Various Artists (Cherry Red CDPSYCHO82D)

If you subscribe to the argument that today’s pop music is so worked, honed and refined that it barely has any fun left in it, you might want to investigate the output of Cherry Red Records. The label’s laudable policy of making available a huge variety of rock and pop gems from the vaults is sure to reward you with a slice of something more interesting than the latest talent show
nonentity’s warblings.

Which brings us neatly to a collection of bands who would surely have given The Voice’s panel of judges instant apoplexy, had the show existed back in the 80’s. ‘Rock! Wreck! & Rule!’ is a 2 CD collection of 40 of the wildest, most unhinged cuts of UK Psychobilly from that long, extended silly season. Taking US schlock horror aficionados The Cramps as their model, this frantic scene, held together with generous applications of maximum strength hairspray, oozed its malodorous way across the decade of Armani suits, ponytails and synthesiser fanciers, to little chart success but with a faithful and sizeable following intact.

UK pioneers of mutant pyschobilly, The Meteors are well represented by their ‘Go Buddy Go’ debut single, ‘Mutant Rock’ and excellent cover of ‘Li’l Red Riding Hood’, the latter two possessing a genuine air of menace in among the 60’s punk/Link Wray stylings they proved so adept with.

Demented Are Go’s ‘Holy Hack Jack’ and ‘Satan’s Rejects’ defy the rock n roll template by, on the former, wigging out into psyche-like horn and drum lunacy, and the latter, punky , bass driven stomping and some deft guitar soloing in this great, long track. Their ‘One Sharp Knife’ is surely a fine tribute to the late, great Screamin’ Lord Sutch, with its knife-sharpening intro, distorted sound and cackling vocal, a feast for the gorehounds.

The first of many lupine howls on these CDs splits the air in The Batfinks’ ‘Gonna Kill My Baby’, which also gives us, our first murder ballad, and Stage Frite’s ‘Island of Lost Souls’ shares only a title with the Blondie song.

The dusty, scratchy strut of Sugar Puff Demons’ ‘Family In A Suitcase’ gives us macabre laffs before Guana Batz’ ‘King Rat’ hits us with the mock-adolescent  vocal that would characterise innumerable ‘billies over the years. Their other two contributions, the stuttering ‘Can’t Take The Pressure’ and ‘Loan Shark’s descending pattern hint at greater things for this band, often mis-classed as goths.

The unexpected polarity of cool creep and all-out comedy fest that is The Frantic Flintstones’ ‘The Lunatics Are Raving’ is one of the more cartoonish entries here, balanced by their ‘Old Black Joe’ opening like a blues and quickly descending into a stomp. Nekromatix’ tight ‘Curse of the Coffin’ ends up like a band-wide contest to see who can finish first, but no such grumbles about Restless’ ‘Ghost Town’, the most traditional ‘billy here, and a standout track.

No Psychobilly collection would be complete without the sound of skidding cars and the appearance of custard pie enthusiasts King Kurt, who’s ‘Road to Rack and Ruin’ surely pointed to brighter prospects than the ones they ended up with. Another which shows promise, at least in the backing music side, is ‘Skitzo’s ‘Skitzo Mania’, with its daring step outside of stereotypical ‘billy beat. Following hot on its heels,  ‘Long Tall Texans’ ‘Get Back, Wetback’ comes over like an upbeat 70’s blues/rock track.

Alice Cooper would be proud of P Paul Fenech’s ‘Daddy’s Hammer’, with its sinister bass intro, weird, echoing voice and jokey mock-horror lyrics. Radium Cats ‘Pink Hearse’ is another gem, with some of the best playing on the two CDs, solos that run up and down the gee-tar neck, and a great vocal, all from a band who were none too comfortable with the ‘Rockabilly’ tag.

In among all these fervent followers of the Rockabilly Roll, The Polecats’ ‘Rockabilly Guy’ wins the prize for no-nonsense beat, great, lively vocal, rewarded with actual chart action.

Heavy on washtub bass, loose plectrum strum and hiccoughing vocals, and sporting a major obsession with B Movie horror, this random grab of material can prove a little monotonous, but if you’ve already shelled out your ackers for this, you’ve likely left your taste-o-meter at the door. It’s earthy teenage fun, and it’s yours to keep. BUY HERE!

Scenester

Scenester lives in London and Brighton, as time allows. Enjoys music, film, television, books, design and anything else which won’t leave well alone. Old enough to know better.

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April 26, 2015 By : Category : Front page Music Reviews Rockabilly Tags:, ,
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Showplug: Black Kat Boppers @The Legion

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Showplugs

Black Kat Boppers hail from down on the South Coast Water Way in Southampton and are 4 fellas who love to play hard boppin’, jump up, rockin’ blues, dance music. They formed In Dec 2009 after some chance meetings, speculative phone calls and a little bit of fate. A shared love for rockin’ roots music was clear and they haven’t looked back since. There’s been triumphant performances at Glastonbury, Port Eliot, Bestival & Hyde Park (with Blur & The Specials).

Dave Showplug Taylor recently caught up with the band prior to their Showplug show in Swanage at the Legion, Saturday the 5th of April 2014 – get your tickets here folks!

Black Kat Boppers are:

Roy Phillips – Vocals
Jon Best – Guitars, Harmonica & Vocals
Colin Owens – Drums & Vocals
Dylan Clarke – Stand Up Bass & Vocals

01. How did your band get together?

Played together when we were teenagers, busking all over the place, playing rockabilly. Fast forward many years, Jon and Roy were playing together, I had a message from a friend saying Jon had asked if I was around and fancied drumming, I said yea, we knew Dylan as he’s been to see us play so when we needed a bass player, he got the nod.

02. Where did your name come from?

Roy came up with the band name.

03. Who were your major influences and inspirations?

Mid 50s Rocknroll & R&B music! We had our individual slant on that.

04. What drove you to make music together?

It just feels good and sounds good when we’re doing it. No other reason needed. I think playing together when we were young means it’s ingrained in you somewhere.

05. What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your shows?

Full, 100% rockin’ commitment! Plenty of dancing. We don’t hold back. We show off and have a good time ha. Some pretty fine tunes too.

06. Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

Roy and Jon write the songs then maybe we’ll work through them as a band, make em work! We’ve got songs about love, loss, being up, being down, dancing, fighting haha…

07. How has your music evolved since you first began playing together?

We’re pretty tight, intuitive, things come together quick. We love what we are and what we do so we try to keep on getting better.

08. What has been your biggest challenge as a band? How were you able to overcome this?

Recording can be hard work, but we pushed through and got some good results. We worked with Damon Albarn and Paul Simonon in the studio and they pushed us til our fingers bled and our heads were exploding but it was a good education from a couple of masters.

09. Does the band play covers? If so, do you argue over the choice of songs? Who usually gets his own way?

We play some covers, tunes we like, that we think we can do well. I cannot recall any arguments over that. A few crowd pleasers never go a miss.

10. What do you love and hate outside of music?

Hate? That’s a bit strong! I’m sure we all have stuff we don’t like? I hate cauliflower? I guess we love our kids and our favourite jackets, that kind of stuff!

11. Who would you most like to record with?

We’ve been pretty lucky with the people we’ve met and worked with. We recently did some songs live with Daisy from kitty, daisy & lewis. It sounded pretty damn good, we may record with her some time.

12. What should we be expecting from the band in the near future?

We’re doing some festivals, we’re getting some offers for some good shows abroad, maybe some tv stuff, maybe working with some interesting people. Hopefully having a great time and just keep on keepin on!

Web Links:

blackkatboppers.com
facebook.com/BlackKatBoppers
twitter.com/blackkatboppers
soundcloud.com/the-black-kat-boppers

Dave Showplug Taylor

Dave Showplug Taylor is owner of Showplug Promotions, a man who makes things happen, loves providing great affordable quality Events, Gigs, Shows, Comedy Plugs and great all around Entertainment. Works closely alongside Eyeplug Media and lives by the Sea with his Family. Loves the MC5 and Cold Beer.

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March 31, 2014 By : Category : Blues Front page Interviews Rock Rockabilly Showplug Tags:, ,
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DozenQ – Leadfoot Tea

This entry is part 18 of 20 in the series DozenQ 3

Leadfoot Tea is a one man trash ‘n’ roll band. In the style of the late great rockabilly madman Leadfoot Tea uses just a bass drum, high hat and a guitar to rock up a storm of sound! Eyeplug joined the fast lane to try and flag down this speedy main driver recently…

01 How did the one-man-band get together?

It started a year or so ago by messing around in my studio, trying out different mics and experimenting with recording techniques, after a few recordings I started writing more songs and decided to try it out live.

02 Where did your name come from?

The name came from firstly my love of american cars with large V8 engines and I like driving ‘em fast with a ‘leadfoot’ using lots of gas! And secondly because of my heavy leadfoot on the bass drum pedal, the Tea is well… I dunno I’ve always been Lee Tea

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

I guess my main influence would be the late great Hasil Adkins, mostly his raw sound and unhinged lyrics. Also a whole host of 40’s blues, trashy country and wierd rockabilly, anything on the trashy lo-fi side of rock‘n’roll. I dont despise anything, if I dont like it I dont listen to it!

04 What drove you to make music?

I guess getting my first electric guitar around 16 years old, I bought a cheap distortion pedal and never really looked back.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Well… expect a very noisy trashy sound with barely audible vocals. I’m a one man band so I try to make as much noise as I possibly can, sometimes at the expense of the music, but it makes me happy and if I’m having fun the audience usually has a good laugh at least 🙂 I guess in the future the sound will calm down a bit as I add more blues stuff to the set, or maybe not…..

06 Who writes your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

I write all my own stuff, although most of the songs come out from jams and are sometimes a bit improvised, as I change each song from gig to gig depending on my mood. My themes are mostly cars, driving too fast, drinking to much, partying to hard, pin-ups and underpants!

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

Well interestingly it started off fairly refined and laid back, in a country blues style, then it it just got wilder and crazier, I’m not really sure where it’s gonna go from here!

08 What has been your biggest challenge as a one man band? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

The biggest challenge is keeping it all together on stage, it does takes a huge amount of energy just to play even a half hour set, add in a couple of pints to the equation and it all too easily goes pear shaped. Yes, I overcame it by lots of rehearsing to build up the stamina, and by not drinking before the gig, although that is the part I’m finding the hardest!

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

Yes I always do at least one Hasil Adkins cover in my set, sometimes two or three! I also cover some Gravemen songs now and then. I would love to a cover of Hasil’s ‘We got a date, I need your head’ mostly cause its Haze, but also because its one of the wierdest of all his songs, just really creepy, I love it!

10 Where did you envisage the band being in five years time?

Not sure, I’m hopefully going to record and release a couple of 45’s within the year and sometime within the next five years would like to get an album out, got plenty of songs just need to get ’em down on vinyl.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

Not sure, difficult, as I’m a one man band I would be happy to record with anyone who can stand my racket.

12 What should we be expecting from Leadfoot Tea in the near future?

I got a few gigs lined up, the Gutterball Festival in Oslo in mid September, plus a couple festivals booked for next year. Once I got some records released I will do a tour or two around Europe, maybe next summer I reckon, so look out for the guy with the mask, the red shirt and real lo-fi sound, that’ll be me!

Web Links

facebook.com/leadfoottea

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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August 29, 2015 By : Category : DozenQ Eyeplugs Features Front page Garage Interviews Music Rockabilly Tags:, , , , ,
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HEY DJ! – Eyeplug talks to Barnet Mark

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Hey! DJ

I’m now 49 but I started going to gigs when I was 13 and haven’t stopped in all this time. I’ve been a DJ, Promoter, been in a few bands (Vox), Venue Manager, T-Shirt seller, Band Manager and have even done a bit of band security. I started my Punk night London Callin’ at The 12 Bar Club over 11 years ago now and co-promote with other various promoters.

1. What were your early musical influences?

I was lucky enough to have a mother involved with a record label in the sixties, so I grew up listening to a lot of Ska, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Who & The Animals, by the time I could pick my own music the likes of Slade, Sweet, Mud, Bowie, Bolan and all The Glam stuff in fact, influenced me entering my teenage years, then punk happened, of course I didn’t realise it at the time, but it changed my life forever.

2. What sort of Music do your gravitate towards generally?

I listen to punk, Ska, Rockabilly & Mod mainly, but as I’ve got older my tastes have broadened and I take in many other genres of music.

3. What have been the bands or sounds that have always been in your play-list or record box?

The Clash, The Jam, Elvis, Dropkick Murphys, Slade, Rancid, Desmond Dekker, Madness, Toots and The Maytals, The Who, The Kinks, The Small Faces, The Stray Cats, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran, Stiff Little Fingers, Cocksparrer, The Cockney Rejects, The Ruts… Just to name a few.

4. What about the Formats available, your thoughts on Vinyl, CD and MP3?

I nearly always DJ off CD, I play vinyl a lot at home, and listen to my iPod whilst travelling. I don’t drive, so it’s much easier to carry around a case of 200 CDs rather than records.

5. Any Current Bands that you feel seem to be producing the goods?

Argy Bargy, The Fallen Leaves, The Uppercuts, Eastfield, and The Skints to name but a few.

6. What can we expect to hear on your show or during your Sets?

I’ll play anything apart from Thrash, Speed, Dark Metal, Modern club music.

7. Anything that you Really Hate and Why?

Modern R’n’B – it has no soul and certainly ain’t the blues!

8. What about Requests?

As long as I have the tunes with me, haven’t already played them and have the time, I’m more than happy to accept requests.

9. Tell us what you are up to at the Moment, where can we catch you playing etc?

I’m managing The 12 Bar Club In Soho at the moment and playing with my band Viva Las Vegas, so I haven’t been doing a great deal of DJing lately, but I do like to jump up and play a few tunes at The 12 Bar every now and then!

10. Your thoughts on the future and things that excite you Beyond Music?

6 years ago I had a minor stroke, luckily I’ve made a pretty full recovery and my life has changed so much since then, from giving up my print career and taking over at the 12 Bar Club, getting married, moving from North to South London. I wouldn’t even begin to predict the future as I’ve seen how much things can change in such a short space of time.

Outside of music, I’m a big Chelsea fan and have a season ticket, I like to travel, so like to get away with my wife as often as possible to sometimes off the beat places.

11. Have you met or Worked with anyone Interesting on your Musical journey?

I’ve sold T-Shirts for The Clash (The line-up after Mick Jones Left) and PIL on a European stint my band at the time Big Bad Wolf supported The Pogues in The 80s, Tour managing The Business in Malaysia. These stand out the most to me: running The 12 Bar Club and being around music so long there’s a hell of a lot of interesting and famous people I get to meet.

12. Top Fave Tunes Right Now?

The Fallen Leaves : Trouble
Los Fumadores (Defunct) : My Wifes Clothes don’t Fit Me Anymore
Cocksparrer : Did You have a nice life without me
The Downtown Struts : Victoria
Eastfield : Another boring Eastfield Song

Links

facebook: facebook.com/barnet.mark
twitter: twitter.com/barnetmark1

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : DJs Front page Garage Interviews Punk Rockabilly Tags:,
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DozenQ – Tav Falco

TAV on the Radio http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=endscreen&v=MJVXvPNQlCQ&NR=1 TAV at his best
This entry is part 1 of 20 in the series DozenQ 2

In his work as a visual artist, writer and rock and roll musician Tav Falco has crafted an immediately recognizable blend of all things unique, visionary, familiar and yet obscure, dark/light and straight up stylish and rockin’. His recent book – Ghosts Behind the Sun: Splendor, Enigma & Death (Creation Books) – is a trip through the city of Memphis’ history that is part Falco biography, surreal fiction, crime noir and hipster gutter trawl. Fact mingles with hallucination and Tav pins the throttle.

If Tav comes to town with his Unapproachable Panther Burns combo or to do a book reading and presentation be sure not to miss it. They don’t often come as cool as Mr. Falco…

01 The book (Ghosts Behind the Sun: Splendor, Enigma & Death) was fabulous. I have to say though that some of the folks scared the bejeezus out of me – and I’m not talking here more about the wild ones from a hundred years ago either! My guess is there were more than a few dark, hot and humid nights that you found your pace quicken on a walk home?

Although I am now far away, the dark nights and steamy red/gray dawns of Memphis by the torrential Mississippi still haunt me… the world ends at dawn, right?

02 I’d like to ask you a little about motorbikes. My guess is you don’t have one now, or do you? Further to that, any interest in vintage scooters?

Just sold a 1969 Norton Commando to Germany, but I’ve already placed a deposit on a black & beige 1961 Norton Dominator 99 in England. I’m an inveterate Norton rider, though there is a place in the stable for a late 60s BSA Thunderbolt and an early 50s Triumph Speed Twin. For a mid-60s Lambretta 150, I once drove from Paris to L’Aquila (The Eagle), Italy (now destroyed by earthquake). I spent a summer with the scooter in Ljubljana. It was a fun machine with great character.

03 While a percentage of your audience and fan base are more than likely familiar with the artistic concepts behind Panther Burns, those that aren’t – at least as far as I see it – are still getting a heck of a rockin’ combo on top of some of the more heady ideas.  What are your feelings on that component of your audience and how much your skill as a musician has developed?

Panther Burns are a vision. It is an Orphic vision… not of the cosmos, nor of the mystic and the airy heavens, but a vision of the underground, of the unconscious where dark waters swirl. We have one song to sing, and we sing it different ways: with a hoodoo gait, or with the shimmer of falling moonlight over burning mansions, or with the sensual curve of a farewell embrace as the master rides off to battle with coat tails flying, never to be seen again….

04 Well then it completely makes sense that you and your musical contributors also have a taste for vintage and exotic guitars. What is the story behind that beautiful black Hofner of yours anyway? I admit to have been admiring it from afar for a great many years now.

My association with the Höfner violin-shaped 6-string guitar began rather early in the trajectory of Panther Burns. The first one I played was found in a Memphis attic around 1980 by a guitarist in the Randy Band. It was brown. I bought it and played it for awhile. Then I traded it for a Gretsch (seen on the Red Devil record cover). The Gretsch hardly had the sound and character of the Höfner, and when I saw a black one appear in a vintage shop in Memphis, I pounced on it. The black Höfner has the same factory installed active, push-button fuzz tone and treble boost that the brown one had. The guitar has become the signature sound of the Panther Burns, and I have not played another guitar over the past 30 years. It has a neck like a baseball bat, but it is an indestructible German workhorse.

05 Ghosts Behind the Sun discusses a number of the great Memphis music legends, are there any new things coming out of Memphis that you have heard lately that piqued your interest?

Sam Phillips, I once heard say that Nashville has a great thing going, but Memphis will always be a place for innovation. Let’s put it this way: in my mind, the Blues are eternal, and Saturday nights on Beale St., there will always be somebody picking a guitar on the corner or in a back alley evoking the twangs of love lost and won, of a working stiff’s misery, of the whip of the boss man, of the moans of hungry children, of mean women and the curse of betrayal, of dice tumbling in a leather horn, of the reaching arm of the law, of the pleasures of the brothel, and the laughter and tears of the Devil’s own music.

06 Your new home of Vienna is famous for a number of things including cafes. Have you found one that you can call your own?

Of the many cafés and Kaffehäuser in merry, sinister old Vienna, I have a number of favorites. If I were to name one that is my Stammcafe or regular haunt, I would say Café Central in the 1st district. It is a part of the neo-Gothic Palais Ferstil with vaulted high ceilings, enamel inlays, geometric frescoes, and lofty paintings of faded nobility. There is a fleet of waiters or Kellners scurrying over the parquet floors, serving coffee, champagne, and chocolate on small silver trays along with tasty, yet affordable meals. The Viennese tortes served there are exquisite. One can hardly be surprised that Café Central was the Stammcafe of choice by Sigmund Freud and his coterie of psychoanalysts. A place for camaraderie, it was the café where Leon Trotsky played his habitual games of chess, while the Viennese pooh-poohed his dreams of revolution.

07 Sounds fabulous. Of course you have also lived in some pretty diverse places including Paris and New York but what intrigues me too is your time spent in Buenos Aries. How did that all come about?

What drew me to Buenos Aires was the lure of the Tango, which I still dance religiously. In the words of Isadora Duncan in 1916 when she visited Argentina,
“My first steps were timid, but the feeling of the languid music caused my body to respond to the voluptuousness of the dance. Soft as a caress, toxic as love under the midday sun, cruel and dangerous as a tropical forest.”

08 Let’s get back to motorcycles here for a moment… Full face helmet? Half helmet and goggles? Gloves? I imagine driving in old cities like Paris and Vienna being quite a challenge in comparison to the open highways of the south. Apart from you are certainly less likely to run into an armadillo of course…

Although the occasional armadillo crossing the road can prove to be a daunting hazard, one thing I do miss about Arkansas is riding the unfettered, leafy back roads. In Europe riding the country lanes on my Norton Dominator 99 is kind of like a sultry burn through Camelot.  For a short burn say around the Ringstrasse of Vienna or a fast burn around the Trocadéro, I wear a half-helmet with a leather chinstrap leather gloves, and aviator goggles. For a medium run over the Höhenstrasse (High Road), a scenic road built in 1937 through the Vienna Woods overlooking the city, I put on a jet-helmet that is black with a white center stripe. For long hauls at maximum thrust, I wear a solid white full coverage casque and put on long gauntlet gloves. Invariably, I ride wearing the black and silver trimmed net-vest of the PBMC (Panther Burns Motorcycle Club).

09 Do you miss the comfort food of the south very often or was that never really your thing?

If you mean God’s own watermelon, Yes.

10 Ghosts Behind the Sun has been out a good 7 or 8 months now. I know you have mixed up readings with a photo display and even screenings of your video work and a performance by Panther Burns. Probably a bit hard to get a rock and roll crowd to be quiet during a reading, no?

Reading in London at Rough Trade Records East on May 30th, you could hear a pin drop. Geoff Travis, president of RT, was there and can attest to that.

11 Could you see yourself moving back to the US at some point or is life in Europe somehow better suited to your interests?

Life in Europe holds the utmost fascination, and I am living in a neutral country far removed from the aggression of war profiteering and the poisonous campaigns of Monsanto.

12 What’s next musically and artistically, if that isn’t gonna give too much away?

Presently I am editing my new 16mm film, URANIA DESCENDING: an intrigue featuring VIA KALI and KARL-HEINZ von RIEGL. Set in the old world of Vienna on the Danube, the narrative follows the precipitous descent of an American innocent who falls into discreet, yet decadent dalliances at Hotel Orient and her ultimate submersion beneath the dark, swirling waters of Lake Atter.

Photo: Via Kali

LINKS

Tav on Myspace

Nice Fan Site

PERSONNEL

  • Perry Michael Allen: keyboards, backing vocals: 1995
  • David Berger — drums: 2002
  • Barri Bob — percussion, rhythm guitar: some 1980s gigs
  • Orazio Brando — guest guitarist: 2005
  • Roy Brewer — violin: 1980s and 1990s
  • Benny Carter — drums: 1994
  • Grégoire Cat (real name: Grégoire Garrigues) — lead guitar: early 2000s onwards
  • Ben Cauley (also of The Bar-Kays) — trumpet: 1990s
  • Raymond Cavaioli — lead guitar: some 1980s gigs
  • Alex Chilton (aka L X Chilton) — lead guitar: 1979–early 1980s and occasional appearances thereafter; produced several of the albums
  • Rene Coman (also of The Iguanas/New Orleans) — bass: early to mid-1980s and occasionally thereafter
  • Peter Dark (also of Bellmer Dolls, real name: Peter Mavrogeorgis) — guitar: early 2000s; 2011
  • Jim Dickinson — producer and keyboardist: occasionally 1980s and 1990s
  • Peter Dopita — singing saw: 1991
  • Jim Duckworth (also of The Gun Club) — drums: 1981, lead guitar: early 1980s & 1989
  • Doug Easley — bass: occasionally
  • Ron Easley (aka Durand Mysterion; also of the Country Rockers) — lead guitar: 1980s and 1990s sporadically; producer: 1989
  • James Enck (later of Linda Heck and the Train Wreck) — lead guitar: 1984, 1991 (appears on bass on “Cuban Rebel Girl” from the “1984” cassette release)
  • Kai Eric (aka Red West) — bass: mid-1980s–2000 on most tours except some in the South U.S.
  • Tav Falco — band leader, lead vocals, guitar: since 1979
  • Cyd Fenwick — backing vocals, dancing: 1979– 1981
  • Kitty Fires 1 (real name: Sue Easley) — backing vocals: 1984; Kitty Fires 2 (different woman) — guitar: 2000
  • Bob Fordyce (also of the Odd Jobs) — drums: 1989
  • Doug Garrison (also of The Iguanas/New Orleans) — drums: 1996
  • Diane Green (also of The Hellcats/Memphis and the Odd Jobs) — theatrics, tambourine, dancing: occasional 1980s appearances
  • Alex Greene (also of Big Ass Truck and Reigning Sound) — organ: 1989–1990
  • Jim Harper — snare drum: 1981
  • Mark Harrison — guitar: 1984–1985
  • Linda Heck (later of Linda Heck and the Train Wreck) — bass: 1984
  • Jessie Mae Hemphill — snare drum: 1981
  • Eric Hill — synthesizer: 1979–1980; 1989
  • Douglas Hodges (aka Tall Cash) — drums: 2001–2002
  • Teenie Hodges — lead guitar: 1990s
  • Michael Hurt (also of The Royal Pendletons) — bass: 1999
  • Rick Ivy — trumpet: 1979
  • Cathy Johnson — backing vocals, dancing: 1979–1981
  • Ross Johnson — drums: since 1979 on a number of albums
  • Amanda Jones — backing vocals: 1984
  • Jules Jones -artistic collaborator for publicity flyers and costumes, Backing vocals in studio and live shows 1979
  • Via Kali — tango dancer at live shows: 2006 onwards
  • Kye Kennedy — lead guitar: mid-1980s touring
  • Gabriele Kepplinger — backing vocals: 1991
  • Little Victor — guitar, harmonica: 2005
  • Laurent Lanouzière — bass: 2002 onwards
  • Michael Lo (real name: Michael Rafalowitch) — bass: early 2000s
  • Andrew Love (also of The Memphis Horns) — saxophone: 1990s
  • Vickie Loveland — backing vocals: 1991
  • Tammo Lüers — guitar: 1995
  • Randall Lyon — theremin: 1991
  • Olivier Manoury — bandoneon: 1995
  • Bob Marbach — piano: 1991, 1995
  • Lisa McGaughran (aka Lisa Burnette on one compilation; also of The Hellcats/Memphis) — backing vocals, bass: 1984–1990
  • Ron Miller — bass: early 1980s
  • Jack Oblivian — bass, organ: 2000
  • Warren Scott (Band’s agent) 1980s
  • Robert Palmer — clarinet: 1989
  • Giovanna Pizzorno (also of The Hellcats/Memphis) — drums: first sporadic tours began 1986; steady member since early 2000s
  • Jon Ramos — bass: 2002
  • George Reinecke (also of Busted Flush) — lead guitar: 1980s and 1990s
  • Will Rigby (also of The dB’s, Steve Earle) — drums: 1980, 1999
  • Jimmy Ripp — guitar: 1983
  • Roland Robinson — bass: 1992
  • Kurt Ruleman — drums: 1984–1989
  • Raffaele Santoro — keyboards: 2010 onwards
  • Harris Scheuner — drums: 1989
  • Jim Sclavunos — drums: since about 1982 on a few albums, beginning with Blow Your Top
  • Jim Spake — saxophone: 1991
  • Brendan Lee Spengler — keyboards: 2000
  • Ken Stringfellow — bass: 2011
  • Nokie Taylor — trumpet: 1991, 1995
  • Nina Tischler — backing vocals: 1991
  • Lorette Velvette (real name: Lori Greene; also of The Hellcats/Memphis and The Kropotkins) — backing vocals: 1984–1990; guitar: 1984 briefly
  • Misty White (also of The Hellcats/Memphis and Alluring Strange) — drums: 1988
  • Vincent Wrenn — synthesizer: 1979–1980
  • Abe Young — bass drum: 1981

DISCOGRAPHY

  • Behind the Magnolia Curtain, 1981 (re-released 1994 and 2011)
  • Blow Your Top EP, 1983 (re-released 1994 and 2011)
  • Now, 1984
  • Shake Rag, 1985
  • Sugar Ditch Revisited EP, 1985 (re-released 1994)
  • Swamp Surfing in Memphis (various artists), 1986
  • The World We Knew, 1987
  • Play New Rose for Me (various artists), 1987
  • Red Devil, 1988 (re-released 1994)
  • Live Atlanta Metroplex 10-3-87, 1988
  • Midnight in Memphis (live), 1989
  • Return of the Blue Panther, 1990
  • Life Sentence in the Cathouse, 1992
  • Unreleased Sessions, 1994 (recorded 1980)
  • Deep in the Shadows, 1994
  • Shadow Dancer, 1995
  • Disappearing Angels, 1996
  • 2 Sides of Tav Falco, 1996
  • Love’s Last Warning, 1996 (best of collection)
  • Shadow Angels & Disappearing Dancers, 1997
  • Panther Phobia, 2000
  • Live at Subsonic, 2002
  • CONJURATIONS: Séance for Deranged Lovers, 2010

 

Colin -Mohair Sweets- Bryce

One of Canada’s late 70’s “punk” rock crowd and from 1997 to 2007 the fellow behind Mohair Sweets print and webzine. Currently passes the time by playing the odd gig or two, shaking his head, wringing his hands and pondering whether or not the tape vaults of the legendary Pirates are really exhausted.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Art Blues Cult Culture DozenQ Features Front page Garage Heroes Interviews Literature Music Rockabilly Tags:, , , ,
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DozenQ – King Salami & the Cumberland Three

This entry is part 16 of 20 in the series DozenQ

King Salami & the Cumberland Three are an internaional band (1 french, 1 Jamaican, 1 japanese and 1 spanish) who play high octane rythm & blues with a punk energy. They formed in 2006 and have been playing all round Europe, and recently toured Japan & China. Their 1st album ‘14 Blazin’ Bangers’ came out last year on Dirty Water records, and they have a split album with Andre Williams coming out this summer.

Extreme fun times are on the menu where ever they go. With a repertoire encompassing many of the greats of the ’50s and ’60s you won’t be able to help but move your feet. The King howls like Screaming Jay Hawkins with Bo Diddley chasing his coat-tail and with Andre Williams trying to offer up some of his bacon fat. This man never stops shakin’ and twistin’ and groovin’ while the Cumberland 3 (former members of the Ulcers, Chinese Lungs and Parkinsons) play their own branded mix of vintage rockabilly desperate rock’n’roll and a bit of soul with fire, energy, gusto and fun!

They have played all over Europe, sharing the stage with the Pretty Things, the Trashmen, the Standells, the Mummies, the Bellrays, the Cynics, etc… and have released a bunch of killer 45’s on different European record labels.

They are:
King Salami – vocals
Pepe Ronnie – guitar
Eric Baconstrip – drums
Kamikaze UT Vincent – bass
Chuchi Sobresada – sax

01 How did you get started in music?

My grandparents accidentally left a piano lying around.

02 Where did your direction come from?

Lounge singers, glam rock and children’s songs.

03 Who were your major influences and inspirations and who do you despise?

Bo Diddley, Link Wray, the Trashmen and Tommy Cooper. I despise my neighbour who is drilling holes early morning most weekends.

04 What inspires you to make your current type of songs?

Various mental disorders.

05 What can someone who has never seen you live before expect from your live shows then & possibly even now?

Jumping, kneeling, drinking, sweating, shimmying. All at the same time.

06 How do you begin your songs? What types of themes and subjects do you deal with?

1-2-3-4 ! Chickens, Monkeys, German sausages, Christmas, Native Americans.

07 How did your music evolved since you first began playing?

We found out what those metal strings on the guitar are for.

08 What has been your biggest challenge? Were you been able to overcome this? If so, how?

To finish the huge meal we got served at the festival in Spain. Yep, by chewing & eating slowly.

09 Do you play covers? If you could pick any song, which would you like to cover most and why?

Yes, a few. My Way. It’s so cheesy, it should be compulsory.

10 Where did you envisage being in five years time?

Still on Earth I hope.

11 Who would you most like to record with?

The KPM All-Stars.

12 What should we be expecting from you in the near future?

A one-day global multi-media link-up with all the major cities of the world, broadcast live from The Stag’s Head, Dalston. (Editor says: we are currently working on this!)

www.facebook.com/KingSalamiandtheCumberland3
www.flyinglunchbox.co.uk

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Blues DozenQ Front page Garage Interviews Music Post-punk Rockabilly Tags:, , ,
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Boz Boorer

Martin James ‘Boz’ Boorer was born on 19 May 1962 in Edgware, North London and is married to Lyn, with two daughters: Billie-Rose and Pearl-May. Boorer is a guitarist who composes music as Morrissey’s main songwriter along with Alain Whyte. He is not only well known as a guitarist but also a high profile, hard working artist and engineer and gigs in several countries with different bands, or as solo performer. Boorer’s first single was ‘Rockabilly Guy’, released with his young, stylish and talented band the Polecats (which also included Tim Worman, Phil Bloomberg and Neil Rooney) in the early 1980s. Since then, he has released solo material and worked with other artists, including Adam Ant, David Bowie, Joan Armatrading, Jools Holland, Boz And The Bozmen, Ronnie Dawson, the Deltas, John’s Children, Bluberry Hellbellies, and Edwyn Collins. Boz studied music to A-Level and plays several instruments (clarinet, saxophone, bass, drums, piano), although the guitar remains his biggest passion. Boorer has even toured Japan with the all girl rockabilly outfit, the Shillelagh Sisters. In 1995 Boz also did some live shows with Kirsty MacColl’s group. Boorer worked as a music studio engineer for The Shillelagh Sisters (1983-84) and was recruited by Chrysalis Records as a studio engineer in 1984. In 1991 he joined Morrissey’s band as musical director. Boz also runs his own label, NV Records, and the House of Boz Recording Studio, his private music studio.

Alex Lusty met Boz Boorer backstage at a Morrissey concert in December 2004 at London’s Earl Court. They were soon recording together. Their first musical collaboration was ‘The OneThree’ and the album Life Goes On, which was released on Black Records in the autumn of 2005. Now they have both finally found the time to record new material, and Happy Martyr was born. Described as ‘urban folk’ or ‘Ian Dury fronting early T Rex’, the duo’s music is a raw sounding, stripped down acoustic rap crossover. Tracks for the debut album were recorded between London and Boz’s Serra Vista studio in Portugal, which was also the backdrop for the video to accompany debut single ‘Painkillers’, released via download on 4 April 2011. The next Happy Martyr single is ‘Sleep Tight’ and will be released on 4 July, also on download.

What are your earliest memories of getting bitten by the music bug?
I remember buying the Monkees’ ‘I’m A Believer’, must have been 1967 or 8 – I was about five years old.

Was your family background musical in any way?
My dad sang in a choir most of his life and my mum plays piano by ear.

How did you find your way to the guitar as your main instrument?
Seeing T. Rex on Top of the Pops sowed that seed.

What were you original influences and how have they changed over time?
Well, T. Rex and glam rock, then Chuck Berry and rock’n’roll, then punk rock.

Tell us about your first band?
The Polecats, formed out of the teddy boy/punk ashes of 1978 At what stage did it get serious and start to happen for you? Late 1980, we toured with Dave Edmunds and signed a big record deal. Tell us about your guitar collection? Always changes; mainly 63 Fender Telecasters, various Gretschs, including my Pink Penguin and a White Falcon, a Gibson SJ200 acoustic, Martin D45 acoustic, James Trussart Tele, Fano, Hayman, Shergold, and a few more. What about Amps and Effects? At the moment, Blackstar combo, Fender Bassman.

How has your sound changed over the years?
A bit probably, I’m not aware though.

What have been the highpoints of you Career?
The last 20 years with Morrissey, Ronnie Dawson, recent Polecats shows, Vauxhall and I, the next Morrissey album.

And the lowpoints?
Early 80s after the Shillelagh Sisters, before I worked as a recording engineer – a short period of no work.

What about the present day set up?
I have a recording studio in Portugal where I go whenever I’m not on tour.

Thoughts on today’s music scene?
Very stale, seems like the business is all about getting one hit from someone then dropping them and not developing any artists.

What’s in the pipeline?
Hopefully a new Morrissey album then a tour should follow, I have a few bands booked in the studio to record, there’s a few Polecats gigs and I have an acoustic duo called Happy Martyr, album and gigs in the pipeline.

http://happymartyr.com/

http://www.bozboorer.com/ 

admin

Boo Eyeplug acts as webmaster/designer for the Eyeplug site. Not the most social of creatures and with several personality issues, and rather exotic, eccentric tastes for obscure ‘cultish’ stuff which makes his ramblings seem even more sweetly abstract and often annoying.

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June 5, 2015 By : Category : Features Interviews Rockabilly Tags:, ,
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Kris Needs Presents… Dirty Water 2 – More Birth of Punk Attitude

(2CD set, Year Zero)

Happily, the overwhelmingly positive response to Dirty Water – The Birth of Punk Attitude has enabled journalist, DJ, broadcaster, and all around living leg end Kris Needs to again take us by the hand and lead us through many of the dimly lit tributaries that ultimately combined to lend their fetid waters to the great punk torrent.

In my review of the initial 2CD set, I made the connection between Kris’s inclusive approach to defining punk attitude and James Burke’s interconnective approach to explaining sequences of historically significant events. If anything, this comparison is even more apt the second time around – to understand why this happened in 1976, you have to go back to here.

In some cases, the lineage to punk rock is self evident – the likes of Death, the Velvet Underground, Suicide, Patti Smith, Jayne County, David Bowie, Mott The Hoople, Kilburn & The High Roads, the Hammersmith Gorillas, the Doctors of Madness, the MC5 and Blondie all have acres of printed paper establishing their varying roles in shaping the scenes that would burst out of tiny pockets of defiance in New York and London. However, many of these artists are represented by seldom heard cuts such as the Motor City maniacs’ epic set closer ‘Black To Comm’ and Vega/Rev’s startling ‘Creature Feature’. Similarly, the historical connection between primal rock’n’roll and punk is also a matter of historical record, and trailblazing greats such as Bo Diddley and Eddie Cochran are duly represented here.

These, however, are the basics – dig around the period when the likes of Diddley. Cochran, Gene Vincent and Link Wray were laying down the fundamentals for generations to come, and you’ll find all manner of other stuff going down. Through drawing lyrical inspiration from the lives of the disenfranchised, and subsequently influencing Joe Strummer (a.k.a. Woody Mellor), Woody Guthrie’s rough hewn folk can be readily identified as one of the germinal building blocks of what would later be identified as a key aspect of the punk mindset. One only needs one listen to Guthrie’s ‘Goin’ Down The Road Feelin’ Bad’ and Patti Smith’s ‘Piss Factory’ to realise that they are coming from the same benighted place. ‘Strip away and Woody was a punk in the old-fashioned way,’ explains Kris, ‘a short, scruffy, road-wise, quick tempered, skirt-chasing, chauvinist boozer, who couldn’t be controlled by any political party, but campaigned in a much broader sense against homelessness, poverty, racism and inequality.’   

Moreover, by following the folk path along a möbius strip of drug-fuelled weirdness and inspiration, Needsy also establishes the contribution of freaks such as the Godz and the Holy Modal Rounders in developing a conviction that each generation of young people should start at Year Zero, disregarding the ideas of their elders as moribund and irrelevant. Specifically, the sense of wild abandon embraced by both these bands provided a gateway to the kind of free-thinking non-conformity that found its apogee in the late, great Don van Vliet’s Captain Beefheart. Indeed, not only did the Captain and his Magic Band’s wilful disregard for the established parameters of rock’n’roll provide a mutable template for punk rock, it also pointed the way forward into post-punk and all subsequent experimental and courageous readings of the form. Fittingly, given our host’s epoch-making tenure as editor of the much-missed Zigzag magazine, Beefheart’s ‘Zigzag Wanderer’ has been selected to open the two-disc set.

Of course, rock’n’roll was hardly the only ingredient bubbling in van Vliet’s voodoo stewpot – jazz, bebop and doo-wop all broiled among the gumbo. Perhaps the true genius of Dirty Water 2 is the way in which Kris Needs has taken artists such as Dizzy Gillespie, Albert Ayler, the Silhouettes, and George Clinton’s mighty Parliament collective and clearly demonstrated how they too fit into the mad parade. This is achieved on a number of levels – not least by identifying the way in which bebop and free jazz marginalised audiences in exactly the same way that punk would do decades later, as well as establishing the direct influence of doo-wop on groups such as Suicide.

Like its predecessor, Dirty Water 2 stands as a monument to defiance, transgression and self-determination, 150 minutes of exceptional music are matched by a robust booklet in which Kris recounts a history that through his own personal experiences and lunatic adventures intertwines with his selections to provide an enjoyable, inclusive experience. From the artists mentioned above to several nicely soiled nuggets of garage frustration, via the titanic storms of sedition whipped up by Blue Cheer or the Edgar Broughton Band, Needsy’s selections provide an object lesson in the advantage of keeping mind and ears open. And surely, if nothing else, that is the idea that underpins the punk attitude.

Order Dirty Water 2 direct: www.futurenoisemusic.com/product.aspx?id=718

Catch Needsy on fnoob radio, every Wednesday from 7pm: http://fnoob.com/

June 5, 2015 By : Category : Exotica Folk Front page Funk Garage Genres Glam Music Post-punk Punk Reggae Rock Rockabilly Tags:, , ,
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The Computers – This Is The Computers

The Computers – This Is The Computers (album, One Little Indian).

Some bands have names that match how they sound. For example, it’s wholly appropriate that seemingly endless variations of cliché laden, tepid interpretations of second-hand rock’n’roll tropes should emanate from a group with a Christmas cracker pun name like U2. Conversely, think of Motörhead and you can feel the sulphate trammelling along Lemmy’s septum. However, The Computers simply don’t sound like their nomenclature. This is visceral rock’n’roll, motherfucker – not the antiseptic whirring of motherboards.

It’s not that ‘The Computers’ is a bad name; it’s just a little off-kilter. Ideally, they’d be called something more metaphorically concrete, like ‘Grindfrenzy’, or ‘The Impalers’. It’s possible, of course, that there’s an irony that has gone whizzing over my head here, but there’s nothing ambiguous about the Exeter quartet’s blistering debut album This Is The Computers (notice how I didn’t get bogged down in the whole singular/plural title issue, the same way I went all OCD over their name. We’re having a good time, right?)

Broadly speaking, the 11 tracks fall into one of two categories – there’s a kind of melodic hardcore, which sees turbo-charged Ramonics topped by Nic’s larynx shredding vocals and infused with more hooks than a room full of lunatic clerics, and then there’s some of the nastiest, most sinuous interpretations of the whole Bo Diddley/Chuck Berry canon of Ur-r’n’r tropes that I have ever heard. The former are good, whereas the latter are too good.

The disc clocks in at just under 25 minutes. Which is a good thing: Rock’n’roll should be in a hurry. No time to be 21, baby. ‘Where Do I Fit In’ hammers the pedal down hard from the get-go – hitting you like a Drano hotshot and sounding every bit as disenfranchised as it oughta. ‘Lovers Lovers Lovers’ sounds a bit like Rocket From The Crypt on crystal meth – which is no great surprise given that RFTC’s John Reis handled the production. However, the Computers have their own groove, one that is by degrees economic, choppy and pounding, teetering nicely on the edge of chaos, complete self-immolation held at bay by twin towers of melody and lyrical wit. While ‘Blood Is Thicker’ fits this template totally, ‘Hot Damocles’ opens with a shitfit before lock stepping into a kind of Birthday Party-Gone-No-Wave gumbo, and ‘Cinco de Mayo’ takes us outside, hands us some automatic ordinance and sends us on a driving hardcore death trip.

This Is The Computers becomes truly special as ‘Rhythm Revue’ thunders in. This is high-octane rock’n’roll that feeds Little Richard into an atom smasher, snaffles down the resultant sweet goo, and then shags poor ol’ Miss Molly senseless. For those of us who need to keep an eye on their cholesterol, single cut ‘Group Identity’ drops the pace back down below terminal velocity for a spot of hook-infused, coruscating, turbopunk. This respite is but temporary, ‘I’ve Got What It Takes’ sees steamhammer rhythms diced into digestible nuggets of toothsome punk’n’roll, and just as the lyrics promise, the track is enough ‘to make a good girl lose her mind’.

After the circle-pit inducing moshery of ‘Yeah Yeah Yeah But’ is gracefully adorned by layers of hammer-on twinkle, the nasty, churning blues of ‘The Queen In 3D’ refracts a vérité through a shit smeared lens. It’s just the way they walk. The mighty ‘Music Is Dead’ brings the album home by blanching the corpse of popular culture with a ballroom blitzing napalm drop. The apocalypse sounds great.

The Computers: www.myspace.com/thisisthecomputers

June 5, 2015 By : Category : Garage Genres Music Punk Rockabilly Tags:,
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