Browsing Tag Colin Bryce

Jesse Hector Review – Feb 2015 by Colin Bryce


Jesse Hector

Running Wild/Message to the World DVD (RPM/Cherry Red)  

In the early 1990s, a decade on after Jesse Hector – he of (Hammersmith) Gorillas fame – had retired from the music scene he discovered that the (then) newest version of the “garage/mod” scene considered him to be one of the founding fathers and true legends of their musical and stylistic world. It took a bit of convincing by some of his new-found pals but eventually he had recruited a bassist and drummer from the new mod crowd and was blowing out the back walls in the clubs of London again. The quality of the new material and the band’s tightness (known as Jesse Hector and the Sound at this point) quickly led to a new single (old pal Roger Armstrong of Ace/Chiswick lending a hand) and while it was far from a hit, the mighty “Leavin’ Town/I Need Lovin’” is considered by many of his fans to be some of his very best work. A couple of line-up and drummer changes (as the band soon became known as the Gatecrashers) follow and so do more rave review gigs, French tours, recording sessions and interviews.

Sadly, the financial compensation for all the hard work doesn’t and Jesse becomes disillusioned with the music business once again. As a long-time fan I can understand his frustration and no matter how much I would love to see him gigging I get where he’s coming from – and even more so now as he is in his late sixties. It’s a lot more work being in a band than people think and spilling your guts night after night for chump change gets old real quick – no matter how much you love the music! Thankfully the good folks at RPM/Cherry Red have collected Jesse’s incredible work from the 90s period for us all to enjoy. Singles, radio sessions, alt-versions and previously unreleased monster tracks sit here alongside the FINALLY released DVD documentary A Message to the World, Whatever Happened to Jesse Hector? Famed actor Caroline Catz directed this forty-odd minute gem that follows Jesse on his daily routine as he discusses his love for rock’n’roll, his reasons for staying out of the game and his past as main-man in the legendary (Hammersmith) Gorillas and how, as a youth, he first became a performer and rock and roll obsessive.

Possibly one of the most important items now included in the long-delayed documentary is the inclusion of impossibly rare footage of the Gorillas (Alan Butler, Matt McIntyre, Jesse version) in the studio with Ted Carroll (Ace/Chiswick) at the mixing desk. Taken from an episode of LWT’s London Weekend Show it is the only known footage (to many of us faithful at least) of the Gorillas during their heyday. A truly superb collection for Jesse Hector fans and with the documentary now included for British rock and roll music fans in general. (14 tracks plus DVD) BUY HERE!


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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February 23, 2015 By : Category : Front page Music Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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Metal Gear Solid Madonnas (MGSM) Review – Feb 2015 by Colin Bryce

MetalGearSolidMadonnas (MGSM)

Reload/Viking Queen/Supreme
(Dig the Fuzz Singles Club 7 inch, Ltd. Edition of 250)

Dig the Fuzz returns! The little Nottingham based label that brought us the first Embrooks recordings, the now legendary International Sound Show Stories series, the Game LP, the first version of the Action’s Rolled Gold collection, Crushed Butler, the Amphetamine Generation compilations and many others is now back, based in Spain, and hitting us hard with the new Dig the Fuzz Singles Club and a great deal else!

First up in the Singles Club series is a heavy hitting slab of in-your-face sludge-core that is seemingly miles removed from the 60s and early 70s and garage/freakbeat rarities Dig the Fuzz is probably best known for. Fact of the matter is the Dig the Fuzz crew have always had an eye and hand in a wide variety of things. X-Rays anyone? This is definitely walking that path though MGSM is far heavier, and to borrow a quote from the Fuzz folks themselves, and “volcanic” than anything else I have ever heard from Dig the Fuzz. Limited to a run of 250 this hand cut little gem also will include free downloads and videos for you if you join up to the Singles Club. It’s cheap, you get lots of goodies and you’re first in line for any of the releases. BUY HERE!

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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February 23, 2015 By : Category : Front page Music Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,

Scott Morgan Review – Feb 2015 by Colin Bryce

Scott Morgan

Revolutionary Action (Easy Action)

I first heard of Scott Morgan and his band the Rationals back in the late 70s. It was around this time too that he had become part of, what I consider at least, the greatest rock quartet ever to emerge out of the Detroit/Ann Arbor scene – the mighty Sonics Rendezvous Band.

As it happens a good buddy of mine happened to run into Scott at a party in Los Angeles in the late 80s and made sure to grab his contact info. A year or so later I ended up moving to southern Ontario, Canada and lived a mere fifteen minute drive to Detroit and a further forty-five minutes to Ann Arbor. Once we had settled it wasn’t but a minute before I was scouring the local rags for news of Scott’s gigs and then used my connection to contact him and get directions and info to the first show I could attend. I must admit to being pretty dang nervous phoning up one of my long-time musical heroes at home and asking for directions! They couldn’t have been more helpful.

The first Scott Morgan Band album Rock Action (included here) had been out for a year or so before I made my move but that was largely the material his band at the time – which included Gary Rasmussen and Scott Asheton from Sonics Rendezvous band as well as guitarist Brian Delaney and vocalist Kathy Deschaine – were performing. The volume and guitar driven vibe of Sonics Rendezvous was for the most part absent in favour of a stronger focus on the songs themselves. Long-time Morgan favorites like Johnnie Taylor’s “Hijackin’ Love”, his own incredible “Josie’s Well”, “16 with a Bullet,” “Pirate Music” and Rendezvous Band era “Heaven and Earth” sound as fresh now as they did back when they were recorded and performed by what was then known as the Scott Morgan Band. Kathy Deschaine’s back-up vocals (and occasional lead) complimented Scott’s gravelly tone nicely and the music itself should easily have found its way into regular rotation on radio in the US. Sadly it didn’t. It certainly didn’t stop me and countless other local fans to pack his shows and rave to our friends and families about Scott and the band’s talents however.

It was around this time too (1991) that the original Rationals line-up reunited and then collapsed and re-configured into a bigger, badder, bolder and hornier monster. I went to every one of those gigs I could and they were incredible. By the time the re-vamped line-up of the Rationals had called it quits Scott’s band (now renamed Scot’s Pirates) had a new album ready to roll on the tiny Schoolkids label out of Ann Arbor. When not doing Rationals gigs the Pirates line-up had been doing shows with the new material regularly showcased. Great tracks like “Dante,” “Running Away” and “First Step” were sure-fire showstoppers. Add to that covers of the Dynamics’ “Misery” (Who fans will know the “Zoot Suit” rip) and “I’m the Man” and you’re doin’ alright. Just before I moved back west I attended a gig Scott was playing in Greektown. He laid a promo cassette of the Scots Pirates album on me and I played the beejeezus out of it until the CD finally arrived in ’93.

In 1995 Scott and the Pirates released the mighty Revolutionary Means, again on the tiny Schoolkids imprint out of Ann Arbor. Guitarists Mike Katon and Bobby East lend their rockin’ hands here and the album is definitely a heavier, darker affair than the previous two. Cover versions of Jimmy Johnson’s “I Need Some Easy Money” and Ike and Tina’s “You Got What You Wanted” easily out-do the original versions in my opinion and Morgan’s own “88” (a tribute to a local Ann Arbor station) is another one that Scott’s fans rate highly in a back catalogue of tunes and recordings most artists would love to call their own.

This double-disc set from Easy Action includes the three albums recorded as Scott Morgan and Scots Pirates in the 1980’s and 1990’s and while the tracks don’t follow the order of the original releases, the new revised sequencing works remarkably well and any production differences smoothed out by the
mastering process.

A couple of tracks I must mention that I think remain criminally overlooked in Morgan’s back catalogue are the funky “Dear Dream Diary” where Scott and the band definitely bring the funk and vocalist Kathy Deschaine gets to strut her stuff and from the Rock Action album the smokin’ duet “Say Yeah”. Had “Say Yeah” been recorded in the 60s and not in the 80s I am convinced that we’d be declaring it one of the greats of the era. As it stands now I am declaring it one of the greats of the 80s and waiting for the day that someone like Sharon Jones finds a duet partner – Scott maybe? – and gives it the exposure it deserves. Kinda like the rest of the tracks on this collection. (Double CD, 38 tracks.) BUY HERE!

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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February 17, 2015 By : Category : Front page Music Reviews Rock Tags:, , ,
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The Dub Rifles Interview

The Dub Rifles were a Canadian underground band based in Western Canada in the early 1980s. The band took R&B forms (soul, funk, ska/reggae) and merged them with a variety of “punk” attitudes and sounds. After releasing a couple of extended play 45s and touring steadily for a couple of years the band relocated to Montreal and quickly came to a crashing halt. Now, thirty years after their final gig at Toronto’s famed El Mocambo club Sundowing Sound Records has released a collection of their studio and live recordings.

01. Where did the name Dub Rifles emerge from?

The name came from the idea that dub is head music and I sort of tied it to a “shooting for higher consciousness” theme. I was young and looking for answers basically I think. It seemed a good idea at the time. It was years and years before someone else came up with it and now a reggae band from Uruguay uses it. I’ve never contacted them about it. I should though coz I have a bit of a weird fascination with the place. Maybe they’ll invite me for a visit!

02. What was the local Winnipeg music scene like in late 70s and early 80s?

Dismal. No style. The same as everywhere else pretty much. The geographic centre of North America (where Winnipeg is located) is/was as you would expect pretty much – full of pickup trucks, baseball caps and bad moustaches in an attempt to “be a man” and the rest. Back then there also seemed to be a lot of emphasis put on being a “good player” and all that muso crap as well. Terrible times really wasn’t it? And yet those types of bands, that attitude and lack of style persist even today. Shocking really. The stories of being chased or threatened because one didn’t look every other member of the Eagles are pretty much true. I imagine you remember the “threat” of punk rock the media/corporations created. Pathetic. Of course we’re now over-run with hipster douche bags and wanna-be gang bangers. (Yawn)

03. How did the band come about and decide on that final format and line-up?

I’d been playing music in teenage bands and all that since the tail end of the glam rock era as it evolved into what became known as the “punk” scene. After one of those initial local scene bands called it a day I became acquainted with our bassist Clint through a mutual friend (Jimmy “Vendetta” Green) who went on to play in a fairly well known band from here called Personality Crisis. (Check out Chris Walter’s bio on them here). We started messing about, introduced another pal who wanted to play sax and tackle a bit of reggae/soul and we were on our way, um, somewhere. It wasn’t too long before we’d added a second horn player, maybe a half-year or so.

04. What were your all listening too at that time?

I was trying to recall all this as we put the compilation together and remember very fondly a tape we had on permanent repeat in our rehearsal space that featured quite a bit of the Temptations psychedelic stuff, the Wailers Rasta Revolution record as well as various Motown and late 70s punk/revival things. As a band we only ever learned a couple of covers that stuck around, and they certainly reflect our listening choices, which were “Gabrielle” by the Nips and “My Girlfriend’s Boyfriend” by Guns for Hire who many will recall as morphing into the great Dept. S.

It was a very exciting time in music and the rise of independent labels from Chiswick to Rough Trade released countless things we liked. We can’t forget too the downtown New York thing that was home to so many fantastic funky and arty things like the Raybeats, Contortions, James Blood Ulmer and all that. And yeah we did listen to a boatload of reggae and original ska stuff like Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear, Dillinger, Skatalites and more. Matumbi and the first couple Steel Pulse records were really big with us. This was around the time too that the Intensified and King Kong comps were out as you probably remember. They also got many listenings.

05. How much did other styles of music and other scenes from abroad influence your outlook and sound?

As I mentioned the scenes elsewhere were pumping out tons of great things but we also grew up when radio wasn’t as completely controlled as it is now. So there was lots of stuff from pop and soul to country on the radio. We dug all that. I mean obviously it wasn’t all good and it was certainly deteriorating rapidly. A local radio friend of mine recently commented to me that its basically three guys in Toronto currently dictate what gets played across our country. No regional flavour at all anymore basically. Fucking tragic. The thing with being from a place like Winnipeg – even though it has a population of three-quarters of a million people – is that it has never been a media centre so we’ve almost always “imported” some influence or another – or been accused of importing it! That’s the way the world works though isn’t it. I mean the original mod scene wouldn’t have been what it was without the Ivy League style, the Italian scooter and American R&B would it?

Having said that though a couple of things that sprung up out of here – that could only really have come from here – remain one or two of the my greatest musical/artistic influences. And they certainly affected the way I approached music and life as a result. If you haven’t heard, Canada has an incredible inferiority complex. The US influence is huge but we also grew up singing “God Save the Queen” in school and our national broadcaster (CBC) has usually had an, or at least did when we were kids, assortment of British creations in its line-up. The point being basically that as Canadians we usually get accused of “aping” somewhere else when in actual fact there have been some incredibly original creations artistically. One review of the Dub Rifles in Tony Fletcher’s Jamming all those years ago basically said as much. He was wrong. Sorry Tony. I mean, and this is no offence to Tony, and I’m saying this sarcastically and not quoting his review directly but y’know, “How could any of those poor lumberjacks in Canada possibly come up with anything etc…” Fuck that. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the filmmaker Guy Maddin? He’s one of the scene guys who has done very well and is recognised for bringing something a bit special to the party. Musically it’s happened as well.

06. What type of equipment did you have access too?

You mean like the coconut phone? Kidding. We had and still have some great studios here. Guitars, drums and the like, especially back then, were often available for a great deal at a pawnshop or in the local “Buy and Sell” rag etc. Gear (cough) never a problem my man.

07. What were your studio forays like, a good or bad experience?

Uh, shall we say, inexperienced? Good but inexperienced. The idea of doing some demos really never crossed our mind too much. This was before the 4-track recorder was out and we just kinda figured, y’know, go in, bang it out and voila! So we did. Studio time was also pretty expensive so we made it work the best we could. We had a great guy for an engineer, named Howard Rissin. He went on to do a number of big Canadian things including the Irish Rovers! He owes us I think for helpin’ him to learn the ropes. Don’t you think?

09. What about live shows from around that time, anything that stands out?

You mean like being hit with human excrement? Ah, yeah, there were some real interesting moments.

Our local venue – at least where we made a name for ourselves – was a place called the Royal Albert Arms. Anyone who toured across the country at that point – and later – played there including the likes of Husker Du, Urge Overkill and countless others. When we began playing there the owner was a decent guy who cared about and invested in the place. We used to play six night stands there and make decent money. After it changed hands it didn’t fare so well and became a kind of a CBGB’s of the west. Frankly you can stick that. I mean really, who wants to play some place where the toilets don’t work and you get threatened working the door. Not me. Fuck that. Anyway it’s up for sale now and who knows. Been closed a couple years and unlikely – in my opinion – it can be revived to a decent sort of place. The old “Albert” and another about a hundred feet from the place called Wellingtons were both plenty packed out many a night back then. No bloody video games and computers keeping the kids indoors.

In terms of gigs for the Dub Rifles outside of that venue we did open a few nights for the mighty Steel Pulse and that was a complete education. I have no idea what they thought of being in some bar in the middle of Canada back in the very early 1980s but for us, and the crowd there to see them it was just unbelievable. They were super nice and just fantastic to see. If you passed them a spliff you could be sure it wasn’t coming back.

The other lot we played with one time was the Angelic Upstarts. I doubt we were very good at the time but they had Paul Thompson of Roxy Music on drums. I couldn’t believe it. I made some comment to him about some Commie hall in the North End of Winnipeg being a long way from Madison Square Garden. He told me they were buddies so he was doing the gig. Nice. But I also learned later, and was standing there when he was talking to Mensi and never even twigged, that Tony “Feedback” Morrison was the bloody bassist! Had I have realised!! I’ve talked to him about it a number of times now and thankfully he doesn’t remember us, ahem, but y’know, small world.

We also played quite a bit in Toronto and that was a lot of fun. We chummed with a band called Blibber and the Rat Crushers who were a punky bunch with a drum machine – named Blibber. We just thought they were the best. Tons of fun they were and the Queen Street scene in Toronto back then was hopping with bands. After Toronto one of our favourite places was Halifax on the East Coast of Canada. We played the art college there and some other joints a few times. We also misbehaved quite badly out there and it lead to a rather expensive Rickenbacker bass being smashed against a mirrored pillar on the dance floor and as a result our immediate firing from a gig that we really needed to get paid for so we could get to the next bloody one!

10. The collection of NO TOWN NO COUNTRY is just being released, can you tell us about the project?

I was approached by Chris who runs Sundowning/Dub Ditch Picnic Records here who I’ve known for a number of years about maybe reissuing the original Notown EP and I told him I personally wasn’t so keen unless it could be remixed and that I would prefer to do something a bit more expansive considering there was some decent stuff sitting in a box somewhere. He bit and so my pal/band mate in our Driving Wheel R&B project Lloyd Peterson – who just happens to run a studio and be a top-notch engineer – was my first call. He’d been after me for years to get at the two inch tape and save it so we did that, found and saved some decent live stuff, re-EQ’d the second EP from vinyl – because the master tapes ended up somewhere in Jamaica to be re-used. Sigh… Uh, and so once we got all that together, got my old Mohair Sweets ‘zine pal Ron White to do some graphics and Chris came up with the cash – bingo! So far so good. I think some of the people who had maybe heard the name but not the music are pleasantly surprised. See full eyeplug review here!

11. What types of day-to-day challenges did you have to face up to?

Back then with the Dub Rifles? Sheez. Getting enough cash for gas and food to get us to the next gig mostly. In town here it wasn’t an issue really. Rent was cheap back then and a part-time job often was enough to get one through. The problem with having a band on the road back then that played original stuff – that we didn’t encounter in our hometown – was that gigs were often just the one night so the money didn’t match up to expenses. Thankfully my old man invested a grand or so in an old half-size school bus we converted to a decent touring vehicle. Gas was cheaper then – thank god – and as long as we weren’t doing the twenty-plus hours to Toronto too often it was all-good. It should be noted he never got his money back but I think it provided the folks back home with some sense of relief knowing we at least had a roof over our head – of some sort anyway.

Of course we did have to deal with the whole “punk rock bad” thing as well even though we didn’t sound anything like they expected we would once they finally heard us.

12. How were you treated by your record labels, the industry and local media that you worked within at that time?

Well we were the record label so if there was any money we immediately bought spliff. That was nice of us.

The industry, such as it was in Canada back then, didn’t have a clue. They were just a bunch of holdovers from the early 70s in their handle bar moustaches and cocaine dreams. Take a look at the Canadian charts back then for a laugh. Complete fucking rubbish. College radio was and still is the only real support independent acts get. Sadly it pays nothing in terms of royalties. CBC (our national broadcaster) provides some support but really folk/roots is their bag typically. CBC did play us a bit back then and the New Music program on national TV did a piece on us once – near the end of course. I was completely fucked in the head by the time we did that. Not pretty.

The local media was largely those same Genesis loving twerps running the record companies apart from maybe one or two. It wasn’t until our age group started graduating into those positions that our scene grew to gain a hair of respect.

13. Where are they all now and what are they doing?

One in Montreal, three of us here in Winnipeg and now one in Saskatchewan. It was years before I talked to the drummer (residing in Montreal) though the sax man Matthew and I saw each other quite a bit over the years because I lived not too far from him in southern Ontario for a time. We all play a bit here and there though Matthew has since replaced the tenor sax with the bagpipes.

14. What about a few re-union shows, you only live once after all?

Problems are distance, time and money. We tried about a decade ago but the initial rehearsals ended in a fistfight so it was laid to rest. If someone wants to stump up a few grand I suppose it might happen. Separate corners please! Might have to get a pound of weed in though to get us tuned up as it were. If one thing is true about the Dub Rifles it is that we LOVED our weed.

15. Can you tell us a joke please?

Steven Harper and the current Conservative governments environmental and energy policies. Sadly it’s just not very funny.

Photos: Carmen Arndt and Assorted others (please feel free to contact us for a credit)


Sundowning Sound Recordings:

Canadian Music Encylopedia entry: 


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 23, 2014 By : Category : Articles Features Front page Interviews Modernist Post-punk Reggae Tags:, , ,
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DozenQ – Eight Rounds Rapid

This entry is part 14 of 20 in the series DozenQ 2

An interview with vocalist David Alexander of Eight Rounds Rapid

Southend-on-Sea that magical, musical place of legend and home base to another new outfit set to carry on in a creative tradition that owes just a little something to the legends that have helped make Southend a destination for musical tourists and fans the world over. Eight Round Rapids draw on the regions musical traditions and like their forbears they also push the boundaries in an effort to keep their sound fresh, inventive and challenging. Push being the operative word I think. Tradition is one thing but Eight Rounds Rapid seems intent on keeping it edgy, fresh and, most importantly, relevant.

The band has recently been on the bill for Wilko Johnson’s final shows and between dates I have been back and forth with vocalist David Alexander discussing the band, the tour and the rest…

David Alexander – Vocals
Jules Cooper – Bass
Simon Johnson – Guitar
Lee Watkins – Drums

01. Tell me a little about how the band came together, if you will?

It was never my intention to be in a group. I am not a musician. I know nothing about music.

This project has evolved by increments into its form. It’s taken a while to assemble the right cast. The people in the group feel the same. Me, Lee and Simon have been together for a while and Jules has been in it for over a year. We have a good time and we argue, which is essential to our process. We never saw the point in imitating anyone else. We would not feel comfortable with that.

02. Musically speaking, where is the common ground for you guys?

I always knew it was important to make new things. We are from this place. We make music of this place as it is now. We are influenced by everything but no band really. People seem to want to talk genre. Are you blues are you punk? This I don’t know. We have a guitar, a bass, drums and a microphone. You’re going to resemble things. I don’t listen to the bands that people say we sound like. Words and ideas are very important to me personally. Every song is a story, some seen through a kaleidoscope. Singers that I have watched try to fit into a tradition of singing and performance. I don’t feel that way.

I went to art school and was not impressed by anything that was happening. That underwhelming sense of disappointment with the contemporary scene persists. Cool is the death of interesting music; a straight and narrow path leads directly to hell. We are anti-style and we would never chase audiences.

It is difficult to know where you go if you are not trying to be popular. If you have been involved in the creative industries you become aware that success isn’t necessarily about how good something is or even how tenacious you are. We have always recorded our songs and thought there was some merit in the sound we had. We started posting our songs on websites last summer out of curiosity and we began to get good feedback. Coincidently it seems our music chimes with some people.

I think that we are possibly quite a good group, I don’t know. Maybe our stage performances reflect that feeling that we value what we are doing but we don’t really expect others to feel any traditional pleasure.

03. How far afield have you travelled as a band at this point?

Geographically we have been London centric, with a bit of Brighton and a large slice of Essex. In terms of musical progress, well I just don’t know? If it all ended tomorrow then I think we
have come a long way. If we had five years left then we have only just begun.

04. Is touring in the works to support the forthcoming album?

Well it’s no secret now that we are supporting Wilko on his forthcoming tour, and that is a considerable honor. The album is not really a priority within the context of this event, but we hope that people enjoy what we are about. If they do then maybe there might be further opportunities to perform and play our music.

The collection of songs for the long player is close to being complete, and we hope to plan some events to accompany its deliverance. We are also planning a vinyl single that we are all intrigued by.

05. Does it matter to the band in what physical form the album is available?

We have conversations about formats but sound waves are sound waves. People who release cassettes and stuff like that is nice but we are all using mp3s now. I suppose what I disagree with is the end of the album. Everything on a record should be important, rather than just 2 or 3 songs and some filler. When we play a new song, it has to be strong or we reject it. Quality over quantity.

06. I’ve noticed a sort of kinship with the band Thee Faction. Do you see the lyrics as a way that is important to both you and the band in making political statements?

I think the kinship comes from a sense of authenticity. We are serious about the thing we do as they are and don’t see the performing as attention seeking for its own sake. They use music to tell stories and we do too, but the emphasis is different. Their political statements use music that originated from proletariat roots. We are working class people taking the music back and steering it elsewhere.

07. If the band was able to travel abroad do you think that would further any sort of commitment to making any sort of career out of creating art in this particular way or do you think it would be more important to each of you individually in terms of your human experience?

We work. We balance our lives between our jobs and the group. That relationship fuels the songs. We already have a career with the group it just don’t pay. I would love to do it full time and travel. I’m just not sure we tick the right boxes to make money out of it. You never know I guess.

08. You seem to be ticking at least some of the right boxes. It seems the band’s sound and approach is attracting the attention of some radio folks as well as people with a taste for something that has some real character for a change.

Well maybe. We don’t try to please anyone but our selves. We are very selfish like that. I guess that we are living through a dull time in the mainstream. Recessions are supposed to inspire reaction but big business has too big a stranglehold on the media. Our voice is small but it’s real.

09. Would you be so kind as to give me some more info about the forthcoming release; where it was recorded, material, how people will be able to get it and so forth?

We have chosen 10 songs for the album. Performing them live has changed the feel of some, so we have had to look at that. We go to John Hannon at No Recording studio in Essex. He is a friend of ours. We will make CDs and also have it downloadable too. We will post them to people and sell them at gigs I guess. It will be an honest listen. We are not into smoothing out the creases too much or creating something we couldn’t do live if we wanted too.

10. How’s life in Southend in general these days? Has the global fast-food empire and all that crapola taken over or has the area been able to retain any of its original charm, as it were?

Southend remains the same. Being the end of the Fenchurch street line from London keeps it at arm’s length from aspiration. It survives kind of hand to mouth.

11. I know you mentioned doing the farewell Wilko Johnson shows, which I am sure, are going to be both joyous and emotionally challenging for many, but have the band plans past those dates?

Wow. It is almost impossible to put into words. We have had the highest highs, the lowest lows. You name it. You juggle the mundane with the miraculous. We have thought about giving up at times during the last few days. I felt I had no business being there at all but I did my best. It was wonderful. Beyond that last Koko gig, nothing could compare.

12. And finally, thanks again for doing this and any parting words for fans of live music around the globe?

We hope our instinct is right, we hope the context is right and we hope the music is alright.


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 16, 2015 By : Category : Articles Blues DozenQ Eyeplugs Front page Garage Interviews Modernist Music Picks Post-punk Rock Tags:, , , ,
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AuthorQ – Zoe Howe

Zoe Howe is a music writer, editor and drummer. She has recently completed and been out and about promoting Wilko Johnson’s bio Looking Back at Me. She is also responsible for the acclaimed Slits bio Typical Girls? and How’s Your Dad?, Living in the Shadows of a Rock Star Parent (both published by Omnibus)Zoe was kind enough to indulge eyeplug for the AuthorQ over the period of a few weeks. Many thanks to her for her patience and good humour.

01 The reviews are in and the Wilko Johnson bio Looking Back At Me appears to be a big hit. How would you describe your role in getting the book happening and were there any challenges in convincing Wilko to agree to it?

Yes, the response so far has blown me away! Fantastic. Makes it all so worth it, it’s very exciting. It seemed to be the right time for a Wilko book – a photographer called Jerry Tremaine had taken a lot of pictures of Wilko in recent years and had initially spoken to me about the idea of getting a picture book off the ground; oddly enough just before then I had been saying to my husband Dylan, Wilko’s drummer (we’re all one big happy family!) that it would be great if there was an actual Wilko biography… cutting a long story short the two ideas eventually kind of came together, as it became clear that there was an opportunity (not to mention an appetite) for something fuller and more multi-dimensional. Wilko always says he wasn’t particularly involved at the beginning but he was always very generous with his time and allowed me to interview him on numerous occasions, during which I would often ask seemingly rather strange and random questions just to get off the beaten track and see where it took us! I maintain he’s one of the few interviewees to whom you can say in all seriousness: ‘What’s your favourite cloud?’ and not get a funny look from. He’s just straight in there, “Well, it has to be cumulonimbus because…’ Ha-ha! Nothing off limits, nothing too surreal or seemingly unrelated…  I think we were a good match for this project, looking back!

Plus he allowed me to go through all of his old boxes of photos and treasures, poems and lyric sheets; it was like a treasure hunt and was so fascinating. Lots of lovely contemporary images in there too, so Jerry’s work is well-represented in there too. As I say, it was a real opportunity to do something quite off the wall and try to reflect Wilko as fully as possible, in all his multi-faceted glory…

02 What about publishers? Once the word was out it was happening was there much leg work involved?

We didn’t do it in the usual way – instead of going with a book publisher, which is how my previous books have been published, we actually went with Cadiz Music, who produced the fantastic Julien Temple Dr Feelgood documentary Oil City Confidential. Cadiz were very on side with the subject matter, of course, and because they aren’t a book publisher  per se we were free to really shape something unique and beautiful, and Richard really helped to push it forward into something that was as good as it could be. It was also the first time really that I’d had the opportunity to get quite as involved with the visual side as well as the text, which is written more as an oral history than a conventional biography as I didn’t want to get in the way of Wilko’s narrative beyond shaping it and so on and so forth.

It was amazing to have the freedom to go a totally different way, which appealed to my inner Heath Robinson. It often felt a bit like… ‘Hmm, what happens if I pull THIS lever?’ ‘What happens if I weld this bit to THIS bit?’ Ha-ha! Great fun. And leg work? More than with any other book I’ve worked on, in some ways!

Also, because of the Cadiz link, I had the opportunity to work with the excellent designer (and damn fine drummer) Chris Musto, who had worked on Oil City, and he was great to work with, very simpatico, made the book look gorgeous and, again, it’s a rare opportunity for a writer to be able to work so closely with a designer on a book project like that. With my first book, Typical Girls? The Story Of The Slits, I had a bit of input and I suppose was a tad bossy with the images I wanted and the cover, as it had to be right and bring out their colours, so to speak – you only get one go, although generally there are limitations as to how much you can really contribute once you’ve handed over the text. However, with this project I was able to really work out what I wanted where in many cases and work with Chris and develop it with him.

I really wanted the book to start and finish with the moon (a reference to Wilko’s love of astronomy) and I remember going down to Southend every month to try to capture a beautiful full moon over the water (I never managed it, but I found a photographer on the beach who did!), and I recall dividing up everything Dylan and I had scanned from Wilko’s collection of bits and pieces into folders and files with text and picture references, ‘I want this here, I want that there…’ Painstaking at times (and showed me just what a control freak I actually am) and as I say, probably a bit Heath Robinson but ultimately worth it! I think at first some people assumed I just recorded Wilko talking and then transcribed it, but there was much more to it than that. Ha-ha!

03 I’m sure that every writing project has its challenges but what were the particularly unique ones that you faced with Wilko? I know he is on the road quite a bit.

Wilko himself was brilliant, very kind and avuncular and really just a joy to work with, I don’t remember any particular problems – although when your first book is about the Slits and you’ve experienced the inimitable Ari Up at close range you tend to take most things in your stride once the dust settles! A rollercoaster, that was. New heights of stress were reached, as well as euphoria. It was worth it to pay them their dues though, which is what I always felt very passionately about doing.

But yes, back to Wilko, I think once he had really engaged with the project and became more involved, it stepped up a gear. The only other thing is really that I know there are more stories to be told! I originally wanted to call the book ‘The Universe According To Wilko Johnson’ not just because of the astronomy angle but because I wanted it to reflect his universe, not just the music but everything he was passionate about, and the memories and experiences that have shaped his life, but I think we’ve only really cracked a solar system, to be honest! There’ll have to be a volume two…

Text-wise the book has a stream of consciousnessy feel that feels quite natural and accidental but is very deliberate and is designed to make you feel like you are sitting with Wilko of an evening listening to him tell his stories and go off on tangents. It has a conversational quality – and who has a conversation in perfect chronological order? 😉

04 I understand you play the drums, been busy doing much of that lately?

Yes, I’ve been playing percussion and particularly drums on and off since I was 12. After the Slits book, Viv Albertine and I were working together as she’d just started playing guitar again after nearly 30 years. We kind of encouraged each other and Viv really inspired me to get playing again – and it was a magical time and a great learning curve in lots of ways. I’ll always appreciate that she helped me to get my confidence back musically and allowed me the freedom to contribute ideas and just blossom a bit. It was great playing her music, I must say, she was writing really creative, unusual and expressive songs and it was a thrill for that to be my way back into playing. Through a live gig with Viv, I met the chanteuse Anne Pigalle, who asked me if I would play drums for a few gigs, and that was a real joy too, just a great opportunity to play some wonderful, atmospheric songs in a very different style again, kind of dark cabaret, Chanson. My most recent exploits include being in the Southend band the Voronas, which was another incredible and intense learning experience – great for my playing, really muscular rockabilly infused with gypsy swing, great songs, great theatrical stage show, kind of dark! There’s another project on the cards too, very different again, more Kraut-rock influenced this time. It’s so great to have the opportunity to rise to musical challenges like this, very enriching and pushes you forward all the time.

05 If you don’t mind I would like to ask you a bit about your neighbourhood. Any favorite haunts? What is it that draws you there?

I’m in love with it, everything about it. The effect of just being by the water can’t be underestimated, and to be under these huge, beautiful skies (we used to live in Soho, so it’s quite a contrast! The novelty of being able to see the moon even when it’s low in the sky hasn’t worn off.) I also really love the people – there’s a great balance of elements, a rich seam of rock and roll, a very artistic and creative, ‘can-do’ vibe and very down to earth, cool, unpretentious people. To have that blend can be rare, so I appreciate it! It’s a very supportive atmosphere for anyone who wants to do something creative and off the wall. A big part of that is the company Metal Culture, which was started by Jude Kelly, and they put on some fabulous events with very high production values that are very reasonable for the local community to take advantage of. I’m talking about sea-themed literary festivals, arts and music festivals like Village Green, rock and pop salons, art trails and that sort of thing. Really enriching. And then there are the sunsets over the Estuary, the strange futuristic outline of the Coryton oil refinery on Canvey… well, all you need to do is listen to Wilko’s songs and you’ll know what I mean. ‘Stand and watch the tower, burning at the break of day…’ I see that tower every day and think of him as a young man penning the words to ‘Down by the Jetty’ for the first time. It’s a very evocative skyline and quite a strange and beautiful landscape. To paraphrase John Peel’s description of The Fall, ‘Always different, always the same.’ Like I say, I’m basically in love with it.

06 Let’s get back to the Slits for a moment.  The Slits and Raincoats too of course, have such unique rhythmic structures and approaches. Was the writing project on the Slits a bit like trying to get one’s head around the band’s unusual chord changes and timings or was it a tad more eggshell, if you catch my drift?

One thing I can tell you is that it was really about striking a balance between telling a story, writing an appreciation and also respecting people’s feelings without letting the whole thing run out of control! I grew close to many of the people in the book, particularly Viv, Tessa and Keith (Levene), all of whom were brilliant and supportive, as was Christine Robertson, the Slits former manager. This was a first for all of us, so we were kind of feeling our way through with the project. It was my first book, I’d been a music journalist previously, but I felt really strongly that the Slits needed more attention, and that they deserved a book! So the project grew from there.

I have a lot of love for Ari, but I’m sure it won’t surprise many people to know that there was tension there at times. There were times when I felt she was really on side and it was all great and other times which were kind of the opposite. In her defence I think Ari was used to people trying to exploit the band but I was just really trying very hard to show the group the respect I felt they deserved. At the end of the day you can max out on the memories of the confusing and frustrating moments or the joyful and exciting ones; I just like to remember it as a mad, day-glo adventure that kind of changed my life!

Ari had previously complained about being written out of history and that no one had written a book about them, this was an opportunity to go at least some way to rectify that and I am so thrilled that it did seem to make a difference in various ways, some of which were unexpected. It was lovely to be able to put Ari back in touch with Poly Styrene too, especially considering what was on the horizon for both of them; little did we know at the time.

07 Viv Albertine really has maintained the attitude hasn’t she. Are you able to describe the creative process and working with her as a drummer a bit more?

Yes indeed, and I must say so has Tessa! Authentic and enduring Slitsyness right there. Both of them are totally creative and inspiring in different ways.

Viv was very brave when she first started playing again; she was writing songs and performing alone at open mics, really unusual material. After a while Viv decided to make an EP at the Levellers’ studio in Brighton, and my husband Dylan (a far, far finer drummer than I) played on it, arranged and produced it, and it featured the excellent Ross Stanley on Hammond organ and piano (and was mixed by the super lovely Dennis Bovell). That was such a fun period and, just being there (editing the last proof of the Slits book, I seem to recall) I was around to provide backing vocals and a bit of percussion, omnichords etc.

It wasn’t long before we started doing some live bits together as a duo – and on some gigs we had the fantastic Steve Beresford on piano, that was so great. What a guy. Thanks to playing percussion and keyboards etc with Viv, I started playing kit drums again, albeit in a slightly unusual way! And so I started playing kit and singing BVs with Viv for a while too: that I really enjoyed. Regarding the process, well, we spent a lot of time chatting, a lot of time playing around with ideas and trying things out, it was lovely, there was space to be quite odd musically!

We did a little recording for her album last year, which was fun, mostly backing vocals and percussion, and Dylan provided drums for a couple of tracks. In fact just after Ari passed away we did some recording for Viv’s Christmas single ‘Home Sweet Home (At Christmas)’, it felt good to be making music together during such a strange time.

08 Again, I’m very happy to see the attention Wilko is getting after so many years of, well, not really getting the attention many of us thought he deserved. I bet many of his long-time fans have thanked you mightily for doing the book with him?

Well, there’s certainly been a lot of enthusiasm and excitement, which is brilliant! It’s a two-way thing, of course, if it wasn’t for Wilko’s fans keeping the faith and supporting Wilko for all of these years, plus the new fans who have discovered Dr Feelgood through Oil City Confidential, then none of this would be happening, so I spend quite a lot of time thanking them mightily!

It was an amazing – and amusing – moment when, at the Half Moon in Putney, we did a book signing, and all around, in this legendary rock and roll sweatbox, there were people with their noses in books! They all just got stuck straight in. There’s so much love for Wilko, and quite right too, say I.

 09 How long will you be actively promoting ‘Looking Back at Me’ do you figure?

As long as it takes! We had a few months of doing lots of press for it, but things crop up along the line which is nice. I still find myself doing interviews and events based around my first two books, the Slits biography and How’s Your Dad? Living In The Shadow Of A Rock Star Parent (a semi-humorous tome about the plight of rock and roll’s children) some years after their release, which is great. So we’ll see.

10. Can you tell me a bit about the new work Florence and the Machine?

It will be out in September on Omnibus Press, who I have worked with previously several times, I’m fortunate to say. It’s a kind of run down of her career, aimed at fans, not an official biography but a fun-packed, chiffon-swirling unauthorised one. It was a pleasure to do, she’s an interesting character, and of course the Grimm fairytales references, witchiness and Stevie Nicks-style leanings appeal hugely!

And right now I am beyond thrilled to say that I am working on a very exciting new project with an incredible, in many cases life-changing, group – watch this space. Here’s a clue: feedback.

11. Anything up musically you are currently working at?

Doing a bit of jamming with a cool artist known as Alien, totally different to anything I’ve done before, lots of loops and motorik grooves, and there may be something interesting coming up but it’s up in the air at the moment… stay tuned! (*Stay in touch for eyeplug future coverage)

12. I realise you are a very busy person. Where do you find the time to fit it all in?

Haha! Much caffeine is consumed and small hours are employed. Also, this will sound cheesy but I think it comes down to being really passionate about what you do, and knowing how lucky you are to do something you love that much. I remember meeting a cameraman who had this great motto, that to be a really good cameraman, part of you has to kind of fall in love with the person in front of the camera, and I think it’s the same when you’re working on projects like this – I have definitely fallen in love with the subjects of every book I’ve written and every article. And sometimes that means it can be painful, but at the end of the day, if you’re that crazy about it/him/her (in an entirely appropriate way, natch) then you damn well make time to honour the project and make it the best you possibly can. I tend not to have much of a routine per se but in my mind, as long as everything gets done and I have enough energy to do it all in a way that I will hopefully be proud of, then I’m happy!


Zoe Howe with Wilko: Peter Stevens – Photography

Zoe Howe: David Roberts – Rock Atlas

The Zoe Howe collection:

Typical Girls? The Story Of The Slits Omnibus 2009

How’s Your Dad? Living In The Shadow Of A Rock Star Parent Omnibus 2010

Wilko Johnson – Looking Back At Me Cadiz Music 2012

Florence + The Machine – An Almighty Sound Omnibus 2012 (forthcoming)


Zoe’s Homepage: 


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 16, 2015 By : Category : Articles Culture DozenQ Eyeplugs Features Front page Interviews Literature Music Picks Tags:, ,
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DozenQ – Tav Falco

TAV on the Radio 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


Tav on Myspace

Nice Fan Site


  • 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


  • 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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