Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Monday, 30 May 2011
The suggestions keep coming: Any good rock pub-venues in your area? http://bit.ly/ig5Ly7
Sunday, 29 May 2011
Saturday, 28 May 2011
Warrington-based RTYD Member & harmonica player Dave Thomas is looking to jam/join a band on ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP: http://bit.ly/jIpfGR
Musicians Wanted London: Lead Guitarist/Vox Seeks Rockabilly/Country/other Band/Duo: http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Musicians Wanted Greater Manchester: Good Rock Guitarist Wanted for new cover band: Stereophonics/Killers/ZZ Top/Blues: http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Musicians Wanted Lancashire/Merseyside: Lead guitar/vox wanted to join keys/vocalist, bass & drums playing 60s/modern: http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Musician Wanted: Avon/Gloucestershire/Wiltshire: Drummer Wanted for gigging band to replace long serving 'tub thumper': http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Monday, 23 May 2011
South-West UK: Lead guitarist urgently wanted for soft rock covers band (Floyd, Steely Dan, Genesis, Supertramp etc): http://bit.ly/kInDMH
Sunday, 22 May 2011
Two songs from The Lone Groover's appearance at the 'Voices' night at The Boogaloo last Wednesday night: 'How The West Was Lost' and a cover of Bowie's 'Young Americans'. Enjoy.
Songwriter/Guitarist Available: Kent/London/Surrey: 53, looking to collaborate in setting up acoustic/electric band: http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Saturday, 21 May 2011
Friday, 20 May 2011
After playing in various bands and eventually getting a publishing deal, Blue Zoo's singer Andy O, took a break from the music business to travel; Drummer Micky Sparrow continued playing the drums for various music projects including a collaboration with the Stranglers' new singer Paul Roberts; Bassist Mike Ansell left the music business to pursue a career in property; And keyboard player Graham Noone opened Eversfield Recording Studios in Sussex, and along with guitarist and saxophonist Neil Pyzer played live with Geno Washington.
Last year, Blue Zoo reunited to rekindle some of the old magic, and no doubt, just to have some fun. They continue their renaissance with a gig at The Castle in Finchley Road on Friday 27th May, and the release of some new material very soon.
I went out on Wednesday night to support The Lone Groover (TLG) at the Boogaloo in Highgate. He was playing a night called 'Voices', which is promoted by Zac Stephenson formerly of a band called Special Needs,who nearly made it, apparently (Sounds familiar - Ed).
As a result of playing more frequently in the last year or so, TLG has developed into a very confident and thoroughly entertaining solo performer, and is on something of a roll right now; A roll that continues to gather pace, and which will take him to various festival appearances over the summer. Watch this space for more details.
I was so inspired by him last night, I am much closer (again?!! - Ed) to doing something about going out there myself with my acoustic guitar (Believe it when I see it! - Ed).
The coup at 'Voices' is that each act gets three songs, which is plenty in some cases, but not enough in TLG's. When he isn't tied to the microphone he struts around the floor like a Weller/Townshend hybrid accompanied, in spirit at least, by his fantasy rock band; and when he is at the microphone, he continues the posturing which has now become his trademark: raising his guitar, Jimmy Page-style, in the air like a rifle, or lowering it like a shovel.
Truly inspirational; and one of only a couple of stand-outs in a series of timid and undynamic introspective singer-songwriters of which the world has a plethora. (Easy! - Ed)
Thursday, 19 May 2011
An introduction to Norm Fasey, London-based singer with Wire tribute band, Outdoor Miners, on ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP http://bit.ly/m0ADjp, who are on the lookout for a new drummer.
London-based musician and RTYD member, Ronny Rocka, will be playing guitar for Splodgenessabounds at the Punk By The Sea one day music festival on South Parade Pier in Portsmouth on Saturday 18th June. Others on the bill include Buzzcocks, Peter and The Test Tube Babies (one of my faves), Vice Squad, 999, and John Robb's Goldblade, who I saw recently in San Francisco supporting Steve Ignorant (Oh, you're so international! - Ed).
The story goes that a week or so before tour to promote Two Pints of Lager and A Packet of Crisps (c.1980), Max Splodge found himself the victim of a band walk-out. Through a friend Ronnie found hmself a place in the Splodge's new band, and spent the next few years touring and getting very pissed with them - and eating crisps, I'm sure.
Rocka currently plays guitar for Bob Dylan tribute act To Bob, and in the past he has played with the Crabs (1978-81), the Angelic Upstarts (1985 -1991) and the Godfathers (1991 -2002), among others. Not bad, eh?
Is it just me, or is Debbie Harry starting to look like Dolly Parton? (Same cosmetic surgeon, I'm sure - Ed)
Regardless, this song demonstrates why bands semi-reunited shouldn't record new material, at least not under the same name. Blondie very quickly developed into a pop band - which, as long as it's original, I don't have a problem with - but post Autoamerican they had nothing original left to give.
Reform to play the hits, but move on creatively. In the words of another 20th century female icon, photographer Madame Yevonde: "Be original or die".
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Monday, 16 May 2011
Sunday, 15 May 2011
Musicians Wanted: E&W Sussex/Hampshire: Bass Player (+guitar/piano/mandolin/uke) looking for folk/rock/acoustic band: http://bit.ly/dOde2w
I'm not sure Kiria would want to be regarded as a 'mature' musician - she looks far too young to me - but she is performing at an event that pays homage to one: Mick Ronson, who sadly died of liver cancer at the age of 46, in 1993.
The London-based 'pink punk', singer/songwriter brings her flamboyant image and theatrical stage show to the Hull Springhead on June 4th, as part of the annual Mick Ronson Legacy event.
Listen to more music by Kiria on the music page of her website.
Saturday, 14 May 2011
Friday, 13 May 2011
Thursday, 12 May 2011
Wednesday, 11 May 2011
Musicians Wanted: Leicestershire/Warwickshire/W Midlands: Drums, Bass, 2ndGuitar/Keys to form originals/covers band: http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Monday, 9 May 2011
Yes, Steve White and The Protest Family are back in town, boldly going where shit loads of people have gone before in a BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND SPECIAL. (Why is it special? Dunno?)
Come and join us upstairs at The Enterprise opposite Chalk Farm tube. We're due on stage just after 9pm for 30 minutes or so. There are some other bands, but no-one will tell me who they are or how many there are. £5.
We'll be doing some more recording soon, as well. We should have enough for an album by 2013 or so.
Lol Ross (The Protest Family)
Bass Player Available: Berkshire/Surrey: Looking to form/join 5 piece hard rock band. Infs. Rush etc: http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Sunday, 8 May 2011
After two years of trying, the 'brand' didn't make the difference to attendance levels that I had hoped it would, and I was left feeling like another small-time London promoter relying on bands to bring people through the door. I am not interested in being one of those - there are already plenty.
I have enjoyed the social aspect of the gigs, meeting some lovely people, many of whom I hope I will remain friends and acquaintances with for many years to come; I have enjoyed introducing musicians and bands to each other and helping to build small networks of musicians interested in the same genre. I have some great videos, photos and memories; so I'm happy about all that.
The whole promoter/host thing was also a little out of my comfort zone, especially at first, and this is always a good place to be if you want to move forward. As a result, my confidence as a MC grew - for what it's worth now - and, having to do the sound at a lot of the gigs, has given me some useful experience, too.
A break from regular promotion will allow me more time to focus on my own band and music. I still plan to organise the occasional one-off event, but I will definitely be taking the less-is-more/only-for-fun approach to these.
Last night's gig at the Alley Cat didn't draw the crowd I had hoped (What's new?! - Ed), but as usual this didn't stop it being a fun evening. As I cycled home through Camden where the streets were heaving with young people on the lash, it only reinforced to me how much I am banging my head against a wall trying to get the older crowd out in large numbers. These young people are our kids - or will be. We have long been usurped. Most of London's pubs, bars and small music venues are the stamping ground of the young. Even on a Saturday night, many of the middle-aged, and over, are firmly ensconced at home; having had tea, watched Dr Who and put the kids to bed, they are settling down to watch more TV culminating in Match of the Day and bed.
Last night it was their loss, as ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP at The Alley Cat played host to the hilarious Punks Not Dad and the ever-entertaining Lone Groover. These two acts deserve bigger audiences than they got last night. And I don't enjoy feeling at least partly responsible for this.
Before the show, the Lone Groover and I shared the pleasure of greeting and chatting with Gaye Advert as she entered the venue; and she even remembered me, which was cool. She was there to support Punks Not Dad (again!), whose song Gaye Advert's Eyes is a staple of their live set and features on their debut LP We Are The Dads (The Lone Groover, by the way, was gutted because he nearly brought out his copy of Gary Gilmore's Eye's as one of his 7-inch vinyl props, so missed this opportunity to get it autographed last night ).(Me too! - Ed).
Tonight, Punks Not Dad are plugging their new EP Retail Therapy, which features the euphemistic I Can't Get It Up. Not a song about erectile dysfunction; More meaningful than that, it is about the frustration caused by constructing IKEA furniture - we all know the feeling. They perform all the songs on the EP and a selection from their debut LP including In Me Shed, all punctuated by Sid Life Crisis's between-song comedy-punk routine, of which he is a master. The band go on to play Glastonbury in June and Bestival in September, with a gig in Brighton in between. Go on the Dads!
You can listen to their new EP at the ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP-RECORD-SHOP and follow links to purchase a copy from there.
Saturday, 7 May 2011
Friday, 6 May 2011
Musicians Available: Cambridgeshire/Norfolk/Suffolk: Lead Guitar & Keyboards available 4 deps, 2 join band or form duo: http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Here at ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP, as you know, punk is by no means dead. Sometime's it's dad - as it will be tomorrow night when ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP hosts those masters of middled-aged anarchy, Punks Not Dad, at the Alley Cat in Denmark Street - but it is always very much alive.
Thursday, 5 May 2011
From Memory Lane to Parkway, via Wardour Street: A roundabout review of Glamweazel and 14 Carat Grapefruit at The Dublin Castle May 2011
Stop me if you think that you've heard this one before.
At school and at sixth form college I had a mate who was also the drummer in my band at the time. He was part-Goth, part-New Romantic, and a big Bowie, Toyah, Japan, Fad Gadget and One The Juggler fan.
We shared a passion for music - not always the same music - and for song lyrics, too, though also not always the same ones. As a result, our friendship had its moments. While I didn't regard myself as a Goth, per se, as you can see from the photograph above, I did wear a lot of black, especially around the eyes, as well as, copious amounts of hairspray; and I liked The Cult's Love album quite a bit, so you can understand why others got this impression. Others, like like my art tutor, who dubbed my friend and I, The Black Hand Gang, which we quite liked.
I've since lost contact with Stuart. He changed his surname (officially, he said) to something more romantic than his family name, which he hated. 'Haze' was his new surname, I think? I remember going to see the goth band he was fronting, as a singer/guitarist, at the Powerhaus in Islington in the early 90s. I don't remember much about it though. I have a terribly vague memory of the 90s - funny that. And the last time I saw him was on Kentish Town Road, hand in hand with his gothic loved-one. I don't remember crossing the road to say 'hello'.
He had a job in Robert Dyas in our home town for a while before he moved to London, where I heard on the grapevine that he now runs, or works, for a web design agency, I can't find him on Facebook, like all those people you really want to know about.
Anyway, one day, during our time at Godalming Sixth Form College ('83-'85), he convinced me to accompany him to the legendary Marquee club, then still in its rightful place in Wardour Street, to see One The Juggler (OTJ). This was probably my first gig in London. I remember seeing Lemmy on the way into the venue by the fruit machine, which is apparently where he could often be seen in the days before YouTube.
So fast forward about 26 years and I am running a musicians network for older rock musicians, you know the one, when who should I receive an email from but OTJ guitarist Lushi Lee, AKA Jerry T Jones, who is recording and playing under a new alias Glamweazel, and he's looking for gigs. He promptly sends me his record, which I respectfully put in the window of ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP-RECORD-SHOP.
I put him in touch with my good friends Bugbear Promotions at the Dublin Castle, and Bowie's your uncle - they have a gig, at which I introduce myself. Jerry is a lovely guy, still passionate about playing original music, whilst keeping himself busy playing in covers bands. He is still lucky enough to have enough hair to pull off a backcombed mid-80s gypsy/goth look - if that's your thing - and with RayBans and in the right stage light, to resemble a cross between Bob Dylan and John Cooper Clarke.
Last night, he and his band played their second gig at The Dublin, which, while a little less well attended than the first, was still performed with charm and professionalism. And culminated in a rendition of the lighter-waving anthem for the older musicians of the world, active in relative obscurity, Tangle Leads. Jerry also introduced me to another Juggler in the shape of Glamweazel's guitarist Colin Minchin, whose acquaintance it was also a pleasure to make.
One the same bill last night were old friends of RTYD, 14 Carat Grapefruit. The Grapefruits played a set which included a number of new songs: the relatively new and already sticky Porn Star; and the frightening Fat Bloke in The Gym. Brand new were: the rugby supporters anthem Let's Get Fucking Pissed, which asserted itself immediately among the Grapefruits' Greatest Hits, and the brief, yet hilarious, tribute to women's literature Chick Lit, which will likely be featuring as a secret track on the afore mentioned fantasy LP.
As usual, I grinned and laughed the whole way through the set, as did the 50 or so strong audience, which included Liam and Ray from Kryptic Klu. I only wish I had been promoting the gig, because I would have been in a better position to introduce the bands to each other. I always enjoyed that role. Must have got that from my mum. Sadly, the old Dublin Castle In-Out Routine came into play, and the two bands and their fanbases passed like old ships in the Camden night.
The third band of four was a young 3-piece from Portsmouth, whose gig-atmosphere suffered from a mass Grapefruit fans exodus, but who at the same time seemed somewhat relieved that this exodus revealed that there were at least a handful of young people left in the world. They then described the room as having resembled a "mortuary" during the first half of the night, which made me feel old and unwelcome, so at that point I made a discreet exit.
Musicians Available: Cheshire/Manchester/Lancs: Piano/organ/keys. All genres. Live/studio. Composer/arranger/producer http://bit.ly/dOde2w
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
RTYD Member Graham Forbes kindly sent me a signed-copy of his second book, Rock and Roll Tourist (Northumbria University Press), which I took on holiday with me over Easter and thoroughly enjoyed.
Forbes has played with all sorts of bands, from the Incredible String Band to a blues band in Los Angeles including session men John Gilston and Nicky Hopkins. He has also played with Mike Heron's Reputation, Golden Eagle, with ex-Bowie drummer Woody Woodmansey, the Kim Beacon Band (ex-Peter Gabriel), Radio Clyde DJ Tiger Tim Stevens, and a big soul band with actor Rory McCann and Carol Smillie.
He's played gigs with the Kinks, 10cc, the Drifters, Boy George, Pasadenas, Marshall Tucker Band, Elvin Bishop, 3 Dog Night, Bruce Springsteen, the Stranglers, Travis, Gong, Chick Corea, McGuiness Flint, Hudson Ford, Don MacLean, and Nico.
He lives half the year in the USA and when at home in Scotland plays he plays in a BBC celebrity band with John Beattie, James McPherson, Jackie Bird, Andrea McNeil, Robert Calder, and other guests including Scott Wallace, Deke McGee and the Brassnecks,Michelle McManus, Horse,Tom Urie, Alan Nimmo, Jim Condie, Jade Lazar, Gordon Smith Patrica Panther, Middle of the Road, Gary Innes and Dougie Vipond.
His first book, Rock And Roll Mountains, was nominated for an international award at the Banff Mountain Book Festival in Canada and got some great reviews. It is available in good bookstores or Amazon.
Below are some reviews of Rock and Roll Tourist. You can get hold of a copy here.
"Some wonderful descriptive writing. I heartily recommend it."Tom Morton, BBC Scotland
'With a keen eye for the absurd, Graham has an uncanny knack of stirring a range of emotions within a single story, but mostly, it's just laugh-out-loud funny!' Onnie McIntyre – Average White Band
'If Bill Bryson could play guitar, this is how it would sound!' Tommy Cunnigham, Wet Wet Wet
'Excellent. Compelling. A great read. I love the way you portray the band. It's electric'. Scott Ian, Anthrax
'Graham reports this world from his own unique lens – writing from the perspective of everyman, with a personal insight only he possesses. I wish I could have described a touring band's experience so succinctly.'
John Wheeler – Hayseed Dixie
'Graham's writing is refreshing in that it is about the life and not the myths of rock and roll… he captures for the reader what they can only imagine the lifestyle is really like… not all fun and games… except when it's fun and games!' Paul Barrere – Little Feat
'Terrific… perfectly captured the atmosphere of the days we spent together.' Neil Harrison – Bootleg Beatles
The Skinny.co.uk: Reviewed by Kayleigh Bohan, (Fri 30 Oct 2009)
The entertainment pedigree of booking a train ticket online can hardly compete with a stadium gig by U2. It's lucky, then, that the great strength of this second book by Graham Forbes is to make such separate brands of spectacle and farce as those to be found on tour and those that lie in wait for the general public equally engrossing. Insider knowledge is present without being overwhelming; the author is a guitarist formerly of The Incredible String Band. Writing with unforced familiarity, Forbes remains a warm and encyclopedic guide, introducing BB King, Anthrax and the coffee shops in Palma airport with impressive dexterity. In a book that gives as much time to cities, trains, planes and buses as gigs, Tourist maintains its hold while turning the attention back to Forbes and his brief addiction to prescription painkillers. Losing momentum when he settles in to give his opinions on the modern music scene, the otherwise sharp commentary risks aimless nostalgia, before recovering its energy. However, given the authority with which he writes and his willingness to invite the uninitiated along, it's hard to feel such opinions are unearned. A funny, engaging book of surprising substance. [Kayleigh Bohan]
Daily Mail: Reviewed by Ray Connolly (12th June 2009)
ROCKING ALL OVER THE WORLD
There are diverse reasons for travelling for fun. The pursuit of art history drags legions of (mainly) women across Europe every year; craggy mountaineers have a list of the world's highest peaks to conquer; and I'm told that nudists keep catalogues of beaches on which they wish to doff their modesty.
Old rockers: Brian Johnson and Angus Young of the band ACDC
But Graham Forbes, the former owner of a furniture removal company in Glasgow, has a quite individual motive. He goes around Europe and the U.S. watching rock bands play, talking to the musicians and oddballs he meets along the way, while ruminating generally on the state of popular music, the world and coffee.
It isn't a way of spending retirement that we might all fancy, but Forbes has a more-than-special interest in rock music.
Because decades ago, before he got into the removal business, he played bass guitar with one of the quintessential light folk Sixties groups, the Incredible String Band. And it seems the lure of the road, a sentence that all musicians must endure, has never quite left him.
The stories he tells are mainly about the sheer physical slog in search of a dream and somewhere to play. The two dead hours, for instance, that many musicians go through when they do a sound check, the constant waiting at airports, and the greasy, damp awfulness of English rock festivals in the rain.
Some of his stories are blackly funny in the Spinal Tap sense, such as when AC/DC members and friends meet and honour the 25th anniversary of the death of their original singer, who choked on his own vomit.
To collect these stories, Graham Forbes travelled to Slovenia to talk to the Bootleg Beatles, all top musicians who remind him that The Beatles never played most of their later hits on stage; to Hamburg to see Eminem who, like Chuck Berry in Glasgow, doesn't turn up; and Florida, where the fattest lady he has ever seen offers him her body at a BB King concert.
As a travel book, the random nature of Forbes's little journeys makes it no more than a lightweight companion, although his frequent digressions are sometimes amusing. But music is his primary interest and his love of rock 'n' roll is warming.
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Boss Tuneage Store — Punks Not Dad - Retail Therapy EP Limited Edition CDR http://bit.ly/luzRd4
Where to see Punks Not Dad play this Saturday:
The Piranhas, the band that dominated the late ‘Seventies punk scene in Brighton before being discovered by John Peel and finding chart fame with the Kwela-inspired single ‘Tom Hark’, have reformed as Piranhas 3D.
The band has been performing to ecstatic reactions at a series of unadvertised pop-up gigs in London and on the South Coast, starting with two sell-out sets at a ‘Punk All-dayer’ in Brighton. 'They launched into it as though no years had elapsed and they had been playing together all those years,‘ blogged an audience member; ‘the crowd went mental.'
The reunion was sparked when (Boring) Bob Grover and Johnny Helmer, the band’s original songwriting team, met up again by chance in Hanover, the district of Brighton where they first came together to form the Piranhas. Over numerous drinks, they decided to give it another go.
As with their performing skills, their songwriting, has picked up where it left off. Bob and Johnny have written a clutch of new songs featuring the same hangdog wit and tightly-crafted, garage-influenced arrangements that brought them to cult, and then mainstream, success back in the last century. Titles include, ‘New Media’, ‘(The Relentless Pursuit of) Adequacy’ and ‘Ebay Baby’. John and Bob are joined in the new line-up by Owen Instereo and Steve Burnaby-Davies, the rhythm-section that powered Bob’s previous band, Dates.
With a series of successful pop-up gigs behind them, designed to work the new material in alongside old favourites (including Tom Hark, still a perennial favourite on national radio and at sporting fixtures around the land) The Piranhas 3D are now gearing up for a series of officially advertised gigs throughout 2010 and making plans to record the new material.
Piranhas 3D is:
(Boring) Bob Grover - Guitar and lead vocals
Johnny Helmer - Guitar and lead vocals
Steve Burnaby-Davies - Drums and vocals
Owen Instereo - Bass guitar and vocals
Note: Phil Collis (AKA Zoot Alors), the original saxophone player with the group, joined the line-up for the Punk All-dayer, flying in from Manhattan where he now lives. It is expected that Zoot will make future appearances with the band, as and when he can be arsed.