Archive for the gigs Category

Glam Rocks – No Sleep Til Chelmsford

Posted in 80's, gigs, glam, new wave, Punk, retromania, rock on December 2, 2008 by planetmondo
Me in my Mad Max Factor/Southend R.O.C.K period

(note tasteful band logo on left arm – and missing tuner on guitar head)

In a past life I was once the guitarist for a glammy band called The Ladykillers (dreadful name, not my idea). I say glam, it was more of a post-goth, pre-grebo garagey rock ‘n’ racket affair really (a local paper once did a piece on us claiming ‘They’re Glam, They’re pop, They’re Punk’ – which sort of nails it I suppose). Based in Southend and on the scene at the same time as, and crossing paths with an early era My Life Story – we seemed to get the support slots for any visiting rocky horrors and lower league goth monsters that put a buckle booted foot into the Essex area – a few incidents from my rock date diaries include…..

Two encounters with Zodiac Mindwarp (which you can read about on page 43 of this month’s The Word)

Our second only live date, (with Mal from My Life Story helping out on bass), supporting Flesh For Lulu to a pre-health and safety elastic capacity Pink Toothbrush, where the icy tinkles and cinematic style keyboard intro was blitzed by the drum machine’s improv’ Drum and Bass meltdown.

The third gig at a local youth club on the night it was populated by German exchange students – the only ones that danced. In a moment of randomness we’d hired a dry ice machine for this gig, not a popular move with the Middle-Aged-Ladies that ran the club – the amount of puff pumped from this rent-a-gadget gave the effect of being smothered by a creeping indoor fog. Cue a stage invasion from the M-A-L’s with damp dishcloths to smother the smoke “it’s no good they can’t see a thing in the ping-pong room” or some such was the cry.

Having a gun pulled on us at Harlow. Someone fainting in Romford.
And the gig where the above pic’ was taken – supporting Ghostdance in Chelmsford (which must qualify as the least rock ‘n’ roll phrase in human history) an experience not dissimilar to playing to an audience of Autons, until the drums turned to shrapnel and went a’rolling around the stage mid-set. These were patched up gaffer tape and Meccano style, we carried on with the set and the crowd literally went wild – I’ve got a video of this gig and the audience go from musical statues to wild things in the space of two songs..

It just took a collapsing drum kit and couple of covers to defrost the good people of Chelmsford, two tunes that were regulars in our set and fairly reflective of our ‘angle’…

Iggy Pop – Funtime

Adam and The Ants – Fall In

And of course this – a show closer from the first gig to the last..

The Where Are They Now Epilogue….
(Well, the ones I know about anyway)

The Singer works in the entertainment industry

The Keyboard player is a Professor at Leicester University

Bass player number 4 – is a soundman and plays in Cult tribute band Pure Cult

Drummer number 2 – is a professional drummmer and in a T Rex tribute band Too Rex

Mark Ellen – reads part of my Zodiac Mindwarp Experience – right here at 6 mins 30 secs

Rock ‘n’ Rumble

Posted in bass, gigs, new wave, Punk, the stranglers on November 11, 2008 by planetmondo
What Exactly Is A ‘Morry Thou’?*

The Stranglers are live in Southend tonight, and being one of the first handful of bands I actively collected (along with the Pistols and The Damned) there’s no question of not trotting along. I know Hugh Cornwell’s long gone from the line up – but it’s still 75% original Strangulation. The other three are present and correct: Ol’ Beardy, Ol’ Pudding Basin and JJ Burnell, one of the coolest punk bass cadets (actually punk bass players were typically the snappiest member of the band) – all karate moves, monkey boots, motorbikes and that thunderous rumble underpinning the ‘men in black’s’ signature sound. It’s a ‘greatest hits’ gig, so hopefully these B-side babies may be somewhere in the setlist…

The Stranglers – Tank

Tankwith an intro from Peter Cook

Go Buddy Go – I’m no lip reader, but even I can see, the second word in this clip clearly isn’t ‘boogie’ or ‘woogie’

*Apparently a ‘morry thou’ as mentioned in The Stranglers ‘(Get A) Grip (On Yourself)’ is, well – click here to find out or here – for a picture

Anarchy At The Apollo

Posted in gigs, live bands, Punk, Sex Pistols on September 3, 2008 by planetmondo

What was it like finally seeing the Sex Pistols, after 30 years of unrequited fandom? That gang of raggy rockers that blew me out of my boots , into vinyl heaven and sent me reeling towards Bowie, Eno, The Stooges, The Velvets, Roxy Music and ton of others. A group of uniquely original, influential and inspirational, ground breakers I consider as musically and culturally important as Elvis, The Beatles or Bowie. What was it like to experience them live, loud and in their original line up?
Everything I’d hoped for at twice the volume.
Johnny Rotten is a punk Pied Piper meets Mr Punch, a rock ‘n’ roll ringmaster that’s more Max Miller than Iggy Pop, and on those magical moments when the Pistols locked and loaded together – Bodies, Problems, Liar, Anarchy, Holidays In The Sun, God Save the Queen – were more lethal than a firing squad with itchy trigger fingers, and had me forgiving the occasional bum notes and forgetting the few jeery, beery bulldog boneheads and pinch faced middle aged mohicans, in an almost adolescent adrenaline rush. The Pistols are swank and swagger, pantomime and music hall, ‘Carry On’ films wrapped in rock, stock and roll out the barrell sweaty sing-a-longs and a wall of high volume, hi-deaf, heavy level wallop that atomises rock’s chest beaters, indentikit indie kids and pop pretenders . To quote the band themselves ‘God Save The Sex Pistols’.

Hereeeee’s Johnny!
Punk’s Artful Dodger – not happy with gobbers and bottle lobbers
Cook and Jones return to the scene of the crime (they nicked several mic’s and amp’s from the Hammersith Odeon, during the soundcheck for Bowie’s Ziggy’s Final Gig in ’73)

How loud? Ear bruisingly loud! Had my chest quaking and my troos shaking

Steve Jones turns 21 …. inch neck in about 2 hours.” Hammersith sings ‘Happy Birthday Dear Fatty‘- to Steve Jones (his record for pies eaten in one session is 8).

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Ringmaster

Mind the gap – stand clear of the jaws please.

The group that launched a thousand riffs.

‘Cocktail sticks’ stage right and ‘cocktail drinkers’ stage left. The band as described by Rotten.

All photo’s courtesy of Mr T.Youth

From Punk To Present

Posted in Favourite Shirts, gigs, new wave, Punk, retromania, Sex Pistols on September 2, 2008 by planetmondo

And this is me! Summer 1980 (aged 14) on my first shopping trip to King’s Road, Chelsea – wearing my ‘just been bought’ Anarchist Gang shirt.*.

I can carbon date exactly when I bought my first Sex Pistols single – Tuesday 27th February 1979 – a group of us had spent the morning clustering around Kelleys Records in Hadleigh waiting for the Tuesday new singles delivery which included the Pistols ‘Something Else’ – not a classic by any stretch, but the anticipation of owning my first piece of ‘as it happens’ punky shrapnel (with the added bonus of some explosive effing and jeffing on the b-side) still had me giddy headed and punk drunk.

Rewind a few months and I’d had no interest in snotty, shouty, sweary spiky tops until an earful from a friend’s older brother’s – it’s always the older brother – copy of NMTB got me switched on and tuned in to the ‘now wave’ of punk, with its high speed rage and rush mirroring my own hormonal hi-jinks. Hearing the Pistols properly for the first time, on a pair of Easter egg sized headphones, was a sonic seismic shift which exploded in a brain frying Everything You Know Is Wrong moment:I cut my hair, changed the way I dressed (and didn’t care what anyone thought) wanted to learn guitar and start ripping out those Sex Pistols riffs. Starsky was out Sid Vicous was in, and I signed on the studded line committed to slowly becoming a teeny punk.

‘Something Else’ was followed up with regular record buying bus trips to southend’s John Peel and punk friendly shops – Kelleys, Golden Disc, Parrot but never Projection (which was all trendy-teacher types, thirty something ex hippies in hessian jackets, corduroys, Kickers or cowboy boots) – for The Damned, Dead Kennedys, The Undertones, Crass, UK Subs and one-off wonders like The Satellites, The Victim, Honey Bane and Magic Michael.

By 1980 it was punk pilgrimages to SW3 and the King’s Road – with mum and dad -for punky togs . One year later and it was The Damned’s 5th Anniversay gig with A. N. Other friend chaperoned by his older brother (see what I mean?)

So, cue shots of fly away calendar pages and fast forward to today as I hold in my hand two pieces of paper that have got me as clucked up as Charley Bucket (now there’s a proto punk name) unwrapping Willy Wonka’s choco’ bar and finding that glint of gold.

Yes. It’s tickets to the Sex pistols. Tonight. At Hammersmith Apollo. Piley’ll be there, and I’ll be hoofing along with Tronik the boy wonder.I haven’t been this giddy and punk drunk since that misty Tuesday morning outside Kelleys Records in 1979.

Hopefully there’ll be plenty of this on the menu.

Pretty Vacant (Live 1996)


*I bought three tops from BOY (Seditionaries was being refitted as Worlds End) on this visit. Two cheesecloths – God Save The Queen and Anarchist Gang (pictured)- plus a Vive Le Rock black tee, which circumstantial evidence suggests at this point in 1980, were possibly Seditionaries over-stocks being sold off at BOY – but unfortunately all were dropped in the bin yonks ago.

The Wolfmen Go Wild After Dark

Posted in gigs, glam, live bands, Punk, The Wolfmen on November 19, 2007 by planetmondo


“Aaaaaooooowwww” that’s me last Wednesday after being left bitten and buzzing by The Wolfmen.

Formed by Marco Pirroni (guitarist and co-writer in Adam’s Ants ) and Chris Constantinou (bass playing ex Ant) I caught them strutting like roosters, and stomping like champs live and unleashed at the Islington Academy last week. Opening with a thundering cover of Eno’s ‘Needle in The Camel’s Eye’ The Wolfmen tore the place up with a snarling, snapping set of their own two fisted tunes and GlamGaragePunk all fired out with the vibe of vintage Roxy Music, and spirit of Johnny Thunders and Marc Bolan jamming down at Devil Gate Drive.

The Wolfmen’s songs Cecile, Jackie Says, While London Sleeps are all hugely infectious (spin them up below) and highlight why Adam Ant went from being the King of Indie clang with ‘Dirk’ to King of The Wild Frontier and the Prince Charming of Pop after hooking up with Marco as a songwriter. But there’s more to this Wolf pack than tattooed knuckled sugar Pop Punk , Two Eyes is all space age breakbeats and Bhangra anthems wrapped in screaming guitars, flutes and sitars with a lead vocal from Daler Mehndi (Daler was unable to make the gig unfortunately, having being detained for something dodgy) but the celebrity credit rating was still high with endorsement from gig attendees Pete Shelley,Simone Stenfors, and Radio One’s Bobby Friction all going wild for the Wolfmen.

If you like Rock that sparkles and Pop that wallops watch out for The Wolfmen in case they’re prowling and preening near you soon.

Get your teeth into these Rollerball rockers

The Wolfmen – Cecile

The Wolfmen – Jackie Says

Then check out The Wolfmen sites for dates and details of gigs and releases
The wolfmen – Myspace site
The wolfmen – official site