Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Monday, November 19, 2018

RIP - Patrick Mathé

Sorry to hear about this. Patrick was a force of nature as was his New Rose imprint. Last contact I had with him was when I was working on the Cubist Blues liner note thing.

Here's something from one of the fine records he brought to the world.

Sunday, November 11, 2018



My report is a wee bit late this year for a number of reasons but here goes...

The Penelope logo
The celebrations nudged into November this year and coincided with the resort’s end of season surge. The sight of beered-up Brits is a lot scarier than anything the most fevered Funtasticos could dream up. Heading into town, the bus was three quarters full of these fuckwits but in annual fashion I made a new friend that made the journey bearable. I’d noticed that Clara was wearing a Dead Moon badge and discovered this was her first time. We had a beer and who should daunder past but Rafa and Patri so it turned into a wee session. The hotel was pretty good, Flamingo Beach Resort. It was named after a Flamin Groovies album and alluded to John Waters and I managed to steer clear of the ‘full-boarders’ for the duration of my stay.

The Count - More than vindicated!

(Photo by Jeroen Vedder)
The Sinciders kicked things off and then came The Cyanide Pills. This meant I was able to hang out with the man who made Sesentafest happen, Jonathan (BB Quattro) Vidal. Peter Zaremba & Las Munjitas del Fuzz set the bar bloody high... drawing on a set from the dawn of The Fleshtones, I felt the spirits of both Marty Thau and Alan Vega in the room. Red Star records was well represented that weekend as the undoubted main attraction and I became friends four decades ago when she worked for that very imprint. At one point – during 'BYOB' – it seemed as though the Z-man channelled Vega. I was right up front for that whole stramash and it was a flat out hoot complete with the one and the only Jimmy Garcia

Alana Motorgirl

(Photo by Jeroen Vedder)
I was too busy blethering to watch much of The Red Aunts or The Sinister Six but they went down great and I really like the Red Aunt bass players cook book. The new venue wasn’t altogether easy to navigate in order to find people. Breaking in a new place and increasing the number of bodies posed a few challenges. Of course we loved the KU-FO but there were practical reasons for shifting and largely the event really rose to the occasion. The stage crew kept things on schedule and Mike – the guy who headed that aspect up – really delivered. The Penelope is an iconic construction further up the road. The logo of the girl in the hat was ubiquitous in the 70s. It’s a BIG place with so many nooks and crannies so not real easy to navigate. Rome wasn’t built in a day though, it takes time for any new environment to be broken in. Was peeved that Motorgirl were on by the time I got there but what I saw was just the ticket. Look forward to seeing a whole show sometime in my future.

Sam Elwitt, Miriam, Matt Fiveash, Bruce Bennett, Matt Clarke.
(Dave Lindsay and Ira Kaplan not visible) - 
(Photo by Jeroen Vedder)

Miriam and Nobody’s Babies
played what was perhaps the most intense show I ever attended in my life. I’ve known this gal for 40 years and she and Billy are a large part of the reason I stuck with this stuff. The Norton religion is non-denomin-inter-national. Blessed are the faithful and many present were in tears during the performance that seemed to go by in a blip. I’m feeling a little choked here writing about it. The band was outstanding and I was fanboy-thrilled to finally meet Sam Elwitt, the guy who really made it all possible alongside Billy's A+R brilliance. 

Mir’s Joey Ramone via Lulu vocals bathed the audience in light which would be hands down the best set of the weekend. Check the setlist. To call that 45 minutes emotional would be a heavy understatement. After that, a stiff G + T was in order. I don’t think it even touched the sides. This weekend saw the lassie claim the crown of ‘Everybody’s Baby’ with good reason. The amount of love in that room when she played was palpable. She announced that this was her last show but I never heard it. Maybe I just shut it out because I sure hope it isn't.

Radio Birdman delivered a full on onslaught and to hear 1000 people yelling ‘Yeah Hup’ is pretty reassuring in these fucked up times. I watched most of the set from the DJ station to the left of the stage and the sound was perfectly crisp and loud there.


(Photo by Jeroen Vedder)
There was more chin-wagging to be done at that point and I didn’t catch anyone else. Got to meet Travis Ramin and also Alana Motorgirl, that was a hoot. The social aspect of this gathering is unsurpassed. The Wild Weekend Go-Go  Lounge was a popular attraction and at some points was so-packed that it was impossible to squeeze in. I experienced great DJ sets by Ben OlinsCount Zaremba and Matt Clarke in there and it seems to augur well for the reactivating Wild Weekend out in Mallorca in April 2019. Right after Br*xit. Much as I would like to have caught Nancy – it weren’t to be but anything that can make Francisco entuse like he has since he saw them must be doing something right.

The Mighty Mai-Tones
I exited around 5am but was back outside Penelope a couple of hours later to snap this picture with my new group, The Mighty Mai-Tones. Maybe we’ll play next year. I’m their ‘Bez’ and that’s just fine with me.

Had a schlep around town and various hostelries in the run up to Saturday’s proceedings, I was determined to be at Penelope for The Oddballs and I’m glad I was. Just as Crackhouse blew me away last year, these guys did so likewise. Just really good with a set that maintained the brevity I like. Imagine Lord Rochester as a ‘big band’, replete with washboard player. 

The Oddballs
Much as I would like to have watched more than one Gears song, I had to go and rest up a wee bit. This night I didn’t watch the bands so much and I just couldn’t get a good vantage point to watch Derv Gordon properly. Jeroen was front and centre and dug it so much that he went again in Amsterdam.
He tells me that Trevor White played 'Crazy Kids' with So What at the London show. It was sure great to hear that very song get a blast in Benidorm. The DJs there are selected as well as the acts are.

Derv Gordon

(Photo by Jeroen Vedder)
The music played into the night and as the sun was coming up, Snr Varo blitzed the remainers with hit after hit. The one woman confetti-machine that is Paloma covered everyone in the stuff and we’ll be finding fragments for months to come. So that was the 13th edition done and dusted. I think that there’ll be a moratorium before mulling over how to make this venue work like KU did. It’s not so live band friendly really because it was purpose built as a discotheque. As ‘Keep A- Knockin’  blasted the crowd afore it spilled out into the sunlight, we were reminded of the healing powers of rock n’ roll. I spotted one girl across the dancefloor capturing the titles via Shazam. I like to think she wanted to recreate that final volley when she went home. Them wacky youngsters...

I’m proud to have scored a new record in getting back to the hotel at 9.30am. My previous personal best was 8am. How Paloma and Varo keep pulling off the greatest rock n’ roll party of the year time after time is evidently a military secret. It must be getting difficult to assemble a bill like this but they just keep them coming. And I can’t even begin to imagine the stress levels involved.

There were obviously some challenging conditions with this new spot but these were overcome and then some. I hear the after party on Sunday was a blast too but there was a wee conflict of a sesenta y uno gathering down on the boardwalk. It’s not really a boardwalk but its right next to the beach. There had been Sesentafesters there all week but the Madrid locals mostly had to return to the city to start work not exactly bright but early on the Monday morning.

Hero of the event was my old mucker Matthias from Berlin who drove Miriam and Matt to Barajas to catch a plane after they missed the original flight through no fault of their own. Staying for a couple extra days assisted the decompression for sure. I had about 8 hours sleep in 72 but some of my crew had less (Monica - I'm talking to you!). I salute those hardy souls and look forward to rolling in the Funtastic thunder another time in 2019. 

Br*xit or no fucking Br*xit.

Very happy to have images here by Captain Jeroen Vedder, the man, without whose assistance, NBT may never have become a blog.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Saturday, October 06, 2018


Madrid is under construction. Traffic calming and all kinds of other shenanigans are making it murder for local businesses. Like everywhere else, great places are disappearing for one reason and another. I’m all for clean air but some grime is required too. And I’m not talking about the latest strain of urban music.

It was great to be reacquainted with Barbara from Get Hip through the ‘small world’ universe that seems to connect a bunch of us. El Pez Gordo was the scene before scooting up to WEIRDO! with Maitane. 

I was convinced that I’d miss The Dustaphonics but they were only a couple of songs into their set when I arrived at Wurli. The Cramps have a lot to answer for and it’s wild how mainstream this type of thing is right around now. Not sales wise – but just in terms of seepage into the general culture and I understand why people like them.

This time I didn’t hit town running. It was a more measured affair only really hampered by thinking that my favourite pizza joint had gone out of business.

On Friday, I took the train to visit Sara, Ramon and Duero out in Alpedetre. Once I got a beat on the map for the station it was plain sailing and I have to say that the double decker choo choo was muy clean and comfortable. I’m told they’re not always reliable but this one was right on time both ways. It’s nice and quiet out there but very close to town with a lovely old station. We had Sara’s mom’s meatball recipe and ate so much that we all felt like taking a wee siesta. It's a very sedate part of the world so close to MadToon.

Last night at La Alegria
A WEIRDO!/WURLI double header followed and this time I missed the bands but managed to see Inigo Munster. This was good because subsequent attempts to meet up just didn’t come together at all. I was gifted the album by Tipex from Valencia and would like to see how this dense stoner drone from the corner of Kyuss and Crazy Horse (Krazy Huss?) type sludge was live. And lo, Pizza tres cruces was open. The proprietor seemed perplexed as I told him that I thought it was closed. He probably didn’t understand my gibbering tinged with relief as I waited patiently on my slice. You can never go back to Papizza after this stuff.  After putting the world to right with Jorge I ambled back around the building site type landscape to my digs.

Met up with Ulla and Lagarto at lunchtime on Saturday where we took in a great new regular happening at Madklyn. Grand to hang with them and to see many familiar faces. It seemed like I wouldn’t see Marcela who recently left El Sol but she was right there. It was like having Templo Del Gato open during the day and hearing the music that you would have heard there during the wee hours. I hadn’t been in Madklyn since the close of Sesentafest last November 5th. A little later I had a couple of canas with Jorge from Munster and then it was nearly time for what - for me - was the big event in addition to seeing a whole raft of friends.

LUCY and the RATS 
It was a bit of a downer to find out that The Plastic Hammers weren’t playing but it was good to see Hormiga and to meet Tony. I hope to make it Oviedo one of these days during a proper Spanish tour. A quick nip into Ovni with Diego turned into old home week ahead of seeing Lucy and the Rats who were nothing short of magnificent. Everyone there reckon so too and I urge you to get the record and to see them wherever and whenever you can.

There was one problem that loomed over the night. This being that I had to leave town at 07.30. It meant that I followed the Jorge system of hydration over the course and doing so lessened the chance of having a sorry heid. The only real worry was resisting the temptation to grab a few zzzzz’s.

Duncan Reid and the Big Heads
Duncan Reid and the Big Heads are an entertaining combo also and in terms of their show, it’s a winner that they don’t snuggle into any of the wobbly nostalgia that so many variations on an old act might. This is a high energy pop affair that does deliver a few of those old Boys ‘hits’ but not in a backdated sense. I’m going to try and catch them in Edinburgh on November 17th just to make sure it wasn’t just a fluke. I’m sure it wasn’t.

Next September (2019), Wurlitzer will become a teenager. Long may this delinquent hostelry reign and if I'm spared then I'll be there.

Construction and Demolition
time on San Jeronimo 
From the outset, I kind of buggered up my travel to mean that it was a tight call in relation to what I wanted to do. I always run out of time but this time there were other logistics that I never quite grasped until it was too late.

In closing. I had to leave the party but I didn’t fall asleep and got to the airport in good time. Only to find out that the flight was delayed. It could have been way worse though and that manifested itself with my first experience of the new Border Control area at Edinburgh Airport, a necessary evil perhaps but plumbing new depths in inefficiency. 

I've had no response to my feedback on the subject.

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Monday, September 03, 2018

Thursday, August 23, 2018


You better LISTEN NOW! 

The world you thought you knew getting you down? There’s nothing like stellar pop music to galvanise the soul and a collaboration between two of the greatest forces for rock n’ roll good on this sorry orb is surely a reason to bring cheer for at least the 16 minute duration of the event. 

The Nomads and The Dahlmanns? Together?? Used to be that would be referred to as a supergroup. There’s a flavour of the loud folk direction that they were taking on “The Last Time” and comprising six songs, “American Heartbeat” (not a Survivor cover) is a wee bit of a departure from the sound you might be used to hearing from a Dahlmanns record but it’s still distinctly them. 

Line’s vocal will always take care of that and she just gets better and better. If you reckon you’ve heard anything better than “I Know You Want Me Back” in recent living memory then I need to hear it. Like a high end Roxette hit, this one deserves to be all over everywhere that quality tunes can be heard.

Where it all began in... Oslo
“Tomorrow Came Today” resonates like it might have followed one of those Brickfield nights and well, if you ever wondered what Tony James might have sounded like if he’s started off in Mud instead of Gen X then you need to be getting a load of “Get It Right”.

This mini album runs at 45rpm so it’s going to be loud and it’ll be out on August 31st, a co-release between the Ghost Highway and Beluga imprints. The first 100 on white vinyl with silver and black patch combo are reportedly all gone. You can get your mitts on the trad black version (and let’s face it – that’s the only colour a record needs to be - in my opinion) though but you’d be wise to score a safety copy because I don’t reckon this will stay in print for too long once the word is out. All over town and further afield. 

This practice will also help to offset the dreaded postage sting.

The content will be available digitally too if you only do the ‘device’ thing. The only way it’ll be available on cassette for now is if you put the gear on one of those things yourself. However this might get to the ears, my hope is that this one will infiltrate outside of the power pop stockade and put them Dahlmann kids on the radar of a broader church that could really do with having something to believe in. Like the lady says on the title song “you better listen now”.

A CD version will be available from Pop Detective in the US, mid-September.