Wednesday, November 30, 2011
No time to document my comings and goings at present but Mr Percival ventured out to see King Mob @ 229 The Venue in Great Portland Street, London W1 – 17 November 2011.
Glen Matlock’s career to date has included playing with many of his own personal favourite bands and artistes – ranging from the Faces through to Iggy Pop. His latest venture is King Mob, featuring the Pretenders Martin Chambers on drums, Steve Parsons aka Snips (ex Sharks) on vocals plus guitarists Sixteen and Chris Spedding, with Matlock himself of course on bass duties.
I’d had the band’s debut album for about 10 days before this first London gig and was really looking forward to seeing them. The album has a 1950s classic rock’n’roll sound – packed full of energy, excellent riffs, a raw edge, atmospheric vocals from Snips and some great catchy songs.
As I walked to the venue I realised that it was literally a stone’s throw across the Euston Road from where the Thames Television studios used to be where the Pistols achieved national notoriety on 1st December 1976 when they appeared on the “Today” show hosted by Bill Grundy. Spedding and Matlock go back a very long way, with Spedding having produced the first Pistols studio demos back in May 1976. 35 years on, when many bands are struggling to pull a crowd, it was great to see a good turnout with fans travelling from as far as the Netherlands. The 229 is an excellent venue with a high stage and good sound. The support band, The Bermondsey Joyriders accompanied by the legendary MC5 manager John Sinclair on spoken word, warmed the crowd up nicely.
King Mob took to the stage around 9.45pm for their third ever gig, after shows in Carlisle and Bristol earlier in the week. They went straight into ‘Lover of High Renown’, also the albums opening track. I was amazed at Snips as a front man. Very eye catching with his hair pushed up almost into a bouffant hair do – strolling around the stage and grabbing everyone’s attention. After the third song, ‘Vah Vah Voom’, Martin Chambers left his drum kit to introduce the band with a white towel draped around his neck like a boxer in the ring. This is a band that clearly enjoys each other’s company and playing live as could be seen from the smiles from the whole group.
‘American Slaves’ was up next, written by Snips and one of the stand out tracks on the album with its driving beat, ‘I said hip – hip – hip hooray for the USA’. I can see the band being a big hit in the US, especially if they’re able to dip into an audience with a love of bands like the Stray Cats and attendees of events like the Rockabilly Rave and the annual Coney Island festival.
The set closed with ‘China Waters’, ‘Selene Selene’ and ‘King Mob’ with ‘Who’s Chasing Who’ saved for the encore. All in all a highly enjoyable night – great bands playing in a great venue in front of an enthusiastic audience. What more could anyone want?
My lasting memory of King Mob is of a group of talented musicians playing music that they all enjoy for the fun of it. Exactly how it should be – but so rarely is. Have a listen to the album and go to see them if they play near you; you’ll not be disappointed.
The Cramps box set of 45's is delayed because a fire destroyed part of the manufacturing plant on Sunday evening. So be patient. Everything comes to those who wait. Eventually. I imagine that old Santa is a bit perplexed right about now as a result.
Cool photo exhibit in Glasgow that includes shots of the band from Glasgow Tech. thanks to Stephen Pastel for the heads up.
The Poets will be on at 10.30pm on Friday night at Stereo according to Holly at EWO. It's gonna be rammed so make sure you have a ticket because it's unlikely that there'll be any within sniffing distance of the door.
Monday, November 28, 2011
Bit of intermittent activity at the moment, somewhat out of my hands but there you go.
Couple of things coming up that you might like to try and connect with…
Eric and Amy continue to campaign across this sceptic isle, finishing in Glasgow this coming Sunday at Woodend Bowling Club.
The upcoming Rezillos shows in December see the advent of a new single – a 7” available at shows and from the website only – entitled “Out Of This World”. Download too for those that dabble with that particular type of malaise. Hear it (and order it) here.
The Babba-RaRa-CuCu-DaDas are playing in Spain this weekend. Info here.
and last but not least (perhaps) - RIP - Ken Russell
Friday, November 25, 2011
I don’t ask for much from you but The Dahlmanns "Candypants" and "I Love You Baby (But I Hate Your Friends)" have both been nominated for "Coolest Song of the Year" on Little Steven’s Underground Garage.
It would be grand if you could chip in and join the campaign to have Dahlmannia sweep the planet. Voting begins on November 25th (Black Friday) and will end on December 23rd. You can put down your cyber X once every 24 hours during that time.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
It’s Thanksgiving out in the US. Perfectly conceivable that countrywide thanks should be given to the Norton Records kids that begat such a feast of good times. With some great music thrown in for good measure. Oh, that’s not what it’s about?
Well it should be.
Anyway, been back a week and still all discombobulated is my mode but it an OK way. The silly season and all the daftness that brings is gearing up too. This weekend is the first bookend of the Eric and Amy shows at Union Chapel in the company of some Norwegian dignitaries. This time tomorrow I’ll be Kings Cross bound if not actually there by now.
So can’t or shouldn’t grumble on the gallivanting front. Plenty else to kvetch about though.
For instance, that the E + A show in Manchester tonight is cancelled because the organiser seemingly couldn't arrange a concert in a venue. or words to that effect. But they are on Marc Riley's show tonight so hopefully this is just a temporary setback.
There's always one, isn't there.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Cry Parrot, Tracer Trails and Watts of Goodwill present:
MUSCLES OF JOY LP LAUNCH
Sunday 27th November
Oran Mor, Glasgow
Doors 7.30pm - £5 entry
Advance tickets available in person at Monorail Music or online at We Got Tickets
Muscles of Joy are one of Glasgow’s best-kept secrets – a multi-instrumental, largely vocal-led all female ensemble.
Evoking a liberal spirit found in bands such as The Slits, Lizzy Mercier Descloux, Kleenex/Liliput and The Raincoats,
the band’s musical aesthetic is loose, abstract and emotively driven.
Their debut LP is a glorious collection of accidental pop, freak-folk, post-punk and avant-garde songs,
each with their own magical identity. This is a very special release, with each of the 522 edition in handmade silk-screen,
laser cut sleeves including a CD version of the LP.
Support for the show comes from Glasgow-based PALMS – whose debut 7” will be the next Watts of Goodwill release
- and a dj set from Jamie Grier - who co-produced the Muscles of Joy album.
Read a record review
Muscles of Joy on Facebook
Listen - Coins across his hips
Watts of Goodwill is a record label based in Glasgow.
We make records that we’d love to own ourselves.
# 1 watt of goodwill
Gummy Stumps – first EP 7”
£3 Post Paid in U.K. / £5 Post Paid Rest of the World
# 2 watts of goodwill
Muscles of Joy – s/t LP includes CD version
£12 Post Paid in U.K. / £15 Post Paid Rest of the World
# 3 watts of goodwill
Palms – debut 7” single (due Spring 2012)
Direct mail orders by Paypal coming very soon or email us.
Record Shops / Distributors please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Or in person at: Monorail Music, 12 Kings Court, King Street, Glasgow, G1 5RB
Monday, November 21, 2011
The leftovers come early this week, as Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. takes to Otto's Shrunken Head a day earlier than usual for a special Thanksgiving Eve holiday show!
*WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 23rd / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan / Two fully dressed shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover! /
Plus, next week we'll be performing in an imaginary bar in an imaginary hotel, all elaborately created in a decadent, spooky, 1930s style. From what we understand, the liquor will be real. Our show follows a popular, ticketed theatrical event, but you can be our guest with just an RSVP! Simply write back with name(s) and number of guests for the free guestlist.
*THURSDAY, DECEMBER 1st / MANDERLEY BAR at THE McKITTRICK HOTEL / 532 West 27th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues) in ye olde Manhattan / Two Shakespearean-sized shows, from 10:30 'til midnight / Free with RSVP!
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co.
"Ballads, Boogies & Blues"
Sunday, November 20, 2011
So I go to see this new Morgan Spurlock movie knowing Matt + Kim are in it as well as their song “Cameras” but little did I conceive that during the ad break there would be a Nissan ad that used a version of "Human Fly" by gawd knows who. I hope Ivy is being paid handsomely for this.
“The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” is a tad convoluted but nonetheless entertaining and it was great to see the kids on a movie screen 4.3 miles from my house, the weekend after I missed them in NY.
It provides an odd kind of synch, at least in my telly.
Hopefully the report below has formatted OK. It kept crashing as I was attaching links so I just gave up in the end.
The Norton Records 25th Anniversary Rumble took place at The Bell House in the fine borough of Brooklyn over four days last week. No-one that attended will ever forget it. Since then I hit reality with a bang and a sack full of whimper but let’s try and recapture the flavour of this hysteric event.
4 nights of Nortonian hootch that covered their chequered service. Even although he’s long gone, the spirit of Hasil was present throughout and the clan was treated to the largest collective “hunch” that the world has ever known. Billy and Miriam, ably assisted by Todd Abramson built it and the people came to worship. Many of the locals couldn’t get tickets because the place was to be invaded by furriners. One of which was me.
The Nor-tones kicked things off each evening with a short set composed of nuggets from the annals of the label. They did a great job, the very best of which was a dreamy saunter through Roky’s “Wait For You”. Nick Lowe’s “I Love My Label” sprang to mind too because these kids clearly do.
A mix of head lag and lack of space constricts my ability to cover everything that went on over there but it reached saturation at some points. It got to be a bit much to process. Perhaps a little foaming from the mouth was also evident.
The outright highest highpoints for me was being able to watch the guy that started me out on all this deliver two acoustic sets in the lounge on the Saturday and Sunday nights. Andy Shernoff - ably assisted by Brian Hurd of Daddy Longlegs and the fab Tricia Scotti - delivered the songs that brought a lot of us together like we never heard ‘em in person before. A total honour. Andy also joined Untamed Youth for a rattle through “Cars and Girls” that quite literally made some of us cry like little bitches.
The Yout’ set was also something to behold, effortlessly showing that they were never nostalgia driven to the point of novelty. They might hark back to the bygone but they turbo-charged the goods and delivered something circling perfection.
The A-Bones set and it’s culmination with Roy Loney and Cyril Jordan was beezer too. I had a lump in my throat and something in my eye during much of it. “Questions I Can’t Answer” booted me right over that brink.
Worthy of a shout out also as I run out of space were The 5,6,7,8’s who headlined the first night. No they didn’t it was The Black Lips you might say but trust me. The R&B Soul Revue was utterly unbelievable as Melvin Davis, Andre Williams, Dave “Baby” Cortez and The Mighty Hannibal indicated that age is immaterial. And that their material is solid gold. Jaw droppingly entertaining. The Great Gaylord ably assisted by The Condo Fucks – tore “TV Eye” a new one far beyond The Stooges current cabaret fayre.
I saw Reigning Sound twice. Maxwells was slightly better because they did “High School Time Bomb” but the pace of the set was better at Nortonpalooza. Patrice took me over there on my first night in town, she is a trip. Caught The Sonics two times too. One during the afternoon in NJ with my homies Nancy and Fiona and again closing the four day rally. Blimey, I nearly forgot about The Randy Fuller Four. Who could ever have dreamed of such an occurrence? Never to be forgotten for sure.
There are clips all over the interweb that allow you to hear and see nearly each and every performance. I’m not sure words are enough. It was also and opporchancity to get reacquainted with good friends and to notch up a few more. At least I got to see a wee bit of Susquehanna Industrial Tool and Die Co. I can never get enough of those Goofballs kids. It was an extreme pleasure also to meet Ms Palmyra Delran. They broke the mould when that one was made. And also Brother Mark Hershberger of the Pop Detective imprint who has recently brought The Dahlmanns to the world. So many great folks, so little time. Karen, Sal, Joe, Ken + Vibeke, Roy, Cyril, Jimmy + Gretchen, Joss + Nadia, Scott, Mr & Mrs Kogar, the list just goes on and on... Howie flippin’ Pyro too. First time since the “dog incident” in Glasgow.
Aside from everything else, making the exit up on to Union Square, the first time I ventured into Manhattan on the Thursday was pretty overwhelming. It had been so long. I made for one of the first place that I ever went back in 1983, the Strand Bookstore where I first met Miriam. Then just walking somewhat unconsciously I found myself outside Joey’s old apartment on East 9th. My heart jumped into my mouth at the realisation. It had been a long time and being able to make peace with it all has been a welcome respite to how this year kicked off.
Recent events at home have also served to create a perspective and although the coming months are likely to serve up some primo bullshit on the personal and fiscal front, I feel better prepared to deal with it after this. .
HT came in from up North Fork way and just a couple hours with KP and he did this grizzled old heart good. Likewise Duano. My pal Paul (Lukas) came out even although he had the lurghi, I hope the doc was able to fix you up young fella, me lad.
Anyone visiting the borough should make a bee-line for the Canal Bar (Hey Althea!). A home away from home during “the ordeal” (ha ha). It has the Ulf Ramone seal of approval, who could ask for any more. But wait, all bars carry his approval - right? Ha ha.
My final day in town was really something as I headed for Destination Greenpoint to Chez Zaremba then into town to meet the one and only Caryn Rose. A reminder to anyone who wants to get a cool book for anyone this Chrimbo, “B Sides and Broken Hearts” is the bizzo. From there I saw KP, then Amy joined us before she and I headed toward the Flea Market Cafe farewell nosh that Mary Lee organised. All a bit overwhelming to be honest. Amy Allison, Eric Ambel, Laura Cantrell, Mary Lee Kortes all in attendance prior to the Lakeside Lounge antics. And to have Fiona and Rinda there just iced that bloody cake.
And to top it all off – the great Andy Shernoff Esq. and Ms Delran also turned up. Karen, Jon, Ross and I hit up Manitoba’s. I’m sure that I’ve neglected to mention a host of folks and I could rabbit for acres more but what’s left of my mind is mush really. It’s unlikely that any of us will recover.
Could there perhaps be a 30th anniversary? The attendees of this stramash wait with baited breath to see if those Millers would be prepared to go through anything like this ever again.
When I was wandering around Newark Liberty Airport waiting on fate to deal its mortal blow, pining for them Tri-state urban fjords – Dave “Baby” Cortez’s “Happy Organ” was blaring from the fake fifties diner. For a few seconds, I was transported back to the weekend and all was momentarily well with the world.
If I could just do last Sunday afternoon like Groundhog Day then my disposition would much improve but all is not lost - a rather agreeable weekend lies in store in just a matter of days. I'm gonna visit google maps now to see if there's a route there that doesn't involve the usual rigmarol. Probably not.
Just prior to heading off to NY, a little bit of that state came to Beith in North Ayrshire. In The local Masonic Hall no less. The great Willie Nile made a return to that airt for a Sunday afternoon show that should surely be the template for gigs to come. A cool room, a great crowd untarnished by the spectre of hipster indifference and a very cheap round of drinks. OK, so it’s a bit off the beaten track – that just makes it even better.
In fact this is perhaps the future. Where an act doesn’t fall in with “the circuit” and goes back to old principles. Of course there’s internet and all manner of media gubbins but there’s no substitute for intimacy and if you’ve got the songs then this type of thing is gonna be a skoosh. There has to be a venue like this every town in the UK.
Playing this type of place, you’re gonna be taking your message directly to the people who need it like Willie did. So you get "Can’t Stay Home", "House of a Thousand Guitars" and "The Singing Bell" alongside "I Wanna Be Sedated" and "People Who Died". Authentic NY rock’n’roll thrills and spills transplanted to North Ayrshire.
Opening up the show was Adam Smith, a local youngster who put the Kevin Coyne into Paulo Nutini and then Micky Kemp, a man with transatlantic connections to the boardwalks of NJ and Austin to name but two outposts of the stuff that makes all this tick.
Kudos to Billy Crawford, the man who put this all together and here’s to many more such events out there on the moors.
Willie Nile will be part of a charity event in Glasgow on December 11th or 12th. Can't find details but it's supposed to be at the O2 ABC in Sauchiehall Street.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Wednesday, November 09, 2011
Tuesday, November 08, 2011
Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co. takes to the wild & wooly Rodeo Bar this week -
and later this month returns to Otto's a day earlier than usual for a
special Thanksgiving Eve hillbilly holiday! Dig?
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 9th / RODEO BAR / 375 Third Avenue (at the corner of 27th Street) in Manhattan /Two hearty sets, from 8:30 sharp 'til 11pm or so / No cover!
And, getting a day's head start on our regular monthly residency...
*WEDNESDAY*, NOVEMBER 23rd / OTTO'S SHRUNKEN HEAD / 538 East 14th Street (just west of Avenue B) in ol' Manhattan /Two fully stuffed shows, from 8:00 sharp until 10:00 / No cover!
Michael, Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co."Ballads, Boogies & Blues"