Thoughts and music of double J x

Thoughts Of Chairman J..

Some words and pictures out of my head.. :) x


Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown: Nashville Rock ‘n’ Blues! Get Some!

23316269_10150948529449987_4071663733534898342_nAfter carving out a fervent fan base and drawing widespread critical applause with their heady, high-voltage brand of guitar-driven rock, shooting from both hip and heart, Nashville’s Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown find themselves at the epicenter of an advanced rock ‘n’ roll adventure that continues to take them around the world, appearing at some of the biggest venues along the way…

Starting with a guest spot on AC/DC’s ‘Rock or Bust’ World Tour in 2016, the quartet – Caleb Crosby on drums, Noah Denney on bass and backing vocals, Graham Whitford on guitar and Texas-born Tyler himself on vocals and guitar, a musician immersed in blues music from an early age – have continued to share events and stages with some of rock’s most legendary names, including Guns N’ Roses, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Aerosmith, Deep Purple and ZZ Top.

At the same time as projecting their music into stadiums, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown – The Shakedown to friends and fans – have continued to build their name and reputation as a headline act, and indeed it was backstage after a sold-out, bill-topping show in London (June 2017) that the band signed their new deal with Snakefarm Records – the most immediate and exciting result being an 11-track, self-titled studio album set to be the label’s inaugural release, with November 3rd locked in as the day of the launch… “So many great things have happened over the past few months,” exclaims Caleb, “and it’s all just so surreal. I remember seeing that Guns N’ Roses were playing two stadium shows in London on June 16th & 17th earlier this year, which are birthdays for Noah and myself, back to back, and I said wouldn’t it be amazing if we appeared on both of those shows… and we did!”

WP_20170613_10_24_22_ProRead An Exclusive Live Review From June 2017 Here:

Rewinding back to 2008, Tyler moved to Nashville by himself at the ripe age of 17 to write songs and form a band. It was here he met Caleb, and together they put together what would become The Shakedown… “The instant we started playing, I knew there was something special,” reflects Caleb. “We played our first show a week later and haven’t stopped since!” The next addition to the ranks was Graham Whitford, a young guitarist from Boston, Massachusetts. Introduced to Tyler as the guy who could put him out of a job, it was clear from the start that Whitford was a force to be reckoned with. As soon as Tyler heard him play, he asked him to uproot and move to Nashville to join the band.

All that was needed now was the right bassist: enter Noah Denney, who instantly added a whole new dimension to The Shakedown’s sound. As Tyler recalls, “his bass sound scared me and he brought an edge and an attitude to the band that we didn’t even know we needed.” 2013’s ‘Wild Child’ album announced the quartet’s arrival with a bang as they logged time on the road with the likes of Aerosmith, Jeff Beck & ZZ Top, while receiving the endorsement of Guitar World, Rolling Stone, Los Angeles Times, Nylon, Interview Magazine and Paste. Taking over TV, they lit up the stage at both Jimmy Kimmel LIVE! and AXS Live.

24900001_10150978029364987_5825257721372189081_nFollowing the release of ‘The Wayside’ EP (2015, produced by Grammy Award winner Vance Powell), the boys crisscrossed the country alongside Billy Gibbons & AC/DC on that celebrated 2016 run. April 2017 found them without a label and only a month out from joining Guns N’ Roses on a European tour… “We had just decided to self-produce a record completely on our own,” says Tyler. “I’ll never forget driving home that morning and getting a call from our manager saying, ‘You wanna go back to Europe with Guns N Roses?’ That was a great kick-start to the first day of tracking.”

So they hunkered down and set about writing & recording their second full-length album, with John Fields (Soul Asylum, Paul Westerberg) coming on board to handle the mix. Blending a sense of history with a youthful, energetic heartbeat, this anticipated outing features a host of brand new tracks, some of which have become staples of the live set. It also stands as the start of a relationship with the newly-launched Snakefarm label.  Housed within the global infrastructure of Spinefarm Records (a UMG label), the Snakefarm brand will provide a targeted home for international artists, both established and new, from the increasingly buoyant roots rock world – music based on authenticity and emotion, under-pinned by core values and beliefs.

23032477_10150946859069987_4446057982971573653_nIn this respect, Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown – who can lay claim to a fast-growing international presence, with major UK festivals such as Download, Ramblin’ Man and British Summer Time already under their belt, alongside headline shows plus guest appearances with Nashville neighbors The Cadillac Three – are a flagship representation; what’s more, in ‘Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown’ they’ve delivered a genuine genre-defying labour of love, a varied and infectious statement shot through with passion, pride and a welcome dash of glamour. “This is the definitive Shakedown record as of now, and that’s why we decided it should be self-titled,” explains a fired-up Tyler. “It’s the definitive Shakedown record due to the fact there were no other cooks in the kitchen. We put so much energy into writing and recording each song. It’s not just a guitar album; it’s a song album, and I’m proud to hang my hat on this one.”

The first single / video, ‘Heartland’, introduces The Shakedown with a one-two punch of gritty guitars and soulful vocals before slipping into a hypnotic bridge punctuated by airy clean guitars. Tyler sings, “There’s a slow beat in the heartland, going down in the quicksand, stack ’em up and watch the cards fall, if it happens to one, then it happens to all”. “It’s no secret that there’s crazy stuff going on all over the world right now. There’s madness all around and people are constantly picking sides. Every night when the Shakedown takes the stage, I’m amazed that music brings people together. Nobody is thinking about what side they’re on when they’re singing at the top of their lungs next to a complete stranger. I thought maybe through music I could remind myself and our TBSD family that when one person falls, the rest of us do, too. I wanna get together with a bunch of folks and sing that sentiment because it’s one I strongly believe in.”

DQyI1KKU8AAJw87Elsewhere, ‘Backfire’ struts along on a stomping drum groove driven by thick distortion with lyrics “about pulling the short end of the straw and feeling vengeful”. Then there’s ‘Aftershock’. Hinging on hummable riffing, the track simmers at a steady swamp crawl before the Sabbathian refrain. “That’s a tune about feeling the effects of a situation long after it’s come and gone.” As Tyler Bryant & The Shakedown spend 2017 lighting up stages with the likes of Guns N’ Roses (again), The Who & Alice Cooper – as well as making their first appearance at Rock In Rio – this new album sees them fully realize their vision with a sound that resounds above the bleachers, plus a collective desire to keep the entertainment flag fully unfurled…

“I want people to put this on and literally escape,” Tyler leaves off. “I hope they feel free. That’s what rock ‘n’ roll makes me feel. You don’t have to think about your bills or any of the other things that have the power to bring you down when you’ve got your fist up in the air, your eyes closed and you’re lost in the music. Angus Young told me, ‘You’ve got to make the audience think you’re taking them on a journey, and they’ll go with you. If you believe it, they will too’. I believe it with this record.”


The Art of Punk & New Wave: 40yrs Gone!

24131550_1217731571703547_6651137756382422495_nThe Art of Punk and New Wave: Chalkie Davies and Denis O’Regan

UK’s Largest Punk & New Wave Exhibition …

1977 saw punk explode, with debut albums from The Damned, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam & Elvis Costello to name but a few. Blondie, The Ramones and Iggy Pop arrived from America and the 1970s ended with a bang! ‘The Fine Art Of Punk & New Wave’ hits the road, the largest photography exhibition tour of its kind, celebrating 40 years since the birth of a music genre that shook the world.

BMW/MINI showrooms are transformed into stunning art galleries each evening. Organised by music exhibition specialists Off Beat Lounge, the tour features the work of 1970’s New Musical Express (NME) photographers Chalkie Davies & Denis O’Regan, ensuring the definitive visual record of the period. These one-night-only events, with either Denis O’Regan or Chalkie Davies in attendance for VIP ticket-holder-only Q&A sessions, will take visitors back to arguably the most rebellious period ever seen in the music business. Featuring over 40 raucous live performances and whacky off-stage moments, along with a glimpse into the austere times that gave birth to punk and new wave, these events follow Off Beat exhibition tours that have featured Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie & Queen to national acclaim in recent years.

24296791_1219455091531195_388561787137966374_nAll events will run from 7:30pm to 9pm for standard admission tickets, COLLECTOR TICKET: Includes exhibition entry from 7:30pm, welcome drink, commemorative brochure and commemorative collector ticket. VIP TICKET: Includes access from 6:30pm for a Q & A session with Chalkie Davies or Denis O’Regan, a commemorative collector ticket, private viewing of the exhibition, the face value of your VIP ticket redeemable against print purchases, a commemorative brochure and the opportunity to pre-order and collect prints on the night for personalised signing. Please note: an advance ‘e-copy’ of The Art of Punk and New Wave catalogue will be emailed to VIP ticket holders in advance of the exhibition. This is the only way to order your prints in advance, to collect on the night. VIP ticket holders will be entitled to the full ticket value refunded against purchases of a print from the catalogue. One redeemable ticket per print only. Other terms and conditions apply.

Vans Warped Tour! End Of The Road!


The first Vans Warped Tour took place way back in 1995 and has been a staple of our scene and a highlight of the summer ever since. Vans Warped Tour founder Kevin Lyman has revealed that 2018 will see the last cross-country run for the festival. However the key wording in the statement is: “I sit here reflecting on the tour’s incredible history, what the final run means for our community, and look forward to what’s to come as we commemorate the tour’s historic 25th anniversary in 2019” As one chapter closes a new one is to open, as Joe Strummer said “The Future Is Un-Written”

DOykg-7W0AEl6CcYou can read a full statement from Kevin below:

“I have been a very lucky person to have traveled across the country and sometimes around the world as one of the founders and producers of the Vans Warped Tour. Today, with many mixed feelings, I am here to announce that next year will be the final, full cross-country run of the Vans Warped Tour. I sit here reflecting on the tour’s incredible history, what the final run means for our community, and look forward to what’s to come as we commemorate the tour’s historic 25th anniversary in 2019.

In 1995, I had already worked many years in the music business, including spending four summers on the Lollapalooza tour, and I thought, ‘for one summer I would like go out and put on my own show’ mixing music and action sports. With the support of so many people, I have now spent the last 23 summers bringing that show to a city near you. We have brought that show to over 11 million people around the world and watched that same world change while doing so. I have been proud to work with so many artists who have grown to be some of the largest stars in the world. Countless bands have played in hot parking lots & through summer storms for you at some point. Bands like Quicksand, Sublime, L7, No Use for A Name & No Doubt jumped on in the very first year.

Touring many summers with my friends and peers like – Pennywise, Social Distortion, NOFX, Bad Religion, The Descendents, Less Than Jake, Dropkick Murphy’s, The Bouncing Souls, Rancid, Flogging Molly, Anti-Flag & The Offspring are just some of my fondest memories. More include, having Blink-182 travel on my bus in 1997 when the world opened up to them and made them the superstars they are today. The Vans Warped Tour was the platform to witness the rise of pop punk with Sum 41, Simple Plan, MXPX, New Found Glory & Good Charlotte. The birth of Emo – with bands like Thrice, Thursday, The Used, Taking Back Sunday, The Starting Line, Motion City Soundtrack & Jimmy Eat World. Fast-forward to the summer in 2005 when TRL and Warped Tour helped launch the careers of Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance & Avenged Sevenfold. I witnessed Warped alumni like The Black Eyed Peas, Katy Perry, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, No Doubt & even Kid Rock play the Super Bowl. I’ve even had the pleasure of seeing Green Day play the Rose Bowl.

alarm warped 17More recently, I’ve watched bands start out on a small stage and work their way up to the main stages by meeting as many fans as possible and continuing to hone their craft while on the tour. Bands like Paramore, A Day To Remember, Sleeping With Sirens, Pierce The Veil, Echosmith, Motionless in White, Black Veil Brides, Every Time I Die, Neck Deep, Beartooth and so many more. What has always made me proud was when I read that Warped was the most diverse show of the summer where you could find Eminem & Ice-T on the same stages as Sevendust, Pennywise, & 7 Seconds. I am so grateful to have worked with more than 1,700 bands over the last 23 summers. I wish I could thank every band that has played the tour.

The Vans Warped Tour has become the community I had always hoped for. We have worked with over 90 non-profits each summer shining a light on new and growing groups giving our community the resources they need to connect with people who can help them, but also encourages our community to help each other. Love, Hope, Strength! To Write Love on Her Arms, Music Saves Lives, Feed The Children Now, Keep a Breast, Hope For The Day, Canvas Foundation, Living The Dream & A Voice for the Innocent have built their organizations from the Warped Tour parking lots across the country. This even inspired me to start my own foundation Unite the United. The work we do each summer on “give back days” has become part of our DNA. My brain is etched with the image of the church ladies after Katrina serving beans and rice to The Casualties with their upright mohawks, finding a common ground where no one was judging anyone. Then finding out the only working business in the county seemed to be the moonshine still and the locals showing up with a crate to share with the crew later that evening. The long hot days that ended around a BBQ with food, drink and more music are some of the best times. Enjoying the days off, taking people jet boating, house boating, river rafting and sometimes even skydiving. I witnessed lifelong friendships being made, sparks of romance that led to ‘Warped weddings,’ and unfortunately now, more notices of passings where a proper good bye was not able to be said.

11902257_1034264753275061_136139032372285680_nI want to thank my supportive family who has been through the highs and lows, Darryl Eaton at CAA, Steve Van Doren and Vans, Kate, Julie, Allison & Steph. My hard ass working crew who puts that show up and down each day, the sponsors which without them this tour would not happen, the bands and their crews, the promoters who took a risk on us at the beginning and continue to be supportive. It will be bittersweet each morning when I see the sun rise and then watch it set knowing that this will be the last time I get to witness it from that exact spot. Though the tour and the world have changed since ’95, the same feeling of having the ‘best summer ever’ will live on through the bands, the production teams, and the fans that come through at every stop.

The enduring spirit of the Vans Warped Tour remains as bright as ever, continuing to inspire creativity and ambition in new and exciting ways as we prepare for a 25th anniversary celebration in 2019. I truly look forward to seeing as many of you as possible during this final cross country run, and getting to thank you for your support on this wild adventure. Until then, take care and be safe.”

Mi-Tunes: Best ‘Punk’ Lp’s (73-80)

492360697Punk rock (or “punk“) is a rock music genre that developed in the early to mid-1970s in the United States, United Kingdom. Rooted in 1960s garage rock and other forms of what is now known as “proto-punk” music, punk rock bands rejected perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock. Punk bands typically produced short or fast-paced songs, with hard-edged melodies and singing styles, stripped-down instrumentation, and often political, anti-establishment lyrics. Punk embraces a DIY ethic; many bands self-produce recordings and distribute them through informal channels. The term “punk” was first used in relation to rock music by some American critics in the early 1970s, to describe garage bands and their devotees. By late 1976, bands such as the New York Dolls, Television, and the Ramones in New York City, the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Damned in London, and The Saints in Brisbane were recognized as the vanguard of a new musical movement. The following year saw punk rock spreading around the world, and it became a major cultural phenomenon in the United Kingdom. For the most part, punk took root in local scenes that tended to reject association with the mainstream. An associated punk subculture emerged, expressing youthful rebellion and characterized by distinctive styles of clothing and adornment (ranging from deliberately offensive T-shirts, leather jackets, spike bands and other studded or spiked jewelry to bondage and S&M clothes) and a variety of anti-authoritarian ideologies.

Turntable-41-41-Rooms-show-41** This list is my personal one of albums bought at the time (Vinyl/Cassette & still owned) & I have seen ALL but one band on the below list play live during this period.. Some of it can be described as ‘Goth’ ‘Glam’ ‘Rock’ even ‘Electronic’ But these albums were at the forefront of a musical revolution that was just as important as the 1st two waves of the late 50’s & the swinging sixties.. ‘Punk’ is a feeling, like Rock ‘n’ Roll… Music is subjective!

25) Iggy and The Stooges: ‘Raw Power’ (1973)

A band that was playing on the same scene at the same time as the MC5, the Stooges were at first more well-known for their onstage energy and antics (specifically those of frontman Iggy Pop) than for their music. It wasn’t until their third and last (at the time) album, 1973’s Raw Power, that the band really solidified the raw garage sound that would become a foundation for punk rock, especially in the States. Produced by David Bowie, Raw Power (as well as the band’s prior two albums) met with little reaction when it came out, and the band broke up shortly after. It would be a few years before the album would really be discovered, when American punk bands would begin to emulate it.

24) Ultravox! (1977)

Taking the energy and aggression of punk and giving it an art school sensibility, Ultravox! put together one of the era’s greatest albums. Their self-titled debut still stands tall as a unique statement amongst the pure adrenaline rush of so many others. Singer John Foxx led the band through three groundbreaking albums that added elements of Roxy Music and David Bowie in with vibrant 1977 energy. Tracks like ‘Sat’day Nite In The City Of The Dead,’ ‘Wide Boys‘ and the epic, ‘The Wild, The Beautiful and the Damned,’ sounded like no one else on the scene. Foxx split from the group in 1980 and the band then became more keyboard-centric. Throughout time, though, they always maintained their unique vision, making this ’77 album an essential from the era.

23) Joy Division: ‘Unknown Pleasures’ (1979)

No punk band ever displayed its alienation as grippingly as Joy Division. Ian Curtis’ foghorn baritone and the music’s ice-floe torpor inspired a goth-punk nation. Yet there was beauty in his keening voice and the band’s silvery clang. Curtis hung himself less than a year after the LP’s release.

22) The Damned: ‘Damned Damned Damned’ (1977)

Often overshadowed by the Pistols and the Clash, the Damned (whose first performance saw them open for the Sex Pistols) were actually the first UK punk band to release an album. The band’s 1977 Damned Damned Damned is exemplary, not only for its place in history, but also for the way the music holds up today. Take a listen to “Neat Neat Neat” and you’ll not only hear an honest sonic portrait of punk’s earliest UK moments, but also a great tune that holds up today.

21) The Buzzcocks ‘Singles Going Steady’ (1979)

The Buzzcocks were one of the greatest singles bands of all time and this compilation proves why. With machine gun fire, the hits just keep coming. Definitely an example of all killer, no filler, ‘Singles Going Steady’ is not only the perfect introduction to the Buzzcocks, but one of the best introductions to what made the era so special. These guys wrote ultra catchy songs rooted in the spirit of ’60s pop a la the Who and the Kinks, but within that framework, they added other distinct elements, the main one being their own unique personality. Pete Shelly was certainly one of the best tune-smiths around and this LP shows that off in spades. If you’re looking into the U.K. punk era, ‘Singles Going Steady’ is no doubt an essential.

20) Eddie and the Hot Rods ‘Life On the Line’ (1977)

Eddie and the Hot Rods were born out of the pub rock scene as it slowly mutated into the punk era. Raised on classic mid ’60s rock and roll, the Hot Rods took that classic template and updated it for the new era. While their debut, ‘Teenage Depression,‘ showed signs of greatness, it was their sophomore effort, ‘Life On The Line,’ that sealed the deal. ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ is one of the most glorious noises ever released. Triumphant, sparkling and melodic, it sets the stage for the album. More akin to power pop than punk, it rings loud and clear in ways that are confusing as to why it wasn’t a massive worldwide hit. ‘Quit This Town,’ ‘Life On the Line,’ ‘Ignore Them ‘... one after another, the songs were (and still are) classic rock and roll. The album closer, ‘Beginning of the End,’ is a monster and, perhaps, the closest the U.K. punks ever got to the spirit of the MC5.

19) X, ‘Los Angeles’ (1980)

While New York City was spitting out one kind of punk rock, the other side of the country was working with something different. The Los Angeles scene was, for the most part, bluesier and rootsier … at least until hardcore took over. X were the leading band of this early style, and their debut spins punk nihilism into a history lesson of desolation and waste.

18) Talking Heads: ‘Talking Heads: 77’ (1977)

Talking Heads were a whole bunch of things — New Wave, artsy, funky — but during their first few years they were definitely a punk band. They approached the music, and the lyrics, a different way than most of their peers, but they shared a fundamental aesthetic with most of the New York City bands they came of age with.

17) The Jam: ‘All Mod Cons’ (1978)

Dubbing himself “the Cappuccino kid,” the Jam’s Paul Weller channeled punk fervor into a Mod revival, inspired by the Kinks and the Who. Their third album is a snapshot of London life, from “‘A’ Bomb in Wardour Street” to “Down in the Tube Station at Midnight,” a salvo against rightwing punkers.

16) The Undertones: ‘The Undertones’ (1979)

These Irishmen made their name in 1978 with their excellent first single, “Teenage Kicks.” Their self-titled debut album from the following year is more of the same pop-splattered punk guided by Feargal Sharkey’s twitchy, distinct vocals.

15) Richard Hell & the Voidoids: ‘Blank Generation’ (1977)

Richard Hell was a member of Television and the Heartbreakers (Johnny Thunders’ band, not Tom Petty’s) before forming the Voidoids. They made only two albums; their first is the keeper, all punk indifference sung by one of the genre’s snottiest voices.

14) The Runaways (1976)

Chugga-chugga-paced hard rock sufficiently rudimentary to pass for punk, the debut by Kim Fowley’s teen-girl rock group is the missing link between the glitter-fetishism of Rodney’s English Disco and the day-glo punk of Los Angeles’ Masque club. Constructed around lingerie-clad singer Cherie Currie and moody guitarist Joan Jett, The Runaways cut up rough on “You Drive Me Wild”, with attitude aplenty on “Cherry Bomb”, but Jett felt there was revolutionary intent, too. “Girls playing rock’n’roll means that they’re being blatantly sexual,” she said. “And in America, girls and women aren’t allowed to be.”

13) The Dead Boys: ‘Young, Loud and Snotty’ (1977)

Formed from the remains of another legendary group, Rocket From The Tombs, Cleveland’s The Dead Boys, were influenced by Iggy Pop’s legendary live performances and sought to outdo them. A typical performance by the band included lewdness intended to provoke the audience and self-mutilation by band members (frontman Stiv Bators was known for slashing his stomach on the mic stand). As such, the band paved the way for performers that were more about violent shocking performances than about the music. Even so, a listen to 1977’s Young, Loud and Snotty quickly points out that they were musically talented and influential as well. Just one listen to the album’s opener, “Sonic Reducer,” justifies this album being on this list.

12) The Boomtown Rats: A Tonic for the Troops (1978),

Featured three hit singles, “Like Clockwork”, “She’s So Modern” and “Rat Trap”. The US version of the album (with a slightly different selection of tracks) came out the next year on Columbia Records. “Rat Trap”, which became the first rock song by an Irish band to reach No. 1 in the UK, and the first of any description by an Irish band to top the official chart used by the BBC. (The Bachelors had topped the Record Retailer chart in 1964 with “Diane”, but only reached No. 2 on the UK Singles Chart). In addition, “Rat Trap” was also the first new wave song to claim the number one spot.

11) The Skids: Scared to Dance (1979)

It was recorded at The Townhouse Studios in London, England with production and keyboards by David Batchelor. Guitarist (and future Big Country frontman) Stuart Adamson walked out towards the end of the sessions before all the guitar overdubs were completed. Session guitarist Chris Jenkins was chief maintenance engineer at Townhouse studios and completed the album using Adamson’s studio set up, adding additional guitar to four tracks – “Into the Valley”, “Integral Plot”, “Calling the Tune” and “Scared to Dance”. In the meantime, Adamson returned to Scotland when the recording was finished. He rejoined the band for the live concert tour promotion of the album. The record included “The Saints Are Coming”

10) Blondie: Parallel Lines (1978)

Ultra-slick and disco-literate, Blondie’s third album propelled US punk into another stratosphere. Regarded as lightweights by snarkier New York contemporaries, Blondie embraced their pop instincts by hiring Mike Chapman to oversee Parallel Lines, with the Sweet and Suzi Quatro producer corralling an odd ragbag of material – there are writing credits for five of the band’s six members, plus three cover versions – into a cogent whole. “Heart Of Glass” gave them a No 1 on both sides of the Atlantic, but the more nuanced “11:59” and “Fade Away And Radiate” hold their own amid a glut of hits.

9) Stiff Little Fingers: ‘Inflammable Material’ (1979)

Stiff Little Fingers don’t get as much attention as their early punk contemporaries, but their debut holds up with the best of them. Unlike many of their overseas contemporaries, Stiff Little Fingers were from Ireland, which gave their political (and personal) songs a somewhat different perspective. Plus, they sounded like they actually wanted to be played on the radio.

8) Suicide: ‘Suicide’ (1977)

Suicide were more than pioneering punks — they’re also instrumental in electronic, industrial and synth-rock (even Bruce Springsteen covered them). The duo paired minimalist electronic music (including early drum machines) to Alan Vega’s echo-heavy voice, which usually recited strung-together words that didn’t often fall together cohesively. Their recording career was scattered; their 1977 self-titled debut remains their most essential work.

7) Ian Dury: ‘New Boots and Panties!!’ (1977)

Like many artists from punk’s earliest days, Ian Dury wasn’t solely tied to the genre. His debut album also includes disco, New Wave and, most of all, pub rock. But Dury’s attitude was pure punk, and ‘New Boots and Panties!!’ was one of the first on the burgeoning scene.

6) Generation X: ‘Generation X’ (1978)

Though he made his biggest commercial mark in the Eighties, some of Billy Idol’s finest work can be found on the self-titled 1978 debut of London punks Generation X. Packed with zippy chord progressions, instantly catchy choruses and gobs of streetwise attitude – the patented Idol sneer was already in full effect – songs like “Ready Steady Go,” “Youth Youth Youth,” “One Hundred Punks” and the dramatic “Kiss Me Deadly” were generally considered too poppy and shallow to be taken seriously at the time, but they’ve aged remarkably well. “We were trying to communicate our experiences in a romantic but still realistic way, instead of just shouting grievances, as was the fashion at the time,” Idol wrote in his 2015 autobiography, Dancing With Myself. “This new direction pulled us away from the old punk, allowing us to maintain its aggression and attitude while advancing musically by exploring other, more complicated emotions and feelings.” The approach also left its mark on numerous pop-punk practitioners to come; as Billie Joe Armstrong put it back in 1994, when Rolling Stone asked him about being an icon for twentysomethings, “The only thing I know about Generation X is that I really liked their first record a lot.”

5) New York Dolls (1973)

Known more for being a glam outfit, the Dolls avoided the punk moniker simply because they were a few years too early. But they shared all of the same influences and in-your-face live aggression as the first punk bands. The band was even briefly one of Malcolm McLaren’s “projects.” Using the same sort of stunts he later used for the Sex Pistols, McLaren dressed the band in red leather and Communist imagery. It flopped. Their self-titled debut offers up a glimpse of what punk was about to be. With one foot in the past and one in the future, tunes like “Trash” and “Personality Crisis” are innovative for their time, making this an album that is historically important, as well as one one that warrants heavy rotation on your stereo now.

4) Johnny Thunders & The Heartbreakers: LAMF (1977)

It’s probably fitting that LAMF should be known for its murky mix. Featuring Dolls refugees (Johnny Thunders and Jerry Nolan) and compositions by Richard Hell and Dee Dee Ramone, a certain lack of clarity went with the territory. In love with extremity, but also nostalgic for the formulations of ’50s and ’60s pop, LAMF is junk rock in extremis, with a foot in more innocent times. The past had Chuck Berry and Keith Richards. In the future was Julian Casablancas. In the fleeting present, an all-too brief candle, were the Heartbreakers.

3) Ramones: ‘Ramones’ (1976)

You can argue that punk rock started in the late ’60s and early ’70s with bands like MC5 and the Stooges. You can even go back earlier to the Velvet Underground and the garage-rock scene of the mid-’60s. But punk rock as we know it today started right here with the Ramones’ first album, which set the basic template: two minutes, three chords and a sense that the future is bleak as hell.

2) Sex Pistols: ‘Never Mind the Bollocks – Here’s the Sex Pistols’ (1977)

The Ramones got there first, but if it wasn’t for the Sex Pistols’ debut (and only) album, punk may never have grown and thrived over the decades. ‘Never Mind the Bollocks … ‘ is angry, hateful and brimming with middle-finger-flashing spite. Everything that followed has been influenced by it one way or another. Decades after its debut, it still sounds relevant.

1) The Clash: ‘The Clash’ (1977)

The Clash made better albums (see 1979’s ‘London Calling’) and more ambitious ones (1980’s ‘Sandinista!’) but they never made a more pure punk record than their self-titled debut. The U.S. got a different version two years later. It’s great, but stick to the U.K. original.

Robs Records!’Factory, Joy, Order & Haçienda’

_79849879_robgretton-17240-001aaaROBS RECORDS
a proper wythenshawe boy

Born in Wythenshawe on 15 January 1953, Robert Leo Gretton was educated at St Bede’s College, a Roman Catholic grammar school, and after leaving took a job as an insurance clerk at Eagle Star. In 1975 he and partner Lesley Gilbert spent six months on a kibbutz in Israel, then travelled through Europe to Greece, eventually returning to Manchester in the summer of 1976. The pair missed both epochal Sex Pistols gigs at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, but were quickly drawn into the developing punk scene. Previously more interested in black music and soul, Gretton latched onto fellow Wythenshawe natives Slaughter and the Dogs, and with characteristic generosity contributed £200 towards the cost of producing their first single on Rabid Records, Cranked Up Really High. ‘They were quite a strange group,’ he observed later. ‘They used punk fashion to a certain degree, but they were more like glam rock. Their heroes were the New York Dolls, Bowie and Roxy. They ended up more like The Damned than the serious side of punk. The music they played was great, but no-one seemed to like them.’ Never quite their manager, Gretton instead produced a band fanzine and frequently travelled with the group, attending several gigs in London, including the infamous Roxy in Covent Garden.

Gretton determined to remain self-employed and worked hard on establishing a music career. As well as dabbling in gig promotion with Vinny Faal at The Oaks, a popular pub venue in Chorlton, Gretton also produced a fanzine called Manchester Rains (a punning riposte to Clash song London’s Burning) and took on management of punk hopefuls The Panik, whose members included guitarist Eric Random. The only single made by The Panik was itself the sole release on Rainy City Records, another Gretton business venture founded on a simple manifesto: ‘We’re so bored with London.’ Prophetically captioned It Won’t Sell, the EP was released in November 1977 and distributed through Rabid. Yet within four months The Panik had disintegrated, victims of disorganization, non-rehearsal and a lack of transport.

Joy_division2Gretton considered his next move carefully, and was profoundly impressed by Manchester band Joy Division after seeing them perform at the Stiff/Chiswick Challenge at Rafters on 14 April 1978. ‘I thought they were the best group I’d ever seen. There was something really weird about them. I’d met them before because they used to come to Rafters and ask me to play records by Kraftwerk; they always asked for pretty weird stuff. It was around then that people first said “Fascists” because they dressed so differently. They were smart, punky, but not scruffy; it was unusual. And the music was absolutely wonderful.’ The following day Gretton encountered guitarist Bernard Sumner in a city centre phone box. ‘Barney was on the phone to me,’ drummer Stephen Morris recalls, ‘and said that the bloke from Rafters was outside. He didn’t mention anything about Rob wanting to manage us, so when Rob came down to the rehearsal room it was all a bit awkward. Terry Mason had tried a bit of management, but basically Rob was first in a queue of one.’ In June Joy Division appeared on one of the opening nights at The Factory, a club promoting ‘the next music’ promoted by Tony Wilson and Alan Erasmus at the Russell Club in Hulme. Later in 1978 the venue became a label, Factory Records, one of the most influential labels in the history of recorded sound. Gretton and producer Martin Hannett became partners in Factory in 1979, joining founders Wilson, Erasmus and designer Peter Saville. ‘For me personally it is an experiment in art,’ said Wilson of Factory. ‘It has to do with art theory. For Rob Gretton, it’s to give people alternatives. For Alan Erasmus, it’s to keep from getting bored. We all have our motives.’

Besides managing Joy Division and then New Order, Gretton also occasionally dabbled in production, overseeing further singles by Section 25 and Foreign Press, and also a session by Repetition. Inspired by the first Factory outing to New York in September 1980, Gretton became the main instigator behind The Haçienda nightclub, opened by Factory as Fac 51 in May 1982, which would became the most famous dance club in the world after five lean years. Far more of a populist than Wilson, Gretton was keen to issue commercial records on Factory, but by 1984 he would admit to a degree of disillusion. ‘In the past few years the music scene has changed a lot, for the worse. Now everything’s very pop orientated. The established music press – the ones where you get print on your fingers – are dying off, and the big ones now are Smash Hits and Number One. I don’t think that’s a good thing particularly. One of our groups on Factory were trying to get an interview with Record Mirror, and they said they only deal with Top 100 groups, which to me seems a bit self-defeating. Everything’s gone a lot more superficial, and record buyers are a lot younger. Major record companies can work very successfully on these. children. At Factory we still basically believe that you don’t have to hype a group in any way, and that a record should succeed on its own. But it’s getting increasingly difficult. We put a record out by Marcel King and it’s hardly sold at all. The charts are wide open to hyping and marketing. I’m not totally sure that the people of Manchester particularly want The Haçienda. It’s part of the whole recession in anything that’s slightly different.’
Gretton differed with Wilson and Gretton over dance music. Wilson had little time for pure dance, deeming it ephemeral and shallow, with little or no artistic or intellectual intent. Gretton, in contrast, was an avid fan of black and dance music, and in 1982 had brought Wythenshawe soul sons 52nd Street to the label, as well as Quando Quango, an electro-dance group formed by his friend Mike Pickering. As House music gradually transformed The Haçienda – and the charts – during 1986 and 1987, the ongoing dialectic around House and dance at Factory saw the label fall behind. Gretton was unable to interest Wilson in licensing happening imports such as You’re Gonna Miss Me by Turntable Orchestra, and Pickering took dance projects such as T-Coy and Black Box to Deconstruction.

robs_bBy 1989 Gretton had decided to set up his own label, Robs Records, like Deconstruction, Robs would develop primarily as a dance label, and utilise a clean graphic identity designed by Mark Farrow. Unlike Factory, Gretton remained remarkably faithful to his punk-era ideals, shaping an independent label firmly rooted in Manchester and the North West, drawing mainly from a local talent pool, and licensing occasional imports by way of variety. Marketing funds were available where required, but there would be no name producers, no £100,000 deals, and no prestige headquarters. Instead Robs was run by a small staff from the Gainwest office at his Chorlton home, and later empty space above The Haçienda. These differences notwithstanding, over the next few years Robs Records came to resemble classic Factory more closely than Factory itself. ‘It’s my solo project,’ quipped Gretton. ‘Everyone else has got one, so I’m doing mine.’ Indifferent to generic baggy Madchester styles, Gretton finally opened his account in January 1991 with Security by The Beat Club, a duo comprising Ony Rodriguez and Mireya Valls. Security was originally issued in the States in 1988, and remixed as ROB1 by Bernard Sumner of New Order/Electronic, who also added additional vocals. Like Carino by T-Coy, the single indicated the likely direction of travel for Factory Dance, and also kickstarted Beat Club’s career. ‘Rob allowed me to pursue my love for the studio, and the artistic freedom an independent label allowed,’ says Ony Rodriguez. ‘He forever changed my attitude towards the business and defined the priorities for my career.’ Following on from the modest success of Security, Robs released a second Beat Club single, Dreams Were Made to be Broken, this time backed with a Manchester Mix by Martin Moscrop of A Certain Ratio. Not wishing to be left out, and recently freed from an unsatisfactory major label deal with A&M, Ratio themselves also joined the Robs roster, Gretton joking that the new venture could not be considered a proper label until it had lost money on a record by ACR. In fact Ratio thrived at their new home. Their first single on Robs was the much-loved 27 Forever, a song for the clutch of dead rock musicians eternally preserved at that mythical age. Its ravey, Technotronic-esque Jon Dasilva Fix Mix would soon become a ubiquitous Haçienda door wobbler, and was followed by Mello, The Planet and Wonder Y. Remaining prolific, Ratio stayed with Robs for five years and released two albums, Up In Downsville and Change The Station.

new-order-spread-22Although both Factory and Gretton missed a trick by failing to release compilation album Haçienda Classics in the middle of 1992, Fac 51 remained an important centre of operations for Gretton and his new label. A Robs Records party held on 4 March 1992 offered live sets by Ratio and house act Anambi, as well as DJ sets from Jon Dasilva, Dave Rofe (also founder of dance label DFM) and brothers Andy and Peter Robinson. Besides his involvement in Anambi, Andy Robinson had also played in both Life and Electronic, and would later co-manage New Order along with Rebecca Boulton. As Gretton’s assistant at Gainwest, Boulton also helped to run Robs and oversaw much of the admin. Another key signing came in 1992 when Rob was introduced to Sub Sub, a young Wilmslow trio managed by Rofe. Sub Sub had just enjoyed an underground club hit with their debut single Space Face, only to be dropped, inexplicably, by Virgin subsidiary Ten Records soon after. ‘Our first meeting with Rob was at Dry bar a year or so after Space Face had been released,’ says Andy Williams. ‘It was refreshing meeting him because he was totally straight with us. He said he liked what he heard and would love to release some tracks, but he didn’t actually have much money to spend on them. He said they couldn’t cost a lot to put out, but anything we made would be a 50/50 split, which actually worked really well for us.’ Sub Sub’s first release on Robs was the sublime Coast, an instrumental EP of MDMA-soaked Balearic gorgeousness, the title track of which can still be heard wafting through every other holiday programme on television. But it was to be Sub Sub’s second release on Robs, the single Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use), which really lit the touch paper for both band and label. As soon as the band had finished the demo, they realised it had potential as a crossover pop song, and could therefore use a vocal. They passed it onto a friend, singer Melanie Williams, who sassed up the existing melody and added a verse of her own. The final version was completed in just one night at Revolution studio in Cheadle Hulme. ‘You could feel the excitement in the studio,’ recalls Rofe. ‘Before Ain’t No Love, the band had been making great dance records, but they were a bit too different for a lot of the clubs. Ain’t No Love was more straight-up. We knew we had a hit on our hands.’

Later that week, Dave Rofe and Pete Robinson (who went on to run harder-edged Robs offshoot Pleasure) took the newly-minted DAT down to Sunset Radio to play on their Haçienda FM slot. By coincidence, their friends John Burgess and Paul Benney were down at the station taking photos for what would be a brand new Manchester-based dance music magazine. The picture of Dave and Pete airing Ain’t No Love made it on to the cover of the first ever issue of Jockey Slut. Needless to say, the track got a rave review. Exploding into life with a sample nicked from an old Disco Spectacular album (won by Andy Williams on a coconut shy at Knutsford Fair), Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use) was a number three hit in the UK in April 1993, going on to sell a quarter of a million copies. A final twist in the tale came when London Records released New Order’s Regret, the band’s first post-Factory single, in the same week that Ain’t No Love came out. New Order entered the charts at #4, but were held off the top three by a single on their own manager’s record label. Ain’t No Love transformed the fortunes of Sub Sub and Robs. The 50/50 profit split between label and band meant that Rob now had some cash to pump into the ailing Haçienda, and Sub Sub could move into their own studio complex on Blossom Street in Ancoats. This facility would become a vital component in the next chapter of the Robs story. ‘There were four rooms at Blossom Street,’ explains Dave Rofe. ‘We decided to sublet the other studios to pay for ours. So we ended up with Phil Kirby, the drummer from Yargo, in one room, and Simon Crompton from Digital Justice in the other. There was still a spare space, so I said to Rob, why don’t you have a programming room so we can get some kids in off the street and just see what happens. At the time Spirit studio were just starting to run their first music production courses, so we got Cromi [Crompton] and one of the lecturers there to pick out the two brightest kids on the course. The idea was to get some of the great young DJs that we were hearing into the studio with their records, and team them up with some whizz kids from Spirit. The ethos was trying to give people a little leg up so they could then go on to do what they wanted to do.’

Dojoji-Quincunx-2It worked. The Spirit kids were Liam Duggan, who engineered Mr Scruff’s classic Chicken in a Box, and Martin Desai, who became one half of J-Walk. Duggan went on to work with the likes of Roni Size and Grace Jones, while Desai is now head of audio at the School of Sound Recording (formerly Spirit). The DJs were Jake Purdy and Martin Fisher (aka Martin Brew), as well as Stefano and Paul Langley, whose epic Have You Had It EP as Rack-It! became the debut 12-inch on Pleasure. Martin Brew became one of the most prolific artists to emerge from Blossom Street, putting out an impressive total of twelve releases across both labels as Strange Brew (with Jake Purdy) and J-Walk (with Martin Desai). ‘Rob enjoyed being part of the dance fray,’ says writer John McCready, who with Jon Dasilva would himself issue a single on Robs as Hallelujah. Other Robs releases not featured on this compilation included Search, Robbie, Red Seal, Gold Coast and Vanilla Sound Corps. ‘Typical of his generosity of spirit, he wanted to encourage. He knew a lot of this stuff wasn’t fully formed and that some artists would go on to certain obscurity while others would flourish. Utterly playful sometimes and, yes, fundamentally Situationist, it was in some ways an extension of his social life and a kind of experiment. Rob was looking at what Soma, Warp and DMC were doing. He heard the simple practical joy in house music and connected with it immediately, stood by the bar, pushing his glasses up and absorbing all that energy like Yoda. He tried hard to make that label distinct, to make it un-Factory. He’d done Joy Division and wanted to lighten up and look forward. You can’t underestimate the personal emotional cost of being involved with that band and New Order. Robs was his unheavy holiday.’

By this point, 1995, Gretton’s varied musical enthusiasms were starting to pull the label in different directions. He was indulging his age-old passion for reggae with acts like Bad Man Wagon and Dan Man and the General, and also exploring soulful, downbeat styles via Flamingos and Mantech. Pleasure was created with the idea of focusing more rigidly on the dancefloor, and run by Peter Robinson. Artists included Prism, Spacer IV, Strange Brew, J-Walk and Mr Scruff, whose seminal Frolic EP was the fourth 12-inch to come out on Pleasure. Another home-grown talent, Andy Carthy started off knocking together loops and samples in the Robs Records programming room. When (as Mr Scruff) he was ready to turn these rough ideas into finished tracks, he was aided by Phil Kirby and Liam Duggen in Phil’s studio next door. Chicken in a Box went on to become a true Northern Quarter classic and helped launch Mr Scruff’s highly successful career as a DJ, cartoonist and tea fanatic. Yet another sublabel, Manchester Records, was set up to put out Gabrielle’s Wish and Jane Weaver tracks, Rob having fallen back in love with guitar music. However, Pleasure was far more prolific, with a strong of strong releases in 1997, including tracks from Chicago House don Roy Davis Jnr, and Knutsford’s own Spacer IV. Roy Davis was turned on to the label when Dave Rofe and Pete Robinson invited him to play their 5th Man night at The HaÁ. The three DJs got talking after the gig, and soon Roy sent over two tracks for release: Who is Billy? backed with slinky Egyptian Jazz. As Spacer IV, James Zeiter had enjoyed a big Euro hit in 1995 with his first release for Pleasure, the progressive house anthem Arc 3. Two years later his track Sirocco marked something of a departure, with its meditative Fender Rhodes and liquid basslines giving his friends Sub Sub a run for their money on the blissed-out Mediterranean beach vibes front.

rob_gretton_1_top_class_manager_cover_1_640In 1995 Louis Gordon and Simon Crompton of Digital Justice became the envy of technoheads all over Manchester with their epic twelve minute beatless masterpiece, Theme From: It’s All Gone Pear Shaped. The track reeks of the kind of melancholic euphoria that can only be cooked up in dank Ancoats studios on strong drugs, and has since become a big spin for Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Carl Craig, to name but three. Not bad for a track jammed out in one take and mastered onto a TDK cassette. Says Cromi: ‘The most memorable time I ever heard Pear Shaped being played out was on Millennium Eve. I was working in London away from my family and friends. I’d gone down to see Andrew Weatherall DJing with Leftfield. The bells came in at midnight, and then Pear Shaped came on, and Weatherall was just grinning at me from the behind the decks. I got straight on the phone to Louis and he was like, fuck off!’ The final record released on Robs was a Sub Sub single, This Time I’m Not Wrong, which, like Security by The Beat Club, featured Bernard Sumner on vocals. This track would also mark the end of Sub Sub, who not long before had lost all of their equipment when a fire destroyed the Blossom Street studio. The band overcame this setback, and returned with a more guitar-focused sound as Doves. Indeed Gretton oversaw the release of the first Doves single Cedar Room, issued on bespoke imprint Casino in 1998, but sadly Rob died after suffering a heart attack on 15 May 1999. He is sorely missed.

Despite this tragic loss, the Pleasure imprint continued until 2001 under the direction of Pete Robinson, achieving a big airplay hit with J-Walk’s filmic Soul Vibration on the way. Doves continue to thrive, achieving major international success on Heavenly/ EMI. Always the most involved member of New Order when it came to The Haçienda, bassist Peter Hook opened a new Factory-themed club in February 2010, Fac 251, and in his Haçienda memoir How Not To Run A Nightclub paid heartfelt tribute to Gretton and his hitherto undervalued label: ‘Rob always looked for ways to earn money, but it was always on his terms. In 1991 he started his own music label, Robs Records, which he operated with great success out of an upstairs office that he shared with his assistant, Rebecca Boulton, who took over the running of New Order when Rob died. He specialized in finding home-grown talent: most of the acts on Robs came from Manchester. He didn’t extensively scout for talent, either – he relied on Dave Rofe (Doves’ manager) and people like that to bring him the Manchester acts. Despite all the power at his disposal, he ignored anyone outside of our area. He hated everyone south of Chorlton. He wasn’t looking for the next Black Box. He preferred to back a group from Wythenshawe, like Doves or A Certain Ratio. It was a very purist attitude, but then he was a proper Wythenshawe boy.’

For more information on Robs Records and associated labels see:

71tHSxo-chL._SL1092_Auteur Labels \ Robs Records [LTMCD 2542]
The compilation series Auteur Labels profiles independent labels with a unique and enduring sound, vision and design sensibility, usually guided by one or two directors, concerned more with creativity than commerce. This volume looks at Robs Records, the pioneering Manchester dance imprint founded by Rob Gretton, manager of Joy Division/New Order and Factory partner.

CD tracklist
1. Sub Sub Ain’t No Love (Ain’t No Use)
2. The Beat Club Security (Bernard Sumner Remix)
3. A Certain Ratio 27 Forever (Jon Dasilva Mix)
4. Spacer IV Sirocco
5. Strangebrew Sky Life
6. Roy Davis Jnr & Jay Jiniel Egyptian Jazz
7. J-Walk Buggin’ Becky (Balihu Remix)
8. Mr Scruff Chicken in a Box
9. Aanmbi Our Love Climbs Higher (Extended Mix)
10. Rack-It! Tarantella Ritual
11. Digital Justice Theme From It’s All Gone Pear Shaped
12. A Certain Ratio Listen to the Sound
13. Sub Sub Inside of This

“Outstanding compilations, sophisticated scholarship’ (The Wire, 08/2008)

“LTM deliver another instalment in the extremely exciting Auteur Labels series, compiling the best tracks from the label prior to Rob Gretton’s death in 1999. Among them are pre-historic Factory workers A Certain Ratio, Roy Davis Jr, Sub Sub (later Doves) with their Number 3 hit Ain’t No Love and the early ambient uberhit Pear Shaped by Digital Justice. Strictly 90s and full-blooded” (Westzeit, 05/2010)

“For all the clichéd ‘disco sucks!’ rhetoric bandied about, the crossover between dance and punk musics are amusing. Sonically both bore repetitive, rhythmic passages topped with lyrics about boredom, drugs and sex. 80s dance punk/funk groups came and went (Swamp Children, Marine, APB, Maximum Joy) and the late 80s birthed A Guy Called Gerald, Soul II Soul and M People while the 90s represented a more linear sect of DJ/collage/House proponent (Sub Sub, Anamdi, Mr Scruff, Spacer IV, J-Walk, Strangebrew). Joy Division/New Order manager Rob Gretton helped fund Slaughter & The Dogs, helped establish post punk with Joy Division and New Order, and instigated dance club The Haçienda. While Anthony H. Wilson might not have agreed, Gretton himself knew it before anyone: ‘Disco RULES!'” (The Big Takeover, 09/2010)

Warrior Soul: Back On The Lash + Tour!

22730117_10211084073110250_8633496798101382327_nWARRIOR SOUL, the band fronted by legendary singer Kory Clarke, will release their new studio album, entitled ‘Back On The Lash‘ on December 1st, via Livewire/Cargo Records UK. Warrior Soul are back with profane sermons delivered at high velocity and maximum volume and this is what the new album is all about! ‘Back On The Lash’ is a powerful statement of intent from Kory and Warrior Soul. Kory Clarke is one of the last true rock n’ roll frontmen and since the classic ‘Last Decade Dead Century’ in 1990 he has continued to swim against the tide of mediocrity and safe rebellion. His last solo album ‘Payback’s A Bitch’ received the full score in Rolling Stone magazine upon release. This firebrand of political invective and rock n’ roll is back on the lash with a new album for 2017 and you won’t hear a more powerful or authentic album this year. It is everything you would expect aggressive, vile and wants to make you go to the bar and tell the planet to fuck off.

22687945_10211084072550236_7874840043022395406_n‘Back On The Lash‘ track listing:

1. American Idol 2. I Get Fucked Up 3. Back On The Lash 4. Further Decay 5. Thrill Seeker 6. Goin’ Broke Gettin’ High 7. Black Out 8. I’ve Got The Rock 9. That’s How We Roll.

“You mighta had dope, guns, and riots in the streets, but your kids have smartphones and Netflix and they could not care less about your cyclops revolution. Which is a bit of a nightmare for the last true rock star, a wild-card from the streets of Detroit, Kory Clarke who made his reputation and career on being the baddest motherf*cker in all of Badsville with an incendiary socio-political agenda and a roar-for-war that rattles mountains.” – Classic Rock

Kory Clarke should be considered and is one of the great Rock Stars of all time along with Bon Scott, Axl Rose and Micheal Monroe.” Lars UlrichMetallica on ‘It’s Electric‘ Apple Radio 1. 2017

22688622_10211084072830243_8149391277715845622_nUK Tour Dates are:

Nov 24th – Fuel – Cardiff
Nov 25th – Maverics Rock Bar – Burnley
Nov 27th – Subside – Birmingham
Nov 29th – The Live Rooms – Chester – Happy Birthday Kory Clarke !
Nov 30th – The Arches – Coventry
Dec 1st – The Facebar – Reading
Dec 2nd – The Joint – London – Live New Album Showcase
Dec 3rd – Croydon Festival – London

Stone Broken / Jared James Nichols / The Bad Flowers: 2018 Tour!

22788972_10214311336807007_6157781269628034184_nStone Broken can now reveal that they have joined the Spinefarm Records / Universal Music Group roster! The band say “It feels amazing to be able to follow our dreams and take SB to the next level! We have an awesome team behind us who all feel passionate about SB and what we stand for. We’re excited at what the future holds for us and can’t wait to share the next chapter of our journey with you all!”  Stone Broken​ then hit the road for their February and March 2018 UK tour. with Special Guests Jared James Nichols & The Bad Flowers.. The tour starts at The Haunt Brighton​ on Thursday 22nd February.

20620906_1004360676373641_6806393747089514928_nPlanet Rock 48-Hour Ticket Pre-sale Wednesday 25th October at 10am. Tickets on sale to the general public at 10am on Friday 27th October from MyTickets via this link –

The Haunt Brighton – Thursday 22 February
London, Islington Assembly Hall – Saturday 24 February
Manchester Academy – Sunday 25 February
Glasgow The Garage 2 – Monday 26 February
Riverside Newcastle – Wednesday 28 February
Nottingham, Rescue Rooms – Thursday 01 March
Pontypridd Muni Arts Centre – Friday 02 March
O2 Institute Birmingham2 – Saturday 03 March
Sheffield Corporation – Sunday 04 March
Chester The Live Rooms – Tuesday 06 March
The Fleece Bristol – Wednesday 07 March

14514The Wisconsin-born, Los Angles based singer and guitarist, Jared James Nichols, releases his new album “Black Magic” on Friday 27th October via Listenable records. All tracks on the new album were recorded at The Boneyard in Boston as well as Johnny Depp’s home studio in Los Angeles and produced and co-written by Tony Perry and Jared James Nichols. Jared has built up a solid reputation as a stunning heavy edged blues rock act and stage beast, having shared stages with the likes of ZZ Top, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Zaak Wylde, Glenn Hughes, Walter Trout, Blue Oyster Cult, UFO and Saxon .

The-Bad-Flowers-Sunflower-WebsiteThe Bad Flowers formed from the depths of the Black Country in 2014 comprised of lead vocalist and guitarist, Tom Leighton, whose signature riffs, fuzz emotive guitar and pure vocals have distinctive sound unlike anybody else. Bassist Dale Bollard Tonks provides a deep heavy groove and tasty bass runs that underpins Karl Selickis’ chest pumping drums and impeccable rhythmic feel. The band will release a new single “Secrets” in January to support the release of their debut album, “Starting Gun”, released on February 16th, 2018. The band just finished supporting The Picturebooks on their recent UK tour.