Bastille Day Anarchy in the UK
All about Punk now, a visual account of the chaos we're heading to, the soundtrack of revolt, the art of discontent.
What's been happening in March 2018
I Still Wanna Be Me
Jubilee - Lyric Theatre Hammersmith
After the original film Jubilee by Derek Jarman was released 40 years ago comes a stage adaptation by Chris Goode. Jubilee played a major part in some people’s lives, Chris Goode amongst them who declared in the Q&A after the play that it was his favourite film. Its aesthetic, violence and energy certainly played a huge part in mine up to this day.
Read the full review here.
Godfather of Punk
This is a documentary currently shown on Netflix about the life of Danny Field. Through archives and interviews, we follow his extraordinaire career as an accidental talent scout. From the late 60’s with The Doors to the mid-70’s with The Ramones, Field is the man without whom Punk wouldn’t have happened as we know it. Signing The Stooges AND MC5 was a genius move, all happening in a haphazard way where instincts more than money dictated his decisions. Nico and Lou Reed were his friends, we find him in New York in the company of Eddie Sedgwick whom he introduced to Warhol. When Punk happened he was at the right place at the right time, ready to make new connections and back seminal bands like the Ramones and Blondie. Most of his friends are now dead, but the icons of that time remain.
The enemy is dead
N.M.E. is no more
The NME has ceased publishing in print after 66 years. A symptom more than real news, it’s been crap for a while now. The sad news is the death of music as we knew it which led to the NME’s demise. A symptom of our times. Apparently there’s never been so much music around. But quantity doesn’t mean music bringing people together as it used to. The NME was cult; you used to buy it because you belonged. There’s never been so much loneliness, the NME is no more and we ought to worry about what it means for the youth of today who find themselves locked behind screens with little opportunities to meet in real life. Add to publications closing down, clubs, small venues and pubs, music shops and whole areas falling into the hands of developers who couldn’t give a toss about heritage. Love it or hate it, the NME was part of it.
What's been happening in January 2018
The Final Fall
Mark E. Smith has died
Absolutely shocked and gutted. Mark E. Smith the singer of The Fall has died at 60 after a long illness of the respiratory system. We expected Shane McGowan to give up the Holy Ghost, but the news came as a shock indeed. Truly irreplaceable, I was always looking forward their new recordings and live appearances. I have not much left instead, as many fans will find. Hard to take as he left a unique musical legacy that no other bands can match. He'll be truly missed especially these days when personality rhyme with fakery more often than not.
I remember seeing them at the Electric Brixton a few years ago. The security guy near the stage was staring at him, genuinely puzzled to see that drunken, badly dressed old bloke being the star of the show. He looked like he belonged to the gutter when in fact he was delivering one of his best performances. The Fall were mighty that night, with two drummers at the back and a solid performance by the rest of the band. It was so powerful I thought they'd all have a heart attack.
More here from the BBC . I thoroughly recommend his autobiography which is the funniest I've ever read, Renegade.
Not so fast Eddie!
You're the one
Shane McGowan celebrates his 60th birthday - By Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams, departing President of Sinn Féin, has published a review of the celebrations in Dublin where everybody who is anybody in the music scene in Ireland and beyond was invited on stage, including Sinéad O'Connor who suffered a grave mental breakdown a few months ago. It was a joyous occasion as Adams recounts in his usual debonnaire fashion. Read it here.
The last Motörhead has gone
"Fast" Eddie Clarke the guitarist has died at 67. He was part of the "classic" Motörhead line-up along with Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor and Lemmy. He left in 1982 after a disagreement over a recording session with The Plasmatics. Lemmy was involved at that time with their singer Wendy which may have got up Eddie's nose. He was proud to have written the riff for "Ace of Spades", for which he'll be forever remembered. He was part of the success Motörhead enjoyed making them a legendary band with iconic recordings such as Motörhead, Overkill, Ace of Spades, No Sleep 'till Hammersmith and Iron Fist. They invented Speed Metal, a cross between classic Heavy Metal/Blues/R n' R and Punk.
A few weeks before his death I downloaded the picture left with a clear date behind him. It was taken in New York early in the 80's. I posted it online at his death. He died on the exact day and month written on the photo, on 10/01.
What's been happening in November 2017
Idles - Live Review
The Village Underground,
Shoreditch - 23rd November 2017
+ Life, Base Kite (/Savages)
Give Subculture a Home
Want to save youth culture for posterity? YOUTH CLUB seeks £50,000 to help open our first permanent work and event space for the preservation, education & celebration of UK Youth Culture. if you think that's a good idea, you can donate here. YOUTH CLUB has a pop-up space on Carnaby Street where you can shop, visit exhibitions and attend events ... where wee used to be chased by the police for frightening tourists. Bloody ironic.
Songs of paradise
The British Guide To Showing-Off
This is a gem of a film. Artist Andrew Logan, best known for staging The Alternative Miss World pageant, is the subject of this fab documentary that charts the ups and downs of trying to organise this legendary event against all odds throughout the decades. What we got here is an account of an aspect of British culture as lived by those who dared to do things as flamboyantly as possible. Starting in the late 60's, from acid trips to giant flowers on Biba's garden roof, the event itself was born in 1972, went through the Punk period, New Romantics, and on to the 21st Century, when it is still alive and kicking. It's a vivid account of life before Brexit, when English eccentrics led the world and made life more exciting for all of us. Animated collages help to make it a perfect world where freedom of expression really meant something. Watch it on iplayer here.
One good resolution for 2018
Ed Sheeran on Gogglebox
The ubiquitous troubadour of pop was participating to a Celebrity Gogglebox for Stand Up To Cancer. Watching University Challenge, we had to identify the soundtrack to a film and the title of the film. When the theme tune of Trainspotting Lust for Life came on, dear young Eddie yelled: "The Clash!" At least, I hope he gave a few of his millions to the charity to make up for his bewildering lack of pop culture.
100 Club Presents Resolution Festival
A two-week celebration of classic punk in its spiritual home in January 2018.
FULL FESTIVAL LINE UP
Thur 4th THE VIBRATORS + The Lurkers
Fri 5th ANWL + The Defects + Borrowed Time
Sat 6th THE BOYS + The Heavy Drapes + The Vulz
Sun 7th ANTI-PASTI + The Varukers + Knock Off
Mon 8th TBC
Tue 9th TBC
Wed 10th SUBHUMANS + Criminal Mind
Thur 11th VICE SQUAD + Menace + Nick Cash (999 solo set)
Fri 12th GBH + Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life
Sat 13th TBC
Sun 14th UK SUBS + Ramonas "Original"
Life - Popular Music 5/5 energizing
The Fall - New Facts Emerge 3/5 grinding
Idles - Brutalism 5/5 incendiary
Wire - Silver/Lead 4/5 acerbic
Paul Weller - A Kind Revolution 3/5 fizzling out
Slaves - Take Control 4/5 exciting
The Ruts - Music must Destroy 4/5 reliable
PJ Harvey - The Hope Six Demolition Project 3/5 tedious
Dexys Do Irish And Country Soul 5/5 surprising
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression 5/5 masterful
Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression Live at the Royal Albert Hall DVD 5/5 unforgettable
Jim Jarmusch - Gimme Danger The Story of The Stooges DVD 4/5 legendary
What's been happening in October 2017
Slaves for Fender
Laurie has made a short film for the Fender Offset series where he talks briefly about his musicianship. Watch it here.
Punk in the North Ouest
On Great little feature in the Guardian about the Punk scene in Cumbria, where musicians of all ages sing and play punk rock with plenty to still rebel against.
Read it here.
Enjoy Halloween courtesy of Lemmy R.I.P.
In the news ...
Dylan Jones Q&A (I-D, GQ Editor)
If you could relive six months of your life, when would it be? The summer of 1977 when I first moved to London. I was a student at Chelsea School of Art and going to loads of punk gigs.
Recommend a book form the past year. 'Some Fantastic Place' by Chris Difford, which is about his life int eh band Squeeze and is a great read.
Who has inspired you most in your career? Terry Jones who co-founded I-D magazine. He taught me how to get the work-life balance right.
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of the BBC Introducing, Slaves have played 'Sugar Coated Bitter Truth'. Watch their fantastic live performance here.
Johnny has voted for his favourite postcard in The Great British Postcard Competition. It's called 'End of the Road' and you can see it here.
"When I saw 'End of the road', I nearly fell off my chair laughing. It reminds me of having a cigarette in the backyard of a Great British pub – that's the view you get. I love it. It's beautiful and skillful, and I want a large print of it!" – John Lydon
The Damned have a new biography 'Smash it Up - A Decade of Chaos with the Damned' written by Kieron Tyler, which sounds ... smashing! The birth of Punk, Stiff Records, Motörhead, speed and survival.
... reveals she doesn't wash often. They say cleanliness is next to Godliness. Dirty mind, dirty girl. Quelle surprise.
Too Young for What?
On Saturday 7 October the Barbican along with Poet in the City organised a day of performances and workshops based on the life and works of Basquiat to inspire the artists of tomorrow. "Too Young For What?" was based around creating photographic portraits, mini zines, murals, new poems and performance pieces in response to the event's themes.
Read the full review of the day and exhibition here .
How to make your own mini zine here.
Plastic People of the Universe
Lou Reed: A Life by AnthonyDeCurtis
A biography by a friend of Reed who actually knew him. Read extracts of the book published in the Guardian about Berlin, the album, and Vaclav Havel, plus a Q&A. Sounds pretty good.
Published by Jonathan Murray, £25.
What's been happening in September 2017
Take NO for an answer
John Lydon - Channel 4 News
John Lydon, one of the judges of Your Britain on a Postcard Competition (see July, below), has appeared on Channel 4 News to comment on some of the entries. Interviewed by Fatima Manji, Lydon sporting a PERM and behaving as his customary obnoxious self, told her to stop being childish and made the usual remarks about the state of Britain today, politicians, the NHS, and Donald Trump. His favourite postcard was of a wounded lion and you can watch the whole thing here .
"Ugly scar. It's sad"
- John Lydon on Grenfell Tower
SHOUT! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock
-a film about Mick Rock by Mick Rock
Available on Netflix, worth watching for the fascinating life the legendary Mick Rock led as a rock photographer. His most celebrated work belongs to the Glam period, just before Punk, where inspirational performers like Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy made him a name to reckon with. His pictures transformed them into icons. Among them the cover shot for Lou Reed’s Transformer. Read the full review here.
Please shoot me
China's Pop Idols - Unreported World
Channel 4 excellent series Unreported World send Theroux to interview musicians in authoritarian China where censorship and the fear of reprisals are too real. Punks, Hip-Hop artists and rappers tell of their constant struggle against a system that deprives them of any freedom of speech and means to perform in plain sight. A rare eye-opener indeed. Watch here .
God Save The Bean
Fancy a Punk version of your favourite Mexican food? Now you can find it in a Rock cookbook out next month The Dark Side of the Spoon. Put together by three friends who love cooking and good old Rn'R, each recipe is dedicated to a band or a singer and illustrated by a different artist. It features 30 real recipes including Beef Patty Smith, and even if you don't cook you can still enjoy the art. Published by Laurence King £9.99.
Basquiat by Banksi
Two of the most significant graffiti street artists taking over once again the walls of the city. To show his admiration for the former, Banksi has created a mural promoting the new Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican. A black man being frisked by a white policeman and an immigration officer. A powerful visual message to say that nothing has changed since the days when Basquiat couldn't even gain entrance to his own exhibitions because he was black. Full review here.
We're Still Here
Heard of Tata in Port Talbot who wants to close their plant? And of their workers hanging on by a thread? A disgraceful situation which threaten the last of British steel industry and a whole community depending on it. We never hear about these working class heroes anymore, they're no longer fashionable. Except that in Port Talbot they decided to get heard and with the National Theatre Wales, have created a powerful play where the workers have decided to say "NO". No to unemployment, no to poverty, no to threats, no to the destruction of a whole community and to their children's future. A loud, sweary, punky production featuring Motherfucker by The Idles. To give you an idea. Tata, are you still listening?
Bully boy tactics
Joe Corré, son of McLaren and Westwood and long-time environmentalist has stepped in defense of anti-fracking protesters. He's challenging an injunction preventing them from protesting by threatening them with imprisonment, fines and seizing of assets. He has submitted an application in the high court objecting to the injunction. He's accusing Ineos, the petrochemical giant founded by a billionaire to use the injunction as a “draconian, anti-democratic and oppressive” mean to silence opinions and opposition to fracking.
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