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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Rebellion Festival 2016 - Descendents Thursday Review

Rebellion Festival 2016 - Thursday

This was my third trip to Rebellion Festival and the line up seems to be getting better and more diverse as time goes by. It’s getting more popular now, and this was shown through Day Tickets being sold out for Thursday and Saturday. I decided to take in the Thursday show with bunch of friends, and we started the day off with a mandatory game of mini golf on the pier. Adventure Golf by the entrance to the Pleasure Beach is always a treat to play as it’s taxing and was once the venue for the UK Mini Golf championships. This means we missed Leeds band GEOFFREY OI!COTT whose lead singer Jason claimed had the second largest crowd on the stage that day.

First up was PEARS on the Main Stage – fast, slightly technical hardcore with somewhat melodic vocals – it’s a shame because due to their style it would have been better to see them in a smaller room or club show. Then we went to see CJ RAMONE on the new outdoor ‘Tower’ stage. This is the second band I have seen with a Ramone in them, the first being Marky Ramone playing drums for the Misfits but also playing Ramones songs. The stage was situated in a car park with the Blackpool Tower looming in the background – a great setting. The sun was shining and the band got the festival vibe right by playing 80% Ramones songs – the crowd was full of smiling faces – it was beautiful. There was an awkward moment when CJ asked, “Is anyone here in the military?” To which 2 or 3 people raised there hands and everyone went quiet. He then dedicated the next song to those people who “do what’s right for their country” – cue awkward silence. Despite that blip, it was a great set, and everyone loved it.
The new outdoor 'Tower' Arena
The next band outside was FLAG, thankfully without the aggrandizement of egomanic HENRY ROLLINS on vocals, and KEITH MORRIS instead. There were also two guys from Descendents in the band. They played a greatest hits set, the pit was brutal, and there were lots of singalongs. In true buzzkill style they ended on ‘Damaged’. Then we got to see THE BOUNCING SOULS, and the crowd was much smaller than the packed CJ, so we got real close to the front. The Souls were full of energy and played a range of their greatest hits. If you’ve got kids, the singer has another band with his wife called PLAY DATE that play punk inspired indie pop anthems designed for kids – check ‘em out. There were lots of good singalongs throughout the set for classics such as ‘Hopeless Romantic’.

We were going to see T.S.O.L. but we got carried away with cheaper street drinking, and we needed a fish & chips pit stop. In order to ensure entry to the venue we went to the Main Stage early, and caught the last few songs of another Leeds band ABRASIVE WHEELS. Box ticked. A couple more Gin & Tonics set us on our way, and then we headed right down the front for the main event, and the real reason we were here, DESCENDENTS. For some reason the new record feels more exciting than the 2004 comeback, and this gig feels more special than when I saw them at Berlin Monster Bash in 2007. I guess with it being the first show of their world tour to promote the album, and the historical significance of it being at Rebellion added to it.

From the moment they kicked off launching into ‘Everything Sucks’, it was immense. They played 30 songs in just over an hour, with minimal talking in between. They played stuff from all four decades of their existence, and mixed it all around, so you were never quite sure what was coming next. I had some great singalongs to ‘Talking’, ‘Nothing With You’, and ‘Suburban Home’. They also played a bunch of songs from the new album, which is classic Descendents, and combines manly elements of their previous work in the songs. Particular highlights are the tearjerking ‘Without Love’, and the humorous ‘On Paper’, which I would recommend as a starting point if you are jumping in as a casual listener. It was a great set, with a great pit, and made us leave the venue with big smiles on our faces. Top work Rebellion Festivals! That’s BAD RELIGION, NOFX, and DESCENDENTS from the USA side of punk rock I have seen headline now. Who’s next? RANCID I hope. Or BAD RELIGION again. Looking forward to more great Rebellion Festivals in the future.


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Puntala Rock 2016 - Lempäälä, Finland (Finnglish Version)

Puntala Rock 2016

Lempäälä, Finland

[Finnglish Language Version]

Hero Dishonest
The people that didn’t read my old zine ‘waterintobeer’ (which is now a real ale shop in London I might add) will not realise that I studied at the University of Helsinki in 2004 as part of the Erasmus programme, and it was during this time that I made many friends in the Finnish punk scene. I have travelled back around Finland every two years, and this time I came back to visit friends with the central focus on attending my third ‘Puntala Rock’ Festival.

The clue is in the name. It’s easy to associate this festival with some crusty connotations, and think that this festival is only about drinking Kilju (moonshine) and listening to bands that sound like Kaaos! Maybe it was more like that in folklore history, but actually from the times I attend it is more diverse line up under the banner of ‘rock’ but with the bands following punk spirit or attitude.

[Please note I try write in more broken English and in style which I see the language when I use translate on the Finnish article – to try make more understanding for foreign people]. We call this FINNGLISH.

I had limited slot for travel this year (because I am father now), and Puntala won the choice visit because my good friends in Hero Dishonest (who I have roadied for many times and probably seen 66 times) were playing, as well as good sing-along headline of D.O.A. and of course special visit from USA with LOS CRUDOS and from Japan with TETSU-ARREY.

I arrive in Helsinki and Juha is driving the car to collect me (we are reaching that age now where we al have cars and can make convenient life for each other), and Lasse immediately hands me a cold bottle of strong Brooklyn Ale. Mita Vittua! The globalisation is now coming into beer and they have many real ales now (including Finnish ones) so there is no longer any choice between the old five Finnish shitty beer (Krapin Kulta, Karalja, Sina Sina Olvi, Koff Koff Koff, und Karhu bear machine – well they still serve the beer mostly in the bars from the shitty machines - but you can’t have the whole of the Eastern Front).

First visit is new experience, as we go with Vellu to his new house, living in Finnish countryside of Pukkila (1 hour North East of Helsinki), near Mäntsälä train station. It is beautiful old traditional Finnish wooden house with terrace, separate house of pony stable and sauna, and third(!) house of music practice and recording space!  There is also huge garden space in middle of forest. They win Finnish house lottery!

Now all the children and animals are away we engage in long Finnish tradition of taking one slow drink, and then immediately to start to smash down many Koskenkorva and house present Single Malt. Then we skip main food and bring out the cheese and cider, and then whirlwind of drunkenness begins. We take two traditional Finnish sauna, which is proper moist, and not dry like shitty electric ones. This follows with ‘having a jam’ in the music room, making one random song together, and the worlds worst cover of ‘American Cheesus’ by Paha Uskonto. Miina and I can later be found passed out in alcholocaust somewhere, and Lasse & Vellu find time to listen to the real Bad Religion and talk about shitty Finland Prime Minister.

Finland once leader of classic Scandinavian socialist democracy now finds itself being governed by three right wing party coalition! Including one extreme right, True Finns, which is run by redneck hicks, and make surprise gains in last election. So popular now that fucking leader is Foreign Minister! Bit stupid and crazy and similar to some stupid decision to make Boris Johnson racist ape Foreign Minister of UK. Now like UK, ‘everyday racism’ is becoming more common, and more people ignore and let it be. Now even the police move the black people away when ‘Soldiers of Odin’ (Neo-Nazi street thugs) make demonstration rather than protecting them. Also True Finns make no slow action in government, already they change immigration policy to mark Iraq & Afghanistan as now ‘safe places’ so all the refuges must go home, even if they have serious threat from ISIS or other crazy ass people. The only good thing we may find is that this makes the punk music angrier and better.

All day hangover, breakfast, and Sauna is followed by two hours in car to Puntala. Lonkero (Gin Long Drin with Grapefruit) is already flowing and we arrive to sunshine, carrying the gear to the guest area, and set up the tent. Now there is strong Rum mixes being poured to catch up from the two hours missed. In the background is playing LASTEN HAUTAUSMAA, which is good poppy melodic music with lyrics about death and war. The guitarists other band KIVESVETO GO GO also has good lyrics about small town Finnish life, and they make funny songs like about ‘Penalties for Child Molestation are lower in Eastern Finland’.

First band to watch on the Main Stage is PERTTI KURIKAN NIMIPÄIVÄT, which gives first opportunity to unlock first musical achievement on watching European artist that has played Eurovision. I already get the UK badge from watching GINA G ‘Ooh Ahh Just a little bit’ 10 years previous. The crowd is going wild for it. In case you don’t know, these are disabled (not D-beat Dis) band that projectile vomited into the mainstream with help from twisted mastermind music counsellor, that play and sing songs about impossible life and oppression of disabled people in Finland, mix with punk humour. The singer is naked on the stage, and they are singing a song with the lyrics “I went to church, drank a coffee, then take a shit”. There you go, perfect.

Pertti Kurikan Nimipaivat
Then despite long standing (justified) political and war hatred to Russia from Finnish nation, the Puntala crew continue to extend the hand to the nice punk proletariat and again invite Russian band to play. This time we have DUKE NUKEM, looking menacing and playing tough hardcore style. Audience gives strong appreciation and solidarity, and drummer is young person outside of Russia for the first time. Huuva!

Now HERO DISHONEST is welcomed back into the main fold with late appearance on main stage. They play mostly songs from new (7th studio) and last records, with a few old ones at the end. It’s good now that they are singing in Finnish, as last two records in English was running out of commentary and only making obscure reference to popular culture. New songs are sounding great, fast, and lyric flowing better in native language. In fact new record only features the shorter and more punchy songs, and they ignore the long style songs that were feature of previous record ‘Alle Lujaa’. Patu from Abnormi joins them for last song after sitting on drum riser for whole set. Crowd is dancing a lot and enjoying throughout.

Camp stage sees ANTI-CORPOS from Brazil with other gender & sexuality take on fast hardcore, and then the anger is mellowed on the main stage with post-rock vibe from SUR-RUR. Headline on Camp Stage is GENERALS, which is fast GBH style, and perfect end for majority audience (Read more about them in better Finnglish here: https://nosenseontheeasternfront.blogspot.co.uk/2016/07/generals.html )

Last band is INTERROBANG?! from Leeds/Brighton in UK. I was even sitting next to guitar player on the plane but I didn’t know because they dress more strong style. Singer is once from Chumbawamba, and music not so fast and aggressive so nobody get knocked, and then get up again. Music is like post-punk, mix in some grooves and loops, and kind of spoken word / poetry on the vocals. Some people criticise the lyrical content for being Smart-arse arty style, but I think this is perfect because I subscribe to Marxist dogma of GRAMSCI that we must create ‘organic intellectuals’ of working class people, to make them into future leaders. Already these people make some good positive social justice life choices, and some other people from Chumbawamba also make amazing and acclaimed theatre shows in Leeds called Red Ladder. Anyway, the music and sounds bring perfect wind down from all the energy and aggression from the day, but also manage to get the butt moving for a shake down.

Then after the show buying a kansalaistottelemattomuus t-shirt, I witness polite but little 
awkward conversation between Deek (singer from Oi Polloi) and Bruce (singer from 
Chumbawamba / Oi Polloi). They had worked together in the past on anarcho poitical music
scene but after Chumbawamba went to major label they had a falling out, and Oi-Polloi released
a track on Anti-Chumbawamba record. It appeared that this was maybe first time they meet since 
then. One quote I remember from Deek was ”I preferred your earlier stuff” and firing back was 
Bruce with ”I’ve heard of what your band is doing, but not the music”. It was of course in true 
Puntala style, jovial and respectful, however I did sense some awkwardness. It felt like good place
to heal any imagined wounds. 
But you know, in the 1980s and early 1990s ‘selling out’ was big thing in punk-rock. Even Finnish
hardcore band ENDSTAND wrote a song about their disappointment with Chumbawamba. Of 
course now, in the digital age where bands all have more power, these arguments seem silly, and
I wonder actually how many people still give a fuck? Personally I believe in entryism, and to try 
and enter system to divert resources and power back to people. Whatever you may think of the 
whole Chumbawamba issue, they took enough to make stable life for family and they donated a 
large majority of the money they made from major label to environmental groups and social 
centres around the world – so hopefully this bring long term change and history will absolve 
them. They are one of the few institutions in my hometown of Leeds that I have civic pride for.  
Difficult conversations
Of course there is always some noise of music or shit talking in Puntala, so the only option is passing out in the tent. Jussi had the party van in full flow, playing the booty-rap and cheesy pop to make the welcome break from the rock. I awoke at 4am to take a piss and find Vellu in praying Mantis position behind a car, with his skin cold. So I take him into the tent and we sleep some more. I wake again at 8am, and take strategic approach and drink two Radlers (shandy) sitting around the campfire watching Jesus from Bradford and two guys from Generals singing to classic Finnish pop rock, whilst talking to hippies about recycling, and then meeting people from Scarborough who play later. This take edge off hangover, and make me able to sleep for two hours more.

Vellu awakes from slumber and we manage to catch the end of breakfast when the line is small. Thankfully the porridge is finished so we only eat bread, cheese, and egg. Then we take custom naked swim in the adjacent lake, to cool the body and shake the hangover. Vellu takes the edge, and I decide on only option to start drinking perfect hangover Lonkero. 12 hours of bands to follow.

First few bands have lots of females involved and great to see more equal representation and activity in the scene. LAISKAT SILMAT is playing first and has nice melodic style. Unfortunately too much Lonkero means the next few are a blur / merging together. JENNA JOPO everybody is dressed up in best clothes, and APATHETICS make nice melodic punk rock sound with addition of keyboard too.

I make my first trip to the bar, €6 for 0.33l can, welcome to Finland! I join singer and guitar player from RIISTETYT and they remember me from when I booked them a UK/Eire tour in sometime like 2009. We watch FORCA MACABRA (who played all the time in Factory / Helsinki in 2004) who play with Brazilian guitarist from ARMAGEDON to celebrate record from 30 years ago. The organisers make smart decision to make old alcholocaust bands play in the evening.

Then it was MIETTIIN on Camp Stage that play nice melodic style. Unfortunately we see some rain, small hard shower, and SATANIC MALFUNCTIONS from UK have to bear the onslaught. I watched from Info Hut, in cover, and they make a strong style of hardcore, with dedicated punks at the front making enjoyment. There was small break now, so was perfect opportunity to sleep some more and listen to rain on the tent.

Thankfully it stopped for the rest of the festival, and was able to enjoy the classic sounds of RIISTETYT, one of the best originals. Then it was a very special occasion, because classic Latino hardcore band from USA, LOS CRUDOS, is playing in Europe for the first time in something like 12 years, and they only have short tour in Europe. Everybody go crazy in the pit for this fast style, and Martine make perfect stage comments about celebrating who you are and making ode to old Finnish hardcore records to the audience, and we all show strong appreciation, and disbelief that we witness this special.

Los Crudos
I also see DEATH RACE, some kind of multi-style hardcore/crust/punk/metal playing on the Camp Stage. I remember the guitarist being some innocent, young, and enthusiastic teenager coming to shows in Helsinki, and now he is displaying strong style playing in powerful band. Then was best surprise Suomi band of the weekend, in the form of RADIOPUHELIMET, which was perfect dancing music, playing bouncy non-formulaic post-punk style, reminding me of bands like No Means No. Then was STRESS SS from Sweden (still making friends with neighbouring punks) who feature members of past bands like SKITKIDS and FY FAN, so you know what to expect – pure awesome brutal hardcore noise assault. 

The next bands are a total blur (but thankfully this is why we have the aftershow) and all I can remember is hanging out and talking with people at the distro area, and in particular singing PHOENIX FOUNDATION songs with and to Jelle from 1981. I was also buying large bottles of Estonian Lonkero from the travel punks. I remember making wind up about Manchester to my Liverpool supporting Finnish friends. I remember watch some more classic style from ÄPÄRÄT from the cabin step, and then it is blur again, until I remember hearing ‘World War Three’ by D.O.A. and remember that they play on the main stage. I watch them, and they are always good live, and this time again they did not disappoint, and was perfect old North American hardcore treat to end the festival. As always, was a fucking great peaceful punk drinking vibe and party again in Puntala.  

Somehow Vellu managed to avoid the drinking after his previous nights escapade, so he kindly drove us back the 2 hours to his place after D.O.A. It was nice to not have to sleep in the tent again. I passed out on the motorway but managed to stay awake for the company on the smaller roads. Morning was spent with painkillers, listening to music, small breakfast, and meeting the child, before I got a ride to Mantsila to take the train to Tampere for the aftershow.

This was the first time at the aftershow where I managed to drink a few beers,  collect stories with the survivors, and meet some new people. THE SYSTEM (another UK band I never heard of) was a nice political peace punk sound, and TETSU-ARREY from Japan were accomplished musicians. Normally I prefer the fast core style of Japanese bands like Nightmare of Gauze, but this one was like a mixture or hardcore and pub-rock sing along. I enjoyed it, it was tight, and they were well rehearsed but not so amazed like when other Japanese bands come to Europe.  

Post festival was nice and relaxing isolation time in hotel, and then train back to Helsinki to join up with Lasse & Juha for some quiet drinks, which turned into a long session of listening to Bad Religion. Perfect end release. Last morning was spent going for a ‘none-purposefulness’ walk around Kallio, to see the crazy fucked up people and realise that life is never as bad as it seems.

Kiitos: Vellu, Lasse, Juha, Mikko, Jussi, Puntala Crew, Finnish and International friends.

Hope to be back again sooner rather than later.

Now it’s time to go see Descendents at Rebellion Festival and family trip to Barcelona.

Lukas, Still Ont Road (Part-time) 2016 

 Here are a couple of videos I shot of Hero Dishonest & Los Crudos:


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Medictation - Warm Places (ex Leatherface / Sainte Catherines)

Medictation - Warm Places

Leading into this review / interview, the punk rock world is still coming to terms with the recent news about both Dickie Hammond and Tut, both part of the Sunderland and world wide punk rock music scene.

Just recently I wrote a piece about Richard Eric Hammond (Dickie), following his departure from this world. This will be published at a later date.

The following piece was actually written before this tragic event, and it is only now that I can publish it. Dickie had worked on a new project, which is just being announced on this day, which would have seen him turn 50 years of age. December the 15th 2015.

The release would have happened earlier, however it was agreed to push it back, due to the unforeseen circumstances and with the approval of the other band members and his Mother and Son Jo, it will become a reality.

It is something that had to be done and Dickie himself would have been so passionate about it. Having it announced on his 50th birthday is a mark of respect to him. “We are both Sagittarians, he had a big thing about this, so he would have loved it”. Graeme tells me.


Anyone with a passionate interest in punk rock knows about the pedigree of bands that have emerged out of Sunderland over the years; producing the likes of Leatherface, HDQ, and Former Cell Mates. During 2008, the world was in the midst of a global financial crisis, ‘the Chicago school, treating us like fools’, causing economic shock waves throughout the worlds economies, making politicians the world over to seek some form of Medication. In parallel, the last incarnation of Leatherface were at their peak, touring the world, and in particular the USA and Canada with Yesterdays Ring, a rag tag of Montreal mongrel punks headed by the charismatic lead singer, Hugo Mudie, who also was the lead singer of another well-known punk-rock band, The Sainte Catherines. The Stormy Petrel world tour was in full sail, and was looking as invincible as the Titanic.

Years later, ‘the boat’, as they are colloquially known, faced a crisis of their own. Dickie Hammond quit the band whilst they were on tour in Spain, and with Frankie Stubbs having a broken collarbone, led to the band having no guitarist. Bassist Graeme, and drummer Skruff faced no option but to fly home, leaving Frankie and Dickie to try and go it alone for the rest of the tour. Inevitably, the band failed to recover from such an implosion, and back at their peak best, Leatherface was no more.

This left a huge void in Sunderland, and left only the Former Cell Mates to fly the flag, headed up by David Lee Burdon, who also played in Leatherface during a period when Dickie Hammond was not in the band. A little bit of light, and a little bit of hope emerged in 2013, when Dave Golledge reunited with Dickie Hammond to reform HDQ, whom existed prior to Leatherface. They joined forces with Skruff and Mick Jones, who played as a touring stand in guitarist for Leatherface when Frankie Stubbs had a broken collarbone. They released a 7” and a critically acclaimed 12” on Boss Tuneage Records, entitled ‘Lost in Translation’, which although sought a different sound and direction to their previous output, was instantly recognisable to fans of all the bands mentioned hitherto. The Sunderland flag was now raised to half-mast.

And that is what took me back to Sunderland after 10 years of absence. I was there to see HDQ making a rare hometown appearance, as well as to spend some time drinking wine with Graeme Philliskirk of Leatherface and Bull Taco / Rugrat to find out what on earth had the others been up to during this time. Graeme took me along to his new studio at the legendary ‘Bunker’, the heartbeat and focal point for Sunderland punk rock over the years. On the way through the corridors, he explained the diagnostics of how the classic album ‘Minx’ by Leatherface was recorded, and upon entering the upstairs area, I was able to peruse framed flyers of classic Sunderland shows, as well as front covers of all the fanzines that were produced there.

As we sit down to talk over a bottle of wine, he tells me that Frankie Stubbs has been having a sabbatical from music, and concentrating on work and his personal life. He is doing well, and taking a more sensible approach to life, compared to others in these circles. “Frankie and I meet regularly, to chat about life, politics”, Graeme tells me. Even Frankie himself recently wrote on his facebook page “Been listening to some unfinished Hammond guitar part song shit tonight. The musicians of Sunderland will finish these tunes off. I promise!” There may be more to come.

Graeme in Studio 13 at The Bunker, Sunderland

Those who have born witness to Dickie Hammond’s solo appearance at Rebellion Festival and his performance at the Sunderland gig will know that his personal struggles are coming into the public eye. Many people close to him are becoming increasingly frustrated that their advice is falling on deaf ears, yet his lifestyle is so ingrained in his psyche that it is difficult to convince him to have it any other way. Graeme himself has taken some time to focus on his home life, yet the itchy feet have kicked in again, and this caused him to re-establish contact with Hugo Mudie, whose band, The Saint Catherines, had also fallen by the wayside.

During the successful Leaftherface / Yesterdays Ring USA/Canada tour, which saw a mutual appreciation of each others music and DIY ethic, the pair hit it off so well that on one inebriated night, they promised to work together again in the future. It wasn’t until 2012 that they reconvened, and in that time Graeme had been back in touch with Dickie, and on the flipside, Hugo had been back in touch with Fred Jacques and Julien Blais who had also played in the Saint Catherines, and thus the line up for the project was complete.

The project came to fruition in October 2014, when Graeme and Dickie made the journey across the Atlantic, to join forces with the others at the remotely situated Wild Studios, two hours drive from Montreal in Quebec, Canada. The pre-production had already taken place at the Bunker, Studio 13, by Graeme, with a little help from Paul Reed. Both Graeme and Dickie worked and demoed most of the tracks, to produce a 10-song album and a bonus track. And it was on this visit to the Bunker myself that Ont Road Fanzine, on a staple diet of red wine, was able to have an exclusive listen to the album, titled ‘Warm Places’.  Those that know Sunderland well will be aware of the pockets of Warm Places that exist amongst the harsh realities of working class existence.

The Review of ‘Medictation – Warm Places’

The record kicks off with ‘Memories of Youth’, which Graeme assures me is about an old friend who was stabbed to death in ‘Plains Farm’, an estate he grew up on. After the build up, and the riff for the first verse kicking in, the melodies are instantly recognisable as Hammond-esque, and the vocals familiarly raspy. It’s a beautiful number that eases the listener in by the 3-minute mark.

‘Secret of the Marlins’ is up next, and the alienation / self-introspection is felt with the chorus lines of ‘Don’t talk to no-one’. This is one of the songs written by the Canadians, and has a punk style Talking Heads feel to it, interjected with some familiar Leatherface mini-riffs. By track three, it becomes apparent that no songs are going to sound the same, something in which Leatherface were synonymous for. ‘Gods and Glory’ is a slower number, and the mellow sounds are reflective of a bunch of punk rockers who have seen it all and still content with their existence.

Track four is ‘Fishing’, and with the opening reel, it sounds like they are fishing indeed. There is a more straight up punk rock sound to this one, I can agree with Vinnie Fiorello (Drummer of Less Than Jake & Proprietor of Paper & Plastic who is releasing the record), when he said some of the tracks remind him of “Stiff Little Fingers”. A major influence on Dickie and Graeme!

At the end of Side A, it starts to mellow out further. This is probably due to the Canadian influence; as the guys have recently gone on to be successful Punk folk artists, with their side project ‘Miracles’. ‘The Last Rainfall’ is mooted as the potential single, and one feels at ease when the word ‘Son’, which is a common term of affection in Sunderland, is used in the first line. There’s a slight bluesy element to this song, which I like to call ‘Sunday Punk’, punk rock mixed in with Bruce Springsteen, even U2 ‘Boy’ era. You can definitely start to notice the folk influence of ‘Miracles’ and the sounds of Dickie Hammond’s old band ‘Dr. Bison’.

Side B starts of with a classic whirlwind punk-rock song ‘Saptor Raptor’, opening with the lines ‘Do you wanna change the world with me tonight?’ I can already see images in my head of a crowd full of punks at Fest, joining in on an epic group sing-along to the chorus. This song has Gainesville written all over it. It’s fantastic.

‘Sweet and Sour’ is up next, which persistently teases more from the music, and is quite left-field for the album, almost verging on the edge of an indie track. The standout lyric is “I’m not gonna ask for help anymore…I’m not going to hurt you anymore”. Then ‘My Friends Will Call’, kicks in, throughout the album you can hear threads of Leatherface, in fact it would be ridiculous if you couldn’t hear the influences and some more singalong lyrics abound with ‘It’s gonna be fine, it’s gonna be sweet…we’re gonna be free’. 

Track Nine reminds me somewhat of ‘Broken’; it’s a slow chugger of a song, with some lovely guitar solos piercing through. It’s almost reminiscent of Bob Mould’s ‘Sugar’ era in places. And then comes the curtain raiser ‘Stalingrad’, with Hammond stepping up onto vocals, and having a ‘Jonny Cash’ moment. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry when I hear this. It’s clearly something that has come deep from the heart, and very personal about his life. There’s a line in the first bridge that says ‘now my world is empty, and my glass is always full’, the chorus comes in with ‘A catalogue of mistakes’ and the second verse finishes with ‘pour me another drink’. It’s hard to tell if he’s being deadly serious, or extremely light-hearted. Whatever the case, it’s a bold and striking end to a diverse and powerful punk-rock album.

Graeme told me how Dickie didn’t want to sing the track but he kicked Dickie out of bed one morning and asked him to sing it.  “At least give Hugo a chance of hearing you sing it”. The rest of the band then told Dickie his vocal had to stay and thankfully Dickie agreed.

The finishing touches to the album were put together by Ryan Battistuz, who did the recording and engineering, and Ryan Morey (who works with Arcade Fire) doing the final mastering.

Medication are:

Hugo Mudie (The Sainte Catherines, Miracles, Yesterdays Ring) - Vocals
Dickie Hammond (HDQ, Leatherface) - Guitar
Fred Jaques (The Sainte Catherines, Miracles, Yesterdays Ring) - Guitar
Graeme Philliskirk (Leatherafce, Bultaco/Rugrat) - Bass
Julien Blais (The Sainte Catherines, Miracles, The Stills, XLarg) – Drums

Their debut album ‘Warm Places’ will be available in early 2016, on Paper & Plastic Records, in the formats of CD, MP3, and vinyl. A big thanks goes out to Dickie’s Mum, Val, Son Jo and Evan. Mark Vincent Bussey for all his work and Vinnie Fiorello for making this happen.

Order here: http://paperplastickeu.limitedrun.com/products/567025-medictation-warm-places-12


Saturday, September 19, 2015

WWF Summerslam 1992 - Live Coverage

WWF Summerslam 1992 - Live coverage from Wembley Stadium, London, England

Bobby Heenan has already declared himself the King of England, to which Vince Mc mahon said Henry the 8th would be turning in his grave. IRS has called the British Public taxdodgers, proclaiming that the Royal Family bare the burden. Oh, and Legion of Doom came to the ring on Motorbikes. What a start!

IRS spot on with his economic analysis of British society, even back then. City of London a haven for dodgy investment.

Now there's something you don't see very often these days, a double clothesline followed by a double tag.

Disgraceful, "a stink". LOD win with a Powerslam without even hitting the Doomsday device! Shoddy booking.

Gene Okerland now quoting Winston Churchill, "Now is the time".

The greatest black wrestler of all time 'Virgil', once referred to as a 'shoeshiner' by Ted Dibiase, is now being interviewed.    

Virgil is so over with the crowd. Wild scenes!

He is fighting Nailz, who is dressed like he is a prisoner in Guantanamo Bay.

When referees wore long sleeved shirts and bowties.

Nailz wins with a sleeper! There better be a big payout pop in the main event. Nailz is choking out Virgil with a Nightstick. There is no justice.

They are showing old footage of Rick 'The Model' Martell, who is modelling himself on Sylvester Stallone. Sensational Sherri, on the other hand, is modelling herself on Cher, circa 'If I could turn back time'.      

The Model is in the ring with a wooden tennis racket. Sherry is holding up a 5ft mirror behind Shaun Michaels. This could be the match of the night, if The Model wasn't as stiff as Alberto Del Rio.

Shaun Michaels mullet and ear ring combo is circa New York punk 2015.

Martell dodges a Michaels combo with a Cartwheel!

Interesting fashion from Martell too. Bright pink pants and knee pads, combined with pastel pink boots.

Yes! No punching in the face rules, yet they end up having a face slap off in the ring.   

OMG! A quadruple Mooney during four continuous roll up pin attempts. Where are Right to Censor?

Sheri has fainted at the beauty of both participants! And now they are fighting to try and resuscitate her. 

And this had led to a double count out! Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer has already given this a match 4/5 star rating. I take back what I said about Martell. Both participants are fighting to carry her back up the walkway.

The Model has doused Sheri in a bucket of cold water to rejuvinate her. The final joke is on her.

There is still 2 hours left of this bad boy, and I've still got half a bottle of Rum and a Biryani in the fridge.

The Nasty Boys once again manage to do a vignette with a vocabulary of less that 10. Are they even fighting tonight?

'The Genius' manager of The Beverley Brothers has referenced the world cup of 1966. Since when have Earthquake and Typhoon been faces?

A double belly squash by the Natural Disasters has been referred to as an 'Earl of Sandwich'.

Vince McMahon - "London Bridge is falling down" after Typhoon takes a bump.

The Berverley Brothers are showing some real pedigree here. Criminally under appreciated during my face loving teenage years.

Someone is the crowd is using an air horn. Whatever next? Pyro?

Earthquake gets the hot tag, and wins the match with a hip toss, belly to belly suplex, jumping jackboot kick, and an Earthquake splash, Impressive stuff.

The Ultimate Warrior sign on his dressing room door looks like it was made by a Primary School student in Pimlico during Wrestlemania project week.

Crush vs Repo Man on now - weren't these guys in Demolition once upon a time?

Girlfriend injerjects: Put the rum back in the cupboard and your hand out your pants.

My reply: There's no Divas division in '92 and Dolph Ziggler wasn' t around in those days.

Savage vs Warrior in the 'Main Event' is "moments away" - just who whose corner will Mr Perfect be in?

I made a 'Texas Tornado' t-shirt during primary school project week. I hope he is wrestling tonight.

The sun has gone, and darkness descends in time for the World Title match, impeccable timing.

The stadium erupts for the Ultimate Warrior - he was always more over in the UK than Hulk Hogan.

Both these wrestlers are now dead. This is indeed a match made in heaven.

Two of the most colourful outfits in the history of wrestling are on display here.

I will never forgive my dad for not taking me. His saving grace is that we had Sky TV.

Randy Savage goes to the top rope for his third consecutive offence and Warrior catches him mid-air. Jaw dropping stuff!

Savage hits a double axel handle from the top rope to the outside. ECW took note.

Talking point: Ric Flair & Mr Perfect are heading to the ring.

The entrance ramp the length of 3/4 of a football pitch. No wonder LOD came down on motorbikes.

A perfect opportunity for a double clothesline.      

Mr Perfect trips up the Macho Man! They are trying to turn The Warrior heel in the UK!

Ref Bump. Savage hits a piledriver, and then Flair uses the brass knuckles on Warrior It was a sham all along. The psychology in the ring in those days was infinitely better. And OMG Warrior kicks out after a Macho top rope elbow. The comeback is set up beautifully. Warrior is shaking the ropes - here we go!

The Guardian live blogging in retrospect!

It's Flair with a Chair. The odds are stacked.

Now Flair hits Savage with the chair, and is counted out. Flair & Mr Perfect trying to destroy him. It was a cover all along. The announcer has declared Warrior the winner via count out, so no title change. The Warrior & Savage are now having a love-in in the middle of the squared circle. Just what is going on?

Okerland is interviewing Perfect & Flair in the showers.

Dr Harvey Whimpleman is introducing Kamala - what happened to Slick? The Undertaker, who is 2-0 currently at Wrestlemania is coming down to the ring riding on the back of a hearse! Is this his last ride?

The Undertaker is sporting the classic 'Greg gloves, grey socks' combo.

WWF doing their best to promote cultural diversity by portraying Kamala as an animal by having a tamer (complete with bee keeping mask) as well as a manager.     

The bell rings and Heenan says "Kamala thinks it will be dinner time now". Undertaker wins by DQ. Kamala hits a splash from the top rope, yet the Undertaker gets up and chases his out of the arena.No tombstone! Something big better happen in the last match.

The British Bulldog is being interviewed, looking like he has been in the make up room for the past 2 hours. He's sporting corn rows that any push-moshing Korn fan would be proud of.

Okerland is sporting a classy red pocket square.

The Balmoral Highlanders are playing a Scottish anthem on bag pipes. It's Roddy Piper! He's picked up a bag pipe, and is playing along. There's more to these wrestlers than meets the eye.

Fantastic views of the pixelated scoreboard.

Bagpipes in London? Almost as bad as when they put Man Utd shirts on faces at house shows. Guaranteed boos!

Diana Smith is being interviewed. The bond of the family is being put over the individual egos of her husband and brother.

Lennox Lewis (is he that old?) is carrying down the Union Jack during the British Bulldogs entrance. Heenan confuses Lewis with black American boxer Joe Wood , shocking!

Surprisingly, Bret Hart gets as much pop as the Bulldog. Here it is folks, the moment you have all been waiting for. If you are a UK wrestling fan and over 30, this is the greatest wrestling match of all time.

The kid in the second row is wearing my British Bulldog t-shirt.

Fast forward 10 years and my daughter is asleep on the sofa due to her dad's inane analysis. 

Oh dear, I have just poured more rum in the glass, thinking it was mixer.

It's taken 2 hours, 30 minutes for the commentators to refer to Fish & Chips. That must have taken discipline, patience & professionalism.

Bret Hart is now heel after kneeing the Bulldog in the gonads.

The odds of Davey Boy Smith beating the Excellence of Execution must be akin to those of Japan beating South Africa in the Rugby Union World Cup.      

Heenan "The Bulldog just got Bulldogged" - classic commentary line.

Whilst discussing Lennox Lewis' upcoming match, Heenan gets Razor Ruddock confused with Razor Ramone.            

A square has appeared on the screen showing the 'live-reaction' of Diana Smith.

Lots of pin reversals so far in this match, amongst all sorts of amazingness, is this a sign of things to come?

Lady Diana is back in the square. The original peoples princess.

FYI, Davey Boy Smith's house is up the road from where I live, and he used to bounce at my local Weatherspoons. This means everything.

If Davey Boy wins, everything on this PPV hitherto can be forgiven.

Bret Hart has kicked out of the running Powerslam. No, no, please, no.

McMahon "Every wrestling move I have ever seen has been used in this match".

And almost on cue comes the double clothesline.            

Bulldog kicks out of the Sharpshooter. Sunset Flip. 1,2,3! He's done it.

THE GREATEST SINGLE SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT OF ALL TIME BY ANYONE IN THE UK. Family triumphs over ego. Diana is in the ring in tears. Rule Britannia. GAME OVER.