Death Band Party – Strange Night Out

Remembering a long lost band from a distant generation…

The story of my one time Death Bang Party gig March (31st) 1990…

At the time I lived in London and a friend was visiting so we decided to head on over to the Power House in Islington. This was my favourite live venue so I rarely checked to see who was on; it was just a matter of turning up in hope.

There was a delay in setting off as I happened to be selling a bass guitar amp and the buyer was coming over to check it out. It turned out the dude was a reporter for World in Action; he even had the voice that sounded like the voice over guy so who knows. He purchased the amp and gave a lift close to the venue; we got out and proceeded on foot the last half mile or so. On our way lots of police cars and riot vans screamed passed us, sirens and lights blazing. More and more so as we neared the venue but they appeared to be heading away from our destination.

Arriving we found out the band was called Death Bang Party & from that I had no idea what to expect. Inside it was sparsely populated, maybe about 30 to 50 people maximum so my expectations were lowering. The band entered the stage and started playing upbeat instrumental funk music; this went on for what seemed like ages. I was starting to assume they were an instrumental band when on walks a guy holding a bible wearing dark round sunglasses & dressed as a preacher topped with a round hat. He starts ranting some sermon, jump to the left, right etc “now turn around”… his entire behind is butt naked. The whole room falls about laughing and I’m immediately hooked.

The music is fast & funky and lead singer is costume changing between songs. At one point he’s a character with a huge 6 foot bendy pipe cock running over the tables kicking drinks over & another character turns out to be a surfer with Hawaiian shirt holding a surf board. Most of what happened on that stage is a blur but my lasting feeling is ‘What a band’, ‘what a stage performance’. I’ll never forget, the whole night was crazy and the strange happenings did not stop there.

Leaving the venue we walked the streets looking for a tube station when we noticed hundreds of vintage photographs littering the deserted streets. My friend started collecting some as we pissed our selves laughing reflecting on the gig and now we’re looking at a picture of some Victorian dude holding a chicken?

We started to notice shop windows smashed in, more and more so until we came across the town hall surrounded by an army of police officers and a news crew attempting to do a report. I was pissed and started doing Monty Python style funny walks behind the scenes in camera shot. After a few retakes the Cameraman told me I was a wanker and moved on to the other side of the police cordon.

It turned out that during the DBP gig there had been a full blown poll tax riot in the streets of Islington culminating around the town hall. I guess for us it had been a riot inside and out.

Very little info remains online about this great band but here’s a few links

Fan Site

YouTube Channel

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Dead Captain – EP

Once upon a time there were a few friends that got together and decided to form a band because of… naaa that’s been done before, try this one… Dan Adams (Cornelius Crane) along with writer/illustrator friend Dunstan Carter find a shoe box outside a pub in Ashton-Under-Lyne filled with a mix mash of scribbled notes, drawings and grainy old VHS tapes. Beneath the box is a message simply stating “Do something with this”.

Dead Captain

So the Dead Captain released their 4 track EP on the 17th of July drawing influence from discarded shoe boxes, classic Americana & the 90’s college rock scene.

First up is ‘This Old Village’, a micro glance over a northern village traditional event i.e. Morris dancing, stalls, kids with ice creams etc , yeah why do these things happen, I remember such things but now I have grown I truly do not know why (as a kid) I bought into this. Sure it still happens, it has a purpose and a public face but I still don’t get it. Beautiful meandering track, laid back rift with perfect lyrics to such a memory, thanks for that.

We’re out of the village and into the suburbs with ‘Looming Moon’, not so much as painting a picture in the mind but more like a walk through the dark streets with a paranoid tour guide. It’s a slight shift in style too, I’m loving the distortion guitar that’s slowly grinding away throughout the track.

‘Who Knows’ follows on in every way and by now I’m getting a real feel for the Captain and their general vibe, a sort of Northern abandonment which we up north tend to accept and in part don’t give a shit about anyway. Just the odd gripe but hey it’s grim up North mate. ‘Finale ‘Toddler Democracy. Is more up front with this theme and I completely agree, we live in echo chambers & democracy is spoon fed to us all.

I have to say I really like The Captain, it sounds fresh yet familiar, a ramble inside the mind of a Northern enigma. Back to that shoe box with the note that simply read “Do something with this”. Well they did something and here it is. Now your turn to do something after reading this article, get yourself a copy of this excellent EP, it’s here for a reason.

Out 17th July 2017 (Stereo Kill records)

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Dog Toffee – The Future Has Been

What’s this! A debut EP released 20 years after being recorded, confused, read on…

Future Has been Cover

The story of Dog Toffee starts in the mid 90’s at the latter end of the Manchester rave scene when Factory ruled and Oasis were emerging into the super force that they became. It had all happened in Madchester, the Smiths came and went, pills had popped and a certain Order was becoming not so new.  Dog Toffee played all the venues that counted, eventually finding their way into a studio to record what was to be their debut EP ‘The Future Has Been’.

The story twists and turns several times at this point but in essence they got signed to Sony S2 which quickly became ill fated as the label wanted them to change the vocalist and overall style of the band. This was never going to happen and they parted their ways, continued on eventually recording and releasing 3 albums up to their split in 2006.

The band reformed and finally released ‘The Future Has Been’ on the 24th of March 2017. What strikes me is considering this was recorded in 1996, it sounds so fresh. What the hell were Sony thinking about all those years ago, who knows but perhaps that A&R void has long since been filled.

‘The Future Has Been’ opening track starts with ‘No Contest’ that bounces energy, short and sweet as it is, a perfect opener & a blue print for the rest. Melting into place is ‘King’, sounds almost a reprise in the first 10 seconds but very much its own. Love the mood/temp changes. Backing vocals throughout I am quickly warming to Dog Toffee with their no nonsense rock n roll.

‘Defiance’ departs a tad into a 50’s era groove, think Showaddywaddy on acid locked in a room with Motorheads gear. Doo wops are absent, instead we have some skull shafting power chords, cool, loved this one very much. On to ‘Belgrove’, another old school rocker, instantly there, hooks a plenty, I’m sold. Final track ‘Won’t Miss You’, it’s bolted on the end and sounds like a few songs bolted together medley like. Over two mins for the vocals to kick in, it’s noise noise driving noise.

Overall a solid powerful EP is on offer that should have been released 20 years before but I’m not complaining, just glad to have it on my speakers all these years later. I’m sold, it’s a great release.

Dog Toffee, The Future has Been debut EP April 24th 2017

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Johnny Come Latelys – Judas Factor (EP)

Not for the first time have Johnny Come lately graced the words of Canned Static and for good reason too. Their previous carnation, the (EP) Messiah Complex Part 1 breezed fresh air over a predictable & sanitized music scene that we are all choking on.  The eagerly anticipated ‘Part 2’ manifests itself as ‘Judas Factor’, at least I am assuming this is the part 2, it certainly follows through and more…

johnny-come-latelys-judas-factor-1

The 4 track EP kicks off with ‘I Am’, surprisingly more melodic than the previous EP but certainly no sprinkle of cheese here. Synths creeping in over an offbeat guitar, contrasting lyrics, “I am, you are” etc, clever and interesting, after death there is no resurrection. Not for the faith hearted.

‘I Was A Child’ is a lovely song about growing up, the innocence of life through young eyes, pre indoctrination. Particularly like the chorus with the dreamy backing vocals. I feel the real message in the last line “Intoxication, violation, example set, vindication”. Clever stuff.

‘Freedom’ has a cracking bass line, my favourite bass line over both EP’s. Bass envy to one side, synths return spacing out the void with swirling drones, nice touch, not to mention cool as…  I guess Freedom is pretty much the spirit of Johnny Come Latelys, it typifies their mission or fight, goal if you like. Freedom from politics, greed, corruption etc, you get the picture. It’s a solid track with a strong message.

“A Man is Only as Good as His Word” is our final track, again the message is strong delivered with grit and determination. Not the strongest of the bunch but stuck on the end it… well, ends the EP well…  all’s well and ends well. Not a bad track by any means, probably the best message here but, for me, the three preceding songs score higher in the killer department.

Overall, ‘Judas Factor’ is a big thumbs up, and I’d go further to say it has excelled beyond the ‘Messiah Complex Part 1’. Get your copy over on Band Camp, it’s available at the price you choose… another big thumbs up.

A part 3 is promised so watch this space.

The Cult of Free Love – ‘Love Revolution’

thekaboomroom

TCOFL Press Release Image

Harking from somewhere in deepest North Wales, no doubt on a high following Wales’s recent successes in the football arena, this enigmatic collective are certainly making a name for themselves. Their last release ‘Love is All There Is’ completely sold out, yes sold out in these difficult times for non-major label bands. Not an insignificant number either.

Track 1 is called Drone, well named as it does what it says on the tin. A brave first track, most bands would put this on last to drop the vibe right down for their gentle experimental exit but these boys/girls aren’t playing too safe.

Track 2 ‘Jaya Deva’ is more what TCOFL (sorry I got lazy there) are all about. Very much a far eastern vibe going on with some infectious electronic soundscapes & hypnotic Hindi vocals.

Track 3 has so 80’s electro beats in there, can’t get OMD out of my…

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Black Cat White Cat debut album “9 Wild Lovers”

black-cat-white-catThe debut album from Sheffield outfit Black Cat White Cat.The album is to me Twin Peaks small town Americana removed with a polished nice use of guitar vibroverb/ vibrato it has textures that appeal but i think in the song writing department a bit more of the story telling ethic and less of the broken hearted me me me self self self femme fatale tales of wooooh and conquest would enhance the overall impact the band has on the listener.The album is polished and professional.Vocalist Angela Basson has an alluring voice that complements the stylish blues swamp rock sound perfectly.The band play well together and would not have been out of place in Dylan’s Movie “Masked and Anonymous”  but in the song writing dept I think a trick or two was missed.Check it out this band has potential.

https://blackcatwhitecat.bandcamp.com/releases

Zero Le Creche – Last Years Wife

I have just unearthed a classic that obviously has completely passed me by; then again, it was 32 years ago.zerolecreche01

Goth band ‘Zero le Creche’ released the Single ‘Last Years Wife’ (Flicknife) in 1984 hitting number 11 in the indie charts and was featured as runner up single of the week in the Melody Maker. Produced by Henry Padovani, it was their biggest hit in their short career and at the time was popular on the Goth scene.

I discovered this gem whilst reading the brilliant book ‘Sharp! Flicknife & Other Adventures’. On page 152 Zero Le Creche become Flicknife Records first Goth band signing and 32 years later, here I am searching them out on the Internet. I love the melodies and particularly the silky smooth vocals; the style is of the goth era, I’d say it has a commercial slant, sort of a ‘Psychedelic Furs’, early ‘Cure’ meets Bauhaus.

The band line up consisted of Andy Nakanza (vocals), Terry Miles (bass), Richard Ollie (drums) & Andy Mitchell (guitar). Not too long after this release Nakanza (real name Andy Manning & sometimes credited as Nkanza) quit the band and was replaced by vocalist Jamie Lord. In 1985 second single ‘Falling’ (Cherry Red) was released but without anything near the same success as their debut, soon after they disappeared from view. I suspect losing the original vocalist played a big part in this turn of misfortune which is a shame really.

They re-surfaced in 2008 with a 21 track album featuring all of the songs from the ‘Last Years Wife’ EP, second single ‘Falling’ and a host of previously unreleased studio recordings (plus one live). Another EP was released in 2010 entitled ‘Silence Speaks’.

Original vocalist Andy Nakanza resurfaced in 1986 fronting ‘Boom Boom Room’ releasing ‘Here Comes The Man’ (Epic) which peaked at 74 UK national charts in 1986.

Hindsight is always a better judge in life; for whatever reasons Andy Nakanza departed from the band, in my opinion, had he stayed, I think that both he and Zero Le Creche would have steered a much more successful direction and who knows! Maybe gone on to much bigger things.

Auto-Pilot – 8-Zero

Electronic music from the late 70’s to early 80’s is encapsulated in this latest release from Auto-Pilot. This album, with its retro sound & strong tracks really captures that magic era of Synth-pop. The early influences are all in there, Gary Numan, Japan, Human League, Kraftwerk etc

You can unearth this gem at the following links –

i-Tunes    Amazon     Junodownload

 

Japan – Gentlemen Take Polaroids

 

36 Years Ago Today…

Way back in the late 70’s to early 80’s a truly superb band existed making highly original music seemingly following no particular style. They were amongst a small numberjapan-gentlemen-take-polaroids-1 of similar bands that the press at the time labelled the New Romantics. Japan competed against the likes of Duran Duran, Visage & Spandau Ballet etc but being much less commercial in sound they tended to hover in the shadows. For me, Japan were, and still are, the true kings of the genre, the real leaders who deserved the crown purely for cool, originality and ability.

Exactly 36 years ago today, October 24th 1980, ‘Gentlemen Take Polaroids’ was the first Japan album released on Virgin. It received moderate success reaching 51 in the album charts and the single of the same name reaching 60. Two years later in 82, ‘Night Porter’ reached 29 in the UK singles chart.  For me, this album is one of the best there has ever been, admittedly, it is a matter of taste, all music is but something stirred real deep inside when I first listened. Something so refreshingly different, it really hit a nerve.

By 1983 the japan-gentlemen-take-polaroids-2band was no more, disintegrating into history. I had the real fortune of seeing them live not just once but twice during two different tours, the last of which was promoting their final album ‘Tin Drum’. Another great album and tour but that first gig, one year before remains to this day the best band & live experience I have ever seen and this album being amongst the best of the best.

If you have never heard Japan you could be in for a treat, maybe dive straight in and play ‘Night Porter’ with its haunting aura, just simply wow, what a song, a timeless classic beyond belief.

Track Listing –

  1. Gentlemen Take Polaroids
  2. Swing
  3. Burning Bridges
  4. My New Career
  5. Methods of Dance
  6. Ain’t The Peculiar
  7. Nightporter
  8. Taking Islands in Africa

Johnny Come Latelys – Messiah Complex Part 1 (EP)

Manchester, the sprawling metropolis of the north, home to so many of the coolest bands ever to have graced our music scene and within this melee of clambering talent sat Supajamma, fronted by ex Audioweb vocalist Sugar. Sadly the band with the wonderful fronting Sugar demised and dispersed into the world of ex band members.

Two of these ex band member, Simon Collier (bass) & Dan Adams (drumjcls), re-emerges in the form of ‘Johnny Come Latelys’ where Simon conceived, composed and performed almost all of this 4 track EP alone with a little help from Donna Marie Stevens (backing vocals). Take the vocals away and the overall sound still carries the ghost of Supajamma.

It oozes northern urban grit, harsh reality, just getting out of bed and trying to survive knowing you can see what others seemingly pass unnoticed.  It’s all rolled and mangled into one in this, the ‘Messiah Complex Part 1’…

Kicking off is ‘The Truth Behind The Lies’, with its harsh undercurrent of distortions and wavering vocals (aren’t pretty but suit to a T) washed in echo, its angry, its real and raw. A politically charged rant at the bad world we get spewing from our TV sets, the evil that men do, the lies that glorify and the possible bleak future facing us all etc. It’s a biting snarling track making its point very clearly and in the context of the whole offering is the ideal starter.

The following three tracks (from this 4 track EP), have more of the same subject wise but do vary the groove, being clever, well produced & interesting. The vocals are nowhere near sublime but suit the style and blend into this dark world of the Messiah Complex Part 1. For me, the stand out track has to be ‘Saved the Day’. A beautiful slow groove that drives on and on, the message remains the same but the feeling has dropped into a more acceptance of the World and society that we have no choice but to live within it.

It’s a solid EP, with a true message that’s delivered well, so head on over to Band Camp (links below) and downloads your copy of the Messiah Complex Part 1. Get mad about it!

Links – Band Camp