Sunday, 23 September 2018

The Blinders Album Launch - Live At FOPP Records - Manchester 21st September

This was a momentous day for the Doncaster lads adopted by Manchester to air their album on the day of release to a small crowd of diehards who have been waiting under baited breath to hear this amazing debut in the most apt background of a music store. Wayne Carey is their to capture some of that energy.
I’ve been following The Blinders for a while now and have seen them progress into an incredible tight bundle of fuck off rock n roll glam stomping musicians who are serious contenders to put the rock star back on the map. Tom enters the tiny stage looking natural without the usual face paint he dons when usually performing at a gig. Don’t let this fool you… They play the album almost in it’s entirety leaving out the quiet numbers and giving us 45 minutes of pure in your face dirty rock. Gotta Get Through sounds menacing and  a shout out must go to the sound guy who has got everything just right for a venue this size. Charlie as always has that young Nick Cave look about him and is a pure showman on bass and Matt pounds those drums like a devil at the back to perform their tighter than ever sounds to provide that crucial backbone. Hate Song crawls all over you with it’s dirty rock sound and Tom throws himself around like a man possessed as the song ramps up with speed and there’s one young lad in the audience who looks like he wants to freak out! They are joined by a second drummer for Where No Man Comes and it adds a tribal element to the song which is a proper glam rock crusher. I Can’t Breath Blues is gonna be a highlight of their live sets and the band blast their way through showing the chemistry, all smiling at each other as if they know it’s all clicking together. The twin assault of Et Tu and Brutus are stunning. Brutus is as excellent as ever and wins over the lucky ones that are here. Anyone who’s seen em live before will tell you this is one of their live rock out masterpieces and totally up there in the rock stakes. They end with Rat in A Cage which comes across as a punk Rolling Stones number that Mick himself would be jealous of. Tom ends the set with the refrains of Orbit, the last track of the album, and it just teases you as he only plays the first few bars then thanks everyone for turning up to support them on their great debut platter.
I could go on and on about this band but you need to see them live to understand how fucking good they are. The album will give you a taster (read Nigel Carr’s review here  )- however you need to get your arses out and actually see the power this trio create live. One of the best live acts around at the moment. You need to witness them. Trust me….
Official website
Tour dates:
Mon 15 Manchester Academy 2
Tues 16 Newcastle The Cluny
Thurs 18 Hull The Adelphi
Fri 19 Cardiff SWN Festival
Sat 20 Cardiff SWN Festival
Mon 22 Stoke-On-Trent The Sugarmill
Tues 23 Birmingham The Castle & Falcon
Weds 24 Nottingham Bodega
Thurs 25 Derby The Venue
Fri 26 Sheffield Plug
Sun 28 Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Mon 29 Liverpool Buyers Club
Tues 30 Aberdeen, Drummonds
Thurs 1 Preston The Ferret
Fri 2 York The Crescent
Sat 3 Lincoln 2Q Festival
Mon 5 Oxford The Bullingdon
Tues 6 Cambridge The Portland Arms
Weds 7 London The Garage
Fri 9 Southampton Heartbreakers
Sat 10 Brighton The Haunt
Sun 11 Bristol Thekla
Tickets on general sale from here
Photo credit : Steve Hampson.

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Sugary & Neville Staple - Rude Rebels.

Original rude boy Neville Staple is back with his missus Sugary to remind us how vibrant the Ska scene is with a proper feel good album that also addresses some issues along the way. I skank my way around the room reviewing this fucking belter of a record!

This album should have been released during our rare heatwave. It’s the sound of summer plus ten. If you’re a stranger to Ska I suggest you start listening now. I was a massive fan of this genre just after the punk explosion when I first heard The Specials and will never look back. They just had that thing that dragged you in with their amazing songs with a message I didn’t understand at the time but appreciate it more as I turn into an old bastard. Ska was always an ingredient imported from Jamaica and you can here it all on this great album. It brought all culture together in an instant. The total kick in the balls to racism, skins, punks and everyone clubbed together with this stuff and I’m glad Neville & Sugary have released this to cement the feel good times of the early eighties. Oh by the way Neville is from Manchester, Jamaica!!
First track Rebel Down is pure Specials with Roddy Radiation on guitar duties and kicking the album off in true Ska style. A great rouse rumble of a track to kick in.
Tattoo King is pure reggae skank and is a pleasure to hear. Neville gives the duty to Sugary with her ace vocals and Brummie style. A top song.
I can’t review this album track by track as each song is just lovely fuckin Ska bangers. Girl n Boy is just filled with rewinds and Neville toasting like he was born to do. Roddy Radiation just plays that guitar like a muthafucka to match that skanking beat that flows throughout the album.
You have tracks like Wrong Shoes which highlights the homeless and the way people don’t know their names and treat them like nobodies. Dirty Little Liar tells you the tale of hidden secrets in families which everyone know but can’t address the issue.
On a happy note you have proper Ska stompers like Original Rudegirl Sound, Ska To The Beat and the brilliant Way Of Life which will make you skank and moonwalk down the street!
The Border raises the immigration issue and touches you with the honest lyrics about people from the world trying to escape persecution. But it doesn’t sound depressing. Far from it.
Last two tracks are like a rap battle between Neville & Sugary about loving each other and unity. Sugary does the sultry obligatory thing of loving Neville, then the man himself does some supreme toasting shit to offset the balance.
A breath of fresh air from all the indie / punk / prog stuff we’ve been getting this year. Not a bad thing, but this album sets itself apart with it’s funky reggae Ska shit that will uplift your mood. a record to let yourself go and funk about a bit. Refreshing as fuck!

Sep 22 Minehead – Butlins
Sep 29 Ware – Drill Hall
Oct 06 Cardiff – The Globe
Oct 13 Norwich – Epic Studios
Oct 20 Chesterfield (TBA)
Nov 10 Bognor – Butlins
Nov 16 Llangollen – Sun Inn
Nov 17 Bristol – Fleece
Nov 23 Skamouth – DJ Party
Dec 01 Hastings – Black Market VIP
Dec 08 Devon (TBA)
Dec 21 Frome – Cheese & Grain
Dec 22 Swansea – The Garage
Keep up with Neville Staple.

Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. His author profile is here and you can catch his blog at Photo credit : John Coles.

Steve Ignorant (Crass legend) - Interview

Steve Ignorant – Interviewed by Wayne Carey, ahead of London gig with Membranes, Cravats & Wolfhounds on 5th October at Islington Assembly Hall

Coming up to the big event (Tickets from HERE by the way…more information on the gig from Facebook event page here)   what better way to wet your appetite than to than speak to the Crass legend who now heads Slice Of Life? Nowt really…
Being at the tender young age of late 40’s vintage I was a bit too young for the 1977 punk explosion that happened around that band I don’t even need to name.
I was seven years old when it all kicked off and I admit to being excited by this renegade stuff that was flashing around me as some of my family members were into the music scene and I heard loads of comments about punks and scum and all the rest.
“How dare you speak like this about the royal family!” etc etc etc. I was already on a sonic journey but what I’ll always remember was the big A’s on the back of black jackets thinking “that is scary”. Crass had me then. I’d heard about the hidden flexi discs in magazines and the outright anarchy that went with it and thought… Is this what music does??

And then I listened to them… So What and then the classic Big A Little A. I was only young but a sponge and this shit sounded raw and real. People reading this might say, but Wayne, you write about indie bands in a twee way and gush over all sorts. But that’s why who I am today. I listen to everything and appreciate anything that sounds good. Crass were different. They had a message. They built an image. They were intelligent. They were not thugs. And they wrote good songs which still stand the test of time.
Steven Ignorant attended the Louder Than Words festival in Manchester last year which was where I first met him and I was a volunteer doing the doors for his talk.
When I met him I was greeted with the kindest most sincere welcome from him and his entourage that I won’t forget. They herded in a load of school kids on a field trip and Steve tried not to shock them with his tales of avoiding flying glass ashtrays and gobbing. I used to shit myself when I met Crass fans and now I don’t know why….
I’ve caught up with Steven and asked him a few questions about what’s happening with the brilliant Slice Of Life and what we can expect from him on his latest tour dates.
What have you been up to since I last met you?
I’ve been running around all over the place doing gigs, studio work, a bit of filming and cutting the bloody grass.
How’s the new album coming on?
Very well – still some work to do on the tracks we’ve already put down and a couple more to record.
 Slice Of Life’s last album Love And A Lampost is a massive departure from the Crass stuff, but tells some life aspiring tales. Are the old Crass fans bothered or are you as a matter of fact?
No, the older Crass fans like it. Ok it’s more melodic and mellow but I think people appreciate the subjects I’m talking about. I think it’s the younger Crass fans who find it difficult but then they’re very young and I’m coming from an older perspective.

What was the reason behind staging the Islington gig with Membranes and friends?
John Robb got in touch and said that an evening with those four bands would work really well and we agreed.
Who are your favourite artists at the moment and why?
If you mean painters William Powell Frith, Pieter Bruegel and Ingres.
But if you mean musicians I’m into Bowie’s early stuff when he was David Jones, Joni Mitchell, Miles Davis and I’m listening to a lot of soul at the moment. I could go on for ever.
Any chance of a Crass reunion on the cards or is that firmly in the past?
No, firmly in the past.
And that just says it all. Steve Ignorant. A punk saviour who just carries on with his intelligent music and prose. No big headed shit, just genuine stuff from a genuine bloke who loves what he does and doesn’t give a fuck whether we do too.

The Membranes Big London Bash  featuring Membranes with 20 piece Choir, Steve Ignorant and Slice of Life, The Cravats and the Wolfhounds is on 5th October 2018  – Tickets a value for money £15.  Event Page   Ticket Link

Other Steve Ignorant Tour Dates
26th The Grapes, Hereford
27th The Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
28th New Cross Inn, London
9th Salty Dog, Northwich
10th Queens Head, Belper
11th Foremans, Nottingham
Steve Ignorant Official Website

Words by Wayne Carey who writes for Louder Than War. His author profile is here and you can catch his blog at