Thursday, 21 February 2019

The Ventrelles: Stop - new video

Welcome to The Ventrelles.

The band are another breed of Mancs joining the thriving scene of the moment. The Shutters EP was released late last year on DIY Manchester label Black Beach Records and is an impressive start to their journey. I've been sent the latest video to their track Stop from the EP and it's a great listen. It starts off with some lovely strings which is ambitious for a new band then kicks in with the Manc style lyrics and the New Order type sound adds to it all to accomplish a well written song. Take a look for yourself!



Friday, 15 February 2019

Interview with Peter Gravelle - Sex Pistols photographer.

Forty years after the death of Sid Vicious, people will always be curious as to what actually happened on that fateful night and the whole mystery surrounding the myth and legend of The Sex Pistols icon. Peter Gravelle, the punk / fashion photographer who was actually on the scene at the time probably knows more about what happened than most people. Wayne Carey has an intimate chat with the man himself and finds out a lot more about what actually happened…
This was supposed to be an interview about Peter’s great book and his career in photography. It turned out to be a full blown account of the early years in London and the downward spiral of John Simon Richie (aka Sid Vicious) who was taken away far too early by the excess of drugs and fame which lead to this untimely demise of one of punks first pin ups. On February 2nd 1979 he was found dead and people are still questioning what really happened around this time. Peter Gravelle got involved in the punk scene from the start, making iconic album covers for the likes of The Damned and being involved with Generation X and The Pistols. I speak to him ready to go with my set of questions but they are not needed. Peter, with his well spoken London / American tinged accent tells me everything about those gripping times when punk exploded and Vicious imploded…
“So how did it all start Peter?”
“I came across this scene purely by chance due to being friends with a girl called Judy who was a model who was going out with Brian James (The Damned guitarist) I was asked to take a few photos of the band unpaid. I agreed as long as I could do my thing and that became the pie scene. The thing was at the time there was a scene springing up and I just got dragged into the whole thing. I got friendly with Barry Jones (guitarist with The London Cowboys and Johnny Thunders) and ended up being part of the whole Roxy scene. The 100 Club was another place where everyone went but there was no real meeting place until The Roxy. Another club in West Kensington I can’t quite remember the name of had a lot of live bands on and if I remember I saw The Damned play there. At the time people were using different names and I didn’t want the Peter Gravelle name confusing people with the fashion work, so I used different names like Kodick, or Hugh Heffer to confuse people.
Peter then talks about Sid.
“I first met Sid probably in The Maida Vale area. I had my own place in one of the mews and Sid was living not far away from me. Barry Jones used to have parties in his house and this is where I got talking to Sid and loads of other bands hanging around at the time. I had heard about the reputation from the Nick Kent incident and that he could be a loose cannon but nothing really threatening about him. Just a young guy with a bit of an attitude taking shit loads of speed which was the drug of choice at the time. Heroin was not even on the scene at the time, but that all changed sooner or later. I travelled to Sweden with The Pistols in 77 and it was fucking weird. Everyone had long hair and it was like a fucking Viking convention. The band played tiny venues and not many due to being banned after a short time.
This Is America – Nancy Spungeon And The Downfall Of Sid.
“Nancy was trouble from the start. Sid was using and the quality of the heroin in the UK was far superior. For some reason Sid had a thing for Nancy and she got him using again but the heroin was shit. You had to buy bags of the stuff to get a decent hit and we basically didn’t get the buzz that we were used to. Nancy basically fucked up his life around this point. I wasn’t there when she died but there are many takes on what happened. I just think Sid had this thing about her and was dragged in by a nasty piece of work who sealed his fate. Sid did his time at Rykers Island after her death and was clean when he left. I was told he was out and I actually bumped him into at Max’s Kansas City. This is where the incident with Todd Smith, Patti Smith’s brother unfolded. It all got a bit out of order and Sid smashed a glass in his face. No one knew me at the time and I was a witness but lied about the incident saying I saw nothing to stop him being sent back to prison.
The Night That Changed Everything
“Sid was let out after the altercation and his mother was hanging around. Now I need to point out here that Malcolm McLaren has a lot do to with his death. He knew Sid’s mother was dangerous and should have never been let near him. Sid knew his mother was there and I had to hide him from her at the time. We went back to Sid’s friends apartment Michelle Robinson. Sid’s mum was there and had bought some shit heroin, that’s when he asked me to get him something. I said I’ll see what I can do and get back. I got there at around 8 o’clock. I’d scored some good stuff recommended by a friend I’d met. Me and Sid had a hit and it was fucking strong stuff. He was quite strung out and I panicked a bit as he had turned blue. You have to think he was clean at the time so you can imagine how his body was not conditioned for the usual stuff. Meanwhile his mum was cooking dinner and Michelle was there also. Nothing like the party everyone reckons they were at. He was eventually OK when I left, however Michelle had given him 4 quaaludes to help him sleep. Now taking 2 of them is bad enough, however after shooting heroin 4 is fucking mental. Sid was always persuasive and probably asked his mum for another hit on top of that. I had left at 2am and found out the next afternoon he was dead. They found a bag of heroin next to him when they found they body which was suspicious due to him allegedly having another hit. Did he take anymore? Or was it the quaaludes….”
A tragedy waiting to happen anyone? Sid Vicious was on a path of self destruction that caught up with him, being bad parents, bad partners, bad lifestyle. Such a shame….
On a lighter note I talk to Peter about his own future and what to expect:
“Is there anyone you’d like to photograph nowadays in the music business? I do suggest The Blinders….
“I’m interested in doing something with Peter Perrett from The Only Ones. He has a new album out soon so that would be good. Iggy Pop is someone on my radar as he always has that thing. Other than that I’m enjoying a retirement moment but always got ideas in the pipeline.
Watch this space…. Peter Gravelle could tell you some stories. He certainly told me one.
You can buy this fascinating book from the available retailers:
For Sex Pistols trainspotters out there, one of these photos has never been published before….

Photo credits: Peter Gravelle (copyrighted). Use of these images in any form without permission is illegal.

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Gig news!!!

Just a quick one for all you music heads out there. Three of the best bands around at the moment are re-living The Castle gig over at The Salty Dog, Northwich. This will sell out. Be warned!!

The Salty Dog added an event.
When Louder Than War ask if they can showcase some of the best new bands around at your venue, you say YES! Check this out....
We've got the triple threat of Cold Water Swimmers, The Pagans and The Tinfoils.
Last time these bands played together they certainly caught the eye of LTW. Read the review below to get what you're in for.
All three of these bands are heavily tipped by the folk at LTW, these are the future festival headliners and you can get in on the ground floor, but only if you are quick!
There are a few £3 early bird tickets for those that like to plan ahead, after that it's £5 advance, don't hang around though, as you know we are a pretty small place so tickets are very limited!
FRI, 19 APR AT 20:00
14 going · 16 interested

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Calva Louise: Rhinoceros - Album Review

Debut album by the tri continent punk power pop trio delivers on all fronts. Check out my Louder Than War piece. Details of a special gig at Night People also announced!!

Calva LouiseCalva
Modern Sky Records
CD / Vinyl / DL
available now
The power pop punk trio from three continents deliver a fuzzy buzzing ten song debut that hits the spot. Wayne Carey listens in and gives the verdict.
I stumbled across this promising trio while having a beer in Jimmy’s Bar, Manchester before a gig I was attending later on in the night. They were soundchecking downstairs and sounded fuckin’ ace. A local legend John Hall informed me they were Calva Louise, the support group for a now well known band from Doncaster. I was at that gig and they were blinding. Little did I know they had a forthcoming album up their sleeve which I’m going to tell you about.
Hailing from three continents this trio met in London at a music night, it all clicked and they joined forces. Introducing vocalist from Venezuela, Jess Allanic, drummer Ben Parker from New Zealand, plus bassist Alizon Talo, this band were meant to be. The album was recorded in London at Hermitage Work Studios produced by Margo Broom (Fat White Family, Goat Girl, Catholic Action) and each track is a killer.
I Heard A Cry kicks in with an infectious riff that turns into machine gun fire sound effects, filled with a pop hook that Blondie would be proud of, especially when you have a drummer who could have been taught by Clem Burke. Great start. I’m Gonna Do Well is another banger and Jess has that right balance between great harmonies and that Riot Grrlll banshee scream to perfection. All the elements of those great female fronted bands from the nineties with grunge bollocks.
Tug Of War is catchy as fuck and you can feel this band are connected in every way. Great riffs, rolling bass and catchy chorus combined to create an anthem that is up there with the likes of Belly, The Breeders etc. Outrageous is a stormer. Dirty bass, crunching guitar riff, angelic yet menacing vocals, loads of ‘la la las’ going on. I can hear myself shouting out loud to this one live.
No Hay mellows the whole thing down with the haunting whistling and the Madder Rose type feel, then it builds and slows down then builds. These guys know how to play and they are welded together in that tight mesh of power pop like they’ve been practising for years.
Getting Close is probably the best track here as they combine the lot. It pulls you in with a hip hop style drum beat and you think this is just gonna funk along with Jess’s smooth vocals. The guitars kick in and it all goes up a gear. Jess has a piercing scream which is mixed so clever it doesn’t sound disjointed, and the bass just delivers on all counts. The closest you’ll get to a grunge hip hop number. Arctic Monkeys have done it before but not to this effect.
Wondertale just hits the spot yet again and I’ll have to mention those glut of great nineties bands from the USA again. Not a bad thing as there are not many bands around at the moment that can relive the magic from that era and make it sound relevant in 2019..
Cruel Girl is right up on the Babes In Toyland / Hole shelf but could also fit nicely on a Blinders album (Think I Can’t Breathe Blues with a female vocalist). Pummelling and skilful it lifts the stakes for punk power pop on all levels.
Down The Stream is the most mellowtrack on here and seems to be all about not being with her father but staying in touch. A beautiful song which sends shivers down my spine when I hear it. Think Kristin Hersh when she delivered Hips & Makers and you’ll know what I’m on about. Closing track Out Of Use again gives you memories of The Breeders, Belly and Throwing Muses and is full of hooks, melody and fucking great songwriting.
This is a cracking debut by three young musicians who met by chance and have that spark that set them up high in the stakes of the scene today. After seeing them live I wondered whether they could translate to record. They certainly have and as debuts go this will be in the albums of the year polls without a doubt.

Pre-order here:

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

Callow Youth: Did It Really Matter? - debut single.

DIRM cover RM
Photo credit: Paul Husband.
North Manchester teenagers air their debut single this week (Friday 1st Feb) and it’s got all the swagger and expectancy you’d want from a bunch of 18 year olds from Moston with attitude. They’ve already been dabbling on the scene, building a live reputation in the Northwest and  hitting playlists with their earlier unreleased stuff like Into The Sun, which impressed me enough with it’s Northern charm and catchy chorus. They’ve already been spotted on the LTW radar in June last year. Along with Scuttlers from Middleton they are hotly tipped for this year and if this debut is anything to go by, this next wave is gonna start rippling fast. Did It Really Matter is fast paced indie rock with a punch that is going to attract the indie masses wanting more of that anthemic rush. It has already been made Single Of The Week on XS Manchester. Great stuff!
Alfie Turner – Vocals, Guitar,
Tom Hilton – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals,
Nathan Wrigley – Bass Guitar, Backing Vocals,
Connor Wilkinson – Drums, Backing Vocals

Live Dates:
Friday Feb 1st – Jacksons Pit, Oldham with The Maitlands, Narcissus and Stray Sunshine
Saturday 9th March – Night People Manchester with Moses and The C33’s