Sunday, November 04, 2012

'And we don't care...'

'Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols' was released 35 years ago this week. It's hard to explain to people that were too young to understand (or indeed not even born) at the time just what an astonishing event the release of this album was to disenfranchised teenagers such as myself. For me it remains the ultimate 'you're-either-with-us-or-you're-against-us' moment in popular music, an event that polarised the classroom, the playground, the kids that you played football in the park and in the street with - everyone. Listened to now (and I've been listening to it rather a lot this week) it still sounds extraordinary, a 12-track blast of punk rock adrenalin that never fails to astound and amaze. Well, that's what it does for me anyway! Inevitably it's been re-issued in various formats, not least a 'Super Deluxe Box Set' which will set you back the best part of £100 and which includes previously unheard outtakes, a DVD of footage from the turbulent year that was 1977 and a book that looks so big and heavy that it'll probably fall through the average coffee table. I keep telling myself not to buy it, but we both know that I will in the end don't we? I must have the album in various formats, oh I don't know, 6 times at least - which reminds me, I wonder how much my '11-track-album-with-the-one-sided-single-of-Submission-and-a-poster' is worth? Maybe enough to buy the box set? Then again surely the fact that I'm even thinking of spending that much money on something that I've basically already got is keeping the great rock 'n' roll swindle going into the 21st Century? Malcolm McLaren, take a bow!

Meanwhile the first album by GLM is released this week. 'Chemical Landslide' features Pete Stride (guitar and vocals) Nigel Moore (bass) and Pete 'Manic Esso' Haynes (drums) and while it's 14 tracks sound quite a bit heavier and indeed darker than anything that they produced together in The Lurkers there's still plenty there to keep us old fans happy. Esso and Nigel thunder along in time-honoured tradition, and if the Stride guitar is more metal than punk these days his haunting vocals balance it all out well. The best track for me at the moment is probably 'Beyond The Pale' with it's amazing 'can you turn the lights down' refrain although the opener 'Every Night's A Story' and the title track are running it close, with 'Crash Landing' probably the nearest to the old Lurkers sound. It's always hard to be objective when it comes to music made by friends but I think they've really got something good here so let's hope the album gets heard by enough people to make an impact - it seems to me that with all the social media at our disposal these days it's relatively easy to have an Internet presence but it's harder than ever to stand out from the crowd. It's available now from their website for the very reasonable price of £8.99 - go on, you know you want to...

In other news Ruts D.C were due to play at The Islington Assembly Hall on Tuesday, but sadly the show was cancelled as The Mayor Of Islington is using the room. I will heroically restrain myself from saying anything at this point other than to observe that judging by the comments on the band's Facebook page (and indeed on The Ruts's page) I'm not the only person that's disappointed... still there have been some good reviews of last month's shows in Birmingham and York, and we're playing at The 100 Club on Saturday 22nd December (hopefully!) as part of a Joe Strummer tribute weekend (it'll be the 10th anniversary of his untimely death) as well as lining up some gigs for next year so it's not all bad news by any means.

And on the subject of everybody's favourite social network I've been musing on whether or not to keep the Facebook page that I started back in September. Yeah, I know, things must be quiet if that's all I've got to think about... anyway after talking to a few people (not least the legend that is Voltarol - once again the winner of last month's caption competition was the only entrant! Mind you, it was a very good caption!) I've decided to put my reservations to one side and to keep it for the moment at least. You can find me here if you want to - with yet more shameless self-publicity in mind I'm basically going to use it to publicise upcoming gigs, post reviews and YouTube clips of old gigs, plug my mates when they're doing something interesting and maybe even include the odd lefty rant. So - pretty much the same as on this here blog then... incidentally I put up a note about the GLM album this week and someone 'unliked' me! It's a good album, honest! 
And things are quiet in more ways than one, as I'm still suffering from earwax in my right ear; indeed if anything it's got worse. Maybe it's just as well (for once) that I've had no gigs this week? 

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