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Woosh! compilation CD released

Posted on December 1, 2014
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Woosh! CD compilation

NewVarious - Ten Little Records: The Woosh Collection cd

the late '80s saw an abundance of jangly pop bands across the UK, and there were many, many wonderful releases to take in. Near the top of the heap sat this wee empire from Newcastle called Woosh (who booked gigs and did a fanzine, in addition to the label), who released ten 7"s - most of them flexis - in 1988-1989. It was an even mix of current popular bands (Pooh Sticks, Groove Farm, Choo Choo Train) and newer, unknown bands (Holidaymakers, Nivens, Esmerlda's Kite), and always reliable. This disc collects those ten perfect little records (sans one band, who unfortunately would not grant us permission to use their track) onto one handy disc to make for nearly an hour of top-notch jangly indiepop! Note: due to the lack of master tapes, in some cases the audio was lovingly extracted from the original vinyl, and is presented to you here in all of its mid-fi glory; sound quality purists be forewarned...

  1. Holidaymakers - Everyday   download track
  2. The Nivens - Let Loose Of My Knee
  3. The Driscolls - Father's Name Is Dad
  4. Strawberry Story - Tell Me Now
  5. The Haywains - Bythesea Road
  6. The Haywains - Tobe's Gone West   download track
  7. Holidaymakers - Cincinnati
  8. Holidaymakers - Seventh Valley Girl
  9. The Nivens - Yesterday
  10. The Nivens - I Hope You'll Always Be My Friend
  11. Esmerelda's Kite - Vampire Girl
  12. The Pooh Sticks - Hard On Love
  13. St. James Infirmary - The Boy Who Crossed The Street
  14. The Sunflowers - Bubble Bus
  15. The Nivens - Beautiful
  16. The Nivens - The Necessity For Spastics In 20th Century Culture
  17. The Nivens - Northumberland
  18. The Nivens - I Love Me
  19. Eye Pilgrims - Wall Of Sand
  20. Choo Choo Train - Many Happy Returns
Not limited. All songs written by the artists, except track 3 by The Fire. Available digitally on Bandcamp.

X-X reform and are playing live

Posted on November 30, 2014
Filed Under Bands | Leave a Comment


I got all this from the New York Times website. It's so well written by Mike Rubin there's no point changing anything. Read on...

One day in 1980, I reached a milestone in a Jewish boy’s journey into manhood: spending my bar mitzvah money on punk rock records. I was searching the racks at a record store for “Adult Books,” the debut single by the Los Angeles band X, and the only 45 that remotely fit the bill featured a couple of white X’s on the front cover, separated by a dash, above a photo of the bare backside of a woman bound at the ankles. The back-cover band photo corresponded somewhat to the group I’d read about in a zine — four members, one of them female — though the label credited the single to Drome Records instead of Dangerhouse. So a band name starting with “X,” a multigendered quartet, a record label beginning with “D,” a whiff of the forbidden: “Close enough,” I thought, and made my purchase.

What I’d actually acquired was the first of two singles by the Cleveland band X__X (pronounced Ex Blank Ex), which existed for only six months in 1978. Led by the guitarist John D Morton, X__X was a spiritual heir to Mr. Morton’s more infamous group, the Electric Eels, whose unruly noise and penchant for mayhem provided inspiration for future punks, despite playing only five shows during their existence from 1972 to 1975 and never seeing the inside of a proper recording studio.

When I eventually heard it, “Adult Books” turned out to be rather conventional. The record I’d brought home, on the other hand, was wild: Its atonal droning, lurching rhythms, skronky guitars and snarling vocals suggested a Midwestern cousin to New York’s “no wave” movement. This was literally art-punk: The X__X single’s A-side, entitled “A,” was about getting cancer from making sculptures with polyester resin. The band photo, a fake, was actually an image of Mr. Morton’s punk performance-art project (the name of which, like many of Mr. Morton’s pronouncements, cannot be repeated here) that lip-synced to a recorded soundtrack and mimed playing their instruments. Mr. Morton deliberately put different years on the sleeve, much as he had written the credits for the Electric Eels’ first single in pidgin German, leading some to believe they hailed from Europe, not Cleveland.

“Just having fun,” Mr. Morton said recently over coffee at a Brooklyn bakery, when asked about the confusion such misinformation might create. “Why not provoke?”

This artistic antagonism, inspired by an affinity for the Dadaist movement, has been at the heart of Mr. Morton’s work — both as a musician and a visual artist — for the better part of four decades. He has remained a relatively obscure figure. But back in the early 1970s, with only the Stooges and the Velvet Underground as role models, he and his colleagues turned their youthful alienation into a brazenly experimental, loudly confrontational and proudly antisocial roar that forged a new and distinct style. Despite their limited discography, the Electric Eels are cited repeatedly in underground rock histories as having provided a spiritual beacon, if not actually a seminal role, in the evolution of punk. Without the benefit of an actual scene or clubs, specialized labels or built-in booster groups, they defined the conventions of noise rock. Today, with punk rock a staple of the pop mainstream, the defiance of Mr. Morton and his band mates, in the face of almost total antipathy, remains a benchmark for anyone hoping to express their rebelliousness by plugging in a guitar.

The Electric Eels “were doing stuff that was punk and beyond punk before punk had even started,” the British author Jon Savage said. “They prefigure punk, but in many ways they’re more sophisticated and more intense and funnier. You never quite know where you are with them because of John’s relentless black humor.”

After a lengthy disappearance from music to focus on art and health issues, Mr. Morton has seen in the last year a rediscovery of his recorded legacy. In late 2013, both the Electric Eels’ and X__X’s debut singles were included on a compilation by the British label Soul Jazz. In March, X__X’s two singles were collected for the first time, along with previously unreleased 1978 live recordings and practice tapes, on the compilation “X Sticky Fingers X” released by the Finnish label Ektro/Full Contract. (In July, the Florida label Smog Veil released a digital version.) Last week, the Superior Viaduct archival label released “Die Electric Eels,” a compilation of 1975 recordings.

The X__X collection prompted Mr. Morton to reunite with members of that band and tour: they will play songs from both bands at Cake Shop in Manhattan on Thursday and at Monty Hall, the radio station WFMU’s performance space in Jersey City next Sunday, making their New York debut almost four decades after they ceased to exist.

In advance of the concerts, Mr. Morton, 61, visited Brooklyn from his home upstate in Treadwell, N.Y., to begin new treatment for hepatitis C, a result of his years of heroin addiction. (He says he has been sober and drug-free for 19 years). At 6-foot-1 and 220 pounds, Mr. Morton still cuts an imposing figure, despite needing a hiking pole to walk with. (He has had both knees replaced.) About 10 years ago, he began getting tattoos of his own design, including a steaming coffee cup on the back of one hand, necklacelike bands of color around his throat and an infinity symbol on his left earlobe. Gone is the peroxided blond shoulder-length mane that, combined with his size, made him look like a glam-rock version of the 1950s wrestler Gorgeous George.

Espousing an approach he termed “art terrorism,” Mr. Morton formed the Eels with friends from suburban Lakewood High School, drawing inspiration from Captain Beefheart, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler. “I played what I called antimusic in my mind,” Mr. Morton said. “I purposely never learned the scales.”

The Eels’ infrequent live performances were anarchic; often dispensing with a drummer, they had “instruments” that included a gas-powered lawn mower, sheet metal and a sledgehammer. The Eels’ shows were also marked by “violence that mostly I was in charge of,” Mr. Morton said. Most gigs resulted in fisticuffs with his band mates, audience members or the police. “That was kind of what I did back then, but I don’t do anymore — though I think about it.”

Culturally, the Cleveland of the early 1970s was a vacuum, Mr. Morton said, but the Eels found a few other more-or-less kindred spirits, sharing bills with Rocket From the Tombs (whose members would later form Pere Ubu and the Dead Boys) and Mirrors. Trying to pursue his vision in Cleveland was “horrendous,” Mr. Morton said. “Everybody said I was wrong in my art and in my music. There was no support, there was no nurturing, it was only ‘You are wrong!’

After deciding to move to New York in 1978, he started X__X as a temporary band before departing, enlisting another songwriter in the rhythm guitarist Andrew Klimeyk. Where the Eels were barely controlled chaos, X__X was more musicianly, thanks in part to its drummer Anton Fier, who showed Mr. Morton how to practice and rehearse the band. “The Electric Eels gigs were much more confrontational, both in terms of the inner workings of the band and the band’s relationship to the audience,” said Mr. Fier, who would found the Golden Palominos after moving to New York. In contrast, Mr. Fier said, X__X shows “were much tamer, almost blasé by comparison. All we did was play our set.”

Even so, X__X’s approach was hardly traditional. “We would do songs like “No No” where we would play the same two notes 30 times,” said Jim Ellis, X__X’s original bassist. In “Encore,” Mr. Ellis said, “the band would strike a pose for 30 seconds not playing a single note,” while the song “Tool Jazz” “consisted of us playing power tools onstage.”

Given the Eels’ combustible dynamic, it’s probably no surprise that Mr. Morton has battled with various former band mates over everything from songwriting credits to Internet domain names. His relationships with former members of X__X, however, have fared better, though Mr. Fier and Mr. Ellis declined Mr. Morton’s invitation to play in a reunited X__X. To replace Mr. Ellis on bass, Mr. Morton tapped another Lakewood High alum, Craig Willis Bell, who had been in Mirrors and Rocket From the Tombs. (Mr. Fier’s drum seat has been filled by Matthew Albert Harris, the 25-year-old son of a friend of Mr. Morton’s.)

While Mr. Morton insisted that he is “still a nihilist,” Mr. Bell instead described him as “the kinder, gentler John.” It’s not just Mr. Morton’s demeanor that’s evolved; the recent reassessment of Mr. Morton and his music has seemingly meant that what was once viewed as wrong is now understood by a new generation to be right. At a show in Detroit in August, fans swarmed the stage and knocked over gear. After a career facing unreceptive audiences, “it’s very different,” Mr. Morton said. “People like us. They applaud us. This is a change.”

Stockton’s Riverside Rebellion Music Festival

Posted on November 24, 2014
Filed Under Festivals | Leave a Comment

BIG FIGURE PROMOTIONS Present Stockton's first ever Riverside Rebellion music festival.


TICKETS NOW ON SALE ONLINE £15 Advance and £18 Door : www.ticketsource.co.uk/bigfigurepromotions or http://facebook.us9.list-manage.com/track/click?u=79c2a4bc54bc5d455876c07e7&id=3ce483b155&e=7b886f726e or from Box Office at the Georgian Theatre (Mon - Frid 10-5pm).


ROCK GARDEN legends 999 originally formed in Dec 1976. Early singles included I’m Alive, Emergency, Nasty Nasty & Homocide. The title track of their third album The Biggest Prize in Sport includes a track called English Wipeout which actually name checks Middlesbrough Rock Garden. They return for a third time following two sold out gigs.


Duncan Reid & The Big Heads – Duncan’s pedigree was evident in The Boys who were one of the very first punk bands releasing singles in 1976/77 - I Don’t Care, First Time and Brickfield Nights were all on the poppier side of punk. Duncan formed The Big Heads last year and they do write their own material as evidenced on their debut album Little Big Head. They recently supported The Rezillos at the Georgian Theatre.


Menace – were one of the early London street punk bands. They signed with Illegal Records and released Screwed Up and I Need Nothing which gained them a cult following. Small Wonder released their most famous record GLC and Last Year’s Youth. They are just about to release a new album and quite incredibly have never played on Teesside before!


The Bermondsey Joyriders have previous having been in various bands including Chelsea, Cocksparrer, Johnny Thunders & The Little Roosters. Gary Lammin is a punk/r&b guitar legend whilst Martin Stacey was an early member of London punk band, Chelsea. He co-wrote Right To Work, The Loner & High Rise Living with Gene October. The band have just released a new album entitled 'Flamboyant Thugs' sounding like a cross between Slade and Dr Feelgood. Don't miss this band!


HDQ – Sunderland-based they were one of the leading lights of the UK Hardcore Scene of the late 1980s. They released several albums and were renowned for their energetic live shows. They reformed last year and recently released their first album in 23 years entitled Lost in Translation. 75% of the band ended up in Leatherface.


Death Pedals from Dalston, London, are an exciting new hardcore band who vaguely exist in the same territory as early Meat Puppets and Rudimentary Peni, though they list bands as obscure as Shellac, The Sonics & The Wipers as influences. It’s their first show on Teesside and a bit of a coup for us as they rarely venture this far north. Most of their live sets are conducted within 30 mins – blink, and you might miss them!


Loaded 44 are an ass-shakin' punk rock band from the North East of England. Formed in 1996, guitarist-songwriter Dave is joined by Beki (Steve Ignorant's Last Supper European tour 2010) with Steve and Nelly from The Lurkers and Hi Fi Spitfires. Their new album, Wasted On You, includes two tracks featuring The Toy Dolls' Olga on guitar and is out now on STP records.


Zeitgeist 77 are one of three local bands who have raised their game this year backed by a wall of sound drummer who it is rumoured once taught Grant Hart of Husker Du how to play drums. They recently supported The Rezillos and UK Decay at the Georgian Theatre.


The Filth have been added to the line-up after their blistering perfromance supporting Ruts DC at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton at the weekend. Originally from Thornaby and part of the orginal Teesside punk scene that had Middlesbrough Rock Garden at its epicentre. The Filth released a joint five track single with Discharge from Boro that can now sell for £250 and featured in an article on rare punk singles in Record Collector. They reformed four years ago and recently released new material - their first for 35 years.


The Antiseptics are a young up-and-coming punk band from Middlesbrough who have supported several bands at The Legion including Discharge, GBH and Vice Squad. They are part of the re-emerging Teesside hardcore & punk scene who promote their own nights in Middlesbrough.


Booking through Ticketsource

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