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Johnny Moped film

Posted on July 3, 2013
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Heavenly Films and Dartmouth Films have announced details of the release of Basically, Johnny Moped, a documentary by director Fred Burns charting the story of one of punk’s most idiosyncratic talents.

The film receives its premier at London’s Koko on Thursday 19th September 2013, where the band will also be playing live, before going on general release in Playhouse cinemas across the U.K. from early October.

Tickets for the premier are priced at £17 and are available via www.koko.uk.com

One of U.K. music's great-lost treasures, fans and former band members tell the story in this funny and often moving account. A trailer for the film can be viewed here:


Formed in 1974 by a group of school friends from Croydon, Johnny Moped were the band fronted by, and named after the enigmatic Paul Halford (aka Johnny Moped). By 1977 the group found themselves at the heart of the burgeoning punk scene in London and for a brief moment even looked like contenders.

‘When I first met Johnny,’ Captain Sensible - the band’s original guitarist - says, ‘I just thought, this guy is a bundle of frenetic energy; he’s a megastar waiting to happen.’

By 1978, after an intense year of activity, the band were completing their first record with Chiswick Records and things were looking promising. But whilst adding the final touches to the record, Johnny - who had recently married - started to become evasive as his mother-in-law exerted pressure on him to leave the group. “In the end we had to basically kidnap him every time we had a gig or needed to record!’ said Dave Berk, the bands drummer.

Despite being able to count both Chrissie Hynde and Captain Sensible as past members, success was not to come their way and Johnny Moped are now largely forgotten - punk rock’s great lost band!


Johnny Moped – Current Lead Singer: Describing himself as being 82% mentally disabled, Johnny (AKA Paul Halford) was front man and namesake of the band Johnny Moped. Having been recently sacked from his job as a shelf stacker in Asda - for allegedly stealing a block of cheese - Johnny (60) is now the full time carer of his wife Brenda (20 years his senior).

Chrissie Hynde - Ex Guitarist: The legendary lead singer and founder of The Pretenders actually began her musical career as guitarist with the 'Mopeds', and was even sacked from the band twice!

Captain Sensible - Ex Guitarist: The iconic Damned guitarist was another original member of the band and was always a force promoting them, giving them their first shows supporting his next band The Damned and even helped secure their first record deal. When I first met Johnny,’ Captain says, ‘I just thought, this guy is a bundle of frenetic energy; he’s a megastar waiting to happen.’

Shane MacGowan – Fan: The notorious Pogues frontman, Shane MacGowan was and still is a big fan of Johnny Moped and supported them on numerous occasions with his punk band The Nips. Shane says about them ‘all the gigs were amazing, they were the most exciting band since the Pistols, The Damned and The Clash’.

Slimy Toad – Current Guitarist: Captain Sensible's replacement, Toad is known for wearing a sieve or police helmet on his head. He ended up writing their best loved, and most controversial song 'Incendiary Device'.

Dave Berk – Current Drummer: A member of the band from the very beginning in 1970 to the current day, Dave is still the driving force of the band, not only organising gigs and rehearsals but also the keeper of the band's archive.

Other interviewees include:

Billy Childish (Artist / Musician), 
Don Letts (DJ / filmmaker), Xerxes aka John (Original Member - Saxophone), Roger Armstrong (Label Boss / Producer), Tony Robinson (Tour Manager),
Andy Cz (Club Owner - The Roxy), Brenda (Johnny's Current Wife), Shanne Bradley (The Nips), Kay Byatt (Johnny’s Ex Girlfriend).


Fred Burns (fred@fredburns.co.uk) – Director / Producer / Camera / Editor

Fred is drawn to subjects that arise in cultural phenomena and the personal stories behind them. His main area of curiosity is in home movies and photography, why we feel the need to document our lives and the impact doing so has on us. He collects other peoples' home movies, which always brings up the question, ‘who are these people and how the hell did these films end up here?’. He is trying not to buy any more until he has a bigger place to live.

His graduation film Forget Cassettes?, is a homage to the audio-cassette. Through peoples' personal anecdotes, the film tells the story of a format that had become redundant but which has re-emerged as a nostalgic icon. It premiered at the 2008 London Short Film Festival.

Through the lives of several dedicated collectors and the personal missions they’ve given themselves, his second film, The Collectors, explores why 50% of us collect objects. It premiered at Open City Documentary Festival 2011.

Paul Kelly – Associate Producer / Assistant Editor

Paul has been a regular collaborator with the band Saint Etienne, co-directing (with Kieran Evans) the feature length documentary Finisterre in 2003. He has since made several other films with the band including What Have You Done Today, Mervyn Day? (2005) and This Is Tomorrow (2007) His most recent documentary about former Felt and Denim front man entitled Lawrence Of Belgravia premiered at the 2011 London Film Festival.

Martin Kelly (Heavenly Films) – Executive Producer

As MD of Heavenly Records and manager of Saint Etienne, Martin was involved in the production of the band's three feature length documentaries. In autumn 2010 he set up Heavenly Films with the intention of producing a series of new music related documentary films, including Lawrence Of Belgravia (2011) and LDN (in production).

Christopher Hird (Dartmouth Films - christo@dartmouthfilms.com) – Executive Producer

Christopher Hird is the founder of Dartmouth Films, one of UK's leading producers of independent documentaries and pioneers of new funding and distribution models. His recent credits include the BAFTA nominated McCullin (2012), the Sundance selected Fire in the Blood (2012), which premiered at Sheffield last year, The Flaw (2011) and The End of the Line (2009).

Steve Ignorant with Paranoid Visions album launch gig

Posted on June 18, 2013
Filed Under Gigs | Leave a Comment

Saturday 9th November 2013 at The Dome in Tufnell Park, London sees the launch of the Steve Ignorant with Paranoid Visions album. Apart from Rebellion Festival and the North-East Calling Festival this will be the only UK gig they'll be doing this year and it'll be to launch the album 'When...?' out on Overground Records.

Supports come from Zounds, The Cravats and Moral Dilemma's Craig Temple.

Tickets are £15 and available online from www.gigbox.co.uk and in person at All Ages Records in Camden.

zounds ‘Ancient Briton’ 7″

Posted on June 16, 2013
Filed Under New Releases | Leave a Comment

Got copies of the wonderful new Zounds 7" in stock for £4. Limited to 1000. If you'd like one email me.

Ancient Briton

A heavy beat and a catchy chorus are the hallmarks of this anthem to modern/ austerity/ binge-drinking/ ConDem Britain.

It starts in a pub in Bradford, takes a trip round the terraces, easy-jets it to Spain and ends up with a picture on Facebook of an obliterated geezer lying face down on the pavement wondering what day of the week it is.

It’s the reason the Romans high tailed it back to the sun. And you thought they were just a wimpy peace and love band!

Sick Of Work

The B-side of this platter is also as catchy as hell (which is where this godless band are headed).

With a chord sequence that launched a thousand hits and even more misses, this feel-good waxing urges Britain’s hard working families to bunk-off, enjoy the sunshine and throw a sickie. Still infantile after all these years.

The band might be out of step with the political classes but are bang up to date by issuing this on vinyl, everybody’s favourite retro-petro-chemical byproduct.

 Available as a download for those not into conspicuous consumption!

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