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BLAM August 2003

A word in your ear...

Crowds of eager punters clutching fivers stormed the doors on Tuesday night when it was announced that one of the Forum Broadcasting Corporation's most famous promoters would be returning to his role as head booker. Dave "Hairless Cornflake" Jarvis is being brought back into the fold to replace Mark Davyd who is said by the management to be "very ill indeed and unable to provide a normal booking service" - a condition that first came to everybody's attention when he mysteriously booked Spunge for two nights.
"I don't intend to make sweeping changes to the line up" said "the DJ" as his legion of fans know him (Doris and Arthur Legion, 22 Biggleswade Road). "Whatever his name was, the bloke that did it after me, sorry, my mind has gone blank, did a very adequate job, given the extent of his talents, and many of the most popular items in the line up will stay the same, although possible not the bands or the music or the comedy or the in between band chatter or………….actually, the show was rubbish, but lucky fans, I am back."
Jarvey, as he was known throughout the western world, spent many years as the number one booker and promoter in the West Kent (Hawkenbury and Pembury area) region, and is fondly remembered by many of the local gigging public for the incredible line up he brought to the town. Who can forget bands such as the Pop Guns, Raw Herbs, Pop Guns, Corn Dollies, and perhaps most famously of all the Pop Guns?

As Marvey Jarvey, as he was always known in his heyday, took the mic for his first night as booker in over ten years there was no sign of nerves and he was straight back on form. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I know that many of you will be missing that bloke whose name I have forgotten, and it's very sad he is close to death, although even sadder that he is not quite close enough for me to permanently get my old job back. First of all I have something I want to mention………" upon which he proceeded to talk for four hours about Brighton & Hove FC before finally introducing the first band with the immortal catchphrase that sends shivers down the spine of any decent music lover: "Yes, you asked for `em, I phoned `em up, they caught a bus here, fwoarr, look at the lead singer, it's………….THE POP GUNS!"
Noel Edmonds is 98!

Blam is owned and produced by The Forum. We are poor starving musicians and artists who don't even have
a garret so there is very little point in coming after us for money just because we accused you of being a donkey basher, but if you are really intent on litigation, then you sue us via
The Forum, Fonthill, The Common, Fonthill, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8YU
But nine times out of ten I wouldn't bother because our lawyers, FULLER, SCHEIDT & BLAGGITT are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood.Before the whispering campaign starts, can I just mention that the above seems quite humorous to me and if you don't find it so you're probably the one with the problem? Unless you are under the age of thirty of course, in which case you have no idea what we are on about. So, for all you teenies out there; poo, bum, willy! There we go, something hilarious for you too. This magazine is full of fucking swear words. Some of them are as naughty as a cack burping arse muncher. Sorry.

The Bluetones
The Vessels
Sunday 17th August

Adam Devlin (lead guitar), Scott Morriss (bass/backing vocals), Eds Chesters (drums) and Mark Morriss (voice) once lived together in Hounslow (near Heathrow Airport) and rehearsed in their garage. That they all write songs, are multi-instrumentalist and sing, is a hint to their ability/potential. They all have massive record collections too. It is this love of music that is the main vibe in the Bluetones camp. Highly impressive, right from the start, after only a handful of low-key London gigs, they had fans in home made T-shirts. When The Bluetones first arrived on the scene they said "we would rather be loved by one hundred people than quite liked by a thousand". Things haven't changed. They don't have one of the biggest followings, just one of the most loyal. The Evening Standard called The Bluetones "too nice to be superstars" and everybody who met them when they were down this way in March can confirm that to be true. The Bluetones began the new millenium with "Science & Nature" returning them to the Top Ten of the UK album charts and, despite having no American release, it also ended up as one of the Top albums of 2000 on Rolling Stone's website. In May, The Bluetones released their fourth studio album, 'Luxembourg'. Three years on from 'Science and Nature', the new material denotes a radical change in direction for The Bluetones. With a more basic approach to songwriting, Mark Morriss says that the album is "completely different to anything we've ever done before". Calling in at just under 35 minutes, the ten tracks are stripped down, raw and more immediate than any of their previous work. 'Here It Comes Again' is a fast and furious blast to kick off the proceedings, whilst 'Never Going Nowhere' is simply one of the best songs The Bluetones have ever written - it should be pumping out of radios as you read this now having just been released as the new single. If it is true that fashions come and fashions go but truly great and independent thinking bands linger around like a bad smell, then Ladies and Gentlefolk, I propose that the Bluetones reek like smelly cod in the Boy Lawrence's greying Y-fronts on the hottest day ever.

The Revs
Monday 18th August

The Revs are the most successful and popular young rock act in over a decade in their native Ireland. In the first 3 years of their existence they have scored 3 top music industry awards their and 4 top 10 records, including two top 5 albums- one of them gold. They have also toured twice in the USA and Australia during the last two years. However, the tour was nearly jeopardised when Stig the drummer, swapped the tour bus's Brut 33 anti-perspirant for SuperGlue Spray Mount! (see pic above). All this globetrotting is all the more impressive when you consider that it was all done with indie Irish Label Treasure Island and without the cash or distro of Major labels etc. They have now licensed their albums to Sony for half the world staying independent in the UK, Australia and the USA. The REVS made their debut UK tour in April 2003 and now since the release of their hugely acclaimed Kerrang single of the week "Death of a DJ" in June with a load of airplay both on the Radio and TV with their darkly humorous Video, The REVS have a started to build a really dedicated following in the UK.

Uncle Brian
Half inch heroes
Friday 15th August

Uncle Brian, or 'the Brian', as they refer to themselves, are Dan, Ben, Steve and John. Playing a high energy blend of ska influenced punk, they've been touring the country with various British acts and have just got off touring with Bowling for Soup. For some reason the boys thought we might all like to know what their stage names might be if they were ever to star in a certain type of film, normally watched by men. Ben, for example, would be Buffy Tinkler, while Steve would be Magic Osborn. They have a new single out called Postcards which is really rather splendid, and you can see that currently on Scuzz TV. They have just signed with Golf Records having previously been with Moon Ska Europe, so expect a brand new album soon. The evening will also see the rather marvellous Half Inch Heroes who are celebrating something or other, although they were being a bit mysterious about what. My guess is that the drummer has hit puberty.

Adequate 7
Howard's Alias
Friday 29th August

After quite a few rumours over the last few months we are sorry to say that it's all true - notorious funsters and touring demons LIGHTYEAR have decided to break up the band. After 2 albums, 4 years of constant touring, millions of "Lightyear tour stories" (there are so many everyone who's ever met them will have their own favourite one) the band are off to pursue new adventures at university, maybe in new bands and on foreign travel. (If you are on a year out and meet Chas in a Thai backpackers hostel - be very scared and check your travel insurance!). After 2 stonking albums of worth of killer material, Lightyear really felt like the ones to watch and will be sadly missed from the live circuit. Why the split? Well, the following interview appeared on punktastic.com recently:
BEN - Have you got any regrets about Lightyear?
NEIL - No. None whatsoever. I think would have done things differently, but we don't regret anything. It's a learning thing, and we'll remember this forever.
CHAS - If we did things differently the whole thing would have been different…it sounds obvious, but y'know what I mean! We wouldn't have met half the people we've met.
BARS - The things we've learnt from being in Lightyear, some of us might start other bands.
CHAS - We've met a lot of wicked people.
BARS - It's not just being in a band, it's the travelling too. Some of us are thinking about doing some more travelling, we've been to Europe and made friends over there.
BEN - Can you see yourselves starting other bands in the future?
CHAS - I want to start a band…I'm going snowboarding in America for a season, and I'd like to start one there. Something that's fun…
BEN - A cheesy covers band…
CHAS [laughs] Maybe, something that's hardcore, or maybe electronic. Just experiment and have fun. This band is basically business, with a turnover, and I don't like dealing with my friends like a business.
NEIL - And that's what sucks the most.
CHAS - It's not the lack of money, even though we are still in debt, it's the fact that money is a factor. We shouldn't have to deal with money and friends. We're not at each other's throats going 'you owe me a pound!' but it's a part that we weren't expecting and it's crept up on us.
This is the last chance to see the band, and it's a celebration not a funeral. They are bringing with them an incredible line up including HOWARD'S ALIAS, RED LIGHTS FLASH, ADEQUATE SEVEN AND MARTIN. You'd have to have the brains of a mollusc to miss it. Not just another ska punk band, son ..... that was LIGHTYEAR!

Saturday 30th August

It's down to the last wire and even as I am typing this the votes are arriving thick and fast to decide who are the best six bands from the local scene in the opinion of the UK music industry panel. Last year's winners Noon haven't topped the charts in nine countries, although there is still time, but they did release a great EP as a result of their victory and that somehow seems more important. There are eighteen bands awaiting the final vote, and of these six will be chosen to appear on the final night of this year's Man's Choice event. So, we don't know who has won it, we don't know who is in the final yet, but what we do know is that six bands will play for only £6 offering you the very best that has come out of the local scene in the last year. AND you get a FREE CD featuring a live track from all eighteen of the bands that feature in the last stages of the event this year. On September 6th, the final six bands for the Fan's Choice will take the stage with yet another chance to pick up a live CD featuring 18 of the most popular local acts. The bands this year in both sections of the Stable have been really committed with great gigs on Monday nights and lots of bands turning up to see each other. They deserve a good turn out for the final, so show your support for the local scene. Applications for Stable 3 will close on 30th August. The event is already oversubscribed, but if you want a chance of being involved get in touch with Randall at twforum@globalnet.co.uk

Not Katies
5 Cent Deposit
Friday 8th August

SCHISM are not for the easily offended or faint hearted. Fast catchy punk pop anthems that will definitely get the party started. This quartet are made up from Jay-D on vocals and guitar, Sickboy on guitar, Cherry on bass and Don B on drums, and in a world saturated by American bands
SCHISM prove that British bands can still rock with the best of them. With song titles such as 'Hey Dude, I Fucked Your Mom Last Night', you know that it's all about fun, shoegazing and long faces are banned from a SCHISM gig. Where they came from ain't important, where they're going is all that matters. Their "Christina Sucks, Britney Swallows" video and single , (which to these ears sounds like Billy Joel's "We didn't start the fire"), featured in heavy rotation on Scuzz, Prock and MTV2, although surprisingly failed to make it on to Terry Wogan's Breakfast Show. Debut album Don't Try This At Home is in the shops now, but to really get the essence of the band you need to see them live and here's your chance. Sweaty gig, wear shorts. Drink water. Tell your Mum!

Saturday 16th August

I'd imagine I speak just for myself when I say that I hate cameras. However, having said that, it seems one of Life's cruel twists that they seem to LOVE me! (Get on with it Randall, you big mimsy - Ed)
Changed from the original monicker 'Camera Obscura' due to a third rate band sharing the same name, unphotogenic is the next in a continuing series of unlabel events at The Forum.
The evening will feature an installation of work from two local photographers , Mark Roe (check out www.markroe.co.uk to see his 'Old Man'!) and Katie Carnie who have been documenting the use of the space at The Forum and the variety of people that pass through it. The evening will also play host to music from unlabel artists; Captain Black, Songs of My Lap and Matra.

Psyche night
Sunday 24th August

Crikey o' Reilly. It's Sunday night, you haven't done your homework, you've double PE first thing in the morning, there's only Songs of Praise on TV. Is that all there is? Well, NO!
Get down to the Forum, and expand your minds with the feast of talent consisting of Mumm Ra, Nifty Eagu & The Glo Pilots, and a fantastic, cruelly as yet unsigned Brighton band, VELDT (see left)
Whose cinematic, widescreen, John Barryesque soundtracks to life deserve, nay, demand an audience of millions.
Catch 'em while they're still in black & white!

saturday 9 august



Wednesday 13th August

Every day, we here Forum High Command get sent demos from unsigned bands from far parts of the country looking for gigs. As you can appreciate, there are too many of these, to simply ignore, or offer them a place in the Stable. So, from now on we are going to try one band a month and see how the flag goes up the pole, the cookie crumbles, (That's enough - Ed).
The first band are REVERE, who hail from "the North East", and appear to have a crap website which gives me shite all info to work from.

Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan
Wherein our mole in the moshpit, Paul Mills gives us the lowdown on what he's had occasion to witness at Europe's second largest toilet.

UNLABEL NIGHT - 18th JULY: Princess Headbutt, Joeyfat, Stanton, Jason And The Astronauts, Lumier Brothers

Something's bothering me, and it's not just the limited space on this page. I can't work out why on nights like this, The Forum chooses to have so many acts. Great value for money and all that, but there's four bands on the posters, so why not stick to it? When it starts at 8.30-ish and finishes at 11, an extra act means that each band gets a shorter slot, the changeover is rushed so the sound is often dicey, there's barely enough time for a slash between sets and the poor bastards at the end not only have to cope with half the audience disappearing for the last train but their set is reduced to about 15-20 minutes. Without that extra band, people could still catch the beginning of the last act and decide whether it's worth missing the train and getting a cab for.
Ex-Slingbacks the curiously monickered Lumier Brothers, seem to have listened to far too much PJ Harvey. With a sexy flame haired frontwoman, slinkily strumming a semi-acoustic, this duo get off on the sheer selfish pleasure that making morose music brings. Unrehearsed and cumbersome, they manage to create simplistic and enigmatic songs that just make you sway, without trying to be overly interesting. Worth checking out.
Playing on the floor, as if there's an 'electric campfire' thing going on, Jason And The Astronauts have a cute gimmick but it closes them in musically, not just physically, and makes them appear far more clumsy and unwieldy than they actually are. Making headfuck music that would act as a perfect soundtrack to breaking laws and corrupting the innocent, they fuse elements of Industrial, Punk and Prog, like the Ozrics meeting Ministry while Hawkwind look on and weep. It's a wonderfully nasty noise and claustrophobically intense to behold, but ultimately unremarkable because they seem full of effect with very little in the way of true substance.
Stanton though are a shamelessly brutal noise. With a yobbish 1-2-3-4 they create driving sk8 flavoured punk/metal without the glitz or kitsch but a shitload of very British fun. Steamrollering their way from blatant hardcore into more melodic and intricate areas, they pulsate and throb like an infected wound. Stanton couldn't possibly have started any better, but for reasons unknown, failed to maintain the momentum.
With vocals like some crazed Hetfield/Danzig hybrid and music that occasionally brings to mind The Fall at their most dark and Placebo at their most raucous, Stanton grab your attention like an unexpected kick in the goolies. They've got material that snarls, spits, growls and grinds, yet at the same time they seem to have no idea of what works together and what doesn't. Perhaps a time-restricted re-working of a previously well thought-out set spoilt the continuity, it's not for me to say, but Stanton are clearly better than this allowed them to be so give them your attention.
Joeyfat are on early. Not headlining because of the train times, but that's probably a deliberate ploy because anyone following them would be an anticlimax. As they enter in a flurry of Mickey Mouse shaped balloons, they're a spectacle of quirksome intrigue. They understand the need to generate genuine excitement and tension onstage, but still conceive the unexpected, the avant-garde and the downright strange. Eye patches are dispensed, while the posters on the stage are filled in with random words and spiralling, fluctuating, random, degenerate noise pukes rudely over our senses. It's how the Streets might sound if Alice Donut were in charge of the tunes and dance music hadn't been invented. Feedback driven art with curious indie vibes, it's music that shakes the foundations of acceptability and they're inventing their own format as they go along. Quite, quite, spectacularly.
Matt Cole is quite simply, a fucking nutter. Like Jarvis Cocker's secret brother that they keep hidden and chained up in the cellar, his onstage persona is somewhere to the left of radical. He stares, he shouts, he rants, he raps, he swears and he ad libs a seemingly spontaneous string of consciousness to a background of trip-hammer alternative funk-punk, while looking deeply into the eyes of his adoring subjects. He doesn't just look menacingly at his audience members, he targets them, struts closer and chills them to the bone before taking another sideways turn into insane, demented, lyrical mania. Whether he rants about he thinks he's gonna be sick, or that they have to catch a train, it still sounds absolutely right and sincere. Is it just an act? It's hard to tell but the romantic in me likes to think not.
3 guitarists throwing slithering squealing angular riffs in a hundred different directions, a rhythm section that seems to be playing something totally different to everyone else but still manages to sound in control, and a genuine busker poet who would no doubt be a prime candidate for a frontal lobotomy if he didn't have this as a safety valve. Does it get any better than Joeyfat? Not often.
It's hard to believe that Joeyfat have spent so much time ignored by the world at large, but seeing as it took Pulp years to get noticed, perhaps it could still happen. The Peel Session on Wednesday would seem to be the biggest break they've had since the Green Day gigs and seeing as there's finally an album to get our teeth into, well, we'll just keep our fingers crossed.
Princess Headbutt slip almost unnoticed into Joeyfat's wake. Making moist melodic moods in an ethereal experimental manner, they're very big on the 'build' factor of post-electronic ambient pop, somewhat perversely evoking images of early Boo Radleys, Stereolab and something else entirely. Trumpets that linger and tingle like a first kiss, daintily decorating a swaying melancholic groove, while dryly and morosely overlapping into pure frenzied bloodied noise just because they can, but ultimately go over people's heads, which is a shame because it' s actually very clever and opaque. However, condensing them into a final 20 minute fling is criminally bad form, and they're met with indifference and bewilderment from a rapidly dwindling crowd.
When all's said and done, the performances are secondary to what's really going on. What's important is that Unlabel are giving an outlet to artists that they believe in and when they can look back in a few years and say in all smug sincerity "I told you so", perhaps we'll take more notice. Until that time, we should just trust in their judgement because they instinctively know when something is right and they'll get their rewards in good time. It's karma. Or something.

Paul Mills

We always like to hear from new contributors, new bands, new people, people who hate swearing, big ones, small ones, some as big as your head.Because believe you me, it's a right hard slog making up all the lies, half-truths and general bollox that we lovingly/laughingly call BLAM
You can write to us at
The Forum, Fonthill, The Common,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8YU
Or call the office enquiry line on 01892 545792
We also have a constantly updated (!) website where you can find out all about what's on. That's at
You can also email us, so do that to:
On the website you can book tickets, find out what's coming up, get a map, get a life, throw virtual sponges, rocks and dead rats at our very own virtual Aunt Sally, Max the Evil Sound Guy. If after all that excitement you still feel angst ridden, you can go on our messageboard and start arguing whether we include too many Appalachian Nose-Flute nights in our gig programming The address for that is http://members.boardhost.com/twforum

Lifted (with permission) from the August edition of BLAM! - All queries regarding libel actions should be directed to them