faces and jubilant cries of "huzzah" filled the Forum walls this
week when it was announced that the venue's long campaign to bring a major
sporting event to the Common had been successful. In what has been described
as a major triumph for the lower part of town, the 2012 Tunbridge Wells Girls
Grammar Sports Day will now take place at the former toilet on the common,
with some events staged in nearby locations, such as Unwins, Kentucky Fried
Chicken and the Suzuki garage. "This is a major triumph for the lower
part of town" explained a fresh faced and clearly emotional Liam O'McBresnahanmcgonagallolearybegorrah.
"This amazing event will now take place in this severely deprived area
bringing joy and hope to local people, some of whom only have one Mercedes
per family and, in the worst cases, a child who is not in a fully fledged
grant maintained grammar school."
Securing the Sports Day was far from an easy task for The Forum team, who had to overcome several obstacles hinted at by the school governors. "I realise that people may think it a strange choice, given that we don't actually have any sporting facilities whatsoever, or transport, or hotels for the athletes, or any experience at running a sporting event, or any sporting equipment, or, come to think of it, any hot water or toilet paper, but we put a lot of effort into persuading the school that they could have a different type of games here, a sporting day with high ideals, striving to reach for a nobler vision of what a sports day can be. Plus we bunged Mrs Nesbit from 3C a fiver. Goo Goo ga ga" gurgled new Forum staff member Jake Dormon (in house joke alert - Ed).
Amongst the proposals put forward by The Forum are a complete revamping of the actual events, with the traditional three-legged race, sack race, egg and spoon race, and laugh at the parents and teachers feeble attempts at running event, replaced by more Forum friendly contests. "We've got 'Vaulting the Wino' up the back" explained Marvey Jarvey, "plus 'Run Like Buggery to Avoid the Chavs' and 'Hanging About Drinking Cider' planned for the front. Inside, we will be having 'Inappropriate Dancing', 'Music Endurance' and a special 'Spot Which Band We are Supposed to be Now' event with Mumm-Ra (who won't be appearing because they are absolutely not playing here ever ever ever again, turn around touch the ground bagsy not it)."
Not all local people are so keen on the moving of the event to its new location. "Yes, I accept there have been criticisms" said a Kenny Everett look-a-like "but suggestions that we have pursued the staging of this event for less than noble purposes are completely abhorrent. We have been striving for a higher ideal, an Olympian course, the pantheon of sporting achievement represented with a globally important world event, not, as some cynics have suggested, simply craving the opportunity to watch scantily clad girls running about. I and my entire team utterly utterly resemble that remark." Concerns about the security surrounding the event were brought sharply into focus less than 24 seconds later with the news that a group identifying themselves as "Kev, Kev, Daz, Baz, Shaz, Kev and Arnold (but you call me Kev)" have threatened to wreak havoc on any members of the public trying to attend the games. "Are you looking at my cider?" asked their spokesperson "Give us 50p, I've lost me bus fare. Wot are you sum sort of goff or summit?"
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, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8YU
But nine times out of ten I wouldn't bother because our lawyers, Shyster, Rippemhoff & Felch are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood. This is the space in the mag where we usually apologise for any allegations, insinuations and bad language that may accidentally appear in these esteemed pages. This month you may note, is a particularly potty-mouth free edition.Whether this is because we here at Blam Towers are slowly Vaselining ourselves into middle age; a sudden awakening of responsibilities, a new sense of life as a whole being put into perspective, an awareness and appreciation of a nice comfy pair of slippers, or simply the fact that the West Wing of Blam Towers now has a baby caterwauling all hours of the night and the matchsticks are barely holding our eyelids open, plus the fact the whole place smells of nappies ! My God - life's too short to go around insulting a bunch of 'shit-for-brains' like you!!! Stay lucky!
Tunbridge Wells' original AND best value for money comedy club is held the first Thursday of every month.
FOUR TOP CLASS ACTS, THE FIRST THURSDAY IN EVERY MONTH, ONLY FIVE POUNDS,
NEW LUXURIOUS TOILET FACILITIES.
Looking like some bizarre marionette tug-of-love struggle between Gerry and Sylvia Anderson's THUNDERBIRDS, Martin Davis skids and bounces across the stage, strung up and tugged around by unknown forces, firing off a relentless rapid-fire assault that hits every corner of the room and kills 100% of all known hecklers stone dead. Going where mere joke-tellers fear to tread with his characteristic kamikaze bravado ("Go on, heckle me!") he walks the razor edge of audience participation, daring them to pick him off it.
"Electric, sharp, with a sympathetic face that looks like It was carved by a Polynesian shaman" Iain Macdonald, The Observer
His skill in warming up the chilliest rooms and turning the stoniest punters into soft putty in his hands makes Martin Davis the comics favourite MC. With enough nervous energy to power a small city, Martin is the Jolt Cola of the circuit. Advice would be: connect up the microphone, shout "Clear" and stand well back!
"The Star Of The Evening, For My Money, Was Compere Martin Davis, A Cockney Stuffed With Mercurial Welsh Genes (Surely?), Who Had Abrasive Wit, Tons Of Energy And An Unparalleled Ability To Talk Dirty Without Causing Too Much Offence" The Mercury
With residencies in the Comedy Café and Comedy at Soho-ho and regular appearances at the Comedy Store, Banana Cabaret and Up the Creek, Martin has built up a regular following in London, with his talents being recognised across the country.
"Like a marmoset on speed, Davis specialises in small leaps, quick
changes of direction and a lot of natter. His bony-fingered, red-nosed, animatedkneed
presence is high comedy in itself.. " Peter Frost, Tonight
Coming from a rich heritage of spiritual healers of the Negombwe tribe, in Mhondoro, West of Zimbabwe. Linos Wengara Magaya, mainman of Zimbaremabwe came to the UK in 1997 after touring the townships of Harare and Bulawayo. Now living in Brighton, Linos very often plays solo shows, but tonight he'll be with the full Zimbabwean orchestra, featuring: drums, keyboards, congas, bass and djembe, and of course the mbira, a small thumb piano. This is set to be a fantastic evening of breathtakingly extraordinary sounds.
'n' Roll Star' swaggered, not walked off the needle of the record player,
the intent was clear as Liam Gallagher sang: 'In my mind, my dreams are real
... tonight I am a rock'n'roll star.' - but at the time they were work-a-day
bedsit superstars wanting to conquer the world-in-a-day. And hey, they became
rock'n'roll stars, or so the story goes, but the anthem for rock 'n' roll
freedom has been passed directly to Thee Unstrung.
'Cause Thee Unstrung are not one of those so-jaded-seen-it-all-before-so-hip-it-hurts poseurs. Thee Unstrung just have sympathy for the hipsters. Why? Because for Thee Unstrung - rock 'n' roll burns them. Thee Unstrung burn, burn for your attention, burn for your attitude, burn for their two-fingered Iggy and the Stooges shuffle through the streets of South London.
You, see, Thee Unstrung, like any superheroes-of-the-moment, know that the pop universe is a con and they are there for anybody who has felt cheated by the shit of irony-filled-heavy-metal-yodels to covering-puppets-of-English-white-soul. They want something radical. They want music to say something about their life. It hasn't happened, so they provided the soundtrack. A from-the-gutter teenage Council Estate Beatles morphing vague narratives about sexual ambiguity and teenage despondency. In short, they're everything The Libertines never were, including good.
Making a welcome return to the good ol' Holy Crapper after the success of their single "Contrary Mary" on Poptones (and let's face it, have Poptones ever let you down?) , the band with influences ranging from The Jam to The Stooges, to The Kinks to Oasis, and have been described as having "…more spunk and grime than a peep-show's carpet", are looking forward to ripping off your ears and stuffing them where the sun don't shine. Touring to promote their forthcoming debut album "Lie, Cheat and Steal", described by impossibly modest frontman Ben Bailey as "the best debut in the last 10 years", Thee Unstrung promise to deliver a masterclass in indie, punk, heavy rock, pop and 'shit happens'. Or as he puts it, "…prove what we've been saying all along. We've got the best songwriters in the world and the best band…people won't be able to help falling in love".
When Reason Sleeps
Pronounced (MY-DAS-WHO-NO), and featuring: Scott Andrews: Vocals / Guitar, Matt Riste: Drums / Vocals, Gavin Jessop: Bass, Chris Morgan: Guitar / Vocals, Lyndon Jones: Samples / Live Effects / Keys & Synths
Possessing the guts to put your neck out and plant it firmly on the chopping
block - how the term 'different' is understood by Merthyr Tydfil 4-piece MIDASUNO.
Considered as "one of Wales's best kept secrets" MIDASUNO were one
of the chosen eight Welsh acts to perform at In The City Unsigned 2001 (a
year following the band's conception) in Manchester, and having shared stages
with the likes of A Perfect Circle, Cave-In, The Darkness, Funeral For A Friend,
Hell is for Heroes, The Wildhearts, Million Dead and LostProphets - MIDASUNO
are ready and willing to carve their own niche and add their name to the upper
echelons of rock's hierarchy.
When allowed to speak for itself - the band's music has generated a plethora of responses suggesting a wide-ranging possible influences - each new listener has supplied their own varied take on the origins of MIDASUNO's sound. The band insists on the disregard for hyphenated sub-genre placement. MIDASUNO are a ROCK band - a term associated with longevity and allows the band to possess a general descriptor to ensure no listeners of music in the current climate of guitar music are alienated by the ill-effects of pigeon holing.
Combining a dark lyrical bent with a blend of British rock , US alternative and underground with a spattering of punk MIDASUNO avoid comparison by forging an amalgam of the above-mentioned into a their own brand of noise - helping them pick up 'Best Unsigned Act' at the 2002 Welsh Music Awards as a result.
Possessing an unquenchable thirst for action in the live foray and carrying a naturally unpredictable, passionate, and intense performance, MIDASUNO are band whom the notion '....play every show like it's your last" was made for. A performance which on numerous occasions has attempted to be captured during Sessions for Radio 1 Evening Session (In Wales) and broadcasts on their native BBC Radio Wales.
Having released a Stuart Richardson (LostProphets fame) produced single 'The Art Of Fear' on Cardiff's Cascade Records last year, as well as the mini-album 'When Bulls Play God' on Lockjaw Records, which has earned plaudits (tracks featured on both Rock Sound and Metal Hammer compilations) and received rave reviews from recognised sources such as Metal Hammer (8/10), Rock Sound (7/10), Terrorizer (8/10) Big Cheese Magazine (4/5), BBC Music Online (4/5) as well as published and online-based fanzines.
"….Time to worship the new gods of heart, head and back-breaking rock" (BBC MUSIC ONLINE)
The Maple State . Fastlane
Haemostatic Picnic Races
Emo punk from the heart of Leicestershire demonstrates that there is no need for inaudible vocals and mile a minute riffs to convey defiance and bemusement. Consisting of two sets of brothers, this Leicestershire fourpiece have of late proved themselves a mighty force to be reckoned with. My Awesome Compilation have garnered quite a reputation for their uncompromising live shows and are in the midst of a mammoth UK tour, in order to bolster that reputation and shower their new sound on what they hope will be growing crowds. With new album, Actions to be released on Sore Point Records on the 8th of this month, this is a great opportunity to see a band ready to kick down the door and finall y crossover to the mainstream
"I gave you, I gave you everything and you took it all for granted."
With two saxophonists, a trumpet player and a trombonist (not to mention
the usual guitars, drums and singer), this young, Hampshire band certainly
know how to rock. As a live proposition, lead singer Matt Grace is an impressively
majestic, aloof figure, holding his voice over the melodic riot, and conducts
the ensemble with his rubber-limbed dancing - all elbows and arms going everywhere.
Dicing with reggae and funk, Schoolboy Error are more than just a ska band. Remixing MC Hammer`s "Can`t Touch This", and ditching the brass section for a toe tapping bass interlude, the songs are sprawling and ambitious.
All aged under eighteen, SCHOOLBOY ERROR area fine young energetic skanksome 7 piece who can easily put a smile on your face with their crazy beats. There is never a dull moment - it is funky, fresh, and full to the brim with excitement. You can tell that this band are having fun making the music that they do and at the end of the day that's what it is all about because if you're not having fun playing the music then how can you expect others to have fun when listening to it. The band have a great horn section, with some amazing bass lines that go straight to your bowels and fill it with funky freshness. Fans of Sonic Boom Six, Spankboy and Less Than Jake will not be disappointed. It's a monday night I know, but this show, the latest inCheska's new Scars and Strikes promotions looks set to be a riot!
plus GOOD BOOKS . JOEYFAT
an eccentric, motley bunch who have more in common with Half Man Half Biscuit
and Pulp than they do with their oft-compared 'influences' The Fall.
Vocalist Eddie Argos (an ex-goth obsessed with Jonathan Richman and Vincent Van Gogh) had previously been in a band, The Art Goblins , in his hometown of Bournemouth. Their stage show would see him "playing a vacuum cleaner" and escaping from a sack.
Having moved to London and determined to be in another band, Argos found himself at a party in Mornington Crescent and set about hassling everyone there to join him. A webzine-editor and guitarist called Chris Chinchilla (a ska fanatic) thought this sounded like a good idea - after all, it was a good way to impress girls. Argos was more concerned about getting on 'Top Of The Pops' . Chinchilla talked his German flatmate Frederica (grunge fan) into playing bass, and thus they got a bass guitar for her off eBay. Argos had a friend from Bournemouth who'd also just moved to London. Ian Catskilkin (thinks he's in Led Zeppelin , but with better hair) used to be in a heavy rock band called Orco and he agreed to join the new band. Another friend then overheard a German man (who NME would later say looks like "he should be in Interpol") on a bus telling someone how he played drums and worked in Merc , the shop on Carnaby Street selling cut-price mod clothing. Determined to hunt him down, Argos and Chinchilla went to the shop. He wasn't working that day, so they left him a note. Mike (listens to nothing but Weezer) would then join the band, and that was it - May 2003, Art Brut was born.
After a number of other gigs round London they recorded a demo named Brutlegs, containing early versions of Formed A Band, Modern Art and Moving To LA , and made it available on their website. Formed A Band first saw the light of day on the debut Angular Records compilation album. After a journalist came across this recording, he sent an MP3 to the label Rough Trade . Within an hour of getting it, the label's A&R man was in touch offering to release Formed A Band as a single.
Suddenly the band were all over the music press, picking up fans and haters
with ease. Many people expected it to be nothing more than a one-off novelty
single. They played a triumphant Swedish festival where a guy interviewed
them and got confused, thought they were from Manchester (and had all his
questions based around the city), and compared them to The Sultans Of Ping
. They were also offered the main tour support for Razorlight but had to turn
it down due to lack of funds.
The rest of 2004 saw them playing numerous gigs from Brighton to Manchester, as well as a first anniversary show at the Tate Modern where they were joined by a couple of a Argos' heroes - The Vessel ( David Devant and His Spirit Wife ) and Les 'Fruitbat' Carter ( Carter USM ). Forum goers may recall that Art Brut went on to support art / glam theatricos DAVID DEVANT & HIS SPIRIT WIFE at this Holy Shitter last summer.
Reviews of their new album signpost great things ahead, as this review indicates:
Formed a band, we formed a band / Look at us! We formed a band" are the wry opening lyrics to Art Brut's debut album "Bang Bang Rock And Roll." Delivered in frontman Eddie Argos' indefinable vocal style, which is neither tuneful enough to be called singing, nor flat enough to be called talking, but somewhere inbetween. Typically, Argos addresses the issue on "Formed a Band", telling us "Yes, this is my singing voice / and it's not irony, and it's not rock 'n' roll." The accompanying art rock angular guitar parts are lively enough, but the instruments wisely take a back seat to Argos' voice, as he delivers lyrics that are sharper than a lemon flavoured razor.
Comparisons with fellow Brit wits Morrissey and Jarvis Cocker are obvious, but it's more instructive to think of Art Brut as a university educated answer to The Streets.".
Cape. Wear Cape. Fly
Other than having the coolest band name ever (Wha? - Ed), GCWCF is actually none other than 18 year old Essex boy Sam Duckworth from Sarfend, going the way of the "strums", delivering a first EP with music that is stripped down to its core, but filled with a raw sort of passion that really shines through. The way he twists his acoustic guitar-sound around a backbeat of different kind of electronic samples, giving each of them their own drive and identity, is remarkably well-done. Sam and his upbeat, heart-warming songs are the living proof that you don't need much to whoop someone right off their feet and set their world ablaze.
The Stable continues apace with a brand new season starting this month. Consisting of over 70 bands, 80% of them brand new to the Forum, I'm sure you'll join me in welcoming the new throng to the Holy Shitter
The first shows of Stable 5 commence on Monday, 22nd whereby
KABLAMO, NATCHIE and ONEBOYGIRL
kick off proceedings.
KABLAMO, according to their website are: "... are Mike Fillery on vox & guitar, Andrew Fillery on bass , DJ Gibbo on Keyboards and Decks, James 'Chunk' Backham on Drums, and Ben Streek on Guitar. Derived from opposite sides of the Hailsham Rock scene they have moulded together to create the perfect fusion of Rock and fun, they are an upcoming band that are here to kick some arse and bring fun back to music! Be sure you check them out!!"
Hastings three piece, ONEBOYGIRL feature ex Hit n Run and Compared To Pigeons frontman, Dale Weeks, who has formed this new garage punk band, ".. creating 2 minute Pop masterpieces..." NATCHIE are a quartet of Paddock Woodians, and don't appear to be arsed to either have a website nor send me a biog or jpg. But judging by their live demo appear to be in possession of more than one Oasis CD!
MONDAY 28th sees the incredible DOCTOR FONDA,
whom again have no website or jpgs, but have sent me a rather fine CD. Local
Modern prog rock afficionados will compare them to local lads made good(ish)
NOON (what the hell happened to them? - Ed) and older farts like the lanky
fop of this parish will say "ah yes, a touch of the Barclay James Harvests
m'lud!" A great sounding band - check 'em out!
FOUR SIMPLE RULES have a great website with loads of mp3s to download (www.four-simple-rules.com) but sadly their biog says a whole lot about nothing, possibly a rewrite there fellahs?. Which brings us on to last but not least INGENIOUS STUPIDITY who are a foursome from Crowborough, and judging by their website (www.ingeniousstupidity.tk) would appear to enjoy nothing more of a damp Tuesday afternoon than to cavort in their bedrooms wearing nothing but a pair of Y-fronts.and a Jackson axe! And no doubt honing their Indie Metal riffs!.
Sadly at the time of going to press, I am unable to announce the winner of
The Mans Choice Final. I am however are able to divulge that the winners of
The Fans Choice are none other than Gravesend pouting pop poppets MEADOW ROAD
(see picture); who put on a seamless sterling display of pop sensibility,
thus gathering the most votes of the evening from the packed Forum. MEADOW
ROAD therefore win the prize of two days at The Granary, Lamberhurst
recording studio, and 500 copies of the resulting recordings.
Well done fellahs and hope you come back real soon!
(whereby Moanin' Millsey gives his considered opinion on what's Hot and what's Rot)
| You know who you are, and I hope that your next drink chokes
you. Yes, alright, you've got things on your mind, things you need to
chat about, but so has everyone today, so what makes you so fucking special,
or makes your conversation more interesting than the acts people have
paid to see, eh? Go to the bloody pub if you want to stand around and
chat loudly over the entertainment. I mean, what the cheese 'n' onion-flavoured
fuck is going on in your heads, that makes you want to go somewhere to
listen to people talk on stage, and then, when a guy you're paying to
amuse you is struggling to lift a pretty sombre mood (knowing that transport
problems have meant that two of the acts have been cancelled), and tells
you twice to shut the hell up, you fail to take the hint and just carry
on louder than before? Perhaps we should all go round your houses and
start telling jokes when you're trying to watch Holby City. Cunts.
That being said, even without this rude behaviour, London's Lenny Peters probably felt cursed before he even left the house tonight, and that's no reflection on his ability, as on a day like this, when terrorists have killed dozens of innocent people, almost any comic on MC duty would be feeling decidedly edgy. His function, please understand, is not just to prepare the audience for the main acts, interacting with them and riffing accordingly, but to potentially sacrifice himself by establishing their mood for the acts that follow. If certain veins of humour are falling flat, whoever's waiting backstage has time to rethink their strategy, but the compere has no such luxury. Particularly with two acts down, Peters can't even bring on the next one if things go badly, so although he can go through the usual ice-breaking, getting-to-know-you spiel for a few minutes, he can't avoid at least some reference to the magnitude of the day's events. Though by doing so, he risks bumming the room out and it's impossible to tell what way it'll swing until he does it. Thankfully, he's professional enough to acknowledge a sharp intake of breath from the crowd, giving him no choice but to play it safe and aim a few barbed quips at the expense of Bin Laden generally, but it quickly degenerates into further staggeringly original observations that Dubya isn't the sharpest tool in the box and Jacko might not be as innocent as the verdict would have us believe. Such overused and unimaginative material serves only to highlights that Peters is struggling, and he's uncomfortably aware of it too.
Under normal circumstances, Peters would no doubt be a competent, if somewhat unremarkable performer, but his tense uneasiness screws his timing, and despite his best efforts with the limited material at hand, there's very little humour that can be gleaned from Paddock Wood teenagers and the noisy fuckwits at the back, and he works hard to kill time in a manner that hurts to watch. Failing in his attempt to make a chap's return visit from the bog into a visual gag at the bloke's expense, he limps from cliché to cliché, trying anxiously to create common ground as he grabs a girl's phone, pretends to text her mum, plays the pathos card regarding his lack of success with women, flirts briefly with religion, and out of sheer desperation, enacts selected scenes from Lord Of The Rings, which might even work in the future if he remembers to stick in a gag or two.
Though Peters' is having a tough time, it's apparent that given a slightly older audience (and slightly less apprehensive circumstances), he could relax and let his quick comic reflexes take charge, making him infinitely more enjoyable and ten times funnier. As it stands tonight, only his dogged determination to see things through and do the best he can, stops him from becoming irritating. There might not be guffaws but enough appreciative titters enable him to keep his dignity intact. Just about.
Imagine for a moment, the historic music-hall act that still pops up at seaside resorts occasionally, or on those dreadful Royal Variety Performances they televise now and then.
A one-man cornucopia of songs, jokes, music, dancing,
magic, impressions, the full works. Then imagine that act after long
years of excessive hallucinogenic drug-taking in Royston Vasey, giving
the resulting material to Vic and Bob, who after adding their own spin,
create a new character to perform it, from spliced portions of Charlie
Chuck and Lee Evans. Add to that an 'Eraserhead' haircut and the mind
of a psychopath, and you might have something that looks and sounds
like Chris Lynam, but you're still way, way off the mark.
Our eager, hyperactive, willing to please, forelock-tugging, cap-doffing, can-do, nothing's-too-much trouble, highly trained, elite, ex-SAS and Girl Guides, crack squad of volunteers are waiting like coiled springs, bouncing off the walls for you, and only you!
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 Information line on 08712 777101
We also have a website where you can find out all about what's on, and laugh at the photos of the damp mattressed fainthearts that 'work' here. That's at
On the website you can book tickets, find out what's coming up, get a map,
get a life, identify which ne'er-do-wells have trodden the boards at the ol'
shitter, check out our interactive gaming section, or go on our messageboard
and start arguing whether we include too many Appalachian Nose-Flute nights
in our gig programming. In fact, we beseech, nay implore you to do any of
the above which would make a change from downloading hardcore 'chicks with
dicks' jpgs as you'd normally do.
Please note that as well as being able to reserve tickets for all Forum shows online, tickets are also available to be purchased from the following retail outlets:
The Longplayer, 3 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 539273
Criminal Records, 6 Goods Station Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 511776
COMEDY FORUM - Thur 1st Sept
HARDCORE ALLDAYER - Sun 4th Sept
INNER MANTRA - sat 10th Sept
MISTY'S BIG ADVENTURE - Fri 16th Sept
JAIRUS - Fri 23rd Sept
THE FIGHT - Sat 24th Sept
HANG THE DJ! - Sun 25th Sept
WHITMORE - Sat 1st Oct
MORNINGWOOD - Sat 8th Oct