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BLAM August 2007

A word in your ear...

After several hours spent trying to relentlessly parody David Beckham's move to LA Galaxy with a frankly libellous article about Forum Towers signing a new booker from The Hastings Crypt who it turns out was a knackered old fart with no discernible talent, we have decided that the idea that an over the hill clothes horse in football boots (whose sole contribution to his previous team was to ensure they won nothing whatsoever until they finally came to their senses and dropped him from the first team) can save soccer in the USA (by the apparently simple method of gurning at cameras and talking like Alan Ball while his wife mooches around in the background melting and generally annoying everybody) is so far beyond parody that it was actually less funny once we tried to include the name of Furniture Sound in it. This is actually a constant theme of the editorials these days, that life is now so bizarre and fucking ridiculous that asking us to parody it with an witty and humourous article about Max Vonsydownyourerockingtheboat and a bloke in a Victorian Frock coat is about the same as asking Michaelangelo if he could pop round and splash a bit of paint on the ceiling. Amongst the news items under consideration for our caustic application of the irony pencil this month were the aforementioned Mr and Mrs Beckham's jawdropping TV programme, the imminent arrival of the four horsemen of the apocalypse (who have sent their mate Flood on ahead of them to get things warmed up), The Phil Spector trial (not in very good taste, but lots of fantastic jokes about hair - which obviously became less humourous after Mr Spector went to the hairdressers for the first time in ten year's and we like to be topical), the cancellation of the entire festival season ("thank god" said everyone in the whole wide world who can't fucking juggle), the naming of the Jordan baby…………..we could go on. If the BBC news website reads like a list of satirical articles by The Onion, what exactly are we supposed to write about?
In other news: Congratulations to Amanacer and The Audacity for their sterling showings in this year's Stable event. The competition for this year's Man's Choice was closer than ever, with Amanacer finally winning out by a gnat's whisker over a whole stream of excellent bands that have come forward this time around. The Audacity, meanwhile, put up a sterling show at The Fan's Choice event and put up a huge lead over some very strong competition. This year's Stable is already heavily oversubscribed, and the competition seems to be getting better and better each year which is a good sign for local music….but a bad sign for these editorials which rely on a significant level of incompetence and disorganisation from local bands for about 95% of the humour content. So, next month, if you could all arrange to form some totally inept bands and have some national news which isn't already hilarious, that would really help. Thanks.


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 frankly, I wouldn't bother because our lawyers, Shyster, Rippemhoff & Felch are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood.
We would like to apologise most sincerely for the lacklustre nature of the above article, but the prescription for valium just arrived and it isn't easy to write this magazine when you've taken ten months supply in twelve minutes. Arse poo knob etc. We would like to also apogise that the above apology is YET ANOTHER repeat of a previous apology, but it's quite clear that nobody is reading this bit so we don't see why we should make the effort if you can't be bothered.


Comedy Forum

Thursday 2nd

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.

For the past 5 years, on the first Thursday of every month, the Forum has played host tofour top acts from the stand-up comedy circuit. Acts that have gone on to become staples of Channel 4 (and Ceebeebies!) include; JIMMY CARR, ROB ROUSE, ROB DEERING, NINA CONTI, ELECTRIC (Big Cook, Little Cook) FORECAST and MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE. Here's your chance to see the stars of comedy before they start presenting rubbish 'Top 100 Drain Hole Covers in Southborough' stylee programmes.

PIERRE HOLLINS
The only other 'proper jobs' Pierre's ever had were washing dishes in the House of Commons, labouring on a gas pipe line in Qatar, and teaching drama to the mentally ill. Pierre started off in the comedy world as a support act to Lenny Henry and Rory Bremner; appeared in the West End with Rita Rudner; and toured with The Flying Pickets & Barry Crier.
Having completely re-invented his act several times (from the early days of acrobatic spectacle and frivolous audience abuse - where he was described as 'far fetched and semi dangerous' Time Out) through to a more recent incarnation where he was found wielding an electric squash racket - 'must be seen to be believed' Chortle; 'comedy rock and roll heaven' Hot Tickets. Pierre's relaxed amiability is defined by a compelling conversational style and absurd guitar posturing. His 'songs' are jokes that rhyme, set to a guitar backbeat, never travelling down the easy route of song parodies. He covers topics from love and hate, to sex and politics with a totally original voice, delivering his material with charm and irrelevance. 'Always enjoyable and often inspired' (The Source).He 'should be made the mayor of a small village' (Shanghai City Weekend).
Press Quotes
'An unsung hero of new comedy. Don't miss this true professional at work. Bloody funny.' TIME OUT
'A crowd favourite with a stage presence and delivery style that is the envy of many of his peers.' HONG KONG TIMES
'A 'must see'...' THE GUARDIAN
'Hugely talented, hugely experienced, comedy maestro.' KOMEDIA

JOY CARTER
Originally a professional dancer and model, Joy joined the National Youth Theatre as an actress at the age of 16, where she first discovered her love of comedy. She later took a degree in theatre studies which inspired her to further develop her own stage act.
Joy's vivacious personality and fabulous stage presence have helped her carve a unique niche within the comedy industry over the past few years. In 2004 Joy's comedy achievements were acknowledged when she was nominated for the EMMA (Ethnic, Multicultural, Media, Award) in the category best Comedy/Comedian.
"…her northern Scunthorpe twang and honest style I really warmed to her. She was spontaneous, eccentric and a true individual unafraid of enjoying herself and being different" - www.bbc.co.uk
As well as newcomer SEAN MCCOUGHLIN, also appearing will be DEL STRAIN, finalist of the Hackney Empire New Comedy awards, and currently one of the hardest working stand-ups in the business with over 800 gigs to his name in just under three years!



plus The Advanced
Friday 3rd

InMe formed in July 1996 with a mutual passion for all things music. Dave McPherson had been good friends with Joe Morgan from the age of 4, after years of friendship the time had come to really piss off the parents...it was time to make a racket. They sought out the only drummer they knew, Simon Taylor. After the very first rehearsal they all knew they would be doing this for quite some time
InMe were eventually recognised by MFN & good things started to mountain...
They released 4 singles from their debut album 'Overgrown Eden', which itself hit number 1 in the UK rock charts.

The boys went from playing venues as small as the London Barfly to London Astoria within a short time where they gained a bigger and bigger fanbase, they played big festivals such as the main stages at Reading and Download 2003 and headlined Game On 2003 .
After parting with MFN during the label's takeover to Sony they remained without a label for some time until the band eventually signed to V2 Records, and founded their own imprint label, Pandora's Box Records.

InMe performed many live tours in 2005, starting again from The Barfly. They felt it was important to rebuild their fanbase, after a long period away they performed a few intimate gigs up and down the country for their loyal fans. They played the Download Festival where they received a fantastic response from the crowd. They are a unique live band, who have supported many top bands over the years; including Feeder, Limp Bizkit, Nickelback, Deftones, Staind, Puddle Of Mudd and Soil.

In July 2006 InMe amicably parted with Joe Morgan. Not wanting to give up on their passion & ambition for music Dave & Si immediately brought Greg McPherson (Dave's younger brother) into the fold. With this came an even tighter bond than before & Dave promptly began penning what would become 'DayDream Anonymous'.
InMe needed to show how good they were feeling once Greg joined, they booked 'The Punishment Tour'. Despite the sceptic's belief that no-one would come, the tour not only proved how loyal the fanbase are, but also how this was a new InMe...a much stronger, more technical, more comfortable InMe.
'DayDream Anonymous' is due for release in September this year.


We Smoke Fags
Saturday 4th

We Smoke Fags, post-punk pop poseurs, adored and deplored in equal measure, were catapulted head-first into the limelight by MySpace. We Smoke Fags first sparked up in the back-rooms of Holloway live-music pubs Nambucca, where Leeroi (on bass and vocals) is events manager and Harry (on guitar and vocals) pulls pints. Joey (programming and even more vocals) lives around the corner. The lads cite the likes of Bis, Delta 5, PIL, The Raincoats and Blur amongst their influences.

If you haven't heard of them by now, you soon will. Their skunk punk sound has propelled them from obscurity to notoriety in a matter of months. With a string of dates under their belts and more to come, both nationally and in Europe, they're sure to make an even deeper dent in the indie-electro scene. Add to this the accolade of having been featured artist on MySpace, racking up up to 60,000 plays a day and you've an extremely innovative band destined for success of stellar proportions.

Their sound is a mix of Television-style indie with MSTRKRFT-style electro, plus unexpected thievings on Joey's sampler, with extra inspiration from Blur, the Specials, 1980's skateboarding and - no shame in this - the Countdown theme tune.

They describe themselves as 'electro skunk rock', footnoting something Joey once saw in Kerrang!: "I remember reading about an unsigned stoner rock band who described themselves as 'skunk rock'. They smoked a lot of skunk, obviously. But I re-interpreted it as electronic skuzzy punk funk rock."

Joey's voice is distinctly London: cocky and in your face, as is the band's performance. Their lyrics are simple and catchy, laced with British idioms, cynicism and sneaky little snipes at their own scene. And hopefully, despite their electro element, they're different enough to stay fresh past the New Rave use-by-date. Their first single 'Lust Puppet' was released on No Pain in Pop on July 2nd to coincide with London's smoking ban.


David Ryder Prangley
The Witches
Friday 10th

David Ryder Prangley plays the music of dreams and nightmares; epic tales of bleeding hearts, heroic love and renegade angels cast out of Heaven. Influenced by classic singers such as Nick Cave, Laura Nyro, Bobby Gentry and Marc Bolan, David's debut solo album Heart Full of Love Head Full of Poison, produced by David M. Allen (the Cure, Sisters of Mercy) is a fragile confession from a damaged soul.

Accompanied by his band the Witches, the ex lead singer of glam superstars RACHEL STAMP takes his new music to the stage in a dynamic fashion, leaving audiences both enchanted and devastated. It's an emotional ride but one that brings light into this grey world. As David sings in Raindrops and the Blood of Jesus, 'When they dragged me from the wreckage I was clutching a star...'

myspace.com/davidryderprangleyandthewitches

“If Rachel Stamp was David Ryder Prangley’s gaudy necklace, this is the personal locket kept against his heart that once opened drips from the stage like a tinkling exorcism in slow, pronounced measures. An altogether satisfying, if slightly creepy, experience.”- ROCKSOUND

“Heartbreak, much more than happiness, traditionally enflames one's creativity, and in DRP's case, it's true to an extreme degree. The Witches paint in shades of Rothko black.”- INDEPENDENT ON SUNDAY



Sanctorum
Wednesday 22nd


Formed in 2002, Sanctorum (formerly called Devolution)consisting of: Chris Eldridge - Bass/Vocals, Ash Lewis - Lead Guitar, Matt Alston - Drums/Vocals and Aaron Sly - Vocals/Guitar, started gigging in the Colchester area - culminating a year later with a self financed 4 track debut EP CD entitled 'Penumbra'.
This was followed in 2006 by the release of their debut album, 'The Heavens Shall Burn', influenced b Lamb Of God, In Flames, Chimaira, Metallica and Dream Theater but with a youthful but mature British Metal slant.


" Sanctorum deliver deep and dark death metal growls that are backed by soaring solos and constant pounding double bass that was accomplished to a style far beyond their years. Sanctorum proved they have what it takes to kick your ass and they have only just got started". -Rockbeast.co.uk-


The Wombats
Tom Williams
Friday 24th

The Wombats are a three-piece band from Liverpool, England. They comprise two native Liverpudlians; front man Matthew Murphy, provider of voice, guitar and keyboards and drummer and b-vocalist Dan Haggis, while bass-lines and additional vocal ammo are provided by Tord Overland-Knudsen, a Norwegian who has made his home in the city. Influenced by the likes of Arcade Fire and The Beach Boys, The Wombats make driving indie-pop, backed up by catchy tunes and up-beat melodies that consistently teeter on the edge of the bizarre and the brilliant. ‘…tight as hell and with an ear for quirky melodies that defies belief.’ – GigWise

Having already received acclaim and success in Liverpool, The Wombats have recently been getting attention in some more exotic locations - from China to Canada. They now have further international trips planned to France and Malawi.

Having released three records on KIDS records, the final one being ' Backfire At The Disco' which was their first official chart eligible single: they signed to 14th Floor Records (Warner) and their first major release (Kill The Director) was released on the 25th June which entered the UK Top 40 at the #35. Their next single ' Let's Dance To Joy Division' is to be released in September, to coincide with the release of their debut album.

Hailing from the town of Tunbridge Wells, Forum Stable 5 act, TOM WILLIAMS is a 20 year old acoustic singer songwriter. Although Tom was born into a musical family, his passion with the guitar started at the age of 14 when attempting to escape the strains of private school. He discovered, amongst others, Nirvana and Nick Drake which inspired him to swap his violin and sax for acoustic guitar and harmonica. Now at the age of 20, Tom has earned a constantly growing fan-base through supporting bands such as Good Books, Jeremy Warmsley, Emmy the Great and Laura Marling. Mid last year Tom’s debut six track EP, the now sold out, Town Station Demos was released by local independent label Win Win Win! Records. Since then Tom has penned countless material about his latest personal experiences such as running away from home and drunken accidents to name a few. He has also gathered together a band of young music fiends to form his backing band, they are currently holed up in a cat infested studio barn some where in Kent (despite more then half the band being allergic to cats). Despite Tom’s youth he is rapidly developing the charisma and presence, both onstage and off, that will endear him to all he meets or who see his live performance.


Something for the weekend: Bank Holiday Special
Sat 25th to Mon 27th

In celebration of all things Tunbridge Wells, the Forum will be hosting a Weekender of Original Tunbridge Wells Music; 21 bands/acts will be gracing the stage and an exclusive ‘'only available on the weekend'’ CD.
So fellow Tunbridge Wellians lets get together and do things our way. I don’t mean go to Wetherspoons for the first couple, onto Pitcher and Piano, Efe’s Kebabs and then back to Pete’s for Playstation 'til 4.
Bands Include:Seven Story Down, New Homes, City Sunsets, Night Without Sleep, Tom Williams, Furniture Sound, Emphatic, Unkouth Koala, Offlimit plus loads more!!

£10 for a Long Weekend Pass and a CD
or £6 each day. £1 for a CD

 



AmanaceR
Rosemary
Thursday 30th

MooseFest is back. Tom Parrish’s Evening Standard-championed club night returns to the Holy Shitter with its best line-up of unsigned music talent.
THE RIVERS have taken their raucous punk sound on tour with bands such as The Kooks, GoodBooks and The Enemy, and are surely inches away from their inevitable breakthrough. Catch them live and intimate before stardom beckons.
A MooseFest wouldn’t be complete with local heroes and Stable 7 The Man's Choice winners AmanaceR. Armed with a raft of gripping melodies, acid-tongued lyrics and classic indie sensibilities, this Bromley four-piece already sound anthemic.

 


Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan

THE MAN'S CHOICE GRAND FINAL

Damn, this Man's Final is frustrating sometimes. Not in terms of finalist quality, as that's consistently high - well, most years anyway - but many of the better bands don't have enough friends to support them, and that turns the show into a test of endurance rather than an exciting climax to the contest. OK, so audience votes aren't needed as the door count doesn't affect the result, but it so often seems to be an opportunity wasted for both the bands and the fans. This is, after all, what the industry panel have chosen as the 6 best acts out of over 70 contenders, and surely, if 'The Man' has spoken, then it shouldn't be treated as just another gig of no consequence, but as a chance to demonstrate what gave each finalist the edge over the rest? Any band will play better if they have their supporters with them, so that even if they don't win, they know that they had a goodly portion of the room on their side to make them give their best. As for the public (or more precisely, the lack of them), well, it's disheartening that they show so little interest in checking out the 6 best bands of the contest, but maybe everyone's too engrossed in the new Harry Potter. I had difficulty putting it down myself.
Mind you, venturing out early to watch CITY SUNSETS is somewhat of a chore at the best of times so you can hardly blame anyone else for that. Certainly they've improved in the past year from the hopeless bunch of Libertines-obsessed pansies they once were, and taken huge strides towards well-structured and playfully inventive indie tunes, with lots of wailing jagged guitar lines and the coldly nasal warble of Dom Scott keeping it strung together, just about. Maybe for the visual pose of pretending to be multi-instrumental, or perhaps just to impress the girls, Scott switches from bass to guitar with surprising confidence and cockiness considering he's not too clever with either, particularly the bass, which he wealds with all the finesse of a toddler with a xylophone: a melody might escape, but volume and pace are lessons for another day.
All in all, their gangly garage mush is played pretty poorly tonight and although the jangling scabby clatter of "Fiction" demonstrates some real songwriting zeal underneath all that mess, City Sunsets sound shockingly under-rehearsed and somewhat lacking in spunk. But time will tell.
I've been informed that 'AmanaceR' vaguely means 'dawn' or 'wake up' in Spanish, although quite what the capitalised 'R' means except perhaps to make it look pretty on posters is anyone's guess. Being without stixman Dave Persiva they've opted for an acoustic set tonight and it's a rare treat to hear their soulful indie with the flab stripped away. Arguably, it's a relaxed improvement to their sometimes flustered pop-rock groove, with mainman Simon Jones in fine fettle, shaking his curly blond locks and crooning with his eyes closed, releasing that pent-up passion slowly, with a loving caress in his voice. Like this, AmanaceR probably show the quality of their writing in it's very best light. Take opener "Indie Hip Chic" for instance, which even without the beat behind it has a hook thick enough to beat children with, and though they wobble and fumble a tad without all that loudness to hide behind, there are corking hummable melodies coming through their material with some glorious harmonies, more than making up for the brash nonsense of "Don't Listen To Scenesters", which is slack-dicked shite of the highest order.
That aside, AmanaceR have solid, dependable tunes played with stylish conviction and are abloody hard band to dislike, which seeing as they won, means The Man thinks so too.
Known on the Forum message board as The Synthetic, Alasdair Murden aka THE ADVANCED has previously been somewhat dull to watch. Not to listen to, understand, as the guy's exceptionally talented and inventive, combining lunacy and beauty in a big cosmic cocktail, and like his nearest local peer The Acid Chemist there's little visual stimuli, although you can't really expect him to jump up and down I suppose. But blessed with a crystal clear sound, if you sit down, close your eyes and let it wash over you, The Advanced's slick spacey sci-fi sounds are like being transported through time, with ambient explorations and sexily sensual piano reminiscent of Klaus Schulze or Brian Eno, but spun-out on a high-strength dose of whatever pills Orbital keep for special occasions.
The Advanced excels in creating symphonic, huge-sounding synth-art, mutating into hungry electronica a-la Massive Attack or FSOL whenever the mischief takes hold of him, conducting the mood with fanciful gusto. Simple chord progressions expand in a million directions, injecting beats and samples as his visceral soundworlds slide and glide into each other effortlessly, whether based on sensitive classical piano or trippy electronica like some mad DJ creating his set from the soundtracks to low budget sci-fi films. Nice.
Heads down, legs apart, fists in the air and salute them farewell, you sweaty scum. Is this the last 9-VOLT show? Damn shame if it is. Ah, what could have been…but it's time to move on. Unfair as it may seem to the rest, Choad's gonna be a star with or without them, as he thrives on the attention that his cocky crowd-pleasing confidence attracts, whether as a witty joker or a flailing bag of bones and hair, brutally thrashing that guitar as if wrestling it to death and roaring like a sodomised lion.
9 Volt though are a surge of ear-shredding drop-tuned power, and when firing on maximum like tonight, quite awesome to behold. Choosing to base their criminally short set mainly on newer material (no "Crash and Burn" - honest) they bow out in splendid style, and whether we see them again or not, we can be sure that nobody's going to forget them in a hurry. Unlike acoustic emo-dudes FLOAT THE EARTH, who are a spineless tuneless mess this evening, like a castrated Dashboard Confessional stripped bare of any redeeming features (like songs for example) and sanitised for the English middle classes. Utterly ghastly whining crap, as exciting as a bus timetable and unworthy of further comment. Sorry.
They trouble me, THE CRAYONS. Possibly the only Stable members with more band members than friends, and that seemingly still applies even when they're a member down (second guitarist Chris Burton's just become a daddy - congrats to him). Why does nobody here ever seem to make an effort to come and see this band? They're actually a damn fine little outfit and Mark Rodrigues has one of the most achingly pleasant voices of any frontman in the entire contest. A little more mature than many Stable turns, they're positively dripping with ruggedly infectious little Britpop tunes in a Bluetones vein, from the simple catchy guitar-pop of newbie "Fail Again" to the boozy, riotous snappiness of "You Can't Get Away From Me", and for some reason, playing to almost nobody time after time in this venue doesn't seem to bother them in the slightest.
That being said, without Burton, they sound conspicuously empty and though they use the opportunity his absence provides to have a little fun such as a high-power cover of Del Shannon's "Runaway" (tut, tut, against Stable rules y'know) the effect is disappointing overall and not representative of their considerable talent.
Oh well, there's always next year.

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, with Sanatogen coursing through their veins, 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. So If you've recently been moved to tears by the sight of a '74 Rickenbacker 4001, plugged through a Big Muff, whilst being lovingly caressed by a young gunslinger who knows his middle eights from a 'truckers gear shift' then please get in touch. Preferably with a local drugs helpline, in the meantime do not operate any heavy machinery.

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

www.twforum.co.uk
You can also email us, so do that to:
twforum@globalnet.co.uk

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 can be purchased from
Criminal Records, 6 Goods Station Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 511776
and are also now available on TICKETWEB www.ticketweb.co.uk


++++++coming soon++++++

COMEDY FORUM - Thursday 6th Sept
CATS & CATS & CATS - Friday 14th Sept
LOSTALONE - Saturday 22nd Sept
SONIC BOOM SIX - saturday 29th Sept
COMEDY FORUM - Thursday 4th Oct
LED ZEP TOO - Saturday 6th Oct
YOUTHMOVIES - Friday 12th Oct
THE GLITTERATI - Saturday 20th Oct
SPUNGE - Friday 2nd Novr
MC LARS - Saturday 3rd Nov


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


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