Concert goers were devastated this week when the onset of a winter of malcontents beset The Forum, provoking a series of 8 minute stoppages and behaviour like what you normally see on a Channel Four documentary about Arthur Scargill. The management were hit by a series of pay increase demands of up to 400 percent for some staff, leaving them facing a wage bill of a staggering 45p! To enforce their demands many staff chose to take industrial action, withdrawing their usual level of service, commitment and dedication from customers who were left to fend for themselves. "We are really sorry to be making the general public suffer like this" said Red Lawrence, leader of the militant faction, "but enough is enough. Many of my members have been forced to take second jobs to make ends meet. Luckily, Trinity Arts Centre will take on anybody and don’t seem to notice whether you are there or not, so this hasn’t caused too many problems in the past, but we cannot let the situation continue".
The action caused toilet roll not to appear in the loos,
bands to take ages to get on stage, and the doors failing to open at 8pm. In
addition, bar staff decided to adopt a surly attitude, act as if they owned
the place, and generally refuse to serve anybody who was unable to provide a
DNA or stool sample to establish their age and identity.Meanwhile posters
and flyers were deliberately printed with the wrong dates, using badly
pixelated photos of the bands . The action has now spread to encompass the
performances of the bands themselves, with many local acts choosing to play
off key and out of time to voice their support. Others performed as normal,
but with a slight lisp.
In spite of the union's claims to have completely disrupted the normal workings of The Forum, many customers when questioned were understood not to have noticed the slightest bit of difference.
In other news, The Forum will be Ten Years Old in January. Watch out for some very special announcements over the coming weeks of the celebrations being planned. And Happy Christmas to the lot of you.
BLAM is owned and produced by the Forum. We are poor starving musicians and
who can't even afford a garret, so there is little point in coming after us for money simply because we accuse you of being a donkey basher! Should you ill-advisedly decide to pursue the litigation route, then you can sue us via
The Forum, Fonthill, The Common, Fonthill, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8YU
Why should I apologise to you? Eh? What gives you the right to come into my magazine demanding apologies from anybody? If you don’t like anything in the magazine then don’t read the fucking thing. I would have thought that was pretty simple. But oh no, not you. You want to read it and then moan about words like cock bandit, smegma and fanny batter. Well, frankly, if that’s the sort of thing that upsets you then you are not the sort of person who should read the magazine. And, what’s more, you are quite probably that small flap of skin around a donkey’s arse for which medical science hasn’t bothered to invent a name. Fuck you, and your small minded twattish obsessions with "naughty" words.
Who would have that when the Forum was founded ten years ago by a gang of starry eyed 15 year olds, the old shithouse would still be here. Still providing the same bar of soap in the gents toilet, but more importantly, still providing a platform for music and comedy . Over the past decade we've seen 'em all. We've seen acts go on to unparalleled obscurity, but also, we've seen bands and comedians go on to scale the heady heights of cable television. Just take a look at the roll of honour of people who've graced the Forum stage. As part of our glorious birthday celebrations in January 2003, we will be welcoming back some of the following:
COLDPLAY . OASIS . KULA SHAKER . SPACE . SOPHIE ELLIS-BEXTOR . SUEDE . HUNDRED REASONS . INME . GLEN TILBROOK . GREEN DAY . PLACEBO . PAUL WELLER . VIC REEVES . THE WONDER STUFF . COURTNEY PINE . OCEAN COLOUR SCENE . ECHOBELLY . ONE MINUTE SILENCE . THE 45S . CAPDOWN . BIFFY CLYRO . THE DIVINE COMEDY . RACHEL STAMP . MY LIFE STORY . BARK PSYCHOSIS . MUSE . FUNGUS . TOPLOADER . EARTHTONE 9 . PULKAS . THE CARDIACS . KILL II THIS . FEEDER . NAPALM DEATH . THERAPY? . ANTI NOWHERE LEAGUE . DOVES . TERRIS . DAVID DEVANT AND HIS SPIRIT WIFE . T.REXSTASY . KING ADORA . WEBB BROTHERS . NEW MODEL ARMY . ATTILA THE STOCKBROKER . SPUNGE . KING PRAWN . CATATONIA . LONGPIGS . BABYBIRD . DODGY . LUSH . CORNERSHOP . STEREOPHONICS . JESUS JONES . FRANK AND WALTERS . MENSWEAR . SUPERNATURALS . BELLATRIX . CABLE . REEF . MILES HUNT . ROBYN HITCHCOCK . CANDYSKINS . JOHN COOPER-CLARKE . SMASH . 60FT DOLLS . PETE WYLIE . FLUFFY . MANSUN . THESE ANIMAL MEN . JOYRIDER . SYMPOSIUM . IAN ASTBURY . JOHN OTWAY . STEREOLAB . THE MUSIC . ELECTRIC SOFT PARADE . CATHERINE WHEEL . WHISKEY PRIESTS . CHINA DRUM . MY BRILLIANT CAREER . MIDGET . TIPA GORE . CHUMBAWAMBA . ARAB STRAP . ULTRASOUND . GROOP DOG DRILL . ROSS NOBLE . SNUG . SUBCIRCUS . JOEYFAT . BENJAMIN ZEPHANIAH . THE DELGADOS . BIS . SALAD . BHUNDU BOYS . CLEARLAKE . BETA BAND . KINKY MACHINE . SENSER . MARCUS BRIGSTOCKE . THE DENTISTS . THOUSAND YARD STARE . JACOBS MOUSE . 18 WHEELER . HEAVENLY . 999 . SWERVEDRIVER . HUGGY BEAR . IAN MCNABB . WHITEOUT . THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH . JAGUAR . DAWN OF THE REPLICANTS . SUPERGRASS . ADAM BLOOM . ROBERT LLEWELLYN . EDDI READER . THE CLINT BOON EXPERIENCE . CINERAMA . GORKY'S ZYGOTIC MYNCI . SPEARMINT . PURITY OF DECADENCE . UK SUBS . KENICKIE . DAVE FULTON . WILL HAVEN . STRAW . PAUL TONKINSON . GINA YASHERE . TRAVIS . THE ALMIGHTY . NERF HERDER . REEL BIG FISH , STAMPIN' GROUND . WILL SMITH . RAGING SPEEDHORN . DEM BROOKLYN BUMS . JIMMY CARR . GLENN MATLOCK . OMID DJALILI . DUB WARS . SULPHUR
Things your Mother never told you:
"Always make sure you're wearing nice shoes. Everyone notices shoes.
They're the windows to the soul . . .or something"
- Natasha Hamilton of Atomic Kitten
The Kennedy Soundtrack
Saturday 14th December
"When I was younger I used to love 'A Tale Of Two Cities'
by Charles Dickens and I recently went back to it and re- read the first
paragraph: 'It was the best of times, it was the worst of times', and I
thought how that related to us as a band. We've had the best of times and
the worst of times. It's been an age of pure wisdom for us all but at the
same time it's been an age of darkness." - Nic, The Kennedy Soundtrack
(How interesting and deep - Ed) The summer of 1999, that was the best of times. When the dark demon of rap-rock broke ground in Pontypool, a snoozy village nestled just beyond the Cardiff suburbs, and shook its mighty wallet chain over the unsuspecting valley hostelries. Previously Pontypool's most famous son was the melting Nazi bloke out of Raiders Of The Lost Ark - now five 17-year-olds, having met on a BTEC diploma course in Rock & Pop at Newport's Crosskeys College. holed up in a rehearsal room and tried to melt the whole town with searing guitars, skewed raps and scintillating melodies.One day The Kennedys would become the new, raw yet seductive sound of the suburbs, a band that leaves every bandwagon jumping Brit-metal band gasping in their tyre smoke and - thanks to Nic's impeccable grasp of hip-hop styles and grooves - shows up the likes of Linkin Park and L*mp B*zk*t as the superficial, stylistic magpies they undoubtedly are. With the Chilli Peppers, Rage Against The Machine and Faith No More (rather than, say, the snow-capped mountains of Nu Metal money) as their inspiration, within three years TKS would become a deeply inventive, ground-breaking and downright important forward thrust in the mating of rock and rap.
Friday 6th December
"Think of them as a garage band that's been brought in to
play a film score" - so says Clearlake fan Jools Holland.
Hove based CLEARLAKE have already been likened to Syd Barret fronting The Smiths, or My Bloody Valentine playing Neil Young. Poignant melodies and sharply observed lyrics of rainy Tuesday afternoons in out of season seaside towns are framed by rich, expressive music that can switch from cacophany to luscious radiant beauty at the drop of a homemade guitar.Having returned from a year in France writing their new album 'CEDARS' , CLEARLAKE are quite simply a fantastic band and not to be missed. You might even see that scary chap on the back page in the audience!.
Also appearing will be The Stable 'The Man's Choice Winners, NOON (ex-Punchdrunk). Bloody Hell, if there was a free bar this would be the perfect Friday night..
In So Far
Tuesday 10th December
Nu-metal might be taking the world by storm, but Fony are boldly striding into a musical landscape that has very little to do with either cod teenage angst or neanderthal thuggery. Sure, they share some common ground with bands like the Deftones, Soundgarden, Jane's Addiction and even Tool, but it's only ever a place to start. In essence they're a hearty and adventurous rock band in an age of disposable pap and pre-packaged, simplistic tripe.
Formed in 2000, the youthful Redhill based quintet have concentrated on developing an individual sound that spans everything from nu-metal to prog rock! Their debut album, 'Routine Irregular' (Casket Records CSK009 - May 6 2002), is an inspired and adventurous creation, embracing angular melody, twisted aggression and complex delivery in equal measure. It showcases a band quite clearly unafraid of circumnavigating the supposed confines of the nu-rock genre.
Tuesday 17th December
A continual high level of performance over the last 25 years has rightly earned BAD MANNERS their reputation as a magnificent live band. from their beginnings as a school group in 1976, throughout their chart success of the 80's (11 top twenty hits) , and until the present day this merry troupe of ska troubadours have maintained a punishing live schedule and deserve their billing as 'the hardest working band on the planet'.
They have been fronted from day one by Buster
Bloodvessel, a man of gargantuan proportions, one of the biggest voices in
show business with the ebullient personality to match. The unparalleled
longevity of their success, coupled with Buster's ability to secure a place
in the nations heart and collective consciousness are a testament to his
enduring self-belief, and the bands 'consummate talent, unbounded energy and
That Buster has achieved his notorious celebrity status whilst indulging in one of the wildest lifestyles this side of Oliver Reed's grave make him a unique icon of all that is good about being fat, famous and above all intrinsically British. Bad Manners shows are about partying, having a good time and not taking yourself too seriously, these were the values that Buster founded the band on and still holds dear today, Bad Manners will always give full measure, and unbridled entertainment and fun are guaranteed.
Friday 13th December
One of Deck Cheese's latest additions, southern skacore
hopefuls No Comply have quite literally burst onto the scene with, 'Your
Life Is Your Direction', their first commercially-available release. And to
be honest it's a superb blast of
melody, horns and energy - and shows that the UK scene has a new star in the
The best way to describe No Comply would be to compare them to Capdown brawling with Save Ferris - they're too melodic to be tagged hardcore and too harsh to be described as ska. But in vocalist Kelly Kemp they do have the chance at being able to crack the big time. With a voice as good as any in the genre, she can switch from Mo Powell style singing, to the devilish of screeches like shit off a shovel! And NO, they are not a No Doubt covers band!
Monday 23rd December
With the inevitability of an Eastenders character
appearing in a panto near you this Christmas, it's that time of year when
the ugly dames of glam metal do the rounds in the provinces. Consisting of
members and ex-members of Rachel Stamp, Bruce Dickinson's band, Rob (Poor
little rich boy) Williams backing band to name a few, SACK TRICK once again
bring their cavalcade of proto glam panto to the Forum. With a stable of 20
members, SACKTRICK always deliver a show well worth seeing; blinded with
mascara, cleavage revealing bustiers, Cruella DeVile lipstick, tight lurex
strides. And that's just the audience!
It's party time so line up the Voddy 'n' Red Bulls at the bar, ask the Boy Lawrence for a big wet snog. IT'S CHRIIIIIIISTMAAAASSSSSSSSSSS!
Drunk in Public
featuring members of THE LEVELLERS
Thursday 19th December
It will be baggy hand-knitted jumpers and dreadlocks agogo when acoustic act DRUNK IN PUBLIC come to town. Featuring Mark, Simon and John of THE LEVELLERS, and Rev. Hammer. this is the sound of THE LEVELLERS unplugged. Icons of crusties, travellers, anarcho-punks, festival goers and tofu chompers alike, their blend of beer drenched politico folk punk has enabled them to become one of the biggest festival acts in Europe. Warning: Please note that violins will be used during this show!
Unlabel compilation CD release event
feat. 100 Pets + Joeyfat + Ye Wiles + The Kicks
Saturday 21st December
Who needs more stars? No one. The light that you're seeing
is just some ancient reminder of light, diluted by miles of dull, black,
But you have to admire them for their sheer magnitude, don't you? No.
The music industry is dying. It's like Christianity, the only ones clinging on to the pomp and ceremony, the free wine and the ridiculous costumes are the brain-slow and the bishops themselves.
So why bother? None of this music is going to make it onto a thousand in-car compilation cd's, none of it will trouble the minds of even one percent of the population. It's difficult, wilful stuff with no visible means of support.
"Outsider Music" they sometimes call it, an all encompassing term for collections like these. People making music because they are driven to it, not through any sense of petty reward. These are the people going forward, pushing the bruises. So some of it's hard to listen to. Good. It's like a 3-D sketch of a cube to a thirteenth century artist. That's why they bother. If you want easy, it's there on the racks, just grab an armful of the house recommendation. The house is just there to serve, trying to bring you closer to happiness. Like the church. They only want what's best for you. I say they are the barbarians, they are the outsiders. The path less travelled is the path to righteousness and the meek shall inherit the earth. God loves this cd.
Saturday 7th December
It must be quite obvious to any fule by now that the Stable is jampacked full of top local bands, as good as, if not immeasurably better than any of your 'fly by night' X is loadeds of this world. This evening sees the grunge pop of Laurie and the lads of IMMUNE, the heavy, melodic rock of Dan & UNDERTOW. Well crafted Coldplay/Muse type meanderings from Tunbridge Wells 'supergroup' CYRANO, (formed from the embers of Tipa Gore, Kail and Elm), and last but not least, the thinking man's Westlife, THE IDEOTS bring their brand of anarchic, ska, punk, whatever, general wind-up mayhem
MONDAY 9 DECEMBER
AUNT SPIKA . SIX STAGE SUICIDE . ONE DAY ELLIOTT
Managed by x-Whi$perkill's Vic Wintergreen, SIX STAGE
SUICIDE are 'heavy mental' and boast a very big wall of overdriven guitars.
A cross between Therapy and Placebo mixed with some well produced original
AUNT SPIKA feature one of our sound men Max, the man with his hands on the knobs! The lads describe their sound as "...cross between Foo Fighters and Green Day.." ONE DAY ELLIOTT are always welcome down the Forum and win crowds over with their amphetamine spiked hyperactive sound, chock ablock with tunes aplenty. A class act.
MONDAY 16 DECEMBER
DUFUZ . HALF INCH HEROES . MARTIN
DUFUZ are a five piece funk-punk outfit from Hildenborough, who, judging by the photo below like nothing more than to lie together in golden fields of corn, watching the sunset after a hard working day reaping the harvest as the sweat glistens on their musclebound farm labourer bodies.HALF INCH HEROES are a seven piece ska punk band featuring not one, but two rather attractive ladies, Georgina and Beth) amongst their ranks. With oneman publicity machine Pacey on drums, the 'Heroes always guarantee a bleedin' good skank!
>Completing the line-up is MARTIN, a hardworking six piece ska/punk/ emo/skacore band from Sittingbourne. All in all, yet another crackin' month of Stable shows.
The Stable Table - as of 3rd December
|1 Carpe Diem||180|
|1 Henry Holds His Own||180|
|4 At The Deli||152|
|5 Mr Drummond||147|
|7 The Impeccables||136|
|8 Grapeseed Bandits||130|
|8 Medium Steve||130|
|16 AV Out||107|
|18 Harder They Fall||99|
|24 Giant Spider||70|
|25 Flying Carnies||63|
|26 Mumm Ra||60|
|28 One Above Nothing||59|
|31 The Hookers||50|
|34 RoundEyed Dogs||30|
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.
You can write to us at
The Forum, Fonthill, The Common,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8YU
We have a really lovely website where you can find out all about what's on. That's at
which is a much easier address to remember than the last one, so now you have no excuse. 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, dress a virtual Lawrence in ladies underwear, and after all that, you can go on our messageboard and start arguing about exactly which barstool ex-Pistol Glen Matlock parked his pert buttocks on. The address for that is