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BLAM February 2004

A word in your ear...

Local band in new Ben Elton West End musical!

What a bumper month of frolics it promises to be in this month's opening salvo. So many juicy news items waiting to be torn asunder for your amusement, we scarcely know which way to look (make a change from at your navel). News just in: A damning report on this very magazine was published yesterday. In a shock outcome to the Mutton Report by Lord Sheep of Suit, the management of The Forum escaped unblemished after we reported, erroneously as it turns out, that they had lined up a "bumper night of local bands sure to be full of wit, glamour and groovy things". What the public actually got was a night out with Lo-odio. As a result we have all resigned and the Forum management will now be able to get back to their usual top notch job of doing a lot of things that you would probably prefer not to know about. Another news item just in: The latest celebrity packed local version of "I'm the guitarist….get me out of here" has been abandoned due to lack of interest. The contestants on this year's show included local anti-christ, Animal from the Anti Nowhere League.
Hang on, hold the front page: The Stable lived to fight another day last night when the management cleverly swooped on some passers by and made them vote in favour of their plans to make people pay more for their entrance fees.

No, no, let's go with: The marriage of convenience between Veldt and the fop Randall which was annulled yesterday after only three short minutes. Both sides claim they were drunk and only did it for a laugh, but hey, you're only young once! (As if you remember Randall!).
Shock news from the showbiz world!
Ex 'right-on' Maggie basher , comedian, Ben Elton has announced a sensational new musical to open in the West End. Entitled 'Too clever by half to understand this proletariat form of entertainment', it features the songs of none other than local lads, JOEYFAT! The story is of a young punkette named Sue Testament, who after being kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson, suddenly realises she is God, becoming Gin Rummy champion of the world , from Soho down to Brighton etc etc etc! Much mayhem, mirth, and trousers falling down ensue.. Climaxing with the whole cast on stage singing'We are the Cheeky Girls' in twelve part harmony!
Just read the preview notices:
'..please, get out of my office, now, or I'll call security!..." - John Peel, "..I was rolling 'em in the aisles - Howard Marks, "...like doves wings tickling one's buttocks on a summer's morn.." - Brian Sewell
Tickets for this masterpiece can be reserved through the usual channels


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. 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 bollocks when you've taken ten months supply in twelve minutes. (And when you're about to fuck off to sunny climes for nearly a bleeding month - Ed) Arse poo knob etc.

Rachel Stamp
Gonga & 9-Volt
Saturday 7th

Once upon a time there was a young singer who found himself transfixed by a dream of pure stardom and sonic accolades. His name was David Ryder-Whiteswan. The dream had to be fulfilled at any cost so he set about a perfect plan. The first part of this prophetic plan would have to involve a relocation. At this moment the small village of Dinas Powys in southern Wales where he was currently situated was only famous for the factory that manufactures the knitted ladies that cover toilet rolls, you know, the sort your Nan gives your Mum for Christmas. Dark deeds, tear-stained, sweat-stained nights lay ahead, but our David realised that the answer lay in the tawdry streets of fog strewn olde London Town.
Crike o' riley, that all sounds a bit Dickensian don't it? It goes on to say that this intergalactic glam slut came to the mean streets of Camden in search of water, which was the currency back in Wales.
Listen, you know the score with the Stamp, dripping in mascara, pvc, ripped fishnets, songs of unholy yearning, sleazy glamour and chipped black nail varnish. Now without skinbeater, Robin Guy, the Stamp are still firing on all cylinders, and, veins coursing with industrial strength Fishermans Friends are ready to take on Europe, following their sojourn Stateside, where they've been touring with 'All the Pretty Horses'
www.rachelstamp.co.uk


Norma Jean
Beecher & D-Rail
Sunday 8th

NORMA JEAN is the new name for Christian hardcore act LUTI-KRISS. Having been forced to change their name to avoid confusion with a mainstream rap artist (that'd be Missy Elliott then?), the lads have suffered another blow with vocalist Brad walking the plank.
Cory Putman, formerly of the band Eso-Charis, will be filling in for the group on their February tour of the UK, but no permanent replacement has been announced of yet. Building upon the foundation laid by such bands as Deftones, Will Haven, |Zao|, and Spitfire, the lads bring a much-needed dose of deep spirituality to mesh with a unique form of driving destruction.
Think noisy hardcore with screamng vocals, meets the emo-tinged syrup of Glassjaw, accompanied by Roni Size. Quite a mixed bag in all, but strangely it does work, if only for Mancunians BEECHER.
Having toured with the likes of Killswitch Engage, Cave In, American Nightmare and Sikth they have slowly been building up a following of fans.


Beats on Toast present:
Ironbridge
Thursday 12 Feb

BEATS ON TOAST are a local production team and supporters of both UK hip hop and local artists. They've got quite a scoop in bringing for your delectation the ever innovative Ironbridge, returning from their last visit in December 2002 with a brand new album under their belt and future projects in the pipeline. DJ Pager will be accompanying them and supplying the beats. DJ Pager has also been busy with continuous rotation around the clubs of Essex and his first solo release out this summer 'The Product' 12" which is out on a new Big Smoke label "Smoking Mics".

Our intrepid hiphop correspondent took time out to 'chill' and interview the sensation that is, IRONBRIDGE
"We’re from a rat infested town called Shoeburyness a mile or two from Southend, so we represent Essex. The scenes ok, theres enough of us coming through, but typically of the uk scene there aint enough hip-hop jams going on. Ironbridge consists of myself, Dirty Doctor Verbals plus co-defendant Jibba the fat rapper. We both write & record our own stuff and you're gonna be hearing more production from us soon. On the new album you got beats by Pager, Illson, Jai-Mez, I-Ty, R-Text and a few other mentally warped isolationist beat makers who aren't allowed to speak.
We have been doing quite a few live shows recently, just the other day we done a Radio show on Force fm with Skinnyman, I do a night called Cipher Circle whenever I can be bothered to find a venue, we've done shows with Evil Ed in Brighton, Aspects in Bristol and were probably gonna do something up Leicester way with Apocraphe soon.
The new album 'Toilet Humour' weighs in at 20 tracks. Originally we were just gonna do a 6-track EP, coz we were recording an album with Ill Psychosis, but that was taking time so we thought bollocks, we'll do an album and try and get as many local heads on as possible. We'd already recorded 'the shining' and 'Dance for ya Daddy' in 2002 and the album was about ¾ done at the beginning of 2003, then I got stuck in jail for a while so the album got delayed…..
(tell us more - Ed)
To stay busy and stay out of trouble. Weve got various compilation featurings coming up with Excalibah, Disorda and more. We've got videos to 'Get up!' and 'Theyre coming for ya' dropping on Channel U soon (big up to them for repping the uk) a 12" from the Human Vermin Crew, a Dirty Verbals solo EP called 'Private i' Jibba's solo thing, more Iron Bridge 12s featuring our own production and later in '04 a DVD/Video of all our videos, gig footage, freestyles and a world exclusive of my Nan battling Jibs Nan, so that's gonna be one to watch for. And hopefully a collaboration with Chino XL, that's something we're trying to make happen at the moment. Wouldn't mind getting involved with some Ozzy crews too.

Check out www.ironbridgerecords.com


[Spunge]
Gravel Trap & Never Heard of it
Friday 13th

To put it bluntly, if you haven't yet got tickets for this show (at time of going to press, a few tickets were still available from the usual outlets. Longplayer and Criminal Records, see Forum website for details), you're not getting in!
Hailed as the UK's hardest working band, [spunge] are Tewkesbury ska-punk terrorists.
Formed in 1994, the band hit upon their sound by accident, having amalgamated their collective influences of SUBLIME, STIFF LITTLE FINGERS, THE CLASH, and next month's stars, THE WILDHEARTS. Undergoing a grassroots level of promotion by playing tours end to end, spunge are living peoof that bands can bypass the media manipulation machine and play sold-out shows across the country. With their less than serious take on the world, it's no surprise that the lads number Phil Jupitus, and Dave Gormon amongst their celeb fans


Span
Bloc Party & Dan Clues
Saturday 14th

Norwegian rockers SPAN have been causing a stir in music circles of late, with their apocalyptic brand of machine gun rock 'n' roll, a breath of fresh air amidst all the soundalike pop/punk acts suffocating the UK scene. Now at last comes their long-awaited album "MASS DISTRACTION", to be released 2 days after this show. Soundgarden and Aerosmith are oft-cited influences but it is SPAN's eclecticism, a shameless refusal to embrace a specific genre, gleefully pursuing a myriad of diverse but equally convincing styles that marks them out from the crowd. Frontman Jarle Bernhoft, was involved in a motorbike accident in Mali on New Years Day. Having recovered from smashing one of his knees up and some ligament damage, he's now back on his feet and ready for some blitzkrieg power pop/rock.
"...a shaken and rattled DNA cocktail of 70s Aerosmith and Janes Addiction..." - NME


The Boxer Rebellion
Friday 20th

Hailing from london via America and Australia, The Boxer Rebellion are: Nathan Nicholson (vocals/guitar), Todd Howe (lead guitar), Adam Harrison (bass) and Piers Hewitt (drums). They have a sound of their own and melodies to both chill and melt your heart, mixed in with hard warring rock sensibilities to blind you in their psychedelic stone shower. It's guitar music, yes, but its fresh and new sounding. People seem to have forgotten that blatantly ripping off old music and getting away with it because you're 'getting new music fans into yesterday's classics' is just a cop out. We have our AC/DC and Buzzcocks compilations thanks very much.
The Boxer Rebellion take their wide-ranging influences and stick them where the sun shines, where the heavens part (beg pardon?) and where the storms gather. Sometimes serenely pretty, sometimes extremely thunderous, always vital. However, to give a bluffer's guide ; "...the Boxer Rebellion display the explosive gusto of BRMC, the boiling, angsty falsetto of Buckley and the searing beauty of The Verve. Their organic, naturally flowing sonic marathon exposes the laughable New Rock Revolution for the shit-stained, corporate shafting marketing stunt it really is..." - some angsty journalist.
Also appearing tonight will be Paddock Wood four-piece, THE BLUE FUSION. Formed in 2000 by Ed, Alex, Fie and Jon, the 'Fusion play a form of indie rock with a vocalist who can actually sing! Which brings us on to those loveable PG Tea chumps, MUMM RA. Originally formed as occupational therapy in Shady Cedars Home for Bewildered Sitar Players, the 'Ra have gone on to become a major draw with both sitar afficionados everywhere, and the ladies. FACT: Did you know that top Grammy award winner, Norah Jones is really Carl (He's a proper) Gent the sitarist's, daughter? No. Neither did she, nor he for that matter! Check 'em out at groups.msn.com/mummrarule


Hondo Maclean
The Rocket Summer, Reasons to Remain & Shards of Glass
Saturday 21st

Coming from the same Welsh hardcore circuit that has brought us the likes of Lost Prophets and Funeral for a Friend, HONDO MACLEAN deliver their own take on 'hardcore'. Some music is created to caress and envelop the senses in a delicate and sumptuous manner… some music is created to soundtrack the passion and intensity of romance… and some music is created to rip your head off and bounce your bleeding skull down the street. Er, that would be Hondo Maclean then.
Named after an 80's cartoon character, this Welsh quintet are a stunning example of post hardcore fury. Embodying a tasty hybrid of Slayer style intensity and Poison The Well like invention and progressiveness, they are a potent and exciting force in an era of increasingly soulless replication. And like all the best extreme bands, they know when to temper their assault with a mammoth hook or a well-placed insidious melody. They may crush you, but those chorus lines will be stuck in your head as they do it!
Also appearing tonight is THE ROCKET SUMMER, whom judging by his photo looks a bit like Wolfie Smith from 70s sit-com Citizen Smith. Power to the people!


Seafood
Saturday 28th

Seafood is frequently described as "A London post-grunge band". This is patently not true. Kevin and Caroline are from Uxbridge in Middlesex, while David and Charles were brought up in Guilford, Surrey. "It's all outskirts of London," says Kevin, defensively. "It might mean something I reckon, coming from that area. I found it pretty dull, personally". Nobody around here has yet managed to work out what 'post-grunge' actually means. Seafood's biographies often claim that the band formed via an advert in Loot, for a flat. This is extremely true. Caroline and Kevin wanted somewhere to live. David and Charles were looking for a boy drummer and a girl bass player. Kevin and Caroline (right sex, wrong instruments or right instruments, wrong sex, depending on your state of mind) just about fitted the bill. After two gigs in the summer of 1997 Seafood had already set the indie underground's wires buzzing. After three gigs they could have been signed to Fierce Panda but that label's A&R department got pissed at the Kerrang! party and turned up too late to see them. At their fourth gig - upstairs at Highbury Garage in October '97, they were finally snapped up by a more sober Fierce Panda. Everything else is just confusion, pure and baffling. "We're a very contradictory band," muses Kevin. "We argue a lot," fidgets David. They aren't wrong.


THE STABLE

Monday 9th
BELMONT are four piece indie band hailing from Thorpe-le -Soken, which is a small fishing village just south of Juan le Pins in France. Their website www.belmontband.co.uk is totally inaccessible but give it a bang anyways. CREATION ONE however, although not having a website, have provided me with enough material to write a load of waffle about! A five piece from oyster country, Whitstable, the lads have a very 80s sound, rather like the Dandy Warhols, but fuelled by Victory Vs rather than smack. With a singer that looks a bit like Kelly Jones' bigger, harder brother, its a sound well worth checking out. Originally called Kimera, SEVEN STORY DOWN play a hybrid of modern musical styles including funk and rock. Some of the band’s main influences include Incubus, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Jeff Buckley, and Rage Against The Machine. Coming from Paddock Wood, I'd imagine there's a bit of a Wurzels influence 'n' all www.sevenstorydown.tk

Monday 16th
REASONS TO REMAIN declare that they do not comply to any genre. "...Their blend of well-knitted guitar riffery, mixed with aggressive drum and bass rhythms, melodic verses, outstanding harmonies and solos, bring out the best in atmospheric rock, post hardcore, with a slash of emo...". Formerly called Stalefish, SHARDS OF GLASS credit influences such as Hell is for Heroes, The Used and Finch. Their first demo was produced by none other than Pat (I used to be in the Vibrators me) Collier. So, all in all, a band with glory in their sights.
In his other guise as lead provocateur of THE IDEOTS, SIMON LEEVES has of late been keeping his head down. Rumours of a Werthers Originals bootlegging scam that went tits up have not been substantiated. What is true, is that this talented gobshite has more than a few good ideas and is sadly wasted scratching his arse on building sites all day!

Monday 23rd
The penultimate show of round one of the stable comprises of not one, not two, but three exciting new bands. ELEGANTLY TRASHED, a band formed only 5 minutes ago, and hopefully, by tonight, should have a set load of original songs under their belts. Fronted by the gorgeous pouting Nandi, this all girl rock band claim to be influenced by Korn, A Perfect Circle and the Fast Food Rockers. SUPERNOVA meanwhile, hail from East Grinstead and purport to play modern rock, and their web address appears to be incorrect. Which brings us neatly on to VIOLET HIGH, a band with professionalism simply oozing from their collective fretboards. This Croydon based combo have toured with Aconite Thrill, and have a very Bush, Silver Chair-ish whiff about them.To quote the band themselves, "...the future is bright, the future is violet..."
Check out www.violethigh.com. This promises to be a cracking night folks.


Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan

Wherein our very own Victor Meldrew of the moshpit gives us the lowdown on what he's had sad occasion to witness at Europe's second largest toilet

The Impeccables
Seven Story Down
Bad Picture
Friday 16 January

It does the soul good to see such an impressive turnout on a night like this. To dedicate prime weekend slots to unsigned local bands for a whole goddamn month is a brave yet essential move for The Forum to make, showing beyond doubt how much dedication and devotion the guys have in the local scene, and in supplicated retort, we're packed with pubescent kiddiwinks off their tiny tits on Red Bull & Sunny D cocktails.
Displaying a rather standardised and somewhat unremarkable indie-hard rock approach, Bad Picture offer very little that's either challenging, interesting or beyond mediocre. Overly loose and baggy, with turgid and unconvincing melodies that have a sour twang of boredom and uncertainty, Bad Picture's dated and cheaply fabricated material fails to get off the ground due to a combination of structural weakness and general inexperience, but their ability to take control of a song's dynamics is clear, even though they're not yet able to utilise it effectively.
Fronted by a brunette beauty with eyes that are fit to dive into, but a weak flat voice lacking in real presence, Bad Picture are all a bit 'school band' and don't yet have the ability to create tunes with any significant impact. "I got so wasted, last night, oh I got so stoned, last night..." she wails, and if she really did it might explain why they didn't get round to writing anything worthwhile.
If this were a school project, even the teacher who encouraged them would be hard pushed to award higher than a 'D'. Sorry.
Seven Story Down are a surprising bunch, considering they're all only about 16. It's essentially intense and intricate funky bubbly rhythms, with crunchy granular guitar riffs, kinda like Incubus meeting RHCP, but heavier, floppier and more loosely tethered. Though initially coming across as if they're all playing something different to each other, it quickly comes together in a surge of inspired power and gung-ho frenzied enthusiasm.
Bassist/Vocalist Ollie has an occasionally whining wail, but there's a slight Gavin Rossdale-ish guttural phlegmy timbre coming from his throat on occasions, giving their tense and engaging material a curiously glossy finish. The songs are short manic bursts of widdling funkadelic tomfoolery, with their tongues wedged firmly in their arsecheeks and melodies that glide to a halt, dance around for a bit and glide back again with added x-factor.
Despite their coy and inarticulate between-song stage manner, SSD frequently indicate that have an instinctive understanding of how to develop commercially exploitable and intelligent material. Mini-anthems come easily and casually to them, complete with weighty hooks, but there are some frustrating elements that impudently stick out like iced nipples. Sometimes, stylishly cool musicianship and rabidly catchy choruses aren't enough because such strong positive points glaringly highlight any negative aspects that may otherwise be comfortably ignored, and in this case SSD seem to have a habit of filling in any gap that arises with bursts of oddness and quirky rhythmic excess, rather than just maintaining a steady vibe. Less really can be more, given half a chance, but there's nothing wrong that confidence and experience won't fix. The spunky funky groove that forms the essence of their sound becomes increasingly taut and emotional as they progress towards the end, giving them an enviable richness crossed with raw potential that many more experienced bands that I could mention would happily eat their own testicles for, so although there's still along way for SSD to go, it's upwards nonetheless. Check 'em out.
I dare anyone not to like The Impeccables. From the off, as "I Dream Of Rock 'N' Roll" is shaken angrily from the PA, what you see and hear is not just exactly what you get, but what you need as a leveller. No-nonsense heads-down punk-metal yobbery with all the subtlety of a headbutt in the face, this trio create good-time heavy duty hooligan rock 'n' roll that's the musical equivalent of a lager binge and cheekier than a barrel-load of buttocks. Think The Stooges. Think the Ruts. Think The Strokes. Think The Libertines. Think virtually anything beginning with a 'The' that the NME wanks over until it becomes fashionable and then looks for excuses to laugh at, and you might get the general idea. Like sleaze-glam without an eyebrow pencil or lipstick tube in sight, it's debauched, snotty, animalistic fun that has a hundred comparisons but it matters not a jot because it's impossible not to go with the flow and just dance.
"Goin' Down" is dedicated to Jack White for obvious reasons and with a brutal 1-2-3-4 it's a raw punky hammer-attack of a track, beautifully crude, noisy and frenzied, like being caught in the slipstream of a riot. The Impeccables blow their contents outwards like juvenile delinquents with noses full of sticky bogies and they couldn't give a toss who's in the firing line for the mess they're determined to leave behind.
As half the remaining crowd joins them onstage for the irritatingly familiar rifferama of "The Ghost Of Rock And Roll", The Impeccables prove themselves to be some of the most fun it's possible to have with your clothes on. It's music that waves it's cheesy cock in the faces of those who take things too seriously, so fuck the indie snobbery, leave your brain at the door and just let them show you a good time. Make it a new year's resolution, or something.


COMING SOON TO A TOILET NEAR YOU!

March  
Thurs 1st COMEDY FORUM
Fri 2nd THE PLANET SMASHERS
Sat 10th RX BANDITS
Fri 23rd LAUNCHPAD SKA PUNK TOUR
April  
Thurs 4th THE WILDHEARTS
Fri 5th CARLOS SULTANA BAND
Sat 6th JESSE JAMES
Fri 12th NUTONIC + BLACK TOP PHOENIX
Sat 20th AURASUN + ACONITE THRILL
Fri 26th THE KEYS
Sat 27th THE GLITTERATI

CONTACT US
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 brand new 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, play our hi-tech computer game: TOILET CLEANER 3, or 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 February edition of BLAM! - All queries regarding libel actions should be directed to them

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