one of the most popular acts ever to hit the scene were devastated this week
when it was finally confirmed that they were to split. The band had become
increasingly popular in the last two years, and were famous for their cheeky
pop melodies they nicked from other bands and then played very badly in half
the time; hundreds and hundreds of songs with quite poor lyrics all of them
about girls and how much they'd like to meet some, their lack of ability on
their own instrument, or in fact any ability at all, musical or otherwise,
but perhaps most famously for creating "whacky" personalities for
each of the three main members of the band, an idea they stole from the Monkees,
but the less said about that the better. Never again will we see a gig from
the tall moody one that looks like he might have read a book or two, the quiet
one that stands around a lot and is popular with girls, or the weird looking
one with the bad hair and borderline hyperactivity problems who bounces around
a lot on stage and claimed (against all evidence to the contrary) to be a
guitarist. The main three members of the band were always joined on stage
by "the drummer", an old bloke who sat round at the back wearing
outfits designed by a blind eight-year-old and looking like he would rather
be somewhere else.
Quite the most popular band ever to appear on a local stage (with the possible exception of some other bands who were a bit better) it's understood that the split became almost inevitable once the tall moody one started worrying that people might not be taking him too seriously, and formed another band to perform aural pieces loosely termed as songs with lyrics about spleens, vomit and the inexplicably behaviour of baboons when given small pieces of green card with the word "bushwhack" written on them. The weird looking one with the personality disorder has announced he will never take to the stage again, much to the relief of all concerned, and the quite one refused to comment, although he did raise his eyebrows a bit at some passing girls. Yes, fans of local music, we can unfortunately confirm that BIG POP TROTSKY have split.
All hopes for a successful local band now rest with the new band from the bloke with the height problems and large eyebrows, JOEYFAT. Abandon ship! Abandon ship!
* We would like to apologise for a printers' error this month which has led to the reprinting of an editorial from 1991
** We would also like to apologise to all readers under the age of 33 who won't get this joke at all.
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.
tTOJU has been dubbed a 'Hip hop impressionist' because of his skilful blending
of stand up & impressions drawn from rap & music culture. Kicking
off his stand up career as a teenager, Toju made a blistering start, debuting
on television inside a year, on BBC 2 's groundbreaking multi cultural sketch
comedy, The Real McCoy.
Peckham's finest has since racked up an impressive list of TV credits since this debut, including BBC 1's The Stand Up Show.
A series of searing performances in front of Hackney Empire's notorious Phat Friday audiences led to a regular spot Get Up, Stand Up (Channel 4), where his weekly guest stand up spot stole the show from the show's core of sketches. Toju's uncompromising stand up has also led to TV outings on BBC 2's The A Force (BBC 2) and Channel 4's Nights at the Empire (Ch 4).
What the Guardian said about Toju
"That legendary letter writer, Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells, should have lots to write about this week, when Toju comes to town. Toju is one of the most invigorating young stand-ups to emerge from the new generation of black British comedy, and his uncompromising attitude is a welcome break from the safe conformism of most comics on the circuit. Toju's targets include the empty commercialism of modern pop music, but many of his reference points are actually quite mainstream -gangster films, martial arts movies, even 1970's TV stalwarts like The Incredible Hulk. "If the Hulk was black he'd be changing every five, minutes, because brothers get frustrated quick. "The breadth of Toju's material reflects his own broad influences, from cutting-edge US comics like Bill Hicks and Denis Leary to classic UK sitcoms like Rising Damp. His Nigerian heritage sets him apart from most black British comics, but he's also quite unlike any of the other Anglo-African comics I've seen. Toju is his own man and he's got his own agenda, but although his act is often angry it's also gloriously inclusive. William Cook
The catalyst for becoming a stand-up was, for ADAM HOWE, most definitely, the fact he met a man who had played an ewok. He didn't believe the man had been an ewok, although he couldn't dispute he had ewokian stature. The man was about three foot eight (about because he never told Adam his exact height, and Adam had the decency not to measure him).
Winning the KING GONG award in September 2002 was a triumph for our Adam, prompting top wit Jon Fothergil to quip - "Last months Gong Show must have been crap! "
sometimes that we fill up these articles with thinly veiled gibes about the
band's impending stardom and how you are all a bit thick if you don't go and
see them? Well, this month I have decided to give you the morning off for
good behaviour and to let the reviews do the talking for me. Good Times Roll
say: "Her name is Chantal, and she is a fucking queen. She controlled
the stage and commanded the crowd. Their gussied up rock sound makes you want
to dance like a kid who just heard the Pixies are reforming." The Face
says: "At a recent gig at Piano's that coincided with her 22nd birthday,
lead singer Chantal broke down in front of the stunned audience screaming
at her friends in attendance 'you only bought me a TV because my mom died'.
Minutes later she was simulating
sex with a naked Japanese girl and had the usually staid hipster crowd dancing
up a sweat and hanging on her every word. This is the new shit and you'd better
listen." New York Magazine said: "The hottest band changing the
New York Soundscape" The Knitting Factory said: ""... I have
seen the future of Rock and Roll and it is Chantal, Timo, Pedro and Japa",
and the Beastie Boys said: "Morningwood got game". Currently THE
hottest fucking new band in the whole of the United States, you are either
going to this gig or you are some sort of halfwit moron. Which is it to be?
Also appearing are Stable 'turns' TEHILLAH COMMISSION, and Jimmy Krankie aside, possibly the shortest/youngest band to grace the shithole's stage, OFFLIMIT. Small in stature, towering giants of talent
Towers Of London
London start the year very much as the band to watch in 2005. Since last year's
appearance at In The City where they were the talking point of the conference,
the band's notoriety has progressively increased with every inflammatory and
unapologetic live show. Their brilliant debut single 'On A Noose' ('the most
punk three minutes we've heard in ages' - The Fly) is now on heavy rotation
on Steve Lamacq, Zane Lowe and John Kennedy. Having already been tipped by
Kerrang!, Classic Rock and Rocksound and with NME rightfully hailing them
'London's most controversial new band', 2005 could very well be theirs for
the taking(isn't that Vim Fuego from BAD NEWS far left in the photo! - Comic
Remarkably, for a band yet to release their debut single, it appears that everyone already has an opinion on Towers Of London. Predictably a band as provocative as Towers Of London have as many haters as they have fans, which is just they way they like it. It's the job of every great rock and roll band to upset people. As playlouder put it 'The fact that they get all those, "They can't play, what do they think they're wearing?" mum and dad comments means you know they are great already'. The band's debut single 'On A Noose' will be released on February 14th through TVT Records, it is the perfect introduction to the band and a defiant calling card, three minutes of rousing, feral, rock n' roll attitude.
Sonic Boom Six
Milton Keynes - (so much to answer for) best known for its concrete roundabouts and…cows. The town is home to many great bands such as Capdown, Odd Man Out, and Phema - and Graveltrap are no exception to the trend. They play neat Pop Punk with a distinct English sound and play it a lot better than most of their American counterparts. This four piece only have an average age of 19 yet already have a large fan base and it doesn't take a genius to see why. Graveltrap are an extremely talented young band that play infectious pop punk that gets stuck in your head - getting you singing along and jumping around manically. Bumping up the phwoar factor will be SONIC BOOM SIX. It is fiendishly difficult to convey their sound through words. 'Miss Dynamite fronting Capdown' has been one of the closest attempts to nail it, 'Notting Hill Carnival on a punk CD' is another; the truth is that SB6 are a group in the tradition of UK punk bands such as The Specials, The Clash and King Prawn that push the musical envelope by mixing the contemporary underground sounds of the UK with a rocking live show. Sonic Boom Six's genre-terrorism attacks the urban sounds of ragga, hip-hop, bhangra and jungle, adds a blast of dub and reggae and detonates with a heavy helping of hardcore punk rock.
Like a bit
of rough do you? Whilst the New Rock Revolution (copyright The Libertines)
(oo look, he's even got a hat just like Pete's - Ed) lurches on its merry
way to the hospital rehab department we are already entering that era where
the first wave of bands that got their wake up call thirty seconds into Up
The Bracket knock at our doors. Happily, I am gleefully able to report that
Thee Unstrung are not so much a Johnny come lately to the new Albion party,
as gatecrashers to an entirely separate party being held next door. On the
stereo you will find The Small Faces, The
Beatles, The Jam and, rather importantly, Iggy and the Stooges. Last single
"Contrary Mary" releasedon Alan McGe's Poptones label, hits all
the right spots without falling into pastiche, so it's just a question of
when not if before pop stardom and a serious sherbert dip habit come calling.
Thee Unstrung, like any superheros-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. They want you to give them ten minutes of your otherwise dull weekend.
Also appearing are SOUL SHAKE DOWN, and to quote their own website: Soul Shakedown consists of two beings.... Joe McElroy and James Burt, both playing guitar and James singing, we have no drummer as of yet, a few temporary options, but nothing definate, we are always on the lookout for people to play with....
....we play a mixture of styles, difficult to pinpoint i guess.... kinda reggae/funky/random stuff with added greatness. Yup, that's about us".
Lola Ray . Junior
Also Known As a playful fistfight in your stereo. Their debut album "White
Doves and Smoking Guns," is as potent a Molotov cocktail against the
musical and social status quo as its imagery would suggest: lilting, silky
smooth harmonies collide with the jagged edge of the most abrasive sounds
of the last four decades. Think Refused, think "Appetite for Destruction,"
think the MC5 - hell, think "Black Steel In the Hour of Chaos".
A.K.A.s create smolders with the intensity of a group who've figured out what's
wrong with the world, but will not to let it get them down. The sound of poets,
artists, musicians, creative thinkers and sometime criminals who refuse to
either sit on life's sidelines or give in to petty posturing - because they
know that's just BORING. The A.K.A.s want to have a good time while introducing
some desperately needed content into the current meaning-bankrupt music scene.
There's no separation of the musical, the whimsical, the deadly serious, the
tragically romantic, the tragically hip and the bitingly, satirically political:
and why should there be? After all, that's life.
Break out the plugs ‘cause you’re ears are going to be ringing for days with these guys. We’re talking the gyrating, head bobbin’, fishnet wearin’, Generation X post-punk flair that we all know and love (well, most of us anyway). They’ve kicked the B52’s off the stage, but kept around a few of their vocal moves and simplistic but irresistible keyboard beats, throwing in some fists and charging riffs to modernize and supersize their sound.
and the Forum are all set to run the next unscreen night where we show short
films from any genre, from all over the world. The films are carefully selected
by our discerning panel.
So far the most popular have included films made by local filmmakers who are currently studying at Bournemouth.Muzikansky's latest video, created by Tunbridge Wells based young people, was recently shortlised for an award in Greece. We will be running a film festival in July.
Do you have a short film that needs to be seen on a big screen? Your short
will go to an audience vote for a chance to go through to the grand final
at the unscreen film festival in July.
email firstname.lastname@example.org for a submission form.
worth of kaleidoscopic smorgasbord of untapped, unsung, and some still unwebsited
talent. You know the score; every Monday three unsigned bands take the Holy
Toilet stage and give it their best for 25 minutes.
This month sees the final three shows of ROUND ONE.
After this, the top 18 bands of THE FANS' CHOICE will go on to ROUND TWO; whilst the recordings of all bands in ROUND ONE will be judged by THE MAN'S CHOICE panel, and the top 18 voted by the aforementioned panel will go on to ROUND TWO as well.
As such, we have three Stable shows this month, followed by a fortnights break as the next round is scheduled:
EXUS . MEADOW ROAD . RAIN EATER
Meadow Road are a four piece rock band, based in Gravesend, Kent. The band comprises of 15 and 16 years old students, who met at school and formed the band in 2001. Just get these quotes from happy venue promoters! - "The band have played regularly in pubs in and around Gravesend for two years, gaining vital experience. This is a band you all just have to hear. I'm not going to compare them to anyone - because they are unique. Something new & wonderful is developing here. I feel honoured to be even slightly involved in helping them on their way". Les Fleur de Lys, Burham, Kent
RAIN EATER consist of Chris Drew....and that's it. Those of you with a long memory will shudder to recall that Chris used to be in PILCH TAYLOR. However, after checking out of the Betty Ford Clinic, Chris saw the error of his ways, decided he was bored with the 'concept' of being in a band and became Rain Eater. As a live proposition, Rain Eater is Chris playing guitar and singing with Rosie Blake doing backing vocals and tambourine. Just like Billy Preston was the fifth Beatle, Rosie is the second Rain Eater, only she's not gay, or black, and certainly does not play Hammond organ on Ray Charles' latest single. But then you can't have everything, can you?
24 HOUR NOTICE . OFFLIMIT . THE CRAYONS
24 Hour Notice are a gang of punk spunky upstarts from Bexhill, who've been wowing 'Gods Waiting Room' with their pop-punk outpourings. Offlimit have played the Forum before; amazing audiences with their songs, their musicianship..and their lack of height. Indeed, for tonight's show a trench has been excavated in the mosh pit to bring the audience to an even keel.
MADE IN BRITAIN . PLAIN HAMISH . SEVEN STORY DOWN . SUPERCAR
Yes, 4 bands this night to bring a nice action packed fitting finale to the last show of Round 1. Rumours that Oi! band MADE IN BRITAIN have been spotted hobnobbing with sartorially confused young royals at fancy dress parties are quite frankly made up, and could quiterightly be considered libellous, and indeed, a slur .....on the 2nd in line to the throne!
Entry to these shows is a mere four quid, and quite frankly worth every bleedin' penny of anybody's money. Come down and see for yourself the EEC unsigned talent mountain.
The Stable: Soul Shakedown . This Way Up. Dysuria - 10 Jan '04
|Nights like this really reveal just how spoilt certain bands
are, in that they don't appreciate how fortunate they are not just to
have the Forum, but The Stable. There was nothing, NOTHING like it a generation
ago and there still isn't in most places. For a start, you don't pay to
play. Second, you get a decent stage and sound system, plus an engineer
who gives a shit. Third, you can play to other Stable bands' audiences
and make new friends. Fourth, you get to play with established touring
bands. Fifth, your music is recorded and industry professionals hear the
results, voting on the best. Count the junk mail in your family's post
each day for a week. That's how many CD's from unknown bands the average
A&R man gets on his desk every single day, and it's treated similarly
in that most are binned unopened. As a Stable band you already have his
attention; all you have to do is not waste it. Sixth, TWO chances to win
studio time and enough CD's of the results to consider it a release. Seventh,
and perhaps best of all, is that as a Stable band member, you get into
other Stable gigs free. A whole evening of sociable entertainment every
Monday for nowt and you only need to turn up. And, by supporting other
Stable bands, it encourages the others to come along when it's your turn.
It didn't do Vivid Release any harm this season did it? If every musician
in the Stable returned the faith the Forum showed in them by making the
effort just once a month, that's a weekly crowd of around 70 before you've
even considered the paying punters. But who'll be the first to whinge
when it isn't there any more? In short, use it or lose it, you spoilt
complacent little shits.
There's really no excuse for not bringing anyone to your Stable show, especially considering what's at stake. For most bands it's a primary agenda. So your friends would have to travel, well so fucking what? That's what friends do isn't it? It's not as if you're given no time to prepare. Which of course is why when bands make the effort to bring people along (and a note on the messageboard isn't enough - trust me) like tonight, it's not just a great atmos, it's a glorious celebration of solidarity, showing what we're capable of and how much support there really is for the remarkable scene we're so privileged to have.
Soul Shakedown understand this and luckily, they've got a head start on the popularity front already, partly due to the borrowed rhythm section of Seven Story Down. Seven Story Soul Shakedown? Perhaps. Less Incubusy than 7SD, SS have a different agenda, which is to be expected when Ollie is relegated from centre stage, doing what somebody else wants for once. Their funky noise oozes oily summery fun, like RHCP's more leftfield moments with crusty flakes of Mothers Finest flung into the mix, but it's looser, laid back and curiously playful. Given the current endless waves of post emocore (or whatever they call it), SS are a refreshing pot-scented breeze from another direction and everyone's welcome to breathe it in.
For all their pomposity, Soul Shakedown are shockingly unrehearsed. Testing a standard indie-rock direction, they're all over the place and what was probably intended as freestyle flair becomes a sloppy tasteless mush. Ollie, bless his funky fingers, is a remarkably talented bassist and mainman James (he of the acoustic Halfstellar project) is a fine frontman/guitarist, with a rich emotive twang in his pipes, but the whole shebang seems hurried and lacks preparation. If this project had careful investment of time and energy, SS could be THE unexpected delight of this year's contest, but perhaps ambition has exceeded ability at this stage. The oddball jazzy groove of "Classic British Summertime" for example, finishes before it gets properly started and that's a recurring fault with this band. They quickly find the vibe, but then aren't sure what to do with it, leaving their songs with weak anticlimactic endings, so their whole presentation suffers unnecessarily. Half the band might be temps, but it won't serve as an excuse as the second round arises, so they need to sort it fast. Lets hope they do.
It's difficult to picture any other Stable band looking duller yet sounding more magnificent than This Way Up do in their first 10 minutes. They're a constantly contrasting paradox that manages to be shite one minute and staggeringly good rock'n' roll the next, without the slightest idea as to what separates the two. But perhaps that's intentional. Is clueless is the new cool? Maybe.
Despite being geeky teens with an awful name, TWU begin
like a cokehead Q-hack's wet dream. Think The Music. The Killers. Manics.
Muse. Think deliciously bitter and edgy raw indie rock with twisty-turny
riffs and a general resonance that's as British as a bulldog's scrotum.
Yes, it's all been done before and bands like this are 10 a penny, but
if on your first hearing of tunes like the instantly huge "Bring
It On Down", you don't feel suitably inspired to join in loudly
and shake your arms about, you're either a snob or don't have arms.
TWU are rough musically and have many straggly ends needing a trim,
but they play like their songs are anthems of blazing sexually-charged
spirit; sweaty, cock-throbbing fuck music that gets better and better
as the minutes tick by.
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 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
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, 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
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Special thanks this month must go to Banned Promotions Forum Fundraiser night charity night
Bands who performed on the night were: GRUMPY JACK, THE BLIND MARTINI SOCIETY, SEVEN STORY DOWN & EPISODE.
We here at Forum Towers would like to thank all involved for this generous, selfless act, and the much appreciated donation