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BLAM February 2007

A word in your ear...

Shock news left Forum Punters surprised and stunned this week (oh thank the lord for that. It's almost two full months since we have done this joke, I was beginning to think we had struck a deep vein of creativity. Normal service now resumed - Ed) when it was announced that the UK's top barman/forensic examiner had signed an exclusive deal worth several pounds that sees him leave The Forum for distant shores. Many fans wept when it was announced that Ian "Call me Golden Bollocks and show me a copy of your birth certificate" Carvell has signed a non-exclusive deal likely to net him more than 53p in merchandising spin offs and takes him from behind the Forum bar all the way across the road to The Ragged Trousers. "I can't believe it" said one shocked punter (here we go - Ed) "this news comes as a complete surprise". "Don't quote me on this" said another "but frankly I am stunned" (Hooray! - Ed). It's understood that Mr Carvell's imminent departure is in no way related to the fact that the Ragged Trousers is nearer the shops and his wife has an eye on a nice cream tea.
In other news, The Forum has been hitting the local headlines again this month following the dramatic public fall out between three of the team and newcomer Max Vonsydownyourerockingtheboat. The High Brooms gazette splashed a front page story alleging that Herr Obengruppenfuhrer Davyd, Mr J Dormouse and Mr Desmond Lanky Fop had ganged up on the Forum's resident sound engineer and people's promoter, using vicious slurs, innuendo and insults to reduce the poor lad to tears, calling him "Curly", "Ginger" and "You there boy, what's your name again?". The whole of Southborough was perched on the edge of their seats for literally seconds as the drama unfolded, with many people accusing the three of inappropriate language and behaviour towards the Avid Merrion lookylikey. Speaking exclusively to the Showfields Shopper, Mr Lanky Fop defended his actions. "I am not a bigot" he insisted "and when I said he was the sort of type you find lurking around in toilets looking for cheap action, I was merely trying to illustrate the plight of people like Mr Merrion who are forced by our society to live on whatever they can find in local conveniences". Mr Dormouse, clutching an onion tightly to his chest, tried to hold back his tears as he sobbed "Won't somebody think of the children? I have been labelled a reactionary homophobic fascist purely on the basis that I called Mr Von Shadduperyerface an arse bandit of the first order, told people to 'watch their backs, the gayers are in', and suggested that the world would be a better place if they brought in Euthanasia for people of challenged height. Whilst those comments may technically have classified me as some sort of supremacist, I think you will find that I am actually just stupid. That's my excuse and I sticking to it. Have I mentioned the children?"
Meanwhile, as the Forum's brewery, 'Wateredown Ales' withdraw their sponsorship, rumours of the Lanky Fop's own brand Big Jock erection spray "Aaarghhh" , being rapidly removed from the shelves of Ann Summers do bear an element of truth. In an exclusive interview with The Cranbrook Advertiser, Mr Red Marvey Jarvey, director of The Forum told the paper "I wish to utterly utterly condemn these inappropriate remarks and to totally and utterly distance myself from them, whilst obviously at the same time reserving the right to keep the money they have generated."
On other pages; world war three declared.

Blam is owned and produced by The Forum. We are poor starving musicians and artists who don't even have a garret so there is very little point in coming after us for money just because we accused you of being a donkey basher, but if you are really intent on litigation, then you sue us via

The Forum, Fonthill, The Common, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8YU

But nine times out of ten I wouldn't bother because our lawyers, Shyster, Rippemhoff & Felch are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood. We would like to point out that the above article bears no relation whatsoever to any scenarios that may have occurred within the Holy Shitter. If by any chance they did, which they didn't, honestly - we would like to say that we are totally disgusted. Disgusted by the way that Duracellheaded members of the Forum team have reacted to a bit of harmless joshing and random extreme violence. We would also like to point out that cans of celebrity endorsed erection sprays are available from behind the bar at reasonable prices. To order, just wink at the barstaff and say, "Got any specials on shorts today, love?"

Comedy Forum

Thursday 1st

Tunbridge Wells' original AND best value for money comedy club is held the first Thursday of every month.


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, 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.

Seven years ago, DAN WILLIS was one of the UK's leading computer programmers, able to code in 14 different languages across multiple environments; unsurprisingly he got a bit bored, and had been single way too long…
Being from a long line of professional entertainers, Dan decided to ditch the security of 9-to-5 employment and join the family business. Seven years later, he's built a reputation across international comedy circuits as one of the UK's fastest-rising and hardest-working comedians. In 2006, Dan performed his first solo show "RadioHead" at both the Melbourne and Edinburgh Festivals to sellout audiences and rave reviews, and in 2007 will take the show to the Adelaide Fringe.

'the best new comic I've seen for a long time' -Time Out
ZOE LYONS created a huge buzz on the comedy circuit in 2004 when she won the 'Babycham Funny Women Award 2004' and reached the finals of 'Channel 4's So You Think You're Funny Award' in the same year. As a result she has become a highly sought after act on both the national and international circuit.

Zoe takes a sideways view of life, picking out the many absurdities and turning them into hilarious routines which she delivers with tremendous energy, drawing on her acting skills to provide a kaleidoscope of voices and faces throughout the act.
"Her routine was a fireproof parade of quick fire observational gags delivered with utter conviction and unfailing professionalism. The audience didn't really have a chance". Chortle
Zoe is an extremely versatile performer. Her works spans corporate training, radio acting, live TV presenting, and stage sketch shows. She also demonstrated to the nation her ability to laugh in the face of adversity, as a contestant on ITV's 'Survivor!' where she ate a rat and lived to tell the tale.
JAMES KETTLE is not a happy comedian. Watch him live, and let him lead you deep into his self-inflicted hell - a place defined by despair, drudgery and the music of Toto. James describes his material as "essentially true-to-life", and advises you to "hold the line" because "love isn't always on time."
James also writes topical and non-topical sketch material, and was a regular contributor to the last series of Parsons and Naylor's Pull-Out Sections on BBC Radio 2.
"James Kettle has a distinct persona that I think will take him a long way" - Stephanie Merritt, comedy critic of the Observer

MOWTEN has performed comedy all over the UK. He regularly comperes at several London venues. His demeanour is warm, friendly and just a little edgy (especially if he's had too much tea). His material is fresh and original, drawn from a life where he has had it all, lost it all and hopes, very soon, to get it all back.


Sunday 4th

Clocks are four young men who formed their band at the turn of the 21st Century in the sleepy London satellite town of Epsom (obviously not a renowned rock'n'roll Valhalla) - think of the commuter-belt lifestyle that a young Paul Weller so eloquently caricatured in The Jam's seminal 'Mr Clean' and you wouldn't be far wrong…
With a determination to escape their South-East confines and with an unbreakable bond that can only exist amongst a band who have known each other since their schooldays, Clocks set about writing and rehearsing relentlessly, honing a set of great songs that had both fans and industry bods who witnessed their initial live gigs practically wetting themselves with excitement.
Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Tom Hewitt bought his first guitar using the birthday money he received just after finishing his GCSEs, and together with the other members of Clocks set about building up a remarkably strong repertoire of great tunes, influenced by the band members' collective love of acts such as The La's, Love (Arthur Lee RIP), Oasis, Shack, Teenage Fanclub, The Kinks and The Beatles.
GRACE: it's such a perfect word that it seems amazing that few bands have ever spotted its potential as a name. For the group who did, it was more a case of the name finding them.
As bassist Ben Lumsden says: "We were fans of the Jeff Buckley album, Grace, and an ex-girlfriend of JP's was called that, too." So an album and an ex - two influences that are also felt in the music, in the sense that their timeless rock comes from the same motherlode that inspired Buckley, and that their observant lyrics are about people they know, people they don't want to know and everything in between. Oh, and you can hum the songs.
If Grace - Ben, JP Jones (vocals,), Chris Hutchings (drums), Sam Swallow (keyboards) and James Hayto (guitar) - had come along a couple of years earlier, they'd have been too ahead of their time, and you probably wouldn't be reading this right now. But with the return of what rock critics like to call The Song - proper tunes with melodies and lyrics you remember because they connect with things that have happened to you - Grace have arrived at the right moment.

Little Fish Big Pond
Thursday 8th

Not only the name of a pet shop along Camden Road, sandwiched between the Polish bar and 'That Polish Shop', and three doors up from the Polish barbers, it's also the name of a 4-piece band originating from Tunbridge Wells, playing a mix of original rock/pop music with strong melodies and hooks, and contemporary covers. Currently gigging regularly around Kent and the South East (with a growing number of appearances in London), the band has released two self-produced CDs, In the Can (2002) and C.O.D. (2004) . Formed in 2002, the line-up consists of Daren Sears (lead vocals & acoustic guitar), Craig Forster (electric guitar and vocals), Mike OHara (bass guitar and vocals) and Martin Webber (drums).
All four members of the band contribute to the songwriting progress, bringing a wide and varied range of musical influences from across the entire rock, pop and indie spectrum: the music is dynamic, powerful and energetic.

The Violets
Friday 9th

London's theatrical punk-delicate practitioners The Violets are one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the once-much-hyped (and admittedly possibly non-existent outside the minds of the bored and the over-excitable?) New Cross scene. Creating a seamless and seductive image for themselves, they?ve erected a spiky borderline between their own monochrome, starkly-lit world and the fuzzy-edged sepia tones in which many bands are all too content to portray themselves. When you marry this uncompromising, stylised glamour to the surrealist imagery of their lyrics, you get a musical style and an aesthetic which are so divorced from the mainstream as to feel somewhat otherworldly. Couple this with a electrically confrontational live show, a guitar sound which seems to see feedback as just another option in the chord progression and vocals which soar and spit like Siouxsie Sioux etched in glass, and you have something hypnotically exciting.
Since forming almost by accident towards the end of 2003, The Violets have released two singles on Angular Records, played a multitude of gigs, gathered the odd bit of radio air play and were recently witnessed touring alongside White Rose Movement.
- (Courtesy - Drowned in Sound)

Saturday 10th

Linchpin are the most exciting young band in Britain. Fact. Their first video was downloaded 33,000 times. The first pressing sold out in 48 hours. Dave Grohl has proclaimed them to be 'fucking awesome'. They've already been praised by Kerrang!, Metal Hammer and Rock Sound magazines. Even The Independent has raved about them. And with the release of their fizzing debut mini-album 'Small Town Theory' they've just raised the bar for UK pop rock. The fact that all four members of the group are just 17 years of age is almost irrelevant. The fact that they said 'fuck you' to the pop industry in order to do things on their own terms is very relevant.
Linchpin started making music together when they were 13 - their favourite skate park in Beckenham, South London had been shut down and they needed something to do. But it quickly became clear that they were too talented for this to be just a hobby. On the back of early demos major labels came calling, armed to the teeth with all sorts of offers to turn them into the next Busted. These four boys from Kent were a pop marketeers dream - cute, skinny, fashionable, talented and unfeasibly young. But what the labels didn't bank on was that they weren't in it for a 'take the money and run' few years. They wanted to do something heavier, more powerful and credible. After using the labels' 'development' money to build their own rehearsal room and demo studio, Linchpin turned the deals down and sent the A&R men packing. "We wouldn't have had any control over our band if we'd signed one of those deals, it's as simple as that," says guitarist Paul Bugler. "They wanted to tell us what to do and they were talking about using other musicians on our album - they didn't even consider that we could play our songs ourselves." "We wanted to earn our 'rock stripes'," adds singer Joey Cass. "It shouldn't be all about being a 'pretty boy', it should be about the music and your fans."

These are worldly words from people who've only just finished school, but with three years of extra-curricular hard graft behind them, they're building up a wealth of experience already. They've spent days on end locked in their rehearsal room writing songs, arranging, re-arranging, demo-ing and honing their live set. They've piled into a ramshackle, smelly van and hit the road, pounding the streets of towns and cities armed with their flyers and stickers. In short, they've been doing things properly, and while sometimes it's been tough, they wouldn't have it any other way.

"We've had some gigs where there's just been no-one there," says bassist Mike Cass (Joey's twin brother). "Sometimes it's just a couple of pikeys and a dog. But we try and have fun with it." "Even if it's not the best gig in the world, we'll still give 100 per cent," adds drummer Olle Som. "Occasionally it can feel like you're just not getting anywhere," says Joey. "But that's when you've just got to keep looking at that goal and keep coming back to what inspires you and your commitment to the band. That's what will keep you going."

Linchpin's inspirations are many and varied - they'll happily talk for hours about how much bands like Queens Of The Stone Age and the Red Hot Chili Peppers have influenced their music and career decisions and their love for songwriters like Ben Folds. l.

Their four-track EP, LINCHPIN, showcased Linchpin's ever-maturing buzz-pop sound that even had Dave Grohl swooning after the band blagged their way backstage at Top Of The Pops to meet him. "He took us back to his car and put our CD on there and then," recalls Paul. "He said it was 'f***ing awesome'," smiles Olle. The EP sold out its first run of 1000 copies in just over 48 hours.
Fast forward a year and Linchpin's debut mini-album is turning heads right across the music industry and amongst the band's thousands of fans.

Linchpin shun the trendy emo scene in favour of crafting something new, with a more timeless, hook-laden sound. "Good songs are good songs no matter what era you're in or how old you are," says Olle. "And if you just follow the fashion, it will be all over for you very quickly," says Paul. Cynics might argue that the band's tender years mean they can't possibly have the life experience needed to be a great band yet. But Linchpin make no excuses for their youth - to them it's a 'head start' and it enables them to relate to their fans better than most. "Some older bands are embarrassed to have fans of our age," says Paul. "But we ARE our age, and we love playing to people like us, and hopefully they will grow with the band and stick with us along the way." "We have older fans too," adds Joey. "I've had 18, 20, 25 year olds come up to me at gigs, and the interest from music magazines shows we're not just impressing teenagers."

Towers of London
Sunday 11th February

"This band must be stopped," squealed an outraged indie fan on one of the many messageboards set alight by the Towers Of London and their antics.
The band have certainly rubbed people up the wrong way. In a flurry of flouncing poodle hair, grubby vests and too tight trousers, they've managed to grind the rock dumbness of Motley Crue with the ramalama raw power of the Sex Pistols.
"We're big Pistols fan as well as Motley Crue and Guns 'n' Roses. I like the Clash as well - it's British punk we're into - not the glammed up Americans. We want to be low down and dirty British punk with the flair of American bands," explains an explosion of teased hair, otherwise known as Donny Tourette.

Unless you've been locked in a cupboard for the past month, or never buy a newspaper , Heat magazine, and your television set has broken; Donny is the blond spike-haired 'exciteable' chap that broke out of the CELEBRITY BIG BROTHER house rather than be a servant for JADE (She-Wolf) GOODY and her banjo-playing brood. In fact, in between his television appearances on BIG BROTHER, having their own TOWERS OF LONDON reality show on MTV, and playing down rumours of being engaged to Bob Geldof's daughter, Peaches, it's a wonder Donny has any time to get back to his first love - darts.
In the meantime playing in outrageously dirty glam punk outfit, TOWERS OF LONDON passes the time.

Much the Same
Friday 16th

Go ahead, say it out loud: Punk. While it might technically be a four-letter word, it is no longer a four-letter word in the get-your-mouth-washed-out-with-soap category. And Much The Same aren't anything else but punk. No unnecessary screaming; no white belts and bad haircuts; no awkward mosh parts; this Chicago quartet are simply straightforward, faster-than-the-world punk rock, tailor-made to shred bowls or start circle pits to. Originally formed in 1999, MTS have lived up to their new album's title,(Survive) having survived more than their fair share of lineup changes, the most recent being drummer Jevin Kaye coming into the fold in 2004. "Jevin's speed was initially his biggest asset," says bandleader Gunner McGrath. "I've only seen a couple drummers play faster than him. Over the past year, he's also been contributing great music and lyrics to the songwriting process."
Of course, one of the biggest endurance tests MTS have undertaken was the seemingly endless process of creating a follow-up to 2003's A-F Records-released Quitters Never Win. What took so long? "One of our biggest hurdles was that I had-and still have-pretty severe writer's block," McGrath says. "I wrote most of the last record, so after a year or so of very little new music coming out, we realized we were all going to have to work a lot harder." And work harder they did, with each of the members buckling down and "re-learning how to write and work together," McGrath says. "It was a tough process, but in the end, it was well worth it."
One listen to Survive affirms that statement. A much more diverse offering than Quitters Never Win, due to the shared songwriting duties and guitarist Dan O'Gorman's wide range of influences, Survive has "songs that are faster than ever, slower than ever, more pissed, and more happy," McGrath states. Kaye's speedy chops take MTS to new levels of thrashability . Survive signals a milestone for the band, but also a new beginning-one which they've been working for since their 1999 inception. The album sounds poignant, impassioned and frankly, important. Punk rock needs songs like the ones Much The Same are writing: energetic and in your face while still being meaningful and personal. With Survive, Much The Same haven't merely made a record-they've made a statement.

Left for Dead
Thursday 15th

Guitarist Simon Manning formed SPARES from the ashes of one of the U.K.'s leading underground acts of the 1990s, CHILDREN ON STUN, a major player on the British Cyber music scene. With a blend of stylesranging from Trip hop, Industrial, Punk and Goth, and taking influences from The Mission, Garbage, Curve, Rammstein and Placebo, the band, consisting of:Alison Gann Vocals & Guitar: Simon M, Guitars :Gareth Daley Vocal Chants and Keyboards, have played sell-out gig's in the U.K. and Europe, playing the Whitby Goth Festival on two occasions.The band have gained great press coverage with articles in METAL HAMMER,KERRANG and ROCK SOUND!
On stage they possess a menacing presence , definitely a band not to miss live. For more info, check out www.myspace.com/sparesuk

Sunday 18th

Local acoustic acts either solo or bands play once a month in a ‘chilled’ (literally) atmosphere. So far it has had the privilege of lending a stage to Ian Knapp, Night Without Sleep, Chris Murray, The Rox, Simon Leeves, Paul Dunton, and many many other local and national acts.
Making a comeback, due to popular demand, is the toaster, yes with toast, and Sunday Papers from the good old days of da’lounge!
In the next few months Acoustic Lounge will be introducing local bands in a way you have never seen them before. The likes of 9-Volt, New Homes, City Sunsets, Furniture Sound and more...
For anyone that would like to play an Acoustic Lounge set, please email Max on maxd@orange.net.

AmanaceR . The Rivers . Our name is Legion . The Few
Wednesday 21st

"MooseFest is a local gig for local people. We want to showcase the hottest talent Kent has to offer with a few surprise bands along the way. With bands such as AmanaceR, Oration, Chicago Street Sweepers & Ambervision having already played, MooseFest is paving the way for local bands to play in front of music loving crowds. So if you like to hear great live music and have a bit of a dance, come along to MooseFest and check out what all the hype is about.
www.myspace.com/moosefest "

AMANACER are armed with an ethos of hard work, chilling melodies and honest lyrics. That's what this four piece from 'Bromley Beat' stand for. Their songs are rife with charming, catchy melodies, that seem to make us all stop and think either, "that's happened, or happening, or going to happen to me". Without the now assumed obligatory strap-on asinine elements, (common in most new bands nowadays) these lads are off the back of local and national sold out support slots for The Paddingtons, Brakes, and Mohair. With three accomplished E.P's self released to date, now all sold out, live shows are a must see. Brimming with confidence, charisma and above all total self belief, their music will inspire you to dance, jump, chant, or sing to their festival bound choruses, and to look out for YOUR indie hip chic in the crowd - because everyone knows one somewhere.
Tight-as-fuck grooves, flanked by smart-arse chops and hemmed in by super-assured vocals, THE RIVERS are the sound of inner city life, channelled through the lifeblood of the English coast. Fresh out of the blocks from Brighton, The Rivers have been carving themselves deep into the souls of the South East as they write about what life deals them, juxtaposed against social observations, relationships, hope and fears which enable The Rivers to peddle their infectious hooks and skanking rhythms.
Born the wastelands of Kent and South London OUR NAME IS LEGION hit you in the gap between where Blur and The Clash would hit you. Fresh from a surprise Babyshambles support (in that he actually turned up!) and their girlfriends' from a ruck with their girlfriends, they've just released a self-funded EP recorded in Rochester by Jim Riley (Buff Medways, Billy Childish, Kid Harpoon, Rosemary). Our Name Is Legion are a four-piece rock band with eclectic influences and pop sensibilities. Merging from the chaotic to the sublime, often in the same song, Legion inhabit a space that feels like the bastard child of the clash and sonic youth with a healthy smattering of blur and the pixies - that punch is gunna hurt…
This is THE FEW's' first ever gig. Songwriter and Rhythm guitarist Chris Persiva used the opportunity of 'Moosefest' as a motive to start his own band and perform some of his songs. It had been an idea building for sometime. Now, with a gig and a name he just needed some players. He found them…the thumbing bass of Giacomo Occhipinti, the solid groove-provider of Daniel Ulrichs, the relentless grace of Kier Moore on the guitar topped off with the stunning vocals of a Miss Nicola Henderson was exactly what he was looking for. The songs are catchy and memorable with an edge of sophisticated pop that will not fail to grab your attention. Enjoy………

Six Nation State
The Iscariots
Friday 23rd

A 'brilliantly different' unique blend of indie, ska and pop. Hailing from Reading this 'musically fantastic and visually entertaining' 5 piece are influenced by an eclectic mix, ranging from Buena Vista Social Club to The Velvet Underground and Dean Martin. The most fitting description of their sound being 'a car-crash between an under-the-influence Zutons and the harmonic pop-mobile of the Futureheads.' (www.coments.com)As one live reviewer puts it, "....Like a good teacher, Six Nation State know when you're not paying attention. Vast amounts of energy are unleashed at unsuspecting ears, along with a degree of fear that lead singer Gerry may propel himself off the stage. With the charisma of Jack Black, he commands your attention as only a true performer can. And the music isn't bad either - tight, polished riffs, beautifully choreographed vocals and a healthy dollop of craziness.
Six Nation State's new single "Keep Dancing" hits the nail on the head with its Coral inspired toe-tapping, twangy riff that sounds poppy enough to please the masses. Not that the band aren't keen to experiment; "I Hate the Summer" has a glorious reggae vibe, openly credited to Bob Marley, and Spanish-styled track "1,2,3,4" sees Gerry wield his guitar in the manner of a banjo..."
Six Nation State make rock music their own way. Dirty thumping bass and frantic guitars there may be, but with lyrics like 'You and I were meant to be / The stars will shine for all to see' they will never escape an upbeat poppy vibe. And that is no bad thing.
It's a post-modern Chas 'n' Dave knees up engulfed in lightning-tight ska rhythms and good ole dirty rock 'n' roll.

Cabaret Doll
Sunday 25th

Cabaret Doll is neither myth nor legend It is perhaps a concept of a few jaded souls struggling to make sense of an emotive adventure, documented in song. Or to simplify, they're a band that sold their souls to music. They live for the explanation of expression and for the ability to share and relate their stories in an influential way. Each song holds a part of your life, for you to give its own meaning. What once started as the painful stories of a girl has now progressed into the want of freedom (Answers on a postcard please because I don't understand it either! - Ed).

Francesca Merkli the lead vocalist of Cabaret Doll has been singing since a very young age. She has already achieved high status as an artist. She is often seen taking the pups for a walk! (Is that cockney rhyming slang? - grubby Ed) Her influences are Kelly Clarkson, Eva Cassidy, Gwen Steffani, Joss Stone, Amy Lee, Skin, Norah Jones.

Ben Attwood the lead guitarist of the band; (a.k.a. creator of all things Cabaret) worked originally as a session musician for the stars, often found in dark corners smoking obscene amounts of cigarettes! His influences are Stevie Ray Vaughn, Ritchie Sambora, James Hetfield, Trent Reznor.

The Stable

The Fans' Choice - Round 2

By the time you read this, we'd have reached the end of Round One of the Stable, with the top 18 bands who've accumulated the most votes on the night of their Round One show going on to The Fans Choice - Round Two. Meanwhile, the compilation CDs featuring a track recorded at each of the Stable's 60 band's shows will have been sent to the industry panel, otherwise known as The Man's Choice.The top 18 bands as voted by the industry panel will also go through to Round Two (The Man's Choice) Clear as mud eh?
Anyhoo, I'm getting ahead of myself here. So,the first shows of THE FAN'S CHOICE - ROUND TWO are as follows:


Monday 19th:

Monday 26th:


You know the score - come down and witness for yourself new talent on the rise

Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan

The Stable - Mon 22nd Jan

I'm a little disappointed with myself to be honest, because after spending years actively avoiding it, I've finally taken the myspace plunge. Yeah, yawn, I know that's no big deal to you crazy kids, but at my age, with so many other web-based distractions, I need another excuse to spend time online like I need a dose of pox. In my defence, it was under duress so I have no intention of maintaining it or being 'friends' with very many. Indeed, I was considering having none at all and making everything private just to be awkward, but a stiff talking-to about being such a miserable bastard made me relent. So don't look for it and don't fucking add me, please.
After all, it's not as if these people are actually friends in the true sense, as real friends call you up or visit. Would 99% of your myspace pals lend you cash when you're skint, help in a crisis, let you pass out drunk on their sofas or step into a ruck to stop you getting your head kicked in? Would they bollocks, and you wouldn't for them either so 'friends' my fucking fat arse. The sad thing is, for many people this nonsense counts as socialising, and although as a promotional tool it's invaluable, for individuals who wish to share that there's nothing happening in their lives other than what they're listening to and the grim allure of dreadful poetry, surely you're better off going to the pub and talking to a drunk? You'll have a more sensible debate, no textual phonetics and the chances are you won't talk to him again unless you want to. What's more you can tell him to fuck off when you've had enough and aren't tempted to prattle inane rubbish or read dull bulletins just to be polite to oddballs with nowt better to do than pretend to be popular. I mean, what is it with "Thanks for the add"? In terms of highly insincere phrases entering common usage, that's got to topple "all the best" or even "have a nice day" for really meaning "I resent having to waste time and manners on you, nobody, so piss off."
Well, that's my myspace theory, and I take comfort in sharing it with at least a few. Whatever views Hastings quartet Our Myspace Theory have on Myspace they ain't telling, not even on their page, so maybe it's too controversial to share, or they know something the rest of us don't. But fuck the theory, let's consider the practical. Since the sad splits of Pennyblack and Zucchini, a new turbocharged hybrid has been assembled from the leftover bits and though bassist Adam Hart is having cold-start problems and can't feel his fingers (it's cock-shrivellingly freezing in here, admittedly) they're anything but clumsy. It's pissed-off aggrocore screamo, spitting rivets and plundering the likes of BFMV/Killswitch Engage for intricate melodic ideas (such as they are) and Pantera/Trivium for gritty, terrifying hostility and aggression. Not that they need much of the latter with crop haired tattooed nutjob Stewart Ferguson grunting gutterally into the mic and doing a more than adequate job of frightening the punters away. Scary fella.
Creatively, OMT aren't breaking moulds but these greasy oiks are more mature than many Stable turns and under those age lines you'll find muscle, grit and the accomplished control of a band who know what they're doing, giving us athletic treats like the quite vicious "Cheats & Liars" to fling ourselves about to (should we ever feel so inclined), or the spastic, flailing, wrecking-ball of a closer "Schizophrenia", safe in the knowledge that it's gonna be an earbashing decent-quality racket from start to finish. Yep, they like their blood and thunder noise do OMT, and while lacking in surprises, it's loud, heavy and simply not for wimps. Enjoy.
Not to be confused with the Brighton soul/jazz/funksters of the same name (beloved of local coffee bars, bookshops and other places where they play 'nice' music to middle-class grown-ups) or indeed twee 60's popsters The Seekers (albums available in any charity shop dustbin), Lewisham's Seeker are nevertheless just as inoffensive and appealing to those of us who are getting on a bit and like tunes we can hum. Oh yes, a damn infectious blast from the past with an immaculate sense of craftsmanship and melody, not dissimilar to Feeder or the Foos with a little more clumsy clatter, complete with the emotive Guy Watson crooning that big-sounding radio-rock like his life depended on it. Absolutely ghastly sub-Stereophonics bilge of course, with tunes like "Swings & Roundabouts" sounding wetter than a mermaid's minge, but such is the way of pub rock these days and it's better to just let 'em get on with it until such time as either they or their audience die of boredom, drink or both.
A rather pussywhipped power ballad "Where Were You?" re-emphasises their rather unsurprising girlie-appeal and no doubt there's a heartbroken bint somewhere in South London who plays the song to death, knowing it's about her, and considers it undiscovered genius. But it's not. It's mind-numbingly drab stuff that's well made but blander than a stale sandwich. Even when they turn on the juice with "Ghost", a heads-down knees-apart chunk of chugga-wugga, Seeker are merely safe, polite and dependable hard rock that coasts along making the requisite emotive noises and striking all the fascinating rugged rock star poses they can muster. Is that a bad thing? Stuff like this keeps Virgin Radio in business after all, so probably not. But if Seeker have found whatever it is that they're seeking and have finished with it, could they please put it back and let somebody else have a go? Ta.
It gives me great pleasure to announce forthwith that Exus have at last gone through puberty and arrived relatively intact. It's not been easy for the young scamps, but by fuck they've almost grown up and what a change has been wrought because in earlier days, Exus were, let's face it, a bit of a joke. Not totally ridiculous y'understand, but a little bit. Entertaining, endearing, even charming in a youthfully cocky way, but ultimately disposable. "Take It Like a Bitch" might have been a mighty misogynist anthem (and hugely funny) but it was an albatross round their neck compared to the more erudite ambitiousness of their other material and absolutely necessary to abandon in order to arrive at where they are now: ballsy melodic punk with a hi-tech glitzy twang, built upon snappy, stuttering rhythms with nothing but mischievous intent.
It's called, so I'm informed, 'Junkrock': a hastily welded together ugly beast built from discarded metal and odd-shaped rubbish that somehow works, as if the producers of Scrapyard Challenge had decided to form a rock band one week, without the dubious advantage of Robert Llewellyn. Shredded, beaten guitar noise and bull-buggering energy abound from Exus and though their tunes are largely patchy affairs, they've a visual gem in frontman Daz; a mad-eyed psycho with a rictus joker-like grin who can fix the audience with a crazed glare like a mad scientist's demented assistant and scare people into movement seemingly by threatening to fall on them.
Limitations in their songcraft matter less than they should by virtue of a couple of damn good ones, namely the punk-drunk aggression of "We Will Go On" and the chaotic "Endless Romance", and that they are having too much fun to care whether they're even in tune or that everything's working, but this is junkrock remember, and only vague functionality is possible. Pretty fortunate then, that by their own standards, that's all that's required.

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.


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

COMEDY FORUM - Thursday 1st March
SUCIOPERRO - Friday 2nd March
WINTERKIDS - Saturday 3rd March
THE TWANG - Friday 9th March
TO-MERA - Friday 16th March
JESSE JAMES - Saturday 17th March

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