Yes! It really is 10 years since the mighty JOEYFAT took to the stage as the
very first band to appear at Tunbridge Wells' very own Holy Shitter. And blow me
if the buggers won't get get off it!
As part of our tenth anniversary we have a whole galaxy of fantastic bands appearing, including two mystery headlining acts, which I'm sure will not disappoint you. Bloody Hell, I'm beginning to get rather moist already.
Tickets for all these shows are available from either:
Longplayer, Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells ( 01892 539273 )
Criminal Records, Victoria Road, Tunbridge Wells ( 01892 511776 )
Unshop @ the Forum (01892 530411) - Open every night that a show takes place
Failing that, they can also be booked online by going to
|SATURDAY 4th||JESSE JAMES|
|FRIDAY 10th||YE WILES|
|FRIDAY 17th||DAVID DEVANT & HIS SPIRIT WIFE|
|SATURDAY 18th||RACHEL STAMP|
|FRIDAY 31st||VIOLENT DELIGHT|
|FRIDAY 24th & SATURDAY 25th||TEN YEAR WEEKEND EXTRAVAGANZA OF TEN BANDS FOR TEN QUID|
|SATURDAY 1st FEB||MUSTARD PLUG|
|SATURDAY 8th||RAGING SPEEDHORN|
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 & BLAGG are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood.. So, up yours Charlie if you don't like it! Not only that, but with a Crisco drenched vet's rubber glove, I'm so excited about this month I can't be arsed to insult you bunch of knobdribbling arsewipes
David Devant & his Spirit Wife
Friday 17 January
Don't let the name out you off. Go directly to the next David Devant And His
Spirit Wife gig. Their instant pop is waiting to seduce you.
Songs such as Ginger, (as included on Radio 1 Jo Whiley and Mark 'n' Lard's playlists), is a storming glam-rocker. It has one of those unforgettable hooks you hear on Top Gear on TV, charged with urgency and bravado. In fact, the whole set has the kind of crashing vibrancy you would want for a tenth anniversary show in the lads' adopted home venue.
The Forum's going to fizz with the excitement of kids rediscovering their favourite toy. After a bad experience with their last record company, David Devant are back playing one-off dates such as this. The audience is given a different visual treat such as films, slide shows and theatrical props at each gig.
Their backdrop film shows, which build on the tongue-in-cheek atmosphere before the rocking starts, have the surreal air of Vic Reeves, or Buster Keaton.
They can be hit or miss, witty, and at times, too clever by half. But it's the raunchy English pop sensibility that demands your attention.
The band's lead singer, Mikey Georgeson aka The Vessel, told us they are now "staying true to themselves" and enjoying making music again. His songs deserve a wider audience. The power-pop muscle of this band would not sound out of place alongside the likes of Ash or the Manic Street Preachers. They take The Kinks, Bowie and the late Ian Dury as inspiration and The Spirit have developed into a Levi's-tight, glam-punk unit.
With two albums under their belt, and a third due out shortly, they will be delighting the crowd with such singalong favourites as the celebratory Work Lovelife Miscellaneous. David Devant can't fail to make new fans every time they play. The music-hall witticism of Pimlico comes complete with a Steve Marriott-style vocal reminiscent of The Small Faces' Lazy Sunday. The new songs, being recorded at The Granary Studios, veer from the simple but melodic Any Fool Can Fall In Love to the anthemic Contact.
Don't let this band believe that cult status is all the world has to offer them.
THIS IS FOR REAL, see David Devant and His spirit wife now!
Tuesday 14 January
Signed after a record executive saw them play one song, and with the new single
in heavy rotation on the country's alternative radio stations AND always on
bleedin' KERRANG! music channel, this bunch of 20 year old Essex rockers are
destined for big big things!
Since the age of 11, Dave McPherson, Joe Morgan and Simon Taylor have been playing together in various bands, apparently joined at the hip! Being constantly compared to SILVERCHAIR obviously rankles the lads, but with the release of new album OVERGROWN EDEN, fame beckons for the lads in their own right. Their sound is firmly rooted in the post-grunge era - much like Godsmack, Staind and their ilk.
"We write music that's energetic, emotional, raw, but still rockin' with some aggression thrown in" - so says baby faced singer/guitarist Dave McPherson "We've never really taken shit for our age - even after going out with SOIL - but if people are going to listen to us and judge us by our age and looks, then that's their problem and not ours!"
Check them out on www.inmeonline.com Yeah rock 'n' roll!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Friday 10 January
I know. I can't believe it mysef. Those all round good eggs, Renaissance fops about town YE WILES have been signed to Householdname Records! It seems like only last week I was admiring the rounded buttocks of gorgeous doe-eyed bassist Gabriel as he was reaching into the gents urinal to pick out a discarded fag-end. This promises to be a fab show. Catch 'em before they start buying their own fags!
Saturday 18 January
Not a girlie, but a band!
Lip glossed, eyelined, stackheeled, preening, pouting, pointing, footstomping blockbuster chorded interstellar slut rockers RACHEL STAMP are back, and by Golly, are they going to hold their breath, or thcweam and thcweam until the whole world pays attention. And deservedly so. Named after the coolest girl in singer David Ryder-Whyteswan's home town of Dinas Powys, the Stamp have built an humungous and loyal fanbase. Every time they play the Forum, the local hunky Fire Brigade have to be on hand, ready to hose down all the over-excited girls and boys.If you love the glam stomp of Aerosmith, and David Johannsen's New York Dolls; sordid tales of suburban sex, petulant sneers and deranged keyboard squiggles. Then look no further than the seedy rock'n' roll depravity that is Rachel Stamp.
At the Deli
Henry Holds his Own
Saturday 4 January
Not a skapunk band but a soul-powered punk outfit, best described as the bastard sons of the Clash and Dexy's Midnight Runners. After their last non-appearance here, due to a broken down van, the lads have vowed to make it up to the hordes of disappointed fans who stampeded through the Holy Shitter's glorious portals. With a rollicking, rumbustious live act, powerpop loops, a Dexy's like horn section, the last gang in town promise to leave the audience sweatstained, tear-stained and beerstained.
Friday 24th January and Saturday 25th January
Now what we have here is something a tad exciting and more than a bit special.
For this weekend, we have five bands playing each night, each night will have
four advertised bands PLUS a mystery top name headlining act! Oneten pound
ticket covers you for the both the Friday AND Saturday night
On the friday, we have: local pinup boys the FLYING CARNIES, ZUCCHINI , ska punk reprobates SEQUANA, and the interestingly named MR DRUMMOND plus a top name headlining act! On Saturday, we see Big Si and the drunkards from FRAY, DYSURIA feat. the Forum afficionado CJT, THE 4th WALL, Funky Dan's pastiche outfit THE GAY WIZARDS, who will be performing an homage to bands who have played at the Forum over the past ten years. All this PLUS another top name mystery headlining act!
Saturday 11th January
CAPDOWN are, without a flicker of a doubt, one of the best new punk bands around at the moment .They have a huge talent for writing songs bursting with power, energy and determination, not forgetting cracking good tunes and socially conscious lyrics. With Tim's awesome drumming, a bedrock of driving beats and subtle accents, providing the foundation for Boob's smooth and immaculate bass. Meanwhile Keith's guitar is both powerful and melodic, filling either role with equal eagerness, and working brilliantly with Jake's frenetic, confident and versatile vocals. His saxophone is bloody good too! Capdown raise underground punk from the insensible, to the genius, which is a rare thing indeed, and so deserves to be massive if there's any justice in the world.
Friday 31st January
VIOLENT DELIGHT are a Pu-Metal band from the Londonish area. For anybody that is
wondering what Pu-Metal is, it's a mix of punk and metal that both punk and
metal fans won't actually like. Consisting of four losers who were bullied at
school, not because they were misunderstood, shy and withdrawn, but simply
because they were a bunch of pricks!
Their influences range from alcohol, 'bishop bashing and sleep, and usually in that order. These spotty Herberts are in the biz for all the reasons most bands never admit to ; money, sex, booze and free holidays (which haven't come our way yet) (Dream on kiddoe - Ed). Somewhere along the line music starts to creep into things, but if they were all about the music there'd be nothing original about them. Go see!
Saturday 1st February 2003
So far under the radar that the mainstream press will never know: so far beyond
the latest trend that most critics can't be wanked, Mustard Plug know too much
to turn back now.
With their new album, Yellow # 5, this Michigan six-piece wrote and produced the album that has come closest to capturing the same heart-pounding, death defying sound as their live show while showcasing their unique blend of ska, rock, pop and punk. The music is fun, passionate, energetic and catchier than you can even imagine.Revelling in it's authenticity and true punk rock attitude. Ska fans, rock fans, punk fans and just about any random bastard you'd care to meet will feel the authenticity of this band doing what it was born to do.
|Monday 6 January||Dysuria
|Monday 13 January||The Bitch Project
|Monday 20 January||Relvis Troll
|Monday 27 January||Ipika
Axe Man Dan
Yet another fantastic line-up of shows for this month, each night featuring three more bands from the Stable hungry for success. Don't forget that any member of the Stable gains free access to these shows, so come down and share tips about the best gauge strings, and whether nylon tip sticks are better than wooden ones...or something! Below is the league table of votes as cast on the night in 2002
|1||Henry Holds His Own||180||15||Catch||111||29||Mumm Ra||60|
|3||FKA||162||17||Martin||108||31||One Above Nothing||59|
|4||At The Deli||152||18||AV Out||107||32||Hindsight||55|
|6||Sequana||140||20||Harder They Fall||99||34||The Hookers||50|
|7||The Impeccables||136||21||Half Inch Heroes||97||35||Sylus||49|
|8||Medium Steve||130||23||Undertow||90||37||Aunt Spika||39|
|10||Dufuz||125||24||Bleached||87||38||One Day Elliott||36|
|11||Kudos||124||25||Drag||73||39||Six Stage Suicide||30|
Ten years in a toilet....
In which Forum Obergruppenfuhrer Mark Davyd, otherwise known as 2M, or "that mouthy gobshite" to his friends, ruminates on a decade of going deaf for a living.
It's 1991 and The Rumble Club and the Winchester Club sort of merge (well, we stop trying to pretend that the Winchester Club is any good) into one club featuring bands at the weekends in the basement of what is now Thorins. The club's owner is known by the sobriquet "Cunt Man" as he appears to be a superhero with the catchphrase "Out of my way, citizens, let me fuck it up for you". The fifth time Cuntman attempts, unsuccessfully, to burn the building down Jason remarks to me that we really should think about having our own venue. There's not enough space to detail the following year of interesting and potentially fatal calamities, but a general view of the place could be summed up by walking in one morning and finding Tre from Green Day asleep on the pool table. One drunken night about a year later, and it really really was a drunken night, Peter Hoare falls over into a puddle. Looking up through a haze of Merrydown Mead his eyes fall on the old Brass Rubbing Centre that used to be the massive toilet block built in the 1920s on The Common. "That", he muses in slightly drunken tones, " would make a very fine live music venue". And so it was to be. By the time we had all sobered up, that's me, Jason, Peter and Spike Oyarzabal, we became dimly aware that we appeared to have signed a long term lease on Europe's largest toilet. The structure of the inside was designed by another friend and, lacking any money to make it look really nice, the four of us plus various assorted mates, cronies, hangers-on and a bloke in a very bad hat, set about demolishing all the walls and removing about twenty toilets. Two days of the rebuild are lost just staring at the 1930s graffiti in one of the rooms that obviously hadn't been opened for twenty odd years. A bizarre decision to carpet the building in green felt fails to prevent the opening day arriving, and on 15th January 1993 The Forum...
...and still no bleedin' lock on the door!
opens its doors to a complete capacity house
there to see headliners Foreheads in a Fishtank, playing their "hit" single "I
Want to Masturbate at Donnington Castle". The very first band ever to take the
Forum stage are the remarkably long-lived Joeyfat. Yes they really have been
doing it that long.. After that moment it all becomes a bit hazy.
Did we really put on all those bands? A guy from the newspaper called the other day and asked me to summarise the best bits and I realised that I no longer have any idea what happened when and to whom. The experience of running the Forum now appears in my mind as a series of highlights that feel like they happened over the last month. I remember the look on Bark Psychosis's faces when the entire crowd started stage diving whilst they were tuning up. I can remember everybody telling us how brilliant Whiteout were, but why did they have to bring that godawful Status Quo soundalike band Oasis with them? What else? The night David Devant sawed my girlfriend in half. The night we had such a big party with the Longpigs that we nearly went to Bradford. Just as well we didn't because at 6am we got a call from the band asking if we knew where the guitarist was. Answer? Locked in the toilets asleep. Diving off the stage at a These Animal Men show and nearly making it all the way to the bar. Realising that the Bucket Cabaret nights were actually losing us money as we had offered free beer to a group of people who later on all turned out to have alcohol "issues". Mr Ray's Wig World and their 45 minute songs about toast. Stalking Clearlake until they agree in the dressing room to play one of my favourite songs only with me on bass guitar. Spending three days trying to remove a mixture of glitter, shaving foam, bubbles and crisps from the monitors after a Cardiacs show. Reef being absolute arseholes on the way up, and the nicest band ever to grace the stage when they came back again. 1700 comedians all of whom started their act with the words "so, this used to be a toilet?". Remmy Ongala, who could drink a bottle of Remy Martin before the show and one afterwards and still not bat an eye.
and another thing...
The night Vic Reeves and Ian Astbury insisted on having an
Ironing board before they would play. They needed it to illustrate the finer
points of surfing.
The Lobster moment! The Lobster moment has now become a byword for venues up and down the land. What's a Lobster moment? It's that point in the setting up of a show where a band's otherwise perfectly normal, if some what excessive, demands attain a Dali-esque level of absurdity. So named after the band Radiator, who included in their rider demands a request for five fresh Lobster as their pre-gig food request. Naturally we ignored this, not purely because they were a support act and were being paid £50, but also because it's a fucking stupid idea. Five minutes before show time we are confronted by the tour manager who insists on having their Lobster or the band won't take the stage. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what is known in the trade as a lobster moment. The band Radiator, surprisingly enough, later sunk without trace. Other lobster moment awards also go to Stereophonics, who wanted the bread changed as it wasn't big enough to make the sandwiches they like (have these people ever seen Spinal Tap??) and to Lush, who required a new toilet seat at 3 minutes notice.
It's a little known but true fact about the building that it was built and planned to be the largest khazi in Europe. After construction was started it was discovered that there was actually a bigger toilet that had just opened in Hamburg. It became a matter of civic pride that Tunbridge Wells' ablutions should be adequately catered for, and so at the last moment it was decided to add two feet to one end of the building. And if you don't believe me you are welcome to come down and measure it.
...where's the Izal..?
If you peel back the layers and layers of paint in the Forum dressing room you can see
the graffiti of thousands and thousands of musicians who
have passed through the
doors. Some of them went on to great things. Feeder, Muse, Coldplay, Green Day,
Oasis - some of the biggest names of the last ten years have taken out their
pens at one time or another and scrawled some meaningless drivel. But there's
also a hidden history of the Forum, the hundreds upon hundreds of bands who had
five or ten minutes in the spotlight, maybe played one or two awesome shows with
us and then slunk back into the night. Bands like SMASH, Audioweb, Kinky
Machine, Samiam and on and on and on. The Forum has put on approximately 12
bands a week for ten years. That's at least 6000 bands that have played. Along
the way we have forgotten a few, vaguely remember some and talk about others a
lot. Some of them were nice, some of them were nasty, but all of them added to
the rich tapestry of rock that The Forum has knitted together. Most of all, we
are still here. And you are still coming. We don't know why you come, and we
don't really know why we keep doing it, but somewhere along the line The Forum
has become as much a part of Tunbridge Wells life as The Pantiles or old women
who tut at you. We probably wouldn't know how to stop if we tried.
Thank you to all the bands. Thank you to all the fans. And a bloody big thank you to all the staff over the years that have worked to keep the place open. God bless the fucking lot of 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.
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