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BLAM January 2006

A word in your ear...

Run for the hills! Mystic Smeg dons his lucky astral pants to foretell your 2006!

Capricorn (Dec 23 - Jan 22) - Once again this year looks to be full of promise, offering wild times, wild girls/boys (take your pick), cheap fun and unlimited energy. Unfortunately the promise will not come true and on April 4th you will take to bed and not get up again until September 18th 2008. There has never been a Capricorn of any importance whatsoever. Lucky Number: 178. Lucky Animal: The Marmoset.

Aquarius (Jan 23 - Feb 22) - Aquarians are among life's most socially adept individuals. It's a shame that you are the exception that proves the rule and that your friends would call you "Billy No Mates" - if you had any that is. On the 28th February you will see a mysterious stranger in a nearby café who will look at you only once. It doesn't mean anything and you will never see him again. Lucky Number: 5.78. Lucky Board Game: Frustration

Pisces (Feb 23 - Mar 22) - Pisceans have a number of fish like qualities, amongst them a very short memory. I said that Pisceans have a number of fish like qualities, amongst them a very short memory. That's right, a number of fish like qualities, amongst them a very short memory. That's a very short memory. Pisceans. That's right, a short memory. (Note to Ed - yes I know we did that joke last year, but you see Pisceans have a number of fish like qualities, amongst them a very short memory.). Lucky Card: 8 of Spades. Lucky Garden Centre: Broomfields in High Wycombe.

Aries (Mar 23 - April 22) - Aries the Ram is rampant this year as the moon is rising up Uranus and causing all sorts of problems with your waterworks. See a doctor or you will be dead by May 3rd. Many of your best friends are talking about you in a derogatory way, mainly to do with the cuttlefish incident. The smell of dead moles may begin to affect you . Lucky Zoo: Colchester. Lucky Day: Wednesday 14 September 1689

Taurus (April 23 - May 22) - A very exciting year for Taureans, as your star sign, The Bull, will be taken to a small shed to have it's knackers removed. Careful around people answering to the name of Dave or the same may happen to you. You once felt like someone was trying to tell you something through a dream. They weren't. Lucky fruit: Loganberry. Lucky Fish: Atlantic Spade

Gemini (May 23 - June 22) - Tossers the lot of you. Lucky Café: Carluccios. Lucky Penknife: Swiss Army

Cancer (June 23 - July 22) - Yet another great year for Cancerians everywhere who are lucky enough to share their birthday with some of the greatest individuals of all time. Life looks particularly rosy in a purple patch between January 2nd and December 28th when you will win the lottery, sign several multi platinum record deals and meet Miss World. Lucky Number: You don't need any more luck, you're a Cancerian!

Leo (July 23 - Aug 22) - Careful where you are putting it this year, it might drop off. There's many a mickle maks a muckle, and the crows flying east at noon will rain on your parade if you don't throw stones at horses in midstream. You live in a glass house and should buy some curtains. Lucky Room: The toilets at Fenwicks (male). Lucky Name: Steve.

Virgo (Aug 23 - Sept 22) - Virgos are either geezers or wankers. What are you? Eh? Are you looking at me? Are you looking at my pint? Do you fancy my bird? Why not? Lucky Sharon: Davis. Lucky Telephone Box: St James Road

Libra (Sept 23 - Oct 22) - A big purchase made between 4.38pm and 4.46pm on May 7 will turn out to broken and may need to be sent back to the shop. Don't throw away the box! Your bedroom may become infested with squirrels in July. A preservation order will be obtained by the council and you will be evicted and will have to sleep in the hallway. Remember to take your duvet. Lucky fruit: kumquat. Lucky pencil: HB

Scorpio (Oct 23 - Nov 22) - A very dull year ahead for you, as you will be convicted of internet fraud on Jan 6 and will spend the rest of the year in solitary confinement. Try to remember that cockroaches are not your friends and they don't need pet names. Somebody called Erica or Eric will say something really important to you in October, but you won't hear it properly. Never mind. Lucky Plumber: D L Wilson, Rusthall. Lucky Year: Not this one, that's for sure.

Sagittarius (Nov 23 - Dec 22) - The fog in the ball is lifting, I see.…I see…….I see……oh, no hang on, this thing is broken. Let's try the tarot. Oh dear………..are there actually five death cards in a pack normally? Maybe a good year to make a will? Lucky Bicycle: Raleigh Chipper (1977 version only). Lucky Book: Tibetan Book of the Dead


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

(To the tune of "Tis the season to be jolly")
Some of you have written in (stick it up your arse you fucking cunts)
Complaining that the content's thin (what do you expect? We're all quite drunk)
You say Blam would be much better (what would you know you're clearly a twat?)
If the swearing was much lesser (if you don't like it you can fuck off).
This apology is dedicated to the memory of Ronnie Barker.


Comedy Forum

Thursday 6th

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.

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.

GEOFF NORCOTT has made a real impact on the national comedy circuit since he first took to the stage in September 2001. His abundance of energy combined with a storming mix of impressions, observations, satire and rap, make him a versatile and original performer. Geoff is soon to be seen in a new show for BBC 2 called "Must Try Harder" - about celebrities going back through their old school reports. Geoff, an ex-teacher and now full time comedian, was the perfect choice for the job - having himself written many school reports.Geoff is also a gifted writer and is currently developing ideas for radio and animation.
" Norcott is an outstanding act who delivers an eclectic mix of smut, impressions and politics all delivered with a confident smile and boundless energy that keeps you on your toes. All wrapped up with faultless delivery, affability and a t-shirt two sizes too small. Who could ask for anything more? " Funny.co.uk

"The first comedian of rap" Craig Charles

"Devastatingly accurate parody of the rap scene…" chortle

"FAST-talking London gagster Geoff Norcott's party piece is his rapping parody, which is guaranteed to bring the house down at any comedy gig." Manchester Evening News

MAREK LARWOOD - Born in Norwich, brought up in Wales the Isle of Wight, Marek never had a chance to be normal. He performed in sketch groups at Southampton University, and at the Edinburgh Festival before moving to London in 1999, where he took up a number of courses at the City Literary Institute. After appearing in fringe shows, such as the NewsRevue, and appearing in numerous short films he turned to stand up comedy. He has been performing his fast talking Isle of Wight character act since the summer of 2002. Since then he has reached the final of ITV's Take the Mike and was runner up in the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2003. He also appeared on ITV2's comedy show Gagging for It and BBC1's Bring it On.

MIKE BELGRAVE is a Irish West Indian Londoner who has been performing stand up comedy since 2001 and has performed over 500 gigs as of writing. He is well known for his high energy compering skills. His unique interaction with the audience and the loosening of his own clothing is the stuff of legend. Mike is a high-energy likeable act who audiences can't help but enjoy. Being a bit of a child at heart Mike always goes down well with rowdy student audiences.



plus SANCTORUM . INCARCERATE . HELLBOUND
saturday 14th

They've youth on their side and the technical ability to trade blows with far more experienced and established bands, but Mendeed's appeal stems largely from the sheer strength of their songs. On this evidence the band's forthcoming album should be a classic." - KERRANG! (5/5)
"Mendeed demonstrate that melding staccato guitars with hardcore vocals can be done with originality…Mendeed's potential is already palpable" - Terrorizer

Mendeed....are quite obviously insane, and seem to have no qualms about throwing themselves off the stage or stomping around the pit in an exuberant display of hardcore-inflected classic metal mayhem that would make Iron Maiden (on uppers) proud.Mendeed hail from Glasgow and boast an aggression that is both steely and honest,these guys are not mummy's boys playing at being brutal they just know no other way. Their sound is a crazy yet invigorating hybrid of old school nineties thrash and traditional British metal, flanked with loins of hardcore. Oh and there’s also just a shiver of death metal in there too. It’s like a cream soup of Testament and Exodus, with occasional flavours of Metallica, garnished with Iron Maiden and croutons of Stampin’ Ground - slurped by the ghost of Chuck Schuldiner. Okay, it sounds totally mad, but there is no doubt at all that it works.
Tours with the likes of metal giants Anthrax and airplay on Radio 1 have seen the band’s fanbase grow from strength to strength. After a series of much sought after EPs, 2004 saw the band release their first mini-album 'From Shadows Came Darkness'. The album received rave reviews and saw the band compared with greats such as Metallica, Pantera and Iron Maiden. Riding on this wave of success, Mendeed released a second mini-album this summer and their debut full-length This War Will Last Forever will be released on January 23.Tipped in a recent issue of metal mags Kerrang! and Metal Hammer as Scotland’s brightest metal hopes and one of the bands to look out for in 2006, Mendeed are currently proving sometimes kids dreams really do come true.


The Fight
Saturday 21st

"We’re having as much fun as possible for as long as we can,” exclaims K8!, The Fight’s lead singer. “It totally bewilders me that some bands seem to forget that what they’re doing is supposed to be fun.”
Unapologetic, fiery and blaring from a radio near you sometime very soon, The Fight don’t pull their punches. The debut album, ‘Nothing New Since Rock ‘N’ Roll’, spews out perfectly noisy pocket-sized pop manifestos with the spunk of a thousand punk anthems and a spirited slab of youthful rebellion missing in the charts for too long. These are songs about music, songs about idiots, songs about struggling. Songs that say you don’t have to be nice and happy and smiley about everything life throws your way, and that there's more to life than boys. “It’s a week in the life of an average, pissed off kid,” K8! Laughs. “We just say what we feel.”

Picking up fans with every gig they play – and they do a lot of gigging – they’ve already shared stages with Rancid, Yellowcard, Sugarcult, New Found Glory and The Starting Line, but the band’s unique pop sensibility is already going down a storm with the teenage music fans turned on to guitar music by the poppy – but politicized – reinvention of Green Day and even the efforts of acts like Busted (RIP)and Avril Lavigne. Don’t be fooled by The Fight’s bright, commercial hooks, though - the first words you hear on the album are ‘What’s the fucking point?’

Indeed, attitude pours from every track. Songs like ‘Stage Skool Kidz’ and ‘Karaoke Star’ provide a biting commentary on the pop scene, but these are not the scattergun bleatings of an ignorant muso mind, because K8!’s been there, done that, and sold the t-shirt. She formed her first band at the age of 11, and by the time she was 14 her band was swept away and signed to 19 Management and EMI. The band were dumbed down, teened up and bizarrely pitched as the new Slade. Cathy Dennis started writing songs for them, they were ‘big’, as they say, ‘in Japan’, and they rode around in tanks in videos, because that’s what marketing men thought teenage girls did. But the band was over by the time K8’s mates were doing their GCSEs. The lesson learned? You can’t manufacture the passion, fire and energy of real music. It’s a lesson still not acknowledged in some quarters even today, but K8! watched and learned.

Rather than licking her wounds, she threw herself back into music. The first day of the rest of her life was Janurary 1 2000. The Fight began life not so much as a New Year’s Resolution but as a hungover pact between K8!, her brother Jak and some mates. Two weeks later, they were playing their first gig at The Rock Café in Stourbridge, consisting mainly of Clash covers and songs like The Buzzcocks’ ‘What Do I Get?’. By 2003, the band were complete. Following a chance meeting with New Found Glory, during which K8! Gave the band a demo CD, The Fight were invited to join the band when they next toured the UK, and from that point onwards sparks really began to fly. Management and record deals followed in a swift rise that might seem almost fairytale-like, but this has was no overnight success and they continue to kick the living daylights out of the gig circuit as they build their reputation and hone their already tight-as-hell live show.
Not all together keen on resting on their laurels, the band have even written half the songs for their next album. “Being out on the road and meeting new people there’s a lot more to write about,” K8! explains. “We’ve always just wanted this band to be our life,” K8! says. “Now it looks like it’s going to be.”


Club Hokey Cokey present:

Theoretical Girl


Thursday 26th

Who's this little girl with the hotpants and the electric guitar, just stepped out of the silver screen? She's unreal with her mechanical dance, a clockwork doll, a 21st century Coppelia. She is Southend's THEORETICAL GIRL and she rocks and doesn't give a damn. She don't need no band either. She's got it all mastered on backing tracks that penetrate your brain all stripped down with thudding bass. She doubles up guitar riffs giving a chiming effect. It's aggravating and bloody marvellous. Theoretical Girl has been inducing waves of crazed robotic dancing in London's coolest clubs for months now. Forthcoming single "It's all too much", released on Fake Product Records, is a hypnotic drum-machine-fuelled slice of new wave electro-pop complete with irresistibly contagious guitar hooks and understated bored-femme-fatale vocals. www.theoreticalgirl.com

“AND WHAT WILL BE LEFT OF THEM?" are the best thing to come out of Worcester since the A38. This madcap, kitsch, naive art popsters have been described thus:
"They play organ-driven swirly-pop that bears comparison withthe Rezillos, the Caesars and the mighty Loves themselves.” – Soundsxp.
“And What Will Be Left Of Them? are utterly lovely.Capturing our hearts from the off, they play bouncy, catchy, frisky pop."Singer Red careens about cheekily, landing smackers on guitarist Peter’s cheek and belting out exuberant, rampaging tunes.”
"Exciting. Fresh. Simply pure, energetic, raw talent let loose and rampaging their way through audiences wherever they play. This ain’t just 'pop'. It's very clever Britrock, lying somewhere between Bis and Nirvana painted in dayglo"
Check this fab act out at http://myspace.com/awwblot


The Girl
Friday 27th

"One minute we're emo, one minute we're punk, the next minute we're tykes, then rock, metal, and today we've read reviews where they've said jazz and Britpop. It fucking scares the shit out of people if they cant label it immediately."

Ryan Jenkinson, thisGIRL's garrulous drummer, has just hit the nail firmly and vehemently on the head on all that is great and infuriating about his band. While many are tempted down the path of least resistance in the pursuit of a quick buck, thisGIRL have, with their new album UNO, fiercely defended their right to avoid easy categorisations, creating a noisy little world of their own and pilfering ideas from every single one of the worlds known genres. And a fair few that haven't been invented yet, too. Its contrary, baffling but most of all one of the most exciting muddles for those willing to dig a little deeper than just a surface sheen and catchy chorus.
Tours with the likes of Biffy Clyro, Glassjaw, Pitchshifter, Hell Is For Heroes, Cave In and The Used followed, the band only stopping long enough to record their debut album Short Strut To The Brassy Front in 2002. Their reputation grew, but they bided their time, continuing to hone their craft by playing anywhere and everywhere, from tiny clubs, to Brixton Academy with the Deftones and in front of 40,000 people in Finsbury Park with limpbizkit - a show liable to go down in thisGIRL history thanks to their unusual tactic of actually encouraging nu-metal fans to throw bottles at them. Cue mischievous grins all round, and one very soggy, presumably rather pungent stage.

"When you get onstage you're a different person," says Liam. "I think we've all got our alter-egos onstage. You're not going to go on and have a cup of tea like you would at home."

It wouldn't be long before the music industry came calling, offering them the world. Barely out of their teens, it would have been easy for the band to be blinded by the chequebooks and promises being thrust at them. But they waited. And toured some more. Built up an increasingly devoted fanbase and kept the A&R hoards waiting a little longer.

"In the time you do that you can see all the hares," says Ryan. "We're the tortoise and there's all these hares that get massive and then they're gone. Were still doing it for the right reasons, toddling along, were happy, the people who come to our gigs are happy."
Eventually, they, somewhat inevitably, swerved off the path of received wisdom and signed with Drowned In Sound, who pretty much promised to give them a free rein to do whatever the hell they like. Chris Tsangarides - producer for Black Sabbath, Judas Priest and, um, Shaznay Lewis from All Saints - came on board for UNO and declared that he wanted to help them make an album that sounded absolutely nothing like any of the bands lapping up the attention right now. Scenes and trends were to be avoided at all costs. There was to be no computer trickery, the band just plugging in, playing, and recording the raw chaos that got them this far. It was about straying wilfully away from the herd, avoiding fake-ness and embracing the chance to be the black sheep of the rock world.

"Its awkward music for awkward people," says Liam "Its colourful, its got loads of colours and loads of emotions. We can make you cry or we can make you smile!" ."Were proud of going our own way," Ryan concludes. "We didn't compromise for anyone."


The Kooks
The Automatic
Saturday 28th

Luke Pritchard, singer with the Brighton-based four-piece, has already been described as 'one of the best young pop writers around' which is great for Luke and probably quite annoying for the rest of the band
The Kooks are a real breath of fresh air for a band so young. Tight as you like, armed with a arsenal of sharp tracks, and fortunately for us, they aren't another quirky eighties wannabe band. Instead the sound is more of a '60s vibe, a hint of Rolling Stones, with some awesome guitar solos. The songs have a glowing, sunshine sound - but I guess coming from a sea side resort helps!
Donning some spray jeans, with untamed locks, the lads, fronted by 20 year old Pritchard, play catchy tracks including the recently released 'Eddie's Gun'. Think fuzzed up guitars, great melodies, the energy and youthful abandon of Caught By The Fuzz era Supergrass along with some slick production and you're there - a sing along anthems in the making.
The songs have a laid back vibe with an injection of reggae basslines that give them a positively upbeat feel. Having been the source of an A&R scuffle at the end of 2004, finally signing to Virgin, the lads played a healthy set of nine tracks, other faves being 'You Don't Want Love' and 'Pull Me In'.
They began 2005 as White Rabbit, working in dead end jobs in a small village in South Wales and dreaming of rock stardom. They end 2005 as Welsh electro-noise punks, THE AUTOMATIC, touring in support of Goldie Lookin' Chain and being touted as the next big thing and one of the best and most exciting new bands around. Not a bad twelve months for four lads who are only celebrating their nineteenth year in existence. All four members of the band grew up in the village of Cowbridge, which is about 30 minutes fromCardiff. "It was a nice town to grow up in but there's nothing to do for kids," says guitarist, James Frost. Maybe it was almost inevitable, like so many other British kids before them, that they would find solace from the boredom of small town life in the shape of music. Like a lot of bands, for The Automatic it all began at school. "None of us were really into sports," explains Frost. "We were all really young and didn't take it that seriously at the start. We played at our school and then when were 16; we started to play in bars." And thus started their steady decline into rock n roll depravity.


The Stable 5

Yet another vicious month of backbiting, infighting, jiggery pokery and scores on the doors awaits you through the Forum portal with our once a week event featuring the best in new local bands all vying for a place in one of The Stables Grand Finals and compilations. Leaders of the table at the moment are OffLimit with 156 fan points, with Hellbound Fury (148) The Space Parade (147) Kappa Mandate (138) Afflicted Quarter (120) and De Carabas (106) filling the other top slots but that could all change if you go down and vote for one of these great bands:


Mon 9th
REASONABLE DOUBT . SEVEN STORY DOWN. SPRINGTIDE CAVALRY

Reasonable Doubt hail from Medway and are metal. That's Metal metal and not any of that fake plastic metal that's been lying about clogging the place up recently. They feature the excitingly named Bjorn and Tynman, so expect some hammer throwing and vaguely Vikingesque antics. The messageboard heroes Seven Story Down finally get round to hitting the Stage stage this year. They rather charmingly have launched an all out attempt at prying this very magazine by quoting us on their website. This won't work. But they are clearly the best band ever to enter the Stable or my name is not Arthur Crabshaw. The alarmingly named Springtide Cavalry mount a rear guard action to complete the line up. They are a bunch of yokels who worship the Wurzels, which is why they don't have a website and are prepared to allow us to tell outrageous lies about them.

Mon 16th
KAMERAKI . NINETEEN85 . PLAIN HAMISH

Kameraki descirbe themselves as a rock/progressive act, which I have always thought was a slightly obvious statement - is anybody actually going to form a band that describes itself as "regressive"? Anyway, they have some cool tunes up on pure volume and a website featuring a photo of their very own stalker. Nineteen85 are spelling their name differently last year, and have also moved their website to a location where the link doesn't work. Is this a nefarious attempt at cloak and dagger activity, or is their webmaster secret squirrel? Plain Hamish have gone one better than that and don't have a website at all. As you can see, this year's Stable bands are determined to bring their music to a wider audience of non-computer owning Luddites.

Mon 23rd
9-VOLT . IN SO FAR . INTO ASHES

9 Volt are fromCrowborough, but unlike that particular hellhole of a shite bucket, they are actually quite pleasant to visit, although obviously they look more like the old rundown Crowborough Cross than the new one that has been done up with a nice lick of paint. One of the most active local bands, you should certainly see them if you haven't already. In spite of coming from a backwater like Horley, In So Far have not only a brilliant website, but also a downloadable biog, photo pack, music online, mypsace and a pigeon messenger service. Other Stable bands take note. They are getting some great reviews and are one of the Stable bands "most likely to". Into Ashes have done the exact opposite and offered no information at all, which is why when writing this magazine I decided that they were a rock/metal band who dress as kangaroos and eat live witchety grubs for your entertainment.

Mon 30th
SLIGHTLY RESTRAINED . THE CRAYONS . THE MOCKINGBIRD NIGHTMARE

The final Stable night of January brings you three more chances to discover something new in the shape of Maidstone rockers Slightly Restrained (website looks great but is full of slightly odd stuff about bass guitars and big muffs which didn't really tell me a lot about the band), The Crayons (hailing from St Leonards, surely one of the most accomplished and interesting bands in the competition this year, deserve your support) and the superbly named The Mockingbird Nightmare (out and about playing gigs all over the pace at the moment, so should be worth lending an ear and pestering them to explain the name).

The Stable is your weekly chance to catch three great new bands for sod all money. Most of the truly brilliant local bands of the last five years have taken part at some point, so if you can drag yourself away from The Bill it's always worth popping in and seeing what the local scene has to offer. Note to local bands: Hasn't anybody thought of getting a central MySpace account and making each other friends?


Contact Us

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, 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
You can write to us at:

The Forum, Fonthill, The Common,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8YU
Or call the Information line on 08712 777101

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

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, identify which ne'er-do-wells have trodden the boards at the ol' shitter, check out our interactive gaming section, or go on our messageboard and start arguing whether we include too many Appalachian Nose-Flute nights in our gig programming. In fact, we beseech, nay implore you to do any of the above which would make a change from downloading hardcore 'chicks with dicks' jpgs as you'd normally do.
Please note that as well as being able to reserve tickets for all Forum shows online, tickets are also available to be purchased from the following retail outlets:
The Longplayer, 3 Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 539273
Criminal Records, 6 Goods Station Road, Tunbridge Wells 01892 511776


Coming soon:

COMEDY FORUM - Thur 2nd February
UNSCREEN - Sun 12th February
THE RESEARCH - Thur 23rd February
THE MODERN - Fri 24th February
ADEQUATE 7 - Sat 25th March


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

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