Seven different shades of shit
descended on The Forum house last night, with staff trading insults like,
"Yeah?", "Reckon!" and "Says you" from distances
of less than twenty feet. The staff were understood to be shocked by the revelation
that their entire movements and conversations were being monitored and watched
by evil Mark Davyd and his sidekick the Lanky Fop from a secret room in the
Forum penthouse. Bursting into the auditorium through a paper screen halfway
through a performance by David Devant. Whilst rolling up the sleeves on their
original Adam Ant frilly pirate shirts, the two immediately picked a fight
with the Boy Lawrence who they claimed had been "dissing" them and
"generally not being very nice". Accusations then flew hither and
thither like candy floss caught in a small tornado; Max the evil soundguy
adjusted his neck-brace and did an especially provocative dance in front of
Zucchini (whilst holding up a microphone which didn't smell like somebody's
back passage and asking them if they'd "like to use it"); Marvey
Jarvey and Ian "Drink? Have you got a DNA sample, laddio?" Carvell
spilled drinks everywhere; and Wolff got so bored in the box office that he
was allowed to bring in his friend. Eventually, Carpe Diem's tattooed uncle
was called in to restore order.
As the dust settles today, the Courier held its pungent breath awaiting further gripping revelations about which person you have never heard of said what about somebody you don't really know to somebody else that you don't really care about, and whether or not some other nobody might have heard or seen them do something that's really not that interesting or important, but hey, it fills up the space betwen your ears nicely without having to think about any of that stuff in the world, you know, what's it called, er....oh, yes, the news. Also happening this month, 15 million people telling everybody else that they are all watching the football repeatedly even though the facts say otherwise, Paul Burrell claiming that Diana follows him about everywhere, and literally millions of people so stupid that they need the word England printed on the national flag before they are certain which country it is they live in. And Eastenders. Is it any wonder the country has gone to the fucking dogs?
Tunbridge Wells' original AND best value for money comedy club is held the
first Thursday of every month.This month's being Thursday 1st
To quote Sir Terence of Wogan, is it me, but when I see the following words in the same sentence I do get a tad 'hot under the collar'and much salivating ensues; FOUR TOP CLASS ACTS, THE FIRST THURSDAY IN EVERY MONTH, ONLY FIVE POUNDS, LUXURIOUS TOILET FACILITIES.
Well....possibly discounting the last one, this is exactly what makes Comedy Forum such a cracking night out. ELECTRIC FORECAST are a hi-energy double act who've been performing since 2001 (Blimey, they must be knackered - Obvious Ed). Rather like a hungry Punt & Dennis, their physical, quirky, often surreal comedy saw them through to the finals of Channel 4's 'So you think you're funny?", and quite frankly, I don't think there are enough double acts these days!
It's the Householdname Records Summer Tour,
featuring CAPTAIN EVERYTHING!, KENISIA, DA SKYWALKERS & ADEQUATE 7.
With their groove-laden hardcore sound, ADEQUATE 7 are more explicit in their
political messages than Capdown; inspiring arse shaking dancefloor action
and getting the brain cogs whirring at the same time is both admirable and
"KENISIA aren't just another ska punk band, there's something else to them. it may be the distinctive vocals, excellent riffs, raw energy, or maybe just the fact that it makes me want to get up and dance" - Rancid News UK
CAPTAIN EVERYTHING! are at the forefront of the rejuvenated English punk scene Metamorphosing from one of the many Snuff, MXPX and Fat Wreck influenced pop punk bands littering the UK scen,e to a genuinely respected, uniquely relevant band in their own right with fans around the world. 12 months near constant touring; throughout Europe with NERF HERDER, and all over the UK with LIGHTYEAR, MUSTARD PLUG, BIG D AND THE KIDS TABLE, RX BANDITS and, JESSE JAMES has brought them legions of new fans, and led to a high percentage of radio play in the UK on Radio One. Completing the bill are Swedish punx, DA SKYWALKERS .
"They're naked, they're loud, they're riotous and they want your soul.
They are The Parkinsons and they are here to shoot you up with the passion
that has been missing from your life for so long and inject the current music
scene with a long overdue kick up its saggy arse."
The Parkinsons have obviously been on Mastermind, with their specialist subjects being the music, life and times of MC5 and Iggy Pop.
Labelled as a Portugese Sex Pistols, the Parkinsons have a reputation for entertainingly chaotic live performances. Indeed, It can be disputed that more people have heard about these Portuguese punks' near riots at gigs, scuffles with bouncers and venue staff, nudity and general disarray and distaste onstage than have actually heard the music. Their energy on stage has been described by one journalist as "making At The Drive-In seem like The Corrs", and on seeing the band play at the 100 Club Mark Perry of ATV and Sniffin' Glue fame remarked that Victor was "the finest guitarist he had seen since The Clash's Mick Jones". With Tunbridge Wells' very own Libertines, THE IMPECCABLES as support, you'd be a complete buffoon to miss this show!
Die so fluid
SHARD . A band that is all about love, sex and glamour, have a certain look
and sound to them, which makes people remember them for their glam rock attitude
(and looking like brickies in drag! - Fop Ed). Releasing their debut album
'InPerfection' on June 28th, Shard have left their hods on the site and, with
a diary that's busier than 2M's, have a veritable smorgasbord of gigs scheduled,
some with the mighty Stamp themselves and Miss Black America. www.shardmusic.co.uk
. DIE SO FLUID, fronted by the beautiful Grog, have also played alongside
Rachel Stamp . Their unique sound being the toast of a plethora of mags, such
as Metal Hammer, RockSound and Organ, has helped drag their crepescular underground
image blinking and screaming into the mainstream Blowing their audiences away
with a brilliant stage presence , this band is bound to impress anyone who
are into My Ruin. www.diesofluid.co.uk.
VIVID RELEASE are a Tunbridge Wells based 5 piece ubervixen outfit featuring: Amber, Camelia, Ophelia, Titania and Waynetta. Recently being the epicentre of much ado at a recent battle of the bands, find out for yourself what makes this band so good! Check out www.vivid-release.tk
"There's a rumble coming from the Arctic tundra, rather like that scary
scene in The Day After Tomorrow, it's heading towards the UK at a rather disturbingly
rapid rate. Raised in the eerie icescapes and geothermal rocks of Iceland,
MINUS have broken out of the conservativism of their homeland to spread their
'cock-rock' across the globe"
-"Minus are a welcome blast of March- fresh air, their maelstrom of thrash guitars and magisterially tortured vocals enough to leave cheeks burning and throats gasping for breath… an icicle sharp album…" Q 4*
"They might just be the rock 'n roll band the world has been waiting for" 5K- Kerrang
"Ok Captain, nearly ready for MINUS tour plane take-off, just running
Creation of drug-fuelled, under-age romps with hot tottie rumours? Check!
Bare chested photo sessions with leather trousers and a rather scarily large snake booked? Check!
Corkscrew-haired perma sunglassed guitarist with quirky headwear? Check!
Lank, long-haired singer who thinks he's IT, likes to wear Gun's 'n' ####ing Roses T-shirts ? Check
The band have just come to the end of three tours, firstly with Amen, then with Biffy Clyro, and finally their own headline tour. Coming to the UK straight after supporting Metallica in Iceland .
What it says on the tin, mate. Good time thrills 'n' spills and riffs, promising to be a cracking show.
The Ga Gas make the sort of music that’s borne from overindulgence
and avoiding daylight. Tough, raucous cock-rock with a permanent hard-on,
it’s part Ritchie-era Manics, part Foo Fighters, part Idlwild, part
G’n’R, even The Wildhearts. Whatever you liken them to, The Ga
Gas have an instantly familiar but totally welcoming ‘classic’
quality to their sound, turning tracks like the bawdily bitchy “Sex”
into catty anthems of arrogance and sleaze.
There's a bit of a buzz in the Biz about this band at the moment, and it's not hard to see why.
With a dad's-bag full of cracking tunes, full of fast and furious, gritty guitar riffs from Rob, some beautifully insistent bass lines from Toshi and a power packed performance from drummer Jason.
Then there's Tommy - the driving force behind the band on guitar and vocals. It's difficult to take your eyes off him singing his angst ridden songs with a knowing confidence.
Returning from a criminally under attended show last month, THE FIGHT are back and not prepared to give up winning the fickle Forum wastrels over without a.....fight! Offering pogo-punk and '77 style spunk in their juicy pop-punk offerings, equating to a bouncing-off-the-wall, energetic, and at times aggressive sound that you can still sing along to. Toying with hints of top 40 sensibilty whilst maintaining a street-punk vibe strong enough to out-wrestle veterans Rancid, with whom THE FIGHT have been touring the states since January, THE FIGHT are worth 40 minutes of anybody's attention.
Token Ray Gun Dept
Hailing from Robbie "Duplicated #17 chromosone, me?" William's
stomping ground, AGENT BLUE are at the forefront of the 'baggy-punker scene'.
In fact they ARE the baggy-punker scene. Combining danceable sub Slaughter
& the Dogs riffery to make a gorgeous life affirming racket. Their latest
single, has been described thus, "'Sex Drugs and Rocks Through Your Window'
takes a pinch of punk energy, a blast of cocksure swagger and the roar of
hardcore, fusing it into a crowdpleasing three-minute 'youf' anthem. The frenetic
riff that underpins this track crosses the intensity of Fugazi with the technique
of Iron Maiden (can this be possible?!) while vocalist Nick Andrews drawls
the titleline with an arrogant sneer, before launching into a gutteral roar
for the chorus.
Well, it all sounds terribly irresistible n'est ce pas? All this plus four other bands sounds like a jolly good wheeze, eh?
REASONS TO REMAIN
It would be churlish and recalcitrant to let this evening pass without a special mention of Flying Carnies, Carnies or whatever they're called this week (same shit, different box - philistine Ed). It seems just yesterday when four 12 year olds , whilst on their paper round , wondered exactly what went on in that funny white building on the common, why those grown-up 14 year olds loiteredabout outside wearing Busted T-shirts, and who exactly in this building had a subscription to 'Butch Boys in Swarfega Weekly' that they deliver there come rain or snow! Imagine their surprise to find that this building wasa regular host to 'pop' groups! Previous ambitions of becoming 'Employee of the Week' at Spud-u-Like disappeared like spit on a griddle as visions of being the new McFly beckoned. To think that FORTY (40) gigs at the Forum later, the lads still hang on to that dream! Join with me in congratulating CARNIESMUSIC for such resilience on their 41st show at the ol' shit-hole!
AND HEART ATTACKS
Love That Kills
So, apparently SCRAPS AND HEART ATTACKS are here to "drink your beer,
rock your town, bang your girlfriend" Well, if thats the case we're all
in for a good time. The long Island quintet play a mix of fast and brutal
hardcore with heavy influences from 80's NY hardcore. Signing to Triple Crown
(home to such favourites as Brand New) records in the early part of last year,
expect only the best from these guys. Meanwhile THE LEGACY are probably one
of the hottest uk hardcore bands around at the moment. Hailing from the Steel
City (sheffield for those who don't know) Supporting the likes of American
Nightmare, and Hope Conspricy.
With a debut cd already out on Dead and Gone Records, and a brand new 7" soon to be realised on Speedwax, the futures is looking more than bright for these guys. Also supporting will be local-ish new boys ABANDON SHIP, with one of the best demos circulating the uk Hadcore scene expext some amazing things. LOVE THAT KILLS, east-Kent trendy boys with an immense mix of Glassjaw, shai hulud and a blend of Hopesfall.
They may not wear girls' jeans, and they sure as shit don't wear eyeliner, but these hardcore kids, in the classic NYHC tradition are out to fuck shit up. Don't sleep on this one sucka!
visit their website at www.scrapsandheartattacks.com
1906 . Bad Picture . Crab in a Cab . Eric . One Above Nothing . Seven Story Down
lucky, lucky people! After 11 months of blood, sweat and tears, not to mention
other bearded jazz-blues rock behemoths of the late '60s. We are as excited
as our 'LM the soundguy' thumbing through a copy of 'Which Microphone', to
announce the Grand Final of the Stable III Fan's Choice.
As you may know, each Monday for the past 11 months, three local bands haul their beer-stained, gaffa-taped together equipment down to the Holy Toilet to play a 25 minute set in front of an adoring jam-packed audience.
At the end of the evening, the audience vote for their top two favourite bands. These votes are then entered onto the 'Scores from the Doors' League Table. At the end of the first round, in which nearly seventy bands would have played, the top 18 bands that have amassed the most votes move on to round two. The process is repeated until all 18 bands have played, the top 6 vote-scoring bands rise like cream to the surface, and are then entered in to the FANS' CHOICE GRAND FINAL.
On the night of Saturday, 31st July, these courageous protagonists will again battle it out, parrying thrust with counterthrust, and nobly laughing in the face of the Boy Lawrence, to lay claim to the bejewelled crown of The Fans' Choice Winner; achieving this by garnering the most votes from this night's audience. The prize being TWO days in Granary Studio, Lamberhurst, and a pressing of 500 CDs from the resulting sessions! The sound will be facilitated by the Forum's very own aural Bonnie and Clyde, the gorgeous Kate and Mr Liam.
On to the bands: 1906 are a refreshing breath of West Coast '60s influenced jangleism, combining winning hooks and Byrds-like looks. BAD PICTURE hail from the mean streets of St James' and make a rather nice punk pop racket. Sadly their website is still a no-go area, sort it out guys 'n' gal! Which brings us neatly onto post rockers ERIC, sounding not unlike a poppy Sonic Youth, whose own website has been shut down due to 'inactivity'. CRAB IN A CAB are a rootin' tootin' all-out ska pop punk outfit with a lively, lovely fanbase, and featuring a member who has had the rather unique experience of reading an announcement of his drug-addled demise on the Forum messageboard. Luckily, he has yet to shuffle off his mortal coil. Just Say No!! ONE ABOVE NOTHING are a Lost Prophets sounding three piece, a good bunch of lads and an exciting band to watch. Last (alphabetically) but definitely not least, we have SEVEN STORY DOWN, who play a funk/rock hybrid, influenced by Incubus, Chili Peppers and Jeff Buckley.
Admission price includes a FREE 18 track Fans Choice compilation CD
The Fingerprints . The Blue Fusion
Forgive me for coming across as a little bit negative. Despite the fact
that I should be spending the evening of my birthday getting drunk with friends,
or being pampered by Mrs Mills and perchance getting one of the twice-annual
shags that married parents over 30 are permitted by law, circumstances bring
me here. After all, the first Monthly Moan was from my birthday last year,
so it seems wrong not to start a tradition, or something. And besides, it
doesn't get any more rock 'n' roll than Tunbridge Wells on a hot summer Saturday
night does it? Well, evidently, there are very few that seem to think so.
Door count so far: about 30. Number managing to stick around for THE FINGERPRINTS
after THE BLUE FUSION's slick niceties: about 10. Those people not in or 'with'
the bands: err…let me get back to you on that.
It must seem a little disheartening for the Fingerprints, because their Americana is dignified and classy, deserving of a wider audience than they're currently getting. Theirs is vapid, thoughtful AOR, with commercial radio-rock vibes and a soulful sense of melody, vaguely reminiscent of Counting Crows and The Gin Blossoms, straddling that gap between pub-scene melodic rock and alternative pop without falling down on either side. Too youthful and with too much original material for the former, too coffee-table and safe for the latter and not enough people here to care either way.
The Fingerprints make it abundantly clear that they have in developed in enormous big-cocked strides in the year since they recorded their patchy but promising debut album 'Miranda', and none among them more than blond frontman/guitarist and Harry Potter lookey-likey Chris Porter. His once weak albeit tuneful voice has developed an extremely pleasing gurgly-throated power, which has gives well-needed weight to tunes full of sunshine and sensitivity. Eager, commercially slanted rock that doesn't in any way seem cheesy, despite rattling on about childhood trauma, what a lovely pose it is to be a touch fucked up in your relationships and, well, lots of other things Americans are so good at singing about.
"Tangerine" for example, has grown into a sly, rugged Hootie & the Blowfish-type ballad, while "Wonderfully Wasted", despite being essentially an average and fairly tepid song on record, has become dynamically raw-sounding, riffing it large without losing it's innate poppiness. They've grown outwards as opposed to upwards, though it appears that they have a fondness for unsatisfactory filler, but that's only really because the occasional bursts of hook-laden goodness tend to eclipse everything else and that's no bad thing.
Your dad would probably like The Fingerprints a lot. It'd probably slot in nicely with his Top Gear compilation and Steely Dan CDs when out in the Vectra and make him feel 'connected'. The slightly awkward thing is, it could very easily be something you could agree on, because The Fingerprints are miles away from cool, but they've got huge amounts of likeability and they're only just getting the hang of what they're doing.
Check 'em out at the forthcoming Nedfest.
Whether the Gods thought that they'd have a bit of a laugh with me tonight,
I can only wonder, but for some reason, the radio in my car has begun to suddenly
and strangely switch itself onto Heart FM no matter what else I'm tuned to.
It's oddly disturbing and watching Caller is all the more unsettling because
their countrified pub AOR is a bit like random snippets of their evening playlist
coming back to haunt me, as if it's not enough interrupting things that I
like while driving, it's got to intrude even when I'm not.
Put the following words in any order you like: Dreams. World. Tomorrow. You. Nights. Movin'. Stars. Baby. String them together with random conjunctions plus the odd 'Lonely' and "Ooh yeah" for good measure. Got that? Good. Now toss your hair back and croon your new lyrics to a easy-going smooth melody that Fleetwood Mac might come up with and don't forget to pose seductively as if you were about to fellate the microphone. Add some tender lurve, wistful melancholia and a wailing guitar now and again. Voila! You now have your very own CALLER 'number'. Don't worry if you rip the tune off from other people, there are so many faceless covers mixed in, nobody will notice and if by chance somebody does, then they obviously like this sort of thing so feel free to make fun of them. You could even pretend it's a karaoke if you're so inclined.
Whether it's filled up suddenly with people is testimony to their genuine following or extremely supportive families, I'd hate to guess at, but Caller are certainly taking it all rather seriously. They appear to take such exquisite pains to be flawlessly perfect that they hesitate to enjoy themselves up there and though appreciative of the applause, they don't seem at ease. There's a desperate quality to it all, despite it's FM-friendly lavender-scented pleasantness, which makes them feel out of place and alien, which they are, essentially. This type of music belongs in better-class pubs and provincial town halls, not a dingy rock dive smelling of sweat and piss where the idea of a G&T with ice and a slice is met with derisory laughter.
"Where Do you Go" chugs along in a Garbage vein and after half an hour of easy listening kicks some energy into things at last, with their strangely sexy frontlady doing her best Shirley Manson as opposed to the Bonnie Raite/Shania Twain thang she's been doing so far. It's only a temporary anomaly though because by the time they drift into white-girl slow blues, our heads are starting to go numb and the twee blandless of it all stops becoming fairly inoffensive and begins to get intensely irritating.
Caller, despite their jollity, have no spunk to speak of whatsoever. Their music may be soulfully and faithfully executed. It may be politely or even well received. It might even be 'good' in a way that it's unrealistic to expect a pub covers band to be, but it's chocolate-coated, sugary sweet and sterile to the point of sexlessness.
Happy birthday? Let me get back to you on that too.
Public Liability Insurance Twatometer
- a month by month monitor, just watch that line soar up to £8000!
Further to last month's editorial we have been inundated with emails from
warm-hearted Forum goers enquiring as to how they could help raise the Twat-o-Meter
to a healthy level by making an extremely generous contribution over and above
the 50 pence exacted on the door.
We were very touched to receive these communiques. and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those concerned, but many wished to remain anonymous.
Perhaps the less reticent of you wouldn't object if we instigated a monthly 'Roll of Honour'?
We always like to hear from new contributors, new bands, new people, people who hate swearing, big ones, small ones, some as big as your head.Because believe you me, it's a right hard slog making up all the lies, half-truths and general bollox that we lovingly/laughingly call BLAM
You can write to us at
The Forum, Fonthill, The Common,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8YU
Or call the office enquiry line on 01892 545792
We also have a brand new website where you can find out all about what's on, and laugh at the photos of the damp mattressed fainthearts that 'work' here. That's at
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