Save the gilded youth of Tunbridge Wells from this filthy plague!
Hundreds of innocent club-goers were donning face-masks and earplugs this week as
Tunbridge Wells was confirmed as the centre of a new outbreak of the
highly contagious and deeply unpleasant disease SKAs.
Early symptoms of the disease – often an involuntary nodding of the head on the off-beat – can soon develop into uncontrollable “skanking”. As individuals are taken over by this stage of the disease they lose all ability to move in a co-ordinated manner, their bodies thrown into contorted and ridiculous shapes. Accompanying symptoms include a distaste for soap and water and an inability to tolerate any sound other than the most basic and monotonous drone.
The virus, thought to have its origins in Jamaica, has struck down many young people in the town and has been traced to a number of carriers – nicknamed “bands” - who have thoughtlessly, sometimes even intentionally, spread the filthy infection. A spokesman for pathetic virus-mongers the Grapeseed Bandits told us “ We’re going to our graves being ridiculed and shunned by society. If we have to suffer this disgusting affliction, we’re taking some of you with us”.
This is a view apparently shared by degenerate pox-spreaders Martin. A source close to the group confided “They have absolutely no conscience at all. The other day I saw them just walk in front of a crowd of youngsters – there must have been nearly fifteen teenagers there – and recklessly spread SKAs all over the place. The kids had no idea. If only they’d had the intelligence to cover their ears and run, they might have been spared”.
The virus was thought to be defeated when the area’s most virulent carriers, Ye Wiles, were driven from the town by a torch-wielding lynch mob, never to be seen again. But, it seems they had passed on their curse to other susceptible youngsters. Local doctors tell us that The Ideots, thought to be pulling through, are in danger of developing full-blown SKAs unless they come to their senses.
Members of the public in Tunbridge Wells are being encouraged to do special anti-SKAs excercises, which the World Health Organisation say could rid the world of the vile lurgy. “Short of running away, the best antidote seems to be to point at these bands and laugh until they slink off back to the scum-holes they crawled out of”, said a WHO spokesperson. (Not Pete Townshend? - concerned Ed)
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.
Once again we have to apologise for the combination of libel and obscenity that scarred the last issue of Blam. References to “shit-sucking civil service parasites” and allusions to the council’s entertainment budget allocation as “reeking of piss, pus and payola” were of course unacceptable. Also, our correspondent’s assertion that members of our local government were “hairy-handed retards getting their kicks from the torture of pandas” were in error. However, we resolutely stand by the remarks “fuckwit” “twat-fudge” and “gnat-spunker”.
Cosmic Rough Riders
Friday 6 june
Signed to Alan "I signed that Oasis, me" Mcgee's Poptones label, oft-hailed as a
Glaswegian Byrds, COSMIC ROUGH RIDERS are a jangletastic, lush harmonied, chorus
Following the outstanding success of "Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine" and last year's rarities and B-sides compilation "Pure Escapism", the release of a brand new album "Too Close To See Far" on 7th July 2003 marks a new chapter in the band's history.
"Too Close To See Far" was written and recorded last year at Core Studios in the band's hometown of Glasgow. Whilst the 14 songs feature all of the Cosmics' hallmarks - gorgeous guitar melodies and West Coast sunny harmonies, there's a new depth and maturity on display in the lyrical content and edgier arrangements. These recordings are also the first to feature co-founding band member Stephen Fleming on lead vocals.
Also appearing tonight will be Squelch beat noise-niks CHIKINKI who're at the forefront of an exciting new Bristol scene with their genre defying twisted sound following their sell out tour with Les Savy Fav. Getting the beers in will be local lads made drunk, CYRANO with their Coldplay/Muse inspired beauty racket!
Last month, you may recall we
announced the six finalists who will appear in the Fans Choice Final,
which is to be held on Saturday, 16th August. Meantime, this month we have
THE MANS CHOICE second round, wherein the top 18 bands as voted by the
industry battle it out to see which 6 will eventually play in THE MANS
CHOICE FINAL on Saturday, 9th August. Amongst the bands playing in the
second round will be:
Monday 2nd June - CARPE DIEM, MR DRUMMOND, MUMM RA
Monday 16th June - FKA, THE BITCH PROJECT, THE IDEOTS
Monday 23rd June - CYRANO, FRAY, GRAPESEED BANDITS
Monday 30th June - ABSTRAKT, AT THE DELI, KUDOS
Monday 7th July - MELALEUCA, THE IMPECCABLES, WORDS BEGINNING WITH X
Friday 27 june
The enormously atmospheric Overrated is the first single to be taken from Siobhan’s debut
album (due out September 2003) and her first new material since her
departure from the Sugababes in the autumn of 2001.
Siobhan Donaghy is 18 years old and already a pop veteran. After three and half years with the Sugababes, 11 months of which brought genuine Pop Fame, these days she's doing things the old-fashioned way; a live vocalist, with a live band, who tours in a transit van . "I'm definitely good at roughing it, I'm turning into a scummy bitch!
There's room for music to be a lot more interesting than the teen stuff that's out there. I wanna play live, do interesting videos, we've got great tunes and a couple of them even have a point! (That's alright then - Ed) After leaving the Sugababes in a rather acrimonious haze, to be replaced by uber pramface , Heidi Range, our Siobhan has been lying low and re-assessing her musical career. Personally speaking, I've always thought that Siobhan was more likely to sit in her blackpainted bedroom listening to her Alanis Morrisette and Joni Mitchell albums, rather than hanging around Top Shop in Basildon with her ex-band mates.
This show is one of the warm up gigs for Siobhan's Glastonbury debut, and as such, has caused not a little stir at Forum Towers. Why, even last night, Max the Evil Sound Guy was talking about "Sorting out her parametrics", and threatening to take his novelty Christmas reindeer bedecked boxershorts back home to his Mum for another Fabreze respray....just in case.
Sunday 8 june
Featuring NIFTY EAGU & THE GLO PILOTS, house band for the "Psychedelic Nights" on Sunday nights at the Forum, plying their own rocky brand of early 70s "long-player" type rambling riffers and late 70s stripped down snorting warthog revved-up sprints in the power-trio format. Also featuring sitar-strokers MUMM RA, (pictured right) the songsmith darlings of Bexhill , and SEVEN & SEVEN IS, luminaries of the Brighton trippy scene. A short acoustic spot opens the evening early at 7.50pm. Basically a hybrid of the psychedelic/progressive and punk sensibilities of the 70s that has not been made extinct by the intervening years and is ready to morph into the new attitude.
Saturday 14 June
Inking a deal with Integrity Records, home to Miss Black America and Antihero, Million Dead are a London-based 4 piece, part Pommie/part Australian who inch ever so close to Hundred Reasons in ethos and sound. Debut single 'Smiling At Strangers On Trains' also contains those fashionable At The Drive In motifs - schizophrenic yelps and continuous lead guitar tomfoolery - whilst maintaining a commercial ear for melody. Describing their work as 'rock' in Time Out recently (ooh, you evasive tykes), they also cite Fugazi as their tour-band of choice. So while you're out buying the new album by Hell is for Heroes in the coming weeks, give Million Dead a go too.
The Reunion Show
Friday 20 June
Signing to Victory Records following a fanatical recommendation from fellow Long
Islanders and long term friends TAKING BACK SUNDAY, The Reunion Show
combine anthem laden rock with a sleek, melodic pop sensibility bringing
to mind legendary artists like The Cars and Elvis Costello to current acts
Weezer and The Foo Fighters. Dual vocals and crunching guitars matched
against vintage Moog (pronounced to rhyme with Vogue - pedantic Ed)organs
create sweet, perfectly crafted and irresistible songs. The formula is
infectiously intelligent. The songs are hook-heavy, calls to arms
beckoning the 'New Rock Revolution'. "Kill Your Television" is an exciting
alternative rock album that is "hip-contemporary" in its fusion of pop,
emo, punk and early new wave. Also appearing on this co-headliner date are
our colonial cousins all the way from Down Under, the chart topping The
Androids. Fresh from appearing on Top of the Pops with their hit single,
"I'd rather do it with Madonna", wherein they extol their desire to have a
nice quiet night in with Mrs Ritchie, whilst showing each other their
extensive beermat collections.
So to recap the mainpoints: a powerpop fest from a couple of bands on the rise. Cripes! it feels like 1979 again!
Friday 13 june
Once upon a time, in a land
not far away, four pieces of scum, bound together by circumstances not
beyond their control, hatched a hideous, diabolical plan to f*** with
peoples heads by defiling the conventions of
modern music through discordance, non-existant chord-progressions and irregular
tempo changes. Sick of constantly seeing bands around them pathetically
trying to pander to the whim of the masses, our four f***wits locked
themselves in the unused function room of a South-East London pub and went
to work... Make no mistakes; Labrat's music is brutal. Labrat hit like a
bulldozer, trampling over anything that lies in their path, irrespective
of the outcome.The music careers wildly through a visceral, racketeering
vein that has served Raging Speedhorn so well in recent months. This is
not music for the faint-hearted. Not in the slightest.
Relentlessly pounding away at your head and drilling out your heart it shows no mercy as it grinds you to a pulp, which I'm sure Labrat would be jolly proud of.
Talented instrument playing is evident though as they mix up complicated guitar solos with rapid bullet fire drumming. To pigeon hole it, it has to be considered Death Metal I suppose although the category 'a right bloody racket' might be more apt!
More info can be found on their charmingly titled www.labratcunts.com!
Saturday 7 June
Formed in '97, years of unsupervised experimental meddlings have culminated in the
Ten Benson of 2003 looking like a pretty fucking mean bitch of a beast. But every beast
needs love and, luckily, you WILL love Ten Benson.
Britain's frequently bumbling press has somehow got it right when it comes to Ten Benson:
"Pitch-black, decidedly demonic, and utterly fucktastic" (Time Out),
"They are, without doubt, one of the UK's more original rock bands" (Kerrang!),
"An obscene feast of dirty bastard riffage. Filth, squalor, bad, bad men: pretty much an irresistible package" Mojo
Even Eric Clapton namechecks them for heavens sake but don't let that put you off!
Named after the drummer, Andy (Made-up name) Dextrous's favourite fags, this beerloving, fag-smoking, dog-fiddlin', devil worshipping fivesome like nothing more than to work as Lifeguards on Tunbridge Wells common (see picture right).
Following a recent tour with The Darkness, Ten Benson are the bunnies for anyone who likes their death metal with their tongue placed firmly in their , or your arsecheek!
Saturday 21 June...
Having consulted their battle plans, and moving little figurines about on a big board
with long sticks in their subterranean bunker, High Command at Forum Towers decided to send
the Boy Lawrence on a reconnaissance mission into the heart of darkness
that is the Assembly Hall, or TWBC Reichstag, as it's known in Civic Way.
Heavily disguised in an anorak as the sort who'd go to see "The Silver
Sounds of the Sixties", or "The Moscow State Circus salutes the majesty of
Abba", in other words, a twat!, our intrepid undercover agent concluded
that the time was ripe for the Forum Armoured vehicles to start the slow
ascent up Mount Pleasant.
Disproving the theory that it's impossible to be in two places at the same time, on Saturday, 21st June, the Forum are chuffed to announce "The lunatics have taken over the asylum Part One"
at the ASSEMBLY HALL, Crescent Road
"the best ragga thrash radicals since BAD BRAINS - fact!" - NME
In the past couple of years, CapDown notched up nearly 600 gigs in 12
countries and with it this explosive young Milton Keynes four piece have
found themselves the most name-checked new band for a new generation of
punk/hardcore kids across the whole European continent.
Along the way they shared stages and impressed the likes of Less Than Jake, Pennywise, Reel Big Fish, The Lunachicks, King Prawn, Snuff, Cosmic Psychos, The Slackers, The Damned, Madball, Link 80, Against All Authority, Knuckledust, 28 Days and The Toasters amongst a horde of other diverse ska/punk and hardcore acts.
Maintaining a low profile in the UK mainstream press: they have been tearing up the underground press/fanzines, and since the release of their debut album on Household Name Records 'Civil Disobedients' it been hard to avoid their name. Much of the excitement has been generated through the Internet with a host of CapDown fansites starting up with fans and the band communicating direct making for packed gigs. Recently, the mainstream got up to speed and there have been major features in Kerrang!, Rock Soundand Metal Hammer.
This promises to be a rollicking show, in a venue that doesn't reek of Eau de pis; tickets are available at the usual outlets; Longplayer Records, Grosvenor Road, Criminal Records, Victoria Road, and at the Assembly Hall box office. Directions to the whereabouts of the Assembly Hall available from Beckles...
meanwhile...on the same night in another part of town...
Defcon: Dab Hands
Live Drums from Ed and Blood1 with Natty, Dwella, Tommy B & SP
Brighton Based DJ Blood1 is one of the Uk's elite, setting new standards worldwide.Having featured on numerous tracks for Defcon, remixed tracks and taken many scalps in battle he is one of the new breed of versatile DJ's. After working on Defcons second release with Manage he laid down the cuts for Dark Circles first Defcon 12" and Manages mini album 'Early Life Crisis' As one of the UK's freestyle specialists Natty can rock any crowd. Hailing from Ashford, he spent his early days gripping Mics not pens, a truly natural rhymer. He lived in London for 5 years and DJ'd everywhere. This young Kent born star has already released three tracks with stablemate Dwella.
Tuesday 3 June
If you couldn't be mithered to come down to last
month's Global Forum show featuring the angel voiced Christine Collister, then you
missed one heck of a night!
Friends of the Forum continue this month with a couple of top class 'turns' from the world/folk music scene.
It was, as my esteemed colleague, Wolff reminded me, the composer, Arnold Bax, who once said, "You should try everything in life at least once; with the exception of incest and Morris dancing". Disproving this rule, at least referring to the latter, as far as I'm aware is top folkie, JOHN KIRKPATRICK.As a singer, dancer and instrumentalist, John Kirkpatrick has been one of the most prominent figures on the English Folk Scene for many years. He has performed and recorded extensively both as a soloist and as a member of duos, groups and bands, presenting a repertoire of music, songs and dances firmly rooted in traditional English practice. He is also regarded as a particularly fine exponent of the button accordion, the anglo concertina and the melodeon, and is frequently called upon as a mainstream session musician in fields of music quite outside the folk idiom.
John Kirkpatrick was born in Chiswick, West London in 1947. A deep love of music was instilled from birth, and family gatherings always included a hearty sing-song. School choirs, the Church choir, playing recorder and piano ensues, until he joined the Hammersmith Morris Men, in their second week, in 1959.
Whilst with the team he took up the melodeon, then the button accordion, then the anglo concertina, and got hooked on the traditional songs that were accompanied with a post-dancing pint.
John has gone on to become one of the most prolific figures on the English folk scene, performing solo, in duos, acoustic groups and electric bands, and has established an enviable reputation as an instrumental virtuoso and session musician, as well as a leading interpreter of English folk music. He has been a member of the Albion Country Band, Magic Lantern, The Richard Thompson Band, Umps and Dumps, Steeleye Span, Brass Monkey, Trans-Europe Diatonique, and Band of Hope, as well as numerous ceilidh bands.
Tuesday 10 June
Ezio Lunedei met Mark "Booga" Fowell at a talent contest, immediately recognising kindred spirits, and after a particularly taxing brainstorm session, they decided to form............Ezio & Booga,I think Ezio is the one who appears to have had more than his fair share of pies...but I may be wrong! After playing every toilet in the UK, the lads suddenly found that they had a number one album in Germany! This then prompted the "Booga" part to be dropped from their monicker (Don't ask!) A bit of a queer fish this gig; their reputation on the underground (Due to an incident on the line, this train will not be stopping at Baker Street) is second to none. Loosely described as a cross beteen the Levellers and the Gypsy Kings, Ezio have sold out the Shepherds Bush Empire without a manager or a UK record deal. Both these situations have since been rectified following the release of their new album, "The Making of Mr Spoon". Let your curiosity get the better of you and go see what all the fuss is about.
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 message board and start arguing about exactly which barstool ex-Pistol Glen Matlock parked his pert buttocks on. The address for that is