A massed crowd of nearly seven marched through the streets of Tunbridge Wells
week waving banners, wearing badges and generally making a nuisance of themselves
by chanting slogans like three year old girlies. The crowd were demanding
that the management of The Forum commit themselves to ending their threat
of more local bands on more nights.
"We don’t want more" screamed one angry member of the mob, before leading an inspired chant of "No More! No More! No More! No More!" from the baying sheep-like throng to the tune of Y Viva Espana. Banners accused the Forum management of being More-mongers who only wanted More to bolster their flagging economy. One protestor summed up the feeling of the crowd when he said "These people are intent on More purely for their own evil ends. What about the innocents who will suffer when there is More? Think of the children, won’t somebody please think of the children??".
Speaking from their vast cavernous bunker underneath the ladies loos, the Forum management were defiant. "There is a moral case for More" said an un-named source (the boy Lawrence). "We realise that many eardrums may be damaged by the reality of More, but it is only by maintaining the threat of More that we can focus people’s minds on the very real dangers we face every week. We are defending their freedom to listen to music that is played in time and tunefully and at great personal risk. Many people don’t realise that for a long time now local bands have been building up an arsenal of tunes of mass destruction, songs that just by hearing the opening guitar riff you can become physically ill. Their tactics are to spread these tunes by means of poorly recorded tapes which some of us have to face day after day. If we have to move towards More, and I sincerely, earnestly (handwringingly ……. sympathetic grin……nervous tic ……serious expression…) hope we don’t, then people have to understand that More may be what it takes to stop these bands in their tracks." He went on to compare Charlie from Sequana to Hitler, before invoking the spirit of the blitz, Agincourt, Cricket on the village green etc etc.
Anyway, Stable round one has finished so now we all know how popular the local bands are……but what about those industry votes? Can any local act pull off the unique and unlikely double whammy of people liking them AND other people thinking they have some artistic merit? We shall see...................
"George Michael banging on about the Iraq crisis is akin to Orville the Duck getting concerned about the ozone layer"
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. For those of you who may be worried about the literary content of this magazine and the effect it may have upon impressionable minds with it’s over reliance upon the vernacular idiom at the expense of reasoned and reasonable debate via the of faithful argot or sensible discourse…….screw you, you monkey fiddling cock muffin.
Monday 17 March
It's No Sleep 'til Astoria in May' when the
Bluetones embark on their mammoth 60 date tour. The Bluetones first
sneaked through the door to chart success behind the BritPop explosion in
1995. To place them among that genre is perhaps a mistake though, for
their influences mostly come from the likes of Buffalo Springfield, Neil
Young and, surprisingly, Led Zeppelin rather than the Beatles and the
Unsurprisingly, since he was 18 years old in 1989, it was the Stone Roses who snatched singer Mark Morriss' attention and prompted him to start messing around in bands. After a year or two playing in a few around his hometown of Hounslow he formed The Bluetones with his brother Scott on Bass, Guitarist Adam Devlin and Eds Chesters on drums. They then spent over a year sharing a house with another band called Dodgy, during which they spent hours each day practising in a garage. Gigs followed and it wasn't long before record companies began to take a heavy interest. After receiving a number of offers they eventually signed to A&M, and were clever enough to enforce their own terms. Their records in Britain are released under their own label, "Superior Quality Recordings", it being their own part of A&M.
It was The Bluetones second single proper, "Bluetonic", that genuinely announced their arrival as it went top 20 in the UK charts in September 1995. It's success and the reputation they were gaining from a number of great gigs played up and down the country brought them much attention and the next single "Slight Return" entered the UK charts at number 2 in early '96. It was accompanied by the release of their debut album, "Expecting to Fly", which went straight into the album chart at number 1
When a band announce that they are heading out on their biggest ever tour to date, believe us when we say that we are proud, nay, humbled that the 'tones have chosen to play our quaint little ol' shit-house as the second date.
This show is due to sell out within the next few days, so make sure you book your ticket for this fabulous show now!
Free downloads of tracks from their new album are available at www.bluetones.co.uk.
Dem Brooklyn Bums
Saturday 29 March
If you've never seen these guys before,
then cancel all your plans for tonight and make sure you're down at the
front at the Forum. Hailing from, yes, you've guessed it, New Yoik, these
fellahs are the business. With a riotous brass section, fronted by
motormouth Fonz-alike double bassist, Rob "Broccoli" Cittadino, the 'Bums
are a bunch of baseball bat wielding rootin', tootin', zoot-suited and
booted jumpin' jive hoodlum punks. Famously the last band to play at the
World Trade Centre's 'Windows of the World' restaurant, the 'Bums continue
in the tradition of Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan, but cut with a healthy
dose of Goodfellas, swing/ska/punk. Even chucking in a swing-punk version
of the mighty Sabs 'Paranoid' ! You'd really be a total dipshit if you
choose to stay home watching Ant & Dec, instead of checking out these
You'll believe a man can play a drum solo with baseball bats!
Friday 28 March
If 'hard-dancing', sludgemonster breakneck guitar and brutal hardcore riffery are phrases that more than soothe the savage breast, then look no further.
Influenced by the Oi movement, old hardcore and acts like Warzone, Sheer Terror and Death Threat, (crazy names- crazy guys!), five piece KNUCKLEDUST is the sound of a million jackhammers being force-fed through the mincing machine at Turner's sausage factory.
Having toured with the reunited classic hardcore outfit Agnostic Front, KNUCKLEDUST have a catalogue of singles and Eps under their belts, with a full length CD released on Stampin' Ground's Ian Glasper's Blackfish Records.
Friday 7 March
Assured, loud and undeniably different,
Watford based MOHAIR are a phenomenon. Take a good slug of guitars, a
Hammond organ, bass and drums, mix it with four astounding vocal
capabilities and an x-factor of energy you can't put your finger on and
you have the full on rock and roll sound of Mohair. Having formed 3 years
ago, the four lads signed with industry legend Billy Gaff (renowned as
former manager of rock luminaries Rod Stewart, John Cougar Mellencamp and
Atomic Rooster) in October 2001.
CORRIGAN are formed around lead psycho, Martin Corrigan. This 6 piece from County Furmanagh are quite simply a tad 'unpredictable'. Openly injecting a hefty dose of the unorthodox into indie.They simply sparkle with loveable quirks and endearing abnormality, that is both wild and wondrous. Personally, I blame Thatcher's Care In The Community' incentive!
Completing the bill for tonights feast of the eclectic, is the sound of ethereal gorgeousness that is Tunbridge Wells' very own NOON. Originally formed as a Barclay James Harvest tribute band, Dave and the lads soon found that apart from Randall, no other bugger had heard of the aged 70s prog rock band. So, having written a new, rather other-worldly set of luscious new tunes, the lads are soon to release their new mini album, "LOOK GOOD IN THIS". Quite frankly, all bloody marvellous stuff.
X is Loaded
Saturday 8 March
Glaswegian aggressive-popcore three-piece
BIFFY CLYRO combine screaming and sparse emo melodies to create a
veritable panavista of restrained elegance. Or, to quote art critic and
general nonce-about- town, Brian Sewell, "...the Biff's have a rampant,
bulging boxershort full of cracking songs, a band with mass appeal,
already banging their heads on the ceilings of the small venue circuit. Go
see them before I'm compelled to show you my 'Prince Albert'..."
Err..thank you Mr Sewell, eloquently put, Sir!
Hiding with Girls
Saturday 15 March
"...Hundred Reasons covering Lostprophets, packed with added Drive-Thru
groove and post-Emo sensibilities....they could be enormous..." Well
that's them pigeon-holed for the rest of their career then! Originally formed
in 2002, and inspired by by a wide range of contemporary styles - ranging
from emo, punk, metal, rock and pop - Hiding With Girls would also like to
travel the world and meet people. Embracing huge soaring melodies with edgy,
groove laden riffing, they are very much the sound of the zeitgeist (Weren't
they a dodgy 80s Krautrock act? - ignorant Ed) With heavy rotation on XFM,
and having supported Amen, Mahumodo and Funeral for A Friend, Leander and
the rest of the boys look set for bigger and better things.
Friday 21 March
If you're a fan of Kids Near Water and the Get Up Kids, then you're in for a treat when sons of Surrey, JERRY BUILT bare their sensitive emo souls. Crunchy melodic blasts of of radio-friendly pop choruses rub shoulders with dual harmonied shouty vocals. Angular keyboards will simultaneouslybreak your heart and scare the willies out of you! Moving swiftly on to 'Stable Lads' ZUCCHINI, a three piece from St Leonards-on-sea. Check out their website www.zucchinimusic.com to sample their mp3s (Shame it fades out just as it gets to a rather exciting bit on Broken Hands). By the way, that Ross Page chappie appears to be in possession of a voice and a half, all rather magnificent and heroic stuff, fellahs! Well done you.
Saturday 22 March
Zico are a young guitar
based 5 piece from Leeds featuring the soulful larynx and soaring
songwriting talents of Craig Brauns. Brought up in São Paolo, Brazil with
Irish, African, Latvian and English family heritage, Craig couldn¹t speak
English when he settled into the Northern life in Leeds at the age of
As Craig became more accustomed to life in the North he listened to the psychedelic West Coast rock of such as The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. The Band¹s parables of the Mason-Dixon Line made a huge impression as did the taut funk of Sly and the Family Stone. Other heroes include the Stones, the Smiths, Beck, Neil Young and the Jackson 5 - but what Zico have taken from all of them is a love of the enduring power of melody.
Folk at the Forum
Tuesday 4 March
Who'd have thought it eh?
Here, amidst all the puerile, libellous, blasphemous drivel Among all the
photos of tattooed, spotty oiks with mischief on their minds, we'd find a
picture of sweet, bubbly, Isla St Clair! Well get this Buddy Boy, there's
a darn sight more to ex-Larry Grayson sidekick on the Generation Game,
Isla, than showing inbred families how to make spaghetti! Described as
"...the best exponent of Scottish songs...", our Isla is one of the
country's top folk singers. All this, and she's a bloody good egg 'n' all.
Get down to this second instalment of Folk at the Forum, and treat
yourself to something a bit different.
We guarantee you will not be disappointed. "An Evening with Isla St. Clair" is a memorable one, "...enjoyed by audiences the world over..."
Friends of the Forum
As you, the customers of the
Forum, are aware, the Forum unlike other venues does not receive any
public subsidies or have a wealthy backer and therefore has to attempt to
run within its means, that is not lose vast amounts of money.
This we have done with varying levels of success, and we appreciate all the support that we have received over the years.
There are, as you all know, many forms of music and arts that we could put on at the Forum, that we are simply unable to as they are simply not commercially viable.
A group of "Friends" have decided to look at the possibility of forming a charity - Friends of the Forum and Arts in Tunbridge Wells" to put on events such as world music, art exhibitions, theatre, jazz, classical, that due to economic reasons would not normally be part of the Forum's programme. This would be run separately from the existing set up at the Forum.
In the coming months this organisation will be launched and there will need to be a committee and members to help. If there is anyone interested in this please contact: Ian on 07974 364383.
Following all the nail-biting/cuticle chewing excitement of the last few shows
of Round One of the Stable, blow me if all the Nail/Manicure bars in Camden
Road are all looking for bigger premises (Don't you mean extensions? - Ed).
Is it me; but is Tunbridge Wells full of coffee or nail bars? Anyway, never
mind all that twaddle. Round Two of the Stable starts this month on Monday
As you may know, Round Two will consist of the Top 18 bands as voted by the Fans' votes on the night of the shows (see chart below). This 18 will be joined by the Top 18, as voted by the Industry figures, or the Man', as we quaintly term it.
MONDAY 24th sees current number twos, CARPE DIEM, seizing the day indeed when they play alongside the Little Lord Fauntleroys of the Forum (Don't ask me, I only lurk on the message board!) IPIKA, and the house band of the Tunbridge Wells branch of Alcoholics Anonymous, CYRANO.
On MONDAY 31st we have the sweaty Brie of the cheese world, AT THE DELI, alongside CJT & Ross, (pictured left) of DYSURIA. Completing the bill will be messageboard stalwarts Wilf and Seany of the GRAPESEED BANDITS with their ska punk whatever! All this for only £4 a night!
|2||Henry Holds His Own||180||33||The Bitch Project||94|
|5||At The Deli||152||35||Words Beginning With X||90|
|8||Axe Man Dan||145||38||Kimera||79|
|12||The Impeccables||136||41||Giant Spider||70|
|13||Relvis Troll||134||43||Up C Down C||69|
|14||Grapeseed Bandits||130||44||Flying Carnies||63|
|14||Medium Steve||130||45||Absent Minds||62|
|19||The Ideots||119||49||Private Monkie||62|
|20||Zucchini||118||50||One Above Nothing||59|
|22||Ran for Days||115||52||Dickweed||54|
|29||Harder They Fall||99||59||One Day Elliott||36|
|30||Smutline||98||60||Six Stage Suicide||30|
|31||Half Inch Heroes||97||60||RoundEyed Dogs||30|
GOLDEN TICKET WINNER FINALLY REVEALED!
Take a long hard look at the boyish good looks of the geezer on the left. Seen him before? Were you in the vicinity of the Forum on Friday, 24 January? Were you given a goodie bag containing free CDs and other shite from the back of 2M's cupboard? Did your bag contain the LUCKY GOLDEN TICKET, that entitled you to A WHOLE YEAR'S FREE ADMISSION to ALL Forum shows? No..thought not! However, for young Brett Flitter of Heathfield (for it is he), his sad, humdrum, pathetic existence was transformed by winning such a prize! "This means no more hanging about outside Pete's Plaice Chip Shop of a Friday night", quipped our Brett. Now, Ferrari driving fanny magnet Brett requires a shitty stick to beat all the young ladies off. Don't forget Brett, girls always make passes at fellahs with...passes!
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