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BLAM Mar 2005

A word in your ear...

"...'Music tourism' is draining grassroots biergarten oompah band resources..."

An ultra strict new door policy is to be put into place at The Forum under the leadership of Herr Ubergruppenfuhrer Max Von Sydow-Yorrockingtheboat. Speaking from his specially designed bunker up in the clouds above the bar, the self styled leader of the "ordinary people" demanded an end to the open door policy of the current Forum regime, which basically consists of asking people to jump up and down and if they make a tinkling noise indicating they have money then letting them in. "We are being overwhelmed with "punters", "music fans" and "groupies" who are plainly coming here to enjoy themselves at our expense" said the Leader. "I know for a fact that some of them are infected, you can tell by the look of them. Look at that one over there! He's a bit funny looking for a start. Is that one a bit the wrong side of grey or is it just me?" The Leader went on to explain his view that The Forum was already full to bursting. "It's not surprising people are desperate to get in here, the conditions we offer to "music fans" means they are flocking here from all over the world. We will be overrun by people who are not quite like us if we don't watch out. Some of them might even be a bit foreign!".
When questioned as to how he and his friends had got in, Von Sydow paled, hopped from one foot to another, looked a bit shifty and then muttered something about "that being different" on the grounds that him and his mates were "the right types, you know what I mean, in terms of certain important things which I can't mention, you know, I mean, things, you know, not that it matters but, you know what I mean, stuff……….anyway, I need to go and clean the pipes ready for tonight". He then went on to mumble something about the NME and Charlie from Fightstar; mentioning that he had nothing against these "music fans" provided that they respected their place, didn't try and take his job, and agreed not to marry his daughter and stand a long long long way away from him, preferably downwind.
Michael Howard is 64, would appear to have an early onset of a bad case of Alzheimers. We would also like to point out that any rumours you may hear of Prince Harry attending parties dressed as the afore-mentioned Mr Howard are quite frankly made up.


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, Shyster, Rippemhoff & Felch are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood. The Forum would like to apologise for all the cunting swear words that clog up this fucking magazine like a bad case of constipation. It is not our intention to cause offence, although these days people do seem to get offended by the strangest things. Apparently, writing that something was "a bit fucking crap" might cause offence, but going on telly to suggest that all foreigners have terribly diseases that they need to take special showers for before they are allowed into the country makes you the voice of a silent majority. What a very strange world it is.

Comedy Forum

Thursday 3rd

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.

Susan Murray . Paul Redwood . Dan Thompson . Owen Ree-Beadle

After coming to the circuit four years ago Susan has emerged as one of the best female stand-ups around. This bad assed Brummie takes no prisoners with her irreverent, close to the knuckle and honest humour.
This bawdy Brummie is not for the faint-hearted. Unapologetically filthy, if not downright nasty, there are few jokes too low for her vicious tongue. Attacking Americans for being fat or heading below the belt for laughs may not be especially big or clever - but it's the savagery of the attack, and wantonness of the attitude that get the reaction.
Sometimes, that response may be a simple 'eugh' as the depths of depravity she's plunged become shockingly apparent, but then that knee-jerk reponse breaks into laughter, a primitive reflex to the fact that such shocking behaviour is, after all, only a joke.
Such base humour is obviously never going to be to everyone's taste, but Murray executes it very well. You don't want to be a shrinking violet with an act like this, and she doesn't fail to deliver the attitude, timing and confidence you need to pull it off.

"She has the mentality of a spiteful 14 yr old boy! Very admirable in a young lady!" - Arthur Smith

"Confident laddish-girlie humour … you couldn't help but laugh and agree" - The Scotsman

"Feisty, original and superbly timed delivery" - Profile


Eden Maine
Reflux
Co-Exist
Friday 4th

For a long time, Eden Maine have been creating a huge buzz in the underground circuit. Over the past year, they have started to crack the more mainstream audience. They are currently out and about on a thirty something date tour of Europe promoting their brand spanking new and remarkably fucking loud album "To You the First Star". Originally formed in 1997 by bassist Nick Brown and vocalist Adam Symonds, it wasn't until drummer Kieran Ilse joined in 2000 that the band started to really take shape. Following a succession of various guitarists, the line-up was finalised when guitarists Simon Davis and Phil Buch joined the ranks, in November 01 and February 02 respectively. 2002 saw the release of the bands debut EP 'The Treachery Pact' to critical acclaim. If you're looking for a neat pigeon hole to put them in so that your granny would understand then think Converge being brutally murdered in a darkened alley by a truck load of Marshalls all set to 11 who would appear to be acting as the Panzer division of At the Drive In. So that's cleared that up then. If you like heavy and loud then you will like this. If you like Will Young, do something else this night, like contemplating why you have such appalling taste.


Whitmore
Saturday 5th

WHITMORE formed in spring 2001. a five track demo saw the band signed to Moonska Europe. Two EP's and two UK tours quickly followed before the bands first visit to mainland Europe. the band released their debut album "smoke the roach" in September 2002. The release was celebrated with a UK tour followed by a Christmas tour of Europe as well as support slots to, of all people, AVRIL LAVIGNE. Must have been a weird conversation backstage, don't you think? How's things going for you Avril? Well, I'm number one in 400 countries and have sold a billion records, what about you guys? Well, we're playing Tunbridge Wells Forum in a couple of weeks, you know the one, the slightly smelly converted toilet in the back of beyond? Anyway, 2004 was a great year for Whitmore, seeing them release their second album "SOLSTICE RISE" to much critical, and more importantly fan, acclaim. Easily one of the most popular bands we have put on in the last 12 months, Whitmore sell tickets like hot cakes and play rather splendid soul/ska/punk/rock with some top tunes and a lot of leaping about. There are worse ways to spend an evening - being mutilated by a large spike wielding arachnid from the planet Aaargathon being just one that springs to mind. Watching anything with Ant and Dec in it is another.


The ga*ga*s
9-VOLT
Friday 11th

Currently hotter than a particularly spicy Chicken Phal, THE*GA*GA*S, whose previous single, the double A-side 'Replica/KO' was voted 10th best single of 2004 in the prestigious Kerrang Readers' Poll, display what the hype is all about with a scintillating release (their first with Sanctuary). Other credits so far are 6th best newcomer in the aforementioned magazine, 3rd best British newcomer and intriguingly 1st in Top Tips for '05, both in Rock Sounds own Readers' Poll. The single crashes sleazily onto the scene with an unforgettable riff from Robbie (a guitarist to keep a severe eye on!) that powers along with a formidable undercurrent provided by J's drums, Toshi's bass and Tommy's own guitar. "I see my life in the distance with perfect skin and troubled eyes" exclaims young Tommy, whose writing skills are further evidenced on the excellent forthcoming debut album, Tonight The Midway Shines and on the driving B-side to this release 'Exit Lights'. So is the hype true? You bet your arse it is... With heavy rock and metal returning to splendour after one of the leanest periods in its history, it's good to know that British bands are fronting the attack. THE*GA*GA*S have more than paid their dues in touring, daring to be true to the classic rock 'n' roll they so obviously love, rather than submit to fleeting post-hardcore trends
9 Volt’s music is a neck-snapping, shape-throwing celebration of all the things that made heavy rock fun before it started taking itself too seriously. Epic dramatic structures without self-indulgence or wankiness, intelligently crafted tunes with the correct balance of commerciality and expressive exploration, and good old fashioned balls-out attitude. All this and featuring a 'sk8erBoi' on lead vocals!!!


[spunge]
Saturday 12th

Dead pig heads. Phil Jupitus, 300 gigs a year, Kicking Pigeons, Beer. Welcome to the life of the UK's hardest working band, [spunge], Tewkesbury's ska-punk terrorists. The band hit upon the sound by accident, having amalgamated their collective influences of Sublime, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash and The Wildhearts. Undergoing a grassroots level of promotion by playing tour after tour after tour, [spunge] are living proof that bands can by-pass the media manipulation machine and still play sold-out shows across the country. "It's still very much a cult thing but bands like Blink 182 and Sum 41 are bringing it out into the mainstream explains vocalist Alex, "But there will always be a healthy underground culture 'cos it's very much part of the lives of skaters and kids like that." With a less than serious take on the world, it's hardly surprising that [spunge] can count Never Mind The Buzzcocks star Phil Jupitus and Dave Gorman (whose live show 'Are You Dave Gorman?' won Time Out New York's Comedy Show of 2001) amongst their fans. "Yeah, I heard that Dave Gorman plays 'Kicking Pigeons' at the end of all his shows!" enthuses Alex. "I guess comedians like us 'cos we're comedians ourselves!" Needless to say this show is more sold out than ten pound notes being sold for a fiver. If you don't have a ticket I recommend sitting around at home crying into your pillow at your reckless stupidity in not booking early enough. Then do the sensible thing and book for another night instead.


Fony
Car Crash Television
Friday 18th

It's not often that bands can completely defy preconceptions and create a sound so revolutionary before your very eyes. But Fony is a quintet that have moved mountains to define a sound that is so unique and powerful that you just have to sit up and take notice. This Surrey mob blast out a rootsy, epic groove that harks back to an era of classic, real hard rock bands steeped in emotion, soul and an ability to play live with ease. Combine this with a massive dose of cutting edge contemporary riffs and twisted groove and you'll be getting a glimpse of the Fony phenomenon. "...challenging and rewarding in equal measure.", "Fony continue to toy with dynamics, confounding expectation and delivering some deft and cultured noise.", "...with angled melodies, complex and creative riffs, and enough emotional cadences to fill your heart twice over." KERRANG! KKKK " 'Circles' sees the band finally emerging from the depths of the UK underground and revealing what they're truly capable of!" ROCKSOUND 9/10 "This is a band that can't fail if they are given the right promotion, containing enough musical diversity and power to keep the metal scene entertained for years to come." VIEW FROM THE PIT 8/10


Defcon present:

 

FOREIGN BEGGARS are producer Dag Nabbit, Orifice Vulgatron a.k.a. MC Drop, MC Metropolis, DJ Nonames, vocalist Lena and beatboxer Shlomo. Dag and Drop originally hooked up in‘96 with Dubai’s first hiphop collective. When this crew dispersed, they started promoting D&B in Dubai, with guest slots from J Majik, Grooverider, MCMC and JJ Frost. Dag moved to London in 2001, where Drop had been since ‘99, with residencies on pirate and internet radio shows plus guesting at larger events like Telepathy and Ministry
With hiphop close to their hearts, longstanding ties with Dark Circle meant it wasn’t long before they hooked up with the likes of Tommy Evans and Dented Records was born with the 12” “Where did the sun go?”


Left Side Brain
GU Medicine
Saturday 26th

One of a huge swathe of bands currently ripping it up on the live circuit, LEFT SIDE BRAIN have got everything in place to give your ears a right roasting and your feet an extra two feet in their spring. Great reviews from Rocksound, Kerrang and all the other usual suspects never seems to make much difference to our gentle readers who normally like to make their ticket purchasing decisions on the basis of a oujii board, some blu tac and some top flight darts. Twelve years we have been churning this magazine out, and no matter how many times we tell you how good a new band is it always takes until at least the second or even third gig before you move your arses stagewards and get into them. Sometimes I wonder why we bother. We should all just stick pins in our eyes. Anyway, if you read any music magazines, or hear any music, or watch any music channels, or, well, look, if you are alive then you've probably picked up a bit of a buzz about this band. If so, why don't you stop reading this article and buy a ticket? There you go, no faffing about with loads of details about one of them being called Colin but he left and now Malcolm has joined but his mother doesn't know the other two's mothers but if she did………………….Good band. Go see `em.



The Conway Story
Zucchini
Friday 25th

Glitterati: Highly fashionable celebrities; the smart set: "private parties on Park Avenue and Central Park West, where the literati mingled with glitterati". Quite why this bunch of sleaze ball rock and roll reprobates decided to name themselves after a cocktail party set remains to be seen. What is instantly obvious to the casual observer is that whatever it is that makes a good night out rock and roll party band, The Glitterati clearly have about ten tonnes of it stuffed up their lycraed stretch bouffant sleeves and are intent on doleing it out to all and sundry up and down the land until you all submit and surrender to their vision of a glittering rock shaped land. And they've got some pretty good tunes too. Last seen falling out of the studio where they have been ensconced working with Mick Clink (of Guns and Roses fame) The Glitterati will shortly be buying a small country estate near you with the proceeds of their all conquering debut album. All you have to do it make a choice as to whether to fork out £6 to form an opinion now and wait six months and pay £30 to stand at the back of Wembley Stadium muttering about the price of the Hot Dogs.


The Stable

Another month's worth of kaleidoscopic smorgasbord of untapped, unsung, and some still unwebsited talent. You know the score; every Monday three unsigned bands take the Holy Toilet stage and give it their best for 25 minutes.
At the time of written this ol' bollocks, the final show of Round One has yet to be played; having said that, it's safe to say that the current top 14 bands of the Stable League (as voted by The Fans on the night) will definitely go through to Round Two, and as such have been scheduled.
Once all recordings are in from Round One, one of the two tracks selected by the bands on the night, will be compiled onto 3 CDs. These are then sent to/ or downloaded by THE MAN'S CHOICE panel; who will then vote for their fave acts. The results of this will give us a Top 18 Mans Choice, who will also then go on to play in Round Two
The three shows this month sees:
Monday, 14th - MOORWATER . TEHILLAH COMMISSSION . VANISHING POINT

Monday, 21st - DYSURIA . FALL TO FICTION . RAIN EATER
Dysuria being a medical condition whereby the unfortunate sufferer is unable to micturate. The band of the same name however, are polar opposite, in the respect that they have in the past been accused by their detractors of taking the piss! (Boom and indeed tish!) FALL TO FICTION are an Emo / Post Hardcore / Pop Punk 5 piece from Heathfield and Herstmonceux, featuring Peet, known to millions by his postings on the Forum website; and have a rather nifty website themselves, www.falltofiction.co.uk which is surely an example to all Stable bands! RAINEATER are not, I repeat, are not a duo. I have had my milky white slender wrists slapped for inferring as such. They are in fact a 30 piece Polyphonic Spree tribute act, who take the stage dressed as the Tolpuddle Martyrs (possibly)

Monday, 28th - KRAFT STUDIO . MEADOW ROAD . PROPAIN
MEADOW ROAD hail from Gravesend, and judging by their appearance at the Forum in early February, either a) come from very large extended families, b) are extremely popular, c) have the nous to organise away shows properly, or d) heaven forbid, hijacked a coach party on it's way to a TV studio recording of Fantasy Football League!

Entry to these shows is a mere four quid (plus 50p insurance tax), and quite frankly worth every bleedin' penny of anybody's money. Come down and see for yourself the EEC unsigned talent mountain.


Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan

(whereby Moanin' Millsey gives his considered opinion on what's Hot and what's Rot)

Jason & the astronauts . offlimit . tehillah commission - Fri 4th Feb

Have you ever been really disturbed by people missing the point of something completely? Some years ago, realising that America's youth were being corrupted by evil computer games, kind Christian boffins devised a Church-approved game to satisfy them. They called it "Captain Bible". Now let that name sink in for a moment, because, get this, "Captain Bible is a super hero with a difference! His power comes from the Bible. He has no special powers of his own, but is able to overcome the deceptions and lies of darkness through skilful application of the Word of God". Excited, kids? Answers all your prayers doesn't it? Mommy! I can destroy monsters and praise the lord! Halle-fuckin'- lujah!
Christian Rock, oxymoronic as it is, draws a similar comparison, as the majority of its perpetrators just don't get it, even if they think they do. The fact that such a thing even exists is just wrong. It's Satan's music and we like it that way. We don't inflict emo on churches, so why spread your message where it's not appreciated? We're happy in our evil ignorance and if we go to a lake of fire and fry, that's our fucking problem, so get smug on us then, not now. You can't convert us, and if you manage a few, then they're the cunts we don't want anyway, because our music speaks to us on a far more comprehendible level than your God ever can. It's not great just because the guitars are loud and the drums are hit hard. The reason it inspires so many and frightens paranoid fundamentalists is because young people want and like to get off their faces and fuck each other. They act recklessly, upset their parents, destroy things, and drive big wedges between generations, because that's where the fun lies, and the music is a soundtrack to that because it's made by people who did, and continue to do, the exact same thing. Sure, you can still be a considerate, responsible and sober straight-edged dude while listening to loud obnoxious sweary noise, but it doesn't half make you a boring cunt. For fuck's sake, have 10 pints and a joint then go screw someone. You'll be amazed at how much better you feel.
Thankfully, Tehillah Commission's God-bothering is a lyrical message of hope rather than in-your-face preaching, but they still give it a damn good go. This fairly poppy and clean-cut bunch of chirpy oompa-loompas, are even mildly endearing due to frontman/guitarist Luke Bacon's Roachford type holler and cherubic look of a street rapper who's scrubbed up well. He's aware that quoting scripture isn't cool, so instead adopts a stance of patronising sincerity because he too knows what it's like to be lonely and afraid; he's written "Surplus To Requirements" to prove it. The sanctimonious little prat clearly knows fuck all about real despair and darkness, but why spoil a perfectly good pose?
Musically, they're fairly conventional radio-friendly fayre, not unlike their heroes Switchfoot, though it's their odd clique of disciples that are most surprising. No beer's being sold, but everyone's awfully nice to each other. All looking forward to a jolly good pray later on probably, but in the meantime, aren't they just like you lot with their 'rock music' thing? TC's fans are certainly well behaved and during tune-up gaps, mainly stand in eerie silence. Probably a habit left over from church or something, but it is rather odd.
If you grew up with religious indoctrination and popular music meant 'Kumbayah', then exposure to bands like TC would make them seem modern messiahs. Rock that God approves of. Good Lord! It's really possible to play those electric guitar thingummies, be all heavy metal and your parents not only approve, they encourage you to play it loud! Can life get any better? Praise fucking Jesus! But, for anyone else, they would be an abomination; the most unconvincing, abhorrently safe, bland, sterile, sexless, limp-dicked crud imaginable, mainly because it's easier to dismiss something as such when you don't like the message. It's not that simple with TC, because they're good at what they do and play with skilful precision, so their appeal is very real indeed.

A similar parallel can be drawn to The Blue Fusion (without the tits, obviously), in that they're extremely competent and technically faultless musicians, writing coherent, solid and reliable songs. It's just devoid of any soul or passion that defines it as real rock 'n' roll. To be fair, it depends on your definition of what makes a good band I guess, and for those who take comfort in this genre, TC could probably go all the way, so good luck to them if they make each other happy. But if that's fulfilment, I'd rather be an evil sinner.
Oh well. I'm probably going to Hell for this, but they've got some good bands on so I'll see you all there.
The snob in us all would hate to admit it, but OFFLIMIT have become rather splendid. Look, lets get this 'affable midgets' thing out of the way and concentrate on what this trio can actually do, which is, er, sound like Muse. Not just stylistically, and through their covers, but in their absolutely gigantic sound, as Offlimit sound simply enormous. Not a space left unfilled, just a fat throbbing mass of immensely powerful guitar noise, because that's exactly what they get from Muse as fans, and as a band it inspires their own sense of possibilities. They embrace their Museings with love, and while many others may try and hide the influence, to this lot, such comparisons are high flattery and it only encourages them.
There's an extraordinarily professional gloss to this band. For their tender years, their musicianship (particularly from guitarist Hamish) is exceptional, but it's their songs that offer the starkest surprises. Dirty scuzzy bollock-shakers like "Don't Push" and "Attention Seeker" for example, are instantly gratifying, defiantly angry, exquisitely controlled anthems, and they don't let it slip as they maintain a keen ear for strong and effective hooks throughout all their own tunes and are quite rightly proud of it. They've got talent, songs, stagecraft and the naïve desire to please, so are just begging to be groomed and moulded with a firm and patient hand. Forget the visual joke, just close your eyes and actually listen to what they do. They're far from ready yet, but in another 2 years, when they've outgrown their influences, this band will be so good they'll make you puke. Trust me.
There's no denying that the Astronauts are appreciated for stepping in tonight, due to the last minute cancellation of Morningwood. They may have intended to treat this as just a rehearsal with witnesses, but the randomness of it seems to have put them into a frolicsome and impish mood, turning their twisted, screaming, leftfield post-noise into something gloriously unruly and loose. They've relaxed considerably from their swirly chaos of old, yet haven't lost their way in the slightest. They're just more confident, less obtuse and somehow more liberated. Oddness still abounds, and fuzzy angular riffs flirt with abstract rhythms, off-kilter electronics and angry lyricism, but unlike the Slinty math-rock of some of their contemporary label-mates, there's so much more to JATA now. They've grown way beyond that restrictive genre and mutated into a band that are impossible to pigeonhole fairly, as they'll suddenly do things to turn preconceptions and first impressions upside down.
JATA might have a criminally short set tonight, before a sparse crowd, but they don't really have anything to prove. For sheer inventiveness and intrigue, they're in a different league to many of the other Stable bands, and if you want evidence, the distilled carnage of 'Passé Disco' will knock some sense into you with great pleasure . This is their town, you're on their streets, and JATA have sought to reclaim them on behalf of privileged nerds everywhere. The Stable band 'most likely to'? You bet.

Paul Mills

 


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 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, 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


Public Liability Insurance Twatometer

a month by month monitor, just watch that line soar up to £8000!


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

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