Stable bands in hoax SARS scare?
Yet another debacle has hit Forum Towers this month, with accusations of
"Fix, Fix" flying hither and thither over the Stable event taking place at
the venue. Independent experts were called in to listen to tapes from the
semi finals of the Fan’s vote after suspicions arose that certain bands
were using accomplices in the audience to help them out during their
performances. Stable Obergruppenfuhrer Randall said, "It became obvious
that one or two of the acts were being assisted through pre arranged
signals. We examined the tapes of the gigs and at various points you can
hear members of the audience offering thinly veiled song or production
cues disguised as coughs". Amongst the things you can plainly hear are
"Cough Cough, your guitar is completely out of tune you fucking halfwit"
and "Cough, Cough, the things in front of you are drums, try hitting them
in time to the music you arrhythmic arsewipe". On another tape you can
clearly hear one of the audience shout "Cough, Cough, it sounds like you
are all playing a different fucking song you bunch of amateurish morons.
Get off the fucking stage, Rage Against the Machine wrote that song a damn
sight better cough, cough".
So, the old cinema has been the victim of an arson attack, or are Great White playing secret warm-up shows prior to Glastonbury? Hmmmmm. What an amazing stroke of luck for the owners, considering the bizarre co-incidence that nobody had come forward to buy the building which they were desperate to dispose of. I wonder if they may now be able to sell the site for re-development, something that had previously not been admissable under the agreement to shut the building. Oooo, what’s that smell? Is it cod? As my grandmother used to say, if it waddles, eats fish, swims and makes a quacking noise, chances are it’s a duck.
Getting back to all things 'Stable-centric', on a more serious note, the Fans' vote series of shows have come to a close with the top six bands being: 1 FKA, 2 The Catch, 3 Sequana 4 Kudos, 5 The Impeccables, 6 Dufuz
These six lucky bands will appear in the Fan's Choice Final in July.
The results from the industry bods, ie The Man's Choice, are due back within the next few days. Once these are received, the resulting Man's Choice second round of shows will be announced for scheduling in June.
Meanwhile, sit back, relax and enjoy the staggeringly diverse shows we've got lined up for you this month.
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. I really can’t be bothered to apologise this month because you don’t deserve it. In any case we have removed all the swear words and inferences likely to cause offence to anybody except Mary Whitehouse. So, Mary, if you are reading this up there in heaven, I really wouldn’t as the whole magazine is riddled with words like arse, fuck, cunt and fanny, and worse than that, it also contains various hidden naughtiness, such as references to Dinge Queens, Candy Makers, Jam, Kiwi Fruit, and Ussypay. And if you are reading this and understood some of those then you should jolly well be ashamed of yourself.
Friday 30 may
Bursting onto the scene in 2001 Clearlake’s woes and mundanities were well documented
on their debut album, LIDO. With a lyrical clarity, burning a wick through off-kilter
indieisms and giving the impression of a blank canvas that slightly
betrayed the look of four men who’d blend into the background of any
average Camden boozer.
With their critically acclaimed new album, CEDARS recently released, CLEARLAKE make a more than welcome return to the Forum.
Lead town planner Jason Pegg still sounds like a genetic compromise between Morrissey and Damon Albarn and is thus in perfect control of lyrics such as “I wouldn’t hurt a fly, but I really want to punish you”, often sounding meek and masterful, sullen and sarcastic within the same breath. The record breathes a very British breath, is very correct in its eccentricisms, ambitious but not uncouth, typical to its surroundings. Surroundings built on a foundation of ‘Great Eastern’-esque Delgados lushness and late-Blur Coxon-esque squibbles. CEDARS is probably the record Blur should have made next. www.clearlake.uk.com
Also hailing from the Costa del Camp, Brighton, are current Blam office faves trio VELDT. Whom with their unique cinematic majesty create soundscapes influenced by sixties film soundtracks and the darker side of pop. Consisting of vocalist, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Lloyd Wadey; guitarist, James Waterland and Mike Alexander on keyboards and cello, VELDT are the bastard offspring of John Barry and Scott Walker. Download tracks from www.veldt.co.uk
Friday 16 May
Drawing influences from many different quarters, from classic old reggae (Lee Perry, Eek a Mouse, Desmond Dekker, Toots) and 2-Tone ska (The Specials, Madness, Bad Manners, The Beat) to 80's metal (Slayer, Metallica) as well as the more obvious influences such as, Less Than Jake, The Toasters, Rancid. What makes the Goons stand out, is that they take these influences (and many more) and blend them together to form something different to the tired old Ska/punk formula. A unique style all of their own.
Nine Below Zero
Thursday 15 May
The year was 1977 and the mood was Punk but the band had no intention of succumbing to fashion, even though the record companies were busily signing everything they saw with spiky hair and studs. They wanted to do it their way, no compromises. Ironically, the spirit of punk had it's helpful effects, Dennis Greaves harnessing it's 'hell for leather' energy into the music of Stans Blues Band to create something new. To say that they were playing New Wave R&B wouldn't be far off the mark. They won their place on the main London circuit two years later, storming usually complacent venues like Dingwalls, The Music Machine and The Rock Garden with a rip-roaring of Blues and R&B. Suddenly there was life in the old Blues horse yet! A new dynamic life! There was vigour, there was spontaneity, there was enthusiasm, there was .......Nine Below Zero Their intense live reputation grew and top blues acts like Canned Heat, Dr Feelgood and The Blues Band wanted to know about Nine Below Zero, offered them supports and so the reputation swelled, at the same rate as the crowds until they were a headlining band in their own right. Since splitting, and reforming a few years back, now featuring Rory Gallagher's stalwart rhythm section, NINE BELOW ZERO are reborn and raring to go
Tribute to Nothing
Saturday 3 May
Based in Worcester and
Malvern, TTN released their 4th studio album last October and were
delighted to read in the Christmas edition of Kerrang! that it had been
listed in the magazine’s Top Twenty Albums of 2002.Quite an accolade for
this foursome who've been plugging their blend of post hardcore punk rock
both here and abroad since the album was recorded in the Spring of 2002.
As well as a fierce touring schedule TTN find time to own and run the highly praised and successful independent label Lockjaw Records.
British Sea Power
Saturday 24 May
BRITISH SEA POWER are a band
that many people in this country have been waiting for since the demise of
Joy Division and The Smiths.
"...Yan, Noble, Hamilton and Woody share influences and inspirations far removed from the garage rock ideals plaguing the music scene at the moment. They're a quirky group of lads with an attitude and view of life that's quintessentially English, which in turn is a little strange. They regularly absorb their minds with facts about Field Marshall Montgomery, Charles Lindburgh and Czechoslovakian history..."
(That should see them through to round two of Mastermind then - Ed) Quite what the above bollox from their press release has to do with the desolate, windswept, melancholy soundscapes this Brighton based band achieve is beyond me! Whatever happened to songs about rockshows, girls, cars and fags then?
Also appearing tonight will be three piece MOWER, (see bottom right) who with their short, sharp shock songs are like a cattle prod to the gonads. Sounding like an early Kinks, signed to Transcopic, the same label as Graham Coxon and Billy Childish, MOWER are an exciting shot in the arse.
Kill II This
Friday 23 May
Formed in Manchester in 1996, Kill II This have three albums of serious critical acclaim under their belt and a huge media profile as a result of over six years of incessant touring.
Their first album, 'Another Cross II Bare' was mixed by producer Colin Richardson (Machine Head, Fear Factory etc.) and released in June 1997.
The quality of the albums songs is unquestionable and combined a fresh, epic sound with industrial elements and gothic tinges.
Founder member, Mark Mynett, whose formidable enthusiasm, single, and some might say, bloody-mindedness and finely honed talent for his instrument, gives you one of the most original and interesting guitari styles in the metal world today. All this and gurning too! From hip-hop samples, Maria Callas out-takes to film-noir dialogue, KILL II THIS produce an indefinable, yet irrefutably extreme metal assault.
One Minute Silence
Saturday 31 May
He claims he's nervous and
doesn't have much to say, but One Minute Silence vocalist Barry is
actually one of the most talkative chaps you'll ever meet. And whether
it's fearless braggadocio or innocent exuberance, he's quite bold in
discussing what he thinks his band brings to the table. "People are gonna
look back in twenty years and say we were the best live band they've ever
seen we're definitely heavyweight contenders and we're gonna be holding
the belt pretty soon. I don't think we're absolutely the heaviest band in
the world, like Sepultura or something, but people have seen us and said,
'my God, that's the heaviest gig I've ever seen!' There's just so much
energy that it's overwhelming. It's like a storm that comes off the stage"
Which is nice!
Look, you don't need a twat like me to tell you exactly how shit-hot this mega London based metal band are.
Just do yourself a favour, buy a ticket as soon as you can. The phrase 'going' blah blah 'hot cakes' springs to mind!
Saturday 17 May
Youthful punk-metal quartet
Violent Delight introduced themselves to the world with their
turbo-charged new single Secret Smile, released through WEA on 26 August
2002. The single, a contagious three-minute blast of fiery riffs and
dynamic rhythms, was produced by ex-Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, and
it certainly sees Violent Delight live up to their name.
Violent Delight (also knows as er… VD) aren't your average band. Rodney and guitarist Tom are just 17, bassist Ben is a little older whilst Japanese grunge drummer Ken(do) is the only member in his early 20s. Their set betrays the band's young age with a sound more akin to older influences such as The Offspring, NOFX, Green Day and Bad Religion.
With their latest single, "I want to be a girl" receiving heavy rotation on Kerrang! TV, a funpacked, high energy set, and their tongues placed firmly in their cheeks; VIOLENT DELIGHT are the veritable mutts nuts.
Friday 9 May
No strangers to the Forum are
KING PRAWN, who unleash their rabid, frenetic reggae-rap onslaught of
dangerous rhythms on the gentle citizens of Tunbridge Wells. When it comes
to putting on a show that captivates, enthrals, then this band wrote the
book. Formed in London's East End in 1994, KING PRAWN, through solid
gigging have certainly built an impressive reputation throughout Europe.
A band of characters/nutters, the most immediate attention grabber is bassist, Babar Luck - shaven headed and bearded, staring possessed into the crowd while his bass seems to be playing him. Then there's the almost angelic Al-Farabi Rumjen, all wide-eyed and stunned, until his face twists into the microphone, veins bulging from his temple, as he vents his rage and energy. Intricate dub lines, polyrhythmic assaults, instrument swapping and staccato snarling vocals all go to create a finely honed ska/punk machine that will teach all the whippersnappers desperately clambering on to lumbering ska/punk bandwagon. If you're a fan of Bob Marley, Rage Against The Machine and Green Day, book yourself a place up in the rafters, for that's the only place where'll you'll find room to swing a cat judging by KING PRAWN 's previous sell out show.
Mmmmm.....it's acoustic lounge
Sunday 18 May
Do you know, I would dearly
love to give you the lowdown on exactly what goes on in these shows, but
no bugger ever tells me. Perhaps they want to keep this little shiny jewel
in the crown all to themselves! All I do know is that by all accounts,
it's a bit bloody marvellous. It's Sunday night; you haven't done your
homework, it's bath night, and what else is there on TV except Songs of
Praise featuring an empty Stannah stairlift since the sad demise of Dame
Thora Hird. Well listen up Buddy Boy, if it's toast, comfy chairs, nice
vibes, and a selection of unplugged, laid back acoustic acts you're after,
then this is the place for you.
Featuring the FLYING MARROWS, IAN KNAPP, our very own MAX the evil soundguy, and last, but definitely not least THE INCREDIBLE MR LEEVES. Yes, he of the local rascals about town, THE IDEOTS, who promises to have a few tricks up his, ahem, sleeve.
Heartbeat, or Acoustic Lounge.....bit of a no-brainer really, ain't it?
Tuesday 6 May
INTO THE LIGHT marks Christine
Collister's astonishing 20 year career as one of the UK's most critically
acclaimed singers and recording artists. A supremely powerful, yet subtle
performer, she continues to explore a soundscape which gravitates
somewhere between folk, soul, pop and jazz and yet is also entirely unique
and of her own making. Her latest release is an uplifting record with all
the freshness and spirit of someone at the very start of their career and
yet it bares all the hallmarks of the mature and abiding talent who
Christine Collister grew up on the Isle of Man and enjoyed a childhood in rugged and free landscape. Born with an adventurous nature, at an early age, she also began to explore her sense of spirituality, characteristics which inform the content of her songs. As a child, Christine sang in the church choir and later on began to make appearances at her local folk club.
Christine's professional recording career began on the mainland in the mid 1980s. She first came to national attention singing the theme tune to the cult hit BBC TV series, 'The Life and Loves of A She Devil'. Following a fruitful association with The Richard Thompson Band, Christine also featured on albums by Loudon Wainwright and Bert Jansch and enjoyed a period of acclaim in a seven year partnership with Clive Gregson.
Christine Collister has a killer voice. As full as Dusty Springfield or as blue as Alison Moyet' - Folk Roots.
The Natural Selection
Tuesday 20 May
excellent musicianship and highly impressive.." - so say Making Music
magazine. But that's enough about me, let me tell
you about Bristolian jazz funkateers THE NATURAL SELECTION. This bunch of woolly hatted virtuosi are on a mission to put the fun back into funk. With an unquenchable thirst for gigging, this sextet demonstrate that there's more to jazz/funk than being beaten up by a wedge-haired, baggy trousered soulboy in the Cat's Whiskers, Streatham in 1980!
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