Sad news reaches our ears this week from the forefront of the local rock and roll scene as all the members of Ye Wiles, Im.mune, Joeyfat, Noon, Ideots, Hindsight, One Day Elliot and everybody else you can think of from any band you care to name were forced to resign their posts. Details of their murky social lives hit the front pages of the Weald Gazette this week when it was revealed that none of them had ever been caught in a hotel room snorting Peruvian marching powder off the naked thighs of a lady of the night. Further shock revelations revealed that none of them had ever slept with Ulrika Johnson either, something it is understood to be almost impossible to achieve if you are over the age of ten and breathing in and out. At this point they were all summarily dismissed from their roles as rock and roll icons. Their places will be taken by Blue Peter presenters and Quiz Show hosts, who it now turns out are the sort of womanising, drug addled, alcoholics who give Keith Richards a run for his money.
In other news, the final results of last year's Stable event are in. The favourite local band last year was Ye Wiles, which I think probably comes as no surprise to most of us here or you out there. They were given a good run for their money in this section by The Ideots, One Day Elliot, The Life, Abyssinia and most of all Mumm Ra, who saw a huge swelling in their following (oo-er missus). As you have probably worked out by now, the event also creates CDs of the bands taking part and these are sent out to figures in the British music industry for them to pick their favourite bands. This year the top accolade went to Noon, formerly Punchdrunk, who were selected by the judges for their songwriting and the stand out quality of their track, particularly that they submitted something very different in each round. Ye Wiles made a good showing in this category as well, as did The Ideots, and needless to say Joeyfat also featured highly on most judges lists, alongside Fray and Hindsight. Overall, the two final results, particularly looking at the final six in each strand, show the depth of talent that is out there if you spend the time to look. Stable 2 is now well under way with great attendances on the Monday night shows. It's well worth checking out if you get the time.
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 lawyer is the fastest legal mind in Cricklewood.
The more astute readers amongst you will have noticed that the above article makes no reference whatsoever to a Mr G**** L***** (Mr X) from ********* ***** Borough Council (Council Y). We have been asked by a Mr I** C****** (Mr Z) to refrain from mentioning Mr X this month, as he feels that lasts month's allegations that Mr X likes to fiddle about with H*mster C*ck were a step too far. Mr Hammy Hamster (Rodent A) has also written in to complain about these statements and it has been decided that we should simply not mention Mr X this month, especially in the light of allegations from Horse B (Mr Ed) about Mr X's passion for being strapped to the underside and rogered senseless by three foot of donkey knob. Whoops, sorry Mr Z!
Dem Brooklyn Bums
Saturday 2nd November
If you ain't seen these guys before, then cancel all your plans this Saturday and make sure you're down at the front at the Forum. Hailing from, yes, you guessed it, New York, these fellahs are THE business. With a riotous brass section, fronted by hyperkinetic double bassist Rob "Broccoli" Cittadino, DEM BROOKLYN BUMS are a bunch of baseball bat wielding, rootin', tootin', zoot suited and booted jumpin' jive hoodlums. Continuing in the tradition of of Cab Calloway and Louis Jordan, but cut with a healthy dose of Goodfellers swing punk. The 'Bums are the living soundtrack to any film featuring US Marines on shoreleave.
You'll believe a man can play a drum solo with a pair of baseball bats!
Friday 8th November
FARSE began life in 1996 when school buddies Ollie Patrick (vocals), Chris Baddham (bass) and Dan O'Connell (drums) decided to put together a band, as music was their big passion in life and the only 'career' they wanted to follow. As they learned to play their instruments and started gigging they went through numerous other band members before finally arriving at Tom Whitehouse in late 1998 and Adrian Preston in early 1999 who both settled in as the twin guitarists.
The band then proceeded to write new material, which despite influences ranging from Iron Maiden to Bob Marley, all came over as a fairly unique blend of Old School Hardcore, Emo and Ska.Armed with the new material the band started playing shows in and around Birmingham building up a fairly substantial local fanbase. Support slots with more established acts such as [spunge], Capdown, Good Riddance, Mad Caddies, Voodoo Glow Skulls, King Prawn, Bouncing Souls and H20, and only last month, BOWLING FOR SOUP have helped cement them as the West Midlands most happening Ska-core band
Saturday 9th November
Long, long ago, when the world was young, and the Boy Lawrence was a mere twinkle in Unigate driver #5's eye. They do tell of a near mythical band that used to play in Tunbridge Wells called THE EXTROVERTED HERMITS Also, according to folklore, a renegade bunch of 'The Priory' escapees formed a band of wandering minstrels, and they did call themselves KAIL. Put these together, chuck in an ex-member of TIPA GORE, and what have you got? Well, a band tipped for big things , with their Pearl Jam, Radiohead, Coldplay influences, and a hyperactive bassist, CYRANO are well worth checking out . Formerly PUNCHDRUNK, now renamed NOON, but still playing exquisite songs of ethereal, textured lusciousness, this is another band that represents all that is fantastic about the local music scene. A night of memorable vocal melodies and intelligent guitar music ahoy Captain. All this and not one mention of Barclay James Harvest!..........bugger!
At the Deli
Henry Holds His Own
Friday 15th November
Now I've said it once, and I'll say it again. JESSE JAMES are not ska punk, they are, as their press release states, soul punk. Think of Dexy's Midnight Runners (but without the ballet tutus) add a bit of Westway angst a la the CLASH, a dab of Black & White gelled quiffs, and I think you've got the picture.
Now cast your eyes over to the picture on the left. No, this isn't the latest picture of a, ahem... infamous punk duo from Hastings, famous for their rather self cconfident postings on the Forum message board, it is in fact Pete from the mighty JESSE JAMES, taken at his 21st birthday party (see www.jessejames.co.uk if you don't believe me!) Prepare yourself for a rollicking, rumbustious live act which will leave you sweatstained, tearstained and beerstained.
Big D & The Kid's Table
Friday 22nd November
Since being formed in 1995,considered one of the finest ska-punk bands around at the moment, Big D, (so named after their famous salted snack), have gone from strength to strength with their seven piece band wall of ska powered sound. The 'Straight outta Boston' vocals are welcome any day over the snot-nosed middleclass 'Oo I'm ever so angry/outrageous' school of ska-punk that is presently dominating the scene.Any ska-punk afficianado looking for a less poppy sound than the likes of LESS THAN JAKE & MIGHTY MIGHTY BOSSTONES are in for a right old treat.
Cosmic Rough Riders
Sat 23rd November
Fans of Jonathan Ross's outrageous radio show of a Saturday morning will be only too aware of Andy, his giggling sidekick's penchant for the 'Riders' jangletastic Caledonian psychedelia. Creation Records went and Poptones arrived, care of music maverick Mr Alan McGee, and just as his Midas touch blessed Oasis, many say that he is about to do it all over again with these fellas..
The Cosmic's have recently released their incredibly lauded album "Enjoy The Melodic Sunshine", which overall is a stunning mix of psychedelic pop fused with folk rock, bearing all the fabulous hallmarks of West Coast melodic guitars and harmony vocals that nod to the likes of The Byrds, The Beach Boys, CSN&Y, Steely Dan and the BeatlesTheir most notable fans have turned out to be Paul Weller, Oasis and Courtney Love, who has said, "... they remind me of REM at their best"
X is Loaded
Friday 29th November
Aspiring Bath rockers signed to Andy 'Blur' Ross' new label, X IS LOADED clearly have a fine view of the indie runaway. By the looks of them, they have enough 'vintage' (someone else's) leather jackets and moody stares to raise merry hell. Their debut single, Massive Misguidance' pogos psychotically somewhere between the all-out earache of the Coopers and the loony thrash of Kid Galahad. De-tuned guitars drone and cheekbones rattle. But let's get this out of the way right now: X is Loaded frontman and guitarist Jake Robertson is a star. Well, maybe not quite yet, because this outfit has apparently, only been around for six months, but he has the makings of stardom about him. Somewhere in this blur of sweat and posturing there's the odd splash of At The Drive-In and a welcome dash of poised Pixies-ish mania, but it's balanced with discordant punky individuality all X is Loaded's own. At this stage they exist where angular roughness equates with extreme catharsis, and they aren't so much about polished performance as simply feeling each and every nerve-shredding ounce of feedback. It takes talent to hold things together perpetually on the edge of breakdown. Another six months and they'll be truly lethal live.
Support on the night comes from MISS MACHINE, who are "...an exciting new five-piece rock band fronted by New Yorker, Anna Mercedes...". The band were discovered by THE STROKES' producer, Gordon Raphael who's just recorded their new single; a riot of loud guitars and seductive vocals ready to stomp all over the UK in 6" stilettoes. Form an orderly queue behind me please!
Satuday 30 November
Douglas hail from Wales, so let's get all those unfunny sheep-shagging jokes out the way nice and early, then we can get on with describing their emo/punk/hardcore noise without making baaing noises. After successful tours with HUNDRED REASONS and CAPDOWN, DOUGLAS look set to be the next to set your stereo alight. Their last release 'Persona' didn't exactly fly out of the shops like shit off a shovel, but that's probably due to a glaring oversight on the part of the Great British public, given that it features incendiary bombs of blistering energy, chaos, self-belief and sheep dip.
If you haven't given them a listen yet then you're the one missing out; HUNDRED REASONS like them so much they put out a special split single to try and promote the band. Check out their website at www.douglas-online.co.uk
4:00 - 5:30pm
FREE SAMBA DRUMMING WORKSHOPS
If you don't know your darbuka from your cabasa and fancied getting into the carnival spirit and banging lots of drums really loudly, well, now here's your chance. Every Wednesday for the next ten weeks starting this Wednesday, 13th, FLUID will be providing access to FREE open samba workshops for 12 to 18 year olds at the Forum. The workshops start at 4pm and last for 90 minutes,hosted by renowned Brighton based CARNIVAL COLLECTIVE , these sessions will provide absolute beginners with hands-on experience with South American rhythms. All drums and percussion will be provided by FLUID, the outcome will be the formation of a Forum Samba Band who will be performing at Christmas, and hopefully, will be an ongoing concern. For further details, please call 01892 513968
Mon 4th Nov
Consisting of not only that nice Johnny X from Longplayer records (Extensive stockists of CDs, vinyl etc, to be found at Grosvenor Road telephone: 01892 539273) whose brother co-incidentally came second in this year's Pop Idol final, fact fans. DRAG also have/had some members of that Goth behemoth PURITY OF DECADENCE amongst their ranks. Currently drummerless, the lads promise to make a stonkin' big racket for you tonight. Crowd pleasin' Man's Choice finalists, ever popular HINDSIGHT catch the bus from Ashford tonight to bring you their Pearl Jam inspired metal. Completing the bill tonight are Simon and the rest of the lads from MELALEUCA, (pic left) whose glimmering shards of phased feedback metal is always popular with 'the ladies'.
Harder They Fall
Mon 11th Nov
Sixties influenced CROY come from Rainham and Canterbury, fresh from their support slot with the Libertines recently, continue to delight the audience with their lush harmonies. Originally called TOMFOOLERY, then briefly Chicken Porn, finally settling on HARDER THEY FALL, Daniel and the lads decided to acknowledge the influence of reggae star Jimmy Cliff has had on their Post Grunge sound. ( Eh?!- Ed) Meanwhile, indie garage rockers THE IMPECCABLES are all muscular farm lads from Matfield, and that's about all they're prepared to divulge.
Mon 18th Nov
Six piece sax-toting MR DRUMMOND, (named after their favourite geography master) are Tunbridge Wells born and bred, and with their frontman Barney Cockell, promise to delight with their 'funk rock'. Forum message board regular Laurie, brings his chums IM.MUNE to purvey their grunge for the unwashed masses. Grunge stoner WEAVE, (pic left) featuring the lovely Isobel on vocals, all live in a commune in Monson Road a mere stone's throw away from a certain pizza bar, where they supplement their income by performing Italian folk songs and lifting tables with their teeth!
Mon 25th Nov
KUDOS, formerly known as Hit & Miss are a four piece punk/rock outfit from Crowborough consisting of Alex on vocals, Tim Lindley on guitar, Simon on bass and George as skinbeatin' duties.....and that's all I can tell you. Meanwhile, MUMM RA. .......Where the bleedin' eck do I start with this band of PG Tip loving, sitar strokin, kaftan wearing lurve gods. These fellers create onstage havoc, but leave peace and lovin' vibes in their wake with their psychedelic sub Velvet Underground meanderings. Indie rockers URBANSOUND, whom judging by their exquisite, glossy press packs are either bank-rolled by the Russian mafia, or they work in the print industry. Dave and the lads excel in their indie 80s influenced sound. All in all, a cracking month's worth of Stable shows, that are getting busier by the week. Make sure you don't miss out.
In which our Editor cranks the handle on his gramophone player and lends an ear to the latest 'pop platters' in the hit parade, and finds it somewhat lacking.
Badly Drawn Boy - 'You Were Right'
I think the problem with BDB is not actually in the music, it's in the expectation that you get about what you are about to hear from the reviews that he gets. So, this release is accompanied by the kind of press clippings that indicate that what you are about to hear is the greatest aural experience since Moses heard the word of the Lord on the mountain and decided not to kill anybody in case a big bloke in the clouds got upset. What you actually get is mid paced indie fare that was done slightly better by the likes of Spearmint. This wouldn't be so bad in itself if the self same journos who used to slag off bands like Spearmint weren't the ones trying to tell you that Damian was the holy host with the most. Not bad, just not as good as it should be.
Athlete - 'Beautiful'
And here's a good example of what I mean. Shortly to be appearing on your Dad's car stereo right after Coldplay, Athlete are completely unremarkable in any way whatsoever, which is not to say there's anything wrong with it, just not sure why you would buy this and not the next single in the rack. Terrible lyrics, come to think of it. Which is probably what made me think of Coldplay.
Bowling For Soup - 'Emily'
From the "we have a fat bastard on guitar" school of rock that also includes New Found Glory and loads of other bands who have one record by Green Day. I actually quite liked the last one, although more for the video piss take of Fred Durst than for the actual music admittedly. This one has a dull video, so not much hope there. Is there really anybody left in the world who doesn't have enough records that already sound like this?
Queens Of The Stone Age - 'No One Knows'
Once again I have to say that the reviews seem all out of sync with what you eventually end up listening to. QOTSA are a fair enough rock group with slightly average vocals who have made some interesting music although this track isn't one of those. They are not "the most important band on the planet right now" or "the band that have assumed the mantle of Nirvana" and it seems slightly strange to be presented with the idea that they are. They seem nice enough lads and are probably kind to their mums, but other than that get a grip.
Britney Spears - 'I Love Rock N Roll'
Included here because there seems very little difference between this record and the one by Bowling for Soup. Except, perhaps, that the production is a bit better and there is always a chance that there is some hidden crevice of her anatomy that has so far not been revealed throughout the world in an attempt to shift more units. Although presumably that would now involve an internal examination. Rubbish and everybody knows it.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs - 'Machine'
Having been to New York a number of times and having sat through quite a large number of sets at CBGBs or The Mercury Lounge of bands trying to re-create the 1977 buzz of Television, Blondie and the Ramones, I am constantly surprised at the current level of interest in all things in skinny ties from stateside. The YYYs leave me asking why why why, to be honest. Why this particular group of bands? Why now? Personally I suspect that the falling sales of the NME meant that everybody thought they should have a nice New York holiday at IPC magazines expense before the whole thing went arse over tit, so consequently they have all signed up to the Strokes conspriracy. Either that or I am just getting old and already have records by both Tom Petty and the Velvet Underground. This is dull dull dull.
Coldplay - 'The Scientist'
To shift mega units you have to make music that the average man in the street can enjoy without too much effort. Coldplay deserve a pat on the back for being able to do that with a little more going on than average, but I would still prefer a world in which the sound coming out of the passing car was the Hives. This is quite enjoyable in a heard it all before type way.
The Music - Getaway
AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Run, run for your lives. It is the ghost of shite baggy bands (Paris Angels without the tunes anybody?) come back to haunt you with their flares and smacked fish expressions fully in tact. This is truly a dreadful fucking record and whoever signed them should be lined up against a wall and shot. There are approximately seventeen thousand bands in the UK better than this and what do we get? A throwaway Led Zep riff, part used by the Stone Roses, with the most dreadful fucking sixth form poetry from a bloke ina fisherman's bobble hat who basically could do with a good punch. Absolute shite.
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You can write to us at
The Forum, Fonthill, The Common,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, TN4 8YU
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