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BLAM Nov 2004

A word in your ear...

no more to wander through the perfumed garden

Punters were shocked and dismayed at the jolly old Forum towers this week when details of a dressing room fracas emerged. "I was shocked" said one dismayed fan. "I was dismayed" said (Ed's note: Please could we get on with this pointless buffoonery and cut the meaningless repetition purely intended to fill up space?)
The grudge match between local macho men Veldt and those players of the pink Oboe Cyrano had been building up since the last time these two titans clashed (Randall's front room, midnight, about a month ago, subject: the brilliance of Jeff Buckley. Or not)
This time around no prisoners were to be taken as the bands left the stage together after their nil all draw in the "entertaining the crowds" stakes
It is understood that a fracas broke out in that little hallway just to the back of the stage which is not quite the toilets and not yet the dressing room. A slap was threatened, a word lightly thrown, and before the gathered throng (Mr and Mrs Throng, 27 Pluckley Crescent) knew what was going on a full on battle was raging.
Lloyd from Veldt had only this to say: "It was plain from the outset that Cyrano were cheating. We all agreed that our two sets would consist of things that people obviously want: morose vocals over a droning backing tape. They are cheating cheaters from Cheatsville"
Joe, on behalf of Cyrano, responded: "He can say what he likes, but they didn't have any guitar solos and just like last time suddenly started playing something called 'songs'. And thjey were wearing suits."
It is understood that all kinds of condiments were hurled by the rival members of the bands at each other, but much like their careers both bands failed to make any hits.

Among the items thrown were some cream cracker biscuits (possibly Jacobs), some guacamole dip and some pineapple and cheese on cocktail sticks, which it's understood were brought along especially for the purpose by Veldt's Steve Norman look-alike bassist Simon in an homage to the eighties.
Both bands have been reported to the Forum's management and will be asked to clear up their own mess...and their middle eights.

Whilst putting together this month's Blam we learned of the shocking and extremely sad news of the death of John Peel. It hardly needs to be said that without John hardly any of the bands that have visited The Forum in the last twelve years would ever have had the chance to be heard. More than that, most of the staff and even the owners of the venue simply wouldn't be doing what they are doing now. if they hadn't been given the opportunity by John's shows to hear an alternative to the mainstream music fodder that we get thrown at us everyday. John truly loved music, and was a friend to his listeners as much as he was that funny old bloke that has been on the radio since the dawn of time. The whole of the British Music Industry owes John a great debt for his work over the last forty years, but the alternative music scene will feel his loss especially deeply. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Sheila and his family. We'll miss you Peelie.

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. Is anybody else thinking that God must be some sort of sadistic bastard if he thinks it is at all acceptable to leave Simon Bates, Mike Read and Dave Fucking Lee Travis wandering about on this earth making appearances on Newsnight and generally being their usual moronic, half-witted twattish selves, when John Peel is no longer with us? Makes you think about becoming a Buddhist, doesn't it?
As usual, this magazine has words like Cunt in it. Don't read them if you like Steve Wright's Sunday Lovesongs. They are not for poor little you, you fucking arsewipe!

Comedy Forum

Tunbridge Wells' original AND best value for money comedy club is held the first Thursday of every month.
Thursday 4th

Bringing the cream of international stand-up comedy to your door (almost), this month sees: DAVID HADINGHAM, who's been a professional comic since May 1996. Intense and anecdotal, David keeps audiences hooked right up to the last punchline as he presents his unique and often warped view of everyday life. This gravel-voiced comic combines supremely controlled delivery with inimitable facial contortions as he cracks some of the best handmade gags in the business. Also appearing tonight will be DAVE LEMKIN, with JASON KAVAN providing the comedy glue between acts as the MC for the night

Friday 5th

Describing themselves as 'beerskatepunx' and the cover of their debut album featured a picture of a skateboarding lavatory. Predictably enough 4ft Fingers have a tendency to act the giddy goat but it isn't all Sloppy Seconds-style inanity. Beneath that beered-up, lairy lager-drenched exterior is a tight and talented outfit fighting to get out.
With a streak of inventiveness that for this genre is positively electric they bombard you with tunes as ear-arrestingly infectious as anything to have skanked out of Southern California yet a raw, ragged and unmistakably British edge. Beer, fags, skateboards and punk..what more could you possibly want?

The Fluids
Friday 12th

The Scene: Maidstone Crown Court
"M'Lud, I put it to you that on the night of the 12th, whilst Huey and Fast had the gats, it was quite apparent they were out to rob a bank; they had the accused, Steve, outside carrying what I understand the (Fun Lovin' )criminal fraternity call 'a full pack'. . Following the hold-up, eyewitnesses say that the police gave chase, but our man Steve is an ace, and they lost those brothers with haste. The accused show no sign of remorse, and are quite intent on pursuing a career running around robbing banks whilst all whacked off on Scooby Snacks. All in all, an 'ideous and 'orrible crime for which a long custodial sentence is necessary. Failing that, how about a job as Tax Adviser for Tunbridge Wells Borough Council?"

As if a career as a getaway driver carrying a full pack of whatever it is NY hoodlums carry, drumming and programming as a FUN LOVIN' CRIMINAL wasn't enough, STEVE O BOROVINI now plays guitar in his new outfit, NEEDLEDROP
NEEDLEDROP is a New York City based trip/pop duo consisting of Amanda on vocals and Steve on guitar and production of their music. Steve is originally from New York, while Amanda is originally from Ireland. They first met in Ireland in 1998 where Steve was on tour with Fun Lovin' Criminals. Realizing their instant chemistry the duo briskly moved back to New York and started writing the music that would become NEEDLEDROP.
Steve creates the instrumental tracks for Amanda's lyrics and haunting vocal melodies. Their eclectic style comes from a wide range of influences, taking from the spectrum of modern music, such as Nina Simone Sade the Beastie Boys Dr. Dre, Coldplay, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Garbage, Green Day, Alice in Chains, and The Ramones. Ambient trip-hop, early Garbage with lots of beats. All in all, bloomin' marvellous stuff, and part of the Hollywood Honeymoon Tour featuring Mark Greville plus THE FLUIDS

Friday 19th

Was it really as long ago as April when Drive-Thru Records very own RX Bandits last graced the Holy Shit Hole? Yes Gentle Reader it was. And what a fantasmaglorious night it was 'n' all! A sell out show with hopeful punters offering their first born, and selling their mothers for a cup of gin in a vain bid to get tickets
It'd be interesting to pin down the sociological factors that gave birth to the Orange County, California sound. Heavy on ska and reggae influences, populated with quick chord changes (erroneously called punk, but what are you going to do?), crunchy fat distorted guitars, and vocals usually in the higher part of the register, the place has given birth to bands like Sublime amongst a bandwagonload of others.
Musically, they seem at ease plucking from a variety of stylistic trees, infusing ska beats with hardcore overtones, or whatever else fits. As trombone player Rich Balling said, "We go from reggae to punk to hardcore. We're not lost or confused. We're doing it on purpose.... Our focus is all the styles." The question the listener poses is, does it work?
Well, that depends to a large extent on what you'll endure. A typical RX BANDITS' song starts off with light guitars and an upbeat ska rhythm that suddenly gives way to a much louder chorus. Preceded by that is the heavy-metal cliché of running the pick up the strings before the chords crash like surf on a beach, all while horns pump like ambulance sirens. So if you don't mind that then the Rx Bandits are clearly up your alley.
Personally, all of us in the penthouse suite at the Forum think they're the best thing since...the last best thing.

Saturday 20th

Like all the best guitar driven music blasting its way into our consciousness in the new millennium, Kubrick are about the distillation of aggression, melody and emotion. Kubrick have an intensity taken from bands like Faith No More and Will haven and a very good ear for melody and dynamics.
Frontman/writer Richard Gombault might well have been the lynchpin of 90’s Warner signed, indie-rockers Midget, but Kubrick are cut from an all together more intense cloth. With grooves as wide as the Grand Canyon and barnstorming riffs that owe a debt of gratitude to the low-slung thundery of Helmet and Kyuss, Kubrick are slab heavy, metal merchants. But they know well enough to temper their assaults with achingly infectious melodies and choruses that apply for residency in your brain from the first second you hear them!
Featuring Richard Gombault, Vocals / Guitar, Dave Pistolas,Guitar, Chris Letts,– Bass and Bob Clarke on Drums.
Self financed debut single, ‘Reverie’, is a stunning example of the blueprint the band employ. Rhythmic blocks of guitar and pneumatic drumming propel the track directly into a contagious chorus and straight out the other side.
“We want to remind people of all the things they loved about heavy, melodic music that nu-metal caused them to forget," explains frontman Richard.
For a band bred on an eclectic mix of The Pixies, Nine Inch Nails, Faith No More and The Cure you’d expect no less. Kubrick sound compellingly contemporary whilst always remaining noticeably distant from the waves of increasingly self referential and generic dross that is clogging up the airwaves right now.
Bristol based Welshies alt.pop rockers LEFT SIDE BRAIN's sound lies somewhere between the Foo Fighters, Funeral For A Friend and conventional British indie. Chugging riffs, audacious solos and harmonised vocals with a savage, Wildhearts-esque assault of speedfreak rock'n'roll, though offering up the melodies of the less twee emo clique, the staccato guitars of a pomp-free Placebo and the steady riffing of a barrel load of American rock monkeys. Two sides of a very shiny coin indeed.

The ga*ga*s
Friday 26th

2002 was a dreary year by music standards. Britney Spears released "I Love Rock 'n' Roll", Darius released "Colourblind" and who could forget the summer that was the ketchup song, aka "Las Ketchup" by Asereje. There was a small gleaming light at the end of the tunnel however.
In April, Tommy Gleeson started his search for fellow band mates who would help him take over the world as we know it. And thank the lord he did. With laid-back-to-the-point-of-being-horizontal, Brazilian J on drums, quiet (but you've got to watch the quiet ones) Japanese bass-monster Toshi and happy-go-lucky Brummie guitarist Rob The Ga Gas were born.

If you can imagine a band strewn with melodic overtones trampled by frenzied guitar and bass riffs and rounded off with those pulsating rhythms found in bands such as Soundgarden and Alice In Chains, The Ga-Ga's may very well be your God send. Everybody but everybody keeps saying the Darkness whenever they see them, so let’s deal with that one head on: “People have compared us to The Darkness in the past and now they’re comparing us to Velvet Revolver” says lead singer and all round leather trouser wearing rock god in the making Tommy. “Those bands don’t even sound like each other at all, except that they play good old fashioned rock music. I guess it just shows the lack of real rock and roll out there. We don’t sound like them, but the Darkness have opened doors for all of us playing rock and roll and now Velvet Revolver have taken that up a million gears. When we wrote these songs we didn’t give a shit about what was going on, we just knew that if we write what we wanted to hear then other people would follow”. The band’s first full on proper assault on the charts (SEX) will be released on 31st January 2005. The band’s debut album will be released the following week (7th Feb). Both releases are on Sanctuary Records. See them now before it costs you £22 for a seat at the back of Wembley Arena.

Ariel X
Saturday 27th

"Kohl- smeared and brash, with a front man who might just play the lead in 'The Brian Molko Story', you'd be forgiven for thinking that ARIEL X are just another flash in the trash rock pan. How wrong could you be?! A love of caterwauling guitars, alien FX and bruising walls of noise splits their hit-hungry, kick ass stomp into a three way fight between a mudwrestling Placebo, Jane's Addiction and Nine Inch Nails.
Heavy and gorgeous as fuck, go see the young pretenders to the glamgoth metal crown"

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.
This month sees:






Entry to these shows is a mere four quid, 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

Comedy Forum
Thursday 7th October 2004

On the radio tonight was a discussion about the British class system and whether there still is one. When class boundaries blur with each generation, one ponders whether the system of division from yesteryear has any relevance in modern society. Being upper, middle or working class is neither a barrier or gateway to success in these enlightened times, as class is determined by an individual's demeanour and relationship with the world, rather than wealth or accent. After all, if Prince Harry Pothead can be considered a bit of a chavster, and the Beckhams can induce awed hysteria that even royalty never previously achieved, then 'class' is clearly not a question of money or breeding.
Tonight is one big class-clash. Though arguably just a white middle-class suburb, Tunbridge Wells is 'like entering Poshville' according to our chummy and impossibly named MC, Tiernan Douieb. Apparently, because this is such an affluent town, it's the happiest part of Britain and who are we to disagree? Admittedly, it seems odd that such a well-presented chap with an accent that sounds as if it was forcibly buggered into him at Eton, could possibly consider TW a posh place. Although compared to his native Finsbury Park, it probably seems almost aristocratic. But then again, his bewilderment at his surroundings would indicate that this 'psycho mansion on a hill', where the odour of half a century's shitting pissing and cottaging still lingers, has proved to him that there's more to TW than meets the eye. Or the nose, for that matter.
Unfortunately though, what you see with Douieb is exactly what you get. Imagine Matt Lucas with hair and an overdraft at the talent bank. As an MC, he lacks rapport. As a performer, he lacks personality. As a comic, he lacks jokes. He's chipper and friendly sure, but the overused material (Americans are stupid eh? We'd never have guessed) is bland and insipid. He is to comedy, what Hofmeister is to lager; weak, artificial, and unpalatable after the first sip.
Kiwi Terry Frisby knows all about class and seems to take great pleasure in demonstrating his total absence of it, but over there, even getting out of the shower to piss seems unnecessarily pretentious. Since his Edinburgh festival appearance a couple of years ago, he's developed a wryly observed view of English class structure and our oxymoronic 'criminal justice system', which chews into the edge of satire and would be boldly inventive if he'd let himself explore it without resorting to gross-out smut for the sake of a cheap snigger. For a brief moment it seems that Frisby is allowing himself a seething Mark Thomas-style rant elevating him above the familiar themes of bestiality ("We don't shag sheep in New Zealand - we make love"), ginger pubic hair and drug experiences that are cast lazily out in order to find an easily workable level. But such a promising diversion is too quickly tossed aside in favour of more instantaneous quips on anal fisting, which while undeniably funny, makes him appear one-dimensional and unnecessarily crass.
Perhaps recognising a mainly teenage crowd makes him conclude that the only way forward is to appeal to their puerility, and if that's his intention, he's chosen his survival strategy well. The laddish joys of watching porn while pissed, or the sensual delights of slapping girls' arses with cold slices of pizza mid coitus, are consumed with relish and his explicit bluntness is a guilty pleasure to behold. Frisby could develop his material beyond the nob-gag, and certainly will as circumstances and opportunities allow, but there's something very satisfying about the brusque candour of his performance anyway. As predictably lewd as the material is, it'll still make you guffaw into your pint, although you'll have a tough time trying to understand why afterwards.
But even from no class at all, it's possible to sink lower. The gurning Lee Nelson represents the kingdom of the urban underclass, where the robes of state are Burberry check, the crown jewels are fake bling from Argos, the royal carriage is acustomised Nova and the national anthem is by So Solid Crew on a Nokia ringtone. 'Nelsey' is, as he would say, 'a legend' as well as the funniest, most observant parody you'll see in a long, long time. Nelsey wants to teach you how to be a chav and if you are already, a better one. It's not as easy as it looks y'know, 'cause even the 'wrong' lager is a terrible faux pas.

None of that Carlsberg shit, you've gotta have a proper British lager, like Stella innit? And you have to be smooth wiv yer bitches.
"Woss yer name darlin'? Becky? Izzat Spanish?You're da most gorgeous bird in your category…". See? Style counselling at its highest level.
Unwilling pupil Ryan ('Big R') certainly has a lot to learn from teacher this evening. His walk, it seems, is 'far too gay' and with the help of 'Chris' (no street moniker necessary - issa proper blokes name, innit?) they learn the swagger step by step, complete with "Wotchoolookinatcaaaant?" dialogue and obligatory gobbing, because it's important to get these things right.
When the circuit can create spoof terrorists, refugees and grotesque caricatures of virtually any social group, it seems surprising that the comedy chav has taken so long to arrive. The lager-loving yob send-up has been a circuit mainstay for many years and essentially, Nelson's creation does nothing more than dress the same character in Burberry, feed it some Streets lyrics and add new colloquialisms to complete the makeover. It's a simple concept, requiring remarkably little creativity as the material is there for the taking outside every KFC in Britain, so by rights, there should be dozens of stand-ups trying to milk the year's favourite buzzword, but Nelson's so convincing it's difficult to imagine anyone else doing it with more wincing accuracy and true wit. He makes you want to check that your car is OK, and that might just be his intention.
It's fitting then, that we climax with a man who's not only grown beyond his own class but can change the class of his act with chameleonic versatility, from intelligent satire (lawyers defending failed suicide bombers) to the surreally vulgar (fish pornography). The term 'multi-faceted' seems to have been coined for Eddy Brimson. Radio/TV presenter, graphic designer, sports journo, actor, best-selling author, ex-soccer superthug and notoriously, England's foremost authority on football violence. Ever read 'Hooligan'? That's him. Despite the obvious potential for material, managing to avoid these topics or anything that could lead to them seems a testimony to his resourcefulness as a stand-up. Of course, it could just be astute observation of what seems to be working tonight with the other acts, but it's more comforting to credit him with the former, although his distaste for youngsters indicates that it's probably the latter.
Brimson might be surprisingly laid-back, belying his menacing exterior, but he's sharp enough to guess that material about sex, and particularly drugs, is hurled from the stage with monotonous regularity so it'll take something special to make it memorable. Stoned tales are almost obligatory, but a surreal shroom-induced fantasy involving disabled dogs on phones, the erotic charms of Bangkok monkey sex shows and taking his wife to see a lady bursting balloons with darts fired from her 'baby pocket', demonstrate an imagination that's not just warped, it's positively deformed.
When he's doing so well, it seems peculiar to divert to what seems to be a serious (and no doubt, truthful) tale of when the police raided him ten years ago on suspicion of bombing. Thought provoking perhaps, but funny it unfortunately isn't as there's no real climax, with a build-up that goes nowhere, leaving him struggling to finish on a high. Maybe this was a mistake, maybe not, but either way it deserves a rethink

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 brand new 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
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, 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!

Further to last month's editorial we have been inundated with emails from warm-hearted Forum goers enquiring as to how they could help raise the Twat-o-Meter to a healthy level by making an extremely generous contribution over and above the 50 pence exacted on the door.
We were very touched to receive these communiques. and would like to take this opportunity to thank all those concerned. A rather fantastic donation, above and beyond the call of duty came from that rather fine metal outfit 9-VOLT. We will of course respect their desire for this donation to remain anonymous.

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