This month I was going to write a humorous article based around the news that John Major was secretly sticking it to Edwina Currie for a number of years. I started with a long piece about "Local residents were said to be shocked and stunned this week after the revelation that" blah blah blah, inevitably going off at a tangent to allege that Mumm Ra members had been seeing Ye Wiles behind the nation's backs and had been covering it up for years. A lot like last month's hilarious piece about the Kings of the One Handed Catchers, however, it quickly became apparent that the news itself was actually so funny that a spoof article was not really required. John Major and Edwina Currie. That's the Edwina Currie and the John Major. If anybody can think of a funnier coupling than that they can have a night out with the boy Lawrence at our expense.
Instead, let's use this space to keep you up to date with our pointless vendetta against that all round good guy and defender of the public purse Mr Geoff Levitt, the head of finance at Tunbridge Wells Borough Council. It appears that previous attempts to spark Geoff's interest in repairing the holes in the ceiling by alleging that he was a monkey molester have fallen on deaf ears. Our pleas for hot water have been ignored by the amiable Mr Levitt, although this may not be unconnected to the fact that we described him in print as a "cunt with the brains of a mollusc".
The latest update is that we have decided to get all the repairs at The Forum done ourselves and that TWBC can go fuck themselves for the rent whilst we get it all sorted - something our lovely lawyers say we can do and they can't stop us.Na na na na na! Consequently over the coming months you may notice some improvements to the building, which should at last mean you can gain access if you are in a wheelchair, or enjoy the comfort of washing your hands after you have pissed on them. Not much, we know, but it's the little luxuries of life that make it worth living. Geoff has now written to us to say that he would really like it if we carried on paying the rent whilst we get the repairs they should be doing done ourselves and that if we could also pay for those repairs it would really help him out. We have written back to tell him to take his head out of his arse as it is blocking his speech patterns. For those of you who don't understand all this, don't panic. This is a subliminal message telling you to vote this council out and vote in one that gives a fuck about the local youth population. Please ignore it and then do the appropriate thing at the polling booth next time around.
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. In last month's apology we used the word's "simian genitalia", "zoo fetish" and "monkey fiddler" in connection with a certain Mr Geoff Levitt of this parish. Several of you have written in to object to this description being applied to Mr Levitt. "I am a perfectly respectable member of the community" wrote one "who just happens to enjoy playing about with an Orangutang's private parts. Being likened to Geoff Levitt is simply beyond the pale!" We would like to formally apologise to all those of you who enjoy mucking about with animal organs for any embarrassment and loss of public face being likened to Geoff Levitt has caused you. It is not our intention to besmirch the good name of perfectly upstanding members of the community who provide a useful service to animals of all species, only to point out to the broader community that Geoff Levitt is, in our humble opinion, a danger to small rodents who want to save themselves for someone special. Or, to put it another way, a connoisseur of big fat hairy hamster cock.
THE STABLE REVIEW
Whereby Mr Danny Hayward takes the bit between the teeth and reviews the Stable Fans Choice Final held on 14th September.
And so it all comes down to this. Six bands enter, six bands leave, one of them wins. Ahem. First up is Lazy Dave, formerly known as Abyssinia. Whatever brought about this particular name change is beyond me, and the fact that the band describe themselves as an 'easy listening, soft rock crossover' does conjure memories of that guy with the wig who covered an Oasis song, but they actually sound quite promising, their songs being melody driven and well structured, and some nice guitar effects add a little depth. Unfortunately, the band react quite badly to the heckling they receive, which is a shame, because they were doing quite well until their bassist/vocalist had a tantrum, after which they seem to lose focus.
Then came Mumm Ra - the everliving. Obviously blessed with a sense of humour and an eclectic record collection, Mumm Ra have got plenty going for them. They seem both genuinely cheerful to be playing, and all seven members of the band add something to the mix. Even the presence of a tambourine isn't enough to stop them making themselves a good few new friends; if Crispian Mills was born in the fifties and listened to an unhealthy amount of rock n' roll, Kulashaker would have sounded like this. I liked the dancing too. Go see em'.
On third were The Life. They may not be out to change the world, or anything else much, really, but they like to put on a show, and since tonight would be the very last 'Life gig, they must have felt like going out with a bangLife Vocalist Sam isn't as well known for his ability to hold a note as he is for the tightness of his leather trousers, and that really sums up what the band are about. Not that there aren't plus sides; the band obviously know a tune when it clubs them round the head with a blunt object, and hence one or two of the things manage to sneak into their songs unnoticed, and there's nowt wrong with enjoying yourself, which the Life excel themselves at..
Landing slap bang in the middle of proceedings are Ye Wiles, by no means strangers to the Forum, and this is evidenced by the rather large contingent of fans that seem to have come along specifically for their performance. I'm not going to embroil myself in the various genre-based arguments that are oft discussed these days in the vicinity of the Forum, but love them or loathe them (and most of you love them, you know you do) no one can deny that Ye Wiles have perfected playing their songs to a live audience.
Whether they will ever really break out of local circuit remains to be seen, but out of all that bands who played tonight, Ye Wiles probably deserve it the most right now. The Ideots have already divided opinions and courted controversy with their 'vote Ideot, you know it makes sense' campaign, and their shameless self-promotion would make them easy targets for ridicule if they weren't actually quite good. But they are, so I'll try to describe them instead: Think of the Pistol's vehement bite and derisive song titles (e.g. 'the British Way'), a large chunk of self-confidence and so many well rehearsed moves it's a wonder that they didn't hire a choreographer. The band are on fine form tonight, and with a clutch of surprisingly good songs already written (and from the sound of it, more on the way) it seems it really does make sense.
Last on were those perennial punk-popsters One-day Elliot. The band waste no time in launching themselves into a tight and enjoyable thump along that's about as unpredictable as, well, any other perennial punk-pop band that I can think of. Not that that's a particularly bad thing; their songs are catchy and fun, while their performance and audience interaction is as tight and well rehearsed as one could possibly hope to expect. Nevertheless, by the time the singer dedicates a slower number to his girlfriend, my skin is beginning to crawl. But then I am a cynical bastard! Approach a One Day Elliot gig with nothing but innocent enthusiasm and you will most certainly have the time of your life.
And so it ends. You want my vote? My vote doesn't matter. In fact who cares who won anyway.(Ye Wiles did, for the record, folks - Ed) Probably not even the Ideots, when it comes down to it. What this Fan's Choice Stable Final did was make an example of just how many good bands can spring up with the help and support of venues like the Forum. All six bands tonight had something positive to offer, and as such, we can only await the Stable II with trepidation, which, by the time you read this, will already have started. Try not to miss it.
Wednesday 2nd October
Two singles into their career and these upstarts are already being hailed as 'the best new band in Britain'. Speaking as a man who's possibly seen the last of his gilded youthful splendour (No, surely not you Silver Fox - Patronising Ed) I must say that I've seen it all before. Which, dear reader, is no reason why you shouldn't be exposed to this deliciously adrenalin charged, angry, Ritalin deficient attention seeking, Prozac pumping rock 'n' roll.
The rabble rousing first single, 'You're a Waster' entered the top 60, despite a radio ban due to good old-fashioned Anglo Saxonisms (That's fucking swearing to you Philistines!)
The Libertines are grubby oiks, whose interviews are littered with tall stories alluding to their rentboy pasts (Judge for yourself by looking at the photo above. No wonder they went hungry!) They inhabit a veritable Londoncentric demi monde that would appear to be part Oscar Wilde, and part Grange Hill. Watch out, here comes Gripper Stebson! With their new single, 'Up The Bracket', no relation to Frankie 'No, Mrs' Howerd, just released, these slouching leather jacketed types look set to be propelled to bigger things with their Buzzcock/Jilted John buzzsaw guitar influenced exploits. Deranged guitar solos that sound like Slaughter & The Dogs albums played at 45rpm. All this, and the bugger was produced by The Clash's Lord Westway, Mick Jones. File alongside the new new punk of the Strokes, and the Hives. Also appearing to night are Rainhams finest mod pop meisters, CROY, whose shimmering, incandescent janglifications would appear to be more palatable than two 12 year old bassists jumping up and down!
Half Inch Heroes
Friday 4th October
Dynamic, unpredictable, enjoyable are three words to be found in Rogets Thesaurus under the heading LIGHTYEAR.They're a 7-piece carnival of melodic up-beat ska chaos and pop tunes. Oh, and they also not averse to getting their kit off for the ladies in the audience, and Lawrence! It's a bouncing orgy of jumping brass, diving vocalists and and astonishingly stoopid tattoos. Accompanying Lightyear in their fleshfest will be local lads, SEQUANA, and Sidcup's Pacey & The Passions, HALF INCH HEROES.
Forge My Soul
Saturday 5th October
Formed by ex proto progsters ULTRASOUND keyboardist, Matt Jones, MINUTEMAN are a stadium friendly ragbag of influences. Described as sounding like a council estate early Roxy Music (discounting lounge lizard Bryan Ferry), its an amalgam of Bowiesque glam, Neil Youngesque guitar doodlings and Guided by Voices quirkery. In short; dynamic, idiosyncratic pop with a Valium withdrawal edginess.
Friday 11th October
Look. I'm not going to waste time fuckin' about with this. The Pietasters are possibly one of the best live bands you'll see this year. Their Stax fuelled Two Tone sound is the sound of The Jam in a parallel universe, if Mr Weller hadn't split the band up after Beat Surrender. As a live act they're second to none; think silver lame suits, a big fuck-off brass section, in your face vocals, Dexy's/Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon intensity, and a gang you want to be a part of. Cut to the chase, this will be the best night at the Forum since Liam Gallagher was refused service at the bar for being a Northern twat! Support on the night is supplied by Dan and the lads from MORGANS PUFFADDER, whose particular brand of ska punkery is always welcome here at the Forum.
Metal Hammer night
Saturday 12th October
Gggrrrrrrr....gggrrrrrrr, and dare I say Gggrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!
It's Britain's finest metal mag sponsored , the NU BREED TOUR coming to town. Look Mummy, clowns!
A veritable night of metal mayhem madness, a smorgasbord of suppurating sonic sword 'n' sorcery. Or possibly, just four fine exponents of nu-metal, Christ knows!
PORNORPHANS, pictured top left, with a two page spread in the Nov issue of Metal Hammer, are a heady mixture of love, perverted riffs, pain, bizarre melodies and chains, (Sounds like another quiet night in at Randall Towers - Convent educated Ed) all brewed in the deep forests of frosty Finland. Featuring the luscious , pouting Jytt on vocals, who by the photo, would appear to be structurally sound, this is the sound of "..Marilyn Manson meets Kate Bushin Disneyland after WWIII.." If that floats your boat, then all hands on deck! THE BARDO, pictured middle left are a glamtastic trio, featuring a duelling male/female vocal assault. They are the perfect combination of beauty and danger, who after supporting System of a Down, have been favourably compared to Smashing Pumpkins, Helmet and Puddle of Mudd.THROAT meanwhile occupy the musical landscape that features bands like Jimmy Eats World at the top of it's food chain. Their emo tinged post hardcore sound is laced with a dash of out 'n' out AC/DC esque rock. I think you likey GI Joe! In the midst of the Uncle Sam's Nu-metal onslaught comes Britain's riposte FLICT . A dark and brooding movement consisting of sharp edged metal, fundamental raw hip-hop and drum n' bass beats, twisted jazz bridges and explosive riffs all laced with 'death going eyeball to eyeball with garage' vocals.
Thursday 17th October
While the rest of the world was queueing up for a Kajagoogoo haircut, Chumbawamba were starting a squatting commune deep in the middle of Leeds' industrial heartland. While the cashcows of the Smash Hits pop culture were recording 'heartfelt' backing vocals for 'Feed The World', Chumbawamba released their first album, 'Pictures of Starving Children Sell Records'. With a loathing of authority, and a bigger loathing of being pigeonholed, there's a whole lot more to Chumbawamba than that Young Farmers Union favourite, 'Tubthumping', and Redland brick suits. If having the ability of being knocked down, then being able to get up again is your total experience of the 'Chums, then think again Buddy Boy!
Friday 18th October
Anybody who went to the last Crossfire night will know exactly what a sensory feast this experience is. Combining video installations, skater film shorts, Djs, live bands, and if that ain't enough, then how about a table full of freebies; skate gear, records, mags and bags. Crossfire has been spreading like wildfire across London, creating a platform for new bands and indeed, anything creative that twiddles mainman Zac's knobs! It's a no holds barred good time evening that is not so much an event, more of a lifestyle.
Saturday 19 October
The Man's Choice Final
Fray . Hindsight . Joeyfat . Noon . The Ideots . Ye Wiles
Life is strange you know. Why, only yesterday, as I was feeding the gentle deer that gather at my kitchen door every morning, I got to thinking "When O when is the Stable's Man's Choice Final going to be?" Hu-bleedin' ray, it's finally here, having held the Fans Choice Final where Ye Wiles proudly held the Joe Dolce Memorial Cup aloft, it's now the turn of the top six bands as voted by our friends in the industry. We're talking agents, journalists, NME photographers and various management companies, including Radiohead's and the Super Furries. ie. Big Cheeses one and all.This time, it's the turn of emo-metallers FRAY. Big Si and the lads never fail to whip the audience up to a rabid frenzy. Local stars, JOEYFAT,featuring Matt 'Mr Grimsdale!' Cole (pic right) bring their post post-rock to the great unwashed Ashford's answer to Nickelback, HINDSIGHT, will provide their own brand of pop tinged metal and always guarantee a bleedin' good time. Punchdrunk, renamed NOON, (Judging by the state of 'em should be called High Noon- Frank Carson) bring their etheral lush, gorgeousness of a sonic onslaught. Whatever that means.Local legends Ska pop punksters YE WILES, whom I won't even start to introduce to you, and THE IDEOTS, the band that could start an argument in a solo round the world yachtsman's cabin complete the line-up. The entrance price includes yet another FREE 18 track CD.
Mark Foggo's Skasters
Wednesday 23rd October
Holland based, but led by ex-pat Brit, Mark Foggo, the Skasters are a Bad Manners/ Madness influenced out and out Eighties styled, four to the floor ska band. It's vorsprung durch twotone to the max. Taking skank to the skunk environment has certainly been a fantastic move for Mr Foggo, who with his 16 legged ska machine have been constantly touring all over Europe.
Variety and experimentation are not the issue here. If it's goodtime skanking, rude boy, porkpie hat posturing you're after, then look no further.Extra points for Adam (Wot, me bonkers?) Ant fans are earned with a cover of "Skank & Deliver". This I must see.
Golfin' on the Moon tour
Friday 25th October
The tour you've all been waiting for; sponsored by Golf, Big Cheese and Moon Ska Records, this four band package of ska punk hyperactivity is a shot in the arm for all of you who've been moaning about the lack of ska punk at the Forum (!?)
Ska punk Wurzels, WHITMORE consist of
ex-members of manic and mad Uncle Brian. Having supported Reel Big Fish,
Spunge and King Prawn, are quite rightly building an humungous fanbase.
Having met their bassist at a 'Pie Contest' in Sligo, (don't ask), poteen
guzzlers MIXTWITCH are sworn to making this 39 date tour one of the best
shows ever seen. Then they'll have a sarnie and a bit of a kip! 4ft
FINGERS and the charmingly named GASH complete the line-up.
Miss Black America
Saturday 26 October
Named after a Curtis Mayfield song, Miss Black America, (pictured left) are a four piece from Bury St Edmunds. Any band that plays fast and furious guitar agitpop-punk, and sing songs about youth alienation are bound to be compared to Ritchey-era Manics. This is almost, but not quite the case mon brave! There's something about them that reminds me of '77 Clash, and digit-missing singer Seymour Glass's snarling, clipped delivery is pure early Sir Weller of Woking. Which in my book is no bad thing. KID GALAHAD you all know about, with their short, sharp indie tuneful rock. Meanwhile, CARPE DIEM are hard lovin' men, who play hard lovin' rock to a hard drinkin' audience. Grab your place at the bar before this thirsty lot get down there!
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