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BLAM September 2003

A word in your ear...

The month in slanderous lies
In a shock move Forum head honcho and all round evil bloke Mark Davyd has announced his plans to stand as an independent candidate for election as Governor of Tunbridge Wells. Backed by his celebrity mates (the bass player out of Kinky Machine and the girl who played violin on a Divine Comedy b-side), the self styled "most evil promoter in the greater Weald area" launched his campaign of empty promises and cliches ("well thought through and dynamic policies" surely? - ED) on the steps of Tunbridge Wells Town Hall. "I love this town, I love the people, I love your music, I love you all" he said, before getting back into his gold plated limo and driving out of town to somewhere a bit nicer with a free bar. Famous for his two catchphrases - "Can't they do it cheaper?" and "Fucking hell, that sounds like a Zanussi washing machine. People want to buy this rubbish?" it is understood that Mr Davyd has promised Tunbridge Wells residents that he "Won't be back".

But Mr Davyd is not the only one of the Forum ubergruppenfurehers who plan to extend their business interests. Jason Dormon has announced that he will be raising some much needed cash by opening his ranch in Upper Grosvenor Road for one day only to anybody willing to fork out more than 50p. Visitors to Mr Dormon's Notnowland will be able to visit the live animal park in the back garden where they can play with a real live Boy Lawrence, as well as climbing up the mountain of unsold Unhome albums. Meanwhile, Ian Carvell has been bought by The Opera House for the highest sum ever paid for an English landlord.

This month sees the winding up of Stable 2 with the Fan's final on 6th September, so by then you should know if any local band has managed to pull off the elusive double of having loads of mates and being very good indeed. This year's competition has been a great event and with Stable 3 about to launch there really never has been a better time to get involved with the local scene.

Blam is owned and produced by The Forum. It is printed using the very finest semi used top quality bog paper in a variety of fonts that we bought of the back of a lorry. If you find that this magazine has slighted your good name in some way, such as suggesting that you are a connosieur of hamster cock or once went out with a member of Busted, then we would advise you to sue us immediately at this address:
The Forum, Fonthill, The Common, Fonthill, Tunbridge Wells, Kent TN4 8YU
Nine times out of ten I wouldn't bother because our lawyers, Desmond, Lanky & Fop are the fastest legal minds in Cricklewood. Many local bands have written in to complain that the last two editorials failed to mention them in even the slightest derogatory tones. There's a reason for this, which is that we have been paid to build up the profile of certain members of the Forum staff. If you want to be seriously slandered in our editorial column, please send your bribes to the usual address. By the way, this month there is actually more swearing in the magazine than there is in the apology, which makes a fucking change. Bum, arse, poo etc etc.

Jesse James
Tiny Elvis
Saturday 13 September

Jesse James full name is Jesse Woodson James. He was born in Missouri, of Reverend Robert and Zerelda James, on September 5, 1847. By the time Jesse was eight, his mother had remarried twice more. He was skilled with horses and a natural leader but he was never a very skilled marksman. Jesse was one of the most famous outlaws of the wild west, leading many train robberies and bank raids, and in the process killing a reported fifteen people. Jesse was himself killed by Bob Ford, a member of his own gang, on April 3, 1882, reportedly for the reward money being offered. After Jesse was killed his guns and gunbelt were auctioned off for fifteen dollars. He had owned a Colt .45 Peacemaker and a .45 Smith and Wesson Schofield. For years afterward, Jesse's mother sold many other guns claiming that they belonged to Jesse. For a long time there were rumors that Ford did not kill Jesse, that he was somewhere else and that Ford had shot dead another gang member who was rumoured to be having an affair with Jesse's wife. Jesse was thought to be living in Guthrie, Oklahoma as late as 1948, but in 2002 he re-emerged from hiding disguised as a six (and sometimes seven) piece punk/soul/dance band from North London. Although Jesse is apparently now 156 years old, he can still kick up a storm with the best of them. This article might be rubbish, but be honest, you learnt something from it for a change didn't you? Rather than the usual "...blah blah Dexy's Midnight Runners meets the Clash blah blah..."See, Blam is not only full of swear words, occasionally we slip in a pointless history lesson. This show will be very busy so buy early.
Sonically influenced by the thud of Poison Idea in their prime as well as the bug eyed energy of early west coast hardcore such as The Germs and Black Flag, support band TINY ELVIS also draw musically on the likes of Nirvana and The Deftones. Lyrically Tiny Elvis see it as a righteous crusade to revel in what happens when rock ‘n roll goes wrong in the hands of punk rock!

The Flipsides
Saturday 27 September

Although their musical experience reaches well before 1999, it was then that The Flipsides were born... on a stage, Christmas eve, in a disreputable San Francisco Haight street bar. The band's twenty-minute set of power pop tunes inspired by the likes of Green Day, Elvis Costello & The Attractions, and the manic energy of The Who gave nary a sixties burnout time to scratch their encrusted dander. The statement was clear... with high-energy, melodic 2 ½ minute tunes, The Flipsides don't intend to waste their time... or yours.
So far 2003 has been a good use of time for The Flipsides. The group recorded their debut record, Clever One, for Pink & Black Records to be released July 30th. The result is 12 sugar-hooked gems in bed with the guilty pleasures of punk rock. The Flipsides will also release new songs on various compilations for Fat Wreck Chords
Front-woman/songwriter, gorgeous, pouting Sabrina Stewart has a love for hard-hitting power chords and shameless pop songwriting. With vocal performances ranging from snotty to sultry, it's her cynical, pissed-off lyrics that balance The Flipsides' deceptively upbeat delivery. Mark Bradin, bassist and part-time engineer for the band, adds melodic lines reminiscent of those early Clash and Costello records you wore out as a kid. And Jim Lindsay, the Keith Moon reincarnate, adds his own version of explosive rock drumming, and his love for 60's pop music. It's an unlikely but undeniable chemistry you can hear in their music and see first hand at their high-energy live show.

Saturday 6th September

Breaths are bated, temperatures are rising, sweaty palms are much in evidence and Max the Evil Sound Guy has bought himself (off? - Ed) some extra strength ear plugs. Yes, fans, the Fan’s Choice Final 2003 is here. For those not in the know, 6th Sept sees the culmination of this year’s Stable event. The previous Saturday will have seen the announcement of the Industry’s Choice for the best local band of the year, and this week will see the local public get their chance to say who is their favourite act of the local scene last year. The bands have been whittled down to the last six, and the names of the lucky few this year are: DUFUZ, FKA, KUDOS, THE CATCH. THE IMPECCABLES, SEQUANA. One of these bands will be walking off with the coveted trophy. More than that, they will be walking out of the doors of the Forum into the local studio The Granary for a free two day recording session, plus seeing some of their songs printed on to CD. And the bands aren’t the only winners on this night. Everybody that attends gets a FREE CD featuring a live track by the eighteen most popular bands of the last year. So, only £6 to get in for six bands and a Free CD……sounds like a deal to me. Stable 3 launches this month, see page 7 for full details. Over 60 bands are confirmed to be taking part in this year's event. In the middle of this article I managed to sound exactly like a radio two link announcer. Crikey, mate, it's Marvy Jarvy!

3 Stages of Pain
Friday 5 September

Quite a weird and discordant line up for this one. 27 are a hushed and intense guitar, vocal and experimental sample based band. The band has shared bills with artists such as low, karate, and the in/out, and the members of the band were previously in noted underground bands like Dirt Merchants and Spore. Splendid mag said that their album Animal Life was an "instant modern classic and Kerrang gave them a five star review for their last live tour. 3 Stages of Pain, on the other hand, fall into the category of none more heavy than they, having recently received five star reviews in Kerrang and Rocksound. Their debut album Chaos in her Wake attracted great reviews across the board. Most interestingly of all is that the band feature an ex-member of Forum stalwarts Group Dogdrill, who at one point appeared to be on a monthly residency. So, something for everyone that has taste basically.

The Glitterati
Friday 12th September

When we find a bill of hot new bands to give you we like to deliver the goods, so for this one night we have got you not one but two of the hottest new bands around. The Glitterati are the subject of a huge A&R bidding war in London at the moment, so much so that when they wanted to play a quiet gig here at the jolly old Forum last month they had to play under an assumed name (The Highly Davidson) to stop the press from turning up. Yes, they really are that good. If you saw them on that night then you will already be familiar with the towering majesty of the hooks and harmonies. Going to be very big indeed. As for the Scenes, well this support band used to be VEX RED, one of the brightest hopes of the UK guitar scene until they lost the lead singer. Now re-armed and re-grouped, you can expect the Scenes to be fucking big up fuck bollocks big by Xmas and then you can say "well, of course, I saw them as the Forum, so fuck off if you think I am paying £25 to see them as a distant speck at Wembley Arena. Big value, big night.

The Vaults
Friday 19 September

It's hard to believe, but once upon a time, two whole rocking, rolling years ago, there was an industry 'buzz' about some fresh-faced bunch of indie tigers called Seafood. Their debut single was all over daytime XFM like a particularly itchy rash. Their early gigs were sell-out successes. Verily, they were the talk of that minuscule corner of London Town which somehow believes that it controls the entire music business. "These A&R men would be phoning us up and they'd talk non-stop for half-an-hour," recalls bassist Kevin Hendrick. "Then I' go 'to be honest with you, I haven't got a clue what you're talking about." Imagine it!" we couldn't possibly. Still, two whole rolling, rocking years on, Seafood can breathe a huge sigh of relief about the fact that the industry 'buzz' faded as soon as it had started. Unsigned, underrated, undaunted and left to their own devious devices the foursome have been allowed to develop at their own pace, free from corporate pressure and 'cor-blimey-bish-bosh!' shit-style hyperbole. Now they're more than ready to make their mark as "casual pilots exploring twilight noise seduction". In support we have yet another fucking brilliant new band that we found lying around at the back of the music scenes sofa in The Vaults.

Violent Delight
Saturday 20 September

VD are PU-METAL band from the Londonish area. For anybody that is wondering what PU-METAL is, it's a mix of punk and metal that both punk and metal fans won't actually like. VD is made up of 4 losers who were bullied at school because they are all cocks, not because they were misunderstood (in case you are wondering, this is their own description so it's not like they can sue us or anything). They are influenced by hardcore pornography, alcohol and sleep. All in all, VD are all about the things most bands never admit to being in the business for; money, sex, booze and free holidays. Somewhere along the line music starts to creep into things, but if they were all about the music there'd be nothing original about them. Incredibly we yet again have doubled up the bill to provide you with extra value for money, so you can also see FALLEN TO on the same night, which considering how fucking brilliant they were when they headlined here less than two months ago must be somewhat of a good deal.
This show will be totally sold out so please buy early

The Stable

As Stable II draws to close on Saturday 6th with THE FANS' CHOICE FINAL, with a new broom, we've mucked out and made room for a whole host of new, some virgin bands. Word of the popularity, and what a jolly good thing the Stable is has spread world-wide. We've received applications from places as far-flung as Newcastle, Wales and even Southborough...oh, that was the Ideots!
As usual, there are some good bands, some bloody good bands, and some 'a bit damn special', all combining to make a right aural feast for you. Don't forget, it's only £4 to get in and see three rather marvellous bands; catch them now before they all bugger off and appear on Fame Academy........or Police Five!

Monday 8th
Those connoisseurs of all things dairy-based and hi-falutin' fancy foreign muck AT THE DELI are back and kicking up a storm with their ska/pop/punk racket. All the way from Gillingham, FUZZ, are a an indie rock based act, and according to their website www.fuzznroll.co.uk have run the gamut of numerous break-ups, rehabs, car accidents and running out of Rizlas at three in the morning! TOKEN RAY GUN DEPT. are a four piece from Langton Green, who dress like extras from Harry Potter and the Brown Ring of Fire, and play a particular brand of Prog Rock.

Monday 15th
BAD PICTURE are a four piece who unbeknownst to them live just around the corner from Randall. Which might go some way to explaining their Cheeky Girl influence (hot nights, open windows, loud gramophone players etc). They apologise in advance for their name. Three piece FADE ( www.fadenet.tk ) continue on from Stable 2. They hail from Moonie heartland East Grinstead , dislike boy bands, ignorant twats, Anne Robinson and Craig David NOVACAINE meanwhile, are an out n out rawk and roll band from Oxted, and are in possession of a lead-lined drum, as according to their details "..our drummer can't move his kit..."


Monday 22nd
BELMONT are all the way from Colchester. They've supported Cosmic Rough Riders on their last tour and play indie music m'lud They have just released a new CD entitled "What's wrong with being happy".ERIC (pictured right) meanwhile, hail from Tunbridge Wells, and appear to be influenced by Radiohead, and Smashing Pumpkins. PACKET OF CRISPS, featuring Smokey Bacon on vocals, have a dreadful name, but what they lack in height, they certainly make up by having a pocketful of Sum 41 inspired pop punk toons. Check 'em out


Monday 29th
LIQUID LAUGH are a five piece from Brighton, who combine metal, techno, P-funk and the kitchen sink to create a whole dance mess. Thoroughly recommended, and something a bit different.THE CATCH are funk rockers, with a bassist who likes a good slappin' every now and again!
ZUCCHINI, no strangers to the Forum, with their mighty wall of sound, and big lunged, operatic Ross Page on vocals. Crikey! This sounds a right cracker of a night dunnit?

Mr. Mills' Monthly Moan

Wherein our mole in the moshpit, Paul Mills gives us the lowdown on what he's had occasion to witness at Europe's second largest toilet

Acoustic Lounge
Sunday 10th August 2003
Max, Gavin, The Masters Of The Universe, Drag

You can blame it on the Great British Summer. The warmest day of all time and it's hot enough to boil the sweat from your bollocks. In accordance with the Great British Summer tradition, as afternoon turns into evening, there could not possibly be a more relaxing and therapeutically enjoyable leisure activity than sitting in a boiling hot tin box in the middle of a motorway tailback, without fluids food or fags, in need of a dump, watching other stuck drivers getting picked on by their passengers and trying to stay sane. So sorry Simon Leaves, but I missed your apparently excellent set. And the Flying Carnies. Damn.
Coming out of one hot box and into another, there can be no mistaking the delicate perfume of Eau D'Forum: stale nicotine, spilt beer, old sweat and fresh piss. The Acoustic Lounge returns and Max The Evil Soundguy takes an eager opportunity to be on the other side of the spotlight.
It's difficult to pin Max's performance down and describe what he does in a way that makes it seem unclichéd, but he really is his own man. Musically we're talking a simplistic protest-singer stance, just a bloke, a stool and a few chords. Honest earthy ballads that hold the attention despite the fact that they don't surprise or rile. Although wincingly out of key on occasions, Max's voice is actually pleasant to listen to, with a frail power, but one that has trouble getting noticed. But hey, it's still early days for the lad.
Max might have a distance to go before he fully realises his own potential, but you get the impression that he takes this opportunity very seriously indeed. He seems to believe in himself and is doing what he's doing because it's not just a desire, it's a necessity. He's got some songs and he wants to sing them, it's as simple as that. Infamy or notoriety aren't the issue, it's just a bloke and his music and that's what the acoustic night is all about. It's the relaxed atmos, the appreciative murmur for the entertainment and the company of people who like their music with a bit of cerebrum, so Max fits the occasion like an Easy-On condom.
Acoustic nights are great for establishing the true strength of material and stripping away the self-doubt that may lurk in the shadows of judgement. When it's just a guitar and voice, the developing structure of a song has to be spot on or it just won't work and there's no better test of strength than the ears of people who have paid to listen rather than let loose. If something works acoustically then it's as good as it's ever going to get.
The considerably more confident Gavin seems to realise this. Taking a breather from Belmont tonight, his bedsit blues echo the likes of Glen Tilbrook and The Bluetones rather than Billy Bragg. With a voice and style not unlike James Dean-Bradfield Bradfield a-la "Ocean Spray", his melodies are well thought-out arrangements that reveal deep conviction and intelligence behind the lyrics. The resultant product is meticulously crafted pop with a bittersweet flavour, driving home the message that because something's simple doesn't mean it's dull. Well worth checking out.

Unusually, tonight is the first and last gig for 2 bands, even though there is only one band. Confused? Well, local foursome Drag are playing their last gig as headliners, but first, two of them have decided to form the rather ineptly named Masters Of The Universe. However, the duo have become a trio tonight because Dominic, their shaven headed and camp French friend, wants to try and be interesting with a bubble machine as he sits between them. This might have been more suited to the comedy night , except that nobody's quite sure whether there's a joke going on.
As Dominic blows a succession of bubbles over the few unfortunates at the front, the Masters Of The Puniverse twang and strum along to something that probably sounded off-beat and quirky in their heads but in the light of reality, sounds a mess. Covered in body paint in a vague attempt to evoke some interest and convince us they're a bit comical, they reveal themselves as limited untogether musicians with dubious songwriting ability and very little wit.
A painful cover of the Proclaimers "500 Miles" (which in itself should merit stern punishment) is an excruciating romp through the fields of apathy instead of the quirky stab at tongue-in-cheek humour that they believe it to be. As they carry on regardless with the one-note drone of "The 'A' Song", like the Bonzo Dog Band gone horribly wrong, I begin to wonder whether I'm missing something obvious because enough people are digging this dreary farce to encourage them into feeding us even more pseudo-oddness via the twee pop dirge of "Four Arms For Hugging".
However, we aren't going to escape that easily. A brief break and they're back, resuming their positions in '118' running shirts while they are joined by the other half of Drag for their farewell swansong.
"Please be kind, 'cause we're kinda colourful" they wail, but their attempt at kitsch wackiness is just drab and unconvincing. Their charismatic singer may like to be centre of attention, but his flat nasal drone is irritating and inappropriate, highlighting the essential weakness of their structure.
Lyrically challenged and musically stunted, their attempts at intellectual humour are wasted pointless exercises in futility. Taking a swing towards pretentiousness for a laugh, they try and redeem themselves with "Icarus", a fingers-in-the-ears folk drinking-song -type tune, like The Levellers wading through mud. But in the end, it's just a naïve and preposterous load of nonsense pretending to be something that it's not.
Preferable to sitting in a hot car not moving for hours, but only just.

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 constantly updated (!) website where you can find out all about what's on. 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, throw virtual sponges, rocks and dead rats at our very own virtual Aunt Sally, Max the Evil Sound Guy. If after all that excitement you still feel angst ridden, you can 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

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