Rob Moss played in GOVERNMENT ISSUE and in a bunch of other hardcore/punk bands in the 80s. Then looking for new things to explore, Rob stopped playing music before coming back in 2016 writing 70s glam/Proto-punk rock’n’roll songs that ended up on his first album “We’ve Come Back To Rock’n’Roll.” ” His new album “Now With More Rockets” was made with the help of 17 guest musicians and continues to explore the rock’n’roll path. Opening song “A Rocket Ship To You” is a gothy rock’n’roll song reminding of some of PETER MURPHY‘solo albums, then “A Donkey” and “Bloody Shoes” rock in a STOOGES way and songs like “Red Beans And Gasoline” or “Rock’n’Roll Ralphs” (a tribute to Hollywood’s famous grocery store!) are good rock’n’roll tunes with a bit of a RAMONES meets 50s rock’n’roll vibe . You’ll also hear a bit of psyche with “Richard Jewell”, “Two Slices Of Bread” or “All Over Town”. and a touch of NEW YORK DOLLS in “RIP Van Wrinkle ’85”. “Ink Blue Smoke” has a good 70s groove and then turns into an up tempo punk rock song while “I’m On A Rocket Ship (Heading My Way Back Home)” leaves us with some addictive proto-punk/glam. “No More With Rockets” is not only a tribute to Rob’s musical influences but also a genuine rock’n’roll record. /Laurent C.
EDDIE MOONEY started in 1978 in Manchester when the punk scene was at the height of its no future fame. Still Unbeatable Records from Germany reissued the band’s early recordings but also has released two singles recently. The latest one “Telephones” is a good powerpop song with sunny positive energy, hand claps and nice vocal harmonies. “Down The Drain” on side B is also quite a catchy powerpop tune that might stay in your head for a couple of hours!
“Lockdown Baby” is another single with lots of handclaps but this one sounds more glam rock’n’roll with a groovy bass than 60s powerpop. “Working Man”,the second song has a bootboy glam vibe and a catchy chorus too. The production makes it sound like it was recorded in the early 70s, check it out! /Laurent C.
We’ve been following The BARBARELLATONES for years now and although Robbie has been releasing songs on a regular basis we were impatiently waiting for a new album. Here it is under his own name ROBBIE QUINE. “Eclipse” opens the record with an interesting mix of 70s glam rock and medieval vibes reminding a bit of the latest DAMNED stuff before “Betty Page” takes us to mysterious psychedelic rock’n’roll lands. “Just Another Emo Day” sounds more like an epic 60s ballad than an emocore song and “Glitter Train”, “Creeps Me Out” sound close to the cryptic glam rock you can hear in The BARBARELLATONES albums. If you need to hear a great new wave punk song mixing late 70s Berlin and early 80s New York together then “New Wave Girl” is the one for you and if you’re looking for a 70s glam ballad about sharing make-up with a girl then listen to “Glam Rock Girl.” You can also hear some VELVET UNDERGROUND influences in “Run Rabbit Run” and more glitter rock flirting with 60s psych in “Electric Pussycat.” “The Loneliest Clown” brings a comedy/tragedy element to the album and the album ends with a gothic glam touch with “It Came From Beyond” and the sweet and finely arranged ballad “Ode To A Mermaid.” Robbie says that if you put this album in your pipe and smoke it, you will exhale LOTS of glitter. We believe him! /Laurent C.
If you like glam rock then you must have watched Velvet Goldmine (Todd Haynes, 1998) quite a few times and you probably thought that the mysterious and glittery Jack Fairy was the perfect incarnation of the style. Micko Westmoreland was the perfect person for this role but he is also a musician who has just released a new album called « ½ Dove – ½ Pigeon » with his band MICKO & THE MELLOTRONICS, a fine mix of British pop, glam and art punk wrapped in wry humour and retro aesthetic. Micko tells us about the album, the band as well as his acting experience…
Let’s start with Velvet Goldmine and your role as Jack Fairy. How did you get chosen for it?
My brother & his late partner Richard Glatzer were already good friend’s with director Todd Haynes. So I got an invite to meet with him in Soho in central London, one wet Thursday afternoon & we sat for a couple of hours & chatted. I was fresh out of film school & we hit upon Kenneth Anger; the devil incarnate & his fabulous collection of avant garde short movies. We got on very well so it felt that something positive was going to happen. It did, I tried out with Susie Figgis (casting director) for the role which fell to the brilliant David Hoyle as group stylist. Word filtered through I could audition for the mysterious Jack Fairy, so I did a performance on VHS video of lip synching to ‘All the young Dudes’, by Bowie, two versions were sent in. My brother told me I had got the part, so the work began in ernest. I had very little to no acting experience, so decided to read as much as I could about the era, bought/borrowed a ton of biographies and inadvertently started ‘method acting’ the part. I moved to staying out late and suspending all other aspects of modern life i.e. only music played from the glam era, and lots of other stuffs I picked up from the books. Not eating in front of others, certainly not in public or using the bathroom whilst in company. Subtle things that gave my new personal a slightly other worldly, alien quality.
Jack Fairy is a mysterious glam rock cult figure in the film. What were the references you had in mind for this character?
I felt the role was much more about emanating a presence. People have often asked who ‘Jack’, is based on, Eno/Bolan/Little Richard/Dietrich. Let’s leave the jury out hey.. Jack’s magic is his mysterious quality, he escapes with little to no egg on his face, a kind of patron saint of Glam Rock.
Bowie, Bolan, Eno, Jobriath and many others had something otherwordly in them. Do you think that mystery and magic are important things in glam rock?
Absolutely, the more elusive the more desirable. Todd worked hard on the relationship between fan & star in Velvet Goldmine, gets the hormones racing. Art school Glam was a movement which set about fictionalising itself, partly why Velvet Goldmine works, it’s not a bio pic. Bowie created Ziggy, so in a parallel universe there’s all the variants in-between, Maxwell Demon was after all the name of Eno’s art school band.
Were you allowed to keep « Oscar Wilde’s brooch » after playing in the movie?
Unfortunately not, a deal was done over the costumes so I wasn’t able to walk off the set with a few bits and pieces ala, ‘The Man Who Fell to Earth‘. I did however get the leather coat worn over the opening credits made, it was originally designed for Britt Ekland. I have it moth balled in the cupboard, my alter ego hermetically sealed. As the opening credit decree ‘Histories like ancient ruins, are the fictions of empires, while everything forgotten hangs in dark dreams of the past, ever threatening to return!’.
Were you already playing in bands at the time of the movie?
No, I was making Electronic music under the name The Bowling Green, I got signed to Trent Reznor’s nothing records along with a number of Warp records artists. The 90s was the era of the bedroom musician, I was one of those. The technology was improving so fast at that time, the possibilities seemed endless. I changed gear in the 2000s & got more interested in lyrics & returning to writing on guitar.
What have you released before The MELLOTRONICS?
A ton of stuff, http://www.landlinerecords.com is a good spot to find stuff. The band really came out as a result of the 2015 album ‘Yours etc. abc’, which sounded like a band but was in actual fact mainly just me. It made sense from that to build a group from that sound.
How did you get Jon Klein (SPECIMEN/SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES) to play with you?
We were playing on the same bill, Mellotronics were support. I lent Jon my amp for the show & gave him a record. I got a message from him the next day as I remember, asking how I’d put it together, he liked it. We eventually got together for a drink in Camden Town & it went from there.
I’d just finishing writing Noisy Neighbours & I sent it over to him & he gave it a the Klein dynamic work out treatment, I was amazed at the results.
Can you tell us about the recording of the album? Did you have all the songs ready and arranged before recording?
I provide words, chords & melody, they sometimes get truncated or extended as the track gets worked into full focus.
Jon Klein our guitarist (Specimen/Ex-Banshees) plays a huge part in the sound, he’s an amazing player & a great producer. We worked independently & together on the project. Nick MacKay (drums) & Vicky Carroll (bass) are a great rhythm section. Vicky is 100% dependable & is our newest recruit. Nick was in it from the start. Such a great passion for playing & a brilliant live performer..
Did you have any albums, bands, art or literature references in mind when making the album?
There’s a few obvious ones, a Barrettesque paisley envelope modulating Psychedelic Shirt, The Rutles’ own Neil Innes came to play on You Killed My Father which was inspired by him & there’s a few other miscellaneous musical references for afternoon trainspotting. All good clean fun.
There’s something very British in the Lyrics and the songwriting. I was watching Inside Number 9 a few days ago and thought that your music would have been perfect as a soundtrack for it. Do you have any plans to have your songs in TV shows or movies?
Music for TV & Film comes along sporadically & randomly. It’s more that someone has you in mind than the other way around.
Will you have the album line-up as a live band too?
Absolutely, as notated above.
How would you compare being an actor with being on stage with a rock band?
When I’m on stage I have a hell of a lot to do, I’m more concentrated on delivering the best I can. So here’s no great theatrics on stage, it’s more about poking out the details from the wall fo sound.
Do you think that being an actor helps for music videos?
Yes, I would say so. It’s a fine line between confidence which people love & over making the point which turns people off.
You always have to avoid too much sauce. Treat your audience as highly intelligent, they can see things you don’t.
It’s hard to plan anything these days, but do you have any future plans for The MELLOTRONICS or your acting career?
I don’t really have an acting career any more, that’s parked in the Jack Fairy museum where it should be. The band is as active as we can be at present in covid times. We have two videos to shoot in the new year & of course a second album, writing is underway.
I feel very lucky. I work with talented people & I’ve been no steps removed from the greats! I believe that everyone has the potential to be creative deep down, without wishing to sound preachy, don’t let the perceived judgement of others or for that matter your own, get you down & stop you. Good or bad it’ll all work out for the better that way..
British rockers TREMENDOUS introduced their music with a few digital singles last year and they finally release their first album on May 15th. While “Don’t Leave Our Love (Open For Closing)” or “Rock’n’Roll Satellite” have obvious UK 70s glam rock influences, you’ll also hear some 80s American metal in “Bag Of Nails”, “Copycat Killer” or “Daniela.” The band took their time to deliver their debut album and you can hear that they worked hard on these songs but also managed to avoid sounding too polished and they kept the tracks short. “Take a Good Look at My Good” is not that far from 90s grunge ballads and you’ll even find some punk traces in “Heart Sinker” and in “Fightin’ To Lose.”
Whether you like classic rock, glam or indie, you’ll sure find something to your tastes in “Relentless.” /Laurent C
RICH KID EXPRE$$ is a hard rock solo project by Rob Richardson (Squib Kick Records.) Opening song “You Went Too Far” brings us back to the 80s when glam metal rules the US, but then “The Way She Rolls” brings the late 70s to mind when hard rock, power pop and glam rock were heavily flirting together. Speaking of glam and glitter, that’s what you’ll get with “Bubblegum Radio”, a song reminding me of The SWEET and BAY CITY ROLLERS. “Just a Dog” is the heavier song of the EP, a bit like some of ALICE COOPER‘s 80s songs and “Steamroller” is a classic hard rock tune that you could have heard in the soundtrack of any 80s horror movies. Besides being well written, played and produced, you can feel the passion of Rob for 70s and 80s rock in this EP and this is probably why it sounds so natural, as if time had stopped in 1986. Definitely worth checking out! /Laurent C.