The DeRellas “Inner City Rock’n’Roll” (Single)

The DeRellas probably had more singers than you can think of, so this time bass player Timmy stands behind the mic and it’s working really well on this brand new single “Inner City Rock’n’Roll”, a glam punk rock’n’roll song full of street energy bringing early MANICS to mind. The band will release their new album “Something’s Got To Give” at the end of the year and it should be a good one if it’s as good as this new song! You’ll definitely read more about it on here when it’s out… /Laurent C.

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https://www.derellas.com

 

The Speedways “Radio Sounds”

When I first saw the name of the band, I thought they were playing speed action rock and I couldn’t be more wrong… Opening song “This Ain’t a Radio Sound” immediately brings TOM PETTY and CHEAP TRICK to mind. “The Day I Call You Mine” and “Your Brown Eyes Look So Blue” sound more like modern American powerpop which is interesting since the band is located in London. The songs are quite catchy, “Telephone Lies” will stay in your head for the rest of the day, “Day Dreaming” and “Had Enough This Time” are like a mix of PAUL COLLINS BEAT and early KISS and “Kisses Are History” is a sugar sweet pop ballad somewhere between 70s glam and early American new wave (this influence can also be heard in “Good Girls Don’t Break Heart.”) “This Is About A Girl Who Loves The Sun” or “Empty Pages” almost sound like 80s radio friendly rock you could hear while driving and turning the radio on somewhere in California. The band seems to have worked hard on melodies and vocal harmonies when you listen to songs like “Number Seven” and “In A World Without Love It’s Hard To Stay Young” but they manage to keep some fresh RAMONES energy. You might not hear “Radio Sounds” on the radio, but this is a great summer album for every powerpop fan around! /Laurent C.

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Hollywood Brats + The Vultz – Nell’s (London) 31st August 2019

We’re in London, West Kensington, Nell’s ready to witness a once in a life time event. Hollywood Brats are about to get back together on stage for the first time since 1974. People from all over the world are in the house tonight: Norway, Sweden, Finland, Spain, Italy, Germany, France it’s unbelievable! Nell’s packed, totally sold out, there’s not a single spot left on te floor.

The night is opened by The Vultz, awesome ’77 act reminiscent of Buzzcocks, Heartbreakers, Vibrators totally willed to give us a good time. Their set puts a smile on everybody’s face instantly, they connect with the whole audience immediately and we all end up cheering with the band and having a great time.

After The Vultz get back to the dressing rooms the momentum starts to build up and finally here they are, the last of the rock and roll dandies, The Hollywood Brats. Matheson is dressed to kill, flamboyant and sassy as he’s about to show us how a great frontman takes care of business, Casino Steel is giving us his rock and roll royalty realness behind shades, Brady is unpredictable and ready to attack like the devilish slinger he is. Side to side with the original lineup we find Peter Baarli (Backstreet Girls) all wrapped up in a polka dot extravaganza in charge of guitar duties, Martin Hansson (Backstreet Girl, The Boys) on drums wearing his trademark skull chest t-shirt and last but not least Kent Norberg (Sator) ready to provide all the outstanding bass an occasion like this requires.

The band jumps immediately on Tumble With Me, Chez Maxime and Zurich 17, these gentlemen are not kidding, they’re taking no prisoners. They sound dangerous, sleazy remembering us this is no revival we’re witnessing, this is history in the making. Band’s classics like Nightmare, Another School Day, Courtesan fit perfectly with the brand new single Vampire Nazi as well with amphetaminic versions of Chuck Berry’s Sweet Little Sixteen, Dean Martin’s Little Ole Wine Drinker Me and The Kinks I Need You for which the band invites to join them Sir Bob Geldof (Boomtown Rats).

The audience is ecstatic, for most of the people here tonight Hollywood Brats is not only a great band but is also a statement of identity, a brick of rock’n’roll history too long neglected and ignored. A way of living music and life that’s never been fully understood. This is not punk, not metal, not blues, not glam rock, this is the way rock and roll could and should have been. This is Jagger in a pink satin suit on Top Of The Pops dancing to Brown Sugar, this is Johansen’s clumpsy pliés at Midnight Special, this is Bowie biting Ronno’s guitar, this is the cheetah sawn on the back of Iggy’s jacket, this is an invitation to the biggest party ever that the world 45 years ago dismissed. Hollywood Brats were fundamental in shaping a way of being, in shaping our tastes, our personalities and everybody here tonight is so thankful and happy to embrace the ones that opened the gates showing us there was a place we can always go back to and feel home.

Baarli, Hansson and Norbert does a wonderful job underlining and enhancing every song in the set, never trying to put their egos in front of the vibe of the compositions. The night could not finish before the band plays their anthem Sick O You on which drive Nell’s totally mental. What a night!!! A 100% once in a lifetime experience… Or maybe the first of more gigs to come? Cross your fingers mates, cheerio!

Lester Greenowski

Paradise Alley – Cuban Heels and Eyeliner

PARADISE ALLEY are back! Lead vocalist Steve Vincent tells us about the band’s history, the 25th anniversary of their album “Psychotic Playground” and the late 80s/early 90s London glam scene.

Can you tell us a bit about the beginnings of PARADISE ALLEY?

I had left my band in Scotland, Indian Angel and moved to London at the start of 1992 where I replaced Paul Blitz (ex-Soho Roses) in Scarlet Tears. It was not the happiest of unions and I never really fitted in as they kept telling me not to copy what Paul had sang on the recordings, to do my own thing but make it sound like the recordings. To say that messed with my brain is an understatement, hahaha. Anyway, I had arranged a gig in Oxford which went pretty well but the audience kept shouting for us to play Indian Angel songs and I think there were a few bruised egos. I had an idea of what I wanted a band to be and already had the name Paradise Alley after seeing it in a TV listing so started advertising for band members in Sounds and Melody Maker. At around the same time one of the guys from Scarlet Tears called to suggest I leave and seemed really taken aback when I announced that I was leaving to start my own thing anyway. Again, I don’t think they knew what they wanted really.

Well, one of the first people that replied to my ad was Richie Hale who I knew from a few of the clubs and we hit it off straight away and worked on putting the band together from there. There was lots of coming and going of people in the first six months but eventually I settled on a line up and we recorded our first demos. That line-up I was joined by Johnny Idle and Darryl Wilks on guitars, Rich Emborg on Bass and Adam King on drums. That was end of ’92 and stayed together until the following Summer. That’s when we had Damian Cullen join on drums.

You’ve just celebrated the 25th anniversary of your album “Psychotic Playground.” Can you tell us about the recording sessions? Did you release any demo cassettes before?

Well we had recorded a three track demo in early 93 which we started circulating to get gigs and that included a Hanoi song, Shakes that was meant for a tribute album (the tribute album never materialised). Anway, we recorded the album in the Fall of 93 and it was a pretty crazy time. Damian and I were crashing at Johnny’s flat at the time and they were pretty insane times with lots of partying and not a lot of sleep, hahahahaha. When we were recording, three of us had day jobs so we recorded through the night and would literally go straight to work from the studio. I have no idea how we kept it all together but let’s just say we had some stimulation to keep us going. So when it came time to do the 25th anniversary edition it seemed right to combine the demo and the album as one release.

Was the London glam/sleaze scene still active at this time?

Yes, it most definitely was. Kill City Dragons were still around, Gunfire Dance were regular visitors from Birmingham, the Dogs were still around with Darrel Bath in the line-up. There was us, Waterbratz, Dogsbody, Last Great Dreamers, Pleasure Victims…there were still plenty of us with a love of Cuban heels and eye liner put it that way, hahahahaha. And there were still a good few clubs to keep us entertained too.

Many of the early 90s London glam bands never got the chance to release any records, and you were lucky if you could find anything else than a few pictures and a demo cassette when living outside of the UK. Do you remember any of them that should have deserved more attention?

I think we ALL deserved more attention than we got but we didn’t have the money from the record labels to wine and dine the magazines. I remember sitting with Ray Zell one night and him telling me we were all screwed from the point of view of media attention because when the call came in from someone like Bon Jovi it was an all-expenses paid trip to the States with backstage access, free booze, women, etc. all any of us could offer was a meet up at The Ship in Wardour Street and a wet Tuesday night at the Marquee – it was a no-brainer from the point of view of the journalists, they always went for the more glamourous options.

Did you play many shows? What were your favourite clubs to play? What bands did you play with? What are your best live memories?

We played all over, not just London but there was a bit healthier club and pub scene then so it was worth piling into the back of a transit van with your gear and heading off round the UK. We played some amazing shows through the years, the early ones at places like Newcastle Trillians, The Wag in London, The Anchor in Chesterfield all hold some amazing live memories for me from those days.

We played with most of the bands on the scene back then, lots with the Pleasure Victims and I am still mates with Jez to this day (although he plays Drums now in the Men that cannot be blamed for anything). Played with the Gunfires too, they were the torchbearers for me, they just had “it”. Favourite clubs to play were the Marquee in Charing X Road, the Wag, Trillians in Newcastle, CBGBs is one of my fondest memories and the Coconut Teaszer in LA.

What were your favourite places (clubs, bars, shops…) to hang out in London those days?

The best bars back then were The George, The Ship and The Intrepid Fox and it was like an invisible triangle in Soho that we followed between all three. Club wise there was the Hellfire, Gossips and the St Moritz, all were great places to hang out and sadly all gone now apart from the St Moritz although they don’t have much going on there anymore. Shop-wise you still had Kensington Market which was great to even just hang out in and plan what you were going to buy when you had some spare cash (I admit I am a shopaholic when it comes to clothing, hahaha) but even Carnaby Street was still pretty cool at the end of the Eighties, early nineties, it was so sad to watch all of that change so dramatically.

Can you tell us about your second album “Heartbreakers & Homewreckers”?

Well at the end of the Psychotic Playground Tour we played a showcase at The Marquee for a few major labels but the band literally split up on stage. Our bass player was arrested the night before for aggravated assault so spent the gig in a prison cell and we played with a stand-in bassist. Johnny and Damian announced they were calling it quits so it got pretty tense during the gig, hahaha. There was no way I was ready to call it quits so I put together a new line-up basically with friends of friends. They were all influenced a bit more by Classic Rock stuff and flashier stuff like Steve Vai but we did click from a song writing point of view so we kept going. Like the first album it started off self-financed but then we had a friend of the band help us out and then the producer offered us extra studio time in exchange for representing the band to the record labels once it was finished. I think rather naively we accepted although it is a pretty good album but label-wise no one was biting with that type of music by the mid-nineties so we just stagnated.

It did become more apparent as we recorded it however that we were all pulling in different directions and by the time it was finished there was me in one camp and the rest of the band in the other. We struggled on gigging for a while but it wasn’t a happy time and we ended up playing just gigs local to where the band were living around Berkshire, just West of London. We became a bit of a glorified covers band by the end of it sitting on an unreleased album and I was miserable. Delinquent in the States heard the album and contacted me saying they wanted to sign us and take us to America so after a lot of negotiating on my part, we signed the deal. At that point the rest of the band quit as it wasn’t there thing anymore, musically or otherwise. They hate the album now and have said some pretty unkind things about me and the band but hey, that’s up to them, they weren’t complaining when they were having sex with lots of pretty girls because they were in the band but that’s life I guess.

Did you get any opportunities to tour outside of the UK?

Well when I brought over The 69 Eyes from Finland for their first ever UK shows back in ’96, the plan had been for us to then go over to Finland and tour with them but the rest of the guys in Paradise Alley did not get on with them and so it sadly never happened. We have talked about doing Scandinavian shows and other European shows but we’ll see what the future holds I guess. We did almost tour Japan in the nineties as we were on the verge of a deal there and some dates were pencilled in but for one reason or another it never happened. We did tour the States twice, first time starting off in New York, including CBGBs then down the Mid-west to the South in Alabama and Georgia. That was in 1998 when the second album came out and then we went back and played around Los Angeles in 2000.

Have you ever thought about releasing your albums on vinyl?

Actually, when we first started planning the debut album it was meant to be a vinyl release but that was definitely on the way out in the early nineties and we figured we would probably be shooting ourselves in the foot by doing that so opted for CD. I would love to see them on vinyl but it’s so expensive to do and the second album line-up do not want Heartbreakers re-released in any format whatsoever, something about us trading off on their genius or something, hahaha. So sadly that will not be happening, people will just have to content themselves with the digital version of Heartbreakers and the CD of Psychotic Playground (at least until that sells out).

Do you sometimes miss the good old days of cheap collage flyers and paper fanzines?

I miss those days so much, there was something about making the flyers, trying to be as eye catching as possible, fly posting, going out and talking to people that was so cool and the old paper fanzines were incredibly cool and were generally very, very supportive of us and all the bands in the scene.

Any bands/albums you have liked recently?

I guess I am pretty old school in that there is not a lot of the new stuff that is grabbing my attention. I do like the latest Plastic Tears album, not just because we’ve been friends for a long time, haha, I just genuinely think it is a really good album. I am a fan of Trench Dogs too and their album is a regular visitor to my CD player, very cool looking band too. A lot of the new stuff is more influenced by “Hair Metal” which has never really been my thing as I am more of a Hanoi/Ramones/Stones fan so it’s not that it is technically bad, it’s just not my thing.

Can you tell us about the 2019 version of PARADISE ALLEY?

Well, other than Taj Sagoo who was in the last properly functioning line-up of the band when we toured the States, it’s completely fresh. We have Ben Alexander on bass who has been a friend of ours for a good few years now and he was completely the first choice when we decided to put the band back together. He has fitted in so well and he brings so much to the band with backing vocals and song writing as well as his bass playing. We have a lead guitarist that we are working with right now and we should be making an official announcement on him very soon but again he’s bringing a lot to the table with ideas and enthusiasm which is great to have, otherwise after doing something as long as we have, you start to become a bit jaded. Drummer-wise we are still auditioning but we are holding out for the right person as so far no one has actually been into the same type of music and they all want to be paid a regular wage which in this day and age is incredibly unrealistic, lol.

We are working towards a new album and playing as much as possible and not just in the UK. We’ve already been invited to Europe and the States and we want to spread the word as much as possible. We know we are a cult underground band, we have no illusions of being signed to Universal and making millions, but as long as we can get out there, make people happy and ourselves happy playing rock’n’roll then I reckon we are winning. We aren’t reinventing the wheel, we are a low-slung guitar toting rock’n’roll band, just like we always have been.

http://www.paradisealley.co.uk

 

Paradise Alley “Psychotic Playground” 25th Anniversary Edition

This is the release for the 25th anniversary of “Psychotic Playground” (limited edition picture-dic CD) and I’m ashamed to admit that I wasn’t familiar with PARADISE ALLEY until now, maybe because they were among the bands that had an album out a bit too late… I can’t even count all the great albums that were released in the early/mid 90s that didn’t get the recognition they should have deserved because the style wasn’t very popular anymore. I’ve always been fascinated with the London (Soho) scene from those days though. I used to read articles about these underground glam bands and demos in French magazines, and it looked like there was still a place on earth for these bands although it was more than difficult to find a way to listen to their music. They all looked great though. Cartoonish illustrations, punk fonts and HANOÏ ROCKS/KILL CITY DRAGONS looks, PARADISE ALLEY could only be one of these bands. Opening song “Metropolis Boys” is a perfect mix of early TIGERTAILZ and THROBS. “Baby Don’t Go” is a catchy bubblegum glam single, and at times the band sounds more Sunset Strip than Wardour Street (“Shot Down”, “Walkin’ The Baby”…) This mix of UK and US influences can also be heard in the ballad “Empty Spaces”, that has a bit of DOGS D’AMOUR in it with a US power ballad touch. You’ll also get to hear two demo songs and a good version of HANOÏ ROCKS‘ “Shakes” which should have been released on a HANOÏ tribute album that never saw the light of day. Don’t wait for more and do yourself a favour if you haven’t heard of PARADISE ALLEY yet, and if you have, then this 25th anniversary release was made for you! /Laurent C.

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Rich Ragany & The Disgressions “Like We’ll Never Make It”

It seems like Rich Ragany (The ROLE MODELS) never stops to write songs! On this first solo album, he got some help from musicians who played with The GLITTERATI, UK SUBS, SCOTT SORRY BAND, etc. The album starts very quietly with “To The Sea”, then slowly moves to some very melodic indie pop with “The World” and “Your Distance.” Names like SOUL ASYLUM or The REPLACEMENTS come to mind. Sometimes the hooks are also in the guitar melodies (“Like We’ll Never Make It”, “Lose With Me”, “Heart’s Souvenir”…), which is something you can find in a band like The CURE for instance. While this might sound like an unexpected influence, that shows us that Rich’s songwriting is not only based on one recipe. Even though melancholy is the main mood of this album, you’ll still find some positive energy when listening to these songs, and it’s quite obvious when listening to the STONES influenced “Scotty Thompson” and “Story Highway.”
“Like We’ll Never Make It” is not your typical rock’n’roll/powerpop album, but it is indeed a great collection of songs standing somewhere in between indie pop and Americana. Laurent C.

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The DeRellas “High Rise Supersize” 7″

While changing vocalist is always risky for a band, The DERELLAS welcome Joey DeRella (their third singer!), and reinforce their glam punk sound on this brand new flashy 7″ vinyl record… “High Rise Supersize” is a catchy poppy snotty glitter punk song in the vein of HANOÏ ROCKS and early MANICS (the guitars and energy naturally bring “Motown Junk” to mind.) Joey’s voice sounds more bubblegum than the previous singers, so it pefectly fits the band’s glammy punk rock’n’roll, and opens a door for a slightly different musical direction for The DERELLAS.
Side B offers us “Got Something To Say”, an angry ’77 punk song, and a really cool cover of The SWEET‘s classic “Fox On The Run” which shows us the more melodic side of Joey’s voice, and again, young James Dean Bradfield comes to mind.
If you wear eyeliner and pink leopard print, then you will love this record, if not, then just give it a try, ’cause it looks as good as it sounds! /Laurent C.

https://www.derellas.com/
http://thederellas.bigcartel.com/product/high-rise-supersize
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Suzie Stapleton releases new single “Negative Prophet”

Suzie Stapleton‘s new single “Negative Prophet” is out on Feb 22nd. Since relocating to London in 2015, the Australian alternative artist has been captivating audiences with her electric live performances, midnight vocal, and guitar-driven noir soundsscapes whilst touring with artists such as Mark Lanegan, Mick Harvey, and Jim Jones & The Righteous Mind. “Negative Prophet” is an isolated protest in an oversaturated world where the powerful feed on the powerless. Recorded and produced by Stapleton with the help of guest bassist Fred Lyenn Jacques (Mark Lanegan Band). She has also been working on several collaborations including providing guest vocals on Lydia Lunch & Cypress Grove‘s “Under The Covers” and The Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project (Nick Cave, Iggy Pop Debbie Harry +).

Stapleton is touring Australia, Czech Republic, and France in Spring before returning to London to perform with her band – bassist Gavin Jay (Jim Jones Revu & Righteous Mind) and drummer Jim Macaulay (The Stranglers) – on May 11th at The Finsbury Pub. More UK dates including festivals will be announced in the coming weeks.

TOUR DATES
March 1st The Junk Bar  Brisbane, AUS
March 2nd MoshPit Sydney, AUS
March 3rd  The Yarra Melbourne, AUS
March 10th MONA Hobart, AUS
March 23-24 Zizkovska Noc Festival Prague, CZ
April 13 Nantes, FR
April 14 Brest, FR
April 15 Orleans, FR
Thursday May 11 The Finsbury Pub London, UK

More UK dates inc. Festivals TBA Shortly

www.suziestapleton.com