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UXB – A Bigger Bang!

UXB at the Star, Shifnal

UXB were a fine band and came to define the soul and spirit of the Star in Shifnal during the early eighties – playing there five times between 1980 and 1981. Brimming with energy, UXB always delivered a great set and developed a healthy Shropshire following with their great attitude and friendly disposition. Col Bennett from the band recently got in touch with the Ark and tells us the story of the Black Country band.

UXB formed in 1978, and used to meet up at Furzebank Community School in Willenhall every week for a jam.  Our first gig was in February ’79 as a trio comprising of  Mick Tuner  (drums and lead vocals), Mark Read (guitar) and Col Bennett (guitar and lead vocals). Later in 1979 Tony Clamp arrived on bass, but left in early 1980 to join Bescot Sidings. The following week Dom Roche arrived on vocals, and Col Bennett switched to bass. By now we were rehearsing in a room at The Tiger pub in Willenhall. A few local punks and skins used to come and hang out. They would all turn up at our local gigs and support us. One lad Colin Squire was quite a character and his nickname was ‘Squirrel’ hence the dedication to him on the front of our single ‘Crazy Today’ I wonder where he is now?

Col and Dom

Influenced by such bands as The Clash, The Jam and ska/dub reggae, the band’s sound was perhaps most similar to The Ruts, our live set was a juxtaposition of punk-inspired rockers some with a reggae groove. Little Winston – local DJ and record label owner – came to see us in rehearsal just as Dom had settled into our line up, we had also written some original songs.

Our first single Crazy Today/Mr. Fixit (Crazy Plane Records SP002) was produced by Little Winston/UXB, engineered by Phil Dawson and 1000 copies were released on 20th June 1980. It was played by BBC Radio 1 DJs John Peel, Mike Read, Peter Powell and also by the local radio stations. The single was invaluable in enabling the band to play better local gigs, such as Club Laffayette, JB’s and Colleges around the West Midlands.

Due to the band leaving Crazy Plane records, the follow-up single ‘2 Steps/In The Q/48 Hours’ was never released commercially, the only copies pressed were some white label acetates which were distributed to the usual DJs and radio stations. 2 Steps was aired by John Peel on BBC Radio 1. UXB then signed to Knott Management of Birmingham who got the band recording time with Dennis Bovell from the reggae band Matumbi. Dennis is highly respected songwriter/musician/producer and three tracks were recorded at his studio in South London.

Dom Roche left the band in mid-1981 and Pete Higton came in on vocals. We carried on gigging and recording with Pete for rest of the year. The final UXB gig was planned to be a farewell show at JB’s Dudley the following February, but unfortunately it was cancelled due to a heavy snowfall. So we played our final gig in December 1981 at our favourite venue- the Star Hotel in Shifnal.

The band then split up. Dom Roche founded Balaam And The Angel, whilst Col Bennett and Mick Turner formed Fire In Cairo with guitarist/vocalist Paul Brindley. In September 1999  UXB were featured on a compilation of obscure bands from 1977-82 entitled Bored Teenagers Volume 2. My self and Dom are pictured on the album cover! We then discovered that copies of the Crazy Today single were fetching £150 on auction sites, and was especially in demand in Japan.

In October 2001, two 7” vinyl singles were released in Japan on 1977 Records - Crazy Today/Mr Fixit and 2 Steps/In The Q/48 Hours. So finally, 20 years later our second single got pressed and released.

Due to this interest we discussed reforming. And in May 2001 the four original members rehearsed together and in March 2002 UXB played their first gig in over 20 years at The Garage in London. We followed this with appearances at the Rebellion Punk Festivals at Wolverhampton (2005), Blackpool and Morecambe (2006). It was great to be back and we’ve just heard that Detour Records have decided to release an album of UXB original songs later this year.

Col Bennett

UXB website here

 



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Half Man Half Biscuit – Robin, Bilston 26/1/2012

Half Man Half Biscuit

Dave Woodhall watches the return of Half Man Half Biscuit to Bilston.

With two localish gigs in four months this is as close to a tour as  Half Man Half Biscuit will ever get, so make the most of it.

I’ve said before that the band’s gigs tend to be the same. You know what you’re getting, and that’s what their audience likes. In fact, this is the biggest crowd they’ve pulled at the Robin.

They wander onstage with front man Blackie wielding an acoustic guitar he continues to wield throughout the gig. Joy in Leeuwarden opens the set, the song that was cheated out of becoming anthem of the 2010 European Korfball Championships.

Even though you know what you’re getting, you don’t know, if that makes sense, because HMHB gigs always throw in a few of the lesser-known examples of their back catalogue.  Bottleneck at Capel Curig, A Lilac Harry Quinn and Lock Up Your Mountain Bikes (“When you’re down beside the lake you’re bound to hear somebody say ‘Careful now, that swan can break your arm’.”) all get an early workout ,along with a few from the recent  album 90 Bisodol.

The band’s anthems were also there in profusion, with Dukla Prague’s lyrics changed to provide a passing reference to contemporary happenings courtesy of drummer Carl Henry; “And after only five minutes you were down to 10 men Cos he’d sent off your drummer for taking the base from under his right winger.”

There’s some very rock star behaviour with a drum solo appearing at one point and Blackie leaping from the riser in a most unbecoming fashion.  It’s worth saying at this juncture that the Robin does have one of the great rock’n’roll carpets of our time. Walk across the floor slowly enough and you’re likely to leave your shoes halfway.

The sound, for once, was a bit muddy which meant that some of the bon mots, witty asides and jovial banter didn’t come across too well, or that might be my faltering hearing. I did catch the bit about Pam Ferris in Razzle, which doesn’t bear too much deep thought.

What else was there? The Pringles were an eye-watering £2.96 and Joy Division Oven Gloves didn’t close the set for a change – that honour went to For What is Chatteris?

There was an encore, which in keeping with the HMHB in Bilston tradition didn’t include a cover – probably coincidence but it’s the one venue where they never finish with a run-through of someone else’s post-punk standards.

Deceased band icons are paid tribute with the one that mentions Jim Reeves and 99% of Gargoyles Look Like Bob Todd.

Another night, another triumph.


Here is the classic ‘All I Want For Christmas Is A Dukla Prague Away Kit”

Fast Tube by Casper
Dave Woodhall is the editor of the excellent Aston Villa fanzine ‘Heroes and Villains’
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Badge of the Week – Public Image Ltd

To mark the first major remaster campaign for 2012 the Ark proudly presents Public Image Ltd as Badge of the Week. The entire back catalogue of PiL has been made available - with the exception of ‘Metal Box’. When the Sex Pistols infamously imploded John Lydon got together with his mate Jah Wobble and former Clash guitarist Keith Levine to form PiL. The eponymously named first single, in its mock red top tabloid wrapper, was an absolute belter. Full of venom, booming bass and sneering Lydon vocals it hinted at greatness. If only they had kept in that vein.

As it was PiL became a vehicle for Lydon’s left-field experimentation in dub, electronic and dabbles in jazz. It caused some bemusement to the hordes of punk rockers who turned up to see the band unveiled at Leeds Futurama Festival in 1978. The reception was also mixed when the band embarked on its first nationwide tour with Lydon unable to shake off his Johnny Rotten persona.  But the band were critically acclaimed with Lydon receiving many plaudits for taking such a radical direction – fledgling Factory Records boss Tony Wilson infamously used to wear this very PiL badge while presenting his day job ‘Granada Reports’ on tea time ITV – even if a  lot of the output was a challenging listen.

Lydon and a rotating cast of characters carried the PiL name through the ’80s, with six Top 40 hits in their native country. Lydon put the band on hiatus in 1992, briefly reuniting with the Pistols in 1996 and several times in the 2000s, but began touring as PiL in 2009, with a new album reportedly due this year.

Now,  almost the entire PiL catalogue is coming back into print (the notable exception is 1979 release Metal Box and subsequent reissue Second Edition, remastered and released on CD by EMI in 2009 and 2011, respectively). Seven studio albums from 1978 to 1992, two live albums and 1990′s The Greatest Hits, So Far are included in the campaign, along with Lydon’s 1997 solo album Psycho’s Path. No bonus tracks are included – the albums match their original CD track listings exactly – but they are struck from remasters created for Japanese paper-sleeve reissues last year.

PiL are still going strong with a current line-up of Lydon, Lu Edmonds (ex Damned) gtr, Bruce Smith (ex Pop Group) drums and Scott Firth who once provided bass for the Spice Girls. They have just announced their first gig for 2012 when they headline the Rebellion Festival on 4th August at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens.


Fast Tube by Casper

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Christian Mistress – This Is Modern Heavy Metal

Once Upon A Time All Bands Looked Like This

I just couldn’t resist this. A new band for 2012 and they look great, sound great and they are coming to the UK in April! Christian Mistress are from Olympia, capital city of Washington State and they have been creating quite a stir on the rock scene with their second long player scheduled for release on February 28 on Relapse Records entitled ‘Possession’. This shit kicking quintet are fronted by Christine Davis and comparisons to seventies female led bands such as Vinegar Joe, Stone the Crows and the splendidly named all girl rockers Fanny would not be amiss. Christine certainly has the tonsils. Guess what? We have also located Simon Todd, hippy head from the Queens! He may have lost his cowboy boots and afgan, but here he is starring as lead guitar for the ‘Mistress (extreme right on main pic). As a taster to the new album the band have made available a download, the equally irresistible ’Black to Gold’ through NPR.

Lars Gotrich on his NPR blog takes up this great story of band going back to the future.

Not all metal that boogies sounds as vital as Christian Mistress. That’s not to say that boogying isn’t vital to life (oh, it is), but there’s something more urgent to this rock ‘n’ roll party, especially the surprisingly catchy “Black to Gold.”

“Black to Gold” comes from Christian Mistress’ second album,Possession, a significant step up from the raw, basement-recorded Agony and Opium. There’s no mistaking that the Olympia band loves Iron Maiden and Witchfinder General of the ’80s-style metal called New Wave of British Heavy Metal (or NWOBM for short), but underneath the debut there lurked something modern.

This Band Can Boogie!

This is where Possession moves forward, not only with a fuller production to fill out a sound Christian Mistress already outgrew, but also dips into proggy ’70s fuzz and convincing balladry (the potentially great live closer “There is Nowhere”) for a sound that may feel familiar, but definitely thinks about what this music means in 2012 and beyond. Vocalist Christine Davis, guitarists Oscar Sparbel and Ryan McClain, bassist Johnny Wulf and drummer Reuben Storey make a mean cocktail, including hard, ’50s R&B-derived rhythms, a penchant for arena-sized guitar solos equally suited for crowded bars, and a raspy female vocalist halfway through a whiskey shot and a book of Baudelaire.

When I called vocalist Christine Davis, Christian Mistress had just finished up a small tour with Hammers of Misfortune, a band taking a much-deserved victory lap after 17th Street made a number of year-end lists.  In an interview, Davis especially made a good point that — no matter your stance on what the band is or isn’t — there is no such thing as a NWOBHM revival, “but that’s just because this music never died.”

Here is the interview in full with download details of ‘Black to Gold’.

Jim Heath with thanks to Lars Gotrich

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The Turtle’s Head

 

The Revamped Purple Turtle

VNV Nation – the Purple Turtle, Camden, London 8th January 2012

Staged as a treat for the fans, electronic band VNV Nation promised this gig to be somewhat of a homecoming, requesting fans to set the agenda by nominating their favourite tracks for the setlist. The pub itself, recently reopened as a smaller venue, has a certain resonance for the singer Ronan Harris as he spent time here as a local when writing one of the bands seminal albums, Empires in the 90s, but I was surprised at the choice after I gave my ticket over and found that I was already as far in as it was comfortable to go!

The place was jammed solid, probably only around 300-400 punters, but it was really at maximum capacity and already sweating as an entity. Having missed the support, which due to a change was the always excellent AlterRed, we had only just struggled over to the bar when the dim lights fell further and the band emerged.

An unfamiliar name to many, VNV Nation are essentially a duo of Harris on vocals and Mark Jackson, who always stands and drums on stage, and they have produced their own brand of electronic pop, dance and soundtrack over eight albums, with the latest Automatic released last year. They are big names on the scene in Germany and in the recent poll by the genre’s Sideline website were voted best band, best live band with the best album of 2011. They are joined on stage tonight by two German keyboard players, moonlighting from other bands. The gig kicks off with the massively upbeat ‘futurepop’ anthem, ‘Chrome’ and as it’s a case of all move or no-one moves, we all shuffle to the hugely danceable track. This is to be the theme of the night with the odd slower track to give us all relief including the band.

Ronan Harris

Ronan Harris is a frontman – snipers on forums have been unforgiving, questioning everything from his sexuality to his fuller figure – but he knows how to whip up an audience, showing genuine pleasure as the crowd sing along to verses as well as choruses, and using his Dublin charm in between songs – talking to individuals, groups or us all. At one point he declares himself redundant as the audience takes over the vocals on ‘Testament’ and on the reverse seems disappointed when we don’t know the newer ones word for word.

Although touted as a fans choice, it’s mainly the usual favourites that have made the cut such as ‘Standing’ and ‘Legion’ mixed in with tracks from the new album, some like the set ending ‘Control’ destined to be favourites in gigs to come! The heat continued to rise and there was not a dry armpit in the house as Ronan drove us on further, also asking for any hole in the place to be opened describing the place as ‘Hotter than Balls’ – not hotter than mine at that moment I can assure you. ’Honour’  - written when the line ‘January 2012′ seemed way ahead of us gets everyone joining in again before the afore mentioned ‘Control’.

The band left the stage and someone eased the front door open to let some steam out. We knew they would be back and after playing ‘Nova’, we knew there was still one to play - ’Perpetual’ has become a VNV tradition with the song fading and the final refrain being sung by the audience, as less instruments are involved, and this was a classic, with Ronan and Mark keeping everyone singing for five minutes or more – increasing the tempo and slowing it again to a final close – this was how to end the night as we filed out into the welcoming cold air.

Hotter Than Balls

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Badge of the Week – The Oreoh!s

I feel noisily confident in saying that John Peel, if he were still alive – I can’t use the phrase “still with us” because he unquestionably is, deep inside – in assembling a chart of his favourite records of the past 12 months, as some are wont to do at this time of year, would place ”Same Hair”, the debut by Halifax’s The Oreoh!s, at the very top of his festive tree. Such a decision would not be dictated by his predilection for the creations of the young, just as my own view is not that the recording is remarkably good for those of such tender years, but simply because it’s good…very good. So good in fact, that it’s only the second single of the last half-decade from outside of Japan that I’ve immediately felt the need to own immediately after hearing it for the first time. And there was something serendipitous about that initial meeting.

I first saw mention of The Oreoh!s – rather spendidly named after their biscuit of choice, and while the change in spelling may have resulted from a wish to avoid any potential lawsuits, it’s also a touch of genius – on, of all places, a Facebook post by one Jeremy Kerr, bass player with Manchester’s still going strong pioneering punk-funksters A Certain Ratio (a band whose drummer once quipped that I’d attended more of their gigs than he had, and while that was far from the truth, it rightly indicates they were a favourite band of mine), who had just played a gig with them. Jez helpfully included a link, which after clicking took me someplace where I was instantly cajoled by the kind of song and dance that immediately suggested to me the off-kilter sensibility The Raincoats but without any of the unwanted baggage; in just over 2 minutes they effortlessly achieved what a whole movement of bands a couple of decades ago could only aspire to. Yet, even this didn’t prepare me for the next couple of minutes of pure mutant popular music, which words cannot even begin to do justice to. Suffice to say, that as a first release this is every bit as essential as The Stockholm Monsters’ ”Fairy Tales” or Helium’s ”The American Jean”, and as a joyous pop confection it’s as sing-a-long-and-guaranteed-to-make-you-smile as Cub’s ”New York City”…names and sounds undoubtedly as foreign to Esme, Henry and Sid as I expect their favourite bands are to me, though Esme pipes up that she’s currently getting back into her “oldies” and namechecks The Ronettes as her current inspiration.

The band’s ages may only range from 12~15 but they’ve already been hard at it for 2 years, and being less linguistically challenged immediately put me in my place by informing me of the meaning of their name in Greek, and laugh at my weakness for dipping my biscuits into my tea or coffee; ”Crisp, definitely!” Sid insists is the preferred way to enjoy Oreos. As for The Oreoh!s, should you wish to join their admiring classmates and “astonished” teachers, the likes of Jez Kerr who has witnessed their “serious potential” first-hand, and my-bowled-over-from-afar-good-self, and have your perception of 2012 changed in less than 5 short minutes you can listen to ”Same Hair” at the link below. Then journey as far you need to see them live and even – yes even! – buy the CD, my copy of which, as you can see, came with a sign of affection to pin to your lapel culled from the same Iberian Lomography that adorns the sleeve…if you’re lucky, maybe yours will too! Single of the year, “flavour” of the month, badge of the week.

Hear the Oreoh!s here
Miles Wood
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Adele Tops 2011 Sales Charts

Fleet Foxes in at number three

Our friends at People Independent Music have kindly supplied the following album chart based on sales at the store during 2011. Only albums released in 2011 qualify.

1 Adele 21
2 King Creosote & Jon Hopkins Diamond Mine
3 Fleet Foxes Helplessness Blues
4 Bon Iver Bon Iver
5 Elbow Build A Rocket Boys
6 PJ Harvey Let England Shake
7 Iron & Wine Kiss Each Other Clean
8 Laura Marling A  Creature I Do Not Know
9 Jonathan Wilson Gentle Spirit
10 White Denim D
11 Noah & The Whale Last Night On Earth
12 Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi Rome
13 Radiohead King Of Limbs
14 R.E.M. Collapse Into Now
15 Tom Waits Bad As Me
16 Beirut Riptide
17 Ryan Adams Ashes & Fire
18 Fiest Metals
19 Coldplay Mylo Xyloto
20 Winged Victory For The Sullen Winged Victory For The Sullen

People Independent Music at Guildford

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Manic Street Preachers – 02 Arena 18 December, 2011

 Call it an absurdly grand gesture if you like, but Manic Street Preachers’ decision to bow out of live performance for a while with a gig in which they would play every one of their 38 singles had to be admired. It certainly had an all-or-nothing rigour that Richey Edwards would have endorsed. But would James Dean Bradfield recall all the words? Would Nicky Wire’s knees survive all of that sustained bouncing around. Would piledriving drummer Sean Moore wear a hole in his skins? These and more questions were answered during last night’s frequently stunning gig.

The canny step was taken not to do the singles in chronological order. That might have meant that early devotees of the “You Love Us”-era DIY Preachers could knock off early, while fans of their Cuba-visiting stadium-chic personae could arrive fashionably late. Instead, the tracks were mixed and matched, with namechecks for the likes of Picasso, Malcolm X, Francis Bacon and Derek Jarman reminding the audience of the band’s artistic/bookish/dissident credentials. The decision to do absolutely everything meant that there were a few misses, but only a few.

When the sailor-suited Bradfield strode on and kicked off with “You Stole the Sun From My Heart” proceedings started on a high and took up residence there for the next two hours. Powerhouse emotional renditions of the glam-metal “Motorcycle Emptiness” and a scorched-earth, turbo-charged “Everything Must Go” early in the set made it look as if the band was playing safe and frontloading the gig with favourites, but it soon became apparent that there were plenty of unforgettable classics to spread around.

Continue reading full article here

Bruce Dessau, The Arts Desk

 

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Polly Romps Home – ‘Let England Shake’ Tops Polls

The Ark is thrilled to see that PJ Harvey’s Mercury Prize winning album has topped three of the UK’s prestigious end of year critics list. Mojo, Uncut and NME  all had Polly sitting on the top of their tree. A stunning hat-trick!

PJ Harvey said of winning the Uncut award: “I’m very pleased to get the Uncut Music Award 2011, and it strengthens my desire to carry on pursuing the avenues of work I have been for the last 20 years. It strengthens my conviction to always trust my instincts and to continue to do work of meaning and importance, in some way.”

The singer also said that she was well into the writing process for the follow-up to ‘Let England Shake’, saying: “I’m quite far into working on what will become my next body of work, and again my desire of wanting to learn continues to unfold. I began working on my next piece the moment I finished recording ‘Let England Shake’ over a year ago. I’m well into that next project already”.

Here are the top tens from each list:

Mojo

1. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
2. The Horrors – Skying
3. Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues
4. Jonathan Wilson – Gentle Sprit
5. Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
6. White Denim – D
7. Josh T. Pearson – Last Of The Country Gentlemen
8. Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
9. Tom Waits – Bad As Me
10. Wild Beasts – Smother

UNCUT

1. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
2. Gilian Welch – The Harrow & The Harvest
3. Metronomy – The English Riviera
4. White Denim – D
5. Josh T Pearson – Last Of The Country Gentlemen
6. The Horrors – Skying
7. Radiohead – The King Of Limbs
8. Wild Beasts – Smother
9. Bon Iver – Bon Iver
10. The War On Drugs – Slave Ambient

NME

1. PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
2. Metronomy – The English Riviera
3. The Horrors – Skying
4. Wild Beasts – Smother
5. Kurt Vile – Smoke Ring For My Halo
6. Arctic Monkeys – Suck It And See
7. St Vincent – Strange Mercy
8. Katy B – On A Mission
9. Tune-Yards – Whokill
10. Wu Lyf – Go Tell Fire To The Mountain

Q Magazine voted it number 2 – boo!

Full top 50′s will be posted on on the Arks specific list page soon.

PJ Harvey is interviewed on BBC 2 ‘Culture Show’ tomorrow at 7pm. More here


Fast Tube by Casper

 

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Neon Japan – Tribute Album To Neon Hearts

Turning Japanese - Eddie Legend Gets The Party Started

A week of gigs, hard partying and much fanfare greeted the release of the Japanese Neon Hearts tribute album Neon Japan earlier this month. Original Neon Hearts members Martin Ratcliffe (gtr) and Keith Allen (drums) flew in to Tokyo from the West Midlands to support the launch which producer Miles Wood was thrilled to bits with. Miles, originally fromWolverhampton,  has been based in theFar East for the last dozen or so years and tells the Ark about the background to the project:

“The idea probably came to me after Nervous Hearts (a side project of The Fadeaways) played a cover of “Answers” at a show I organised inYokohama.  I knew there were some Neon Hearts fans in Japan and among those were a few musicians in bands that I knew. So I mentioned the idea to Nervous Hearts’ vocalist if they would be interested in recording “Answers” for a Neon Hearts tribute EP or album; he said yes, and thought it was a good idea so I started asking other bands. My first question was always “Do you know and like Neon Hearts?” and if I got an affirmative I would ask them if they wanted to join the project. I got some excited responses. Sometimes I would mention the idea to someone in passing and was surprised to hear them say “I love Neon Hearts!” and so I would immediately invite them on board. Some bands I asked declined for various reasons, others I wanted on the album were unable to participate for whatever reason, and a couple dropped out, including ironically Nervous Hearts, the band that ignited my initial spark.”

Miles continues how he then decided to get the original band to endorse and support the idea.

“Luckily with the world as it is today I was able to do so from the opposite side of the globe. I told them of my idea, and asked if they would also like to come on board and mix and master the album. They gave me the green light and also accepted the offer. There was some discussion of a possible Neon Hearts Japanese Tour to coincide, but ultimately it has come down to Keith and Martin travelling to Japan for the album release gigs and playing with the bands on their respective cover versions and maybe one or two other Neon Hearts classics as well. I’m not unhappy with this as I didn’t want them to be seen as some kind of “cabaret act” as some of the reformed 70′s punk bands are in danger of being. To me, it’s important that while there’s an obvious element of nostalgia involved, it remains very much contemporary.

After 30 years Keith and Martin playing Neon Hearts hits

The cover is an 8 inch cardboard sleeve in homage to the unique-size “Regulations” one. The front design is of course adapted from that, while the back design reference one commonly found on the back of ‘sukejan’ – Japanese souvenir jackets initially popular with US military personnel in the 50′s.”

Since the launch gigs we caught up with Martin Ratcliffe on his return and he tells us how much he enjoyed it: “It was a wonderful experience.  Having put the thought of people actually appreciating stuff we wrote 30 years ago to one side it was a big shock to be playing and talking about it again. The shows were so similar to the Raglan days it was uncanny. Shambolic mutual enjoyment. We had no idea that our music had followers in Japan. It turns out some of the people who were involved have been listening and playing our stuff for over 15 years. The level of knowledge about the band was uncanny. On the last night we met some people for drinks and they brought along 7″ singles and badges that I had not seen since the late 70′s. All sourced from eBay apparently. Who would have thought that a button badge from a batch of 200 printed in Wolverhampton in 1977 would turn up in Tokyo in 2011”

Regarding the tribute album: “The CD was very humbling as all the bands had taken so much trouble to participate and mark their stamp on the songs. I love all the versions and would not want to single out any band for specific praise. We were a little nervous about how it would work live as there was very little time to rehearse. In reality we only had to run through the songs once with each band as they had put so much effort into their preparation.

The venues were fabulous and Miles did a great job organising everything. The best bits were meeting all the bands and playing the songs live again. We were told to speed up on a number of occasions and play louder! Music to my ears. The sad part was that Paul could not be here to see it. He would have added an extra spark. There was talk of a return visit in the future with the rest of the band to play some Neon Hearts shows. Nothing would make us happier.”

The album was released on November 4th. The track listing is:

Baby Blue – Popular Music

The C & C – Teenage Units

Eddie Legend Story – Regulations

Kannana Speedcats – Armchair Thriller

Keen Monkey Work – Pin Cushions

Kill Times – Wasted

The Telepathys – Answers

You Got A Radio – Venus Eccentric

Young Parisian – Body Language

Check out the tour video compilation – pure punk rock, yeah!


Fast Tube by Casper

The album plus limited edition DVD is available on Ebay

Neon Hearts were featured as Badge of the Week on 17 October

Jim Heath

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