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Friday, 28 July 2017

Mick Jagger - England Lost

Quite a few Rolling Stones fans seem to be struggling with the latest release from Mick Jagger.
Working with grime artists and making what has been described as an overtly political album has left them discombobulated. 
Maybe it is the after effects of his solo material coming off of the back of the back to the roots sound of Blue and Lonesome that is the problem.
Few could have been expecting this, but is it really as bad as some are claiming?
It's not as if members of the Stones have not explored different sounds. Some Girls is for some a funky disco rock masterpiece and Micks side project SuperHeavy rarely stuck to the blues rock template of the Stones.  

Give it a week, let it settle in a bit, and then make a judgement call. 

It's okay to wait until you get it, or don't. 

Normal(ish) services resuming featuring Alice Cooper, 4 Past Midnight, Eureka Machines, CJ Wildheart, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Big Sick and The Mist

Consider this a rambling update about what Reservoir Droogs has been up to since the last post.

Normal(ish) services will resume soon.

So yeah, it's been a while, but here we are.
Maybe absence made the heart grow fonder.
Some movies have been seen, some television shows too, some music has been listened to, some books read, but leaving the confines of Castle Droog has not been a thing.
That will change soon as there's a few gigs coming up, and maybe the Odeon chain will let us use the guest passes they gave us at some point, but more about that later.

For now. Let's get into the music first.

Right now, right this very minute in time, the new album from Alice Cooper is playing.
Off the bat it aint too bad at all. There has already been some negative mutterings, but you wouldn't be going out on a limb in saying it is better than Welcome 2 my Nightmare.
Maybe some of the naysayers should give it a few days to bed in before sharpening the knives.
It's less cartoonish than w2mn for certain, a bit more old school too.
If you call yourself a fan and have all the studio albums then this could fit in with the early eighties material. Pre Constrictor anyway. The hair metal sheen is stripped away and Paranormal sounds all the better for that.
A review will follow at some point, but for now you can do the old try before you buy thing on Spotify.

In other news Glasgow punk veterans  4 Past Midnight album Battle Scars & Broken Hearts has landed and similar to the Coop a review will follow, but if melodic punk is your thing then it is worth dipping a toe in and seeing what the guys have been up to on their facebook page.
All the latest gig news is here too. Clickety click.

Hmmmm. And what else has been flittering about?
The news that Eureka Machines are going to be recording another album made our week. Add in that there will be an anniversary double album release to coincide with the new material and excitement levels have hit defocon one.
Is there any doubt that it will all be fantastic? Nope. None at all.
For the uninitiated Eureka Machines are the greatest band that you have never heard of.

The latest album from CJ Wildheart is available to pledge for just now.
Robot hit the spot and there is no reason why Blood will fail to do likewise.   
Apparently it is a bit rawer, a bit more of a punk blast.
That better be a promise.
Kiss it certainly has the energy levels set high enough to indicate that all promises will be delivered on.

You can pledge here.

As for movies we finally managed to see Spider- Man: Homecoming.
I say finally as there had been a few issues.
Not being one to officially complain about anything, and instead preferring to just moan ineffectual about things, I finally bit the bullet and sent a strongly worded email to the Odeon chain about an incident in our local theatre.
The intent was to get an acknowledgment from them that they messed up, but as well as an apology they sent a couple of guest passes.
No issue at all about that. Happy smiley faces all round.

Until we went to use them.

First it was that certain movies were not included as they were just released. This included Spidey.
There was some small print, but like much small print it had went unnoticed.
We were slightly miffed, but you roll with that sort of thing.
On our return a few days later the cost of tickets had been jacked up as it was the school holidays.
Again it is mentioned, but lower down on their page online. Not really emblazoned at the top of the page.
By then I was starting to think that their apology and tickets were a hollow gesture.

Here's some tickets for you mate, but you can only use them for certain films at certain times.

As I was with my daughter I bit the bullet and payed the extra, but since then I've looked to see what else I could use these magical passes for. War for the Planet of the Apes seemed a good option, but I can only use them once the film comes off the suspended list.
Which is the same day as it leaves the local cinema.
Great. Just fuckin' great.

So now I have that off my chest I suppose I should tell you how Spider-Man was.

It was good. Very good. Tom Holland has taken the teenage Peter Parker and brought him to life. The character has jumped fully formed from the pages of the comic for the very first time. The Avengers movie only really hinted at this, but here he is in all his teenage glory.
Michael Keaton is a fantastic Vulture too, and over all the cast do a great job of this.
The story is solid enough for a super hero movie and for sheer escapist fun for the summer holidays the kids will love it and will all come away from the cinema wanting to swing from building to building.
So far so good.
The downside is that some of the CGI seemed a bit clunky. For a movie which is a part of an eye watering financial commitment to a franchise it just seemed to fall short of what was expected.
A minor complaint, and similarly not a huge issue either, but the cast of Peter Parker's peers appeared to be drawn from a UN meeting.
Flash as an entitled asian kid just seems to be pandering to a pc world.
That comment will of course draw some criticism, but if the original source was an asian kid then I would have been happy to see that unchanged, but he wasn't. Flash is a white musclebound jock. A walking talking stereotype.
That's who I wanted to see in the same vein as how I don't want to see a white Black Panther or a black Tony Stark.
Why not create a brand new stand alone asian character?
I'm a supporter of diversity, but I don't see the need for it to usurp the race and gender of characters that already exist.
A female Dr Who? Bring it on. A black 007? Not a problem.
One is a regenerating alien and the other is a code name. In context they work.
It just felt that it was being forced.
Young kids will fail to pick up on this, but like so many films just now it sometimes feels that it has less to do with promoting diversity and creating a movie that will appeal to the widest demographic.
Did they cast him with inclusiveness in mind, or to tick off a box? Who knows, but I found myself thinking about it when I should have been concentrating on Vulture getting his wings clipped.

The Big Sick was the Screen Unseen deal for this month and it's recommended that you do go an see it.
The movie isn't out to deliver a laugh out loud comedy experience, but instead takes a wry overview of relationships and the cultural difficulties that lie in the path of true love.
It's a gentle comedy, but it doesn't pull the punches when addressing the east meets west issues of romance. Call it a date movie for people who aren't morons.
Ooft. Again some offence might come from saying that. Offence by proxy as morons certainly will not have got as far into this rambling update.

And then there's the television shows.

The best that has debuted has been The Mist.
Taking the critically acclaimed movie - which was an adaptation of a Stephen King story - as the source material the makers of this have done a fantastic job in what is basically expanding on it.
With the luxury of spreading it over multiple hours they have been able to flesh out the characters and broaden the story arc without sacrificing any of the pacing.
It is this sort of show that illustrates why so many people are turning away from the cinema.
Within that format no one really wants to sit for over three hours, but some stories deserve to be told over a much longer period, and that's where the bite sized episodes come in.
An hour at a time at our leisure works.
That's not to say that the 90 to 120 mins movies haven't got their place, but if the story is focused on first and foremost then that should dictate whether it is ultimately told in the cinema or on the small screen.
More of this please.

And of course Game of Thrones is back. Suck it all you tits and dragons haters. :)

And that's your lot for just now.

I told you it was going to be rambling.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Punk rock. Dividing people since year zero (Or How The Dickies became the most talked about band in the world)

In recent years it feels like there has been a move away from people exploring the middle ground of any debate.
It doesn't really matter what it is. 
Only two positions can ever be taken in an argument.
There’s no give or take.
You are either for or against. You must be one hundred percent supportive or opposed.
You can’t broadly agree or disagree with anyone. You must nail your colours to the mast with firm determination on every single subject.
Anything less than full commitment to one side or another is deemed unacceptable. No quarter must ever be given or it will be construed as a sign of weakness.

And to maintain this level of commitment it could be argued that context must be kicked into the long grass, extenuating circumstances definitely cannot be considered, and any sort of balanced rationality has to be pushed to the back of the queue as combatants embrace their positions with fundamentalist fervour.

The most recent storm surrounding The Dickies is a perfect example of this.

Are you a pussy, or a punk, is the question that has been asked again and again. The line has been drawn in the sand that it is only true punks who support the Dickies, and if you don’t? 
Then ergo you are a pussy.

Setting aside the derogatory nature of the term pussy, and the true punk bullshit, this is still a ridiculously divisive question that highlights that an unbending stance must be adhered to.

Are you with us, or against us?

And to be fair both sides of the argument are shouting this as loudly as each other.

Are you with us, or are you against us?

If you support The Dickies then you are supporting misogyny, and if you oppose them then you are opposing free speech. 
Think about that for a couple of minutes. Are there any winners in choosing one or the other? Or are there just lots and lots of losers?

Is anything ever really as simple as this in life?

Of course it isn’t, and it’s difficult not to come to the conclusion that any adults who have demanded an answer to such a binary question should be hanging their heads in shame.
They are embarrassing themselves. It is devoid of any subtlety. It refuses to acknowledge the complexities of any argument.
If the intent of the rallying call is in support of defending the Dickies then it falls at the first hurdle.
It’s the debate level of the sandbox. Adults screaming like infants.
Agree with me or you’re a pussy. A weak fuckin’ pussy! Throw in libtard, snowflake, and accuse people of being supporter of feminazis for good measure too. It’s pathetic.
The sound that you hear from that side of the so called debate is not righteous thunder, but the clatter of toys hitting the ground as they are thrown from the pram.
Who wants to side with this sort of inane crap? It’s a massive turn off and reinforces the view from those looking in from the outside that punks in general are stupid.

But on the opposing side the argument isn’t much better because ignoring the wider context of the incident to further an agenda sets everything out on very shaky foundations.
You can’t take the moral high ground when the reaction was deliberately provoked.
Blatantly creating a situation and then using the outcome to support your position is to put it simply wrong.

The woman that was protesting went to the performance with the intent to draw the reaction she got.
The band was played, Leonard Philips Graves was played; the audience were a prop in this, and ultimately all of the people rushing to take sides are being played too.

And I don’t like being played by anyone.

None of that should be construed as a defence of the reaction though, but in my opinion the argument for equality in punk, never mind life in general, is strong enough without having to resort to cheap stunts to draw some attention.
So yeah, thanks for that one step forward and two steps back cluster-fuck in getting everyone on board with supporting a safer environment for all at gigs.

All that has been achieved is that entrenched views are being held onto even tighter as more people refuse to come to the table and talk about these issues.  

Now there’s a job well done that deserves a slow handclap.

It’s not as if there was a lack of alternative options to the protest available, proactively positive ones.

How about a charter of rights being written and promoted with bands signing up to it? No one is forced to comply with it, but if enough artists signed up and refused to play events that didn’t adhere to what is in the charter then it would be in the interests of promoters to get on board with some basic equality rules.

Or similar to the recent online release of an album in support of Chelsea Manning there could be an ongoing online compilation of artists who promote gigs as inclusive and safe events.
With every additional artist being added to the project it would extend the reach of the message.
Music fans can sign up to it and for a fee per month get access to downloads with that money going towards supporting charitable groups that promote the same ideals.

I’m sure others can think of many more ideas. It's really not that hard if the brain is engaged rather than just choosing to hit head repeatedly on the outrage button.

So can all this be put to bed now? It’s boring and hasn’t really placed anyone in a positive light.

Yours sincerely,

An anti-misogyny, pro-equality, punk loving Dickies fan.

PS. Punk is not about shocking people, but it can be, and it doesn’t have to be about sticking it to the man either, although again it can be, and it’s not just about being serious all the time, or silly all the time. It can be everything and nothing that you want it to be. It’s the ultimate oxymoron. 
Think about that too. 

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Gigs, gigs, and more gigs. The tip of the iceberg with more to follow.

Can you have too much of a good thing?

I’m talking about gig announcements.

Yesterday I am sure I woke myself up screaming ‘JUST TAKE MY MONEY’ as part of some fever dream that had me trashing a room as I waited on a ticket site screen to reload.

There is just so much out there that my head is spinning with all the options.

The answer to the question is of course no. 

So I thought it would be a good idea to dedicate a blog update to telling you about some of the shows that I am currently looking to attend.

All come with the Reservoir Droog seal of approval, but rather than just take my word for that I've added a video, or a link to the band/artist, so that you can make an informed decision on whether you consider them as essential to attend as I do.

Obviously it is Green Day, Rancid, Slaves and The Skids today, but there's been enough about that on the blog in the run up to it so let's look at the next one on my dance card.

So many friends had recommended that I should listen to Ryan Hamilton that it had started to become embarrassing when they asked what I thought about him and I had to admit that I hadn't managed to get around to actually checking him out.
So a few weeks ago I finally set some time aside and sat down to live up to all the promises I had made and actually listened to him and his band.

Midway through the first song I felt a bit silly.

Here was this fantastic act that had been sitting within easy reach and I hadn't snatched at them as I had been told to.

They're bloody great.

Moral of the story? Listen to your mates. 

The band are touring in August and all the dates and ticket links can be found here.

The next one that you should write down in your diary is Bullets and Octane.

It was Androo Riddell, the drummer of Powderkeg, who first drew my attention to these LA rockers when he mentioned that they were going to be playing Edinburgh and he would personally love to be on the same bill as them.

I had a quick run through of some youtube videos and it was very obvious why they were right up his street.
Punky and trashy in equal measures they are the sort of band that mothers traditionally warn their daughters about.

And in one of those random acts of fate guess who is opening for them?

Yep. It's PowderKeg.

Maybe dreams do come true.

The Bullets and Octane/PowderKeg event details are here.

September sees The Psychedelic Furs arrive in the UK.

Tour dates.

If you are only aware of them through the rose tinted glasses of a dim memory of a John Hughes movie then hang your head in shame.

With this career retrospective tour there is far more than just Pretty in Pink to get your teeth into.

For many this is a bucket list gig to check off, and if you were to have a wander through their back catalogue of material then the reason why would become apparent as they have a treasure trove of fantastic songs to dip into.

Songs like this.

October is by far the busiest month so far though.
and it starts off with a gig of our own.

It gives us great pleasure to remind everyone that we have Duncan Reid & The Big Heads coming back to Glasgow.
Even better is that as before we have Heavy Drapes back with them, and to open the gig it's the punk rock jukebox that is 3 Minute Heroes.

There's simply a lot of bang for your buck with this one.

The last two shows in Glasgow have been described as life affirming by others and there is no reason to think that this time out it is going to be any different.

Bombs Away is one of my favourite tracks on the latest album, but when it is described as a favourite I really mean it is the shiniest jewel that resides in a crown of many many shiny jewels.

And wrap your ears around this and tell me that you still don't get why Heavy Drapes are the most talked about punk band in Scotland just now?

All you need to know about this gigs is on the event page.

If however there is anything else then just message either the facebook page or drop a comment on the blog.

Do you need an introduction to The Bellrays?

If you do then go and grab a pictorial dictionary and look up ramalama.
Under that you will find a photograph of The Bellrays.
Fusing soul and punk together they are a hurricane of a band that sweeps everything in their path out of the way.

When you see this band going full throttle it is a wondrous sight to behold.

Expect to leave a show drenched in a sweat with your heart pounding out of your chest. They will give you a workout that a personal trainer would charge you the earth for.

Just try to keep up. Grab the lightning.

Tour Dates

And as if The Bellarys isn't enough we then have Supersuckers arriving hot on their heels.

I'm not even going to say anything about this one other than the band do not deal in disappointment.

Buy some of their fuckin' records here.

In addition there's also Wednesday 13 with Courtesans, Dick Valentine, Alice Cooper with The Tubes and The Mission, and Blondie coming to Glasgow, but more about them later this week.

So far this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Are you as excited as I am?

Green Day - A soundtrack for Bellahouston (Possible spoiler alert)

Don't look, don't listen, and don't tell anyone else if you are the type that likes a surprise.

If however you are keen to know what Green Day may play later today then of course read on.

The following playlist was compiled from us checking out the setlists of the dates already played on the tour.

You can find them, and so much more, on a site called

So just consider this a rough and ready guesstimate of what will be played at Bellahouston

If it is the case that this is what we are getting is a solidly balanced set that will definitely be a crowd pleaser.

Something old, something new, and if they do the extended medley that they played at  Hyde Park that featured Always Look On The Brightside Of Life, Teenage Kicks, I Can't Get No (Satisfaction) and Hey Jude along with Shout, then we can tick of the something borrowed part too.

Regardless of it's accuracy we hope that you will enjoy it if you are blasting it out pre show.

We will be.

Fingers crossed that The Saints are Coming is played with either Green Day members joining the Skids for it, or the Skids joining Green Day.

That would be an icing on the cake moment for us.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Green Day Event Information (Bellahouston Park - Glasgow)

As the Green Day show in Glasgow is imminent then it may be a good idea for all attending to familiarise themselves with the current information from the organisers.


On Tuesday 4th July Green Day will play a highly anticipated show at Glasgow's Bellahouston Park, with Rancid, Slaves and The Skids.

Due to recent events there will be heightened security at this event. We want to make this show as enjoyable as possible, so please make sure to read all of the information below ahead of coming to the show. Check the weather prior to travelling to the event and prepare accordingly.

Follow us on social media for updates:
Official Facebook Event | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Tickets are still available to purchase here


Bags will not be permitted to be brought in to the event unless it is absolutely essential, and they must be as small as possible. No backpacks/rucksaks/large handbags may be brought in under any circumstances. Security reserve the right to search any bags upon arrival and deny entry. You safety, wellbeing and enjoyment is paramount and we thank you for your understanding and cooperation.


We ask you to please drink responsibly throughout the event. Any persons who arrive drunk can be refused entry.

Challenge 25 policy will be in operation at Bellahouston Park. Anyone who appears to be under the age of 25 will be asked to provide identification confirming that they are over 18 years of age in order to purchase alcohol. The only forms of identification we accept are passports, photographic drivers licences, and PASS accredited proof of age cards. NO OTHER FORMS OF ID WILL BE ACCEPTED.



We ask you to please drink responsibly throughout the event. Any persons who arrive drunk can be refused entry.

Food and drink may not be brought in to the site under any circumstances. There will be a wide range of food and drinks available to buy on site.

Water points will be located throughout the event site where drinking water will be provided. Event stewards will be able to advise where these points are located. Remember to stay hydrated at all times.

For your safety and security, the following items are not allowed at the event under any circumstances.

- Weapons
- Flares
- Professional Cameras
- Drugs including legal highs
- Alcohol
- Chewing Gum
- Food and drink
- Camping Chairs
- Tents of any kind
- Flags
- Backpacks and large handbags


Bellahouston Park is situated in a residential area, please bear this in mind at all times and respect those who live in the surrounding area at all times.

Public transport may be busy, so please bear this in mind when planning your arrival and departure. We strongly advise that you arrive at the event in plenty of time. Entry time may be delayed by search procedures.

BUS: For bus travel in Glasgow, we have partnered with Happy Bus, who will be running a shuttle from Buchanan Bus Station. For more information, please visit the below link.

: Walking to Bellahouston Park from Glasgow city centre will take around 45 minutes to an hour.

SUBWAY: Glasgow SPT Subway stops at Cessnock Subway station and Ibrox Subway Station, these are both within walking distance of Bellahouston Park. Each station is around a 15 to 20 minute walk from Bellahouston Park.

TRAIN: Scotrail stations Dumbreck train station, and Cardonald train station are both within walking distance to Bellahouston Park. We reccomend that if you plan on traveling by train you buy your rail tickets in advance For more information visit

CAR PARKING: - If you are traveling by car then you are advised to use Albion Car Park for car parking, located on Broomloan Road. Parking restrictions apply around the park.

RESIDENTS PARKING PERMITS: Any local residents who require more parking passes can attend the site on Saturday to pick them up. Presentation of proof of address will be required.


The venue has an accessible viewing platform and accessible facilities, which has a fixed capacity.
Entry point for accessible ticket holders is via Paisley Road West. This will be clearly sign posted.
Please note that there is a fixed capacity for the accessible areas and they may sell out.
Accessible parking is available at the Palace of Art car park. You will be directed by stewards on arrival. A valid event ticket and blue badge permit is required to gain access, again please note that space is potentially limited and cannot be guaranteed if the car park reaches capacity.



2.00PM - Event Doors Open
4.00PM - The Skids
5.15PM - Slaves
6.30PM - Rancid
8.00PM - Green Day
10.30PM - Event end & curfew.


- Over 14’s only - Under 18's must be accompanied by an Adult over 18 at all times.
- Please note that Challenge 25 policy will be in operation at this event.

And with that digested all that is left for us to say is we hope all attending have a great time.

Now here's Revolution Radio for you to listen to. 


Hands up if you think Morrissey is a lyrical genius!
Hands up if you think he’s a bit of a twat?
Hands up if you think he is both!

It can’t just be me.

I used to loathe The Smiths. Within seconds of hearing them my stomach would twist and my stress levels would rise. They just offended me on a primal level.

And then one day when one of their songs was playing in the background I had to admit to myself that there was nothing wrong with them.
In fact they were very good.
Better than good.
I just had a chip on my shoulder about their fans.
Not even all of them as how could I know all of them.

I just had a particular dislike for the majority that I did know.
It was a class issue. There’s no doubt about that, and I wore those issues on my sleeve a bit too blatantly.

At the time there was a very obvious divide between the unemployed/working classes and the middle classes that seemed to be doing just fine.
Thatcher was kicking at our fingers as we tried to maintain a grip on the bottom rung, and then seemingly rubbing our faces in it was these perceived affluent types who to a man, and woman, was a Smiths fan.

That was my limited experience of the world I existed in. The class war of them and us was a tactile reality and I was allowing my rage at circumstances beyond my control to cloud my judgement.
I couldn’t hear The Smiths without it triggering something that I wouldn’t have admitted existed within me.
I was drawing parallels where none existed.
I was the stereotypical angry young man with my finger hovering over a self destruct button.

Thankfully rationality comes with maturity, or it should do.
I can now clearly see how misplaced my loathing was, and not just for the band, but for the people who I had cast as villains in a story that neither they nor I had penned.

Since then it is a regret that I never seen the Smiths, but I do have a few Morrissey gigs under my belt.
All extremely enjoyable affairs it has to be said.
I have become a bit of an aficionado if truth be told, but even with this ongoing love affair with the music of The Smiths and Morrissey, I just can’t get on board with Morrissey and his click bait persona.
He bores me with his Katie Hopkins styled need to be a contrarian.
I have similar feelings about John Lydon.
Both Lydon and Morrissey appear to have lost themselves in artistic creations and off stage and outside of the studio they offer little more than contentious sound-bites to attract the media spotlight.
Ever get the feeling you have been cheated works on so many levels when they open their mouths and troll the world.

But what is the point of all this rambling about my love/hate relationship with Steven Patrick Morrissey?

Well it’s all just the lead in to mentioning the forthcoming biopic England is Mine.

Thankfully it focuses on his early years when he was just an apprentice contrarian so I can take some pleasure in knowing that when I go to see it that it probably isn’t going to be a chunk of my day spent listening to Jack Lowden berate everyone that has ever walked past a Burger King as being complicit in an act of genocide.

Well it better bloody well not be.
If it is then I will have to write a very strongly worded review about it.

If it is just over an hour and a half of the actor portraying Morrissey declaring his undying love for The New York Dolls that will of course be totally acceptable to me.

Now here's the trailer.

GUN - Favourite Pleasures video preview

As most GUN fans are aware the seventh studio album is released in September, but for those who missed it Music News currently has a preview of the title track and lead single Favourite Pleasures.
You can watch it by simply clicking here.

It's certainly hitting that sweet spot between GUN of old and El Presidente. The driving funk styled rocker is certainly guaranteed to whet the appetite of fans, and will no doubt serve to knock a few people off the fence who are undecided about attending the Barrowlands show in December.

The video itself is self explanatory, but Dante is asking fans if they want to share their favourite pleasures with the band too.

If you do then you can add them to twitter with the hashtag #FavouritePleasures

There's no prize, but that being said if anyone mentions running through fields of wheat then they don't deserve one anyway.

Click on image to enlarge
My favourite pleasure?

Well that would be when my partner and I get some private time together and I am able to commit to paying proper attention to peeling off the outer layers and then pushing my mouth down on the flesh revealed.
Sometimes biting at it.
I just love the feeling of the juices running down my chin.

But who doesn't love buying a bag of satsumas and sharing them with the one you love.

So what is your favourite pleasure? Dante is waiting, with antici-pation for your answers.

Monday reviews #6 Featuring Cheap Trick, Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes, and Peter Perrett

Cheap Trick - We’re All Alright

While other bands suffer from multiple line-up changes, losing focus, becoming stuck in a rut, internal arguments, and of course just from the ravages of time, it is unusual to find one that consistently bucks all the trends, but Cheap Trick are that band.

Of course their journey has not been hassle free, but over all - and considering the big picture - they are a wonderful constant in a world that is often chaotic.
You can always rely on them to deliver the goods.
And here we are with a new album and the faith that their fans have in them to be that constant in their lives has once again been richly rewarded.
In so many ways the sound of Cheap Trick is evergreen.
They are the band that set the benchmark for melodic pop infused rock and that bold assertion is stamped with a firm authority throughout We’re All Alright.

Were does their enthusiasm comes from though?

Who knows, but sonically speaking is sounds like they are supping from the fountain of youth.
Line up all their albums and pick one at random, slip it on and what you will hear is a classic, and with this release that statement still stands.
A friend once told me that they had a request to provide a list of KISS tracks for someone to listen to as they were unfamiliar with the band.
As he is a KISS fan he ended up sending them a list of over a hundred songs, and he could have added more.
I can understand that because if I was asked to provide a similar one of Cheap Trick songs I would just say start with the self titled debut and stop listening when you reach the end of We’re All Alright.
Miss nothing out because you may well regret it.
There are very few bands and artists that I could claim to love everything of. Even some of my favourite artists have on occasions left me disappointed, but not Cheap Trick.
Never Cheap Trick!

And when you consider the rabid praise that the band get from their peers you do have to ask yourself why they are so often sighted as a bands band, a musician’s band, and the answer lies in the quality of their work, but also, and this is just in my opinion, it is because Cheap Trick are at heart music fans.
Everything they do is steeped in the history of rock and roll. From the fifties through the sixties, taking in the glam of the seventies, touching on the fire of punk and tugging on the strings of so much more they are the sound of generations of music distilled down into what can only be called the Cheap Trick sound.
The only band to sound like Cheap Trick is actually Cheap Trick.
Instantly recognisable they stand alone.

They never put a foot wrong, and I don’t even feel the need to add ‘in my opinion’.
It is what it is!
With Bang, Zoom, Crazy….Hello they set out to remind everyone of their relevance and with We’re All Alright they are making sure that no one can claim that it was a fluke.
Every album is just a continuation of magnificence.
If the rule is that no one can deliver one hundred percent one hundred percent of the time then Cheap Trick are the exception to the rule.

You really need to buy this album, and everything else they have done.

Make it your mission in life and then as your last breath escapes you then you can rest easy thinking you did at least one thing well, you were a Cheap Trick fan.


Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes – Goo Goo Shoom

Everything that Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes does should come with the warning that you should expect the unexpected.
They deal in wrong footing the listener at every turn, in taking perverse pleasure in refusing to be categorized, and while others who attempt to do this end up losing a sense of their own identity that isn’t a criticism that could be laid at the feet of this band.
Instead it doesn’t seem to matter if a song is reminiscent of an ecstasy inspired Underworld-esque dance track, or if it is slipping on a smoking jacket to deliver a goth inspired lounge lizard performance, because the songs are still instantly recognisable as being performed by Joe Bone and the Dark Vibes.
They manage to magically carry a sense of their own individuality through all their conflicting musical personas.

Goo Goo Shoom, in its entirety, could probably be best described as the soundtrack of a yet to be released cult movie.
It has that cinematic feel to it, a bit kitchen sink with David Lynch at the helm directing, and that’s no bad thing.
Jumping from the legend of boxing hero Benny Lynch to the arrogance of the DWP the band are open to taking on any challenge and wrestling it into submission.
In fact it sounds as if they thrive on the challenge.
To try and offer a better description than a surreal kitchen sink drama soundtrack would be futile as with every listen it sheds a skin and becomes something else entirely.
Nothing is as it seems.
A whole new album appears again and again with each listen, and it is the gift that keeps giving.

Beautifully strange and carrying a sense of unease with it Joe Bone & The Dark Vibes band have delivered a unique album of songs that shouldn’t work, but most definitely do.


Peter Perrett  - How The West Was Won

If a bookie offered you odds for a Peter Perret album to surface in 2017 you would have most likely have laughed and asked if they were the same as Lord Lucan being sighted in Argentina astride Shergar.
And yet this is the long shot that has come in.

Few could have predicted this.

And while a new Peter Perrett album existing is surprising enough, it’s that it shines so brightly that is the real defying of odds story.

Read the biography The Only One:Peter Perrett, Homme Fatale by Nina Antonia for plenty of examples of why a release from Perrett this late in the day is not something that could have been envisioned.

Health issues stemming from a long dalliance with drugs is just one of the stumbling blocks that have been smashed out of the way.

Musically speaking, with How The West Was Won, it sounds like Perrett is in many ways staking a claim on his own legendary status by emulating his peers such as Johnny Thunders, Lou Reed, by extension The Velvet Underground, Television, and of course his own back history of The Only Ones.
It’s a trip down his personal memory lane, but with our own knowledge of this same back history it all sounds comfortably familiar.
By referencing these other artists it is less influential and more about placing himself within their ranks, and when the context is considered as such it screams that it works.

Hopefully this is not a swam song release and we can look forward to Perrett defying the odds again and again. 

If you want to read a little more about the colourful and debauched past of Peter Perrett now rather than later when you pick up Nina's book then this interview is a good place to start.