2010:     PAGE 1
'ALiFE 2009'
CD 2010
This actually ain't as bad as it sounds
in print. Although the intro tape of
Lydon's solo rappy effort 'Rabbit' was
annoyingly Chas 'n' Dave for me, and
wondered if the die hard
PIL fans
would really wanna hear before the
band hit the stage after all this time?
But hey, when they did grace us with
their presence there was an almighty
roar! The actual gig recorded in
Birmingham in 2009 is how
might've sounded in the 21st century
had they kept a stable line-up
together. It certainly don't sound like a
quick fix of hired guns. And is a novel
experiment that looks set to become
permanent. Especially after the
Pistols comebacks we
had to endure on almost an annual
basis. However
PIL are a very different
beast indeed. And with John Rotten as
the front man they were the most
eagerly anticipated band in the first
wave punk fall out. They delved and
dived into a totally new dark direction
musically. Truly pioneering, but totally
shambolic in the early years. So a
reunion after 17 years wasn't really out
of the question, but certainly not at the
top of my live priority's. However long
Pistols/PiL aficionado Paul
K. sent this CD in, which was only
available officially on this tour. And as I
always review whatever comes in
(eventually), it has to be said live
albums ain't my preferred choice. But
to be fair 'ALiFE' definitely has its
moments and is a good snapshot of
the live performance. This is the
Johnny show and JR does slip easily
and a lot more comfortably into
mode, than his annoying operatic
versions of his
Pistols pitch. Those
vocals which decimated the
live reunion gigs are almost note
perfect for
PiL. But this reformed
speculation was dealt a major blow
before they'd even played a note when
I read in the press there wasn't gonna
be no Levine or Wobble in the line-up.
Even after all this time is Keith still
dabbling and Wobble rumbling?...who
knows, who cares? But their inclusion
would've given this reunion that distinct
authentic touch? So If you (like me)
missed this tour (for that sole reason),
as a legitimate consolation prize this
CD should give you a vivid ringside
seat from the comfort of your stereo to
bear witness to what all the fuss is
about. The sound quality tonight is up
there with official live albums like
1980's 'Paris Au Pritempts', but
thankfully with a lot more material to
dip into. We still miss Levene's
sheering guitars and Wobble's big
bastard bass. But the band Lydon put
together for this tour is a lot more
involved both musically and in ability
than the last couple of line-ups we had
to endure. They kick off with 'Public
Image Ltd' which was a good indication
of the sound we were gonna hear for
the next 2 hours. Misfit survivor Lu
Edmonds shows he's versatile and
ain't been no slouch wasting his time
while he's been away. He has a very
adept feel for a wide variety of
instrumentation. And thankfully gives
those Levene guitar shards an
uncanny boost and much needed
eccentricity that some tracks really
needed. Despite big venues and the
expanse of sound in most
PiL tracks, It
was a truly DIY tour.
PiL are currently
without a label, so the whole
sharrabang was recorded and funded
by Johnny's shrewd 'Country Life'
butter ads. That fact in itself gives the
tour a whole new surreal meaning,
who'd have thought eh? And begs the
question if you got the cash you can
do almost anything! But the £35 quid
entrance fee was a bit much. And put
along side Lydon's current money
grabbing scrapbook plunder seems a
bridge too far most of us mortals. Mr
Rotten does seem so money makingly
obsessed these days, compared to his
penniless days bunking rides on the
tube in the public enemy number era.
Maybe that cheesy LA outlook has
finally rubbed off on him? I don't
begrudge a punk of any standing
making a living, especially this one,
after what he's inspired in punk over
the years. But I just find the whole out
of touch, out to lunch, middle class
rock star hypocrisy a tad irritating.
But back to the album, one thing Mr
Rotten is still the master at and thats
cutting one liners, which this is littered
with. Musical highlights had to be
'Careering' and the sinister 'Poptones'
all about being raped. The free form
staccato guitars during 'Albatross'
were a real treat. All we were missing
was Wobble's bass rumbling away in
the background, which sadly no one
has come close to reproducing in all of
PiL's lineups since. 'Death Disco' is
another iconic song and still has the
power and intensity of earlier versions
and now incorporates a really good
extra guitar riff that adds to this
poignant mourner. The crowd were
certainly moved. We then get some
'Psychos Path' which live becomes a
truly exceptional latter day Lydon form
of expression. This and my all time
fave track 'Religion' give the ghost of
PiL conquests the seal of
approval. However its soiled by putrid
numbers like 'Disappointed' and
'Warrior' which are still as naff as the
day they were recorded. They close
with the popular 'Rise' and the
overrated 'Open Up'. But as Lydon
“It might not sound good,
but I fucking mean it!”
which after a
2 hour plus set must've given the
crowd their deserved moneys worth.  
PiL will be touring again this year, so
maybe you might get some new
material? Not sure if Johnny's still
capable of writing any, but if we get
stuff of the calibre of 'Psychos path' we
could be surprised!
'Weaving Spiders Come Not Here'
CD April 2010
First I've heard of this fast tempo punk
outfit hailing from Fairfied, WA, USA
who formed in 2004. They have in their
magazine a gun shot sound which is a
cross between a belligerant
and maybe a dose of the
long lost
Pillage People. Well thats
the impression I got and I liked both
those bands.
The Assasinators
create a hard hitting sound on this
album, along with quirky themes on
how corrupt the US government really
is (shock horror!). They seem to relish
in how all these suits in power abuse
that privilege on a daily basis. Well anti
Government rants are old ground in
punk these days, but we all have
concerns and this is a band who need
and seem determined to fight the
abuse the populous is going through.
I'm just not sure if most of the
American population would appreciate
this form of protest, unless they're
young, white ostracized males?
Considering the current worldwide
climate, wonder if the American people
protested in such large numbers as
say in Egypt or Lybia they'd be able to
oust the US Government? And maybe
bands like this could play to the
masses as the cops circle the local city
 square? Kicks off with 'Divide And
Conquer' which is a relentless rant by
belligerent singer Paul at his most
deranged robotic best, and is aided
and abetted by some neat sinister one
note solo's by axeman Parris. Another
strong track has 'Econarchy' erupt
from our speakers with a distinct
vibe running through it. As the 22
companies who run the planet get
rebuked while we roam through some
really good East Bay Ray territory on
guitar. Conspiracy theories aside, it
ain't all serious as
the Assasinators
roll out a rowdy GG Allen cover of
'Drink Fight And Fuck' which I
somehow think could be included in
the bands resume for lager intake.
They have like most Yanks a strange
fixation with Pyrates, which makes for
weird bedfellows along with the CIA
and all the other hoods that oppress
the poor. This is a band who focus on
lyrical content, so I'm told? And I bet
they're interesting. Pity they are totally
nullified by being printed in the most
inaccessible text possible. So you just
have to snatch what you can as it
whizzes past and
"mass control"
seems to rhyme with
"asshole" which
is good enough example for me. They
are an aggressive looking bunch who
are on the wrong side of 30, but now
boast Zebrana Bastard on bass (ex of
the Bastards) who will definitely add a
new dimension to the bands sound
and stage presence. Especially if her
promo work is as far reaching as her
obvious enthusiasm for punk is. You
don't reach punk rock outposts like
PUNK ROCKER without doing your
homework. I suspect
ain't your usual drunk
punk outfit, and most likely really do
have a grievance when they ain't in the
bars. Not sure they'll change much on
this recording, but if it makes them feel
better about having their say than
sitting in a bar bitching about it, then
why the hell not? Their best track
however was the title track 'Weaving
Spiders Come Not Here' which is a
really catchy and powerfully addictive
number and should quite rightly be the
bands theme tune and finished off this
album on a high. However they finish
off with a
Rancid cover 'Out Of
Control' which ain't the best song to
cover but gets an
Assasinators hit.
They also have an earlier CD released
in 2008 called 'Rumors Of War' which
is still available and will be reviewed in
the next review session. So till then,
catch them live as I hear they're a
pretty formidable bunch live and are
not a band afraid of touring. Also
apologies for the delay in writing this
review up! Better late than never.
Show your support by checking out
their myspace page below.
'Dance & Travel In The Robot Age'
(T&M Records)
Bootleg Reissue CD March 2010
Had this thrown in by Mark the diligent
editor of the
UK Subs most concise
website presence to date
Which puts the official one to shame
and features nearly every dose of
Subversion your ever likely to see or
hear online in one place. And if you
don't hear this CD or read the rest of
this review, just go check out the site
as its a
Subs ephemera and you'll be
there forever.
Recorded on 16th February 1980,
Dance & Travel In The Robot Age was
originally released in 1980 by Black &
White Recs (from the Isle of White in
the UK). The recording was made by
the late Tracy Crazy, from the Italian
punk band
S.I.B, who also took the
photographs used on the cover. The
gig where the recording was made, at
the Palalido in Milan, Italy was part of a
seven date European tour that
played with the Ramones.
However its a pity the sound quality on
this semi official bootleg ain't quite as
up to scratch as the intricate web work
and passion for information. But does
come in a diligent foldout sleeve
imprint of the original bootleg release,
and is apparently a much sought after
Subs circles) bootleg. Recorded
from a
UK Subs iconic lineup of
Harper/Garratt/Slack and Roberts. But
I have to say the sound is a big let
down. I'm surprised this was actually
used instead of the superior sound
quality boots that must litter sound
engineer desks and subversive
collections all over the world by now.
But like everything
UK Subs, the die
hard fans will be loving it and
cherishing it. Especially the ones who
missed it first time round. So here's a
second chance to get their grubby
subversive mits on a collectors item
(and lets not forget, it is/was for
charidee too). Bootlegged in the bands
heyday, you cant help but think if only
Charlie knew they'd still be playing this
set, bar a few variations 30 years later,
when he's the oldest performing punk
on the planet. He'd have probably
laughed in yer face! In fact a recent
interview with Chas revealed he
thought he might make an album or
two at the most. But to base a career
out an alphabets worth of albums,
sounds almost scary. Unlike
, the Subs still try to capture their
heyday sounds today, with rare
degrees of success. Despite the iffy
sound quality, you cant help but take
yer hat off to an albums worth of
bonafide punk anthems rolling out your
speakers. I don't need to list the
tracks, you should all know them by
now. Despite the sound, this
attractively produced CD features
exclusive liner notes by Paul Slack, a 4
page booklet with artwork from the
original bootleg release and exclusive
Black & White band member profile
photographs originally used on the
back cover of the Warhead 7" single,
seen here in their original uncropped,
untreated form. And is a limited edition
of 300 hand numbered copies. But if
you miss out and want a quality live
album you could do a lot worse
than try the immortal 'Crash Course',
which has them all on in pristine
stereo. Apologies for the late review,
I'm sure it sold enough to give the
charity in question a few hundred extra
quid and that's always the main point.
T & M Recordings in case your
wondering exists purely to put out
previously un-released or no longer
U.K. Subs material on CD
and DVD (and possibly other formats)
with 100% of the profits going to a
charity or individual personally chosen
by Charlie Harper himself.
Sound quality
£5-00 (plus postage)
Time & Matter Recordings
P.O.Box 5261
CV37 1JR
'Perfume And Piss'
(hellcat records)
CD April 2010
Having just been writing an editorial
GBH's debut vinyl platter,
which is still my fave album by the
band. I'm almost gob smacked that
GBH can still make and actually kick
out a modern day punk album that
doesn't stink of going through the
motions, doesn't feel like its jaded
pretend, and actually does sound very
good and contemporary. In my humble
opinion I actually prefer 'Perfume And
Piss' to 'City Babies'. Which will no
doubt get me hung from the nearest
lamp post in B1 next time I set foot in
the place, but its a lot more compact
and fluid. It kicks off in chaotic style
with the in your face 'Unique' that has
tinges of Psychobilly and could well be
vying for a another stage fave with its
rabble rousing chorus. 'Kids Get Down'
down is gritty vintage
GBH. I gotta say
Jock's solo's are gaining ground and
sound quite complicated, but still retain
that rabid
GBH hallmark. 'Perfume And
Piss' is a great album/song title, but it
don't quite hit you in the face as much
as the first two tracks, where singer
Colin goes for a condemnation of the
powers that be. However 'Cadillac One'
is for me the standout track for sure. It
slouches in with an almost
swagger and a complete change of
style for familiar
GBH territory. Its a
dramatic progression and certainly
gives the band a chance to flex their
pedigree muscle. It also comes with
some of the best lyrics coined by Collin
as he regales the Presidents current
mode of transport. 'San Jose Wind'
sounds like a tribute to Joe Strummer
which has the formula
GBH grind,
along with a more rock 'n' roll make
over that keeps your interest. 'Dead
Man Walking' takes off in fine form, but
gets lost in the middle, only to retain
the momentum as it closes. 'Invisible'
sounds the most American influenced
of the tracks, and has a Lars
Fredirickson (
Rancid) input written all
over it, even down to the backing
vocals. Lars who produced this album
must be applauded for doing a
splendid job, capturing the Brummy
spirit and sound but highlighting the
new palette
GBH now work from. Its
good to hear a new free-form
GBH let
loose. Although Colin ain't the most
adventurous vocalist in punk, he has
by now created his own snarly niche.
'This Is Not The Real World' aims a
little higher. While 'Polytoxic' has an
Dead Kennedy's vibe going
on as
GBH loiter through the complex
world of complexities. 'Ballads' harks
back to the 80's but its vocal input is
way superior. 'Going Sideways' has an
almost poppy feel as the band
encounter speed with inevitable
consequences. Acoustic guitars on a
GBH album I hear you cry!!! Hmmm
has Lars had more input? Or is it
Jock's folksy side project, the brilliantly
Balsall Heathens been given
permission to sniff on the intro and
outro of this the final track 'Time Flies'.
Whatever the case, it strangely works.
As mentioned earlier comes with a first
class production. One thing a label like
Hellcat guarantee is decent
production. Especially if its a band who
inspired the producer to pick up an
instrument in the first place. And
'Perfume And Piss' overall does sound
like an album
GBH have made with
complete conviction and not a hint of
losing that hunger that was first
unleashed 30 years ago.
Killed Joe Public'
utumn 2010
It's a hard slot to step into replacing
the iconic Jimmy Pursey. And whoever
to, had to make it count! Look
what happened to
Menace for gawd's
sake. Luckily for Dave Parson's he's
found that illusive guinea pig for the
wayward and extremely unpredictable
Sham front man. And probably the
best your likely to get in this day 'n'
age. Tim V's vocals don't parody the
Jimmy Sham style, or try to ape it.
They do however sound strikingly
familiar and seem to fit these new
songs really well. It's a logical step to
jump in with totally new material as the
live footage I've seen on You tube of
Tim doing the old
Sham anthems, falls
way below the mark, sounding almost
karaoke. However the quality of some
of these
tracks created with Dave
Parsons ear for a tune
, may also have
been the catalyst for JP to suddenly
announce he's stepping back outta
semi retirement to front
Sham 69 on
some forthcoming dates. And even if
that's the only goal, its a hit with me,
as an added bonus some of these
new songs certainly grow on ya. A
Wurlitzer style organ breezes in to kick
start us off with the impressive

"Sham". A song which I thought made
a great statement of intent with
rabble rousing chant
. So was utterly
disappointed to hear it was in actual
"shout" the songs benign title that
being sung. Oh dear. It
ignificantly quelled my initial
enthusiasm somewhat. It was also
spoilt by too many
"Oi's", which Sham
tried to dodge like bullets back in the
late 70's. But definitely gets us off into
a rowdy optimistic start. 'The Verdict is
Vengeance' is another energetic
number well played and
littered with
impressive lyrics like
bankers and cocaine wankers
'Skin And Bone' swaggers in with a
definite Pistols riff, circa the 'Swindle'
years and
is riddled with even more
impressive Jack the lad lyrics, that
name drop various punk luminaries
from '79.  A change in direction for
'Then There Were None' which
has a sniff of the Who, as
Sham get all
emotional. However comes with a good
delivery. 'Hall of Fame' with its piano
intrusions continues the 60's theme,
and sounds like it could've come from
a Tommy Steele movie. It's definitely a
progression from the bands usual
terrace stompers. Just not sure the
boneheads or even the punks will
appreciate it quite as much though lol.
'Little Lady' returns to the
Sham of old
music wise, that owns a neat riff to
propel it along. But also adds a rare,
dare I say it domestic love song to their
repertoire! 'Last Gang in London' sees
the band returning to their white
reggae roots that they do so very well,
with a
skanking organ and Clash
atmosphere as our songs hero finally
gets stabbed in the street. Neat guitar
intro for the title track 'Who Killed Joe
Public' but its missing that Pursey
line delivery which is where Tim
V's vocals suffer most, as he can't
quite give us that definite intent! Same
goes with the classic Parsons tuneage
on 'What Ya Gonna Do'  and 'The
Public Enemy', but I did enjoy the
sneaky Batman refrain. Final track
'Army Of Tomorrow' is trying to be the
anthem that wasn't to be, and to be
truthful id heard enough by then.
Which was a shame as the first half of
this album was very promising.

Cheers to Paul K. for chucking this my