I’m attending the launch of the NEW Scifi Mafia cd tonight and hope to get some excellent shots from this gig!!
Here is a sample taste of things to come!!
Devilish Presley. ‘ The Dark Triad ‘
May 9th sees Devilish Presley unleash their 5th and most terrifying studio album to date ‘ The Dark Triad ‘. One of the most hard working band’s around serve up a blood chilling delight that will make your ears bleed and the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on end after listening to 12 tracks of pure vocal and guitar power. Just when you thought they were dead and buried they rise again after trials and tribulations within the band that nearly led to it’s very demise. They have re emerged stronger than ever!! This album bears testament to that…
‘ The Dark Triad ‘ is a monster of an album, fast loud and punchy to say the least with an average track time of just under 3 minutes. Starting off with ‘ Happy As Saturday ‘ which is the lead album track and throughout the pace hardly slackens.
Jacqui Vixen has taken over on lead vocals and guitar after injury forced her to stop playing bass in the band. ( A great shame ) She has been working with vocal coach Stevie Vann best known for her work with none other than Def Leppard and AC/DC. The results can be clearly heard. Her vocal range is now broader with increased power and direction while on ‘ Dance Floor Ghost ‘ it takes on a more haunting quality too. This is an emotive track dedicated to, as is the whole album to the duo’s friend Fee who committed suicide in Berlin 2 years ago. A stand out track by far.
Johnny Navarro provides backing vocals while wielding chunky lead guitar riffs around like a possessed mad axeman, in fact, people have almost had their heads cleaved in two by the said guitarists axe wielding type antics at gigs!! ‘ Kiss Kiss Apocalypse ‘, ‘ Down Where you Belong ‘ and ‘ Zurich Psychological Club ‘ being fine examples of this. The next time your at a Devilish Presley gig and Johnny runs into the crowd guitar in hand, be afraid, be very afraid!!… ( Failing that, wear a hard hat )
The first single release from the album ‘ The Beast Must Die ‘ video has been creeping it’s way rightly so up YouTube’s ratings. Hand written lyrics, signed with a DVD version of the video released by the band has SOLD OUT!! Buy a physical cd version of ‘ The Dark Triad ‘ and there are 2 bonus tracks to be had, ‘ Don’t Come Any Closer ‘ and ‘ The Murder Parade ‘.
Narcissism, Machiavellianism & Psychopathy are the 3 personality disorders to which the album refers. The monsters they sing about refer to those of the self made variety. How many of us can say we don’t have any of those?! This is a far superior album than the band’s last release ‘ Flesh Ride ‘. It is superior in every way. The songs are loud and in your face, the production is a hell of a lot better and the 12 tracks flow together to give what is no doubt their best album yet. Introspection after personal trials always seem to bring the best out in many a musician and band. ‘ The Shakers ‘ track alone show’s this is the case here from London’s Horrorbilly Punks. Monsters, rock n roll and death, it’s all here.
With Jacqui’s vocals now having a better, broader range and benefiting from increased confidence whilst Johnny being given a free murderous range out on guitar Devilish Presley have risen from the dead and evolved into one of the finest counter culture bands around with arguably this their best work to date in my opinion. You can’t keep this band down. HELL YEAH!!! Jez
‘ The Dark Triad ‘ track listing;
1. Happy As Saturday
2. City Of Dreadful Night
3. The Beast Must Die
4. Cocaine Joe
5. Down Where You Belong
6. Dance Floor Ghost
7. Is There Anybody There
8. Kiss Kiss Apocalypse
9. I Created A Monster
10. The Shakers
11. Horror Movie Head
12. Zurich Psychological Club
Bonus Tracks. ( Cd version ONLY )
13. Don’t Come Any Closer
14. The Murder Parade
Devilish Presley are;
Jacqui Vixen: Lead Vocals & Guitar
Johnny Navarro: Lead Guitar & Backing Vocals
All photographs Copyright Jez Keefe Photography
It’s been 8 long years since the UK SUBS last made a studio album. Far too long. This is an enduring band that has been continually out on the road with one line up or another. 34 years down the line they are still here and refuse to go away!! Many bands call it a day then reform in later years, not so the UK SUBS. They just go onward and evolve and get better and better…
My own personal experience with the UK SUBS began on May 8th 1980 at Cleethropes Winter Gardens. A venue which is now no more. Demolished to nothing, yet in it’s day played host to none other than the Sex Pistols on the Anarchy Tour… Yes, the Sex Pistols played a small UK east coast venue, a venue steeped in musical heritage. The night the UK SUBS played I will never forget, a true introduction to punk rock in no uncertain terms… The place was rammed!! What I witnessed that night stays with me still, a vivid memory I can still recount even now in clear detail.That same year August 8th 1980 proved to be yet another memorable date in my own personnel UK SUBS history, a line up change but a band still undiminished in it’s appeal for me, if not more so. After failing half my O level exams my best friend Nick suggested we go to London to see the band at the Music Machine. So, off we went. Supported by none other than The Straps. A couple of 16 year olds from the provinces on a journey to the capital which will forever be etched into our brains and still recounted with such enthusiasm even today. Priceless…
The history of the UK SUBS is well documented on http://www.uksubstimeandmatter.net the best source for all things UK SUBS. Take a look, it’s a great site!!
Enough of things past. Back to the present…
The idea basically being that the band should record an album beginning with every letter of the alphabet, they have now reached the letter W in that quest. Work In Progress being the result. 14 tracks with a combination of power, precision and subtly which shows the adaptability of the band, a band which is one of the finest bands around let alone a punk band! A band full of character and talent with every member contributing to this album to produce for me the best UK SUBS album to date. It’s taken a long time to knock Another Kind Of Blues off my top spot in terms of albums by the UK SUBS but they have done it with this one.
Fronted by punk rock legend Charlie Harper, he has assembled a band which has raw talent and experience in abundance. From first seeing this line up I’ve waited for some studio work to see if they could match their live performances, and can they?? In my opinion YES, they can and then some.
I’m not going to review the album tracks with any great depth of detail, it’s up to you the listener to decide for yourselves what you think about the album. These are just my thoughts about an album when I first heard was being recored have waited for with bated breath. So much so that I ordered it from 2 different outlets and in the end couldn’t wait for it to turn up so downloaded it off itunes to get it quicker!! As I have said before each member of the band; Charlie Harper, Alvin Gibbs, Jet and Jamie Oliver have contributed to the writing along with Lars Frederiksen of Rancid. ( Yes, the Lars Frederiksen )
The album bursts into live with Creation, a reworked version of a song previously recorded on the 2008 Warhead EP. It took time to adjust listening to this version of the song but it sure as hell wakes you up to what is to follow. Tokyo Rose is next, a very catchy track which leads into Hell Is Other People. I can personally testify to that!! Never afraid to speak his mind, Charlie just tells it how it is. Plain and simple, the way it should be. The pace slows with The Axe but not in intensity or power. Something which this album has plenty of in abundance, In typical UK SUBS style they then hit top gear with Radio Unfriendly, a fast paced track which owes so much to the talent of Jamie Oliver. Modern day radio under corporate control is indeed a sludge fest…
This Chaos, says it all about the world we live in. A co-operation between Charlie Harper & Lars Frederiksen has produced a classic social comment track.
Do we have a chance?No
To realise potential? No
Do they have freedom? No
To be what we wanna be
Guru sees Alvin Gibbs take to vocals with a self penned track about fake, self righteous guru’s who are just out for the money. There are plenty of those about who people fall victim to these days. Eighteen Wheels with it’s Dwain Eddie style guitar twang and the powerful Children Of The Flood, complete with it’s sumptuous rock style guitar solo’s from Jet lead into what for me is the best track on this album, All Blurs Into One. This album certainly doesn’t do that by any means!! It’s the longest track on the album but has subtle pace changes, backing vocals along with pure raw UK SUBS power. It builds in intensity all the way through to provide a show stopping track. I love this… It would be great to see this performed live.
Blood is a powerful punchy track. The crowd cried out for more, with an album of this quality the crowd certainly will. Rock n Roll Whore which is another very catchy hard hitting song which makes way for the classic Sonics song Strychnine. A cover song they have played live and I’m glad to see it has made it onto the album. After 13 tracks the album finishes with track number 14 for me the weakest track on here, Robot Age. Maybe it was case of one track too far… But it has grown on me somehwhat. I’ll let you be the judge of that for yourselves.
I have seen the band live over the years and this line up for me is personally my favourite. Chalrie Harper must have played hundreds, if not thousands of gigs over the years and shows no sign of slowing down. He is always in amongst the fans talking and posing for photo’s with them as are the rest of the band. A true punk rock legend. In Jamie Oliver they have the second longest serving member of the UK SUBS only after Charlie Harper himself. Jamie is a great drummer with talent to match which comes through to the fore on this album. Jet is one of the nicest people you could ever wish to meet and also an excellent guitarist. He is in full flow on this album with subtle chords and powerful guitar riffs. For me Alvin Gibbs is the best UK SUBS bass player. He gives that bit extra in terms of drive and power when he plays whilst being no mean lyricist too. It is good to here him on vocals.
So there you have it, my thoughts on the latest UK SUBS release Work In Progress. Don’t take my word for it, go buy a copy and judge it’s merits yourselves. Even better go see the band live, trust me, you won’t regret it!!! They are on FIRE…
Basically I love this band. Everyone has their favourite band and for me this is it!! Bands come and go but for me the UK SUBS are out there doing it! As Charlie says ” We’re living it!! ” Year after year. No pretence, they are what they are, an EXCELLENT band and this IS an EXCELLENT album. I would just like to congratulate Charlie, Alvin, Jet and Jamie. You can keep your corporate conveyer belt media hyped shit. This is the real deal. Punk rock’s finest!!! I can’t wait for X…
Shortly after writing this the terrible events of the earthquake and tsunami unfolded in Japan. Jet had returned to Japan for 3 months while the band toured Europe with original UK SUBS guitarist Nicky Garrett. We are all worried about him as there has been no contact with him as yet. We all hope he is safe, well and hear from him very soon.
UK SUBS PUNK FOREVER…
To buy a copy of the album go to http://www.captainoi.com
Work In Progress…
Charlie Harper: Vocals
Alvin Gibbs: Bass
Jamie Oliver: Drums
All Photographs Copyright Jez Keefe
Whilst the Punk community sit round and eagerly await the Queens Honours List (!) to see if U.K.Subs vocalist Charlie Harper has been knighted for Services to Punk Rock the man himself has continued to tour the world relentlessly. Now up to the letter “W” in the quest for an album for every letter of the alphabet, this is undoubtedly one of Sir Charlie and co.’s best efforts to date, a real bonefide Punk Rock classic. It features a great cover of The Sonics “Strychnine”, a co-write with Rancid’s Lars Frederiksen plus a dozen Subs originals – “Work In Progress” = 14 powerful, melodic and lyrically spot on Punk Rock anthems. 35 years on and still going strong. This is a classic and you should own it.
Disk 1: CREATION | TOKYO ROSE | HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE | THE AXE | RADIO UNFRIENDLY | THIS CHAOS | GURU | EIGHTEEN WHEELS | CHILDREN OF THE FLOOD | ALL BLURS INTO ONE | ROCK N ROLL WHORE | STRYCHNINE | ROBOT AGE
As we draw towards the end of another year the live music scene has gone some what stale of late. People concentrate on Christmas and the New Year celebrations. ( Bah Humbug ) Buying presents is the order of the day. The recent bad weather here in the UK has also had a negative effect on the scene too, gigs being cancelled as venues struggle to sell tickets ( which is a struggle these days anyway ) and bands struggle even more to travel.
For the Pogo Crew ( Jez n Dave ) the new year cannot come soon enough with the prospect of yet more gigs to attend in our pursuit of great live music, in particular that of the punk rock genre! Punk’s dead I hear people cry. NO!! Punk’s NOT dead, far from it in fact. It’s more underground than it used to be as it doesn’t receive the media attention that it used to do. Just take a look at the Rebellion Festival which takes place in Blackpool UK. Each year it just gets bigger and better than the last, going from strength to strength. Old and new bands alike take to the stages in a festival dedicated to celebrating all things punk. Punk is a real music for real people. It’s a street music dealing with real issues in the lives of everyday people. It hits you between the eyes in no uncertain manner. Like it or loathe it you can’t ignore it. So, you are seriously telling us punk’s dead? Sorry but we beg to differ. It is still as relevant as it always was and more so in a lot of cases.
The past few years has seen some of the older more established bands release some excellent new albums with yet more to come. Bands such as Killing Joke, GBH and a band which this blog is about, The Vibrators.
Originally formed in 1976 and with a career spanning 34 years the band have an enduring strength and have supported punk rock royalty such as the likes of Iggy Pop and the Sex Pistols while possibly being over looked in their own right. November 2009 saw the release of their latest album “Under The Radar”. A totally new album of original music which without doubt has the stamp of the current line up all over it!!
The weather had eased and the roads were clear. Hey Ho, Lets Go!!
The last gig of 2010 for us… The Vibrators @ The Well, Leeds.
We had seen The Vibrators at the same venue earlier in the year, it was a fairly well attended gig but this time it was not the case. A meagre crowd of around 25 or so and that was all. Such a shame!! We had been put on the gust list by Pete ( the bass player ) which we take as a great compliment. ( even if we get in on a guest list we buy some merchandise. Bands need money to survive! ) The support band The Drastics played a pretty decent set which set the scene nicely.
The Vibrators may only be a 3 piece band but they create music to blow your ears off. A very underrated band in our opinion. This 3 piece could teach younger up and coming musicians more than a thing or two about being a band and how to perform.
Fronted by original singer and lead guitarist Knox with founder member of the band Eddie on drums with Pete providing bass for a classic 3 chord punk band. What more could you want??…
The Vibrators set consists of mixture of original music and some classic covers. A crisp clean sound with plenty of volume played at a fast punk pace. They open with Petrol and then launch straight into Pure Mania. This band are as tight as they come, you need to check them out live!! Whips And Furs with the classic Troop Of Tomorrow follow to slow the pace. Knox is an excellent guitarist punctuating the night with some class sharp guitar riffs. Free Spirit then London Girls sees Eddie playing his heart out as he always does. His crisp drumming sound and rhythm are constant like a machine gun. The title track of the last album Under The Radar leads them into more recent originals with the older 24 Hour People paving the way into possibly The Vibrators most classic hit Baby Baby. Proving even punk bands can write classic love songs.
The only non original member of the band is Pete who joined in 2003. Pete brings energy and drive in abundance to the band. He wields his Gibbson Thunderbird bass around the stage like the mighty Thor’s hammer. So much so that at one point his mic and stand land on top of me while I photograph the band… Ouch!! Without a doubt he is one of the finest bass players around and we could watch and listen to him all night.
The set finishes with Judy Is A Punk, Disco In Moscow ( a great favourite of ours ) and another classic Vibrators track Automatic Lover… As always all too soon another gig is over…
34 years since the band were first formed The Vibrators are still rocking hard and long may they do so. If you get the chance to see them live, TAKE IT!! You won’t be disappointed. Knox is now in his mid 60’s but has a sharp sense of humour with a set of guitar skills to match anybody. Eddie is a class drummer who others could do well to emulate. As for Pete what else can you say but full on Rock n Roll…
This was the last gig as I have said for us this year and we have seen some excellent bands in 2010, some old and some new. But without a shadow of doubt we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the gigs we have been too. So all that is left is to wish you all a very Happy New Year. See you again soon… Jez n Dave
SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC!!
The Vibrators are:
Knox : Guitar & Lead Vocals
Eddie : Drums & Backing Vocals
Pete : Bass & Backing Vocals
Venturing forth across the bleak Yorkshire moors, the light fades and thick fog descends on the costal town of Whitby. By day a picturesque Victorian town, at night with dense fog all around, people are walking the streets in Victorian attire in celebration of the Whitby Goth weekend. Eerie…
It is hardly surprising then that Bram Stoker gave birth to the most celebrated prince of darkness here… Dracula. The most famous protagonist being that of Christopher Lee, an actor who made the character come to life in the cult Hammer Horror movies and who can make anyone’s hair stand up on the back of their necks.
Every Goth’s dream, every goths nightmare, and what’s more it’s Halloween.
And so the scene is set…..
It’s been two years since Devilish Presley last played the Resolution Hotel for the launch of their acclaimed album ” Flesh Ride ” and so we return.
Times are hard these days for everyone, not least bands with musicians trying to scratch a living, trying to survive and get their own particular brand of music out there. None are more hard working than Devilish Presley. Over the past few years they have gigged relentlessly clocking up the miles throughout the UK and venturing into Europe as well. As others have found nothing comes easy, it’s hard work and commitment that are carrying them through. Even after critically acclaimed album reviews the going is tough! All this being independent and self financed as well. Taking time out and also record a new album, the gigs have of late have been few and far between. There are other changes too. This is a new version of Devilish Presley. Gone is the real drummer and back is the bigger, badder and better drum machine. Fronted by Jacqui Vixen & Johnny Navarro for the past few years, Jacqui gave Devilish Presley one of the dirtiest bass sounds around. However after years of playing and sustaining an injury she has now had to give up the bass. ( such a great shame too, she was up there with our favourite bass players ) Jacqui and Johnny are as ever open, friendly and approachable and are quick to introduce us to the next line up change. Polski Pete.The new bass player. Dzien dobry. Pete Vincent has made an immediate impact within the band, traveling to the gig he was nearly arrested for relieving himself up against a wall that turned out to be none other than a wall of a police station!! ( We like Polski Pete )
It’s show time…
The set starts at a rip roaring pace with ” Trucks ” followed by ” Black Glitter ” and then a new song ” Happy As Saturday ” ( nice for those who don’t have to work it! ) This is the first outing of material from the NEW album ” The Dark Triad ” which is set for release in 2011. Johnny as ever is full of energy, a real driving force for the band. Pete adds a deep bass sound releasing Jacqui in her new role as lead singer. She is gaining in confidence with each passing gig using her vocal shriek to great effect. A real Halloween Queen. Pete adds to the visual dynamic of the band and goes head to head with Johnny in banter. Before the set Dave dons his hard hat after being told by Johnny where to stand. ” This is a hard hat area! ” Dave has been whacked by Johnny on the head at several gigs with his guitar, Johnny has a new guitar. It has to be christened and he wants to make sure he doesn’t miss!! Other older favourites such as ” Billy Rattlestick ” ( which saw Johnny in the audience, guitar in hand, a bit of back line climbing and running around like a headless chicken ) and ” Black Leather Jesus ” followed by more new tracks including ” Down Where You Belong ” ( Down at the front of the stage of course ) Plus the new single ” Cocaine Joe ” which is exclusively covered mounted on a compilation cd on the magazine Devolution which is available now!!
It’s a fine performance from the new line up which goes down well with the crowd at a packed Resolution Hotel but it is over all too soon. Visual and energetic, Devilish Presley more than make the grade. Back is a big bad ass bass sound adding to the high octane guitar and spine tingling vocals. An evolution in the bands line up that will hopefully bring Jacqui, Johnny and Pete success ( which they thoroughly deserve ) in their next endeavour ” The Dark Triad “. With an already fine back catalogue of music including the albums, ” Flesh Ride “, ” Disgraceland “, ” Memphisto ” and ” Rust Garden ” ( which is SOLD OUT ) Visually and musically tighter than the previous line up we look forward to the next album release with bated breath. Counter culture music like this gives corporate control a damn good kick in the bollocks and we’re all for that. Bands like Devilish Presley have the freedom to express themselves in a way that the music execs will never understand. Instead, music execs feed us the bland and the mundane that infects the charts the world over purely in the name of profit. Bands like Devilish Presley give the UK and the rest of the world music scene such a rich, diverse seam of talent which is ultimately what music is all about. Freedom of expression. We’re glad to say Devilish Presley have that in abundance!!
We bid our farewells to the band and not forgetting Brian the hard working roadie ( who has ambitions to be a film star some day ) We head off, back onto the moors and into the thick fog armed with garlic and wooden stakes to fend off any vampires who cross our path but all we see is the ghost of a Christmas tree! Eerie, err no! Weird…
Jez n Dave.
The Pogo Crew.
ARE YOU READY TO RAAAWK… HELL YEAH!!!
Devilish Presley are:
Jacqui Vixen / Vocals
Johnny Navarro / Lead Guitar / Vocals
Pete Vincent / Bass
Catch a ride with these Hitch Hikers From Hell…