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!!
After listening to each of the tracks on this album, I silently laughed at the idea of how uncomfortable this album would make some people feel from any one of a multitude of record labels…
The artist is not some rookie in the music world.
Music world, not music business.
He managed to keep himself clear from the blood thirsty/soul chewing music industry for almost 40 years. Through the underground network, in which Don Campau is one of the most vital tentacles, he offers his own music compositions. Available on cassettes or CDs, the one I am writing about today is the second compilation of his songs covering the era 2000-2009.
“The Best of…Vol. 2” is a rock’n’roll album all the way.
It’s a fast, speedy album and carries some strong garage punk elements, fun, very little folk melodies, sarcasm, aggression, as well as some surprises … such as the closing track “So I Pretend To Be (Suite)”. A retrospective collection of 18 songs, Campau is offering his voice on all the tracks and plays most of the instruments himself. Some tracks are also featured in albums he released during this past decade with Greg Gray, Eric Wallack, Fate Sanders (unreleased), Ray Carmen, Chris Phinney, Dino DiMuro, Kevyn Dymond, Michael J. Bowman and Mars Dark.
My favorite tracks: “Stop, Don’t Go”, “Man on A Mission”, “Mr. Hyde”, “Why Do I Do This?”, “Djakarta Get Out”.
You can get in touch with the artist here
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
When the Last Drive met Paul B. Cutler that night in 1990, they wouldn’t imagine that he would be their future producer.
The band was opening for the American band, The Dream Syndicate at Rodon Club – Athens and there was where they met Cutler who was playing the guitar for the D.S.
A lot of things changed with the release of the album “Blood Nirvana“.
“Blood Nirvana” was different from the “Heatwave” album.
Diving into the abyss of a raw rock’n’roll sound, touching sometimes the edges of heavy metal, the band started exploring new sounds capes.
Music Maniac, the German label that was re-releasing their albums terminated their cooperation.
Maybe their contract was over, maybe the new style didn’t fit in Music Maniac’s roster…we will never know.
One way or the other, the new sound was refreshing and the boys choose to move in that new direction.
Some old fans were disappointed and some new fans came up.
You can’t win them all…
“Blood Nirvana” found also distribution in Spain and U.S. and the Last Drive participated in the compilation
“Munster Dance Hall Favorites. Vol.III” of the Spanish label Munster Records, before going on tour with Dead Moon.
Paul B. Cutler returned to Greece to produce the next Last Drive album, “F* Head Entropy“.
That would their hardest album and would be the first one for the ex-Alley Rats guitarist, Thanos Amorginos, who joined the Last Drive.
11 tracks of raw power and a more eccentric language from what the band used on their past albums.
The album was released in 1992 and the band flew to Spain for a few gigs before returning to Greece to play live at Thessaloniki on 21st and 22nd of May 1993.
The Last Drive would hold a special gig for the 10 years of the band on December 23rd 1993.
Probably one of their last gigs before signing to a major label, BMG records, in 1994.
Before signing for BMG records, they participated again with a track on the Spanish compilation “Enclosed Please Find… Your Invitation To Suicide“.
BMG records released their last album, titled “Subliminal” in 1995.
In the same year, the lead guitar player, George Karanikolas (B.George Bop), decided to leave the band and work on his side project, the band Blackmail.
After a few months, Last Drive would split, with each member following a different direction except Alex Kalofolias (Alex K.) and Thanos Amorginos (T.H. Lime) who formed the desert rock band Earthbound.
Drummer Chris Michalatos would join the band Speedballs for a while.
On February 2007 the band re-formed.
Initially for three gigs but later they decided to record new material.
In 2008, Blind Bastard Records released a double dvd/cd with footage from their concerts of 2007, titled “Time is not important“.
Their new album, “Heavy Liquid” has 11 tracks and it is expected to hit the market on May 9 2009.
You can listen to some of their new songs, such as “A Glass of Broken Dreams”, “Magdalene”, “Pantherman” on myspace .
Sometimes I wonder how difficult it would be for an authentic rock’n’roll band from Greece to make it in the music world
of the 80’s and 90’s.
The following guys must have had a pair of big balls to give it a try back then…
The four piece band Blue Jeans were formed in Athens in 1984 by singer/guitar player Alex Berekos.
Back in those days, there was a number of youths that were dressed in a 50’s fashion, driving around classic 50’s cars
They followed the Blue Jeans wherever they played bringing on the party atmosphere of a decade long left behind.
The band was playing old school rock’n’roll covers performing almost in every rock club in Athens, so drinking and dancing
was in schedule for their fans and followers.
In 1986 their s/t EP was released featuring two original and two cover tracks.
“Paola” and “I gyneka me ta kokina malia” (engl. The woman with the red hair ελλ. Γυναίκα με τα κόκκινα μαλλιά) were their original tracks
while they also did a “Medley” and a cover of the classic surf song “Wipe out“.
The “Wipe out” cover gave the chance for exposure in different music circles as the song became a fave of Athenian rock djs.
The band went on a few line up changes after supporting Sleepy Labeef in Thessaloniki.
Stelios Berekos (brother of Alex) joined the band on the bass, Zafiris Karpozolotas on the drums and Angelos Michalopoulos on the sax.
Their sound turned into a more authentic rockabilly style and during the next year they opened for the Cramps and the Ramones in Rodon Club – Athens.
In 1991 their track “Sweet Love On My Mind” was featured in the Greek “Studio II Collection” among songs from Greek bands such as
the Echo Tattoo, De Traces, Daylight Dreamers and others.
Their next move was to invite the inductee of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, Rudy “Tutti” Grayzelle to play with them for some
gigs in 1992 and by the same year, they performed with Decca and Sun Records artist Johnny Carroll for two more gigs in
Athens and Thessaloniki three years before his death.
While being on the road, their debut album “Hard Times” was released on vinyl with 10 original tracks.
1.You Better Watch Out
2.I’m Going Home
3.Ain’t Gonna Cry
1.I Lost My Mind
2.Not Fade Away
3.Hot Rockabilly Stuff
4.The Motorcycle Boy
5.Baby Please Don’t Go
In 1994 UK record label Nervous Records released the authentic & neo-Rockabilly compilation “Streets of fear” featuring the Blue Jeans track “You better watch out”
among the Cobras, Darrel Higham, Caldonia and others.
(The same label was re-issuing the Meteors releases…)
So, the band flew to one of the UK’s top rock’n’roll festivals in 1995, Hemsby r’n’r Weekender no 15 to join Ruth Brown, The Penguins
Put Cupp and Don & Dewe on the band list.
Unsupported by the Greek music media, soon after that, the band returned to Greece and decided to disband.
Blue Jeans used their own means trying to play the music they loved and I guess they enjoyed the ride all the way, once
they met and played with musicians they loved.
They did a lot for a Greek rockabilly band earning the respect they needed to place themselves in a list of bands with high standards.
click here for more.
“Heatwave” hit the Greek market during 1988.
The album was produced by Peter Zaremba of the Fleshtones.
Within the two years since the release of their debut album “Underworld Shakedown“, Last Drive opened for Watermelon Men,
in Athens creating sensation that night when the singer of the Aussie band, Lime Spiders, Mike Blood went on stage to perform three classic covers “Five years ahead of my time“, “Have love will travel” and “You ‘re gonna miss me“.
In the Spring of 1987 they toured with the Fuzztones, the Creeps and others in Germany, France, Italy and Holland.
That was the last tour of Panos “P.E.P.P.” Kasiaris with them.
Songs of the band are featured in the American compilation albums “Battle of the Garages vol.4” and “Sounds of Now”
of the labels Voxx and Dionysus respectively.
Voxx also released the “Blue Moon/Sidewalk Stroll/Εvery Night” 7″ single.
Finishing the recording sessions of the new album, Last Drive performed live with Peter Zaremba as the main
singer for one night at Rodon Club and appeared on a documentary of the Greek national tv channel about the Greek rock scene.
“Heatwave” continues dealing a 60’s garage-punk revival album smae like their debut but with a little touch of surf.
Tracks such as “I love Cindy“, “Devil may care“, “Gone gone gone” and “It’s all over now baby blue” established their
name within the European underground garage scene.
Devil May Care
Soon, the album was re-released through the german garage record label Music Maniac to be the first underground Greek rock
album to be re-released by a foreign label.
Because of that, the door of Music Maniac opened also for an other Greek band, the Sound Explosion.
The German release of “Heatwave” has a different album cover.
By the same year, film director, Thodoros Aggelopoulos oicked their tracks “Night of the Phantom” and “Every Night”
for his movie “Topio stin Omixli“.
In 1989 the band flew to Germany for the “Berlin Independence Days” with American Music Club and while being there they recorded an EP titled “Time“.
They also released “Was A Teenage Zombie” with the Fleshtones as “The Pleasure Hustlers“.
The sound of Last Drive became harder after the release of the album “Heatwave” and the “Time” EP.
They moved to a more “stoner rock” sound but by that time, their fan base became larger and their album sales hit the top.
It was the peak of the Greek garage revival bands and the whole underground scene of the country was dancing to their beat.
“Black Limo” (from “Time” EP) – City of Arta live 1990
“Heatwave” Tracklisting: 1. I love Cindy 2. Heatwave ’88 3. Joe Esposito’s gun 4. Devil may care 5. Gone gone gone
6. It’s all over now baby blue 7. Blue city shores 8. Whisper her name 9. Baby it’s real
The Last Drive was one of those bands that influenced other underground Greek musicians to play rock ‘n’ roll.
They were formed in Athens in 1983 by singer/bass player Alex K. guitarist Nick “Pop Mind” and the drummer Chris B.I.
Soon,George “B. George Bop” Kranikolas would join the band on guitars.
They started rehearsing in a small studio, in a basement in the Kallithea district along with other bands like The Flowers Of Romance and the first mark of a band that would become later well known in Greece by the name Endelehia.
Their first release was the single “Midnight Hop” in 1985.
It came out through the Art Nouveau label (a small record shop near Exarchia square, owned by Nikos Kontogouris who was writing for the music mag Pop & Rock and later would manage the band of No Man’s Land).
Last Drive were playing a 50’s and 60’s garage revival rock and soon would have a strong fan base.
In 1985 their tracks “Poison”, “Right by my Side” and ” Midnight Hop”. were featured in the cassete compilation “Live sto Kyttaro” (along with Anti Tropeau Council-check past posting).
Their first album titled, Underworld Shakedown was released in 1986 by Hitch Hyke records and changed the face of the Greek underground.
Many garage bands were formed in Greece following the example of Last Drive’s and a 60’s garage revival broke out in Greece.
The album had classic covers such as Richard Rodgers’s and Lorenz Hart’s “Blue Moon”, Michalis Patrino’s 1927 classic rebetiko “Misirlou” aa well as a cover on “The Night Of The Phantom” by the Fuzztones.
“Underworld Shakedown” is considered to be as one of the 50 best Greek rock albums of all times.
Track listing: 1. Me ‘n’ My Wings 2. Valley Of Death 3. Poison 4. Misirlou 5. This Fire Inside 6. Blue Moon 7. Sidewalk Stroll 8. The Shade Of Fever 9. Every Night
10. The Night Of The Phantom 11. Repulsion
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