Saturday, March 14, 2009

The King Blues... Best up & coming band!

Check out The King Blues... They're the best band I've heard in ages! It's anarcho-political neo-punk with elements of The Clash, The Specials, The Levellers and Billy Bragg, mixing up folk, ska, reggae, rap, punk and doo-wop with anti-capitalist, brutally honest "get off your arse" and "reclaim our streets" lyrics, fused with gritty working class love poems.

...and if that doesn't sound to you just like the sort of thing you've been looking for, then I guess that you're just part of the problem!

The King Blues website

The King Blues MySpace

Listen to The King Blues: 'What If Punk Never Happened'

What If Punk Never Happened

Well on a cold Tuesday morning, I was walking into town,
Had my headphones blaring, didn’t notice what was around,
I crossed the road, a car swerved and nearly ran me down,
Looked in the driver’s seat, I swear to God it was Doc Brown,
He said “Are you Michael J Fox?” I said “No I’m Jonny Fox”,
He said “Close enough, get inside,
I’m taking you with me to see another time,
A place you could only have dreamed in your mind,
An alternative reality situated just outside of Clapham,
So strap yourself in,
Cos where we’re going you don’t need roads,
To get to where punk never happened”

We landed in a concrete desert, rubble as far as the eye could see,
I says to Doc “Where we goin’?”
Doc says he’s following me,
We found the only building in the city that was left standing,
It was my local venue,
I know cos I recognised the landing,
And there’s a gig on tonight! This town ain’t so bad,
I got everything I need, right here in this pad,
So I pulled out a bottle and took a heroic swig,
Made myself comfortable and got ready for the gig,

Well an hour after doors and there was still no-one there,
The soundman was on acid, the fucking long hair,
The bands never showed cos they didn’t see the point,
When all the kids are at home still smoking a joint,
They won’t go out and do nothing, not on your nelly,
They’re just watching the telly and then feeding their belly,
Their parents listen to The Beatles, while they listen to Nirvana,
Cos Green Day and The Pistols, well they never heard either,

They got long sleeve T-shirts and they never shower,
They still believe in flower power,
The hippy dream’s faded but they got nothing new,
So they wear flares and slippers and burn incense sticks too,
The kids would rather skate than go out and smash the state,
While their parents sit still and meditate,
Action’s at a low when people just don’t care,
They zoned out to their surroundings, the anger’s not there,

And I’m stuck in this hippy, grunge reality,
Where the buildings are crumbling down from apathy,
They grab you at school when you’ve just turned 13,
And show you your brand new, life long routine,
You can sleep and work, and work and sleep,
So you can save up the money to buy a new jeep,
So you can sleep and work, and work and sleep,
Then sleep. Then work. Then work. Then sleep.

I pulled a fanzine out my back pocket, held it in my hands,
And watched the colours slowly fade away,
The words bled right off of the pages til it had nothing left to say,
I banged on the jukebox but it was useless,
It had no good records on,
Not even something weak like ‘The Best Punk Album In The World Ever Volume 1’,
Outside the windows, I saw the excavators coming to tear the place down,
No-one stopped them, for there is no community left in this town,
There’s no-one around to fight Margaret Thatcher,
The power of the flower just couldn’t match her,

Too strong was the will of Parliament to cause damage,
That with no punk rock everything went unchallenged,
Land got knocked down to build more land,
That got knocked down again for a couple more grand,
With no punk the protests were full of throwbacks calling each other comrade,
Of course the young folks’ attendance started to fade,
So it was easy for the police to move in, they were trusted,
And that’s when the whole damn town got busted,

They moved CCTV cameras in everywhere,
But the people were too apathetic to care,
They made them carry ID cards to state where they’re from,
As if by being born they had done something wrong,
They shipped all the poor folk to live out in the edges,
So the rich folk could move in and peer over their hedges,
“But before you leave, you’d better build our homes,
There, we’ve done you a favour, now you’re on your own,
This ain’t your home no more, go find somewhere new,
I know you ain’t got the money, cos it’s me who employs you,
I know everything about you, what you eat, how you dress,
Your hobbies, your turn-ons, your email address,
While I had you working in the dark, you didn’t realise,
That I completely stopped your ability to organise,
I didn’t let you have a reason to communicate,
I banned punk rock knowing you hippies would seal your own fate,
I controlled everything you wrote, everything you created,
I distracted you with advertisements so you forgot what you hated,
I fed your dark side, kept you consuming and competing,
And like a dog that doesn’t know when to stop eating,
You took it all, oh and long was it my intention,
You could have beat me if punk rock was your invention”,
Instead the city will be sold to the highest bids,
If only Sham 69 had of united the kids,

If only the 4 Skins had told us ACAB,
If only The Ramones had let us know we were a happy family,
If only The Buzzcocks had shown us how to do it ourself,
If only Crass had shown us there are things more important than wealth,
If only The Vandals had shown us it was OK to smile,
If only The Dead Kennedys had helped us put our government on trial,
If only Rancid had played live, and brought with them that vibe,
If we had Sick Of It All and Madball we could put them all on the frontline,

If we had GG Allin we’d have learned it’s OK to be hated,
If we’d have had The Refused then we could have innovated,
If we’d had Poison Idea then they couldn’t push us over,
If we’d had Minor Threat then we could have done it sober,
If we’d have had Against Me we could have done it all unplugged,
If we’d had Operation Ivy we could have done it then fucked off,
If we had The Blitz, The Clash, Disorder, Propagandhi,
The Exploited, NOFX and anyone that’s handy,

There’s a lesson to be learned, one that I will take home,
When I return to my normal reality zone,
Punk rock has the power to change the world,
It lies in every single punk rock boy and girl,
So don’t let anyone tell you you’re not worth the earth,
These streets are your streets, this turf is your turf,
Don’t let anyone tell you that you’ve got to give in,
Cos you can make a difference, you can change everything,
Just let your dreams be your pilot, your imagination your fuel,
Tear up the book and write your own damn rules,
Use all that heart, hope and soul that you’ve got,
And the love and the rage that you feel in your gut,
And realise that the other world that you’re always looking for,
Lies right here in front of us, just outside this door,
And it’s up to you to go out there and paint the canvas,
After all, you were put on the earth to do this,
So shine your light so bright that all can see,
Take pride in being whoever the fuck you want to be,
Throw your fist in the air in solidarity,
And shout “Viva la punk, just one life, anarchy”.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Born To Loose

Fifteen years ago, in a time before Mayor Giuliani, New York City’s Lower East Side was alive with squalid music dives oozing fresh, young and exciting Rock’n’Roll bands, the likes of which the world hadn’t seen since the Ramones burst out of the same neighbourhood some twenty years earlier.

Amongst this new wave of young, loud and snotty kids stood out a female-fronted band called Loose, who soon became known as The New York Loose after legal proceedings from an unknown band of the same name. Brijitte West, the group’s singer, songwriter and driving force, had cut her Rock’n’Roll teeth playing in bands alongside the likes of Dee Dee Ramone. But by the early 90s she was ready to go it alone and was preparing to give the music scene the kick up the arse it needed!

The New York Loose were true to Rock’n’Roll’s uncompromising musical principles mixing up New York City references with their own Lower East Side experiences to create a unique portrait that lay somewhere between the city’s historical collision with violence, tragedy and beauty, and the Ramones’ song book. They sounded like Joan Jett fronting the New York Dolls… or put another way, Blondie (before they discovered disco) updated, fuel injected, asexual and fully equipped to take on the next foreboding millennium with a late 20th Century punk rock, cynical, hard-edged attitude.

Now they're back after a 10 year absence and ready to play some UK tour dates in support of a new compilation album called Born To Loose that collects together their first three 7” singles, the Flipside sessions and a whole load of other rare and unreleased songs!

So if you missed The New York Loose 10 years ago or, if like me, you’ve just been missing them for the past 10 years, then it’s time for all you ‘Monolith Kids’ to 'Looesn Up', shake off those ‘Late 20th Century Blues', slap a 21st Century smile across your face and make sure that you don't 'Trash The Given Chance' this time around!



Sunday, March 19, 2006

"Through your brand new shades You might not see the sharks"

Due to the anarchic way I like to do things, I’ve found myself in a bit of bother recently regarding the content of the Jesse Malin area on my website. This has resulted in a change of URL address from www.jessemalin.co.uk to www.highlonesome.co.uk.

There will also be some changes to the content of the site which I’m still working on but I wanted to get the website back up & running. You may find that some pages are blank & there may be some old links that I’ve not removed which do not work anymore. I’m sure most people will appreciate that with a website that has grown this large, it is extremely hard to keep on top of every link, particularly when you start deleting pages that are linked to many other pages!

I hope everyone continues to enjoy the website despite the changes.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

"The Prince & the Pea"

Amazing though it may seem, we can in fact tell apart those among us who have a divine right to rule over everybody else, by their ability to detect surreptitious attempts to hamper their celestial comfort…

Just like the Princess in Hans Christian Andersen’s fable about the Princess & the Pea where her status as a real Princess was confirmed by her ability to feel a pea right through twenty mattresses and twenty eider-down beds, Prince Charles has disclosed in his recently published diaries that while taking the outward journey to Hong Kong on a British Airways 747 jumbo jet, mistakenly travelling Business Class instead of First Class, he displayed the same talent: "It took me some time to realise that this was not first class(!) although it puzzled me as to why the seat seemed so uncomfortable."

He then discovered dignitaries, including Edward Heath, Douglas Hurd, "the new Foreign Secretary Robin Cook", and Paddy Ashdown, were all "in First Class immediately below us".

"Such is the end of Empire, I sighed to myself," Charles wrote.

Vive la Revolution & Power to the People!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

"You're gonna wake up one morning and know which side of the bed you've been lying on!"

HATES: The Ruling Class / Flares / Shaving / Beards & Moustaches / Tony Blair / Margaret Thatcher / Tracksuits, Trainers & sports clothing particularly on non-sporting people / Hunting / The Conservative Party / POP STARS who are thick and useless / Capitalism / Hippies / YES / Consumerism / Leo Sayer / Poverty / David Essex / Golf / Top Of The Pops / A passive audience / Arse lickers / Corrupt councillors / The Stock Exchange / Driving / People who think politics has nothing to do with their lives / Shopping / Rave / Competitiveness / Led Zeppelin / Rap / Patriotism / Indiscipline / Drug dependency / Cars / E.L.P. / Liars / Antiques of any sort / Religion / Charity / The Middle Class / Landlords / National Front / Censorship / The job you hate but are too scared to pack in / Rich boys dressed as poor boys / Mobile phones / Misleading information / Sport / Thieves / GOLD: It’s a good conductor but other than that it has very little practical use! / Hierarchies / The House Of Lords / The Sins Of America / Oxford University / WAR
LOVES: D GENERATION / Eddie Cochran / Beans on Toast / Rude Boys / Dr Marten Boots / NYC / Kutie Jones and his SEX PISTOLS / The Working Class / The Tube (80s UK music programme) / This country is run by a group of fascists so said Gene Vincent in a 1955 US radio interview / France / Liberty / Hairspray / Tight Black Jeans / FREE RADIO stations / Brothel Creepers / Trade Union Movement / Jello Biafra / Roobarb (the cartoon dog) / Joan Jett / Trains / Lenny Bruce / Honesty / RAMONES / A good night's sleep / Dogs / Cats / Self-Discipline / Drugs / Bang & Olufsen / Vinyl Records in picture sleeves / Socialism / Iggy Pop / Frogs / Penguins / Human Rights / Animal Rights / Pizza / Vampire Nation / Never Mind The Bollocks Here's The Sex Pistols / Justice / Dastardly & Muttley / Animal Farm (George Orwell) / Drainpipe Trousers / Dancing / Coffee / Tea / The Peawees / Karl Marx / Communism / William Blake / The French Revolution / William Klein / Defamatory religious cartoons / Class War / Anti-Vivisection / Imagination...

Based on the early Seditionaries T-Shirt. I've left in some of the original Loves & Hates & added some of my own... Watch the lists grow!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

"I don't care about long hair, I don't wear flares!"

I've been moping around for months complaining that there are no good new bands any more...

Well, maybe the UK music scene has just turned a corner!

Check out these two bands:

ARCTIC MONKEYS - They're from Sheffield, they've just completed a Sold Out UK tour & have just released their first single 'I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor'.

TEST ICICLES - They're currently touring the UK & are about to release their second single on Monday, & their debut Album 'For Screening Purposes Only' at the end of the month... Also, take a look at TEST ICICLES MySPACE

...At last, a band that don't wear flares! I was beginning to think that Punk Rock had never happened!

Friday, September 02, 2005

"Friday night is The Tube night"

For those who don’t live in the UK, or those who are too young to remember the 80s (or even those who were too old to care at the time), then The Tube perhaps doesn’t mean anything more to you than the thing that you’re left with at the end of your toilet roll. But for those of us who don’t fit into any of the above categories then The Tube was the greatest music television programme in the world, in the history of television!

Now for those of you who don’t believe me, then I have proof… they’ve just released a 2-disc DVD set of the first series. It opens with the first episode of The Tube on Friday November 5th 1982 & the first band to ever appear on the programme are Sunderland’s Toy Dolls playing ‘She Goes To Fino’s’… Now try & tell me the music was shit in the 80s! It’s like everything else when people reminisce about the 80s. People think it was a wealthy period of our history, but we didn’t have “loads-a-money”. For fuck’s sake, there were 4 million people unemployed here in the UK, & 32,000 miners lost their jobs overnight. If you think George Bush is a Nazi then you should have lived under Margaret Thatcher’s regime. She was like George Bush but with the brain to put her evil plan into effect! She should be hung NOW for her crimes to humanity! I know I’m getting sidetracked here but it’s just so difficult to talk about the misconceptions of the 80s without mentioning politics, because music & politics were so closely entwined back then… The Specials - ‘Ghost town’; The Jam - ‘Going Underground'; The Beat - ‘Stand Down Margaret’. I guess it was a more socially aware time.

But hey, back to The Tube. For the benefit of those who have never heard of the programme, it was broadcast live from Newcastle every Friday night from 5:15pm until 7:00pm. They had three stages in a large television studio, & a live audience. It was presented by Jools Holland (ex Squeeze), Paula Yates & Muriel Gray. Bands would perform 2 or 3 songs live & often continue playing long after the show had finished being broadcast! It was the programme you watched as you got ready to go out on Friday night with hair straighteners in one hand & a can of beer in the other. You’d have one eye in the mirror & the other on the TV, & it was what you talked about to your friends all night when you got down the pub! The hippies may have had The Old Grey Whistle Test in the 70s, but The Tube was for the new generation, the new order. This wasn’t boring old farts swapping tedious dope-induced anecdotes with one another. It was what Rock’n’Roll was all about, amphetamine propelled, messed up, wild & anarchic, but beautifully presented.

And back to the notion that the music was shit in the 80s… If that’s what you think, then it’s your own fault for watching Top Of The Pops! This first DVD anthology of series 1 of The Tube proves my point entirely, boasting such bands as the aforementioned Toy Dolls, The Jam (in their last ever live appearance!), The Go Gos, X, Iggy Pop, Twisted Sister, Bad News, Southern Death Cult, Thin Lizzy, Stiff Little Fingers, Madness, The Undertones & U2

& the greatest thing is that the show ran for 4 years. So there’s still so much to look forward to in the future… Remember PIL’s amazing performance of 'Anarchy In The UK' in November 1983, or the Toy Dolls’ triumphant return in 1985 when they almost topped the charts with 'Nellie The Elephant'? The Jesus & Mary Chain at the time when all their shows were ending in a riot, Hanoi Rocks, The Cult, The Cherry Bombz, The Cramps… the list goes on & on. I think every band except the Ramones played The Tube!

The Tube Anthology - Best of Series 1 is available from www.amazon.co.uk for £25.49 but if you check out 'Used & New' you can get it brand new for just £14.89 from 'market plus'. That's what I did & their service & price was great!

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