Archive for the ‘alternative music’ Category

Freakouts – The Star Inn, Guildford, June 13th 2017

June 14, 2017

Got me thinking.  How on earth would you advise a band like this if you were their manager?  What direction would you try to take the band in if you were one of the members?

I thought they were technically better than they need to be given the style of music they play… I’d be tempted to tell the guitarist to [try to play] a bit more techical stuff, AND tell the whole band to speed up 5 or 10%… whatever it takes to get the band playing closer to or even just past the edge of falling apart.  I’d kinda say that they almost came across too tight, but then maybe I like chaos and talentless musicians much more than most people.

The other thing is stage-craft.  Bands often try to present themselves as ‘real’, as ‘authentic’.  Chaos on stage is great.  But whilst it’s true that you can make a performance more the natural you, or you can create a persona and play a role, the truth is that getting on stage and playing songs is a highly artificial thing to do.  Some of the attempts at getting the audience going and creating a sense of danger felt a bit forced… but then again that’s a natural consequence of it being a performance – not real life – combined with an inevitablity that no band has venues bursting at the seems and uncontrollably ecstatic fans going nuts when they first start out.

Anyway, Freakouts are a grunge / punk / post-punk band from ACM.  There’s a kinda vibe somewhere between old school punk, and – say – the Libertines, I think, but there’s also a big grunge influence going on, and a post-punk angular thing in the mix that helps keep things interesting.

They look like a proper band.

They covered the only decent song Blur ever did.

There wasn’t really much I didn’t like, every last one of them seems to know what they’re doing, no obvious weak links.  Early days, but definitely a band worth keeping an eye on.

freakouts on facebook

There’s also a track on youtube –

Might just mention the other bands.  I didn’t like The Sunrise Set at all.  Kinda country-influenced rock that sounds like it could have been made at any point in the last 45 years.  Really not my thing, I just don’t see the point at all.  I also thought the singer’s brief political ‘banter’ made him look like an arsehole.  He said something about all politicians being the same or somesuch (none worth voting for or something) – sorry, but switch your brain on before suggesting Corbyn and May are vaguely similar let alone the same.

Revelry… fairly mainstream hard rock with a very mainstream female hard rock vocalist.  I like the band, sometimes they hit real heights.  I like the singer, not my kinda style but she has a damn good voice.  Just not particularly my thing, and I kinda have a nagging doubt that the singer doesn’t really suit the band, and vice versa, but then again I’m note sure I know why.  Decent band, bit too mainstream for my tastes.

The Stooges – Raw Power – YES

June 13, 2017

I don’t listen to the Stooges that often any more. I have never spent much time with Iggy’s solo work. I’m currently reading a book on the Stooges (a pretty damn average book, but the subject matter carries it).

I have this theory. One sign of a truly great band is – if you were to get a big group of their fans together in a room – there’d be a massive debate over which of their first three or four albums were the best. Each one has significant merit, they may be different, fans might like them all, but some people will swear the first, others the second, etc.

Manic Street Preachers, Pet Shop Boys, Stooges, Stranglers, Velvet Underground spring to mind. (I accept Stranglers is a controversial one, and maybe the numbers of people like me who are massive Gold Against The Soul fans is pretty limited. And VU fans perhaps do gravitate towatds the first one much more than they – in my factually correct opinion – should.)

Contrast this with a band like Oasis where every single person on the planet agrees that Definitely Maybe was great, but beyond that they really aren’t worth 4 seconds of anyone’s time.

Or a band like Radiohead – clearly the first album was crap, and everyone knows that a band’s first album is up there amongst the best stuff they will ever do, thus proving conclusively that I am right not to have a clue what Radiohead have released over the last 24 or whatever years because by definition it must be shit.

Anyway, Stooges. Back in the day, before I bought Raw Power, I was a Fun House kinda guy. I really don’t much like brass on records (hence why I pretty much take the view that jazz is shit) / (Snuff being an obvious exception) but the album has a groove that I really like.

The Stooges was a great debut, maybe more influential than Fun House, but perhaps that’s because The Stooges is a basic template for how things could be for years to come, whereas Fun House was a more fully realised work of genius. But if you reckon The Stooges was better, fair play, can’t argue.

Then you get to Raw Power.

I believe in the (Raw) Power of rock n roll. But when it comes down to it how much decent rock n roll has ever been made?

WTF even is RnR? Take the wiki definition, continue through Satisfaction and Helter Skelter, Raw Power, Sex Pistols, Clash, Guns n Roses… get much beyond that and it has to fall into a myriad of sub-genres which might carry the spirit, but it ain’t RnR.

Clearly all RnR pre-Statisfaction was shit. Satisfaction ain’t all that. Raw Power was fucking genius, Sex Pistols were brilliant, but not for the music, Clash were what the Sex Pistols could have been if the Pistols had been as far up their own arses as their manager was up his, then you get to Guns n Roses who were alright for about 5 minutes, not that I noticed at the time.

In other words Raw Power is, basically, the only rock n roll record worth listening to. Period. Absolute genius, start to finish. I agree with Heylin – they’d become a tradtional band by then. That’s a tad harsh, they were still influential in the history of punk, they were still interesting, but they were not ground-breaking any longer = they were just doing it better than anyone was doing it before or since. My head says Fun House, The Stooges, Raw Power, in that order (or in date order). My head likes things to be groundbreaking and interesting. But I just can’t do it. I fucking love RnR and there’s only one RnR record worth sticking on, that’s it, Raw Power,and however fucking great the other two were, and however much more interesting they were, they were not Raw Power.

[This post might overlook some Rolling Stones stuff from the 70s, but if it does, fuck it. Those stupid lips and that stupid “Taxman” song, fuck ’em.]

Will Blog For Cash

June 12, 2017

I am absolutely serious – £50 an article, minimum of 500 words provided – I will write about any song, album, band you wish me to. I’ll even consider reviewing gigs if you pay me extra for travel-time plus my costs, of course.

Oh yeah, if I haven’t got the record and it isn’t freely available on a useable free website (ie not spotify or soundcloud) then you’ll have to send me a physical copy or download link as well.

This offer is primarily aimed at major labels.

I will make it clear at the top and bottom of articles that it is paid content.

Get in touch.

 

Tuskar – Arianrhod ep

June 10, 2017

Cos I couldn’t go see ’em tonight… fuck holidays…

I have listened to it 15 times now, roughly.  Guesstimate based on 12 plays on my iTunes, and the fact I’ve been listening to it the iPod as well.  Probably an under-guesstimate.  That said I have partly been listening it so much cos I’ve been trying to work out how to review it and it’s bloody hard.  I like banging on and expressing my opinions, but I just don’t know sludge well enough to have a strong opinon where it falls in the genre.

Gonna start on the mix… Are the drums a touch quiet, and the vocals a touch-and-a-bit too quiet or is it me? Not a big issue, more an observation.  Does being bassless add anything?  Does it take anything away?  Not sure, but gut feel – consider a bassist, though maybe they like the way it works live as a two piece and they’re not gonna be a bassless band on stage and use bass on the records.

The only other criticisms I’m gonna make of this sludge ep are these.  The worst bits aren’t as good as the best bits, and I’d rather listen to The Melvins.  None of these things are really criticism.

Fateweaver, drums, feedback… quite epic… changes massively and speeds up circa 3.40 in, ends with more feedback, straight into Where Strides The Colossus. Better riff.  Toegrinder reminds me a touch of Mastodon, but then again WTF do I know about metal?  Not.  A. Lot.  Bit of light relief part way through.  Moon Hooch, starts heavy and slow and feedback again. Best riff yet, Melvins-like?  This track is actually fucking great. Crimson Skull, slow start, chuggiest track.

I really like it, I just don’t know the competition well enough to know whether they’re a fine band who you should check out if your a fan of the genre, or if you like heavy music and they’re playing near you… or are they damn good, worthy of massive hyperbole? Suppose I better check out a shit load more sludge, and keep an eye on what they’re doing, and maybe sometime I’ll work it out.

Tuskar on Facebook

Sponsorship, tie-ins and all that jazz

June 7, 2017

This post will not be overly nuanced.

I understand that it is very hard for bands to get publicity, get their music out there, let alone make money, let alone a living, let alone a half-decent living or even a good living.

I have no problem with an artist or band who decides to do what they can to keep making music – that is their choice.  But please don’t expect me to be interested.  Please don’t expect me not to tell you to fuck right off.

If you promote brands, accept sponsorship then it tells me that you are willing to compromise, willing to make adjustments to your look, attitude or sound in order to gain and keep sponsorship.  I do not accept that.

Alternatively – and even worse – it suggests that you are the sorts of boring arseholes musically and individually who brands think they can make money out of aligning themselves with.  Nothing interesting ever has helped sell product, fact, and even if it had the second it got linked to the brand the magic dust would have been blown away in the wind.  The wind of a fat corporate executives arse expelling the by-produce of his last 18-course meal of babies and nice fluffy things.

Obviously there are exceptions, not least bands who accept sponsorship deals with string manufacturers or amp-makers, or who want their own signature guitar or pedal.  That’s (normally) a bit different.

So yeah, go ahead and accept sponsorship, go ahead and tell the world about xxxxxx clothing brand on your facebook page.  I might even still hear your records or see you live and quite like you.  But ultimately you’ve lost me, I’m no longer interested, you cannot, by definition, be anything special.  If you were the corporate world would hate and fear you.

We can’t all be Fugazi, but we can aspire or we are nothing.

Tips for aspiring psychedelic / psych / shoegaze bands

June 1, 2017

Sitar sounds, 60s clothes and bowl cuts are an indication that you live in the past, you are doing psych by numbers, not from the heart.  Please don’t live in the past – it’s what boring old cunts and Tories do, not hip young things who make cool music.  Take bits from the past and move it forward.  Don’t make your influences so obvious.

Shoegaze was basically shit.  Proto-shoegaze was great, shoegaze on paper was great.  Shoegaze in reality was shit.  Bin your Slowdive and Chapterhouse records and if you ever think you sound even vaguely like either kill yourselves.

Wet vocals?  I much prefer bands with vocals, but instrumental music is an option.  Or get a new singer.  Nothing wrong with spoken, whispered, quiet vocal, but it can be done without it sounding like you spent you’re childhood in a cupboard because you were terrified of your little sister beating you up AGAIN.

Another non-review – Who Saw The Light / Tuskar / Lowdown – Star Inn, 18th May 2017

May 21, 2017

I missed Lowdown.  Well, I caught a touch… they’re a young, mainstream rock act.  I think.  The singer can sing.  I love to see a musician looking like they’re having as much fun on stage as the bassist appeared to be… but ultimately not my thing at all.

I’ve met Tyler once before, and he cornered me after the gig tonight.  He plays drums in Tuskar.  He sings.  He wanted to know what I thought of his band.  Why?  My opinion is everything, I buy that, but kinda only to me.  One might argue my opinion is nothing.

I started talking.  He seemed to think I wasn’t overly impressed.  I’m not one to bullshit what people want to hear.  I could’ve just said “really great, man, loved it!” and I wouldn’t have been dishonest, but me and my big gob tried to be more honest… and it’s hard to get across exactly what you wanna say, especially briefly and when you’re knackered and you’ve just had a few drinks watching a couple of fuck off noisy metal / doom / sludge / whatever bands.

I was happy to be cornered.   I love talking music.  I enjoyed Tuskar a lot.  Sludgey, doomy shit, heavy-as guitar / drums two-piece.  Someone – someone who knows a load more than me technically – said three things.  Tyler is a fucking good drummer.  Tuskar have developed as a band to a point well ahead of their years.  They convince.

I buy these assertions 100%.  They are a ‘proper band’.  Some bands sound more like musicians playing together, especially when they’re young and starting out.  Tuskar are a proper fucking band.

I don’t see tons of ACM stuff, and what I do see is mainly the noisier end, so I’m probably missing loads of good bands over the last few years… but Tuskar are only the third name on my list of “proper bands” I’ve seen live coming out of ACM over the last few years.  Following Foxes, Who Saw The Light, Tuskar.  I have no doubt Blackwaters could be added to the list but I ain’t seen them live.

So, what could have made me go “fucking amazing” without a fraction of second’s hesitation when Tyler asked what I thought?

(1)  If I was more of a sludge / stoner / doom expert then I’d have a better idea of just how good they are in the context of the style of music they make.  But I’m not.  All I can really say is that it’s a style I really like, they do it well and I look forward to seeing them again.  But I have no real idea where they sit in the genre, who are most similar to them, how good they are in comparison to their closest rivals.

(2)  Here’s where things get tricky.  Songs.  There’s loads of bands locally who I really love going to see live.  Tuskar can be added to the list.  The main thing that they don’t tend to have – that the very best bands do – is fucking great songs.  Songs that get in your head damn quick and just stay there.  It might be kinda obvious, it might go without saying, but my advice (easier said than done) to just about every band I go see is “give everything you’ve got to writing the best songs you can.  I know you’re not pop, but catchy is generally good, and I’d advise you to take something from pop.”  As I say, easier said than done.  That said I really need to listen to the ep [Tuskar – Arianrhod] half a dozen times and see them live a few more times before I really judge the songs… but pretty much every band on the planet could do with a few better songs.

(3)  Innovation.  The greatest bands were innovators.  Black Flag and The Melvins are two bands I fucking love – they are both great, they both have great songs… but most impressively they have helped create genres and influence thousands of bands (probably tens of thousands of bands!)  There is nothing wrong with finding your niche and trying to play a certain style or combination of styles well, but set your sights at the stars, and try to find a way to take it – your music – no not just your music, music generally – to the next level.

When I go see live music in small venues I’m kinda judging every band against both ends of the spectrum.  On the one hand I can love a band simply because they put a smile on my face, get the foot tapping or rock hard.  On the other, to be great they need to do what the likes of Blacks Sabbath and Flag did.  Write numerous great songs that have not only been loved by fans across the world, but which have influenced the course of music history.  I don’t fuck around, I demand a lot.

TLDR – I really liked Tuskar, look forward to seeing them again and seeing them get better… but I wanna see them write their own Feel Good Hit of the Summer and change the course of metal history, and they ain’t getting 100% praise til they’ve done both those things.  Now fucking get to work.

I could say many similar things about Who Saw The Light, but there’s a couple things that have that do make them stand out.  There have a sense of anarchy, chaos and danger that is very difficult to pull off.  Their somewhat eclectic, all-over-the-fucking-place-style is much less easy to pigeonhole, and easier to picture developing into something that not only rocks but also influences others.

Two fine fine bands.

Check out Who Saw The Light again at the Star tonight.  Get there early – its an all dayer.  Check out Tuskar’s ep.

And fuck it, do one more thing –

Wild Eye chats shit re: music, aka a sorta review of a gig featuring Gallops, Adam Betts and Parachute For Gordo

May 20, 2017

Bollocks – if only I’d seen them before my post of February 21st 2017 I could have stuck ’em on the list and called them Parashit For Gordo.  That’s a compliment by the way.

Some old bollocks what I wroted

Anyway, The Boileroom, Guildford, 17th May 2017.  Three bands.  Scratch that, two bands and a one man band.  I am not gonna review it, I’m gonna chat shit, though some element of review might slip through.

Post-rock, that’s kinda what I was expecting from PFG and Gallops.  I had no idea what to expect from Adam Betts.  I’m not a big fan of post-rock to put it mildly, so I wasn’t massively hopeful about the music.  So why did I go?  PFG sounded pretty good from what I heard online, and any band that is willing to make such a massive effort in terms of being more than a band – I’m referring to their latest album (Possibility Of Not out on Rose Coloured) and its accompanying videos – deserves the benefit of the doubt, no doubt.

Parachute for Gordo – Anemone to Manatee

But there’s another reason I wanted to go.  I was expecting to see at least one guitar band who combine samples, looping and other electronic shit.

I like some techno a lot.  I like all sorts of electronic music.  I like “abstract guitars” and lots of effects.  I am fascinated by the combining of electronic elements – and dance beats even – into a band setting – it often surprises me how few bands do it, though it does seem to be becoming more and more common, and maybe I gravitate towards the genres which tend to be more “all-live” (doom, stoner, sludge, punk, noise-rock) than those genres who mix in loops, samples etc.  My music-making schemes and dreams will almost certainly, if I ever get off my arse, stop watching Scorpion (spoiler alert – Paige and Walter, together, at last!) and actually do something constructive with my spare time, involve programmed drums and abstract guitars.

I kinda should – on paper – like post-rock.  Effects-laden guitars.  Experimental.  but I’m really not sure I do.

PFG came on first.  I’m not sure they are post-rock.  To my ears they’re a funky post-punk rhythm section complemented by abstract guitars.  They are playful, surprising and have got a groove going on.  I liked the set.  Not really my thing – I prefer noisier bands – but I’ll be listening to them more.  I love music for the mind, but let’s be fair, music should really make you wanna rock out or dance, even if you’re too old, tired or cynical to actually do it.  I liked the variety to the guitar that went with da funk.  Post-rock is probably not a million miles from the truth, but if they are post-rock then they’re the acceptable face of the genre.

Adam Betts drums and loops and triggers samples (I think this is about right).  I really didn’t enjoy the visual aspect at all.  If you’re doing that much electronically then I kinda think, “why not just ditch all live instruments and do this in a club environment?”  A couple of tracks I really didn’t like, but a couple were absolutely superb, upbeat techno.  Took me back to my 90s clubbing days, even though I haven’t ever heard anything quite like Betts.  The other thing is the reservation I talk about in the second paragraph down from here – it is a big one for me, and it applies to Betts a lot, Gallops a fair bit.  And even PFG a bit, though to be fair to them they don’t use a lot of tech as far as I can see – and not all of it worked – one song they had to abandon as a result of the PC not obeying Laura (guitar).

Tangent – I really don’t mind bands that are unprofessional – long delays between songs, failing technology, falling apart half-way through a song and having to start again.  No problem with any of it, this is rock n roll not some choreographed classical bore-fest [I refuse to tolerate classical music for so many different reasons, though robably the main ones are political – wowzers – my tangent has a tangent].  To be clear, PFGs lack of professionalism was one small bit of failing technology, not the whole spread of chaos and fuck-ups that I would have happily tolerated.

Gallops.  Nah.  Not my thing.  Drums, guitar and guitar / keys / electronic percussion.  Didn’t like the guitar sounds or soundscapes the sound created.  Didn’t like much really.

I still haven’t really seen a lot of bands where I like the mixture of guitars and electronics.  I think it’s mainly cos I don’t like sounds such bands choose to use, not because it’s an inherently bad idea.  That and because I can’t help thinking about what they’re doing from a technical point of view.  This is partly because I’m interested in different set-ups, but partly because I want to know what’s going on.  What am I seeing?  Part of the joy of seeing a live band is the honesty of it compared to listening to a record.  When you introduce technology you add levels of uncertainty and even distrust.

Tangent – Nova Twins – put on by Jasta11 a few months back at the Star – combined technology and guitars (mainly bass actually) and live drums and it REALLY worked.  I think that was down to the fact that the sound they were going for really matched the technology and instrumentation being used – they are a band who want to make you wanna rock out AND dance.

I think they’re three factors to consider –

(1)  It is inevitable that many people – most even – will look at you differently compared to all live.  Many will not trust you.  Many will think of you as less authentic (read ‘Faking It’ if you wanna understand the issues surrounding authenticity in popular music – superb read).  You can say fuck ’em, but if you want an audience then taking on board their thoughts makes a lot of sense.

(2)  One way of building trust is to tell the audience what you are doing.  Literally announce at the start of the set.  eg “We’re Brainflab.  We are a live bass, drums guitar three-piece, but we do use sequenced drums and synthesized strings to augment our sound, plus the guitarist does looping on the fly on several songs.”  Maybe I am bonkers but I honestly think I would have enjoyed Betts and Gallops more if they’d both made such announcements at the start of their set, or maybe after the first track.  Betts aluded to his technology, but didn’t give me the clarity I would have liked.

(3)  A second way of building trust is to use technology for one or two, maybe three distinct = and clearly artificial – elements, and then layer guitars that actually sound like guitars on top.  Make it relatively easy for the audience to identify what you’re doing, what is “real” and what is not… whereas if your electronics is samples of live instruments untreated, and your guitars sound heavily treated it becomes that much harder to identify what is being done live and what isn’t.

Ends.

Does anyone out there get what I mean, or I am mad – should I just try to put these things out of my mind and just enjoy (or not) what’s in front of me?

Porch, Buzz Rodeo, Space Church, This Is Wreckage – Buffalo Club, Star Inn, Guildford – 14th May 2017

May 18, 2017

I think this was probably the best Buffalo Club line-up yet, certainly the most international with four nations represented.  This is gonna be one of my shorter reviews, mainly because I’d had a lazy six hour session watching football and tasting beer before I even turned up.

Wales was up first, represented by a guitar / bass / drums three piece This Is Wreckage.  They (noise) rocked and I thought they were excellent.  Bought a CD, not had a chance to listen to it yet.

England was up second, represented by a guitar / bass / drums three piece Space Church.  I must have seen them half a dozen times now and I am only now starting to truly get my head around them.  I am disappointed that they are no longer the complete head-fuck I thought the first time I saw them, but that’s not their fault – you can’t exactly replicate the first time you experience something over and over again.  They are, however, a fine, silly, deadly serious, loud / quiet noise band.

Germany was up third, represented by a guitar / bass / drums three piece Buzz Rodeo.  Fuck it, I’d been going for 8 hours by the time they hit the stage and there’s nothing I really wanna say other than “noise rock, really enjoyed it, blah blah blah.”

The US of A was up fourth, represented by a guitar / bass / drums three piece Porch.  Fuck it, I’d been going for 9 hours by the time they hit the stage and there’s nothing I really wanna say other than “grungey (or am I just saying that ‘cos they’re from Trumpland*) noise rock, really enjoyed it, blah blah blah.”

Must do better next time.  Me, not the bands or Buffalo Club.

* is it still Trumpland or has the fucker been stuck in prison yet?

What is alternative music?

May 9, 2017

I ask the question generally, but I ask it coming from the point of view of having recently set up a Facebook group for live alternative music locally to me in Guilford.

In the “About” section I have said “… it is about alternative music.  If it is noisy or experimental or explicitly rejecting the mainstream then it’s in. That said there are relatively few hard and fast rules – please use some common sense.

“For fans of noise, sludge, doom, metal, post-rock, hardcore, anything with a post- or -core, psychedelia, garage rock, DIY, experimental, shoegaze, grunge, alternative rock. Punk’s a funny one – in theory punk’s in… in practice if you sound like you could have been a local gigging punk band in 1976/77 then it’s probably a bit old hat and boring to be alternative in 2017 (or whatever year it is when you read this).

“If you’re a band or fan of the following then this group is probably not for you – covers bands, folk, skiffle, pop, blues / classic rock, country, sixties / seventies / eighties, house, the sort of indie that appears on adverts for Waitrose. There are other groups that cover this sort of music. No jams / open-mics.”

The intention when I set the group up – with others – was that fans of noisy and alternative musically will have somewhere to share what’s going on to help cross-polinate the local scene.  There seemed to be little things going on, but far too isolated from each other.  I wanted to help support the sort of music that I like, which in the broadest terms is “alternative”.

I might argue that “alternative” maybe started with garage and psychedelia (and the Velvet Underground and the Stooges) in the late 60s.  You had the beginnings of metal and proto-punk in the early 1970s.  Then punk happened, then post-punk took the ideas of punk, but applied it in infinitely more varied ways apart from the simple “hard and fast and simple rock n roll” epitomised by the first wave in the UK (Sex Pistols being the obvious example).

In the 1980s metal started to go off in all sorts of directions, but some metal became mainstream, then you had hardcore punk, alternative rock and all sorts of weird and wonderful things under the name “indie”.  Britpop in the 1990s saw the more traditionalist arm of indie go mainstream, whilst all sorts of hard and heavy punk and hardcore sub-genres and derivations blossomed.  As far as I can see nothing has really changed fundementally since the 2000s started, things have evolved and ever more sub-grenres and micro-genres are making their mark, whilst the word “indie” seems to mean “guitar pop” and nothing more nowadays.  Guitar pop is not alternative.

To my my anything that was once alternative can still be alternative.  Not is, but can still be.  Let’s take a 60s style garage band – it can be done in a very conservative sounding and presented way – a retro nostalgia-fest.  But with the right, hard to put your finger on, attitude and presentation it can still be alternative, just.

Maybe this simply shows my age, but most noisy things since the mid-80s are still alternative.  Grunge, noise-rock, shoegaze – but if you are a blatant rip-off of one of the old bands then maybe you’re not alternative.  You need to bring something a bit different to the table.

Punk is where it gets fascinating.  I love US punk, the whole CBGBs thing, and then Bad Brains and Black Flag and Minor Threat.  Misfits.  Anyone who sounds like them is alternatative, surely?  Or rather if they sound a bit like them but bring a bit more to the table.  I think of UK punk as shit, apart from the great bands of course.  Stranglers – so much more than punk with their keyboards and rapid move to weird concept albums; Buzzcocks – pop-punk, not punk.  I can’t stand oi and street punk, and all the punk bands in the UK that completely missed that punk was dead musically in early 1977 and post-punk was where it was at.  Old punk bands are crap, all it is is ’50s ’60s music played badly / shouted.  It was rebellion for 5 minutes in 1976 and it is not alternative now – it was staid and boring by the time John Lydon saw the light and formed PiL.

There are two big flaws with my last paragraph.  One, I can imagine a young band doing what some of these old punks do and it being alternative.  Am I just being ageist?  Secondly you have a band like Ruts DC.  From what little I have heard they are horrid.  But one of my heroes is Henry Rollins and he’s recently appeared on one of their albums, and he’s always banging on about great British punk bands that him and his mates back in the late 70s and early 80s couldn’t get enough of.  Do I really wanna be on the other side to Henry Rollins in an argument?

I suppose that’s about it generally, and I’d better get back to the group.  I set it up (with others) to encourage post-rock, doom, sludge, noise-rock, math, all the -cores, grunge, the interesing end of metal, interesting modern punk – anything that I like that is good, different and invariably pretty noisy.  I am not interested in old punk bands so I hope they’re out.  But the group will not work if anyone tries to dictate, let alone me… it needs to develop and hopefully find a way that works for the majority without targetting a minority.  Maybe half of what I like is old hat and not that alternative, or interesting, to the average alternative music fan.  And maybe alternative goes a lot wider than I think, and old punks should be welcome.