Thursday, July 03, 2008

Posts here have been like buses recently. Nowt for ages then a whole pack at one time. That's the nature of my existence at the minute. So anyways, I wonder how The Pastels opening for My Flipping Valentine went? Any of you folks there? I was at the Hoodoos and it was a belter but I need to gather my thoughts before I blog about it. I read a really annoying review of it by some plonker who missed the point by at least one funnel.

It's nearly Friday and I plan to go exactly noplace and to catch up on stuff. Friday night in Stockholm? If you're there then I Are Droid are at the Slussen Debaser. If you're at Roskilde then don't let me find out that you watched Wirelessnapper instead of Säkert!

That would be three bowlfuls of wrong right there.

The priority at the minute is to catch up with Season 4 of The Wire so that's just what I'm about to do. I'll leave you with this, not great quality but three weeks ago tonight I was at that very show and this song is so new that i believe it's as yet untitled.

Damn... I just realised today is July 3rd... if you're in NY, head for Manitoba's and request that Emma play Säkert!, and of course, The Nomads.


8 DJ's from Sweden take on señor Handsome Manitoba's punk-rock dive on Ave B. Joel & Krille from Denimzine Magazine, Stockholm along with DJ's from Gothenburg clubs like Wipe Out and Showdown. Along with myself we will be bringing the house down with punk-rock-garage from Sweden as well as U.S. Christopher and Sara pours the drinks.
99 Ave B. 10pm-4am.


What better way to spend fourth of July then with full on BBQ and the best of the best from NYC garage-rock scen. Bands play on the boss DIY scene in this highly cool house. BBQ and drinks on the roof. The Jadewalkers are very happy to play this along with good friends like The Back C.C's, Abducteens, The Rats, The Choke, The Beat Rats and The Totallys. Vikingskull will be DJing as well. 9pm fireworks!!! After this we'll trug our way down to Don Pedro's for the Hullbaloo. DJ's Shimmy and Charles Gaskins.

On stage Nobunny and The Okmoniks.

Asterisk - 280 Johnson Ave. 2-9pm.

Don Pedro's - 90 Manhattan Ave. 9pm-4am.

Both in Brooklyn (who wants to spend this day on Manhattan. really?)
The scene last Saturday in Borlänge when Texas brought in the Stockholm artillery. Nick told me that Roky, his son Jegar and his wife Dana were cool people to be around and that it all went great. Knowing these guys to be the perfectionists and total gentlemen that they are, there was never any doubt from this end. Dana paid Hans quite a compliment when she told him that he was the best guitar player Roky had played with since Duane (Aslaksen). And who knows, it may even happen again - somewhere down the road.

Photo courtesy of Eva Vahlberg
Without any further ado, a report from the Rotterdam (Water)frontline...

PRIMITIVE LIVING 2008 by Lenny Helsing

OK, so I missed the opening kick off party again on Wednesday night with The Peptones… and all of Thursday too I’m afraid this time, I didn’t arrive until Friday afternoon…So Thursday night’s picks like UK whipper-snapper garage-loudniks Thee Vicars, and Argentina’s Los Peyotes, I regrettably didn’t catch. Everyone who saw them said they were pretty great too! So for me, Primitive began on Friday afternoon when we picked up the Ronnie Splinter, Leendert ‘Buzz’ Busch and Appie Rammers – the Outsiders, and headed over to the venue.

We then rehearsed for an hour or two and it was amazing. The only singers present were Primitive Dave, Jorge from Dr Explosion and myself. A little later, Marky from Phantom Keys turned up. As you can imagine, getting to sing through a load of Outsiders songs was pure magic for me and for Jorge too. Plus the beer was now beginning to flow and I was supposed to get up and do a number with Dutch group the 1 2 5 in the Café but things started late – they weren’t there when we arrived at first at 4pm, so I thought I’d come back later…and then I absolutely couldn’t pull myself away from singing song after song with Ronnie, Buzz and Appie. It was all too much. So again, I really do apologise to the 1 2 5 for my no-show.

First on in the hall at 9-ish were Hipbone Slim and the Knee Tremblers who, despite being without our loveable bass-playing rogue John Gibbs (now an ex-member of the band) put on what was in essence a great rockin’ swampy / blues’a’billy show, with Diddlin’ Bruce ‘Tasker’ Brand on truly fine form bashing along on the drumkit / maracas as is per usual. The first up of the evening’s bu-bu-Burlesque dancers was the great Agent Lynch. She came on in slow motion, a high-healed go-go spacewoman no less, with primitive Union Jack in tow, and those filling the hall were spellbound.

My favourite UK group were on next, The Higher State. By this time I had also been cajoled into being some sorta MC for the night – well, after a fashion. So, like some kinda South Coast Pop Art Experimental Group, Marty, Mick, Mole and Mark took to the stage and thrilled all with their high-coined beat music. They have classic after classic building up in their repertoire, with big chiming Rickenbacker chords blazing over superb vocal harmonies. Also heard in this much clearer mix than I’ve heard before, were some of Marty’s climbing Elevatoresque breaks and so great to actually hear some of Mick’s cool tom-tom fills and Mark’s doozy bass lines. The fizzing, fuzzing latest 45 ‘And In Time’, and ‘If We Don’t Realize’ was aired with panache, plus some ‘From ‘Round Here’ faves and some great new tracks from their coming-out-soon LP ‘Darker By The Day’.

One of the longest-running or at least certainly one of the earliest of the UK garage-styled teen punk groups, The Cannibals, were here too. It was a different line-up from what I witnessed a couple of yrs back in Belgium and I think, all round, singer/leader Mike Spenser now has a better group around him. Pretty spaced-out sounding garage rock with drips of Electric Prunes-noise here and drops of Standells-isms there is what they specialise in. Lots and lots of repeat echo, over-the-top fuzz fx and cadavernous reverb is what they seem to especially like to put into their midnight-trash soup feast. Most of the crowd seemed to like what they were fed too.

Trixie Malicious of the Burlesque dancers was up on the podium next shaking and shimmying to the delight of the crowd. Then I was called over to introduce transatlantic beat bashers par excellence Graham Day & The Gaolers. These ex-Prisoners and Solarflares guitar / vocal legend doncha know, aided and abetted by two noise merchants, on drums and bass respectively from Georgia and LA-based combo The Woggles. More on The Woggles later. Them Gaolers were pretty much on fire from the off, having lots of energy to share out. Not sure of song titles since I’d never heard anything by them up until now, but I can tell you they really did liven up the night with their screamingly electric beat rock songs. Graham really knows how to write and sing out on these hook-filled garage mod-rock anthems.

And then of course there was the DJs spinning their mad records in the hall and in the café while the equally-mad folks got onto the floor and slipped, sloshed, stomped and biff-bang-pow-wow’ed their way through hits by lost rock’n’rollers inc. The Music Machine, The Seeds, The 13th Floor Elevators, Great Scots, literally loads of great Dutch 60s records like From’s ‘Be Mine Again’, and also of course some honest-to-goodness Big Bad Bo Diddley sounds!!!!!!!!!!
Saturday for many of us started before we even knew it had done, having not long gone to bed. Still bopping the night / morn away to the late-bar DJs including my good friend Eva Haller from Barcelona who, like a lot of them (not me though) were still there partying like crazy till the bitter end…I got out when the going was good and could still see kinda straight as I knew the following day I had to be not too done in, there was much to get through. I met up with Jeff Conolly as he got to the hotel fairly early. He’d just got into town having waited a couple of hours at Schipol with no-one showing up to ferry him onto Rotterdam… however Youri, the Primitive driver, did show up and brought Jeff to the Zeemanshuis, where we talked and drank coffee for a couple o hours until the Lyre-man’s room was ready for him to crash after an exhausting flight from Boston… me, well I was up and about. Having missed breakfast, I was ready for something and headed for the Waterfront area with various Screaming Apple / Soundflat folk. Frode and his missus (of defunct Norwegians, The Indikation) came too and my old pal Mal Kergan, ex-Thane, now of Spanish garage psychsters The Phantom Keys wandered by. Hellllllooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!

So eventually after we found most of Primitive still locked up, we headed back the way we came along the water front to The Strand, where Baldy’s Knee Tremblers, or rather Knee-Jerk Reactions were soon gonna be bustin’ up the surfboards (had there been any on display) with their raucous rockin’ din and my Wildebeestin’comrade Russ Wilkins (also of Lord Rochester’s Diddley-itis infamy) was to be MC for the early afternoon’s hilarious bout of wooden shoes racing, yes Clogs by any other name. So we sat nursing white beer and were seen, well Russ and I anyway, addling maracas to the group’s more Diddleyesque numbers, as did a couple of the Burlesque Go-Go girls.

Ah yes the ‘clog race’ … well in my bout the clogs went flyin offa my feet 2m from the finishing line, and I went sprawling almost head first into the sand…and good buddy Lutz, of Screaming Apple / Soundflat came to my rescue and though he himself coulda won, he stopped, helped me up and dragged me over the finishing line. Whatta star that man is, give him a Bunker Hill 45. Dandy Dave, Lord Rochester’s Tim Matthews, Phantom Keys’ Mal and Lord Bacon, among others, also took part. I hope Tomas’s feet are not still giving him gip.
Then after all the excitement of The Strand happenings, we made our way to the venue for the start of the evening’s entertainment. I’m guessing they did play, but if so, then I / we missed J.C. Thomaz & The Missing Slippers, and the set that Armand, the Dutch 60s protest singer and hash/grass afficianado, played.

But we would catch up with him again later, as part of the Outsiders guest vocalists. First up that I saw at the café then, after a good few wild 45s being spun by PJ Dirtywater, were Finland’s The Micragirls. They were something special to behold, that’s for sure. They had a singing drummer, and a guitarist / singer who was into going quite nuts at times, and another Micragirl was on the bass, with added deep-drone Hohner mini-keyboard something-or-other at hand, which was very boomy and subsoniccy at times, and quite grating, but in a good way added to the Micragirls’ punk-style spirit. They were received rapturously in the now chokka-blokka café atmosphere, performing a great version of ‘Funnel Of Love’, a real spook-chilled instro of their own that I can’t recall the title of, and their theme of sorts, ‘Micraboy’ among other things.

Into the main hall again, first band up was The Phantom Keys from Galicia, Spain. Did I tell you these guys now feature on bass and backing vocals none other than Mal Kergan, ex- of The Thanes. I must say he fits in real well to this fantastic garage punk (with a little acid on the side) group. Their first single ‘In The Summertime’ sounded real fab, and the six guys put on a helluva show, with lead guitarist Roi pulling out all the stops, a perfect foil for vocalist Marky’s hair-shaking antics. Great to know that they can really do justice to the likes of ‘Velvet Illusions’ and Cuby+Blizzards’ beat-punk winner ‘Stumble and Fall’ on stage too. Can’t recall if it was Linda A- Go-Go dancing next or maybe it was Denise Dubieux, or even Miss Christine L’Amour, it all got decidedly blurry around this time…Anyway the next group on were London-based King Salami & the Cumberland 3. Their crude rockin’ rhythms and hill-billy blues racket went over great with everybody I spoke to. I thought Eric was great on the old drum-bashing front, even though I’d actually forgotten that they were gonna even be on the bill, ha ha…
And then, before you know it, it is the turn of the Outsiders to take the stage. Well…Dandy Dave introduced them as is on their first spectacular LP, live side…and then after a minute or so they launch into ‘Space Demo’ an old unissued thing that gets them warmed up nicely. First of the guest singers is Michel Terstegen, of Da Capo records, ex- of The Otherside, who came on with a giant blow-up of original Outsiders singer Wally Tax, and sang ‘Don’t You Cry’ and ‘I Love Her Still, I Always Will’. The group were amazingly fired-up with Appie on bass and Buzz on drums pounding away while Ronnie Splinter conducted some pretty lightning-fast cool guitar runs here and there, and some perfect, slower chord shapings for ‘I Love Her Still…’. The crowd were eating it up. Next to sing was Robert Muter, ex- of The Kliek and Kek ’66, now of The Timeflies. He vocalised perfectly on ‘Teach Me To Forget You’, and another of the group’s achingly happy/sad songs ‘You Remind Me’. Robert was nervous about singing such songs, but man, he was great, one of my favourite singers of the night.

Spanish Jorge from Dr Explosion and Circo Perrotti recording studios was third up, and wow, he was brilliant, willing the crowd to go mental along with him on garage punk killer classic ‘That’s Your Problem’, he also did ‘Keep On Trying’ with great spirit and style. And the group kept things just right, never floating off on a tangent or deviating too much from what we wanted to hear them do. Superb!!!! Dave from Dutch group The Madd took on ‘Do You Feel Alright’ and ‘Filthy Rich’ and did a great job with both, although Ronnie, Appie and Buzz played their hearts out more on ‘Do You Feel Alright’, sounding totally spot on, proving that they may be getting on a bit now, but they can still play better than guys half their age. Oh Yeah! Dandy Dave, the Primitive main man was up next giving a great account of the 1st LP thriller ‘Won’t You Listen’, again Buzz’s heavy drum beats were right on the money, and the others did well keeping the pace up too. Next was the turn of Armand, who looks like some Renaissance bard with his long flowing red hair and loose, flamboyant attire.

Armand was the ‘mellowest’ of all the singers, choosing to do the wonderful folk-beat-garage ballad ‘Lying All The Time’, and one of my all-time fave Outsiders songs – probably cos it was the first one I ever did with my old group The Green Telescope – ‘Thinking About Today’. What can I say that would sound right about the next one up…it was me, of course…all I can tell you is that it was a pure dream come true and a real honour for me to be up there participating with these deities of garage-punk-beat-psych. I was allowed to do a couple of their more Bo Diddley-ish bashers ‘Felt Like I Wanted To Cry’, and ‘You Mistreat Me’, but also ‘I Would Love You’ that The Thanes recorded for an old Misty Lane comp. LP back in the mid ‘90s, and that chilling CQ LP fave, ‘Daddy Died On Saturday’. Man, I could hardly contain myself.

And last, but by no means least, was Jeff ‘Monoman’ Conolly, of The Lyres and DMZ infamy. He chose ’67 ballad B side ‘What’s Wrong With You’, ’66 killer B side ‘Sun’s Going Down’ and that other – ain’t they all – Outsiders killa dilla ’66 garage smash ‘Touch’. He and the group did not disappoint, giving out with both energy and suave suss. And as if this wasn’t enough, they were called back on, and I couldn’t help taking a lead vocal, along with Jeff, and supported by most of the others on whatever percussive instruments were lying about, we set about ‘Lying All The Time’ as a finale. I think most people were happy…I know the Outsiders and friends / family were.

The night was not over yet folks, as USAs long-running garage rock’n’roll / soul firebrands The Woggles took the stage over and kinda blew everyone away, such was their post-midnight highly-energized set. They also invited various people onstage to help out in their crazy, sweat-drenched show, and although I missed him, Jorge turned in another wild performance by all accounts. They did invite Jeff C. back on but I don’t think the Lyre-man showed? By this time I was just hopping from one place to another trying to catch up with people and couldn’t stand still to watch much more… of course there was more dancing and drinking and dancing drinking and everybody was getting high high high, until the big hand in the sky pointed the way to a hotel, where sleep beckoned. Zzz

Sunday’s Primitive capers were kicking off in the late afternoon at the Tiki bar, but on the way there I caught the ‘60s Dutch Beat, and UK Beat picture exhibition at Vips! Wow, so many great pix of Outsiders, Het, The Motions, Q65, etc…and the ‘Stones, and The Who too…
After sipping a few beers at the Tiki, the phantasmagorically brilliant Lord Rochester’s Diddley-it is took to the floor. Their Bo Diddley sounds have to be experienced to be believed. Let’s see, we have His Lairdship on vocals and Mumblin’ guitar, Lady Muck on bass duties, and the great Mr Tim Matthews on drum bits and bobs. Great performances of tunes like ‘I’m Ridin’ The Train’, ‘Little Jermyn’, alongside the adopted future classic ‘Monkey Monkey’. Yours truly also participated during ‘Psychotic Reaction’ and ‘Cadillac’. Burlesque was by Agent Lynch and Trixie. A great time was had by all…Cheers and here’s to the next one!