Friday, 7 October 2016

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Way too many articles waiting to be copy-pasted in this holder-blog.

Meanwhile, you can read my Online articles here:
https://heatwavemag.com/?s=Penelope+York

And my Print ones here:
https://issuu.com/heatwavemag

Thank you for your patience and don't forget to hug the music.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Cerulean Veins - 'Self-Entitled'

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Released: 23 March 2016

Cerulean Veins are about Music, Words and Humanity. They introduce so themselves. A post-punk, new wave San Diego band, formed by the singer and bass player Dustin Frelich, and his wife Amanda Ashley Toombs on the synthesizer, with Paul Welch on electric guitar, and on the drums, alternatively, Bob Patrowicz and Matt Yansch.

Cerulean Veins brings me my forever fresh recollections of bands like Joy Division, Bauhaus, New Order, The Chameleons, Siouxsie and the Banshees, or even The Cure, Depeche Mode and Ultravox. Such a consistent revival. Are Cerulean Veins the new new wavers of our generation?

To this sound, the atmosphere is everything. The lyrics play a very strong part, the voice must penetrate our ears, the music must be aerial yet intrusive. Always. It’s all about the out-of-body experience of our senses, especially our minds. How high can you fly?

Remember those times when we’d write fervently our fears, doubts and feels, afraid those thoughts might disappear in the dark hours of the night? We had to write it all down, laying spread out on the bed, whilst the street noises crept through the window, and thinking how far-out we were. In the stereo, we would have this sound playing.

Today, we know how far-out we are. Aren’t we all? But we’re not afraid anymore to lose those dark thoughts to oblivion. I know that, deep in ourselves, we would like them to disappear. But no. This is what we are. We are light, we are darkness: that’s what makes us whole. And this, my friends, is why I’m finding it hard to objectively review this album. I’m spacing out.


Cerulean Veins sound old and young without these two ever crashing. Their industrial new wave music with Dustin pulling vocals that feel like a mix between a deep-throated Peter Murphy and a lighter Mark Burgess is timeless.The whole album reads like a story. The more you listen to its lyrics, flowing through its rhythm, the deeper you enter a new door of perception.

The atmosphere is indeed everything. No need to over analyse. Nor would I know how. So, listen to Cerulean Veins’ "Self-Entitled" album and let me know your thoughts. They will be all over, floating around you. I know mine are. How high can you fly?


Cerulean Veins

Heatwave

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

The Phantoms

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Rum Bar Records - Release: 20 May 2016

When music veterans meet, everything is possible. Only one thing is certain, they know their business. The Phantoms are different and, at the same time, you feel like you’ve known them forever. This is clear-as-spring-water pure classic rock’n’roll. They are easy on the ear and the heart.

Straight off the streets of San Diego, Victor M. Penalosa in the lead vocals and rhythm guitar (Flamin’ Groovies and punk icons The Zeros!), Xavier Anaya in the lead guitar (The Trebles and The Hoods), Chris Landolo in the bass guitar (Dizzy) and Ed Masi in the drums (Ghosts of California and Sleeping Cranes) work this album with a transparency and coolness that’s incredibly reachable and right-down effortless.

Their main influences go from Chuck Berry, T-Rex, Mott the Hoople, Kiss and Dr. Feelgood to The Byrds, Tom Petty and even The Who and Stones. You can definitely hear all those influences, but it’s like they’re diluted into their own undemanding comfy sound. It is melted down in pretty sweet chords and soft-rolling rhythms. The guitar solos, however, are indubitably Chuck Berry-based.

The Phantoms’ whole album is a breeze. They take it so smoothly that you also follow their rhythm with a lightness that wraps up like a feather around your senses. The only exceptions being “Coming After You” and “Chump Change,” which have a bit more pep in Victor’s more defiant voice whilst maintaining the same clarity one experiences throughout the whole album.


The Phantoms make me want to pick up my car, which I don’t own anymore, and drive for miles and miles down the coast. I can almost touch it: the sea breeze, the smell of the asphalt, the purring of the motor and the no-destination feel. How I miss it!

If you’re about to hit the road, do yourself a favour and take The Phantoms’ self-titled album with you. It is the perfect sound for a perfect road trip.


The Phantoms

Heatwave

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Virgin Kids

Interview for Heatwave Magazine

It’s ‘garage lo-fi pop with a dash of punk,’ says Asher Preston, lead vocalist and guitarist, Paul Rosser, bassist and backing vocals, and Sean Hughes, drums. The guys have just taken the big leap from the rehearsal into the recording studio. Meet Virgin Kids and be prepared to space out.
For over a year now this London trio has been storming across the country supporting the finest garage bands today’s scene has to offer, and the time is finally ripe for them to properly shine.
Their debut album Greasewheel is a solid collection of fuzzy-buzzing tunes that will energise your entrails into a delicious, hovering, psychedelic trance. If you shut down all possible distractions, you might even get a pretty nifty out-of-body experience. Just let it go, let them rule your senses and hypnotise your soul.
However, when their sound hits the last note, you’re left with a sudden urge for pizza. Don’t fight it though, it was meant to be. For not only do the Virgin Kids adore it, they also worked under its influence, and declared their love by naming the album after a slang term for… pizza!
Well then, I’ll have a spinach greasewheel and a pint of your best lager, thank you.

                                                                       (c) Lid Von V

Heatwave: Is your band name just a funny name or does it have some background to it?

Paul: It’s based on the idea of youthfulness, it’s evocative of the feeling we have while making music and what we hope our audience feels when listening to it.
The original concept of the band included an accompanying comic zine, which Asher was making, based around a gang of kids bumming around town. That was a big inspiration to our early songs and the band name.

Heatwave: From a solo bedroom project to a full band and a unique presence – after releasing your debut album, Greasewheel, on Burger Records in the US and Fluffer Records in the UK, your place in the music scene is pretty much settled. And you can already count on a loyal fanbase. How important has their support been?

Paul: Hugely important, but both in different ways. Fluffer have been great, as they are such a new label and they are based locally in London, it has allowed us to work with them very closely and also be a major part of their focus and attention. They drive us to work harder and constantly be better. Burger, on the other hand, has allowed us to open ourselves up to an American audience and a worldwide garage fanbase. Fans of garage rock/punk the world-over know of Burger and listen to bands on their roster. We are so stoked to be a part of that. We were so excited when they both came on board, as we were such big fans of theirs and couldn’t wait to release the record through such reputable labels.

Heatwave: You’ve been performing for quite a while, opening for many well-known bands. How has it been and what do you think it’ll change now that the audience knows you?

Paul: Well, I think the big focus for us now is to play more headline shows. We want to play fun, sweaty gigs in packed venues. Playing more headline slots will also allow us to give the crowd a little bit more by playing slightly longer sets. That said, we still want to play support shows, going on tour with great bands you admire is so much fun and can give your music a platform to a whole new audience.

Heatwave: When I listen to your music, I feel like I need to hear it in a bigger venue than the usual ones, to let your songs fill the entire space at its best. Do you feel there’s a difference in your sound and how it is perceived when performing to an audience of, say, 1000 people compared to one of 100?

Paul: Definitely – I think that’s something we are very proud of as a band, we can play our set in a variety of different ways depending on the venue, audience and atmosphere of the night. A good example of this is a recent show we played in Leeds. We had a set at the Brudenell Social Club, which went down so well, we played slick and tight and it sounded sweet through a high quality sound system. After the show we got asked to go to someone’s house and play a set in their basement, without a moment’s hesitation we said yes and ended up playing a sweaty, screeching, adrenaline-fuelled punk set to 30 washed out kids. They were completely different shows despite us playing the same set of songs.

Heatwave: I know you’re pretty eclectic in your choice of music – from pop to hip-hop, through r&b, hardcore and straight up punk, although your sound mainly revolves around garage and post-punk, with good hints of grunge and psychedelic. How much do you think other genres help you achieve the richness of your music?

Paul: I think we are influenced by a huge range of artists, both musical and from other disciplines. The important thing for us is that we try to never focus too much on one particular artist or style, we just try to write music that feels most natural for us to make.

Heatwave: People have compared you with the Black Lips, although you say your biggest inspiration whilst working on the album was the Clean. How much did they influence your sound? And what other bands do you feel more musically connected to?

Paul: I think it was more a realisation that our music had a lot of similarities to the Clean. Tony Price, the producer on our record, mentioned it to us and he nailed it. The Clean is a comparison we are all happy with. We always find it difficult to pick out a single artist we feel most connected too, but if pushed, I know all three of us loved and admired Jay Reatard so hard. He was the best.

Heatwave: What do you think are the main differences between your self-titled EP and the new album Greasewheel? What changed? Where do you think you evolved the most?

Paul: We definitely found our ‘sound’ more. Despite a few hints on Greasewheel, we have now left behind the grunge-tinged songs. We love that style, but our music has progressed into something different. There is more cohesion to our sound now, I think the songs fit together better. The production values have also changed. It was great to record with Ric and Tony, they are guys who really understand the sound we are going for and know exactly how to capture it.


Heatwave: Having your debut album now in full swing, what do you expect from here? Any plans for after the promotion tour?

Paul: We need to sit down with the record labels and see really. We play five new songs in the set already and we have a few more ideas kicking around, so hopefully a new single and album won’t be too far away! We also have a few festivals booked in over the summer and are busy planning for our next headline show on the May 31 at the Sebright Arms.

Heatwave: Your sound is so broad. It’s hard to believe you’re just a three-piece. What kind of instruments do you use to aid the traditional ones?

Paul: On Greasewheel there was a lot of vocal manipulation. We used vocal sounds and then played around with them and set them into the mix, it allowed us to quickly add some interesting texture to the songs. We have talked a lot about the next record and definitely looking into some use of alternative instruments, organs and brass would be nice. We are open to playing around with different sounds. It’s all part of the enjoyment of recording.

Heatwave: How do you approach ideas for new songs? Where do they usually stem from and how do you ultimately work them out?

Paul: Asher tends to start the ideas off. He will come in with a melody or guitar riff, a basic structure of a song, then we will flesh it out together. Our method is to be self-critical, it’s how you improve, we are all very opinionated about our music and that works in our benefit, as we are constantly pushing each other to perfect our music. We like to demo our songs, then sit back and listen to them before revising the ideas. You get a very different feel for a song listening to it back than you do playing it.

Heatwave: What does the future hold for the Virgin Kids? Do you guys dream big or do you prefer to go step by step and see what happens next?

Paul: We constantly want to improve. We want to get bigger for sure, but we understand the hard work you need to put in to get there. We will continue to work with the same intensity and just see what happens.

Heatwave: What drives you? And what advice can you give to the ones who are just starting?

Paul: Pizza! Nah, it’s more than that really. All three of us have a deep desire to become full-time musicians, to be able to tour on a regular basis and write music we enjoy. We are determined to do everything possible to make that a reality.

Our advice for young bands – don’t rush to release your music. Take time to find your sound, analyse and critique your own music, ask people you respect for their opinion and if you find yourself agreeing with them, then take that opinion on board. Oh and play a shit-load of gigs at the start, nail your live set. Being a good live band should always be your first priority.


Virgin Kids
https://www.facebook.com/virginkidsband/?pnref=story

Heatwave
https://heatwavemag.com/virgin-kids-garage-lo-fi-pop-with-a-dash-of-punk/

Monday, 25 April 2016

The Cavemen (NZ)

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Dirty Water Records - Release: 25 April 2016

Bloody hell, these Auckland kids come with a bang! Listening to their debut self-titled album is like being in my own pit, surrounded by savage ghosts from former gigs. I can almost smell the sex, drugs and rock n roll infused sweat and the rotten beer on the floor.

The Cavemen couldn’t have chosen a better name. Paul Caveman with his deranged vocals, Jack Caveman with a possessed guitar, with bassist Nick Caveman and drummer Jake Caveman maniacally setting the beat. The Cavemen are so bestial and ferocious. Their fresh meat pulsates through every vein and gashes lively blood through every pore of straight trash lo-fi garage punk. They don’t give a damn! They pick up their instruments and just rage away.


While their sound has many great influences – the Gun Club, the Sonics, the Cramps, the Stooges, the Gories, Flat Duo Jets, and even Dead Moon, it is their own sound. Their sound is brought mainly through their raving attitude. They describe their sound as being “pure, wild rock n roll. It’s for the lonesome, the outcast, the degenerates of society. It’s Elvis being played by drunks and cretins. It’s four guys who know four chords, busting out face melting tunes.” And who am I to disagree?

The Cavemen’s wailing and shouting a few weeks back at the Unicorn in Camden, reminded me of those dark lit-den gigs from my teen years – same riffs, same drums, same hardcore rage. Perfect to let our frustrations out there in the pogo rumble, throw away any possible inhibitions that none of us had anyway, and freely lose it.

Along with the rest of the audience, I was completely blown away with their 101-wicked-madness performance. Not a goddamn care in this rancid world! They’re wild rabid animals, they are caveman-mad!

The Cavemen are definitely a live band, so make sure you see them next time they’re around. That doesn’t mean, however, you should disregard their debut album. Quite the contrary. For whenever you need to vent out you’ll be running to your shelves to pick it up and let it blast whatever mundane stupidification that is troubling you at that moment out of your system. We all need more of these feral albums in our shelves and ourselves. Desperately, actually. After all, we all descend from cavemen.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
Penelope York


The Cavemen

Heatwave Magazine

Monday, 18 April 2016

Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers – 'Ugly Mobile'

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Dirty Water Records - Release: 22 April 2016

Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers are probably the best at paying homage to the great pioneers of rock n roll that I have heard lately. Sir Bald Diddley, aka ‘Hipbone Slim,’ aka ‘the Bald Bomber’, leads the band. He is a magician when it comes to strings and a wild devil on stage. At his side are Bruce ‘Bash’ Brand, a legendary rock n roll drummer with decades of amazing work up his sleeves, and the grand Gastus Receedus on the bass and harmonica. I dare you to check out the backgrounds of each one of these true masters, but be sure you’ll have yourself a good week or two, for these three have been everywhere and done it all. No wonder you can’t find a single fault in this album, for the members of Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers have been playing in more combos and records than I have eaten tacos. And I love tacos.

These Brits are truly, madly and passionately everywhere when it comes to rock n roll! The new album, Ugly Mobile, is like an encyclopaedia of rock n roll. There is a little bit for everybody – old-school rock ‘n rollers, surfers, rockabillies, greasers, cowboys, hillbillies, swamp voodoo priests, bluesy garage rockers, you name it! And it’s all packed in a crazy-frenzied, yet very mature punk attitude.


Pure rock n roll and 60s surf rock welcomes you right from the first riff of the first song, ‘Bald Head, Hairy Guitar.’ I’m a sucker for good surf sound, so they got me hooked straight away. They keep going at a steady perfect pace. ‘Ugly Mobile,’ ‘Orangutan,’ ‘Number One Son,’ ‘There’s only one Louie,’ all roll smoothly from blues, to rockabilly to garage through the wonders of surf, illustrating the true history of rock n roll from its early days.

When ‘One Armed Bandit’ comes, I envision myself as a lone cowboy, no, not a cowgirl, on a horse, heading west, following the sunset and my own thoughts. ‘Don’t know where to start’ follows that same galloping tempo that brings us thirsty for the front of a dusty saloon in some no-name town in a western movie.

In ‘Sally Mae’ we’re confronted with a huskier, angrier voice and a raspier garage sound, something we can also hear in ‘There’s only one Louie.’ With the next song ‘Voodoo Love,’ we’re back to a more open and light rockabilly voice, with the guitar riffs bringing us the smell of brilliantine and leather bomber jackets.

‘Hieroglyph’ and ‘Meanwhile Back in the Jungle’ are surf master pieces. I can just let my body linger in between, all warm and fuzzy. ‘Ramona,’ on the other hand, is just fun! It’s that needed fun that so many uptight people need nowadays. I imagine us all clapping our hands, stomping our feet with big grins in our faces. They say Brits don’t know how to let their hair down, but I say bull!

The wonderfully mellow intro of ‘Why Can’t I find (What I’m looking for)’ uses a pretty well-known approach of early rock n roll. It’s easy to give your full attention to the lyrics, which are a true reproduction of the angst shown in the lyrics of the kids back in the 50s. Well, last century, new millennium… Is it really a reproduction? We kind of never left that boat, now did we?

If you want a crash course in rock n roll, look no further. Ugly Mobile could be sent out to space, along with the pioneers of the genre that are up there already, to show aliens how serious we still are about the excitement and freedom that only rock n roll can provide us. Hipbone Slim & the Kneetremblers are intensely trained professional rockers. If you want to try this at home, please do and never give up.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
Penelope York

Friday, 1 April 2016

The Dirty Coal Train - 'Super Scum'

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Groovie Records - Released: March 2016

The Dirty Coal Train is brilliant and the new freakishly superb Super Scum is a goddamn fine exemplar of their fire.

The Dirty Coal Train is a Portuguese garage punk band, however, to simply call it that doesn’t feel quite right. They help us by defining their sound as raw lo-fi, or more specifically, “raw garage sounds from the underworld.” While the self-defined depiction helps, it doesn’t quite capture the sound. There is loads of blues, surf, 60’s garage, 70’s psych, post punk and a lot of passion and dedication coming out of the underworld’s garage. Indeed, the Dirty Coal Train is in a constant creative quest for new musical worlds. It is this relentless eagerness to explore further down the rabbit hole that ultimately makes great rock n rollers.


The heart of this band beats in two bodies at the same time with Ricardo Ramos, aka Reverend Jesse Coltrane, and his flame Beatriz Rodrigues, aka Conchita de Áragon Coltrane. Together, they are the brave conductors and their train crew has had some of the finest musicians around. This new album is no exception. Carlos Mendes, Pedro Calhau, Ana Banana Coltrane and Eduardo Vinhas aid the fresh new Super Scum.

The Dirty Coal Train formed just five years ago and already has an impressive and extensive discography. Its playground has been in Europe and South America so far, but other flights are waiting, no doubt. Both Rev Jesse and Conchita de Áragon are like tropical storms, their hot blood burning up, not in moves but in their captivating poise and impressive vocals. We can’t be but in awe of their riveting delivery and their stage presence lingers long after they’ve left the stage.

Super Scum – one single album, an immensity of feelings and sensations. Seriously, there’s so much in here I don’t even know where to start. To write a dissertation on every single song would be insane.

The Dirty Coal Train are explorers, all-around gypsies, mad scientists, alchemists. They dissect each and every inspiring universe until they create this mighty panoply of immersive psych-storytelling sound. These universes are filled with B-movies, UFOs and all kinds of monsters and creatures, which are no more than wonderfully well-built platforms for their masterly insightful concepts. The band sculpts their lyrics through well-thought human truths, strategically allusive to the crookedness of the world in which we live. The powerful vocals that are equally shared between Rev Jesse and Conchita de Áragon bring it all to a perfect rock n roll cosmos.

The A-side is feral throughout. We can feel rage, disdain and mockery all in a bowl of straight up clever irony. The rhythm is exhilarating. The ups and downs enhance our senses beautifully. It’s sexy, it’s brute and it’s always alluring.

The B-side is more playful with all its introductory references. In some songs the rhythm slows down a tiny bit, swirling ever so slightly with the drums delightfully sharp and the voices almost laidback. Almost… their raw power, however, is always there – strong, defiant and, at all times, resolute.

Super Scum is an exciting album, a most noble representation of these daredevils, musical risk-takers, conquerors of the old and the new, and explorers of the unknown. The Dirty Coal Train is a fearless band to follow as closely as we can, while it keeps on crisscrossing all possible borders of rock n roll in sheer madness.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
Penelope York


The Dirty Coal Train

Heatwave

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Harry Violet & the Sharks - 'Jungle Cavalcade'

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Dirty Water Records - Released: January 2016

A dark, sax-driven rock and roll band– this is how Harry Violet & the Sharks define themselves, and rightly so. It’s delightful to see such a big revival of the saxophone; it played a vital part back in the golden days and it’s astonishing to see what the new bands are doing with this grandiose sax appeal. It doesn’t stop here, however, these new bands of young musicians like our Harry Violet & the Sharks have a sincerely deep knowledge of the classic beats of the 20th century, from rhythm and blues to garage rock, rockabilly to surf, free jazz to 12-bar blues, even from hard rock to punk. Rock and roll stands for them all, it glorifies each and every genre in an eternal musical haven embrace. These are joyful days we are experiencing in this fresh new music scene!

Harry Violet aka Rylott (vocals and guitar), Murdo Mackenzie (drums), Slim Tim Barrow (bass) and Mad Max Ellenberger (saxophone) are extremely focused on forming their own special sound. A DIY band that recorded, produced and pressed their single, and even shot a magnificent B-movie-like video. Harry says, “We decided to record it ourselves as we didn’t want it to sound overproduced and we didn’t want it to sound too glossy.” Their unpolished, wonderfully under produced raw sound comes from somewhere in the depths of the precious madness of Screamin Jay Hawkins, a delicious quick trait of Tom Waits, a whole lot of the garage rawness of The Sonics and The Cramps, the rockabilly wildness of Link Wray and Kip Tyler, and the ‘sax’iness of The Lounge Lizards. Their eclectic inspirations bring these crazy mix of late 1950s, early 60s rock and roll, surf and garage to a new sound with a lot of twilight-zone-jive fused personality. The band’s debut single “Jungle Cavalcade,” according to the bio on their website, “contains two original rock n roll numbers inspired by the wild and wacky adventures of Frank Buck and the dystopian youth madness of A Clockwork Orange.” And you will hear why.


Personality is the word here. Having so many disparate influences, Harry Violet the Sharks are creating a completely new wave. And, they could not be more resolute in this pursuit of an own sound. If they keep up with the pace I have no doubt they will succeed, as long as they don’t fall into the traps of the all-too-well-oiled music machinery of today, which has its very specific ways of professional alluring. They, too, can be Sharks. It was Hunter S. Thompson’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas that inspired the name Sharks for the band– the best possible allusion to all things corporate, fabricated, destitute of any primeval traits or instincts– the workingman’s masters.

“Jungle Cavalcade” has the funky sax doing the preliminaries of some New Orleans back alley voodoo blues, followed by steady drums and a very solid bass. Then, a bad Tom Waits impersonator comes along leaving almost immediately for a completely different register. Harry shows his versatility by starting with defying raspy-dusty mocking vocals to change it immediately to an admiringly clear and playful tuned-in voice. I wouldn’t mind hearing this song at some old bar deep in the Louisiana’s swamps.

The sax appeal comes in again full power in “Dance At The Korova.” Harry goes all Link Wray on us, waving graciously from high to deep notes. As for the lyrics, there can be a clear influence of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues,” which the band has mentioned as a good and timeless example of a song for the everyday workingman. All wrapped up with some howls and we got here a pretty tight rockabilly song.

Harry Violet & the Sharks came prepared and they will neither let routine bite them in the ass nor let the suits of London break their aspirations. And we, the avid listeners, are counting on them to make their dream of corporate freedom our own.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
By Penelope York


Harry Violet & the Sharks
https://www.facebook.com/harryvioletsharks/?fref=nf

Heatwave
http://heatwavemag.com/harry-violet-the-sharks-jungle-cavalcade-dirty-water-records/

Lucy and the Rats

Small introduction for Heatwave Magazine

Lucy and the Rats—Lucy from the Ramones influenced pop punk trio, the Spazzys, is the ‘Lucy.’ The Spazzys have made headlines not only in Australia, where they come from, but across the globe. But she didn’t stop there! Artists of this calibre need constant challenges, and so do the rest of the band members. The ‘Rats’ are Joe, Manu and Mike, who all have a bunch of other interesting projects. Trust me, you want to experience them all.


So, there’s a very cute mouse, some might call her a hamster but as those are domesticated, I say no! And three mighty rats that have come together to create what could be the next Blondie, only in a softer, sweeter, almost shy way.

With its members coming from bands inspired by 60s garage and 77 punk, these melodic, warm and fuzzy harmonies get a special punch that turns the band into some kind of power-pop-punk reinvented-genre.

When you listen to Lucy and the Rats, the world is right again. Lucy’s voice is like a delicate flower, but don’t get fooled by its tenderness, for it is strong enough to face the hardest of winters. Her Rats are her dedicated backbone. They defend her gentle vocals with a trustworthy rhythm and a steady beat.

Prepare to be blown away, in the most docile way possible. These big rats and their little mouse have a lot in store for us to delight in. Make sure you see them live and if, for any insane reason, you claim you can’t go, check them out online. Better yet, do both. No excuses.

Lucy and the Rats are the cosiest band I have stumbled upon in the last few months, and I’m so grateful for them. I might seem a rough, all independent punk but hey, I got feelings, ye know? Lucy and the Rats understand people just like me.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
By Penelope York


Lucy and the Rats
https://www.facebook.com/Lucy-and-the-Rats-817424101645809/?fref=ts

Heatwave
http://heatwavemag.com/lucy-and-the-rats/

The Coathangers

Interview for Heatwave Magazine

Atlanta-based band, the Coathangers, were a band before they became musicians. All they wanted was to hang out, jam out some tunes and have fun while they were at it.
So, ten years ago, a new exhilarating band was born, consisting of Julia Kugel (guitar/vocals), Meredith Franco (bass/vocals) and Stephanie Luke (drums/vocals). Growing from their early days of no-wave and primitive garage rock through classic rock, and even some country ballads, you can never miss their omnipresent ferocious and irreverent punk rock attitude.
Look out for this wonder group, for they know what they’re doing and they are insanely serious about having fun. And yes, the Coathangers are on their way to this side of the pond to promote their fresh new album!


Heatwave: The Coathangers have been around for ten years. A decade is a pretty round number. What do you see when you look back?

Julia: I see us growing up in a blur of shows and records, of new and fading friendships and relationships, fun times and trying times. Probably the same things you see when you look back, ha. Ten years is a long time…

Stephanie: Yeah, ten years is a nice round number! I see a lot of hard work, a lot of amazing experiences, traveling the world, meeting really great people, seeing and experiencing a lot of great other bands, and also getting to meet some of our musical heroes like Joan Jett, Ian MacKaye, Keith Morris, etc.

Heatwave: And what do you foresee for the next ten years?

Julia: More surprises and further successes. Watching each other turn 40! Ha! Damn. Records, songs, tours, life.

Stephanie: Hopefully more of the same and more albums!

Heatwave: Nosebleed Weekend, your fifth album, will be released on 15th of April. How was it to record your first album outside Atlanta, this time at Valentine Recording Studios in North Hollywood?

Julia: It was amazing and challenging. We isolated ourselves in Los Angeles and pushed ourselves to write and play better. It was a very focused effort.

Stephanie: It was a little weird feeling at first, not awkward or uncomfortable, just very different not being at the Living Room Studios in Atlanta. However once we really got to recording at the historic and retro-beautiful Valentine’s Studios, we felt right at home.

Heatwave: How much does this album differ from the other ones? Do you see it as a ten-year stepping-stone, perhaps?

Julia: This album has a warmth and focus that perhaps is different from the other records. Really, we always saw that each record is a snap shot of where we are in life at the time. That’s how the record is different – we physically and emotionally were at a different place.

Stephanie: This is the second album as a trio, so even though there’s only three of us, there’s a lot of volume and power behind these songs, very straight forward rock, but yet it still maintains our Coathangers vibe/sound. These qualities mainly stem from having an amazing producer/engineer, Nic Jodoin, who really made us work this album HARD! He helped with pushing us to our limits, song structure, etc., really amazing to be able to have worked with him!

Heatwave: Why this title? There must be a story behind this one too.

Julia: It really came about because Meredith (Minnie) kept getting nosebleeds on tour. It’s something that runs in her family. It kinda became an on running joke. Then one day I just kinda came up with the phrase and blam… funny, irreverent record title. Just our style.

Stephanie: The title actually refers to karma in a way, kinda. As in, if you talk crap about people maybe expect to see it come back to ya in a rough way.

Heatwave: Where do the ideas and storylines for your music stem from?

Julia: Life. People. I recently made a move to Southern California, which influenced the storylines – A sudden feeling of alienation, missing home, not knowing where home actually is. We toured quite a lot during the past two years and that always breeds ideas. Also there were some deaths, as there usually are. Love.

Stephanie: Our ideas and storylines always come from personal experiences and people we have met or had relationships with, sometimes we write a song that simply has no meaning, and we let the listener make up their own storyline for it.

Heatwave: After ten years of touring, did you develop any rituals of preparation? Maybe a quirky routine or even some kind of mantra?

Stephanie: We’ve got a few rituals, usually there’s always a group hug and of course a shot of tequila or a cheering of sorts! We also try and stretch beforehand, so we aren’t as sore the next show.

Julia: We usually do a group hug before the show. And Steph usually smacks us on the butt. ‘I love you’ is our mantra.

Heatwave: By now you are more sisters than most siblings. How does this bounding affect your development as musicians?

Julia: We encourage each other and are able to be brutally honest with each other when necessary. Therefore we are able to push each other as musicians and writers. This also enables us to be more generous with each other. Egos take a backseat to what is best for the group.

Stephanie: We are most definitely related now! Being as close as we are helps with lots of aspects in the band. It helps with everything from songwriting to working things out if we get in a tiff, etc. Definitely helps us be honest with each other on every level.
We are so close now, I sometimes don’t even need to look up or even hear exactly where we are while playing live, and I can literally go off the other girls’ vibes and know exactly what to do next.

Heatwave: How important were Black Lips at opening doors for your band?

Julia: In the beginning they were really encouraging and open to our sound and passion. They asked us to open for them and we even did a few short tours together. I think it gave us some kind of street cred, ha. They have always been championing our sound and we are really grateful to have that hometown support.

Stephanie: The Black Lips were very helpful in the beginning along with all the other local bands in Atlanta that helped us get on certain shows. We’ve tried to do the same for bands we enjoy as well, that’s how music should be – we are all one big family.

Heatwave: What is the music scene like in Atlanta?

Julia: Atlanta has a close, tight knit music scene. Everyone pretty much knows everyone else, crossing genre lines. Hip-hop is put on the same bill as rock n roll and disco. Everyone plays in side projects together. It’s a nice place.

Stephanie: The music scene in Atlanta is still going pretty strong although the types of bands playing might have changed a bit. There’s still a large group of punk, doomcore, hardcore, shoegaze etc. There’s also a “house show” part of the scene that has made a comeback, which is great, keeps it real.

Heatwave: What bands from your local scene can you recommend us?

Julia: Shantih Shantih, Black Linen, Predator, and the Bad Spells

Stephanie: Curtis Harding, NURSE, Shanti Shanti, Midnight Larks, and Illegal Drugs

Heatwave: Is the goal of living from music alone still alive and kicking?

Julia: Yes. Now the goal is to live without roommates!

Stephanie: Living from music is still alive and still just as difficult. Most of the money bands make from touring and record sales goes straight back into keeping the band going, so we all still have part time gigs when at home.

Heatwave: I know you have a lot of freedom on your current jobs when it comes to touring. That must be a relief. How do you manage to balance both worlds? And not to forget Julia’s other project, White Woods.

Julia: Coathangers is the primary focus, so you figure out how to make time for everything else. It just means that we are always working.

Stephanie: It’s difficult to balance both worlds, but it’s just like anything else in life, you simply make it work. Sometimes the most difficult thing to maintain is the special relationships we have with boyfriends, friends, and family. Being on the road it can be hard to find a place just to make a call home, so it can be frustrating.

Heatwave: There are a lot of strong visual statements in your videos. How important is visual communication in your music?

Stephanie: Visual communication is important because fans usually enjoy seeing the band they like as people, but we more or less just try to have as much fun creating and being a part of the past videos we’ve done. We always try and use friends to film and direct them because then they also get noticed for their creativity as well.

Julia: Well, it sets the tone and represents who we are and what we think (at the time, ha) so yes it is prettyyy important.

Heatwave: A little moth told me you are playing in London on May 5th. I can’t wait. What about you?

Julia: STOKED

Stephanie: We love going to Europe, especially London! You guys definitely know how to have a great time!

Heatwave: Will you swap instruments this time? Do you do this to keep it interesting for you, for the audience or both?

Julia: Yes… probably. We started doing that to keep it interesting for us, but it also keeps it interesting for the audience.

Stephanie: We will be swapping instruments on a few songs, we do it because why the hell not? It also keeps us on our toes!

Heatwave: Could each of you tell me in one word what makes you go forward? In essence: what ticks you?

Julia: An overwhelming need to create.

Stephanie: One word that makes me tick? Revolution.


The Coathangers
https://www.facebook.com/TheCoathangersATL/?pnref=story

Heatwave Magazine
http://heatwavemag.com/the-coathangers/

MFC Chicken - 'It's... MFC Chicken Time!'

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Dirty Water Records - Released: December 2015

It might be a master complot of these maniacs to make every living soul dance, but I gladly surrender. With that being said, their third album It’s… MFC Chicken Time! is yet again an extremely solid dance album.

The band consists of Spencer Evoy on magical tenor sax and vocals, Alberto Zioli on guitar and vocals, Ravi on the drums, Zig on bass guitar and as guest chickens: Reverend Parsley on the organ and vocals, Pastor McPake on the organ and Fernando Terror on bass guitar and vocals. MFC Chicken is a big band of big boys that love to play around.


All of their music has one important factor throughout and that is humour, which too many times doesn’t get the credit it really deserves. In this ridiculous world of anger and hatred, humour is much needed. It is vital, actually. I would go as far as to say it’s our only way of survival. Bear with me before starting in judgmental. Why do you go to work everyday? To help you and yours or those who really, really suffer? Exactly. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We have to first take care of ourselves before we can take care of others. And that’s where humour enters. How in hell could we wake up everyday, get in the tube, punch the clock, do our mundane work chores, go back home, eat, dump, sleep and do it all again the next day, if the horrors of this world were constantly in our minds? Simple, we wouldn’t. We wouldn’t be able to move a muscle. So, let us help wherever and whenever we can, but, foremost, live a life worth living. We fortunately can; therefore, we owe it to life to live it fully.

MFC Chicken helps us do exactly that. Their sound is so effervescent and jolly that you can drown all your sorrows in it, and the lyrics so insanely goofy you won’t even remember you had sorrows in the first place. So, let’s talk about chicken, shall we? After all, it is the main subject of this album. Bearing in mind, though, that the meaning is not what it seems. It is a fantastic nonsensical metaphor that came straight from the dirty chicken shop downstairs where they were formed in Holloway Road. If chicken can represent everything, then it surely can solve anything! You just have to reorder your formatted brain and you’re free to embrace the wonders of the chicken. Let the hilarity begin– all hail to the chicken!

The saxophone is undoubtedly the star, but without those vocals teasing us, teaching us what Joie de Vivre is all about, met with that delicious demented organ and the rhythm section leading our hips, feet and tumbling head to some kind of frenetic musical seizure, it wouldn’t be MFC Chicken now would it? Maniac raw garage rock ‘n’ roll fuelled with plenty of rockabilly flavour, lavished with primal jazz and a whole lot of good old rhythm and blues. Some bring Screamin’ Jaw Hawkins, Little Richard, Dick Dale, The Sonics, and many others to the pot. MFC Chicken has a lot of clear inspirations in their repertoire, yes, but as I see it, it comes from a deep understanding of their musical roots more than from any specific artist. They are but the sum of everything they’ve heard in their lives and they bring their own interpretation on their own terms. In chicken terms, of course.

“Study Hall,” for all those who don’t know their previous albums yet, is the first song and works perfect as a visit card. There is their core, the glorious saxophone, the speedy crescendo in the rhythmic guitar and drums, and the vocals messing up with your seriousness.

In “Gross People,” the Colonel urges you to listen to what he has to preach. MFC Chicken is providing you a most serious public service. Now, now, boys and girls– he preaches– keep your tongues to the comfort of your home, your wet affection is “Gross, gross!”

But, MFC Chicken has more in store. What about that harmonica in “Uncle Willy,” enticing the hillbilly inside of us all? There we are, doing the cowboy line dance in some barn in the middle of America’s nowhere.

“Sit Down, Mess Around” starts as a preaching gospel with the organ on an awe-inspiring pedestal just as they warm the audience yet again for a delicious dance of the senses with both sax and organ leading the vocals and the happy-spirited chorus.

“Tennessee Girl,” “29 Bus,” and “14 Girls” are all at full throttle. Throw yourself in the pit, shake your head up high, stop any reveries, any ruminations of any kind and let them consume your body in their full wacky splendour.

During “All Afternoon,” I could imagine myself sipping a Margarita, stomping one foot whilst resting for like a microsecond ‘til hitting the floor again– even better if there’s a nice guy willing to swirl you around, while you clap away with a coquettish silly smile.

“Bad News From The Clinic” makes you dance, don’t they all, but gives you the feeling that you’re somehow transgressing something. If not for the title, then from that saxophone that seems to watch your every move. It’s like, “Yeah, I might sound all happy and shit, but I’m on the lookout, doll, and it might just be you who I’m aiming for.” Well, stop that, you ain’t scaring me.

But then, oh my, what to do of “Kahuna Hoodoo Hoochie Coo Flu Blu?” Are you putting your crazy voodoo on me? Hey, now wait a minute, I just came here to dance and have a good time. Say what, no need to worry? So it’s just a delightful captivating scarecrow-like tune? That’s all the better.

My previous doubt is somehow answered in “Rumble Strip.” MFC Chicken are playing here straight from hell– wherever that is– and finally letting it all loose. Let them, it’s liberating, and we all should do it from time to time.

Having now exorcised their demons, they can finally breathe normally again. Actually, what is normal anyway? During this time, they give us another upbeat song with “Colonel Sanders’ Bastard Son.” These Bastard Sons are a thousand times better than the if-existing sons of the Colonel Sanders himself by showing their deep appreciation for the meat– the almighty wonders of chicken. The hysterical “Where Is The Meat” shows us precisely that appreciation– a song about their utter shock when entering a vegan restaurant where they seriously consider eating the waiter.

Humour, my friends, should rule the world. Wouldn’t everything be so much easier, more logical and more human? I apologise in advance for bringing a quote as my final statement. Take it as you want, I myself will take it as food for thought:

“Humanity takes itself too seriously. It is the world’s original sin. If the caveman had known how to laugh, History would have been different.” – Oscar Wilde

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
By Penelope York


MFC Chicken
https://www.facebook.com/MFCChicken/?fref=ts

Heatwave
http://heatwavemag.com/mfc-chicken-its-mfc-chicken-time-dirty-water-records/

The Arrogants - 'No Time To Wait'

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Dirty Water Records - Released: November 2015

So, you’re telling me that this band is from this very present. Like, from the now? Hmm… Let’s just say I believe you. *wink*

The Arrogants are five, allegedly from our lifetime, really cool French teenagers,who already supported such notables like The Pretty Things and Lenny Kravitz. Their album was produced by Healer Selecta (aka Yvan Serrano of The Dustaphonics), recorded at the studio of the National Belgian Corporation in just three days, and mastered by Pete Maher (The Killers, Rolling Stones, U2 and Jack White).

The Arrogants consist of Thomas Babczynski in the rhythm guitar and vocals, Louis Szymanowski in the bass, Martin Tournemire in the organ, Hugo El Hadeuf in the drums, and Emilian Mierzejewski in the solo guitar.

This sound is garage in its most raw form. And, although, The Arrogants like to explore Mod 1960’s sounds, Psychedelic, Blues, and RnB, you still feel that, in this album, there’s no place for flourishes of any kind– neither deep psychedelic hues nor intransigent solos shouting out of the boxes. This album is simple, minimal and gutturally authentic garage rock. Now you can see why I’m not falling for the whole “they’re from now” thing. But hey, let us acquiesce and just nod: “Oh yes, yes, but of course.”

The Arrogants’ sound is, well, arrogant, but in the most delicious way possible. It is spontaneous, wild and in your face. Thank goodness they are, supposedly, this young, for their naivety helps bring out an organic and captivating unpolished album. Ain’t no time to decorate that one. And we thank them for it.


“No Time To Wait” starts with lovely simple chords followed quickly by a rhythmic organ. And it is as urgent as the title suggests. When you first hear the vocals you think, “Ok, this is some bloke who went to school with Mick Jagger.” I can imagine him playing defiantly with his micro whilst sticking his tongue out. And this image stays throughout the album, even when I know it’s not quite so.

“Move” and “Flashing Lights” are fast and loud. Their speed shifts keep us on our toes. Along with a nice punk chorus at the very end, “Flashing Lights” is the more danceable of the two.

The beginning of “I’m No Fucking Mozart” is not from today. No matter what they tell me. No, no and no. The organ is the major melody maker, the rest gets its back perfectly and the vocals give the final soft touch. While listening to “Too Much Lies,” I can’t stop being fixated with the vocals. It is all about them in this tune. Husky, infuriated, fed-up Thomas is singing straight to that not-so-special-anymore someone. It is powerfully sincere and innocent.

“The Arrogants Theme” is a groovy, ooh là là so very French, instrumental with sweet arrogant laughs. In “Velocity,” harmonica comes to the rescue. And, surprise, surprise, they still keep their un-tempered clear sixties sound, whilst embracing a more R&B tonality. With “Santraa,” they psyche out a tiny little bit with the help of a coy but insistent sitar.

“UFO” plays in a spaceship. Don’t ask me how they got one, but, then again, if they have managed to time travel to our time, I suppose anything is possible. They decided to keep it instrumental because the aliens wouldn’t understand the language anyway. And kept it short too, which is perfectly comprehensible. After all, do aliens even know what’s good music?

“Mr. Devil” doesn’t go far from The Arrognant’s mold: fuzzy, relentless and just hella fun. To end a perfect trip, comes a soft song, “I’m Gonna Leave You,” that gives room to each and every instrument in the band, which is a pretty nice goodbye.

The Arrogants might have come from the sixties to please our ears, but I hope we’re interesting enough for them to want to stay here. But hey, if they do know time travel, The Arrogants can come and go as they please, so long as we get to hear their pure and raw garage sound on the stages of today.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
By Penelope York


The Arrogants

Heatwave

Raw Fun - 'Won't Be Told'

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Dirty Water Records - Released: December 2015

Raw Fun, for me, embodies sixties rock ’n’ roll on speed. This depiction was my initial thought when I first heard them and I’m sticking to it. Now let me tell you, this sound makes me happy, very happy. Raw Fun is raw fun indeed.

Raw Fun consists of singer, songwriter and guitarist Patrice Picard from The Cannibals, guitar player Manuel Santos from the infamously named band Michael Jackson and drummer Joaquin Gonzalez from the reborn Johnny Throttle. With impressive baggage, it’s no surprise that when these three met they were bound to have success. So much so that after publishing a demo on Facebook, Jim Diamond reached out to them and ultimately mixed their EP in his Ghetto Recorders Studio back in Detroit. The same Jim Diamond who played bass for the amazing Dirtbombs from 1997 until 2004, and has produced glorious bands such as the Sonics and White Stripes.


The EP “Won’t Be Told” is so danceable, vigorous and happy that it is hard for me to stay put on my chair whilst writing this review. Pure sixties cheer. What strikes me most is the easiness of Patrice’s vocals in his dynamic fervour. It’s like they’re playing to a group of good friends in a private party– no pretence, no putting on a show, just the love of music and dedicated joy in making it. How invigorating!

“Till The End of The Song” is a tad more down-to-earth in its arrangements, a good full-bodied rock ’n’ roll song. Trashy enough with an upbeat rhythm, it emphasises the drums and guitar of Joaquin and Manuel with the vocals accompanying them with a quirky wink, fun and flirtatiousness.

“Shades” is atmospherically languid; a sound as if taken straight from the wonderful hazy sixties surf. It twirls around your senses in a persistently flirty and enchanting dance. I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw some hypnotized snake coming out of a basket at a live show.

Raw Fun has an uncompromising readiness with an easy and rough sensuality to it. And in the background, we see the mini skirts swinging lasciviously.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
By Penelope York


Raw Fun
https://www.facebook.com/rawfunwontbetoldwhattodo/?pnref=story

Heatwave Magazine
http://heatwavemag.com/raw-fun-wont-be-told-dirty-water-records/

Archie and the Bunkers

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Label: Dirty Water Records - Released: November 2015

I was pretty excited when I first heard two songs from these guys, imagine when listening to the whole album. How old are they again?

Archie and the Bunkers, inspired by the funny Archie Bunker from All In The Family, is a couple of teenage brothers from Cleveland– Cullen on the organ and Emmet on the drums and lead vocals. No guitar, no bass, just a four-piece drum, an organ and two incredible mature souls with the energy of, well, teenagers.


They call their sound Hi-Fi Organ Punk and I couldn’t agree more. I’m a sucker for rock ’n’ roll organs and steady clear drums. I can hear reminiscences of The Cramps, Dead Boys and The Damned, but also The Stranglers, Doors and even Murder City Devils. To create such a full atmospheric sound with just two instruments gives me goose bumps. To all those who say music will never be what it once was, shut the fuck up and listen to Archie and The Bunkers.

I put my headphones on and started listening to the entire album. The first two songs are so mature that I almost have to check in again to see if it’s them. It is. The song “Sally Lou” has a soul in Cullen’s voice of someone who has loved and lost. The drums are straightforward with the organ playful, but the voice is desperate. Vocals grow from desperate to thoughtful to almost resignation and back to fierce urgency. It has wonderful mood swings, much like any other song on this album, which I find not only exceptional but a true mirror of everyone’s psyche.

I somehow put “Lady RKO” in the same category as “Sally Lou,” although it is different at its very core. Not so atmospheric like “Sally Lou,” as Cullen’s voice is defiant. It’s sex, an à lá Jim Morrison infused song.

The next song, “I’m Not Really Sure What I’m Going To Do,” has a beginning that reminds me of The Cramps. Marching through comes then a deeply ironic and almost rage-filled vocals that make you sit up straight in your chair. It is one of my very favourites, if it’s even possible to categorise.

“Knifuli Knifula” is ok. After listening to the whole album, this one doesn’t quite spark anything inside me. Nevertheless, it’s good filler.

“You’re The Victim,” oh yes. It’s a true confrontational song with political hues. As soon as you hear, “I’m an American but I’m not free,” you’re hooked. Starting with a dominant military drum rolling and a twirling organ melody, it enthrals you in its very depths of possible interpretations.

“Different Track” is a vigorous party song. I can imagine people dancing and singing to it without giving it too much thought. But, when you listen to it closely, you can’t stop to be awed again by the depths of their lyrics, like “But my mind will start to wear out […] This world really has gone mad.” How old are they again?

“Miss Taylor” is a rhythmic feast with no time to let you breathe. It’s fast and full with a steady drumbeat holding the organ spirals going frenetically up and down.

“Austria” is as steady as it goes. Its repetitive background chords help to warp you in a never-ending loop, where the vocals achieve a higher urgency to be heard.

“I Wish I Could”, which is actually sung by Cullen, must be the poppiest of them all– the album’s hymn so to speak. It’s got all ingredients: well-known beat, catchy chorus and a sweet melody at large. A punk power pop song par excellence.

“Trade Winds” follows the same scheme as “I Wish I Could,” albeit being a whole lot more punk. It is a robust song that in its hurriedness shows a dominant attitude.

If the last one was fast, “The Last Stooge” takes no longer than a heartbeat. The intro has a delicious crescendo, rising up to vocals with a frenetic insistence that reminds me of some songs of Murder City Devils.

And dear “Joanie.” What a delightful way to end a perfect album. An instrumental aerial atmospheric piece that takes you to that place you know exists but never saw.

Archie and the Bunkers is a revelation. Let’s just hope they continue to amaze us because, for now, it’s difficult to imagine anything coming out better than this one. But then again, remember those who say good music is no more and how terribly wrong they are.

Cheers, me hearties, and don’t forget to hug the music.
By Penelope York


Archie and the Bunkers
https://www.facebook.com/archieandthebunkersofficial/?fref=ts

Heatwave Magazine
http://heatwavemag.com/archie-and-the-bunkers-dirty-water-records/

Victor Torpedo Karaoke Live Show

Review for Heatwave Magazine
Some Weird Sin – George Tavern – 20 November 2015

Among a mix of mesmerised faces, transfixed eyes, and some odd bewitched stares, all of us had, at some special point, one thing in common– the glorious laughter of pure ecstasy. There were a lot of excited jaw-droppers on this first cold night of winter.



Victor Torpedo, as one-man band with his Karaoke Show, is definitely not your type of showman. Hell, I don’t even think there’s a type out there that can label exactly what Torpedo did on that stage. Coming from a long and steady background of exceptional bands, like Tedio Boys, 77, The Parkinsons, Tiguana Bibles, Blood Safari and Subway Riders, we know that whatever Torpedo has in mind will be great. And hot damn, so it was! He doesn’t only have the skills, the passion, and the dedication; Torpedo has also the heart. Once you’ve seen him, you’ll stay hooked forever for on top of all of his many talents, he also has that trademarked inviting smile that can and does brighten an entire venue. He loves his fans and his fans know it.

Fiddling with pop rock, splashing it with reggae and smearing it all with electronic music, he reconstructs his acts into a totally new concept. As if supported by the big screen in one of those dodgy karaoke bar’s private rooms, Torpedo frantically flicks the as if karaoke dossier, as if searching for the next karaoke song. These ‘as ifs‘ depict his insanely out-of-this-world Karaoke Show.

Yet he pushes it further, dramatising a karaoke goer after a long dreadful day at work. The grey reality stayed out and he’s here to bloody sing his heart out. Let the drinks pour and forget all about rules, obligations, and all the derivatives. On a Friday night, he is the master of the microphone; the player has taken over the worker, or the bon vivant over the submissive labourer. But not completely though, as these two are fighting, and they are fighting hard: the despair of the blue-collar ascends whilst the irony of the bohemian tries to kick him in the balls. Love and hate mate in an orgy of contradicted emotions. It’s all or nothing.

After an intoxicating battle on stage, amidst the exhilarated crowd, the enfant terrible has finally won. The society’s slave is free. And we all went free with him, even if just for one night.


Victor Torpedo
https://www.facebook.com/VictorTorpedomusic

Heatwave Magazine
http://heatwavemag.com/victor-torpedo-karaoke-live-show-sws-the-george-taver-london-20-11-15/

My first encounter with Lou Reed... and last.

MONDAY, 28 FEBRUARY 2011

John Zorn himself was counting us in with an old small palm held counting device. John. Zorn. The punk jazz avant-garde performer and great saxophonist. In flesh.

Running directly from school with laptop and all I got my 10 pm ticket at the very last second. The first show at 8 pm was naturally sold out by then. After me just three others got in and already over the limited number. I couldn’t believe I was going to experience a performance of Lou Reed in such an independent atmosphere like taken directly from the 70s of NYC. C'mon, Lou Reed in NYC in the most underground and experimental place you could possible imagine! I felt like I was the luckiest girl in the whole world!
The quintessence of NYC rock and roll was right there. Something surreal for this era, something so special that someone like me born so much later could never ever experience. But there I was.


It wasn't even a ticket, just the normal stamp on my wrist plus a red circle around it. The most expensive ticketless stamp of my life but for sure the most handsome of them all.
I needed to go back in line soon enough for the second show at 10 pm if I wanted to take a good look at Lou. I left my backpack at home just a couple of blocks away, and went for a quick beer at a nice bar nearby.
The venue place, The Stone, is incredibly small, no sign, no bar, no nothing. Just a few rows of chairs aligned with the performance being at the same level. Do you see it? It's like they're all only boys just starting the whole revolutionary movement of Warhol freaking pop culture! Holy moly guacamole! And I’m right here in the city where everything happens. I don't want to leave. Ever.

While waiting in line, the people from the first show were leaving the place with big smiles spread all over their faces. The thrill of anticipation was rising to the point of no return. Excitement was the word of order in that line of ours.

I got front row for I was the third to enter the room.
The first sound tripped down the spine while Lou seated right next to me. Laurie was already seated at her place. At first it was hard to concentrate on the young musicians but they were good so I gave them all my attention. Buke and Gass, he played a guitar-bass hybrid and she a modified baritone-ukulele plus ankle bells. She sings high but softly, a kind of prog-punk anthems and has a sweet presence radiating a constant smile. Comprehensible as she told us how dreadful excited they were to be there with Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson.

And then it was time for the Valentine’s special duo to play. Experimental prog-jazz music with Laurie’s electric violin, Lou’s keyboard and guitar, a pianist with long smooth fingers and with Buke and Gass joining later along too.

Like John Zorn was the new Warhol, that tiny space the new Factory and Lou Reed was simply jamming. And I, a mere rock and roll lover in trance.


Pictures of the performance:
http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2011/02/lou_reed_laurie_5.html