Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Archive add London date!

It does seem like praying helps as Archive have added a single UK date at Heaven in London! Tickets are on sale NOW priced at £15....we have ours already so be quick and don't miss out on what is a rare chance to see this great band!

Tickets for this and all other dates are on sale now via the LIVE page on the Archive website

Monday, 21 May 2012

Archive - EP, Album and Tour News!

After a long wait we have news of not only the upcoming Archive album "With Us Until You're Dead" but also an EP and tour dates as well!

The album will be released via the band's own label Dangervisit Records on 27th August but is preceded by the "Wiped Out / Violently" EP released on the 2nd of July. The EP will feature new vocalist Holly Martin, it will include various remixes and be available on 12" and digital download.

The bands European tour starts in October (no UK dates as of yet though!) with tickets available from Thursday 24th (or a day earlier via the bands Facebook LIKE now!)

18th - Den Atelier LUXEMBORG
19th - Eishalle Deutweg WINTERTHUR
20th - Auditorium Stravinsky MONTREUX
22nd - Muffathalle MUNICH
23rd - Substage KARSRHUE
24th - Alter Schlachthof DRESDEN
29th - Docks HAMBURG

1st - Visions At Fzw DORTMUND
2nd - Central Station DARSMSTADT
4th - Ewerk COLOGNE
5th - Garage SAARBRUCKEN
6th - La Paloma NIMES
8th - La Carriere NANTES
9th - Espace Medoquine BORDEAUX
10th Le Phare TOULOUSE
12th - La Fonderie CAEN
13th Forest National Club BRUSSELS
15th Paradiso AMSTERDAM
16th and 17th - Zenith PARIS
19th - L'autre Canal NANCY
20th - Transborder LYON
22nd - New Age TREVISO
23rd - Cicolo Degli Artisti ROME
24th - Maggazini Generali MILAN
26th - Wuk VIENNA
27th - Teatr Lazina KRAKOW
28th - Stodola WARSAW
29th - Parlament GDANSK

2nd - Lucerna Music Bar PRAGUE

Thursday, 17 May 2012

The International Swingers tour America

The International Swingers have announced the American tour that James Stevenson spoke of in our recent interview. The line up of the Swingers is Glen Matlock, Clem Burke, Gary Twinn and of course James. The tour kicks off in L.A. on the 22nd June at Farmers Market and runs till the end of the month.

22nd June - Farmers Market LOS ANGELES
23rd June - Webers RESEDA
24th June - Red Devil Lounge SAN FRANCISCO
25th June - SLO Brew SAN LUIS OBISPO
26th June - Whiskey Records SANTA BARBARA
28th June - Brick By Brick SAN DIEGO
29th June - The Hood PALM DESERT
30th June - Fitzgeralds HUNTINGDON BEACH

Tickets available from the venues...please check online!

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Steve "Smiley" Barnard Interview

We catch up with Smiley to chat about his debut solo album "Friends In High Places", life in The Alarm and what it was like to tour with Joe Strummer...and Robbie Williams!
Smiley living up to his name! All photos from The Gathering 20 by Joff

-At what age did you take up the drums and what was it that attracted you to them?

My Mum says I used to play along to the radio in my high chair in time with the music so I guess you could say 1 year old! I carried on playing as a child with a little kit and spent hours packing it on my bunk bed and pretending to drive to a gig, I was only 4 or 5, who would have thought 40 years later I would be doing the same!

-Which drummers had the biggest impact on you and your style?

The main 3 were Keith Moon, John Bonham and Ringo Starr...with a bit of Stewart Copeland, Mitch Mitchell, Jim Keltner and Mark Brezecki thrown in.

-What is your typical day?

Typical day when not touring would be up at half run...tea...and Daily Mirror, park with dog and baby then switch with Kerry and go to the studio and work on whatever project I am on at the time. I have been producing quite a bit recently, so that's been interesting.

-How is your debut solo album "Smiley's Friends In High Places" doing?

I have had some great reviews. To be honest I don't really know what to do with it. If you or your readers have any ideas then answers on a postcard to the grateful drummer!

-Are you happy with how it has been received?

It's a strange thing a solo album, you really are baring your soul so you have to be quite thick skinned. For every great review or kind word there may be a silence which is hard cos you just don't know what people think, but I have been really pleased with the reaction.

-Will you be doing any more collaborations with Kerry and is it hard working with someone you are so close to?

She is a nightmare to work with! A real diva!! I have to beg her to do some vocals for me and when she finally gives in will say hurry up as the dinner is nearly ready and then do this stunning vocal! Really annoying but the best voice I have ever heard..Bless her.

-In our review of "Friends In High Places" we stated ....."is very radio friendly and would do well if programmers actually took a chance on 'independent' releases" and "Hearing Is Deceiving" would be heralded as a classic if it had Noel Gallagher's name attached to it." Is it hard to gain that recognition in today's music market or has the internet made things easier?

As I say I am a bit stumped as to what to do with the album. I don't know how to get it to the relevant radio or if anyone has any good ideas throw them in!

-How much of your time does Sunshine Corner Studios take up?

I love being in my studio, it's my happy place! I have just had some more work done so it's looking mega. It's such a buzz getting different artists in and creating stuff from nothing. If anyone wants to book it...

-How much session work have you done and for what artists?

See no.....Hear no....Speak no?
Well off the top of my head I have played for Joe Strummer, Robbie Williams, Archive, The Alarm, From The Jam, The Mock Turtles, Spear Of Destiny, Lily Allen, Bad Company, Terry Hall, Roy Harper, Republica, Billy Bragg and Noel Redding to name 14! The list goes steadily downhill from there I can assure you!

-Have you ever appeared uncredited on anything?

A couple of things, usually when I have been asked to drum over someone elses cos they are a bit rubbish...they still don't know!

-Are there any plans for a follow up to "Friends In High Places"?

I will at some point...awaiting diving inspiration!

-Which artist would you most like to work with?

Paul McCartney

-What was the last album you bought?

Paul Weller - Sonik Kicks

-What is your favourite album of all time?

Revolver by The Beatles

-How did you come to play on the Robbie Williams debut solo album "Life Thru A Lens"?

I got the job drumming for him when he first went solo. The album was already done but I got to sing on it. I did 3 tours and played on b sides and demoed the 2nd album. Then he went into mega stardom and I lost iit to the drummer that did the album...happy days!

-What are your memories of recording that album and the following tour?

It was bonkers! I got to see all the things I had only read about...hysterical fans, TV shows...crazy! But I also became really close friends with him which was pretty surreal.

-You played on the "Rock Art And The X-Ray Style" album by Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros taking over from Ged Lynch. With much of the album already recorded was that a hard project to come into at a late stage?

It was and it wasn't. Ged is one of my favourite players and he is such a beautiful man that it was a pleasure to play his parts, plus playing Topper's Clash parts.

-You toured with Joe Strummer in the Mescaleros for many years, what are your memories of him?

He was the smartest man I ever met, and the coolest, I had no idea just how much he was idolised until I went to the States with him. That man was a living legend!

-How was it supporting the legendary The Who in 2000? I saw the Wembley gig and it still counts as one of the best I have ever seen! (Rob)

Oh I was in heaven, got my own seat on the stage to watch them every night! favourite live band. I would get to play, have a glass of wine and then take my seat behind Townshend every night! Ha ha's a hard life sometimes!

-What's the latest on the new Archive album and what can you tell us about it?

It's done and out in September. It's very good, quite electronic but with big drums and orchestras so I think people will love it.

-Will there be a tour to support the album and if so can we expect any UK dates?

I think we start in Berlin in September with an orchestra then there is a 7 week European tour starting in October. I heard a rumour of UK shows so lets wait and see. The album is coming out here on anew label with new management so it may all change.

-Why do you think mainland Europe have embraced Archive much more than the UK seems to?

No idea. It's Mad! They are superstars in France but couldn't get arrested here. The new album may change that. I have always thought they would do an Elbow and get known for a new track without people knowing the back catalogue. I still think they will crack it here.

-The track "Fuck U" from the "Noise" album has one of the most venomous lyrics ever, was it written about a specific person and if so would you care to throw any light on who?

Ha ha, I don't know, Danny won't tell me! There is another one in the same vein on the new album about killing someone with a hatchet!

-Have you ever thought about doing a side project with Archive guitarist Steve Harris?

Ah young Stevie Harris! He is an astonishing player and the most adorable person but a bloody nightmare to  pin down and get in the no.

-What do you remember about the Los Mondo Bongo dates?

Oh that was so much fun! It was my supergroup! When I was a teenager me and a mate played a game called supergroup where you had to pick your favourite players and I had Mike and Derek Forbes in mine. How mad is that?

-Had you met Mike Peters before Los Mondo Bongo?

I met him once to talk about possibly doing some Alarm shows Grantley couldn't. I couldn't do them in the end but when the Los Mondo thing came up I asked him if he fancied it.

-What were your first impressions of him?

Let's be honest, and I'm sure everyone will agree, he is the nicest man on earth! He is adorable, we have become such good friends...and I'm not saying that on the off chance he will read this...and that I am due a pay rise!!

-Will we ever see Los Mondo Bongo return? (The Gathering perhaps?)

I reckon it will pop up Bobby Ewing in the shower in Dallas!

-Was it difficult taking over from Steve Grantley?

I really like Steve but he couldn't do it so I did!

-What are your favourite tracks to play live with The Alarm?

There were a few I hadn't done at the last Gathering which were great, The Whoier the better!

-What can we expect from The Alarm this year?

Well Mike and I are in the studio at the end of this month, then he goes off with Big Country and I go off with Archive, then at the end of the year there are some plans. Can't tell you what exactly as it's top secret!

-Were you involved at all in the upcoming film "Vinyl"?

Yes, I drummed on all the tracks.

-With everyone being involved in various projects is it hard to make things fit or can you make certain times for certain projects?

It's always tricky but hey, where there's a will there's a way!

-What's next for you this year?

I am producing 3 albums at the mo then I have some From The Jam gigs which I am learning for at thye moment. Archive start in September. Getting married in October then back on tour til December and hopefully some Alarm shows. Plus obviously school runs and trips to the park, all in all it's a wonderful life x
Big love to you and everyone and see you all soon!

Thank you Smiley! All the best to you and Kerry for the wedding! 
If you have yet to get your copy of Smiley's "Friends In High Places" CD you can get it here for only £10!!! If you want to know if it's worth it (it is!) you can find our review here

Friday, 11 May 2012

Theatre Of Hate Islington...more photos!

Some more photos from last night's gig, these are taken from my phone so look a bit different...note Craigs strange stage location!
Craig...the hidden genius!

Theatre Of Hate Islington Academy London 10th May 2012

 What a fantastic gig! These are the first batch of photos just to give you a taster...and I really need a new camera! It was odd seeing Craig playing acoustic rhythm and not bass! I also had the great pleasure of grabbing a word with Kirk and we should have the green light for an interview for the site in the near future! For all those going to Westworld are in for a brilliant time!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

The Last Republic dates.

I know some of you are itching to catch The Last Republic live again so here's your chance! The band have 2 festival dates confirmed with the first being at the Welsh Perry & Cider Festival on June 3rd at Ynysddu RFC. . The second sees the band playing the Truck Festival on 21st July held at Hill Farm Steventon 

The Mission added to Download bill.

The first UK festival date for The Mission has been confirmed with the band headlining the Pepsi Max stage at the Download Festival on Saturday 9th June. The main stage headliners will be Metallica performing the classic "Black" album with other highlights of the day being Biffy Clyro, Tenacious D and Saxon. The Mission are joined on the Pepsi Max Stage by Slipknot vocalist Corey Taylor, blues rockers The Union and the Anti-Nowhere League among others. There are a range of ticket options ranging from day to weekend camping and can be purchased from 

Friday, 4 May 2012

James Stevenson Interview

James - Cambridge Junction 2011
How do you interview someone like James Stevenson? With a career CV as long as your arm, Chelsea, Generation X, Gene Loves Jezebel, The Cult, The Philistines and of course The Alarm! - The original list of questions we had could have filled a phone book! So after some heart wrenching editing we got it down to a more reasonable size and hope this gives you some insight into the man himself!

With many, many thanks to James!

- What was the first album you ever bought?
Sgt. Peppers

- What was the first gig you ever saw?
The Faces – Edmonton Sundown 1973

- When did you first start playing the guitar and what was it that attracted you to it?
Two things: My best mate at school bought a guitar and insisted I did too so we could form a band. The other was Mick Ronson

-          - You chose to play in Chelsea rather than pursue further education, did you always know your career lay as a musician?
-          Yes – although I nearly decided to go to University in 1980 – then I got the call from Tony James for Gen X
- How did you come from being in Chelsea and Generation X to playing with Kim Wilde?
-          A friend of mine – Calvin Hayes, Mickie Most’s son, said his Dad had signed a hot new girl singer and they needed a guitarist for the Kids In America video – I didn’t play on the record – but am in the vid.  
- When did you first meet Glen Matlock?
-          Around 1981 in the old Marquee in Wardour Street. 
- You have worked with Glen off and on over the years, how did you become involved with The Philistines?
-          Glen is a really close friend, has been for decades now! I played with The Philistines around 2000/2001 and then was too busy with The Alarm. Glen kind of had a floating guitarist situation with Steve New, Ray McVeigh and me. I cried when Glen rang me and said Steve had died – he was a really special guy, and a killer guitar player.
- You joined Gene Loves Jezebel mid tour and without knowing much about them, what are your memories of that tour and what convinced you to stay?
-          That first GLJ tour could be a book on its own. I was managed by the same management and when their guitarist, Ian Hudson, had a nervous breakdown at the onset of their first US tour my manager asked me to go and basically save the tour. It was gruelling, plus I had to learn the set as we went, but a great time too – too many crazy stories – it will all be in my book 25 Years In The Rock And Roll Wilderness if I ever finish the bloody thing. Jay and Michael asked me to join permanently during the tour.
GLJ Brixton Academy 2011
-     - How difficult were the relationships in Gene Loves Jezebel?
-          Well there was always a ton of friction between the twins. They both wanted to sing everything. In my opinion Jay is far more talented than Michael – but Michael had a huge ego – led to lots of problems.           
- How did you come to join The Cult for their 1994/95 tour?
-          Billy Duffy is a really old mate – I’ve known him since before he joined Theatre Of Hate. He asked me if I’d do that tour as second guitarist.-           
- What were your first impressions of Craig?
-          The first time I saw Craig he was being held down in the reception area of The Hyatt Hotel on Sunset Boulevard, naked, by two LAPD around 87. We became close friends during that Cult tour – he’s a fantastic bass player – and very musical. I just played on a couple of tracks on his solo album.  
- Why did you decide to reform Chelsea in 1999 and in 2006?
-          Because I had control of the catalogue and the Social Chaos tour approached me to reform the band. We kept going on and off ever since. Faster, Cheaper And Better Looking from 2006 was the first album we made that got universal fantastic reviews – shame we didn’t make it in 77!
- How do you plan your year around the different projects you are involved with? Do you have time blocked off for certain bands or do you take each project as it comes and try and make it fit?
-          I prioritise whatever comes in first – as soon as something comes in I tell everyone else I’m involved with that those dates are blocked out. It can be quite a juggling act sometimes!-           
- Will we ever see a James Stevenson solo album?
-          Yes – this year.
- What would you count as your favourite albums of all time?
-          God – thats a hard one. Can I choose 100?! I still listen to all the stuff I did when I was growing up. As well as all the glam stuff I always loved Motown, Marvin Gaye, all that. Everything from Zep to The Clash – Nina Simone (love her version of Mr Bojangles) to Dr Feelgood.          
-          - Have you ever appeared uncredited on anything?
-          Yes – about 1000 tracks probably! I did tons of session in the 80s and 90s. Everything from Louise to Lisa B, Jimmy Nail – tons of things. Some I’d have liked the credit – other times I was glad I got left off! Sometimes you just have to pay the bills you know.

- What is the last album you bought?
Do you know, I can’t remember – but I still do buy CDs.

- If you could work with any musician, living or dead, who would it be?
Probably David Bowie.

- You have written various jingles, which ones might we know without knowing it was you?
Cadbury’s Wispa with Ant and Dec in it. I did one for Thistle Hotels – I’ve done a few.

- Do you still ride and what bike(s) do you have?
Yes – how else can you get around London!? I’m very spoilt I have 4. Three are on my website – - the 76 Honda 400/4, 78 Kawasaki Z650 and the 66 BSA Thunderbolt. A couple of years ago I bought a modern Triumph Thruxton 900 – fantastic!

-         - How large is your guitar collection now?
-          Do I have to own up? Around 70.
- You seem to favour Gibsons in general and the Les Paul in particular, what is it that makes them your prefered choice?
-          I think because Mick Ronson played one – so it was my instant choice as I grew up and I just got used to them. But I love Tele’s too and the Fender Electric XII.
- How did you come to meet Mike Peters, didn't Billy Duffy introduce you?
-          He didn’t actually introduce us. I think Mike wanted Billy to do the Rise tour – but he couldn’t and recommended me.           
- Were you aware of The Alarm before you started working with Mike?
-          Yes of course.
- What is your favourite Alarm track to perform live?
-          Probably the newer stuff. Much nicer to play your own riffs than someone else’s (with all due respect to Sharpie). My Town is always a fave of mine.           
- How does the set list get decided on an Alarm tour, does everyone get a voice or does Mike present them? (is there much discussion to include certain tracks depending on the mood of the night?)
-          Mike usually creates the basic idea – then any input from the rest of us gets discussed.  
- How tough was it for the band while Mike was undergoing his treatment?
-          Well I’m very close to Jules, she’s one of my best mates – and she was really scared and that was very upsetting. Mike just seemed to take it in his stride – that’s the kind of guy he is.
- What are your memories of The Saturday Gigs?
-          I think they were great. I particularly remember one in Glasgow when Mike lost his voice a bit because he’d just had chemo – but it was a brilliant gig.           
- Considering all of your backgrounds do you think of The Alarm as being a "Super Group"?
-          No not at all – just a buch of mates who enjoy playing together.
- What do you remember about the decision to release "45 RPM" as The Poppy Fields?
-          Well it was Mike’s idea – and we thought it was brilliant. We were in the middle of a German tour when it hit the top 30 in the UK. We had to cancel three gigs so Mike could fly back to the UK to do promo. The rest of us had to spend three days on the tour bus in a Lidl car park!          
-          - What can you tell us about the upcoming film "Vinyl" and what are your expectations for it?
-          It’s brilliant. Phil Daniels is great in it – as all the actors are, although I think Perry Benson who plays the “me” character nicks it. The film is really funny, sad, everything. And a great story of course – although it expands on the 45RPM story.
- When can expect to see The Alarm on tour this year?
-          Right now nothing til next years Gathering. But maybe some UK dates in December.
- When can we expect the "Vinyl" album to be released and what can we expect?
-          When the movie comes out. There’s loads of great new songs of Mike’s on the soundtrack. We did one of them – Breed Apart, at The Gathering this year – a great song. I wrote a couple of instrumental things for it too – and played bass on some of the soundtrack songs of Mike’s.
- What's next for you this year?
-          Just done a UK tour with Willie Nile – a real privalige, and Whitby Goth festival w GLJ. Have some shows with GLJ in Brazil at the end of May and then some gigs in California – this new thing with Me, Glen, Clem Burke and Gary Twinn –  in June - that will be great fun – what a rhythm section!
Gathering 20