My Favourite Gig – Derrick Johnston

This is the eleventh in a series all taken from the Fanzine Hope *.2. The fanzine sees a collection of 70 contributors from the punk rock world.  All asked the same question What is Your Favourite Gig.

The zine is €5 including postage to anywhere  It is a benefit for Pikpa Refugee Centre, Lesvos  

 Pay by paypal, here

This week it is Derrick Johnston, head honcho of make that a take records

Leatherface headlining Book Yer Ane Fest V

Dundee in 2011

 

To answer a question about a favourite gig is pretty difficult; do I pick one that I’ve attended, one that I’ve played or one that we’ve put on?

 

There are loads that spring to mind; seeing At The Drive In back in 2000, Beastie Boys at T In The Park ’98, Against Me in King Tuts years ago, so many shows jump out at me; Kula Shaker at The Caird Hall in Dundee was my first “big” show way back in 1997 and I remember that I lost a shoe trying to crowd surf. That was when I figured out that hardcore and indie rock crowds didn’t necessarily mix!

Of equal importance was the gig at the now non-existent Westport Bar in Dundee on my 16th birthday when my band (Humus Kife) played with Mercury Tilt Switch, Tenesee Kait and Agent Orange (now Kaddish). That show was seminal and of great importance to me.

I’ve played some incredible shows with my various bands across the years too; from playing with some of my favourites (Off With Their Heads, The Flatliners, RVIVR; a sold out show in Edinburgh that was Uniforms’ first ever gig) to playing our first ever show in America at Pre-Fest 10 in Gainesville, Florida.

 

However, I think the greatest set I’ve ever seen with my own eyes was watching the mighty Leatherface headlining Book Yer Ane Fest V at Kage Nightclub, Dundee in 2011. I will never forget the feeling of being absolutely exhausted after playing earlier that day and running the show, which was our first three-day BYAF. I had lost my phone the previous evening and was running around demented all day. I was so nervous when Leatherface arrived as they’ve long been one of my favourite bands and to see them up “on stage” in our club at a sold-out festival was a surreal experience. We’re usually razor-sharp when it comes to timekeeping but nobody gave a shit that Leatherface were running over their set time. I mean, come on, would you go and tell Frankie Stubbs that time was up?

 

I’ll never forget that night. I believe pride can be a dangerous emotion but there are few times when I’ve felt more proud of being involved in punk rock than standing at the back watching a few hundred punks lose their minds while Leatherface blasted out classic after classic. A truly humbling and educational experience for which I shall be eternally grateful.

 

Hope Show 114 – the lowdown

Hope Show 114 – the lowdown

Hope Show 114
1. The Catenary Wires – Intravenous
2. The Middle Ones – Young Explorer
3. Bis – Minimum Wage
4. Hooligan – No Blacks, No Irish, No Dogs
5. Leatherface – Broken
6. The tickturds – Revolution
7. Wonk Unit – Wood Pigeon
8. Slaves – Sockets
9. Fights and Fires – You Don’t Always reap what you sow
10. Jeff Rosenstock – Eastern Coast
11. Bomb the music industry – Campaign for a better next weekend
12. No Monster Club – Arms across America
13. Black Mountain – Florian Saucer Attack
14. Mike and the Melvins – Limited Teeth
15. Joanna Gruesome – Lemonade Grrl
16. The Pukes – Jet Boy Jet Girl
17. Sissy – Sail and Rail
18. Southport – The Plasterers Song
19. Hard Left – Imagination
20. Don Dilego – Drive Like Pirates

Starting off tonights show with a niod to C86 indie pop and the sweet sounds of Sarah Records. Amelia Fletcher has had an illustrous career singing in pop bands, bands like Talulah Gosh, Heavenly and Marine Research. The Catenary Wires is her latest project, dreamy vocals and guitar

The Middle Ones have also got that sound, delicate pop vocals with a joyous energy. No need for drum and bass just an explosion of excitement

BIS came to Dublin soon after Heavenly in the 1990’s Their gig with Bikini Kill was one of those seminal moments in Dublin’s Underground history. They’ve a new album out and it harks back to that times.

Hooligan are form Dublin and their No Blacks, no dogs, no irish speaks of a time when Irish people were discriminated after leaving this country for a (better) future. it reminds me of the treatment many immigrants are getting now, people whose homes have been bombed, they have no home to leave or go back to. These people need our support and comfort, not our words of anger

Leatherface are just brilliant, can’t say fairer than that.

THe tickturds are from Colchester, they have a new cd out, chaotic to the max, this is from their 2014 release, Tickturdius Maximus.

Everywhere I look these days Wonk Unit are being mentioned, or maybe just appearing. Their latest cd, Nervous Racehorse, is on the excellent TNS records so I will forgive some of their unfunny jokes.

Wonk UNit are touring with Slaves in the UK, For every diy publication mentioning wonk unit there is some established music organ looking to praise Slaves, hard to believe they are a two piece, such is the power of their sound

Fights and Fires are a hardcore band from the UK, some great angry power songs

Jeff Rosenstock is a DIY music scene stalwart. He is coming to Dublin at the end of the month for what should be a great show. He has featured on many releases including this and Bomb the music industry. It is on Easter Sunday if you can drag yourself away from Easter Eggs

No Monster Club have a new record out, I have yet to get my hands on a physical copy but hope to have that rectified soon. Arms Across America is from their People are wierd album.

Known by many as stoner rock Black Mountain are from Vancouver, they have just released their fourth album. I don’t know what stoner rock means but I like this song

16 years ago Mike and the Melvins were supposed to release an albhum. The melivins got distracted as did godHead Silo’s bass player, Mike Kunka. Was it worth the wait? is anything worth waiting that long for?

The pUKEs ukelele punk is a perfect antidote from the rock testosterone that preceded it. Sometimes 20 members onstage at their chaotic gigs, mental but great fun

Sissy from Dublin sing about a subject that has taken a back seat since the recent general election but no doubt will gain traction, the 8th amendment of irelands constitution as the song takes Enya’s sail away on a different journey for a frightened girl leaving Ireland to the vast island of the UK for a medical procedure that is illegal in their home country

When Southport brought out their Southern Soul album I was blown away. it is such a good record but ignored by many. I travelled over to Bolton to see them and Stay Clean Jolene in a memorable gig. i wanted to say that new album you’ve just released is one of your best. Please keep playing. Spread the word. I tried, they listened but life has got in the way since. It is still a great album

Hard left are regulars on this show, singalong punk rock with a strong message

I decided to finish off todays show with a feel good song. Don Dilego plays alternative country but with a postive spirit. Just what we need in these challenging times

Be the change you want

niallhope

Rebellion 2014 – Day 2

Rebellion 2014 day 2

I eased into the second day listening to Peter from paranoid visions talking about punk in Dublin in the 80s and their link with Steve Ignorant

I had a quick listen to the city saints and their brand of Swedish street punk. Nice to hear them singing about people on the streets and the skins in the arena were having a good time

“Punk rock came along and gave me a sense of freedom, of where I belong” sang caf in the acoustic room. Straight from the curragh to the winter gardens

Steve pottinger is the people poet, he writes from the heart and has a way with words, unlike me!! He writes about rebellion and Blackpool and Wilko Johnson like he’s just hooting the breeze with ya. Check him out

The theme for my next fanzine will be around womens participation in punk rock but rebellion has a good representation (but still minority for the majority species) Meg and nog are a female duo in the acoustic room. They are deserving of your attention for that reason alone. Nina and Phil from healthy junkies were up next playing some nice acoustic version of what I think are their songs

The crows are a five piece with dual female vocals complemented by three acoustic guitars with a folky sound. Pretty cool set

Off for some more poetry then. It’s such a great feature of this indoor festival. Venues pop up around each corner and in the corner of the art exhibition Kath reade was sharing her words with us

Alex ogg and russ bestley spoke eloquently on Alex’s new book on dead Kennedys the early years. Alex wants to document one of the most important records ever made, fresh fruit for totting vegetables, and russ made it look great. They collaborated previously on the art of punk and the end product is fantastic. I love the literature room as we get to hear so much about our punk history. I wish these were taped and available online. It’s great to hear people’s stories. There was so many questions I wanted johnny wah wah to ask but he may be having a long day

Guida are Italian skins, oi sounding with a more rocking feel. Good singalong sound

The notsensibles have all that energy and their quirky punk pop sound gets the crowd moving. Bizarrely at5 on a Friday afternoon there’s hundreds of people engaging with the band

I walked in as department s were finishing is vic there! Remember that one?? Still a great sound

Pauline Murray is from that era too. Well know for being the lead singer of penetration but less known for her own releases. It is heartening to see her sill playing. She ran into technical difficulties which only aided her shynes and the packed acoustic room couldn’t assist her in any way

Tv smith certainly isn’t shy. Full of energy, I honestly don’t know how he does it. Backed up by the bored teenagers he bangs out the adverts hits and then some. Full of power and always a highlight on the festival

Dickie Hammond arrived into the venue about 8 hours before going on stage. I saw him come in. He picked a seat in the acoustic room and pretty
much sat there all day. Drinking. The man has pedigree, being guitarist orf leather face and HDQ but its a shame to see him like this. A real shame

The fits are hometown heroes. My guess is many cities have such bands. Played back in the day, recorded a few songs but never really got out of the city Maybe Blackpools defects. Only thing is the singer is the sole remaining member. A lot of bands at rebellion remind me of football teams. They exist with different lineups every season. The fits are no different. Good tunes though.

The dictators paraded their new bass player to the audience. I could go through most bands here and the punk family tree would shine. Anyway I didn’t want to be introduced to the members of dictators from the stage. You are people we are people, that’s punk. Anyway they kind of rocked out but not my punk

Culture shock have amazing songs there’s a reason why they are favourites here and that’s the songs. Ska punk at its best and dik, like Charlie harper just doesn’t age. He looks as he did when subhumans played Dublin in 1984. Amazing

So Blackpool is home to George formby gigs and the pukes have taken his spirit and given it the punk rock treatment. Punk rock ukelele musi, playing all your favourite clash, ramones and dead Kennedys songs and ukeing them up. It looks like an anarchic mess on stage which adds to the atmosphere as 14 people mostly armed with ukelele bring us these classics. Great stuff, get their new album too drunk to pluck, if you can.

Last acoustic troubadour of the night is Patrick Fitzgerald but he didn’t make it. Ah well Attila the stockbroker continues his set to keep us going. Ukelele but not the pukes, poetry but not Steve pottinger. Who else could write the line “you wrote the soundtrack to my life commandante joe” he was hoping to talk to strummer as two 80 year olds someday but joe left us early. We still have his songs and memory and Attila remembered it tonight

I have many fond memories of the men they couldn’t hang gigs in ireland. They seemed to constantly visit at a time that I could travel to gigs. Kieran would drive to drogheda or wherever and we would sing along to political guitar based folk songs. We believed fascists were evil and the miners were righteous. Not a lot has changed in our beliefs but how the world has in the intervening 30 years. Great to see a big crowd happy to see them tonight. I only got 30 minutes though as I had some sightseeing to do

I have been visiting Blackpool since coming over on family holidays as a kid. I have been to pleasure beach, Bloomfield park, all the piers but had never gone up the tower. Until tonight. The membranes decided to play a gig on top of Blackpool tower and despite the allure of Reagan Youth in the empress ballroom I couldn’t turn it down. I have been to gigs on some strange places but none like this. Black pools major tourist attraction. The tower itself is a huge complex with many venues but the membranes went straight to the top. All 150 metres up there. A 2 inch glass floor allows you to see the while way down, not one for those concerned about heights. What a setting though. I arrive as evil blizzard are on stage. Masked and dangerous. The 3 bass players, drummer and occasional synth make some racket. Part public image limited but so much more intense. A small room overlooking the whole of Blackpool suited their sound.

And then the membranes came on, with guitarist Nick Brown, who was in the creation days of the band. It’s an assault on your ears, an aural landscape as I perused, from on high, the attractions I had been to previously. Blackpool is john robbs home town, here he was playing on top of the tower that haunts its landscape. As a teenage punk he would have seen it in the distance each day as he grew up in a place he needed to leave but a place always close to his heart. The small room was enveloped in noise this was death to trad rock at its finest 30 years after they tried to kill it off

What a journey

Niallhope

Stay Clean Jolene Green 7″

Stay Clean Jolene – Green 7′ Just Say No To Government Music

stay_clean

 

I love checking out new music. it’s even better when I like it, makes it all the more worthwhile. I knew nothing about Stay Clean Jolene before I got this 7″. It is on the excellent Just Say No To Government Music label, split release with 3 other labels. There’s very little info on the sleeve so after 5 seconds I was ready for the needle to hit the record. It made me sit down. It made me write this. I want you to hear them. I wanted to find out more and now it all makes sense.

TO me hardcore music is about singing along to great tunes. It helps if there is a meaning to the songs, they can be played and listened to with great passion. You see the Great St Louis, along with Dauntless Elite are two of the greatest UK punky hardcore bands (Southport would be up there if they met the strict criteria). They are in frankie Stubbs and Leatherface’s shadow but are emerging. Stay Clean Jolene have a connection to the Great St Louis and that’s where the connection comes in. Powerfully packed guitar based tunes that pack a punch. Over in an instant like the sun bursting through clouds. I need more

Brilliant

 

http://staycleanjolene.bandcamp.com/album/3-songs