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REVIEW: Sex, Drugs and HIV – Various Artists

Posted by on Dec 8, 2014 in Charity, Featured, Pinned, Reviews | 0 comments

The Sex, Drugs and HIV project was started by Mat Sargent back in 1995 to raise funds and awareness for the charities The Terrance Higgins Trust, Release, Rape Crisis and Cancer Research. Almost 20 years later and the album is finally finished and available to the public. And what a great body of work it is.

Let me start by saying that this is a phenomenal album that rightly deserves a place on any serious music fans shelf. From the first track on disc 1, the title track itself ‘Sex, Drugs & HIV’, which is a country/hillbilly drawl about not sharing needles you are taken on a musical journey that twists and changes genres constantly. And that’s one of the great things about this album, at has chosen each musician for each song, meaning you could have a metal guitarist working on a reggae track with musicians that they have never worked with before. The fact that there isn’t one single disasterous track on the album is a testament to Mat’s skill as both a writer and a producer.

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Mat and Howard marks

To list every individual track would simply take too long and to be honest its hard to find an addition on the album that I don’t like. I think for myself the highlights are ‘Road to Morocco’  which is a rocky eastern influenced instrumental track, Hashish another instrumental track (which is a great driving tune as I’ve discovered), Tortured Genius which features vocals from the late X-Ray Specs lead singer Poly Styrene.

The first track on the second CD ‘Easy Target’ is a SKA track featuring some of the major names in SKA and Reggae such as the late Judge Dread, The Selectors Pauline Black, Roddy Radiation of the Specials fame, Rhoda Dakar and many more. As a long time SKA fan this is probably my favourite track on the double album.

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Mat and Charlie Harper

‘Pain/Mercy’ is another great addition to the album and features the unlikely pairing of Afrika Bambaataa and Paul Roony from Vice Squad, on a funk track that wouldn’t be out of place on a the Jackie Brown soundtrack except of course for the fact that it’s about about the creation of HIV for Biological warefare.

As well as two CDs of some of the best music I’ve heard in a while, Sex, Drugs & HIV also includes a DVD with over 170 hours of footage about the making of the album, which is a phenomenal amount of great material.Whats more the DVD contains a video for each track on the album which all join up together. Keep a look out as Mat’s making 30 1 hour documentaries in the near future.

All in all ‘Sex, Drugs and HIV’ get a cool 9/10 as it’s a seriously awesome compilation that you’ll keep coming back to time and time again. It’s well worth the £20 price tag and it’s for some great causes which as far as I’m concerned makes it a bargain.

Rating: 9/10

Sex Drugs and HIV is available to buy now from Amazon

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INTERVIEW: The Black Flag Talks ‘Sex, Drugs & HIV’ with Mat Sargent

Posted by on Oct 23, 2014 in Charity, Interviews, Record Releases, Videos | 0 comments

Mat Sargent is a name that is well known on the UK Punk scene, the Chelsea Guitarist has worked with everyone over the years from Jimmy Pursey to Splodgenessabounds. You could say that Mat is Punk aficionado.

What isn’t as well known though, is that Mat is actually HIV Positive, having been diagnosed in 1989. Six years later Mat began working on a project to raise awareness for HIV and funds for HIV charity the Terence Higgins Trust as well as other charities including Release, Rape Crises and Cancer UK. That project was ‘Sex, Drugs & HIV’ a three disc CD album containing 40 tracks of original music and featuring over 200 Musicians as well as videos charting the albums creation.

I sat down with Mat to discuss HIV, the making of the album and the competition of a  project that has been almost 20 years in the making….

[youtube]http://youtu.be/YbPPRnDwe8A[/youtube]

Sex, Dugs & HIV is released on November 2nd 2014 from Amazon.co.uk

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INTERVIEW: TBF Meets the Bermondsey Joyriders Front Man & Guitar legend Gary ‘Guitar’ Lammin

Posted by on Dec 17, 2013 in Charity, Featured, Gigs, Interviews, Pinned, Videos | 0 comments

Its been a while since we caught up with The Bermondsey Joyriders, the old school Punk three piece who released the amazing concept album NOISE AND REVOLUTION. The album which was voted best album of 2012 by Vive Le Rocks readers and pretty much got rave reviews world wide.

We recently caught up with guitar legend, booze hound, all round good bloke and front man of The Bermondsey Joyriders, the one and only Gary ‘Guitar’ Lammin….

TBF: It’s been a year and a half since we last caught up with you guys at the launch party of your brilliant album Noise and Revolution. The album had great reviews and was wonderfully received by the music press. Tell us a bit about that?

Gary Lammin: It was truly an unbelievable amount of press that The Bermondsey Joyriders got, but when a band come up with a brave angle and show that they can put their money where their mouth is I think that this will always get the thumbs up from the record buying public and critics alike. First The Bermondsey Joyriders had the idea of releasing an album that had narration in between every song instead of the usual 2 seconds silence that then linked every track into a continuous story line and then of course because the story of the album is about social decay, The Bermondsey Joyriders managed to get John Sinclair of The MC5 to perform the narration.  In fact the album (Noise and Revolution) was written years ago but until I was able to find the right narrator I just held it back. Then all of a sudden… wow!  I’m in the studio with the legendary John Sinclair and as The Bermondsey Joyriders release Noise and Revolution the streets of The UK burst into mad chaotic civil unrest.

by www.boldizsar.co.uk

TBF: How did it feel to reach number 1 in Vive Le Rocks Best Album of 2012?

Gary: Perhaps this was also why The Bermondsey Joyriders and our album Noise and Revolution attracted so much attention? Perhaps that’s why the readers of one very good underground rock magazine (Viva La Rock) Voted Noise and Revolution album of the year? This was further endorsed by the journalists and writers of Viva la Rock voting Noise and Revolution number 18 out of 100 for the year 2012-2013. That’s pretty good going for a band that are totally without representation, we get our own gigs, our own radio play and arrange and pay for our own recording sessions… The whole operation is therefore 100 per cent D.I.Y punk rock.

TBF: You guys are pretty much a punk super group. Tell us a bit about the other bands you’ve all played in?

Gary:  With regards to the other bands we have played in; this question is best answered by going to our web page, as there are quite a few but Johnny Thunders, Chelsea, Nico and the Joe Strummer produced Little Roosters are the obvious past bands that spring to mind.

TBF: You did a lot of gigs since the release of the album. Which has been your favourite?

Gary: One of the best gigs that I can ever remember playing is the recent opening guest spot at The Scala for The Flamin Groovies. The Bermondsey Joyriders had been specifically requested to open the show and that of course was a real honour. After all man this is The Flamin Groovies and though we had to be on stage at 8 pm on a very cold and wet Tuesday night we had about 300 people in front of that stage and we were made to feel like we were so meant to be there! The place was rocking like a F.A Cup final and after we had played so many people crammed back stage into our dressing room that it was hard to even get my guitar off from round my neck… it was hilariously rewarding! So thanks to The Flamin Groovies and to Live Nation and The Scala for booking us…cheers!

TBF: What else has been happening since we last spoke to you?

Gary:  What we have been up to lately is that we have made a video with Terry Rawlings who wrote the book about Brian Jones that was made into a feature film. After reading terry Rawlings book entitled “Who Killed Christopher Robin” and then watching the film “Stoned” which was based on the book, I then decided to write a tribute song to Brian Jones entitled, Brian Jones (the Real True Leader of the Rolling Stones) and i sent it to Terry Rawlings via his agent, and wow! Terry phoned me up and said he wanted to get a film crew together and make a video of the song which we did and in fact we made two videos with Terry Rawlings, the other being Typically English.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/r6KLFIPUtvk[/youtube]

TBF: You’re working on the follow up to Noise and Revolution. Can you tell us anything about that?

Gary: At the moment The Bermondsey Joyriders are just finishing their 3rd album and this time our producer is Tony Barber who was the bass player of The Buzzcocks for 17 years and is now John Lydons personal assistant when on tour with Public Image Limited and it’s going to be our most rocking album yet. John Sinclair makes a slight return and is on one track of the album and the other interesting thing is that we are recording it at The Crass organizations studio which is Existencil Studios.

TBF: You’re playing the Fire-fighters benefit gig that’s in honour of Joe Strummer on Saturday 21st December. Is this a cause that means a lot to you?

Gary: The Fire Fighters gig is a must. I mean who else is going to climb up a ladder that’s 10 stories high in gale force winds whilst searing flames are all around?

TBF: Talking of Joe Strummer, did you ever meet him?

Gary: I met Joe Strummer when he produced The Little Roosters album, we got on pretty well and he was very interested that my father was a union man and a docker.
I told him some of my child hood memories of living in those dock land neighbourhoods and he was so interested in the stories and the characters that I told him about. We hung out for a while after the recordings, I would go over to his place in Ladbrooke Groove and once he came over my way and I drove him around the docks.  People ask me if I knew Joe Strummer and whilst it’s certainly true to say I worked with him and hung out with him, I wouldn’t say I knew him long enough to really know him. My idea of really knowing someone means you have to have a least two big arguments and then make up again to be able to say you really know someone.

TBF: What’s next in store for the Joyriders? Where can we catch you next?

Gary: So it’s all gearing up now for The Bermondsey Joyriders 3rd album and hopefully this will be out by May 2014. Before that though there has been some talk about the Brian Jones song being released as a single. In the meantime thanks to The Black Flag for the interest in The Bermondsey Joyriders and for your support in the past…. LOVE YA!

For more info about The Bermondsey Joyrider check out their site http://www.thebermondseyjoyriders.co.uk

Firefighters Benefit in memory of Joe Strummer
Sat 21st December, 7pm til late at The Coronet Theatre (28 New Kent Road, SE1 6TJ)
Featuring – Glen Matlock, The Bermondsey Joyriders, Taurus Trakker, Louise Distras, Spizzenergi, Steve White & The Protest Family, Dreadzone (DJ set), Ray Gange (DJ set), visuals from the Subway Gallery.
Tickets – £8 advance at https://thecoronet.ticketabc.com/events/fire-brigade-benefit/

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MORE BANDS ANNOUNCED FOR FIREFIGHTERS BENEFIT IN MEMORY OF JOE STRUMMER

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Charity, Gigs, News | 0 comments

Two more acts have been added to the bill for December 21st’s Firefighters’ Benefit gig in memory of Joe Strummer.  The event at London’s Coronet Theatre will see several prominent punk rockers and a few of scene’s most promising rising stars pay tribute to the iconic Clash frontman as they raise cash for a cause close to his heart.

The latest performers to join the party are acclaimed east London folk-punk collective Steve White & The Protest Family, and notorious new wave pranksters Spizzenergi, who will be best known to many as the first band to top the newly created UK Indie Chart in 1980 with their single ’Where’s Captain Kirk?’ – a song which Mojo magazine named as “one of the best punk rock singles of all time”, and which John Peel described as “the best Star Trek associated song”.  Frontman Spizz and co have maintained a relentless touring schedule into the 21st century, and are currently writing and demoing new material for a 2014 album release.

They join headliner Glen Matlock on a spectacular bill, which is completed by radical punk-blooze trio The Bermondsey Joyriders, west London rockers and Mick Jones collaborators Taurus Trakker, and hotly-tipped newcomer Louise Distras.

In addition to the live music, there will be DJ sets from Dreadzone and Ray Gange, and visual projections by Gordon McHarg, curator of the Subway Gallery on Edgware Road, which is hosting an exhibition raising funds for the Strummerville charity until December 22nd.

Joe Strummer played his final London gig with The Mescaleros at Acton Town Hall in support of striking firefighters just six weeks before his premature death in December 2002.  His former bandmate Mick Jones was in the audience that night and felt “compelled” to join the band onstage mid-encore, performing Clash songs with Strummer for the first time in 20 years.  A historic moment for Clash fans, the gig also established a link between Strummer and The Fire Brigade’s Union, which remains strong some 11 years after his death.  The union provided a guard of honour at Strummer’s funeral, and joined forces with Strummerville in 2012 to host a memorial concert marking the 10th anniversary of his passing.  This year’s benefit at The Coronet will keep up the tradition by raising funds to support firefighters taking industrial action against unfair employment and pension changes.

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GLEN MATLOCK, THE BERMONDSEY JOYRIDERS + MORE PLAY FIREFIGHTERS BENEFIT IN MEMORY OF JOE STRUMMER – LONDON CORONET THEATRE, 21st DECEMBER

Posted by on Dec 4, 2013 in Charity, Gigs, News | 0 comments

On Saturday 21st December, London’s Coronet Theatre plays host to several prominent punk prime movers and some of scene’s most promising risings stars, as they remember Joe Strummer and raise cash for a cause close to the late Clash frontman’s heart.

Six weeks before his premature death on December 22nd 2002, Strummer played his final London gig with The Mescaleros at Acton Town Hall in support of striking firefighters.  His former bandmate Mick Jones was in the audience that night and felt “compelled” to join the band onstage mid-encore, performing Clash songs with Strummer for the first time in 20 years.  A historic moment for Clash fans, the gig also established a link between Strummer and The Fire Brigade’s Union, which remains strong some 11 years after his death.  The union provided a guard of honour at Strummer’s funeral, and joined forces with The Strummerville Foundation in 2012 to host a memorial concert marking the 10th anniversary of his passing.

This year’s benefit at The Coronet will continue the tradition, and sees both Strummer’s contemporaries and up-and-coming stars influenced by him lining up to pay their respects, whilst supporting firefighters taking industrial action against unfair employment and pension changes.

Headlining the event is Strummer’s fellow punk rock veteran Glen Matlock, who of course made his name as original bassist and key creative force in The Sex Pistols.  In recent years, Matlock has added stints with Earl Slick’s Slinky Vagabond, the Mike Peters fronted Dead Men Walking, and even the reformed Faces to an eclectic, ever-expanding rock ‘n’ roll CV, and has also established his own group The Philistines.

Featuring Gary Lammin (formerly of the Strummer-produced Little Roosters), Martin Stacey (Chelsea) and Chris Musto (Johnny Thunders’ Oddballs), The Bermondsey Joyriders are a trio with equally impeccable ‘77 credentials, as well as a radical agenda for the 21st century. Their 2012 concept album ‘Noise & Revolution’ mixed punk fury with bluesy slide guitar sounds and spoken word narration from iconic performance poet John Sinclair, and won them critical acclaim and a reputation as an incendiary and daring live act, following a string of shows at which they and Sinclair performed the record live and in full.

Fronted by Martin Muscatt, cousin of The Clash’s Mick Jones, Taurus Trakker boast blood ties to the original Acton Town Hall show.  Complementing Muscatt’s distinctive style of witty, observational lyricism and Dylan-esque delivery are livewire drummer Allison Phillips, bassist Wiggsy and saxophonist Dave Wright, and together that put on a show which sparks with spontaneous energy and musical chemistry.

Tipped as the voice of punk‘s next generation, Louise Distras plays a socially conscious and insightful brand of protest poetry that, in a spiritual sense, is also firmly descended from the Clash bloodline. Having released debut album ‘Dreams From the Factory Floor’ only this September, she is already gaining wide-spread acclaim, and was hailed by The Guardian as “putting punk and protest back into the mainstream”.

In addition to live performances, the evening will feature DJ sets from dub mash-up maestros Dreadzone, and ‘Rude Boy’ star Ray Gange.
More acts are due to be announced very soon – stayed tuned for further updates!

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Help Support The Meningitis Trust With Urban Prophecies

Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 in Articles, Causes, Charity, Festivals, Reviews, Tracks | 0 comments

Alternative Hop-Hop band Urban Prophecies are releasing their own reworking of Athlete’s classic track Wires on 28 January 2013, with all proceeds going to The Meningitis Trust. We Caught up with band member Manuel Chowdhury to find out what got the band involved.

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