Heatwave Magazine - #1

Page 1

Issue 1 - Summer 2015 - London


Issue 1 - Summer 2015


elcome to the first issue of Heatwave Magazine! This magazine’s been a lot of fun and a lot of hard work. We hope you enjoy the content as much as we did, and if you’ve got a great rock n’ roll band that we’ve never heard of before, send it our way! We love hearing music more than we love writing about it, and as always, remember that music isn’t a spectator sport. We want your input and your involvement. To everyone that continues to support punk rock musicians and DIY organisations like ours, you’re a star, and this is for you. If you want to know more about us and the music we write about, check out our website heatwavemag.com or like us on Facebook at facebook. com/heatwavemag. -The Editorial Team

Editorial Department Founder/Managing Director—Neus Ruiz Editor—Linsey McFadden Illustrators Creative Director—Adrian Alfonso Gonzalo Facio Christopher Lopez-Huici Contributors Gonzalo Facio Betty Pondikakis Ika Lesniak Erin Moore Lid Lee Fisher Frieda Strachan Special thanks to Gaye Black for Jeremy Harmon contributing her art to our magazine! Justin Crumpton Nick Kuzmack (Nix Beat) Samantha Gladu Tom Wing

New Beats From The Street (The Lowdown)


Dead Coast


The Parrots


Top Ten Records of 2015


White Mystery


Top Ten Soul Singles


Keep Razors Sharp


The Stiches 20x8x10


Listening in on Belfast Punk


Popcorn Chokers


Big Gold Dream


Dead Moon


The Gories


Cover Design Ika Lesniak Layout Design Adrian Alfonso Printed by Mortons Print Heatwavemag.com


New Beats From The Street

Name The Whig Whams Origin San Diego, CA Presenting the first in a series of three bands to look out for in the upcoming coming months, recently relocated to London from the sunny San Diego, California, the Whig Whams. Their hit, “Badass Sid”, my personal favourite because it sounds like Nirvana without sounding like Puddle Of Mudd, seemed to strike a vein among the kids over here. In the past months the group seems to have taken a turn for the more garage psych West Coast sounds of Los Angeles and San Francisco, and why the hell not? The band consists of Joel Currie on Guitar and vocals, Tyler Moot on bass and is currently looking for a drummer, good luck lads! I first saw the Whig Whams at Thee MVPs “Most Valuable Party 2.5” in Mile End and was enamoured with the energy of the band’s live set, especially when Joel pointed at me and said, “come in and join the party!” Besides Joel and Tyler having parted ways with their old drummer, Raul, the three-piece are just about to start work on their debut LP, so shows will be seldom this summer. For social media, hit them up on Facebook and Soundcloud to get updates in case a listing pops up. They are well worth seeing.

The Lowdown Wingo

Abjects - Photo © Alex Charilaou Name The Sunlight Service Group Origin London Beards, beanie hats and ballads for lysergic diethylamide patients, here come the Sunlight Service Group. If you were at the Aldermaston Peace Festival of 1971, then this band have come back to haunt you, and take you to that colourful wondrous land that you left behind so reluctantly to study smart café and baby buggy club research at the Conservatory Of Muswell Hill, where you now chop carrots and listen to Athlete. SSG can sweep that all away and take you “far out” with their hallucinogenics, or what they brand as Heavy Petal. In no particular order, Sunlight service group are Willy Robinson, Mori Mori and Alex Maudsley, so if you’re the curious type go and see them live, failing that you can look them up on YouTube. There’s plenty of their uploads online for you to get your teeth into.

Name Abjects Origin London Next in line are the Abjects, who just returned to London from their eventful two week European tour that spread across Germany, Switzerland, France and Spain. They just released a 12-inch single on Dead Body Records called “Gone’”, which sold rather well over there, I hear. The Abjects are a fuzzy trash punk group, perhaps more reminiscent of the late 80s pre-grunge scene in Seattle. I hate to make references because, fortunately for Abjects, I can’t really liken the band to anything I’ve heard before. Maybe I’m missing something, but if I really put my ear to it I can detect a touch of Mudhoney in there. They’ve been through a line-up change over the past two years, but currently, the Abjects consist of founding member Alma Abjecta on guitar and lead vocals, Yuki Ishii on bass and backing vocals, and Alice Notaristefano on drums. The band just landed a support slot at The Gories gig at The Jazz Café, hosted by yours truly, in connection with the Dirty Water Club. Yes, it’s looking pretty good for this band at the moment and can only get better. So, check out their sounds on Soundcloud and Facebook and the rest of the lark, plus check them out live at The Paper Dress on Curtain Road, July 30. Heatwave

Rehearsal and Recording studios are now in Homerton We have 17 years experience and are here to help. · Brand new rehearsal rooms with air replacement system– no more stale sessions · Solid soundproofing with spectrum analyzed acoustics · Great price 3 hour evening slots · Really affordable- book on the day rates · Large 7x7m multi use room · Recording studio with 12 channel Neve desk Give us a ring for a chat 0207 923 9533 or have a look on our website http://www.gunfactorystudios.com

Dead Coast Interview by Neus Ruiz Written by Linsey McFadden


hree years ago, the rocking sounds of Southern Italy met Britain, culminating in the formation of the blues-surfpsych band, Dead Coast. U.K. native, Craig, and Italian born, Luca, moved to London around the same time three years ago. As fate would have it, they met and formed a three-piece band with Luca’s girlfriend, Alice, on drums. After about a year the three-piece became a four-piece and shifted into it’s current incarnation. While the lineup has experienced some shifts and changes over the years, the current lineup seems to be pretty solid. The band roster currently consists of founding members Craig and Luca, as well as Jonny and Mari. While the band’s origin and base remains in London, both

Mari and Luca hail from Puglia, Southern Italy. Mari says that there are many high quality musical acts in the region, but few venues to host them. In contrast, London has many venues, and many groups hosting strong musical acts, but the scene as a whole lacks continuity. “The problem with London is that it’s too big to have it’s own scene,” Jonny said. “There’s a lot of good bands, but it doesn’t feel like there’s much community. Also, for an underground or unsigned band, it can be tough to get noticed, because there are just so many other bands to contend with. That said Bad Vibrations put on some grew shows with some great bands.”

Although the London punk scene may lack some cohesion, the band definitely has some London based acts it would recommend to their fans— Slim Customers, the Abjects and Sunlight Group Service, to name a few. And as for those talented Italian musical acts Mari mentioned? The band definitely suggests you check out Go!Zilla and Hacienda. So far Dead Coast have tabled two EP’s and a cassette, with their debut LP hitting shelves soon! The band’s influences harken back to the sounds of the 60s and the underground vibes of America’s west coast. The group has been influenced by everything from the Doors to the Growlers, with their earliest record purchases featuring

musical all-stars like Michael Jackson (Thriller, of course) and John Lennon (Imagine), as well as more colourful records like the Cartoons “Witchdoctor” and Mr. Blobby’s “Mr. Blobby”. The band’s musical changes are as diverse as their influences. In 2013 when the band released their first EP they had an organ player in the group, which contributed a great deal to the band’s sound at the time. Since the departure of their organist the band gathered a second guitar player, a decision, which ultimately altered the way Dead Coast writes, and records. Craig regards the band’s Lolipop Records cassette as their first proper release.

Photo © Tasos Gaitanos

“It was really great to work with Lolipop, as we liked a lot of the bands on their label,” Craig said. “We were happy with how it turned out and the way it sounded on cassette. I think it was pretty well received, I think it sold out?” With a sold out cassette, it’s plain to see that the band’s following is ramping up, and fans can look forward to an eclectic variety of sounds on Dead Coast’s upcoming release. The songs contain the band’s traditional bluesy elements, as well as experimental instrumental tracks.

The band’s new recordings even include toy pianos! As far as musical interpretation goes, the band would like to leave perceptions and explanations up to their listeners. “I don’t really like to explain lyrics too much,” said Luca. “It’s more an individual thing from the listener themselves. It can be about riding a unicorn, as far as I’m concerned.”

Keep your eyes peeled for Dead Coast’s new LP and check them out on Facebook now! facebook.com/deadcoast


The Parrots Frieda Strachan


he first time I heard the Parrots music, it reminded me of that resurgence of fun indie-punk bands from sunny U.S. states that popped up in the minor-mainstream in 2013. Where FIDLAR and Jacuzzi Boys have faded to the background, maybe there are only so many songs you can write about smoking weed, the Parrots have made it their mission to come to the forefront of the good vibe summer soundtrack music scene. With their vibrant, shimmering guitars, don’t be surprised or embarrassed if you find yourself reaching for your shades every time you listen to their hits. “White Fang” sounds like it was composed in a sun lounger on a blow up guitar lilo. Heatwave caught up with the band during one of their U.K. summer shows to find out how they found their style, and the influence that living in sunny Madrid has had on the band.

Parrots: We try to have fun and to enjoy everything we can. We never think about the music we make, we just write songs and that’s it. We love music that sounds almost spontaneous and raw, not with too much thinking in them or too produced.

Heatwave: First, do you want to introduce yourselves?

Heatwave: Does the music scene different greatly from the likes of London? Is there a community of musicians putting on and playing shows together? What are the live shows like in Madrid? Is there a scene at all, or has this recently emerged with the visibility of bands like FIDLAR and Pangea etc?

Parrots: Hola! Aquí The Parrots, los niños sin miedo Heatwave: In interviews, you are regularly referred to as a “surf” trio, and I’d have to agree with that—is it the sun? The water? Was getting that “summer sound” a starting point for you guys when you started the band? Parrots: When we started the band the only thing we were thinking was to have fun and having a better excuse to skip classes than simply drinking and smoking. Madrid is very far from the sea and we´ve always thought about it in a romantic kind of way, but when we started making songs we found it natural to play these kind of songs. But we were making them in a dirty street surrounded by dirt and beer instead of the sun and tanned girls. Heatwave: You guys have a really commercial, West Coast U.S. sound, but at the same time, I can hear a lot of underground punk and lo-fi influences. Was there an agenda for the kind of band you wanted to be? Did it feel like you were being influenced by any of the bands you were listening to when you started playing together? Or was it a natural progression to reach the shouting, surf-pop blasting guitar noise? Are you all into the same sort of music? Parrots: When we started the band we all had to learn how to play, and we did by playing songs we liked. So I guess we got a big influence of those bands we were covering, but never in a conscious way. It was more of a necessity. Heatwave: I use the word “punk” a couple of times, but your music is too free and upbeat to feel like it has a punk agenda. You just seem to be having fun—live and on record. Are you guys more about the fun than the music having a mission or a statement? Your name, the Parrots, seems to echo the sentiment of your music perfectly, “have a good time, play in a band and enjoy yourself.”

Heatwave: What is the music scene like in Madrid? Are there any bands that we should look out for? Are there a group of bands with the same happy-go-lucky summer sound as you, or is it like Berlin and London, producing a tonne of optimistic bands and genres? Parrots: Madrid has lots of amazing bands right now, like Los Nastys or Juventud Juché. Many of us feel related in some way, but everyone approaches music from different angles. It would be boring if everyone were making the same thing.

Parrots: We don’t really know how it is like in London, but here in Madrid there´s lots of very talented musicians doing stuff together, like making record labels. It is true that the scene has grown and now is easier to play this kind of music, but I doubt that it has to do with what FIDLAR or other American bands are doing. We owe more to the absolute lack of competence of our government. They´re making people angry and for many of us, getting wasted, going to a show and pushing the guy standing next to you is the only fun thing to do. Heatwave: The majority of your songs stick to the under three minutes rule— which Morrissey claims to be the perfect length for a pop song. Was this a conscious thing? The hooks are all so catchy and danceable—I can imagine the choruses get everyone going when playing live. Parrots: It’s just the way we know to do it, never thought about it, but as most of the songs we listen are no longer than that… I guess we make songs we would like listening to. Heatwave: Do you guys have any advice for young bands looking to tour? How can you make yourself visible to the wider world—Europe, UK etc? Parrots: Don’t leave your stuff without supervision. There’s guys out there who will steal it. Heatwave: Any other life advice you would like to share with our disenfranchised readers stuck with Tory rule for another five years? And remember, that we don’t have the sun to keep our chins up and sunglasses on…! Parrots: Enjoy everything as much as you can and do everything your way. Don´t be normal and become a robot. And if you’re stressed roll a joint and talk to your friends.


Top Ten for 2015 Justin Crumpton

10. Buck Biloxi and the Fucks - Streets of Rage (Hozac) You can’t tell me shit. This record is good and you should buy it. Buck Biloxi is awesome, because he just really doesn’t give a fuck. I knew the first time I saw him that this dude was something special. His love for poppers and all things that don’t suck was all I needed. I’m glad Todd got him for this release on Hozac. Songs that rip and barely reach the one-minute mark remind me that there is a small glimmer of hope in this world for rock n’ roll. It ain’t dead just yet. Put this one on and hate yourself a little bit more. It’s ok. Everything sucks and then you die.

9. Gal Pals - Velvet Rut I remember specifically seeing these girls perform at SXSW in 2013. At the time I didn’t think much of them, just a filler band at a smaller showcase. When I heard this prior to release back in January, it blew my mind. The sounds they get as a two-piece on record is incredible, channeling early Best Coast and Vivian Girls at moments while holding a sound all their own. I had to give it a honourable mention. It’s just good from the first track to last. Excellent guitar tone and riffs, you can’t help but bounce around to. Go ahead, give it a spin and you’ll definitely agree with me when I say, “I told you so.” 8. Go!Zilla -Sinking in Your Sea (Black Candy) If you like a little psychedelic mixed in with your garage stuff, this is the band for you. Some might say these guys could be comparable to bands like Acid Baby Jesus, Hell Shovel, Demon’s Claws, Night Beats, and the like. The exception that these guys bring to the table is that their music is a next level of fresh influential barriers that seem to be broken every few years with these kinds of bands. How do you keep it interesting without being too much like every other band? Everything has been done at this point. The key is in this case is to do it right. Go!Zilla has achieved this feat. Looking forward to their future releases.

7. Broken Talent - Rules No One (Total Punk) Despite the fact that this is more of an archival release, it has earned its place in my top 10 nonetheless. This album’s reissue is a first for most, including myself, of this lost Miami weird noise punk gem. Comparable to bands, such as, Flipper and Crime, this is easily South Florida’s equivalent to that musical era. It’s just a cool fun punk record. I love the aggressive guitar sounds and recording style. It couldn’t be any more than 4 track, but its solid gold. With songs like “Blood Slut” and “My God Can Beat Up Your God”, how can you go wrong? I had a lot of fun discovering this one. It has a certain catchiness that will have you replaying it from the beginning. Just get a copy and you’ll thank me later.

6. MAMA - Night Shoot 7-inch (Automatic Recordings) These Chicago boys came of out of nowhere and blew my mind with this stellar five-song release. I’m a firm believer in less is more, just not sure how to describe it. It’s like early crue with a garage touch in moments. At other times it has this power pop touch that you just can’t get enough of. No filler and all guts. I’m dying to see these guys live. Put them on a bill with Dirty Fences and call it a day, they’re right up there with them. Chi-town always has hidden gems. 25 Forever, what a jam.


5. L/A/Z/Y 7” (Goodbye Boozy) These Kansas City garage/noise artists have struck again with another short, sweet release, this time it’s a limited release on an Italian label. I love what these guys do, while to some it may lack substance, it stands out to me as being one of the more influential bands that the Midwest has right now. Granted there is so much talent going on out there and I don’t like to leave anyone out, but this band’s releases tend to come and go so fast that I can’t keep up. Can’t wait for that next LP.

4. Sheer Mag II (Wilsuns) This band is only on its second 7-inch release, and has already created one hell of a following. They have one of the most original sounds out there right now. This time around the same proto-pop accent from the first release is there, but we see a little more into the machine these guys and gal are turning out. They prove with this release that they can hang with anybody. Once they drop an LP everyone will turn their heads. That’s the moment I’m waiting for.

3. Peach Kelli Pop III (Burger/Bachelor) Allie strikes again with another attack of cute meets raw jangly pop. This is her strongest and most consistent release to date. There’s a lot going on this time around, exceptional guitar work and hooks from A to B. The big surprise for me on this record was the Sailor Moon theme cover! I’ll admit, as a kid I was a big fan of the anime. This album reflects a certain level of nostalgia—I think it’s important to express that in music. It keeps the image fresh and alive. Carry on Allie. 2. Warm Soda- Symbolic Dream (Castleface) Here’s another solid production from the brain of Matthew Melton. The power-pop Melton creates holds a special place in my heart—very few musicians today can hold a candle to it. Some would argue that everything he releases sounds the same, and yes I would have to agree. I have watched his creations evolve over the years from his early work in the psychedelic project, Snake Flower 2, to the evolution in Bare Wires, to his solo works in between, and the transformation to Warm Soda, even his new project, Pleasers, which will be released soon. Want me to go back further? Check out the early River City Tanlines recordings with Alicja from Lost Sounds! Needs no justification. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

1. Radioactivity- Silent Kill (Dirtnap) I held high hopes for this record all year along, and it delivered with a level of perfection and execution that I couldn’t have possibly predicted. If I dared to say this was the best band in garage rock right now, I wouldn’t be second-guessed by very many in the states right now. The Denton sound is portrayed in this album flawlessly. This band is a super group of Marked Men and Bad Sports members, an all out garage punk assault from start to finish. As the band stated in interviews prior to album’s release—it’s a mature step in the right direction, while not missing a step and keeping the original sound fresh. My No. 1 of 2015.


White Mystery: DIY-ing a Wild Future Erin Moore


here are a few places on the Internet where some writer has half-heartedly made a poke at the name of Chicagobased band, White Mystery. A lazily implied comparison to “those other White siblings”, who aren’t siblings, but everyone thought they were, but whatever. The fact of the matter is, as far as rocking out goes, White Mystery is in a league of their own. They don’t seem to subscribe to what anyone thinks anyway, only to their dreams. They’re psychedelic, experimental, punchy, and carry an intense spirit of pure, classic rock that becomes increasingly specialised with each new album they release (they release a new album every April 20th). They do what they want. They are not so much bold as they are powerful. They know themselves better than anyone else could. One could say they started out as punkish demi-gods, with a cutting lo-fi-esque edge. Miss Alex White grouped up with her brother, Francis Scott Key White, and released a selftitled album in 2010. Since then, they’ve churned out four more albums, including their newly released Dubble Dragon. Through all that, they’ve come a long way and changed a lot. The more they’ve toured, the more divine their music has become. “The early albums sound lo-fi because we were young and learning the recording process,” Alex said. “Development occurred while on the road, resulting in a mature, seasoned tone.” The band has done intense and expansive touring over the course of their time together. Allegedly, they played a total of 300 shows in their first three years together “Recording fuels our tours and vice versa,” Alex said. “We find inspiration for songwriting on the road, and having an album to sell keeps us touring longer. We write most songs in the car during long drives or at night when I can’t fall asleep. Sleep deprivation is an Heatwave

important factor. Finding the special place between dreaming and reality helps the creative process. Instrumentation may come before or after the lyrics, depending on the song… A constant touring schedule pushes your body, mind, and spirit into unknown peaks and valleys, which directly impacts the writing process. Your emotions and environments are key factors in songwriting.”

“The future is Scary, but the Journey there is wild”

It is this emotional explorative tuning that one can see in their music. Their rollicking tunes wander up steep inclines of the imagination and leave the listener dizzy and not sure what’s around the corner track to track. Their music skirts a dream place that feels familiar, rooted by a powerful hard rock foundation, but warped to fit their growing capacity for more. This capacity is fostered and supported by the band’s strong DIY ethic and their family ties. Alex says the thing that’s kept them making music all these years has been their closeness. “Our bond together and our tight knit family has kept us safe, healthy, and on the road longer than we thought possible,” Alex said. “Our undying love for rock and roll and our rock solid faith are what keeps us rolling.” For a band that’s released tons of music and toured so much, they’re still persistently DIY in their approach to getting their music out and about. They aren’t on a record label. They’re booking, licensing and releasing everything completely on their own. Sticking to a DIY method not only helps them, but also helps other bands in their local Chicago scene. “Staying DIY has helped us inspire bands to breakthrough and reach higher echelons of

pop culture, while we continue to operate our slow growth strategy that keeps us grounded yet moving forward,” Alex said. “Being able to see the world on such a micro level helps us retain friends, fans, and business partners, but requires constant maintenance to keep pushing forward.” They show off their impressive balancing act in Dubble Dragon. The album is excellently produced and showcases wild, infinite sounding tunes with Alex’s snarly voice and Francis’s snappy percussions ricocheting off one another. They’ve got the knack for controlling not only how their music turns out, but also the complicated path to it turning out that way.

“The direction we would like to grow is that of a more accessible band that creates simple yet effective pop songs,” Alex said. The band also just released a film chock full of lengthier songs called That Was Awesome. Not to be mistaken as a band documentary, it’s a full-length film with various short storylines starring the siblings in a fantasy world. It doesn’t seem to align with their desire to make more straightforward pop songs, but does show off their love of rock music as a flexible creative outlet, as well as a captivating community and lifestyle. Even though their songs are usually sprawling out all over

the place, the songs in the film are much longer. Alex said they had to stretch them all out to fifteen minutes to fill up what she referred to as the “movements” of the movie. “It is a work of fiction and was an attempt at raising the bar for what music fans think bands are capable of,” Alex said. “We’ve released albums already, we wanted to do something different and release a visual album.” When prodded about any future plans Alex’s answer is again concise, but also mysteriously vague. “White Mystery is the only project planned until April 20th, 2018,” Alex said.

Photo © Diane Alexander White At first, reading the date, it seems far off, but that’s less than three years from now. In that time, it seems safe to say that maybe they’re planning on setting up three more of those annual 4/20 album releases. That, or it’s an arbitrary date, far off enough to give the hyperbolic implication of their not quitting anytime soon. Either way, more can be expected from White Mystery, and there’s no doubt they’ll coast into the future getting more supreme along the way. Either way, they’ll surely be around with something wild. “The future is scary, but the journey there is wild,” Alex said.

Top 10 Soul 45’s

Jeremy Harmon

Putting together a list like this isn’t easy. Top Tens are so subjective and since Northern Soul devotees follow the music with such passion, opinions on what makes up the top ten tracks in the genre can vary widely. I’m going to try anyway. This is my current top ten tracks taken from my personal 45 collection. 10. Mr. Soul Satisfaction - Timmy Willis - Sidra 1967 This record has one of my favourite one-liners in it. The music breaks and Willis exclaims, “I’m so bad I should’ve been born twins, oh yeah.” You really get the sense he means it. The song has a perfect tempo for dancing and gets bonus points for originally being released on a tiny Detroit label. 9. The Boogaloo Party - The Flamingos - Philips 1966 This is another great dancer. The song describes watching a woman dressed in red tear up a dance floor. One voice says, “she can’t dance”, to which the rest of the group quickly replies “oh I betcha she can.” The stomping rhythm of this record makes you forget that this is the same group that released the doo-wop classic I “Only Have Eyes For You” seven years earlier. “Eyes” was clearly a bigger hit than “Boogaloo Party”, but you can rest assured, it never got a dance floor moving like this one can. 8. Mr. Creator - The Apollas - Warner Bros 1967 This a relatively rare soul record by a somewhat obscure girl group on a major label. The group formed in 1961 in Los Angeles, eventually joining the Loma label in 1965. Loma was a subsidiary of Warner Brothers and the group released material on both labels until Warner Brothers absorbed Loma in 1968. This track is another example of a perfect soul sound that should have been a massive hit. But for some reason it fell by the way side until the Northern Soul scene rediscovered it. 7. Ain’t Nothin’ But A House Party - The Show Stoppers - Showtime 1967 If you don’t dance to this record you don’t have a pulse. It’s that simple. The record failed to crack the Billboard Top 100 when it was released in March 1967, but with soul artists like the Supremes, Jackie Wilson, Stevie Wonder, Four Tops, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, Shirley Ellis, James Brown and Joe Tex in the mix it’s little wonder these guys missed the mark. That being said, this record is a floor filler. 6. You’re Ready Now - Frankie Valli - Philips 1966 Originally released in the US on Smash in April 1966, this record was released just six months later in the U.K. on the Philips imprint. While many Northern Soul faithful prefer his tune “the Night”, this is the one for me. The tempo is perfect for the way I dance and the backup singers provide perfect support for the Jersey boy’s tale of a young woman’s coming of age. 5. I’ll Bet You - Theresa Lindsey - Golden World 1966 If Golden World released a bad record, I haven’t heard it. This one is my favourite. The track was penned with the help of a young George Clinton and arranged by the legendary Mike Terry. Add Lindsey’s vocal on top and this record will knock your socks off. The flip side, “Daddy-O”, is another killer track making this record a great two-for-one. In 1968 Golden World and its associated labels were taken over by Berry Gordy’s empire in a move that seems like it was engineered to make sure no one would be able to threaten Motown’s claim to the “Detroit Sound” title. 4. Love’s Gone Bad - Chris Clark- V.I.P. 1966 Clark was the first white artist signed to one of Berry Gordy’s soul labels. This track is one of her more sought

after sounds, and when you hear it you’ll know why. It’s hard to imagine she was only 20-years-old when the record was released. She delivers a powerful vocal that makes her sound like a much older soul. When she sings, “look in the mirror, what do I see? A cryin’ face, kinda looks like me”, you believe her.

Continued on Page 13... 11

Dig This: Chatting with Keep Razors Sharp’s Luis Raimundo Nick Kuzmak (Nix Beat)


ortugal’s music scene seems to be blooming with a wealth of diverse acts that range from rock n’ roll, to hip-hop, to tribal dance music taking center stage. Among this impressive array of talent, Heatwave has located a diamond in the rough, Keep Razors Sharp. Their music has an infectious quality that comes from a solid and addictive sound— it’s a sound that I must say is profoundly brilliant. This shouldn’t come as a surprise; Keep Razors Sharp is a quartet featuring members from celebrated Portuguese bands like Sean Riley & the Slowriders and the Poppers. “It was a really natural process. Afonso and Braulio moved to Lisbon, and my band the Poppers already had a rehearsal room available 24th,” said band member, Luis Heatwave

Raimundo. “Braulio suggested we should gather around and create some music, no big plans, just create something to capture the times we were living. We were already friends and each of us had a musical past... Why not?” Certainly with this impressive formation, it is no surprise that Keep Razors Sharp gained the attention of the label Afirma. Their union created a relationship that appears ideal for both the label and the band. With the label backing secured, the road to recording their debut album could be described as an almost “chaotic journey”, but the fruits of Keep Razors Sharp’s labour have unmistakably paid off. Before interviewing Raimundo, I was able to get my hands on the band’s self-titled debut, Keep Razors Sharp, and give it several spins. I was pleasantly surprised

Illustration © Lid Lee to find myself completely enveloped in a unique blend of psychedelic rock n’ roll wrapped in a shoegaze exterior—no doubt this full on experience is thanks to the effects of a dangerously high volume level. Needing to discover the source of this awesome sound, I asked Raimundo about the makings of their debut LP. “To be honest with you, we just let the songs speak for themselves. We didn’t have a concept for the LP. Normally we go to the rehearsal room and jam. If it sounds cool... We give a chance to that guitar riff or that drum beat,” Raimundo said. “You know, we made a pact in the beginning, all the creative inputs should be done only in this space with the four of us. So we don’t bring any ‘homework’. When songs start to appear we just give them the texture

that we think it’s appropriate. Maybe on our subconscious we knew what we wanted, we just never talked about it.” Even with this explanation to their organic approach to making the album, I’m still ripe with curiosity about my favorite track “By the Sea”. “That track has a cool story. Afonso and I went to Arrifana (a little village on the southwest coast of Portugal) with our surfboards just to spend a relaxing couple days,” Raimundo said. “We end up writing some of the lyrics of the album and “By the Sea” was the first one to be fully written—on a trippy/hazy night. One of the greatest aspects of being a Razor it is this feeling of being part of something special. Be part of how things should be done in a more romantic side of rock n’ roll.” Keep Razors Sharp’s

debut album has so far received positive marks both domestically and abroad, according to Raimundo. “We feel loved,” Raimundo said. “On our Facebook, per example, we are getting a really good response from people outside Portugal (USA, Brazil, Spain, France, etc.). Riding this positive wave, Keep Razors Sharp has just played the Festivals of Maceira, during which the lads felt very welcome. Raimundo says, “It was Afonso’s birthday, so it was a special night for us. The gig went very well. The people from Maceira made it even more special with their attitude.” Keep Razors Sharp’s aspirations for the future are high. They have intentions to play Austin Psych Festival at some point. “Yep, we want to take our music all over this planet, and America had a major impact on us, musically speaking,” Raimundo said. “The main goal at the moment is to tour the much we can. Spread our music in here, there, everywhere.” Unfortunately, the likelihood of my checking out Keep Razors Sharp at a venue closer to home, with all the toppings that come with a European Tour, remain unconfirmed, but rumour has it, something is in the works. That said, I can give readers something to nibble for the time being, the news that Keep Razors Sharp has new material coming. “We are cooking some ideas already,” Raimundo said. “Planning to shake things a bit. And sooner or later we will back to the recording studio.” For now, readers will have to be content with the array of future gigs that Keep Razors Sharp is due to play at—Barco Rock Fest on August 8, Reverence Valada on August 27 and Indie Music Fest at Batar on September 5. Leaving Heatwave on a high note, I asked what Raimundo was digging right now. “Personally I am hooked on Danny brown,” Raimundo said. “That freak made me want to explore stuff, differently.” So, that with all that said, be sure to check out Keep Razors Sharp in whatever capacity you are able, either by absorbing their album or by seeing them live— I guarantee it’ll be life changing. - Viva.

Be sure to Check out their latest Lp out now on Rastilho Records

Top 10 Soul 45’s Jeremy Harmon

Continued from page 11

3. Landslide - Tony Clarke - Chess 1974 This record was released in the U.S. in 1966 and was later issued in the U.K. to feed the growing demand for obscure soul sounds. The stomping beat makes you think you’re in for a great party song until Clarke sings the opening line “Misery is running down on me like a landslide.” The record has a bit of a dark side, but it’s impossible to sit still when this one is on. Clarke scored his biggest hit with a tune called “the Entertainer”, that song is featured as the B-side of the U.K. release of Landslide. Clarke was allegedly shot and killed in selfdefence by his estranged wife after he broke into her house when he 30-years-old. 2. If This Is Love (I’d Rather Be Lonely) - The Precisions - Drew 1967 This record is as perfect as it gets. If you’ve heard it, you know what I mean. If you haven’t, just wait. When the band kicks in after the intro one of two things will happen—you’ll either be converted to Northern Soul forever or, if that doesn’t happen, then you should just stop pretending you’re interested in this music, because you clearly don’t get it and your time will be more useful to you if you spend it doing other things. When this song comes on it will transport you. You feel every note and every word. You feel every bitter moment when loneliness would have been better than what you went through with that person. But when this song is on the memory isn’t painful anymore. The memory is therapeutic. This song is a 4/4 beat remedy for every heartbreak that has ever been experienced. It’s really that good. 1. Please Let Me In - J.J. Barnes - Ric-Tic 1965 This is my favourite record of all-time, from any genre, by any artist, from any decade. Not only does it top my Northern Soul list, it tops my every song ever list. This tune is sung by a man who has lived this song. You can feel it. There’s a vulnerability in his delivery that tells you, man, you just know he’s been there. It’s like somebody asked for a witness to tell us what they saw and instead of a witness, you got the man who actually committed the crime to stand up and tell you what he did. And when he tells you, he is filled with remorse and he has been humbled, because she has had enough and she has locked him out. He shouldn’t have done it. He sees that now. And he’s not just telling you. He sees that now, he really does. But if she doesn’t believe him, it’s his own damn fault. He knows it’s true. And you can dance to it… That’s probably worth mentioning. 13


Interview By Fisher Written By Linsey McFadden


wenty years ago the Stitches released 8x12, a fast-paced, ear-smashing album fuelled by speed and whiskey. Singer Mike Lohrman said it had been raining for two weeks straight, the band was all stuck inside and whacked out on speed, guzzling whiskey, so why not record an album? “The writing processs is simple,” Lohrman said. “We’d pick a riff from the ‘basic’ bucket at the punk music song farm, drop it into the instant punk song formulator, throw in some lyrics that were easy to remember after too many drinks, and voila!” The band’s tongue and cheek attitude is at least half of the appeal. The other half is a whirlwind combination of loud catchy tunes, with snotty vocals and lyrics that you can definitely remember after a few too many drinks. Heatwave

It was the first time the band had recorded with only one guitar player, so they weren’t sure what to expect. On the way home from the studio, they listened to it over again and knew they had to do it again. Lohrman says it was all bass and barely any guitar—something that obviously doesn’t correlate with the Stitches’ signature sound. “So, I went back to Jerry and tried to explain “our sound” to him, all treble and no bass,” Lohrman said. “I gave him a tape of some of the stuff I liked, so he could get a reference point. He plugged it in, listened for about 15 seconds and turned it off. He looked at me in disbelief. ‘Why do you want it to sound so shitty? There’s a window of sound that all music must be placed in—if it falls out of those guidelines, be out of balance and

ultimately just sound like shit,’ he said. I nodded in agreement and said, ‘yep, perfect. So drop the bass through the floor and punch the treble through the fucking ceiling. That’s exactly what I wanna do Jerry, break your fucking window.’ Being the nice guy that he is, he obliged… And it came out like it did.” The album was met with positive reviews from magazines at the time. Lohrman said they sold so many that they had to keep repressing them. Around that time, Orange County had a really solid punk scene. Lohrman says that the scene in Southern California is pretty dead now, but hopes to see something new pop up eventually. “The timing’s perfect for a handful of little fuckers to come out and change that, though,” Lohrman said. “Hopefully someone stands up to the

opportunity… On the upside, not too many bands are wearing shorts and baseball caps.” Long before the boys sat down and cranked out 8x12, Mike Lohrman saw an ad in a record shop asking for a punk singer with influences along the lines of Black Flag, the Clash and the Sex Pistols. Lohrman attended a rehearsal for the, then unnamed band. The band already had 13 songs written, so he picked out the three he thought sounded the best and ad-libbed some lyrics. “I told them that I’d like to be the singer in their band and I thought that we could do something cool with it, but if they chose me to lead their band, that’s exactly what I was gonna do, and they had to follow my lead,” Lohrman said. “If that was too much to ask, no big deal, I’ll go home and they can try out

somebody else. They said they wanted me in, so I agreed… and fired two of ‘em on the spot. One of ‘em was Mike (Schote), the dude who put the flyer up in the shop—’What the fuck? You’re kicking me out? It’s my fucking band!’, he looked around the room and no one said shit. Then Johnny Sleeper says, ‘You heard him man, you gotta go.’ ‘What?! Why ME,’ he asked. ‘No fucking shorts at band practice. As a matter of fact, no fucking shorts EVER,’ I told him. ‘Fuck you. You’re kicking me out because I’m wearing shorts?’ Yep... Don’t’ get me wrong—I liked Mike. He had great taste in music. He was funny. But I can’t have anyone wearing shorts in the band. Image is a big thing with me. Presentation as first impression, ya know? One of the reasons I hated music at the time was cause of all the short wearing, baseball cap sporting, jock looking motherfuckers that were calling themselves punk.” The band finally settled on a name right before they took off on their first tour. The Stitches moniker was pulled from a two page long list of potential names that Lohrman had come up with, just barely beating out their second choice, ‘the Nu-Viles’. The band roster itself went through some last minute changes before the tour could really kickoff. They lost one member to high school and another to work obligations. One of the band’s the Stitches was slated to tour with, Corrupted Ideals, was going through some last minute changes themselves—two of the members had done a wife swap, and one of the wives decided she liked her new partner better. This resulted in Pete Archer’s ejection from Corrupted Ideals and his induction into the Stitches. Lohrman said he liked Archer’s attitude, and if nothing else, he figured he’d get some entertainment out of the potential drama that would ensue. That leaves

room for one more member of the infamous Stitches lineup. “I met Johnny Witmer on a skateboard trip through Cleveland,” Lohrman said. “He was punk as fuck—black spikey hair, sharp dresser, skateboarded like he wanted to die, and drank like a fish. We traded records through the mail for a few years and stayed in touch. He moved to Sacramento right around the same time I joined the band, so naturally, I hit him up. He packed up his Olds ’88, drove to L.A. and joined the band. Been by my side ever since…” Lohrman says that the band gets along really well and laughs constantly during tour. They enjoy getting to play their record live for people that have never seen them play before, while turning people onto the band that have never heard it before. The worst part about touring is exactly what you’d think it would be—you know, being away from the missus, the kids, the dogs… Forgetting all of your tour earnings inside a German cab. Standard stuff. As for the future, who knows exactly what the band will do. Chances are, they haven’t even got a clue. We’ll all just have to wait and see (them included). “We’ve never really planned anything,” Lohrman said. “Maybe that’s the secret to our longevity?”

Gaye Black

It’s safe to say that nearly all of our readers are familiar with Gaye Black (of the Adverts), and with a portfolio jam-packed with musical, activist and artistic achievements, why wouldn’t you be? The woman is practically a legend. Over the past several years Black has devoted much of her time to exploring her art. “I have made stained glass panels and jewellery over the last fifteen years, for friends and commissions. In recent years I have made a series of collages, framed and on gold painted boards, which reference my past and explore the contrast between attraction and horror,” quote taken from Black’s London Art page. We’ve featured two photos of Black’s pieces in this issue of Heatwave, but if you really want to know more about Black’s art, be sure to check out one of her upcoming art shows— W3 Gallery, London, July 23-31, Rebellion festival art show, Blackpool, August 5-9, and the Bermondsey Joyriders’ show at Underdog Gallery, London Bridge in October. For information about purchasing one of Black’s pieces go to www.londonart.co.uk -Linsey McFadden 15

“The Provocation of St Boniface “ Gaye Black

Listening In On Belfast Punk Linsey McFadden


Photo Courtesy of Sing Sing Records

n the late 1970’s punk rock struck a city divided by religion and politics. A city with an atmosphere permeating with the smell of hatred and fear, security checkpoints marred the entrance to the city centre, while bombings and shootings were commonplace. At night the only people that dared to walk the city’s streets were the one’s that enforced the curfews and the ones that broke them— punks. It wasn’t London and it wasn’t New York. They weren’t the only cities to carve out their stake in the punk rock world. Welcome to Belfast, a city where punk rock came at a time when it really made sense. In Northern Ireland, punk rock was never simply a fashion piece to be gawked at. Punk rock came to Belfast at a time of Troubles, a time when the city was more comparable to a warzone than a Western metropolis. It came at a time of blown out buildings, shootings, tense security, intimidation, curfews, and hate. “It was a scary place to be, in the city centre at night,” said Aidan Murtagh of Protex. “People stayed in their own areas where they felt safe. The only people about town at nights were British army, police and punks. These tensions probably added to the way the music was played and performed by many of the bands.” Until the relatively recent release of the Good Vibrations movie, Northern Irish punk had largely been pushed to the background as writers and filmmakers rushed to document the rise of punk in cities like New York, London and L.A. Across the world the definitive visage of 70’s punk, as portrayed by these documentarians, firmly centres on a collage pasted together from clip outs featuring a snarling Sid Vicious, the “scandalous” fashion trends of London teens, the uniform tight jeans and black leather jackets, and the perfectly manicured mohawks that have become iconic in the decades that followed. “Upon opening for the Clash on their ‘Take the Fifth 79’ tour, members of the Undertones recalled that Strummer and crew were surprised to see the Undertones’ Feargal Sharkey and the O’Neill brothers turn up in relatively normal garb, eschewing the King’s Road mainstay zips-and-badges and pricey “Boy” bondage gear of the day for simple sweaters and parkas,” said Karl Friedhomme, avid record collector and consumer of all things punk rock. “Growing up in the long shadow of British occupation, perhaps just being a normal teenager and yearning for normalcy in a time of war was rebellion enough. While I didn’t come to Northern Irish punk myself until much later, years after countless Black Flag and Conflict rants had fuelled my hostility and indignation towards all the right things, the Northern Irish punk scene offered a unique view from inside a grim reality other bands only observed and sang about, reminding me that there are other less direct ways to fight back against that which holds you back and confines you. This seemingly innocuous music played with youthful teenage naivety—fun, catchy, and hopeful, can also be a liberating ammunition against the dreary and harsh, the rigid and the bleak.” While punk rock was thunderously clamouring to the world’s centre stage in major cities like London and New York, it was Heatwave

cultivating a stronghold in cities like Belfast. It was giving the youth a reason to band together against the troubled backdrop of a city torn apart, creating a cultural movement much more impregnable than a simple fashion trend. “There was really nowhere that sold punk clothing,” said Murtagh. “It was a case of DIY when it came to clothes. Belfast punk was not so much about the fashion side, in the way London or New York was, it was more an attitude... us against the world. Forget about what was going on in the streets of the city of Belfast, music could set us free from it for a while... and what an alternative it was, uniting all religions and backgrounds. It did not matter what part of our divided city you came from. This annoyed many people during the Troubles of Northern Ireland.” When reviewing the history of punk, Belfast, an area often regarded as one of the last strongholds for punk rock in the U.K., is often given a short memo, or overlooked altogether. Many within the international punk rock scene regard these countenances to be written from an “outsider perspective.” At best, most punk rock “tell all’s” will give a nod towards bands like the Stiff Little Fingers or the Undertones, with little mention of much else. While those are two of the many bands worth mentioning, they’re far from all Northern Ireland had to offer the punk rock world. London and New York churned out some gold-star albums in 1977, and continued to do so in the years that followed, but ‘78 was a good year for releases in Northern Ireland. In ‘78 Good Vibrations gifted the punk rock world with Outcasts’ Frustration, containing the infamous track “You’re a Disease”, followed several months later by their Just Another Teenage Rebel release, Protex’s Don’t Ring Me Up, with its eternally catchy title track, Rudi’s Big Time,

Victim’s Strange Thing By Night and, of course, the acclaimed Undertones’ Teenage Kicks. While geographically London and Belfast sit relatively close to one and other, just a quick hour and 15-minute flight, at this point in time, they were worlds apart. Your biggest local punk rock record collectors can easily point out the stark differences between the two city’s early punk rock songs and scenes. “While some bands steered into the skid and sang about their militarised daily reality (i.e. the SLF approach), other youth channelled their rebellion into singing about the simpler pleasures of teenage life, of cars and girls, school day boredom and falling in love—all things their counterparts in other countries enjoyed and took for granted, certainly, but must have seemed a world away against the bleak backdrop of Bloody Sunday and hunger strikes in the Maze,” Friedhomme said. “This angst was distilled into catchy two-minute anthems like Rudi’s “Big Time”, the Tearjerkers’ “Bus Stop”, the Outcasts “Love You for Never” and Xdreamysts “Right Way Home”, which owed as much to 60s soul and Motown as they did to the Iggy or the class of ‘77. At the heart of it all, musically, was Northern Ireland punk rock’s crown jewel, the Undertones “Teenage Kicks”, a song which famously earned the distinction of being the only tune John Peel ever excitedly played twice back to back, and which arguably launched almost as many Belfast bands as Pistols records did.” In contrast with a city divided by religion and politics, Murtagh doesn’t recall much mention of religion or politics in the early punk scene, aside from bands like Stiff Little Fingers, of course. The punks in Belfast weren’t politicised by the punk scene, but many were politically minded to begin with. Murtagh says some of them even joined paramilitary organisations.

Left - Cover of “Alternative Ulster”, a DIY Punk Zine from Belfast © Alternative Ulster Zine Below - Flyer to a gig at the now infamous Harp Lounge Courtesy of Protex Website

In an effort to present a story about Belfast from the mouth of a Belfast punk, I reached out to Aidan Murtagh, founding member of Protex. Murtagh says it’s his duty to point out that many members of the media have come forward in recent years, spinning tales about the Belfast punk scene in a way that affectively rewrites history. Most of them weren’t actually involved in the Belfast scene, Murtagh says. “I first realised that there was a punk movement when I went along to the first Clash gig to be held at Belfast’s Ulster Hall,” Murtagh said. “I was among the first ten people in the queue and as the line grew there were more safety pins, leathers, coloured hair, as well as skinny ties and 60s suits. Until then, I had never really seen any real evidence of punks around town, apart from seeing Greg from the band the Outcasts, who I sort of knew to say hello to. The Clash gig never took place that night as the insurance was not granted for the show, we were told to go home. Such a disappointment—a bit of a shock really. Soon the disappointments spread to anger, the police were called to move people on, and soon a riot was taking place… Riots were common in Belfast at this time, 1978 I think it was, but never a PUNK riot… a riot of my own. This kind of united the

punks and a sense of us against the world developed. The punk movement had started.” Murtagh eventually saw the Clash play at another venue. He even got to spend the rest of the night talking music and Belfast politics with Joe Strummer, Paul Simonon and Mick Jones. For Protex, their path to punk rock started with rock n’ roll cover songs. Eventually Murtagh and his drummer decided they wanted to shift in a new direction—punk. The band, originally Protex Blue, was named after a Clash song. Murtagh wrote a few songs, drummer, Owen McFadden wrote some lyrics, and Dave McMaster also wrote. The band managed to pull together a short set list, including an array of punk cover songs (Clash covers included). “A weird guy called Terri Hooley opened his new record shop and we got talking to him, he was putting on punk gigs and heard we were in a band and invited us to play,” said Murtagh. “We became part of what was happening in Belfast music punk scene at that time.” Following the Good Vibrations movie release, some attention seems to have turned back towards characters such as Terri Hooley, but many ears remain deaf to the majorly rocking sounds of Northern Irish punk. While 19

“Soon he was singing Ronettes songs and removing his glass eye, true entertainer!” the Good Vibrations movie centres on only a few of the great bands that came out on the Good Vibrations record label. Although unmentioned in the movie, Protex was among them. Belfast was full of cover bands that hated Protex and hated punk. Hooley stood as one of the main proprietors for punk rock gigs. “Very few venues would put bands like us on,” Murtagh said. “The main places for our music were the Pound and the Harp Bar, where Terri Hooley arranged loads of gigs, as did Rudi. The main bands at the start of Northern Irish Punk, that I recall, were Rudi, Outcasts, Stiff Little Fingers—who had a writing relationship with journalists who penned much of their stuff, Victim, and Protex. These were all Belfast Bands. The Undertones, who got Terri’s Good Vibrations label on the U.K. map, were from Derry—100 miles from Belfast. We did several shows with them in the early days. As time went all other bands were formed, such as, Shock treatment, the Bank robbers, Peasants, Preacher John, and many more.” If you’ve seen the Good Vibrations movie, you’re more than likely under the impression that Hooley was quite a wild card. After my conversation with Murtagh, I was definitely under the impression that Hooley was every bit the legend that the movie portrayed him to be. “I remember travelling by boat and train with Protex and Terri Hooley to record a Radio one session for Kid Jenson and John Peel at Maida Vales studios,” Murtaugh said. “We did not know what to make of Terri at first, but after many tins of beer got to realise the legend that he is. Soon he was singing Ronettes songs and removing his glass eye, true entertainer!” An often-overlooked aspect of many punk scenes is the envy that comes with success. While many Good Vibrations bands achieved some level of infamy, Belfast wasn’t immune to this negativity. Murtagh says there were rivalries between several bands at the time, with some bands becoming particularly hostile when other groups garnered success. “I suppose we were all young teenagers, but it kind of darkened things,” Murtagh said. “Also, if bands got any hint of success, like playing a support gig to a major act, or a record contract or radio session, certain bands and members became very jealous and could be slightly nasty.” Luckily for fans of punk rock, a handful of Belfast’s punk rock hard hitters have carried on with their instruments in hand. Interest in the Outcasts was renewed with the release of the Good Vibrations movie; the band is now regularly playing gigs. The Undertones continue to play shows worldwide, but their shows remain largely out of Ireland. Stiff Little Fingers have a new album, and continue to tour. Murtagh says that Stiff Little Fingers sound better now than they ever did. Terri Hooley’s record shop has closed again, but maybe if we’re lucky he’ll reopen again one of these days. As for Protex, the band continues to play shows, mostly outside of Northern Ireland. Today’s Belfast scene is quite small and Protex draws more interest in London, mainland Europe and the U.S. Protex is currently in the process of recording new songs. While the Belfast scene may have shrunk a great deal since its hay-day in the 70’s and 80’s, many of the original Belfast punks have managed to keep the band alive and carry their songs forward into the next generation. Heatwave

Image Courtesy of Protex © Polydor

The First Protex Single released by Good Vibrations

Popcorn Chokers E

very cinematic masterpiece requires a well thought out soundtrack, but a truly good song will always stand as more than a background piece. Valley Girl (1983) From heavily armed, falsely accused plane jacking convict to suicidal alcoholic in the casinos of Las Vegas, Nicholas Cage has played the same character in a wide variety of roles. Cage always wears the same “hang dog” look. But before all of that, he played a dude named Randy in a film called Valley Girl, an 80’s teen rom-com. Randy’s a self-proclaimed “punk” from the shitty end of Hollywood who falls for, you guessed it… a valley girl. She’s super uptight and all Valley-ish, so Randy has to constantly prove himself and grows frustrated as a result. This leads to classic explosive Cage style meltdowns, you’ve seen these before in his many other films, you know, the one’s where he’s played the SAME character. A slightly raised voice, a few half mast hand gestures, a “fuck off for sure, like totally”, followed by a slow back turn. Randy wants the Valley Girl to experience “real life”, so he takes her to a downtown bar, leading her through a crowd of beer swilling Hollywood scumbags and past a stage where the house band are none other than the Plimsouls! High fives all around as he enters, it’s

clear that Randy is king. The Plimsouls are right there on stage helping him sell it all. Peter Case yells, “All right, I’m gonna play this song…

Betty Pondikakis

it’s called A Million Miles Away”, as Julie and Randy kiss. Perfect San Fernando/ Hollywood 1980s romance right there. Is this a great film?

Of course not! It’s terrible, but it features the PLIMSOULS and Elvis impersonator Nicholas Cage, before he got his teeth done. 21

Repo Man (1984) Opening with Iggy Pop’s finest attempt to sum up the era, playing the specially written “Repo Man Theme”, we’re taken around a luminous green map of L.A. and Southern California. This is the ultimate early 80s U.S. punk rock cult classic. As those “Peter Gunn”-esque riffs roll we’re shown a bunch of locations that will later amount to nothing but a series of burning oil barrels, storm drains, losers, MK ultras, cult members, unpaid Chevy’s and of course, Harry Dean Stanton! From Suicidal Tendencies to the Plugz, director, Alex Cox, managed to include a wide range of L.A. punk luminaries on the soundtrack of this 1984 classic. This film is so bold that the greatness of the Plugz’s “Hombre Secreto” is barely a footnote on the car stereo. We get to see a disaffected, stone kicking Emilo Estevez recite the lyrics to Black Flag’s “TV Party” beside the railway tracks after finding his girlfriend in bed with a skinhead. The next day he becomes a repo man. “Hey kid, I need to get this car out of this bad area…” Stranger Than Paradise (1984) No classic punk rock or new wave here, just first class Jim Jarmusch independent filmmaking of the same era. The soundtrack was born from the anarchic, self-styled “hipster” brain of John Lurie, but the real “main man” is Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. Namely in “I Put A Spell On You”. The track is the movie’s corner stone and shines a crazed pathos on the story of three unlikely companions, “Willie”, “Eddie” and “Eva” as they make an unlikely journey from New York to Cleveland to Florida. Young Hungarian newcomer, Eva, touches down in America with just two small pieces of luggage, a cassette player and a single cassette. As she makes her way through the backstreets to cousin Willie’s she hits play. Screamin’ Jay echoes through the black and white concrete and steel shuttered cityscape of 1984 New York City. From here on in “I Put A Spell On You” punctuates a three-part tale of a reluctant friendship that eventually goes nowhere.


Blue Velvet (1986) This cinematic storytelling of a David Lynch film is near impossible to summate in a few lines and I sure as fuck can’t do it here... So I’m going to talk about Roy Orbison. Blue Velvet takes you through a surreal and beautiful nightmare born out of Lynch’s dark visions. What better way to sum up this Lynchian nightmare than with the rich three-octave crooning of Roy Orbison? When it comes to transforming a realistic celluloid moment into the outright fantastical, Lynch has a head spinning skill. Orbison has a doleful inflection that can leave you both longing and chilled. The perfect team perhaps? Darkly lit cinematography, non-descript era interiors, extraordinarily twisted characters and Orbison. Kyle MacLachlan (a guy who loves coffee) is a curious teenager who happens upon a severed human ear whilst walking home late one night. A little bit of investigative work, with the help of Laura Dern, and he finds himself embroiled in a strange realm between a sadistic Dennis Hopper psychopath and a masochistic Isabella Rossellini lounge singer. MacLachlan ends up in the frightening custody of Hopper and it’s Roy Orbison time. Dean Stockwell emerges from the shadows brandishing a microphone-shaped antiquated flashlight. He switches it on and lets out a “candy coloured clown they call the sandman”, with an expression somewhere between the gaze of true love and a dog following his owners hand as a treat waves from side to side. Hopper is transfixed, if only for a few bars. Even in the fantastical world of David Lynch only Roy Orbison can do this.

Big Gold Dream Frieda Strachan

©David Corio/Redferns


t’s not often that documentaries are made about the Scottish music scene. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever seen or heard of any, and music and documentaries are two of my favourite things. I’m also Scottish. You can imagine my surprise when sifting through the films on show at the only indie cinema in my nearest city, I came across Big Gold Dreams: Scottish Post-Punk 1977-82. I booked a ticket immediately, but never really thought much about it after that. I never looked into it past the trailer. On the night, it turned out the director, Grant McPhee, would introduce the film and do a Q&A after, which was cool. I began to get pretty stressed when, with five minutes to go before start time, there was only me and one other guy in the cinema. All at once, a throng of what I can only describe as “middle aged ex-punks” (very obvious ex-cool kids, basically) all came into the cinema, chatting laughing and being pretty... Loud. Like overexcited kids. The director came out and mentioned that he had lived in Aberdeen in the late 70s, and had been in punk bands with X, Y and Z (pointing at members of the audience), and that they had then been in other post-punk bands with A, B and C (again, they were members of the audience). I was the youngest there, and I’m pretty sure me and that other early-arrival were the only people in the cinema with no direct links to the director or the bands we were about to watch on screen—it was a really cool vibe. And so, the film began. If like me, you were totally unaware that pre-90’s Scotland had a buzzing music scene, then this film will both surprise and excite you. Then after that, you’ll feel a bit gutted for some of the bands in the film. The Fire Engines and Scars sound great—clashing guitars, moody teens, rival record labels. They were all super young at the time, and while watching them look back fondly at their time in the bands, you could see that these formative years of music and creativity were still having a huge impact on their everyday lives. The main guy from the Fire Engines still wears shades indoors and talks with this really affected tone and speed, but I can’t deny that ultimately, he is cool, and I want to hang out with him. The film explores the rivalry between two punk DIY record labels, Fast Records and Postcard Records, a rivalry that lasted even after both labels called time on their pressings. Fast Records was the first label to press a Joy Division single, and Postcard was the label to rocket Orange Juice to fame. There was a rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow, and I kind of feel like that exists in a really subtle way even to this day (I’m with Glasgow, through and through). The bands all talk about London, and how it was seen as selling out, trying too hard and represented everything that those Scottish DIY bands didn’t want to be about, to some extent that appears to be true. 23

When the creative hub for the bands switches from Scotland to England, everything changes. You see them change styles and compete against new wave. When they ultimately surrender to the trends they fail. It was really sad listening to the guitarist of Josef K talk about how exciting it was being so young and full of hope, only to see him switch to his crestfallen face as he describes how the band split up. Orange Juice made it, so did Bob Last, the now-film producer and founder of Fast Records, but everyone else seemed to fall short. I still felt hopeful when it ended. Punk wasn’t made to last when it first began. It was meant to be a flash in the pan—shout out everything you needed so badly to be heard, and then storm away from the scene in a blaze of self-destructive glory. So, I feel like The Fire Engines, Josef K and Scars did that really. When Last formed Heaven 17 and The Human League, that wasn’t punk anymore. That’s why it was so successful, commercial and profitable—not that there is anything wrong with that (won’t lie, I am a huge fan of Temptation). Being young is so important. It’s when you find your voice, it’s when you realise what you like, what you hate, and whom you like and what you don’t want to be. These bands and record labels made it so easy for a whole scene of people to realise those things. It’s like when I first heard Nirvana and suddenly music made sense—it’s a total cliché, and I don’t want to be the person that comes out with lame shit like that, but it’s true. Music defines you. Music IS important, and always will be. So yes, go see this film and cement the idea that Scotland is full of amazing, still relevant and important music and music history, but also go so you feel and remember that sense of belonging to the scene, even if you’re not a punk. I’m only 27 and I feel like my punk ship has sailed, but it still means a tonne to me. It’s how I found my friends in London, it’s how I found my voice, and it’s how I found I was able to express myself when I didn’t feel like I really could.

I had to leave shortly after the film ended and missed the Q&A, but it was obvious that it meant a tonne to all those middle aged ex-punks filling the cinema. And it meant that I was suddenly aware of a few awesome bands that never quite got big enough to make it into everyone’s punk and post-punk consciousness. If I were you, I’d definitely check out the documentary, but I’d rather you checked out all the aforementioned bands and labels.

Dead Moon D

ead Moon is a band that needs no introduction. Last year the legendary Samantha Gladu Fred, Toody, and Andrew reunited to celebrate the 100year anniversary of one of their favourite Portland music venues. After eight years of being broken up, the lapse in playing together hardly showed. With 20 years of experience touring and releasing records cut on the mono vinyl lathe at Fred and Toody’s house, Dead Moon is a force which is fully actualised. The band’s discography and documentary Unknown Passage: The Dead Moon Story are vital testaments to the potential of DIY. This year the band played a handful of magical reunion shows worldwide before drummer Andrew Loomis was faced with a cancer diagnosis. He’s currently fighting the disease and does have health insurance. Heatwave got the chance to talk with Toody and Fred about what’s next, how they manage the band, how they succeed so well in marriage, and a reflection on the early days of Dead Moon. Heatwave: I think it’s incredible that you and Fred have such a legendary love story and that Dead Moon has been a thing for so long. Toody: Yeah, it is pretty extraordinary, you know? (Laughing) There are a few other bands out there kickin’ that are still doing it. We’re having to finish off the rest of our bookings with Kelly Halliburton, who is our drummer in Pierced Arrows, because Andrew’s health is really bad. He’s fighting some cancer right now. But, it was great to comeback and play the three or four gigs that we were able to do with Andrew. It was really such a kick in the ass playing together again, the three of us. We’re having fun doing it.

Illustration © Christophe Lopez-Huici www.clopezhuici.com 25

Heatwave: What was the inspiration for you to get back together? Toody: We had the right people ask. The reason that we did the very first show that we got back together for was the 100th anniversary of the Crystal Ballroom [a venue in a Portland], and if you’ve done any research, you know the Crystal is an amazingly special place for me and Fred. So it just seemed to work and seemed like everything came together at the right time. It was like, OK, this is going to happen, and it had been enough years since we’d played together that it seemed like a good idea. It went over so well and at some point after that first show we were like, well, if anyone asks! And of course they did, and we had a ton of asks. It was like 13 or 15 shows or something like that and Fred was like OK. He was really anxious because he had to take off all of 2014 cause of his heart thing and we had to cancel a Pierced Arrows tour. So, we just wanted to get back up on the house and see what he could still do. It was just a matter of timing and we specifically went out to make up a couple of gigs for people that we were unable to do that we had promised them the year before.

Image Courtesy of Sub Pop Press Photos going to be doing special things, like this weekend we’re going to Austin over the Fourth of July for a festival there, and next weekend we’re going to Chicago and we’ve got a ton of stuff coming up. Hold on a sec—Hey, Fred, I’m doing an interview so try not to... Heatwave: Relating to touring being so gruelling, I think that goes back to how all of your projects have been extremely DIY and you all did so much of that work. How do you manage the administrative and organisational work?

Toody: Fred and I have been in business together, as business heads. Flaky as we can be at times, we organise in our own way and take care of it on the business end. We had a tour manager, Edwin, for many years for Dead Moon. When he decided to retire from the road we had already been on, oh god, I’m guessing six or seven tours with him, and we pretty much learned the ropes from Edwin. It was great to have somebody else to do it for you, Heatwave: Right, yeah, and you made it to far off places like and you know this was when touring was really the hard way. The Spain and New York a couple of weeks ago... European Union wasn’t set up, so you had borders at every country and different currency, different language. So having a Toody: Spain was one the gigs we [previously] had to cancel, so European tour manager was great. Especially someone that’s that was a makeup call! Dutch and speaks like four or five languages fluently and can get the dumb Americans from Point A to Point B. But over the years Heatwave: I saw the Pierced Arrows announcement about the we just kind of learned everything and now it’s pretty easy, you decision not to tour anymore due to Fred’s health. know? There’s no borders, and pretty much everybody’s money is the same [in Europe]—there’s a few places that aren’t doing that. Toody: At this particular point, Fred still thinks he’s 35-years-old And in the U.S. it’s whatever. Our biggest nightmare at this point is and tries to act like it, but he really isn’t. And uh, you know touring the Canadian border, oh my god. We just got done dealing with takes an awful lot out of you; especially playing gigs the way that that. At this point Fred does all the driving and I do the tour we do! It takes an incredible amount out of anyone, regardless of managing, which is picking up the bookwork and picking up the their age. At this point, I don’t think most people understand what money and all that kind of stuff. We just go into it; it’s just one touring is all about. It is really hard work and it’s gruelling as hell. more thing to do. You know? You’re playing six days in a row, driving anywhere from three to ten hours a day, loading gear in and out every night, not getting Heatwave: Nice, yeah. It’s a full time job for you at this point, any sleep, and you know it’s just gruelling. So, that’s what touring right? is and that’s what we’re not going to be doing. But we’re still

Toody: Yeah, and we still do that when we’re flying in and out of different places. We go through an agency for a lot of our bookings, but there’s still just a ton of work. Whether it’s stuff like this, doing interviews, or getting back to people or checking on details, making sure that we have all the plane tickets or this or that, it’s almost a full time job. Especially lately! Heatwave: You all have been through so much shit together and have travelled the world as a band. How do you still get along? You and Fred are a couple so…? Toody: I think that’s why we get along. Technically we’re each other’s best friends, #1, and #2. It’s so cool to be able to sit down and talk to somebody who knows exactly what you’re talking about, and pretty much you feel the same way about everything and have the same experiences and memories. Stuff you can laugh about—Fred: ...And the same arguments! Toody: Yeah, even the same arguments. And it’s really cool at shows, I mean we’ll get done with a show and he’s off talking to somebody and I’m off talking to somebody and then at the end of the night we compare notes. Fred: 48 years and it’s still unbelievable! Toody: But yeah, it’s cool and I think that’s why it works, the fact that we do so much stuff together. I understand that everybody can’t figure that one out. I know it’s unusual, but for us it’s natural. It’s always worked and it’s been like that since the beginning. Heatwave: Is it ever challenging to deal with the band dynamic of having a third person around? Toody: It’s better than having five! Any time you’re dealing with a different person it changes the dynamic of everything, including the music a bit. I mean that’s why at different points Fred and I started doing this duo thing. We’re just doing stuff real stripped down, you know, no big amplifiers, sittin’ down in chairs and rocking out. We’re having a lot of fun with it, having the freedom to where we don’t have to worry about someone else’s comfort or what they want to do. Do they want to stop now; do they want to drive straight through? Stupid little things likes like that, which are part of the reason we’ve been playing as a duo. It’s something we really enjoy and it’s a little bit different. Heatwave: Relating to your love story and you being together for 48 years, not a lot of people have figured out how to do that. Do you have advice for young couples? Toody: Um, well, yes—just tough it out. I mean, we grew up in a time when everybody’s parents were married for life. Ok, my parents were. Fred’s parents got divorced when he was like nine-years-old, so he was always of the commitment that “yeah, if I ever get married, that’s it, I’m making it work,” and luckily we were the same age. There are different phases of your life where you’re going to different stuff, male and female, at the same age, that are just tough, it’s tough for everybody. It takes

good communication. What I was just saying really worked for us is that we had to work together as a team right from the beginning. We had kids really young, and without both of us pitching in and doing stuff together we just wouldn’t have made it. We wouldn’t have been able to get together what our kids needed and this and that. At some point it just got to where it’s comfortable. If we didn’t pull together... You could tell how hard it was, you know? Fred kind of saw that growing up, with his mom and his sister, how tough it is for anybody alone trying to raise kids. We just both had the feeling, even from age 18 when we first tell in love, that we just found our other half and it was just like, yeah, this is it. I’m not going anywhere, there’s nobody out there that’s better for me than you. Heatwave: You’ve so obviously really grown together—working on the same things, having a business together, having the experience of going to Canada and homesteading... Toody: Yeah, it’s all those shared things all the time. Not just “Oh hi honey, how’d your day go?”, and you really have absolutely nothing in common. Half the time, a lot of couples have more in common with the people they work with than with each other. It’s worth the time spent. Heatwave: Yeah! How much time did you two spend when you were learning bass? Toody: He gave me two whole weeks to learn. Heatwave: Before your first show? Toody: He said, “by the way, we’re playing a gig in three days. And I’m like “What?! Are you kidding me?!” He said, “You’ll be fine, you’ll be fine.” You know, he literally threw me on stage when I knew three chords and all I could do was hit the “That’s the second string, right here, right? Yeah.” I hit it repeatedly and that’s all I did. Luckily it was punk rock so that was good to go. It was like, I’ll throw you in the river and see if you can swim! Heatwave: What was your stage presence like at your first show compared to now? Toody: I was so shy and so embarrassed and so, oh my god, I would just stand there and just barely do anything. It took a lot of years and honestly just getting a bit older. The older any woman gets, the less self conscious she is. It’s like, whatever, this is me. You finally go back to the place you were when you were twelve, where it’s like yeah, this is me, dig it or not, I don’t care. And then you have the confidence or whatever and then maybe you get the feedback and this or that, and you still get nervous or whatever, but I’m really comfortable in my own skin. So it’s good. Heatwave: Touching on that getting feedback piece; was there anyone who was really supportive when you were learning who made you feel like you could keep going and you could do it? Toody: There were a few different women who were involved in bands. I really respected Lisa, who sang in Sado-Nation for a while. She was like only 19 and shit, I was like 30. She had all 27

this self-confidence and she was a great vocalist and I was just starting to sing a bit, some backups and things like that; also, the Neo Boys. There were a lot of women who got involved when punk rock came out, in Portland anyway. We were kind of each other’s champions, you know? So it was cool. Heatwave: That’s great. I see a lot of the same thing now— women in Portland and all over the world supporting each other. It’s amazing. Did you hang out with Lisa from Sado-Nation and the Neo Boys all the time? Toody: Somewhat, there was a big age gap. And back then when you’re 18, 19, or 20, and some of these girls were even younger than that, ten years is a big age gap! I remember when I was that age, what a big age gap it was. So, you know, there’s a lot of respect there and we saw them all the time, because Captain Whizeagle was our music store downtown and we would go to different parties and hang out, but not like “hey, let’s do lunch” and that kind of thing. I would only see them when we were playing, and at the store, and at parties at people’s houses over holidays and stuff like that. But yeah, I knew ‘em all really well. They were kind of doing their own thing, and Fred and me have always been a country of two. There’s a lot of stuff that we’ve always loved doing privately and alone. We’re not that social. Heatwave: With your music store, Captain Whizeagle, and with Fred making guitars, you must have seen so many guitars in your lifetime. I noticed that you each play the same guitars pretty frequently. What are your favourite guitars? Toody: That’s it. It’s like getting married to someone. To us our instruments are— whatever, they’re both beaten to shit, you know, whatever, but they’re ours. We would freak out like you would if you’d lose a child if you lose a guitar. We tend to get really fixated on inanimate objects and our guitars are probably the highest things. These are the ones that we’ve had since Dead Moon started. Before then there were other instruments. I had a couple different basses that got ripped off and this and that, the stuff you start out on. But you find the one that you use. I can’t understand the guys that want to use 16 different guitars on stage. I don’t get that. Facebook.com/bootlegbootique

Look out, Here Are The Gories! Nick Kuzmack (Nix Beat)


s one of the first bands to really immerse rhythm and blues into wild, primitive garage rock, the Gories have developed quite a legendary foothold in rock n’ roll history. Formed in Detroit in 1986 when three friends Danny Kroha, Peggy O’ Neill and Mick Collins brought together their love of R&B, Mod, 50s and 60s rock n’ roll and a collective appreciation for the uniquely raw sounds that came from Crypt Records Back from the Grave compilations. The Gories took to the stage, finding themselves at the tail end of the 1980s garage revival. The era produced garage groups like the Gravedigger Five, the Hysteric Narcotics, the Zombie Surfers and the Vertical Pillows. Their initial run lasted about seven years, from 1986 to the spring of 1992, during which they recorded three phenomenal albums—House Rockin’ (1989), I Know You Fine, But How You Doin’ (1990) and Outta Here (1992). In 1992, the Gories went their separate ways, but Kroha, Collins and O’Neill stayed active musically. Kroha went on to join Rocket 455 and help form Demolition Dolls, Collins formed The Dirtbombs and O’Neill temporally joined ‘68 Comeback. Despite the split up, the Gories maintained a cult like following, and in 2009 were asked to play Tim Warrens Crypt Records 25th anniversary party. Unfortunately, the party fell through, but the Gories reunited anyway to occasionally tour and play gigs, much to the overt delight of fans worldwide. Their gigs are known to sell out, and since they are about to hit London with a ferocity that few can possibly match to play Heatwave’s Launch Party with Abjects and King Salami and the Cumberland 3, us here at Heatwave felt the need to track down Kroha to give us a few modest words before this epic showdown. Heatwave: What was the music climate like back in 1986? Kroha: Lionel Ritchie, the Pet Shop Boys, and Huey Lewis were topping the charts, but there was a healthy underground scene in Detroit of all kinds of bands—surf, garage, rockabilly, metal,

hardcore punk, pop punk, blues. Pretty much any kind of music you can think of, there was a local band here doing it. Heatwave: Do you find there is much difference in the caliber of Garage bands from the 1980s revival and of those bursting out onto the scene in last few years? Kroha: The Gories and the Mummies made being crappy and scrappy cool, so more bands along that line have come out since the 80s. Heatwave: Do you find rock n’ roll still holds a relevance to today’s coming of age generation? Kroha: They’re the only ones who can find it relevant, but I see some younger kids digging it, so it seems to be relevant to them. Old music was always relevant to me and I’m sure there will always be some young people who find old music that speaks to them. Heatwave: I’ve found that over the years Detroit has produced some uniquely raw music. Are there any bands that you are particularly excited about that are emerging from Detroit? Kroha: The Pretty Ghouls, the Moonwalks and Mountains and Rainbows are a few that I like. Heatwave: It’s been about 26 years since the release House Rockin. What was the process like when recording the Gories debut album? Kroha: The guy who recorded it was very DIY. He built his own studio and was a really good rockabilly guitar player. He was a 29

big Cramps fan and liked us because we reminded him of them. We played live in the studio, actually we didn’t play in the studio, we insisted on recording in a giant Quonset hut that the studio was attached to. We recorded it all live and then overdubbed the vocals later. There were “scratch” vocals on the basic tracks, but they couldn’t be erased, so we just sang on another track. As a result, the vocals were unintentionally double-tracked. We mixed the record together with the fellow who recorded it, and I remember Mick’s point of reference for the sound of the mixes was “New Orleans” by Gary U.S. Bonds. Heatwave: What was the reception like to House Rockin? Kroha: It got some good reviews by writers whose taste and writing I admired, Tim Stegall and Byron Coley. It also got a good review in Seattle’s alternative weekly, the Rocket. I wouldn’t call us “critics darlings”, but people who I liked were into it. Heatwave: Now, almost 20 years after the Gories broke up, you’ve reunited and played numerous shows, many of which sell out. With this kind of success, what are the goals for the future of the band? Kroha: Just to be the best oldies band we can be! What I mean by that is to play all our old songs faithfully and with heart and soul. Heatwave: It’s been cited in an interview with Prefix Magazine on August 13, 2010 that in the 1980’s when Crypt Record began releasing the Back from the Grave compilations that the raw and primitive tracks on those compilations were very inspirational for the development of the Gories’ sound. So, I gotta know before I drop some cash on the new releases, have you checked out the new Back From The Grave Volumes 9 and 10 that were released in late 2014?

Kroha: Tim Warren sent me advance copies of them and they’re both killer dillers. Heatwave: You’ve just completed playing some dates in Europe, how was that? Where was your favourite place to play on this excursion? Kroha: We had a great time touring Europe all the gigs were good. It was cool because we had a variety. We played a couple of festivals in France, where there were 800 - 1000 people there, and then we played small clubs where there were 100 people there, and everything in between. People were excited to see us everywhere we went. Heatwave: On July 4, 2015 the Gories are due to play the Burger Boogaloo festival that’s being hosted by John Waters, alongside other notable groups like the Mummies, Shannon and the Clams and the Pandoras. How did you get involved with this festival? Kroha; They contacted our booking agent and asked us to play! Heatwave: What can concert goers expect from a Gories gig? Kroha: We play an expertly curated selection of our old songs with much enthusiasm. Heatwave: What do the Gories have going on for the rest of the year? Kroha: After the Scandinavia/U.K. tour there’s nothing else booked. My band Danny and the Darleans is going to tour Southern California after the Boogaloo. And I’m going to play some solo dates in the U.S. in August, and solo dates in Europe in September.

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.