Saturday, 26 July 2014

Things Worth Waiting For - SUMMER, 1979 Now News/Clips, Kevin Pearce's Book, a LOT of Latitude/Borodino, RIP James Garner, More Outtakes, Demos....& More .......


The garden is looking grand, the pots and plants doing particularly well were all embedded with Vic's (patent pending) 'Pandora's Box Compost' -  contains any and all food waste plus the secret ingredients that turn it in to wonder compost! When the chicken bones  first started popping up I initially thought were the clay pipes which do surface on a regular basis, discarded by the agricultural workers who toiled in the market gardens that covered the whole area. An easy mistake to make, although admittedly they don't usually surface in numbers or as frequently as the chicken bones have been!
1979 Now! well and truly on it's way! Test LPs arrived and cleared, CD/ LP art work and on line booklet by our web guru Andrew Paul Shaw looking absolutely fab. Release put back a tad to beginning of October but hoping to have copies for gigs in September. Couple of teasers -

A snatch of You Made Me -

AND a sneaky listen to a couple of demos of songs Vic wrote in 1979, recorded at Rehearsal Rehearsal by Mickey Foote which Vic found in the middle of old cassettes including two rediscovered songs - Fortunes Come and Dead Dreamy, currently being digitalised by Mike Coe, Doctor of Music.

A fond farewell to West Heath Studios London, twenty years of music making in NW6 with Grace, Edwyn, Seb, Susan and James and wishing Edwyn and Grace a smooth transfer to Scotland. Looking forward to a recording trip at the new studio! Aed have brought out this great sampler to celebrate the last two decades, 19 of Edwyn and Seb's favourite tracks (includes Caught In Midstream) to celebrate, illustrated by Edwyn.

It's been busy at gnu inc central sorting things for a bit of a mammoth run of 13 gigs starting with Keith Allen's Establishment Club at Latitude, the first on Vic and the Sect's eclectic festival circuit (of three) and all beside the sea, yippee.

I started the blog before we went and this is what I wrote: 'I think I mentioned in the last blog that the teenage gnu once went to a rural outdoor festival in the 70's, a field, barely organised and managed to endure three hours before escaping. To this day she can't understand why, for a start, anyone wants to put themselves through the purgatory of camping at all,  stand in a field for hours and hours on end surrounded by hordes of people, possibly and quite probably in the hissing rain or boiling sun. Then there's the toilets - rather as the gnu says there aren't toilets at festivals, there are retch inducing, putrid trenches/holes/buckets that poor, 'can't possibly be being paid enough' benighted souls have to empty from time to time into larger even more putrid mobile waste containers. Of course you can now stay in a yurt at a festival with all kinds of mod cons like the essential 'rainforest' shower if you're of a mind and are well britched but it's still camping, no privacy and you can't escape torrential rain or the ensuing mud if it comes your way. Despite all this gnu's got high hopes for her Latitude experience, although has said if options are car or tent she's sleeping in the car!'

It is now post Latitude and I'll pass over to the gnu. WARNING: If you don't want to read ALL about gnu's Latitude experiences you can skip down to the Rebellion bit.

'Subway Sect's Adventure in Latitude Land 19/20th July 2014'

 Setting the mood - I am usually a bit anal about gig preparations, you know, contact with the promoter, band info in advance, transport/accommodation/fee sorted, etc, etc, and I get a bit antsy if everything isn't sorted before departure BUT Vic and I knew from the get go that Keith Allen's Establishment Club at Latitude was going to be a tad different to the normal ( I use the word loosely) Subway Sect gig so we already knew it was going to have to be a 'go with the flow' situation and had already slipped into the required mindset (both the up and downside of this is if I  'let go' then I mentally drift off the planet). Details regarding everything other than Vic and Sect were playing at The Alcove and tickets were at Blue Gate 2 (they weren't) were thin on the ground, no idea what time Vic was on, no idea if there would be tents (I think Vic and I had already tacitly agreed anyway that tent v drive home was no contest) and yet we set off on our adventure uncharacteristically and surprisingly chilled and this zen like, almost 'out of body' feeling (luckily) prevailed pretty much throughout the day/night/following morning. Off we go to Latitude World.....

Huge thanks to Keith Allen, a generous and friendly human being, for the invite, it's unlikely I would ever have experienced a rural mega festival otherwise. Ian arrived on site the day before us with his family and had set up in 'Artists Camping' (had their own tents), we had a surprisingly easy journey across London and up the A12 with a short delay at a Little Chef (after waiting 30 mins for two sandwiches Mark and Yusuf were advised that someone would check on how close to delivery they were, explains the delay!).
After arriving at the ginormous (and very hilly) site it took about an hour of trial and error to find the right gate to pick up the tickets , driving round and round both inside and outside the perimeter hoping to spot the signs in the foliage before we'd gone past them and had to go round again, ended up crawling at 15 mph on the A12 (yes there were maps of the site but you weren't allowed to take one away with you!), we kept going past one Latitude sign with a (rather appropriate I thought) arrow opposite to 'Landfill'. We missed the two music acts I wanted to see (apart from the VG&SS of course!), Booker T and Hall and Oates (although Vic and I did catch a snatch of Maneater, not a favourite, at the first gate we got out at to make ticket inquiries).

The Latitude team were very friendly and as helpful as they could be given the fairly chaotic circumstances, particularly the head office team and the poor souls wom/manning gates, that is except for one officious twit, obviously thought having a walkie talkie imbues the possessor with a license to be a prat. When we finally got through the right gate without impediment, this twerp pulled us over to point out it was one way and I honestly thought for a second he was going to suggest we turn round and go out again but perhaps realised his actual power was non existent and how foolish he sounded. Anyway no further impediment to our progress at this point. 
Wristbands finally firmly attached (if lost/removed you will be ejected or charged for another, fairly reasonable I suppose) we had to go out again to find the artists camping car park, the very first gate we went through, so another full circuit. The car park sits at the highest point on the site with artists' camping beneath and is the furthest from the arena, about one and a half miles, a fact we were blissfully unaware of at the time. Relieved to have arrived and with the sun shining and not a hint of a cloud we unloaded, taking everything down to the artist camping gate below, no tents for the group there but did find out about the trek to the arena, swiftly reassured that buggies would be ordered to take the equipment down, audible relief all round....but short lived. Not knowing stage times and with time itself eerily flying, after a half hour '10 minute' wait Kev, Mark and Yusuf set off with some of the gear.

Vic and I waited a further 20 minutes and then decided we had to make a move so took what we couldn't carry back up to the car and set off on Mau's Long March with two guitars, the keyboard, keyboard stand, tambourine and merch suitcase. After about half a mile we were knackered,  it was boiling and we had to stop and it was impossible not to dwell on what it would be like on the way back up. Thankfully I managed to grab the attention of a passing buggy (stood in his path), a very 'Smiley' driver who we fortuitously happened across again later. The ordeal wasn't over yet though, once dropped off at the arena gate, buggies not allowed inside, we had to load up again for the further schlep to The Alcove,  our final destination, if you wonder why we didn't call for help - the lack of reception, apparently texts would get through 'eventually'. 

We passed these dyed sheep on the way, also very thick coats for boiling heat. I wonder who came up with that, wrong on so many levels and adding to the general weird ambiguity and 'Alice in Latitudeland' nature of the place, Greenpeace cafe run by volunteers one side of the path juxtaposed against tortured sheep on the other.
At the Alcove got warm welcome from Keith, and introduced to Ade Latitude who offered us a ray of hope - he said we could bring the car down to unload the remaining gear and park in a small car park, a comparatively mere stone's throw away at 'Bailiff's Cottage'. Of course this still meant getting back to the car and then going out again and coming in another gate. No sign of the Sect so we divested ourselves of the gear and set out on the trek back to the car. Incredibly lucky then that when we got out of the arena our 'Smiley' driver from earlier happened to be there about to leave for the car park, untold joy! (This was the same entrance/exit we came in by, delightful area for tents/camper vans, aromas of fried food mingling with the raw sewage that was being sucked from the ' flushing loos' as we passed by, had to use one later, unpleasant experience and I'm not sqeaumish about loos, have been en plein air and used mens' at Chelsea, I'm no wuss!)

 Back in the car and in a jiffy we were out of a blue gate, round the perimeter, in a yellow gate, up the road past Bailiffs Cottage, round the barn, down the mud track, pull up on the grass and hey presto we're adjacent to the Alcove. Rest of the stuff unloaded (except Kev's new wellies and Vic's and my pacamacs!!), car removed to Bailiffs Cottage, a relative stroll away. The Sect all gathered and enjoying Keith's liberal hospitality (about 8.30pm, on stage 11.30pm) so Vic and I took to the fray of Babel, sorry the main part of the arena, in search of sustenance. It is a shock to the senses.

"Battle of Moscow, 7th September 1812", 1822 by Louis Lejeune
 Vic likened his own feelings to those of Pierre on the battlefield of Borodino (ref:War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy) without the gore. Set out like battle encampments with the overpriced ( £2.50 for tea) stalls/bars (surprised to see so many ciggie stalls), arranged in a huge undulating circle filled with noise coming at you from all directions, thousands of people, the cloying smell of steamed and fried food assailing the nostrils and surrounded by tiers of marquees, tents and a plethora of small venues and 'right on' areas filtering outwards in to woodland.

Food wise there was a lot of choice, all expensive for what you were getting but very little that smelled appetising. Ian said the restaurant by the lake was good but you needed to have booked and cash only so we settled on toasties. Now, I cannot explain why (mixture of exhaustion, hunger and culture shock perhaps) but when I read 'BBQ chicken, tomato and onion toastie what I envisaged receiving was a toasted club sandwich so you can imagine my disappointment, it was pretty vile, should have stuck to cheese. I saw a sign saying milkshakes and I do like a good milkshake so headed over only to find they were only doing one flavour....Oreo. Saw another sign saying milkshakes so headed over, had higher hopes as could see from a distance that they had a list with loads of flavours but they turned out to be things like Rolo, Crunchie, Oreo(!), Galaxy Caramel, chocolate brownie, which all have their place in the chocolate hierarchy but have no business being in a milkshake - anyway settled on Galaxy, nearest to chocolate I thought.... but I was wrong, £4.50 of yuuch. Call me cynical but I wonder if it is a deliberate ploy that it is such a trek back to the camp sites for most  people (and where would you store four days of food anyway) to encourage on site spending. You can easily see how a family (or couple eating/imbibing) could end up spending £100+ a day on site.

 On our way back to the Alcove Vic and I did catch a bit of Bombay Bicycle Club, enjoyed that, I didn't really know what they were about before. I say saw but we were at the back with zillions in front of us so were actually watching them on one of the big screens. Back at base various members of Subway Sect were  still enjoying Keith's hospitality including receptacles of rum.
Courtesy of Kevin Younger

Vic and I were still quietly (very) pleased that there had been no further mention of tents meaning we would have to drive back but then Keith offered to sort tents/blow up beds for Mark, Kev and Yusuf and a pod for me and Vic, well what could we say but thank you?....... However, circumstances can change......for some reason we'd all been ignoring the weather forecast and at about 10pm 
the skies opened, lightening, thunder and while 23 Skidoo were on  (liked their first funk number but then got a bit ambient and trancy for me) the area backstage became a quagmire, what am I saying, everywhere was becoming a quagmire and the consensus quickly turned to 'drive home after'.
Courtesy of Kevin Jackman

Vic and his very merry men took to the stage just as the marquee roof started bulging alarmingly under the weight of the water, threatening to call a halt to proceedings (that and the thunder/lightening!),  Keith did a shout out asking people to push the water off and the Sect set took off, sometimes raucous, always entertaining (apart from the banter!). The ground was becoming increasingly bog like and spongy and although I took merch it wasn't possible to set up and didn't take camera out to film either, not water/mud proof. We didn't hang around after, a bit worried about the car getting stuck in the mud. So in the teeming rain it was a swift march uphill along muddy, puddle filled tracks to bring the car down to load up, with just the one iffy moment when the car did temporarily get stuck in the mud leaving the car park but still, loaded and on the road by 1.30am. drop off in East London just before 4am, stopped off at a garage to get sandwiches, we were starving, home just before 5am, sodden shoes removed, legs and feet washed then bed.

Total combined losses: one pair of prescription sunglasses and a few 30 Odd Years (wet box gave way), Kevin  thought his phone was lost but 
amazingly Keith found it. Gains: muscles a navvy would be proud of and amongst the miscellany of bruises, bites, scratches and stings I came back with was this whopper of a bite, glad I didn't catch sight of what it was that bit me! Despite everything, I'm glad, in a masochistic kind of way, that I got the chance to experience a festival like this,  I can understand the attraction for some (mostly those under 20 and families), I wasn't bored, very pleased to have met Keith and meet up again with Viv, Ian's other half but my views about outdoor mega festivals haven't altered a jot, in fact they are now entrenched. The VG&SS general consensus was never, ever, again. For a more balanced view of Latitude try The Quietus:
Gnu out and handing back to Gert - Blime, glad I wasn't there!!

Rebellion - A Big INDOOR Festival

Friday August 8th we're piling in to the  charabanc for a trip to good old fun packed Blackpool for Rebellion, Vic and the Sect are not on Bizarre Bazaar as previously reported but The Pavilion at 10.25pm. Gnu should have merch stand from about 9.30-11.45pm in The Pavilion. They are very organised and in advance, 250 groups and it's all inside, going to love it I know despite not being a 'punk' music fan.
Video below of great version of Blackpool at The Rigger Newcastle-Under-Lyme 03/05/2014 courtesy of Darren Green. 

Directors: Keith Rodway and Garth Twa

Patron: TV Smith

Very pleased that lovely Ben Browton aka Ben Shape (lots been happening at Shape central, info at link below) invited Subway Sect to round off their festival season at Trash Cannes Festival, Hastings, a three day event in September, Vic and Subway Sect playing on Saturday 6th at The Brass Monkey with special guests the New York Dollies, a female ukelele punk band. Tickets are now available for Trash'd 2014, including a three-day festival pass, which admits you to all four events, with a free fanzine/programme and other goodies for the first 10 passes sold. The price is £16.00,  a saving of  30% off on-the-door prices.  Please click on the online store button at link below to buy your tickets and find out more!online-store/cx9x
Catch up with what the 'reformed' Shapes have been up to at:

November: Vic back in Scotland with Subway Sect.
It's been two years since the Sect went north of the border, going to be a storming return with the added bonus of having The Sexual Objects on board at two gigs for Sounds in the Suburbs Presents at Stereo Glasgow on 14th November and The Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh on the 15th. For all gig info and tickets:

Recommendation Of The Year (apart from 1979 Now and 30 Odd Years of course!)
'A Moment Worth Waiting For' by Kevin Pearce 
Cover by Per-Christian Hille

Generally speaking I don’t like books about music/musicians, often only of interest to the dedicated music aficionado or fan but of no general appeal, however I have to make an exception for Kevin Pearce’s  ‘A Moment Worth Waiting For’ and I am frankly in awe at the breadth and depth of Mr Pearce’s research. You will not be surprised that this book is so engagingly written if like me you are a follower of Mr Pearce’s seminal series of essays ‘Your Heart Out’ which in his own words is
 ‘‘Dedicated to all those who take the time and trouble to share their enthusiasms and obsessions, for whatever reason, for little return, yet in so doing enlighten and illuminate, making the world a better place, leading us to sounds and people we never dared dream exist.’’
and Mr Pearce has himself done this for us in spades. The ‘Your Heart Out’ series ended earlier this year, leaving many wondering what further enlightenment and illumination we could expect from Mr Pearce and now we know, ‘A Moment Worth Waiting For’ has been worth waiting for and more than satisfies expectations.

    Kevin Pearce invites us to join him on his musical and cultural odyssey, centred around and emanating outwards from a couple of years in the early in 1980’s. It’s 1980,Vic Godard has just released ‘What’s The Matter Boy’ and right from the start Mr Pearce offers up a veritable feast to the reader, leading us down one musical pathway after another, many ending up in totally unexpected territory, but fear not, this is the author’s story and he is the guiding light throughout the book, joining the dots to give us a pretty extensive musical and cultural overview of the times. Quotes from a number of sources are ingeniously inserted in to the narrative, always apposite, in context, always credited and some very funny, eg the ones by people who have interviewed Vic Godard, I particularly enjoyed Dave McCulloch’s ‘Baarnaard’ swipes. 
 As well as Vic Godard & Subway Sect popping up here and there these are just a few more of the zones that personally resonated with me: Creeping Bent/Davy Henderson/The Fire Engines/Edwyn Collins/Orange Juice/The Pastels/Alan Horne/ Françoise Hardy/Marc Bolan/Jonathan Richman, so many more!Then there are the pathways to reggae, soul, punk, jazz, blues, radio and so much more to explore, you’ll have to delve in yourselves to find out what is in there for you and there is sure to be something that will pique the interest, illuminate and enlighten you.  Gertie Grocott
P.S. You'll find this favourite of mine in A.M.W.W.F. - Althea and Donna 'Uptown Top Ranking' -
P.P.S. Would love to see this in print so let’s hope there is an erudite publisher out there who recognises a good read when they see one.
P.P.P.S.Another favourite I've just rediscovered in A.M.W.W.F.- Robert Knight 'Love On A Mountain Top (no there isn't a section about songs with 'Top' in the title, just coincidence!)

Highly Recommended No 2

If you are planning a visit to Norfolk then The Control Tower on the former RAF North Creake Airfield, Walsingham, a couple of miles from Wells-next-the-Sea, is a unique vegetarian B&B you may want to consider. The exterior has been returned to its iconic modernist look and the interior is furnished with beautiful art deco fixtures and furniture.

James Garner
Vic and the gnu happened to be talking about the Rockford Files and the very talented James Garner on Sunday after their return from Suffolk when they heard he had died, rest in peace.
Here's Episode 1 Part 1 Series 1 of The Rockford Files:

 Odds and Sods

Train tickets for gigs booked so far - London - Blackpool, had to book coach for Blackpool - London on way back due to line works; London - Leicester; Leicester - Newcastle; Newcastle - Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough - London. London - Birmingham return. Hotels booked so far: Blackpool, Leicester, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Birmingham, Wigan, Glasgow & Edinburgh.    Look out for reviews in upcoming blogs.                                                                                                             

Two sides of Dorset - the expanse of Weymouth Beach on the right and a place called Windspit on the Isle of Purbeck, a couple of miles outside Swanage, big caves are old stone quarries.

More outtakes from 'The Irvine Welsh Question' (see previous blog - Primera Persona)


Ambition number 12 in Mojo's Top 50 Independent records-


Dear Mr Khaled Mashaal (why are you hiding in Doha while your people die?) and Mr Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu, please just stop this killing of innocents, there is no justification on either side for aggression that results in the terrorising, maiming and killing of children. Yours, Gert

Dear Mr Putin, enough is enough, you can end the torment of the families of those murdered in the rebel held region of the Ukraine, be a real hero, close the border and send escorts to retrieve the remaining bodies and for the accident investigators and bring the murderers to account. Yours, Gert

Dear Mr Cameron and Mr Johnson, stop being hypocrites, stop supporting arms trading with murderers, stop Russian oligarchs, and their ilk, treating the UK (sorry London) as a tax haven. There have been claims that many of these uber wealthy Russians (and their ilk) are contributing significantly to the economy of the UK, I don't count contributing to tory coffers as contributing to the economy so I'd be interested to know what they are doing for Hartlepool for example. How about a punitive tax rate for starters?
Yours, Gert

Epitaphs: Common Form by Rudyard Kipling
'If any question why we died
Tell them, because our fathers lied.'


Thursday, 19 June 2014

Info Galore! 1979 Now, Northern Soul Demos, Gigs, 'Looking For Johnny' Review, a naughty Kenneth McKellar, Spanish Punk Doc 1978, out-takes and more....

Moon Dance in June

Greetings All from Gnu Inc Central!
1979 Now Update - With recording, mixing and mastering completed a month ago attention has turned to the packaging/info etc.for the LP and CD. Our design guru Andrew Paul Shaw is doing a brilliant job with the covers and Vic and the gnu have compiled the notes/lyrics for the on line booklet. Still on schedule for release in September (this year) on Aed records. 
Gnu did do a T but she's not sure that it works now that she's got the samples so may go with the traditional Northern Soul insignia one.

Started the month of June with an extraordinary experience, an outing to see Charles Aznavour's farewell performance (well, he is 90 years young) at the Royal Albert Hall. I wasn't a fan, never liked 'She' and still not keen on the early Aznavour repertoire but Vic is and the tickets were an early birthday present for him but as it turned out this was probably one of the very best and most affecting performances I have ever been to. It had everything, wonderful songs beautifully sung with pathos, poignancy and feeling, a very appreciative audience, transfixed for over an hour and a half. I had tears in my eyes more than once, exacerbated by the fact that M Aznavour reminds me of my father (in looks, also called Charles, has a similar tremor and on occasion sang a mean 'Dance in the Old Fashioned Way', he often broke in to song after imbibing usually more along the lines of 'The Ball O' Kirriemuir' though! See below )  There being no visible or verbal warnings about filming/recording I had the trusty camcorder on pretty much all the way through, when not filming it sat on my lap recording but that means nearly 8GB of material and over 200 minutes to upload to I've gone down a different route to give you a taste of what it was like to be there, I've separated the music and made an mp3 file so an hour and a half of pleasure awaits! 
 (Just to warn you though it is still 78.5MB!) 
 Presenting for your Delight and Delectation Mr Charles Aznavour
Charles Aznavour Royal Albert Hall 1st June 2004

                                                                 File Hosting Online Storage Backup

The next social event was a family birthday and a wedding take place in Kefalonia. So Vic and the gnu are off there for a couple of days next May, they've never been to Greece, mainland or islands so looking forward to it. The only resonance I have with with Kefalonia is Captain Corelli's Mandolin, I found it so dire I didn't get past the first couple of chapters and skipped to the end, didn't get any better, I'm sure that if this sentimental tripe had been written by a woman it would have been marked down as a pretty average example of the 'chick lit' genre and not made it as far as a Hollywood film. I've not seen it, apart from anything else I'm not what you'd call a Nicholas Cage fan.

 Went to the London screening of 'Looking For Johnny', Danny Garcia's film about Johnny Thunders. I don't really know a lot about Mr Thunders (bits and pieces that Vic has mentioned) and I suppose my expectation was I would find out something enlightening about the man himself but I didn't. Most of the first half is more about the New York Dolls than Johnny T specifically, and the most enjoyable part for me, it's got some voice over of Malcom McLaren and Vic's revelatory moment came when he heard that Malcolm had driven the group to Miami to do a gig, he still can't believe that someone like Malcom would ever have learned to drive or bothered to take a test. I found the oft repeated references to Johnny T's drug taking  depressing and he came across as a fairly unsympathetic character. I wanted more about his songwriting and musical skills and the reason why Jerry Nolan, for one, kept coming back for more despite the narcotic fall out. This may sound like I didn't enjoy the experience, so feel I should say I wasn't bored at any point and an entertaining side show was the gasps and ascerbic comments by some audience members as various aging US punks appeared on screen....let's just say time hasn't treated them well! I think the film will appeal to anyone with an interest in the New York Dolls, Television, The Heartbreakers etc., as well as Johnny Thunders fans and aficionados.  Vic's song 'Johnny Thunders' plays over the end credits (can't remember hearing it but didn't stay until the end of the credits, along with most of the rest of the audience hoping to escape before the Q&A started!) and will be on the soundtrack compilation on Jungle Records. I'm not sure what else is going to be on it or when it is out! You can catch the film at Trash Cannes Festival Hastings 6th September-see below. 

Vic didn't meet Johnny Thunders in person, the day he went to Rehearsal Rehearsals to meet Subway Sect Vic was ill and couldn't make it. He did speak on the phone to him though - Johnny phoned him to ask if he knew a drummer who was available, and Vic suggested Terry Chimes. The weird thing was Vic was listening to 'Babylon' and had got to Johnny's guitar solo when the phone rang!

Vic wrote 'Johnny Thunders' some fifteen years later when JT died. This is Vic and The Sexual Objects doing a cracking version December 2012 at Stereo Glasgow (part of vic.ism), filmed by Tracey Holloway. It was also recorded by Murray Robertson for 'Live in Stereo Too' (very ltd edition gnu inc release and happily it sold out very quickly..... from the gnu's point of view! Read about it in Blog 14/04/2013)
And talking of The SOBs seriously disappointed we couldn't make it to Nectarine No9 performing Saint Jack at Rutherglen Town Hall on the 7th June, particularly after reading Neil Cooper's review in The Herald - - AND seriously pleased that they are joining the Sect for the Sounds in the Suburbs gigs in Glasgow and Edinburgh, see below for details.  

Which leads me nicely on to - Vic and the Sect have got some corkers coming up, in fact taking a look at them they're all corkers! Couldn't do better vis a vis promoters, venues and line ups, in my humble opinion.


Saturday 19th Keith Allen's 'The Establishment Club'
The Alcove Latitude Festival Suffolk 

Should be a laugh. Never been camping before, never found the idea appealing. Now I come to think about it only been to one biggie festival before and lasted about three hours before heading for the nearest exit!  


Never been to Blackpool so particularly looking forward to this trip - la stroll along the prom with an ice taking in the sights and a walk on the beach and ignore the fact that every group in existence (or has been re-formed/created for the event) that has any connection whatsoever with 'punk' will be there!

Friday 8th - Bizarre Bazaar Stage Rebellion
The Spanish Hall  The Pavilion, Winter Gardens, Blackpool

                                      'OH WE DO LIKE TO BE BESIDE THE SEASIDE' 
Lovely Jubbly on the South Coast.

Saturday 6thTrash Cannes Festival 
The Brass Monkey 18 Havelock Road Hastings, East Sussex 
+ The New York Dollies + Danny Garcia’s film  ‘Looking For Johnny’
Tickets on sale July 18th
Poster by Andrew Paul Shaw
Thursday 18thThe Musician

Tickets -

Further details to follow.

Friday 19thChildren of Godard Presents 
Star and Shadow Cinema Newcastle
 + The Fallen Leaves + The Girl With The Replaceable Head + Geoffrey Taylor’s short film ‘Close’ featuring ‘Birth and Death’ & ‘Empty Shell’

First of three gigs with the Leaves, not sure how that came about! If Lluis Huedo's doc 'Vic to Vic' is ready that will be shown as well.  
Saturday 20th - Minus Me Presents + Pellethead  + Fallen Leaves
The Westgarth Social Club
 99a Southfield Road TS1 3EZ Middlesbrough, United Kingdom

Saturday 4th - The Seventh Wave Presents
+ Blue Orchids + Church Of Elvis
The Flapper Cambrian Wharf, Kingston Row, Birmingham, B1 2NU
Celebrating the release of '1979 Now' (Aed) 

I think the first Spinningchilli Peel Night  that Vic & the Sect did was 29/10/2011 with The Piranhas 3D, The Fallen Leaves and The Shapes - a memorable night.  The gnu did a Peel session CD for the gig, only 50 numbered copies and yes, they all went, it was also Myers and Cook's debut show with the Sect. (vague memory of someone saying something like they were going to 'wipe the floor' with Subway Sect, just can't remember who it was!)  

Thursday 9th Spinningchilli Presents 
John Peel Night  + The Cravats + The Fallen Leaves +
Compere - Lee McFadden (ATV)
The Green Door Store
Unit 2, 3, & 4 Trafalgar Arches, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton Train Station, BN1 4FQ Brighton

Tickets from Resident Records &

Saturday 18th Covo club - Associazione Culturale Hovoc
Viale Zagabria, 1 40127 Bologna
Details to follow - fingers crossed anyway.


 Although Vic has visited Glasgow and Edinburgh quite a bit over the last couple of years (see previous blogs 2012/13), Subway Sect's last appearance (with a different line up to this year) was a memorable, somewhat surreal SITS night  at the Voodoo Rooms in March 2012. You had to have been there but there were skirmishes, a walk out, then a walk back in, Vic doing his best Bruce Forsyth impersonation inviting Murray to mark individual Sect performances and after the gig a faux punch up outside between two fans, ie flailing arms and legs, threatening gestures but no actual contact. The photo of Vic with Murray R is courtesy of Tracey Holloway. (Shame neither she nor Lee caught the fracas in the dressing room, the gnu missed it too!)

Friday 14th Sounds in the Suburbs Presents with the lovely SOBS at Stereo Cafe Bar 
20 - 28 Renfield Lane, G2 6PH Glasgow, United Kingdom

Tickets £13 ADV from Alan Sounds in the Suburbs -  0780 444 7511

Saturday 15thSounds In the Suburbs Presents with the Lovely SOBs again at The Voodoo Rooms 
19a West Register St Edinburgh EH2 2AA
Plus Martyn Smith's short film about Vic.ism

Tickets from Alan as above and from

Bit of a turn up this next one but it's a happening - Vic, Sean McClusky, Chris Bostock, Rob Marche and a friend of Sean's on piano (Dave Collard can't make it over from the US) will be playing 'Songs For Sale' and will hopefully recreate the vibe of the original Club Left nights.

Thursday 20th  & Gnu Inc Present
‘Club Left’ 2014 at the 100 Club London
+  Club Left DJ Johnny Britton + Tom Cat + Special Guests TBA

Not exactly sure what Vic and the gnu have in store because they are keeping their plans pretty close to their chests, that or they haven't got any yet! No I'm sure they have, I do know that if Lluis Huedo's film 'Vic to Vic' is finished then they want to screen that followed by a gig/party celebrating 30 Odd Years and 1979 Now. I also know they want to get as many Subway Sect alumni there as possible and that they do have a venue in mind and are waiting to find out if it's a goer. Possible date range - the end of September, mid October or first two weeks of December.  Watch This Space (or Vic's fb page).

Odds and Sods:

Ooh er, aren't they posh! Vic and the gnu dressed up and posing as characters from P.G.Wodehouse at Ascot circa late 80's. A strange man from the mail took them to the races for the day! Vic came upon any amount and all manner of treasures whilst looking for his diaries for a collaboration with his friend A. M. Leka. Loads of press clippings and photographs from all over the place (found ones in Catalan, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Japanese as well as NME/Sounds/Record Collector/The Face/Time Out..............and the letter from the palace about 'Hey Now I'm in Love' -

Spanish punk documentary 1978, interview with Jordi Valls and look out for Paloma Palmolive of the Slits-

Los punks (Dossier- TVE) 1978- Informe semanal. from Hermanos Ric vidioteca on Vimeo.

At the beginning of May a friend of Vic's, Kiko Amat, asked him to film a question to put to Irvine Welsh who was appearing at Primera Persona in Barcelona. Easy you may think except Vic doesn't do skype and doesn't have a camera phone so Vic and the gnu repaired to the garden with the camcorder to film a short video, not the best place for sound with the planes and trains. I wanted to include the first attempt where you can clearly hear the gnu's exasperated instructions but it was vetoed. The following are just a couple of the many many takes!  

Lots of rummaging been going on and apart from all the press clippings unearthed Vic came upon a few early northern soul demos in the middle of a cassette of a Radio 2 Hoagy Carmichael tribute! Sending to Mike Coe, Doctor of Music to digitalise. In the meantime here is a snatch with Myers, Rob Green, Vic's sister Jo and I can't remember who Vic said was on drums -

The World Cup - seems to be a bit of a damp squib so far, maybe the lack of UK enthusiasm is because England hasn't got a gnat's chance in hell of getting anywhere. The best football I have seen was Argentina v Bosnia-Herzogovinia. Shame about Spain going out but the players were all probably knackered before the tournament started. Who do I want to win? Argentina but think that it will be Brazil, refs do seem to be favouring them in decisions. 

I'll leave you with the words and music to 'The Ball O' Kirriemuir'
and the story-

There is a very, very, very naughty version of it on YT by Kenneth McKellar but I couldn't possibly post it here, oh alright, go on then!

                          THAT'S ALL FOLKS!