This is quite simply the best magazine you will ever find that is edited by a mad bloke (and his orange kitten), and produced from a tumbledown potato shed in North Devon. The fact that it is published with Gonzo Multimedia - probably the grooviest record company in the known universe - is merely an added bonus.
all the gonzo news that’s fit to print
Issue Forty-Nine    October 27th 2013
This issue was put together by me and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, ably assisted by Corinna Downes, Graham Inglis, Bart Lancia, Thom the World Poet, C.J.Stone, Kev Rowland and Peter McAdam
This is the nearest that you are ever going to get to a posh weekend colour supplement from the Gonzo Daily team. Each week we shall go through the best bits of the week before, and if there aren't any we shall make some up, or simply make our excuses and leave (you can tell the editor once did contract work at the News of the World can't ya?)
Social media stuff that I am really too old to understand, (my stepdaughter spent much of last Christmas trying to explain Twitter to me) but I am assuming that at least some of our readers are younger and hipper than I am.
Google Plus
Google Plus
It is simple; my name is Jon and I'm the editor of the Gonzo Multimedia daily online bloggything. Now there is a weekly magazine, once again edited by me and a small orange kitten from a dilapidated ex-potato shed  in rural Devonshire. You subscribed to by opting in on the website. I hope that you all stay to join in the fun, but if it is not to your liking it is easy to unsubscribe again. But what a long, strange trip it is gonna be...

I keep on thinking that I ought to have some sort of a mission statement in each issue, but it is more than a little difficult to do one. Basically, (if you don't mind me sounding more like a wishy washy old hippy than my haircut in the photograph above would imply) I think that books and music are immensely important. I look around and see that we are living in a world where the things that I think are important are valued less and less by society as a whole; a world where asinine gameshows and so-called reality TV (which is actually a complete oxymoron, but don't get me started) are of more importance to most people than anything of cultural or spiritual value.

I am also very disappointed by much of what the contemporary music press puts out, and I decided many years ago, that probably the only way I could read the things that I want to read, would be to publish them myself. So this is what I have been doing for much of my life. I am also naive enough to think that music and art can change the world, and as the world is in desperate need of change, I am gonna do my best to help.

1. Art is as important as science and more important than money
2. There is life after (beyond and before) Pop Idol
3. Music can and sometimes does change the world

If you think those three ideas are stupid then you should probably give up reading this magazine now. Otherwise... enjoy
The eagle eyed amongst you will have realised that this issue is a little late. Why? Two reasons. Firstly, back in July, my elder stepdaughter Shoshannah gave my wife two tickets to go and see Peter Gabriel in Manchester on Friday night. So we went, and it was awesome. But we came back c/o my Mama-in-Law in Oakham, and didn't arrive back until late on Saturday, so I am writing most of this issue even later on Saturday evening.

But there is another reason. My BT Internet email account is up the creek at the moment, and it is this account that I use for most of the outgoing emails for this magazine (and indeed most of the other stuff I do). Therefore, if any of you have tried to contact me, and have not received a reply, please don't feel snubbed. Graham is returning from his annual holiday with his family at some juncture tomorrow, and he will (I sincerely hope) manage to sort it all out and normal service will return as soon as possible.

I would love to suggest that my emails have been deliberately tampered with by the minions of the secret government or the new world order, because of my revolutionary political activities, but I am afraid that apart from being vocal about the iniquities of the badger cull and other recent issues, my revolutionary activities are few and far between.

No, I am afraid that it is far more likely that I have done something idiotic to Outlook Express.
Thank you once again to Rob Ayling, the Gonzo grande fromage for allowing me the chance to do something as insane as this magazine, and above all a big thank you to YOU, the readers, for having borne out my assertion that there are indeed people who listen to both Crass and Fairport Convention and like everything from Prog Metal to Folk to Punk to Avant Garde noise. Frunobulax and I are truly not alone.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Spirit of the GTOs redux
Regular readers will remember that last week I wrote a brief piece on ShiSho, a duo consisting of two teenage sisters with a peculiar sense of humour and a melodic sense to match. I wrote to them, only too aware that most middle aged men who write fan letters to teenage girls of 13 and 16 are quite rightly (and understandably) viewed with suspicion.

But I sent them a link to what I had written, and asked for an interview, which - I sincerely hope - will happen this week, as long as my life returns to some semblance of normality. In the meantime, they sent me an impressive press release which includes a list of their achievements and activities to date.

Check this out:
My name is Vivian, from the Akron, Ohio area, teen sister band, ShiSho inviting you to review our new project, "The Sisters EP." It has 5 new original songs, including "The Dead Milkmen Song, featuring the incredible Dead Milkmen.
We'll be releasing it Saturday, June 1 at the Bowery Electric in New York City. It's our first time playing in New York. We'll follow up with an interview and studio performance on WFMU on Monday, June 3rd. My sister Midge and I are releasing it on our own imprint for youngwave bands, "Magnetic Bunny Arts."
It will be available as physical CDs at our shows, local record stores in the Akron, Ohio area and on iTunes, Amazon and shisho.bandcamp.comfor name your own price. It will be available on Saturday, June 1.
This month ShiSho is 9 years old.The first song we recorded was Punk Rawk Boy, a warblely sung cover of the Dead Milkmen's classic, "Punk Rock Girl." It's an honor to have the Dead Milkmen join us on our first proper studio recording. Phantom Farmer, aka Joel McAnulty of De Novo Dahl produced or EP at the Green Lodge Studio in Tennessee.
In 2007 our imprint, Magnetic Bunny Arts released the Seaside Summer Compilation as a youngwave fundraiser for Callum Robbins and in 2011, "Rock The Tradition" as youngwave fundraiser for Akron, Ohio's All American Soap Box Derby.
The Sisters EP
Magnetic Bunny Arts
Produced By Phantom Farmer at the Green Lodge Studio
  1. It's Coming to Get You - A frightening clown doll gifted by grandma comes to life and rips open my throat during a violent struggle
  2. Chicken Poofie - An oppositionally defiant recluse writes books based on graffiti, hides in a ceiling fan and simply wants to be left alone
  3. Ohio Man - This guy is reported about every day for all the strange stuff he does around Ohio
  4. The Dead Milkmen Song (featuring the Dead Milkmen) - A tribute to one of the greatest bands ever, features that very same band!
  5. Shrouded In Shadows - A true story about a misunderstood girl from school who takes a lot of ridicule.
Tell your friends!
~Vivian (and Midge)
About ShiSho:
If They Might Be Giants and Kimya Dawson had baby daughters whom they powdered regularly with the Dead Milkmen's Joe Jack Talcum, they'd grow up to be ShiSho. Real-life sisters Vivian and Midge Ramone are the art band ShiSho from greater Akron, Ohio. At 16 and 13 years old, the girls have been writing and recording for 9 years. ShiSho performs intelligent and quirky folk-punk on accordion, guitar and ukulele.
We deliver an acoustic punk rock performance in a darling' way that completely catches people off guard,” says older sister, Vivian. It's not planned. It's who we are. We love playing for crowds that aren't familiar with ShiSho because we're a disconnect from first impressions. When you see two young girls in polka-dot dresses take the stage with an accordion and guitar, you don't expect to hear a hand-clapping folk tune about a doll ripping your throat open and gnawing at your living skull! But you're delighted when we do.”
ShiSho draws inspiration from acts like Tullycraft, The Dead Milkmen, Ben Folds, Shel Silverstein, The Vandals, Ween, MC Lars, artists known for clever lyrics and whimsical themes. Always comical, sometimes political (In their recent My Dear Republicans - The Fiscal Cliff Song,” ShiSho rhymes the names of all Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives in a plea for bipartisan compromise) Vivian and Midge do not cater to the typical tween audience. Though we're kids, we're not a band FOR kids,” explains Midge. "We're not nasty or disrespectful. It's just that most kids aren't interested in the things we sing about. We almost got kicked off the stage at a big Girl Scout convention during a war protest song, America Will Punch You. It's ok that den mothers don't like us because punk and indie moms do.”
The band performs mostly original songs live. A crowd favorite is Rocks and Penalties” a musical narrative about poison rainbows, puking unicorns and a Smiths reunion. Vivian and Midge are seasoned performers, having played countless shows in garages, restaurants, universities, bars, basements, festivals, radio & television studios, podcasts, libraries, record stores, sporting events, protest rallies, comic book conventions (once in a comic book), parties, fund raisers, museums, galleries, business incubators, fairs, respected and not so respected music venues. They've opened and have done preshow events for They Might Be Giants, Joe Jack Talcum of The Dead Milkmen, the Smoking Popes, Harry and the Potters, Skating Polly, Hank & Cupcakes, Spoken Nerd, and many more. Their music and performances have been described as, "wonky," "just barmy genius!," "goofballs... crazy... awesome... fun... mega-silly...," "the absolute dog's bollocks," and "I swear, it almost made me cry, how hard I was laughing."
"The name 'ShiSho' comes from a phase I invented as a safe alternative to a disrespectful one I was fooled into saying to my grandma once. We learned recently that it's a Japanese word to describe an inappropriate giggle," explains Vivian. "I think that fits us well."
Vivian and Midge are supporters of their local music scene. On weekends they aren't performing, you'll find them in local venues attending live shows. They are often invited on stage to perform along with their favorite hometown bands. In 2011 ShiSho was awarded 5th best local Akron band by the Akron Beacon Journal newspaper.
In 2012 they made their Dr. Demento Show debut with a Rebecca Black parody, "Friday (the 13th)," a collaboration with Devo Spice, written and produced by Devo Spice.
2013 finds ShiSho recording a follow-up to their 2009 project Rainbow Jumpin' Demos” in preparation of their NYC debut on world renown free-form radio station WFMU on June 3rd. They're currently working to secure shows in New York City the weekend of May 31st - June 2nd (email any opportunities to the band).
In addition to music ShiSho actively supports causes for social justice. In September 2011, they organized the RYE (Respect Your Elders) Rally, a 23 act fundraiser, to support 250 senior citizens evicted from their Kent, Ohio retirement community by a real estate developer. Vivian and Midge are also official Occupy Musicians and have been actively involved with Occupy Akron and Kent. Vivian volunteers to support local political causes.
In Europe ShiSho's music is distributed by Filthy Little Angels Records in Nelson, England. In the U.S. the girls created their own imprint, Magnetic Bunny Arts, a label started for fellow youngwave musicians in 2007.
Midge Ramone - Accordion and Vocals
Vivian Ramone - Guitar, Ukulele and Vocals
Punk Rawk Boy / Dead Milkmen cover (self-released single)
Get Behind Me Santa / original - (self-released single)
Rock n Roll is Here to Stay / cover (Filthy Little Angels Records' Grease compilation)
Disco Brandtson / original (single - self release)
Daddy's Womp / Lifesavours cover (single - self release)
Merry Christmas Now Leave / original (Filthy Little Angels Records 2006 Christmas Compilation)
Get Behind Me Santa / original - (re-release by Filthy Little Angels Records, 2006 Christmas Compliation)
Courtney Sat on a Rock / original (split vinyl w/Hyperbubble (Filthy Little Angels Records)
Rocks n Penalties / original (split vinyl w/Hyperbubble (Filthy Little Angels Records)
Get Behing Me Santa! / Sufjan Stevens cover (Filthy Little Angels 2006 Christmas Compilation)
Cartoon appearance in Itsy Kitsy Comic Book
True Faith / New Order Cover (Filthy Little Angels 1987 compilation)
Christmas Red / original (Filthy Little Angels 2007 Christmas Compilation
Christmas Time in Paris France / original (Filthy Little Angels Christmas Compilation)
Daddy's Womp / Lifesavours cover (re-release, Magnetic Bunny, youngwave music compilation and fundraiser)
Life's Been Good to Me so Far / Joe Walsh cover (Filthy Little Angels' 1977 compilation)
America Will Punch You / Harvey and Felix cover (ShiSho will Punch You EP - Filthy Little Angels Records)
The Thing that Only Eats Hippies / Dead Milkmen cover (ShiSho will Punch You EP - Filthy Little Angels Records)
Stranger in the Manger / original (Filthy Little Angels 2008 Christmas Compilation)
Christmas Bells / original (Tone King Christmas Compilation and Humane Society fundraiser)
Marcus the Flying Fish / original (unreleased)
It's Coming to Get You (The Evil Clown Song) / original (unreleased)
Articles of Confederation / original (unreleased)
I Love the Police / Spoken Nerd cover (unreleased)
I'm Sorry / original (unreleased)
The Wesley Willis Song / original (unreleased)
Sing Out / Cat Stevens cover (unreleased)
Older / They Might Be Giants cover (unreleased)
The Dead Milkmen Song / original (unreleased)
Miss You Now, Pops / original (Magnetic Bunny Arts' Rock the Tradition All American Soap Box Derby fundraiser CD)
Ron Conway / original (unreleased)
Friday (the 13th) / original (feature with Devo Spice - played on the Dr. Demento show)
Big Deal / Dead Milkmen cover for, "Now You Are 50," Joe Jack Talcum Birthday Compilation CD.
Christmas at Ground Zero / Weird Al cover for a DIY Christmas Compilation
My Dear Republicans (The Fiscal Cliff Song) / YouTube Original
The Sisters EP
It's Coming to Get You (The Evil Clown Song)
Chicken Poofie
Ohio Man
The Dead Milkmen Song (featuring The Dead Milkmen)
Shrouded in Shadows
STORY OF THE WEEK: Hmmmmmmmmmmmm

Following the recent LA performance featuring our very own Michael Des Barres, a notorious piece of music once denounced as "filth for filth's sake" is going to be performed live in this country for the first time. Frank Zappa's 200 Motels, a colossal work for full orchestra, rock band, singers and actors, was banned on the grounds of obscenity in 1971.

Now more than 40 years later, it will be performed at the Royal Festival Hall next week. Frank Zappa died in 1993 and, in a rare interview, his widow Gail Zappa spoke to the BBC's arts correspondent Rebecca Jones.

One woman explained why the performance was rejected by the Royal Albert Hall. "You could say it was connected with sex," she said.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Thursday 24 October 2013.

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: More on the Mick Farren Memorial gig
Following Mick’s funeral last month, it was decided to hold a much bigger occasion where friends and colleagues could gather together, share stories, laugh and reflect on the life of a friend who left us too soon. 

At its heart, this event will be an opportunity to finish the set Mick and the Deviants started on that fateful night, Saturday, 27th July, at the Borderline. There will be live music from the Deviants, Slim Tim Rundall, and guests, drinks from the cash bar of the Flyover, situated right under the Westway, a venue Mick played on a number of occasions, and not far from the Chesterton Road flat he lived in during the years leading up to his departure for America. 

ADMISSION: Free (but donations welcome).

THE FLYOVER, 3-5 Thorpe Close, Under-the-Westway, Ladbroke Grove, London W10 5XL
STORY OF THE WEEK: The Necropants
Are these the most terrifying trousers ever? The 17th century NECROPANTS made from corpse legs - and are supposed to be lucky
  • The Museum of Icelandic Sorcery & Witchcraft in Holmavik houses the only known intact pair of necropants
  • In order to make the necropants, or nábrók, an individual had to get permission from a living man to use his skin after his death
  • According to legend, the trousers brought their wearer wealth and luck, but had to be passed on to a future generation before his own death
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Great news for Genre Peak Fans.
Martin Birke writes:

Hi guys,
Just wanted to pass on the news Genre Peak has been nominated best electronic act by Sacramento Music Awards aka SAMMIES . We are 1 of 5 acts in the electronic category.
Kind of a big deal locally. You can still vote for us until Nov. 6th. Will find out who wins at the ceremony on Friday Nov. 8th.

Wish us luck, winning would make a new promo wave for us to ride on with gigs,radio and press even if just locally that's great.
Thanks ,
-mb :-)

Explore New Music

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Clear as Crystal
While we were in Manchester we met up with the lovely Carol Hodge, aka Miss Crystal Grenade in the foyer of Manchester Museum. Over a cup of tea she talked about her excitement at the forthcoming release of her debut album Lo and Behold. This weekend she will have done a couple of gigs with Steve Ignorant's Slice of Life and she had a couple of exciting tidbits for us.
First, the three track debut EP from Slice of Life is now complete, and a release on Steve's own Dimlo label is imminent. We are very much looking forward to hearing it. But here is a strange concept for you to juggle with. As well as an acoustic version of the Crass song 'So What' their current set also includes a cover of David Bowie's Sweet Thing. Now that is something I really have to hear.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: Free Cultural Spaces
Alan Dearling writes:

Hi Jon
Chasing my tail more than a little at the moment. You know the feeling.
You may remember my words and pics from Ruigoord, outside Amsterdam. It's the forty-year old space which was originally squatted and now is home to many creative and artistic people. That's where the 3rd Symposium of the world's free cultural spaces took place a couple of months ago, followed by the Landjuweel festival.
Anyway, as planned we are trying to build shoots and branches, hubs and webs, out from the event. To make some of the ideas organically grow. Here is the link to our little video. Well worth a view. Viewers may need to manually turn on the sound, it varies between browsers:
Many days of work from hundreds of stills
and more than 16 hours of film.

luv n' respect
Alan (Dearling)
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: A disappointing Roger Waters biography
Many years ago in another life I met Dave Thompson when he wrote a biography of Chris de Burgh, and my first wife was editing a C de B fan magazine, and I was tagging along for the ride.

He seemed a very nice bloke, and we chatted cheerfully for some time about his book. What I didn't realise, being a young and naive bloke in my twenties, was that there are such people as journalistic hacks. People who write for money rather than love, and will take any commission going as long as the remuneration is acceptable. 


But Dave Thompson has written - I believe - well over 100 books, and as far as I know most of them are music biographies. His latest is a look at the career of Roger Waters, the iconoclastic and often controversial mainman of Pink Floyd v.2. I say career because this is very much a career biography, which tells the story of Waters' career path and achievements in a perfectly acceptable journeyman style.

But it doesn't tell very much that isn't already available to the reader in many other forms. There was very little that I don't know already. And, sadly, there were several errors including a passage that gets Waters' age wrong. This is probably down to poor editing rather than any failure on the part of the author.

But the biggest disappointment is that it tells you nothing of any substance about the man himself. I wanted to know why Roger flirts with fascist and anti-Semitic imagery when he is an unashamed Socialist.

And I want to know his reasoning behind quitting Britain because of the fox-hunting ban when he has been an advocate of animal rights (the explanation in the book made very little sense to me). There is still a place for cut and paste rock biographies, but recent works by people like Philip Norman (Mick Jagger) or Johnny Rogan (The Smiths)and the autobiographies of Neil Young, Pete Townshend, and Morrissey have raised the bar considerably, and I am afraid that in the current literary climate this book does not cut the mustard.
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST:  More from Mike Davis
Last weekend we recorded three more songs in my converted potato shed in Woolsery, North Devon. For two of these songs Mike was joined on vocals by the lovely and talented Lizzie Rowe, who I can confidently predict will be someone that you will be hearing a lot more from. For some reason Archie has decided that he is Lizzie's biggest fan. After all he was in the video for 'Ride on Life'...

Check out the new songs:

Back in the potato shed for the second of this weekend's recordings. Another rough cut video of a board mix. Mike and I have been making music together on and off for over 30 years, and were blown away at how easily Lizzie (who was born round about the time that we first met) slotted in to our creative partnership. 

Note the expensive looking smoke effect: one would pay hundreds of pounds for that under normal circumstances, but it is Mike and Corinna smoking cigarettes just off camera. I also like the moths and the fact that someone has hung their car keys on the yew tree outside my office window...
As One Door Opens

The genius of Mike Davis is that he can write a song about anything. This is basically a list of a bunch of the pubs of Haverfordwest, but Mike not only makes them his own, but makes me want to visit each and every one. Time, gentlemen please.
Drinking Land
There are, I am afraid, no new shows for you this week, but there are some other exciting things afoot with another entirely new station being added to Gonzo Web Radio, and a total revamp of the radio index.

Watch this space.
For more news on Strange Fruit CLICK HERE
For more news on Canterbury Sans Frontières CLICK HERE
For the Gonzo Web Radio homepage CLICK HERE

THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: The Gospel according to Bart
My favourite roving reporter writes: "Mate: know you'll be interested in this 'tidbit'.... Bart" and attaches this fascinating link:

When David Bowie talks, people listen – even if the interview is from 40 years ago. BBC Radio has offered up a 13-minute recording of Bowie, then 26, promoting his 1973 covers LP Pin-Ups; in it, the Thin White Duke reminisces about his early musical influences and the British music scene at hip London clubs like the Marquee.

Read on...
THE WEEK THAT'S PAST: What's been did and what's been hid
I am growing up in public, as it were. The Gonzo Weekly has been going for very nearly a year now, and we are beginning to find our feet. I am making changes as I go along, and - no doubt - some of these changes will turn out to be mistakes. So, let me know what you think. Do they work? Do you like them? Hate them? Or don't you care either way?

Please pass this magazine around as far and wide as you can. And encourage as many people as you can to subscribe. Remember it is free, and will remain so. However, I want as many subscribers as possible to move on to the next stage of the party. There might well be cake.

Remember, I am always looking for new authors. If there is something that you feel you could add to the general melange which is the Gonzo Weekly, please email me at The more the merrier.

Although this newsletter also goes out in a plain text version for those of you who do not trust image intensive thingys in your browser, I promise that as long as it is technically feasible (which will be for the forseeable future) the text only mailout will continue. However, I strongly advise that for you to get the best out of this rapidly evolving publication, that you really should see it in all its picture-led glory.

Please tell your friends, colleagues and family about The Gonzo Weekly, and try to persuade them to subscribe. The more subscribers we get, the bigger and better and more effective the whole thing will be.
Remember, if you want more than your weekly fix of this newsletter you can check out the Gonzo Daily, which - as its name implies - does much the same as this newsletter but every day. It also features a daily poem from Thom the World Poet, and the occasional non-Gonzo rock music rambling from yours truly, plus book and gig reviews from our highly trained staff of social malcontents. And its FREE! You cannae say fairer than that!
Each week, some of you seem to recognise me. Yes, I am indeed that weird bloke off the telly who chases mythological animals. I have a day job as Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, and also the editor of the CFZ Blog Network, and publisher of a plethora of books about mystery animals.
1.  Zoot Suit by Judge Smith
Judge’s 11th solo release is an album of songs, and only his third full-length collection of songs in twenty years. Featuring the spectacular arrangements and production of David Minnick, and some amazing American musicians, ‘ZOOT SUIT’ is perhaps Judge’s most accessible and downright entertaining album to date.

2. Live at the Roxy by Brand X
Recorded at the Roxy Theatre, Los Angeles, California on Sunday, 23rd September 1979 11:30 pm to 1:00 am. This recording of Brand X captured live at the peak of the bands career has never been previously issued.

3. Lo and Behold by Miss Crystal Grenade
The year is 1892, the place Victorian England. Dim gaslamps lend a cobwebbed ale house a sepia glow. The sound is dull murmurs from blunt mouths, the scent unwashed sweat and sawdust. In the back room of the bar, a strange performance is unfolding, one of horror and beauty as yet to come... Singer, pianist, freak show personality and melancholic muse, Crystal is a woman wading through existentialist dreams whilst living hand to mouth.

4. Leaving Home Blues by Mick Abrahams
Over the years he also recorded a number of solo albums, steeped in the delta blues DNA that had mystically been passed down to him by Robert Johnson. Mick is 70 now, and not in the best of health, but he still has the heart of a bluesman and the remarkable musicianship on this gem of an album pays testament to that. 

5. The Woman in the Black Vinyl Dress by Mick Farren and Andy Colquhoun
Mick was a crazy-passionate activist, anarchist, and street politician. When I met him, about a month before his death I asked him whether he was still a revolutionary. He bristled “Certainly”, he said, and went on to describe the ills of modern Britain, the iniquities of the Government, and his hope that the new technology of the 21st Century might bring about the anarcho-syndicalist utopia that he dreamed of. All the time he was talking, he quaffed Jack Daniels, and smoked my cigarettes, while taking the occasional toke on his oxygen mask. We were surrounded by friends and well-wishers, and it was obvious that here was a man that demanded great love and respect. This is his final album, recorded and written with old compadre Andy Colquhoun.

6. Dogface by Gary Windo
Gary Windo was one of those people who never achieved the full recognition due to him. At least, not while he was alive. A highly original musician with an instantly recognizable style, Windo was involved in the Seventies with various musicians of the Canterbury scene. Most notable was his work with Robert Wyatt on the albums Rock Bottom (1974) and Ruth Is Stranger Than Richard (1975), and with Hugh Hopper on 1984 (1973) and Hoppertunity Box (1976).  His first released solo album, Dogface (1982) is an unsung classic, I am very proud to be part of the team that has finally made this peerless record available again.
Most of the back issues have now been archived on a dedicated Blogger site. Please use the navigation tree on the right of the page. However, please be aware that there are still a few formatting issues, and the magazine may not look as nice in blogger as we would have liked.

If, however, you are using the MailChimp archive, (below) please be warned: Magazines from #11-41  contain the cartoon at the bottom of the stressed out guy with the computer  Apparently someone has accused the public domain images site I got it from of hosting malware, and even though there was none found there by Google, the fact that I used an image from the site (perfectly legally) flagged our whole newsletter up as possibly containing malware. This should only effect people using Google Chrome, and I would strongly suggest that you click the 'proceed anyway' tab, and view the newsletter as you had originally planned...

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THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Gypie Mayo (1951-2013)

Ironic that Wilko Johnson, the man whom he replaced in Dr Feelgood has outlived him, despite battling with terminal cancer himself...

Lee Brilleaux will be waiting for them both

She's a Wind Up
THOSE WE HAVE LOST:  Noel Harrison (1934-2013)
Noel John Christopher Harrison (29 January 1934 – 19 October 2013) was an English singer, actor, and Olympic skier. He was the son of British actor Sir Rex Harrison.

Windmills of my Mind
Now, I don't know whether this is a good idea, a bad idea, or just an idea, but - as I believe you know - this magazine is put out each week on a budget of £25, and is free. It will remain free, but I would like to be able to generate some income so I can pay our contributing writers. So, 'why not flog Gonzo Weekly T Shirts?' I thought. 'Why not', I answered...
JON: How’s things been going?
PAUL: Pretty good.  A busy time working on the new album. It’s taking a bit longer than the last one, but the tracks are a lot more mature, a lot better. There are a few surprises this time around as well. A couple of lengthy tracks I think there’s at least a couple of tracks that over 10 minutes long.  Quite long tracks.  The shortest one’s a cover.  So it’s quite a change. 

JON: Wow, when is it coming out?
Basically as soon as I’m happy with the songs.  I am just replacing the guitars.  I have done all the vocals. I am just redoing some of the guitars...I am just trying to make it a little more in your face.  it’s quite a heavy album. 
JON:  I’m looking forward to hearing it.  I enjoyed the first two mightily. 

PAUL: Great. That’s what I like to hear.  We got some nice reviews across the world, which was quite good. The third one, I think this is the best one obviously. I think Al has done a cracking job on his vocals this time, he's done an exceptional job.
JON:  You were talking last time about a project with Rodney Matthews
PAUL: We’ve been doing some songs. Although he is basically an artist, he generally knows his rock stuff. One time he used to be in a band called Squid a way back.
JON:  That’s a brilliant name. 
PAUL: What a great name for a progressive band.  He did some tracks with them and he also wants to be involved with more bits and pieces. Also he’s doing quite a few websites at the moment doing things with his art and animation, and he asked me if I would just play on some of his tracks and try sprucing it up a bit. It has Al on lead vocals and I've brought in a female vocalist on some of it.

JON:  How did you and Al get together in the first place?
PAUL: I’ve known Al literally since the late ‘80s and we worked together in the early ‘90s, but I was actually gigging in his home town, in West Bromwich in the Black Country, and he comes over and asks me to play on some of his demos he was doing for his first album and we just became friends and kind of worked together in different guises ever since really.  

I think I’ve played on all of his albums - he's done five, and I played on all of those - and done a couple of tracks for him on that. There was a big break in between when I went off and did my thing and I was involved with the church and things like that.  And then basically we got together again – I asked him to put some vocals down on the tracks I had been demoing and we formed the Atkins May Project and just went from there really. It’s like a role reversal so to speak when I’m working for Alan I’m playing guitar and I write it’s all pretty good stuff.
JON:  The results work well so I think it’s a very good productive partnership.
PAUL: He is a good mate who you’ve kind of learned to work with I think Al now is a much more confident vocalist than he was a couple of years ago.  Now he is quite phenomenal for his age.  He’s had his 66th birthday his voice is stronger than it’s ever been.  It’s absolutely brilliant so I’m privileged to be working with him really.
JON:  Have you go any other projects in the pipeline?
PAUL: I am actually working on several things all in one go.  I’m doing a worship album, with Rodney as well, and a few special things with a couple of other bands I play for. There's a band from Brazil - I'm a featured guest on their album. A thrash metal band....

EDITOR'S NOTE: I don't know whether it is my rubbish telephone system, something weird in the aether, or something wonky as Paul's end, but the conversation (which I had hoped to put out as a podcast) was practically inaudible, and Corinna did a bloody good job piecing it all together. We will return to Paul for a longer (and hopefully a more technically proficient ) chat soon
Been there, got the T-shirt (I did …. really…. Jon bought me one)
Back in July, for my birthday, my daughters and my eldest’s husband, presented me with tickets to see one of my musical heroes – Peter Gabriel. In fact, scrub that, my only musical hero.  So last Friday found us at the MEN arena in Manchester to see the last gig of the ‘So Back to Front’ European tour.  It was while having a quick snack before finding our seats that I did a quick sum in my head and realised that it was actually around 41 years since I first saw him back in Uxbridge, when Genesis played Brunel University.  This fact was a bit shocking – had it really been that long? Damn that made me feel old, and for a moment I wistfully wished I could travel back in a time machine and re-live it all over again. 
As ever with those big arena events, when you walk in, the sight of everything below and around you makes your brain automatically switch into ‘eek’ mode, triggering a slight hint of vertigo that makes your legs wobble merely at the thought of walking down the tiny steps to your seat.  But we made it, one of the arena staff helping Jon (who is disabled, just in case you didn't know) down slowly.  There was a steady trickle of people entering the arena, until it was  basically packed.
I am not going to write about the stage show, or the music, or the songs.  You can read about that on-line in a more expert and authoritative way than I ever could.  I didn’t go for that reason.  I  went because I am a long-standing devotee to the man  whose songs and music I have grown up with, and who - all those years ago - turned my head and mind to the more imaginative world of music.  I went to listen to the man whose quiet, unassuming speaking voice belts out songs that mean something.
Just like those 41 years, the show went in a flash.  But it was a bloody good show.  And the sequence at the end was more than slightly reminiscent of the Peter Gabriel  theatrics back in the ‘70s.  

Thanks Shoshannah, Olivia and Gavin for the wonderful birthday present, and thanks Jon for taking me and ‘showing me a good time’.  
As any reader of this magazine will probably know, I was a great fan of the late Mick Farren, and was pretty devastated (although not particularly surprised) when he died the night before I was due to visit him with wife and niece in tow. His final album is now available, and here - for the first time - is the press release from the incomparable Billy James.
London, UK – Much to the excitement of fans and music press around the world, the final album by UK music legend, activist, anarchist, writer and street politician, Mick Farren, has been released. Mick Farren and Andy Colquhoun 'The Woman In The Black Vinyl Dress' is now available on CD from GONZO Multimedia UK. Mick Farren was an English journalist, author and singer associated with the UK underground. Farren was best known as the singer with the proto-punk group The Deviants between 1967 and 1969. The band released three critically acclaimed albums “Ptoofff!”, “Disposable” and “The Deviants 3”, before Farren left for a solo career. In 1970 he released his first solo album 'Mona – The Carnivorous Circus' which featured Steve Peregrin Took, John Gustafson and Paul Buckmaster, before leaving the music business to concentrate in his writing.
During the mid-70s Mick briefly returned to music, releasing the single “Play With Fire” featuring Marky (soon-to-be Ramone) Bell, Jon Tiven and Doug Snyder. He also released the EP 'Screwed Up', the album 'Vampires Stole My Lunch Money' and the single “Broken Statue”. The album featured fellow NME journalist Chrissie Hynde (The Pretenders) and Dr. Feelgood guitarist Wilko Johnson. After that, Farren did sporadic musical work, collaborating with Wayne Kramer of the MC5 on two albums ('Who Shot The Dutch' & 'Death Tongue'), Jack Lancaster of Bloodwyn Pig on an album ('The Deathray Tapes') and and Andy Colquhoun on The Deviants albums 'Eating Jello With A Heated Fork' and 'Dr. Crow'. He also wrote lyrics for various musician friends over the years. He co-wrote “Lost Johnny” with Lemmy for Hawkwind, and “Keep Us On The Road” and “Damage Case” for Motorhead. He co-wrote “When's The Fun Begin?” with Larry Wallis for the Pink Fairies, along with several songs on Wallis's solo album 'Death In The Guitafternoon'. Mick also provided lyrics for the Wayne Kramer single “Get Some” in the mid-1970s and continued to collaborate with him in the 1990's.
As a writer, in the early 1970's Mick contributed to the UK Underground press. He later wrote for the mainstream publication NME. Farren also penned 23 novels, which included 11 works of non-fiction, several biographical (including 4 books on Elvis Presley), autobiographical and culture books, as well a lot of poetry. From 2003 to 2008 he was a columnist for the Los Angeles newspaper CityBeat. In 2010 Mick returned to the UK and continued to write. As a longtime asthmatic, Farren eventually developed emphysema, and against medical advice Farren continued to perform on occasion with The Deviants, (with the use of an oxygen tank between songs at times).
“I'm a lousy singer,” he once told the LA Weekly, “but an excellent rock star.”Mick Farren lived his music to the very end... He died at the age of 69 on July 27, 2013, after collapsing on stage while performing with the Deviants at The Borderline club in Soho. A tribute concert to Mick Farren will be held on November 14, 2013 at The Flyover in London. Says Jon Downes of The Gonzo Daily blog, “Following Mick's funeral last month, it was decided to hold a much bigger occasion where friends and colleagues could gather together, share stories, laugh and reflect on the life of a friend who left us too soon. At its heart, this event will be an opportunity to finish the set Mick and The Deviants started that fateful night at The Borderline. There will be live music from the Deviants, Slim Tim Rundall, and guests. I had great love and respect for him, and I hope in the weeks, months and years to come, as part of Gonzo Multimedia we shall help bring his invaluable work and inspirational legacy to new generations.”
Mick's final album, with fellow Deviants member and musical accomplice Andy Colquhoun, 'The Woman In The Black Vinyl Dress' was recorded last year and serves as a fitting swansong for the legendary artist. Says Andy, “The initial vocal tracks were laid down by Mick in February 2012 at Brighton Electric, to click tracks at various tempos. Jaki Miles-Windmill added backing vocals, and some percussion at this session. I took the vocal tracks to my studio, Cybermusik, and overdubbed guitars, bass, drums, keyboards and more backing vocals, and also put the poetry in a song structure. The tracks 'Pick Up The Scissors' and 'Tomorrow Never Knows' had vocals recorded at Mick's flat and at Cybermusik. Jaki also added percussion and vocals at Cybermusik.” Andy put the the CD together over a six month period, and mixed the album in August 2012. Andy also produced/played/composed on 'Vampires Stole My Lunch Money'. 'The Deviants Have Left The Planet', 'The Death Ray Tapes', 'Barbarian Princess' and 'Fragments Of Broken Probes'.
On a final note, Mick's very last recording was the single for Shagrat records titled “Fury Of The Mob “ backed with “A Better Day Coming”, which was released in July 2012.

We will be publishing extracts from this massively exciting book over the next few issues. This week, here is an excerpt from Chapter Seven...

I can understand that my wife resented my wicked life, but she never complained about the ease of living it brought her. Our flat was so luxurious that a film star would have been happy to live there. I once estimated that I had spent about £8,000 decorating and furnishing the place. But despite my financial generosity towards her - I was always buying her jewellery and other presents - a meal from Maureen was a rare delicacy. Usually I had to go to the chippy or munch a pie in the pub. We irritated each other beyond words.
So when I met dark-haired Susan, she was like a vision of loveliness in every way. She was sensitive, pretty and someone I fell in love with immediately.
Our first meeting was in a Fulham disco where I would go to dance off the frustrations of my marriage - and also meet villains. Susan, in her early twenties, was a cashier there and as I handed over my entrance fee I came up with my usual corny line. ‘Hey beautiful, why are you working in a dump like this?’ I asked her. ‘I have to work because I have a child to support,’ she replied. ‘No husband?’ I queried. ‘I’m separated from him,’ she said. As I looked at Susan’s beautiful, but sad face, I exclaimed: ‘He must be mad!’
She seemed taken aback by the compliment, and blushed as I added, ‘If I had a lovely wife like you, I wouldn’t let you out of my sight.’ With that I took my ticket and went into the noisy, thumping, seething place, which was packed like sardines with people dancing to soul music. Strobe lights in rainbow colours flashed on and off. I watched the dancing for a few minutes and then went upstairs to discuss business with three of the bouncers who worked there. We had met on a previous visit and they had told me they were fed up only earning £6 for a night on the door dealing with the awkward customers. ‘We’re after some really big money. Have you got any work for us Mo?’ one of them had asked me. I told them to come up with ideas for jobs themselves and then we’d talk further.
Well, this night we stood in an upstairs corner and one of the bouncers - let me call him Malcolm - who was about 16 stone and very tough looking, said he knew a place where we could do a £10,000 wages snatch. It was at a builder’s firm on the western outskirts of London. They pay out to the workers early every Thursday afternoon,’ he told me.
So we agreed that we would keep observation on the firm each Thursday for a few weeks. It wasn’t too difficult because we knew the bank where the wages were collected, and there was a café exactly opposite it. I would have toast and coffee as I watched employees from the firm come for the ten grand at the same time each week.
Now we had a pattern established. We knew the exact times the money was collected and later paid out. I told the bouncers that the job was on. I checked the roads around the building firm and worked out a getaway route. The car to be used was a Ford 1300 Cortina which I’d stolen from Kilburn High Road, and then false number plates were put on it.
On the morning of the job we all met up at a Wimpy Bar in North End Road, Hammersmith, and talked through exactly what had to be done. I, as always, relished the job, but I could see that these muscled novices were getting decidedly edgy and I told them to just keep cool and not get too worked up. ‘It’s an easy job, this one,’ I said, as we devoured hamburgers and chips. We then piled into our cars and drove to where the change-over point was to be. Then we got into the stolen Cortina and went the short distance to the yard.
It was one o’clock when we zoomed in through the gates, turned round near the cement lorries and screeched to a stop facing out towards the main road and next to a door marked ‘Offices’. We noticed some men coming out clutching wage packets. We all quickly masked up and jumped out of the car, carrying sawn-off shotguns. One of the gang also had a policeman’s truncheon.
The paddies who had just got their cash sensibly decided not to interfere with the raid and we dashed up the stairs to the office. A few seconds later a shotgun blast went off and blew a huge hole in the ceiling. There was a snowstorm of plaster. A man rushed out of an office to see what the commotion was about and he was bashed in the face with a fist. Then the butt of a shotgun sent him spinning. With that we went into the office he had come from and realised we were in the wrong place. There was no money in there.
Another terrified employee pointed to another room. ‘It’s the office over there, mate,’ he said. ‘The one over there.’ There must have been at least ten people cowering in terror in the room when we entered. One woman, obviously pregnant, was shaking with fear. The money we were after was scooped up and dropped into a canvas shopping bag we had brought with us, while our guns covered the staff. One false move from any of them and a shotgun would have blasted them through the heart and into eternity.
‘OK, let’s get out of here,’ I shouted. We ran down the stairs as fast as we could, but just as we got outside an alarm bell went off. ‘Keep moving,’ I roared. We piled into the car, with our balaclavas still on, put our weapons on the floor, and shot out into the main road.
Suddenly our hearts dropped a mile. A policeman was directing traffic at a busy intersection just outside the yard because the traffic lights had failed. But when he saw us he just waved us through. I am sure he must have thought his eyes were deceiving him as he saw us flash by and realised we were wearing masks.
But by the time he could collect his thoughts we were just dust on the horizon. We soon arrived at our change-over point, unmasked, jumped into our own cars and then drove straight back along the road, past the copper directing traffic. We watched with pleasure as we saw police cars with their blue flashing lights and wailing sirens pouring into the yard.
With the money from the raid in my pocket, I plucked up courage to go back to the disco and ask Susan for a date. When I was on a job I had no real care for anyone, yet I became tongue-tied when I approached her at the payment desk to ask her out.
She made it easier when she gave me a lovely welcoming smile. When I asked her if she would care to join me for a meal in a particularly expensive restaurant, she said, ‘Of course I’d like to come out with you.’

As Rick Wakeman wrote the foreword to this remarkable book,  this seems a reasonably sensible place to point out that there are a number of groovy Rick Wakeman records on sale via Gonzo
This Is The Modern World: Doors Which Open Themselves

I went up to London on the train the other day.

I like trains. I like the sense that I am being carried, that someone else is doing the driving for a change. You can relax on a train. You can look out of the window at the world going by. Even the world looks relaxed somehow. It looks serene, unperturbed, just going about its daily business as it drifts by through the window like a moving picture. It’s like you are looking at the world from a new angle, uncluttered by the debris of modern life.

Just think of the difference between the view from a train and the view on the motorway. There are usually several lanes between you and the world on the motorway. Even if you drive on the inside lane, there’s the hard shoulder and a wire fence in the way. It’s like that fence is dividing you from the world. Not that you have time to look. You are too busy looking at the traffic, too busy worrying what the other drivers might be up to. One slip and you could be dead.

Now think about the train. It’s true that there’s a verge and a fence, but you don’t feel cut off in the same way. The verge is full of trees and plants and wildlife. You feel as if you are a part of the landscape. The world has grown up to accommodate the train. The towns and cities you pass through have nestled themselves around the lines, absorbing them, incorporating them, so that the railway has become an expression of the town’s character. Can you say the same about by-passes and out-of-town shopping malls I wonder?

If transport had never evolved beyond the train, I would not be unhappy. On a train, you don’t take the journey, the journey takes you.

I like other forms of transport too. I like bikes, I like buses. I can imagine a world in which all of these forms of transport are spliced together to form one, unified, effective, cheap, safe and reliable transport system, and I would never have to suffer the stress of motorway driving again.

But, then again, I’m old fashioned. Sometimes I like to remember the world I grew up in, a world that actually worked, as opposed to the one we have now, which seems to stumble on from one mad crisis to the next, regardless of its apparent modernity.

It’s not that I’m against change. I like change.

I remember the first time I discovered predictive text on my mobile phone.

It was my son who showed it to me. He showed me how to use it, patiently taking me through the process: how to read the keyboard, how to change the words, how to find the address, how to send it off. My son became my teacher, and that was a revelation in itself. He’s been teaching me ever since. We sent a text to his mother, who was in Turkey at the time. And within a minute I’d got a reply. I fell in love with my mobile phone in that instant. What an incredible facility to possess, to contact anyone anywhere in the world, and to get an immediate reply.

I love computers, and the internet, and websites and Google Earth and digital cameras and have a huge hankering after a Tablet one day. They look like the embodiment of contemporary magic to me.

But for every innovation which enhances the world, there are a dozen more which make no sense whatsoever.

Read on...



(The Masters of the Universe do seem to have a steady stream of interesting stories featuring them, their various friends and relations, and alumni). Each week Graham Inglis keeps us up to date with the latest news from the Hawkverse..
The new Hawkwind album is continuing to pick up favourable reviews on the web, although there's perhaps not enough METAL on it to wholly please the Metal Temple guys! -

"Spacehawks" is a look into the recent past of a band that has a storied history. It is a collection of the old, the new and the revisited. A novel idea for a band that pushes the limits of what listeners will accept; HAWKWIND leads the charge and everyone else just falls in line. It’s been like that since the start with little having changed, their songs still challenging the public opinion of what it considers music.

The seventies are forty years gone; it is a much different world for most but HAWKWIND are debating this theory to the grave. “Masters Of The Universe” confuses the listener, part space Rock opera part video game background noise, melting minds with a cosmic laser tag game of guitar wanking. “Sacrosanct” follows with a childish jam that will mellow the mind of your toddler or freak out your stoned teen.

What of the all-important new tracks? Well ‘We Two Are One, has that psychedelic fast paced space chasing edge to it that puts it up there with the classic era. ‘Sacrosanct’ however might not be what the seasoned space cadet is looking for as it takes us on a trippy, techno, mainly instrumental (apart from backing chants) jaunt that sounds like it could have escaped out the ‘Electric Teepee’ era. It’s one of those songs for those times when the main set has finished, and us younger ones (in our 40s now ha ha) to get down to and rave away. I like it but it won’t be to everyone’s tastes. Having said that at least unlike the other new ones at 9 minutes long it has plenty of substance about it.

Before we get to the other new one the inclusion of ‘It’s All Lies’ from the Hawkwind Light Orchestra Stellar Variations album is most welcome as it really rocks out with a great chorus line and bouncy chugging tumult in the first half before turning inwards and ambient in the mid-section and bursting back to life for finale. It reminds a lot of Needle Gun and as a track I had not heard before is a real highlight for me on the album.
The Court Circular tells interested readers about the comings and goings of members of The Royal Family. However, readers of this periodical seem interested in the comings and goings of Yes and of various alumni of this magnificent and long-standing band. Give the people what they want, I say

It has been a very slow week for news from the Yes camp. This might be something to do with the fact that Graham, Corinna and I have been away for much of the week leaving the office in the charge of Richard who has the computer skills of a brush tailed porcupine with learning difficulties. However, there are a few stories for you. There is a nice piece about Jon Anderson's forthcoming shows in Florida, and a video rundown of some of Chris Squire and Steve Howe's classic equipment. There is also a highly subjective top 10 of Yes songs from the 70s. Also a Happy Birthday (for last Friday) to Accrington's favourite son!
I am probably getting a bit OCD about all of this, but I find the Yes soap opera of sound to be absolutely enthralling, and I for one can't wait to see what happens next! 
meets the knife of Light
Peek eye through window bright
Slice into screens open,wide
Hear?Click of calendar turning from night
Slight of hand quite magical
eyes open curtains into a world
both second hand and original-
open to all that is possible
Time is what it takes to get here
Time leaves us in this moment-

In Victorian times every well-bred Gentleman had a 'Cabinet of Curiosities'; a collection of peculiar odds and sods, usually housed in a finely made cabinet with a glass door. These could include anything from Natural History specimens to historical artefacts. There has always been something of the Victorian amateur naturalist about me, and I have a houseful of arcane objects; some completely worthless, others decidedly not, but all precious to me for the memories they hold.

But people send me lots of pictures of interesting things such as this. This is a mightily peculiar painting priced at $275,000. In the artist's words: 

"This scenario from my imagination shows Jesus visiting a clinically depressed Paul McCartney. He is sitting on Paul's right side and slides a Lamb chop Puppet in to Paul's peripheral field of vision. Paul hasn't bothered to get out of his robe. His white socks dangle off the ends of his toes. He is depressed and disheveled. On the wall behind him is the cause of his plight... Yoko... (some say she broke up the band)..."

Read on...


Just in case you are interested, here is yer beloved Editor at iTunes

Bipolar, Jon Downes Lost Weekend, Jon Downes Hard Sports - EP, Jon Downes The Man from Dystopia, Jon Downes

Check it out now...

There are nine Henrys, purported to be the world’s first cloned cartoon character. They live in a strange lo-fi domestic surrealist world peopled by talking rock buns and elephants on wobbly stilts. They mooch around in their minimalist universe suffering from an existential crisis with some genetically modified humour thrown in. I think Peter McAdam is one of the funniest people around, and I cannot recommend his book The Nine Henrys highly enough. Check it out at Amazon.

Each issue we shall be running a series of Henrybits that are not found in his book about the nine cloned cartoon characters who inhabit a surreal world nearly as insane as mine...

Kev Rowland
I always find bands like this wonderfully appealing. Anyone who puts themselves up to be shot back down again by having a name which is unlikely to get them much attention (the lack of spacing is deliberate) from the ‘serious’ music press is all fine and dandy by me. Then add to that a definite refusal to take themselves at all seriously (see any of their photos to see what I mean) and I am intrigued. But of course all of that stands for naught if they are actually rubbish at what they do, but thankfully that is not the case here.

Of course, life would be too simple if it were possible to easily put them into a particular musical bucket, so let’s just call them metalcore and leave it at that.
They have a new singer in Courtney LaPlante and she definitely suffers from a case of sore throat as she moves from clean vocals to deathlike screams. Behind here there is all sorts of complex distortion and over the top guitars as the guys belt it out.
Now, that is all well and good, but when you hear that Steve Vai – a recognised and undisputed god when it comes to things with seven strings – actually plays on one of these songs, then maybe we ought to take them a bit more seriously. And there is the actual issue with the album – it is way better than it should be, given the way that they seem to approach the music scene, and in this case it is doing them a disservice as some may just pass them by as a goofy gimmick without actually hearing what they are doing. While this is not an essential album by any means, it is much stronger than many others I have heard and overall it has definitely intrigued me so much that I am going to try and seek out their other albums as well. Look past the name, the photos and the artwork, and here is a metalcore album with some balls that is worth investigating.  
AZAZELLO  Megadream   (INDIE)
Many years ago I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of Azazellos’ third album, ‘Black Day’ and I was mightily impressed. A while later I was sent a copy of their seventh album and again I really enjoyed it. So when I saw that Kerry Kompost had guested on their newest album then I knew that I had to grab a copy.

Unfortunately drummer Vladimir Demakov, passed away in December of 2011 so he never got to hear the fruits of his labours, but he would be pleased to know that his mates had done him proud. Led by multi-instrumentalist Alexandr Kulak, along with Vladimir Kulak (keys) and Yan Zhenchak (vocals), this is a band that apparently have no understanding of boundaries and are happy to play whatever pleases them, so if that means coming across as Metallica on one song then all power to them. 
These guys can really riff when they want to, with more than a hint of Voivod about them, but they are way more than just a fancy metal band and bring in folk and more overtly progressive influences to create something that isn’t quite Western, not quite Russian, but always interesting and compelling, much in the way that Dream Theater used to be, but with more instrumentation (the violin is particularly effective)
Kerry is not the only guest on the album, with Misha Ogorodv (Pierre Moerlen’s Gong) and Bill Berends (Mastermind) also making their presence felt. I was fortunate one night to catch Mastermind in concert, and by the end of the gig my jaw hurt as it had been hanging open most of the night in awe. Those guys can play, really play. That is the same for all those involved here, as we morph and move all over the place, but a special mention should be made of “Run In Parallel (Leo)” which is the first time I have heard a happy baby over the top of an acoustic guitar! This is an album with real depth, and the more I have played it the more I have enjoyed it. Yet another outstanding album from Azazello, well worth discovering.       
BLOODY CLIMAX  Backs to the Wall  (KARTHAGO)
This is the first in a planned series by Karthago Records, the Heavy Metal Classics Collection, which is designed to make available “one hit wonders” of Heavy Metal history (their words, not mine)!

Bloody Climax was a German band who released a vinyl album in 1985, and although they appeared on a split in 1987 that was all. But what we have here is an extension from the original nine songs to sixteen with the inclusion of previously unreleased songs of the planned - but never released - second album.

So we are now up to 78 minutes playing time, with a 24 page booklet. But is it really a Heavy Metal Classic?
Here we have a band that by 1985 would have already sounded somewhat dated. To put it into historical context, if we take the big three NWOBHM acts, Iron Maiden released ‘Live After Death’ in 1985 after five studio albums, Saxon were releasing ‘Innocence Is No Excuse’ (their seventh) and even ‘Pyromania’ had been out for two years. So, these bands had already moved a long way in quite a short timeframe, but listening to this album makes it seem as if it is ’79 all over again. The whole approach is incredibly reminiscent of those classic days when loads of bands were releasing singles on their own labels, or being signed to either Neat or Heavy Metal Records. In some ways Bloody Climax remind me of early Def Lep with Steel and Heavy Pettin’ mixed in for good measure. Vocalist Matthias Müller has a really good set of pipes, and I am somewhat surprised that he hasn’t turned up with other bands since then. But, what lets them down is just the quality of the songs. There is no doubt that these guys can play, but this album makes me smile just because of the naivety and innocence, which probably isn’t what they were going for.
While not to be totally discarded out of hand this is very much for fans of the genre/period only.
EVOCATION   Excised and Anatomised EP  (CENTURY MEDIA)
‘Illusions of Grandeur’ is one of my favourite albums from 2012, so I was excited to see that the guys had released a new five track EP, and intrigued when I saw that these were covers of classic songs. We have “… For Victory” (Bolt Thrower), “Corporal Jigsore Quandary” (Carcass), “You Suffer” (Napalm Death), “Enigma” (Edge Of Sanity) and “Terminal Spirit Disease” (At The Gates). All songs were recorded at the band’s own studio, while Dan Swanö took care of the mix and mastering.

The band have done more than pay homage here, they have taken these and given them their own twist so that instead of sounding as if they are different bands dating back over 20 years, instead we have something that is brutal and current. 
True, they don’t really have a lot of time to develop this in “You Suffer”, but it still sounds brutally mighty fine.
Of course, the only way to really enjoy this is to get the 180gm vinyl 12 inch, and if you have yet to come across this incredible Death Metal act then now is the perfect time to do so.
Quicksilver Messenger Service are a legendary ensemble, an American psychedelic rock band, formed in 1965 in San Francisco and is – together with Jefferson Starship and The Grateful Dead - considered one of the leading acts on the city's psychedelic scene in the mid-to-late 1960s.
Quicksilver Messenger Service gained wide popularity in the Bay Area and, through their recordings, with psychedelic rock enthusiasts around the globe and several of their albums ranked in the Top 30 of the Billboard Pop charts. Although not as commercially successful as contemporaries Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead, QMS was integral to the beginnings of their genre. With their jazz and classical influences, as well as a strong folk background, the band attempted to create a sound that was individual and innovative.

Member Dino Valenti drew heavily on musical influences he picked up during the folk revival of his formative musical years. The style he developed from these sources is evident in Quicksilver Messenger Service's swung rhythms and twanging guitar sounds.
By 1970. the band were working and recording largely in Hawaii. The next two albums, Just for Love and What About Me?, are sometimes called the Hawaiian albums because they were recorded mostly in a studio in that state, and both have a similar Hawaiian motif to their cover designs. This excellent live album captures a changing band at the peak of their game. A real treat for psychedelic music fans.
My assistant editor Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent and I have had a hectic, but quite enjoyable week. As you know, Corinna and I have been away for the past few days, and Graham has been away all week. We still have no car of our own (the hire car goes back on Monday) and I have managed to knacker both my outgoing emails and the office telephone.
But apart from that, it has been a jolly nice week, and I am both pleased and surprised by the momentum that this magazine is attracting in that it comes together organically, and surprisingly easily each week.
As far as the magazine is concerned: Remember that it doesn't cost anything to subscribe, and that in doing so you are joining an elite, and rapidly expanding group of music fans who believe that we are not being given the music or the cultural coverage that we deserve. Please pass this magazine on to as many of your friends, relations, and whoever else you can, and do your best to persuade them to subscribe. It will make an ageing fat hippy very happy.

We are living in disturbing and strange times, but ultimately they are very interesting ones, and continuing to chronicle the Gonzoverse is an immensely rewarding thing to do. Thank you for reading.

Until next week,

Jon Downes
Copyright © Gonzo/CFZ Press 2013  All rights reserved.

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