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!