Sunday, 14 September 2014

Over to Gnu - 1979 Now!, Gig reports, Rebellion,Trash'd, Leicester, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, lots of videos, The Scottish Referendum-Postscript, Upcoming gigs, Recommendations,The Fall book & more.

It's been a funny old month or so, summer suddenly morphing in to autumn overnight and then back to summer again. After the relative idleness of August a slightly unsettling feeling of anticipation creeping up with all the activity on the horizon. First up....

1979 Now! Vic Godard & Subway Sect - Recorded & produced by Edwyn Collins & Seb Lewsley at West Heath Studios. More fab design & artwork by Andrew Paul Shaw. Release 6th October 2014 on Aed Records. STONKING!  Available to Pre-order from Aed NOW 
If you want to read the reviews below clearly -
Great first three reviews from When Skies Are Grey, Uncut and Mojo!

So I don't duplicate the press release info or sleeve notes I've gone down a different route and created a page covering the two years the LP was recorded over.

PS If you have read the Mojo article about Vic you can find out about the 'several' releases Vic has had since since End Of The Surrey People including  Blackpool (they got the info on that wrong) on the main website. Also a shame it says 1979 Now! is out now on 'Gnu Records'?? (we're gnu inc) instead of out on 6th Oct on Aed records, smacks of journalistic laziness in my opinion. And another thing Vic didn't say ''Looking back, the early line up of the Sect should never have split up.'' and never uses the word 'guys' as in 'those guys in Television'! Why make things up?

Gnu's Gig Reports
I've wanted to visit Blackpool since I was a nipper and had built up an image in my mind's eye, suffice to say I had very high expectations, hordes of holiday makers, donkeys on the beach, The Winter Gardens and Tower Ballroom the epitome of northern glamour (I blame Strictly Come Dancing for that particular one), bright lights and in my imagination The Blackpool Tower was the companion piece to The Eiffel Tower................... For a Friday in August it was eerily quiet and empty, maybe the idea of all those old punks scared everyone away!
Video below 'Car Banter on Arrival in Blackpool'

Stayed in a lovely hotel inside Blackpool FC (view from our room on the right), very helpful and friendly staff, very clean and comfy, car park and I even got up for breakfast which was very good.......because it was incredibly, wonderfully quiet, didn't wake up once and had very good night's sleep. Highly recommend.
PS The night security guard sitting in pitch (forgive the pun!) dark in the lobby did comment to us as we went out for a fag at about 1am 'Good as it gets on quiet Friday', not sure what that meant but might explain a lot.
The Pavilion Rebellion by Lisa Twinkle 08082014
 Rebellion itself was an interesting, vaguely surreal experience, musically not exactly my cup of tea and more like a reunion than a festival, a very friendly and appreciative crowd with a sprinkling of tourists wandering around with bemused expressions. Mark
had to pull out (curse of the Groulig??) so it was a four piece Sect and a punk set, which went down well. Big up to the whole Rebellion Team, brilliant organisation and food and drink provided (the food was singularly unappetising by the time we ate though)  Vic got lost (par for the course!) in the Blackpool one way for about an hour looking for a park but once Kev guided him back with his mobile sat nav he got a pass for a car park conveniently opposite the Winter Gardens. The merch table was ready and waiting, outside The Pavilion on the Horseshoe so did not actually see the gig, caught glimpses of the group on a screen through the nearby entrance, which explains the poor quality of the 'Blackpool in Blackpool' video below.

The only exception to all the lovely people I met was the cheeky git (won't name the publication he works for, even though he waved his ID at me to make sure I noticed!) who came up and just said "Can I have a free CD to review?" Now anyone who knows, knows we at gnu inc are pretty amenable to the quid pro quo when it comes to cds for reviews, what set the hackles rising a smidge in this particular instance was he didn't say please (Manners Maketh The Man -  William of Wykeham 1324-1404) and he didn't name any particular CD making it obvious he neither knew nor cared what the latest release was or when it came out he was just after a freebie. I demurred, pointing out 30 Odd Years came out in February but I'm ashamed to say I gave in and gave him a won't be surprised no hint of a review yet.* All around the walls facing the band merch tables were the official/paid for and, obviously much larger merch stands (a necessary evil to help with funding I suppose), selling  ubiquitous amounts of faux punk gear, myriad copies of Vivienne Westwood designs, Sex Pistols T's,etc., all shut up and behind metal barriers by the time I set up at 9pmish, in fact on my side of the Horseshoe I was on my tod in the selling band merch stakes by the time Vic went on stage. Fingers crossed they can keep this festival going for a good long while yet. 
* Turns out there was a v short live review in said unnamed publication, so did I misunderstand and did this person mean a CD in exchange for a live review? Never come across that before and would have said an outright no.
We bid farewell to Blackpool-

Heading South to round off the Sect Festival Season.............................................................

So pleased Ben Shape, Keith Rodway and the Trash Cannes Crew asked Vic to play his first ever gig in Hastings at their fabulous new arts festival Trash Cannes Presents Trash’d New Wave Festival. Vic and the Sect played at The Brass Monkey, great atmosphere, very friendly welcome and everyone there was very accommodating and helpful, special big up to the brilliant sound man. The crowd were warm and appreciative and you could tell how much the group were enjoying themselves by how well they all played, I think one of the best sets they've done. The New York Dollies made a big impact, loved their set, particularly their version of Nobody's Scared, so much in fact they are now booked to play at 100 Club Left in November. AND Jacko was there,it was his Northern Soul 45s lent to Vic via Myers that inspired the songs on 1979 Now! 
Photograph by Trash Canne's resident photographer Mark Richards
                                'Born To Be A Rebel' video courtesy of Amanda Thompson.
I don't think I've heard the Sect do better live versions of these two songs, Imbalance and Stool Pigeon, love the video which is courtesy of Trash Canne's Keith Rodway, gives a real flavour of the Trash'd vibe

 Had a lovely walk along the beach, then chilled on a groyne for a while, I'd forgotten how impressive the vista was, a shame about the pier, another to add to the list of burnt out shells of listed Victorian piers which seem to be becoming the visitor attraction de rigeur for all traditional seaside resorts.  

Back North for the only Subway Sect 3 Nighter of 2014-

Photographs (above and below) courtesy of Kevin Hewick and Debra Gale
 18th September and we headed to Leicester for Magic Teapot & Promotions Promotions Presents @ The Musician CLYDE STREET LEICESTER LE1 2DE. A brilliant night, huge thanks to Ian, John and everyone at The Musician for the welcome and hospitality and to everyone who came along, great sets from Brassick Bears and Kevin Hewick. Look out for upcoming episode of Television Blues, which Vic and the Sect recorded an interview for. I was round the corner, a fair distance away but my normal talking voice was apparently louder than Vic and the Sects' and I was asked to pipe down. I blame drama school, the only thing I came away with was the curse of projecting my voice! My videos were useless but here's a great version of Oh Alright Go On Then courtesy of Adrian Manning-

We stayed at Premier Inns for all three dates, first one was Leicester Central (A50 ) Heathley Park Groby Road Leicester LE3 9QE. Slightly odd set up in that you had breakfast in the pub across the car park and as it ended at 9am I didn't partake but Vic said it lived up to the other PI breakfasts he's had. Friendly helpful staff, comfy, quiet and decent sized car park so would definitely stay again.

Vic in natural pose courtesy of 'Jane Barnes'
 Friday 19th and on to Newcastle and a favourite destination - Michael Clunkie's Children of Godard Presents at the Star and Shadow Cinema Stepney Bank, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 2NP. It was an eventful night! A packed bill kicking off with Geoffrey Taylor’s short film ‘Close’ featuring ‘Birth and Death’ & ‘Empty Shell’, then Martyn Smith's shortish film 'Vic: A Work In Progress ( ), then Girl With The Replaceable Head, The Fallen Leaves and then a great Sect set (despite technical issues, stage invasion and a near punch up!) Plus DJ Trevor Johnson with another music in a different kitchen . Trevor is playing the whole Subway Sect live set on his next AMIADK show on Thursday 2nd October 7-9pm on Hive Radio: 
Sadly the Star and Shadow is having to leave it's current home in December but happily plans are afoot to relocate.

We stayed at Premier Inn (Millenium Bridge), possibly one of their best, it has a restaurant, bar open til 3am (can vouch for that!) and late breakfast, as good as the other PIs. Friendly helpful staff, comfy, clean, quiet (if you're a light sleeper and facing the front you'll need to close the window) and reasonable sized car park. Highly recommend.  

Thought I'd uploaded 2 videos from Newcastle but it turned out to be two from the Westgarth on 20th, Better Not Turn On leading to the Blackpool 'interlude'! Apologies for poor visuals, not sure what I thought I was filming (unless it was the unconscious person in the corner!) or if I thought I was filming. 

Vic 2 Mics by 'Jane Barnes'
 Saturday 20th Rounded off the Three Dayer in Middlesbrough at Minus Me Presents at The Westgarth Social Club 99a Southfield Road Middlesbrough TS1 3EZ with the Fallen Leaves on board again and the wonderful Pellethead. Everyone was warmly welcomed, the Leaves polished fast paced, 60's garage inspired set  and Pellethead did not disappoint, really enjoyed their set. There were some technical hitches which Vic overcame in his own inimitable way and is now known as Vic 2 Mics Godard. 

 Video 'McGuire' by Pellethead, filmed by me and at least the sound is good, even if the visuals leave a bit to be desired. 

and The Cupboard Is Bare


Further Treats In Store                                                                                                                     
  4th - The Seventh Wave Presents at The Flapper
Cambrian Wharf, Kingston Row, Birmingham, B1 2NU
Plus Blue Orchids Plus Church Of Elvis
After a fantastic night earlier this year for Chris Wave, high expectations for the 1979 Now! release do with Martin Bramah's Blue Orchids, Church of Elvis and DJ 11pm-Midnight. We'll have the LP! The CD, The T shirts, The Badges, The Postcards, Mugs and A 1979 Now! Raffle. 

9th – Spinning Chilli Presents Peel Night at The Green Door Store
Unit 2, 3, & 4 Trafalgar Arches, Lower Goods Yard, Brighton Train Station, BN1 4FQ Brighton

Celebrating Spinningchilli's 5th Peel Night, treats galore with The mighty Cravats, The Fallen Leaves, Peel plays and compere for the night, overseeing events and hoping to keep a semblance of order to the proceedings is Alternative TV's Lee McFadden. Get there early.    
Tickets from Resident Records &

 18th Covo club - Associazione Culturale Hovoc Viale Zagabria, 140127 Bologna 
Well who'd have thought it. The one and only Subway Sect European foray this year is to Bologna. It's a short trip but worth it and everyone looking forward to it as you can imagine.


Only one visit to Scotland this year and hard to believe but it's been two years since Subway Sect played in Glasgow and Edinburgh with the divine Sexual Objects so everyone is champing at the bit. Going to be a memorable couple of nights! Is that Live In Stereo 3 I see before me?   

14th – Sounds in the Suburbs Presents at
Stereo Cafe Bar 20 - 28 Renfield Lane, G2 6PH Glasgow, United Kingdom
15thSounds in the Suburbs Presents at
The Voodoo Rooms 19a West Register St Edinburgh EH2 2AA

20th  & Gnu Inc Present ‘Club Left’ 2014
100 Club London
 In keeping with the tradition of the original Club Left Vic's reunion with the three of the four 1981/2 Subway Sect is on a Thursday and relocated to the 100 Club. Dave Collard isn't able to make it over from the US so Vic, Sean McClusky, Chris Bostock and Rob Marche will be joined by guest pianist and trumpet player, they're hoping to get together soon for their first rehearsal in decades of the Songs For Sale numbers.A night of delights with New York Dollies and Jake Vegas, original Club Left DJ Johnny Britton spinning the discs and more. Tickets:


  On the way to Hastings Vic and I stopped off at the The Llama Park in Ashdown Forest for a pee and ended staying for lunch. Very good, freshly cooked and prepared food, will definitely be back for a llama walk and lunch. That's Arthur on the left.

The James Plays - Read the reviews from The Edinburgh Festival production and I was going to book for all three but not possible so have chosen James 1 The Key Will Keep The Lock. Decided not to sit on the stage!

2nd November - Monorail Flim Club is hosting the Scottish premiere of 'The Possibilities Are Endless' at the Glasgow Film Theatre. There will be a Q&A with Edwyn Collins and Grace Maxwell, and a short acoustic set.

 'Bradford Street' - A collection of some of the captivating and evocative photographs of life on the streets of John Bolloten. First Edition Sold Out (we got one, nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh). 2nd Edition in the shops imminently.
PS One of my very favourite photographs of Vic is one of Mr Bolloten's portrait of him at the Knavesmire York.  

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street (1853) - Herman Melville 1819–1891
I'd never read this but love the brilliant 1972 Bartleby film starring Paul Scofield and John McEnery. It's an engrossing read, concise, still prescient and relevant. This is a link to an early scene here from the English version of the film: This is the whole of the French version from 1970 and the video below is a clip from the American version.

I know I said in the last blog that I'm not keen on 'muso' books and then went on to say I'd found the exception to the rule in Kevin Pearce's 'A Moment Worth Waiting For', the book that keeps on giving (buy it, it won't let you down) BUT I've found another! 

The Big Mid Week Life Inside The Fall by Steve Hanley & Olivia Piekarski  The odds were against me liking this book or ever being tempted to read it. I'm not mad on The Fall and I don't get (mea culpa) the hoo ha about Mark E Smith as a lyricist but like some of the music, mostly the early years, Vic refuses to believe this and thinks I'm being politic but I assure you I really do like some of the punky almost avant guarde early 'tunes'. Vic says I should ask Ian (Holford), an expert on the subject Vic assures me, to try and enlighten me on the subject. Anyway back to Steve Hanley and Olivia Piekarski's book, first off I haven't read it yet. So, how can I recommend it, you may be asking? I bought it for Vic for his birthday and he is about half way through so I am being a bit previous but from what Vic has said about what he has read so far and from the large chunks he has read out to me when I've been on't laptop, this book is a joy. It is undoubtedly Olivia Piekarski's witty and engaging presentation of Steve Hanley's tale, or rather many tales, of a group(s!) on the road to fame and fortune, the perils and the pitfalls, that make it such a gratifying read. Although I'm sure some, if not most of the events regaled were not remotely funny at the time, Olivia Piekarski's entertaining way with the words has made me laugh a lot and and helpless on occasion. There is an added piquancy for anyone who is/has been in a group, been on the road, etc but you certainly don't need to be a Fall fan to enjoy this book, it is a stand alone jolly good read so far and I have high hopes for the second half. Official release 15th September, both authors will be appearing at a series of upcoming events, details and more here: 

The Scottish Referendum - Postscript
Written before the referendum - I  wasn't sure about putting in my tuppence worth, being English and not having a vote but I am an interested party in how this all turns out and the result of the referendum has implications for everyone in the UK. It has only really impacted deeply on my consciousness in the last couple of months as the debate has become more lively and intense, it is a shame that some have resorted to tribalism, but that was bound to happen. When I first started thinking about Scottish Independence it was in terms of which way the vote would go and why and I have to admit I did get distracted by all the scare mongering hyperbole being spouted by all the politicians about the economic effects of a Yes/No vote. Then a couple of weeks ago I had a bit of a revelatory moment and it suddenly occurred to me I was looking at it all wrong -  there is no reason why anyone in the UK would trust any promises politicians make in order to win the day, including Mr Salmond, or imagine that any politician will do anything other than continue to pander to big business, unless checked. How many of us have suffered the effects of repeated economic downturns over the last few decades, income, public services, education provision, the NHS, all shrinking as the power of the private sector grows and the power of the people diminishes. None of us know what is round the corner economically speaking, whether there is another  disaster waiting to be offloaded on to us by the financial sector, so I decided to take economics out of the equation completely and imagined instead that I live in Scotland and had a vote. How do I think I would cast that vote? My theoretical reasoning is based on political belief and emotion, Mr Salmond was a bit of an obstacle, I'm really not a fan but then it occurred that he is First Minister in the current set up and may lead an interim government should Scottish Independence be won but then there would have to be an election. All in all if given the opportunity to kick out a government made up of the privileged elite working for the privileged elite and to start again where it could be down to the collective will of the people what kind of government they end up with I like to believe I would choose the leap in to the unknown and vote yes but the onus is not on me to make this decision, so easy for me to say. Roll on 18th September.
After the referendum: Serious feeling of deflation. It is less than two weeks since this potentially momentous event and it almost feels like it never happened. This was a record turn out, the highest since universal suffrage began here and I thought perhaps, maybe, on a good day, that this enthusiasm for and belief in People Power could be maintained, despite the no vote, and might even spread through the rest of the UK. Silly me.

Odds and Sods

The Two Year  Random Observation  - It took two years to record 1979 Now!, 1978 Now, We Come As Aliens and Sansend. (Blackpool is taking over a decade)

William of Wykeham - Bishop of Winchester, Chancellor, founder of Winchester Public School and New College, Oxford, so not a role model of mine for anything other his Manners Maketh The Man.

Just heard on Pointless that John Cleese real name is John Cheese. 'Care for some cheese, Cheese?' Tee Hee.

Smarm Alert In Teddington! After a long absence from the local public gaze following the last election, the failure of his party to keep election promises and the toadying to the tories, amongst other things, Twickenham MP Vince Cable is spotted schmoozing the Teddington electorate, three photo ops in this week's local paper, could it be the constituency boundary changes? Prior to the last election Mr Cable's photo op location of choice was Twickenham Post Office MLO (sorting/delivery office), not likely to be visiting this time round is he?

In the garden and it's October!!!

Not a black and white photograph, taken seconds after the one at the head of the blog after the sun went down.      
Gnu over and out.


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Nigey,hope see you in Brighton. G

  2. Thankingu Gnu. Lovely read as always - just ordered 1979 Now too. See you soon - probably Club Left do at 100 Club

    1. Thanks Kevin, Vic might be doing another London one in December with current Sect. Will keep you posted. G,

  3. Hello Gertie, Always enjoy the Blog. Just finished shopping at AED records and pre-ordered 1979 NOW! Played some videos of live shows - sure would like to catch one some day. Like the Pellethead video you posted too. Yes my garden is quite showy too for October.. Are those tall flowers Cosmos? My favorite blooming plants at this time are the native asters. Oh - any chance there will be a 1979 NOW! mug and t-shirt available soon on your site? Must haves for my Birthday in November. Will wear the t-shirt proudly around Chicago. Well enjoy the gigs up and coming.
    Say hello to Vic too.

  4. Hello Karen, thank you. Pellethead are one of my favourite live groups, always enjoy seeing them. Yes, they are Cosmos, also Mirabilis Jalapa and Evening Primrose. Not sure we will have 1979 Now! mugs and T's on the website but if you FB message or email Vic at beginning of November (to remind me) I'll keep a mug and T for you. Vic says hello. Best Gert