Friday, 31 October 2014

Gert's Back! Brighton, Birmingham, Vic's Bologna Report,Glasgow, Edinburgh,Manchester & London, 1979 Now!, Videos, '16 Again', Upcoming in Loads Recommendations

Frst off - Thanks and Apologies to everyone who read this blog before the following additions as this has ended up as a blog of two halves and numerous tweaks since first posting and I hope you'll give it another go. I've updated events, etc from October and November and I'm now going backwards chronologically speaking so nearly all the amendments are in the first half.
Scotland - England Border 16/11/2014

December Christmas Gigs Sold Out!

11th December - As if a trip to Manchester for a Marc Riley session isn't enough of a Christmas treat .................
Friday 12th December - Vic Godard & Subway Sect, Blue Orchids and Kill Pretty's very talented Josh Dutton making his live solo debut at Dulcimer Bar  Chorlton Manchester M21 0AE.Doors 7.30pm.


Returning to London on Saturday 13th December for Big Pink Cake's Christmas Party All Dayer at the Betsey Trotwood, last Sect gig of 2014. Nine groups, DJs, after show party and all the festive fun all starts at 2pm and carries on til late. SOLD OUT.

NEWS in November
Everyone chuffed to bits that 1979 Now! has had such a brilliant reception with amazingly good reviews, comments and tweets. Andrew Paul Shaw's wonderful cover art work and design (above) justly getting a lot of attention. Big Ups for the radio plays and particularly to Marc Riley. Vic & the Sect are looking forward to their next session in Manchester on 11th December when they will be airing one of Vic's 'lost' Northern Soul songs for the first time, plus they are doing a cover as a special request for Mr Riley.

  1979 NOW! UPDATE 03/12/2014- Absolutely delighted to announce that the vinyl 1979 Now! LP has SOLD OUT and CD stock depleting rapidly! Aed has reordered, meanwhile you can still get the CD from several outlets, including Aed Records 
and from Vic via the website (with downloadable booklet)

Thanks to Nigel Bailey for this great Northern Soul promo video for 'Born To Be A Rebel'.

More fab art work & design by Andrew Paul Shaw
AND if that wasn't enough we have also nearly sold out of 30 Odd Years, which has only been available via the website, brill or what? Gnu reordered 26th November and all credit to GZ Media in the Czech republic for their speed and efficiency as the rerun is due to arrive 11th December. The gnu recommends contacting GZ direct and not going through the UK agent or any other company that uses them (mind you the gnu does have a bit of a knack with things like this).
MEANWHILE 30 Odd Years (gnu inc's most successful release to date!) is still available on the website (+ downloadable 'extras') and at gigs

 PS The gnu will be proffering on line Christmas Bundles and Other Seasonal Offers from Monday 15th December (after the last gig of the year on 13th, see below). These may be: P+P included or buy one T get one free or one free with any purchase or discount on multiple CD purchase and signed card with all seasonal purchases. Subject to change as gnu still ruminating on it. Keep an eye on Vic's FB page for updates/info.

Vic, g and Kevin stopped overnight in Wigan (actually on outskirts) on the drive to Scotland at the Britannia Wigan. Hm, may stay again, friendly staff, clean rooms,very reasonable but had it's drawbacks, would not stay on my own.  We did have a very tasty dinner just down the road at The Crown Worthington and highly recommend if you're in this neck of the woods. 

Then  the two long anticipated Sounds in the Suburbs gigs with Subway Sect and The Sexual Objects at Stereo Glasgow and Voodoo Rooms Edinburgh. Neither disappointed although I have to say Edinburgh was an absolute stonker. It was lovely to see so many friends there including  Lee Mcfadden and Tracey Holloway, videos of the night are available on their yt channel leefact25. Always a positive joy to be in Scotland.
A bit of Mood Enhancement below from The Sexual Objects with: there is a radius of waves. New 10" and LP on the way and The Sexual Objects are doing a Marc Riley session BBC 6 Music on Thursday 8th Jan 2015.  
This one is by the gnu at the Subway Sect sound check at Stereo Glasgow, she didn't realise the camera was running!
Subway Sect giving Chain Smokin the full on treatment, filmed by Lee McFadden at Voodoo Rooms 15/11/2014.
  We stayed at The Pond again in Glasgow, hasn't disappointed yet and the many Ireland fans there for the footie International were surprisingly quiet. In Edinburgh we stayed at the Holyrood Aparthotel, Vic and g have stayed before and would certainly recommend. Also, considering how much the hotels had hiked their prices because of the rugby International (yes, football and rugby internationals) it was very reasonable.

Thursday 20th November - Club Left at the 100 Club - Sold Out.
What a very special night of Cool Bop and Swing with Vic and The Subway Sect performing Songs For Sale with very Special Guests New York Dollies, Jake Vegas' Hooded Cobra and Club Left DJ Johnny Britton cranking up the atmosphere to a capacity crowd. Lots of familiar faces (and quite a few people the gnu didn't recognise, she may not  have remarked quite so loudly about the lack of judgement shown by men sporting top knots had she recognised Denis Penis....but then again she just might) and a real trip down Memory Lane with Vic getting back together with Chris Bostock, Rob Marche, Sean McLusky, plus guest pianist Volker Janssen, Dave Collard couldn't make it over from the US. This line up was gnu's first Sectual experience!The poster was designed by Pete Barrett who did the original Club Left posters/flyers.
Great photographs by Jock McTavish

 If you're wondering why Vic has a somewhat awkward stance in the picture below, it's because he's hiding the PO logo on his shirt!
L-R:Volker,Sean,Chris,Rob & Vic by Rebecca Thomas

No less than SIX videos courtesy of Lee and Tracey of this memorable occasion, their films include the ad hoc finale of Born To Be A Rebel (see 1st video below) when the current Sect in attendance, Yusuf B'layachi, Kevin Younger and Mark Braby, took to the stage, only realising once there that they were short one Ian Holford on drums, up stepped one Mr Adam Walters, whose impromptu performance was amazing considering he'd only bought the download the week before. By the way Adam is a drummer, with Radical Propulsion Unit, have a gander/listen here 
(and they've recorded a great cover of Chain Smoking)
Above Born To Be A Rebel and below one of my favourite songs of the night Just In Time, both  filmed by Tracey H.
Club Left 27/10/1981 courtesy of Andy Beever
  A couple of the gnu's lasting memories of the original Club Left at the Whisky A Go Go are, she met B Rhodes for the first time there and recalls him taking her aside to say he hoped she wasn't leading Vic up the garden path because he had plans for him! One of the very few occasions that the gnu has been left nonplussed and lost for words. Another indelible memory was Phil Lynott's visit, clad in very tight, silver satin trousers, black satin bomber jacket and white platforms, to say he stuck out like a sore thumb in this hub of 80's cool is an understatement. (He also spent the night trying to get off with the gnu's sister.) 

October  - Beware the Ice Age Cometh!
  October was a busy month here at gnu inc central and it all kicked off on 4th October with our second visit of the year to Birmingham to celebrate the imminent release of 1979 Now! on 6th October.  Love Birmingham. This time we were right in the centre of town and big bustling, culturally diverse conurbations give me a big buzz (apart from one way systems, no entry signs, parking, lack of and roadworks, but then getting lost on way to/back from venues is par for the Sect course and no trip is complete without at least one moment when everyone realises we're going in the wrong direction).

1am Going Nowhere At Rather Euphemistically Named Paradise Circus. Still Billboard A Nice Touch I Thought!
 Another brilliant gig promoted by Chris Wave's Seventh Wave, this time at The Flapper, and a stellar line up with Blue Orchids and Church of Elvis. The Flapper has gone straight in to my Top 10 Tip Top Hip Hangouts (sorry), meaning: great acoustics and a very good sound man, centrally located overlooking the canal (left), welcoming reception from the very appreciative crowd,  good to see some old friends again and make some new ones. I think all of this contributed to Vic, Ian Holford, Kevin Younger, Mark Braby and Yusuf B'Layachi all playing absolute blinders.
Courtesy of Colin Walker
Very pleased that Lee McFadden and Tracey Holloway (leefact25) could make it and they've filmed some corkers from the night from all three sets, find them and more at leefact25 -
 ' I Remember My Time As Common Thief' from Long Term Side-Effect (1998 Tugboat) has recently been reintroduced to the set, filmed by Lee.

And possibly one of the best live versions of Stool Pigeon, also happens to be filmed by Lee.

Already looking forward to going back next May.

PS There were two people at the back who'd bafflingly paid £20+ to stand and have a footie conflab over the noise of a packed gig, sounded like Chelsea fan and Man Utd fan (at a gig in Birmingham??) with the Chelsea fan giving out most of the gab........... ..nothing new there then!

We stayed at a Premier Inn again, in the city centre overlooking the canal at the back (note-  activity until the early hours on towpath when we were there, which was a warm Saturday night), friendly welcome, clean and comfy. It was touch and go whether we'd be able to squeeze the gnumobile back in to the car park on our return after the gig and it is fairly noisy due to it's proximity to Birmingham's central hub of bars, clubs, restaurants, etc, which to be fair PI warn about when booking and closing the window does shut out the road noise. So despite a couple of drawbacks I would still recommend as a reasonably priced city centre hotel.

9th October we headed South to Brighton, another of my favourite cities, for Spinningchilli's 5th Peel Night at the Green Door Store (another in the TTHHs ). I always look forward to Spinningchilli gigs, lots of lovely people and this was no exception, a memorable sell out night with three rip roaring sets from The Cravats, The Fallen Leaves and of course the Sect, not forgetting. Lee Mcfadden, who carried out his Master of Ceremonies duties with wit and aplomb.
Live review here:
Photographs courtesy of 'Jane Barnes' and there are also some great videos (some of you will have seen them on Vic's FB page) of the night to give you a taste of the atmosphere by Nigeyb, Lee Mcfadden and Tracey Holloway have SEVEN Subway Sect  plus Cravats and Fallen Leaves videos (and lots more) at their leefact25 YT channel. The set closed with this stonking version of 'Chain Smoking' filmed by Lee.

And a bit of Northern Soul - thanks to Steve Clements for his video of 'Devil's in League With You', with Vic's 'sock' intro featuring Asbo Derek's Jem Price, who introduces the sock topic, much to Yusuf's bemusement!
Plans already afoot for the next gig in Brighton AND talking of Asbo Derek here's a Christmas treat for you - 19th December Spinningchilli's FREE Christmas Bash at Fitzherberts New Road Brighton with I, Ludicrous AND Asbo Derek. That's what I call a generous present!

Me and the gnu don't usually allow Vic to intrude on the blog but she didn't go to Bologna so a one off sanction has been granted for Vic's Bologna Report:
Poster by Kevin Younger
 Our  Bologna trip started badly at 4.25am when my phone pinged with a text from the group.Thinking they were outside I woke the Gnu to say goodbye and got my coat on........I then read the text which said they were in heavy traffic at Brent Cross. I thought we were definitely going to miss the gate closing time of 6.15, I don't remember what time they arrived at my house, I was too scared to look at a clock by then. Miraculously we made it to the terminal entrance by 6.15, despite the seemingly interminably long shuttle ride from the car park but our gate number was 113 at the opposite end.Cue an awful run the length of the terminal, at one point I thought sod the plane I no longer care. As it turned out the gate stayed open till 6.30.I boarded the plane with my clothes soaked in sweat feeling like I'd just come off stage after the gig.

All the stress evaporated when we arrived in Italy as we were taken care of by the lovely Elisa who took us out to lunch and then on a tour of Bologna, the high point being a visit to the Church of Santa Maria dellla Vita which is home to the famous Compianto del Cristo Morto (Lamentation over the Dead Christ), considered one of the masterpieces of Italian sculpture, modelled by Niccolò dell'Arca in the second half of the 15th century.

Kentish Cherries in Bologna by K Younger
Then on to Covo Club, which is exactly our type of venue and is set in the middle of a little park. After the sound check we went out for dinner, which featured me spraying balsamic vinegar in my face and all over my glasses,  then following the Sect's advice to 'turn the bottle round' sprayed it all over them, I was aiming for my plate.
We went on about midnight and the group played another blinder of a set which went down well. Afterwards the Sect were getting down to the Slade singing Mama WEER all crazee now and Glitterrmen with I'm the leader of the gang. Sadly no pictures or video of Kev in action. We got back to base about three, awoke for a relaxed breakfast at ten and then a leisurely drive to the airport.Many thanks to everyone at Covo Club, we're looking forward to coming back.

 It was when we landed at Gatwick that the stress returned. Flight arrived on time but after a very long passport queue then the very slow shuttle journey back to the car park there were only minutes before we over ran our time slot. Kev and I leapt from the bus and dashed for the car  when Kev suddenly realises he doesn't have his guitar and belts off after the shuttle which Mark. Ian and Yusuf had just alighted from. Noticing Kev hurtling after the bus, Yusuf yells at him that he's got the Kev does about turn to sprint back to the car. Heading hell for leather for the barrier only skidding to a halt for the others to scramble aboard, taking off again with doors open, I realise I don't know where the ticket is so have to get Kev to search my pockets as I'm driving. Made it, just. Lesson learned? Pay twice the price and use the short stay car park at Gatwick. Back to Gert for-   

Reviews and Recommendations

Gert recommends Dan the badge man for all your badge needs at:

Late Turner - Painting Set Free
It's on at Tate Britain until 25th January and can't recommend highly enough, £15 for the amount of material on display is an absolute bargain (they also do concessions).
Rain, Steam and Speed on the left.

'16 Again' - A new online series of short films by Martyn Smith and World Of Hoopla. Episode 1 features Vic reminiscing about David Bowie's chauffeur, A Clockwork Orange inspired incident at Putney Fair and the Generation Game in one easily consumable bite-size package.Highly entertaining. (AND if you're quick you can watch World of Hoopla's 'Vic - A Work In Progress' here until 6th December-

Looking For Johnny- The Legend Lives On - Original Soundtrack on Jungle Records. This is a limited edition, red vinyl 2 LP release, follows hot on the heels of Danny Garcia's film and the recently released dvd. 


Immensely enjoyed following John Bolloten's photographic diary of his recent visit to Egypt.  A companion piece to Bradford Street perhaps? 'Cairo Street'?
On the left Birqash camel market, Cairo.

 Lots of goodies in the Bentshoppe at the moment including 'It's Just The Way Things Are Joe, It's Just The Way Things Are' a compendium of tracks from the first three albums by The Nectarine No9.
Video's a bit of a find.

Sex Drugs and HIV
'Mat Sargent began the Sex Drugs and HIV project in 1995, containing 40 tracks and featuring over two hundred musicians, spanning 5 decades of music.'
This is an extraordinary labour of love, commitment and perseverance, with an awe inspiring roll call of participants, including Vic, who contributed guitar and backing vocals to 'Greek Street' quite early on (although I couldn't tell which bits were him).

payaso de mierda - 'how can I know what I think till I see what I say?’ (e.m. forster) - semi socratic dialogues and diatribes on the subjects of football, music, ireland, culture and politics by Ian Cusack. Eyes & Ears lV includes a review of the Children of Godard gig at the Star & Shadow 19/09/2014 -

 Tunnels Aberdeen by Dod Morrison
 Full Circle 2008 - Before he joined Subway Sect Mark Braby conducted this in depth interview with Vic. Only just before though as after the interview. Vic told Mark that he was looking for a bass player, Mark said he could play the bass and so he was roped in for the next gig. The rest is history as they say. I forgot how much info there is in this, a potted history of Vic and Subway Sect. Originally broadcast on Resonance FM.

Miqui Puig - Listen out for 1979 Now! plays on Can Tuyus -

James Plays - James 1 The Key Will Keep The Lock
Hmm. Not what I was expecting, thought it would be more along the lines of Henry V but from a different perspective but it was very low key, bit unfair to compare to Shakespeare though. Also distracted by hunger and anticipation of the Kafkaesque nightmare to come - finding a way out of the National and South Bank complex, it was unnerving enough trying to find a way in. All in all I wish I'd seen it at the Edinburgh Festival and before the referendum.

Armistead Maupin 'Tales of the City' - I read this series of novels about the inhabitants of San Francisco apartment house at 28 Barbary Lane when they came out, first one in 1978. I've just started rereading and am enjoying them as much as before.   ''a sparkling comedy of manners and an indelible portrait of an era that changed forever the way we live'' - couldn't have put it better myself but would also add there are threads of darkness and melancholy that run throughout.
This is an excerpt from the TV series from Chapter 1- 

Thought about commenting on various home (immigration) and world events (ISIS) but decided WEER ALL CRAZEE NOW so..........TTFN

OK, just one-
 ' European Union migrants add £20bn to the British economy – in just a decade.' 
Could it be because we have a general election on the horizon in the UK that most parties are  focusing on immigration issues and pandering to people's unfounded prejudices as a smokescreen, in order to divert the electorate's attention from the fact that none of them have election manifestos and nothing to offer any demographic, except the privileged few. Call me cynical but could the forthcoming election also be the reason the Lib Dems are only now trying to do everything they can to distance themselves from the Tories, in contrast to their previous assertions that it was a 'united' government and Labour are doing their damnedest to try and prove that they are not Tories in disguise, obviously failing miserably. The word duplicitous springs to mind, but then that could be applied to an awful lot of political representatives of the people so why don't we do something about it? If we the people, instead of moaning but putting up with it, follow the Scottish example (84% turn out for the referendum) in the election next year and actually use our hard won right to vote we really can at the very least keep the outlandish crazies out, otherwise we really deserve the government we end up with.Just saying.