Emergency Bitter

Misc

March 23 2018 Basingstoke Irish Centre

Rabies Babies played a gig in Basingstoke with a few bands, including Emergency Bitter.
To be honest, from the look of them I thought that they would play boring old style punk, but they were really good and funny. I absolutely want to see them play again. I hope we do more shows with them. I was very impressed with the look of their fantastic shoes and leads, so this is what I drew.

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Dingy Skipper

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My band Rabies Babies played at the Hand in Hand in Brixton, with Dealing With Damage, Slow Faction, PCF and Dingy Skipper.
Dingy Skipper turned out to be my very old friend Dick Ugly, formerly of Hackney anarcho punkers Ugly Beat, a band who I shared many a bill with back in the 1990s.
I love Dingy Skipper – sort of like if Johnny Cash and Woody Guthrie were Durham miners. This was his first gig, hopefully there will be many more.2018_02_23_dickugly

Argonaut, Rabies Babies, Thee Dinner Ladies, Militant Girlfriend

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All ages/family friendly daytime gig put on by Loud Women at the Lexington.
Saturday 30th September.

All ages kid-friendly gigs are the way to go for so many reasons!

1. You get to hang out with your friends who have kids and can rarely come along to gigs.
2. Kid-friendly gigs are in the day time! You can also fit another gig in later in the evening, so doubling your gig-going potential.
3. Kid friendly gigs are just MORE FUN! Where else do you get offered sherbet dib-dabs or Love Hearts as you walk in the venue? Where else is the promoter of the event dressed as Wonder Woman? Where else do you find yourself enthusiastically making lightning shapes while watching the excellent Argonauts?

I’d never been to such a fun gig. The kids had a great time, and so did the adults.

Argonauts kicked off the afternoon with a fantastic set and lots of props, and everyone loved them. They handed out kazoos and gave us dancing instructions for audience participation, encouraged a stage invasion for ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’ and passed around bananas for their singalong version of ‘The Banana Splits’ theme.

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In between bands there was stories for the kids while the grown ups drank beers.

Next on was my band, Rabies Babies. This show was the second time that our guitarist Laura’s toddler son has been at a Rabies Babies gig, he doesn’t really like us. We are too shouty and he gets frightened. This time he didn’t cry for the whole time we played, so we are slowly winning him over. We re-worked out set – we dropped some of the inappropriate sweary songs and added some kid-friendly songs. Our drummer Mike ended up playing guitar and drums at the same time for one song so Laura could run about on stage pretending to be an elephant. There was a boy of 5 or 6 who was right at the front and slam danced and pogoed non stop all the way through our set.

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Thee Dinner Ladies are just plain and simple brilliant garage. Musically they are right up my street, they are garage punk with equal measures of punk and garage. Shouty fun male & female vocals with flirty lines like “you’re only shopping cos you fancy me”. All this, plus the whole band are dressed spectacularly as dinner ladies. Who doesn’t love a dinner lady?

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Sadly I missed the final band, Militant Girlfriend, as I had a train to catch to get me to a wedding in Sheffield, hopefully I’ll get to see them soon.

Roll on next Little Loud Women show!

Otoboke Beaver

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Otoboke Beaver at the Working Man’s Club, Bethnal Green. 5th May 2017.

Otoboke Beaver blow my mind. They are all absolutely masters of their weapons, they play with exact precision and ease at 100mph at the same time as contorting into acrobatics. They command absolute attention, waiting for silence before launching into a full on punk rock assault.
They promised to return to the UK again next year. I will be counting the days.

Support was from the excellent c86-ish Say Sue Me from South Korea.

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more GIGS AND PENCILS Otoboke Beaver:
Otoboke Beaver in the gigs and pencils calendar 2017 (free to download)

Otoboke Beaver  at the Shaklewell Arms May 2016

Slowcoaches

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The Moth Club August 27th 2016

Slowcoaches were the last band of the night. For the first half of their set there was a big pit of (mostly) women, dancing and good-humoured jostling. At some point the pit was taken over by aggressive men and the singer/bassist of Slowcoaches picked up her mic stand and stepped off the stage and placed her mic stand in the pit and claimed the space as hers. She was thrashing around, all the time playing like a maniac. A guy pushed her and she immediately turned to face him and gave him a don’t-fuck-with-me look. He withered. She won. Don’t mess with Slowcoaches, they own the whole bloody scene. They rule.

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Rebellion Festival

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Rebellion Festival at Blackpool Winter Gardens with The Pukes.

7 stages of punk bands, 13 hours a day for 4 days.

Day 1 – Thursday

We were the closing band of Thursday night on the Opera Stage.

In the backstage dressing room there are tour posters for comedians from the 80s, strip lights around the mirrors and a sign on the sink that says “no food washing – this sink is only for wigs”.

The stage is enormous.

It was massive amounts of fun to play.

We all stayed sober enough to play (even drummer Saul), we played well and to a good crowd, sold almost all of our special Rebellion Puke Bag CD/’zines, gave away loads of vodka jelly shots, made new friends, met old friends and had a fantastic night of over-excitement.

Here’s our hard working merch man Adam, selling our t-shirts and ‘zines to pay for our next album. Sitting next to the stall is Swiss Rebellion-friend Andrej Guly.

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This year’s Rebellion had a good scattering of not-all-men bands and crew. Each stage had at least a few women performing every day, and in my mind, the most impressive bands had women in the line up, so this year I drew mostly not-all-men bands.

rebellion2016_01I caught an early train and came straight from the station to catch Werecats at 2pm on the Introducing Stage. I play in The Pukes with Cil, and in Rabies Babies with Mike and it is beautiful to watch them in Werecats. Cil and Pip play off each other’s harmonies and inter-song chat, and they play fun and fantastic mid-80’s pop-punk with fuzzy guitars, smiles and fuck-you attitude, like in the days when pop-punk was great.

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I spent most of the afternoon hanging around The Pukes’ march stall, and went back to the Introducing Stage at 6.30pm for The Svetlanas, a tsunami of hair and hardcore, and at 8pm to catch The Tuts. If I was 18 and in a band then I would definitely want to be in The Tuts. They are energy, humour and fantastic pop punk tunes.

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Day 2 – Friday

On a sunny day Blackpool is a beautiful place.
I had midday drinks with friends in the bar at the end of North Pier. The organist entertained us with seaside hits and 80 year old couples waltzed.
I wished that I could waltz.

At 1.20pm Maid Of Ace played the new Tower Street Arena open-air stage. They rocked tough and fast. I bought both their albums afterwards.Maid Of Ace

 

I met up with Aston of Boss Tuneage Records at the Tower St Arena, “I’ll be easy to spot – I’m the one in the black t-shirt” he said. bloke in black shirt
The Winter Gardens felt hot and stuffy so I went back to the seafront to eat an M&S salad (thanks Karen Hag for the top-tip!), and while I was there I came across this photoshoot (with lights!) of a punk and two old ladies. Later on I bumped into the punk. His name is Andy. The photographer asked him to pose with the ladies. He didn’t even get a quid for it.

punk in blackpool photoshoot

I got sunburn after a while, so I headed back to the Winter Gardens and caught a few bits of bands, had a couple of beers, and then went to hear Brix Smith being interviewed by John Robb on the Opera House stage. I learned that Brix Smith wrote one of my favourite Fall songs, Hotel Blodel, and she told entertaining stories of music-obsession, manchester & ‘merica. She returned to the Opera stage a while later to perform an awesome set with her band. Their performance was my favourite of the festival. I LOVED every second of it. I felt the nostalgia of being a teenager in my bedroom listening to Perverted By Language, and loved the new songs they played. Brix Smith

Ramones tribute band Ramonas played the Empress Ballroom at the end of the night. This room is enormous with a sprung dance floor. Very few bands can get away with playing the Empress. The Ramonas OWNED the place. They were easily the most professional, tight and deadly band of the weekend. They didn’t pause for breath. They pretty much did ‘It’s Alive’, as the Ramones did it, but better. They are Ramones-plus. I am still in awe of the musicianship of these women.

Ramonas

Day 3 – Saturday

The day begun with The Pukes’ Blow the Roof Off Rebellion – Biggest Band of the Festival workshop. It was as fun as ever with around 30 people taking part. Two people during the festival told us that they had done our ‘Here’s 3 Chords Now Form A Band’ workshops in previous years and had gone on to form their own bands. Total Punk.

Favourites bands of the day was oi-pin-ups Hard Skin and fab M.D.C on the Pavillion Stage, and on the Introducing Stage, Shot! a multi-nationality London US-style hardcore band, and Amsterdam squat band Cracked Up.

Shot!

cracked up

Day 4 – Sunday

Highlight of the day was listening to Dave Dictor being interviewed and read from his book: MDC: Memoir From A Damaged Civilisation.
When asked about sexism/equality in the punk scene, Dave tells that on their current 40+ date European tour they have only come across one band with a woman in (Svetlana). I love Dave Dictor for noticing and caring.

Dave Dictor MDC

I had a good wander around the Punk Art, and met new favourite printmaker/artist, Zoe Girl Shit. (check out her stuff – it rocks).

My Rebellion was cut short to catch the 8pm train home, but before I left I had a couple of anarcho treats on the Arena Stage. Anthrax UK followed by the best finale imaginable – Hagar The Womb. I love this band so much. They are funnier than Hard Skin, more punk than anyone, and were possibly the only band who were drinking chocolate vodka on stage.

hagar the womb

 

Otoboke Beaver May 1st 2016

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This was their first show in UK,  as part of the 3 day DIY Pop Festival at the Shacklewell Arms. I feel very honoured to have been there because Otoboke Beaver should be playing massive venues the next time they come to Britain. They have great songs, they are great musicians, they have explosive energy, and have their stage-craft down to a T. No one could not love Otoboke Beaver.

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Skinny Girl Diet at the Moth Club Hackney

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Last night I went to the Moth Club. I saw Parrots there a couple of weeks ago, it is near by, a nice atmosphere, cheap to get in (only a fiver!) and I like the gold ceiling there. Last night Ghost Car and Skinny Girl Diet played, both new bands to me. The gig was sold out and packed. Around 70% of the audience was female. I haven’t been to a gig with so many women for ages (ever?). Both bands were fantastic. Gold Car have an organ player who adds an amazing sound to the band and Skinny Girl Diet remind me of early 90s grunge-punk. An energetic pit was formed on most of the dancefloor for the whole night. I bought records from both bands afterwards. skinny girl diet

 

Rebellion Festival 2015 Saturday

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Saturday began with the Part-Time Pukes workshop – a massive play-a-long to make the biggest band of the festival, joined by Brunk brass band, a load of drummers, uke players and singers. Celebratory pints all round for the Pukes, and after lugging a dozen guitars & ukes back to the van I watched Goldblade rock the massive Empress Ballroom stage. In the afternoon I went for an ice-cream on the beach with Nipper from Hard Skin. We wanted Fabs but couldn’t find any, so we got a Nobbly Bobbly instead.

Nipper eating a Nobbly Bobbly

I came back to the Winter Gardens to catch Coitus – their first appearance at Rebellion.
Coitus

Coitus suit the Casbar stage. I stayed at the Casbah for most of Saturday night – it was like an 80s/90s squat party line-up. Culture Shock followed by Hard Skin, then I went for mushy peas & chips so I missed Chaos UK, but I got back in time for the Mob, with a tiny look in to the Empress Stage to see how appalling Boomtown Rats were. (They were doing ‘I Don’t Like Mondays’, I didn’t even stay for the whole song). The Mob did one song with the singer out of Zounds, which was quite special to see, it was obvious how much the Mob love Zounds.

MDC
MDC were the last band of the night. (my drawing of Mike MDC is above) During their set a guy got on stage and asked his girlfriend to marry him. I couldn’t think of anything worse than being proposed to on stage in front of hundreds of people by a guy that had downed too many pints of shit lager. MDC singer Dave followed the proposal with dedicating the song ‘Dick For Brains’ to the happy couple, and said “I was married once” with a face that said it all. He then proceeded to tell an inappropriate story about going down on a prostitute. I laughed so much. Dave is a star. MDC rocked.

Rebellion Festival 2015 Friday

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I arrived on Friday night at Blackpool Winter Gardens in time to see Johnny Moped, who was fantastic and energetic. After that I watched Captain Hotknives, who orchestrated the best sing-off I have ever witnessed. He got the two halves of the crowd absolutely hating each other, and then declared that each half should battle the other by singing “I hate babies” the loudest. If Captain Hotknives ever decides to become a politician then we are in trouble. I have never seen such manipulation. It was stunning. All of his set, as usual, was hilarious. For some reason he had black war-paint on his face. Not sure why.
captain hotknives

After Captain Hotknives I saw a little bit of the Damned, who were quite good but I had to leave their show to go and watch the Restarts, who for me were the best band of the night. Kieran was wearing a ballet skirt, which he looked really good in, and he did a great girls-to-the-front shout-out just before the band played their tribute to Mia Zapata song.

the restarts

After the Restarts I watched a little bit of Sham 69, but I thought the sound wasn’t very good and they seemed a bit dull after the great Restarts show so I went back to my BnB for an early night.

Rabies Babies in Prague

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In July my band Rabies Babies did a couple of gigs in Czech. At the Prague show there was a guy who was a total knob-head, he even had a knob on his t-shirt. Our friend Pavel named him Super-Dick-Head because he was like a superhero with special powers of being a dickhead. There is a dickhead like this at lots of gigs, they push to the front and dance aggressively and push people around and spill drinks everywhere. If you ever need a dick-head at your gig to be annoying and be a dick-head then you can call him and he will appear. He quite often appears without being invited though. He tried to intimidate us, but we are Rabies Babies and we won’t be beaten by dick-heads, Laura put him down quite nicely. rabies babies and the knob head

Hell-o-Tiki and The Scumbugs – 29th May Weirdsville

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WEIRDSVILLE at the Fiddlers Elbow

MFC CHICKEN started off the night – their final weekend of playing shows until their frontman/saxer Spence can return from expired-visa exile in Canada. I watched a couple of songs and then a man with a loud voice and an ill-fitting hat perched on his head stood directly in front of me, totally obscuring my view. He immediately began shouting to the woman next to him how much he loved MFC Chicken. He only paid attention to the band in between songs, when he whoooped loudly and clapped as though his life depended on it.

After 3 or 4 songs I got sick of boring-loud-hat-man’s conversation so I pushed past him and went back to enjoying the gig. MFC Chicken make you feel as though you’re in ‘Happy Days’ at a School ‘Hop’. I wished I was wearing a cool 50s dress. My friend Gav stayed and listened to hat-man’s conversation. He reported to me afterwards that the main conversation was hat-man telling the woman how much he loved MFC Chicken and how he loved them so much that he was following them to their 2nd gig of the night at the Dirty Water Club. He probably talked all the way through that show too.

HELL-O-TIKI are non-stop volcanic surf, complete with voodoo skeleton suits, Mexican wrestling masks and exotic sexy dancer/party-starter/theramin & synth controller. I love them for so many reasons, probably the top 7 are these
1. They play fantastic happy surf music
2. They have skeleton suits
3. They don’t need fancy guitars to be amazing
4. They have a theremin
5. I wish I could dance like their dancer
6. They are from Belgium
7. I was in a right miserable mood all of saturday and they totally cheered me up.
Can’t wait to see them again. I bought their LP so now every day can be ‘tiki day’.

HELL-O-TIKI AT WEIRDSVILLE

THE SCUMBUGS from Norway are a riot of proper punk-rock garage-punk. The stage was a mass of jumping bugs and shape-pulling. They are so punk. I love them.
the scumbugs at weirdsville

After the bands two women DJs played excellent records for everyone to dance to.

The Munster Raving Loony Party 2015 – Roda de Bará, Spain

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3 days of sun, sand, and fantastic garage-punk. The party was based in a camp site, a better location than the hotel that the party was held in last time I went 2 years ago. All the bands of the weekend were brilliant. I watched all 12 bands, and it was great to be participating, as my band The Pukes played at the pool party on Friday afternoon.

the pukes

The first band of Friday night was Las Marlenes, one of my favourites of the fiesta.

las marlenes

After Las Marlenes was Charm Bag, then the Jackets and lastly Miss Ludella Black. Afterwards we did dancing in the bar til the tiny hours, and then walked home (without even a jumper or anything! it was so hot!)

Saturday was my favourite day, starting with The Cheating Hearts playing on the bar terrace, followed by Leadfoot Tea and Fernando.

the cheating hearts

leadfoot tea and fernando
After Leadfoot Tea & Fernando there was a couple of hours break to listen to the excellent DJs, sample a few copas de cerveza and enjoy the sunshine. The Masonics kicked off saturday night, followed by Thee Jezebels, the The X-Men and a punk-rock finale of Biznaga. I absolutely loved all of the bands that played on the saturday.
Roll on next year for more Munster fun!

Good Throb @ the Lexington 20/12/14

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The Xmas gig that nearly broke me. A Xmas selection box of the best punk bands. All different. All brilliant. Interrobang?! used to be in Chumbawamba, Good Throb are a band that I should have seen before, PKN were charming and have the best drummer, and Hard Skin are the greatest. The DJ that played records in between the bands was crap so we went downstairs to a sea of pissed up office workers in Christmas jumpers.

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Rebellion Festival in Blackpool

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Rebellion was fun. The first band I saw was Guida. They soon had the room full of spikey haired punks doing the ‘Quo dance. They were ace.

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Guida. Rockin all over the punks.

I led a ‘Here’s 3 chords, now form a ukulele band’ workshop and taught 12 people the chords for Part Time Punk by the TV Personalities. The Pukes played later and we got the dozen Part Time Pukes up on stage with us to perform Part Time Punks. We congratulated ourselves on having the most people on stage. After the Pukes played we were supposed to hang around the merch stall but I seemed to drift away from the merch stall and into the middle of the crowd watching the Men They Couldn’t Hang. Their set ended with Green Fields of France, and most of the audience ended up on stage singing along. The prize for most on stage definitely went to Men They Couldn’t Hang. Stiff Little Fingers played in the main room downstairs so I went to see a bit of them but I thought they were a bit dull so I came back upstairs and caught the fantastic Dinner Ladies. They were so good that I bought their CD and 2 badges.

Dinner Ladies

The brilliant Dinner Ladies

Hagar the Womb are without doubt the best and most punk band ever in the whole world. They are so punk that their guitarist can wear a tiger-print onesie and crocs and still look more punk than anyone in the whole punk festival. I love Hagar the Womb with all my heart. (i used my ink pens with this drawing, so there is an ink splot over Ruth’s microphone)

Hagar the Womb

Hagar the Womb. The most punk band in the world.

I saw a load of good bands over the weekend. Highlights were Guida, Dinner Ladies, Men They Couldn’t Hang, TV Smith, Hard Skin, Left Over Crack, Captain Hotknives, Hagar The Womb and the old man playing organ at the end of the pier on the sunny saturday afternoon.

 

Last weekend of the Grosvenor featuring Hard Skin

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It was a sad/happy weekend. The final weekend of our favourite venue. The ONLY reason to go south of the river. I loved the Grosvenor for the following reasons: 1. they had a great selection of herb tea. If you were off the beer then you could sip a sorel & ginger tea whilst watching Doom or the Restarts. 2. They always let us put on gigs there, even though we always made gigs with french or german bands that no one had heard of and our gigs always lost money. They still gave the bands free beer tickets and never seemed pissed off that the venue was empty. 3. There was a house backline, which made playing there very easy. 4. They gave free beer tickets to bands. 5. There was a big disco mirrorball – an essential item for any pub/gig-venue. 6. John the landlord is a really ace person, and so are all the people who worked at the Grosvenor. One time they took my band Rabies Babies on holiday to Bath. John the landlord drove and we took the backline of the pub and played a gig in a crappy pub in Bath.

The final weekend of the Grosvenor was Hard Skin fuelled. They played on the friday and saturday. They were the perfect band for seeing off the Grosvenor.

My drawings of Hard Skin always seem to make Scott’s face look weird. In this one he has an ink blot over his face. I got some ink pens for my birthday and I’m still getting used to using them, so they blot quite a bit. I like the feel of using them though.

The Grosvenor is now destined to get swallowed up into the gentrification of Stockwell and will no doubt become a fine-dining bistro with luxury apartments above it. Hard Skin are playing again in December. I’ll try again with Scott’s face.Hard Skin

Rabies Babies at Happy Punk festival in France

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We visited south of France for the Happy Punk festival. We fell in love with Fred’s chien Scarlet, the best punk dog ever. Pink decided to improve our fish costumes with some red tape. Ohhh la la! Rabies Babies love le France!

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Rabies Babies play a song for Scarlet at the Happy Punk Festival in France

Rabies Babies

Pink taped us up.

Scarlet the dog

Scarlet le Chien