Blog Archives

Safe Gigs for Women

Somewhere back in the mists of time I wrote this article. It was a ranty yet lighthearted list of the people who get on my nerves at gigs, from the talkers to the fuckers who watch the entire show through the screen on their phone. It got a pretty overwhelming response  (thanks, in no small measure, to a reposting on the Roadrunner Records Facebook page), plus it also prompted readers to suggest offenders who I may have missed. Prompting me to start compiling a second list for later publication.

In the interim between articles, my girlfriend at the time went to see a band with her sister. At some point in the night she was groped by an arsehole in the crowd. On confronting him she was greeted with the usual “I was only ‘aving a laugh darlin'” sort of response that has sadly become so expected from this type of prick. So she threw her drink at him, at which point he pushed her quite hard, and if it wasn’t for the intervention of his slightly less meat-headed friends, I dread to think where it would have ended up.

Guess what landed the number one spot on my second article?

I was supposed to be at the gig with her that night but was feeling unwell so stayed at home. I was beside myself with anger and guilt that I wasn’t there to protect the woman I loved, and to this day I regret not being there to punch that little weasel in the face.

But that is not the point.

A woman should not need a burly protector in order to enjoy a band. In the same way that she shouldn’t have to dress conservatively or stay sober. And what this highlighted to me personally is how easy it is to enable sexist behaviour through ignorance. Let me explain.

Firstly, I sincerely hope that everyone who reads my humble blog thinks it’s wrong to feel up an unwilling female at a rock gig. If you don’t then please leave…have they gone?….good. I’m sure you were all appalled by the behaviour of the ‘gentleman’ in the above story, and would have been apoplectic if that happened to your friend or partner. I was livid. Beyond livid. I wanted to strangle the fucker to death….and yet I had recently written a list of eight types of people I considered to be the top ‘persona non grata’ of a rock concert, and he wasn’t on there.

Why? Well two reasons. Firstly, I am a 6’3″ tall man who, despite truth to the contrary, looks a bit scary. The closest I’ve come to getting sexually assaulted at a rock show is accidentally getting elbowed in the bollocks in the moshpit of a Wildhearts gig once. The article I wrote wasn’t ‘The 8 Worst People To Meet At A Rock Gig’ as much as it was ‘MY 8 Worst People To Meet At A Rock Gig’.

The second reason is really the main point of this article (see, I do reach the point eventually), and that is that most of us have a tendency to assume that everyone else follows the same moral compass that we do. Sure we know there are rapes and murders and wars but we like to think (or maybe ‘hope’ is the better word) that the person next to you in the supermarket, the bar, or the gig, is generally decent. It’s this thinking that probably prevents us all from being hopeless agoraphobics. Terrified of the outside world. I assume that the person next to me at a gig wouldn’t grab a strange girl’s behind for no other reason than ‘it’s a bit of a laugh’ because I know I would never do that, and as a result it has made me blind to the fact that it does go on. A lot!

Through my incredible female friends I have had my eyes opened to the sort of shit women put up with on a day to day basis. It is through them that I have gone from being someone who respects women to someone who proudly labels themselves a feminist (it turns out there is a massive difference). One of those friends has recently launched an awesome campaign called Safe Gigs For Women which aims to bring greater awareness of the sort of acts mentioned at the start of this article. One point she brings up again and again is this is not about separating the sexes (like some sort of junior school disco), it is about uniting everyone who thinks this sort of behaviour is unacceptable as this is the best way to filter out the small but persistent element that’s trying to ruin it for the rest of us.

So, if you believe that gigs should be a unifying and inclusive place for people of both sexes to enjoy then click on the logo below, share your stories, show your support, and let’s help make the mosh pit a more beautiful place.

1966221_10152827246547373_7676150316219832747_o

Advertisements

A Beginner’s Guide to – The Wildhearts

In a brand new series for Land of Sunshine we shall be taking a look at some bands who deserve far more recognition than they receive. As a beginners guide for the uninitiated we shall be taking a look at their often extensive back catalogue and taking you, the reader, through the highs, the lows, the OKs and the experimental, drug induced mistakes, so that you may shop for your new favourite bands with confidence.

We kick off the series by taking a look and England’s own The Wildhearts. Formed around a man called Ginger. Singer, guitarist and greatest songwriter who ever lived (I will fight you with swords to defend this point), they have seen many line up changes throughout their 25 year existence. Blending pop, punk, metal, new wave and many other genres, they have produced a fine back catalouge of endlessly inventive and endlessly hummable rock, bolstered by consistently fantastic live shows. Falling outs with each other and their record company along with many a battle with drugs and alcohol have threatened to derail them on more than one occasion, but while Ginger seems more focused on his solo work these days, they still lurk poised, ready for their red headed leader’s call to action.

Note: Each album will be marked out of 10. This grade reflects how the album compares to the rest of the back catalogue rather than music as a whole. Otherwise most of these would be nines and tens.

Don’t Be Happy, Just Worry (1992) 7/10

WildiesDontBeHappyThe band’s recording history began with an EP called ‘Mondo Akimbo a-go-go’. I have not included that here for two reasons. Firstly you’re very unlikely to get your hands on a copy, and secondly all four tracks were remixed and included here on this eight track mini-album.

Showing, straight out of the gate, Ginger’s knack for songwriting. Songs like ‘Turning American’ and ‘Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes’ wear their influences on their sleeves but still highlight a keen sense of melody and an unending supply of riffs that would go on to be the template for the band’s career. ‘Splattermania’ is a delightful ode to Ginger’s love of horror movies and ‘Weekend (5 Long Days)’ can still get me in the mood for Friday night to this day. Closer ‘Dreaming In A’ is an underrated classic and doesn’t sound quite like anything else they have ever done.

It’s rough, it’s ready, it’s a bloody brilliant debut that would put most bands, 10 years into their careers, to shame.

Highlights – Nothing Ever Changes But The Shoes, Splattermania, Dreaming In A.

Earth Vs. The Wildhearts (1993) 9/10

Earth_Vs_The_WildheartsThe point where it all began for most fans and still considered their magnum opus by many. From the opening riff to the closing grind, it is a raw, rollicking, beautiful bastard of an album, full of angry guitars and singalong vocals. Ginger’s cynical and often darkly humorous lyrics really begin to shine through here with song titles such as ‘Greeting From Shitsville’, ‘Love You ‘Till I Don’t’ and ‘My Baby Is A Headfuck’ displaying  a keen sense of humour even in the darkest of times. Each song contains more riffs than most bands fit on an entire album and the aforementioned ‘…Headfuck’ closes with three increasingly epic guitar solos, one of which is played by none other than David Bowie guitarist Mick Ronson (in what is believed to be his final recording before his death).

It is one of the most startlingly assured debut albums of all time that deserves to be ranked among Appetite For Destruction, Ten, and Led Zeppelin I, it’s that good! So why only 9 out of 10 you say? Well if anyone can top this album, it’s Ginger himself.

POP FACT!: Stevie Lange, who provided the awesome backing vocals on ‘Loveshit’ is best known on UK shores as the voice behind “Whooooah Bodyform, Bodyform for you!”

Highlights: Loveshit, My Baby Is A Headfuck, Love You ‘Till I Don’t.

Here’s the three minute carpet bombing that is Suckerpunch!

Fishing For Luckies (1994) 10/10

5165iht63yLSo how do you follow up an album like Earth Vs The Wildhearts? Merely rest on your laurels and repeat the formula? Well not if you’re Ginger. Instead you release a six track ‘mini’ album where four of the songs run to over the 7 minute mark.

Fishing For Luckies is The Wildhearts’ epic, pure and simple. The long songs are simply incredible in their scope and breadth while at the same time still truck along like classic pop songs. If you even notice that ‘Do The Channel Bop’ or ‘Schitzophonic’ are around 8 minutes long on the first listen then you’re a liar. These are prog behemoths disguised as four minute pop songs. Eight minute epics that you can still sing every word to. If you wish to fully understand the genius of Ginger in 11:36 minutes then sprawling closer ‘Sky Babies’, Ginger’s ode to life beyond the stars, sums up everything you need to know. Starting as a perky punk song, it derails at around the three minute mark, spiraling into an epic midsection that defies a single listen. before effortlessly sliding into a beautiful middle eight or perhaps middle sixty four is more appropriate, as the original song never resurfaces, the new sections just keep coming and coming until we all collapse, spent and sweaty. It really is one of the most stunning pieces of songwriting ever committed to record.

And what of the two diminutive numbers? Well one is a rowdy drinking song called ‘Geordie In Wonderland’. So catchy it was even played on Top of The Pops. and the other is called ‘If Life Is Like A Love Bank, I Want An Overdraft’, a song which Ginger once described thusly – “I wanted to write the worst song ever written, but it turned out quite good so we released it as a single”. Bastard!

Highlights: Impossible to choose. Only six songs, every one perfect in its own way.

Here’s the aforementioned ‘worst song ever written’ and its NSFW video.

The album was rereleased twice with different track listings, once without the band’s permission and once by the band themselves. The other versions are worth checking out for the extra songs (especially the band sanctioned version) but for my money, the original six track is the best there is.

PHUQ (1995) 10/10

phuq-11407165-frntlSo here it is, my favourite album by The Wildhearts.

PHUQ (and yes, it’s pronounced ‘fuck’) takes the epicness of Fishing For Luckies and condenses it into Earth Vs style melodic blasts. Opener ‘I Wanna Go Where The People Go’ may be one of the catchiest songs they’ve ever recorded, but songs like the staccato march of ‘V-Day’, the dark grind of ‘Be My Drug’, or the Beatles-esque ballad ‘In Lilly’s Garden’ showcase sounds never before explored by the band. ‘Caprice’ is hands down one of the best songs they’ve ever written and every other song has a unique shape of its own. Even the singalong bonus track entitled ‘Don’t Worry About Me’ has become a staple chant of the fans while waiting for the band to return for the encore. How many bands can claim that?

More varied than Earth Vs… and more compact than Fishing For Luckies. PHUQ is everything that makes this band so great in one complete package. Just fucking buy it!

Highlights: V Day, Caprice, Nita Nitro (just the whole damn thing really!)

Now enjoy The Wildhearts at their most anthemic.

Endless, Nameless (1997) 5/10

The-Wildhearts-Endless-Nameless-118964Ah the difficult third album. Rumours have ranged from drugs to internal tensions to pressure from the record company to conform to a sound more akin to The Prodigy or The Chemical Brothers, both hugely popular at the time. Although I always suspected his new found kinship with Canadian metal madman Devin Townsend was no coincidence. Perhaps only Ginger truly knows. What we do know is that Endless, Nameless is a cacophonous mess. Albeit a fascinating one.

The hallmarks are all there. The big riffs, the melodic vocals, the driving drums. However every song is awash with huge levels of top end distortion. This works in some cases, like the epic closer ‘Thunderfuck’ or ‘Urge’, still one of the best songs in their back catalogue. But many of the tracks  just sound like great Wildhearts songs that you can’t quite hear properly, as if they’re being played thrown a blown speaker. It makes for a frustrating listening experience. Bad songs are one thing, but good songs ruined by bad production are worse in many ways.

There is still a lot to love about Endless, Nameless but, after the epic triptych which proceeded it, it was definitely a big disappointment even to the most devoted fans. Definitely the sore thumb of the oeuvre.

Highlights: Urge, Thunderfuck, Junkenstein.

Here’s the confusingly alluring Urge.

The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed (2003) 7/10

The_Wildhearts_Must_Be_DestroyedTo no one’s real surprise The Wildhearts pretty much imploded after the release of Endless, Nameless. Ginger threw himself into a number of projects ranging from the good (Super$hit 666) to the superlative (Silver Ginger 5’s ‘Black Leather Mojo’. Seriously buy this album!) to the frankly bizarre (Clam Abuse). It would be six years before the public would see another Wildhearts album and one that would see a complete line up change from Endless, Nameless (seeing the return of CJ and Stidi from the Earth Vs line up) and a return to a more pop oriented sound. Sometimes a bit too pop.

Completely moving away from the wild distortion of the previous album TWMBD is easily the most straight pop record of their career. Massive singalong numbers like ‘Vanilla Radio’ and ‘Top Of The World’ sit alongside mid-paced rockers like ‘Someone That Won’t Let Me Go’ and ‘One Love, One Life, One Girl’. The closest they ever get to metal is in stomping opener ‘Nexus Icon’ and ‘Get Your Groove On’ which features Justin Hawkins on typically high backing vocals.

It may sound like I’m down on TWMBD but I’m not, I’m really not. It’s a great album that most bands would give their hind teeth to put their name on. It’s just that us fans know that Ginger can shit out songs like this before breakfast. Probably a great intro album for those less inclined to heavier music.

Highlights – Vanilla Radio, Nexus Icon, Someone That Won’t Let Me Go.

Everybody! “Where’s my Elvis? Where’s my Elvis? Where’s my Elvis?”

The Wildhearts (2007) 6/10

thewildheartsThe Wildhearts’ self titled album is the one I find the hardest to appraise. It’s good, don’t get me wrong, it’s just not quite special in the way a Wildhearts album should be. Every song is solid, in fact it’s incredibly consistent, but they all sound a little like lesser versions of their predecessors. Opener ‘Rooting For The Bad Guy’ aims for the highs of Fishing For Luckies with its eight plus minutes of ever shifting riffage but never quite reaches the heights of ‘Inglorious’ and its peers, and the rest, well I’m listening  to it now, and it’s good, it’s really fucking good. It brings back some of the heaviness of the earlier stuff while retaining the pop of the last album and ‘The New Flesh’ is incredibly infectious. It’s just not special. Not Wildhearts special anyway. Put it this way. Question a fan on her or his favourite Wildhearts songs and I’d be surprised to find that many from this album.

Highlights: The New Flesh. Rooting For The Bad Guy, Destroy All Monsters.

Stop Us If You’ve Heard This One Before vol.1 (2008) 6/10

Wildhearts-StopUsI almost didn’t include this one as it’s a covers album but as it’s officially part of the discography I felt compelled. Also it was made with the best intentions. Rather than just churning out a bunch of popular songs to get album sales, instead the band picked songs by bands they love in order to bring them to the attention of their fans, in the hope that in doing so we would go out and further investigate their back catalogues. Pretty cool huh? Each page of the CD booklet even has a little explanation of the song and the band to give you a little insight.

And what of the songs? Well as you might expect its a mixed bag. No one is going to enjoy somebody’s compilation tape as much as the creator, but the band really give it their all with each song. It also marks the only time that every band member has contributed lead vocals on a Wildhearts album. In a wide array of genres from a storming cover of Fugazi’s ‘Waiting Room’ (with bassist Scott and guitarist CJ handling the dual lead vocals with aplomb) to a spirited version of ‘Ice Hockey Hair’ by Super Furry Animals, the band clearly show a lot of respect for the source material. Sure the covers are faithful to the originals but then that’s the whole point. I do have one criticism however. CJ you got the lyrics wrong in the chorus to Regurgitator’s ‘Everyday Formula’. Shame on you CJ!

So there you go. Not an essential Wildhearts album but a great curio for the fans who might even find themselves broadening their musical horizons a little.

Highlights: Waiting Room, Possum Kingdom, Geez Louise.

Chutzpah (2009) 8/10

ChutzpahOur time is nearly at an end as we approach the last Wildhearts albums to date. But don’t be too sad. It’s a stonker!

You know how I said that the self titled album lacked something special? Well what ever that intangible factor may be, this album has it. Seemingly taking all the good aspects of their last three studio albums and smashing them together with a new, almost industrial sheen, Chutzpah is a lean, dangerous beast. Most songs only run to around the three minute mark. They get in, grab you by the lapels, scream in your face, and are gone before you have time to even wipe the spit from your brow. Not that these are all screaming fast metal songs, most in fact are decidedly mid paced. They’re just incredibly efficient. Following a decidedly un-Ginger ‘verse-chorus-verse’ pattern for the most part but without ever leaving you wanting more. No stand outs, no weak songs, just a gloriously unit that work beautifully as a whole album. If I was forced to pick favourites it would probably be the two songs that bookend the album. Exhilarating opener ‘The Jackson Whites’ with its air of menace and deceptively catchy chorus and the title track closer with its pulverizing riff and, believe it or not, Vocodered chorus are as strong a foundation as any album could hope for.

If Chutzpah ends up being The Wildhearts swansong then they went out with their heads held high, kicking and screaming. Let’s hope not though eh?

Highlights: The Jackson Whites, Chutzpah, You Are Proof That Not All Women Are Insane.

Further listening:

Chutzpah Jnr – Eight awesome outtakes from the Chutzpah sessions including an unlikely experiment in Euro-Pop.

Coupled With – A collection of B-sides from The Wildhearts Must Be Destroyed era. The Wildhearts are a rare band whose b-sides are just as good as the a-sides. There is literally no drop in quality.

Every B-side from Earth Vs to PHUQ  – Same as above only better. Contains some of their greatest tunes. Girlfriend Clothes, 29 x The Pain, Hate The World Day. Better than most band’s a-sides. You’ll have to work a bit harder for these though as there was no official compilation. Your best bet is to pick up The Works compilation which contains a fair few of them.

 

The Worst People To Meet At A Rock Gig – REDUX!

A while back I posted and article entitled ‘The 8 Worst People To Meet At A Rock Gig’. The response it got was nothing short of overwhelming. In fact it got more hits than all the other articles on this site put together. Clearly I was not alone in my anger at these people.

Since posting I have received a large number of suggestions for other folk who deserved a place in the rogue’s gallery, so I thought it was time for a revisit. So here are five more people who get on our last nerve when we’re trying to watch a band, as voted by you, the people.

5. The Couple

elite-daily-couple-facebookThe couple got such incredible amount of votes in reaction to my previous article that I was surprised how little I’d been affected by them. I definitely recognise the type though.

The couple are the guy and girl who try to get as close to the stage as possible despite the fact that the girl is 5 feet tall and about 8 stone. The guy then spends the rest of the gig defending her from incomers who are doing nothing more that enjoying the mosh pit. As I’ve said before, the pit is an inclusive place, but why would you want to spend an entire gig protecting the person you love from physical injury?

I only once found myself in the position of the couple. It was watching the Chili Peppers at Brixton Academy. My tiny girlfriend and I had worked our way through the crowd to a good spot but the second they hit the stage and launched into ‘Suck My Kiss’ the crowd went insane and she went flying. I literally lifted her off her feet and carried her back a safe distance. I’ve never done it again. Why would you?

Extra vilification goes to the couple who spend the whole gig with their lips locked together. Why the hell are you even here?

4. The Farter

fartHow could I have forgotten this guy? A mosh pit is already a place of special fragrance without this guy clouding it up with his toxic storm. Coupled with the fact that inside an airless room full of sweaty people the damn thing can linger for minutes, and the fact that you can’t even usually tell who it was so you have nowhere to direct your hate.

I recently attended a Status Quo gig with my Dad at the O2 in Greenwich. I don’t care what you think, they were great, sadly the old man farts that assaulted my nose throughout were not.

Next time you’re heading to a gig, think carefully about the last few meals you’re having. Other people’s olfactory senses are depending on it.

3. The Protester

37230995__405717c “Oh you made a giant banner to show how much you fancy the bass player, that’s cute”. Guess what isn’t cute? Blocking the view of the 15 people stood behind your dullard self. There’s a little something called line of sight and when you raise a large canvas obstruction between me and the stage I CAN’T FUCKING SEE!

The same goes for all you flag bearers. I don’t care if come from Wales, nobody does, you’ve only come to Donnington, it’s not a great feat. The worst of it though is being at a festival when it starts to rain. As the heavens open you’ll suddenly you’ll find yourself surrounded by hundreds of people who’ve never heard of a Pac-a-mac, and instead decided a golfing umbrella was a much more sensible choice. I hope you’re not too attached to your eyeballs.

2. The Bombardier

grenade_paratrooper_1943_700We’ve all been there. That awful moment at a gig when you get hit by something wet. Was it water? Was it beer? Was it urine? You don’t know, and frankly there’s fuck all you can do about it even if you did.

This is all thanks to The Bombardier. The knucklehead for whom every gig is some sort of Olympic games for cunts. Thanks mate, I really wanted your dregs of beer and spit down the back of my head, and that’s if you’re lucky. I once got caught on the back of the head by a thick plastic glass so hard that it broke the skin (it was at a Biohazard gig so I did my best to style it out). If I wanted to get physically injured at a gig I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself thank you very much. Drop your glass to the floor like a normal person and then preferably leave.

1. The Groper

flasherHow can I put this in a way that everyone will understand? If you deliberately feel up a girl during a gig who isn’t your girlfriend or hasn’t given you express permission to do so YOU ARE SEXUALLY ASSAULTING HER!

How was that? Clear enough?

This person was left off the original list because, being a guy, it’s not one I have been a victim of. However it is clearly the most heinous of all the crimes we’ve listed. It shouldn’t even need saying but women have a right to enjoy a gig without being molested by some tragic pervert who thinks they’ll get away with it because of the safety of the crowd.

Sure, sometimes where your hands end up in a mosh pit is pretty much out of your control, but if you wilfully feel up the poor girl in front of you or crowd surfing over you, you deserve to be beaten. Pure and simple.

And if you’re that special kind of asshole whose reaction is “Come on love, I’m just having a laugh”, try to imagine if a sweaty, 6 foot guy came over and grabbed your junk ‘just for a laugh’. Not very funny now is it? Prick!

So there you have it! Have I covered all bases or are there still some bastards out there going unpunished? Let me know.

What’s all this talk about rock being dead?

A few days ago a friend of mine posted this article on her Facebook wall http://louderthanwar.com/blogs/10-reasons-why-rock-is-not-dead. My first response was ‘I didn’t realise anyone thought it was dead’. My second response after reading it was that while it did give a lot of reasons why rock isn’t dead none of them were the intended points of the writer.

Firstly, the article begins with a point about The Stone Roses. The Stone Roses! Now I have nothing strongly against the band but if you think people wanting to hear “She carries on through it all, she’s a waterfall” proves that rock is alive and well you’re way off the mark.

Nothing says rock like whatever that hat is!

It then goes on to say that Kasabian have been banging on about the death of rock music. Who the merry fuck gives a damn what Kasabian have to say about rock music? Every one of their interviews reads like the worst troll on a message board. Get back to your moderately dancy indie music and shut the fuck up.

Then there’s ‘the death of festivals’ comment. When did this happen? This year I am currently trying to budget so I can see Pearl Jam at Isle of Wight(along with Springsteen and Petty) and Soundgarden at Download. That’s before Sonisphere have even announced their lineup. Although I’m not a major fan of either of them, Download also had Sabbath and Metallica. That’s huge! If some festivals are struggling that’s only because there were approximately 60 gagillion of them last year.

I’m not even going to get started on point 6 (there were only two bands in the 60’s were there? I’m going to check with my Dad on that one) and most of the rest just rehash the point that ‘there’s a lot of rock out there’. But points 2 and 3 talk about how Enter Shikari and Rammstein have sold a load of albums without much exposure, and while I agree in essence with the point the writer is making it also kinda renders the whole article moot.

When I was a teenager there was not internet in every home, no Spotify, no Scuzz or XFM. If you wanted to find out about rock music you had to buy Kerrang! or Metal Hammer and if you wanted to hear it you had to either watch MTV’s Headbanger’s Ball or, if your parents didn’t have cable, Noisy Muthas which was on at 2am on a Saturday morning. Failing that you just had to go out and part with your cash for some singles by bands who looked good,

And I was a teenager in the 90’s. Ask any rock fan who grew up in the 80’s and they’ll tell me I had it good. Still ours was the last generation for whom rock music was at all considered an underground commodity. I used to get called a hippie at school by the ignorant townie twats who still thought a 20 year old reference was the height of sophistication. Then came grunge which made a big dent on the mainstream followed by nu-metal which was, at the time, the heaviest music to have commercial appeal, after that rock never really went away again, and it’s not going to now.

The fact is rock was never about chart success, ever! People who like rock music never tuned into to Top of the Pops to see what was out there. Do you think that AC/DC were concerned about how high their singles charted? Of course not, not when Back In Black is the third highest selling album of all time. At number 2 is Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, just underneath Thriller. Consider the difference in successful singles between Floyd and Michael Jackson and I think you see my point.

I remember once running into the lounge when my Mum announced that ‘one of my bands’ was on Top of the Pops. It was Iron Maiden who had just got to number one with Bring Your Daughter To The Slaughter. It didn’t matter that it was one of the worst songs they had ever written, it was utterly thrilling as that sort of thing never happened. It was a total exception.

There are newer bands on the rise like Bring Me The Horizon and the aforementioned Enter Shikari who are doing something genuinely interesting and different with rock music. I’m not an enormous fan of either, in fact a lot of their music confuses the hell out of me but frankly that’s fantastic. I’m 33, there should be bands coming up that I don’t understand, like I’m sure many 33 year olds didn’t understand Nirvana and the Sex Pistols before that. If I could listen to the new raft of rock bands and be completely comfortable with all of them then something has gone very wrong.

Speaking of bands who I am comfortable with, this year sees the return of Soundgarden, Refused and At The Drive In, all to rapturous applause and only this morning I received an email telling me that Andrew WK’s gig where he’s playing all of his debut album I Get Wet has just been moved to a bigger venue due to overwhelming response. Andrew WK looks like this –

Almost all of his songs are about partying hard.

It would seem that the only people who are worried about the state of rock music are the ones who don’t really listen to it. For the rest of us we know rock isn’t dead, in fact I’m pretty sure it can’t be killed, just look at Ozzy Osbourne.