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Strictly Punk (Vol.3)

Some actual news

As the busiest month for retailers marches on, the slowest month for music news appears to never end. Thankfully some bands have been busy making plans for next year this month. The Offspring have been announced for Rock Am Ring in June next year alongside the likes of Billy Talent and German punks Donuts. Fingers crossed for some more UK dates next year then?

Similarly The Bouncing Souls and Real McKenzies have both been talking up new albums and tours for next year in the last week. More about those bands and the rest of what to expect in record shops in 2012 next week as I look to the year ahead.

The Punk Christmas Top 10, part 2: The Top 5!

I started so I’ll finish, last week I counted down punk Christmas songs 10 through to 6 so this week we do the big 5…

5. ‘I’ll Be home For Christmas’ – Matchbook Romance

This is a sweet little cover of an evergreen Christmas classic which features a nice intro based on ‘Carol of the Bells’ which earns them an extra merit point in my book.

4. I Won’t Be Home For Christmas – Blink-182

From I’ll be home to I won’t be home as Blink-182 come in at number 4 (I’m sure they’d have preferred number 2!) but it’s more of an anti-Christmas punk anthem. Good for those done with good cheer!

3. ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)’ – The Ramones

The Ramones, ‘Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)’ is classic in terms of its Ramones-ness in that it’s a punk song that could have been sung by Frank Sinatra or a 1960s female vocal group. And who really wants to fight at Christmas really??

2. ‘Oi to the World’ – Vandals/No Doubt

The Vandals might be the most Christmassy punk band of all time, they have their own Christmas album after all but it’s the self titled song from this album, ‘Oi to the World’ that makes my list. It’s a song of multi-cultural unity and punk music. And No Doubt covered it too!

1. ‘Fairytale of New York’ – Pogues ft. Kirsty MacColl/No Use for a Name

Well there it is, ‘Fairytale of New York’ is top. And why not eh? Main stream enough to be an office party favourite whilst being punk enough to include the words ‘faggot’, ‘slut’, ‘scumbag’ and ‘arse’. And if the folk punk fusion of The Pogues isn’t for you skate punk’s no Use for a Name covered it too on their album More Betterness.


2011: A year in punk – May to August

The Summer months are always good for music. Everyone’s woken up from hibernation and you can finally start having shows outside again. With that in mind the start of May saw the announcement of Reading’s Lock-Up stage. The Descendents and Mighty Mighty Bosstones were announced to top the two respective days with a spot lower on the bill for the returning Capdown, playing the twin festivals for the first time since their separation.

Festival fever continued into June as Download rolled up. Punk bands are often few and far between at the festival but this year saw good spots for Anti-Flag on the second stage and punk rocker turned folk superstar Frank Turner headlining the third stage on the Sunday. A horrendous rain storm all day helped boost the former Million Dead front man’s crowd and by all accounts it was a hell of a show.

Roll on July and another festival, Sonipshere. Most of the talk was regarding the Big Four, and why not, metal they maybe but you’ve still gotta love Anthrax, Megadeth, Slayer and ‘tallica right?? The festival did find space for a few punk acts though. So Cal punk gods Bad Religion made a good showing halfway up the Apollo stage. Gallows and Sum 41 performed on the Saturn (second) Stage and Sonic Boom Six kept up their exemplary live reputation topping the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage.

August on the way and yet more UK festivals but some break-ups first. Frank Carter finally called things off with Gallows and Alexisonfire called it a day full stop bringing to an end their 10 year union. But the two separations somehow came together as ex-Alexisonfire vocalist Wade MacNeil filled the void left by Carter.

All those musical chairs done with there was a festival at the end of August, the Reading & Leeds Festivals. The Offspring were the most prominent punk band there and though their performance was good it didn’t quite hit the high points of the past. Hopefully a new album and a tour next year will lift their spirits. Rise Against also laid on a Main Stage show with some hair on its chest while The Bosstones and Descendents did their punkly duty topping the Lock-Up. The Descendents were particularly pleased with closing out the Sunday night after the disappointment of the April shows in London. An added Brixton warm-up date right before the festival also did wonders to smooth things over for fans of the band.

And one final thing…

Lest we forget that it was 9 years ago to the day (22/12/02) that the mighty Joe Strummer was taken from us. RIP Joe and to quote Rancid:

“I’ll keep listening to the great Joe Strummer cos through music we can live forever” – ‘Indestructible’ – Rancid

Merry Christmas Everyone, peace to you and your families, Adam x



Author: david

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