Flash House are from London and play thrashy but articulate gutter punk. The Scandis and various bands from Australia and the American Midwest perfected this style in the early ’90s. They just weren’t as hirsute.
Sometimes you wonder why the English didn’t achieve more prominence in the trash-punk field while grunge was cutting a swathe, but they were buried under all that Britpop nonsense. Fuck me, I mean, Oasis were less a band than a series of Beatles songs masquerading as headlines. Flash House and their ilk are making up for lost time.
In these times of limited attention spans and information overload, every band needs a tagline. A way to be noticed. Flash House’s is: “Rock ’n’ roll dystopia. Fast songs played by slow minds”. It fits like a thumb in your bum.
The Horniman Museum in South London is a monument to its founder's eccentricities. A giant stuffed walrus vies for space beside antique musical instruments. Medieval torture chairs sit next to a delightful selection of monk’s undergarments. Both horsehair and spiked.
They had a couple of live piranhas and a virtual history of pipe smoking. The Addams family would have felt right at home.
One unusual exhibition was a wheel of Chinese opium. It sat happily in its case for 80 years until some reprobate walked in, opened the case and vanished off into the English Autumn.
The legend shared by South London’s heroin users was the perpetrator was one, Peter Perrett. This wasn't based on fact. He just lived around the corner from the museum.
Walter Lure plays LAMF 100 Club, London August 10, 2019
Walter Lure has had a storied career, duelling with Johnny Thunders in the Heartbreakers, recording with The Ramones, burning up stages with his own Waldos and in working in the markts on Wall Street.
Of the Heartbreakers, Lure is the last man standing after the passing of Thunders and Jerry Nolan in the '90s and the departure of Billy Rath in 2013, and he has done gigs showcasing the Heartbreakers debut "LAMF", most notably in New York City with a fairly stellar cast including Wayne Kramer and Clem Burke.
Glen Matlock Band 100 Club, London, UK March 7, 2020
Glen Matlock is a member of a pretty select club, that of the (S)ex Pistols, and that tumultuous time of '76/77 has defined him and his musical output ever since.
"Good to Go", his most recent album, has been out for a while now, and while it’s no landmark release, it is a sturdy collection, and has reunited Matlock with ex-Bowie sideman Earl Slick for a short UK tour before a planned US jaunt (cut down now by coronavirus.)
Jumpin' Jack Flash. David Litvinoff and the Rock'n'Roll Underworld by Kieron Pim (Penguin Books)
Who? Exactly. Except, here's a character who knew (to his cost) the Kray brothers (and many of their associates), introduced a very stoned Richard Clapton to The Queen Mum, and pretty much was the writer/inspiration for that enigmatic, brutal film “Performance” (starring Mick Jagger - he was in with the Stones as well).
Oh, and he had a very nasty spat with artist Lucian Freud too, which appears to have been the cause of his facial scars - on either side of his mouth, like Hugo's “The Man Who Laughed”.
David Litvinoff. Half-brother of Emanuel Litvinoff (who famously read a poem calling out Eliot's pre-WW2 anti-semite poetry - at a gathering at which Eliot was present), thief, shoplifter, gangster, thug, procurer, fantasist, culture influencer, prankster and fascinator par excellence.
Keiron Pim has gone tumbling down and impossible historical rabbit-hole, “where wet lamplight glistened on the wet pavement as snowflakes met their swirling shadows... unnoticed when I slipped cross-current through a crowd, they rhythm of footsteps inculcating the notion that I was floating”.
Rocking with the Renees – The Gymslips (Optic Nerve)
If East London’s The Gymslips swapped warm beer for weak cat’s piss and pretended to be in high school would they have presaged The Donnas? The English all-girl band (that’d be The Gymslips) haven’t been active since 1985 so it’s a moot point, as they say in philosophy texts.
This re-release of the Gymslips’ 1983 bubblegum punk debut LP brings a lot of froth and fun to the table. If you hadn’t worked that out by the first verse of openenign song “Renees” with its lyric “We’re the Renees/Here we come/1-2-3 and up your bum” you’re probably not trying.
“Rocking With The Renees” includes their debut single (a faithful cover of Suzie Quatro’s “48 Crash”) and 14 other tracks, one of them enigmatically listed as “Untitled”. There another four available on a vinyl EP, “Silly Egg”.
"Yesterday’s Town" is huge. You think you know where she’s going, but she doesn’t take you there. The lyrics are like a stripped-back novella. Suzie really nails the slow/uptempo dynamic with her romantic guitar and sweet and smoky (by turns) voice.
Suzie’s been going about her career the right way (photos, film clips bios and downloads
). She's moved from Melbourne to London and is building a profile. Her production on "Yesterday’s Town" is superb, and the song itself begs for mainstream airplay, and I can only assume the majors are scampering with intent toward her right now.