Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Camden Underworld 29-5-11
 Oh baby! There's a noise coming out of London & you'd better brace yourselves, 'cause it's heading your way & there ain't a goddamn thing you can do about it.

This mighty behemoth of rock'n'roll noise goes by the name of  Pink Cigar & they were supporting the Heavy Metal Kids at the Camden Underworld when Madame Tightpocket & me were fortunate enough to catch 'em both on the same bill.

Little did we know what we were in for when we headed from the boozer to the gig & saw a few long haired degenerates loitering outside the venue in ripped leather pants, fur coats & smudged mascara. For it was they, OH YES INDEED MATEY, it was they who treated us to the most wonderful filthy, sleazy, rock'n'roll noise that you are likely to witness.

 The singer, 'Sharkie' is a front man in the truest sense of the word. He's got more front than Brighton & he's a complete natural. Bloody hell, I bet this guy was performing the moment he left the womb. The guitarist; known to the English speaking world as Ed, looks like the bastard offspring of Jo Dog, Johnny T & the great Brady. But baby, can this boy play. Make no bones my dears, in a few years time this guy will be on the front of every guitar magazine known to man. Geeetar hero, is the phrase I think you were looking for my little cherubs. 

 The beauty in watching these boys; is that they don't belong to any genre, nor do they want to. They just do what comes naturally. There's nothing contrived about 'em, they're not dressing up or trying to be something they're not. They're just being themselves & boy does that work.

 God forgive me, but I can't remember the names of any of their songs.(It was the first time I'd seen 'em). Boys, do let me know where I can get hold of some of your tunes. PLEEEZE.
 They seem to be playing every place in London that has a plug point at the moment. So when do we get to see you in the north fellas? It's cost the breadknife & me a bleedin mint travelling to & from London in recent weeks.

 It's so comforting to know that the future of dirty assed rock'n'roll is in the safest of  hands. 
 Boys & girls, remember the name, because you're gonna be hearing it a lot more in the not too distant future.

 Chin chin my dears.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


Sheffield Corporation: 23-10-2010.
Gordon bloody Bennett, the Boys really do make me sick. The last time I saw them was when they supported the Ramones way back in the mists of time & they don't seem to have aged a single day.
My dears, here is knowledge. The Boys  are still one hell of a red hot live proposition.
 Now the Sheffield Corporation is a kind of multi purpose venue, housing a few different rooms & stages & I was more than a little surprised to find the Boys playing the smallest room of all. The word 'shoebox' flatters the place. Surely a band of this stature would be allowed to flourish more on a larger stage.But then again, ticket sales cannot lie. Sure the venue was full, but, there really is no justice in this world, when a band this good has to slum it in pokey little rooms, when they should be lording it up in front of packed houses.
 The Boys gave one hell of a tight, slick, professional performance & that comes as no surprise when you think back to how many bands they've been in & how many records they've made between 'em. 
Cool Brat.
Not least of these being the great, Casino Steel. Ivory tinkler of some distinction & solo artist in his own right.
Not to mention the fact that he was keyboard player & part of the songwriting team which gave us the finest rock'n'roll album in existence.

 All of the Boys old classics were there; Brickfield nights, First time,& the ever painful Worm song (Yuk).
That's the thing with this band though, they've made some absolutely cracking singles over the years, but the album tracks were all great songs too. Not in any of their long playing records will you ever find a filler.

 This gig shot by in the twinkling of an eye, but rest assured dear readers; your old mate Flash, lord of pockets tight, will be endeavouring to witness this great rock'n'roll show as many times as his ever dwindling bank balance will allow.

 Kid Reid was as dynamic as he ever was, all high jumps & bouncing hither &  thither. (Those shiny white DM boots were a bit of a sartorial faux pas) but hey, other than that, the baby faced assassin still looks & sounds great, so I'm sure he can be forgiven the odd minor indiscretion.

 It's such a shame that Europe & the South Americans seem to see more of the Boys than we do here in dear old blighty. However if that's where they are most appreciated, then who can blame 'em for giving us the cold shoulder.It really is a sad state of affairs when venues are closing down wholesale, we the great British public need to get off our arses & go to see more live bands or the whole genre will die a slow,undignified death & bands as good as the Boys will be no more.

Before I sign off dear viewers, I regret to say that your old mate Flash Tightpocket turned into a sad, trainspotting, autograph hunting geek after the show. I couldn't help myself from accosting the great 'Casino Steel' & getting him to sign my prized Hollywood Brats postcard, which now has the signatures of 2 members of the band emblazoned across the front. RESULT. I know, I know, I'm one sad individual. But f**k it, it made me feel good.
  Chin chin my dears.

Saturday, 11 June 2011


 GROWN UP WRONG- Recorded in 1973
 Aaah, greetings dear reader. Come hither & sit ye down, pull up a footstool for your weary plates & pour yourself a large stiff one. (Ooooh matron). Pin back thy wing nuts, for I wish to impart knowledge of some great import with thee.
 When your dear scribe was but a mere slip of a lad, punk rock was the order of the day. We spikey tops, scoured the weekly organs for information of bands old & new. Bands like the Heartbreakers, the Damned & the Vibrators supplemented our thirst for down & dirty rock'n'roll. 
 We also read our history & learned of the bands who influenced our heroes. Mott & the Dolls provided us with yet more diverse listening matter. But every now & again my eyes were averted by the ever so small namecheck, or the odd paragraph about a British band who were; & I quote 'better than the Dolls' & around at the same time. 'Cool Brat', being one such tiny feature.
 Your genial host read with mild interest but nothing more. However, something must have burnt into my psyche, for when this platter was finally released by 'Cherry red' in 1980, some 7 years after its creation, I found myself investing in said record.

The sleeve was a pretty dull affair, which left nary a clue as to the delightful aural onslaught which lurked twixt its grooves. Prepared I was not.
 The guitar histrionics of Herr Brady, opens the album on the amphetamine fuelled 'Chez Maximes'. What an intro & for the first time in my life, old elastic-mouth Tightpocket was rendered speechless, nay gobsmacked.
 Surely, this was their finest song & the whole album was destined to go downhill from here. Don't you believe it. It lurches from one classic to another.
 From the stomp of 'Another schoolday,' vocalist Andrew Matheson hollers 'I gotta stay awake, don't be late, sit up straight & dress in grey, DRESS IN GREY', (spit forth thy venom Andrew), man he sang it like he hated it.
 'Nightmare' is a real crescendo building cruiser, while 'Empty bottles' is a slide guitar piece, in which Brady allegedly uses a freshly decapitated bottle top as a slide which gently leads us into the epic 'Courtesan', which shows real versatility in Andrews voice. Jesus Christ, the guy had the voice of an angel, (& believe me my dears, he still has). Track 6 needs no introduction, the old Ronettes classic 'Then he kissed me' perhaps commands a closer listen by your good selves dear reader. Oh the androgyny!
  Next up. 'Tumble with me is an out'n'out rocker, which pays a little lip service, (or is that nose service?) to the Everlys. 'Zurich 17', pure vocal bliss, is followed by 'Southern belles', a rock'n'roller which sounds like Chuck on a space rocket, shot through the belly of the Stones 'Carol'. But ain't that what sets the good apart from the great? The ability to take a tried & trusted formula & make it sound like something so different, so fresh & so exciting. This was truly, rock'n'roll from another planet. The fact that it still sounds just as good today adds more than enough weight to my argument.
'Drowning sorrows' is one of the most beautiful heartbreakers I've ever heard, Andrews voice, gentle & tender, ably assisted by the piano of his songwriting partner Mr Casino Steel.
 Finally; just when you thought it was impossible for things to get any better, all the agony, frustration, hatred & anger that you thought you knew, is magnified tenfold in the ICONIC, 'Sick on you'. 
 There are no words in the English language to describe what this song sounds like. If I was to say that it's the sound of the French Cuirassiers led by Marshall Ney, floundering on the cold steel of the steadfast British squares at Waterloo, or the sound of the Gelderd end faithful, baying for Hunter to draw first blood, I wouldn't be anywhere near close.In short, it's the most brutal, frightening, yet utterly compelling & beautiful cacaphony of noise. It makes anything you've heard, before or since, seem like the stuff of 'mamas boys & flakes'.
 For thirty one years, I have loved this album & it hasn't always been an easy ride. My thirst for knowledge on this band has been unquenchable. With only a handful of pictures in existence & any press on them being virtually non existent, it makes the search for Robert Johnson seem like a playground game of hide & seek. Not that I dig the music of Robert Johnson you understand, (too many brooms a dustin & an unhealthy obsession with the colour blue for my liking) but the whole legend doth intrigue.
 Then in the late 80s or early 90s, I can't remember exactly when, there was a breakthrough. Our very own Ray Zell did a full page feature in the hallowed pages of Kerrang, resplendent with an actual picture no less. Dear reader, my flab had never been so ghasted.
 1994 saw the album re-issued on cd & there they were; in full blown up gaudy technicolor. Feather boas a teazin. All long legs, tousled hair & pink sling back jack boots. They made the Dolls look like badly made up, butch, seaside landladies with a penchant for battered chip shop mars bars. TIGHTPOCKET, slake thy thirst.
 It must have been heartbreaking for the guys in the band when they broke up. To know that you're a part of something so good, so damn special & to watch it all crumble after a mere 2 or 3 years. 
 Over the years there have been many promises & rumours of a re-formation. OH HOW I WISH! But alas nothing as yet. Hell, maybe that's the way things are meant to be, after all what if they did do it all over again & it was nothing like you imagined in your minds eye. That would be 31 years of anticipation well & truly shafted. Maybe some things are best left alone. 
 However, were they to re-form for a gig or three; would I go? .....Well lets put it this way, I'd re-mortgage the pad & sell my children into the white slave trade to finance the whole project.
 The fact that a very good & informative website is in existence at all,
presided over I believe, by Mr Andrew Matheson, shows that someone still cares & believes. Check out the band interviews from Record Mirror, its a rare old titter.
  Dear reader; should you decide to follow the path of the righteous, (& I strongly recommend that you do) you may invest in the aforementioned album at
  If you are already privy to this magnificent.opus, well, what the hell, buy it again & make 'em rich & who knows what may happen.
   Boys & girls, Introducing;
                                Andrew Matheson-Vocals & master wordsmith.
                                Casino Steel-Keyboards & associate song writer par-excellence.
                                Brady-Guitarist drunk on Keeef Richards & scotch.
                                Lou Sparks-Drums
                                Wayne Manor-Bass
In their own words; 30 years of dreck & posturing.
Collectively known as the HOLLYWOOD BRATS & bearing responsibility for what is probably the greatest rock'n'roll album in gods creation.