Facebook Slider

Ms. Boom's Review Of 2018


The Senior Service kicked off 2018 with a tantalizing twang, with their single ‘Slingshot’ released on the Damaged Goods label. Swiftly followed up by their equally delicious and intoxicating Hammond driven second long player King Cobra in the spring. I’ve come to expect nothing less than the best from Messrs. Day, Barker, Hartley and Howard. Indeed, the same can be said of another Barker/Hartley/Howard combo, add singer Chris Hearsey, and you get Sergeants Mess. They released their much overdue 2013 track ‘‎Couldn't I Be Yours’ back in February on Spinout DJ Lee Grimshaw’s brand new label, Spinout Nuggets. A solid debut release for an exciting new venture!

Spring was quite an exciting time gig-wise, mainly in the shape of the much anticipated Beat Bespoke Weekend headliners The Mummies. They’d split up not long after I first became a fan, in the early/mid ‘90s. So this was my first time seeing them play live. The gig was nothing short of amazing, and everything I had expected it to be – fuzzy, frantic, and filthy in your face garage punk. The only downside was the horrendously long queue at the venue due to the incredibly slow security checks (i.e. two door staff checking in 800 odd people) thus missing the support act, The Baron Four. Personally I’m not a fan of bigger events such as this, as (for me) it takes away from the whole experience of seeing a band, however, in this instance it was fun fun fun, with a fab after party, and definitely one of my favourite gigs this year.

April saw Aire Valley’s topper most masked & caped instrumental combo - The Razerbills, release their much anticipated La Tombe EP on Squirrel Records – they advise us to ‘listen in complete darkness whilst wearing your Razerbill mask’ which comes as an option with the disc. If you haven’t already got a copy, then you’d better be pretty quick (and that’s a matter of fact) as there are only a few remaining. They also played a twistin’ twang-tacular set at The Shipley Shakedown (Shipley Social Club, venue of the year!); and at The Bottom Rung’s Halloween Spooktacular. Such an inspiring band – I cannot help but adore them. Horror themed band Ms. Boom? Yes please!   

Edinburgh based garage miscreants The Nettelles released their stinging debut single ‘I’m Over You’ on Spinout Nuggets in May, and subsequently headlined at the Girls Rock School Edinburgh showcase, giving a performance with extra bite.  

Medway’s beat and garage goddess Ludella Black also released her blistering 3rd LP in May Till You Lie In Your Grave on Damaged Goods and I was sad to have missed her show at Weirdsville in July.

On to festivals. Although I didn’t make it overseas this year, I attended my very first Hipsville in Margate, The Franklin Fest in Edinburgh, Beatwave in Hastings and even made a half hour visit to the Worthing Surf Festival!  So many fantastic bands – highlights were The Beatpack and Les Bof at the Franklin, The Mirage Men, Neuvo Ramon 5, The VooDooms and The Overboards at Beatwave and the lovely Lily Zeller with Chrome Reverse at Hipsville.

It would be impossible to sum up my 2018 without mentioning The VooDooms. They’ve pretty much doom-inated social media this year, and have played all over the UK. You can read my review of their debut LP Destination Doomsville on Trashwax here, it pretty much says it all. Horror themed band? Yes please! Looking forward to more Va-Va-Doom-ing in 2019!   

Another band there has been much of a buzz about the fuzz this year (and rightly so) are San Diego’s ‘60s- crazy punkers The Night Times. Their Debut single ‘I Don’t Mind’ on Outro Records, sold out faster than a toupee in a hurricane. Luckily, I managed to acquire one from ever reliable State Records. Can’t wait to see them play next year.

Later this year I was thrilled to see Les Envahissuers play at The Bottom Rung club in Edinburgh with Les Bof! It was quite a mesmerising performance. Again, plenty of fun, fuzz and frolics ‘My Gorilla’ has been an ear worm ever since, and Nataly De Lovely certainly lived up to her name (I don’t mind admitting that I have a bit of a girl-crush!). All that, and the new singer/guitarist had to be found at the last minute, but you would never have known. Go see them live if you ever get the chance, and buy their album Garage Monkeys on Soundflat Records.   

A band to definitely watch out for next year are Spanish Duo Los Retumbes. You can read all about this perfect pairing here. They’ve just secured a support slot with garage rock legends The Morlocks and will be playing in Newcastle and Edinburgh respectively in early March. Their debut single is out now on Family Spree Recordings.  

The Sensation Seekers first LP Jerk Beat was propelled onto the unsuspected masses in November on the Back To Beat label of Norway – describing themselves as instrumentalists (which I can confirm is true) ‘it’s what you’d get if you stuck a Hammond, harp and guitar in the Hadron Collider and fired them full pelt at each other’ (thanks Mr. Ellis for the quote) – it’s a far our Hammond hootenanny for the heppest of cats.   

Other stand-out gigs this year were the legendary 5678s in Glasgow, the scary (but in a good way) Rev Beatman & Sister Nicole Izobel Garcia in Edinburgh, The Courettes & Oh! Gunquit at Weirdsville and The Galileo 7 blowing the roof off at The Fratcave in Hastings – Holy tintinnabulation! Last but my no means least, the aforementioned and Graham Day And The Gaolers at the Damaged Goods 30th Anniversary celebrations at The Lexington. Check out the Retro Man Blog for the low down on that night. The year nicely bookended by Mr. Day et al – who’d of thought it? What a great way to end 2018.  

What will 2019 bring? For me – listening to more records, more gigs, putting on my own gigs, more festivals (overseas this time yay!) – Possibly a release by a certain girl band I know AND if it’s anything like 2018, I think I may need to re-mortgage my wee bachelorette pad!


Musos' Guide Interviews Los Retumbes

Los Retumbes are a tumultuous twosome from the Basque Country (which, for those who don’t know, is neatly nestled next to the southern French border in northern Spain). Formed in 2017, Mr. & Mrs. Retumbes recorded and released their first single earlier this year.

To give you the reader, some background, Ana and I met on Facebook a few months ago. We got chatting, and the rest is history. Luckily for me her brother lives near Edinburgh, and she and Andres are regular visitors to the city. I met with them during their recent trip ...

Ms B: Los Retumbes is a fairly recent project for you both, and you have cited your sound as ‘between Link Wray and The Clash’, could you expand on that for the readers?  

LR: Our influences are from early rock and roll, Link Wray, Bo Diddley, Little Richard to ‘70’s punk. But also surf music and ‘60s garage. There are many kinds of music in Los Retumbes!

Ms B: ...but what style of music was it which really got you into what you’re doing now with Los Retumbes?

LR: (Andres) Punk rock, because in the town where we are from (Barakaldo) the musical scene is punk, punk and punk.

Ms B: ...does that include ‘60s punk, or is it more ‘70s driven?

LR: ...from ‘70s to now. It’s a very particular style of punk, only from our city, but there are punk bands in the town (Distorsion, Parabellum) who are famous all over Spain. One particular band (Parabellum) are still playing to the present day.

Ms B: ...are they a political punk band? (thinking of the Basque conflict 1959-2011).

LR: Today no, but in the past yes. There was a thing called Radical Basque Rock, it was very important in the ‘80s/’90s, and the place where we live was very influenced, and there were many bands playing that kind of music. It was not only political lyrics, and they sang in both Spanish and Basque.

Ms B: ...so how did you get into the music of the ‘60s?

LR: Since the beginning (Andres) mostly listened to punk bands, about 20 years ago he started to listen to other styles of music.

Ms B: ...did you have garage bands visiting your town, or did you have to travel?

LR: We are the only garage band in our town! There is a band called The Paniks from (Bermeo & Barakaldo) who are ‘western’ garage, and The Lie Detectors, but in our town/Basque Country, there are no other bands. The bands that make garage music are based more in the East and South of Spain.    

Ms B: Your other band, The Brand New Sinclairs, seem to have a distinctly Mod flavour …

LB: We started Brand New Sinclairs 11 years ago. We were in the Mod scene, and the music in the beginning was more rhythm & blues and beat, and very accepted by the Mods. With the years, maybe because we are more open to other music, we have changed. The drummer and bass player are different from the originals, and they have bought more rock and roll and garage, so we’ve changed. Although the music is still very ‘60s, it’s changed.

Ms B: Let’s talk about your Los Retumbes new EP. I see that it’s produced by Jorge Explosion aka Jorge Munoz-Cobo, formally of the formidable Dr. Explosion. Wow - that’s pretty impressive indeed. I saw them play at the Frat Shack in London about 20 years ago, and they were pretty crazy. Big fan of Dr Explosion.

LB: Us too! We were very pleased to go and record the EP with Jorge. We wrote to him, and Andres (all the time) was saying ‘this band has to record with Jorge - this is a must’. It is a great move for this kind of music. We wrote to him, and we didn’t know if he would respond because Jorge only works with the kind of music he likes. If he doesn’t like it, he won’t do it. We were no-one, we were very young (in terms of how long the band had been together), we wrote to him and we thought he was not going to write back. But he liked it, and he’s brilliant! When we were recording he said ‘you are going to do this’ and he makes songs ‘bigger’. (Andres) ‘I say he’s a freak and he’s a genius!’.

Ms B: Wow… Super. Has Jorge helped to push you into the wider garage world?

LB: Jorge speaks several times a year on a radio show called (El Sótano, Radio3) he talked about Los Retumbes and our track ‘Surfing Fukushima’ as he likes it very much, and on Facebook he wrote about us; ‘pay attention to this band’ etc. He’s helped very much. He’s put us on the map, no one knew us before, so it was very important to us.

Ms B: ...yes, I can see why. He has a lot of credibility, and contacts all over the world.

LB: Yes, that’s right.

Ms B: So, when you were recording with Jorge, what was the process? What kind of equipment did you use? Was it recorded in Jorge’s own studio, Estudios Circo Perotti?

LB: Yes, it was his studio, in a basement. It’s very small. He has two levels, the second level for reverb. He has a big tank for reverb. With Jorge, you start recording, and as you are playing, he’s thinking about what he’s going to do with those songs. But the first thing he did was check our equipment, (Ana) and he took my toms and he started playing and he was an hour deciding what was the correct formation, and finally he said ‘hmm, we are not going to use your equipment, we are going to use mine’. That’s why I have bought (from Ebay) the same equipment that I used to record, because he didn’t like mine.

Ms B: Did he get you to record live?

LB: Yes, it’s all recorded live. I was in the sound booth, Andres was with with Jorge in the office, one amp was in the wardrobe, and one in the toilet! (Andres) Because when recording with the amp in the toilet, it sounds great because of the echo. (Ana) To play at the same time was difficult, because I was playing in a different part of the studio, so I had to twist around to see him.

Ms B: ... was it all analogue equipment?

LB: Yes, all analogue, vintage equipment. Recorded on magnetic tape (shows a picture of reel to reel tape machine). There was no digital equipment, just at the end of the mixing he had to put it on the computer to give us MP3’s. (Showing pics - Ana) this is my set-up, and I had many microphones!

Ms B: ...what an amazing experience!

LB: Yes. A very good experience.

Ms B: Moving onto band No.3, Anita y Los Peleles ... I’ve seen pictures - you’re all in stripes. Very traditional.

LB: (Ana) We are a rock and roll band for the family. Not just for kids, but parents. We have the same lineup as The Sinclairs. Years ago there was a project called ‘rock n roll bands for kids’ so that kids can listen to another kind of music, not the horrible kind of music they are forced to listen to. They called the Brand New Sinclairs three or four times, and asked us to play our music, but particularly aimed at kids. So we played our music, and two or three covers. Kids liked it very much. It was very different and very beautiful. So, as we liked it so much we said we don’t like that people think that BNS are a band for kids, so why don’t we prepare another set list, and have another band just for that purpose. So, Anita y Los Peleles, it means Anita and the Fools. A fool that does everything I tell them to do, it’s funny and sweet at the same time. We do all covers, rock and roll songs from ‘50s to ‘70s, twist, and we change the lyrics to be suitable for children under 18. I change them completely. If the lyrics are okay, then I just translate them (to Spanish) for songs that are Latin, they are perfect, we don’t change them. It’s a different experience. It’s rock and roll, but it’s not rock and roll, because you have to measure every movement and measure your words, but I like it very much. I like playing with kids, because not for them it’s with them, and they dance with you. So there’ll be a kid who goes home and asks her parents for a guitar.

Ms B: ...that’s brilliant. Sowing the seeds…

LB: Yes, and the parent’s like it as well.

Ms B: Tell me about the record label, Family Spree Recordings.

LB: They are a new label, but they are working very hard. They run it as a family. There is very little distribution in Spain, or specialised record shops, but you can buy it from Family Spree Bandcamp. There’s a limited run - and half have sold already. The label promotes us, and we’ve been played in France and Greece, but no one knows how they came by the recordings!

Ms B: What does the future hold for Los Retumbes?

LR: First of all, we’ll release our new videoclip made in Scotland (you saw it first!)

Then we are going to have some gigs to introduce the EP everywhere we can, hope in Edinburgh soon. And after that, play, play, play and play, and meanwhile record again!

Ms B: Lastly, in your own words describe your band…

LR: Los Retumbes are a married couple who live in a house full of books, records and guitars. They kill boredom by playing music fast and loud!

Ms B: Thank you to Ana and Andres, it’s been a pleasure.

Please check out their Facebook page here, and their EP is available from Family Spree Recordings bandcamp page. Los Retumbes will be playing in Edinburgh early next year, date TBC. I hope you’re as excited as I am.

Subscribe to this RSS feed