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Charles Zuber | December 2005
I wonder who looks after the site now???? Anyway, I have the offer of sending people Dodgems CDs upon request. Now however, it is time to remove the offer. I just think it would be better to have the CD available through distributors not through my house in Australia. Postage, burning them etc. is too expensive for me to keep doing it for nothing, forever. So , sadly I need to ask you to remove my offer from the Dodgems web page. If you have any suggestions about how punters might be able to buy our stuff from a UK site I would be interested, not for the money, but just so as it doesn't keep costing me money. Cheers Drummer Dodgem Chas

Richard Blow | December 2005
Thought you may like to know that Bob Grover (formerly Boring) has a new band together called DATES and they are gigging around Brighton with a whole new set of Grover songs.The Pirahnas they most certainly are not but i think those who know what to expect from Bob will not be dissappointed. You can catch their next set at Polar central on Monday 27th January. £4 entry

Kathy Dinerp | December 2005
Hi, thank you for the Depessions. They should never have dyed their hair. Good story on Joe Cool. I remember John Clay, whatever happened to him? Bye for now, Kathy

Hi everyone! All the best for the festive season from us here in Southwick.
Have a great time, whomever you support/worship (or don’t!)
No more gigs this year – but here are some of the early fixtures for 2006....
If you’re a gig organiser please read on, you may be able to help.
January: Friday 6  I may be playing at Sandino’s in Derry.  Or maybe not.  Hope so. We’ll see. (if I am it’ll be on the website soon) Saturday 7  (1pm) I’m doing a gig in the Theatre Truck in the middle of Belfast City Centre as part of Belfast’s  Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival.  Capacity is VERY limited (it’s a gig in the back of a lorry!!) so if you want to come book your tickets soon!

Thursday 26 DeNachten Festival in Antwerp with Penny Rimbaud from Crass, Richard Hell ..and The Fall. Bloody hell. The Fall. Never seen them live.  Should be interesting!
Saturday 28 Punk Poetry Festival at the Melkweg in Amsterdam with the aforementioned Mr. Rimbaud among others

At the beginning of February I may be doing some shows in Denmark – more news soon. Then from 25 February to 16 March I’ll be touring the West Coast of the USA with the fantastic US radical singer/songwriter David Rovics  
If anyone over there in the States is interested in helping put on a gig, please get in touch with me ASAP and I’ll pass your details on to David who is organising everything. The return leg in the UK will be from May 26 – June 9: likewise, anyone who’d like to organise a show over here please get in touch now. From May 3rd - 8th or so I’m planning a short German tour with my band Barnstormer - anyone in Germany who’d like to put us on then, please get in touch as well...And that’s it for now. Loads of late Xmas presents available from the website.
More news in 2006! Cheers Attila

Helen Reddington | November 2005
I have just heard that a publisher is interested in making a book out of the study I did on female punk instrumentalists in bands in the late 1970s/early 1980s. Part of it was a whole section on the Brighton punk scene and I did lots of interviews- but I'd like to get hold of more people to talk to from back then if I can as well as photos- particularly of bands like Poison Girls, Devil's Dykes, Objeks and so on. Also- people like Stella Anscombe who used to be in the Objeks- if anyone knows where she is.The site was a huge help in tracking down people before and maybe more people will break cover this time around! People can contact me at this address-

"Neil Mitchell" | November 2005
Like the site!!!!! Any chance of a link to on the site. I will return the favour. ps we dont link to shite sites!!! ha.. email me if u do! cheers, mitch.

Lou Jamieson | November 2005
Evenin' monkeys, The Caernarvon Castle....... 
Three bands on, first of which “The Fighting Cocks” were a toss off of colourful visuals, Jungle and Indian samples, over laid with rock vocals, lead and rhythm guitars. A mental, happy go lucky lot who love it, and ave’ it none the less! Their strap line….“If it’s too loud, you’re a c**t”.  “Zebedee Numchuck” up next... A three-piece originally from Scotland, now livin’ in Camden. A hypersonic drummer speeds on the raucous guitar, while the calm “ginger bearded” front man convincingly consolidates it all. Awesome stuff!!! Quiet understated gentlemen, with something new to say! Check out their spankin’ website, a gaming facility to boot –
A bit of a nightmare on the old transport front, but we got there in the end. Another big up yer’ arse to everyone who came out in the rain! You are all that counts and makes it happen week after week. It was good to see some of you at The Bull and Vic too, think you’ll all agree it was the best gig to date! Now for the coveted award ceremony “Best Fan of the gig”  It goes to Dick, your hilarious mate, dry as me dogs bonio and ya mosh like a puppet!! Free entry to next gig, and a buy one, get one free voucher on nasal decongestant is winging its way to you. Next gig: Clockwork, Islington – Saturday 10th  December! If ya need a seat, drop me a line asap as tickets going fast - 07957-559494
Keep ears open for local gigs coming up soon…. Later punk monkeys!

"Paul" | November 2005
Hello there. First off love the site. Always like to check it out now and again to see whats new. I’ve got a favour to ask. I run a website at
I’m in the middle of a massive update on The Roxy Club and have interviews with everyone from Eater to the UK Subs to Don Letts. I’m looking for other bands to get anecdotal information from. Wrist Action is one of them. Can you help with a contact for them? Thanks for your time and good luck with your site. Cheers, Paul

"Mathew" | October 2005
Hi, I'm Mathew. I'm a Belgian but in a week I go the Kent and Brighton and shit, do you know any punk shops there? Please let me know. Anyway thanks for reading this letter. Greets, Mathew

JM North October 2005
Hi punkers! Thanks for this site, a lot of old Brighton faces in there. Nicky & the Dots were a lively lot and the Piranhas were the best live band around. What memories! All the best, Jason North.

Lou-Lou Knowler | October 2005
Afternoon Punk Monkeys! John Peel Day 2005 at The Purple Turtle. What a night and what a man! Walked into the venue to witness a cellist and harpist knocking out tunes reminicisent of portishead / Kate Bush / Tori Amos . A welcomed surprise, not sure about the hat though. Following that was the headline sound check "The Seen" a mix of soul / stone roses..the singer looked like he'd just finished a shift mig welding with those bonoesq shades. Had to get that one in, no offence man. That said, we were disappointed not to see their set as the sound check was, to quote " A mix of colourful melodies and stellar guitars, driven by a fluid and passionate rhythm section". Definately a band to watch out for. Now we have to give full credit for the night to "Alex" from Glasswerk for the diverse range of bands and the chance to play, a truely nice man who is organised!! Also the sound engineer "Mark" achieved the illusive raw sound that so many venues never quite manage for us. He also does the sound for the Hope and Anchor, so credit were credit is due...Now on to The Depths, we ad' it big style. Have to say one of the most enjoyable nights to date.The set went down a storm. We are in no doubt that the neither the crowd or the staff will forget our name anytime soon. We'd like to pass on our appreciation to everyone who attended the gig, as usual it aint' happening without you! Also a special thanks to Dave the security guard who shit himself when a little gentle moshing began and called in two rozzer wagons... just in case eh' Dave...I guess he was worried that his glistening bomber jacket and fingerless leather gloves might get a sweat stain or two on it.. and by the way we are The Depths from" Dartford", not fing' Dagenham......twat.. A great night, a great venue, a great promotor and a great engineer, but don't play the Turtle if your crowd likes a little quiet apparently scares the management, but I'd love to be wrong Now for the coveted award ceremony..BEST FAN OF THE GIG...This weeks winner is "HANNA".. who danced on through the hurricane regardless, well done girl... A free ticket or get out of jail free card is yours for the next gig....  Next Gig...Location: The Caernarvon Castle, Chalk Farm Road, Camden
Date: Friday 28th October
Nearest Tube: Camden Town
Entry Fee: £5.00 with discount flyer (might be cheaper, watch the website for developments)
Later Punk Monkeys and thanks for the continued support...The Depths

"Crowns Horsham" | Sept 2005
Dear punk.daddy, Can you help me through your site to locate a guy called Jason Caulfield.  Apparently he used to live in a block of flats with a fella by the name of Ty Hayward - his brother Paul was in the Molesters. I just got back in contact with Ty after about 18 years and he tells me that Jason may hav
e a copy of a video of my old band the Lemon Boys, which was filmed in Hangleton donkeys years ago.  Ty reckons Jason is also guitar tech for Primal Scream so somebody out there should know how I can get in touch with him. PLEASE. Many thanks ... CHRIS ANDERSON (LEMON BOYS)

"Alex Ogg" | Sept 2005
Hi, I know this is a little outside of the target area of the site, but does anybody know what happened to the Mobiles? I work for a record label that is thinking of putting together a compilation and wanted to track 'em down if possible. A great site, by the way. One of the best punk resources on the web. Thanks, Alex Ogg

"Alex Ogg" | Sept 2005
Hiya, love the site, a great source of info. I'm trying to put together some sleevenotes for the Mobiles, who obviously come from outside of the period under discussion. But I wonder if you had any contact info with former members? I have obviously googled myself silly already, but there isn't a lot out there. Thanks if you can help, no worries if you can't. Alex Ogg. (PS, I recently interviewed a couple of bands, notably the Dodgems, for my book on the 77-80 years, which I think was thanks to your site. If you want to see the interview/article, just let me know)

Mel Amps-n-Bits <> Sept 2005
Hi - Just came across your site! Great reminder! OK I'm Melvyn Taylor, I used to own & run Southern Music (The Brighton Music shop) from 1970 to 1986. Closed it due to a Bad Divorce & went to Greensboro North Carolina USA for a while! But I also was in "Tonge" on guitar for many years from about 1971 with Dave Barnard , Eric Wright  & "The Great" Nick Oldfield on Drums. After I left Tonge which later became The DP's.  I formed a few bands one being the punk band  "Force" me on Guitar, Neil Harris bass, Ralf Humphries vocals & Topsy on drums, we did a load of gigs around Sussex, one supporting The DP's at the  "New Regent" West Street.

We also did some support gigs with "The Boys" at the Croydon Greyhound (I have photos & recordings). Anyhow I had dealings with pretty much every Brighton Punk Band there ever was!  As they all used to come to the shop to Beg, Borrow, Hire, Loan, Steal "lol"  gear for gigs etc one that comes to mind was a band from Eastbourne by the name of Virus!!! What happened to them as I seem to remember them being signed ?  I also promoted gigs with Ike Nossell? at the Old Embassy Cinema on Western Road, Hove. The first gig was to give (Jimmy Pursey) Sham 69 their first ever gig, they supported Lew Lewis Reformer.  We had several gigs booked at the old Cinema - the next gig was The Jam, headlining with Brighton band JCB supporting (John Clay Band)  Tony Maybury was on guitar - this gig was a week before 'In the City' (I think it went to Number 1 and The Jam were on Top of the Pops. But it was to be the final gig as there was one hell of a punch up  with a bunch of about 20 yobs bursting through the side door and starting on a couple of punks - but the two punks with purple and green mohican's - pins and chains everywhere, were more than a match for the yobs. But The Jam kept playing and the gig ended with the police evicting the yobs!  But it was to be the end of a really promising venue!

Having read many of the postings on your site I recognize many of the people writing in and have been in bands with a great many of them to name but a few. Ozzy Garvey "RIP", and Eric Wright ex-Tonge and DP's.  Late 70's Early 80's, in the "Steve Ellis Band". Dave Barnard ex- (too many bands to list!) and Pete Lyon, ex-Vandells, The Splinters, Fan Club, The Exclusives, Psycho Normal and The Stiff Victims. Early Mid 90's in the  "Love Affair" with Steve Ellis! Dicky Adlan, ex-The Piranhas, mid 90's in "Unforgiven". I have also been dealing in vintage British musical equipment, mainly vintage valve guitar amps etc, all of which I used to sell new back in the Southern Music shop in Waterloo Street in the early mid 70's. My website is and it is based just along the coast in sunny Worthing - just along the coast - if anyone gets to read this drop me an e-mail at  Also I would love to have reciprocal website links from each of our sites and any sites akin to the Brighton music scene over the last 30/40 years. All the best, Melvyn Taylor

Hi everyone...On Sept 8th it’s 25 years since my first gig, and BBC Radio 4 are giving me a bit of the support that John Peel did on Radio One when I first started.

"Hayward" <> August 2005
Dear all,  I love the site, but sad to see my brothers band wasn't mentioned! ( my bro is Paul Hayward )
his band "The Molesters"were a prominent part of the scene for sure. Love you all the same. Ty ( ex Brighton now Living in Tokyo Japan )
P.S  If you speak to Marcus ( Lemon Boys ) please tell him I know who has a live video tape of them playing an outdoor gig, I saw it just a few years ago, and needless to say it was still great!

RE: Sharon Reed comment of April 2005 this is what I said. Re: the Clash playing in Brighton. No way would I have missed that. They did play Crawley Sports Centre at around 1979 'cause I saw them. The support was the Coventry Specials and an American band called Suicide. The Specials were great, Suicide were crap and finally went off after the lead singer got a kicking from a Sham 69 skinhead. By the way, Jimmy Pursey was there that night. Think I have some fliers for the gig.:-) No boast about Sham Skins, we spent a lot of time at many gigs trying to keep out of their way, what I said is what happened. I was 16 and to me at the time they were crap - the guy kept hitting himself with the mic as I remember. What's funny is you then go on to slag off Sham 69 who were one of the best live bands I have seen (New Regent) Jimmy Pursey was great on stage to a bunch of pissed up pogoing  kids.

Anne Dickens | August 2005
Subject: Fair reward for musicians
Hi there. Check out for a whole new way to make money out of your music.
Just launched, this site enables musicians to sell their music direct to their fans. Each fan promises £1 each and when you have enough promises you release the digital master. And then they can share it. You're happy coz you've been paid and your music's being shared around. And they're happy coz they got your release for a quid! Forget CDs and record companies - who needs them......Anne
19 Bradford Road, Lewes BN7 1RB 01273 480476 07803 124902 |  

"Paul Martin" | July 2005
Hi there P.D. My name is Paul Martin and I played bass in a range of Brighton bands between 1978-85. These were principally: Fan Club (Mk1) 1978 (you have me listed as Paul ‘Talbot’ on the Fan Club page) Siren (1979)
The Molesters (Mk.2 1979-80)
Life Size Models (1980-82)
Venus In Furs (1982-3)
Tower Of Babel (1984-5)

Ever since the Anagram label put out the best of Vaultage CD some years back I have been meaning to check the net to see if there are any web sites concerned with the Brighton music scene of my youth. Low and behold, I finally get round to looking and I find both your site and Sean Jones’s (aka Mr Times) Venus In Furs site as well. Being more curious than nostalgic about this period (though I always like to point out all the local musicians in the crowd scenes of Quadrophenia to anyone who will listen!) I am both warmed yet disconcerted to find the scene and the people of my sub-cultural past flash up on the screen, it takes a bit of getting used to after the best part of 25 years, which is getting on for half my lifetime ago. That in itself is odd, as I am these days, and have been for years, an ardent 60s fan(atic) with a penchant for everything from the original punk rock of that decade to psychedelia and early progressive pop and wyrd folk. I regularly write 60s reissue reviews for Shindig! ( and articles on 60s music for Sweet Floral Albion - the on-line journal of British Psychedelia (see back issues via the link of the home page of

I find affinity with the music and attitudes of that decade yet feel strange at finding my own ‘lived’ history of later years on the screen, strange indeed as I want to simultaneously embrace it and push it away. Probably just an initial ‘time shock’. Rather like 'Friends Reunited' (which I have never gone anywhere near), it's touch and go as to whether or not to make contact, do I want my past to occupy my present? Well if I was that fussed, I wouldn't be writing now.  It’s also strange in that anyone who ever strummed a chord in the 1960s has their own website and a flotilla of cd reissues to peddle. I don’t find this unusual (or indeed objectionable) these days, but I did find it amazing that Helen & The Horns have reformed!!! What a ‘sweetie’ indeed (whatever happened to Carl’s group Yip Yip Cayotee I wonder?).
Anyway, it’s a fine website you have here and I was pleased to see Stuart Jones’s Attrix memories pages. Rick was a nice bloke who cared about the music and along with both Stuart and Sean Jones helped make Attrix a centre of cultural importance in Brighton at the time. Intriguing to re-read about the burning down of the Resources Centre, I especially remember this as I was rehearsing in the Vault with Fan Club the first time the neo-Nazis tried to burn it down (unsuccessfully on that occasion)! So were Laughing Gass if I remember rightly and it was their singer who came along pounding on the door of our ‘arch’ shouting something we couldn’t make out. We thought it was some yobs who’d got in and so armed ourselves with mike stands etc, gingerly opened the door and there was this guy yelling about a fire. We all got out and Nick Sayer wouldn’t leave his amp behind, so having rescued our equipment from potentially burning to a frazzle we watched rather alarmingly as a trickle of water turned into a small stream from the fireman’s hose laying on the ground that was advancing towards our amplifiers!
I also recall doing a gig at The Alhambra in which Dick Damage supported us and which became semi-legendary at the time, in which he played as ‘Dick Invisible’. He fed the mic lead through a broken window (Dave MacDonald of Fan Club had thrown his shoe over his shoulder for some reason whilst performing some time before and broken a small window pane that had still not been repaired) and stood outside in the street singing to the music his band were playing on stage in the venue - for the whole set mind! I wrote a short indignant piece for the Evening Argus on the closure of the Alhambra at the time the ‘international hotel’ was about to be built, in fact it was Venus In Furs who played the very last gig at the Alhambra.

Anyway, I could ramble on too long here now I’ve opened the flood gates. I’ve still got all the scrap books and photos in the loft, posters, gig lists etc. and I’ve transcribed a lot of the music I recorded in those years from cassette tape (remember those!) to a series of ‘Paul Martin Plays Bass’ CDRs. I never liked to get rid of them as it’s part of me I suppose, but who I thought I was conserving them for I don’t know until my baby daughter arrived a couple of years ago, so now I can use her as an excuse to keep them, it’s family history! If I can be of any assistance with information or fragmented memories etc., for the website do feel free to ask and apologies for what was intended as a brief hi, ‘I was there’ e.mail turning into an opening chapter of an autobiography!
Best wishes Paul Martin, Brighton ex pat! 

"Ed Slateford" | July 2005
Hiya, I emailed a week or so ago, trying to source some footage of the Golinski Bros doing Bloody for a John Peel docco we're making for Channel 4. I was wondering if you might be able to put something up on your website asking readers if they know of the existence of any live footage of the Golinskis etc?
many thanks for your time, ed slateford tel: 020 8222 4839

"Terry Wooller" | July 2005
Any idea where I can get a copy of the Chefs EP that includes Thrush (Attrix RB10?) Cheers, Terry.

robert andrews | July 2005
Hi, Any idea how I could get in touch with Simon Watson?
Cheers, Ferwood.

Daniela Oberlies| July 2005
Hello! My name is daniela. i come from Germany! Would you please send me the whole text of the song "bloody" by "the golinski brothers"? That would be very nice!! Greetz from Germany! :)

I remember the headmaster saying "Addison Cresswell, you will never make anything of yourself boy." Hehehehehehe, anyway, you have nice one m8, I had a friend who has this band i think you would like to hear,they need your support. Please can you make sure that Add gets this email, many thanks. tr tindall 01273 585874

Pedro Soares | June 2005
Hi. Just dropped a note to say I recently found out this website. Very good indeed. If pure Punk is now dead and buried, surely its ghost found its way in the Internet! Anarchy in the U.K...Very interesting, lots of information. I have a question though: is it possible to reach Marcus Myers, of Midnight & the Lemon Boys? It concerns another band of his, Hard Rain. The Soundtrack they wrote for 1989 movie "The Bulldance" (they also had a cameo appearance in it) "Forbidden Sun in the USA" is great. I would like to know if it is available on record, any kind. If it isn't, it's a real shame. Well, thanks in advance for any info you can provide. Best Wishes, Pedro Soares, Portugal

Susan Tomlinson | June 2005
I am looking to buy any original Sex Pistols poster. do you sell stuff like this, or if not, do you know where I could find it? Thanks

Susan Anthony Collett | June 2005
Hi Punk Daddy, my name is Anthony. In the late 70's I used to follow the Chefs and went to nearly all their gigs.Would you be interested in me sending you some Chefs memorablia -Photos of badges, tickets, autographs etc. I recently bumped into Helen from Chefs in a local supermarket and pleased she is still gigging! I enjoyed looking at your website. Best Wishes.
Anthony (Monty)"Ed Slateford" | June 2005
Hi there, sorry to trouble you. I'm writing from Endemol TV and we're producing a documentary on the late great John Peel. We're focusing on some of his favourite singles, one of which was Bloody by The Golinski Brothers. Do you happen to know if there is any film or video footage of the band performing this or any other song? Any leads would be gratefully received. Many thanks in advance for your time.
ed slateford, endemol tv, tel: 020 8222 4839

"Steve Martin" | June 2005
Just found the site ... so many memories of the heady days of 77/78! Anyone know what happened to Chicane? I used to set Dave Derkin's bass gear up, and remember the gig at the Art College when they supported the Beat the week 'Tears of a Clown' hit the top 20... Memories! Steve Martin

"simon tourle" | May 2005
Wot-o Punk Daddy, what a safe and lovely version of Brighton Punk you have depicted in this marvelous tome to the old anarchists of the ye olde Brighton punk scene. Mostly jokey bands of drink-up and fall over class that had that special Test-Tube sound...fabulous ! Why don't you document the fall of Gel at the Underground forced to run from his club under threat of having his ears bitten off by Iranian thugs who rung the curtain call on all things that had gone before.The guys who ran the Old Vic suffering the same "give us your bar takings or get fucked" ultimatum that made them disappear overnight...What the fuck has Boring Bob (a stupid old student hippy)got to do with anything real in the Brighton history of "punk". The Test-Tubes are still banging out their old jokey shit to foreign students who haven't got a frikkin' clue....I've got to much as I admire what you have put together here the vast majority of bands are a seething sack of student shit.....I Know 'cos I saw most of 'em! The Piranhas were a pile of tosh as illustrated by their crappy album....what a sack of poppy student bollocks! Bob was obviously out for a few "bob"...! Nickys Dots were good....possibly why they didn't get anywhere.....DP's...Class....Now for fuck's sake tell the people why this all got fucked ! An Iranian Mafia moved into the town and fuckin' threatened every fucker with death!!!! What ? Too dodgey...! Oh that is too punk rock ! 

Helen McCookerybook | May 2005
I've just discovered that the Helen and the Horns gig at the Komedia is on the 23rd June and not the 22nd as I had thought. We have got a really good support band called Jamie McDermot and the Irrepressibles playing with us and I have asked Everett True from planBmag to DJ as well so I hope it will be a good night- just had the first rehearsal with the Horns and miraculously I seem to be able to remember the songs. Is this the first sign of senility? Hope all is well, still checking out the site regularly! Thanks for uploading the Hooligans photos. Best wishes, helen

peter adams | May 2005
hi there, after seeing midnight and the lemon boys blow U2 clean off stage back in 1980 i have FINALLY found this site!! Has anyone got any recordings (no matter what quality)? I would really love to hear their stuff after all these years..there was one in particular...a slow one with descending chords(and this is from memory!) cheers

"Darren Jackson" | May 2005
I am forming a new band in Brighton as I had to leave my own band in London "the phobics" because I could not make it to all the North London gigs anymore. I am struggling to find musicians in Brighton and desperately seek a bass player male or female to play a mix of BANSHEES,PIL,PISTOLS,MAGAZINE,WIRE,DAMNED,PIXIES mixed with heavy dub style bass lines influenced by BURNING SPEAR AND TAPPA ZUKIE.
can you assist? Regards, Darren

"Jake" | May 2005
hey, I'm from Australia and I picked up your 7"  with bloody on it from a second hand shop. it is awesome, are you's still going?...have I even got the right band?...well I don't think this is the tone, but the song is the I don't know... If you are the same band then good on you. If not then... maybe next time. Have fun with stuff, Jake.

"Cheryl Rickman" | May 2005
RACINE a.k.a Wendy James Comes To Brighton
Former Transvision Vamp star WENDY JAMES returns to the music scene as RACINE with a brand new album 'Racine No.1' and a gig at The Ocean Rooms in Brighton on May 29th 2005. ( £10 tickets from the venue The gig has been organized by music website – – and will see Wendy and her band performing their recent single Grease Monkey and forthcoming single, Blonde Mink Mimi from the band’s debut album, Racine Number One.

Wendy James is best known as being an inspirational peroxide-blonde bombshell and female representative of 80s punk-pop. Transvision Vamp experienced global fame and success with ‘I Want Your Love’ and Number One second album ‘Velveteen’, while Wendy graced the cover of every style and music magazine throughout the late eighties accordingly. Many festivals, tours and hit singles followed, including the hugely famous Baby I Don’t Care, but a tired Wendy and Nick decided to split.  

So what has Wendy James been up to since Transvision Vamp split up in the early nineties? Well, after the end of Transvision Vamp, Wendy James picked up a guitar and started to write. She bought some equipment, built a home studio, taught herself drum machines and bass. She wrote and demoed song after song until she was satisfied that enough of the songs were "keepers". The name Racine came from the drag in Chicago where Al Capone had run his prohibition business. The Pia-K label was conceived to allow Wendy to release the music she wanted to release without having to compromise. Having completed the demo for her solo debut album, Racine No.1, Wendy bought a plane ticket and flew out to N.Y.C. She spent her first four weeks there de-constructing the album demo and re-crafting it as a fully fledged, ready for release album.  

Having wowed audiences in London for their debut gigs, Racine return to UK shores on May 21st and will play dates across the UK until June 7th 2005, when the band will return to New York to finish up their second album.

RACINE (Wendy James, Singh Birdsong, Ray Sullivan)
VENUE: The Ocean Rooms
DATE: MAY 29, 05
1 Morley Street, Brighton BN2 9RA
£10 tickets from the venue
8pm doors open, 9.45pm band on stage

Review of her show in April at Islington Academy:

With the very funky, very talented Singh Birdsong rocking on lead guitar with some damn fine wa-wa action; Ray Sullivan's stunning accuracy, timing and grinding beats on drums, both oozing NY rock star appeal and Wendy herself picking up the rhythm and bass guitar for many of the tracks, this was an outstanding gig for Racine. Playing 13 songs in all, the set diversified from the fresh fusion of hip hop and throbbing rock on Hip Hop 56 , and kicked off with the lyrical genius of Last American Hero, Wendy’s intelligent spoken word track that takes us to the stock car racing track via Wendy’s inimitable and eloquent style. High energy crowd favourites, Grease Monkey, Blonde Mink Mimi and Heavy Metal Dude followed, along with the divine Deluxe, the awesome construction and deconstruction of Cakewalk, The Man, Princess Patience Blues and That’s The Breaks Junior. This is edgy punk-funk-rock with a twist of blissed-out ambience.
More information about Racine can be found by visiting:  

Her ‘Wendy bubble’ is an idiosyncratic, crowded place, where the drum and bass scene in New York or the language of rapper Dizzee Rascal are treated with equal reverence as the essays of Joan Didion and Tom Wolfe. The album is a natural extension of this – so many sounds constructed and deconstructed, so many ideas honed, layered and crammed in. The effect is somewhat overwhelming, like hanging out with an intense adolescent brimming with the indiscriminate passion of youth. ‘ Daily Telegraph. ‘Witty, pared-down lyrics to ‘Heavy Metal Dude’ and ‘That’s The Breaks, Jr’ reveal themselves to be subtle, street-life portraits of hard luck heroines and heists gone wrong. A beautifully crafted culture clash that never feels contrived.’ Daily Telegraph Saturday .‘The 2004 model Wendy James is a sussed thirty-something sophisticate who resembles a forties movie star and shoots sharp words from the hip. A maverick who’s relocated to The Big Apple and reinvented herself asRacine: a lo-fi occasionally leftfield, experiment in kitsch electronic pop.’ Playlouder ‘Startlingly beautiful, her shock of blonde hair brilliant in the morning sun, and dressed head to toe in Marc Jacobs, James seem inspired. "When I moved toAmerica, I threw all my platinum records out on the street," she says. "Some people obsess about stuff like that but I couldn’t give a shit about the past!" Nylo "The record is probably the best thing she has recorded, a fresh an unassuming fusion of lo-fi melodies, hip-hop beats and confessional lyrics" The Times

"Melanie Amey" | April 2005
Hi, Dylan here, Paul Amey's (Laughing Gass) son, just emailing to say that web site is great.Checking out some of the bands I realised how good they were and how many I actually remember. These bands are the reason I started playing the drums & playing rock n roll. i started playing drums because at the time Rob Wilkes (Laughing Gass) was our lodger and his kit was set up in our basement. Ozzy Garvey(Depressions) was a close friend of the family so he used to pop round a lot too so I had the two best drummers showing me their stuff. I am still playing now and have done for years. The first band I formed was with Den Woolmer (Laughing Gass) and Kev Wilkes (another Wilkes brother) we used to do Jam covers and Stray Cats stuff, not a bad first band. I then went on to form the Tin Lids with Dave Barnard's (Depressions/Vandells) son Jamie, my sister Emma and Spencer Garvey (Ozzy Garvey's son), playing a mixture of our own stuff and covers. The line up changed when Spencer left, which meant Danny Seales joined on vocals and Adam Booth on bass, it then started rocking. The band played for a few years then turned into punk/pop band Special Patrol Group, which later became Special Patrol who were signed to Gush Records owned by producer Martin Rushent (Buzzcocks/AStranglers). Dylan Amey drums, Jamie Barnard guitar and vox and Dan Lyons bass.

This band then went on to become the Northern Lights which had Stee Johno (pan) on guitar and vox and Marcus Vandell on lead vocals. They did very well doing the London circuit and mini tours. I have played in various bands over the years and now play in a few bands, I am now Steve Ellis (Love Affair) drummer, play with a Small Faces tribute band Afterglow and do various sessions and gigs. My most recent project is with old Tin Lid members Danny Seales Adam Booth. We have formed rock/pop group the Fantastics, keep your eyes open and come and see us. Hope you can use some of this info, email me for more stuff, I will try and kick out some old photos. Cheers. Keep rocking, Dyl

Ben Levene | April 2005
Hi, I remember the days down the Vault when I was a student at Brighton Poly. It was crazy but a lot of fun. Now i live in the States where there's tons of great bands and they love punk. Keep it alive. Regards, Ben.

"Sharon Reed" | April 2005
Chris says that he saw Suicide supporting the Clash and that they were crap.He then boasts that a Sham 69 skinhead kicjked the lead singer off stage. What a moron Chris must be. Suicide were an excellent underground band who made dark experimental music far superior to the poppy pub rock that Sham 69 spewed out.

Vic Henderson March 2005
Well done, getting Laughing Gass up on your website. They weren't really punk, more like the forerunners of punk, with their driving drums and bass. Paul Amey was a class vocalist and Bazza was unbelievably good on guitar. He was too good a guitarist for punk, in a way, as lead guitar solos were by now, seriously frowned upon. Once again, ta for a great website. I'll be back. All the best to the team, Vic.

"Barry Clifton" | March 2005
Thanks for setting up the site. I was honored that you used my copy, bought a tear to my eye! Here's some not very good photos for now but I will try and send more as and when I find them. The very dark photo of me, which may or may not be usable, shows the famous Laughing Gass sweatshirt while the other two are of a Sussex University gig around 1980. One shows me and Paul Amey and the other shows Rob Wilkes on drums, who passed away last year after finally losing his battle with heroin addiction. Gez Griffin on bass, who I have lost contact with and Dave Bainbridge on guitar who also is no longer with us after dying of a heart attack in Greece a few years back. To paraphrase Lady Bracknell "To lose one band member may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose two looks like carelessness." With the greatest respect to both of them who were dear friends. Oh well, thats all for now, All the best, Baz

"Robin Banks" March 2005
Where the fuck is everyone now? Fucking apathy, shit, don't fucking stand there and scream your fucking ideals at me and then ditch them like yesterdays bloody paper...What are you know eh? Married, Kids, got the Mondeo? Oh yeah it was good fun at the time, we had a laugh... ok, thats cool, yeah cool, got a problem with that? So how come it was good then but now it's just a memory? Ill-formed, juvenile, idealistic ideas? Well THAT was levelled at you at the time. You could defend it then and now you just buy into the same fucking mind control society pervaded by your glorious leaders - which you all fucking deserve. Dont' accept - question, question, question - and then do something about it...No - you won't will you, just piss about instead. I believed it then - I believe it now, bonds were made which were strong enough to surpass race, creed, colour, politics the fucking lot...We worked on a human level, we were musicians, global communicators - don't fucking knock it -What've you done? So to those that are still out there, crying, fucked up, frustrated, fucking suicidal, still kicking, still conforming to feed the habit - you have my respect, the real carriers of the torch. To the rest of you - get of your arse or fuck off. I should be fucking half dead but my fingers are still bleeding...

"Barry Clifton" | February 2005
Hi Pop- Pickers! Does anyone remember Laughing Gass? The dark underbelly of the Brighton music scene from 1976 to 1980. We used to practice at the Vault.

Paul Amey - Vocals
Steve Wilkes, Dave Bainbridge, Barry Clifton and Mick Perrin on guitars
Steve Bray, Gez Griffin, Captain Scud (Phil Nash) and Den Woolmer on basses
And Rob Wilkes (Steveís brother) on drums

The band was originally formed on the Hollingbury estate of north Brighton with no art students or graduates in sight, which always made us feel somewhat apart from the main punk explosion. We all had drug problems, allegedly, and our gigs were a carnival of pushers and burglars and prostitutes and robbers of all descriptions. On our day we were astounding but due to our chemical intake it was always a hit and miss deal if you came to one of our shows.We had a record out that was played by Annie Nightingale as well as St John of Peel. (It was called 'New Tart' and is retailing on the 'Vinyl Tap' rare records web site for £25!!! I think I still have a few in a box somewhere!!) We played all over Brighton, in London and our swansong was a near fatal tour of Amsterdam! We had a manager called Neal Dean who was something to do with that bong shop in Bond Street and also Miles Baigent helped run the band. We hung out in the Basketmakers, The Heart and Hand (which became known as the Lung and Limb) as well as the Windsor. Hope this might have jangled a few memories and for those of you who are interested I am now serving as a terrible warning rather than a good example to my four kids!! Much love to everyone who actually got off their arses and did something. Barry Clifton.

"Mark Ellis" | February 2005
What a great website..........many thanks to Pete Early for sending me the link. I was not really part of the Brighton Punk scene, as I landed in Sussex in late 1978, and by the spring of 1979 was involved in the "mod" thing, and went on for 20 minutes of Top of the Pops fame playing bass in the Lambrettas.  But from 1979 thru the end of 1982 watched a load of local bands.  The ones that stick in my mind: Daddy Yum Yum, Woody & the Splinters, Vandells, Piranhas, Ammonites, Rabid Dogs (from Lewes) and anything with Dave Barnard playing.  Got to know a few of  those guys quite well over the years.  The Alhambra was the place I remember best.

This site not only brought back memories, but has enabled me to get in touch with two people (so far) that I haven't been in contact with years.  One of them is Steve Fairhead (see his postings here) who I played with in a great little band. We didn't have a name, and never gigged, but the rehearsals were incredible!  Steve was on guitar, Baz Murphy on keyboards, Dick from the Piranhas on drums, me on bass, and a singer whose name was, I think, Yvette. She was a waitress at Brown's restaurant.  (Is that place still open?)  Would love to hear from Baz, Dick, or Yvette.  Recently heard a recording of our stuff from back then and was horribly impressed.o got hold of my old mate Grant Boult (see his posting), who used to sing in Brighton, then sang in Los Angeles, then sang in London...
Haven't actually been in touch with Pete Lyon (Vandells), but was nice to see his postings here. Glad you're still alive and kicking, Pete.
There were lot of people I played with in those days, whose names,  sorry to say, have escaped me. I  left Brighton in January 1983. Mark Ellis, Los Angeles.

"Brian Coomber" | February 2005
Oh Dear, how young you must be. The cellars of the Starlight Rooms in Montperlier Road were the place to be in the 50's and 60's. Just behind what was Plummer Roddis later Debenhams. These cellars pre-dated the miserable Cavern in Liverpool. We had real rock not the skiffle piffle of the Beatles. Its all gone now.
Regards, Brian Coomber

Todd | January 2005
Howdy As pathetic as it may be, I'm sitting here on a rainy day cataloging PRINT materials in my Monochrome Set collection. I finally realized that Punkbrighton is run or contributed to by Stuart Jones. That name rings a bell. One of the most prized print items in the collection is "Strange Boutique" No. 2, a fanzine, from January of 86. I've never been able to find #1. Perhaps this email will find its way to Mr Jones. Perhaps when he next works past the cobwebs and down into the chest containing "SB #1," a xerox could be produced for exchange for a case of his favorite ale or a copy of something in my MS what I would propose to him. Please forward and relay that I hope Mr Jones gives me a yell. Thanks For Reading Todd Holden email:

Brenda Robinson | January 2005
Your 'what's new for Jan 05' picture has left me feeling a tad nostalgic - especially as (most of) VOL SEC met up for a reunion recently and got CD copies of the old tape courtesy of your good selves. (Was Colin Murray 10 or 12 hours late?).
I never realised what an absolutely hilarious song "Vasectomy" is - have been playing it a lot and giggling whilst doing the dusting. Thought I'd say hello to anyone who remembers...Also very big thanks to all of you (especially the lovely Jay and Nick) who came to hear me sing at the Komedia benefit when I was getting better from breast cancer. We raised over 4 grand for the pink dolphin appeal.. Lastly, thanks to Jeremy (ex- Red Guitars) for re-working the old lyric as follows - "if you want to get next to me, get yourself a mastectomy". Much love to all, Bren

Rebecca | January 2005
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