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Mods Of Your Generation Interview – The Electric Stars – “Beautiful Music For Beautiful People”

Mods Of Your Generation Interview – The Electric Stars – “Beautiful Music For Beautiful People” MODS OF YOUR GENERATION·SUNDAY, 1 SEPTEMBER 2019What can say about The Electric Stars that hasn’t already been said?Formed in 2011 the band have featured in countless magazines and had many glowing reviews, with their album “Sonic Candy Soul” making the Top 12 of 2012 best albums in ‘Scootering Magazine’ alongside the likes of Paul Weller. Recently front man Jason Edge featured in the September 2019 issue of Scootering with an incredible two pager. They have the incredible ability of taking inspiration from all the best music from any era and blending it together to create original, new modern music. Their Psychedelic Rock n Roll sound and their upbeat soulful vocals sets them aside from others. They have one mission and that is to make “Beautiful Music For Beautiful People” and that is exactly what they do. Personally i would like to thank them for providing an alternative. I believe “music is the soundtrack to our lives” If you agree then you need the Electric stars in yours. To find out more about the band continue reading below

 The band formed in 2011 how did it all happen? We formed while we were in the studio recording Sonic Candy Soul. The Album was already written & as myself, Keef & Andy went in to record we didn’t have a drummer. We used a guy who was hanging around with us & began laying down the tracks. The whole concept began to fall into place, the sound, the look, the vibe and the name, while we were recording. As soon as we finished it, that’s when we found our drummer, Johnny. 

 You signed to Detour Records in February 2012 and released a single in March. Then released your debut album ‘Sonic Candy Soul‘ in September. What was the reaction to the single and album? Once we had the Masters of the Album we started to look for the right label. Dizzy at Detour has always been great with us. He has great History on the Scene and is a Fab guy! The first single came out & got a brilliant response. In fact you can’t get a copy of that anymore! When the Album came out, I think we were happy with it, well most of us were ha ha, but you never know how the public will like it. But the response we have had since day 1 for the Album has been fantastic. Wherever we go around the UK now people have it, play it and talk about it. It’s a great feeling to know that people dig our songs.

THE ELECTRIC STARS Blind Album Sonic Candy Soul How did you come up with the name of the band – ‘The Electric Stars’? The name.. A lot of people ask about it! When we were in the studio everything was kind of in a melting pot. The image of the band is very important. We are very influenced by the late 60’s early 70’s sounds. So it is natural we dress that way. Lots of colour, vibrant imagery, psychedelic patters ya know. The name is suggestive. Like our music & vibe The Electric Stars suggests something! I’m not a fan of dull music & dull clothes. I like my Rock n Roll Stars to look Godlike! Local pub bands might dress in jeans & t shirt. The Electric Stars dress to kill. 

 The album was featured as one of the Top 12 albums of 2012 in ‘Scootering Magazine’ alongside Paul Weller. That must have been amazing, Tell me bout it? One of the 1st reviews we got for Sonic was in Scootering and it was Ace. We were a bit shocked but blown away with the write up! Then at the end of the year, they do a round up of the best Albums & Sonic Candy Soul is in there alongside Paul Weller… Totally Cosmic! In fact now you’ve reminded me about that, It’s brought back the way we felt & it was very humble. To get a review like that makes you appreciate every bit of support from everyone! 

In 2014 the band recorded their own version of Belfast Boy, A song first released in 1970 by Don Fardon. Tell me about the reasoning behind releasing the track and how the idea developed? Belfast boy came about from a chance meeting I had with Eamon Holmes. He is a massive George Best fan like me. We got chatting about music and fashion. He is a big fan of The Electric Stars. He reminded me of the Don Fardon song and said that he didn’t think that anyone had ever recorded it since. We got in touch with the GB Foundation and the MUFC Foundation, both said they were behind the idea! Then we got a load of Players & Celebs to write about Georgie in the sleeve notes. It was a bit of an ambitious release but it got to Number 15 in the BBC Indie Charts.. Nice! The most pleasing thing for me is the B side. I wrote The Brightest Star about one of my Heroes and to have his sister say it is one of the best things ever recorded about George means more than the chart placing.

Belfast Boy – The Electric Stars | George Best Charity Single  ‘We Love You’ released in 2018 & ‘Sunshine’ released in 2017 are two of my favourite tracks. Which songs do you like performing live from your incredible repertoire? We Love You and Sunshine are both on the new Album – Velvet Elvis, The Only Lover Left Alive! To be honest I like all our tunes, we don’t let any bum songs get through quality control ha! Picking favourites is tough because they all mean so much to me. 136 is special.. It was written over in Florida & I really wanted to get the message across about this new band.. What we were.. Where we had come from.. What the message was going to be! Music for me is not just going through the motions. I can’t stand what is happening to music in 2019. Beautiful Music for Beautiful People is what we try to do. That lyric sums up The Electric Stars. We are trying to keep the flame burning and that’s important! 

The Electric Stars – Sunshine ☀️ You headlined the ‘100 club’ which had an incredible response. Tell me about the night and what is was like performing at such an iconic musical venue? The 100 Club is a wonderful venue. Probably one of the most Iconic in the world! Most of my Heroes have played there and to go on last to a sold-out crowd was off the scale! All the bands on the night were Fab. Turner, Darron J Connett, The Sha La La’s all played out of their skin. It was a bit of an experience for sure. I hope we get to play there again as it’s a special stage to be on.On the back of the gig we got loads of press & our good friends at Scootering gave us a Fab double page spread. The support they have given us since day 1 has been Brilliant. 

The Electric Stars – 100 Club – 2016The new single has been released ‘The only lover left alive’ where can we buy or download the album? The new album should have been out so long ago. Just down to laziness on the bands part I guess! The Only Lover Left Alive, Sunshine, We Love You & Loaded With Regrets are all on the new Album. Its gonna have a more stripped back feel to it.. More acoustic & less polished I think. More like the live Stars & less produced.

The Only Lover Left Alive – The Electric StarsDescribe the bands musical style and would you compare it to another? Mmmmm, well we are not ashamed of our influences. Retro, yes for sure, but with our own songwriting style! You can hear plenty of Who, Stones, Kinks, Faces for sure. But you can also hear Bowie, Bolan, Beatles & Floyd. I love American music, so Hendrix, Velvets, Doors & Love. Mix it all up with Blues & Grooves.. What do you get? Beautiful Music for Beautiful People! 

Who are your musical influences as individuals or as a band from any era past or present? The Record Collection is huge man. But if you’re going to push me.. The Rolling Stones! I will gladly fight anyone in the car park who tries to tell me they are not the Greatest Rock n Roll Band in the world. There is a little bit of Stones in everyone & there is a little bit of everything in the Stones. 

 The Electric Stars are a Manchester based band, the city has an incredible history of producing many great artist and bands. Did this inspire you to get into music and to take up playing your instruments? Manchester is a wonderful city. We are great at most things. But, when it comes to Music, we are quite Spectacular! It’s a working class city that is big enough to challenge London and small enough to create its own culture and swagger. Being in a band in Manchester is something we just did! The Hollies, 10cc, Buzzcocks, Joy Division, Mondays, Roses, Oasis.. Not bad is it for a bunch of Mancs ha ha!  

 British actor & musician Gary Shail is a huge fan of the band and asked you to perform at the Quad 40 event on Brighton Pier. What was it like to be asked to perform at such an iconic event celebrating the 40th anniversary of a timeless cult film Quadrophenia? We met Gary a long time ago at a gig. He loves live music and used to be in a band before he was an Actor. He liked our sound and we became friends. Last year he called me up and said “Jay, I’ve got an idea & I want the Stars to be part of it”. What an idea it turned out to be! Quad 40 was absolutely Fantastic! To be asked to be part of the Anniversary of one of the most Iconic British Films ever made.. WOW It really was a Brilliant event. Still buzzing from it to be h honest. 

 Do you have anything you would like share with all your supporters? I think if I’m going to finish on something it’s just to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported us. The people who come to the gigs & buy our music. The people who write about us & book us to play all over the UK and Europe. We write our own material and we never take it for granted that people prefer us to cabaret. We want to make a difference & in 2019 that is getting harder than ever! Thanks to you Johnny for giving us the opportunity to tell people about the band & see you all soon!

The Electric Stars – We Love You   Copyright © Johnny Bradley (Mods Of Your Generation) & The Electric Stars, 2019, All Rights Reserved. No part of this article may be reproduced without the permission of the authors.

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SONGBIRDS: PIONEERING WOMEN IN JAMAICAN MUSIC. BY HEATHER AUGUSTYN

SONGBIRDS: PIONEERING WOMEN IN JAMAICAN MUSIC

BY HEATHER AUGUSTYN RELEASED

CHESTERTON, IND.—Songbirds: Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music by Heather Augustyn has been published by Half Pint Press and is now available. The book is a comprehensive look at Jamaican vocalists, instrumentalists, record producers, dancers, wives, mothers, and deejays who helped to shape the course of Jamaican music on the island and worldwide. Songbirds: Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music is the fourth book from Augustyn on Jamaican music and culture.

The book features dozens of interviews with women who found a way share their talent in a culture and industry that was marked by brazen displays of masculinity. They endured harassment and received little or no pay to perform as backup or alongside or in front of the male musicians. They sacrificed family and home for a life in the spotlight, or they brought their babies with them on the road. They took over the studio and made it their own, or they suffered unimaginable violence, even murder. They changed the course of music all over the world. The book also features over 100 exclusive photographs and memorabilia that supplements personal narratives and archival material.

Heather Augustyn spent two years researching and talking to such women as Millie Small of “My Boy Lollipop” fame who rarely grants interviews, and she obtained photographs from her personal photo album. Others include Enid Cumberland of Keith & Enid who is now in her mid-80s; Janet Enright, the country’s first female guitarist who performed jazz in the 1950s; Marcia Griffiths of the I-Threes, Bob Marley’s backup singers, and vocalist for the Electric Slide, the staple of every wedding reception; members of the first all-girl ska band, the Carnations, featuring the parents of Tessanne Chin, winner of The Voice; Doreen Shaffer of the Skatalites; Patsy Todd of Derrick & Patsy and Stranger & Patsy; Althea & Donna, and dozens of others.

Augustyn is also author of Don Drummond: The Genius and Tragedy of the World’s Greatest Trombonist, McFarland 2013; Ska: An Oral History, McFarland 2010; and Ska: The Rhythm of Liberation, Scarecrow Press 2013. She is a correspondent for The Times of Northwest Indiana and an adjunct professor at Purdue University’s North Calumet campus. She lives with her husband and two boys in Chesterton, Indiana. Songbirds Pioneering Women in Jamaican Music is available at Here and amazon.com.

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OI Music

Wikipedia version of Oi!

Oi! is a subgenre of punk rock that originated in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s. The music and its associated subculture had the goal of bringing together punksskinheads and other working-class youths (sometimes called herberts).

The Oi! movement was partly a response to the perception that many participants in the early punk rock scene were, in the words of The Business guitarist Steve Kent, “trendy university people using long words, trying to be artistic…and losing touch”. André Schlesinger, singer of The Press, said, “Oi shares many similarities with folk music, besides its often simple musical structure; quaint in some respects and crude in others, not to mention brutally honest, it usually tells a story based in truth.”

History

Oi! became a recognized genre in the latter part of the 1970s, emerging after the perceived commercialization ofpunk rock, and before the soon-to-dominate hardcore punk sound. It fused the sounds of early punk bands such as the Sex Pistols, the RamonesThe Clash, and The Jam with influences from 1960s British rock bands such asThe Rolling Stones, the Small Faces, and The Whofootball chantspub rock bands such as Dr. FeelgoodEddie and the Hot Rods, and The 101ers, and glam rock bands such as Slade and Sweet. First generation Oi! bands such as Sham 69 and Cock Sparrer were around for years before the word Oi! was used retrospectively to describe their style of music.

In 1980, writing in Sounds magazine, rock journalist Garry Bushell labelled the movement Oi!, taking the name from the garbled “Oi!” that Stinky Turner of Cockney Rejects used to introduce the band’s songs. The word is an old Cockney expression, meaning hey or hello. In addition to Cockney Rejects, other bands to be explicitly labeled Oi! in the early days of the genre included Angelic UpstartsThe 4-SkinsThe BusinessBlitzThe Blood, and Combat 84.

The prevalent ideology of the original Oi! movement was a rough brand of working-class rebellion. Lyrical topics included unemployment, workers’ rights, harassment by police and other authorities, and oppression by the government. Oi! songs also covered less-political topics such as street violence, football, sex, and alcohol. Although Oi! has come to be considered mainly a skinhead-oriented genre, the first Oi! bands were composed mostly of punk rockers and people who fit neither the skinhead nor punk label.

After the Oi! movement lost momentum in the United Kingdom, Oi! scenes formed in continental Europe, North America, and Asia. Soon, especially in the United States, the Oi! phenomenon mirrored the hardcore punk scene of the early 1980s, with Oi!-influenced bands such as Agnostic FrontIron Cross, Anti Heros. Later American punk bands such as Rancid and Dropkick Murphys have credited Oi! as a source of inspiration. In the mid-1990s, there was a revival of interest in Oi! music in the UK, leading to older Oi! bands receiving more recognition. In the 2000s, many of the original UK Oi! bands reunited to perform and/or record. The song T.N.T. by hard rock bandAC/DC features the interjection at the start and in various parts throughout the song.

Association with far extremist politics

Strength Thru Oi!, with its notorious image of British Movement activist and felon Nicky Crane

Some fans of Oi! were involved in white nationalist organisations such as the National Front (NF) and the British Movement (BM), leading some critics to identify the Oi! scene in general as racist. However, none of the bands associated with the original Oi! scene promoted racism in their lyrics. Some Oi! bands, such as the Angelic Upstarts,The Burial, and The Oppressed were associated with left wing politicsand anti-racism. The white power skinhead movement had developed its own music genre called Rock Against Communism, which had musical similarities to Oi!, but was not connected to the Oi! scene. Timothy S. Brown identifies a deeper connection: Oi!, he writes “played an important symbolic role in the politicization of the skinhead subculture. By providing, for the first time, a musical focus for skinhead identity that was ‘white’—that is, that had nothing to do with the West Indian immigrant presence and little obvious connection with black musical roots—Oi! provided a musical focus for new visions of skinhead identity [and] a point of entry for a new brand of right-wing rock music.”

Rightly or wrongly,The mainstream media especially associated Oi! with far right politics following a concert by The Business, The 4-Skins, and The Last Resort on 4 July 1981 at the Hambrough Tavern in Southall. Local Asian youths threw Molotov cocktails and other objects, mistakenly believing that the concert was a neo-Nazi event, partly because some audience members had written National Front slogans around the area. Although some of the skinheads were NF or BM supporters, among the 500 or so concert-goers were also left-wing skinheads, black skinheads, punk rockers, rockabillies, and non-affiliated youths. Five hours of rioting left 120 people injured—including 60 police officers—and the tavern burnt down. In the aftermath, many Oi! bands condemned racism and fascism.

These denials, however, were met with cynicism from some quarters because of the Strength Thru Oi!compilation album, released in May 1981. Not only was its title a play on a Nazi slogan—”Strength Through Joy“—but the cover featured Nicky Crane, a skinhead BM activist who was serving a four-year sentence for racist violence. Critic Garry Bushell, who was responsible for compiling the album, insists its title was a pun on The Skids‘ album Strength Through Joy, and that he had been unaware of the Nazi connotations. He also denied knowing the identity of the skinhead on the album’s cover until it was exposed by the Daily Mail two months later. Bushell, a socialist at the time, noted the irony of being branded a far right activist by a newspaper that “had once supported Oswald Mosley‘s Blackshirts, Mussolini’s invasion of Abyssinia, and appeasement with Hitler right up to the outbreak of World War Two.”

Another subsequent source for the popular association between Oi! and a racist or far-right creed was the bandSkrewdriver. Lead singer Ian Stuart Donaldson was recruited by the National Front—which had failed to enlist any actual Oi! bands—and reconstituted Skrewdriver as a white power skinhead act. While the band shared visual and musical attributes with Oi!, Bushell asserts, “It was totally distinct from us. We had no overlap other than a mutual dislike for each other.” Donaldson and Crane would later go on to found a magazine, Blood and Honour, and a street-orientated ‘skinhead’ club of the same name that arranged concerts for Skrewdriver and other racist bands such as No Remorse. Demonstrating the ongoing conflation of Oi! with the white power skinhead movement by some observers, the Encyclopedia of British and Irish Political Organizations refers to these groups as “‘white noise’ and ‘oi’ racist bands”.

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The Great Skinhead Reunion 2011 Review

I didn’t really know what to expect

I had been browsing through facebook and stumbled on a page, which mentioned a Skinhead Reunion. I had long forgotten my youth, the music and times had been tucked away into the broom cupboard of my mind, the fading photographs in a weathered cardboard box.

But I have always liked Brighton, a bit of 2tone on the radio always brings a smile, as I sit stuck in London traffic, a welcome interlude from the usual Simon Cowell Karaoke imposed on me.

As the train rumbled out of Gatwick on the home run to the south coast, my thoughts were taken by the ‘shish’ of an opened can and the unmistakable Belfast accent of two very smartly dressed skinheads.

I didn’t know tonic suits were still being made, but these guys looked a million dollars, the brogue shoes shined to a mirror. Chattering like a pair of excited school kids they noticed I was wearing a fred perry

with close cropped hair, which was my subtle way of getting involved, I guess the skinhead culture has never really left me, a Ben Sherman or pair of Levis has been a permanent part of my wardrobe since 1978

“Alrite mate Eamon, where you from” the first skinhead said as he stretched out his hand, passing me a fresh can of lager.

Until that point I wasn’t even sure if I would attend the skinhead reunion, I hadn’t been to anything in years, even I had been aware of the media version of skins, and wasn’t sure if that was true or not, I know we were the bad boys in the school playground, and there were a fare few crazies involved back in the day, but these two guys were like stand up comics. I real breath of fresh air. Call it a mid life crisis if you like, but I felt great, I don’t think I have ever been welcomed by two strangers so warmly in my life.

Hitting Brighton we made our way to the seafront, the sun was shining, the gulls screaming. The fresh air of the English channel immediately started to wash the stale polution of London from my lungs.

First stop was to be the Friday afternoon meeting point. The Modern World Gallery on Madeira Drive,the scene from Quadrophenia movie was replaying in my mind as we walked along, the noise of the pier

and streams of tourists soon was replaced by the sounds of Jamaican Ska blasting over the Street. I small crowd of well dressed skinheads were already milling about. As we approached they all turned to see us.

Instead of the old style stand off that skinheads always used in the old days, once again the smiles were immediate. Everyone introducing themselves and eachother, more beer was handed over and the party began.

I was amazed to see several good looking ladies with feathercuts, perfectly styled clothing, dancing in the street, the tourists watching on, unsure of what they were witnessing,

The Modern World Gallery stocks some great art pieces and mod memorabilia, original silver disks hanging on the walls. T shirts, some great Lambretta panel art pieces.

Continue reading The Great Skinhead Reunion 2011 Review
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Tear Up, Playground Politics Album release Now Available on Subcultz

The first album by Tear up will be the first official release from Subcultz records. One of the UK best new Oi! bands that have literally been tearing up the British scene over the last year. And now its been recorded. Please support the band and the scene by placing your order now. Official release gig will be part of the Great Skinhead Reunion Brighton weekend, where the band will be performing the album, meeting and greeting. Its your support that keeps the scene alive! ORDER HERE

Playground politics

King of the car park

Fuck boy

Dead beat dad

Jimmy Saville’s greenhouse

Bollocks to the smoking ban

Not big not clever

This is england

Dodgy dave

One of the faces

Binge drink britain