Kevin K & Texas Terri – ‘Firestorm’ (Realkat Records)

Written by Dom Daley
Tuesday, 13 April 2010 05:00


A split of sorts as Texas Terri does the first four tracks but Kevin K and his band play on all nine tracks....but that doesn't really matter, what does matter is that the often overlooked but prolific writer and releaser of records that is Kevin K has teamed up with Texas Terri Bomb for possibly their finest half hour on 'Firestorm'.

Pitching somewhere between Iggy and the Stooges, New York Punk and Johnny Thunders, the nine tracks on offer show just how damn good these artists are; one compliments the other superbly and they really do shine. Now, being a big fan of Kevin K, I often love the songs he creates but listening to his music I think that maybe he sometimes needs someone to round off the edges and, dare I say it, introduce a bit of quality control. Finally with this latest offering I think he's hit the jackpot with a great sound married to some meaty playing in all the right places and someone like Texas Terri fronting.

'LA X' gets proceedings off with a blinding Iggy-ish track that motors along with some blistering axe work that fizzes and crackles along. It sounds positively vibrant and bristling with energy.  There's no letting up in the pace as 'Love Kills Love' kicks on with an attitude soaked track showcasing what a great player K is. The last of the Texas Terri tracks is a cover of the Dead Boys' 'What Love Is' and between the pair of them manage to pull one out of the bag with a version of this classic 70's track that tells you everything you need to know about great music, Terri plays hard and is a match for anyone in this genre and her delivery is absolutely spot on.

Into the second half and Kevin K takes the vocals with some snotty punk on 'Gracelands To Neverland' which has a very New York feel as does 'Don't Know Why'. Kevin K then pays homage to Mr Thunders with a take on the classic 'London Boys'. With the album having a hidden track presumably called 'Gorgeous Girl' again carrying off the Stooges feel this is in my opinion the best work from Kevin K and something I'd love to see him develop with Texas Terri - one compliments the other no doubt about it and well worth hunting down a copy if raw, punk rock is your thing....this will tick all the boxes.

Rock 'n' roll troopers who've been there, seen it, done it, bought the t-shirt and written the fucking book. 'Firestorm' kicks like a mule, goddamn it. Add it to your collection people and, besides, those nice people at CD Baby will put it in the mail for you, lovingly!

Stiff Little Fingers – Show Review


The last time that I was in the Barrowlands Ballroom in Glasgow the experience jarred with my rose tinted memories from yesteryear. The security stopped just short of giving me a cavity search and guests at Guantanamo Bay probably had their human rights respected more than I did that night.
Then there were the signs every few feet telling the patrons not to crowd surf, not to throw drinks, not to take photographs, not to smoke and while they are basic requirements the plethora of posters telling us what not to do only served to give us the impression that smiling and dancing would also be frowned upon. The place was in negative equity that night. It didn’t matter how much you were going to put into enjoying yourself. It was still going to be touch and go if you did.
Thankfully they appear to have had a rethink about how this heavy handed approach has an impact on their customers and their enjoyment of the night. The signs have vanished and all I got was a little pat down from the guy on the door. So straight from the word go this was a far more pleasurable experience than previously.
Once we headed upstairs we had a look at the merchandise, and as a regular gig goer I will have to say that no one beats SLF when it comes to merchandise. Realistic prices, options for package deals, an avoidance of tacky shite, and best of all customer service with a smile.
stiff merch
Kelly bought a t-shirt, ten badge set and a poster package that came to twenty quid. Everything was of the best quality and I seriously doubt that any other band is going to offer a better deal than that.
Inside the hall the place was starting to fill up so we took a prime spot down the front against the barrier and within a short while Combat Rock came on.
Now on a positive note I’ll say that Combat Rock are up there in the premier league of Clash covers bands. They don’t slavishly try to copy Strummer, Jones and co note for note and pose for pose, but they do have the essence of the Clash and punters of a certain age love them.
So while I did enjoy their set I would still have to say that I would rather have seen a relatively new band getting the slot, or even an older punk band making a rare appearance in Scotland.
Their securing of the support slot didn’t take anything away from the night though. So it’s a minor gripe.
Once they had warmed the crowd up it wasn’t long until Stiff Little Fingers arrived to a reception that would usually be reserved for the second coming of some guy who says his fathers the big cheese of everything.
This St Patrick Day gig by the band has reached legendary status with people travelling from near, far and very very far to see what it’s all about. Probably because it has taken on such a status SLF know that this is the night, more so than any other, that they really have to go for it. If they give 100% every other gig then this is the one they have to put in 110.
For some bands starting with one of their most loved tracks means that everything is going to go downhill from that point on, but not for these lads.
They have a wealth of top notch material to dip into and tonight all the favourites are pumped out. There was also a few surprises when they threw forward some songs that are rarely played. Bits of kids had the hairs standing up on the back of my neck as did Listen, a song that is one of my all time SLF favourites.
Another highlight from early in the set was Strummerville. As a Clash fan I don’t think that anyone has come as close to SLF in expressing the loss many people felt when Strummer passed. In writing that song Jake managed to eloquently put into words exactly what we all wanted to say. Then when you hear it live it just takes on an even larger persona. It’s a huge song.
The only unrecorded song that was aired was Liars Club. A track that Jake informed us has been getting played for around two years but that they still haven’t gotten around to laying down in the studio. Well all I can say to that is why not? It fits in well with the flow of the rest of the material and it’s a Fingers classic in waiting. That it was originally about Bush and Blair doesn’t really matter. I mean come on. With the expenses row in the UK it needs highlighted that the politicos in positions of power are all members of the Liars Club. It’s a timeless statement, but I want to hear a studio version sooner rather than later. Preferably with and albums worth of material alongside it.
Visually the band are looking as good as you could expect from some aging punks. Jakes never been a pin up, but when you have a talent for belting out anthemic punk rock like he does I would argue that image is a secondary consideration. So who gives a toss if he looks like your uncle.
Personally I’m pleased that Ali is back in the band and it looks like he is to. He’s a dynamo on the stage and you can tell that he gives it his all. There isn’t a moment that he become stationary. It’s all go from start to finish for him. One minute he’s strumming the bass line manically as he hops about and the next he’s modelling a punter from the crowds novelty Irish hat with a ‘look at me I‘m having a blast and I don‘t give a fuck‘ attitude. Throughout it all the grin never leaves his face.
The polar opposite is Ian who has a more workmanlike approach to the performance, and while I can appreciate his playing he still has a little way to go before he looks entirely comfortable up there. As for Steve. Well Steve is a drummers drummer and does what needs to be done. He is rock solid in the back and holds everything together with a fair degree of style. Over all they are a powerful force on stage. There is no real messing about or posturing. I guess the point I want to make is they walk it like they talk it. None of them are carrying any slack for each other.
Over all the gig reaffirmed my faith in the band and my reservations about attending the St Pats show have all but gone now.
1907272699_896d5b6b1f The only downsides of the night had absolutely nothing to do with the band. Early on in the set I was receiving lovely little kicks and knees to the back of my legs and regular kidney punches. This wasn’t the usual argy bargy you get down the front and obviously whoever was behind me was wanting my prime spot. As the crowd was a bit tight I couldn’t get moving around to have a word until a lull, and by the time I did my patience had all but gone. Basically I was well past the point of politely asking them to pack it in. Strangely enough when I did manage to turn round I found my assailant was a small woman who I reckon was in her thirties and was lucky if she was hitting the five foot mark. So all I did was give her the evil eye and she fucked off, but then the next morning when I woke up my lower back was aching and I was thinking that maybe my gentlemanly opinion that you shouldn’t lamp women is something I should reconsider.
The other thing is that there always appears to be a group of men in the crowd who can’t tell the difference between exuberant and boisterous enjoyment of a show and aggressive macho posturing.
I have a theory about them and it’s that they haven’t been to any gigs for over a decade and are having a bit of a mid life crisis and are therefore revisiting their youth.
That’s why you always get them at gigs by SLF, The Damned and their ilk. I’d also hazard a guess that they also don’t get out much. So when they do they get completely rat arsed and make absolute tits of themselves, and that’s fair enough, but when young fans and women can’t get anywhere near the stage because a fat bald forty five year old is wanting to show how hard he is by acting like a human bowling ball while spastically elbowing everyone out of the way then I think that it’s time he had a reality check and just fucked off.
So if you recognize this person from the description and it is you then to be really honest about it listen to this. NO ONE CAN BE FUCKED WITH YOU. Like SLF say. GET A LIFE

Jana Peri – Pivo Pivo Glasgow 11/3/10

Review By Mainy

442_Jana_Peri_CD_Cover_1_44463 Up until a few weeks ago I had never been in Pivo Pivo, but here I was again sidling up to the bar and getting a drink in. It's a nice set up, but I've yet to see it full. Maybe they need to get out there and promote, promote and promote. Tonight it's a four band bill and I'm there to see New York city girl Jana Peri play an acoustic set of punky power pop gems. From Ramones styled rockers to country work outs she runs the gamut of rock chick staples and does so with aplomb, but more about Jana later as first up we had a very young and nervous man who I didn't catch the name of. It doesn't matter though as I doubt I will see him again. Well not intentionally. He started off with some technical problems and had to borrow a guitar from Jana before he could get the show on the road. Then he regaled us with some mumbled songs, a couple of which were covers. Have you ever imagined what a Libertines song would sound like if the Proclaimers did it? No, neither had I, but let me tell just say that the reality is far worse than anything you could come up with. Near the end he managed to do an awful version of a rap song about someone licking his lollipop. I think it was supposed to be sort of so bad that some people would think it had a strange charm. It didn't. The next band up are touting themselves about as The Morra, and I can only assume this is until they can find themselves a real band name, but regardless of having one of the worst names going they are actually a shit hot band. The impression that I got was that they would probably all have been indie kids a few years ago and then someone bought a 13th Floor Elevators album and they never looked back. (Don't expect any jugs though.) They are gifted guys and while I'll admit to being clueless as to who they would appeal to I don't really care as I liked them. Jana 011  Photo By Mainy ElDiablo 11/3/10 Finally the lady we had come to see graced the stage. I thought that some of the energy that a band would bring to the performance would be missing, but I was wrong. Jana (pronounced Ja-Na) for her small stature dominates the stage with her big voice, and it's very obvious that she isn't from these shores. She carries herself with the history of the New York scene as baggage. She's CBGBs, she's the Continental, She's the grit under the cities nails and the neon glow of its night life. The set that she's promoting tonight relies heavily on her first full length release 'Catching Flies with Vinegar', with the stripped down acoustic versions still effectively conveying her new york sassiness. A song like 'I wanna rock' might initially sound like a walking cliche, but lyrically it's fun and more tongue in cheek than a first listen would lead you to believe, while the rousing 'L.A. Girl' highlighted that east coast Americans, like us, don't really get the vacant west coast barbie doll types either. In an eclectic set Jana even managed to squeeze in a country track called 'I'll be Gone' that once again shows Jana to have a wicked sense of humour, and that she's probably not a woman to mess with. It would be fair to say that this is the sort of serendipitous gig that reaffirms my faith in stepping out and just seeing what gets thrown up. The only downside was that all too soon the set was nearing its end. To finish the show off we get a couple of tracks from her self titled debut ep. The song 'Dating sucks', is a track that could be a manifesto for ladies of a certain age, and 'The La La Song' is an evocative ode to her last visit to the UK. Jana 006Photo By Mainy - ElDiablo - 11/3/10 I sincerely hope that she returns to Europe sooner rather than later, and that next time she manages to drag her band over with her. If she does I'll be there. Hell, even if it's another solo show I'll still be there. Take it from me, this lady is a class act.  If she's playing anywhere near you then do yourself a favour and grab a ticket. It'll be worth it. Guaranteed. 442_Floor_Shadow_Full_Size_


[caption id="attachment_4868" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Jana Peri with The Damned @ The Joey Ramone Birthday Party RIP <3"]Jana Peri with The Damned @ The Joey Ramone Birthday Party RIP <3[/caption]

Interview with Jana Peri by El Diablo - Mainy

ElDiablo -Mainy 20 March at 10:10
ElD - This isn’t your first visit to these shores but there’s still a pioneering spirit to it all. Is it a scary proposition heading out on the road as a girl and her guitar so far from home?
JP - I don’t feel it’s scary at all. It’s exciting! As an only child, I’ve always been a very independent person. I’m all for adventure and if I could manage to do this on a much more regular basis, I most certainly would. I did a solo UK tour in 2004, so this is a pretty similar experience. I booked all the gigs myself and am playing three venues where I’ve played before. I have to admit that traveling and gigging alone is not as much fun as having my band with me (as on our 2005 UK tour), but it’s very rewarding in a different way. I really do feel like a pioneer and also an ambassador for the US in general and New York City in particular. ElD - Older punk fans, like myself, have a romanticised view of New York. It’s like the crucible where a certain style and sound was forged. New York Dolls, Ramones, CBGBs, Max’s etc. What’s the reality like in comparison to the fantasy? JP - I have a romanticized vision of New York too! I’m madly in love with NYC and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Unfortunately, as far as the music scene is concerned, sometimes the reality doesn’t live up to the fantasy. I know in Glasgow there’s a big pay-to-play thing going on which I find disgusting. There’s not as much of that within NYC as you find in the suburbs of Long Island and New Jersey, but there’s a lot of pressure from club bookers to bring in a certain number of people to see you. Many of them don’t care at all about what the music sounds like as long as a lot of people are coming through the door. As a result, sometimes the bill is not a good one with bands that are just plain horrible or don’t mesh well together musically. The music scene is definitely not what it once was in the heyday of all the bands you mentioned (which I should point out was well before my time!), but there is still good music here. It’s sometimes hard to feel a sense of community among musicians in NYC, but it’s definitely there if you look for it. Many of the musicians and scenesters from the old CBGB’s days are still around and I regularly hang out with them. As time goes by, I get to meet and work with more of my heroes both in NYC and abroad. It just shows that if you hang onto your dreams and keep plugging away, you can still find happiness and deep satisfaction in playing original music and feel that you belong to a musical heritage, even if it’s not always financially rewarding. ElD - And do you feel the same way about the UK’s musical heritage, as you’re an unabashed fan of the sixties Brit invasion bands aren‘t you? JP - Oh, I’m a ridiculous anglophile. It all started with The Beatles and just exploded from there. Why do you think I keep going back to Liverpool? I’m making a pilgrimage. ElD - How did you initially manage to get here while so many other New York band/acts who are playing the club circuit don’t? (I think the last one I seen was The Blame and they were financially running on empty to make it work.) Do you think that it might be just a case that they lack the imagination to make the leap from a comfortable local scene to the big scary world out there? JP - That’s an interesting question. I never thought about that before. Most of my musician friends are the kind of people who do tour when they have the opportunity. I think a lot of people (not just musicians) are just very provincial and don’t do a lot of traveling. They don’t have that strong a sense of adventure or curiosity about exploring other cultures and it just wouldn’t occur to them to even bother. They’re really missing out. But also for musicians, there is the financial burden of touring and if you don’t have someone to do it for you, you need to be a good planner and business person to know how to coordinate everything. I’m a musician, manager, booker, travel agent, publicist and roadie all rolled into one. Did I mention how tired I am? ElD - Do you think people appreciate how difficult all this is though? I mean I sometimes get the impression that it’s a commonly held opinion that bands just turn up, plug in and play. The background grind of travelling expenses, accommodation and feeding yourself just doesn’t seem to register. JP - That really shouldn’t be the concern of an audience. They are there to be entertained. It’s a show. No one needs to know what’s going on behind the scenes. ElD - Will you ultimately look back on this and gloss over the trials and tribulations and just think that you did it. You went out there and did what so many other people didn’t? JP - Absolutely. Broken suitcase handle, guitar in disrepair…you get through it because you have to. Sometimes things that are difficult at the moment they are occurring are really funny in retrospect. I was just having a discussion about that at Nice N Sleazy with my friend Nathan Crowley who a guitarist with the Liverpool band, Sound Of Guns. We were trading stories about less than stellar accommodations while on tour. On my last UK tour, my band, along with our tour manager and a videographer, spent one night in a filthy house in which every surface was covered in dirty laundry and open food. We were afraid to touch anything. All of us attempted to sleep in this one room (with all our clothes on!) and we couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous it all was. At the time it was awful, but now it’s a fond memory. Nathan told me a story about how his band stayed in some hotel that had half a toilet seat in the bathroom. They went out and when they returned to their room, the other half was gone! ElD - So what is the ultimate aim for you? JP - Sometimes it’s hard to see the big picture and for me, it’s really more about conquering immediate goals than it is about getting an end result anyway. Ultimately, I would like to find a way to generate more income from my original music and find other people to help me so that I don’t have so much stress and can be more comfortable financially. And if I have more money, it means I can more readily tour and record when I want to. But money is not at all why I do what I do. I love it – pure and simple. ElD - Back to the tour. It’s a bit haphazard with you bouncing around the country a bit. London first then a cross country trip for Glasgow tonight before working your way back down south to Manchester and then Liverpool. That’s a lot of miles on the clock. Wouldn’t it have been easier starting in Glasgow and working down or vice-versa? JP - There’s nothing haphazard about it. I planned everything very carefully. When I began booking this tour, I didn’t know that I was going to be playing in Glasgow. I knew that I needed to be in London one weekend and Liverpool the next and then I just filled in the blanks. I was toying with the idea of going to Dublin because like Scotland, I’d never been to Ireland before, but I decided it would be easier to stay on the mainland. I had also heard from a few people that Glasgow was a great city for music, so I wanted to check it out for myself.

ElD - Your album ’Catching Flies with Vinegar’ came out in 2005. How much does it still represent you as an artist? Do you feel there is a ‘that was then, and this is now’ aspect to it? How far have you moved on since then? JP - There’s no question that I’m always evolving as a musician and songwriter, and even as a person, so things are going to change. However, Catching Flies With Vinegar is still an excellent representation of who I am as an artist and that will never change. Some of the songs on Catching Flies With Vinegar were already around for years when I recorded them. The main difference in my songwriting now that I’m older is that I’m not focused on writing about personal relationships anymore. I’m much happier and more comfortable in my own skin these days so my newer material reflects that. I’ve always had a good sense of humor and it’s always come across in my writing, but now I’m concentrating more on observation and commentary about things outside of my personal life. I even like to role play on occasion by inhabiting an imagined character and writing from his or her perspective. Eld - You worked with Daniel Rey on the album. How did you manage to grab his attention and secure his services as a producer? Although Daniel lives very near to me and we have mutual friends, I didn’t get to know him until we recorded together. I first met Daniel briefly when I was assisting with publicity for the original Joey Ramone Birthday Bash that took place at the Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC in 2001, shortly after Joey’s death. Then in 2004, when I was ready to record a new album and was looking for a producer, somebody suggested Daniel. I was reintroduced to him at a party at a bar and we arranged to meet. We just got together at his apartment, I told him about my plans and described what I was looking for and he agreed to do the project. ElD - Do you think that his involvement helped raise your profile at the time? JP - To some degree. Any association with The Ramones can only be a positive thing. More importantly, he helped me achieve what I wanted in the studio. Also, he’s a damn good guitar player and added a lot of dimension to the recording. ElD - So what’s in the pipeline now? You must have new material that’s been honed on the road just waiting to be laid down in a studio. JP - I do have some great material that I’m itching to record, but not quite enough finished to put out a new album yet. I need to spend more time focusing on writing and not just playing. I just released a brand new digital single called “I Hate The Holidays (But I Love Spending Them With You) last November and I’m dying to get back into the studio and do more


NB: The review and interview are free for all and if anyone wants to use them they don't need any permission. Just please remember to give credit where its due. ;) Thank you.

Cheers Mainy For Your Time !! :)

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