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Update February 2018


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Update by Natrakorn Paewsoongnern
 
 
 
Mott the Dog
 

February 24, 2018 - March 2, 2018

Syteria: ‘Rant-O-Bot’

Landlord Kim Fletcher (left) welcomes members of rock band Syteria to Jameson’s Irish Pub in Pattaya.

Syteria are the stroppy offspring of British heavy metal rock band Girlschool, with talented lead guitarist Jackie Chambers leading the pack.  Jackie has been with Girlschool since 2000 and helped form Syteria in 2015.

That is where the similarity between the two bands ends though.  For those of you lucky enough to see Syteria’s far too quick tour of South East Asia, these girls and boys rock, but in a different more urgent way than Girlschool, they are far more Runaways/Joan Jett solo than Iron Maiden or Saxon.

Jackie ‘Jax’ Chambers guitar work is exemplary throughout the entire twelve songs on this album, shredding her axe at will when required.  But the choice of other players in the band is also inspired.  Firstly and most notably is Julia (all the band members punkishly go by their first names only).  Julia is of Argentinean descent, moving to the United Kingdom after playing in a succession of bands in her home country.  This girl has got what it takes, a great ‘devil may care’ attitude, the image to carry it off, and a voice born to sing punk/pop with attitude.

The only male in the band is Pablo, Julia’s brother a hard hitting drummer who gives Syteria their ground work sound.  (His good looking South American visage may also gain the attention of many of the female crowds at Syteria gigs.)

Completing the line-up and the rhythm section is Kiera, who lays down some really groove laden bass lines that make you want to shake, and she completes the very good looking line up of this band.

The album itself starts off with the athematic “Revolution” and after saying that there really is not much more to say.  The track sounds exactly as the title suggests - music to start an uprising to.  The band immediately gel as one with Julia’s voice out front and demanding we do as she says.  Jackie lays down the riffs whilst the other two pump out a rhythm to dance to.  Jackie also unleashes a guitar hero axe solo.

Next up is the band’s first single, the provocatively titled “When I Get Out Of High School”.  This has the most catchy back beat and will leave you exhausted on the dance floor in under 3 minutes.

Other songs on the album stick to the pop/punk format, but there is still plenty of room for variety, with various members pushing their way to the front on different songs.  Many of the tracks make you yearn for the early days of the mid-Seventies when The Sweet and Suzi Quatro were the lords and ladies of the pop single.

“I’m All Woman” could easily become a classic of its time and if you only have time to listen to one song on this album, this is it: The band in perfect harmony, the rhythm locked down tight, Jackie’s axe breaking through, and Julia’s voice pleading with you to listen to her.  The chorus on this song becomes an ear worm, living with you for days.

Good luck to Syteria, especially with this new album which is self-financed and has great album cover work.  All the more reason to get yourself a copy!  I hope Girlschool and Syteria can live together in unity, but I hope even more they can both achieve the success they deserve.

Track List:

Revolution

When I Get out Of High School

Complication

Sheeple

I’m All Woman

Get A Life

Stupid Girl

Loner

Hypocrite

Loner

Kamikaze

If

New World Order

Syteria are:

Jackie - lead guitar and backing vocals

Julia - lead throat

Kiera - bass guitar and vocals

Pablo - drums and vocals

Note: Written by Mott The Dog and Hells Bells, who can often be found at Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR, North Pattaya.


February 17, 2018 - February 23, 2018

Pink Fairies: ‘Naked Radio’

You just cannot keep a good band down.  The original Pink Fairies starting gigging in 1969 and were one of the original freak/biker bands, playing for free at many festivals and gatherings.  The line-up has been through multiple changes over the years, but does that matter as long as they still produce good shows and albums? 

George Butler of the Pink Fairies – R.I.P.

The line-up on this album has at least got two original members in it: Duncan Sanderson on sonic bass guitar and Russell Hunter on heavy drums.  Alan Colquhoun has been around the Pinks for years and recorded with them on their last comeback album, 1987’s “Kill ‘Em and Eat ‘Em” and completing the double drummer combination is George Butler who appeared on the Larry Wallis solo album “Death in the Guitarafternoon” (correct spelling.) in 2001.  Jaki Windmill is also a welcome addition to the band, although there have been some rumblings from the band’s fan base that a girl in the ranks is just not the done thing.  Well I think she fits in perfectly.  Larry Wallis and Paul Rudolph are the two people that the fans would probably most like to see back in the Pink Fairies’ fold.

The music is the by now standard Pink Fairies blooze/booze rock with thunderous drums, stabbing bass and churning guitars giving out a Bo Diddley/Chuck Berry rehash.  The songs’ subjects range from anger (“Midnight Crisis”) to dealing with authorities (“Stopped at The Borders”).  The Pink Fairies still protest even though the years go by.

Although this album does not at times perhaps live up to the very high standards of say “Kings of Oblivion” or “What a Bunch of Sweeties” (if you have not heard these albums then you should treat yourself), the musicianship all the way through is faultless, and was recorded in less than six weeks, the way rock & roll is supposed to be done.

The Pink Fairies have been born twice after splitting with singer Mick Farren; the first time when they fired him after a disastrous tour of America in 1969, and the second time when members of this band were backing Farren as part of The Deviants at the Borderline in London in 2013 and Mick tragically died right there on stage with his winkle picker boots on.  Mick Farren’s genius will long be remembered, he was a singer, songwriter, author and journalist among his many talents.

Both times the members of the band picked themselves up and carried on under the banner of the Pink Fairies.  Farren wrote three of the songs on this album: “Skeleton Army”, “When the Movies All Thru”, and the title track, all of which were destined for the next Deviants’ album.  Alan Colquhoun also has included here his moving tribute to his fallen comrade Mick.  Most of the other tracks are written by Colquhoun and although there are some serious songs on this album, they are all played in an upbeat manner and the final track “Deal Deal” leaves you dancing in the isles with joy.  There’s some wonderful cover art on the album too! – 4 stars.

Note: Sadly since this article was written, drummer George Butler has passed away.

The Pink Fairies:

Alan Colquhoun - guitar and vocals

Jaki Windmill – percussion, keyboards and vocals

Russell Hunter – drums

George Butler - drums

Duncan Sanderson – bass guitar

Track List:

Golden Bud

The Hills are a Burnin’

Runnin’ Outa Road

When the Movies All Through

I Walk Away

You Lied To Me

Midnight Crisis

Stopped at the Border

Spellbound

Down To The Wire

Skeleton Army

Mick

Naked Radio

Deal Deal

Written By Mott The Dog who can often be found looking for Pink Fairies at the bottom of the bar at Jameson’s The Irish Pub, Soi AR North Pattaya.


February 10, 2018 - February 16, 2018

Hawkwind: ‘Into The Woods’

Hawkwind’s album “Into The Woods” (2017) is a partial follow up to 2016’s “The Machine Stops”, which was based on an E.M. Forster novel.  Both albums play delightfully back to back, but on continuous listening, “Into The Woods” has to get the plaudits.  How typical of the men from Hawkwind to come out with one of their best albums nearly fifty years since forming in 1969.

The album opens with the title track, leading you into a false sense of security as a piano tinkles out a light riff, and then after fourteen seconds the band come thundering in with a typical Hawkwind heavy space-rock barrage.  Richard Chadwick has lost none of his power and new boy (only 24) Haz Wheaton, a young Lemmy lookalike both in appearance and playing style, spurs his rhythm section drumming partner onto greater heights.

Dave Brock of Hawkwind.

Dave Brock, the captain of Hawkwind, is on fine form and his guitar has never sounded more vibrant.  The various keyboards, synthesizers etc. are now handled by four members of the band including Brock, Wheaton, Mr. Dibs, and main keyboard man, Magnus Martin.  Mr. Dibs is an ominous figure in the Hawkwind line-up, singing some of the vocals, playing with the sound and dabbling in the odd sonic moment.  But who knows with Hawkwind, it may be a completely different line up by the time I finish writing this.

Back to the album and the band charge on through two more passages of music (with some gratis sounds of a woodpecker) before they get to the nearly seven minutes of “Have You Seen Them”, which is to this scribe one of the highlights of this set with its driving beat, hypnotic vocals and wonderful descending choruses.  There’s plenty of room for Dikmiktisms (if that not a word then it should be) laced through the music, giving it that Hawkwind unmistakable space-rock sound. (Sadly Dik Mik passed away in 2017).

There are no filler tracks on this album, only gems, good enough to please the Hawkwind faithful as well as intrigue a new audience.  “Space Ship Blues” launches with some jet propelled guitars and spaced out lyrics. Then “The Wind” brings the Hawkwind spaceship back to earth with a spoken passage, very much in the vein of Michael Moorcock.

“Vegan Lunch” is a wonderfully funny rock and roller, but with a heartfelt message that we should be kinder to all the members of the animal kingdom.  For “Magic Scenes” the band get back into the space groove, using plenty of studio trickery to make your journey a pleasant one, even with the rhythm section laying down a heavy back bite.

“Darkland” brings out the softer side of Hawkwind with acoustic guitar and a string arrangement that’s very soothing after the previous 40 minute assault to your senses.  “Wood Nymph” is a melodic Hawkwind song that could only be from this band while “Deep Cavern”, as the penultimate song, takes us back to the wonderful days of Huw Lloyd Langton and the Pulsing Cavern.

Then as a fitting climax to “Into the Woods” we get almost ten minutes of “Magic Mushroom”.  It’s a classic out and out rocker from outer space as only Hawkwind can do and something to shake your head to.  This is a song to round off any Hawkwind album or Live set list in style.

Hawkwind will be one of the headline acts at the New Day Festival in Kent, England in August 2018.  Expect Mott the Dog and his pack to be there.

Hawkwind:

Dave Brock- guitar, keyboards and vocals

Mr Dibs - vocals, camera, keyboards, and vocals

Richard Chadwick - drums and vocals

Haz Wheaton – bass guitar, keyboards and vocals

Magnus Martin - keyboards and vocals

Track List:

Into The Woods

Cottage In The Woods

Woodpecker

Have You Seen Them

Ascent

Spaceship Blues

The Wind

Vegan Lunch

Magic Scenes

Darkland

Wood Nymph

Dark Cavern

Magic Mushroom

Note: Written by Mott The Dog, who can often be found in outer-space at Jameson’s The Irish Pub in Soi AR, North Pattaya.


Update Saturday, February 3, 2018 - February 9, 2018

Jim Rodford: (1941-2018) R.I.P.

Jim Rodford. (Photo courtesy Klaus Hilscher)

Rock guitarist Jim Rodford died after a fall on his stairs at home on 20 January 2018, at age 76, just a few days after returning from a tour of America.  Probably not many of you have heard of Rodford, but you will have certainly heard his bass guitar playing in many classic songs.

We can trace his roots back to 1958 when he helped a group of young musicians to form a band called The Zombies in St Albans, England.  Although Rodford never played with The Zombies in their first incarnation the band had a critically acclaimed career, but sadly at the time little commercial success.  On their demise in 1969 the keyboard player Rod Argent formed his own band, which suitably enough was named Argent, and immediately got in his cousin Jim Rodford to hold down the bass guitar duties and backing vocals.

Rodford’s fluid bass lines mark out Argent’s smash hit single “Hold Your Head Up” (1972), which went to number five in the British and American charts and sold over a million copies.  More hits followed including “God Gave Rock & Roll to You”, a hit for Argent but also a great single for American rock band Kiss, who turned it into their anthem. 

After seven studio albums and one wonderful live double album in 1974, the members of Argent all went their own way.  Rodford then made the surprising decision of joining the Davies brothers in the Kinks (1978), who although they wrote wonderful songs were a disaster playing live.  With Rodford joining however, it all came together and then when Mick Avory left the band in 1985 after years of infighting with the Davies duo, Bob Hennit took over the drum stool to reunite the Argent rhythm section.

The Kinks were banned in the mid Sixties by the American Musician Union for being naughty boys whilst on tour.  It was not until the early Seventies that the ban was lifted and they could try once again in the States, and their second coming was much bigger than the first.

Rodford’s effect upon the Kinks was immediate.  The first album to feature his bass playing talents was “Low Budget” (1979), the band’s eighteenth studio album but the first one that was a real rocker, and which better suited the stadium arenas The Kinks were now playing.  It was the band’s best selling album in the USA, reaching number eleven in the charts and receiving great critical acclaim.  The following years were heady days for The Kinks indeed and 1978-1986 was considered one of the pinnacles of their success - smash hit records and sold out arena tours.

Sadly all good things have to come to an end and from 1986 until 1996 the Kinks carried on recording and touring to an ever dwindling audience, finally calling it a day in 1996.  After this, Rodford gigged firstly with the reformed Animals before finally becoming a Zombie in 2004 when the band got back together, and that’s where he stayed until his death in 2018. (Note: this period also included a brief tour with the original members of Argent in 2010.)

Jim Rodford was a marvelous musician and one of Rock’s real gentlemen.  He will be greatly missed.  To get an idea of his musical genius please listen to 1974’s “Encore: Live In Concert” by Argent.

Written by Mott The Dog.


HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Syteria: ‘Rant-O-Bot’

Pink Fairies: ‘Naked Radio’

Hawkwind: ‘Into The Woods’

Jim Rodford: (1941-2018) R.I.P.


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