hi Fi Spitfires DTTU (2)

Hi-Fi Spitfires

Doors To The USA

Bullet Teeth Records

Rating: 4.5/5




It’s been three long years since the Hi-Fi Spitfires released their impressive sophomore album, Nightraid, and now they’re back with the latest release, the five track EP Doors To The USA. Hi-Fi Spitfires are an example of the commitment bands show to punk rock with Stephen Straughan also recording and touring with punk stalwarts UK Subs and the other two members, Tony Taylor and Nelly, both active with their own outfits, First Wave and Garden Gang respectively, it’s clear that the Hi-Fi Spitfires are a band that don’t just talk the talk.

The EP’s title track is straight up punk rock that evokes the spirit of The Clash in their prime, this is followed by a classic old school punk rallying cry in the form of Fake City. Followers of the UK’s grass roots punk scene may get a sense of deja vu as the third track, Berlin, also appeared on First Wave‘s latest release, but as this was one of the highlight’s from their recent Toxic Rock ‘N Roll album I’m not complaining that it’s been given the Hi-Fi Spitfires treatment. Don’t Take My Heart returns to the classic punk rock feel that Hi-Fi Spitfires are best known for, but for me they saved the best for last, closing track Last Gang is a perfect moment of punk rock that makes you wish you could flip Doors To The USA over for another five tracks.

Doors To The USA is pure grass roots punk rock at it’s very best, the Hi-F Spitfires have always carried the spirit of punk’s past glories, but they bring them bang up to date and for me Doors To The USA is their finest release to date. The EP’s official launch party will be at the The Doll at the Black Bull in Gateshead, UK on the 30th December, with support from Loaded 44 and Pitbull. The Hi-Fi Spitfires will also be reissuing their first album, England Screaming, as a numbered limited edition of just 300 on red vinyl next month. Doors To The USA and the previous releases, including the upcoming limited vinyl pressing of England Screaming, can be purchased at their shows or by contacting the band.

Hi-Fi Spitfires Facebook page is here and their website is here

Loaded 44 Announce UK Winter Tour Dates

Loaded 44 EPLoaded 44 have announced a series of winter UK tour dates commencing on the 12th November at the Stalybridge Tavern in Manchester and concluding on the 30th December with a hometown show at the Black Bull in Gateshead, the tour includes dates with UK Subs, Hi-Fi Spirfires, Discharge and First Wave. Loaded 44 released their stunning Get Ready! EP last year to critical acclaim, and the EP is available via their Facebook page here or their website here

The Punk Site review of the Get Ready! EP can be read here
Loaded 44‘s tour dates can be viewed below

Read More…

First Wave TRNR

First Wave

Toxic Rock 'N' Roll

Self Released

Rating: 4/5




Leicester based DIY punk band First Wave have self released their long awaited fourth full length, Toxic Rock ‘N’ Roll, the album follows on from First Wave‘s impressive 2015 release, All Bleed Red, sadly I’m not familiar with the two albums that preceded their latest release, something that I intend to rectify. Toxic Rock ‘N’ Roll continues their commitment to creating incendiary grass roots punk rock that is influenced by the bands that formed the first wave of the UK punk explosion. Toxic Rock ‘N’ Roll was released on the 8th July and the album is now available to order directly from the band’s website.

From the opening track, Ballad Of Billy Red, whose intro offers the only mellow moment on the album, you know that you’re in for some old school punk rock, As with the many of the original punk bands Toxic Rock ‘N’ Roll reflects the world around them, Bataclan Survivors, Gunpoint USA and Refugee all reflect recent events and the political and social upheaval that is currently engulfing the world. The lead single Berlin is an obvious highlight and the album’s title track is a call to arms for the disaffected, whilst Three Chords And The Truth, Eye For An Eye and Last Days Of The Empire embody everything that First Wave stand for. Toxic Rock ‘N’ Roll closes with Stooge, a track that gives a knowing wink to the bands that informed their sound with it’s fist pumping refrain of ‘hey ho let’s go 123’ and acknowledges the past without recycling it.

First Wave are authentic old school UK punk rock, the likes of The Clash, Stiff Little Fingers, The Damned, The Adverts and The Ruts can clearly be heard echoing in the compositions, but don’t interpret that as meaning that First Wave are an anachronistic throwback, nothing could be further from the truth. First Wave take their cues from the original punk bands but bring that style and attitude into the modern era, if you want to encounter the original heart and soul of punk in 2017 then you need to catch First Wave as there are very few bands that are producing this style of authentic grass roots punk rock.

Toxic Rock ‘N’ Roll can be ordered directly from First Wave here

First Wave Release ‘Toxic Rock N Roll’ Album

First Wave TRNRLeicester based DIY punk band First Wave self released their long awaited sophomore album, Toxic Rock ‘n’ Roll, on the 8th July and the album is now available to order directly from the band’s website. Toxic Rock ‘N’ Roll follows on from First Wave‘s impressive debut album, All Bleed Red, and continues their commitment to creating incendiary punk rock that is influenced by the bands that formed the first wave of the UK punk explosion.

Toxic Rock ‘N’ Roll can be ordered directly from First Wave here

You can view the video for the lead single from the album, Berlin, below Read More…

Rebellion 2016

Rebellion Festival (Sunday)

Winter Gardens, Blackpool, UK

7th August 2016

Rating: 5/5




The final day dawns, so far I’ve been running around trying to see as much as possible, sadly my feet can’t take much more  so my plan for the final day is to see a few bands I’ve been intending to see, along with reminding myself that next year I must get comfier boots. First Wave are opening on the Empress Ballroom stage, despite the fact that you can still taste the toothpaste at this early hour, they play a set of energetic and defiant punk rock that, as their name implies, is inspired by the first wave of British punk bands. Following this, and due to further complaints from my feet, I take the opportunity to take a seat and enjoy an interview with one of the original members of The Damned, Captain Sensible. Throughout the interview the Captain is irreverent and entertaining, he provides a profanity littered insight into The Damned‘s highs and lows over the last forty years and he ends the interview with an impromptu rendition of one of his novelty pop songs, Wot. I could happily have listened to Captain Sensible for a lot longer, he remains one of punk’s true eccentrics and a unique individual, but the interview is over and more live music awaits.

Healthy Junkies are another band I’ve been meaning to catch since I reviewed their last album, Box Of Chaos. They don’t disappoint live, their set of energetic punk rock is well received, Nina Coulson delivers her vocals in her breathless and manic style that juxtaposes the crunching delivery that rest of the band deliver. Sadly I can’t stay for their full set as Louise Distras is playing her second set of the weekend, I’ve seen her live many times, but this will be the first time I have got to see her play with a full band. The transformation of her songs from the acoustic sets I’ve seen her play so often to her full band is stunning. Songs that were performed yesterday as heartfelt ballads are transformed into full blooded punk anthems, it’s a tribute to her songwriting that the material works so well in both styles. I can honestly say that this set was one of the highlights of the weekend.

Goldblade are playing their rabble rousing punk ‘n roll outside on the Tower Stage, their set coincides with an aerial display by Red Arrows aerobatic display team so you have the visual spectacle of formation jet fighters as background to their set. Despite the jet fighters a bare chested John Robb still easily wins in the volume stakes, he prowls the stage like a caged animal and as they close their set with Do You Believe In The Power of Rock ‘N Roll he leaves the stage and encourages those down the from to testify to this. From this point my plans go astray as there are so many fine bands playing simultaneously. Belfast’s The Defects play an outstanding set of full tilt punk rock in The Empress Ballroom and then it’s back outside to catch Citizen Fish playing their energetic politically sussed ska. Their infectious and energetic performance causes an outbreak of skanking towards the back of the audience despite this being the fourth day of the Rebellion Festival.

Rebellion 2016 Dirt Box Disco by Dod Morrison photographyDirt Box Disco have almost become an automatic choice to make an appearance at UK punk festivals, their set is comprised of their ever popular hard edged anthemic pop punk that is delivered with the mix of humour and visual spectacle. If they carry on as they are then it won’t be too long before you see Dirt Box Disco headlining festivals as they have filled the Tower Street stage to capacity and their is set is deliriously received. Back inside it’s time for a final lap of the stages, I catch Germany’s Bonsai Kitten  playing a set of full tilt rockabilly inspired punk rock, and the scantily clad singer Tiger Lilly Marleen delivers her vocals with a snarl whilst she prowls and shimmys across the stage.

Over on the introducing stage, the much talked about Heavy Drapes play a set of old school inspired punk rock to a packed crowd, based on the reception they receive I can see them playing to a bigger audience next year. One of the biggest disappointments of the weekend is the fact that Street Dogs have cancelled their European tour dates, but fear not as Cocksparrer have stepped into the breach to deliver their ‘hangover set’ after they headlined Saturday Night, of course their anthemic street punk stylings are as well received as you’d expect.

Rebellion 2016 Jello Biafra & the GSM by Dod Morrison photographyAt this point the blazing sunshine that has characterised the weekend gives way to the more usual British summertime and the heavens open and the wind and rain lash across Blackpool but this doesn’t deter either the crowd, or the bands. Incredible closing sets are delivered by Jello Biafra And The Guantanamo School of Medicine and Belfast’s finest, Stiff Little Fingers. I start to make my way home through the wind, rain and traffic jams, and if I’m honest I’m already counting the days until next year.

Blackpool is occasionally referred to as the Vegas of the North West, whilst I presume this is said by people who have never actually been to Las Vegas, Rebellion Festival has one thing in common with sin city, it is as busy in the early hours of the morning as it is during the day. I’m personally not a fan of Blackpool as a destination, it’s faded seaside grandeur and tackiness are usually something I would avoid, but for the four days of the Rebellion Festival there is nowhere on earth that I’d rather be.

Rebellion 2016 by Dod Morrison photographyIt’s not just the music that makes this such a special weekend, everyone seems to be friendly, friendships are made and renewed throughout the weekend in what has become an international punk festival. It’s not just the bands that have come from almost all corners of the world, the Rebellion Festival is a truly multinational affair, everywhere you go there are different languages and accents, it has become a magnet for the punk community and on the basis of the turnout the punk movement is clearly still alive and well. Every review of the Rebellion Festival you read will be different, there is so much to see, hear and do that everyone’s experience will be unique.

If you can attend this four day celebration of punk then you should, as there is nothing else like it on earth.

The Punk Site reviews of the Friday and Saturday at Rebellion Festival are here (Friday) and here (Saturday)

Tickets for the 2017 Rebellion Festival, that takes place between the 3rd and 6th of August 2017, can be ordered here

Photography by Dod Morrison