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

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Hi-Fi Spitfires Release ‘Doors To The USA’ EP

hi Fi Spitfires DTTUThe Hi-Fi Spitfires have released a brand new five track EP, Doors To The USA, that is now available to order from the band. 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.

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

The video for the title track from the Doors To The USA EP can be viewed below Read More…

Hi-Fi Spitfires To Release New EP ‘Doors To The USA’

hi Fi Spitfires DTTUHi Fi Spitfires have announced they will release their new five track EP, Doors To The USA, next month, the new EP is the first new material from the band since the release of their critically acclaimed Nightraid LP in 2014. The official launch party for the EP will take place at the The Doll at the Black Bull, Gateshead on the 30th December with support from Loaded 44 and Pitbull. Doors To The USA will be available at their live shows and direct from the band, Hi-Fi Spitfires will also be releasing a numbered limited edition red vinyl edition of their debut album, England Screaming, later this year.

The Punk Site review of Nightraid can be read here

Hi Fi Spitfires website can be found here and their Facebook page is here

Hi-Fi Spitfires Confirm 2017 German Tour Dates

hi-fi-spitfires-tour-dec-16The Hi Fi Spitfires have confirmed they will be touring Germany in March 2017, they recently issued a limited edition vinyl run, of only 300 copies, of their sophomore album, Nightraid. The vinyl is available for £12 and can be bought from the band at their shows, the vinyl, and the CD, can also be ordered from the band where payment can be made via Paypal, you can contact Hi-Fi Spitfires via Facebook here.

The Punk Site review of Nightraid can be read here

Hi-Fi Spitfire‘s website can be found here and you can view the tour dates below Read More…

Hi-Fi Spitfires Release Limited Edition Vinyl Of ‘Nightraid’ LP

nightraidThe Hi Fi Spitfires have issued a limited edition vinyl run, of only 300 copies, of their sophomore album, Nightraid. The vinyl is available for £12 and can be bought from the band at their shows, including their March 2017 tour of Germany, it can also be ordered from the band where payment can be made via Paypal, you can contact Hi-Fi Spitfires via Facebook here.

The Punk Site review of Nightraid can be read here

You can also contact Hi-Fi Spitfire‘s via their website here

Rebellion 2016

Rebellion Festival (Saturday)

Winter Gardens, Blackpool, UK

6th August 2016

Rating: 5/5




For Saturday the sun has continued to shine and another full day of punk rock beckons, whilst waiting for the Winter Gardens to open it’s doors I enjoy a coffee whilst sat next to a lifesize mannequin of Elvis Presley and watch some morris dancers, who resemble nothing less than a pack of dysfunctional crows, this is pretty much the epitomy of Blackpool’s tackiness. Thankfully the Rebellion Festival offers a welcome alternative to the town’s traditional attractions. The only problem is that there is so much on over the weekend that you will continually be stuck with difficult choices throughout the event, immediately I am confronted with a choice between The Pukes and STP Records legends, Spunk Volcano And The Eruptions. I opt for the former purely on the basis that I caught Spunk Volcano at Manchester’s North West Calling festival earlier this year.

The Pukes are holding a ‘pop up’ event where the audience are encouraged to join the band to form a punk ukulele orchestra, word has clearly spread as a healthy crowd turns up. The workshop culminates in a bizarre cover of The Exploited‘s Sex And Violence, presumably chosen as it contains three chords and three words. I can happily declare I am now officially a part time puke and can claim to have played the Rebellion Festival, this marked a slightly surreal but highly enjoyable start to the day. The first band that I’m not a part of that I catch are Choking Susan, they provide a blistering hardcore barrage and possess a visually captivating vocalist. Hands Off Gretel, who are playing the Introducing Stage, have attracted a sizeable crowd and treat their audience to a raucous set that sounds like it’s informed by the riot grrrl movement and the finer female fronted punk bands. Their set leaves me wanting to hear more by them and I’d be surprised if they aren’t playing to a bigger crowd the next time they play the Rebellion Festival.

Interrobang play a set that combines ska and old school punk rock, uniquely with no bass player, that is a contemporary hybrid of punk styles to produces an intriguing sound that brings something unique to the weekend. Then it’s over the outdoor Tower Stage for something far more predictable, Gimp Fist are veterans of the punk festival scene, they play their rousing set of street punk with it’s infectious choruses that is very well received by a beer fuelled crowd who are enjoying the warm sunny afternoon. I return inside as I’ve been meaning to catch the Hi-Fi Spitfires ever since I heard Backfire, my favourite song from their sophomore album Nightraid, and they don’t disappoint. They deliver a set that mainlines the first wave of British punk, they play to a respectable crowd and down the front there is collection of hardcore fans pogoing for all they are worth. Hi-Fi Spitfires frontman, Steve Straughan seems to be an ever present over the course of the weekend, this is his second appearance after playing with Loaded 44 yesterday and he will be making his final appearance of the weekend when he appear with the UK Subs later today.

Rebellion 2016 bar stool preachers by dod morrison photographyBarstool Preachers are another band I’ve been meaning to see live since I reviewed their excellent debut album, Blatant Propaganda. Their ska fuelled set is played to a capacity crowd in a packed and sweaty Pavillion Stage. Inflatable footballs make their first appearance of the weekend and are frantically being batted round the stage by the ebullient crowd. Much to my surprise Barstool Preachers are actually better live than they are on record and I’d seriously recommend catching them live if you get the chance.

Rebellion 2016 Jilted John by Dod Morrison PhotographyJilted John, best known for their eponymous hit single, are playing the Empress Ballroom and I presume most of the crowd are here on the strength of hearing that live. They tease the audience by opening with the instantly recognisable riff before stopping dead, and heading into a set of lovelorn poppy punk,  which inevitably ends with their classic single. Vince Ray And The Boneshakers are paying their mutated take on rock ‘n roll, the distorted guitar riffs blend rockabilly with a jagged punk edge and inject a little rock ‘n roll into the weekend.

Louise Distras is playing the Almost Acoustic Stage, the first of her two sets this weekend, the and the venue is rammed front to back, she plays her heartfelt songs with her customary passion. She plays songs that is centred around alienation, unity and defiance that can only come straight from the heart, each number receives a deservedly rousing reception. I return outdoors to the Tower Stage to catch GBH playing a highly charged set of their UK82 hardcore that warms the audience up nicely for tonight’s headline act. The Damned occupy the prestigious Saturday night headline slot. In this 40th anniversary of punk who better than the band who released the first punk single and album, were the first to split up, the first to reform and now they are one of the few from the first wave of punk who are still in existence.

Rebellion 2016 The Damned by Dod Morrison PhotographyThe current line up of The Damned, the most stable in their turbulent forty year history, are better live than they’ve ever been and the stars have aligned for their appearance at Rebellion Festival. Tonight’s show for me was even more impressive than their triumphant fortieth anniversary show at the Royal Albert Hall. They play an energetic set culled largely from their first five albums, and although there are no songs from their eagerly anticipated new album, no one is complaining. Their deliver an energetic crowd pleasing set, the sound is perfect, the weather is perfect and even after all this time they clearly love playing together.

By now I’m limping quite badly so my decision for one of the later sets is made, Jello Biafra is being interviewed by John Robb, well I say interviewed, he rarely gets a word in as Jello Biafra is an animated and entertaining speaker. Of course politics are discussed, the candidacy of Donald Trump was never going to be the elephant in the room, but there also insights into origins of the American Punk scene and the early days of the Dead Kennedys. This is the end of the Saturday for me, although there are still events going on late into the night. My planned early night goes west as my taxi driver turns out to be an old punk and we spend a good thirty minutes outside the hotel discussing our favourite bands and songs, it’s been the kind of weekend.

The Punk Site review of the Friday at Rebellion Festival can be found here

Photography by Dod Morrison

Beki Straughn 1

Chaos 8, Hi-Fi Spitfires, Loaded 44 & UK Subs

Beki And Steve Straughan

Angelic Upstarts, Chaos 8, Hi-Fi Spitfires, Loaded 44, UK Subs, Holy Racket, Symbient, The Last Gang
By on July 2016 at e-mail




Beki and Stephen Straughan are possibly the hardest working couple in punk rock at the moment, Beki is active in Chaos 8, Stephen, also known as Steve Racket, is active in Hi Fi Spitfires and the Angelic Upstarts, and has recently become the guitarist for the UK Subs, as if that wasn’t enough both of them are in Loaded 44. I managed to catch them in a rare quiet moment to get an insight into what the future has in store for us from this industrious couple.

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loaded 44 CO

Loaded 44

Come On!

STP Records

Rating: 4/5




Loaded 44 were formed two decades ago in the North East of the UK, the members are all prolific songwriters and are active in numerous bands, including Hi-Fi Spitfires and Chaos 8, making them something of a grass roots punk supergroup. Come On! is Loaded 44‘s sophomore album, it is the follow up to their impressive debut, Wasted On You. Sadly that album is no longer available, but Come On! gives those who missed out a chance to hear this excellent quartet.

Loaded 44 take their influences from late 70’s punk rock and new wave, the eleven tracks that make up Come On! are buzzsaw guitar pop punk tracks, that’s not pop punk as in four trendy haircuts marketed as punky by a major label, but a collection of infectious razor sharp punk songs which build to catchy choruses. Musically the album contains an impressive array of guitar riffs and hooks that are layered over a tight backline, whilst Beki Straughn‘s trademark powerful vocals carry the melody. This combination makes Come On! an irresistible and exuberant punk rock album that conveys an authentic attitude and intensity on every track on the album, throughout the length of Come On! Loaded 44 maintain an impressively high energy level that only drops when the final chord fades away.

Obvious comparisons for any female fronted punk band would the likes of Blondie and The Epoxies, Loaded 44 are less poppy than the former and not as retro as the latter, they balance punk sensibilities and whilst they embrace the past, they certainly aren’t living in it. My only concern would be that as the members of Loaded 44 have so many irons in the fire that it may be a while before we see another release from them.

Come On! can be ordered from STP Records or directly from the Loaded 44 website here


Hi-Fi Spitfires


Bullet Teeth Records

Rating: 4/5




Hi-Fi Spitfires are a punk band from North East England, Nightraid is their sophomore album and follows on from their 2010 debut England Screaming. They have been flying in close formation since 2008, their debut album was impressive but Nightraid feels like an altogether more accomplished beast. Hi-Fi Spitfires are unsurprisingly heavily influenced by the likes of Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash and The Ruts, but that’s not to say that they are some dated anachronism, they take their lead from the first wave of punk rock but they have taken it and made it there own, as a result Nightraid is a contemporary slightly harder edged interpretation.

Nightraid‘s opener, Backfire, is an impressive start, it’s all upfront attack with a great guitar hook and fist pumping chorus. The album then heads in a more brutal direction until you get to the Battlefield Of Dreams, this track boasts an anthemic chorus and drops back to being closer to the old school that influenced them. The two aforementioned tracks are my personal favourites but there isn’t a weak track on Nightraid, all twelve rounds hit their targets. Amongst the rousing punk rock there are touches of dub that compliment the full tilt punk rock perfectly, this, and the variation in the tempo and style of the tracks, prevent this album from ever becoming repetitive.

What’s impressive is the fact that Hi-Fi Sptfires are a trio, they sound like there’s a full squadron behind them and the attack they have achieved though just two guitars is very impressive. This is a very accomplished album from a band that are grass roots DIY punk rock, that alone would be a reason to support them but forget about that for a moment, just focus on the fact that this is a great album regardless of how it came into being. As long as bands like Hi-Fi Spitfires are keeping the grass roots of punk alive and well then we’ll know our scene is in safe hands. Mission accomplished

Nightraid can be ordered directly from Hi-Fi Spitfires here