Well it has been a while since I posted here, I have been
busy working on a new bunch of ear candies for you delightful people.
First, I am back on the road playing guitar with UK Decay for a few concerts this year to mark the 40 year anniversary of the band. It has been five years now since UK Decay last played at the Blackpool rebellion Festival back in August 2014. The band is thus far booked to return once more to Wave Gottic Treffen in Leipzig Germany on Saturday June 8th 2019. A month later the band are set to play the Castle Festival in Wraclaw Poland on July 12th. There will of course be UK gigs to be announce for later in the year.
Whilst back in shape on the guitar once more I am currently
crashing out a bunch of new ideas on my updated DAW. I have upgraded this
lately so I have a heap of new software and stuff to aid my quest for the
ultimate auditory orgasm. I will be complementing my usual foray into
Intelligent Drum and Bass and Ambient Dub with new left of field compositions
using cutting edge software plugins and hardware effects. As always I will look
to the past to seek out a future that should have been and could never have
been within this current timeline. Yes at my time in life I have ideas coming
from all directions and I have seldom felt so good about my compositions. There
is some time to go yet before anything will be ready for public consumption but
currently I am reaching perhaps a couple albums worth with a different feel or
style on each. My working title for one of the collections is “Ear Flowers” but
that may change once published. It may be another year before I get this shit
out but I am sure the wait will be worth it.
I have made the decision to mix all of the new material in a
5.1 also called Surround format in a way to kind of future proof it. I will
also be recording my master files to the 192k bitrate, which currently is one
of the highest resolutions possible. All this is to guarantee the best possible
quality. In case you are wondering, there will also be the standard CD stereo quality.
Matt Hudson and Steve Spon discuss life in punk Luton back in the day.
I was featured recently in an Anglia TV special marking 40 years since the punk movement. This two part mini documentary series is about punk in the Eastern Counties and was hosted by Anglia TV’s Matt Hudson who was a big punk fan and UK Decay fan.
Matt was the same presenter who featured UK Decay and Bauhaus in “The Origins of Goth” feature back in 2014.
Also featured are Steve Ignorant from Crass, Charlie Harper from UK Subs and author and university lecturer Matt Worley whose new book No Future is an in-depth look at the effect punk had on politics and culture.
There are also some still shots of early 1980’s Luton Punks featured on the show taken from UK Decay’s Communities web archive.
Yesterday I returned to the Hat Factory Arts and Media Center in Luton to take part in an interview with Anglia TV’s Matt Hudson. He is a massive UK Decay fan and sent me a host of live tapes ten years ago when we were getting the UK Decay Communities website going.
Matt is putting together a show that highlights the birth of the punk movement in the Anglia region and what it was like growing up throughout the Punk era. It is something that he is quite knowledgeable about as he grew up in this scene himself. So we had a couple hour chat with edited highlights to be seen on the forthcoming production due out in the new year. Besides your truly Matt has interviewed Steve Ignorant , Chris Needs who played guitar for The Users in Cambridge, Matt Whorley whose book No Future has just been published by Cambridge University Press and Jonty Young who runs the Punk in the East website. There will also be a special emphasis on tales from the gig at the end of the pier, The West Runton Pavilion. So a lot to look forward to!
Please check back here or visit UK Decay ‘s family of websites for updates on this
I have a couple of tracks coming out on this forthcoming release due out in June 2017 on Cherry Red. This will be one of the most compelling Goth compilations ever to see the light of day.
On disc one, I co wrote and performed a song I brought to the mix after I was ‘poached ‘ by UK Decay from Pneumania in 1979 – ‘Black Cat’. This became one of the most enduring UK Decay live tracks during both the early and later periods. A few tracks later I appear with- IN Excelsis on a track called Carnival Of The Gullible’. I formed In Excelsis with Mark Bond and Errol Blythe formerly from Post Punk legends, Ritual and Colin Rocks who later joined Mark. E. Smith with The Fall.. Errol and Mark were left stranded after drummer Raymundo and Bassist Jamie were ‘poached’ by Ian Astbury form Southern Death Cult so after UK Decay split at the end of 1982. This was a weird period for me, I flirted with Gaynor and Rick from World Circus, Jammed with Rob from The Wall , then finally teaming up with Mark Errol and Colin to form IN Excelsis in 1983. Richard Anderson got in touch with me in 2016 explaining his interest in creating the ‘ultimate’ Gothic Rock compilation, so I digitally re-mastered ‘Black Cat’ especially for this compilation.
Below is a bit of ‘official’ blurb about the compilation
Cherry Red have announced the tracklisting for “Silhouettes and Statues” – A Gothic Revolution: 1978 – 1986 5CD collection, which is due 30th June. Silhouettes and Statues is described as “an era-defining journey through the gothic revolution that thrived in the underbelly of the UK’s music scene during the late 1970s and 1980s. From Joy Division’s haunted soul-searching to the wild, hairspray guzzling antics of Alien Sex Fiend and everything in-between, the myriad components of that time and place are brought together here for the first time in this kind of detail.”
The set comes in a deluxe hardback book format featuring 80+ tracks, with over 18,000 words of sleevenotes (including artist contributions) and unseen images.
Abbo and I will be at Luton’s Hat Factory Art’s and Media Centre on Friday 25th November to talk about Punk in the Luton area back in the late seventies. This is part of the “40 years of Punk” celebrations going down over November at that venue and widely across the country. I am hoping to put together a few slides of various characters, bands, venues, fanzines from Luton and the surrounding are during the late seventies early eighties period. Hopefully this inspire discussion among ourselves and the audience.
Then Justin Saban will join us and we shall perform a couple our punk platters ‘unplugged’ style. So after I have written this I had better dust off the cobwebs of my guitar and get practicing!
When are UK Decay returning for more gigs and recordings? – As part of the talk we shall be hosting a questions and answers session hopefully this question and many others will be answered!
Tickets are just £5.00 bookable in advance from here
I shall be calling in on the two punk music documentary s, “The Clash: Westway to the World & Dump it on Parliament Revisted” being shown at The Hat Factory Art and Media Centre in Luton on November 3rd. This being part of the Punk 1976 season…
November 2016 marks 40 years since the release of the Sex Pistols' debut single, Anarchy in the UK. To mark the anniversary of the movement, Luton Culture present a short season of Punk events. Punks influence and impact on Luton will be explored, as well as its continuing influence, from fashion to film, politics to identity, and, of course, music.
A film double bill.
The Clash: Westway to the World is a career retrospective of British punk band The Clash, featuring exclusive interviews with the entire band.
Dump It On Parliament Revisited tells the story of how in 1986 a group of Bedfordshire bands put together a music compilation tape to protest against a proposed nuclear waste dump near Elstow, and how that counter culture, DIY ethic still resonates for local bands and musicians today.
The film, created by Andy Willsher, meshes the past and the present, using interviews and original footage, and referencing the cut-up film making techniques that emerged in the Punk & Post Punk era in the late 1970s & 80s.
I make an appearance in the The Dump It On Parliament Revisited documentary a project I was significantly involved with and very much enjoyed over 2015.
Mathew Hudson’s ITV Anglia News piece featuring Bauhaus and UK Decay about the origins of the Gothic Rock genre in Luton and Northampton. Interviews with Bauhaus manager Graham Bentley, UK Decay’s Steve “Abbo” Abbott and myself…Steve Spon.
Also includes footage of a very early Bauhaus gig at the Romany Pub, Northampton. The TV piece was first shown 31 October 2014.
The location of the mixing room, rehearsal and interview footage was Sound Arc Studios in Shefford near Bedford, recorded summer 2014.
I shall be performing a small solo set alongside Irritant at my dear late friend’s Rising From The Greg tribute event at the Hat Factory in Luton on July 23rd. This is an event supporting local charities. Not too sure at this point, what exactly I am going to do on the night but I am brewing up some ideas that will involve my trusty guitar, we shall have to see what happens!
The entry is free.
I am looking forward to the Dump it on Parliament Revisited wrap party on Monday 20 June 2016, 8.00pm at Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre, which reflects on last years amazing project I had the honour of being involved with. On the night there will be an exclusive listen to the new post-punk compilation Dump It On Parliament Revisited before its public release on Friday 24 June. The album, which was recorded live last year at Leighton Buzzard Library Theatre, will be played alongside the first screening of the accompanying documentary film that explores Bedfordshire’s flourishing 1980’s post-punk scene.