Following on from the success of our folk disco, Peppermint Iguana once again are teaming up with the Green Gathering Campaigns crew for another gig featuring the best of the UK underground. On Saturday 14th April we present Spanner, Last Tree Squad and Taffy Twp – all in Newport’s top venue, Le Pub.
The gig will be a benefit for the anti-spycops campaign, which seeks justice for those that have been spied upon by the state for daring to question the power of the establishment.
Spanner are a long standing much respected anarcho-ska-punk outfit from Bristle, known as much for their political activity as their music. They are anything but angry shouty blokes though. Their uplifting ska chops blend seamlessly with high octane punk energy that have been picking up audiences and throwing them around dancehalls, squats and festivals for almost two decades now.
Much loved by the South Wales activist community Spanner are guaranteed to leave a trail of sweaty, exhausted, smiling punks in their wake.
LAST TREE SQUAD
The night will be the first appearance in Newport for Hereford’s Last Tree Squad. This seven piece collective have a love for all things dubby, mixing hip hop, reggae, raga, ska, jungle and dancehall.
Frontman Lofty, will be no stranger to long time Iguana watchers, having previously been part of the amazing Dubmerge and for a while was part of the backing band for West Wales’ dub diva Molara.
Whilst this will be their first visit to Newport, we are confident that their infectious brand of dance music will leave everyone wanting them back in the future.
Taffy Twp will be no stranger to many of you. His one man riot-folk-punk set will be his way of celebrating his 33+1/3 birthday. Come along and smile and punch the air with him to help him get the gig off to a flying start.
LE PUB, NEWPORT
Le Pub is a venue like no other in South Wales. It is a community owned venue that seeks to promote art, music, food and ideas. Their ethos is so right on it has inspired us to get back into gig promotion for this first time in over a decade. Come along and find out what all the fuss is about.
As the snows around South Wales slowly thaw, news comes in that Surplus Festival is being put on ice for 2018.
A statement from the organisers said:
“As some of you know, Surplus Festival has lost it’s site. We’ve been trying our best to find a suitable alternative but unfortunately we haven’t been successful. With the time constraints and some other issues we’ve had to make the difficult decision to put things on hold”.Continue reading SURPLUS FESTIVAL NOT ‘APPENIN’ IN 2018→
Captain Paranoid has branched out into the world of radio. And he is making a damn fine job of it.
Here is his second ‘Mind Your Head Radio Show’, broadcast live and direct from his cottage in the woods on the fringes of the South Wales Valleys. Its dirty, its sexy, its funky. If you like Peppermint Iguana radio – you will like this.
You can keep up to speed with his live broadcasts and stuff by going to his Facebook Page
Got into a chat about possibly the most famous gig ever to have taken place in Aberdare this week, so I thought I would use this as an excuse to blog about my memories of that infamous gig.
It was a benefit for the National Union of Mineworkers, who were at the time a few months into the soon to become historic year long strike against pit closures. The headline band was the legendary Crass.
It was to be a gig that would go down in punk folklore. Indeed it was a night I would never forget, but not for the reasons you might imagine.
So let’s go back to 11th July 1984
I went up with my mate Mike, who just happened to be a striking miner, all be it from a different valley, and his lady at the time, Sandra. Sandra drove.
We arrived nice and early because there were several bands on the bill we wanted to see – Flux of Pink Indians and Annie Anxiety. Tickets were a snip at two quid and the doors opened at 6pm.
We handed over our treasured tickets and looked around the Colosseum.
“Where’s the bar?” enquired Mike.
“There is no bar”, replied the NUM dude on the door doing his impression of a masonry toilet.
Mike and I exchanged glances, no words were needed. Pub. We wanted to see Annie Anxiety, but with a drink in our hands. So if that was not possible, a retreat to the nearest hostelry was in order.
A swift half pint soon turned into a swift half gallon. Ish.
We figured that Crass and the Flux would do the maximum of an hour set each, so calculating backwards from the time all civilised gigs end, 11pm, if we got back to the gig by 9pm we would catch the main event.
Of course this calculation was based on the fact that the hundreds of gigs we had previously been to were all in venues with a bar, and those days stop tap was 11pm – so 11pm was when the gig would finish.
But this venue did not have a bar. Our calculations for when the gig would finish were therefore based on a false assumption.
“What do you mean the gig is over?” Says a genuinely disbelieving Mike when we arrived at our pre-planned 9pm.
“I mean it’s fucking over, what did you think I meant?” asks the genuinely disbelieving brick shit house.
We then go through a conversation that started off with a demand that the band comes back on, quickly downgraded to a demand for money to be returned, then a bizarre debate about it being a gig for striking miners and Mike pointing out that he was a striking miner. I think he wanted more than just his two quid back.
It has to be said about Mike, he was not scared of anyone and more often than not, he did not need to be. There were occasions though when, actually, perhaps he should have been scared. This was one such occasion. He wasn’t though. Luckily for him I am a lover not a fighter and managed to calm the situation down and we headed back home, light of the two quid ticket money – this was 1984, you could get pissed on two quid back then. But unlike all the punks that had gone to the gig, we were lubricated. Compensation of sorts.
We returned to Blackwood the same united unit that had left a few short hours previously. Unlike Crass. They split up in the van in the way home. Karma is a bitch.
A few weeks later I spotted the aforementioned man mountain that had been on the door that night knocking out a police horse with one punch on a picket line. Mike was lucky to have a lover like me as a friend.
Blackwood’s most famous sons, the Manic Street Preachers return to the scene of their riotous gig in the Blackwood Little Theatre to film a video for their latest single, ‘Distant Colours’.
Whilst the band can sometimes appear to be a little aloof and media shy, it has to be said they have stayed close to their roots in the south wales valleys, often offering a helping hand behind the scenes with various artistic projects.
This can be demonstrated by this video which includes scenes shot in Mid Wales, the heads of the Valleys and in Blackwood itself.
It would be a little bit egotistical to review a gig we have promoted ourselves, so here is a blog post about the first Peppermint Iguana gig for fourteen years.
It started out as a simple enough idea, Peppermint Iguana were going to team up with the Green Gatherings Campaign Crew (well, Tom Fowler) to put on a show case of some of the artists than have been found performing on the ‘open mic’ that the Campaigns crew host at the annual green gathering in Chepstow.
We started off with booking the amazing Tarantism Folk Disco, who have blown minds at the last two Green Gatherings. Then we started talking to some of our other mates who had also played our stage. It was not long before we had a list of bands that, frankly, was quite ridiculous for one night. But hey, we aint nothing if not one big happy family and we could not chuck anyone off the list (we just had to stop Tom inviting anyone else when he was pissed).
To celebrate five years of ripping up stages all over the UK, Lacterilla teamed up with local promoters Pity My Brain to put on a party with a stellar line up in the legendary Clwb Ifor Bach.
When Wales play rugby at home, the streets of Cardiff can often resemble a scene out of a Zombie movie. And tonight was no exception. Navigating Westgate Street to get into the car park at the end of Womanby Street was a challenge to say the least. I pity the livers, never mind the brains of the numpties wandering around oblivious to traffic. I have seen cattle on Llantrisant Common with more road sense.
We eventually managed to get to Clwb just in time to catch Not Since The Accident say goodbye and thank you. We can’t comment on how good they were, but the already respectably sized crowd seemed to be happy with their shift.
The early kick off for the rugby meant that a good crowd had assembled by the time the first band came on and some of them were sufficently lubricated to be making plenty of noise.
These guys are big favourites of ours here at Iguana HQ. Whilst their sound is definitely rooted in classic seventies rock, they are named after a song by welsh legends Budgie after all, they put a modern twist on things. They are anything but a retro metal band. They groove and they grind and they rock. They shake their thang in a way that allows us to forgive them for having long hair.
Tonight they are on form, its pedal to the metal all the way, they leave nothing in the tank and leave us wondering how on earth any band could follow that.
After break to recover and get fresh air, Cybernetic Witch Cult are up. They are a plutonium rock band from the Gagrakacka Mind Zones – AKA Cornwall. They often step in when Disaster Area are unable to play the Restaurant at the end of the Universe.
Mixing tripped out psychedelic spaced rock with back projections of scenes from science fiction B-movies, they manage to take an art form that can all to often venture into embarrassing pomposity and keep it real and keep it fun.
They manage to pick up the baton passed to them by Milk and keep the gathered masses happy and keep the freak flag flying.
And then – the reason for the gathering – Lacertillia.
We have been catching these guys live since day one and it never fails to impress how they just keep improving every time we see them. The have drive, passion and energy. They are loud, they are in your face and relentless.
If the Cybernetic lads provide the soundtrack to the end of the universe, Lacertilla are the house band in a sleazy post-apocalyptic biker club. Not quite Mad Max, more Mad Taff.
Their usual intensity has everyone shaking. But then things take a turn towards the exotic when two scantily clad young ladies climb up on stage and shake their booties, sending some of the crowd crazy with lust.
The boy Fry does his usual trick of walking into the crowd to break down all the barriers between crowd and band, but on this occasion, pulls something out of the PA and we lose vocals. He climbs back on stage and the band Fire up the Engine of God, but without the usual vocals. At first it seems odd, but the lack of vocals just drive the boys on to give an added intensity to the number to make up for it.
For a finale we get the band one by one surfing their way out over the crowd as the party comes to an end, we wander out into zombie land, which suddenly looks quite sane.
We have dusted off another classic inteview and added it to this website – Tarantism from 2007
It was to be a telephone call we would never forget, yet like most things momentous, it started out innocently enough. Back in 1997 as I sat with the then Mrs Iguana thinking about names for the as yet unborn second Iguana baby, the phone rang. “Hi Clint, it’s Mel. We are looking for gigs in South Wales.” Phone calls often started like that in those days. As I put the phone down, “who was that?” enquired Mrs Iguana. “Tarantism” I replied. “What on earth is one of them then”. “As it happens, I don’t know, I will look it up”. As I leafed my way through the dictionary I was struck by inspiration. Thus Tara Iguana was named.
Tarantism immediately became indispensable members of the extended Iguana family. Fast forward to 2007, we sat down with Tarantism in the back of their van for an interview. Fast forward to 2018 and we have Tarantism booked to play a gig for us in Le Pub, Newport. So we thought it about time to dust off that old interview and upload it to this ere website.
You may have heard the Peppermint Iguana crew are getting back into promoting after a break of 14 years. First up, we are teaming up with the Green Gathering Campaigns Crew to put on a gig in Le Pub on the 10th February with a shed load of really cool artists, including the amazing Tarantism Folk Disco to finish the night off.
‘What be a folk disco?’ I hear you all you cry. Well, rest assured, it’s not a bloke in an Aron jumper playing Stealer’s Wheel records. It is Mel and Magnus from that Tarantism playing disco music in a folk style.
‘Who are Mel and Magnus?’ I hear less of you cry. For those of you not cool enough to know, Mel and Magnus are the Posh and Becks of the celtic-ska-punk-funk-dance scene and have been at the core of legendary festival band Tarantism for over twenty years now. In addition they gig as a duo, Magnus wears capes on stage with Hawkwind and as well as doing cheesy discos, Mel makes the finest vegan cheese this side of Vegania.
Still want to know more? Fear not, in the run up to our gig, Mel and Magnus are dropping into the Dapper FM studio to take over the Peppermint Iguana Radio show.
You can expect some of their own tunes, some unreleased tunes by other bands recorded in their Rockaway Studios – and no doubt many more treats for your heads hearts and feets.
Our 16th January show went down a storm, we had hippies in Cwmcarn dancing whilst pickling Beetroot, gig photographers in Surrey sat in their van and anarchists from Newport sat in their mother’s front room.
We also paid tribute to fallen stars, hot pre-releases and a preview of our gig in Le Pub on 10th February. Mel and Magnus of that Tarantism Folk Disco, who be playing that gig, will be dropping in to take over our next show on 30th January.
To hear what it sounded like, pour yourself your favourite tipple and click on the linkety link below
Ace of spades: BY MOTORHEAD
The sun, the moon: BY GOAT
Riding east: BY DUBMATIX WITH SLY AND ROBBIE
Death race: BY CLUSTERFUCK
Free spirits: BY MERCURIUS RISING
Disrespect: BY THE DEFEKTERS
Brickfield nights: BY THE BOYS
Soldiers of dub: BY DUBALIZER
El doggo speaks out: BY THE DOG FACED HERMANS
Nostrovia: BY SCUM OF TOYTOWN
Everybody’s boogie: BY DOMMENGANG
Flesh eater version: BY BEANNIE AND THE CO-OPERATORS
It’s quite possible that many of you will have seen Ninjah perform live and not have realised it. He is the dude with the white dread locks often seen around Cardiff city centre playing random objects, such as bins or benches, with his ever present drum sticks.
Question: What do you get when you put a shed load of Cardiff’s most unhinged creative types in a room together? Answer: Clusterfuck. And this is their latest release. Thirteen slices of deranged floor fillers.
The biggest problem with ‘techno’ (or whatever you want to call it) is that many artists find their killer beat and just rework it time and time again resulting in – erm – repetitive beats. Clusterfuck can never be accused of falling into that trap.
What we have here just shy is fifty minutes of phat beats and dope breaks that get ya ass shaking and head spinning, with each track taking you in a new direction. The common denominator is that the bass lines are deep and heavy throughout, causing involuntary bobbing up and down but the BPM counter always manages to stay below the red line of ‘gabba’.
It helps to fend of the repetitiveness by bringing in a host of ‘special guests’. Efa Supertramp, Keef It Real, Captain Hotknives and Donald Trump are just some of the crew that help this paddle this album down the crazy river. Their irreverence and cheeky sense of humour also prevents this becoming just another boring techno record. Nothing is too serious, too hot or too heavy for these guys.
Drugs, death and Swansea are just a few of the topics covered here. They somehow manage to demonstrate that they are anti-establishment without really saying it. They are probably anarchists but don’t even know it, cos they are too busy having a party to contemplate shit like that. Which is how it should be really.
Get it on, bang a gong, get it on – ow – get it on.
One day, in the dim and distant future, Efa Supertramp will sit down, take a breather, or even possibly sleep. Until then, she is gonna run around fuelled on adrenalin with fingers in all sorts of pies, like this latest project, Killdren.
John Baine (AKA Attila) is not really a Stockbroker. Ray Burns is neither a Captain, nor Sensible. Rhiannon Crutchley, however, really is a Brewer’s Daughter.
When not helping dad out with bottling craft beers her time is split between recording and gigging on her own as The Brewer’s Daughter, playing fiddle with Tarantism, touring with the likes of Back to the Planet and Hawkwind, or just sailing up and down the canal in the narowboat she calls home. She even played the legendary 100 club in 2017. Continue reading THE BREWER’S DAUGHTER: Make Believe (Self Released 2016)→
This is a warts and all documentary reviewing the rise and fall of nineties mega stars, Oasis. Within less than three years they rose from playing in pubs to headlining Knebworth.
Oasis were one of the most over rated and under talented bands the UK has ever produced. Filling arenas with ‘lads’ who had bought into the band, but ultimately a magnificent triumph of style over substance.
With the Winter Solstice around the corner we thought it appropriate to get into party mose so for this show we got loads of choons you can dance to, from ska, folk and punk to full on afrocelticdubdiddlyfolkravecore.
For good measure we chucked in a few alternative seasonal choons, a sneak preview of what is coming your way from Merthyr Rising 2018, some good causes to donate to this christmas and the announcement ofthe first PEPPERMINT IGUANA GIG in many years
Listen again below
Crash and burn: BY EAT STATIC
Skank for Christmas: BY BIG REEL FISH
Walk this land: BY THE EZ ROLLERS
Babylons burning: BY ZION TRAIN
Area code: BY DREADZONE
Hell in M13: BY THE AUTONOMADS
Sons and daughters: BY CAPTAIN SKA
The house that austerity built: BY BEANS ON TOAST
Donkey jaw: BY KING KONG COMPANY
Alcoholic drinks: BY FAB SAMPERI
At home for Christmas: COSMO AND FLAPSANDWICH
I don’t want an i pad: BY SKINNNER AND TWITCHETT
Byker hill: BY KILNABOY
Mr Trump: BY BAD SAM
Cheese and bread: BY DAVID ROVICS
Won’t buy it: BY REGIME
Baneswell express: BY GOLDIE LOOKIN CHAIN
Sex and drugs and rock and rol: BY IAN DURY AND THE BLOCKHEADS
To help Dapper FM celebrate ten years on air, on 5th December we embarked on a three hour radio odyssey showcasing as many of our mates as we could.
No golden oldies or hidden gems just mates from the DIY underground. It was impossible to fit all of our mates on, so apologies for those that missed out. However, a few of those missing from the list can be found on our round up of 2017 show and there will be more on our festive knees up on 19th December.
Putting the play list together was quite humbling. We feel privileged to count so many damn fine creative musicians in our extended Iguana family. Our hats off to you all.
So, if you want to hear the show again (and you do, trust us) check out the mixycloud thang below
Rise up: BY THE MOB
Dr Benway: BY HEADJAM
Electro tribal: BY SAMP DEAP
Dissident dub: BY BLACK STAR DUB COLLECTIVE
Union man: BY THEE FACTION
Strike occupy resist: BY COSMO
Hard times: BY THE SPORADICS
Black dues: BY DREADZONE
Mercurius rising: BY MERCURIUS RISING
All my friends: BY THE BREWERS DAUGHTER
All my friends are freedom fighters: BY EFA SUPERTRAMP
Freedom fighters: BY SPANNER
Uncontrollable: BY THE REBEL SPELL
Kick out: BY BACK TO THE PLANET
Dubrevolution: BY THE DEFEKTERS
I drank the levellers rider: BY TARANTISM
Dirty field whore: BY MUDDY SUMMERS AND THE DIRTY FIELD WHORES
Millionaires: BY PHAT BOLLARD
Money is not our god dub: BY KILLING JOKE
Last of the high rollers: BY SUNS OF THUNDER
Barefoot in the car park: BY SUZI CHUNK AND THE GROOVY UNCLE
Liar liar 2017: BY CAPTAIN SKA
Jah war dub: BY RUTS DC
Tottenham three: BY AOS3
Smash it dub: BY DUB THE EARTH
Surplus people: BY RADICAL DANCE FACTION
Sky high: BY CULTURE SHOCK
Arcade perfect: BY SONIC BOOM SIX
Heaven’s wrath: BY INNER TERESTRIAL
Riot sound system: BY PRIMEVAL SOUP
Too far gone: BY THE WITCHES DRUM
I loves the port: BY BAD SAM
I love reggae: BY DIRTY REVOLUTION
Trojan city love: BY DUB CITY ROCKERS
Stay free edit: BY THE CLASH
As usual, high five to our sponsors, UNISON, the union for public service groovers