On 29th April thousands of music lovers marched through Cardiff under the banner ‘Save Womanby Street’. What’s that all about and why should we care?
In this globalised world it is increasingly difficult to tell apart different town and city centres. High streets are dominated by chain stores and local pubs are becoming a rarity, with corporate bars with names like the Slug and Lettuce becoming the norm. Whetherspoons rule the world as the bulk buying power of identikit chains force old skool family pubs out of business.
The towns and cities that are interesting, the ones that are worth visiting, are the ones that have their own character and home grown culture. Culture is the beating heart of a city, without culture the city dies. But culture cannot be manufactured. It has to grow organically from the grass roots, with its foundations in the local community.
Music, art and culture have for decades led the way for the regeneration of run down communities. Previously ignored districts suddenly become vibrant places where people want to live.
Ironically, vultures are never far behind, swooping in to develop properties in areas that are now suddenly sought after and ‘gentrification’ kicks in.
If you thought ‘Mad Max’, ‘Crocodile Dundee’ and ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’ were the only films ever to come out of Australia you would be wrong. There is a whole genre out there, ‘Ozploitation’, whichwhich has passed most of the world by. Not Quite Hollywod tells you what you have been missing.
It will come as no surprise that, as with much of Australian culture, subtlety is in short supply and excess is the word.
Fast cars, naked women, a bus full of nuns on fire, fast cars, lesbian cannibals, stuntmen being killed, fast cars, live mice dressed up as kangaroo foetuses, former Bond Star George Lazenby getting burned, naked women, real life punch ups with Hells Angels, gallons of fake blood, several pints of real blood, vomit and fast cars. It’s all here in this rip roaring tale of chaos, madness and celluloid anarchy. Continue reading NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD (Madman Entertainment 2008)→
Tredegar’s six legged Sandinistas continued their rise to the top with a blistering set for young members of UNISON, the union for public service groovers, in Cardiff’s Ten Feet Tall.
Fresh from playing South by Southwest in Texas and string of sold out shows in the UK, the Sandinistas showed they have not forgotten their roots by playing the launch party for UNISON Cymru Wales’ Charter for Young Member’s.
They may stand like the Clash, walk like the Clash and be named after a Clash album (or maybe the South American rebels), but their music is fresh and original, taking only the energy and enthusiasm from the Clash sound.
With high octane guitar laid over machine gun drumming and menacing bass, they lay down a sound that has enough punk sensibility to remind the older members of the crowd of their youth. But they also have a clean sophistication to their sound that will entertain the younger audience, who demand more than the three chord wonders of the past.
They tore through their set with confidence and swagger, but still found time between numbers to interact with the audience and big up the cause they had come to promote. As they put it, ‘You can’t spell UNISON, without U and I’.
They had the gathered masses gyrating and smiling from ear to ear; from their tyre smoking start, through their ‘Ready to Blow’ single, right up to the end of the set.
The problem with being in a new band is that you can get caught out. If you blow your entire repertoire of songs in your main set, what do you do when the crowd demand an encore? Well in this case, we were given Johnny Cash’s ‘Folsom Prison Blues’ – on steroids. Then, by way of punishment for Mark Turner of UNISON for trying to be a young member, he is dragged up on stage to give us a rendition of the Undertones ‘Teenage Kicks’.
Watch out for the Sandinistas when they play Merthyr Rising 26th to 28th May, the festival sponsored by UNISON. You never know, Mark Turner might be up on stage again – he has got a month to actually learn the words!
Show sponsored by www.unisoncwmtaflocalgov.wales
1. Janie Jones: BY THE CLASH
2. Janie Jones: BY CRIME FACTOR ZERO
3. Skankrobber: BY CARA MEANS FRIEND
4. Something wrong with the right: BY THE CHALK OUTLINES
5. Alchoholic drinks: BY SAMP BROTHERS
6. Punk wedding: BY NINA HAGEN
7. Sound and vision: B DAVID BOWIE
8. Barefoot in the carpark: BY SUZY CHUNK
9. Down the sewer: BY THE STRANGLERS
10. No time: BY THE SAINTS
11. Serve me: BY THE CABINET OF MILLIONAIRES
12. Hotter: BY THE GENTLEMAN’S DUB CLUB
13. Give it some beans: BY DEAD AT TWENTY SEVEN
14. Why so seagullrious: BY BANKRUPT PUG
15. Anarcho trustafarian: BY COSMO AND FLAPSANDWICH
16. DSP: BY THE SPORADICS
17. Area code: BY DREADZONE
18. Roxette: BY DR FEELGOOD
19. Progress: BY PUBLIC SERVICE BROADCASTING
20. True sons of Zion: BY THIEVERY CORPORATION
21. Salt: BY THE BIGGEST THING SINCE POWDERED MILK
22. The biggest thing since powdered milk: BY BUDGIE
23. Police and thieves: BY JUNIOR MURVIN