Category Archives: archive

CRASS: My part in their downfall – Aberdare 11/07/84

Crass, last ever gig, Aberdare, 1984

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.

Here is a blog from someone that did not go down the pub that night

TARANTISM INTERVIEW: Archive interview dug out, dusted off and uploaded

The Tarantmobile

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.

On 30th January Mel and Magnus will be joining us on the Peppermint Iguana Radio show, no doubt we will be filling in some of the gaps.

A THOUSAND SUNS: Destroycreate EP

A THOUSAND SUNS  Destroycreate EP (2007)
With so many decent ‘rock’ bands around in South Wales at the moment it takes something special to stand out from the crowd. You could be original, well there is nothing spectacularly original about this lot; you could be heavier than anything that has gone before, well they aint gone down that route either; or you can just outshine everybody else with your talent.

Now then…. this is where these boys stand out. Nothing too fancy, nothing pompous, nothing excessive, they have just taken a tried and tested formula of slightly metallic rock, filed off all the rough edges and polished it so you can see your face in it.

It is adventurous enough to be interesting and although we have already said it is not particularly original, it has to be said they do have thier own sound and don’t sound like anyone else. It is slightly understated but then they don’t need to scream and play at a million miles an hour to prove anything.

You get the impression though that if they really wanted to they could be an air guitarists wet dream. Nice chunky rhythms to get you grooving with slick guitar licks over the top, complimented by vocals where you can actually understand what the vocalist is signing. Not normally our sort of thing but we would be more than happy for this to sit on our shelves.

ASTRALASIA: Volumes 1+2

ASTRALASIA Volumes 1&2 (Voiceprint) 2004
Before becoming major players on the UK underground trance/rave scene, Astralasia were a side project for members of the Magic Mushroom Band. This disc is a collection of the first two cassette only releases, originally released back in 1988/89 when they played events alongside such artists as the Shamen and Mixmaster Morris.

Volume One is laid back psychedelic hippyish stuff that would have come under the banner ‘Ambient House’; more chill out lounge than dance floor. Continue reading ASTRALASIA: Volumes 1+2

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE AND THE MELTING PARADISO U.F.O. Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream Of Electric Tapirs

ACID MOTHERS TEMPLE AND THE MELTING PARADISO U.F.O. Does The Cosmic Shepherd Dream Of Electric Tapirs (Space Age Recordings) 2004

We here on Planet Iguana are determined to say “ hey man, have you heard, Acid Mothers Temple, they are well cool.” We are determined to like a band with a name that crazy… and no doubt we will persist in trying to like them for some time to come, and waste money on several more albums before we give up on them. But is going to be a long hard journey, because they are so damn wigged out it is unbelievable.

If this were on vinyl, we would check to see if it was playing backwards. They have released a shed load of albums, with different line-ups like some dysfunctional family living in a commune on Mars, there must be something listenable out there.

Our problem has recently been compounded by catching them live and discovering they are actually truly amazing on stage… but finding anything on disc to compare is hard work!


ALABAMA THREE: Outlaw (One Little Indian) 2005
Ten years and five albums in, this Brixton posse get better and better. They take their fascination for all things wild west to its natural conclusion and conjure up tails of train robberies, outlaws, gospel, six shooters and men who gotta do what a mans gotta do.

Their bluesy country techno rolls out of the speakers like the sound of an acid barn dance coming from the windows of the only saloon in a ghost town. These boys aint bothered about being in fashion, which is just as well cos their sound is peerless in its originality, nothing like it has gone before no one has dared to follow in their footsteps. A concept album? Maybe, but without all the pomposity that the term normally invokes. Down to earth rock ‘n roll that does not need to throw its weight around, it just leans up against the bar sipping bourbon and you know not to fuck with it. It gets the ladies arses moving left to right and the gangsters at the back feeling alright, all night

AKAHUM Electwistery

AKAHUM Electwistery (Worldvenue) 2007
It can be very difficult to get an ‘organic’ vibe going when making music with predominantly electronic ‘instruments’. Akahum have a bloody good go though and on the whole manage to pull it off.

The strange thing with this album is that, depending what mood you are in, it can be different things. Sometimes it is a psychedelic rock album, sometimes it is a techno album and sometimes it is a chill out album… and sometimes it is all of those things at the same time. Continue reading AKAHUM Electwistery


1,2,3,4 (2011)


1234 is a tale of young love disguised as a film about a young indie band dreaming of making it big – but it might possibly be the other way around. Bespectacled guitarist Stevie (Ian Bonar) together with his mate Neil (Matthew Baynton) attempt to break out of the hum drum existence of working in a call centre by forming a band. First they recruit the slightly older and more experienced Billy (Kieran Bew) and slightly scatty bassist Emily (Lyndsey Marshal) – who moonlights as an artist, making sculptures out of hair and creating maps based on a day following strangers around.

The band rehearse in what appears to be a church hall, play gigs in pubs, lay down a demo and send it off to every record company they can think of – then build up a collection of rejection letters from said record companies. Continue reading 1,2,3,4



a bit of tom jones
a bit of tom jones

The basic plot of A Bit Of Tom Jones is based around the flims idea of a guy buying Tom Jones cock in a pub and spending the rest of the film trying to sell it to rich perverts that collect celebrity body parts. (Which is, of course, not unusual). It is a cross between Twin Town, Satellite City and a Carry On movie. On times the plot is – well – just plain silly, but there are a considerable number of scenes that produce all out belly laughs. Porn cinemas, brothels run by grannys in the middle of a valley terrace, police stations, helicopters and dumper trucks all some how fit into the story.

Featuring everyone’s favourite dirty granny, Margaret John (Gavin and Stacy, High Hopes), Denise Welch (Waterloo Road, Coronation Street), Johnny Owen (Shameless and a fans view of the Cardiff City in the FA Cup) and the legendary Geno Washington, it is a reminder of how much talent is about in Wales at the moment. Continue reading A BIT OF TOM JONES



beware of mr baker
beware of mr baker

Ginger Baker is often cited as the best rock drummer in history. This a description that sends Mr Baker into fits of rage; he considers rock legends like John Bonnham and Keith Moon with contempt – not fit to lace his shoes – because he is not a rock drummer, he is a jazz drummer.

Beware of Mr Baker is a well constructed documentary tells the story of the rollercoaster ride that Baker has ridden for the last seventy plus years. Warts and all. And boy are there some warts. Continue reading BEWARE OF MR BAKER


BLACK POWER MIX TAPE 1967-1975 (2011)

clack power mix tape
clack power mix tape

Compiled from 16mm footage that had been lying undiscovered in the cellar of Swedish Television for 30 years, this film documents the US Black Power movement from 67 to 75. Broken neatly into a chapter for each year, it tells us chronologically of the struggle for civil rights in a society that claimed to be all for equality and freedom, but clearly was not.

We get footage of Malcom X, Martin Luther King, Stokely Carmichael, Eldridge Cleaver, Bobby Seale, and Angela Davis, speaking from platforms, giving interviews and just hanging around; together with ‘ordinary’ black people discussing the struggle to just get by in  ‘the land of freedom of opportunity’. Continue reading BLACK POWER MIX TAPE 1967-1975


EXIT THROUGH THE GiFT SHOP: AKA The Banksy Movie (2010)

banksy movie
banksy movie

“Banksy is a sell out”. So reads the graffiti scrawled across the wall. Is this true? Well, he has certainly progressed from being an unknown street artist to an internationally renowned (all be it still anonymous) street artist that can put on sell out exhibitions, shift books by the shed load and – now – make his own films.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is, on the face of it, a documentary made by Banksy about a guy that tried to make a film about Banksy but messed it up so Banksy made a film about him. There is no point getting too bogged down in the plot because to be honest, it is difficult to tell if it is a genuine documentary or if it is another one of Banksy’s magnificent pranks. Continue reading EXIT THROUGH THE GIFT SHOP



the great hip hop hoaxwers
the great hip hop hoaxwers

This is the true story of two Scottish rappers, Silibil ‘n’ Brains, tired of the music industry not taking them seriously, who move to London, put on fake American accent, pretend to be from California and dupe the entire music industry into taking them on. On the face of it an amusing, if not entirely original story. But it soon develops into something very deep and thought provoking.

We start with the boys gigging around their home town of Dundee and trying to get signed. No label was interested. Then, for a laugh, they made some phone calls with an American accent and told people they were from California. Quicker than you can say “apple pie” they are signed to Sony records, playing gigs at Brixton Academy and blowing the massive advance they had been given on booze and women. Continue reading THE GREAT HIP HOP HOAX



otway the movie premier
otway the movie premier

Those not familiar with John Otway – which let’s face it, is most of the population – could be forgiven for thinking this is a spoof documentary in the vein of Spinal Tap. Such is the nature of the crazy, wacky, bonkers, over the top, rock and roll extravagance that bounces around inside the head of one of rock’s greatest treasures.

But it is not a spoof, this is the story of a uniquely British eccentric rock and roll legend that has spent the last forty years reaching for the stars, not being put off by what anyone else thinks and, most importantly, not being put off by failure. Continue reading OTWAY: THE MOVIE