Category Archives: blog


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

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

FOLK DISCO – PLUS @ Le Pub, Newport 10/02/18

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).

An assortment of beds, sofas and park ups were sorted, beers were bought (and smashed and bought again), vegan rolls were made and before we knew it, the gig was on. Continue reading FOLK DISCO – PLUS @ Le Pub, Newport 10/02/18


cybernetic pedal porn

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.

With a quick shuffle, Wales’ number one power rock trio, The Biggest Thing Since powdered Milk, were hitting the stage with their heads down no nonsense mindless boogie.

The Hairiest thing since powdered Budgie

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.

Cybernetic Witch Nuts

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.

The Boy Fry not taking any chances of catching anything off the motley crowd.

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.

Let’s hope they have another five years in them.

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.

DOOZER McDOOZE: ‘Help’ – new video released for Mental Health Awareness Day 2017

Doozer McDooze
has gone and made a music video for a song he is releasing on Tuesday 10th October 2017 for Mental Health Awareness Day.

The Dooze’ told Peppermint Iguana, “This is a topic that means a lot to me, more so as I get older and I’m trying to spread the word in the hope of helping others by them relating to the song and becoming aware of the help that is available. As you know mental health is a universal issue which is becoming an epidemic particularly among young people, and most recently highlighted has been the fact that male suicide has been on the rise”.

“I feel that this topic needs to be spoken about more so that the feelings of stigma and shame which are attached to mental illnesses can become one step closer to being eradicated in our society.
By speaking honestly in this song through my lyrics about my own experiences and allowing my friends, family and audience to see a side of me that is mostly hidden away, I am hopeful that other people will feel compelled to talk to someone about how they feel; because sometimes there is no visible reason for mental illness to become such a huge factor in someone’s life”.

The song is called “HELP” – and this be the video

I Believe that our purpose on Earth
Is to create happiness Continue reading DOOZER McDOOZE: ‘Help’ – new video released for Mental Health Awareness Day 2017

JAMES RIVERS DUFF: ‘Time is Yours’ video launched

James Rivers Duff – erm – on a river!

James Rivers Duff is a singer song writer that does not seem to let time or geography get in the way of his art. And this be the video for his latest musical offering.

James has travelled widely, particularly around Africa. He has contributed as a member of the Future Dub Project but is currently taking some time to focus on some solo work.

We asked James to tell us a little about his latest recording. “Time Is Yours is a song about making the most of your life and living in the moment”, James told us. “I asked my friend Jess if she could record some backing vocals but she was in Bali at the time, so she found a studio out there to record. The man in charge Andy Duarsa asked if she’d like to shoot a video for it so we collaborated over the net. I was travelling in Denmark so shot some footage on my phone and sent it over for him to add in”.

The result, as you will see below, features some stunning photography from Bali, James (rather ironically, on a river) and an uplifting but mellow soundtrack from the boy Duff.

Don’t get jealous, get your passport out!

ARE YOU WATCHING GARETH BALE? Cardiff marches to fight for the right to party.

Labour MPs like to dance as well
Labour MPs like to dance as well

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.

In the process the culture that made the place so vibrant is suffocated and all is left is hipsters charging eight quid for a bowl of breakfast cereal, a fiver for a half pint of home brew and barbers specialising in craft beards. The people that made the area are suddenly priced out of their own community and unwelcome. Continue reading ARE YOU WATCHING GARETH BALE? Cardiff marches to fight for the right to party.

S.H.A.T.ting on the dock of the bay.

“Mirror, mirror, on the walll. Where’s them bloody young uns”?

Old punks never die, they just start going for leisurely strolls with their mates.

And so it was, that on 22nd October, the 40th anniversary of the release of New Rose by the Damned, the first ever punk single, SHAT (Socialist Hikers + Anarchist Treckers) were up at the crack of noon for a wander around Cardiff Bay.

It started well, with the ‘11am by the fountainy mirror thing opposite the Millennium Centre’ start drifting on to an 11:30 start. Needless to say it was the youngest and fittest of the crew that were late.

The old folks that arrived on time, were well prepared and all kitted out for the walk and post walk drink (well, the drink) in their finest goth, punk and mod gear. There were even two of us that did not have bad backs or dodgy feet! Continue reading S.H.A.T.ting on the dock of the bay.

OLD ROSE: Forty years of rejecting the past

new roseToday marks the 40th anniversary of the release of New Rose by the Damned, widely regarded as the first ever punk single. Yes, forty years of a brand new music that changed the world for ever.

This raises several issues.

Firstly, was it the first ever punk rock single? Well, it depends on your definition of punk rock. Many would argue that punk rock was born the other side of the pond, with bands like The Stooges, the New York Dolls and the Ramones. Even if you stick to this side of the pond, The Hollywood Brats, The Hammersmith Gorillas and The Pink Fairies, all arguably punk rock, beat the Damned on to vinyl by several years. Even over in Australia, a continent oft forgotten about when early punk is discussed, the Saints released (I’m) Stranded, an indisputably punk rock record, in September of 1976.

The difference with New Rose though, was that it was the first single from a band that were part of the new scene that had developed with the recognisable identity of what we call today Punk Rock. The Pink Fairies were scruffy hippies and the New York Dolls were – well, they were garage. Continue reading OLD ROSE: Forty years of rejecting the past



There are only a handful of towns and cities in the world, whose name is so intrinsically linked with an event so tragic that it is invoked every time the place is mentioned. Sadly, there is one a few miles from where I live. Aberfan.

Fifty years ago this week (21st October 1966) ‘coal tip number seven’ slipped and engulfed the school at its foot. In doing so it took the lives of 144 people, 116 of them children. The story of this event is one of personal tragedy and outrage at the attitude of the government and the coal board.

In one morning the anonymous welsh village suddenly became known over the entire world.

I was only four years of age at the time but it is ingrained in my memory. As it probably is in anyone who was around at the time.

Much has been written of this event, and continues to be written. There is little meaningful or constructive I can add. But I post this to bring to your attention a single that has been released with the aim of raising funds for the Aberfan Memorial fund.

Amy Goddard is a folk singer who grew up in the Merthyr Valley and went to school in the neighbouring village to Aberfan.

Remembering Aberfan has been released as a charity single and £2 from the sale of each CD will go to the Aberfan Memorial Charity. You can purchase the single here 

DR DIDG goes to the great gig in the sky

The late Dr Didg
The late Dr Didg

Here are Iguana HQ we were recently saddened to hear of the passing of Graham Wiggins, AKA, Dr Didg.

The following statement appeared on Dr Didg’s social media last week

It’s with a heavy heart and sadness that we announce the unexpected passing of our dear friend and amazing musician Graham Wiggins (a.k.a. “Dr Didg”) on September 7th. We have no details at this time other than he passed in his sleep. This is quite a shock to us, assuming that we were going to remain in touch for a very long time.

We’ve had nothing but amazing times and learned a lot through our travels with Graham. He was one of the most well-informed and classiest persons you could know. It would be safe to say that Graham not only had a huge brain (he was a legitimate scientist who had a PH.D. in Physics and later developed RF technologies for Biomedical imaging) but he also had a huge heart.

The man was extremely sincere and giving to others at all times. He loved with his music and shared it with the world.

If you have Dr. Didg in your music collection, go ahead and put it on nice and loud. You will hear nothing but the sound of a brilliant beautiful man who made really cool music. Rest in Peace brother. We love you and will always keep you close to our hearts. For those who knew him know this is a painful loss. On the other hand, heaven’s all star band just received its finest didgeridoo player

Continue reading DR DIDG goes to the great gig in the sky

Zines: How the internet helped a printed outlet for outsiders and nerds thrive | Lifestyle | The Independent

zines_sfzfJade French was 14-years-old when she ripped out a handful of images from some magazines, crudely glued them to a piece of A4 paper, and photocopied sheet after sheet at her local corner shop. She was fed up with how she was being treated simply because she was a girl, and was going to let the world know about it. Thus began her first zine, Ladyfingers.

Source: Zines: How the internet helped a printed outlet for outsiders and nerds thrive | Lifestyle | The Independent

LISTEN AGAIN: Peppermint Iguana Radio #120 Merthyr Rising Special

merthyr unsionOver the weekend of 3rd/4th/5th June, Merthyr Tydfil will be celebrating its rich radical past by hosting the third annual Merthyr Rising Festival.

Over the weekend you will be able to watch live bands, listen to political debates and laugh at non-violent direct action stand up.

Peppermint Iguana Radio Show, sponsored by Rhondda Cynon Taff UNISON, the union for public service groovers, invited two of the directors of the festival in for a chat and to play some music.

Below you will find a link to a cloud cast of the show for you to listen to again at your own inconvenience.

Rhondda Cynon Taff UNISON, along with Merthyr Tydfil UNISON, have combined forces to sponsor the festival and are hoping this will be the start of a long term relationship.

First broadcast on Dapper FM, Community Radio Station on 31/05/16

Play list

1. Red flag: BY BILLY BRAGG
3. When will be paid: BY THE STAPLE SINGERS
4. Dog scratched ear: BY HENRY’S FUNERAL SHOE
5. Peterloo to Orgreave: BY MATT ABBOT
6. Reactions: BY TRACEY ISLAND
7. Union man: BY THEE FACTION
8. Strike occupy resist (Flappsandwich re-rub): BY COSMO
9. Current affairs: BY THE UPBEAT SNEAKERS
10. UK arms trade: BY MARK THOMAS
11. Know your riots: BY THE CHOMSKY ALL-STARS
12. Modern day burn: BY DOLE AGE
13. Groovy train: BY THE FARM
14. Get up stand up: BY BOB MARLEY AND THE WAILERS
15. Half the world away: BY OASIS.

LISTEN AGAIN – Peppermint Iguana Radio tribute to Steve Will

Steve and his wife Lesley
Steve and his wife Lesley

On 24th May, Peppermint Iguana Radio paid tribute to our mate Steve Will, who sadly passed away earlier this month. Below you will find a cloud cast of the show to listen again.

At times like this it is always difficult to know what to say or do. People will always struggle to come to terms with someone passing too early. Everyone will have their own way of dealing with things.

Here at Peppermint Iguana we do a radio show. So we did a show for Steve. That’s what we do. It won’t rewind the hands of time and it won’t bring Steve back. But it has helped us down the road of coming to terms with things and hopefully will play a part in the healing for others.

Steve was as passionate about music as we are. The show features some of the songs he introduced us to and some of the songs we shared with him. It also shares a handful of memories that will live with us forever.

We hope that the show will bring comfort to those that knew him and provide an insight into who Steve was to those that did not know him. We think it stands up in its own right alongside all of our other shows – entertaining and hopefully informative. Judge for yourselves.

Play list

1. The Cardiff City sound: BY THE BLUEBEATS
2. Keep on keeping on: BY THE REDSKINS
3. Skinhead moonstomp: BY SYRAMIP
4. A little bit of something: BY LITTLE RICHARD
5. All for one: BY THE STONE ROSES
6. Psychic attack: BY RUTS DC
7. Ali Baba: BY JOHN HOLT
9. Memphis soul stew: BY KING CURTIS
10. David Watts: BY THE JAM
11. Ignite: BY THE DAMNED
12. Pressure drop: BY THE CLASH
13. Blue army: BY THE OPPRESSED
16. Al capone: BY PRINCE BUSTER
18. Jubilation dub: BY JOE GIBBS
19. Little latin lupe lu: BY THE RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS
20. Legalise it: BY PETER TOSH
21. Everything’s groovy: BY GAYE BYKERS ON ACID
23. Miss you: BY TED TAYLOR
24. The harder they come: BY JIMMY CLIFF
25. Riders on the storm: BY THE DOORS
26. Seasons in the sun: BY TERRY JACKS
28. My way: BY SID VICIOUS
29. Ghost in my house: BY R DEAN TAYLOR

Show first broadcast live on on 24th May 2016

Peppermint Iguana Radio is sponsored by Rhondda Cynon Taff UNISON, the union for public service groovers

Iguana Radio – four shows in three weeks!


We have a busy few weeks coming up on Peppermint Iguana Radio, with four shows in three weeks.

  • Sunday 22nd May 5pm till 7pm – we have a Euro 2016 Special, with guests Paul Corkery and Neil Dymock of the Football Supporters Federation Cymru in the studio to talk about the past, present and future of travelling away to watch the Welsh international football team. If we don’t incriminate ourselves it will be made available for download shortly after.
  • Tuesday 24th May 8pm till 10pm + a bit– A tribute to our mate Steve Will, who recently went on to the dancefloor in the sky. Expect tunes that remind us of Steve mixed in with new sounds we think Steve might have approved of
  • Tuesday 31st May 8pm till 10pm + a bit – A Merthyr Rising Special. We invite some of the organisers of the Merthyr Rising Festival in to the studio to talk about what they have lined up and play some of the music from bands playing the event.
  • Tuesday 6th June 8pm till 10pm – its Euro time. Expect music connected with both the Euro 2016 tournament and the EU referendum.

You can listen to all of these live by going to

Peppermint Iguan Radio is sponsored by RCT UNISON, the union for public sector groovers

STONE ROSES: New single splits the nation shock

Stone Roses
Stone Roses

Manchester’s Stone Roses have released their first new music in twenty one years – and it has divided the nation within hours of its release. Oddly, people who like the Stone Roses like it and People who don’t like the Stone Roses hate it. Go figure.

Music is a funny old business. The more successful a band the more people get passionate about them. Fans of a band will make an effort to like things that are not as good as the stuff that got them into the band in the first place. People who do not like a big name band will, rather than just ignore them, go out of their way to be hostile about them.

Then of course, you have to throw into the mix the ‘following the crowd’ factor. There have been some really dreadful bands that have reached the dizzying heights of headlining stadiums and festivals purely because the media have made them out to be cool.

So where do the Stone Roses fit into this? Continue reading STONE ROSES: New single splits the nation shock


The obligitory 'Before' we SHAT ourselves shot
The obligitory ‘Before’ we SHAT ourselves shot

Last time I yomped up a mountain I was thirty years younger and ten stone lighter. My excuse has been that none of my mates are interested in that sort of masochism, but when the Socialist Hikers and Anarchist Trekkers (SHAT) was formed, that excuse disappeared.

So, at the crack of mid-morning we headed up to the Brecon Beacons for a yomp up Pen-y-fan. The great wide open, far from the madding crowd on a crisp spring morning, what could be better? What could go wrong?


ATTENTION ALL VINYL JUNKIES: Rockaway Record Fair Dates 2016

Simon hard at work - nice work if you can get it
Simon hard at work – nice work if you can get it

If you like your music in a format you can skin up on (rather than an MP3), hate the corporate gloss of chain stores and point blank refuse to buy music from a supermarket, then a record fair is the place for you.

With independent record stores closing quicker than pubs, many towns are now left without a decent place to go and browse – and even buy – non mainstream music. Well, keep your minces peeled cos there could be a record fair coming your way.

Rockaway Record Fairs are run by the incredibly clued up Simon Philips. He does not have much of a web presence, so we thought we would share this link to his Tumblr page, which has all the dates and venues for all his fairs this year. Continue reading ATTENTION ALL VINYL JUNKIES: Rockaway Record Fair Dates 2016

LISTEN AGAIN- Peppermint Iguana Radio 116

PAIN and Howard Marks - Let me Grow More Weed
PAIN and Howard Marks – Let me Grow More Weed

Peppermint Iguana Radio hit the net once again on 12 April 2016. We Marked the opening of the festival season, said hello to John’s Bees and said goodbye to Howard Marks.

To listen again, check out the cloudcast below.


1. Don’t mess with my man: BY IRMA THOMAS
2. Clampdown: BY THE CLASH
3. Mental (REMIX): BY DUB WAR
4. Fuego: BY THE HEADS
5. Chicken pack: BY THE BEES
7. Fern hill: BY HOWARD MARKS
9. Jah rasta: BY CULTURE
10. Babylon: BY NEW YORK DOLLS
11. Kick and scream: BY DAMIDGE
12. Do one: BY TITS UP
14. Queen majesty: BY THE TECHNIQUES
17. Honey honey: BY THE SUPREMES
19. Watcha gonna do about it: BY THE SMALL FACES
20. Politicians in my eye: BY DEATH
22. Brixton nights: BY CRAZY PINK REVOLVERS
23. Offshore banking business: BY THE MEMBERS
24. Mouth full of shit: BY CHUMBAWAMBA
25. 5 10 15: BY RUTH BROWN
26. Creation: BY PETER TOSH

First Broadcast on on 12/04/16

High five to our sponsors Rhondda Cynon Taff UNISON, the union for public sector groovers.


FESTIVALS – the most fun you can have with your clothes on

Surplus Festival 2015
Surplus Festival 2015

Our 2016 festival listing has been updated again this morning. Thanks to those that have alerted us to festivals we have not known about (and thanks to those that have pointed out the obvious one we forgot about).

Festivals are the most fun you can have with your clothes on – although you don’t necessarily have to stay fully clothed. They are a gathering of like minded individuals who wish to escape the drudgery of wage slavery and let their hair down listening to music, drinking beer and standing around campfires talking nonsense. These days many festivals will include children’s areas, cinemas, political debates, craft workshops, comedy tents and more. If you have never been to one, you really should. It might just change your life – it certainly changed ours.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s the strong arm of the law came down very heavily on free festivals and it took the scene a very long time to recover. In the wake of legislation aimed specifically at stopping free parties organisers tried out various models for events, some more successful than others. These days there are a lot of grass roots festival organisers who have got their shit together and put on safe, vibrant, innovative, sustainable events for anything from a few hundred to a few thousand.

Capitalism has woken up to the fact that people like to go to festivals. Where there used to be a handful of commercial events like Reading and Donnington, there are now huge commercial events all over the country throughout the summer.

Smaller events are generally less commercial, more friendly and have a better vibe that the giant McFestivals where you can find yourself, literally, half a mile from the stage with a sea of strangers in-between you and the band you are watching. Small does not necessarily mean lower quality. No, you won’t get huge stars playing to a crowd of five hundred, but you will still find some high quality cutting edge talent on display – for a fraction of the price of the big commercial events. The vibe will be more relaxed and your neighbours are more likely to talk to talk to you.

TJS THE MOVIE: Be part of history – send the film makers your story

John Peel with TJS owner John Sicolo
John Peel with TJS owner John Sicolo

For twenty five years, from 1985 to 2010, South Wales had a music venue that was quite literally known around the world. Newport’s TJs. Local lad Nathan Jennings is now in the process of putting together a film documenting the history of this slice of rock and roll history.

Nathan is currently on the hunt for videos, photographs and stories of the venue. If you have anything to contribute, visit his new website for the project.

It is fair to say, TJs was a bit of a toilet. But that was part of its charm. It seemed to mutate almost every time you went there. It expanded and shrunk, the stage kept moving around the venue and the toilets were like an open cesspit. It had started out with the walls covered in some strange wire and concrete concoction to make it look like you were in a cave. As modification were made bits of the cave were removed but they seemed determined to leave bits of it on the wall. On one occasion I recall watching Citizen Fish whilst there was a huge wheelie bin in the middle of the dancefloor to catch the water that was leaking from upstairs. Whether or not it was rain water or a burst pipe I never got to find out.

But despite the venue being a shithole, it did have a few magic ingredients:

1. John Sicolo: the owner. An ex merchant navy cook who was larger than life and made the place open house to anyone who wanted to put on a gig. Whilst he was no musician, without his generosity and faith in the young guns of Newport, the South Wales and even the UK music scene would look very different today.

2. Bands and promoters: Looking back it is hard to believe now, but the likes of Green Day, Oasis, Fugazi, Offspring, Joe Strummer, The Manic Street Preachers and Primal Scream were regularly turning up in this tiny little club in one of the most unfashionable towns in the country. On top of that local bands such as 60 Foot Dolls, Dub War and Novocaine (to name but three) all cut their teeth there. At one point I the 90s the venue was often jammed with record company A&R men looking to sign the next big thing.

Key to all this were the promoters. Whilst Peppermint Iguana put on a few gigs with the likes of New Model Army, Tofu Love Frogs and PAIN, a very special mention has to go to Cheap Sweaty Fun, the boys that turned TJS from a local live venue to an internationally renowned venue that was an essential stop off for any band on their way to the top.

3. The people of Newport: The Port has always been the poor relation to neighbouring Cardiff. But in some ways, that is what has made Newport what it is – staunchly working class, tough, uncompromising and unpretentious. If a Newport crowd took to a band they would be passionate and enthusiastic, making a TJs moshpit a place few cage fighters would dare to step.

If you have any stories from TJs, why not get in touch with the makers of the film and share your experiences of this unique piece of rock and roll history.

To listen to an interview with Simon Phillips, the man behind Rockaway Records and Cheap Sweaty Fun promotions, listen to our cloud cast from the Peppermint Iguana Radio Show

PENETRATION: Live @ Clwb Ifor Bach 02/04/16

Penetration - courtesy of Claire Strodz
Penetration – courtesy of Claire Strodz

Penetration were born out of the maelstrom that was the first wave of punk back in 1976, before the chord police dictated that you should play no more than three chords and they should all be played super fast. Although this is not quite the original line up, the current band all came out of that same old school where energy was matched by rhythm.

Forty years on Penetration have grown old gracefully. Unlike many of their counterparts who have reformed, they don’t try to dress like twenty year olds, they look like seasoned musicians with rock and roll jackets and shirts.

Tonight, in Clwb Ifor Bach, the band set things in motion by getting into an instrumental groove. Singer Pauline Murray then slowly wanders through the crowd and climbs on stage, complete with silk shirt, waistcoat and trilby.

They kick off the set with a half dozen numbers from the new album, Resolution, released in 2015, which go down well. Pauline then has a chat with the audience about the merits of old tunes v new tunes and never knowing what a crowd wants, before storming into some old classics from back in the day. Continue reading PENETRATION: Live @ Clwb Ifor Bach 02/04/16


rezilloshowOn 29th March 2016, the Iguana Crew took over Dapper FM once more and shook off the post Easter blues. We brought you classic tracks resurrected from BC (Before The Clash) and AD (After the Damned).

The play list included several tracks so new they have not even been recorded yet and tasters of gigs coming to South Wales in the not too distant future.

To listen again, check out the Mixcloud player below

Play list
1. Shopping: BY THE EGG
3. People funny: BY LEE SCRATCH PERRY
4. Don’t be angry: BY NAPPY BROWN
5. Respectable man: BY JUNIOR BILL
6. I loves the port: BY BAD SAM
7. Back from the dead: BY THE ADVERTS
8. The gardener: BY JULIE ANN
9. Davie demo: BY JOE YORKE
10. Restless man: BY CAPTAIN ACCIDENT
11. Take the bitter with the sweet: BY LITTLE GIGI
13. Smoking seriously harms you and others around you: BY AMBER
14. Taken by surprise: BY POISON IDEA
15. It’s hard to get around: BY ALEX TURNER
16. Feed the mantaray: BY SLAVES
17. Not going back to that: BY DOOZER MCDOOZE
18. Chocolate staircase: BY THE DEAD FLOWERS
19. Everybody’s talking: BY JOAN BAKER
21. Writing on the wall: BY EDDIE AND THE HOTRODS
22. Master race rock: BY THE DICTATORS
23. Flying saucer attack: BY THE REZILLOS
24. Free money: BY PENETRATION
25. Nothing nothing: BY CAPTAIN SKA
26. The hour between dog and wolf: BY THE BAR CREEPS
27. In school: BY ALAN WOODWARD
28. Home-grown: BY DODGY

As usual, all praise to our sponsors, RCT UNISON, the union for public sector good eggs.


Rezillos to mark 40 years of punk in Caerphilly

The Rezillos
The Rezillos

It is almost 40 years since that infamous Sex Pistols gig in Caerphilly, but to prove the ghost of punk still haunts the valleys, 1970’s new wave legends The Rezillos roll into town on the 7th April 2016.

The Rezillos formed in Scotland in 1976, at the time punk rock was kicking off in that London. Inspired as much by 50’s B-movies as the Sex Pistols, they banged out a series of chunky era defining power pop tunes, such as ‘Top of the Pops’, ‘Destination Venus’ and a cover version of the Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Somebody is Gonna Get Their Head Kicked in Tonight’. Continue reading Rezillos to mark 40 years of punk in Caerphilly

OZRIC TENTACLES: The Fleece, Bristol 20/03/16

Ed Wynne and Brandi Wynne
Ed Wynne and Brandi Wynne

Canine testicles. No, that is not the name of the new Ozric Tentacles album (although it might be), but a description of an Ozrics live show. Tonight they bring their full on sensory overload experience to The Fleece in Bristol.

Despite your feet sticking to the stone floor and the pillars obstructing your view, The Fleece, formerly the Fleece and Firkin, is one of the best live venues in the country. Originally built as a wool market in 1830, the grade II listed building is now home to a 400 capacity live venue that has hosted some serious names since it became a venue in 1982, including Oasis, Radiohead, Queens of the Stone Age, White Stripes and the Tofu Love Frogs.

Ozric Tentacles
Ozric Tentacles

It is difficult to describe an Ozric Tentacles gig to the uninitiated. There is nothing to compare it to. Just about all of your senses are subjected to overloading and your brain is sliced and diced during two hours of the most psychedelic experience you can have without drugs. Good luck to you if you opt to experience it on drugs. Continue reading OZRIC TENTACLES: The Fleece, Bristol 20/03/16

Beltane Buzz to host stage at Kaya Festival

Bands from the Beltane Buzz, 2014
Bands from the Beltane Buzz, 2014

Our mates over at Beltane Buzz are pleased to confirm they will have their very own stage at this year’s Kaya Festival in Margam Country Park, South Wales on August 7th-9th.

Kaya offers an assortment of African, Jamaican, European, Latin, Caribbean, European and world musical flavours along with a diverse range of workshops, arts, food stalls and festival activities. They have national and international artists along with some of the best local upcoming and established acts, in 2015 we had over 100 musical acts across 4 stages!

Beltane Buzz are in the business of promoting the best unsigned talent in Wales and previous endeavours have included the Beltane Buzz Festival near St David’s in West Wales in 2012, numerous local gigs in South Wales and a compilation album ‘Music from the Beltane Buzz’. They aint some faceless corporate industry beast, just people who love music helping other people who love music.

They will be curating a stage at this year’s Kaya Festival and are on the lookout for bands wanting to play. If you are interested – contact them via e-mail .

If you are not in a band you could just rock up to their stage and check out who makes it to the line up!