Dub War @ Velvet Coalmine 2015

Dub war Blackwood Miners Institue 01/09/15
Dub war Blackwood Miners Institue 01/09/15

The lights went out, searchlights lit up the sky and the sound of an air raid siren pierced the air. But it was not the Luftwaffe that was coming, it was Dub War.

Twenty years ago Blackwood Miners Institute was an essential stop off for any touring band looking to make a name for themselves. It was also second home to Newport’s Dub War, who tore the roof off the venue several times in their short but explosive existence.

Fitting then, as the Velvet Coalmine crew try to reinstate Blackwood’s place on the national live music circuit, that Dub War, playing only their third gig in eighteen years, should step up to the plate. Continue reading Dub War @ Velvet Coalmine 2015

Listen again to 1st September Radio Show

Our most recent radio show was broadcast live from outer Penywaun, direct to the rest of planet earth on 1st September 2015. The show was based around the line-up of the Velvet Coalmine Festival to be held in Blackwood 1st to 6th September 2015.

Peppermint Iguana Radio Show #99 – Velvet Coalmine 2015 showcase special by Peppermintiguanaradio on Mixcloud

You can listen to it again via our Mixcloud cloudcast above. If it does not inspire you to get ya best moshing trousers on and head to Blackwood, you need to check your pulse.

The play list is below. To find out who else will be landing in the ‘wood go to – www.velvetcoalmine.com – or if you are reading this after September the 6th, in the immortal words of Jim Bowen ‘let’s have a look at what you could have been doing’.

1. Anarchy in the UK: BY THE SEX PISTOLS
2. Rub a dub style: BY RANKING TREVOR
3. Get your goo on: BY HOUDINI DAX
4. Give it to me: BY THE JOHNSTOWN FLOOD
5. Exus trek: BY LUTHER INGRA ORCHESTRA
6. Let’s have a ball: BY CECIL DAVIES
7. Strike it: BY DUB WAR
8. Missiles: BY COMMANDER BOOM
9. Sockets: BY SLAVES
10. Right time: BY THE MIGHTY DIAMONDS
11. Hailey unlikely: BY STEEL LEG V ELECTRIC DREAD
12. Claire voyant: BY PIZZA TRAMP
13. Country song: BY HAPPY MONDAYS
14. Live tonight: BY SLEAFORD MODS
15. Dog scratched ear: BY HENRY’S FUNERAL SHOE
16. Vallium: BY BAD SAM
17. Hook up girl: BY VIV ALBERTINE
18. Rich kids: BY THE RICH KIDS
19. Give youth a chance: BY THE RUTS
20. Repeat (UK): BY THE MANIC STREET PREACHERS
21. Knocked out: BY JIMMY LIGGINS
22. Put my shoes on: BY MARY ANN FISHER
23. Plateau: BY THE MEAT PUPPETS
24. Everything in place: BY THE NOSES
25. His majesty is coming: BY THE IN CROWD.
26. Race for the prize: BY THE FLAMING LIPS
27. Headlights: BY THE UNDIVIDED
28. The end (apocalypse now remix): BY THE DOORS

Next Radio Show: 1st September

velvet coalmineThe next live edition of the Peppermint Iguana Radio Show will be on 1st September and will be a Velvet Coalmine special, featuring many of the bands playing Blackwood’s number one cultural festival.

The festival takes place in various venues throughout Blackwood, South Wales and will feature live music, films, literary stuff and much more.

You can expect our play list to include Dub War, Slaves, Henry’s Funeral Shoe, Commander Boom, The Noses, Meat Puppets, Don Letts and much more.

To listen live log on to TUNE IN from 8pm

The Peppermint Iguana Radio Show is sponsored by Rhondda Cynon Taff UNISON, the union for public sector groovers.

Peppermint Iguana meets Velvet Coalmine in a pub

Blackwood is as cultural as f**K. And if you need proof, check out the Velvet Coalmine Festival, which takes place each September. It features fifty live bands, DJs, film screenings, workshops and much more.

Highlights for the 2015 festival, which takes place between 1st and 6th September, include gigs with Dub War, Slaves, Commander Boom, Houdini Dax, The Johnstown Flood, the Noses and a massive coup in the shape of US legends The Meat Puppets playing their first ever Welsh gig. There will also be film screenings with Don Letts and Viv Albertine will be doing a Q+A.

We had hoped to get Iain Richards, the driving force behind the event, to join us on the radio show, but it clashes with the opening of the festival (some people need to get their priorities right). So instead we headed to the pub for a chat about the 2015 festival. We picked early evening on a quiet night in a quiet pub? What could possibly go wrong? Well a birthday party for a start. Anyway — here is an audio recording of the chat warts and all.

Peppermint Iguana meets the Velevet Coalmine in a pub by Peppermintiguanaradio on Mixcloud

THE SPORADICS: Fight Truth Decay

THE SPORADICS: Fight Truth Decay (Pumpkin Records 2015)

sporadicsLaying their cards on the table with the opening track, ‘Festival # 23’, The Sporadics make sure you know they are most at home in a muddy field with a crate of cider, surrounded by mates, falling over fires and turning sleeping comrades into human Buckaroos.

But this, their second album, is anything but crusty brew crew shouty nonsense. They knock out some of the finest ska-punk-dub you will find on any stage anywhere.  The rhythm section produce dubtastic bass lines and driving, pounding drum beats. Layered over the top we have guitar that floats between sharp skanking chops and hard melodic riffs.

If that were not enough, the vocals have a clarity few punk bands even attempt, let alone achieve.  The lyrics tackle issues few bands could take on without resorting to sloganeering or just sounding pompous. No pomposity here though, as singer Shaun has a knack for taking a serious subject and turning it into poetry, but still managing to keep it danceable.

The now sadly defunct independent news media outlet ‘Schnews’ gets a song named after it to make sure we do not forget it – as if we could. The famous strap line “If you’re not pissed off, you’re not paying attention”, says it all, but the point is slammed home with lines like:  “The currency they pedal here, propaganda, lies and fear. It’s been the same from year to year, now here’s the latest news, question everything they do, turn your TV off today”.

‘VAT’ (Value Added Terror) talks of the big brother tactic of making you fear your neighbours, ‘Broken Britain’ references the dumping of working people on the scrap heap and ‘Conflict’ reminds us that the capitalist system thrives on war and – erm – conflict.

‘Itchy Dub’, as the name suggests, drops the pace a little and gets dubby. It talks of broken democracy and profit making from the services we rely on, but hints that the time of reckoning might not be far away. “You disregard and disrespect the people of this land, what goes around will surely come around, you try to take our dignity and kick us to the floor, then wonder why we burn your buildings down”.

‘Used to be a punk’, challenges the idea that you can be an ex-punk. With punk being an attitude, either you have got the attitude or you don’t. If you don’t, you were just a fashion victim who didn’t really get it anyway.

‘Debt Crisis’ is about what it says on the tin, whilst ‘National Lies’ talks of the scapegoating of Johnny foreigner that so often is used by the right during an economic downturn. “Our children don’t see colour, they just want to play with each other, hate is something learned, its time the tide was turned.” As the lyrics to ‘lies’ unfold we get some of the heaviest guitaring on the album mixing with some of the dubbiest moments, perhaps giving us the perfect introduction to the band for the uninitiated.

We return to the subject of reclaiming our country with ‘Tear down the law’, just before slowing down slightly and suggesting the positivity of ‘Love’ and hope may be the answer in the long run.

Winding up the album we have ‘Poem for the fallen’, a tribute to Crispin Baker, festival legend, who was taken from us earlier this year. It is basically a poem with minimal acoustic guitar and the sound of a crackling fire in the back ground.

And then it’s gone. Twelve tracks is not enough, you want more. But then again, if this were a triple album, you would still want more. At least you have the beautiful packaging and lyric booklet treasure and return to time and again while we wait for the third album (you can have minutes of endless fun looking for the deliberate spelling mistake).

Clearly the band have been influenced by a few notable big players on the ‘anarcho-ska-punk-dub’ scene, but it would be churlish to reference them here, cos these guys are no imitators. As Picasso once said, “good artists copy, great artists steal”, and these thieving bastards have stolen the crown jewels, melted them into something of their own and can stand proudly on stage next to the best of them.