Wed 27 Mar
Rock 'N' Roll Book Club At The Union
 + Madness : One Step Beyond
 + Terry Edwards + Mark 'Bedders' Bedford
 + Silky And Top Kat + (Death Of Guitar Pop)
Rock ‘N’ Roll Book Club At The Union- Following a great run of Rock ‘N’ Roll Book Club events at the uber iconic Dublin Castle in Camden Town, Bugbear and Julie Hamill are very pleased to bring their literary and musical collaboration to The Union in Soho as part of The Union Sessions. What better environment for an urbane and erudite evening of author interaction, Q and A and book signing with some remarkable writers? Published author and expertly attuned interviewer Julie Hamill will be posing the questions, plus there will be select performances and mindfully fashioned DJ sets by Tony Gleed (Soho Radio, Boogaloo Radio) . Our second Union Sessions presentation features revered British pop institution, the legends that are Madness, and the 33 1/3rd book of ‘One Step Beyond’ Author Terry Edwards is the multi instrumentalist renaissance man of head spinning multiple musical machinations…starting in pithy punk funk indie peasants The Higsons back in the early 1980s thru Gallon Drunk, Tony Visconti’s Holy Holy,  Madness, PJ Harvey, Lydia Lunch, The Near Jazz Experience, The Scapegoats and really, really tooooo many more to mention! “One Step Beyond” isn’t the best album in the world it’s not even the best album by Madness. It is, however, a great record and an exceptional debut album”. Arriving fully formed despite half the band still being in their teens, it remains as exhilarating, inspiring and as much fun as when people first heard it nearly 40 years ago. Through extensive interviews with the band, as well as producers Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley, Terry Edwards tells the inside story of how Madness rose to be the most successful singles band of the 1980s in the UK charts. Terry faces the white hot Q and A of our resident scribe Ms Julie Hamill tonight alongside Mark ‘Bedders’ Bedford, bass maestro and sometime songwriter from yer actual Madness with bespoke musical illustrations care of DJ Tony Bugbear and a Madness roots, shoots and fruits set featuring a complete play through of this classic LP..let’s see if we can’t get a Nutty Train going all the way down Greek Street tonite…STOP PRESS!! NUTTY NEWS!!– There will be a surprise performance element from Terry and Mark tonight too (ok less of a surprise if you’re now reading this) , but we have to gird our loins as to what it is. I’m in suspenders! AND THERE’S MORE! Who are the yoot dem pretenders to the Madness throne for the 2020s (although Les Garcons Nutty will of course keep on keeping on) ? Who? Death Of Guitar Pop that’s who. Silky and Top Kat from the band will perform a couple of stripped down numbers this evening as part of this ska pop cavalcade of infotainment, education, and entertainment. Did somebody say House Of Fun?    
The Union Club, Soho

Doors from 7.15
£20 on the door
£15 in advance
Sat 11 May
Gary Clail Sound System
 + Tony Wrafter (Glaxo Babies)
 + Special Guests
Gary Clail Sound System with Tony Wrafter – Gary Clail famously worked originally as a roofer, but during the mid to late 1980s  Bristol post punk sound system scene , he found himself channeling his unique talents opening for On-U Sound gigs. Several remarkable 12″ singles were issued between 1985 and 1987, before Clail’s first LP for Nettwerk, Tackhead Tape Time, a split effort between Gary Clail and Tackhead. In 1989, Clail issued his own album, billed as Gary Clail & On-U Sound System, on On-U Sound, which marked Clail’s entrance to the electronic underground scene in Bristol, eventually leading him to work with RCA a couple of years later. ‘End Of The Century Party’ is widely recognized as an absolute must have record, as is the follow up The Emotional Hooligan album (1991). From Keep the Faith (1996) onward Gary did just that, continuing to make great records whilst leading a colourful life that could be, should be the stuffnof a movie. Back now in 2019, the new album ‘Violence’  is a stab at the heart of the establishment. Major global issues are addressed, but always the pill is laced with incisive humour. ‘Violence’ considers the effects of war in Syria, the corruption of successive Tory governments, the plague of neo-liberalism and the astonishing arrogance of our rulers. Recalling ‘The Town Cryer’ and the sonorous peal of church bells as an early – warning system ‘Violence’ emphasizes the necessity of a call to arms in the struggle to liberate the disenfranchised many from the tyranny of the increasingly wealthy few. Produced by Dub Master Mixers Andy Chapman and Gary Clail the album is a vindication of the many years of excellent Dub-Stylings he has provided for us. With the addition of Tony Wrafter (Glaxo Babies, Maximum Joy, and someone who has worked with every Bristol beatnik band going from Pigbag to Massive Attack) playing Horns and Woodwind, they have both constructed and de-constructed vistas of compelling sound bites to live by. ‘Violence’ is a ‘must hear’ experience you cannot miss.
The Bell Inn, Bath

Doors from 7.15
£10 on the door
£8 in advance
Fri 24 May
Totally Blondie
 + Special Guests
Totally Blondie are the best Blondie tribute around! Blondie were one of the most iconic bands of the 1970s and ’80s with Debbie Harry’s posters adorning most teenagers’ walls. With Totally Blondie’s lookalike and soundalike singer, you can expect all the classic hits like Hanging On The Telephone, Sunday Girl, One Way Or Another, Atomic, along with some of the finest album tracks. And when we see lookalike and soundalike we really really mean lookalike and soundalike…it’s uncanny. And whilst the band may not be dopplegangers for Chris Stein and his merry men they can utterly cut it as Blondie, sometimes giving it just a little more oomph and pizzazz than the real thing dare we say.  Relive that classic moment in time. It’s …Totally Authentic … Totally Superb …. Totally Blondie!
The Water Rats

Doors from 7.15
£13 on the door
£10 in advance
Sat 8 Jun
Vice Squad
 + Nuffin
 + SLADY
Vice Squad – the female fronted UK Punk Rock band that delivers short sharp songs with incisive lyrics spat out over a thunderous rhythm and machine gun Rock ’n’ Roll guitars. Renowned for their high energy live shows the band deliver their set with passion and humour and have been touring and releasing successful albums since the1980s. The band are currently recording their new album ‘Battle of Britain’ . Their last album ‘Cardboard Country’ was released on their own Last Rockers label and  launched on the back of a very successful Pledge campaign raising funds for the Shelter homeless charity in line with the album title.    Vice Squad is fronted by raucous voiced singer/guitarist Beki Bondage who was featured on the front cover of ALL the influential music tabloids back in the day. The band is 100% DIY and has no record company or management backing. Since reforming Vice Squad in 1997 the band has released several albums with powerful punk songs that are very well received by fans and press. In keeping with the DIY ethic the albums were recorded in the front room of Beki’s South London flat. Bugbear are overjoyed to bring Vice Squad to The Water Rats tonight, alongside… Nuffin – On 3rd August 1977, Nuffin’ turned up at the legendary Roxy Club to play ‘Audition Night’, only to find that Janet Street-Porter and a TV crew had taken over. Luckily, they were looking for an ‘undiscovered’ band as a counterpoint to all of the hype around at the time. And so a brief snap-shot of the the four Caterham teenagers, strutting their stuff and sharing their take on life, was captured for posterity. Roll on nigh on 40 years and by a series of happy collisions in hostelries Nuffin found themselves reforming their original line up for a charity gig. They enjoyed it so much they stuck at it, and recorded their original 1977 set and released as ‘Crowd Control’, one of THE punk long players of 2018. Nuffin now play every cool punk venue going from The 100 Club to The Dublin Castle alongside every great punk band imaginable from The Vibrators to Menace…or Vice Squad….. SLADY – are: Gobby – Singer/Guitarist, Jem Lea – Bass, Donna Powell – Drummer, Davina Hill – Lead Guitar/Singer- Yes!! An all female Slade tribute band open proceedings tonight! What’s not to adore. C’mon Feel The Noize…
The Water Rats

Doors from 7.15
£12 on the door
£10 in advance