Wed 29 May
Nettie Baker
 + More Tales Of A Rock Star's Daughter
 + Rock N Roll Book Club At The Union
The Union Sessions continue with the return of Rock N Roll Book Club to The Union,  and the merry, merry month of May sees Julie Hamill posing the questions to the very impressive Nettie Baker, a writer who pulls zero punches. Beware of Ms Baker? Well, no not really, she’s not quite as dangerous as her dear old pa Ginger, but you can rest assured this will be an invigorating exchange with wonderful anecdotes and a definite element of ‘What The Actual Fuck?!’  as attested by anyone who attended RNR Book Club at The Dublin Castle with Nettie earlier this year. And now we have ‘More Tales Of A Rock Star’s Daughter’, so fire up the crimpers and get backcombing! Hairspray and heartbreak abound as the painted youth of the 1980s go on the rampage in a North West London suburb.  Nettie, eldest offspring of Cream/Blind Faith drummer Ginger Baker, follows on from her hilarious and critically acclaimed first volume. Here she negotiates eviction and poverty and goes off the rails with a new cast of maniacs. From a 1970 meeting with Jimi Hendrix, through to Live Aid, Greenham Common, a cancer op and a brief glimpse of Cream’s 2005 reunion. This is essentially a punk rock, pub-based soap-opera like no other; set against venues long-gone and values out-dated, in the smashed-up ruins of a changing world. Published by Wymer, a must read book which Nettie will be reading from and discoursing this evening plus a specially tailored DJ set from Tony Gleed.  Come and ask Nettie a question, buy the book, get it signed, dig the music, utter ‘What The Actual Fuck?!’ intermittently…
The Union Club, Soho

Doors from 7.00
£20.00 on the door
£15.00 in advance
Sat 8 Jun
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… Daddy Those Men Scare Me – a fine amalgam of Small Faces/Kinks foundations with Stranglers/Squeeze/Dury old new wave nuances, a hint of Wild Billy Childish and an impressive pop sensibility throughout.
The Water Rats

Doors from 7.15
£12 on the door
£10 in advance
Wed 26 Jun
Madonna : Like An Icon
 + Lucy O' Brien
 + Rock N Roll Book Club At The Union
Julie Hamill and Bugbear are very pleased to welcome Lucy O’Brien to the RNR Book Club/Union Sessions. Writer and broadcaster Lucy O’Brien is the author of the award-winning She Bop, a definitive history of women in popular music. She has also published bestselling biographies of Dusty Springfield and Annie Lennox.  Currently she is Course Leader for Music Journalism and Marketing at the University for the Creative Arts. And tonight we explore Lucy O’Brien’s brilliant book on Madonna. In August 2018, unbelievably, Madonna is hitting her 60th birthday. She is the biggest-selling female recording artist in the world and has sold over 300 million albums worldwide and holds the record for the top grossing concert tour by a female artist. With each pioneering album she has consistently reinvented her music and her image, transcending the world of pop to become a global cultural icon. Lucy O’Brien’s extensive and well-researched biography looks at Madonna the artist, offering a detailed analysis of her music with input from acclaimed musicians and producers, as well revealing interviews from her intimate inner circle and previously unseen photographs. She follows Madonna from her difficult childhood and those frenetic early years in New York, through the shocks and scandals of the 1990s Sex era to her twenty-first-century incarnation as an outspoken activist. Providing a fascinating insight into her life, relationships and what motivates her as a woman and an artist, Madonna: Like an Icon is the definitive biography of one of the biggest stars in the world. ‘Enduring superstar gets the biography she deserves’ – Mojo ‘O’Brien is a capable and intelligent writer…a refreshing biography of the iconic popstress’ – Guardian The hardback edition was first released in 2007, and the reissue has been published by Penguin Random House to coincide with Madonna’s 60th birthday, containing interviews with Madonna’s inner circle of friends and colleagues and has been fully updated with previously unseen photographs. Madonna: Like an Icon was written from a feminist perspective and fully explores Madonna’s impact as an artist and musician and was fashioned from a ‘fly-on-the-wall’ approach, interviewing many producers, musicians, film-makers and choreographers who had worked with her, to get an in-depth picture of Madonna the artist. She also interviewed friends and family to get a sense of what really motivates her as a person.
The Union, Soho

Doors from 7.15
£20 on the door
£15 in advance
Fri 12 Jul
Blue Orchids, as a post punk psychedelic adjunct to Fall -world are well established in the music enthusiast’s consciousness, and yes, Martin Bramah was a founding father of The Fall, and as expressed recently might have reasonable grounds to even call himself  The Fall, well, why not…but then he’s not daft. Perhaps people could do with reconnecting with Martin’s  oeuvre a little more deeply than obsessing over the ex Fall schtick, specially what with the recent albums being a succession of magik pop psych masterpieces choc stock (oh yes) with fabulous gems full of rich, resonant sounds and stinging, esoteric lyrics. Last year’s “Righteous Harmony Fist” was a total triumph, one of them stick to the turntable type records you used to know and love in the seventies and eighties. And the accompanying live shows were remarkable. A definite air of the ‘wow man we’re not worthy’ was rife amidst the awestruck punters in the Dublin Castle six months ago as they shook the embers of harmonic feedback off their clothing and made off into the night. That was a superb Blue Orchids show. Well there’s more on the way.  Including what Martin Bramah calls, “the first covers concept album” the centrepiece of which is, “a pivotal anomaly”,  an unseen Mark E Smith lyric from 1977, which Bramah has only now set to music.  The Magical Record Of Blue Orchids’ comes out on Tiny Global Productions on  7 June 2019 on CD and vinyl formats. Nuggets from The Penny Saints, The Aardvarks, The Growlers’, Crystal Stilts are promised and there’s an album of new Blue Orchids original material not far behind. Buy the records, attend the gigs, appreciate the illusive magic of  Blue Orchids. A very special group. Cult Figures – Having just released their nigh on 40 years in the making debut album, the very wonderful and very recommended ‘The 116 Ploughs A Lonely Furrow’, Swell Maps associates and West Midlands post punk/indie psych heroes Cult Figures have been astounding all comers with their remarkable live shows all these years later. Much fun, bridging the gap perfectly betwixt joyous irreverence and hard nosed intensity. Something for everyone then, oh, and they go back in the studio for album the second shortly. Perhaps that’ll win some gongs to go alongside guitarist Jonathan Hodgson’s two (count ’em) Baftas. High School Art with bite. Vukovar – Post punk inforkmed indie pop with a bleak industrial undertow, heavy on the atmos, but they’ve some nice melodies in their widescreen soundscapes. (Ex The Bordellos, Carina Nebula, Gharials and Neurotic Wreck)  “Vukovar hails from the Brutalist wastelands in the North of England. Ultra-Realism. Depravity. Monotony. Concrete. Hedonism. Silence. Vukovar are idealists, voyeurs and totalitarians.”.
The Water Rats

Doors from 7.15
£13 on the door
£10 in advance
Sat 13 Jul
The Blue Orchids
 + Invisible Eyes
Blue Orchids, as a post punk psychedelic adjunct to Fall -world are well established in the music enthusiast’s consciousness, and yes, Martin Bramah was a founding father of The Fall, and as expressed recently might have reasonable grounds to even call himself  The Fall, well, why not…but then he’s not daft. Perhaps people could do with reconnecting with Martin’s  oeuvre a little more deeply than obsessing over the ex Fall schtick, specially what with the recent albums being a succession of magik pop psych masterpieces choc stock (oh yes) with fabulous gems full of rich, resonant sounds and stinging, esoteric lyrics. Last year’s “Righteous Harmony Fist” was a total triumph, one of them stick to the turntable type records you used to know and love in the seventies and eighties. And the accompanying live shows were remarkable. A definite air of the ‘wow man we’re not worthy’ was rife amidst the awestruck punters in the Dublin Castle six months ago as they shook the embers of harmonic feedback off their clothing and made off into the night. That was a superb Blue Orchids show. Well there’s more on the way.  Including what Martin Bramah calls, “the first covers concept album” the centrepiece of which is, “a pivotal anomaly”,  an unseen Mark E Smith lyric from 1977, which Bramah has only now set to music.  The Magical Record Of Blue Orchids’ comes out on Tiny Global Productions on  7 June 2019 on CD and vinyl formats. Nuggets from The Penny Saints, The Aardvarks, The Growlers’, Crystal Stilts are promised and there’s an album of new Blue Orchids original material not far behind. Buy the records, attend the gigs, appreciate the illusive magic of  Blue Orchids. A very special group.  Invisible Eyes – Dan Harper rocks the much admired  Frome/Bath based ambient/dance/techno project Invisible System, but this is of course his cosmiche rocknroll outing… a meld of groove riff type psychedelia (Hawkwind, Here And Now, Ozrics) and a bit of Loop like post Stooges wall of ramalama and Steve Hillage like guitar  wizardry via some urgent post punk head mangling riddims…because there’s a really great head mangling riddim section! Love the nasty ass keys too. . They do like a ‘Feral psyche out’… as should you madam.
The Bell Inn, Bath

Doors from 7.15
£12 on the door
£10 in advance
Sat 13 Jul
The Cesarians always have as much a cerebral aspect to their remarkable outsider chanson as an intensely emotional one … intensity, songcraft, passion and raw emotions. Something dark, beautiful and inordinately powerful comes your way.  Nobody else does what they do, although there maybe some artful goodness to chew on for fans of Nick Cave, Jacques Bel, Scott Walker, even Kris Kristofferson and of late since the addition of more keys edgy electronica artists like Goldfrapp. With new material about to be launched ship shape and Cesarian style, a hometown Hackney show for The Cesarians is a must attend event for any actual hip and happening individual.  Art Trip And The Static Sound-  Iggy Pop’s favourite band next to Sleaford Mods (or maybe Skinnygirl Diet…) it would appear, and quite right too…superb amalgamation as it is of white noise guitar shreddings, beefy bottom end bass, skittering, skittling percussion and the upfront presence of vocalist Melodie Holiday. The contemporary realization of she punk is at it’s most striking- thus the root of Poly Styrene, Ari Up, Siouxsie et al, but Melodie does her very own powerful thing with some astounding sounds informed in parts by Butthole Surfers, Can, The Fall and Sonic YouthTime Dilation Unit – crash landed out of an open worm hole in August 2018 with debut single ‘Pain in My Side’ – a tale of paranoid self diagnosis using the internet, which was picked up by Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music. Based between Kent, London and outer space, the band create stomping, rocket fueled psychedelic space circus glam/rock, with sax, synths and heavy, heavy bass. New single ‘Psycho Pterosaur’ is also getting big radio love… A band going places and with skronk aplenty! NB EARLY START EARLY FINISH TONITE Time Dilation Unit on stage 6.00pm sharp
The Moth Club

Doors from 18.00
£10 on the door
£8 in advance
Sat 2 Nov
TV Smith
 + (The Adverts)
 + Special Guests + The Setbacks
TV Smith was founder member, singer and songwriter for the Adverts, who formed in late 1976, and became one of the leading bands in the first wave of British punk rock. In early 1977, they performed regularly at the newly-opened Roxy Club in London, and gained cult success with the Stiff Records single “One Chord Wonders.” Their next release, “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” became a hit record, leading to many radio and TV appearances and extensive media interest. A further single, No Time To Be 21, also entered the charts, and the band spent the rest of the year playing live, including major tours with The Damned and Iggy Pop. The album that followed in early 1978, “Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts,” is still considered a genuine classic of the era and is often cited as one of the twenty best punk albums ever released. The Adverts released one further album, Cast Of Thousands, before they split in 1979. Slammed by the critics at the time, the album was re-released recently to universal acclaim, and described by Mojo magazine as the long lost punk album that rivals The Clashs ‘London Calling.” Immediately after the break up of The Adverts, TV formed TV Smith’s Explorers, who achieved a U.K. hit in 1980 with the single Tomahawk Cruise and released one album, Last Words Of The Great Explorera year later. Lack of commercial success led to the band being dropped by their record label and their subsequent split. TV re-entered the live arena in 1986 with Cheap, before performing his first gigs as a solo artist in the early 90s. He has gone on to release a succession of great albums, and has also been involved in a number of collaborations with other bands, most notably with German superstars Die Toten Hosen, who performed as TV’s backing band on the album Useless. His latest album, titled “Land Of The Overdose” has been d escribed by Invicta magazine as “the album of his career,” and Fireworks magazine as “simply stunning,” “Land Of The Overdose” was voted 10th best album of the year in Vive Le Rock. Fiercely independent and determinedly embodying the original spirit of punk rock, TV continues to tour the world, bringing his epic solo show to ever-increasing audiences. Remarkably, he plays his concerts without a setlist and every performance contains a different selection of songs chosen on the night. He plays more than 100 gigs a year and has performed in 32 countries, including most of Europe, as well as the USA, Japan, Australia, South America, Russia – and even Heligoland. Not content with playing live, TV has also has written about his on-the-road experiences in five books of highly popular Tour Diaries, described by “Sandman” and “American Gods” author Neil Gaiman as, hilarious, honest and incredibly true.  In 2017 TV’s first ever book of lyrics was published by Foruli Codex. Exquisitely designed by Cure designer Andy Vella, and entitled “The Alternative Top 50,” the book comprises fifty of TV’s best lyrics. It is available as a conventional paperback, as well as an exclusive collectors’ hardback edition which includes a 10’ vinyl single recorded with Henry Rollins. A full-length BBC 4 documentary on TV Smith titled “We Who Wait: TV Smith & The Adverts” is still available for viewing on You Tube etc.
The Bell Inn, Bath

Doors from 7.15
£8 on the door
£6 in advance