Feb 7. The big news is finally out! The Cockney Rejects are back! Original bassist Vince 'Vinnie' Riordan has rejoined the band – the only possible replacement for the late Tony van Frater. All three veteran herberts attended yesterday's gathering at Oi Oi The Shop in Camden to announce the good news, and tickets for their two 100 Club shows in April are selling fast, which leaves just one question: are you r-r-r-r-r-r-ready to rock?
Meanwhile, in memory of Tony VF, Mick is putting the finishing production touches to Tony's solo album. The CD will be released on 4th May – which would have been his 52nd birthday.
Garry Johnson's new book Punk Rock Stories & Tabloid Tales continues to provide endless gales of laughter, some of it intentional. But Gazza is very honest about Shona Wattsie Watts whom he describes as "having the best cheekbones since Debbie Harry" and "the best legs in punk rock". (An outraged Fat Col responds by attacking "Johnson's foul sexism" and adding "legs apart Wattsie's fantastic… I'd imagine"). Garry J also describes Lee Wilson as "the nearest Oi came to a male pin-up" – talk about should have gone to Specsavers! Lee, he adds, is "the Billy Idol of Oi!" Bleedin' idle, more like, given the miniscule number of Infa Riot releases to date...
Brilliant Bad Manners have joined the bill of this June's Big 7 Scooter Rally, which is looking increasingly like the Summer's must-do weekender. Also playing, an array of Mod and Ska combos including the Parkas, the Heavy Sol Band, the Estimators and the Skatonics. More tba.
Out imminently: the split single from the London Sewerage Company and Runnin' Riot. The 7inch comes on brown vinyl (natch) and features '12 Bar Night' by Barnet's mob and 'Double The Pain' from Belfast's finest. It's released by the London Callin' label as part of the 12 Bar Legacy collection. In other news, the Bouncing Souls are currently recording their new album and the Monkees will tour the USA this Summer to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their TV show. The band are also releasing the album Good Times! their first original material since 1997's JustUs. It'll include new songs by Noel Gallagher and Rivers Cuomo, among others. Hmm. 'SE7 Dole Day' might work for them...
R.I.P. Jon Bunch of Lucky Scars who died last weekend aged just 45. Jon was best known as the singer with Reason To Believe, Sense Field and Further Seems Forever. The cause of death is still unknown. Lucky Scars released their debut EP, 'Rock & Roll Party Foul' in December on Spartan Records. You can see the video for their single 'Bandita' here.
Can this be true? A well-placed source whispers that Panther is now a respected reggae producer. Rumour number 2: the Badoes are planning on releasing a split single with Jenny Woo? Can anyone confirm??
Feb 6. This debauched scene occurred in Soho last night. Gal is pictured with Micky Geggus, Terry Hayes & Hoxton Tom stoking rumours that this could be the new line-up of the Cockney Rejects expected to be announced in Camden later today. Alternatively it could be 1) Old mates meeting up for a few beers 2) The next big OiOi supergroup (the CoGos? The 4-Badoes?) or 3 The Teletubies have finally been caught out of costume. Check back tomorrow for The Truth.
Feb 4. Our big curry meet confirmed these plans are now set in stone: 1) We will record our first ever acoustic gig in March 2) We'll film our first ever DVD in April at a special invite-only London show 3) We now have a 90minute live set and we know how to use it.
Feb 2. It's hard to read Garry Johnson's Punk Rock Stories & Tabloid Tales as you have to keep putting it down to stop laughing. One surprise revelation in the book is news that Lee Wilson is campaigning to get Gal into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame! A nice idea but unlikely to work. Maybe Oi folk should start our own Street Punk Hall of Fame to honour the greats – Turner, Geggus, Bedsore, Mensforth, McFaull, Miller, Wilson, Frederiksen and the rest. The music biz never will.
It's our big curry/planning night tonight. On the agenda: our acoustic album, the first Nads DVD, and a two-set London show in April… more news no doubt to follow once the hang-over smog has cleared.
Feb 1. John Lydon turned sixty yesterday but the Gunners-loving ex Pistol insists he won't be cleaning up his act. "Drinking and cigarettes and having fun and staying up for endless days, these are all great attractions to me," he told GQ. "If I can't enjoy being alive, then I don't want to be alive…"
Did we tell you this already? Oxley's Midnight Runners' single 'Combat' is out on coloured vinyl from Oi! The Boat records. The 7" includes digital download.