Music For People On Oil Rigs

…is how Mick Jones once described Sandinista. Paul Simonon recently spent two weeks in a Canadian jail having been part of a Greenpeace team who stormed an oil rig in protest and refused to leave. Paul joined the crew of a Greenpeace ship as ‘ the assistant cook’ and wasn’t recognised by anyone until a guard sussed him during his stay in captivity. You can read the whole story here, including a video where The Good, The Bad And The Queen played on the new Rainbow Warrior ship on the Thames just the other night.

Fellow Clash activist Mick has announced a short tour entitled Justice Tonight, raising awareness for the Hillsborough Families Justice campaign. Mick promises a set of Clash songs and is supported by Pete Wylie (yay!) and The Farm (gulp!). More info from John Robb’s website here and a link to get tickets. I’ve already got mine.
The Bandits were a Liverpool blues rock band, from that rush of scouse bands a decade ago (The Coral, The Zutons et al). This is a spirited run through of Paul Simonon’s best loved song.

Christmas Countdown

I know it’s a cliched and grumpy old man complaint but Christmas starts earlier every year and it gets on my wick- the shops have been full of Christmas tat for weeks, the adverts on telly are non-stop Christmas related, the shopping frenzy begins. Whatever joy can be gleaned from our winter festival has been sucked and spat out even before advent.

It’s not all bad news though- the nice people at Occultation Recordings have sent me an advance copy of their Christmas single, shortly to be released on 7″ vinyl. A 7″ single is one of the best Christmas presents. The A-side is by Factory Star, whose debut album came out in the summer and was reviewed here. Factory Star are led by ex-Fall guitarist Martin Bramah and turn in a lovely little tune here, musically reminiscent of the point when post-punk became 80s indie. A little ramshackle, not really that Christmassy at all, it’s a good ‘un. Go get, and then order the vinyl.