On Thursday 30th July 2020 I went to the Herald Pub for their ‘Vinyl Junkies’ open deck night. It was nice to be able to play music to a (small, socially distant) audience again! Enjoy some recent purchases and a selection from the more modern end of my record box.
A few T-Shirts should be dropping through letter boxes today. The first Black Wax Heritage Campaign – Pop In The Park 1 – is complete and I’m very pleased to have been sent this photo of Kevin Jones, lead singer of The Sods, sporting his!
In true Sods style he commented ‘I remember this gig well. Two great bands performed that day plus Eddie and the Hot Rods.’
A big thank you to all who bought a T-Shirt and supported the campaign.
Look out for the next one going live very soon!
In place of the postponed live screening event for Kick Out! The Newtown Neurotics Story we took to the internet and held a virtual evening with the band, filmmaker and some very special guests.
Saturday 21st March 2020. Inspired by some other home DJs I live streamed a DJ set from my front room on Facebook. I did a 1 hour set ahead of Andy from Northern Irish Punk Blues Duo The Bonnevilles doing a live set on their band page.
One of the decks, as always, was a bit dodgy. I had my (nearly) 3 year old, Slade, helping me pick out records, and he even informs us that he needs a poo.
Enjoy. Stay Safe.
Steve Drewett (Newtown Neurotics) and Luke Baker (Kick Out Filmmaker) were guests on Simon Hearn’s England’s Dreaming show on Totally Wired Radio – the new radio station from Acid Jazz Records. Talking all things Neurotics, Punk and Kick Out – you can hear the full show here –
2019 was a great year for Black Wax as we took on the challenge of our first ‘big gig’ in London. We also continued to provide quality live music for the people of Harlow, Essex.
Here’s a quick look back at what we got up to in 2019…
Saturday 26th January – The Chords UK + The Hurricanes.
The Punk edged Mod Revival band led by songwriter Chris Pope return to Harlow in support of their album Nowhere Land.
Friday 15th February – Murray Torkildsen + Paul Howard.
A post-Valentines double bill from 2 of Harlow’s finest singer songwriters.
Friday 22nd February – The Small Fakers.
Tribute bands may be frowned up by some, but the Small Fakers do such a good job, and when there’s no longer a chance to see the original band you just have to let yourself go and enjoy it! A great sold out night for our first event at Harlow Rugby Club.
Saturday 2nd March – Thee Dagger Debs + Special Guests (Eddie & The Hot Rods).
A secret warm up show for Eddie & The Hot Rods ahead of their UK tour as guests for Stiff Little Fingers. We advertised this with Thee Dagger Debs headlining – a great pub rock 3 piece with a big of stomping glam in their sound. They were a brilliant act to compliment the Hot Rods, both bands bringing back the vibe of the original pub rock days.
Saturday 13th April – Eddie & The Hot Rods – Done Everything We Wanna Do.
Lots has been written about this show elsewhere on the site, but I’ll add once more that this is one of the best things I’ve ever done as a live music promoter.
You can watch the full show here
Saturday 27th July – The Square’s Summer Reunion with King Prawn + Don’t Worry + Indian Queens + DJ Scissorkicks + Dwarf Antidote + Paul Howard Band + Antibodies + Thumpermonkey + Lost Without Cause + Medium Love + Depravity + Harry & The Chicks.
Black Wax booked, promoted and programmed a 2 stage all day event in memory of our much loved and lost local venue The Square.
Friday 18th October – Tommy And The Commies + Los Pepes
A last minute booking, but we were really chuffed to be able to host the Commies from Canada as they kicked off their European Tour. Their first even UK gig was in a pub in Harlow, Essex and they even played a Newtown Neurotics song without initially realising Harlow is the home of the Neurotics.
So, on to 2020 and we’re gearing up for the release of ‘Kick Out – The Newtown Neurotics Documentary’ which we are launching on April 25th at the Leytonstone Ballroom. We’ve also got plans for some more collaborative events with The Square, but before all of that I (Adam) will be spending half of January on tour with Los Pepes opening for The BellRays. Check the dates on Punk Rock Blues – maybe see you at a show?
Get down, and get with it x
On 5th November we attended the funeral of Eddie And The Hot Rods frontman Barrie Masters. To mark the occasion, and for fans all around the world to be able to join us in celebrating Barrie’s life, we published a video of the full Done Everything We Wanna Do show from back in April. You can watch it here.
Black Wax and Vive Le Rock present:
KICK OUT – The Newtown Neurotics Story
Documentary Screening with live performances from Newtown Neurotics, Attila the Stockbroker and more, hosted by Steve Lamacq.
Saturday 25th April 2020 Leytonstone Ballroom, The Red Lion, Leytonstone High Road, E11 3AA Doors 7pm
On sale Thursday 31st October 9am
Bored of new town life and inspired by the first wave of punk, Steve Drewett, Colin Dredd and Tiggy Barber (later Simon Lomond) formed the Newtown Neurotics.
Kick Out is the story of that journey, from the concrete slabs of Harlow, Essex, to the bombed-out streets of East Germany. Along with the likes of Billy Bragg and Attila the Stockbroker, the band became the voice of the disenfranchised and the social conscience of a country in flux.
The aim of Kick Out is to capture the essence of the time, explore the events which molded the band’s worldview and examine their place in British music history.
With the current backdrop of austerity and Brexit, The Neurotics are as relevant as ever. With their impending fortieth anniversary, now seems the perfect opportunity to both reflect and look forward.
Despite their initial run being relatively short, the band’s reach and influence are apparent, not just in the UK but across the globe. Like for so many bands of that era, the emergence of the internet has given a new lease of life to the words and music, striking a chord and inspiring a new and angry generation.
Like all good ideas, the premise of the film began at a bar, specifically The Square in Harlow. The Square, which closed in January 2017, was the cultural beacon of Harlow and was a second home to the town’s outcasts and creatives. The venue played a big part in the band’s history as well as Baker’s own creative endeavours so it’s highly fitting that the film’s seeds were sowed within the walls of The Square.
“What started as a simple video idea quickly grew into something much bigger. What struck me during our initial meetings was how relevant the lyrics Steve wrote over thirty years ago were still today.
While mainstream success alluded them, they have quite the pedigree in terms of their fan base, their historic shows behind the iron curtain and Steve’s solo shows in North Korea and Cuba. On one hand, you could say it’s a film about a band that has continuously evolved with the political and social changes around them. On the other, it’s a film about how many of the issues and problems tacked in the band’s lyrics still resonate today as much as they did back then.”
Kick Out! The Newtown Neurotics Story features contributions from: Billy Bragg – Singer, songwriter and left-wing activist. Attila The Stockbroker – Poet, musician and songwriter, long time associate of the band and Steve Drewett’s best friend. Phill Jupitus – Stand-up and improv comedian, actor, performance poet, cartoonist, and podcaster, also known as Porky the Poet. Steve Lamacq – English disc jockey, BBC Radio 6 Music. Garry Bushell – Newspaper columnist, music journalist, television presenter, author and political activist.
The film screening will be accompanied by a full bill of live music and poetry headlined by the Newtown Neurotics themselves. Performing a one off special set delving deep into the bands back catalogue, the Neurotics will be joined on the evening by some guests and friends to make this a must attend event for all punk rock fans.
The event, hosted by Steve Lamacq, will include a Q&A session with film maker Luke Baker, ranting poetry from Attila The Stockbroker and some special guest acoustic performances TBA.
This is a predominantly standing event with limited seated tickets available.
‘The Neurotics are back, and they’re angry… and they’re looking for ya!’ – B. Bragg.
Black Wax was tasked with programming and promoting an event to celebrate and reunite the ethos and people that made a small local venue so special.
The brief was to showcase the best of what Harlow (Essex) has been missing out on since the closure of The Square in January 2017. Some rules were to be followed:
- No Covers/Tribute bands (they still have plenty of opportunities to play in town).
- At least one act that has never had the opportunity to play in Harlow because of lack of music venue supporting new original music.
- One band reformed especially for this event.
- At least one band who have recently released brand new material.
A decision was taken early on to not promote the event under the Black Wax name. BW would take care of everything behind the scenes, but everything publicly was promoted as The Square. The Square name represents a lot more musical diversity than BW, and the acts were booked to appeal to a wide ranging audience across generations and genres.
The Square’s name and reputation are still strong, so much so that the event fully sold out (640 tickets) in the equivalent of 3 days before any acts had been announced!
A number of bands were contacted and names from the ‘hit list’ were being crossed off or ticked off accordingly, in line with the rules above.
BW worked with Doug Hunt Sound & Light to provide audio and visual support for the event. Harlow Rugby Club and The Ram’s Kitchen provided all of the catering. A team of volunteers helped stage manage and production manage the event, with security provided by local legend Paul Brown.
The event ran smoothly and to time, and the audience were a real representation of what the venue was all about. Inclusivity and fun.
Here’s to next year….
Full line up on the poster –
There’s a great review of the Eddie And The Hot Rods ‘Done Everything We Wanna Do’ show in the new issue of Vive Le Rock magazine. Look for the copy with the Stray Cats on the cover.