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The Great British Alternative Music Festival: Boomtown Rats, New Model Army, The Wildhearts, The Blockheads, The Exploited, Sham 69 (Original 1977 Line-Up), The Professionals, UK Subs, Spear Of Destiny, GBH & more
"The Great British Alternative Music Festival gives the genre a chance to live and breathe in a relaxed festival atmosphere.
You'll see live performances from original acts with real pedigree and history, along with new and upcoming performers, all in the company of like-minded fans. Plus our warm indoor venues and modern bars mean that you can enjoy live acoustic sets, all culminating in an immersive live Alternative music experience."
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Formed in 1975 in Dublin, The Boomtown Rats were once famously described as 'licentious, festering reprobates' and 'leprous anti-establishment scumbags' and banned from playing in their home country.The band played their first UK shows with the Ramones and Talking Heads and fought the punk wars alongside the Sex Pistols, The Clash, The Jam and The Stranglers. They were one of the biggest bands of the late '70s and '80s, and their string of top ten hits and platinum albums earned them Brit Awards, Ivor Novellos and Grammy's. They made history as the first Irish band to have a UK no 1 hit with 'Rat Trap'.
Boomtown Rats tour dates
New Model Army are a legendary global underground cult band. Formed by Justin Sullivan in Bradford in 1980, their beginnings were inspired by Northern Soul, Punk Rock and the incendiary atmosphere of the times. Since then, they have had a long, creative and eventful journey. They have been massively influential in 'post-punk’, 'folk-rock’, 'politico-rock’, 'goth’, 'metal’ and all kinds of musical sub-cultures but, like Groucho Marx, they have steadfastly refused to belong to any club that would have them as members.
New Model Army tour dates
For almost 2 decades The Wildhearts have remained at the forefront of the British rock scene and their legendary live shows have been second to none. The Wildhearts, with the line up of Ginger and CJ on guitars and vocals, bassist Jon Poole and Ritch Battersby on drums, continue to hold firm with their motto "Louder than llfe and better than everything else."
The Wildhearts tour dates
Formed in 1977 to promote Ian Dury's album New Boots and Panties on the first Stiff Records tour of the UK. The Blockheads are fronted by Derek 'The Draw' Hussey, who was Ian's best friend and is now the band's vocalist and wordsmith. Chaz Jankel, Norman Watt-Roy, John Turnbull and Mick Gallagher still remain from the original band and the current line-up is augmented by John Roberts on drums and a rolling line up of saxophonists including Gilad Atzmon, Terry Edwards or Dave Lewis. These legendary Brit-Funkers will be playing all the old favourites and new material.
The Blockheads tour dates
Riot-starting, bouncer-bashing, cop-baiting, hotel-trashing, foul-talking, noise-making, chaos-causing, venue-wrecking, government-hating, rule-breaking, unrelenting, punk rocking... Let's get one thing straight: The Exploited are not 'punkers' or any of the other cutesy, watered down, MTV-friendly names you might want to call them - The Exploited are punk rock.
The Exploited tour dates
Formed in Hersham in 1975, Sham 69 became one of London's must-go-see bands. Their first single, 'I Don't Wanna', produced by John Cale (formerly of Velvet Underground) was released on Step Forward Records in '77, its success prompted Polydor Records to sign them up.
Jimmy Pursey, founder member and singer with the legendary punk band, has reformed the band with Dave Parsons (guitar), Dave Tregunna (bass). Due to popular demand, they return for select gigs, to play Classic Sham and new material
Sham 69 (Original 1977 Line-Up) tour dates
Formed by Paul Cook and Steve Jones, The Professionals arrived on the scene in 1979 following the demise of the Sex Pistols, but split just 3 years later.
In celebration of the release of a three-disc set by the Universal Music Group, The Professionals reformed in October 2015 (minus Steve Jones and with the addition of Tom Spencer) for a critically acclaimed, sold out 100 Club show.
Fast-forward to 2017 and the new band spearheaded by Paul Cook, Paul Myers and Tom Spencer are set to release the first material under the Professionals name in 35 years with the full blessing of founding member Steve Jones.
The Professionals tour dates
There’s not many bands that have the respect of EVERYONE on the punk scene. But Charlie Harpers UK SUBS is that exception. Formed in 1976, the mainstay of the band has been vocalist Charlie Harper, originally a singer in Britain's R&B scene (now venerated as the godfather of UK punk) the band has continued and thrived. 2010 marked the fifth decade in which the U.K. Subs had continually graced the Punk Rock scene, widely recognised as one of the most consistently and visibly successful punk bands - they maintain and pioneer the true spirit of punk rock, without the compromise and watering-down that has affected so many of their contemporaries.
UK Subs tour dates
Vocalist/guitarist with Theatre Of Hate, Kirk Brandon formed the first S.O.D line up in 1983. Throughout the 80s, their albums went top 20 and led to them supporting U2.
Spear Of Destiny tour dates
Causing anarchy since 1978, these classic old school punk junkies have now been delivering GBH on the earholes for over 30 years. Today's GBH line-up comprises the original core trio of Colin (Col) Abrahall on vocalsm, Colin (Jock) Blyth on guitar, Ross Lomas on bass, joined by Scott Preecem their drummer for the past 17+ years.
GBH tour dates
Buster Bloodvessel and co. continue to give a crackin' good show of aggressive and highly danceable good-time ska.
Bad Manners tour dates
A five piece alternative / glam punk band from the Midlands.
Dirt Box Disco tour dates
"Astonishing" - Janice Long, BBC Radio 2. Flight Brigade are an alternative rock collective formed by lead singer Oliver Baines, his wife Miriam and her sister Dorry. With solid song-writing and lyrical poignancy, their music is 'sprawling and majestic' whilst maintaining both 'fragility and beauty' - qualities which translate to their performance. 'It's incredibly rare to have such strength and self-restraint in a live show' (Supajam/Gibson Guitars, May '12).
Flight Brigade tour dates
Classic old skool punk rock whose single 'Who You Looking At' was global hit across the whole of Manchester in the 1980s as well as breaking the band in the the national charts. The band reformed in 2003, still fronted by the mighty Mike Sweeney - vocals, guitar and former Piccadilly Radio DJ (now broadcasting on Rock Radio), and former maths teacher Diccon Hubbard on bass and vocals.
The Salford Jets tour dates
Max of Splodgenessabounds. It is almost impossible to know where to begin describing the almost legendary Max Splodge and his exploits of the last 30 years. He is a much loved and successful artist, famous not only for his talent, but also for his wild, weird and wonderful pranks and comic genius. He is first and foremost a musician, having played in bands and solo worldwide in places as varied as the US, the UK and Europe as well as both the Czech and Slovak republics. He has had two top ten hits with the self penned and universally known 'Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps' and his own anthemic version of the Rolf Harris classic 'Two Little Boys' as well as playing with the Angelic Upstarts for nearly 20 years. He has written for and performed on television, radio and in the theatre and is also renowned for his stand up comedy routines and punk bingo sessions. Max still performs regularly both solo and with his band Splodgenessabounds as well as touring every year with acclaimed Ska band Bad Manners. He is in great demand in both pubs and clubs as well as on the festival circuit and never fails to please any crowd, large or small.
Max Splodge tour dates
Formed in 1977 The Members are not a hardcore band - they play UK 1977 style punk, post punk and Reggae and they were one of the first punk groups to successfully incorporate Reggae into their set. Their biggest hit, the million selling, 'Sound of the Suburbs', has appeared on TV commercials and movies all over the world and is an instantly recognisable punk anthem. Their single 'Offshore Banking Business' is as pertinent today as it was 30 years ago.
The Members tour dates
Named after the Lambretta scooter, these Mod revivalists have been rockin' since 1979. The current line-up features original members Doug Sanders (vocals) and Paul Wincer (drums) joined by new recruits since 2009: Chris Venzi-James (bass) and Phil Edwards (guitar). The band reached no.7 in 1980 with their biggest hit 'Poison Ivy', a cover of the 1950's Leiber and Stoller song. Still performing their back catalogue, the band are also working on new material.
The Lambrettas tour dates
Four piece alt rock/grunge inspired band from South Yorkshire, Hands Off Gretel, founded by Lauren Tate, are a force to be reckoned with. Inspired by the likes of Brody Dalle and Courtney Love, Lauren made it her mission to ensure strong, young women had a voice in today's music industry, presenting an alternative to mainstream pop stars singing about broken hearts.
Lauren is a powerhouse of creativity; the band's frontwoman and songwriter, she also designs Hands Off Gretel's merchandise and is responsible for their videos, album artwork and photography. Hands Off Gretel have well and truly made their mark on the UK music scene winning fans in Shirley Manson, Linda Perry and Kate Nash.
Hands Off Gretel tour dates
A four piece band coming from Ipswich, Colchester playing original Punk and Oi! classic tunes.
Jack The Lad tour dates
A five piece, blues / hard rock band from North London. Like classic blues-rock proponents such as The Yardbirds and early Rolling Stones mixing it up with early New York punk, The Cramps and The Stooges, think big riffs, 12-bar boogie and unstoppable energy, on a mission to bring back good real music to London then the world.
The Blue Carpet Band tour dates
Artpunks from Liverpool who play primitive rock and roll and sing about things they believe in.
Pete Bentham & The Dinnerladies tour dates
A cabaret punk band from Plymouth. They have been described as a cross between Dead Kennedys, Undertones, Alberto y Lost Trios Paranoias and the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band.
Bus Station Loonies tour dates
A fun, catchy and charged up garage rock, pop and punk band from South London. Formed in 1986 they have long established themselves as one of the UK’s greatest ever Garage Punk bands. They have shared the stage with many of their own heroes (and influences) such as The Ramones, The Damned, The Cramps, Fleshtones, Revillos, Urban Voodoo Machine, Legendary Shack Shakers, The Germs, Wreckless Eric and many others.
The Witchdoktors tour dates
A four-piece band of West Midland Street Punks.
"Without doubt one of the most exciting Punk bands playing anywhere in the World today. From the brilliant Barcode Generation to Hotline to Hades the Drongos are no longer playing the best Punk Rock in the UK but clearly setting the standard for Punk to come. Intelligent Exhilirating. Honest. Quite simply - Brilliant" - Kerrang! Radio
Drongos For Europe tour dates