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Annie Woode

Every Letter revisited

Happy New Year to you.I decided to revamp one of the songs I did on my initial demo album as I really found the words encouraging. I hope you will as well. I've labelled it as Every Letter II on the music player. May it encourage you on difficult days as much as it encouraged me. The lyrics are below and are losely based on Habakkuk 3:17 - 19

Every Letter 

Every letter every page

Every minute and every age

Each temptation and every care

Every person everywhere 

Is written on the hand

Of the one who made the land


Every trial and every fear

Every burden he will share

Of the ones that he has called

To be a part of his great fold

I know who holds the threads

And I know who paints the picture

I know he knows my name

And the purpose he has planned


To make me part of his great kingdom

Create me perfect in his way

And though the fig tree may not blossom

I’ll put my trust in him each day



Greatest War
He's Always There
Blood Covers Me

Ramblin' Jack Elliott

Ramblin' Jack New Shows for This Year!

Happy New Year to all !   Welcome to 2014 - going to be a great year!

Don't miss Ramblin' Jack Elliott in San Francisco this week-end at the St. Cyrpian's Church at 2097 Turk Street - his annual "opening" for the new year.   8 PM Showtime.

Also, Jack will be at Don Quiote's in Felton, Ca. on January 11th and The Sweetwater in Mill Valley on January 30th.  Should be big fun - and also with Special Guest Nell Robinson opening at these shows!

In February 3, 4, 5 Jack heads to New York as a Special Guest of Albert Lee at The Iridium - for three nights - then he goes on to Phoenixville, PA on February 8th to the Steel City Coffeehouse.  Rare opportunities to see Jack in these historic venues!!



The Ballad of Ramblin' Jack: Original Soundtrack

King Mike V

(NEW!) Breaking Bad by: Mike Vanderhoof

(NEW!) Breaking Bad by: Mike Vanderhoof

20inx16in Acrylic on Canvas - For Sale: $400 plus shipping Contact my email for inquiries.

Prints Available for $10 on my store page

 Breaking Bad, Heisenberg, Walter White, Bryan Cranston, Blue Sky, Jesse Pinkman, Aaron Paul, Better Call Saul

Petty Theft

This Friday @HopMonkseb Tavern in Sebastopol + More! #MOFOTour2014

Hey All,


We had an amazing time on New Years Eve playing a sold out show in Mill Valley.  It was a great way to end a fantastic year for us.

THIS Friday we play our first show of 2014 at one of our favorite venues: HopMonk Tavern in Sebastopol.  We've always had amazing shows in 'The Abbey'.  It's a great room to hear live music and the adjoining restaurant serves delicious food and fine brews.  Our friends and special guests The Grain will get the evening started with their funky rock and roll jams.  We expect a full house so grab your tickets in advance now HERE.


Two Nights!  "An Evening with Petty Theft" at the Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette on Friday, 1/31 & Saturday, 2/1  That's right, a two-night stand at this intimate venue.  Each night, we will be mixing up the sets and playing different songs.  For each performance they will be giving away a different commemorative poster.  So come to one or both shows and get your fill of Tom Petty's amazing catalog of songs.  These shows are both expected to sell out in advance so don't wait…Grab your tickets in advance now HERE.

"Into the great wide open, Under them skies of blue"

~Dan, Django, Bagel, Monroe, Mike and Michael



Upcoming Shows(check our website for details and RSVP below):

Keep up on the latest updates and other cool Tom Petty info by FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER or ADD US ON FACEBOOK (and invite your friends) and INSTAGRAM'ERS... follow us here.  We love to play parties...please CONTACT US to book the band for your party now!


See you on the road!


We've moved to

We've moved to You can also find us on Facebook by searching Young Amphibians. 

"This Is The End Of Everything!"
Something Yet To Learn

Ted Stevens


Exit Zero
Dead End Dragstrip

they go pop!

New Year's Eve - 2014

Thank you, Mondo's Sportsbar & Pub for inviting us in for a couple of sets!

Thank you, Humbolt Draw for ringing in 2014 with us!

What an incredible evening!

King Mike V

(NEW!) Album Cover Artwork for D-Cypha

King Mike V

(NEW!) "Day of the Droog"

(NEW!) "Day of the Droog" by: Mike Vanderhoof

20inx16in Acrylic on Canvas - For Sale: $350 plus shipping. Contact my email for inquiries.

Prints Available for $10 on my store page

Christian D

Everything and the Kitchen Sink Joe Strummer Special

Christian and Adam Sewell of Stereo Dynamite Recordings  guest hosted the latest version of the Everything and the Kitchen Sink  Joe Strummer special! Along with host Nikki we talk, blather and yell about the London Calling abum (mostly). Lots of great Clash songs, and I even learned some stuff... go check it out!




Shake It or Leave It
Broken/ Bloodline
Cut Loose and Live

Petty Theft

New Year’s Eve 2013 Party w/ PETTY THEFT + Special Guests: Fleetwood Mask!

Bring in the New Year with the music of Tom Petty!

A 2013 New Years party to remember at the Mill Valley Community Center Featuring:

PETTY THEFT "The ultimate Tribute to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers" 
Plus Special Guests: Fleetwood Mask (Tribute to Fleetwood Mac)

This will be a fun filled evening of streamers, balloon drop, party favors & toast! Not to mention a great night of music and dancing!
Tickets are $40 Advance / $45 Door and (Reserved table seating is now sold out)


Petty Theft NYE

Petty Theft

#NYE2013 in Mill Valley + @hopmonkseb in Sebastopol

Hey Tom Petty Music Lovers,

We hope you have all enjoyed a wonderful Holiday Season.  We want to thank all of you for making this our best year yet!  We truly feel we have the best fans in the Bay Area!   We have a lot of new things in the works for 2014 including adding more great Petty songs into our sets.

Our grand finale this year will be our "3rd Annual" NYE Party, Tues 12/31/13 at the Mill Valley Community Center.

We hope that you will join us for the party of the year as we bring in the New Year in style with party favors, a balloon drop and GREAT LIVE MUSIC.  There will be a full bar serving Lagunitas Beer on tap, fine wines, liquor & champagne (There will be non-alcoholic beverages available.)  All of the bar proceeds go to support the MV Recreation's new music program.  Kicking things off will be special guests: Fleetwood Mask (Tribute to Fleetwood Mac).  

Tickets remain available but are going fast (Reserved table seats are already SOLD OUT) so get your tickets NOW


Our first show of 2014!  We return to Sonoma County and Hopmonk Tavern in Sebastopol on Friday 1/3.   Our shows here the past few years have always been pretty amazing.  The Abbey is a great room to hear live music and the adjoining restaurant serves delicious food.  PLUS, we have our friends The Grain opening the show performing their funky rock ‘n’ roll jams.  Make a dinner reservation and grab your tickets NOW as this show could sell out.  Tickets available HERE

Our Last Dance with RDL:  

Just want to say that our show last weekend at Red Devil Lounge in San Francisco was another magical night.  Red Devil Lounge will always have a special place in our hearts as it was the 1st venue in city to really get behind us, helping us become a headliner in San Francisco.  We want to thank the owner and booker Jay Siegan and all of the staff that we worked with there for all the good times!  RDL you will be missed!

"You belong somewhere you'll feel free"


Dan, Django, Bagel, Monroe, Mike and Michael



Upcoming Shows(check our website for details and RSVP below):

Keep up on the latest updates and other cool Tom Petty info by FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER or ADD US ON FACEBOOK (and invite your friends) and INSTAGRAM'ERS... follow us here.  We love to play parties...please CONTACT US to book the band for your party now!

Check out our latest Petty Theft t-shirts now available online (FREE SHIPPING until 12/31/13)

NYE 2013

Clint Crisher

Video I Love You

I Love You by Clint Crisher from The Hot Boys World Vol. 2 CD. This video is set in the holiday spirit of Christmas and Love.

The Hot Boys World Volume Cd’s are available on CD and for digital download at

With all good wishes to you and your family for health and happiness throughout the coming year. …

Perfect World
Terrific Distraction

Hiphop $hop

New Punjabi Songs

Tera Ishq - Lakhwinder Wadali Adhoore Chaa [Jattizm - Ammy Virk] District Sangrur [District Sangrur - Roshan Prince] Jatt Di Jawani [District Sangrur - Roshan Prince] Adidas [Adidas - Garry Sandhu] Lakkdi Da Ford [District Sangrur - Roshan Prince]

The One

Bursalblaader Music & Mick Dorey



Mark Mathews

Thank you for the good times

Brothers and Sisters!!

This will be my last post for the year, as I am to hybernate till 2014 begins (read - Hybernate essentially means: drink heavily and eat loads!) so, like a speech at an awards ceremony:

"I just want to thank those who have made this all possible!"

Seriously, it has been such an amazing year with so many highs and I have all you lot to thank.

Considering I was not back proper in Gods green country of the UK till April, I managaed to tot up 40 gigs across the country! Most were great some were average and others were, well quite frankly horrendous!

However, they have all shaped and helped me on this Indie-Pop journey of mine. Last nights (Sunday 22nd) at Proud Galleries, was the perfect way to end the gigs as it was truly one of my favourites. And who could forget the insane, stage invasions at the New Cross Inn, all those moons ago?!

It is gigs like these that make this path I am treading so worth while. So, I want to thank everyone that has made it out to one of my shows this year. Your support, love and commitment to the cause is something I really do appreciate and I hope to see you at many more as they get bigger and bigger!

On a similar tip to the live shows, I have to thank the great city of London and in particular the folk in the London Underground. Since getting back to this fair land I re-applied and recived my busking license and have been found underground, singing my little heart out for a good portion of the year.

And the response has been phenomenal. 

London, your generosity has been second to none. Your beautiful, lovely comments have warmed my heart and this stereotype of Londoners being miserable, robotic bastards who don't raise a smile is so far from the truth it hurts. I have been to many, many cities around the world and I can honestly say, hand on heart, there is no city like the mighty L.D.N. We are the most diverse, multi-cultural place on the planet and I absolutely love you more than I love Jaffa Cakes and Christ knows I love them Jaffa Cakes!

Some of you are aware of the Song For you Charity I am a part of: 

It is something I am really passionate about and something I really believe in and I want to thank the Charity for allowing me to be a part of their cause. Good on any of you that have taken notice and helped out in whatever way you have (Sharing tweets, letting others know about it, donating etc). Please if you are to do anything, keep this up.

Recording wise it has been a strange one and I want to thank you all for your patience! Before the deal with Animal Farm to release the three singles, it feels like I spent a lot of time recording and re-recording tracks for the ill-fated "Modern Romance" EP and I kept the carrot dangling in front of your very pretty faces.

You are very pretty you know.

Things went as far as pre-production for a music video and the artwork (excellent job by the wonderful Martin Hobby) being completed! Everything was ready to go...

...except the music!

Yes, from one Engineer to the next (think I managed 4 Engineers and 3 studios!), no one could quite do the job I expected and nothing was ever good enough to be released. Months went by and eventually the idea was put on ice and then Animal Farm came along and I finally got to record some proper stuff. So yeah, things worked out in the end but it was a long drawn out process!

Still, next year will be a very exciting time with the release of three singles that I personally think are top!

Some tracks from the "Modern Romance" sessions, however are being played around with by someone who knows what he is doing (!) and I am slowly making them available on Youtube:

Which brings me nicely onto my youtube channel. Thank you for all your views and shares and such. The Youtube channel has gone from a few videos to 28! Some have more views than others, of course, but the views and subscriptions continue to go in the right direction so love and respect for that and please do carry on doing so!

And you little Social media monsters have stormed my Twitter and Facebook and a lot of you have downloaded my tracks from Itunes (Link below!) which is just lovely.

A bit of breaking news also is that I will be working with dance label, Panache Records next year and be releasing some tracks and doing some gigs with them too...I know!

As I always say, you've just got to believe and this is especially excting as it is within a genre that is new for me to work in!


Anyway, let me summarise all this because I am going on a bit now and there are drinks to be drunk and presents to be unwrapped: I am so grateful for all the love, support and belief that you have shown me over the past year. I am doing something I love, I am living my dream and you have played a huge part in this. Whether it has been buying my music, coming to a gig, watching a youtube video or simply telling me how much you enjoy my music, you have played a part in my success and I am so thankful for that, believe!

So, I wish you a VERY Merry Christmas. You have all been very good this year in my books so I think you deserve everything you wish for. And here is to a friggin' amazing New Year! Bring on 2014!!!


Download my App here:

Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride
A Flash In The Pan
Moments and Movements
London Lives (Single)
The Girl

The Despoilers

Despoilers Christmas Message (Drivel)

Another enjoyable and entertaining night at yet another new venue. Thank you to the Red Lion, Shadwell.

 The band is signing off 2013 now, for a period of rest and practice. Is that a paradox?

It’s been a great year, in which the band has gone through a major transformation and finishes the year on a solid foundation to really rock in 2014.

Established now in both the Leeds and York music scenes and with a shed load of great gigs booked, 2014 should be a really fun year.

Last but not least we want to thank everybody that have supported us in 2013, particularly mentions to Colin and Scooby whose friendly faces have popped up far from home turf on many, many occasions throughout the year.

A very merry Christmas and a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to your all.


The Despoilers

Kick Bricks

Another fun night at G&L

t was a frigid night in the city of Chicago, But it wasn't enough to keep Beta Dogs and a room full of friends, family, and neighbors from bringing a little heat to the G&L Tavern on Chicago's north side. Never ones to play things  by the book, Beta Dogs played for nearly 3 1/2 hours over two sets which covered a wide range of music, including songs from deep in the band's back catalog. Highlights included Brian digging down for acoustic versions of his tune "Half-Assed Man" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", Joe taking on the Allman Brothers' "Blue Sky", and a reworking of Steve's "Hard Living", that changed a typically 31/2 minute tune into an epic 10 minute jam, to open the night's proceedings. The band seems to be coming together in real time as harmonies, arrangements and solos spring up on the fly. It's been interesting and fun. The crowds seem to be loving it too, so right now things are looking good & we can't wait for next!

Insignificant Others


Pipeorgan Performance

Thursday, December 19th, 2013-9:00pm.

        PipeOrgan Performance

 "Be Heaven's Gate Unanswered"

5108 South Prairie Chicago, Il.60615


Mark Mathews

Last Call!!

Brothers and Sisters!!

So, as the year comes to an end just a last call to you all:

Live - Playing at Camden Proud Galleries this Sunday. 2 sets, one at 2:45pm and one at 3:45pm. Come on down for a final drink and sing song for 2013...(Shit! Has it gone that quick!)

Recordings - Got a few recordings that will be available to watch on Youtube soon, so watch this space. I may decide to give them away in 2014. We'll see how popular they are!

Videos - I am working on getting the Videos shot for the 3 singles coming out next year. If you want to get involved drop me a line.

Remember loads of videos up here:

Other stuff - Remember you can download my app here:

Keep sharing my stuff on facebook ( and Twitter (

Loving your work, believe!



Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride
A Flash In The Pan
Moments and Movements
London Lives (Single)
The Girl

Katie Garibaldi

Holiday Show Tomorrow! 50 Mason Social House at 9PM!

FYI, tomorrow's Holiday Show at 50 Mason Social House in San Francisco has been changed to 9:00 PM!  I'll be joined by bassist Andrew Gibson and we open up the show so be sure to plan to arrive at 9! Our Christmas gift to you: a FREE show!  No cover!  See you there, San Francisco!

Click on the flyer for details...

Next Ride Out
Fallen Angel
Baby We're Really In Love - single

Petty Thieves

Petty Thieves At Lake Lawn Lodge New Years Eve

Petty Thieves will be at Lake Lawn Lodge for New Years Eve 2014!   Our Return Visit - it was awesome last year and is sure to be an awesome time this year!  We will be annoucing our 2014 Tour name and look forward to a great year in 2014!   Thank you all!

Soul Fire Saints

O2 Academy & The Greystones = SMASHED!!

O2 Academy

We rolled into the O2 Academy on Friday 22nd November to support 'The Sherlock’s ' EP release & 'SOLD OUT' gig not really knowing what to expect. The Sherlock's are big fish on the local Indie scene and we couldn't be sure how receptive their fans might be to our bass heavy riff-rock band; make no bones about it, it felt like we were gate crashing a drunken teenage house party, but we thought 'what the hell' in for a penny, in for a pound!!

The Sherlock’s are without doubt one of the best young Indie bands in the region and they self publicise themselves as good as anyone else, this was a gig we'd be foolish to turn down albeit we are going in very different directions musically - this mattered not and our nervousness about not fitting in on the night turned out to be ill founded.

Their following is something else and they got behind all the bands that played that night; they were almost in hysterics when The Sherlock’s took to the stage - chanting their name, singing along and bouncing to their tunes - they certainly know how to party. These are exciting times for The Sherlock’s and from what we saw it seems these young lads have the world at their feet.

Both we and 'The Kavaliers' brought a fair wedge of our own fans and everyone seemed to mingle, enjoy the music and have a good time. The Kavaliers displayed some serious attitude and musical ability - in fact all the bands played dead tight sets and it turned out to be a TOP NIGHT with some great young bands.

The Greystones (For Tinyteeth Presents)

We'd been looking forward to this one for a while - playing for ex-Little Man Tate front man Jon Windle, now the co-owner of up and coming record label 'Tinyteeth Records', and supporting a cracking new touring band, Classic Rockers 'Cage the Gods'!!

First up were a brilliant young Rock band called 'The Verals' - we'd heard good things about these guys just from being around the local scene - they displayed maturity way beyond their years and had a real stage presence along with some brilliant material - it's pretty scary how talented these youngsters are, remember the name people.

We'd hoped originally to play a 9 song set but had to strip this down to 7 songs due to time constraints - though we did debut one of our recently finished songs called 'Baying for Blood'. Unfortunately the mic effects needed to enhance this song didn't quite work and do the song justice as the sound guy struggled to work the effect levels without getting major feedback. Other than that, as ever, we blasted through our set which is becoming more and more powerful and received some good feedback from fans. As you would expect from a band that recently supported 'Tracer' and 'The Answer' Cage the Gods were different class and put on a real show - top guys too.

All in all another great night and some good networking done - thanks to Jon Windle (top bloke), Brett for the great advice & Sean Wells for coming down and taking these awesome pictures.




Merry Christmas From Anteloup

Anteloup wish all their followers a very Merry Christmas for 2013, and a great New Year.

Tuesdays are normally for rehearsing, but tonight we are having a pre-Christmas meeting to discuss our gigs for 2014!!

Be sure to follow us on Twitter @Anteloup and keep an eye on our website for gig details.

Rhema Soul


RHEMA SOUL x GAWVI Live Performance at FUSION 2013 in Daytona Beach, FL. Dope Beats, Good News vol 2. NOW AVAILABLE on iTunes!

Dope Beats & Good News
Worn Soles

The Despoilers

Signing Off 2013 at The Red Lion, Shadwell

2013 has been an eventful year for the band and we look forward to a finale gig at the Red Lion, Shadwell on Saturday 21st December.

Bring it On!

The Despoliers

The Despoilers

Double Trouble!

Two fantastic gigs this weekend at the Horsforth Hotel and Victoria Vaults. A big thank you to everyboby who turned out to see the band.

We are back at both venues next year, kicking off 2014 at the Victoria Vaults, York on Sunday 12th January.

Its the Red Lion Shadwell up next, on Saturday 20th December.

Bring it on!

The Despoilers

Double Header Weekend 14/15th December

Its a crazy "Double Header" weekend: Horsforth Hotel Saturday from 9:00 pm and The Victoria Vaults Sunday from 4:00pm.
Great to see anyone that makes it along to either gig.


The Despoilers

Petty Theft

This Saturday, Last Dance with @reddevilsf + #NYE Tickets Selling Fast

Hey Honey Bees & Refugees,

We're coming down the home stretch to close out 2013… We had a blast this past Sunday at Candlestick Park performing at the 49ers official tailgate party...and the 49ers beat the Seahawks to top off the day!

THIS Saturday 12/14: "Our Last Dance with Red Devil Lounge"

Red Devil Lounge is closing at the end of this month so this will sadly be our last show at the Red Devil.  We've had so many great times and shows at this club.  Please join us in a final farewell to one of San Francisco’s best live music venues over the past 20 years.  Very special guests: The Killer Queens (All Female Tribute to Queen) will kick things off at 9PM. Get your Tickets NOW here.

Tickets Going Fast for our "3rd Annual" NYE Party 12/31/13:

Come join us for the party of the year as we bring in the New Year in style at the Mill Valley Community Center!  There will be a full bar, party favors and of course a nite of great entertainment.  Starting the night out will be special guests: Fleetwood Mask (Tribute to Fleetwood Mac).  Tickets are on sale now and going fast.  Table reservations are limited so don't wait to reserve yours NOW: Buy tickets HERE.


Have you checked out the latest PT swag yet?!  Petty Theft t-shirts are available online and at our shows.


"Last dance with Mary Jane, one more time to kill the pain"



Dan, Django, Bagel, Monroe, Mike and Michael

Petty Theft


Upcoming Shows(check our website for details and RSVP below):

Keep up on the latest updates and other cool Tom Petty info by FOLLOWING US ON TWITTER or ADD US ON FACEBOOK (and invite your friends) and INSTAGRAM'ERS... follow us here. 

We love to play parties...please CONTACT US to book the band for your party now!

Luis Ogando

Website Going Live

Luis' website will be going live any moment now. Be sure to check for details on gigs, set lists, events and all manner of Luis-based news.

Katie Garibaldi

Holiday Show is 1 Week Away in San Francisco!

Holiday 2013 Singer/Songwriter Show at 50 Mason Social House in San Francisco!


50 Mason Social House is located at:
50 Mason St.
San Francisco, CA
Just 50 yards from Powell Street BART and 1/2 block from Market Street. Street and lot parking available.
50 Mason Social House has one of the best beer and wine lists in the city, featuring local live music, showcasing the best of San Francisco's world-class music scene.


Annie Corbett:
Singer-songwriter Annie Corbett is known in the Portland Jazz community for her electrifying vocals and phrasing skills. She fronted an alternative rock band before pursuing solo songwriting.

Katie Garibaldi:
Katie Garibaldi is an award-winning singer/songwriter/guitarist from San Francisco. Her latest release, Next Ride Out, has catapulted this acoustic-Americana artist's career into top speed, and she's currently in the studio recording her 7th full-length album. Katie's been named a Music Connection Magazine Top 100 Unsigned Artist and Songwriter of the Year by Songsalive!

Join the Facebook invite!

Next Ride Out
Fallen Angel
Baby We're Really In Love - single

Katie Garibaldi

Holiday Show and December 2013 News!

Happy Holidays !

Is it really already the end of the year?? Well, another one bites the dust! It's not only a busy time of year for me right now because of the holidays and festivities, but I've also been a busy bee in the studio recording my new album!! Everything has been going wonderful and I can't wait to unveil my new music to you next year (just around the corner!)

Meanwhile, I have a couple gigs coming up here in December, including a big holiday show at 50 Mason Social House in San Francisco on December 19th. It's going to be fun AND FREE! So if you live in the SF Bay Area, you have no excuse but to come to the show and join us for some drinks, music, and of course holiday cheer! :)

Get all the details for this month's shows and more in my December Newsletter, out now!

If you're not already on my mailing list, just click to and sign up to receive my monthly newsletters in your inbox to keep up with shows and news, so you won't miss a thing!

See you out and about in December!

Next Ride Out
Fallen Angel
Baby We're Really In Love - single

Ted Stevens


Ted Stevens and the Doo-Shots are recording their latest CD.  All original material with an early 2014 release.  Tunes are being recorded by Robbie Robertson of Thunderbolt Brown (longtime collaborater and bandmate of Butch Alan). 

Doo-Shots are also going to release a LIVE CD in early 2014,  mixing covers and originals at a venue to be determined. 

We will let you know when the live CD is being recorded so you can come out be a part of it !!!


Exit Zero
Dead End Dragstrip

Annie Woode

Quick Download

Download the EP Melodies for Christmas as a zip file by clicking  HERE. Have fun.xxAnnie

Greatest War
He's Always There
Blood Covers Me

Mark Mathews


Borthers and Sisters,

Just a qucik one.

Thanks to all those that came and voted for me on Saturday, at the Battle Of The Bands comp in Canary Wharf...I'm through to the next round!!

It was a great night, with a great audience and some great bands. I really enjoyed myself.

The following nights gig at Boogaloo was not enjoyed as much!

The band before me brought a load of mates down and they all watched their friends sing away. The band mentioned how "nice the audience were to be so attnetive and listening to the tracks"....they then came off stage to go and chat as loudly as they could with their gaggle of mates, making it hard to hear myself sing

Those of you that have seen me know I have a loud voice, so this is qwuite a feat!

I just think it was really out of order for this to happen and the Promoter did nothing to quell this bar nipping out for a fag. Sure, you can't tell people to be quiet in a venue. But the band could have been mpore respectful being they are doing the same thing I am trying to do AND even mentioned how appreciative they were of the quietness, whilst they were playing.

And they stole my coat! True story!

(Disclaimer: This incident is most probably a harmless mistake and could be me building it up into a story of theft just because he has a strong dislike towards the rudeness and selfishness of said band)

This is an unpaid gig, which takes time and effort to get to and when you are not being listened to because of some knob heads, it makes it completely pointless. Needless to say I shan't be gracing that place anytime soon. 

Still, this is a minor incident in the grand scheme of things. Like I say, Saturday was top, we all know about the singles, the plans are being put into place for the Music vids and there are a couple of gigs left before I break for Christmas. 

Hope to see you soon, believe!


Buy The Ticket, Take The Ride
A Flash In The Pan
Moments and Movements
London Lives (Single)
The Girl

Bursalblaader Music & Mick Dorey


Brian Crook interview Crook  and JJ met on their first day at Primary school and the pair have remained close friends to this day. 

When JJ joined Hugh and Jet in Guildford, Brian (shown right) spent a lot of time with the band, both at home and their gigs. Desperately in need of someone to assist with the general day to day running of the band, Brian volunteered to become their part time manager in 1975.

He helped out with promotion and touting their demos to any record company that would let him through the door. With Brian’s help and through the band’s sheer hard work and determination,  they came to the attention of Derek Savage in London and things started to gain momentum. We caught up with Brian to find out about the part he played back in the early days of the band…  

How would you describe JJ to someone who hadn’t met him?

He is as loyal as hell, if  you were close to him he would share his last Rolo with you but, if  you weren’t close, then you had to prove yourself. If you showed any sign of weakness, he would destroy you, either physically (more often than not) or intellectually, either way would do. I guess any  internal or external strife The Stranglers have had over the years would always have had JJ at the centre of matters. He is a strong, very intelligent individual, not to be messed with. I went to a Karate competition with him many years ago I think in Northampton, it was a non contact match. JJ was unfairly hit by his opponent and his  reaction was instant.  I didn’t even see the move, just saw the guy hit the floor with lots of blood spilling from his face. 

You had known JJ since primary school and obviously were aware of his passion for karate & motorcycles and his desire to pursue both as more than just pastimes. What did you think when you heard that he had scrapped those plans and decided to join a band in Guildford?

He never scrapped those plans, just kept them on hold,  motorcycles and Karate were his main passion nothing much else counted. His joining the band was a great surprise to me but, as with anything JJ was involved in,  it was going to be done properly, to excess but done to the best of his ability and on his terms. JJ is a perfectionist, he just doesn’t realise it. It’s natural to him to be the best. school, JJ had studied classical guitar so did it surprise you that he had chosen to play the bass in the band instead?

No, not at all. It suited him down to the ground – he has, due to his classical guitar training, the necessary finger dexterity and ability to use the bass in ways others before had not attempted. It’s a powerful instrument that, in truth, had not been used to its true potential by most bass players, who were just part of the rhythm sections. JJ had a different viewpoint to this. For him, it was to be a major part of the band’s sound and it was to be a part of him, an extension of his own power,  projecting the power of his persona. As you will be well aware, countless bass players have since copied or used his style of playing, he is greatly admired for his playing.

I managed Simon Gallup out of The Cure for a two year period in the eighties. After he had left the band, we set up “Fools Dance” and toured Europe and Simon was a huge fan of JJ. We got JJ to play on one of our tracks on a mini album or EP we produced and got it released in Holland and France. Simon also uses his bass in a similar manner, it’s all about power, strength & energy.

JJ joined ‘Wanderlust’ in the summer of 1974, with their name soon changing into The (Guildford) Stranglers. When did your involvement with the band start?

When they moved into the house in Chiddingfold. I was just paying visits, going to any gigs and being there in rehearsals,  just hanging out.  The whole band seemed very focused although I dont even know if they knew what that was at the time, other than they were intent on getting a record deal, getting gigs etc. I guess it’s what made them sign “the weirdo” deal with Safari Records. I think Jet was the business brain in many ways. He was trying to get the gigs and get interest going. They all played their part except Hans (Warmling) who just practised non stop scales & “licks” six plus hours a day. He was a nice enough guy and played really well, but he wasn’t like the others, he didn’t fit in in my opinion. I could see explosive situations looming with JJ and him…

1 Lilian Place, Chiddingfold-the band's home in 1975

Initially, were you simply attending the band’s gigs or were you helping out with roadie type things?

I was just JJ’s mate coming along to see what was happening, hanging out with them and seeing what trouble I could get myself into.

What were their gigs like around that time?

The gigs they did do didn’t turn out that well. Audiences generally disliked the band. The pub managers insisted they should play things people knew hence they started taking the piss with tracks like “Tie A Yellow Ribbon (Gibbon) Round The Ole Oak Tree”. However Walk On By came out of this and, when I first heard them play it, I was impressed. I remember hearing this track in a Kent Miners Club soon after Dave had joined in the band. Well, wow and double wow!! This was fucking brilliant. Everything, the power of the bass, the keyboard sound and playing style was so different. Hugh’s vocals, Jet’s drum style, everything was fabulous. I thought “What the hell were they doing playing here?!”

You became the band’s manager in mid 1975. What did your managerial duties involve?

By that time Hans had already been been kicked out. The sax player had come and gone and, by the time, Dave joined, they were really getting more hungry but frustrated. That’s when JJ offered up my services. I would say I was a part time manager!!! I really wanted to help the band but didn’t have the knowledge or power needed to do so, although I did try really hard. I got them to get a photo and biography together along with a tape which we could use to approach record companies. I did what I could to find gigs or get in touch with agents, the band continued  getting whatever gigs they could.  I was far too naive for this business…

The band's first promo photo, Guildford 1975

How would you describe their music at the time? The Melody Maker advert Dave replied to referred to them as a ‘soft rock combo’. 

Before Dave joined, it was more an R n B band, searching to find the sound that suited them I guess. I don’t think anyone really knew what they were seeking but, when Dave joined, it was pretty instant!

After Hans ‘decided’ to leave, the search for another musician started. Having no specific sound in mind, the band initially recruited a short-lived saxophone player who was simply known by the nickname ‘Igor Saxophonich’. Can you remember anything about him?

 Ha ha, did he ever exist? Perhaps they ate him, there were food shortages at this time in the house… left within a few weeks and the band decided to recruit a keyboard player with an advert being placed in Melody Maker. Amongst the auditionees was a jobbing musician Dave Greenfield. How obvious was it that he was the man for the job?

Well, if you didn’t look at his moustache and just listened to his playing, then I would say instantly. He is a fabulous musician. He was good, fucking good!

What effect on the band’s sound did Dave’s arrival have?

He completed the sound, the missing link, the final part of the jigsaw. He knitted the whole band sound together and turned it into The Stranglers that we all know. The whole sound stepped up and the songs took on a different character. I don’t believe they were ever a punk band, they were in the mix long before all that started. They were leaders in their own field and I believe they were plonked into the “punk” genre because it suited the business and media.

At that time, the band were trapped in a fruitless but binding contract with Safari records with promises of a single release which never materialised. The band needed to be freed from that contract so JJ & you came up with an idea. Can you elaborate?

They had already met Reg McClean of Safari and signed their dodgy deal to get studio time but it was a record contract and clearly Reg wasnt going to handle this very well, he was good but reggae was his thing. JJ and I hatched the plan of me getting a job in Safari so I could get the chance to steal the contract, so that’s what I did, I got the job and set about finding the agreement and all the papers, tapes etc. It wasn’t going to be easy as I learned that there were more directors involved, one of whom lived in Birmingham and it was he who held the contracts.

With your insider knowledge of the company, you realised that they were in financial trouble and the band had to escape their contract. How did you manage this?

I simply sat them down and told them that the band were rubbish, the wrong thing for the label, we couldn’t possibly do anything with them, in fact everything that all the other record companies’ A&R men had been telling me about the band! Eventually they agreed to release the band and that was that. 

Note-JJ recently mentioned that this wasn’t actually the last they heard of the Safari deal. In mid 1977, when the band were achieving success withRattus Norvegicus, Safari reappeared, threatening to release tracks from that TW studios demo tape. Only the prompt action of the band and Albion halted the release… 

With the band finally free of their Safari deal, you set about touting their TW demo tape around a multitude of record companies. What was the response?

I took the tape of Strange Little Girl and My Young Dreams around to twenty plus different record, publishing and production companies-all the mainstream companies. Later I went back with the acetate (see below), pictures, biography and a bit of gig history, all to no avail. Each time, I was told that the name wasn’t to the liking of a lot of these companies as it didn’t fit their image or brand, that they didnt get the style or simply just didn’t like it. In fairness we weren’t talking “punk” at this point, the record companies didn’t know what was about to hit them. 

I remember one company, possibly A & M records, sat me down and asked for the tape. Before playing it, took one look at the picture and the name of the band and said “No, not interested”! That’s pretty well how it was for me, I used to get the door firmly shut in my face over and over and mainly because of the name, people hated the name.


Holy grail for collectors?

Of interest to Stranglers’ record collectors, Brian got a single sided EMI Disc acetate pressed up of the TW Strange little Girl demo to play to A&R men. This 1975 acetate has to be up there with Jet’s recorded debut single (more info here) as one of the major band rarities…


So their chosen name proved a major problem?

It still is to some idiots! Yes, the name was a stumbling block, it didn’t bother me as it was their chosen name but it sure bothered record companies at the time. I couldn’t understand why as I thought it was perfect for them, but what have those jerks got to say for themselves now!!

During this period, financial times were tight for the band. How were they surviving at the time?

On shared food mainly cheese on toast (without the cheese!), bowls of soup and half pints of beer. They even attempted to grow their own food in the garden… They were in a very bad place financially so, when I visited them,  I guess bringing them the odd pint of milk or loaf of bread was always welcome.

Desperate to hone their live skills, the band played some incredibly unsuitable gigs at the time, literally anywhere that they could secure a booking. Can you recall any specific gigs?

Yes, one on the Euston Road. I fell out with Dave over his then girlfriend, Jenny. I attacked him outside the venue and the rest of the band had to hold me back. I think JJ kicked me in the head to stop me, I was probably a little drunk or something. I did regret it as Dave is a really decent, friendly bloke and I hope that we put that behind us. I think we did.

There was another one at a Kent Miners Club. I remember it was this gig that a little old man came on stage with a small podium table, stopped the band playing and asked the audience if they wanted to play Bingo. They replied “No” so the band played on. Hugh used to do his neck wanking thing, foaming at the mouth. It was impressive but the audiences were shocked in places like that, which was funny as hell.

Any other eventful gigs spring to mind?

There was a memorable gig in Aldershot, home of the British Army. From what I can remember, they played a Squaddie pub there which ended up with all the Squaddies fighting amongst themselves, probably induced by the band’s attitude to their audience. Once a Squaddie starts fighting there is no way of stopping them tearing a place part! I don’t think it wise to quote more info about gigs I think it’s more likely to be bullshit as I simply only remember snippets and can’t for the life of me piece one thing to another – perhaps this says a lot for my state of mind at that time!

How reliable was their equipment?

It wasn’t reliable but, with no money for repairs or replacement, it was beg, borrow or steal. The PA guy Dick Douglas must have torn his hair out trying to keep it going. It was a task and a half just moving Dave’s keyboard rigs around and in an ice cream van too!

The band’s forays to London brought them to the attention of Albion management who booked some of the best known pub venues in the capital. Were they immediately interested in the band or did it take persistence?

I can’t really answer this. I know they were interested as Derek Savage spoke to me and asked if I would keep trying to help but I knew he was playing me. Albion had the power to do what they eventually did and take the band onto the all important London pub circuit. The rest is history. I guess The Stranglers were in the right place at the right time and prepared enough as a unit for Albion to push them into the limelight. Albion were showing an interest and I couldn’t see how I could help further so that was the end of my short, part-time managerial involvement.

Eventually, in April 1976, the hard work paid off and the band signed up with Albion as their managers. Was it a relief that you could finally hand over the managerial reins to someone else? wasn’t really how things were. I didn’t consider myself their manager at this stage. I was just really pleased for them and was even more delighted when JJ sent me a copy of their first single Grip. He was buzzing and I still think it’s one of their best singles as it seems to have everything in it that is so muchThe Stranglers. Keyboard riffs, powerful bass, great lyrics and great backing vocals (or ‘Ooohs’). It’s a really underrated single and should have been number one!

Was this the end of your involvement with the band?

Yes, I had no place with the band after that. I had my own thing to get on with. JJ has remained my oldest friend, my best man when I married, Godfather to my first child. Our families were close, our kids all remain friends together. I have attended gigs wherever I could and supported them all the way through. I was proud to have been a small part of it all.

Were you surprised that the band went on to such huge success?

No. I would have been more surprised if they hadn’t. They should have  enjoyed even greater success but, at the end of the day, they survived when most didn’t and they survived when too many thought they wouldn’t.


Thanks very much to Brian for his time and his memories of that dim & distant period. Thanks to him also for sharing is own personal pictures for this interview.

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