The Clash – London Calling

Album artwork for London Calling

In many people’s eyes, The Clash are the definitive punk band. They are widely regarded as the best punk band of all time and have influenced countless acts and musicians. In many ways The Clash were to punk what the late Michael Jackson was to pop—revolutionary. With this analogy it would be fair to say that the Clash’s third studio album, London Calling, was their very own ‘Thriller.

London Calling was released in the UK in December 1979 and in the United States a month later. The album helped propel The Clash to great heights and it wasn’t long before they were being branded ‘The Only Band That Matters’. Since then the Clash have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and have been voted 28th on the list of the ‘greatest artists of all time’ by Rolling Stone. London Calling has sold over five million copies worldwide and has been certified platinum in the United States.

The Clash took a different approach with London Calling and expanded on their punk style and sound, which showed through so prominently on their previous two albums, The Clash and Give ‘Em Enough Rope. London Calling contained many more elements from the musical spectrum such as: ska, reggae, jazz, pop and rockabilly. It’s crammed with stand-out tracks and all 19 songs on the album live long in the memory for one reason or the other.

Album artwork for London Calling

Album artwork for London Calling

The opening and title track of the album London Calling, was the first single released from the album. It contains a reggae influenced bass line which creates a dark, dingy, haunting feel to it. This reflects the late Joe Strummer’s lyrics in the song which voice concerns about world events at the time, such as police brutality and rising debt levels. The second track, Brand New Cadillac, is more upbeat and is a cover of a Vince Taylor song. It’s a rock and roll song with a blues riff and the band cite it as being ‘one of the first British rock ‘n’ roll records.’

Rudie Can’t Fail, the fifth track from London Calling, contains the Clash’s signature punk/reggae sound with an added element of ska. This is evident in the horn section of the song which helps to create a very uplifting sound. The song is about a young man who challenges his elders’ way of life and decides to live life his own way, such as ‘drinking booze for breakfast.’

Other ska inspired songs on the album include Lost in the Supermarket and Spanish Bombsthe latter being inspired by events that took place in the Spanish Civil War. The Clash illustrate their musical diversity further on the tracks The Card Cheat and Train in Vain. The Card Cheat is different to most other songs on the album as it encompasses a grand piano but despite the experimentation in the song, it fits right at home on London Calling with all the others. Train in Vain rounds the album off nicely with a very catchy, pop inspired sound.

In truth every single song on the album stands out for all the right reason including the jazz inspired, aptly named Jimmy Jazz and the quite brilliant Guns of Brixton. Sometimes when bands experiment with certain songs, they don’t fit inthey don’t feel at home on the album. What’s important and unique about London Calling is that The Clash weren’t experimenting with their sound as suchthey were expanding it. They were pushing and stretching the limits of the punk genre as far as it would go and because of this, they created arguably the finest punk rock record ever made. Every song on the album feels exactly right at home.

The Clash are one of the most important British bands of all time. They have helped keep punk alive by influencing many of the punk rock bands around the world today, such as Green Day and Rancid. Without The Clash and in particular, without London Calling, punk wouldn’t have just ‘died’ a long, long time agoit would hardly have been born.

Frank Turner @ The Engine Shed

 Photo (This was not taken at the gig): Nicole Kibert /

Since going solo 7 years ago, Frank Turner’s had a pretty exciting ride. He’s toured in countries across the world, played over a thousand shows, and this year – he sold out Wembley. As well as this, he also played a part in the 2012 Olympics opening ceremony. And now, he’s touring before the release of his fifth studio album next year. TREMORS went along to his sell out gig at the Engine Shed.

 Jim Lockey & the Solemn Sun opened the show, and it wasn’t long before their music created a buzz in the crowd. They’re an alternative folk and rock band from Cheltenham. To start with, it did feel as if the energy and electric atmosphere they were trying to create wasn’t really reaching the audience. But after a couple of songs, the audience loved them. It’s easy to see why, too. Their performance was so full on and powerful and uplifting. It made you want to get up and just dance like no one was watching, and their energy was contagious – once the audience had caught it, there was no going back!

American singer/songwriter Tim Barry graced the stage with his presence next, and his performance was truly wonderful. He was the perfect support act for Frank. He sang songs that told the most beautiful, passion filled stories, and made you feel a connection with him so fast. When he sang, it felt like he’d put every single member of the audience into their own little world. They were completely involved with his performance and the interesting things that he had to tell.

It’s actually the second time Frank Turner has ever gigged in Lincoln. Last time was 2008, and you could tell most of his fans had been waiting a long time his return. Just before he finally appeared on stage, the anticipation was building to extremities in the audience. Several cheers occurred when people mistook the tech crew as Frank, but when he finally appeared, the cheers and roars that erupted were completely deafening. And as he started to sing, silence fell amongst the awing crowd.

He sang lots of his most popular songs, like I Still Believe and Superstition, as well as some older classics like The Road and Romantic Fatigue. But one of the highlights of the show had to have been the songs that Frank sang from his new upcoming album. They sounded fantastic live, and if they sound even half as good on the album, it’s guaranteed that it’s going to be an absolute cracker. It’s obvious that Frank knows how to work the audience, and it’s even more obvious that it’s in the live performance environment that he belongs. He’s been praised for the inclusiveness and friendliness of his gigs, and this was proved entirely here. Everyone was forced to be involved and forced to swallow up the atmosphere, and it’s a technique that works, clearly.

Something really unique about the gig that gave it a really inclusive and unique feel happened about half way through. Frank started telling a story about a dance competition that he was doing with the audiences during the tour, and encouraged to join in, with a potential spot at the top of the leader board up for grabs. This was an excellent idea, it totally encapsulated the crowd and brought together a group of completely random people who’d never previously met, which could technically be argued as one of the main points of a gig – it lets everyone share in the music they love. It got everyone dancing and allowed everyone to get the most out of it!

An encore led him back to the stage, saying he felt like Lincoln deserved a few more songs because he’d not been here in so long. He went on to sing Photosynthesis and then invited Tim Barry back to the stage, where they covered his track,On and On. He hit every note he needed to so well and sounded just as good live as he sounds on his albums – It was almost like watching a music video.  It would be insane if things didn’t continue to get better and better for Frank. He’s a super talented guy with some genuinely incredible songs and he deserves all the success that he gets. If you get the chance, go and see the man because he’s superb!

The Jolly Brewer


Address: 27 Broadgate, Lincoln, England

Telephone: 01522 528583

Capacity: roughly 150 – 200


The Jolly Brewer caters to a wide variety of musical tastes, and is especially good at hosting rock and folk oriented bands, which play there quite often. It is quite an eccentric looking establishment, and well worth a visit. The Brewer attracts a variety of interesting people, and sells Carlsberg and San Miguel among other lagers, plus Black Abbott, if you are a fan of heavier bitter. A small, intimate venue where you won’t have to wrestle half the crowd to get to the front of the gig, you can really enjoy yourself with your mates at The Jolly Brewer.

Lunchband @ The Jolly Brewer

There’s been a lot of indie bands which have sprouted around the UK after bands such as the Arctic Monkeys exploded on to the scene seven years ago. With the amount of indie bands around, it takes something extra special or different to stand out from the crowd—something unique.

On live evidence, London quartet Lunchband have the potential to be that something.

I was cold, wet and miserable when I got to the Jolly Brewer in Lincoln after trudging through the wind and rain to get there. It didn’t take long to warm up and dry off though because as soon as the first band hit the stage, the place throbbed with excitement. The Unknown Stuntmen were the support act for the night—a five-piece band who seemed to mix a number of genres, creating an exciting blend of music which kept the audience captivated. To put it in their own words:

“The Unknown Stuntmen are a collection of pirates that picked up an instrument each, tuned their vocal strings and set sail for anywhere that would have em”.

Their mixture of pop, folk and rock ‘n’ roll, with a hint of Spanish guitar playing, was a recipe for success with the audience either watching attentively or dancing the night away.

With three vocalists in the band, two males and one female, there’s a good variety in their sound with their voices and harmony’s complimenting each other nicely. I caught up with the rhythm guitarist, Dave, after their show to find out a little more about the band. He described them as being influenced by “anything with a good melody” and cited artists such as “The Beatles” and “Beethoven” as major influences. By being influenced by such popular and respected musicians as these, it’s easy to see why the audience took so kindly to the The Unknown Stuntmen.

Cover art for Lunchband's EP: Rabbits, Princes, Phantom's & Beaches

Cover art for Lunchband’s EP: Rabbits, Princes, Phantom’s & Beaches

In the interval, after everyone had topped their beers up, the crowd started to gather in anticipation for the headline act of the night, Lunchband. Lunchband are a four-piece act from London but many of the band members originate from Lincoln. This made the show that little bit more special for the band and it shone through in their performance. Mixing indie, electronica and folk rock together, the band create a signature sound which is very appealing to both old and young. Listening to them, you can see they’ve been influenced by popular mainstream indie acts of today, such as Arcade Fire, but there’s also some 60’s rock in there in the shape of the Kinks.

The band played songs off their EP which was released earlier this year in July called Rabbits, Princes, Phantom’s & Beaches. The song Rabbit Run is a very easy listening song with a catchy guitar melody layered over the top of a nice chord sequence. My Prince has a strong, bouncy bass line similar to that from the Killer’s song, Jenny Was A Friend Of Mine. Throughout the set, lots of the bands influences shine through ranging from indie band Foals to 80’s electronic band, Depeche Mode. The band do a great job of knitting their influences sounds together to create their own brand of music, which stands out from most of the other indie bands around at the moment.

Lunchband are an interesting band with bags of potential. The gig was billed as Lunchband’s ‘homecoming gig’. I expect that there were a lot of people in the Jolly Brewer last night who will be eagerly counting down the days until Lunchband next come ‘home’.

This Week’s Top Picks – 23rd November

Olly Murs –Troublemaker

This image shows Olly Murs stood against a bright blue background whilst holding his hat.He’s been pretty successful over here in the UK over the last couple of years, and now, as with most artists, he wants to try and crack America. And with a voice as unique and as catchy as his, he probably wouldn’t have much difficulty doing it alone. But in this new record, he’s teamed up with Flo Rida.

To be honest, it’s quite difficult to see why he’s done this. The majority of the song is typically Olly – it’s catchy, upbeat, and packs a punch of personality that gets you drumming along with it. Olly’s obviously still in the limelight with this one, but when Flo Rida comes in, it almost seems kind of pointless. I can see why you’d want to put someone into a song who’s already famous across the pond to try and crack it yourself, but this song is already so perfectly structured and loveable that it just seems unnecessary and waives the attention away slightly from Olly’s style. Still an amazing tune though!


Girls Aloud – Something New

This image shows the five members of Girls Aloud stood in a line, wearing purple dresses and against an orange background.

It seems like an age since Girls Aloud announced they were taking a yearlong break, but now they’re finally back and arguably better than ever. Whilst the vocals on their comeback single ‘Something New’ still aren’t perfect, the catchiness and typical Girls aloud style make up for that!

For the first few listens, it’s likely to sound rather undesirable. As a definite grower, you really will have to listen a few times before it hits you. But when it hits, it’ll hit hard, and it’ll swallow up your head for the rest of the day. It stays true to their older stuff, with a poppy and light tone, but you can also see how they’ve all developed since they took a break. They’ve adapted their style ever so slightly, so that if fits in pretty much perfectly with the current charts. It’s definitely something new, and is brilliant!


Example – The Evolution of Man

This image shows Example's album cover, which is of him holding a photo of himself as a child, whilst facing a huge crowd of peopleAs his fourth studio album, progression and development as an artist would of course be expected. And there’s definitely a lot of this. The album in general seems to have taken a slightly new angle, and when comparing it to his previous album, Playing In the Shadows, this change is in vision.

Far from being electric and quite uplifting, it actually seems more vapid and stripped back. Not in an extreme way though, in fact, there are sections where you’d probably not notice at all. Whilst it does sound really familiar, and tunes like Perfect Replacement are super clubby, it’s much deeper and his personality is glowing through in a way that’s almost blinding. The title of the record refers directly to Example himself, and the way in which he’s moved on from things like drugs. As you’d expect, it’s catchy. Very catchy, and the transitions between singing and rap are perfect. There’s just something really special and friendly about his voice that makes it impossible not to listen.

It easily sounds as good as his last couple of albums, and might just be his greatest one to date.

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