Set List and Song Review

Song Name: Pretty Vacant

Artist: Sex Pistols

Release Date: July 1977

Highest Chart Position: 6

Review: Another punk classic, recorded by the periods most notorious, if not misunderstood, icons.

Did you know: John Lydon declined an MBE for services to music? Who’d have thought, “Sir Johnny Rotten”! According to bassist Glen Matlock, the song’s main riff was inspired by hearing “S.O.S.” by ABBA. Holy *$£!

Paul says: Bass slapping at its pinnacle in this one. We all get carried away…

John says:  My chance to lead the audience on a dance with this one! When will the others join in? Who knows?

Karl says: Great tune, all time classic and a chance to let rip!

Si says:  Completely love the works of Lydon (inc PIL) and this is a rip-snorter of a song to take on. Great words and very apt at times.

 

Song Name: Teenage Kicks

Artist: The Undertones

Release Date: October 1978

Highest Chart Position: 31

Review: A great show opener to get everyone in the mood for a dance and singing session

Did you know: “Teenage Kicks” was acoustically covered by Snow Patrol in a tribute to John Peel, and was played at his funeral as the song moved him to tears?

Paul says: A nice way to get my hands warmed up for the onslaught to come.

John says: Lovely little tune to get the chords, and guitar tone, revved up for later.

Karl says: Nice tune, nothing too taxing, easy to play.

Si says: Trying to get to the pitch of the great Feargal Sharkey is always a challenge (unless your pants are tight!)

 

Song Name: Sheena is a Punk Rocker

Artist: The Ramones

Release Date: May 1977

Highest Chart Position: 22

Review: The Ramones are (we think) underrated as their songs appear to be simple. When you try to play them, you realise that’s not the case!

Did you know: The song is noted as being one of the first to refer to “punk rock” in its title and lyrics in terms of a subculture? The song was ranked at No. 5 among the top “Tracks of the Year” for 1977 by NME.

Paul says: You have to concentrate on the Ramones songs as they’re more difficult than they appear. Beware!

John says:  A great, rhythmic, strumming song to perform. No lead but a beautifully balanced song nonetheless

Karl says: Another relaxing tune to play. I can kick back and glide through this song.

Si says:  I love songs like these! There’s simple repeating lyrics, they’re quick to learn and great to sing. Cool.

 

Song Name: Swords of a Thousand Men

Artist: Tenpole Tudor

Release Date: April 1981

Highest Chart Position: 6

Review: Change of pace, and style, on this one with some interesting percussion and rift changes

Did you know: Band “leader” Ed Tudor-Pole is probably best known in the UK as the presenter of the game show The Crystal Maze from 1993 to 1995 and in the US for his roles as Enaros in the 1997 fantasy film Kull the Conqueror and Mr. Borgin in The Harry Potter film series?

Paul says: Chance to have a blast with the double bass so always one to enjoy

John says: Bit of a challenge to get the chords and lead right in this one

Karl says: Nice drum opening on this and quite a quirky beat

Si says: Takes a bit of doing this one as you need lungs full of air to cope with the length and pitch of the vocal

 

Song Name: I Fought the Law

Artist: The Clash

Release Date: 1988

Highest Chart Position: 29

Review: Although released in its own right in 1988, this song first featured on an EP, “The Cost of Living”, in 1979. Audience participation number at the end of this in the Blackout version.

Did you know: In 1978, iconic punk leaders, The Dead Kennedy’s, did a cover version to parody officials who they believed to be corrupt San Francisco glitterazzi?

Paul says: Great thumper of a bass line on this baby, rhythmically pleasing

John says: I enjoy the guitar leads in this, a chance to get high notes on the fret board.

Karl says: Couple of nice drum bits for me here. Get to solo with our illustrious singer at one point!

Si says: Now the vocals are warmed, a chance to get some harmonies going with the band and the crowd.

 

Song Name: Get Over You

Artist: The Undertones

Release Date: February 1979

Highest Chart Position: 57

Review: Another one of Paul’s suggestions, this song allows us to synchronise our efforts to the max.

Did you know: The Undertones remain the most successful band to have emerged from Derry and one of the most successful bands to have emerged from Northern Ireland

Paul says: Synchronicity is the key here. I have to match the pace of my colleagues but it’s great fun to do.

John says: Just a minor guitar solo in this one so it’s time to just let the fingers, and the music, flow on this track.

Karl says: Fast paced, edgy and dynamic. That’s how I’d describe this one. I get a sweat on!

Si says: Being more at the baritone end of the singing scale, this is a challenge. Breathe and all will be well.

 

Song Name: All Day & All of the Night

Artist: The Stranglers

Release Date: September 1988

Highest Chart Position: 7

Review: What right mind punk outfit could not have the Stranglers in their repertoire? Not us!

Did you know: The original song came out in 1964 and only one of our band was alive then? Guess who?

Paul says: I’m too young to remember the original though I love the tempo and gusto of this song

John says:  Replicating the sound of a Stranglers classic is tough but doable. Nice little breaks in this song

Karl says: Love the staccato beats in this song. Also love the guitar solo which our “axeman” is very good at.

Si says: An all time classic – I even loved the Kinks version of this.

 

Song Name: London’s Burning

Artist: The Clash

Release Date: April 1977

Highest Chart Position: 61

Review: Great, raucous, anthem performed by The Clash at their angry best. Rhythmic pace and catchy riffs.

Did you know: The song mentions, even then, about London’s traffic issues. Even back then, it focuses on young people try to get their kicks driving around in their cars until throughout the night, feeling bored and far from happy! Has anything changed in 40 years?

Paul says: First chance to draw breath for me in the set! This is one of my chosen songs so I think it’s a belter!

John says: A nice simple one to play with a nice paced finished. Si blasts my head off with the vocals though.

Karl says: Chance for me to ease back – not! Speedy, steady and rhythmic pace required.

Si says: I love having a real holler to this at the start. Love the lyrics too, having been a bored young man myself.

 

Song Name: The Saints Are Coming

Artist: The Skids

Release Date: October 1978

Highest Chart Position: 48

Review: A “hard core” punk anthem by one of the founding groups of the punk era.

Did you know: The music on this track was written by Stuart Adamson who later went on to form Big Country.  The song’s lyrics, about storms and drowning, came back to light after the events of  Hurricane Katrina. In September 2006, it was recorded by Green Day and U2, collaboratively  to raise funds for the victims  of the storm.

Paul says: Some nice bass challenges although I don’t have to adopt the “power-play” stride!

John says: Wow, this makes my fret hand hurt! Some complex pieces in the bridge of the song –  I have to focus!

Karl says: Chance to rattle out some kicking beats here. Good fun to play and requires good syncopation.

Si says: Breathe, breathe, and breathe on this sucker! Some long combined lyrics – phew!

 

Song Name: Harmony In My Head

Artist: The Buzzcocks

Release Date: July 1979

Highest Chart Position: 32

Review: Although hugely famous for “Ever Fallen In Love”, this was, in fact, an earlier hit. Great melodies, speed changes and accentuations in this song.

Did you know: In a 2006 interview, bassist Steve Diggle revealed he had smoked 20 cigarettes to achieve the gruff sound of the vocals.

Paul says: High paced but not too taxing for a change. I like the middle section which we play lighter.

John says: More of a chord driven song for me. Less pressure than some but timing is the key to a good performance of this.

Karl says: I can relax a bit here. Though it’s fast paced, there’s not to many rhythm changes. The middle section is definitely a rest opportunity.

Si says: Great lyrics, not your run of the mill verbiage here. Another chance to have a “growl” which is always fun. One of my fave’s that we do

 

Song Name: Hurry Up Harry

Artist: Sham 69

Release Date: October 1978

Highest Chart Position: 10

Review: Now this is a hard core, shout-fest, energetic punk classic. You’ll see plenty of oomph in this

Did you know: Sham vocalist Jimmy Pursey claimed that he began performing after taking the stage as a drunken fourteen-year-old at the disco and miming to Bay City Rollers and The Rolling Stones songs? Hard-core (not)!

Paul says: Really influential band of the genre and I love the pace of this with its bass challenge

John says: I get carried away in this one and sometimes forget the lead. Give me a shout please?

Karl says: A raucous, rip-roaring cacophony of noise. Let’s go –  crash it, bash it and smash it!

Si says: One of the few songs written that pays homage to the ultimate place of sanctity – the pub!

 

Song Name: Back of my Hand

Artist: The Jags

Release Date: September 1989

Highest Chart Position: 17

Review: A real band collaboration on this one! Mixed vocals make us enjoy performing this greatly.

Did you know: Jags Guitarist, and vocalist, John Alder was left handed? In his honour, Mike may play this that way but we hope not!

Paul says: I get a chance to do some singing on this one so bloody enjoyable!

John says: Fabulously fun to play the staccato guitar beats and the varied bridges. Always makes me smile.

Karl says: I have to remember the cues for the boys in this one. I have been known to stop!

Si says: Love the lyrics in this one, especially the line; “You whip ’em out before you dry your eyes”!

 

Song Name: Submission

Artist: Sex Pistols

Release Date: April 1977

Highest Chart Position: N/A

Review: Although this song was album only (Never Mind the Bollocks), it’s Lydon at his growling best.

Did you know: The Trouser Press Record Guide entry on the Sex Pistols declares that “their importance—both to the direction of contemporary music and more generally to pop culture—can hardly be overstated”

Paul says: Not a number I imagined us doing but, nevertheless, a great “Pistols” track with a thumping bass line.

John says: Great rhythm, and lead, sections in this song. Tests me every time we play it.

Karl says: Sex Pistols drumming is unique. Appears relatively simple but isn’t. Timing is all in this song.

Si says: Oh joy! Some elongated lyrics in this which gives me the chance to hold notes for a long time. Great fun.

 

Song Name: Boys Don’t Cry (but they should!)

Artist: The Cure

Release Date: June 1979

Highest Chart Position: 22

Review: We don’t think many people will believe how old this song is? Melodic, nice paced, memorable song. But is it true? We cry and we alter the lyrics!

Did you know: The song has appeared in numerous other films, including The Wedding Singer, 50 First Dates, Starter for Ten, I Do, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist, Friends with Benefits. Popular, hey?

Paul says: A great vibe to this song, with good musical arrangements. A little less pacey which is nice.

John says:  Tricky guitar pieces here but more than doable. A good little toe tapper, we hope?

Karl says: Another quieter number which means a chance for a breather!

Si says:  If you’d said to me I could do a Cure song, I’d have laughed, but we do and I do – enjoy.

 

Song Name: Born to Lose

Artist: Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers

Release Date: April 1977

Highest Chart Position: N/A

Review: Although an album track, this song is greatly loved by Paul. Punk meets rock’n’roll to great effect on this track.

Did you know: John Anthony Genzale Jr., better known by his stage name Johnny Thunders, was an American rock and roll/punk rock guitarist, singer and songwriter. He came to prominence in the early 1970s as a member of the New York Dolls. He later played with The Heartbreakers and as a solo artist.

Paul says: One of my favourite songs. I love the thumping bass on this song and the haunting words.

John says: A great chance to let rip with a solo in the middle of this song and some backing vocals too! Cool tune.

Karl says: Autopilot required! This is bar far one of the easier songs for me. I just have to keep the boys in line and with good pace.

Si says: Nice easy song for me, though the pitch need concentration. Hope we were not all Born to Lose!

 

Song Name: King Rocker

Artist: Generation X

Release Date: May 1979

Highest Chart Position: 11

Review: Being the biggest of their hits, this song a semi-rock’n’roll number that’s as energetic, and enigmatic, at the original singer (Billy Idol).

Did you know: Billy Idol’s real name is William Broad and was originally a guitarist who become a self-styled “punk Elvis”?

Paul says: Great bass trip here. A chance to wander around my frets a bit which is great

John says: A variety of techniques required here. Timing is everything – wish me luck!

Karl says: Really get to smash the “tom” drum here. Love the elements where it’s just singing and drums.

Si says: More rat-a-tat, rapid lyrics to take on nut a chorus for all to sing. Join us?

 

Song Name: Spellbound

Artist: Siouxsie and the Banshees

Release Date: May 1981

Highest Chart Position: 22

Review: An iconic punk/crossover band performing an amazing tune! The original, live, version send tingles down the spine with the quality of performance. Worth a “Youtube”.

Did you know: Siouxsie had no success auditioning guitarists in 1978. Robert Smith, of the Cure,offered his services in case they could not find a guitarist (his group were already the support band on the tour), so the band held him to it after seeing too many “rock virtuosos”!

Paul says: A song that seems so simple but is very tricky! There’s lots of pace, note and general changes in the song which test.

John says: I may look like I’m in a trance when playing this but it’s pure concentration. One of the hardest songs we’ve had to learn.

Karl says: This one is tricky for me too. There’s some drum led sections in the song that mean I have to on my game for this. Brain, don;t fail me now!

Si says: An absolute favourite of mine, very much overplayed by me. Interesting to put my vocal over a female led, original, track. It’s different!

 

Song Name: Pump It Up

Artist: Elvis Costello & The Attractions

Release Date: April 1978

Highest Chart Position: 24

Review: Thumping bass line, rat-a-tat lyrics and a real team effort here. Great fun to play.

Did you know: Elvis Costello acknowledged that the song owed an inspiration to Bob Dylan: ‘ Pump It Up’ obviously took more than a little bit from ‘Subterranean Homesick Blues’. The video features the band performing in an unfurnished, light-drenched, wholly white set, and uses simple split-screen quadrant image effects.

Paul says: Probably, the trickiest bass line I have to play. Need a wrist support for this one as it uses a lot of the guitar!

John says: One of my absolute favourites that we do and I love the guitaring in this song. Lots of challenges though.

Karl says: No too taxing to play but it’s a pleasure. Still written before I was born but I love this one as I chose it!

Si says: Although I can’t quite sing at the pitch of Elvis Costello, this song allows me to personalise a song. I love that!

 

Song Name: Tommy Gun

Artist: The Clash

Release Date: November 1978

Highest Chart Position: 19

Review: The rat-a-tat-tat of this song takes immerses you in the reasoning behind the lyrics. Great song to perform, we feel.

Did you know: Joe Strummer said that he was thinking about terrorists, and how they probably enjoy reading about their killings as much as movie stars like seeing their films reviewed, when penning the song?

Paul says: Another of my favourites, and suggestions, this is evocative of the mood of the country at the time. Love playing, and singing, this song.

John says: Great song, one my favourites that we do! Timing is the key to a good performance of this song so we’ll be working hard to achieve that.

Karl says: A bit of “military” drumming makes this one a joy to play

Si says: Deep, meaningful lyrics make this a joy to reproduce. Edgy and exciting.

 

Song Name: Anarchy In The UK

Artist: Sex Pistols

Release Date: November 1976

Highest Chart Position: 38

Review: A song that epitomised the genre, this is an upbeat anthem that many generations know.

Did you know: It was released as the band’s debut single on 26 November 1976 and was later featured on their album, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. It is number 56 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Greatest Songs of All Time and is included in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.

Paul says: One of the most influential songs on my music career. Saw them 1st time round and this was electric live.

John says: Couple of really tricky riff changes in this one. Remembering the order is the key.

Karl says: A real anthem to get my teeth into. I control the pace so scream if you wanna go faster!

Si says: For me, this song epitomises is the Pistols at their best, especially the  live version from Brixton in 2007.

 

Song Name: White Wedding

Artist: Billy Idol

Release Date: June 1982

Highest Chart Position: 6

Review: Highly recognisable song with a cracking pace. Always a crowd favourite for a sing-a-long.

Did you know: The bride in the original video was Billy Idol’s girlfriend of the time?

Paul says: Challenging bass line with multi-changes, power stance possible on this baby!

John says: Great guitar solos and pace changes that are fun to play. Into the groove of a set by now

Karl says: Some interesting combo’s, love the lower pitched elements of this.

Si says: Vocal challenge as it’s multi-pitched but fun to growl out some lyrics “Idol” style

 

Song Name: London Calling

Artist: The Clash

Release Date: December 1979

Highest Chart Position: 2

Review: This song epitomises The Clash’s unique combination of reggae basslines, punk electric guitar and raucous vocals. A true legendary song known by multiple generations.

Did you know: The lyrics reflect the concern felt by Joe Strummer about world events with the reference to “a nuclear error” to the incident at Three Mile Island, which occurred earlier in 1979. Strummer has said: “We felt that we were struggling about to slip down a slope or something, grasping with our fingernails. And there was no one there to help us.” Spooky!

Paul says: We nailed this song on the first time of practice. A real buzz from an iconic song. Nice to slow the pace a little for me.

John says: Breather time, energetically. Nice rhythms and riffs on this song which means I can play it melodically.

Karl says: Iconic song by an iconic band. Even my generation can’t fail to know this song, can they? It’s nice to have something a bit mellower to perform.

Si says: The lyrics depict a very tough time and reflect the mood of London in that era. It’s a good song to do and crowds love it!

 

Song Name: Sound of the Suburbs

Artist: The Members

Release Date: November 1979

Highest Chart Position: 12

Review: With a unique style to it, this song is another anthem of it’s time. Tricky to piece together but a crowd pleaser.

Did you know: In 1978/79 The Members played the London pub and club circuit, became a feature in the music press and were championed by John Peel? Their chart success followed.

Paul says: Tricky bass compilation here. Attention required but a great sound follows.

John says:  Backing vocals and guitaring never easy especially when trying to replicate 2!

Karl says: Tricky tune. Many beat changes and pitch changes which is a nice challenge.

Si says: This song resonates with me about my upbringing. Brings back memories.

 

Song Name: Blitzkrieg Bop

Artist: The Ramones

Release Date: February 1976

Highest Chart Position: 32

Review: What can you say other than it’s the first song we do by the Ramones and it’s a classic

Did you know: “Blitzkrieg Bop” is no. 92 on the Rolling Stone list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time? “Blitzkrieg” was a German World War II tactic which means “lightning war”

Paul says: I’ve played this song for many years, with many groups and still love it.

John says: Nice simple rhythm to this so I can ease the work load on the hands.

Karl says: Being one of the first songs I did with the band, I love this one.

Si says: Love this and I often get “lost” enjoying the boys playing this and forget to sing – sorry.

 

Song Name: Down in the Tube Station

Artist: The Jam

Release Date: October 1978

Highest Chart Position: 15

Review: A classic Jam number containing “offbeats”, drum solo’s and haunting lyrics. If you’ve experienced the tube station at midnight, you’ll relate to the words – frightening!

Did you know: The back of the record cover displayed a photo of Keith Moon, former drummer of The Who, who had died the month prior to the single’s release. Bond Street station was used for the front cover.

Paul says: This song is great for me as the bass leads the song here. I love Bruce Foxton’s style and hope I do it justice? You guys will have to be the judges.

John says: Paul Weller is the cleverest guitarist/songwriter going! You think songs are straight forward but they’re not. Playing the right notes/chords at the right place are the key to getting this song correct.

Karl says: A chance for a nice drum lead section for me in the middle. I have to get this right as the band need my lead to start the closing verse. Eeek!

Si says: Being from the London area originally, I totally relate to the sentiments in this song. It is lyrically challenging as there a lot of words that are delivered quickly. Great fun.

 

Song Name: If The Kids Are United

Artist: Sham 6

Release Date: July 1978

Highest Chart Position: 9

Review: Another punk anthem, this song always grabs you and gives you the energy buzz to pogo your little heart out!

Did you know: Sham 69 used to rehearse at bass players’ Albie Slider’s parents’ pig farm, where music impresario Jonathan King watched them!

Paul says: Power stance in place? Check! Legs stretched? Check! Back straight? Check! Let it rip!

John says: Another verse, chorus and lead combo to challenge but I love it!

Karl says: As the “kid” of the band, I love this one!

Si says: This is one the most harmonious Sham song so I have to actually sing it, not shout – wow!

 

Song Name: Holidays in the Sun

Artist: Sex Pistols

Release Date: October 1977

Highest Chart Position: 8

Review: Another pumping tune that we enjoy doing. It’s fast paced (are any not!) and is another song we can attack. Synching lyrics and music is definitely a challenge.

Did you know: The song was inspired by a trip to the Channel Island of Jersey: Lydon – “We tried our holiday in the sun in the isle of Jersey and that didn’t work. They threw us out.” That trip was followed by a couple of weeks spent in Berlin. Although they described the city as “raining and depressing”, the Pistols were relieved to get away from London.

Paul says: I’ve played this song a lot over the years so it’s a “dear friend”. Still really enjoy doing it though and we make a good fist of it for sure. Some backing chanting for me too which is fun.

John says: Great instrumental breaks and pace/chord changes required. I like the way we all need to syncopate the ending.

Karl says: I have to keep the boys “honest” with this one by driving the song forward. I’m the pace dictator so I can push the old fella’s to the limit!

Si says: The chance to mimic the master, Lydon, again. Great performer (he’s great live) who’s venomous delivery is an opportunity to do the same.

 

Song Name: Hong Kong Garden

Artist: Siouxsie & The Banshees

Release Date: August 1978

Highest Chart Position: 7

Review: Instantly recognisable, this song pays tributes to one of the female icons of the era. We can’t replicate Siouxsie’ s sound but we can honour her!

Did you know: Siouxsie explained the lyrics were a reference to the racist activities of skinheads visiting the take-away, the Hong Kong Garden Chinese take-away in Chislehurst High Street.

Paul says: Nice tempo for me plus I conduct on this song. Wish me luck.

John says: Impersonating the “Chinese” sound is interesting and I have the chance to improvise – nice!

Karl says: Quite an easy drum piece in this one. Like Si, I can relax a little!

Si says: Very few lyrics here, a chance for a little refreshment for me at the boys take it to the max

 

Song Name: Turning Japanese

Artist: The Vapors

Release Date: October 1980

Highest Chart Position: 3

Review: Distinctive style, an oriental style, and eclectic lyrics underpin this song. A crowd pleaser though

Did you know:  So successful was this song, The Vapors waited to release their second single, fearing that if they released it as their first they would become “one-hit wonders”? They never matched its success!

Paul says: Cool bass line here and one that I love performing. Fair bit of finger nimbleness needed but I cope!

John says: Another taxer, in terms of trying to emulate the original sound in the key parts of the song. Verses are “a breeze” though.

Karl says: I have to keep the tempo good on this song. I often need to drive this song on, much to the chagrin of my colleagues!

Si says:  Lung tester, is this tune. Breathing, to cope with the pace, is key. Another sing-a-long-with-Si song though.

 

Song Name: Holiday in Cambodia

Artist: Dead Kennedy’s

Release Date: May 1980

Highest Chart Position: 2

Review: The song is an attack on a stereotypical, moralizing, privileged American college student. The lyrics try to give a satirical view of young, well-to-do and self-righteous Americans, contrasting such a lifestyle with the genocidal dictatorship of the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, which is estimated to have been responsible for the deaths of some two million people in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. It’s fast, it’s edgy, it’s raw – beware!

Did you know: Due to their provocative name, they sometimes played under pseudonyms, including “The DK’s”, “The Sharks”, “The Creamsicles” and “The Pink Twinkies”. The band’s real name generated controversy. The San Francisco Chronicle wrote in November 1978, “Just when you think tastelessness has reached its nadir, along comes a punk rock group called ‘The Dead Kennedys’, which will play at the 15th anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination.” Touchy!

Paul says: Oh, my Wednesdays!! What a tune this is! Absolute power punk with driving bass lines that vary throughout the song. Hold tight, we might explode!

John says: An “ouch” song for me. Ouch only because my fingers are on fire at the end of this. However, you will see me beam whilst playing this. Brilliant pace.

Karl says: Another Crash, bash and smash! This is a song to really attack. I may even get a sweat on when playing this?

Si says: Another gift from my cousin Steve, I heard these on the late 70’s/early 80’s. Supercharged lyrics at a supercharged pace. Tongue twisting tempo.

 

Song Name: Psycho Killer

Artist: Talking Heads

Release Date: December 1977

Highest Chart Position: 11

Review: A nice chance to slow down (but not for long!) as we tackle a melodic beauty!

Did you know: The band’s “signature debut hit” features lyrics which seem to represent the thoughts of a serial killer. Nice?

Paul says: One for me to really control the band (which is rare!) and show what I can do.

John says: One of my favourites that we do and I love the random guitaring within it

Karl says: Another chance to slow the pace and tap away in laconic style. Quirky beats, mind you.

Si says: Always aspired to sing this song so loved it when I had the chance. And I get to parlez en francais.

 

Song Name: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Artist: The Clash

Release Date: June 1982

Highest Chart Position: 1

Review: The band’s only UK no. 1, it was one of the last songs written by the band before their major split. Shame, this really is a seminal song.

Did you know: The backing vocals in the original song are in Ecuadorian Spanish translated by a sound engineers’ mother via a phone call?

Paul says: Cool bass line on this track. It’s time to crank up the treble, a little, and make your innards shake.

John says:  Interesting song for me a need to combine a few skills to pull this one off.

Karl says: Again, mixed tempo’s and variations in this tune means I have to concentrate!

Si says: Started out as my “go to” Karaoke song. Little did I think that I’d ever belt it out with a live band. Magnificent.

 

Song Name: Hersham Boys

Artist: Sham 69

Release Date: July 1979

Highest Chart Position: 6

Review: Time to get bouncing and stomping again! We love people to change the chorus to where they’re from I.e. Helston Boys/Falmouth Boys etc. Join us please?

Did you know: This was the bands highest chart success but has been described as “an empty self-satisfied record”. Really? Piffle – let’s bounce!

Paul says: Rousing bass in this one, opportunity for a little bit of “freestyling”

John says: Remember my elder brother playing this one in my youth. Very chord led but fun.

Karl says: Back to the pumping, energetic rhythms on this one. Can the boys keep up? Hmmm….

Si says: If the crowd are joining in, we have a lovely acoustic piece here for them to shine.

 

Song Name: Ever Fallen In Love

Artist: The Buzzcocks

Release Date: March 1978

Highest Chart Position: 12

Review: Whipping up the pace again, another team collaboration needed on this one and, boy, do we go for it!

Did you know: The song was ranked at No. 1 among “Tracks of the Year” for 1978 by NME? “Have you ever fallen in love with someone you shouldn’t have” lyrics come from the musical Guys and Dolls!

Paul says: A song that most people (of a certain age!) easily recognise and not too taxing for a bass player

John says: I have to drive this one along and get a bit rapid – my first real sweat of the set needed

Karl says: I can drive this song. I can influence the pace. So beware boys…..

Si says: As one of the first punk songs I engaged with, this one always has a special place in my heart so I “give it some”!

 

Song Name: New Rose

Artist: The Damned

Release Date: October 1976

Highest Chart Position: 81

Review: A really fast, humdinger, a real punk classic where the words are sometimes barely comprehensible! Great song, though, we think!

Did you know: “New Rose” is the first single by any British punk rock and was released on 22 October 1976 on Stiff Records. It was the first single by a British punk group, and was released in the Netherlands, Germany and France in 1977. It only reached the charts, on re-release, in 1985!

Paul says: Wow! This song has the fastest bass line that we do. Sore wrists after doing this!

John says: As with Paul, sore fingers, and wrists, all the way with this baby! Love the opening rifts.

Karl says: Nice opening solo for me on the “toms”. A very quick song but I can cope, even if the oldies can’t!

Si says: The Damned were the first punk bank I saw. Ecstatic to be performing one of their classics

 

Song Name: God Save the Queen

Artist: Sex Pistols

Release Date: May 1977

Highest Chart Position: 2

Review: Narrowly missing the number 1 slot, this is a punk anthem that gets the place jumping. Let’s rip it up!

Did you know:  The record’s lyrics, and cover, causes controversy on released with both the BBC and the Independent Broadcasting Authority refusing to play it. The song is an attack on the treatment of working-class people in England in the 1970s by the government. Or is it?

Paul says: Time to get slapping the strings again, up the pace and remember my youth!

John says: Edgy guitar pieces make this one a pleasure to perform. I get a bit carried away….

Karl says: Back to another, pacy, lively number which I really push the boys to the limit on!

Si says: Another brilliant, anarchic, lyric to warble – “God save the queen, ‘Cause tourists are money”! Love it

 

Song Name: Eton Rifles

Artist: The Jam

Release Date: October 1979

Highest Chart Position: 3

Review: Time for more Jam and, if you’re gonna do any song, do this as it’s another reflection of the class differences felt by the youth of the time. Great lyrics.

Did you know: The lyrics of the song recount the difficulties faced by the unemployed and lower-paid working class in protesting against a system stacked against them. This lyrics portray a revolt against younger students having to act as personal servants to those in higher forms. Here here!

Paul says: Another song for me to drive the band along with as the bass changes prompt the lyrics and form of the song.

John says:  Paul Weller song? Played on a lead guitar? Consistently changing beat? Suits me Sir!

Karl says: Love The Jam’s music. I enjoy the numerous beat changes in this song.

Si says:  What lyrics! What a writer! It’s an absolute pleasure to have a crack at this.

 

Song Name: Is Vic There? But with a twist!

Artist: Department S

Release Date: December 1980

Highest Chart Position: 22

Review: Another band favourite but with a twist! Will any of you recognise another song we “mash up” with this one? Answers on our social media site please.

Did you know: The title is a quotation from a Monty Python sketch titled “Phone-In”, which closed the comedy troupe’s 1973 Matching Tie and Handkerchief album?

Paul says: With our song mix here, it’s a finger (and mind!) twister to get this one right. However, we do and it’s a great combo.

John says: The “mystery” song within this allows me to utilise a bit of fret and strumming dexterity. I dreamed up the moulding of these two song so I hope you enjoy it?

Karl says: Now this is a challenge with the track, tempo and rhythm changes. Enjoy playing this very much!

Si says: Two songs in one track is always a challenge with the timings. I have to count.

 

Song Name: Babylon’s Burning

Artist: The Ruts

Release Date: June 1979

Highest Chart Position: 7

Review: A truly great punk number that we attack with venom and unbridled enthusiasm

Did you know: In 1979, The Ruts toured the UK as a support band to the Damned? This came about after a chance meeting with the Damneds’ drummer, Rat Scabies

Paul says: Timing is the key on this. John and I syncopate this well and the song flows beautifully

John says: Challenging scaling pre-verses which test my skills and timings. But see the joy in my face when we perform this one

Karl says: We really attack this song. Good one for an adrenaline rush!

Si says: Aggressive song, aggressive lyrics = aggressive me. Love to belt this song out

 

Song Name: No More Heroes

Artist: The Stranglers

Release Date: September 1977

Highest Chart Position: 8

Review: Another punk classic that all can enjoy. Does it work without a keyboard? You bet it does!

Did you know: In 1995 the band’s publishers threatened legal action against Elastica, arguing that their single “Waking Up” borrowed elements of “No More Heroes” but eventually settled out of court.

Paul says: Real challenge of a song, particularly the start as it’s a quick one. Power stance at the ready though!

John says: Melodic, floating song? Hell no! Hold the neck of the lead and let rip. Yes!

Karl says: Another song to bash the hell out of. The Stranglers songs are always good to play.

Si says: Bloody love doing this! Can really attack, growl and steam the song out. Oh yes!