The Bermondsey Joyriders
FUEL 28.5.12

I missed Punk. By the time I became aware that there may be more to life than Action Man, NWOBHM was in full swing and I jumped on the trash metal bandwagon with a vengeance. But in the background there were always references to punk that inspired my heroes, providing the attitude on which to build their own intensity.

So, when I come to reflect on my musical tastes and start to explore these genres I find some new sounds but never in my wildest dreams would I have expected to come across The Bermondsey Joyriders.

A band hewed from Punk's 70s heritage, the band seems to capture the times were living in with the release of ‘Noise and Revolution’. Eleven tracks comprising punk, rockabilly, slide guitar and distorted chords interspersed with social commentaries and anecdotes from a narrator that could pass for Billy Gibbon and his Southern Drawl.

Tracks like ‘London Bridge’ extolling the virtue of standing strong quickly followed by the herbal benefits of tea drinking. There is no let up in the musical observations with ‘Proper English’ that pokes fun at the English Psyche as only the English can.

1977 is a musical history lesson with its Pistols opening from a band that experienced it first hand, interspersed with a modern call to keep questioning the state and hold them to account.

The album has more autobiographical feel to it, each spoken word section revealing more about the band with the next track expanding on the story. This leaves the listener intrigued as the plot thickens but the highest point is the reference to the ‘Shaking Leaves’ club and its reputation for having a hot desirable clientele.

There are warnings to the traps along the road of rock stardom and a heartfelt request to keep faith with the passions that inspired them to pick up a guitar in the first place. The need to expand your musical horizons that leads nicely into some outstanding slide guitar on ‘Rock and Roll demon”.

Today in 2012, as much as in ’77 the systems needs shaking up and in order to create a new generation of Strummers, Vicious and Siouxsie Siouxs we need inspiration from the past, look no further than these elder statesmen of punk. They still have the raw intensity to deliver music that speaks for the oppressed.

It’s shameful and also reassuring that in this day and age, there are still revolutionaries fighting the system with noise. So join the Bermondsey Joyriders uprising!

Simon Mulholland