By Jock Strap:
The STRAPS are back - and sounding better than ever - with three new members: Mark Hobbs (bass), Stuart Philips (lead gtr) and Lloyd Dudley (drums) - joining the two original members: Jock Strap (vocals/gtr) and Dave Reeves (rhythm gtr).
I first met Dave in a squat in Battersea in early ’78. Dave was dressed in his school uniform - as he was only 16 at the time. I had just moved down from Glasgow because the Punk scene up there had ran its course for me, personally speaking. The boozers wouldn’t even let punks in - going to watch a good Punk band was becoming very hard - except for the Glasgow Apollo - where the bigger bands like The Clash played. I had been fortunate enough to have seen Buzzcocks, The Jam, Sham and all the Roxy bands on tour - however London was the only place to be back then.
There were 2 x amps, a mic and stand and an old battered kit set up in this tatty old bedroom. Dave had just sacked the singer and asked me if I could sing. I just laughed and said, “OK - I`ll give it a go.” That was it - I was now a Strap. Then Green, our bass player, was found dead in a laundrette OD’d on smack. That opened my eyes to the dangers of heroin. I made a mental note to leave that well alone.
We supported the UK Subs on numerous occasions – then came the big one: Hammersmith Odeon with SLF. With Stan Stammers (later, TOH) on bass and Andy Forbes (later, The Wall) on lead. They were in turn replaced by Big John Werner (bass) and his brother Simon (lead gtr) from Kirk Brandon’s Pack. Jim Walker was drafted in from PIL on the drums to complete this line-up - by far our most successful period. We subsequently released 2 x 45s and an LP, toured with the Damned (my heroes) - so you can imagine how pleased I was getting to play along side them about 50 times. I’m still good mates with Cap and Dave Vanian - I join them on stage whenever I get a chance to see them. We recently played at The Wasted festival in Morecambe - that was fantastic. The highlight had to be meeting Gay Advert – she’s still the ultimate Punk babe. She still wears it well - not like some of us old bastards - myself included.
We’ll be doing the Xmas Wasted in Wolverhampton and the Astoria in London 10th & 11th Dec. We’ll also be playing some gigs in Cornwall (where I live now). They will be announced on our website:
I still find it hard to believe that people are still interested in The Straps. After all, we were gone for 12 years! I have done other things in between – I’ve worked with Jah Wobble and Rat Scabies – and have written enough material for about two new Straps albums - but its difficult getting us all in the same place at the same time as we all have other commitments. I’m a very political person and my punk attitude is still very strong. I hate governments - they are all corrupt cunts who look after themselves and care very little about the people who put them there. I have recorded a song called “Iraq” which you can download free at - HYPERLINK "http://www.isound.com" http://www.isound.com - and look for The STRAPS GB.
You can also get our new CD – “The Straps: The PUNK Collection” (Captain Oi) – here:
Jock Strap – tMx 21 – 09/05
Marquee Smith recently shared a cyber pint or two with Jock Strap to bring you the following:
trakMARX - What sort of music did you listen to before Punk?
Jock – “I used to listen to ALEX HARVEY, THIN LIZZY, BOWIE, IGGY POP & JOHN LENNON. I first heard about Punk rock late 76/early 77 when I heard The Damned on Radio Luxembourg played by the late Stuart Hendry.”
trakMARX - When did you first hear about Punk Rock - & in what context?
Jock – “I always regarded Iggy as a Punk - and I would say Bowie was too, in his own way. I mean, he was way ahead of the other shit that was around.”
trakMARX - What was your first proper Punk Rock experience?
Jock – “My first proper Punk Rock experience has to be the ‘White Riot’ in Glasgow when all the punx wrecked the city centre after a Clash gig. Not exactly the first - but one of the best.”
trakMARX - What made Punk Rock such an exciting place to be for you?
Jock – “Punk Rock was such an exiting experience because you were free to do what you wanted and answered to no-one. It taught me how to survive with the help of nobody else - and the excellent music was and still is a bonus.”
trakMARX - Pistols/Damned/Clash - out of the big three - who did you favour - & why?
Jock – “My favs out of the so called big three: The Damned. Without question.
trakMARX - Considering the amount of Pub Rockers who quickly cut their hair in late 76 & hoped that no one noticed - which 1st wave groups did you view as authentic - & who had you got marked down as fakers?
Jock – “Who would I mark down as fakers? That’s tough: The Boomtown Prats!
trakMARX - Did Punk Rock sell out?
Jock – “I dont think Punk sold out. I think time moves on - things change. If I could turn the clock back – I’d do it all again. I loved it. The best times of my life.”
trakMARX - Did Punk Rock achieve what it set out to do?
Jock – “No, we failed to a degree, as we are still governed by assholes. People still listen to shite music, take orders from others, etc, etc. Do you want me to go on?”
trakMARX - Will we ever see another rock'n'roll 'movement' as powerful as Punk Rock?
Jock – “I don’t think we’ll ever see anything like Punk again. This country has become too much like USA - little sheep - all comparing each other. Who’s got what? They’re all afraid to stand out. All the kids now look the same: American Baseball caps, baggy jeans and no personality. Where are their balls? I would love to see an explosion of some kind - but sadly I might be 6ft under by then. Keep rockin’ punx!!”
Marquee Smith – tMx 21 – 09/05