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John Clarkson - Features


Who - The Image That Made Me Weep

In 'The Image That Made Me Weep' John Clarkson reflects on a photograph of The Who taken backstage after their performance at Live Aid.


Miscellaneous - Ticket Rewind

In our new series 'Tickets Rewind', in which our writers look back at their old concert tickets and the stories associated with them, our Editor John Clarkson reflects on some of his favourite gigs.

Willard Grant Conspiracy

Willard Grant Conspiracy - Ten Songs That Made Me Love...

In 'Ten Songs That Made Me Love...' John Clarkson pays tribute to Robert Fisher from the Willard Grant Conspiracy, who died at the age of 59 in February and who we interviewed many times and headlined our Bands Nights on four occasions

Lou Reed

Lou Reed - Lou Reed

John Clarkson writes of ten of his favourite songs in the solo career of the late Lou Reed


Baptiste - Baptiste

In our 'Soundtrack of Our Lives' column, in which our writers describe the personal impact of music upon them, John Clarkson writes about hearing in 2000 London-based indie band Baptiste's first two singles, 'A New Career in a New Town' and 'The Quiet Times'


Miscellaneous - Shield Your Eyes, Shield Your Pies

Pennyblackmusic photographer-in-residence Matt Williams’ latest photographic exhibition, ‘Shield Your Eyes, Shield Your Pies’, opens at the West End in Centre in Aldershot on May 7th and closes on May 30th. Find out more about it here.

Mick Wall

Mick Wall - Mick Wall 'Star Trippin'

Competition to win two signed copies of rock writer Mick Wall's new book 'Star Trippin' which compiles together several of his best articles from between 1985 and 1991, and includes interviews with Motley Crue, Def Leppard, the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Led Zeppelin, Ozzy Osbourne, Iron Maiden and Gun


Sound - Dutch Radio Recordings

80's London-based new wave group the Sound were always massively popular in the Netherlands. John Clarkson examines the band's tragic legacy, and their Dutch Radio Recordings of 5 momentous Sound concerts, which have been released consecutively


Miscellaneous - Doug Hoekstra and Willy Vlautin

Nashville-based singer-songwriter Doug Hoekstra and Willy Vlautin, the front man with Portland, Oregon-based alt. country band Richmond Fonatine have both just released their fictional debuts. John Clarkson profiles them both


Punk - Attitude-A Film by Don Letts

John Clarkson examines Don Letts' powerful new DVD film 'Punk : Attitude' which puts a fresh light and focus on the already often told history of the rise of punk


Miscellaneous - Apollo Memories

The Glasgow Apollo was a legendary 70's and 80's rock venue, thought of which makes many Scots over 40 become weak with nostalgia. John Clarkson finds Martin Kielty's new book about the long closed theatre essential, compelling reading

Doug Hoekstra

Doug Hoekstra - Six Songs/Su Casa, Mi Casa : the Official Live Boo

Chicago-born, but Nashville-based musician Doug Hoekstra has been away for a while, but is now back with both a new studio EP, 'Six Songs', and a live album, 'Su Casa, Mi Casa.' John Clarkson profiles both CDs

Thin Lizzy

Thin Lizzy - Soldiers of Fortune

"Riveting and compelling" account of the rise and fall of 70's hard rock band Thin Lizzy, and its frontman, Phil Lynott


Miscellaneous - The Sex Pistols, PIL and Anti-Celebrity

Long overdue, but heavily flawed account of John Lydon's life post the Sex Pistols and in PiL and beyond


Ruts - Life After Death ?  : A Profile

Massively influential in punk circles, the Ruts came to an abrupt end when their singer, Malcolm Owen died of an heroin overdose shortly after they released their debut album. John Clarkson charts the band's history and examines their lasting legacy


Miscellaneous - Photographic Exhibition

Pennyblackmusic photographer Matt Williams' first exhibition of rock photography opens in April, and will feature 35 photos that Matt has taken over the last four years. Find out more about it here !


Nils - Profile

Once described as having been to “punk what Big Star are to pop music”, the Canadian group the Nils were one of the most influential, but also most under-rated punk groups of the 1980’s. John Clarkson examines their history and legacy

Dead Can Dance

Dead Can Dance - Profile

The most internationally successful of all the acts on the 4AD label, the Dead Can Can Dance recorded eight albums in a career that expanded from 1981 to 1998. With a new retrospective box set just out, John Clarkson examines their prolific history


Baptiste - Uptight Club

One of the major issues that many independent bands have to consider and address is how best to raise the necessary capital to make their singles or albums. The bulk of indie groups, often even those on fairly well known labels, have to pay for studio a


Godfathers - Songs about Love and Hate : An Intro

1990 was spent mainly touring, and working on songs for the next album, and 1991 began optimistically with the group playing their largest ever St Valentine’s Day Massacre at London’s Brixton Academ


Miscellaneous - A History of the Label

Marina' is a small and unique German independent label. It was established in Hamburg in 1993 by two former journalists, Stefan Kassel and Frank Lahnemann. Marina was chosen as a name because, as K


Saints - Profile

It was Bob Geldof who said during a 1980 Australian Boomtown Rats tour that the face of rock music in the 1970s was altered by just three groups-TheSex Pistols, The Ramones and The Saints. Of th


Godfathers - Songs about Love and Hate : An Intro

When ‘The Godfathers ‘ first emerged in the mid nineteen eighties, their hard-edged and abrasive wound immediately attracted the interest and enthusiasm of many music journalists and critics. The Sout


Astrid - The Shetland Isles' Premier Rock Star

Astrid's new album 'Boy for You', her debut as a solo artist, was released in September. It is a haunting, sometimes harrowing record, but one of ultimately uplifting appeal that encompasses a wide ra


In the first of a series of articles, John "Girder" Clarkson profiles some of the more misunderstood bands of recent years. Scotlands 'The Bathers' have often been labeled as pretentious and as a resu


Here in no particular order are ten of the most depressing albums of all time. Despairing and black, but magnificent as well as moody ! Luxuriate in the misery, and enjoy some brilliant music ! 1.


Godfathers - Songs about Love and Hate : An Intro

The band’s second album, and their most famous work, ‘Birth, School, Work, Death’ came out in February 1988. The album had the more polished and slightly slicker feel that a larger budget brings, but

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