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DS Exclusive: 2014 – A Year in Concert Pictures (milhouse)

2015 is nearly upon us, and as visions of upcoming concerts dance through my mind, I reflect on the year that has passed. I think about the concerts I was able to attend, and those that slipped through the cracks. The new friends made, the old friends re-acquainted, the massive heaps of beer, bruises and cuts, hangovers, lost voices, and of course the photos – without which many memories may have gone by the gutter. My photos are like my children, and having to choose favorites just seems so unfair, but there are clearly some standouts.

The year’s first show featured a Dying Scene favorite, Chuck Ragan, with some other incredible moments over the year including joining Bum City Saints for a studio session in February, the annual trip to Las Vegas for Punk Rock Bowling in May, Pirates Press‘ 10th Anniversary shows in October, interviewing Blood or Whiskey in November, and more that I’m sure I’m leaving out. To my surprise and delight, I was able to see one of my all-time favorite bands, Cock Sparrer, four times this year, as well as having the opportunity to present Colin with a framed concert print of himself. Outstanding! Swingin’ Utters, La Plebe, Lagwagon, and others were among many bands whom I would get to see multiple times over the course of 2014.

I have narrowed down my collection to 30 of my favorite shots that I took during 2014, and some of the winners include Nihilist Cunt, Bishops Green, Anti-Nowhere League, Cock Sparrer (of course), Bum City Saints, Street Dogs, Laura Jane Grace, The Adicts, Angelic Upstarts, Total Chaos, and more. Have a look at a year in concert pictures below. Above shot not included in the 30 is PPR owner Skippy stage-diving at an after-party Cock Sparrer show – epic.

Big thanks to Skippy of PPR, Ian of Chapter Eleven, Jay from DS, Alberto from La Plebe, and everyone else who helped make this year amazing!!



DS Photo Gallery: Workin’ Stiffs and Downtown Struts at ‘Rock The Ship’ after-party with sepcial guests Swingin’ Utters and Cock Sparrer

The haggard, drunken, sweaty crowd picked themselves up from their bootstraps after Cock Sparrer finished out the main event, and stumbled down the street to Bottom of The Hill, where local band Workin’ Stiffs and Chicago-based Downtown Struts were preparing to round the night out with help from some special guests who had just been announced as Swingin’ Utters.

The night was not over, in fact there was much more music to be played, drinks to be had, and dancing to be swung. The crowd took a little time to get going, but the energy was definitely in full-swing by the time the Struts took over. Then something happened. It was like a paralysis fell over everyone as Johnny, Jack, Darius, and crew took the stage. Nothing the raucous group did got the crowd moving. It was weighing on Johnny and it was unfortunate to see. I took my shots and tried to get things going, but to no avail. In the process I spilled someone’s beer so now the dance floor was wet and full of shards of glass (I ended up running into the spill victim at The Adicts‘ show later that week…during “Who Spilt My Beer?”). Swingin’ Utters insisted that they were not the special guest, and to keep waiting for the main event, but there was an air of sarcasm and disdain in his voice. It was at that point that a Pirate informed me of an informal Cock Sparrer set to follow the Utters.

Cock Sparrer twice in one night?? Amazing! This latter performance was much more saturated with booze and smiles and as the band took the stage to a half-empty venue, I knew I was in for an intimate treat. The band had no set list and was willing to play anything they hadn’t played earlier in the night, with the exception of “Out on an Island”, which after many years seeing Sparrer, I have yet to see be performed live. I was able to get a shout out for “Bird Trouble” which was incredible. The inebriated Sparrer crew invited friends on stage to help with vocal duties – including Bryan from Bouncing Souls, Darrel from Harrington Saints/Suede Razors, and Ben from Downtown Struts to name a few. The night came to an end with a heartfelt thank you from Mr. McFaull to son-in-law Mr. Mueller. Guitarist Mick Beaufoy finished the set with a little stage-dive to crowd-surf combo all the way to the bar! Great night and great end to an unforgettable weekend.

Check out shots from all of the after-party performances below.

Thanks again to all the Pirates Press crew for everything!



DS Photo Gallery: Cock Sparrer at Pirates Press Records’ 10th Anniversary ‘Rock The Ship’ Party

The time had arrived and the rain had subsided just in time for Cock Sparrer to take the stage at Pirates Press‘ 10th Anniversary ‘Rock The Ship’ party. The English quintet is one of my all-time favorite bands and in addition to their longevity, influence, and musicality, the mates are a true stand-up bunch of guys. If memory serves correctly, the set began with the iconic sirens of ‘Riot Squad’. Classics like ‘Argy Bargy’, ‘Watch Your Back’, ‘I Got Your Number’, ‘England Belongs to Me’, and many more would be featured, and I knew it was going to be an amazing set. Cock Sparrer hasn’t released new material in quite some time, but that doesn’t stop anyone from getting giddy as a little schoolgirl in preparation to see them.

One thing that is clearly evident is that the guys are having the time of their lives on stage. Smiles abound as Darryl and Mick and Steve all dance and gallop around while pausing for cameras and even touching on some choreographed dance moves. It was really a treat to see, and Cock Sparrer shows no signs of slowing down. After my three songs in the photo pit, I chose to live out one of my dreams and go side stage with the streetpunk legends. Of course the set rounded out with the obligatory ‘We’re Comin’ Back’, which they always end their set with, and they always stay true to their promise.

The night wasn’t over though, as after a little chat and liquid rejuvenation we were off to Bottom of The Hill for the after-party show with Downtown Struts, Workin’ Stiffs, and a *Special Guest*.

Check out all the shots from Cock Sparrer’s set at ‘Rock The Ship’ below.

Thanks again to all the Pirates Press crew for everything you do!



Pirates Press announce Rock The Ship festival with Cock Sparrer, Bouncing Souls, Streetdogs, and more

Pirates Press is celebrating its tenth anniversary with an all day outdoor ‘Rock The Ship’ festival in their hometown of San Francisco, CA.

The event begins with a pre-party at Thee Parkside the night of October 24th featuring Harrington SaintsCustom Fit, Argy Bargy, and Reducers SF.

The Rock The Ship festival goes all day on the 25th at Thee Parkside Outdoors with performances from Cock SparrerBouncing SoulsStreet DogsBishops GreenSuede RazorsBum City SaintsSmalltown, and Lenny Lashley’s Gang of One.

If that isn’t enough for you there will be an after party later in the evening on the 25th at Bottom Of The Hill featuring Downtown Struts, Workin’ Stiffs, and more.

You can purchase tickets and get further details about Rock The Ship here.



Riot Fest announces After-Party shows

One of the year’s most anticipated music festivals, Riot Fest, has announced the after party lineups and locations that will be happening all weekend during the Chicago dates. After-show lineups include Rise Against with The Lawrence Arms, and Touché Amoré, Bad Religion and Anti-Flag, Cock Sparrer and Stiff Little Fingers, The Get Up Kids with Modern Baseball and The So So Glos, Mineral with Into It. Over It., and more. You can check out the locations and times for all after-shows right here.

In the mean time, the regular hours Riot Fest Chicago will be held at Humboldt Park from September 12th through the 14th, featuring performances from DescendentsNOFXALLBuzzcocksMe First and the Gimme GimmesBouncing Souls, and many other great bands. Tickets for the festival can be purchased here, while its schedule can be viewed here.



Pirates Press Records releases Cock Sparrer 6-cassette bundle set including “Shock Troops”, “Runnin Riot in ’84”, etc.

Pirates Press Records has just announced that they will be releasing a whole bunch of Cock Sparrer albums in cassette format!

The release will be available as a set or individually, and will include the band’s iconic 1982 debut album “Shock Troops”, as well as “Runnin Riot in ’84”, “Guilty as Charged”, “Two Monkeys”, “Here We Stand”, and “True Grit Outtakes” (previously released as “Rarities”).

Head here for more information and grab your copy while they last.



Photo Gallery: Cock Sparrer at Backstage Bar (PRB club show 5/25/14)

One of the most memorable moments of the Punk Rock Bowling weekend was being able to see Cock Sparrer in a much more intimate environment than normal – the energy of a small show versus a festival setting is truly night and day.

Our good friends at Pirates Press Records set us up with entry to the ‘surprise’ show, and the performance was incredible. Being surrounded by good friends and familiar faces as one of the most talented and enduring punk acts took the stage was probably the best ‘midway point’ to the weekend that anyone could ask for.

Cock Sparrer had just headlined the PRB main stage the night before, but if you talk to any fan they’ll tell you they could see ’em seven nights in a row and never tire. I have never left a Sparrer show disappointed; bruised, bloodied, shirtless, and limping – but never disappointed.

The set began (in frequent typical fashion) with “Riot Squad” – the sirens indicate shit is about to kick off. Staying hard the band followed with “Watch Your Back” before “Working”, “Sussed”, “Teenage Heart”, and “What’s It Like To Be Old”. The band really hit the mark with the songs they played – covering most of my favorites including “AU” and “Argy Bargy”. Many songs were repeated, and the band finished the night with the almost obligatory encore of “England Belongs to Me” and “We’re Coming Back”.

Have a look at some of Cock Sparrer’s ‘surprise guest’ set below, as well as the opening bands NASA Space Universe and The Forgotten.

Thanks again to Eric (PPR) and Brian (BCS) for thinking of me!



Photo Gallery: Punk Rock Bowling Day One – The Generators, Devils Brigade, The Slackers, Anti-Nowhere League, Cock Sparrer and more

Day one of Punk Rock Bowling was rather heavy on the old English scene. No complaints here – with bands like Angelic Upstarts, Anti-Nowhere League, Peter & The Test Tube Babies, and Cock Sparrer, fucking Cock Sparrer…how could you go wrong? The afternoon, though began with some relatively local blood – The Gashers, Black Market Syndicate, The Generators, and Devil’s Brigade ripped it up in the Vegas sun before the ‘British Invasion’.

Due to bowling constraints and proper festival prepping, DS didn’t arrive to the fest until The Generators’ set, however you can view some shots of the opening bands from our friends over at PunksInVegas.

LA punks The Generators ripped through their set, showing their years of experience through an energetic stage presence. The band is fresh off their latest release, “Life Gives – Life Takes”, and they show no signs of slowing down. Next came Devil’s Brigade, and as most Rancid fans can attest, it’s always exciting to see Matt Freeman take over vocal duties for a song or two – front and center and looking like he’s having the time of his life.

The rest of the bands to take the stage were no spring chickens, but you wouldn’t be able to tell after their performances. PTTB really did nice job of transitioning from that West Coast sound to that ‘old school punk’. Angelic Upstarts have been one of my favorite bands since my teens, and it was great to finally see them on American soil (I had previously seen them in England years ago). The interjection of The Slackers I found to be brilliant. Get everyone riled up and then, as the sun is disappearing and the temperature is becoming bearable, throw in some ska. This is not just any ska though – this is The Slackers. If Neville Staple, Desmond Dekker, or Tommy McCook were in the audience there’s no doubt they would be nodding their head in approval in between skanking.

Bring Anti-Nowhere League to the stage and you know things are going to get rowdy. I’ve been a fan of ANWL for awhile, and I found it interesting that Nick “Animal” Culmer looks younger today than he did back in 2009 when I first saw them live. Maybe it’s the English sun that keeps him looking youthful…

Anyway, the headliner for the first night of PRB 2014 was the legendary Cock Sparrer, who’s merch stand (along with Pirates Press Records) was packed the entire night with fans trying their best to get previously never seen tour gear. People travel far and near to witness the aging Cock Sparrer, who still sings songs about “What’s It Like To Be Old” and “Because You’re Young”, and clearly loves every minute of being on stage. Colin, Daryl, Mick, and the Steves have amazing stage presence, and they truly know how to get the house behind them. I’ve never seen a Sparrer show that I didn’t love.

You can check out the entire photo gallery of the bands that performed at day one of Punk Rock Bowling below.

It’s always difficult to balance hanging with friends, eating, drinking, photographing, and doing all else that is involved with a multi-day music festival, and as the main stage festivities finished up, I scurried back to my room to ‘hydrate’ and get ready for the Judge/H2O club show at the Country Saloon which was moments away.



Descendents, NOFX, Cock Sparrer & more to play Punk Rock Bowling 2014

Oh shit! The first round of bands playing the 16th annual Punk Rock Bowling has just been announced and the list includes the Descendents, NOFX, Cock Sparrer, SNFU, The Adicts, and many others!

A full list of bands included in the first lineup announcement can be found below.

We’ll keep you posted as more details on the 2014 lineup come to light. Punk Rock Bowling will be taking place from May 23rd through the 26th in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can’t buy tickets yet, but you can head over here to register for hotels, bowling, and poker!



Watch a full Cock Sparrer documentary

This year marks a whopping 40-year milestone for the British punk/oi! pioneers Cock Sparrer so we figured a documentary on the band seemed appropriate for a slow news day.  Watch one below.



Cock Sparrer Cover Song Week (THURSDAY): Swingin’ Utters cover “I Got Your Number”

This year marks a whopping 40-year milestone for the British punk/oi! pioneers Cock Sparrer, who got their start in London in the early 70’s, years before bands like the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones got their start. Departing from our regular random cover song posts, this week we’ll feature a whole collection of songs that are covered off of all the band’s albums; from their 1977 debut self-titled album through their most recent release from 2007 “Here We Stand.”

Today, listen to the Swingin’ Utters cover of “I Got Your Number,” first appearing on their 2004 live album “Live In A Dive.” The band re-recorded the cover in-studio for a music video in 2007. Cock Sparrer released the song originally on their 1983 record “Shock Troops.” Listen to both versions here.

If you missed ’em, here are covers from Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.



Cock Sparrer Cover Song Week (WEDNESDAY): Against Me! covers “Because You’re Young”

This year marks a whopping 40-year milestone for the British punk/oi! pioneers Cock Sparrer, who got their start in London in the early 70’s, years before bands like the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones got their start. Departing from our regular random cover song posts, this week we’ll feature a whole collection of songs that are covered off of all the band’s albums; from their 1977 debut self-titled album through their most recent release from 2007 “Here We Stand.”

Today, we’ve got a 2011 live in-studio recording by Against Me! of the song “Because You’re Young,” the single from Cock Sparrer’s 1994 album “Guilty As Charged.” Click here to listen to both versions.

If you missed ’em, here are the covers from Monday and Tuesday.



Cock Sparrer Cover Song Week (TUESDAY): Dropkick Murphys, Tim Timebomb cover “Working”

This year marks a whopping 40-year milestone for the British punk/oi! pioneers Cock Sparrer, who got their start in London in the early 70’s, years before bands like the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones got their start. Departing from our regular random cover song posts, this week we’ll feature a whole collection of songs that are covered off of all the band’s albums; from their 1977 debut self-titled album through their most recent release from 2007 “Here We Stand.” Check out Monday’s edition here.

Today’s track “Working” first appeared on the band’s 1983 record “Shock Troops,” their most popular album to date. Click here to listen to the original, as well as a cover by Dropkick Murphys off of their “Singles Volume II”collection, and a recent cover by Tim Timebomb & Friends.



Cock Sparrer Cover Song Week (MONDAY): Bouncing Souls, Dead Pets, Tankard cover “We’re Coming Back”

This year marks a whopping 40-year milestone for the British punk/oi! pioneers Cock Sparrer, who got their start in London in the early 70’s, years before bands like the Sex Pistols or even the Ramones got their start. Departing from our regular random cover song posts, this week we’ll feature a whole collection of songs that are covered off of all the band’s albums; from their 1977 debut self-titled album through their most recent release from 2007 “Here We Stand.”

Today’s track “We’re Coming Back” first appeared on the band’s 1983 record “Shock Troops,” their most popular album to date. Click here to listen to the original and other renditions by Bouncing Souls, Tankard, and The Dead Pets.



Rancid and Cock Sparrer announce split 7-inch

As you may know by now, Rancid are celebrating their 20th anniversary and are playing a few shows in San Francisco with British Oi! legends Cock Sparrer, who are celebrating their own 40th anniversary!

To commemorate the occasion, the bands have teamed up for an ultra-limited edition red vinyl 7-inch collaboration. The album features the Rancid track “East Bay Night” and the Cock Sparrer track “England Belongs To Me.” You can view it to the left, or click here to see it in larger form.

As of now, the release will only be available at the shows, but we’ll keep you posted on if/when it’ll be available to the masses.