...so sang an angry young Paul Weller in 'This is the Modern World'. However, Punks Not Dad are FAR too polite to refuse the kindness of strangers - and so below is a selerction of some of the nicer things people have said about us in articles and reviews...
“Lead singer Sid Life-Crisis prowled the stage with all the dexterity of an elephant dancing with the Royal Ballet.”
Repeat Fanzine - UK
“You guys really embody the spirit of punk”
Medusa’s Muse – U.S. Publishers
“I want to play you at Club London Calling in Los Angeles! You’re great!”
Dionysus Records – California U.S.
“Coulda opened up for The Clash back in the day! – Chicago, US
“Exactly what the world needs”! – Groningan, Holland
“Holidays in the Sun for old blokes!” – Queensland, Australia
“I'M A YANK AND I CAN'T UNDERSTAND A WORD YOU BLOKES ARE SAYING!” – Utah, US
“This is as good as beer music gets!” – Gothenburg, Sweden
“This is real UK punk” – Chicago, US
“When I hear a song like this, it makes me proud to be a punk rocker” – Utah, US
“You guys are punk as f%ck! Go!! – Texas, US
The world-wide fans on GarageBand.com…
The Times - July 2010 - Mary Bowers
They’ve got proper jobs and kids, and sing about sheds rather than smashing the system. Mary Bowers meets the forty and fiftysomething dads who are keeping the spirit of punk alive
In the dressing room before the big gig, Dan Nichols asks for a piece of paper to write down his lyrics: his memory is not what it used to be.
“Reading the paper,” Nichols, 46, says slowly, his tongue hanging out of his mouth in concentration. He runs a leather-clad hand through his gel-spiked hair.
“Sorting out me jam jars,” offers Chris Walker, 42, fixing the badges on his homemade T-shirt.
“Potting me tomatoes?” asks Mike Mole, 48, fastening the safety pins that hold together his “iconic” cardigan. That line apparently comes later.
The song, entitled , Nichols explains, is dedicated to the one place that dads go to find refuge from their children. In walks Steve Jones, 42, clutching his drumsticks in fingerless leather gloves. He looks over Nichols’s shoulder. “Having a cup of tea,” he suggests.
Fifteen minutes later they have fixed their outfits and, clad in studded leather and red slogans, Nichols, Walker, Mole and Jones assume their alter egos: Sid Life Crisis, Joe Strimmer, Johnny Cardigan, and Adrian Viles. Together they are Punks Not Dad.
Punks Not Dad rarely rehearse. They write their lyrics over e-mail and record demos at home. After their kids have gone to bed, they vent the things that make them angry: no one understands their man flu; Tesco has run out of Wagon Wheels; they’re covered in spilt baby food.
“The 15-year-old transported into my life right now is Sid Life Crisis,” says Nichols. “When you’re a grown-up you have to be good several hours a day. You have to be good picking your kids up from the playground, you have to be good at work, good when you’re talking to the neighbours. I don’t think we could do it convincingly if we weren’t rebellious by nature.” Or indeed, without the services of a reliable babysitter.
That evening at the Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd, Punks Not Dad’s audience look confused. They’re baffled when Nichols throws Werther’s Originals from an old M&S bag, and slightly agog as he passes a flat-pack table into the subdued mosh-pit. It’s a tradition that members of the audience construct it and sign their names along the bottom. Mole, apparently, has a bunch of them in the back of his car.
At 45 years old on average, Punks Not Dad are still three years younger than the average age of this year’s headline acts at Glastonbury. That figure might have been even higher had a 50-year-old Bono (who took his nickname from a hearing aid shop) not been forced to cancel after throwing his back out. U2 were replaced by urban hip-hop act Gorillaz — average age 48. Punks Not Dad might be in the right business after all.
Nichols carefully balances his priorities. Sitting in his Cardiff kitchen in the afternoon, he enjoys a last cup of coffee and a custard cream before the juggling act begins. On a whiteboard some potential lyrics are scrawled next to the week’s planned menu (tonight it’s fish and chips). The eldest of his two sons, George, 17, is getting his AS-level revision books together — we’re shepherding him to Walker’s house, where he will babysit the bass player’s children, Ruby, 6, and Tommy, 9. Jumping in a taxi to the other side of town, there’s just enough time to coo over Walker’s newly seeded lawn before heading out to pick up Jones’s drum kit. DIY detritus is strewn all over the house. Mole is coming straight from a business meeting in London, where he works as an IT consultant. Despite their strategic skills, they still struggle with their lyrics.
“Mending a toaster?”
“Doing the Su Doku?” Some head-scratching ensues.
“Having a quiet nap?” Nichols nods sagely. “That’s definitely in there, isn’t it?”
Repeat Fanzine - July 2011 - review of Retail Therapy E.P.
Just when I thought I had seen the last of these OAP’s (Old Age Punks) they roar back with a new EP and the same old sound, that can only be described as 33 years out of date.
The art of double entendre is sadly lacking in today’s chart music. As far as I’m aware po-faced bands like Coldplay and Radiohead rarely use them, but the lads show that the spirit of Sid James lives on with lead track “I Can’t Get It Up”. Now I know that a title like this probably makes you think it’s going to be musically inept, and whilst the lyrical content may not have the same socio-economic commentary of say the Clash, this is a bloody fine punk song and insufferably catchy.
It actually tells the age old story of erection problems suffered by many middle aged men, myself included ……. that is to say, being unable to decipher the instructions manual that comes with flat packed furniture. And to top it all they’ve managed to rope in/blackmail TV babe Lisa Rogers to appear in the video (I can only imagine they have some compromising pictures of her).
Second track “Welcome to the Credit Crunch” again see the band party like it is 1977. There’s nice guitar work by Johnny Cardigan and Sid Life Crisis comes perilously close to singing in tune, but the track is held together by the Jah Wobble style bass from Joe Strimmer (he has obviously been taking lessons) complete with a nice ska section.
“Pound Shop” eulogises the Aladdin’s cave of tat that is present on most high streets. They happily rip off “Shot by Both Sides” by Magazine for the mid section, although I’m sure Howard Devoto never wrote lyrics like “A plastic garden trowel in the shape of Simon Cowell”, “Some dodgy looking sweets, that no one wants to eat”. “Get your knickers worth, on this heaven made on earth”. I was particularly pleased to hear the solid drumming from Adrian Viles, as he has recently seen the love of his life Christine Bleakly become engaged to the fat captain of Chelsea FC.
Finally they highlight their live act with a recording of their encore taken from their recent 25 night residency at Cardiff’s Globe Theatre. Opening with the Ramones “Hey, Ho, Lets Go”, I thought we might be for a rendition of a classic by “Da Bruddas”. But no, what they actually give is a particularly unique take on an old Jeff Beck number. “High Ho Silver Surfers” is dedicated to men of certain age who seem unable to understand that things like Twitter and e-bay are for the “kids” and not middle aged farts (like me). Having seen them many times live I can attest that this is always a rousing way to end the night and invariably leads to a stage invasion.
Punks Not Dad play both Glastonbury and the Isle of Wight festival (yes, really!) this year. So if fancy being cheered up after hours of drudgery by U2 and Morrissey, check them out or better still just stay at home in the dry and buy the CD:
Ed Ache - Beat Motel Fanzine - August 2010
These are genuine dads with a love of the first wave of punk, who sing songs about getting old, loving their sheds, and how the kids these days just don’t get what punk rock was all about. I’m going to e-mail ‘Gay Advert’s Eye’s’ to an old friend of mine now. I’m sure he’ll find it hilarious. (He did!)
Andy - Fear & Loathing Fanzine - 2010
“What Happens when a punk reaches middle age? He can try to pretend he’s still seventeen years old (and look like an idiot) or he can admit his age and just get on with it. PND take the latter course. When they talk about ‘Sell-outs’ they’re talking about empty shelves at Tesco’s. Perhaps never banned from the Roxy but they’ve been chucked out of the barfly (for being too old.) And yet they still tackle important, topical,issues- man flu and shXte indie bands ! and most importantly while the tunes are good as well (you’ll probably recognise most of the riffs…) This is not to be missed by anyone over 30!”
Westmoorland Gazette - September 2009
Back to the interweb. Another bit of wayward brilliance recently came to my attention via YouTube. In Me Shed is a raucous, back garden pop-video performed by suburban Welsh rockers Punks Not Dad.
For those of you too desperately unhip to know, Punks Not Dad are a bunch of middle-aged blokes who are living the dream of punk rebellion exactly 32 years too late. Their lead singer is called Sid Life Crisis. Other band members include Johnny Cardigan, Joe Strimmer and Adrian Viles.
PND’s motto is Allen Key in the UK, although it might just as well be live slow, die old and concentrate on developing an impressive beer gut between gigs.
Like Where The Hell is Matt?, In Me Shed one of those attitude-defining things. You either get it or not. Explanations are redundant and there is no middle ground.
Which is as it should be. What one person categorises as joyous and life-affirming, another will find mind-numbingly tedious.
And speaking of dull, there is one reason why you might not want to do Dara O’Briain’s magic wand thing: Transport for London will fine you for damaging an Oyster Card.
There are far too many reasons for being grown up and boring. Fight back. Buy Punk Not Dad’s CD.
Mass Movement Magazine - July 2009 - review of 'In Me Shed'
Jim: Oh, I always love a bass intro. Hell yeah, it kicks in good.
Amy: Good punk groove. Catchy. I like it.
Jim: That’s awesome! Funny and kick-ass all at once. As a musician, I have spent many hours ‘in me shed.’ It’s a very fun, catchy tune.
Amy: Yeah, but it’s not old and tired sounding.
Jim: Production work is amazingly good for a punk band. Definitely a band full of guys having fun, and I’m having fun listening to it.
Amy: I could definitely bang my head to it on a road trip. It would keep me awake and content. Two great songs. I want the album!
Repeat Fanzine - October 2008
However before they take the stage we had support act Punks Not Dad, a band that had managed to squeeze in another Cardiff date on their continuing hectic world tour. Some of you may have read the review I provided of their last appearance in the Principality here, a gig that sparked carnage not seen since the Rodney King inspired L A riots. Thankfully tonight no such pugilistic mayhem ensued and the boys were able to give another quality performance that highlighted tracks from their forthcoming album (which apparently will be available on downloadable waxcylinder). Lead singer Sid Life-Crises belted out the eponymous opener 'Punks Not Dead' and prowled the stage with all the dexterity of an elephant dancing with the Royal Ballet. New track 'The Filth and the Puree' came from the new long player, but was immediately followed by old favourite 'The Boy Looked at Johnny' just in case any of the sizeable crowd had dozed off.
It warms my heart to say that they have also dedicated a new track to punk’s first female pin up in 'Gaye Adverts Eyes', although I'm ashamed to say I was one of the few people in the venue old enough to recall this ravishing beauty. A Crass inspired 'Banned from the Barfly' followed, showcasing the abilities of their spud faced 'One Show' presenting Adrian Chiles look-a-like drummer, but I was once again disappointed to find that he had not brought along his delectable co-presenter Christine Bleakley. Old favourite 'Permanent Frustration' brought the thronged masses to a peak of frenzy, and the set was rounded off with their anthem 'We Are the Dads', after which they left the stage with applause ringing in their ears.
Now whilst some of the readers may have detected a certain amount of mirth in my reporting, I would add that the 'joke' of Punks Not Dad would be unfunny if it weren't for the fact that these boys are both patently aware of their punk history (the leader singer's sister was apparently a regular at the Roxy back in the day) and they can really play their instruments. Their sound borrows heavily from the Pistols and Sham 69 etc, but is big, loud and comfortably fills a small venue like the Barfly. If you fancy forgetting the credit crunch for a night, you could do worse than get your local to book Punks Not Dad and pogo 'till you puke!