Banned Biographies

Banned Biographies is an audio documentary series charting the careers of some of the most notorious bands ever to grace the world’s stages.

Interview with The Stepney Sisters

March 26th, 2021

On this episode of Banned Biographies, I sat down over Zoom to interview Caroline and Benni from The Stepney Sisters. Theirs is a brilliant story of university friends who joined a soul band as singers in the early 1970s, moved into squats London, met some like-minded women involved in the women’s liberation movement and decided to start an all-female band so they could have complete control over the content of their songs and which gigs they played.

The Steppos, as I found out they called themselves, broke up less than two years later as their lives were taking them in different directions. They all carried on playing in various bands over the years and in 2010 they got back together to play a couple of gigs. In 2020 the band signed to indie label, Alcopop!, and released a double single in early 2021. Since the interview they’ve released a full album called Stepney Sisters on 12th March 2021.

It was an honour to sit down with Caroline and Benni and I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation just as much as I enjoyed talking to them.

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Paul Brightman of Sham 69 Interview Review

March 22nd, 2021

I’ve had some great feedback on the Paul Brightman interview over the last month. I even got a comment from the drummer in Paul’s band, Swampstomper, who was surprised by a couple of details in the interview despite having known Paul for years. That’s great to hear from an interviewer’s point of view because it means I was asking the right questions.

Speaking of which, I did a massive shoutout to other podcasts last month but completely forgot to say that I was going to be guesting on one. In February I appeared on All The Best Lines Podcast to talk about the Cary Grant film His Girl Friday. Do go and find the episode and let the hosts Smokey and Adam know that I sent you.

I’ll also be telling you about some of the new music I’ve been listening to recently and, of course, will let you know the subject of the next episode that will be out on Friday 26th March.

I really enjoyed speaking with Paul on the last episode of Banned Biographies and learned a hell of a lot from him. As I’ve said before, I’m looking to do a few more interview episodes in the future and am in conversation with a few musicians right now about appearing. If there’s anyone you’d like me to chat to, why not get in touch and let me know, maybe even @ them in on social media as well. If you happen to know anyone of note, please do get in touch.

While you're waiting for the next episode to drop on Friday 26th February 2021, why not go and leave a rating and review on iTunes, they really do help and you get a special shout out on these review episodes. But most of all, I hope you enjoy the next episode. Take care and stay safe.

Contact

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Interview With Paul Brightman of Sham 69, Swampstomper and (Almost) Chelsea

February 26th, 2021

This is the second Banned Biographies Interview episode with Paul Brightman of Sham 69, Swampstomer and (almost) Chelsea. During the episode, Paul talks about his introductions to music and playing in bands, juvenile delinquency, politics – both in bands as well as in the wider world – the pros and cons of touring and his hopes for the future both with his own project, Swampstomper, and with Sham 69.

A quick warning, the first few minutes are spent discussing the affect that COVID-19 has had on him including his own brush with the virus and, very sadly, losing close members of his family. We don’t dwell on this issue very long, but if you don’t want to listen to that part of the conversation then skip ahead about 5 minutes.

You can find Sham 69  at www.officialsham69.com, officialsham69 on Twitter and Instagram, and at SHAM 69 – Tim V on Facebook. You can find Swampstomper on Facebook by searching for Swampstomper or typing in facebook.com/SwampStomping as well as on reverbnation.com/swampstomper.

There were some technical issues with this interview. Paul’s microphone settings were wrong before we started recording and then, once sorted , I couldn’t hear him through my desk for a reason I couldn’t figure out, so we ended up both using onboard microphones, which is never ideal, but I’ve managed to get it sounding fine. Then, about 20 minutes in he lost internet connection and his computer automatically updated!

I’m more than happy with the final interview, and I thank Paul for sticking with it. I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation just as much as I enjoyed talking to him.

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

The Slits Review

February 22nd, 2021

I'm back to catch up with what's been happening since last month's episode about The Slits went out , give some shout outs to new followers as well as those that have been interacting, as well as highlight some other podcasts - both music-based and not - that I'm listening to and you might also like, and tell you what the subject of the next episode will be .

While you're waiting for the next episode to drop on Friday 26th February 2021, why not go and leave a rating and review on iTunes, they really do help and you get a special shout out on these review episodes. But most of all, I hope you enjoy the next episode. Take care and stay safe.

Contact

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Typical Girls(?) - The Tale of The Slits

January 29th, 2021

The Slits are one of the most significant female punk bands of the late 1970s. Not only did they bravely (or foolishly) leap into the fray with little, if any, musical ability, but through sheer emotion and desire created some great music, setting the stage for a future generation of Riot Grrrls.

Their success seems on a par with a band like The Velvet Underground’s in the 1960s. Neither bands sold huge amounts of records at the time but their influence has been huge and ongoing. 

Though much derided in their short existence, what the Slits achieved and what they meant to succeeding generations of young female rockers and pop stars cannot be underestimated.

Join me on an episode that charts the highs and lows of the lives and careers of some of punks least typical girls.

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign Interview Review

January 25th, 2021

I'm back to catch up with what's been happening since the Christmas Day episode went out where I interviewed the guys from the Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign, give some shout outs and tell you what band will be the subject of the next episode, which will be a return to the regular documentary format.

As ever, I hope you're doing well. 2020 was a hell of a year and 2021 has started off in much the same way. I've found solace in producing this podcast for you all and hearing your reactions to it and having chats with a whole load of you, so thank you for that and I intend and look forward to keeping on with that. Please do reach out on social media or via email and please do spread the word about the show, but most of all enjoy!

Contact

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Interview with the Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign

December 25th, 2020

In a change to our regular programming, instead of a documentary about an iconic band this month, I bring you the first in what I hope will be a regular feature of the podcast peppered between the documentaries.

In this episode I sat down over Zoom to chat with Paul Lally, Paul Banks and Ellie Porter from the Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign.

Lally set the group up two years ago after Shelley passed away in order to commemorate the singer with a blue plaque on his childhood home. £12,000 and a lot of fundraising activities later, the plaque was unveiled on 4th December 2020 by Malcolm Garrett, the artist who was recently awarded an MBE and designed early Buzzcocks album and single covers.

The Campaign isn't stopping there though, in this interview you'll find out what other plans they have for the years ahead as well as some personal stories including how they each discovered the music of Pete Shelley, Buzzcocks and punk in general.

Visit their site to find out how you can help out either financially or as a volunteer: peteshelleymemorial.com  

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

The Undertones Review

December 21st, 2020

Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back to cover some of the reaction to the Teenage Kicks: The Story of The Undertones episode, give some shout-outs and to let you know that the next episode will be a very different affair.

Instead of a documentary episode I've conducted my first interview for the show. You may remember during the Love Bites: The Story of Buzzcocks episode that I mentioned the Pete Shelley Memorial Campaign. They recently unveiled a blue plaque at Pete Shelley's childhood home in the first of many initiatives to memorialise him.

It will be out on Friday, 25th December 2020 as a present to all of you who have listened over the last eight months, or even if you've just started listening, but it's especially for those who may be spending the season alone because of lockdowns or protecting their family members. 2020 has been a bit crap, here's to a better 2021.

As a present to me, why not tell your friends to subscribe and listen. Also, don't forget to leave a rating and review, it only takes a few seconds and really makes a difference. But most of all; enjoy!

Contact

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

Teenage Kicks: The Story of The Undertones

November 28th, 2020

It all started on a two-week camping trip in County Donegal, Northern Ireland in August 1974. Friends Michael Bradley, Billy Doherty and brothers Vince and John O’Neill decided they wanted to start a band. The group had existed as an idea for about six months in the minds of John, Vince and Billy.

For a while, the unnamed group hade no instruments with which to practice, so there were no songs either. But it didn't stop them discussing the future of the band, who would play what instrument, and what kind of songs they were going to make. 

There was one more obvious problem that needed to be overcome: They didn't have a singer. Doherty invited local Irish Dancing legend and choir boy, Feargal Sharkey to join as singer and soon The Undertones were born, playing scout halls, school halls and social clubs before their big break.

This unlikely group of lads from Derry, a town which was in the midst of getting over the Bloody Sunday shootings of 1972, made a point of rebelling against the fervent political and sectarian turmoil of their surroundings by making some of the most innocent, pop-influenced music of all the 1970s punk bands, a couple of which have stood the test of time and feature on compilations to this day.

Teenage dreams really are hard to beat.

Contact:

Twitter: @BannedBiogs

Facebook: @BannedBiographies

Instagram: @bannedbiographies

E-mail: bannedbiographies@gmail.com

The Clash Review/The Undertones Preview

November 26th, 2020

Welcome back to Banned Biographies, I'm back to cover some of the reaction to London Calling: The History of The Clash episode, give some shout outs, announce the winners of the Joe Strummer badge giveaway with Pin Icons and to let you know that the next episode will be about Northern Ireland's originators of pop punk, The Undertones!

I seem to have lost a week somewhere this month, hence this episode coming out on Thursday rather than Monday. I have a fair amount of editing to do on The Undertones episode, but not a staggering amount, so I'm hoping that I may even get it out on time on the 27th November, but if not I'm confident it won't be more than a week late.

In the meantime, why not go and leave a rating and review on iTunes, call it an early Christmas present from you to me! Enjoy.

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