Experience, swagger, and rock ‘n’ roll suss, collide with a stunning batch of songs to deliver one of the coolest bands in the business. A powerful line-up comprising of drummer Chris Musto, guitarists Ray McVeigh and Koozie Johns, and the legendary Sex Pistol Glen Matlock on bass and lead vocals.
Glen Matlock needs little introduction. As well as penning the anthem Pretty Vacant, arguably the most famous punk song ever, Glen wrote the music to all the Sex Pistols classics, including Anarchy In The UK and God Save The Queen, creating the benchmarks for any aspiring rock band. The Sex Pistols reunions of 1996, 2002, and 2003 gave the world the chance to see Glen reaffirm his rightful position as the cornerstone of the Pistols music.
However, the Sex Pistols represent only a fraction of what Glen has achieved. His next band, the Rich Kids, put out one of the most influential albums of the late 70s, Ghosts Of Princes In Towers, packed full of rock ‘n’ pop gems. Working with Iggy Pop, (who recorded Glen’s song Ambition), during the 80s, kept him in the limelight and at the top of his game.
In the 1990s Glen re-emerged as a force to be reckoned with. His solo album Who’s he Think he is When he’s at Home? recorded for Creation Records, home of Oasis, was a full-on guitar album, blistering in its intensity, taking everyone by surprise. Not content to kick up his heels, the reinvention continued with the first of his Philistines albums, Open Mind, which showed a man having regained the high ground with his strongest songs since Never Mind The Bollocks. Rattle Your Cage, Idiot, Sad Meal For One, and the title track are up there with his best.
However, it’s The Philistines latest album, On Something, which sees the full spectrum of Glen’s prowess dovetail into one of the best albums currently on release. Highlights include the fiery Piece Of The Action, the Glam Rock feel of Playboy Blues, and the Faces influenced OK Kiddo. White Knuckle Ride, championed by fellow Pistol Steve Jones on his radio show, Jonesy’s Jukebox, is a fine pile driver that’ll get young pretenders sitting up and taking notice. Title track On Something showcases Glen in his prime with reflective, and personal lyrics combining with a terrific tune.
Ray McVeigh was Sex Pistols’ Steve Jones's guitar duelling partner in the legendary post-Pistols outfit, The Professionals. He was famed for underpinning the sound on The Professionals’ album I Didn't See It Coming, a record dubbed Never Mind The Bollocks mk 2 by many. Ray also enjoyed fame in his own right in Japan, where his band Zilch amassed a huge following, while his production skills have remained in demand.
Koozie Johns is rock 'n' roll personified, and responsible for the acclaimed album, Craving Aches & Bitter Lemon Hearts, with his group Sinnerstar. Living the lifestyle, Koozie adds a dash of sleaze to the Philistines mix. Koozie and Ray played together in the band Wild Crash 500 and know how to complement each other instinctively.
Powerhouse drummer Chris Musto as well as being a prime mover on the London scene has played with Koozie’s Sinnerstar, and Chris and Glen have been musical associates since they both featured in The Subterraneans back in the 1980s.
The Philistines are a cohesive unit with the right mix of attitude, style, and a comprehensive musical heritage. As a reflection of their individual personalities, they also know how to enjoy themselves, putting the fun back into performance. In an era of angst rock, this comes as a welcome breath of fresh air. The Philistines are a group rooted firmly in the tradition of true rock 'n' roll, and provide a soundtrack to delight both fans of The Faces and Green Day. Positive, both on record and on stage, armed with a sack full of strong, vital sounding songs, performed with a hint of danger, The Philistines are rock 'n' roll.
Written by Phil Singleton