There aren’t many things that we consider sacred. But the unique and irreplaceable Joe Strummer and his band The Clash are two such things. So you can only imagine our trepidation when confronted by the near sacrilegious idea that a pair of cocky bands (albeit quite good ones) from our own era are set to release cover versions of his music! What could possibly go wrong? Well quite a lot actually, as quite a few bands have tried this and fallen flat on their musical arses.
Our nerves were slightly settled when we learned that they had teamed up with the Joe Strummer Foundation to raise a bit of much needed awareness about their important work. Also some much needed cash in case you’re all wondering what to spend it on during lockdown? But most importantly these two singles actually sound pretty good. They haven’t made the mistake of trying to reinterpret the near flawless original songs. Instead they’ve respected Joe’s vision and just applied their own style to the songs and it works very well.
From the South-East, The Zipheads have been taking their high-octane rockabilly-punk rootsand-roll to audiences worldwide since 2013, releasing 2 albums and clocking up hundreds of shows from all over the UK and Europe to the USA and Russia. Theirs is a radical reworking of the Clash’s 1980 reggae single “Bankrobber”. Guitarist Ray explains- “The Clash have always been my favourite band. All the different styles and influences that shape our soundrockabilly, reggae, punk- we discovered all of that through the Clash. We recorded this as an Albert Lee-style upbeat country number, it seemed to work!! We’re all so proud to be working with Joe Strummer Foundation and hopefully this single can help them with the all good work that they do.”
Our northern contenders are Nosebleed – a garage rock ‘n’ roll trio who have been touring around the UK and Europe since 2014. They contribute their treatment of Clash classic “Train In Vain” Known for their suited and booted stage presence, their live show is the stuff of legend. Bassist Ben says “Since I was small, I’ve always had the Clash in my life coz my dad has been into punk since it started. We’re really proud to be helping the Joe Strummer Foundation and contributing to them bringing music into the lives of future generations. Joe Strummer and The Clash are so important to so many people – the diversity of the sounds and influences they brought into their music is inspirational.”
Both tracks will be released by Bomber Music across all digital platforms on the 8th May. All profits from the release will go to The Joe Strummer Foundation who provide opportunities to musicians and support to projects around the world that create empowerment through music. For more information on the charity and its work please visit: www.joestrummerfoundation.org