In this hour special, Pete Feenstra chats to James Stevenson about his music (58:39)
All The Cats Recordings [Release date 06.05.16]
The main selling point, I guess, of The International Swingers (putting the Benidorm ‘swingers’ association to one side for a moment) is the ‘super group’ line up.
Having spent his teenage years in Australia where he was singer for glam/punk rock band Supernaut, Gary Twinn returned to the UK and formed Twenty Flight Rockers with Mark Laff of Generation X. When called on in 2012 to tour home turf, he called up friends Clem Burke (Blondie), Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols) and James Stevenson (Generation X) to ‘form a band for a bit of a holiday down-under’.
They took a handful of each band’s songs, gave them a ‘stripped down and bare bones’ rock ‘n’ roll treatment, and took them on the road. A sold out tour ensued after a solitary LA debut. New songs and US and UK gigs followed, culminating in this eponymous debut album recorded at the Foo Fighters Studio 606 in LA.
Cynics may ponder on the placement of the single FBI in Sylvester Stallone action film Homefront, and of the album sleeve in a scene in London Has Fallen. But hey, these guys have ‘connections’. So why not use them?
But the reality is that the album doesn’t need them it’s a riot. A good old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll affair great songs, crunchy guitars, and sing along chorus lines that are impossible to ignore. Yes, Twinn has an almost inevitable hint of Billy Idol in his vocals (you can almost hear the lip curl in places), and Burke’s drum fills are unmistakeable, but it’s Stevenson’s marvellous guitar work that ices the perfectly baked cake.
The International Swingers sit comfortably next to Alice Cooper’s Hollywood Vampires as seasoned pro’s just plugging in, and having a blast. It’s sort of ironic that the punk generation have become the establishment. But if there’s one thing about old pro’s, they sure know how to give you a good time.
This is not rock for the thinking man. It’s for having a good time. And it delivers that in spades. ****
Review by Pete Whalley
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