Donny Punk’s Not Dead… A Tribute

Words: Sam F’kin Cooper

Images: Courtesy of the Donny punk scene and on-line.

The Donny punk family has been dealt a heartbreaking blow in recent weeks, as we lost two of our own. Pete Morgan and Jez Saxton were an integral part of our punk community. In 1977 I was only ten years old, so I’ve had help from some friends that were there…

A Review of John Merrick's Remains 'Light & Dark'

JMR return with a new instalment of creative electro, full of ingenious lyrics and cleverly produced sounds and backdrops. A mix of emotions reflecting on the light side of life… soon twisting into the dark. Prepare to be torn between the two and never know what you’ll find on the other side…

Light&Dark CD front-02

Opener Slenderman is dramatic, atmospheric and absorbing, a sinister backdrop filled to the brim with electro bass lines, layered synths and  crushing drum sequences, melded together with strained but eloquently delivered vocals. Guitars roll into the distance adding a further element of depth to this evolving JMR sound. Tense and fragile, Drowning delivers a haunting lyric draped within a cacophony of heavy bass, screeching keyboards & eerie sounds. Vocals delivered passionately; laced with pain & emotion. We Are So Fragile is a Gary Numan cover, tackled with a typical JMR turbulent twist. Classy, stylish approach with cleverly programmed drum patterns and superb synth arrangement. Vocals are delivered with precision and focus – a great cover. Next is a stripped down track ensuring the focus is on the vocal delivery and lyrical content; Meaningless Life is an emotional trip creating dark imagery that lasts long after the final chord – crying out for a full-on industrial remix!

The title track, Light & Dark, is visual and melodic, show-casing the vocal abilities of JMR – atmospheric & ethereal – a real treat and the stand-out track on the album. Acoustic guitars, simple keyboards – no tricks here – this is raw and emotional! Conversely, Mad Max is aggressive and fast – JMR on speed! Drum sequences, dry-ice, lights, screeching keyboards, bass-lines punching, chaotic rhythms, layers of sound, orchestral… it’s all here!

With layered synths and a lighter melody Mr Bad Guy delivers a brighter emotional feel. Only JMR can deliver a depressing song about a bad guy and make it sound happy – with their inimitable tongue-in-cheek approachWhen I See You offers angry vocals delivered with just the right amount of sneer. Guitars blend effortlessly with drums & synth, creating a fuller sound and atmospheric background. A danceable track that would also work well completely stripped down – a multitude of remix options.

Piano adds a dark, twisted feel with haunting and strained vocals to Alone. A deliciously dark track that is both atmospheric and tense. Full of swirling images and gothic dreams, lyrically tortured and beautifully delivered. To finish… through the storm clouds do you see more dark clouds… or do you see a blue sky appearing in The End?

Credit for the original review written by Hooded Stranger [Systema Synthetica] – Thank you.

What are John Merrick’s Remains?

Local duo Bob and Jools, aka John Merrick’s Remains, have been described as gothic, electro-rock – when performing they both don white head gear, à la their namesake from The Elephant Man. JMR deliver Marilyn Manson-esque visuals with Gary Numan sensibilities, a pinch of Bauhaus and a dash of Soft Cell – a delicious raw flavour of underground ’80s electronica.
Their adventure in sound began in 2004 when brothers-in-law Bob and Jools teamed up to write and record a début single for fun. The track, entitled Slapper, garnered good reviews locally, which prompted the label to offer the band a one off album deal for DMP records. The duo joined forces with friend and producer Andy Littlewood and recorded their debut album, Digging up the Remains. JMR proceeded to gig in and around the South Yorkshire area, gaining a passionate live following.
By the close of 2007 the duo had generated another albums worth of songs, mixed and ready to go, so in 2008 DMP records presented their long-awaited follow-up album John Merrick’s Remains. After extended gigging and promotion Bob & Jools were ready to start writing new songs, they teamed up with their producer Andy again, and Angel of the Night was released in 2010. Spekulus vs John Merrick’s Remains The Lament Configuration three track EP collaboration was released in 2012.
With an emergent fan base all over the world, 2013 saw John Merrick’s Remains celebrate their 10th Anniversary with a 15 track best of CD release MMIV-MMXIII. Their five track EP Dark City following in 2014, which they toured with The Danse Society. Which brings up to date with the release of JMR’s brand new fifth studio album Light & Dark. So, if you like your electro heavy on the gothic side give these lads a listen – or even better go along to their next gig!
To find out more, listen or watch JMR, go to their website HERE or follow them on Facebook by clicking HERE.
Stay tuned tomorrow where we’ll be posting a review of their latest release Light & Dark.

A Taste of Spain… In Bawtry!

The first week in September saw the anticipated opening of a brand new restaurant in the centre of Bawtry. The stunning Georgian style building is well known in Bawtry for housing various restaurants in the past, but they had yet to experience the Spanish sensation of tapas! With the success of their restaurant in Doncaster El Toro felt that Bawtry was also ready to try something a little different.


Their “Menú Principal” offers a wide selection of meat dishes, exquisite seafood and vegetarian tapas, all cooked to order and made with the freshest, locally sourced ingredients available. Or, if you’re feeling extra hungry, a taste of their renowned paella transports you to that summer holiday in Spain! The lunch time menu is only available Friday-Sunday for now, but provides “Emparedado” (that’s sandwiches to me and you) or burgers, selected tapas and healthy salads – all with an El Toro twist! For those wishing to indulge their sweet tooth, the desserts available are the perfect finale to your evening meal: from the classic “Churros con Chocolate” to a delightfully smooth Spanish crème brûlée – yummy!


The extensive wine list has been carefully selected to complement the Mediterranean menu. However, El Toro cocktails are really something special! The freshly prepared sangria, and almost twenty speciality cocktails, look and taste delicious. El Toro also offer a selection of amazing dry ice cocktails, inspired by visits to The Alchemist and developed with their own “mixologist”, delivering an experience that does not disappoint! With authentic Spanish beer and cider on tap, a range of other bottled beers, IPA and craft ales to choose from, there is something for everyone to enjoy with your meal, or as part of a pleasant night out in Bawtry!


Number sixteen in The Courtyard has been completely refurbished from top to bottom, including the exterior terrace area. Overall the interior looks bright, clean and contemporary. It incorporates a blend of modern Spanish and European aesthetics including: traditional plain and patterned tile work, industrial-feel metalwork shelving, accents of polished copper accessories, photographic wall coverings, prints and frames, plush, stylish seating and lots of wooden surfaces! The ambience generated by the comfortable and relaxed environment, in conjunction with El Toro’s friendly and attentive staff, creates a congenial atmosphere in which you are guaranteed to have a great time, whether chilling in the lounge, enjoying mouth-watering tapas or simply propping up the bar.

P1055972.jpgFind out more HERE or make a reservation email: bookings@eltorobawtry.co.uk or telephone: 01302 714951. Follow @eltorobawtry on Facebook & Instagram for updates.