The Sex Pistols are the most important punk rock band of all time; I even put them above The Clash which tends to get me into quite a few arguments that could otherwise easily be avoided. But I have a reason for doing so. While The Clash are great and delivered a masterful deep catalog of incredible music, The Sex Pistols made an arguably equal impact with only one official release in a fraction of the time. Now THAT is punk. So anytime any member of my favorite band in the world is involved in anything new, I’m immediately on board, and they never disappoint.
35 years later, the band formed from the ashes of the Sex Pistols by Paul Cook and Steve Jones return to release their long-awaited new album What In The World. It’s a no-frills return to form from the original punk rock supergroup that reunited a few years ago minus one pistol and plus one new frontman in the form of Tom Spencer. Spencer was invited to come to rehearsals, to sing and play guitar while Steve Jones was being lured back to the UK to join. As it became obvious Steve wouldn’t be heading over, and with rehearsals feeling better and better – the new line up was born.
What in the World, finds The Professionals being joined by a stellar cast of guest guitar players including original member Steve Jones (who plays on three tracks). Duff McKagen (Guns ‘n’ Roses), Mick Jones (The Clash), Phil Collen (Def Leppard), Marco Pirroni (Adam & The Ants), Chris McCormack (3 Colours Red) and Billy Duffy (The Cult) also join the party.
“We’re not breaking any musical boundaries – we’re doing what we do best. From the heart with energy and integrity.”
The result is 10 songs that deliver one hell of a punch in the face of high energy rock n roll with a punk attitude. Highlights include a tribute to Lemmy and Bowie called ‘Going, Going, Gone’, the instant classic (and my personal favorite track) “Hats Off”, and the closeout track “Monkeys’ which not so subtly takes a dig at world leaders. The basic tracks were laid down at Zak Starkeys studio, just outside London and were finished at Tower Studios in Pershore with the special guests recording in various studios both here and in the US. What In The World was produced by Dave Draper with Paul Cook and Tom Spencer there to co-produce.
“In the studio we put the songs down as a three piece but what was needed was a second guitarist’s mind, to come from another angle. Cookie dusted off his punk rock address book and made a few calls. All the guests added their own unique magic.”
To celebrate the release of the new record the band played a very special show at The Garage in London. Not only was it a celebration of the new record, but it was also the exact day 40 years later when the punk rock masterpiece Nevermind the Bollocks was released. The band were absolutely on fire and sounded top notch as they tore through a setlist featuring songs old and new.
While The Professionals do no play any Pistols songs, they would make an exception this night. The encore featured blistering versions of the Pistols classics “Bodies” and “Pretty Vacant”. It was absolutely magical to hear these songs again live with some fresh blood leading the charge and the original driving force embodying the punk attitude that made all of this possible.
More exclusive shots from the London show are below in the gallery.