Carol Hodge (Slice of Life, Steve Ignorant’s “The Last Supper”) has established a new independent record label Chopback with Simon Wells, founder member and original guitarist with London punksters Snuff. “Our first release, which came out on vinyl and CD on 1 July 2017, and is a solo album by Simon, entitled Crime of the Scene,” explains Hodge. “I play piano and sing backing vocals on it, and am very proud of what we’ve achieved. It’s a huge departure from Simon’s punk past and has so far been compared to Van Morrison, Billy Bragg and Neil Young,” she reveals. “But don’t let that put you off.”

“Snuff started when I was 18, we were part of a scene,” says Wells. “Thrash punk was something that was happening and we became part of that but put our own mark on it, and didn’t sound like any other bands around at the time. I’m now much older, I’ve done many different types of music. This album I’ve purely enjoyed and indulged myself and played around with songwriting and enjoyed the sounds,” he continues. “I wasn’t really writing it for anyone else, I was doing it for me. I wanted to make an album that sounded more mellow. I feel like I’ve achieved that.”

“The most influential musician on the album is Carol Hodge whose style of piano gave so much to the songs that it influenced the way they were presented,” Wells adds. “Duncan Thompson is a friend I’ve known since he was 16. He was the drummer in Southport for some time, is a great musician and influence on me musically. He played drums and some bass on the album. Viola was played by Anita Bushell, who stepped in after a series of string player let downs. She did a great job.”

Simon Wells announces new solo album Crime Of The Scene

Crime Of The Scene, the debut solo album from Simon Wells, is ready for release on Hastings based independent label Chopback. Drawing arrangement influences from the likes of James Taylor, Van Morrison and Howlin’ Wolf, Crime Of The Scene is an acoustic album with finely crafted and poignant lyrics. Acoustic guitar, piano, bass, drums and viola are sparsely utilised to support Simon’s gravelly and soulful vocals.

Simon’s musical career spans three decades, starting in the late 1980s as guitarist and songwriter for the seminal London punk band Snuff. After more than a decade of touring the world and selling over half a million records, he moved onto drums in the band Your Mum. The late 90s and early 2000s led to success in the dance music scene, primarily with project Headstone Lane and sessions with MOBO winners 4Hero and Mercury Prize nominated Future Sound Of London. In 2003 he founded mod punk band Southport, releasing albums on Go Kart, Golf Records and Boss Tuneage. The final Southport album Southern Soul was released in 2014, in collaboration with Yo Yo Records and Fixing A Hole.

The rest of 2017 will see a national tour, appearances at Wonkfest (The Dome, London, Saturday 1st July) and Rebellion festival (Winter Gardens, Blackpool, Thursday 3 August, Almost Acoustic stage, 17:10), as well as the release of brand new tracks through the Chopback Patreon campaign, which also provides supporters with discounts on all physical merchandise, plus select free downloads of Simon’s back catalogue.

Simon Wells