November 2017


The Professionals
What in The World
Review By: Louise Swift

Not to be confused with an American Western film starring Burt Lancaster in 1966, a Tamla Motown Band who released That’s Why I Love You in 1967, or a British TV drama series starring Martin Shaw and Lewis Collins from 1977 to 1983, I’m reviewing What in The World the latest album by British punk rock band The Professionals, formed by ex Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook and guitarist Steve Jones, in 1979 following the Sex Pistol’s demise. Originally session musician Andy Allan, was on bass guitar before being replaced by former Subway Sect bass player Paul Myers, with Ray McVeigh joining as a second guitarist. An American tour was curtailed when three members of the band were injured in a car crash and The Professionals called it a day shortly after in 1982. Fast forward thirty-five years, Paul Cook and Paul Myers were touring with Vic Goddard’s Subway Sect and decided to resurrect The Professionals recruiting Tom Spencer (The Yo-Yos and The Men They Couldn’t Hang to name but two) on vocals and guitar. Chris McCormack on guitar joins them to make up the touring line-up. Whilst Steve Jones hasn’t re-joined the band permanently he makes a guest appearance on three of the tracks on What in The World with many famous and well-respected musicians including Billy Duffy (The Cult), Duff McKagen (Guns ‘n’ Roses) and Marco Pirroni (Adam & The Ants) also making guest appearances.

All the basic tracks were laid down at Zak Starkey’s studio and were finished at Tower Studios. The guests recorded their contributions in various studios, both here in the UK and in the US. The album was produced by Dave Draper with Paul Cook and Tom Spencer co-producing. What in The World was released on October 27th via Automaton Records. You can buy the album on Pledge Music.

The opening track and first lyric video to be taken from the album is the catchy ‘Good Man Down’ which reminded me of ‘Unscrewed’ by The Main Grains, the band fronted by Chris McCormack’s brother and former Wildheart Danny McCormack.

Tom Spencer’s vocals have a gravelly, throaty quality think something along the lines of The Urban Voodoo Machine’s Paul-Ronney Angel’s, and yes Tom has played with them as well as The Wildhearts. A lot of the influences/similarities I heard throughout the album are to bands which are linked to members of The Professionals in some way.

‘Let Go’ a classic punk n roll song, with a driving beat, some intricate riffage and harmonised backing vocals. ‘Going, Going, Gone’ a mellower song written as a tribute to Lemmy and David Bowie. ‘Extremadura’ a more ambient song with Victoria Liedtke providing gentle backing vocals. ‘Rewind’ with a Yo-Yos vibe and ‘Hats Off’ tipping a hat to The Wildhearts. ‘New Generation’ with a classic new wave feel. ‘Take Me Now’ alarming? I don’t mean shocking, I mean think of The Alarm. ‘Bad Baby’ with its gentle chugging beat has Victoria Liedtke adding some tuneful backing vocals again; and some Shadows style riffs had me thinking something along the lines of The Shadows doing Magazine! Then we come to the grand finale with ‘Monkeys’ the chorus including the lyrics ‘See no, hear no, speak no evil, where did your monkeys go’ takes inspiration from the old proverb ‘Three wise monkeys’ a hard-hitting tune with intricate riffs and monkeys in this sense referring to followers.

There’s nothing amateur about this album. It’s polished and well produced. I wasn’t expecting any less from The Professionals with all the big-name guest stars making it seem like a who’s who of the punk and new wave genre. A superb album which should appeal to fans of The Yo-Yos, The Wildhearts, The Alarm and The Main Grains.

The Professionals line-up in 2017 is:
Paul Cook – Drums
Tom Spencer – Guitar/Vocal
Paul Myers – Bass Guitar
Chris McCormack – Guitar

What In The World track Listing:

  1. Good Man Down feat. Steve Jones & Billy Duffy
  2. Let Go feat. Phil Collen
  3. Going, Going, Gone feat. Steve Jones & Billy Duffy
  4. Extremadura feat. Mick Jones & Victoria Liedtke
  5. Rewind feat. Phil Collen
  6. Hats Off feat. Duff McKagen & Chris McCormack
  7. New Generation feat. Marco Pirroni
  8. Take Me Now feat. Steve Jones, Billy Duffy & Marco Pirroni
  9. Bad Baby feat. Victoria Liedtke
  10. Monkeys feat. Duff McKagen & Phil Collen

Cd Cat Number: AUTOMCD001
Vinyl Cat Number: AUTOMLP001

The 10-track album What In The World is available on standard CD, vinyl and as a digital download at PledgeMusic.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theprofessionalsband/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/OfficialPros