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Punk rock star journalist sees debut album hit the shops

A Nottinghamshire journalist who enjoys a double life as a local punk rock star has finally seen his work hit the record shops.

John Lomas, sports editor at the Mansfield Chad, fronts band Verbal Warning – which has just released its debut album, A Kick in the Verbals.

John, (44), joined a revived line-up of the “old skool” punk rock band 18 months ago having previously played in a band called Potential Difference, which played several gigs with the old Verbal Warning line-up more than 20 years ago.

Neither band released an album at the time.

Since reforming, Verbal Warning have played gigs across the country, winning support slots with well-known punk rock bands such as the Vibrators and the UK Subs, and were persuaded to put an album together.

John (pictured) told HoldtheFrontPage: “It is the 30th anniversary of punk rock this year and there’s lots of nostalgia.

“The question we get asked a lot is ‘do you have an album?’ and the answer has always been ‘no’, so we decided to bite the bullet and go into the studio.

“At our ages we are under no illusions that we’re going to be the next big boy band, but our music does appeal to young and middle ages and punk rock is enjoying a revival with bands like Green Day and we think our songs are very strong.”

The album includes a cover of John Denver’s Leaving on a Jet Plane as well as 11 of the band’s own songs – some of which were written as far back as 1979.

John said: “Some of the songs have been waiting years to be made immortal so it’s nice to finally get them down.

“Everyone wants to be a rock star but realistically it would be nice to achieve a certain level whereby people within certain circles know who we are and we are already achieving that.”

The band has persuaded all the HMV stores in the area to stock the album as well as many independent record shops in Nottingham, Mansfield and Derby, and John and his bandmates are now busily promoting it with even more gigs.

After such a long wait for their debut, they are also looking towards producing a second album – and John may even combine his ‘day job’, covering Mansfield Town FC, with his music by composing a song for the team.

John, who worked for the Nottingham Evening Post before joining the Chad 12 years ago, also has a third string to his bow – as an actor – and is currently rehearsing with his local drama group for a production of comedy The Safari Party.