Biography
Medway's most prolific craftsman, Billy Childish has been in more bands than most people could count on their fingers and toes since he started bashing out three chords in the late '70s. CTMF was his main band in the 2010s; the power trio combines the furious energy of punk, the sprightly swagger of garage rock, and the occasional ragged strand of Merseybeat or psychedelia, wrapping it up in Childish's trademark hollered vocals and raw lyrical perspective. The band started strong with 2013's All Our Forts Are with You, then cranked out singles and albums at a typically frantic pace. A couple changes from the usual Childish template are having bassist Nurse Julie write and sing a couple songs on each album along with the occasional flashes of guitar-playing proficiency, especially as regards the solos on 2019's Last Punk Standing... 2021's Where the Wild Purple Iris Grows added a folk undertow to Childish's trademark punk/garage bashing.

Despite not releasing any music until the 2010s, CTMF's history dates back to 1977, when Childish was working at a dockyard in Chatham, Kent as an apprentice mason. Having seen a report on the burgeoning punk rock scene on television, Childish decided he should form a band and grab his fair share of the limelight. Two of his friends, Button Nose Steve and Dave Marsh (not the rock critic), agreed in principle, and they settled on a name for the group, CTMF, which could mean Copyright TerMination Front or Clarity Through Fuzz depending on who you asked. The trio never got beyond talking things over and it wasn't until 2013 that Childish formed a band using that name with bassist/vocalist Nurse Julie (aka Julie Hamper) and drummer Wolf Howard on drums. Both Nurse Julie and Wolf Howard had played in many of Childish's previous bands and proved to be adept at backing his songs with the power and clarity they deserved. Howard started in the early 2000s in the Buff Medways, then both were in the Musicians of the British Empire and Spartan Dreggs before the trio started CTMF. The band's first album, All Our Forts Are with You, was released in 2013 by Damaged Goods, the label that has documented much of Childish's recorded career. Later that year the band released a double 10" to go along with an exhibition of Childish's artwork at the at the Carl Freedman Gallery in London. Titled Die Hinterstoisser Traverse, it was originally released by Squoodge Records before being reissued by Damaged Goods. Confusingly it was issued under the name Wild Billy Chyldish CTMF, as were some of the group's future releases.

A third album, the typically garage-y Acorn Man, was released in 2014 and featured a classic Childish tune, "Punk Rock Enough for Me," where the man himself humorously lists all the things he finds suitably punk. Their next album, 2016's SQ1 saw the trio expanding their sound a bit with keyboards, harmonica, and percussion, while Nurse Julie contributed a few songs and even got the chance to sing them. After barely enough time to catch their breath, Brand New Cage was released in December of 2017. It included songs about Brian Jones, Childish's introduction to punk rock, the notion of rock & roll as vaudeville, and Montana. Early in 2018, Damaged Goods released In the Devil's Focus, a 10" made up of radio sessions cut in July of 2017 for both Marc Riley and Gideon Coe's BBC 6 Music shows. The band had a relatively quiet 2018, only issuing two singles, one of which was a tribute to the early Rolling Stones that had them applying the Childish touch to "Not Fade Away" and "I Wanna Be Your Man." They resurfaced in July of 2019 to play the annual Burger Boogaloo in California; the Burger Records label issued a limited-edition LP titled Brave Protector to commemorate the occasion. Soon after that, the group's sixth album proper, Last Punk Standing..., was released by Damaged Goods. It contained much of their trademark garage sound but also stretched to include guitar solos played through a wah-wah pedal, an early R&B-inspired ballad, and songs that dialed the energy level down to a low simmer. 2021's Where the Wild Purple Iris Grows found Childish and his CTMF bandmates in prime rock & roll form, though the LP did nod to his interest in folk with a cover of Bob Dylan's "The Ballad of Hollis Brown" and the pastoral images of the title tune. ~ Tim Sendra & Mark Deming, Rovi




 
Videos
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Wild Billy Childish & CTMF : Lido Berlin 01.11.2018 (feat. King Khan)
Wild Billy Childish & CTMF Live Theatre Royal Margate
CTMF
Wild Billy Childish & CTMF "Smile Now & More" BBmix 2019
Wild Billy Childish & CTMF "When You Stop Loving Me" BBmix 2019
Wild Billy Childish & CTMF - Last Punk Standing (Live in Oakland 2019)
Billy Childish & The CTMF Interview & LIVE Oakland July 2019 Burger Boogaloo After Party Show
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