Friday, October 21, 2005


And so, another ghost from my early 80s brathood stumbles out of the fog, hands raised above its head. Looking at pics of 'Wearside Jack', I can't help but smile ; he looks like your archetypal jolly joker, the kind of irritating prat who's always drinking at the same pub and coming up with stupid pranks, like dropping a false eye into your pint the minute your back's turned. All good comedy contains a natural sliver of sadism, and you can really savour that image of his " ah'm a wag, me!" chuckling face, knowing that his world was shortly going to come crashing down after a quarter of a century of having gotten away scot-free as the voice of the fake Yorkshire Ripper.

At the same time, though...and trust me on this, I really don't find anything amusing about butchering women with screwdrivers, even if they happen to be Amanda Platell (nuns can fuck off though)....but, come on, cut the bloke a bit of slack. He's clearly retarded, as he still lives with his brother (((sorry, but I find it really suspect when people live with their blood relatives past the age of 18 - having said that, you'd understand this outlook perfectly if your parents had comprised an IRA teddy boy and the first female Pope. And obviously, sky-high rents in London are forcing more and more kids to stay at home, years beyond their hormonal eruptions - hey, I might live in a dump with pigeon squatters, but I refuse to pay a fortune just for the privilege, courtesy of those generous estate agents, of living in the city where I was fucking born - RANT ENDS))), and the tape, in its own sordid way, has passed into the realms of pop infamy. In his autobiography 'Tainted Life', Marc Almond recalls bristling with horror the time the Leeds plod played the tape at a nightclub ("Nobody felt much like dancing afterwards"). It's become an integral part of the Ripper story, often outshining the factual details -which are as depressingly bland as you'd expect from a sexually screwed-up mummy's boy who heard God's voice wafting from a grave.

Unsurprisingly, it also found its way onto vinyl. One of its earliest appearances was as the opener to the Blanks' chug-along punk tune "The Northern Ripper", recorded when Sutcliffe was still at large. This song is incredibly silly, featuring lyrics like "He's the Northern Ripper / Murderous Star Tripper", and one of the band members' girlfriends providing backing screams for good measure. John Balance also recorded a sort of Throbbing Gristle 'mega-mix', years before "Mutant TG", called "Leeds Ripper" (what else?) which is amusing in a kind of Jive Bunny way, but ultimately forgettable. Snatches of the tape cropped up here too.

The early 80s was a boom period for UK serial killers ; like a cast of Marvel supervillains, they all boasted their own media-designated, dramatic handles ; the Yorkshire Ripper ; the Railway Rapist ; the Stockwell Strangler ; the Fox. Even the US had the Night Stalker. When Denis Nilsen made it onto the news in '83, it was like North London had finally spawned its very own vampire - nobody was safe. And of course, it all fed the tabloids and the book publishers.

Parents dragged their sprogs to the Chamber of Horrors, to see waxwork effigies of Gary Gilmore being executed, Mary Kelly being gutted, the Black Panther standing to attention outside his cell and the Manson family squatting around beside a blood-smeared wall. It was all open, out there ; not just on obscure, 500-copy only LPs, nor confined to stabs at outrage in hacked-together bedsit fanzines. It was mass-produced fodder, and from the St Albans Poisoner to the Beast of Jersey, we devoured it and churned it out as Hammer Horror incarnate. Wearside Jack, as foolish, cunning, hilarious or hopeless as you want him to be, just seems to be one more staple of that atrocity exhibition. Except he acted independently, so throw the book at the evil bastard.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005



I recently met John Eden in a Stoke Newington Irish theme toilet, and asked him if he fancied a DJ clash. "What are you going to play," he sniggered, "'Mysterious Girl" by Peter Andre'?" I told him that I'd probably start off with Wickerman's "Gun Mi Carry", and a shiver ran through his body. A long silence descended, punctuated only by the sound of the rain fizzing and crackling off the tops of two hot lamps in the beer garden. "Actually, I'm busy every night until 2007", he coughed, legging it out the door.

Anyway, after the ill-conceived and poorly-received "Boom Boom Bashment" mix **, Eden and Meme have stormed back to the champion form they once displayed on "Lyric Maker". Yellowman's "Soldier Take Over" on the Tanka rhythm is such a classic, and the version here is some obscure connoiseur (sp?) version, with added horns and guitar licks. Chuck in some vintage Admiral Bailey and Shabba stuff, plus an LFO Demon freakout, and you'd have to be a member of Christian Voice not to download this immediately. Death to Islam!

** - I'm only joking, I just think bashment sucks

XEX - Group : Xex

So I'm sitting in an airport bar, trying to listen to this obscure and pleasantly skewed electro album from 1980, when an irritating man in fawn chinos comes up and starts trying to tell me about his kids. Like I care! Normally, it's easy to scare these sorts of fruitcake away by simply telling the joke, "What do you get if you stick a knife in a schoolboy? An erection". But I didn't deploy it this time, as I was too busy pondering, "How mad is this CD??"

Songs include "Soviet Nerve Gas Attack", a blackly comical, swirling, tense mass of cold war paranoia ; "Rome on $5 a Day", a weird take on the Red Brigades phenomenon, sounding like a cross between a Sugarhill Gang rap and sloppy but punchy electro, with arcade game machine gun noises and amplified screams ; and the murderous "Kitty", a hearty sing-song about physically and mentally abusing a cat - I know it's out of order, but it appeals to my sadistic side like a fresh gingerbread man appeals to a late-19th century Hungarian orphan. I'm not quoting any lyrics here as I can't remember them word-perfectly right now (like that ever stopped me before), but you need to hear them. This album has definitely enriched my life. Smash the Buddhists! (Incidentally, did you know that Zizek used to religiously watch "3 2 1"?) (((PS - I didn't make the schoolboy joke up, so don't lynch me - it was Jean Genet, honest!)))

PET SHOP BOYS - Battleship Potemkin Soundtrack

I was never massively into the PSBs, except for "West End Girls", which I seriously rate as one of the best 80s singles ever ((((not like it had much competition, granted - does anyone remember Red Box? "Marxist" (ha ha ha) "synthpop duo" (ZZZZ...) who did that awful video with the Chinese kid running around with a papier mache globe. My mother, in between shovelling novenas up St Jude's plastic anal cavity, actually bought their single from the newsagent, during one of her rare trips into (then) modernity : I can't think of more damning proof that Red Box were cack))). But this soundtrack's ace in places, even if it's a bit of a drag to listen to all in one go, and the best moments are reminiscent of Coil's "Dark River"- cold ambient with lush noodling. Nice arty packaging too. Down with Falun Gong!

Thursday, October 06, 2005



1980s rock star "Millwall" Roi Pearce has SLAMMED Jimmy Pursey following the Sham 69 frontman's controversial pro-Tony Blair statements.

Pearce, 42, who once entertained millions as singer of chart-topping Oi! group Last Resort, told reporters, "Pursey has sold out. It truly is a sham."

And the bespectacled former bootboy said that the man once affectionately known as "Chairman Jimmy" by his hardcore fans could expect little forgiveness from the band's once-loyal 'Sham Army'.

"Jimmy knows what he's done and he's definitely crossed a line", Pearce said from his Herne Bay council flat. "I can't imagine any self-respecting skin ever playing 'Borstal Breakout' again."

Pearce, 42, shot to fame in 1981 with hits like 'Stormtroopers in Sta-Press' and 'Oi! Oi! Skinhead', before landing a dream job as singer in the fabulous 4-SKINS.

However, the price of fame was a severe kebab addiction - a condition against which the 42-year old former megastar is still struggling.

"Sure, I've messed up a lot of things. After the 'Fistful of 4-Skins' album exploded onto the Sounds indie chart, success went to our heads. I blew most of my royalties in pie and mash shops, and let my hair grow over my ears", a tearful Pearce recalls.

However, the Millwall-supporting cove still claims that Jimmy Pursey's act of BETRAYAL has hit an all-time low.

"He's basically stabbed a lot of skins and punks in the back, and that's well out of order", Pearce, 42, fumed.


Meanwhile, Bad Manners frontman BUSTER BLOODVESSEL spoke out in defence of his former friend - claiming that Pursey may simply be CRACKERS!

"I've known Jimmy a long time, and I don't think he'd ever do anything like this, unless he was stressed out to breaking point," Bloodvessel opined.

Loveable Bloodvessel, 42 stone, caused controversy on British television in 1980, when he taught children how to scrunch up a pork pie in a jar of vinegar, as part of a sickly 'pie drink'.

But the ska supremo, who once bedded Princess Rania of Jordan, said he'd stand by his 'old mucker' Pursey, regardless of his 'despicable and wicked act'.

"If it means helping Jimmy to find the therapy he needs, so be it", Bloodvessel said from a Margate cafe'. "I won't abandon my friend to the spectre of mental illness and emotional fascism".


Pursey is currently said to be 'keeping a low profile' for the time being, but it is thought that Street Link Records will be WITHDRAWING its offer to put out 500 copies of the "Sham 69 - Live and Loud!" album following this incident.

Veteran Sounds writer, Garry Bushell, is also reported to have expressed "grave concerns" regarding Pursey's comments, having cancelled his family holiday in Alacante to return to the UK.

And Welsh police chief CLIVE WOLFENDALE has branded Pursey as "misguided and irresponsible", claiming that the disgraced Sham 69 star "must have known that thousands would find his views abhorrent and provocative".


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