Saturday, March 27, 2010


KALI WOLFING DOWN VEGAN SPACE CAKE AT A ZINE SYMPOSIUM - have you come across THIS yet? Only the world's first ever Acid House record, produced by a Mr Charanjit Singh of Bombay, in 1983. In other words, India invented ACCIEEEEDD.

The pundits are being overly coy about this one; I guess they're scared the Aphex Twin's gonna step forward and claim the whole thing's an elaborate HOAX, potentially making them look FOOLS if they leap out of the trenches and sing Singh's praises. Well, fuck it, I will; as the philosopher Stuart Leslie Goddard once noted, ridicule is nothing to be scared of. Do you realise the significance of this re-release? Do you know what this MEANS?

Music history - everything we've been told - is BOLLOCKS.

Ha ha! This means that all those documentaries and books claiming that Phuture accidentally invented Acid House while they were fiddling around with a TB303 one rainy afternoon in 1987...all those bighead, superstar DJs slapping down Joe Punter with their painstakingly memorised Transmat catalogue numbers...all those people on forums, going "Munhh munnhh, you can't say Detroit, it was Kraftwerk, you know jack shit"...Genesis P-Orridge...they're ALL wrong! INDIA INVENTED ACID HOUSE, and that's all there is to it.

Oh Jesus, Mary and all the saints - slip me a packet of Superdoves and a time machine. I'm going back to 1994 with a copy of Ten Ragas To A Disco Beat. FIRST STOP: Ministry of Sound. Watch Sasha and Jeremy fucking Healy COWER and SQUIRM as I pull the plugs on their sets, warding off the bouncers with a butane gas torch, and plonk this LP on the decks. I'll teach you ignorant scuzzbags to throw me out. SECOND STOP: G*****, writing his shitty 'E fiction' and boring everyone's arse off with a potted history of club culture. Storm into his flat, wave the vinyl in his face and laugh, kick his manuscripts over the carpet and raise a disco biscuit to the greatest man who ever lived...the mighty CHARANJIT SINGH!!!

Anyway, I decided to download it off Mediafire. I wouldn't quite wet yourselves with glee - truth be told, it sounds as dated as Model 500, and I personally wouldn't wanna cough up the 20 sovs Boomkat's demanding.'s indisputably early ACID and definitely a joy to hear. Singh wins!

The big question now, obviously, is...what else don't we know about? Maybe Jungle originated in Thailand in 1988. Oi! - the voice of the disenfranchised East London proletariat, howling against the foul winds of Thatcherism? Don't be stupid...try the voice of Persian students in 1967!! What if the Blues actually started in Sligo in Ireland? And then Uruguay nicked it and developed it into rock 'n' roll?

With this one miraculous discovery, we can tear apart the entire history of music reportage and start again! All bets are off!

((Until somebody shuffles forward and blubbers, "Actually, I've had that album for years...was always into Singh, yep...started it all...I knew that...tried to tell 'em, but would they listen? Sheesh...should've kept the original artwork..."))

So don't EVER let these so-called 'experts' make you feel small, OK? Get it? Got it? Good.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


When I was 13, I decided to reject the Tricolour and the Union Flag and embrace the black banner of ANARCHY. I'd meticulously studied anarchist theory ((the Class War 'Rock Against The Rich' issue, with the Joe Strummer interview)) and was carefully immersing myself in the dialectics of the movement ((Crass, Conflict, The Epileptics, Rubella Ballet, etc)). But, in retrospect, I was a rubbish anarcho-punk. I never got into 'permaculture', which I used to think was a fanzine for hairdressers, and I've never been able to say no to a bacon roll. Oh, and I've always hated being on the dole. Still, Fortuna knows no master, so the question remains...which was better - signing on in 1997 or in 2010?


1997 - If you resided in the Burnt Oak area, your local SS office was Lyndhurst House - named after a shamanistic performance artist who used to go into trance and 'become' 'Rodney Trotter'. You basically brought along your passport and NI number, sat around for half an hour and then filled in a load of forms, while an interchangeable, unisex chorus echoed, Fuck's sake, been here half an hour! from the wings. Job done.

2010 - You go down to Jobcentre Plus, greet a Group 4 guard ((ie-the private security firm who let young offenders hang themselves in their cells)), get given a Freephone number and are told to go back home and ring it. You then have a half-hour chat with a dole claim processor. You then get told to bring your paperwork back to Jobcentre Plus, for a 'formal' induction - can you get there in half an hour? You then spend half an hour in Jobcentre Plus, signing your 'contract' and declaring your specialised areas for job-hunting ((you have to provide three completely unrelated areas. Sucks if you've always been a commis chef or a Java script programmer - did those roles involve any security work, perhaps?))

Y'know, during this process, I couldn't help but flash back to the time the alcoholic careers advisor came round to our school, and my mate Steve was thrown out of the room for saying he wanted to be a porn star. That always baffled me. For Satan's sake, the boy was willing to work - what more did they want? Oh, of course - to put us all on unpaid summer holiday 'placements'. For some folks, fucking like a donkey's the only skill they've got - why the hell shouldn't they be allowed to make money out of it?


1997 - Fill in your bloody 'WHAT I DID TO GET A JOB' booklets. Write whatever, but write something - or are you into being grilled every time you sign on? I'd show off all the jobs I'd applied for, real and fictitious, and then have a brief chat with this Hindu woman. The conversation went something like this, every time:

HER: We have a and warehouse cleaning...£4.50 an hour, 8am-5pm, overtime available...

ME: Cool, I'll take it.

HER: ...applicant must have experience of using industrial vacuum cleaners. Have you?

ME: No, but it can't be that difficult, I'll probably pick it up in 5 minutes. I'm a fast learner. I'd like to go for it.

HER: I'm sorry, it says here that experience is essential. OK...there's a job in Colindale, nights, security. £3.60 an hour, applicant must be willing to work flexible hours.

ME: I can't do security. I used to work in an off license in Camberwell and it got held up one night. I'm terrified of guns.

HER: That's awful! Were you hurt?

ME: Nah, I wasn't working the night it happened...but I couldn't go back there after that, I was too scared. The gang might have come back.

HER: What sort of job are you looking for then?

ME: I'd like to write for magazines. I'd also like to write a book about the Irish in London.

















HER: OK...come back in two weeks.

2010: The Jobcentre Plus ((now with *new improved* bullshit!)) has a bank of computers nailed into the floor, where you can search for jobs. I entered 'GREATER LONDON AREA', what kind of work I was after, and waited for the 'search-a-tron' ((just made that bit up)) to pluck me a new career path. It referred me to a job in St Albans. I'm sorry - I know that Luton loves to see itself as part of London, to the point it even tagged the capital's name onto its airport ((cue confused Gallows fans from Spain, stumbling outside Arrivals and asking Muslim taxi drivers, "Are we near Camden?")), and that St Albans probably considers itself a 'borough' these days. But 'North London' terminates at Edgware and High Barnet. Beyond that is NOT 'Greater London'. It's 'The North'


1997 - Back then, we used to have JOB CLUB. Now, technically, you weren't allowed to join Job Club unless you'd been unemployed for six months. BUT, if you read the membership small print, you COULD sign up, as long as you'd suffered an injury that prevented you from doing security work - and you DIDN'T need a note from the quack to verify it. Great, I was in.

Basically, Job Club allowed you to use word processors and gave you unlimited access to paper, envelopes and stamps. We were treated a bit better than yer non-member claimants - we got a cup of tea, sometimes. And...that was about it, really. Apart from the occasional group seminar, when some bearded guy would come in with a Nobo board and a marker pen, and tell us, "Normally, we don't like it when people put on airs! But it's a different story altogether when you decide to put on..AIRS! Application, Interview, Resume'...Success!!"

2010 - We had a half-hour compulsory training session on how to get a job, delivered by a woman who must have been in her late 30s. We were told that, to stand out from other applicants, we have to make sure our CVs are 'pukka'. But we shouldn't get too down about our predicaments, because "the economy's getting its foot out of the bed". I also discovered the impressive fact that, when going for an interview, you shouldn't swear. The worst part was when the woman said, "Oh, can you guys turn off your mobiles - cos, if I hear your ringtones, I'll just be like-!" and then she did this really bad attempt at bogling.

Everybody fake laughed. And I heard Charles Manson in my ear, gurgling: Man, how did I end up in here?


1997 - Actually, here's one for you. You remember how the old Jobcentres used to be orange? Well, EasyJet's orange too, and so was Happy Shopper. Is there some kind of ritualistic colour coding going on? Has orange got some magickal connotation with 'skint'?

2010 - Jobcentre Plus is a sickly shade of green, that brings to mind institutions and sick wards where you only ever come out in a box, round the back. From warm oranges to cold, aquatic snot-greens.

Anyway, conclusion: signing on in 1997 and signing on in 2010 are equally bollocks.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Bloody hell - you wait six years for a Billy Childish mix, then two come along at once. Benny's knocked out an answer mix to Dubversion's, which you can filch off Mediafire HERE. Hardly any overlap either, which makes both of these mixes utterly essential. Anyway, here's the track listing:

1. I am Billy Childish
2. Can't judge a book- Thee Headcoats
3. Sit right down and cry - The Milkshakes
4. Give it to me - Thee Mighty Caesars
5. Baby who mutilated everybody's heart - Thee Mighty Caesars
6. Dirty old man - Thee Headcoatees
7. I love that girl Ammonia - Billy Childish
8. I love my woman - Billy Childish and the Blackhands
9. Late at night - The Milkshakes
10. Round every corner - Thee Headcoats
11. Ain't that lovin' you baby - Thee Headcoats
12. Gotta get inside that girl's mind - Thee Headcoats
13. You'll be sorry now - Thee Mighty Caesars
14. I dreamt last night (that I lay dead) - Thee Milkshakes
15. For the deceived - Billy Childish
16. We're gone - Thee Headcoats
17. Melvin - Thee Headcoatees
18. Don't wanna be ruled by women and money no more - Thee Mighty Caesars
19. Cosmetic woman - Billy childish and the natural born lovers
20. Too late - Thee Headcoats
21. Please Don't tell my baby (I saw her last night) - The Milkshakes
22. After midnight - The Milkshakes
23. I feel so bad - Billy Childish & Dan Melchior
24. Lets Stomp (Live in Germany) - The Milkshakes
25. Black Elk Speaks - The Delmonas
26. No mercy - The Buff Medways


I was tempted to have a go myself, but a) I haven't got one of those miraculous wonders of technology that allows you to upload C90 tapes to your laptop, meaning I'd have to send the cassette to John Eden and then wait 4 weeks before he emails to tell me he's accidentally demagnetized it in some TOPY ritual.... b) I don't really have enough Childish-related stuff to make it worth a full mix. BUT, here's some single MP3s below. By the way, if anyone else is thinking of doing a BC mix ((we still have 70-odd LPs' worth of material to cover)), drop us a note and I'll link to it. Damn it, if I can do just one thing right in my life, surely it's bequeath future generations a gateway for Billy Childish Audio Repositories.

(PS- if anyone's got any ethical worries about MP3 sharing, two of these are out of print, and the other two - Headcoatees and A-Lines - need to be purchased anyway, or you're an idiot. Still, if the band members get narked - not just these but with any of the MP3s - I'll wipe 'em off Sendspace with a flick of my musical wrist. Never let it be said I stole bread from another cat's paws)




(OK, this isn't so much Childish, but Kyra was in the Headcoatees and Julie's Billy's squeeze. And it's just great anyway).

Saturday, March 20, 2010, 6 REGGAE SONGS ABOUT MOTORBIKES

Not his best album. Check out "My Weapon", "Bunty Hunter", "Target Practice", "Out Pon Bail", "Don Bad Man", "Warning You Now" and "Hollow Point Bad Boy" instead

Ever seen Quadrophenia? It's the most rubbish 'youth cult' film ever, so ignore everyone who tells you it's seminal. In an ideal world, the film would comprise 80 minutes of bikers whipping mods with car aerials - sorry to say, this doesn't happen once. The only watchable bit is at the end, when you get to see STING looking more of a penis than usual, in his dinky bellboy outfit. But it's not worth sitting through the flick just for a 5-second laugh at the tantra-spurting plank.

Motorbikes are better than mopeds in every way, just as Monster Munch is better than Quavers, wigwams are better than caravans, Minder was better than The X Files, 'strip Pong' is better than furry handcuffs and chocolate body paint, Saturday's better than Monday and a pint on the house is better than a kick in the crotch. So let's celebrate the heroes of reggae who LIVED TO RIDE:

1) DILLINGER - "CB200"

Classic '70s ode to the classic '70s Honda model. I personally find it ironic that Dillinger sings Dread don't borrow on this tune, as my brother defaulted on the HP payments when he 'bought' his CB250, leaving my dad 'redder than red'. Alright, I know *technically* you CAN fit two dread onto a CB200, but it must be a right bastard on fuel economy. Especially if Jacob Miller's squatting on the back, like a sea lion balancing on a vacuum cleaner.


Don't you ride like lightning / Cos man, if you ride like lightning you'll crash like thunder. Well, that's the official line on the DVLA website, anyway. But rasta, c'mon: lightning? The S90 only went up to about 60mph. Mind you, the first time I ever got on a motorbike ((a cousin's, in rural Ireland)), I cruised into a wire fence and wound up arse over tit in a mound of donkey shit, with a sore, bruised plonker to boot – and that rusting contraption couldn't have been capable of doing more than 45.


Do you think anyone'll remember the 1970s Rastas vs Barbers War in about 20 years' time? There was a tonne of records devoted to the subject, but who knows...I met someone in a pub, not so long ago, who didn't know the dates of WW2. This was a follow-up record to Dr Alimantado's I Killed The Barber ((a perfectly understandable sentiment if you've ever received a truly grotesque 'skinned rabbit' crop from some OAP - in a shop filled with black & white snaps of glum metrosexuals sporting 'FBI agent flat tops'*)), which came out on the same Ali Baba(geddit?) rhythm.

Anyways, this is a gloriously demented tune that I first heard on Andy Kershaw's show, back in the day. It's available on the '94 Blood & Fire comp If Deejay Was Your Trade, so over to reggae archivist and sleeve note scribbler Steve Barrow for the lowdown: Since on an earlier cut Tado had shot the barber, he celebrates the victory by riding around on a motorbike with Jah Stitch, laughing insanely at every barber shop, checking out the daughters and looking for a spliff. Bass, throttle and nutso cackling - what's not to like? Unless you're a barber or a baldhead, s'pose.

((* seriously: has any British male EVER walked past a barber shop, clocked one of those pouting '80s headshots in the window, and blurted out, Shit, THAT's what I call a barnet! 'Scuse me mate - can you do mine EXACTLY like that bloke in the photo's?, not the one with the moustache...this guy here...the COOL one. Barber shop models all look so bloody outraged. Each monochrome face shoots HOW DARE YOU vibes through the glass, as if you'd just sworn in front of his girlfriend (and made her laugh) at a party. Oh Jesus, can you imagine one of those gawks at a party? You'd crack some minor joke and they'd just fix you with the himbo death glare and drawl, "Excuse me, mum has curtains like those." I bet they'd also come out with lines like "But when you think about it... the bankers are victims in all of this too", the freaks...))


No, not a dancehall cover of the Suicide number, more's the pity, but pretty cool all the same. I'm not 100% sure what Trees is barking on about here, to be honest. Some maniac, who's got a bike that allegedly doubles up as a 'computer' and boasts puncture-proof tyres, drives around at night without his lights on - instant FAIL at the DVLA. He's crippled two men and killed three women, including Trees' sister. As you might expect, Trees goes after him, but refuses to kill his biker nemesis with a gun or knife, insisting on a fist-fight instead. EH? By Trees' own admission, the youth is pretty dangerous and his motorbike's a computer. Surely shooting him from a distance is the most sensible option?


When he wasn't shooting other DJs outside record stores, Super Cat knocked out dedications to Honda, GT and Kawasaki riders. In a classic DVLA "DON'T", Cat Whiskers burns the chalice before taking off on a high-speed spin with his mates. The polis give chase. Hilarity ensues. Super Cat does a wheelie, cos he's so 'skill', and...actually, I never liked Super Cat that much.


It's good to hear female DJs who don't have to resort to slackness or a stream of lame innuendos to get their records heard. No lickle Honda 50 caan park ina me space Tanya reasons, reflecting on just how far we've come in terms of bike design over the last 35 years. A juss de big Ninja bike fi me ride pan / Na warn no small one / Way na have de right gear she continues, appreciating the fact that her Kawasaki's full-size body ensures a relatively comfortable ride - nothing worse than getting a stiff back and wrists. And there's some sage advice for 17-year old 'boy racer' show-offs, who blag themselves a Yamaha and think they rule the road: If a wan ting me caan stan / Is a boastful man / Way a tell gal how him full a stamina / An caan run a good furlong . Which you certainly can't with an S90.

7) Well...force-feed a swan LSD-soaked Weetabix! I can't think of any other reggae bike tunes right now. END OF POST.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


(This listening post is guest-edited by my dead dad)


Shit! Listen to the fuckin' idiots - thinkin' they're big men with the shoutin'. Yobbos


Are y'black, boy?


Makes awful poor of the real Irish music


Never done a fuckin' day's work in his life. Just takes the money off brateens like you!


Just look at the state of the cunt


Will ya turn that fuckin' racket off?




I didn't work me arse off for you to waste money on shit!


Oh Jesus, did I raise TWO fuckin' idiots?


You watch yourself. You go out lookin' like that - sure pull for the police


They just tape cows moaning in the fields, that's all it is! And you're idiot enough to buy it!


On the drugs


Ah, boy...never get married


Listenin' to a load of swearin'! And with the Sacred Heart in the room!


They sent the Nigerians down, all wearin' the white robes and sandals. In mid-fuckin'-winter! We broke open the stores and gave 'em donkey jackets and boots. Told the foreman to go fuck himself. Ah now, the Wolfe Tones. You wouldn't have lasted a minute. Swingin' Sixties? Horseshit.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Punk Rock Ist Nicht Tot! Dubversion's knocked out a Billy Childish mix over at his, and you should all head over there and download it. If you've never heard the bloke's stuff before, you're in for a treat, as it's a wicked selection. I hadn't heard Cowboys Are Square or Pokerhuntus... in years, so it was great to have them pop up back-to-back. And I hadn't heard his stuff with Musicians of the British Empire at all before this mix, but I clearly need to get on the case pronto. I don't know what passes for "hip" these days, but it sure as shit ain't as hip as this.

Like the man says, complain about the sound quality and you're missing the point. I never understood the NME hacks who bitched and whinged about the records all sounding similar ((well, listening back to We Hate The Fucking NME, maybe I do)). What's wrong with that, anyway? At least you know you're not going to accidentally pick up that 'difficult' 187th LP where Childish 'started experimenting with trip-hop'. Anyway, if this floats your goat, you might also wanna check out:

Thee Milkshakes, "Still Talkin' Bout..."

Not my favourite of his umpteen backing groups, but this album's pretty solid, featuring the best version of Girl That Radiates That Charm ever (("BET YOU'VE ONLY HEARD THAT VERSION, BULLSHITTER!" - a voice)) and some serious garage sleaze in the form of Medicine Man.

Thee Headcoats, "Conundrum"

WHY is this so under-rated? It's one of the most narky, pissed off records I possess. You can literally see the monitor needles stabbing into the red throughout. 14 songs and 28 minutes of rough 'n' raw, high treble rock&roll with bitter, sarcastic, furious lyrics about childhood abuse, teenage alcoholism, pop whores and botched relationships. Oh, and killing General Custer. Thief is the reason I used to laugh at White Stripes.

Thee Headcoatees, "Here Comes Cessation" / "Bozstik Haze"

If you make it to your deathbed without having heard either of these at full volume, congratulations - you now have "SUCKED" chiselled on your headstone, forever. OFFICIAL.

Thee Headcoats, "Heavens to Murgatroyd..."

I was once in Rock On in Camden (RIP), and a Japanese kid completely spazzed out when he unearthed a vinyl copy of this one. Remembering his electric chair dance still makes me grin. It's weird to think Thee Headcoats recorded an LP on Sub Pop ((though not quite as weird as when Billy Childish did an interview with the Catholic Herald)). Sadly, the LP bombed, or there was some hassle with the label and the band's refusal to tow the party line with music journos...can't remember now. If Pokerhuntus Was Her Name doesn't make you want to sit round a blazing fire, with coyotes howling in the distance...oh, I dunno. Please yourselves.

If anyone's got any recommendations / opinions on the other 389 LPs I haven't heard, feel free to lob 'em into the comments box.


Y'know, all this unnecessary fuss ((and blatant waste of police time)) about some coke being found in the bogs at Plastic People just reminds me of the multiple ways in which the authorities hassled ravers throughout the early '90s. Of course, if the sniffer dogs had done a tour of the WCs in the city worker bars spanning Moorgate, they'd have been up 'til 6am, talking loudly about their shitty dubstep mixes and the merits of Pedigree Chum. It was exactly the same in 1993, and probably always has been throughout history. The All Bar Ones of this world get left alone, the Plastic Peoples are issued with a stick and a bell and driven from the village.

Back in the old days, the main folk devils in Luton were the Exodus Collective; a crew who threw raves and lived in a squatted building, Crass-style. Sure, there were some dodgy characters hanging around them, but I imagine they had little say in how many drug dealers turned up to their parties. There was a minor riot in '93 when the cops broke up one of their raves and dragged a couple of kids down to Dunstable Road nick. The pressure became so intense that, eventually, Exodus decided to throw in their lot with the OB, and began to attend a series of 'negotiations' with various community liaison officers and 'hip to the jive daddy-o' councillors. Discussing this ceasefire, Glenn Jenkins – the Exodus member most commonly wheeled out in front of the cameras whenever BBC Look East wanted another evening news 'raver' scoop – even came out with the hideously embarrassing quote, "We want to make jaw-jaw, not war-war" ((no, I'm not making that up, and yes, it was painful to type just now)). (((UPDATE - just found out it's based on a Churchill quote, which makes it even lamer)))

Anyway, forward to the 2000s and then what? Jenkins became involved in grassroots community activities around the town and is generally viewed as a decent citizen. UK readers might remember a Channel 4 programme called Living With The Enemy, where a pompous Tory student prick was invited to stay at the Exodus commune. Said whining fuckwad spent the entire time lecturing them on their 'uselessness' to society, and even called the cops when one of the collective lit up a spliff. Exodus' standing in the community rocketed as a result.

It's all quite amusing in retrospect, 'cos I seem to remember one of the most terrifying youth subcultures of the time being BABES IN TOYLAND fans. You think I'm joshing about? Ask your ex-Grunger uncle about 'em, and watch him shudder and dribble. Sure, there were still smatterings of nazi boneheads in the area, but they were mostly heading towards their 30s and picking up dehabilitating drinking habits as they crash-banged into the What the fuck have I done with my life? phase. Babes In Toyland fans were far more dangerous.'s all coming back now. Babes In Toyland kind of get lumped in with the whole Riot Grrrl thing, but there were subtle differences. Your average Mambo Taxi / Huggy Bear / Bikini Kill fan had shorter hair and gave off a sorta '60s French Mod vibe. In contrast, BIT fans were firmly ROCKER, and more likely to sport dreadlocks, floral-print dresses ((they were ahead of Cath Kidston by about 15 years)) or torn Dennis The Menace mohair jumpers, lycra leggings and DMs – with coloured beads on the bottom laces and circled 'A's ((or a couple of Ankhs)) Tip-Exed onto the sides.

I was never massively into Babes In Toyland. Even when the Voodoo Queens were goofing off about chocolate and wearing wigs, at least they still rocked in fine 'swirly organ garage beat combo' style. Shit, even the first Lunachicks LP had songs about cooking babies and sex with gerbils. In contrast, BIT just seemed to be pissed off at ex-boyfriends and their new girls - plus they were signed to Warner Bros, and we all took that shit quite seriously back then. OK, I love the first two tracks off Spanking Machine, but on the whole? One of my mates - the one who drove the car in the Joy Division post, and one of the most cynical people I ever met - summed up their Fontanelle LP as "40 minutes of contrived PMT". Which might sound sexist as fuck, but I kind of got what he meant.

At least Kathleen Hanna was screaming against institutionalised sexism, punk scene hypocrisy, frat boys, rapists, queer-bashers, two-faced male 'anti-sexists' and bent cops. Kat Bjelland was just yelling " YOU FUCKING BITCH...YOU CUNTHOLE BITCH...I HOPE YOUR INSIDES ROT...LIIIIAAARRRRRRR!!!" Big difference. The Voodoo Queens used to cast terrifying Gaian hexes against the boys who screwed them over or told them they were putting on weight. Babes In Toyland went after their sworn enemies' new girlfriends too - EPIC FAIL IN THE RIOT GRRRL COMMUNITY. Although this sickening abuse of magick may explain why John Peel let Babes In Toyland have five sessions. The greedy cunthole bitches.

I remember, one sunny afternoon, me and a friend were drinking in The Cock in the town centre (it had to have a patriarchal name, eh?), a top hangout for UADs, when two BIT fans stomped in, accompanied by a couple of boys - a ginger Kurt Cobain and a guy with a ponytail, specs and a German Army jacket. We tried to avoid eye contact, this was bound to be bad news. I don't know if the two guys were on a promise or what, but they seemed really nervous and were doing that disgusting teenage boy thing where they'd laugh exaggeratedly at the girls' jokes. I kept expecting the duo to file to the Gents', turn on the hand-dryers and jump around, hugging each other and screaming, We've met girls! Real, live girls! But anyway, all they did was order four pints of cider.

A few swigs in and the cats were getting far too relaxed and comfortable, clearly unable to read subcultures like we could. Who did they think they were messing with, Goth girls? Teenage Fanclub fans? The girls were rolling up their sleeves and showing off their latest fag burns, while the boys were noisily trying to out-Grunge each other by explaining how their parents hated them, and how they used to love Nirvana before everyone else got into them. Now, I've never been a massively talented all-rounder, I admit. I'm rubbish at table football, I can barely hold down a Ramones bass riff and I still don't know how to use Excel. But, for some unknown reason, I was always good at drinking lots, so it used to give me a laugh when other kids' virgin immune systems got blitzed at 0 to 60 in 10 minutes. This was happening at the table next to us.

I don't know what kicked it off - the mood in the pub was pretty upbeat, but suddenly the girls were getting really pissed off. Perhaps Ginger Kurt had slurred something schtupid, like complementing their tits, or insisting that Daisy Chainsaw were better than Babes In Toyland and Hole. Use Woodpecker to strip a sensitive Grunge Boy to his core and you'll often find he's just as much of an idiot as the rest of us. Anyway, the lads grew these painful rictus grins and were repeatedly bleating, "What's wrong? What's wrong?"

PHHZZZHHH! Right in Ginger Kurt's face, cider dripping down his chin whiskers. The barman was flashing all of us dirty looks, as if me and my humble companion were guilty by association. The girl who'd flung the pint was now trying to rip the other guy's head off, screaming, "YOU FUCKING WANKERS!" I wish I'd had a camera, Ginger Kurt's gob was wide open in shock. Eventually one of the old paddies at the bar shouted something and the Nemesister stopped battering the blushing ponytail. "Just...FUCK OFF, right?" she snarled, before grabbing her fags and howling, "FUCK OFF! FFFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUCCCCKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK OFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF!"

The two girls stormed past us towards the 'beer garden' (ie-some benches in an alleyway), nearly taking me and my chair with them. The two lads left in disgrace, distraught and flabbergasted. Naturally, the blokes in the pub assumed these two scruffs had committed some unspeakable crime against the poor wee lasses, so they had to run a gauntlet of dagger stares and curses on their way out the front door. The barman muttered something about fucking students and came over to mop up the mess.

The girls came in again in a few minutes and bought themselves new pints. Then, to our horror, they came back and started talking to us.

"Did you think that was out of order?" the pint flinger asked us excitedly.

"No, we hate Nirvana fans - you should have glassed him too," I SHOULD HAVE said, but we just went, ""

"Good, cos that wanker went through my bag!" the one with the nose ring hissed.

Please don't humiliate us I psychically begged them. Of course, this was in the old days, before I discovered it's perfectly acceptable to punch a lady in the face, as long as it's in a pub and between the hours of 4 and 6. "Yeah," her mate burped, "He went through it, the sad bastard!"

Women and their bags...whatever. "Do you know Donna? She had that party around Easter," the pint slinger babbled. "You two go to Barnfield, don't you?"

My mate just blurted out ONE sarcastic comment, but it was enough to sink the ship: "Do we look like massage therapy students?" Jesus, here we went. "You a couple of WANKERS!" Nose Ring shouted. "Fucking...what's up w..w.." she was slurring, before she suddenly lapsed into a weird spasm. She was puffing her lips out and doing something mad with her hands. Then Pint Chucker picked up my Guinness and took a swig.

"FUCK OFF!" Nose Ring shouted at her. "I'm talking to him...fuck him, he's a BASTARD! Cos he's..."

No, we didn't have a clue either, but Pint Lobber suddenly dropped her cigarettes all over the floor and then fell to her knees, trying to scoop them back into the packet, but dispersing most of them across the tiles. Then Nose Ring started doing that weird thing with her hands again.

Then she yacked up.

Y'know what I reckon, as I recall this incident? I got made redundant last month and, fuck me - I think she actually put a slow-burner curse on me! Where were the police when I needed them? Criminalising ravers, no doubt! Anyway, that afternoon ended in tears (hers, not ours, though it was a close call), with the barman having to yank the mop from its slumber, again.

So, you can imagine what it was like when a Babes In Toyland fan got dumped. Not pretty: imagine Girl Interrupted crossed with Scum. In fact, if you want a mental image of early '90s alternative subcultural activity in Luton, imagine a boy in a Therapy? T-shirt and army trousers, his arms protecting his head, running from a BIT fan wielding a cigarette lighter...with the flame cranked up to a foot in height. Terrible days, they were. No wonder we ended up knocking around with SWP types.

Yes... of course I wanted one as a girlfriend, but that whole Lorena Bobbitt case was in the news, so I shacked up with someone who was mildly mentally ill instead. It worked out OK really, save the occasional threats of self-mutilation.

And they want to give Plastic People a ticking off?

Sunday, March 14, 2010


The Internet's great, because it allows people to act harder than they are in real life. But I bet that if most of YOU received a letter from BRUCE LEE, first thing on Monday morning, informing you that he intended to beat your kidneys out and toss your corpse off a hill, you'd all CRY and WHEEZE into your Coco Pops, before ringing your mums to ask if you could 'lie low' in your old rooms for the next three years.

Where you'd no doubt spend said period browsing Oi! videos on YouTube and calling all the other commenters 'pussies'.

Pah! If Bruce Lee pulls that shit with you ever again, just do what this chap did. Send him a letter back, detailing EXACTLY what he'll get if he tries it on:


Then again, maybe you're not a vicious something.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


One of my fave '90s JA Ragga 7"s vs one of my fave '90s UK Ragga 12"s:




Dedicated to all the WOOFAH crew and readers. Well, everyone really, but especially them.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010


Yep, just click on the link below...



Whatever happened to good, honest, old-fashioned bad vibes in pop?


Wow...what a shitty, tedious winter that was. I'd pretty much forgotten what sunlight looked like 'til last Friday. Hardly the best conditions for lamb-rustling. But cheer up - we're officially in SPRING now, so time to crack open the Wild Turkey and fire up the BTi JUKEBOX! Yeah, I'm gonna haphazardly slap up some MP3s from time to time. Collect the set and win a free zip file. you remember that night you had a weird dream about going to a Fiery Jack-era Fall gig, and a Danish Hell's Angel was filling in for Mark E on vocals? And then the band ripped into a manic Suicide cover? And then, just before you woke up, the temporary howler started chanting the lyrics to Pressure Drop over the top? Yeah, that dream! And how you were like, Shit, I gotta fall asleep again and get back to the gig, that was ace! - but instead drifted off into a crap dream about being trapped in a burning HGV?

Well...don't say I don't spoil you. It took some hunting down, but here you go...



((PS - if you can't download it for any reason, ring up SendSpace and complain))

Wednesday, March 03, 2010


ABOVE: your humble, long-suffering narrator taking a break during a hectic London Fashion Week at Shoreditch House. I didn't think much of the designers, models OR champagne brunches - but the Klix machine was very nice. GASMASK: £7,500, D&G ("Bogside '69" vintage range); FURRY RUSSIAN HAT: model's own; issue 4 of WOOFAH: £4.00, HERE.


Yeah, well, here's what happened. Remember that big clash that took place in Kings X in August 2009? You know? The one where DROID beat JOHN EDEN - nay, massacred him and plunged him into the hot tub of SHAME? Well, believe it or not, WOOFAH 4 was due to come out the following week. Seriously - I saw the proofs, that very night! However, that was only the beginning of the saga...

Now, as you know, I'm not one for gossip. But, a week later, Eden was accusing Droid of nicking toothpaste from his bathroom – not just one tube, but TWO. The Colgate-crazed king-of-the-clash then scarpered back to Eire, blazing a trail of controversy in his wake. Unfortunately, Eden then refused to mail Droid the correct font for the REVIEWS section, announced that he wanted to pull his Ron Vester interview and fired off a bleedin' furious group email that concluded: "Seeing as you 'won' the soundboy can find your own font, 'your imperial dub majesty'! Oh, seen the libellous 'clash report' on Predictable The Implode, by the do you two jackals sleep at night?"

Y'see, this is what CLASHING is all about – no half-hearted, 'just a spot of fun on the decks!' mateyness here! August bled into September, and suddenly it looked like WOOFAH 4 would never see the light of day. The only time I spoke to Eden that month, he was still growling about the toothpaste, and how he'd rather kill the zine than hand over the crucial font. "But you're not just hurting Droid, you're hurting all the hardcore WOOFAH readers!" I argued. He just hung up on me.

September transubstantiated itself into October, and so the lengthy, painstaking WOOFAH 'peace process' began. Collectively, we zine scribes banded together to bring Droid and Eden to the negotiating table. It wasn't easy – the mere mentions of "Kings Cross"or "Rihanna" were enough to set off both DJs and scupper the good vibes we'd spent hours building up between the pair – but, slowly, surely, we were getting WOOFAH 4 back on track.

October defenestrated itself through November's plexiglass portal ((OH, SHUT THE FUCK UP - The World)) and - FINALLY! - we had a deal. Although still pleading his innocence ((yeah, right)), Droid agreed to send over two tubes of Colgate in return for the disc with the font on it. He also had to sign some sort of clause saying that it was the toughest clash of his life. Still, sanity had prevailed, and, come December, Issue 4 was winging its way to the printers!

Who were off for Xmas until January 13th.

ANYWAYZ... it's OUT NOW and, at an impressive 92 pages, it's indisputably the best one yet. For your dosh you get:

* Studio One photographer Ron Vester spilling his guts on snapping some of JA's biggest talents and hanging out with Coxsone, King Stitt and Ninjaman back in the day ((and the accompanying pic of Ninja juggling two fluffy bunnies is worth the entry fee alone - somebody publish this bloke's work already!))

* Dennis Bovell and Linton Kwesi Johnson remembering dub poet Michael Smith

* A piece on UK dubplate houses that will make most audiophile obsessives wet their pants in glee

* Newham Generals explaining why Operation Trident-hosted shindigs suck

* A feature on Sci-Fi and reggae that somehow manages to twist William Gibson, Predator and Lee Perry into a cybernetic whirlwind. I mean, you never got lines like "To assume that reggae's visions of the future are equally potent (or profitable) as Hollywood's is to overlook profound differences in implications between these two entangled regimes" in Mixmag

* Jah Shaka's and Mad Professor's kids being unbelievably polite and wholesome. Why can't other teenagers follow their examples?

* A Tony Thorpe interview that makes History of the World look like a shopping list

* A skinhead poem about Eek-A-Mouse

* Heatwave's Top 10 'Hot Gal Commandments', number 8 of which I'm still trying to get my head around, unless it involves radioactive mutation. In fact, this was pretty much me when I read it:

* And a 2nd Fade / Kid Shirt cartoon!

Biased? Am I fuck as like, I only scribbled a couple of short reviews for this one. WOOFAH 4's limited to 1,000 copies, so do pounce on it sooner rather than later, eh? You can also pick it up from Honest Jon's, Dub Vendor and...ah, loads of other places, just check the site.

People are still wondering when Issues 1-3 are gonna be reprinted or put online, but the answer's "23rd of Never", so grab Issue 4 while you can. Incidentally, I don't even have a copy of Issue 3 myself anymore, as I gave it to some snooty groovester chick, thinking she'd be dead impressed. Unfortunately, she didn't find this interesting at all - but hell, if she wants to lust after frock-wearing, Tiny Tears-molesting, Observer Music Monthly bores instead of the freakazoid, bastard grandkids of the SOUNDS explosion, that's her lookout! Though at least OMM hacks get paid, I s' wonder poor Droid was reduced to filching tubes of toothpaste...


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