Friday, May 28, 2010


Before we blast out of Hell with the other three platters, here's a few things I missed from the last post. Forgot to mention that one of the blokes from Bathory ended up becoming a video director - he's responsible for the Prodigy's Smack My Bitch Up and Lady Gaga's Telephone vids. The latter has SERIOUSLY upset some ageing crusties, due to the fact that the chanteuse appears in a studded leather jacket sporting the logos of the bands Icons Of Filth, Doom and GISM. Oh no, their underground culture's been co-opted by the mainstream!

Some goon with too much time on his/her hands has even set up a Facebook group called Sakevi/GISM should flamethrower Lady Gaga for her "Telephone" video . Basically, GISM are Japanese 'punk-metallers' led by a complete dickwit called Sakevi who's supposedly terrifying violent ((but definitely hopeless at making interesting music)). His stunts include chasing members of the audience around with a flamethrower. This isn't exactly real 'hard man' stuff; I'm pretty sure that if PETE THE EAGLE, the notoriously not-scary Crystal Palace FC mascot, turned up brandishing a flamethrower, I'd be one of the first sprinting in the opposite direction. That's not hard, it's just reckless. Still, nice to know Stuart Christie's call to prise open the floodgates of anarchy somehow led us to a utopia where activists want to set young women alight for inappropriate attire. Anarchists or Taliban?

I honestly don't understand how it's so inconceivable that the likes of Gaga, David Beckham, Liz Hurley and Angelina Jolie might happen to like Crass. After all, the Crass catalogue has been continually re-pressed and kept in circulation by Southern Records throughout the '80s/'90s/'00s, they've been featured in books and on TV, and they're hardly anyone's best kept secret, especially not in the internet age. Why, it wasn't even difficult to track down the original vinyl, back in the early '90s. Ultimately, they're just a band and hardly worth getting steamed up about. As for Icons Of Filth, their Onward Christian SoldiersLP is a brilliant slice of A-Punk, albeit with the odd WTF? lyric, and well recommended by yours truly. Doom I haven't really had any urge to listen to since the days when John Peel used to cane 'em on his show.

So, with that out of the way... back to METAL (by the way, I've changed this list to 'records' instead of 'albums')


In 1991, Channel 4 broadcast a documentary called Punks In Prague and, like many bored teenagers ((all three of us)), I tuned in to see what our Czech punk brethren were getting up to, two years on from the fall of their communist government. Y'see, back then, we knew relatively little about youth in Europe; we just assumed the ones in the commie countries were all wearing flares and grey V-necks, and shuffling around to Army of Lovers records in underground car parks. So it was great to finally catch up with the PUNX! Prague was dirt cheap, so maybe we could move over there and join them in their squats!

Unfortunately, four things became obvious while watching the doc:

1) Years of furtively swapping bootlegs behind the authorities' backs had led to one almighty, inbred, cross-genre mess. Hence, all the punk bands on the show actually played speed metal.

2) This cross-fertilisation of previously banned musical styles also affected the subculture's clobber. Leather jackets and, er, baggy shorts? Iron Maiden shirts? Beards and long hair? MULLETS? Damn it, I wasn't moving to Prague after all.

3) All of the punks in the programme were from wealthy backgrounds. Seeing some guy sitting talking about punk, while his mum poured him tea in a plush living room, wasn't exactly my idea of 'anarchy in action'. One of the film makers also revealed that he had to take a waiter job to keep his parents happy.

4) The only remotely punky music came from the neo-nazi skinhead bands Orlik and Branik. It's interesting to note that that wholesome company EMI actually put out Orlik's records (through its Monitor subsidiary), which became immensely popular at one point. It's as if Skrewdriver had signed to Sony, and you'd had Bruno Brookes on 'Top of the Pops', babbling, And "I Should Be So Lucky" falls two places, to number 4...and in at number 3, it's "Smash the Reds" by No Remorse...

Messengers of Death by Kazjurol is the only Czech heavy metal 7" I have ever owned, and that's only 'cos they hoodwinked me into thinking they were a punk band. Man, this has to be one of the worst records I ever wasted £1 on, but it also made me crease up laughing, so it gets an honorary mention. The record featured a snap of a mohican with a MOUSTACHE, a crude cartoon of a bishop's head impaled on a cross ((and a goat's head on an inverted cross)), and "WE TEACH YOU A LESSON IN LOVE" in gothic lettering. It also came with a lyric sheet, which was just as well.

Anyway, the only really great tune on this thrash EP is Stagedive to Hell, quite possibly the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. It goes like this:


Fucking hell, what were they on? They weren't even mucking about. I didn't like this enough to keep it, but I wouldn't mind giving it one last spin before I die. I mean, if Lady Gaga ever turns up with KAZJUROL sprayed across the back of her cowhide, THAT'D be cause for an uproar. How dare she leach off the name of brave, proud Czechs who were actually willing to get on stage and fling themselves into the Abyss for all eternity? The only other thing I recall about this EP was the band's 'shout out' list where they thank a bunch of bands, including one called Homo Picnic. When I played it to the Bathory fan, he declared it to be "shit". He got out of metal shortly after.


I know Bomber and City Kids are classic tunes and all, but this is my favourite Motorhead LP, mainly 'cos of the filthy guitar sound. Were they pouring Castrol GTX into the amps, or something? Like The Ramones, you always knew where you stood with Motorhead - you weren't gonna accidentally pick up a 2LP attempt at jazz fusion - and Lemmy's lyrical concerns are pretty consistent; war, loose women, being into rock and roll and not giving a damn, etc.

Anyway, most of the tunes from this are on Youtube though, believe it, they don't sound anything as loud as the actual vinyl version, especially Nothing Up My Sleeve and Riding With The Driver. I suspect Motorhead preferred Harleys to Hondas, which doesn't really help, but they were the ultimate biker metal band, weren't they? Who else comes close? The title track used to be on the jukebox at the now defunct 150 Bar in Old Street. All drinks £1.50! They even had photocopies of a Mirror article all over the walls, listing Britain's cheapest pubs. When they changed their name to 160 Bar, a short while later, somebody actually went around all the photocopies, changing the '5' to a '6' with a black biro.

The bar staff comprised a Scottish hunchback in a Motorhead hoodie and two stroppy skeletal barmaids who looked about 15, with black rings around their eyes. There was sawdust all over the floor and a machine selling porn DVDs in the toilet. The clientele was basically me and a mate, old Irish and Polish guys who were digging up City Road and a bunch of reprobates who'd come and go throughout the day, including Steve and Martin, two gay skinheads who'd get wrecked beyond coherence on a regular basis. Steve was about 6 ft 3, Martin about 5 ft 5, and they wore matching bomber jackets with faded Union Jack patches and badges. I think it was a bit of a violent relationship, they were always splitting up and having fist fights, before making up and returning to the 150 to drink themselves into comas.

Steve considered himself a stand-up, and would lurch around the bar, approaching various drinkers, slurring, "'ERE, MATE...NOT VERY POLITICALLY CORRECT THIS ONE...WHAT CHEW CALL A WOMAN WITH NO LEGSHH? DIRTY CUNT, AH HAH HA HAH HAH" That meant he was in a good mood. He once asked me to accompany him into the toilet, arguing, "NAH, YOU'VE GOT TO SEE THIS, IT'S FUCKING BRILLIANT!" He'd scrawled over the Durex machine, "FOR REFUND INSERT BABY IN SLOT". He then wandered around the rest of the pub, nagging drinkers to go and check out his joke.

Incidentally, I saw Martin years later, in the Wetherspoon's off Old Street ((the Masque Haunt?)), and he told me Steve had died in a house fire.

The 150 also used to serve 'pub lunch' - the dreaded £1.50 hot dog. In all my time there, I only saw one person mad enough to order this. "Y'WANT ONIONS?" the hunchback snarled at the hungry Hoxton hipster, as he shuffled over to a gas hob behind the bar. For months, we'd seen a saucepan sitting idle on the hob. The hunchback simply turned the gas on, stirred a fork around inside the pan and fished out several strings of congealed, black onion. Fuck knows how long the saveloy had been lying around.

But, if you wanted a place for cheap booze, narky jukebox music and pool (and DVDs entitled Best of Latvian Cum Buckets), the 150/160 was the place to be. Even the piss-soaked toilet floor didn't put us off. Amazingly, the only time I ever saw trouble in there was when an argument erupted about Gary Glitter; some drunk was arguing that arsenal fans all liked Bowie in the '70s, whereas Spurs fans allegedly all dug the Glitter Band, which proved Spurs were nonces. Some guy pushed the gooner soak off his stool, but he was too drunk to get back up on his feet and start a fight for real. It was pretty surreal entertainment, especially as Cradle Of Filth were on the jukebox at the time.

The staff didn't give a damn about anything or anyone and ran the place like it was their own private shebeen in a garage, and so it wasn't massively surprising when a "fire" shut the place down. It later re-opened as Bar Ria, and doesn't look remotely like it used to. Luckily, I just have to stick on Orgasmatron and I can see the lice-infested dump now. It was great. A classy way to waste away your life.

I'll do the 7th entry later, I gotta scram, bye-eeeee....
Saw your piece about David Myatt. Attacking disabled women and gay porn turns him on apparently. See:

Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?