Sunday, September 23, 2007


1) The band should comprise fellow freaks and good friends. Fuck 'musicians'. Don't waste time 'auditioning', you'll just get some smarmy nob coming round your house and strumming U2 riffs on his 'pub rock legend' uncle's precious £500 guitar. When he finds out your band sounds like a bag of cats being tossed from the top of a cliff, he'll go around telling everyone you can't play.

2) Why you should remotely care about the last 8 words of no.1 is that joining/forming a band as a teenager makes you 40% more viable as a sexual partner. However, even if you're the most violently confrontational punk group ever, when people discover you can't play, that boost decreases to a paltry...3%! I don't know why the band thing works, but it does. If you're 15 and on your Jack Jones, just pretend you're in a band and you'll cop off in no time. Don't be ultra-choosy, though - if someone's going to go to the effort of being your 'groupie' you should be fucking well grateful, you conniving little cunt.

3) Before you decide who's going to play what, concentrate on the important bits - gig flyers, band logos, lurid LP covers, manifestos, etc. We wanted to be an anti-religious band and get loads of sexually repressed fellow Catholic and Muslim kids to go mental and storm the Vatican, tearing up Korans, while chanting the lyrics to our 2-chord classics. Actually, only I did - the allocated "guitarist" (who became "singer" the week after) wanted us to sound like the Sex Pistols and write amusing lyrics about dropping A-bombs on old peoples' homes. See what I mean? You have to thrash this stuff out before you even dream of playing a note, as well as practising vicious kung fu strikes - in preparation for your first NME interviewer.

4) Getting hold of equipment is the bane of every teenage dinmaker's life. It's OK if your parents are some kind of loaded, liberal vegetarians, who think it's groovy for their kids to express their creativity through the medium of sound, and who happily shell out for drumkits, amplifiers, guitars, guitar cables, etc. Otherwise, you're fucked. Yeah, it was hilarious when Paedo Townsend smashed his guitar to fragments on stage every night, wasn't it? He could have given each axe he demolished to a skint, actually scrap that, best he stayed well clear...anyway, guitars aren't cheap, so borrow, steal and scrounge whatever you can. There's thousands of blokes who buy electric guitars and synths when they land their first job in an accountancy firm at the age of 22. Their first pay packet makes them determined to finally enact their dream of starting a band! By 28, they're in long term relationships, unable to talk about anything but accounting, new spread sheet software, internal promotions and telly, and their only 'dream' is that they'll get a decent night's kip when the baby arrives. Target these sell-outs, they're not fit to own guitars.

Or buy a load of cheap shit, it doesn't matter.

5) This is really important -your parents mustn't be involved at any stage whatsoever. Anyone remember the PERIOD PAINS? That outrageous group of (public) school-aged Riot Grrrls who once recorded a rude song about the Spice Girls? Well, the SGs might have been "boring and lame" but at least their DADDIES didn't drive them to their gigs in 'people carriers'! No shit. If you can't lug your own equipment to whatever crappy nissan hut you're performing in, you should draft in a couple of fat mates as 'roadies'. As with your 'groupies', don't fuck these people around, they're doing you a favour.

A cautionary tale - around 2001, me and my flatmate went down the Railway, a pub in Edgware, as apparently it was starting a 'punk / alternative' night every second Saturday. Well, actually, I also fancied the fucking PVC skirt off this completely sarcastic ice queen barmaid called Rosie, but that's another story. Anyway, there was zero punk on offer, but plenty of embarrassment - a band called Ker-Baffled (I'm not making this up), three 18-year olds with spikey hair, ties know, the whole Green Day / Offspring get up - only from Edgware. About 10 of their friends had shown up, but we couldn't figure out why there was a white-haired couple looking really pleased with themselves in the corner.

Ker-Baffled sucked, an absolute pile of emo cack. Towards the end, some heavy metal fans who always used to hang out in the Railway playing pool drifted over and started shouting abuse at the band. The drummer went all red and flashed a half-hearted V-sign - prompting even more cruel laughter and goading. And then, right at the end - I mean, get this, a 'punk / alternative' night - the white haired couple get up and admonish the guitarist / singer, saying: "It's starting to rain outside, Matthew...come on lads, you'd better get the equipment packed up can't expect me and your mother to carry it all... here's my umbrella and the car keys...we should get going"

Christ, I thought the object was to line these bumbling old duffers up against a bus stop and torch them.

6) Booking a gig is quite hard. Sadly, promoters tend to be conservative cowards who want to hear a tape of your unpolished, completely rubbish 'demo' before they let you sully their sad club nights. Don't bother approaching local bands for support, 99% will be egotistical cunts who see all other bands as competition.

The best way to play is...DO A BENEFIT GIG. OK, there aren't so many around these days, but most organisations will be happy to put you on. You don't get paid, diddums, but you do get exposure. IMPORTANT WARNING - if you play a benefit for the Anti Nazi League / SWP, be aware that someone WILL be sent round to investigate your band's political and moral fibre beforehand. If you've got any Oi! LPs, forget it, you'll be declined. Prepare to be grilled on topics such as deformed workers' states, the theoretical illiteracy of the Fifth International, and inter-racial blow jobs (you don't wanna know). You'll also be expected to sign up as fully-fledged members of the 'movement', so write off £24 for each person in the group - that's your annual membership (or £60 if you're a student). REMEMBER, IT TAKES FIVE MINUTES TO JOIN THE SWP BUT A LIFETIME TO ESCAPE. You'll wish you'd become an accountant instead.

Rape Crisis, Hunt Saboteurs and Anti-Fascist Action were never fussy about who they put on the bill, if that's any help.

7) Somehow it's all gone wrong! The 'run down Casio synth' player tried to stick his tongue into the bassist's girlfriend's gob when she'd imbibed too much cider - and her bloke WASN'T asleep! Your tape has sold a pathetic 2 copies. Nobody will book you because your 'gig flyer' featured a picture of the Virgin Mary with an Armalite rifle and 'IRA' tattoed across her knuckles, and you haven't even got a guitar, just a plywood ECT dispenser. Congratulations! A right royal fuck-up.

Or you could try it this way -

Friday, September 21, 2007


Bloody hell - as if THAT wasn't enough, SUTCLIFFE JUGEND and PETER SOTOS are going to be performing the notorious Right to Kill LP by WHITEHOUSE in its entirety, down the Slimelight on 23rd November!

According to the PR blurb: "This incredible live aktion will be the first time that Kevin Tomkins and Peter Sotos, two of the most influential and talked about libertines on the extreme industrial music scene, have shared the stage together in over 20 years...with Whitehouse having now become a byword for 'art wanking' and most Susan Lawly releases as threatening as a trip to McDonalds, it's time for Tomkins and Sotos to dust off those EDP Wasps and remind all filthy female sluts what POWER ELECTRONICS really means! Featuring classics like Cock Dominant, Pro Rapist, Queen Myra and Tit Pulp, this performance will take you right back to the days when male supremacy ruled the roost and the gutters of Bradford swam with oestrogen-polluted blood. Meet the REAL masters of the overviolence on November 23rd, and rediscover your most basic, primal right....the RIGHT TO KILL!"

Allah fucking a pig, who writes this stuff? Apparently there'll also be competitions and prizes if you get there early on.

Predictably, William Bennett's consulting a lawyer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007


OK, if there's going to be a Crass revival, I'm staging my own 1978 NME JOURNALIST REVIVAL. Let's face it, one of the best things about "Feeding of the 5,000" was the 'REpUtATioNs iN JeoPARdY' collage of scathing reviews that came with the lyric insert, including rants from GARRY BUSHELL (future TV pundit and professional homophobe) and TONY PARSONS - the first man in Britain to marry a lesbian.

Now, it may shock rubbish bands like Kooks and Stereophonics - whose fear of a drubbing from music hacks is SO intense they have to be booked into an adult baby creche for pampering whenever a negative live review reduces them to tears! - but it was fairly common for punk bands to incorporate slaggings from the press into their own PR. Most deployed this tactic as a badge of defiance - y'know, Nietzsche, "what don't kill us makes us stronger", etc - though, uncannily, almost every put-down Crass reproduce on the "Feeding.." insert is... really accurate: "unlistenable garbage...gumbie voices spewing hysterical stream of consciousness lyrics...sordid piffle...rant against the system, society, THEM (keep it non-specific, make it painless, make it product)...'Teach Yourself Anarchy', memorised in 5 minutes (guaranteed ineffective), punctuated by 'fucks' (bet they went to university)...a one way ticket to the vomitorium...for me Crass aren't bad musically - they're appalling...they write/lyrics/like/this/and sometimes/ LIKE THIS/you/you are a tulip/ tinkle/i am a rhodendron/fucking arseholes...'The Clash sold out by signing to CBS', well, for all the contradictions in that me hearties, it's more effective than recycling garbage in your Epping commune...being middle class they think class doesn't matter, being prats they take themselves very gonna support the living dead factory sheep if they move into your Safe Epping Home?...what a witless, liberal cop-out!...a Charlie Drake least PiL's "Religion" was a bit of fun...let's face it, Crass? Precisely It's also great fun to read while listening to the record, all 17 minutes of it.

If you've never heard "Feeding of the 5,000", here's a brief summary - Zippy from "Rainbow" on vocals, two angry buzzsaws for guitars and a drummer who sounds like he's just been kicked out of the Black Watch for amyl abuse. I mention this simply cos if you've never heard it, forget it, it's too late. You can only like this LP up until the age of 18. After that, you have to give it away to a girl or leave it lying around in a mouldy cardboard box for a younger sibling to discover ten years later. I'm not joking about this - listen to Crass at the age of 23 and you might as well lurk outside the local school gates, telling little girls "Mummy's in hospital" (the only exception to this is if you incorporate one of their tracks 'ironically' into a grime DJ set, but you can only get away with this once). Sounds harsh? Sorry, it's a rite de passage, like realising that love comes in spurts, that life isn't fair, that we all get the gods we deserve, or that the Anti Nazi League would rather grab your cash, fast-track you into the SWP and persuade you to suck off some 48-year old alcoholic ex-social worker than actually take a physical stand against NF yobs.

Basically, there's about 4 good tracks - "Owe Us a Living" (which sounds way more NF yob pogo than anything Skrewdriver recorded), "Punk Is Dead", "Banned From the Roxy" and "Securicor". These days, you rarely see Securicor vans on Britain's streets - I'm surprised Penny Rimbaud hasn't claimed that Crass drove them away. As for the rest of the album, well, it'll be interesting to see how Steve Ignorant handles songs like "Women". But someone else will have to report back on this, I've got a strange feeling I'm going to give it a miss - just something about the image of crusties swigging £4 cans of Strongbow and punching the air, chanting "Fight War Not Wars!" in unison, that's putting me off.

HOWEVER, to celebrate this cultural event, I will be xeroxing a brand new re-working of Tony Parsons' venomous attack, and distributing it outside the venue, while denouncing the gig through a megaphone until the bouncers chase me down the road. Apparently FLUX OF PINK INDIANS are playing too, so if I get my skates on, I can get this electro version of "Tube Disaster" recorded and make a few bob punting that too.

Mind you, that time my mum stormed into my bedroom right at the point where it goes: SO WHAT IF JESUS DIED ON THE CROSS / SO WHAT ABOUT THE FUCKER, I DON'T GIVE A TOSS

I enjoyed that bit.

Monday, September 17, 2007


People, tell me something. Why, whenever retro TV documentaries show footage from the Brixton riots...why do they always use Ghost Town by the Specials as background music? Er, I might have only been 5 at the time but I don't remember Brixton looking anything like a ghost town back then - unless your definition of 'ghost town' happens to be area filled by hundreds of people, running around the streets, looting shops and throwing DIY petrol bombs and bits of Ford Cortina at lines of police. I suggest you lazy BBC researchers go for a tune that actually fits the images - Stand and Deliver by Adam & The Ants, for instance, or even - hey, this one's pretty radical - Di Great Insurrection by Linton Kwesi Johnson, which eerily happens to be about...the 1981 Brixton riots. Savvy? Just spare us Terry Hall moaning about how you can't get a fucking kebab at 9pm.

Monday, September 03, 2007


"POPISTS" - no, disliking Rihanna doesn't make me a middle aged Ocean Colour Scene fan who hates young working class girls and black people, you sanctimonious shitheads. Presumably, then, working class black girls are barred from listening to Oasis, Dylan, Captain Beefheart or Nuclear Assault? Or would that make them potential BNP voters? Jesus, 'popists', if teenage girls knew you creeps were prowling around the Selectadisc racks for Girls Aloud DVDs, they'd throw up. Oh sorry, you shop in Woolworths, don't you, cos that's where the 'working class' all go. You patronising, pompous, killjoy buffoons! You're more emotionally constipated and self-straitjacketed than the 'rockists' you obsessively berate. All 'popism' means is that you wanted to (loudly) champion some cause in the bar after your semiotics seminar, but you couldn't be bothered to talk about 'boring adult stuff' like practical ways of tackling homophobia and sexism. Mutya's crap and all.

PEOPLE WHO THINK IT'S BIG OR CLEVER TO ATTACK GOTHS - like the cowardly scumbags responsible for this disgusting assault -,,2155934,00.html . Bring back the rack.

ME ON 'WHITE REGGAE' - I've done an about turn on my previous, long-standing position on "white reggae MCs" - whereas I previously railed against them, shit - life's too short. I just don't care. I should stress that this 'position' was engendered in the early 1990s, a time when going to venues such as the Starlight Youth Club in Luton was viewed as unusual behaviour for honkies, and when white kids chatting in patois tended to draw hoots of derision (and the occasional slap) from whites and blacks alike. All it would take to fuck up a night sometimes was a white bloke chatting godawful patois as he harangued the DJ with requests - great, just add instant friction. It's never been my intention to bleat for any sort of separatism in the global reggae scene- it's been a long journey from the time I was a skinny 16-year old, riding the X-31 across town and listening to "Two Sevens Clash", "Police and Thieves" and "Just Reality" on my crappy Panasonic cassette walkman and when people used to ask me why I listened to 'paki music' (Ninjaman, Buju Banton and Tiger, believe it or not) - things are much different (arguably better) now. In any case, I was wrong, hands up - bang to rights. Sting and Snow can still go and fuck themselves though.

THAT HAIRY SHITWIT ON CHANNEL 4 - "Hello? Are you Maria Whittaker? Wait a minute, Maria! Please?! Are you Maria Whittaker? We're doing this show for Channel 4, Bring back the '80s Page 3 Sun Girls. We've got Sam Fox and Linda Lusardi, but we couldn't possibly make this show without you...Maria?! Are you there?!!" Don't you just want to smash in his badly-drawn hippie bear face with a monkey wrench?

SPACE HOTELLIERS - Given the expansive magic of the Solar System, never mind the Universe, whenever you hear corporate bigwigs blathering on about carving up space for condo and hotel developments, don't you wonder - when exactly did they vacuum pack their souls and flog 'em for a stakeholder's lunch?

DENNIS TITO - All he's done since that bloody space trip is gush like a 13-year old who's had his first pint. "I SUH THE CONTINENT OF K-K-KENYA!" the incontinent old fool yammers. "I B-B-BIN IN SPACE! IT WUH INCREDIBLE!" Of course, this multi-millionaire muppet doesn't mention the fact that the cosmonauts mixed a couple of floating 'jizz blobs' into his zero grav-proof chowder. No, he'd feel rather foolish if he realised he'd paid $20 million to consume Russian babypaste. Talk about casting pearls before swine. Anyway, I've made my mind up - I'm staying on Earth - thanks anyway, Association of Autonomous Astronauts, but no thanks. I used to love the idea of visiting the Pirate Catwomen of Mars and swapping earthly trinkets for photon guns, but it seems like it's just gonna be a bunch of cunts in orbit from now on. In fact, contra AAA, maybe we should encourage as many billionaires as possible to check out a terrible pity if their return craft somehow 'stalled' and left them stranded in their lunar luxury resorts...

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