Newtown Neurotics – Absconded, Anti-Social Workers, Seething Wells
Bletchley Compass Club
X-Moore – NME 2nd October 1982.
This is Bletchley. Ulcer city—-a collection of piss stained precincts and concrete cut-out architecture. “We’re Absconded.” These are the Absconded. Borrowed riffs and second-hand fury- bouncing crash rock. Pneumatic as in drill. Absconded’s finest moment is a reflex slogan: “I hate the SPG/The SPG they fucking hate me.” So what’s your analysis? Dismiss or ignore… ‘Absconded’s sly pop melodies stick in the head like a blunt instrument’ It’s so obvious.
Not so Anti-Social Workers— a hopeless pun that hides a far more humorous contradiction. The crude punk catch all is but a front for three piece polemical toast.
A-S Workers stand, three boys in a line, dancing like dolts and roughing up dub. They misjudge their harmonies and defy with a smile.”The message is loud and clear—hands off Poland” they croon, one voice sweet,two voices gruff and shoddy. I like their style.
This set snaps and skanks and rocks fine but it’s A-S Workers treatment of patriotism that is their toughest gem: “England is a name for a piece of land and a football team… “Anti-Social Workers will one day make a disco 12 inch”.
Skins wander the floor and nod greetings—sussing the sides and prowling the front, Swells takes the mike and then….and then the scrap.
Bits of glass and bleeding knuckles— this fight’s been brewing ages. A spilt pint and a four-foot high fascist, crazy eyes and a swastika tattooed on the inside of his palm, and that’s all it takes. Adrenalin, ripped shirts and hard leather— a list of injuries.
Fire alarms ringing and the rancid smell of hate, Steve Drewett’s Newtown Neurotics jump the stage and let loose ” Mindless Violence”.
The Clash couldn’t have engineered a better entrance. Steve Drewett spits and curses, silhouetted against striking propaganda. ‘ Anguished ‘ would be the most comfortable label to throw at their unfashionable row but the Neurotics are far better than that. They speed and sweat till the flesh runs raw and we turn and walk and leave this eyesore Bletchley, England this is England.