Monthly Archives: May 2014

Aggro Britain! – Seething Wells

The Fleet Street Shit Sheet neat little label-maker enables Joe and Mabel Smith to spot what-goes in the shadowy subterranean world of Subculture Cult Heroes and the Mindless Sheep who kiss the feet of the cocaine-consuming Tinsel-Neroes.
AGGRO BRITAINS! apathetic youth, A spineless, foppish group: – Gays and Communists, Anti-war feminists, long-haired punk-rocking drug-taking Anarchists, Papists and pissed-up young pagans. Half-brick lobbing, Commie-plotting Social misfits and Misfit socialists,
Inter-racial couples in public parks. The Sharks and the Jets get propositioned by lisping, effete randy dandies and trashed by KILLER SKINHEADS! who swarm in every inner-city brick-strewn street, amphetamine roller skates strapped to their over-size feet the scourge of the nation that’s gone to the dogs on its knees.
Dr Bob Martin’s cure for the flea-ridden Bulldog is the short-sharp-shock of two minutes in the dock and two years of sweating in a pox-ridden prison for all who exalt the revolting, craven, disgusting and unshaven FOLK DEVILS! who corrupt and disturb the minds of the young.
The Sun’s so-called journalists, quack sociologists and fascist hacks. AGGRO BRITAIN! in thirteen paragraphs. Broken noses get easy laughs from their Tit-greedy Bum-hungry highly intellectual audience of mindless Thatcher-voting zombies.
The Fleet Street Shit Sheet excretes cheap lies and The Sun cries
AGGRO BRITAIN (exclamation mark)
The only Aggro done
Is done by The Sun
To the minds of the kind of scummy prat
Who believe the crap
That the Fleet Street Shit Sheet feed them.

Seething Wells

Aggro Britain was a guide to the youth cults of Britain that appeared in the Daily Mirror.
aggro swells

Jimmy Fagg

Sitting in the pub in front of the Joanna, lank, stringy hair, crazy eyes and devilish smile: Jimmy Fagg was on old fashioned pub comedian with a sharp and biting wit. Those in the know would buy him a drink on entering the pub to spare themselves being savaged by his jokes.


He was a regular fixture in many East End pubs in the 60s to the early 80s. He was often billed as Mad Jimmy Fagg. He had a weekend residency at the Imperial Crown in Bromley-by-Bow and was well known in pubs such as the Red Lion on Exmouth Market. Both these pubs, like Jimmy, are now sadly long gone.
Though not a poet he was a brilliant in your face comedian. Many of his songs came from music hall. There was a great mix of popular songs, jokes and ‘recitations’ in music hall and both punk and ranting kept a fair bit of the tradition of earthy, working class humour.


He’d belt out songs like ‘What A Wonderful Fish The Sole Is’

What a wonderful fish the sole is
What a wonderful fish are soles
I must relate I am partial to plaice
When served on a dish as rissoles

What a wonderful fish the sole is
Like salmon they swim in shoals
But the sweetest of fish
When placed on a dish
Are soles, are soles, are soles.


I Want To Go To Heaven For The Weekend was another song he’d belt out, songs that’d get the pub singing along drunkenly.
Ranters were often from the same working class culture and had the same in your face edge. The pub in the 70s and 80s was the focus of the community, this was before the TV and interweb isolated us. Handling rowdy crowds was part and parcel of your job. I’ve often advised young poets to get out and gig in pubs and with bands. Personally speaking, having come up through the ranks doing poems in pubs and gigs with the likes of the Angelic Upstarts, poetry audiences hold no fear for me at all.

Jimmy Fagg in 1961

Jimmy Fagg learnt his craft as a musician in the Royal Marines. It was said he’d twice been up for mutiny. As unruly as ever.
In the 80s he was spotted by the young wave of comedians who made up The Comic Strip Presents and appeared in many of their TV comedies: The Bullshitters: South Atlantic Raiders: Part 2 Argie Bargie!, GLC: The Carnage Continues, Oxford, Spaghetti Hoops, Les Dogs, The Crying Game, Detectives on the Edge of a Nervous Breakdown, Space Virgins from Planet Sex, Queen of the Wild Frontier. Although an older face than the likes of Rik Mayall, Ade Edmondson and Peter Richardson he was often the most anarchic.

He also appeared in films, Eat The Rich being the one I remember best. Better yet he played a pub pianist in the early Channel 4 Isle of Dogs drama Prospects. He plays through a fight started by a character played by mate Perry Benson. Jimmy also appears in Minder, both made by the much missed Euston Films.

The Housewife’s Trial – The Big J

Your Honour, I’m only a poor housewife
And the one great joy in my boring life
Is to get my laundry white and clean
The light of my life is my washing machine
So this morning I had a terrible shock
‘Cos the dirt said hot but the label said not
With the stains on his undies and the dirt on his vest
They’ll never pass the window test
It really did come as a terrible fright
I’ll never get them bluey-white
My powder’s so crap I’m sure that it won’t
Shift those stubborn stains that ordinary non-biological powders don’t
Then all of a sudden, to allay my fears
A man in a long white coat appeared
He said ‘It’s new, it’s improved, it’s the best you can buy
It’s bloody amazing, why not give it a try?’
Then more appeared and very soon
Washing powder salesman filled up the room
But under all that pressure my patience SNAPPED
And in the soap powder advert, THE HOUSEWIFE STRIKES BACK!
I attacked ’em all with piano wire
Put their heads in the machine and their bodies in the drier
I grabbed ’em by the willies and pulled ’em through the mangle
I spun ’em and wrung ’em until they were strangled
Then I washed ’em and rinsed ’em a couple more times
Hung ’em by the bollocks from the washing line
I took ’em down and shook ’em to get rid of their crinkles
Put ’em on the ironing board and ironed out their wrinkles
I didn’t mean to kill ’em – it was out of frustration
I was sick of being subjected to their patronisation
So I stand accused Your Honour of this terrible offence
And the one thing I can say is – it was in self defence!

The Big J – from Wake Up, number 6, September 85
The Big J was a scooted riding poet who also edited the ‘zine Blaze.
I hope to be interviewing her about her days as a ranter and zinester and what she did next in the not too distant.


The Oi of Sex

Review from New Youth ‘zine, issue 5, 1984

What can I say about this that Swells hasn’t already said in the NME. There again most of New Youths readers probably aren’t “NME people” which is largely read by middle class – trying to be young and hip lefties – called Trendy Wendy & Right on John. Anyway I like the NME (!) and as Swells outlined the idiosyncrasies’ of Oi are still apparent .. torn between their working class ISM and the sick, stupid, dense Sun-reading patriotism of some of their Neo-Nazi followers. Oi continues to appear mixed up. Especially when you read the ridiculous list on the cover entitled “Oi is..”
It’s sad that the thick Neolithic type skinheads latch onto Oi as there are so many intelligent skins around (see this fanzine) not least the ones on the album, Burial, from Scarborough, are excellent and don’t have shits for brains. These lads are sussed and the album’s worth buying for their two tracks alone. Prole’s ‘Never say Die’ also stands out as true socialism in music. As is usual of Nick Toczek, the Bradford poet, his contribution is hard-hitting, thoughtful and easy to understand. ‘Stiff With a Quiff’ is a portrait of the stereotypical slobbish husband, ruining the life of a woman, who he keeps chained to household chores by a label of “wife” while he pisses his own life against a wall.
probably the most important piece on this album (that’s why we reviewed it!) is by Hull’s very own ranter Swift Nick. How he had the audacity to contribute such a caustic, hard-hitting, honest rant as ‘The Sun’ on an Oi album invariably listened to by the very people he is attacking is both admirable and amusing. He completely rips the piss out of blinkered, macho, nationalism of some young thugs, tears into the “royal” family and in general ridicules the whole mentality of the Sun newspaper type population.
These tracks mentioned are the only reasons valid to buy this album (you may like some of the other tracks) but better still write to New Youth for a live recording of a Swift Nick performance, only £1 – good quality and great thought-provoking entertainment, EXCELLENT RANTS!
The accepted idea of right-wing, racist, thuggish Skins is being smashed by the excellent Skins with sense all over the country (like Burial) but Oi doesn’t do its best to help the cause, especially when the disgusting band named A.B.H. are given vinyl space.

New Youth was written by Swift Nick and was a popular ‘zine of the time. I didn’t think the album was that bad, and there are plenty of ranters on it: Little Dave as well as Jimmy Mack. Teething Wells, no less, co-wrote Jimmy Mack’s rant. There are some good songs from Cock Sparrer, who also attacked The Sun, and Dogsbody. All the Oi albums had a good showing from ranters on them. It’s funny now to see how such a vilified music subculture had so much poetry.
ABH were a band associated with the National Front. It pissed off a lot of people that they were on the album.

Roger McGough on The Liver Birds

The Liver Birds was a popular comedy series from the 70s. It was written by Carla Lane and centred on two Scouse sorts sharing a flat. Many lads my age have fond memories of Nerys Hughes.
Roger McGough was one of the Liverpool Poets popular in the 60s. By the late 70s/mid 80s he was part of what Ranting Verse was kicking against but at the same time Ranting wouldn’t have been what it was without antecedents like the Liverpool poets.
It’s notable that in 1972, when this clip is from going to a pub to see poetry was something normal for working class people to do, as reflected in The Liver Birds. The girls go to O’Connors Tavern where McGough reads from his collection After The Merrymaking.
The Liverpool poets were loathed by kids my age. I’ve been reading their Penguin collection The Mersey Sound whilst researching this blog and it’s much better than I remember. I think it was the trendy teachers making us read it that really put us off them. It’s worth remembering that in the 60s McGough, Patten and Henri were the punk poets. At school in the 60s it was groundbreaking that we’d get a Beatles song in a music lesson at school.
McGough’s band ‘The Scaffold’ sing the theme tune to the Liver Birds. The genius in The Scaffold for me though was John Gorman. He was a member of The Scaffold, as well as the Grimms who merged The Scaffold with the band Liverpool Scene along with Neil Innes and Viv Stanshall from the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band. Even more importantly, Gorman was a regular fixture on Tiswas. Yes!
These days Roger McGough wears a hat.

John Hegley’s Band – The Popticians

In the 80s John gigged with his band The Popticians, and still infrequently does. This interview is from issue 8 of No Class ‘zine, 1983.


Anyone who reads the London listings magazines must have noticed in the last couple of years the appearance of the Cabaret section, to accompany the cinema, theatre and music guides. The cabaret list regularly includes such acts as The Wild Girls, Dancing with the Dog, The Barnies, Left Wing Teds and The Joeys, and this is where you can find the Popticians too.

As part of the campaign to prevent the GLC being done away with, the CAST/ New Variety tour was sponsored by the threatened Council and as such brought these acts to many of London’s underused Town Hall stages. This tour doubtlessly gave many people their first taste of so-called ’Alternative’ Cabaret, myself included, and one of the acts I witnessed was the Popticians.

The Duran Duran of the cabaret world, only they’re not Tory’ is what City Limits said of them. They comprise Russ (previously part of The Chefs, as interviewed in No Class 2), Keith and Sue, as well as John Hegley, their leader, who also acts as compere at some of the cabarets they do. Together with their name and humorous songs these four individuals have done as much for myopia as Elvis Costello. As well as relentlessly performing the cabaret circuit, the group have released their first record, Mobile Home / Spare Pear, via their own label, Off The Kerb Records. Both songs were originally recorded on their session for John Peel’s radio programme:

John Peel came to a club we were playing at last year (1983) and quite liked what we did. Then we got a phone call from John Walters, asking us if we wanted to do a session.’

NC: What instruments did you use for the session?

’We used an old acoustic guitar, Russ used his whole drum kit: he only uses the snare when we play live. Keith played clarinet: he now plays trumpet as well, and Sue used alto and baritone sax. She uses the alto mainly when the band play live.’

NC: What is Off The Kerb?

’The Off The Kerb Roadshow is a package of four performers: Roy Hutchins, who does noisy, energetic mime; John Hegley: poet; Podomofski, who is a Lithuanian comic, and the Popticians, with occasional appearances of their roadie, Eric. The Roadshow performs in colleges, art centres and cabarets all over the country.
’The single is taken off the John Peel session. To do this we had to become a record company to make it legal. Addison, who organises the Off The Kerb Roadshow, turned himself into a record company. The offers we had were terrible, that’s why we brought the single out on our own.’

NC: Do you prefer package type tours to ordinary gigs?

’It is much better to work in a package like the Off The Kerb Roadshow. We had all known each other from the cabaret / busking circuit, and liked each other’s work, and knew we could work well together. We’re now working on a much more integrated show. Hopefully it’ll be together for next year. We still do the ordinary gigs. We’ve got our own favourites like the Crown and Castle on Saturday nights in Dalston Junction, there’s always a good atmosphere.’

NC: When I saw the Popticians on the GLC tour they were desperately trying to get the audience to join in with the songs.

’Audience participation is a really important part in our show. Sometimes it takes a lot of hard work to get the audience loud enough, but it’s great when everyone gets into the swing of it. We also have a lot of hecklers at our shows, which keeps us on our toes.’
With humorous words to your songs, is the music secondary?
’We try to keep our music simple, without being boring. The lyrics are important, so when one person is singing the music quietens down so there is no battle with one voice and the horns. This started when we busked when you had to hear the vocals clearly with no amplification. Some of the cabarets we do are acoustic so we do have to be careful that the lyrics can be heard.’

NC: Have you ever been on TV?

’We’ve been on a programme about street entertainers called Street Entertainers Festival, Pyjamarama and Jasper Carrott Show. We entered the 1983 street entertainers competition organised by Time Out. The whole competition was filmed and some of it shown on TV at Christmas.
’The producer from Pyjamarama saw us performing as part of the South Bank Splash that the National Theatre organise each year. He thought we were OK and asked us to be on the programme.
’The Jasper Carrott producers saw us performing at a cabaret called Bush Fires which happens every Friday in the pub next door to the BBC Theatre in Shepherds Bush, where they filmed Jasper Carrott.’

The Popticians’ John Peel Sessions

John Cooper Clarke, Sounds, September 9th, 1978

Just Another Ex-Gravedigger Poet Into Dada and The TV.:

One Tuesday in the office I was heard to remark
That I’d like to write about John Cooper Clarke
“Okay” Alan Lewis said to me
“But only if you do it in poetry”
Well I jumped at the chance coz I thought I could crib
From the poetic meisterwork of E. J. Thribb (17)
Only trouble was it was easy to see
Thribb didn’t use enough imagery
So I dug out my discs by the manchester chap
(Only two singles if you want to be exact)
And listened and listened to inwardly digest
And went off to find him, now read the rest…

Found him washing his hands in a CBS bog
He was chewing a chihuahua and embarassing the frogs
He was using the toilet as a private synagogue
Kept me waiting an hour — he said it was fog
So I smashed him in the face and he fell to the floor
In this shirt he bought in Rhyl in 1964
Without further ado he said he’d show me the door
I said “I saw on the way in,” who could ask for more?
(Not us, get on with the article – Ed) (Thank Christ for That –GB)

Saw this skinny guy in a polka-dot shirt and sunglasses being pursued by a squad of chinese waiters through Soho. He dodged into my doorway, grabbed me by the shoulders and garbled “Can’t go back to Salford, the cops have got me marked.” That was it. Re-enter the waiters, exit Johnny Clarke, known nationally as ‘the punk poet,’ a nervous lean streak from Salford who’s found fame via the new wave but has been going much much longer, is not your usual media image scribe content with sedate Book Club renderings of polite heady verse for polite heady people. 28 years old and thoroughly working class, his poems are vividly forceful surrealistic diatribes steeped in pop culture, libertarianism and music hall comedy, and spelt out in harh Mancunian tones.

In a CBS office and later at a typical ‘grease, grease or grease’ caff (‘Hot dogs direct from Crufts done in diesel oil’) Clarkey came clean about his wretched past.

“Poetry’s a thing I’ve always done but I’ve not always made a living out of it. I worked on the docks as a fire-watcher, and a few extra-legal occupations, was a window cleaner, a grave-digger – they said ‘You haven’t any objections to working with spades have you?’ I said no, not at all. ‘Right’ they said, ‘Get Digging.’ I’m a dosser again now, but I’m not on the dole… I signed off the Nat King Cole when I came down here.

“I was doing similar poetry before punk, but punk’s opened up more exciting gigs. Jazz clubs and pubs are alright, but they’re not so much of an event as new wave gigs. It was more or less reading while people are eating chips.

“I’ve written loads of stuff but the stuff I perform at gigs tends to be be a certain type which isn’t always the kind of poem that I write, but I’m only really interested in poems that get an immediate response. That’s what I’m interested in doing on stage, as opposed to the kind of more esoteric stuff.

“Poems that have built up a large working class audience even if the ‘immediate response’ isn’t favorable…

“I’ve got the largest collection of broken glasses in Britain. They’re all mounted on little plaques at home, ‘Lyceum, March,’ ‘Vortex, December.'”

Ed Banger suffered the same fate at the Lyceum, and I suspect Jilted John would have done four months ago (the blind injustice of it all). Talking of suffering, was the ‘B’ side of the new single ‘Kung Fu International’ where our hero is set upon by an embryonic Bruce Lee outside a Chinkie take-away based on real life?

“Oh aye, yeah, I got jumped in Wally Range. It was half a dozen blokes, they gave us a severe pasting then discovered I was the wrong geezer.”

‘Kung Fu International’ is more representative of the stage Clarke, stripped of musical backing. The ‘A’ side ‘Post War Glamour Girl’ is recited over a disco backing which wasn’t favourably received by the critics… “Yeah, it’s completely different to what I’ve been doing, but all this ‘signs to a record company, they make him go disco’ stuff, it wasn’t like that at all. CBS didn’t have anything to do with the production of the single or the lp, it’s all my fault.”

The album, tentatively titled ‘Bins And Hooters’ is due out in October and “A lot of it is like the single as opposed to the ‘Innocents’ EP which was pretty doomy. It’s been mixed for daytime listening. There’s ‘Reader’s Wives,’ Valley of the Lost Women,’ ‘Tracksuit,’ ‘Health Fanatic,’ ‘I Married A Monster From Outer Space,’ ‘I Was A Teenage Werewolf – Or Was I,’ oh, and a couple of live tracks too, ‘Salome Maloney’, and a live version of ‘Psycle Sluts.’”

Do you ever use a backing band live?

“Well I did one a half gigs with the Curious Yellows, but not usually. I think I’d like to do some gigs with a group, say maybe two distinctly different sets.”

How about talking about some of the poems, like ‘I Married A Monster’ which which is usually interpreted as anti-racist.

“Yeah, that’s the kind of theme that runs through it. I don’t like to put one sort of meaning on anything, not even on poems that are as one-dimesional as that. But yeah, that’s the apparant theme that runs through that one, racialism, extending to intergalactic regions. Racist attitudes in the space age are really anachronistic aren’t they. You’re exploring other planets and people still can’t get on with somebody in Africa…

‘Action Man’ is about the link between impotence and the need for violence, probably. ‘Cos Action Man, as you know, has got all the equipment except genitalia. Quite meticulously completed by craftsmen.”

How about ‘Post War Glamour Girl’?

“That’s sort of a mongrel. I hate talking about poems, specially that one, which is sort of loosely hinged on the glamour theme – the way women are pictured as opposed to the way they actually are, and the way men are supposed to react to pictures of women in certain scenarios, the tiger rug and the telephone. I’ve got this pack of nude playing cards on me that I got from a joke shop that were sort of knocked up in the 50’s and the 50’s idea of what is glamorous is completely different to today’s.

“Health Fanatic’ is my latest poem, it’s about the health trend, the sort of people who run at the sides of roads in the vain belief that they’re getting healthy when in actual fact they’re breathing in eighty times more lead than anyone else. Deep breaths with their mouths open, and all this diesel going down their throats. They’ll probably joss it next year. If they took it easy, that’d have probably been alright…”

I remember when we were about 13 we used to buy health magazines…. “Oh aye, ‘Health & Efficiency’ ‘H & E.’ At one time it was the only magazine you could ever get to see pubic hair in. It’s kinda taking advantage of the nudists, magazines like that. It’s a bit like exploiting children in a way… I’ve written a lot about pornography, it’s a bit of an obsession really.”

Bred of a misspent youth perched over Men Only?

“Yeah, but not only that sort of pornography, soft porn gets me an’ all. Asexual pornography. I think it’s very strange, asexual pornography. It’s like a daft thing to want to do. I think the last thing pornography should do is make sex appear like it isn’t dirty. I think it’ll make people impotent, that attitude, eventually. Like Woody Allen says, ‘sex is only dirty if you’re doing it right’.

Woody Allen meets Lenny Bruce, Ian Dury and British-hipster-comedian-who-makes-it-in-the-States and Lord Buckley are all in the name-checking that constitutes J.C.C’s list of acknowledged influences, along with Mickey Spillane, pop music, pulp sci-fi, television, movies, Dada, and anarchism. What about other poets?

“The first poetry I ever read and was actually excited by was the futurists. Poets like D’Annunzio and Marinetti. Actually they were fascist poets as it happens, they later aligned with Mussolini, but I’m not into that part of it. They were the first poets who used hard imagery, lots of it, spread it all over. Of the surrealists, I love the painters. I like René Magritte especially and Dorothea Tanning as well, and Leonor Fini. I like Dali…’

Shame he’s a fascist… “He’s sort of apolitical, him. But he used to do stuff for Franco and his family. I just don’t think he’s at all interested in that sort of aspect of it, he’d probably say he was apolitical. Well he wouldn’t say that, he’d say something that’d really baffle you. But I think he’s coming from an aploitical direction which is something I’m cynical of. I think an apolitical stance is a political stance. Me, I’m bigotted, I’m biased. There are whole sections of the population that I just put in a bag and say ‘He was bound to say that, he’s right.’

“I see myself as having left-wing attitudes, also libertarian attitudes. But I’m not overtly into politics at all. I’m really suspicious of slogans, they’re like adverts, they make people act without thinking.”

There was a whole link up with surrealism and Trotskyism in the twenties wasn’t there? (Do what? — Street Ed)

“Andre Breton was a personal friend of Leon Trotsky, and Trotsky himself was very interested in the art of the time. Well of course when it went off in Russia, Dada happened at almost exactly the same time. Tristran Tzara, the fellow who sort of invented Dada poetry was writing in Geneva just as Lenin was leaving there for Russia. And with Trotsky, he wasn’t just a propagandist, his work is creative writing in its own right.”

Truly, which is why it’s surprising that most ‘orthodox Trotskyists’ are a pain in the harris. But if this conversation’s baffling you and the nearest you’ve got to surrealism is Monty Python’s or your own dreams, get hold of Bomb Culture by Jeff Nuttall, probably the best intro to rebel culture around (Che and Jimmy Dean are part of the same teen dream after all). Nuttall quotes a US surrealist group who defined rebel poetry and, incidentally, Johnny Clarke as “breathing like a machine gun, exterminating the blind flags of immediately reality…”

Heavy stuff, maan. But Clarkey isn’t really, he’s much more accessible, not the sort of ‘artist’ the middle class will easily stuff into Southbank museums-come-mausoleums. Incidentally that Cooper Clarke bit sounds pretty aristocratic…

“NO, it’s not hyphenated. Cooper’s like Charlie or Harry, just me middle name. I adopted the Cooper because at one time there was this other geezer called John Clarke going round reading poetry at the same time. Talking of names, I was interviewed by this geezer in Plymouth once called Robin Bastard. That was his real name. He was a rich kid, his dad owns most of Plymouth, Lord Bastard, that’s a great name for an aristocrat that, innit. You can tell he didn’t get his money the hard way.”

We’re in the cafe now, chewing the grease, with John coming out with outrageous sayings like “Jonathan King ought to be strangled in his bed alongside the Royal Family.” How true. “This is the sort of thing that influences me,” he says, clutching the menu, “things that read from top to bottom. Look at that, ‘Steak and Kidney pud and two veg, 70p’ — what a dynamite one-liner.”

What’s that album title mean again? I asked in a desperate attempt to bring him back to here and now.

“What, bins, that’s slang for glasses, binoculars, don’t you use it down here?”

Well, I haven’t heard it. London slang changes all the time, back slang’s virtually dead, and rhyming slang’s more a collection of hangovers, barnet, berk, on yer jack, take a butchers…

“I find rhyming slang’s used more in Manchester than it is here. It’s always been big ‘cos you can make your own up, like Mather and Platt which is a large engineering firm in Manchester, it means twat. There’s bottle of acker, Acker Bilk, milk…”

Fancy a pig’s ear?

“That seems like a good idea…”

Garry Bushell
Clarkey, Tom Waits and Billy Connolly… and why not?

Ranters Cup Final

from Out On The Floor, issue 3, 1985

Ranters Revenge. Cup Final. Challenge Football Match.
The afternoons challenge of a sporting contest on a football pitch was thrown down to Jamming magazine, by the meanest, toughest, ugly looking ranting poets gathered from coast-coast, a last hour switch from Hyde Park to the dark, dingy Hackney Marshes was the agreed venue. The conditions were unquestionably a dis-comfort to all, the meagre spectatorship of 6 were ‘slippin ana slidin’ on the touchline, and the players ? balanced themselves from the quagmire-pitch.
Kool Knotes ‘scabbed’ for Jamming, and was attacked at the end of the game, the result of a rather beer filled stout gutted ranters side, blitzed by a rather more serious minded Jamming/Alarm side 8-0.
Swift Nick, played as he writes, full of enthusiasm and verbally attacking his opponents, and would be ‘star’ ranter, supported by Attila, who did a stout job in the middle of the park and along with Nick, were unlucky not to score after a rather spirited come back in the second half, but the ranters had their revenge later that night.
ranters revenge

Though working on a stall selling the current crop of crazed collect- of fanzines nearly 20 different choices, each the ideal guide to creativity itself there was time on a rota basis to catch parts of the travelling extravaganza.
A box, provided by the Theatre was the vantage point to view the sight of extreme scruffiness (with exceptions) shabbily assembled group of much travelled personage.
The stoutly suited Porky the Poet, sponsored by Man at C&A, an outstanding performance with sparkling amusing repartee.
Susan Wells, tonight was extremely funny changing his somewhat “Alarming”, egoistic self indulgent spew to quite funny material.
Suffering from flu (which the bastard passed on to me) Swift Nick, put on a brave face, and stunned his audience, with his pull no punches type humour.
Little Brother, crisp, Northern, Coolness, was unmatchable, oozes with a style of his own, neat & tidied up phrases, polished set.
Finally the dribbling, rather clumsy Kool Knotes, never short of energy brilliantly funny, enthusiasm, second to nobody, dressed and answering, in favour of Casuals against the bomb, Breakdancers supporting 4th division football clubs, less his Ghetto blaster, he staggers cheekily, through his set, forgetting the odd line or two, but can only improve. Finally well done Attila, a thoroughly organised show, and to the Neurotics for a half-time floor show…
Out On the Floor
From Porky the Poet – The ticket pictured above was from The Ranters Revenge, at b2 studios in Wapping in 1983 when I met the utterly delightful Swift Nick at Wapping tube, when he gave me a copy of New Youth. The football match was on Hackney Marshes before the gig Theatre Royal, Stratford East, The Ranters Cup Final.