Monthly Archives: August 2015

Young Conservatives

Silver spoon and bottle fed
The Daily Mail is always read
By young conservatives born to win
Another world you’re living in
Just like your parents and theirs before
You and your children won’t go to war
The front line ain’t the place for you
You still believe your blood is blue

The British empires sons and daughters
Who flirt with SDP supporters
Share nightmares about Tony Benn
The militants on News At Ten
You’re born to rule or so you say
Church of England all the way
The book that features Adam and Eve
These are the things that you believe

Love and respect for King and Queen
National service at seventeen
Mary Whitehouse morals too
A Barbara Cartland novel view
These are the things that you support
The working class they must be taught
How lucky they are to be free
To live in your democracy

With a free press and radio
But we’re four million on the dole
Just like the days before the war
The Tory party still stands for
Mass unemployment and poverty
A them and us society
With no free press to speak the truth
Only the voice of the Tory youth
The House of Lords the dead and old
The wealth the power the land they hold
The red the white the Tory blue
The young conservatives I hate you

Garry Johnson

Garry Johnson’s poem was written in 1983 and has been read at several Stand Up and Spit gigs. The recording of it from the Son Of Oi album has played too. It is one of the most popular of the original ranting poems with the young audience today. They often comment that it might have been written yesterday.


I wrote Young Conservatives because I hate both Conservatives and `Young Conservatives` fresh out of public schools and Oxbridge who have the cheek to look down on their `elders and betters`: the heroic working class parents who work all hours to provide for there children.

What right have Conservatives or `young conservatives` to look down their noses or to tell them how to think or what to do?
I have always been a man of the left, but never thought of myself as a `leftie`. I prefer the title of working class liberal with middle class manners.

Like The Kray Twins I never swear in front of women and children – but would break the habit of a lifetime if I ever met the Queen or Samantha Cameron.
Unlike Reg & Ron I have not murdered anyone – but if I met IDS or George Osbourne down a dark alley I might be tempted.

I have in spirit always been a Labour supporter rather then a voter. I could not bring myself to vote for Blair, Brown. Burnham but Jeremy Corbyn has changed all that.
When Jezza`s elected leader I will both vote and campaign for Labour.

Young Conservatives was as the title says an `attack` on young conservatives but it was also an attack on the `Red Tories` who`ve been in charge of Labour since Kinnock through to Milliband.
I`ve never understand why or how people like Blair, Mandelson, Thornberry, Brown, Kendall and the Labour Establishment have claimed to talk for working class people. Never understood how they got away with it. Quite rightly Black people have Black leaders, Gays have Gay spokesman, Jewish people have Jewish leaders and the Scottish people have Nicola Sturgeon. Well I want a genuine man of the people to represent me and that man is Jeremy Corbyn. I wish he didnt have a beard and look like a social worker.
But that is the Mod in me. That is fashion, not political mod.
I am more left-wing then any champagne socialist in Notting Hill.
My wish is that when Corbyn is elected `red tories` like Mandelson, David Milliband, Thornberry, Blair and all the other `champagne socialists` leave the party.

I would love Corbyn to produce a manifesto that promises to abolish The House Of Lords and the Royal Family. A manifesto that promised to put Blair on trial as a war criminal.
I have the same feelings today as when I wrote `Young Conservatives’.
Back then I hated Thatcher and all her mob and today I hate Cameron and his cronies. Young conservatives, old conservatives and New Labour are all pretty much the same. The main thing they have in common is that they all dislike and mistrust the Working Class.

Garry Johnson

The Murder of Liddle Towers

The killing of members of the public by the police is nothing new. On 16th January 1976, Chester-le-Street man Liddle Towers was arrested by PC Goodner for being drunk and disorderly outside the key Club.
He was released the following morning and told a friend “They gave us a bloody good kicking outside the Key Club, but that was naught to what I got when I got inside”.
He died on February 9th due to the injuries he’d received from the beating.
There was an inquest a verdict of justifiable homicide was returned.

The case was raised in parliament.

South Shields punk band the Angelic Upstarts released a record in 1978 highlighting the case and the record became a rallying point against police brutality. The record originally came out on the Dead label. The record, and it’s B side ‘Police Oppression’ became a classic punk single and is a passionate call for justice.

Mensi: “Liddle Towers was our protest single. It was the story of a boxing coach who was arrested for being drunk and disorderly. He was examined by a doctor and was perfectly healthy. Then in the morning was discovered dead and had injuries which the police surgeon described as being similar to that of a person who had been in a serious 70 miles-an-hour head-on collision. His injuries were absolutely horrific. He was basically kicked to death.
“We done a couple of shows and got the money together and we pressed 500 singles, and then Small Wonder/Rough Trade re-released it, and it got to number one in the indie charts. With no radio play. Apart from John Peel, nobody else played it, and it was actually banned off any sort of play list in the northeast. Fair play I say.”

photo_liddle_lyrics_smash hits

from Smash Hits

The Sex Pistols producer Dave Goodman was outraged by the case and released a single, ‘Justifiable Homicide’ in July 1978. Sex Pistols Steve Jones and Paul Cook also play on the record.

The Tom Robinson Band dedicated their 1979 album, TRB Two to Mrs Mary Towers, the mother of Liddle Towers. The song Blue Murder on the album goes: ‘Well they kicked him far and they kicked him wide / He was kicked outdoors, he was kicked inside / Kicked in the front and the back and the side / It really was a hell of a fight… / He screamed blue murder in the cell that night / But he must have been wrong cos they all deny it / Gateshead station – police and quiet/ Liddley-die… / Lie lie lie diddley lie /Die die die Liddley die’.

John Betjeman – Banana Blush

Despite being something of a duffer Betjeman was a fan of Coronation Street, the Ogdens in particular. He visited the set and met Bernard Youens who played Stanley Ogden. Michael Parkinson, Russell Harty and Sir John Betjeman formed the British League for Hilda Ogden, with Laurence Olivier as it’s president.


The New Musical Express in April 1974 ran an interview with Sir John Betjeman. Not much on the rock ‘n’ roll stakes was Betjeman but interviewer Andrew Tyler admitted he was as drunk as a boiled owl by the time he staggered out of Betjeman’s house.

Betjeman was just about to release his first LP, at the age of 67. It was released on the Charisma label, home to the likes of Monty Python, Van der Graaf Generator and Vivian Stanshall, and was called Banana Blush.

The idea for Banana Blush came from producer Hugh Murphy, who would later work on Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. Murphy paired up Betjeman with composer Jim Parker. Initially, the poet laureate was sceptical about the project, protesting that he possessed the kind of singing voice that could bring up bodies from the murky depths of the Thames. “Just imagine you’re Rex Harrison in My Fair Lady,” he was told.

Betjeman was never the most reliable critic when it came to his own work. Upon completion, he dismissed Banana Blush as a “vulgar pop song record, a serious lapse in taste”.

It opens with Indoor Games Near Newbury, the clippity-clop of frisky tea-room jazz as the backdrop to Betjeman’s flashback, here concerning young, unconsummated love played out in a dark cupboard during a kids’ Christmas party. A love “that lay too deep for kissing”. To a temperate music hall knees-up The Flight from Bootle tells of a Liverpool lady mislaying her virtue in a seedy Piccadilly Circus hotel.

Since the album Morrissey has referenced Betjeman’s 1937 poem Slough on Everyday Is Like Sunday and chose Child Ill for his 2004 NME compilation Songs to Save Your Life. Nick Cave, Suggs and British Sea Power have all cited Betjeman as an inspiration, whereas dance producer Andrew Weatherall has covered his music. Jarvis Cocker is known to play selections from Banana Blush on his BBC 6 Music show.

Betjeman never expected his work to endure. As early as 1961 he confidently remarked: “I will be completely forgotten in five years from now.”

Attila the Stockbroker Autobiography and Tour

Advance copies of Attila the Stockbroker’s autobiography ‘Arguments Yard’ are now available direct from him, signed if you like. 35 years, 24 countries, over 3000 gigs – his life in words. He is rightly so, so proud of it.
300 pages of which 16 are photos, beautiful paper, looks fantastic.
It is officially published on Sept 3 by Cherry Red Books, the book division of Cherry Red Records – who released his first 2 albums in the early 80s. It will be available in the shops by then – plus Cherry Red’s website and loads of other online outlets. But you can get an early copy from him now if you like:)
You can see a pic of the front/back cover at

If you’d like to order one, prices are as follows and all include P&P.
£19 UK/£22 mainland Europe/£26 Canada/US and £27 Australia/NZ
(I know the overseas prices are high – that’s because it’s so heavy…)
Paypal to
Cheque/cash to John Baine, PO Box 668, Portslade, BN424BG

And to celebrate the lad is doing a massive tour of England and Wales starting in September with the official launch at Festival 800 in Lincoln on Sept 3. Needless to say, copies will be available at all the gigs. He’llll be doing two sets, mixing readings from the book with poems and songs. There are special guests at the two ‘home town’ gigs, Harlow and Shoreham, plus an amazing line-up at the Borderline in London. Here are all the dates: there will be a few more.

Thurs-Fri-Sat 3-4-5: LINCOLN Official launch at Lincoln Cathedral, no less, as part of Festival800: also doing a gig at the Jolly Brewer, Attila is poet in Residence at the Dog & Bone and doing a show with his old mate Fermin Muguruza from the Basque Country at Lincoln University. 4 events in 3 days.
Fri 11: HARLOW Adopted 80s hometown launch at The Square – with guests original Brighton hometown heroes Boring Bob Grover and The Piranhas, best mate and Newtown Neurotics singer Steve Drewett and ranting poet Little Dave Williams whose band The Unborn Dead I supported at my first gig in Harlow on Sept 8 1980.
Sat 12: HULL Special 50th Birthday gig for a long time fan (private event)
Sun 13: HULL The New Adelphi Club, favourite UK venue for 30 years, run by the utterly legendary Paul ‘Jacko’ Jackson.
Wed 16: MITCHELDEAN (Forest of Dean) The Brewery Tap
Thurs 17 WOLVERHAMPTON Clarendon Hotel
Fri 18 WALTHAMSTOW Festival with Steve White & The Protest Family
Sat 19 WORCESTER Marrs Bar as part of the Worcester Music Festival
Sun 20 STROUD Prince Albert >
Fri 25 Big LONDON launch at The Borderline in Soho with The Newtown Neurotics, brilliant comic Jeremy Hardy, old mate Steve Lamacq as DJ, his band Barnstormer and the first ever London appearance by Contingent from Brussels, the last and best band Attila played in as a bass player, aged 21 in 1979, before starting as Attila in 1980. Just added: longtime touring partner David Rovics, brilliant US radical songster, and old mate Janine Booth, now making huge waves on the London spoken word scene.

9 BRUSSELS Magasin 4 ( playing bass with Contingent and reading the section from the book about my time in Brussels)
15 MALDON (nr Chelmsford) Blue Boar Hotel
16 LEEDS Packhorse
17 BARNSLEY Old Number 7 with Joe Solo details soon
18 WHITBY Musicport Festival (daytime) The home of ‘Arguments Yard’, the little alley which gave the book it’s title.
19 CANTERBURY Gulbenkian Theatre bar, University of Kent (really looking forward to this one!)
27 PENARTH Windsor Ale House
28 CARMARTHEN Parrot Music Bar
29 GOGINAN nr Aberystwyth The Druid
30 SWINDON The Locomotive
31 SOUTHAMPTON Arthouse Cafe

1 READING Rising Sun Arts Centre
6-8 ALDEBURGH Poetry Festival
17 PETERSFIELD Write Angle at the Square Brewery
19 STOURBRIDGE Katie Fitzgerald’s
20 OLDHAM Library
21 LIVERPOOL View Two Gallery, 23 Mathew Street, Liverpool L2 6RE
22 WIGAN Hartley’s
29 LONDON New Cross Inn – ‘LONDONWICK’ with my band Barnstormer, The Piranhas, The Tuts, Thee Faction and more TBC

3 LONDON Islington Folk Club
12 BELPER Queen’s Head

***EXTRA GIG**** Local ‘rock n roll’ book launch! Sat 26 Sept SHOREHAM The Piranhas, Contingent and his band Barnstormer at the Duke of Wellington, plus a short reading from the section in the autobiography dealing with his time in Brussels in 1979, the incredible story of the attempts by the mayor to BAN all live rock music and the riots which followed. ‘The riot starts at six o’clock!’

Attila the Stockbroker

New book ‘UK Gin Dependence Party and Other Peculiarities’, new album ‘Bankers & Looters’, new T shirt ‘most people ignore most poetry because most poetry ignores most people’ ’ and loads more stuff now available from


Cockney Rejects – Rising Free

From Rising Free fanzine no 4, 1981.

The Cockney Rejects, the definitive Oi band, working class ‘erberts sprung to fame and notoriety in late 79 with the release of the highly acclaimed Small Wonder EP “Flares and Slippers”. The band soon took to gigging after 15 year old Stinky Turner had finished school, failing all his exams in the process. They quickly built up a huge following and capped their first year in existence with the 5 star “Greatest Hits Volume 1”. Now almost three years later, with 4 albums tucked under their braces, they’re almost at the crossroads. Do they keep on plugging away at the old style, or as the new album suggests, a change in tactics.

Micky: The new album, it’s more of the same sort of thing but refined. We’ve spent £27,000 on it and like £11,000 of it went to the producer (Steve Churchyard, U.F.O, Stranglers) where as before we used to skimp and do 14 tracks in 2 weeks in some poxy studio. We’ve skinted ourselfs doing it, (“YET ANOTHER CASE OF DOING IT FOR THE KIDS!”) but it was worth it ‘cos it’s the best Rejects album.

So it’s more of a natural progression than a change?
Micky: Yeah! it’s not a drastic change.

Has this just happened over a period of time?
Micky: Yeah, well Sticks has come into the band and he’s got more room to develop musically with us than with the Upstarts, so he’s added to the ideas of the band. We didn’t sit down and decide we were gonna change, it’s like you say “a natural progression”.

Do you think success came your way too soon, 2 albums in a year, Top of the Pops and all that, or did you like it coming that way?
Micky: Well we liked it coming that way because we weren’t into slogging it, we were very lucky.

You had a lot of good press in the beginning especially from Garry Bushell?
Micky: Yeah, now he thinks the 4-Skins are the biggest thing since sliced bread.

Do you think he’s gone againts the band by suggesting the Rejects have gone heavy metal?
Micky: You were down at Abbey Road when we did the live album weren’t you?
Micky: What did you think of the set?

It was alright, a bit different in places.
Micky: Yeah right, it was a bit more professional because it was for a live album and you’ve got to give it a bit of beef. You can’t do a strictly punk thing, or you’ll get labelled for ever, anyway all the band can play so why not make the most of it. Later we took Garry down E.M.I and played him the new album and he had to admit it was our best album yet.

Do you think it’s ironic that Sham could never play in London without attracting trouble where as you only found trouble outside London?
Micky: I wouldn’t say that, anyway you better let H (Rejects road manager) answer that.
H: Well I used to follow Sham 69 and the difference was, when trouble started at Sham gigs they used to run of stage crying. But at Rejects gigs we sorted it out ourselves, we don’t wanna be known as a violent band, ‘co’s basically they’re just normal geezers like you or I, and if you get upset you don’t take shit from anyone, right. Our first main London gig was at the Electric Ballroom and we had vowed beforehand if there was any trouble we’d sort it out ourselves, there was trouble, but we sorted it out in five minutes. It might have seem a bit drastic to the onlooker, steaming in and giving them a good pasting, it was nothing to be proud of but needed doing. Afterwards the kids responsible came up to us and said “where are you playing next”, we had gained the crowds respect.
Micky: That was our original philosophy now we’ve got to make money or the bands gonna die. I know it might sound big headed but we’ve done everyone who tried to have a go at us. But the bands gotta settle down and be a winner, a money maker without selling out, we’re 100% into whar we are doing, I listen to our newer stuff more than the older stuff. So if trouble does start we’ve got no alternative bit walk away because promoters wont wanna put us on, people wont write write about us, no one’ll wanna know us. But I can’t see there being anymore, we’ve given enough, we’ve always stood up to ’em, we’ve learnt the hard way. We said to ’em “we’re West Ham, what of it?”. It wasn’t a challenge to them. We always tried to stop the aggro, but if anyone keeps on you’re bound to lose your rag. So you think for yourself “Who are they?”. But we can’t do that now, we don’t take shit, not from anyone.

What do you think of Oi and the way the whole movement is going?
Micky: It hurts me to say this but we’ve disassociated ourselves with the whole movement. I mean when Nina Myskow, the Suns queen of pop says “Oi! the movement, they wear bleached jeans and have tattoos, support football teams and fight”, and all that sort of shit, we don’t do that. We’re satisfied that we started it, we were the first, the originals. The 4-Skins or your Infa-Riot are never gonna touch the Rejects, we were the first fucking ‘erbert band.

So you don’t think Oi! was manufactured by Garry Bushell as many people believe?
Micky: Nah! it was invented by us, you’ve heard the song “Oi! Oi! Oi!”, well Bushell jumped on that.
H: We’ve got an article from Musicians Only which has a review of one of our first gigs at the Leeds F Club, before Oi! was ‘eard of and the geezer that wrote it said “Stinky Turner could only muster three words between each song, …Oi! Oi! Oi!”.
Micky: If anyone wants to get big by riding on the back of Oi!, that’s entirely up to them, good luck to ’em. But we’ll never go back on the bandwagon, because we know we were the originals.

Do you see any future in it for other bands?
No!, says Micky emphatically, You’ve seen what’s happened at Acklam Hall and Southall, Oi! is gonna get a lot of poor bastards ‘eads kicked in.

Why do you think that is?
Micky: It’s just it’s association with football, it’s gonna be brought into it whether you like it or not. Garry says “It’s the vision of all the working class youth sticking together” but you’re never gonna get that. What’s he gonna do, address Britain over the telly?

Stinky said in the Oi! debate, he didn’t respect Rotten, but he must of indirectly influenced you, who if anyone do you respect?
Micky: Apart from our drinking mates who we’ve always hung out with, we mix with the higher rock set, people like U.F.O. Them geezers have been through the whole star bit 60,000 seaters and all that, but they wanna sit down and ‘ave a beer and a chat with us, when they could be in Los Angeles or something. We’ve met more genuine people in the higher rock set, apart from our mates. U.F.O. are really into the Rejects plus they show us a mutual respect.

Now the albums released what are the future plans?
Micky: Plenty of money and beers, as many cracks as we can and keep loyal.

You can’t say fairer than that, but are you now in it for the money?
Micky: No not at all, we wanna get across to as many kids as possible. We’re still one with the audience, we always will be. But there comes a time when you have to start thinking of money, we need it to carry on.
H: The Rejects are trying and to some extent succeeding in doing what no other band has done, and that’s stay together.

So what has the Nigel Woolfe split all about?
Micky: He wasn’t good enough! and let’s face it H, he didn’t fit with the band. He was into Skinhead for the pose, but he was a mod before that. Now we’ve got rock solid Sticks. I read what Mensi said in your last issue and whether it was true or not, it was still out of order. He should have said something to him instead of beefing about it on the sly in print. It’s only fair you’ve let Sticks have his say.

Vince echoed what Micky had said earlier. But the chat I had with Vince was interrupted by our friendly boys in blue carrying out a raid.