Monthly Archives: November 2020

The Shelves Seven Months Empty of Angel Delight

During the first lockdown there was only banana and strawberry Angel Delight available locally, but at least it was sunny outside. Thankfully my sister and Nina Penlington posted supplies.
This second lockdown butterscotch Angel Delight is back with us but the weather (and government) is bleak.

The Shelves Seven Months Empty of Angel Delight

The small comforts
can be enough
to get us through.
I have an idea
of what better times
These Covid days
are a whisk
to the milk
of human kindness.
I well remember
a rent I could afford,
a pint in a pub
and being bored.
There’s banana
up for grabs:
we are surviving at least.
Is that keen,
chemical smell
a fond memory,
a longing,
or the start
of quarantine?
The texture;
I’m not sure,
clean, crisp, sheets,
or three month
duvet cover?
I do not remember
what butterscotch
feels like
or how it tastes.

Tim Wells

Shine On Me

The Crowdfund for my next skinhead werewolf novel Shine On Me is here.
It’s a follow up to Moonstomp and we’ve moved from 1979 to 1980. There’s skinhead werewolf aggro, mod witches, and dead Crass fans. The fashions and music of the day play a large part in this New English Library style pulp horror.
Please do support.

So Many Cats In The World

Sergei Esenin poem from 1925.

Ah, so many cats in the world…
For my sister Shura

Ah, so many cats in the world,
You and I could never count them.
The heart dreams of sweet peas,
And a blue star is ringing.

Whether awake, delirious, or just waking up,
I remember this from long ago—
A kitten was purring on the couch,
Looking at me with indifference.

I was still a child then,
But at hearing grandmother’s song,
He leapt up like a young tiger cub
At the ball of yarn she had dropped.

All has passed. I lost my grandmother.
As to the cat, several years later
They made a hat out of him,
And our grandfather wore it out.

Sergei Esenin

Zines Zines Zines

The lockdowns have left us with plenty of time on our hands (erm). One good thing to come out of them is some decent zines to read and get excited about.
Punk Girl Diaries have been putting some excellent zines out. They’re informative, fun, and well produced. Not only that there’re a couple of my fave bands therein: Mo-Dettes, and Young Marble Giants. Always good to see the mighty Miki Berenyi too. She’s excellent at putting a decent zine together herself.

You can get the zine here. They’re great fun on the Twitters too: @punkgirldiaries

Subbaculture is more hung properly in the wardrobe than tossed over the back of a chair. It’s big on the Clash/Jam playlist and as you’d expect from those bands it’s well read, erudite, and stylish. They’ve so got it going on even my books get good review. It’s got one of the best words per square inch ratios of zines today and none are wasted.
The first 4 issues are soon coming out as a book.

Move your feet here.

I’ve not just been dancing to the Dansette during lockdown. I’ve been reading a lot, and much has been horror stories. Hellebore is a hefty handbook of horror. It’s less platter and more creep, but well written, beautifully produced and well worth reading through the dark winter nights. It’s well researched and definitely more single malt than Stella.

Surrender to darkness here.

Also well worth a peruse are skinhead zine Spirit of 69, and glam rocker Wired Up!

David Oluwale Poems

Taiwo Ogunyinka, Kim Ho, and Abdullah Adekola, performing as Akt3, read a poem each at the event headlined by Linton Kwesi Johnson commemorating the 50th anniversary of the drowning of David Oluwale in the River Aire in Leeds. The event took place in 2019. You can see hear poems by Ian Duhig, Jackie Kay, and more here.
Information on remembering David Oluwale.

Captain Sinbad

An album I rinsed back in the day reviewed in Black Echoes, 24 April, 1982.

Captain Sinbad: ‘The Seven Voyages Of Captain Sinbad’ (Greensleeves GREL 34)

‘Bam Salute; ‘All Over Me’; ‘Wa Dat’; ‘Girls Girls’; ‘Sugar Ray/Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger’; ‘Construction Plan’; ‘Fisherman’; ‘Morning Teacher’; ‘Mary Moore’.

Popular DJ of the moment Captain Sinbad takes time off from his voyages to step it up at Channel One studios and cut one bad LP.
With engineers Soldgie and Scientist and backing from Radics, Sinbad raps out ten wild tracks. ‘Bam Salute’ introduces the set, a rocking bass line captures the attention straight away with a slap-style drum sound as Sinbad advises: “Ski-dip yu better whine up yu hip;.”
The ever popular ‘Wa-Do-Dem’ sound is next, a riddim you just can’t grow tired of; Captain Sinbad chats it inna ‘Mad Over Me’ fashion giving it the new title ‘All Over Me’.
When Ali and Frazier were top of the pops in boxing, DJs weren’t slow to release tribute songs. Now is the turn for Sugar Ray Leonard, special sound from Sinbad to the greatest black boxer presently ‘licking’ all contenders.
“Oh-ray! if you love Sugar Ray / A lift right Sugar Ray dynamite, yu put him in the ring him win any fight.”
‘Construction Plan’ is another one of those tunes to liven up any dance, Radics lay a heavy foundation as ‘the foreman’ Captain Sinbad tells us of the way the builder builds his house, Sinbad giving praises to all natty builders around the world.

Cyril Saunders

No Enemies

The Chartist poet Charles Mackay (1814-1889) was a Scottish writer and journalist. He contributed articles and poems to the Daily News, the newspaper set up by Charles Dickens.
This poem is recited by Margaret Thatcher to the Queen in series 4 of The Crown.

No Enemies

You have no enemies, you say?
Alas! my friend, the boast is poor;
He who has mingled in the fray
Of duty, that the brave endure,
Must have made foes! If you have none, 5
Small is the work that you have done.
You’ve hit no traitor on the hip,
You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip,
You’ve never turned the wrong to right,
You’ve been a coward in the fight.

Charles Mackay