Monthly Archives: May 2022

Dub Rock

Hugh Boatswain, along with writers such as Sandra Agard, were based around Dalston’s black and left wing bookshop, Centreprise. This poem was published in the 1976 anthology Talking Blues. The back cover of the book describes it as: “A collection of poems written by a group of young people who meet every Wednesday night in Centerprise.”

Dub Rock

Heavy, heavy
hard rock-up dub
strong
Trenchtown dread getting hip with the bass,
Tearing up his mind
strong
Heavy Trenchtown rock,
dub dub dub
drum and bass
drum and bass
Riddim licking his mind,
Searching his soul,
Breakin’ down his barriers
Erected to hide him.
Locks falling to shoulders,
Jah on his mind,
lick it back
heavy tune
what a bass
what a beat
Linking him to the past.
Oh Africa – Land of the roaming Lion,
Ras – Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah,
celestial dub
high bass-line riff
strong drum beat
Pounding his soul
Like a cool breeze cutting through the high grass,
Parting them
Leaving no secret hidden
heavy bass line
strong drum beat
Searching, searching,
Hard Trenchtown dub rock
yeah.

Hugh Boatswain


Love You More

Buzzcocks reviewed in the NME, 8 July, 1978 by Charles Shaar Murray.

Buzzcocks: Love You More (United Artists).
A short review (40 words) for a short record (1 minute 43 seconds): “Love You More” has a dance beat, a neat guitar hook, an air of breathless romance and a quality of sardonic innocence. It’s make a great hit.

A Worker’s Speech To A Doctor

Bertolt Brecht poem from 1938.

A Worker’s Speech To A Doctor

We know what makes us ill.
When we’re ill word says
You’re the one to make us well

For ten years, so we hear
You learned how to heal in elegant schools
Built at the people’s expense
And to get your knowledge
Dispensed a fortune
That means you can make us well.

Can you make us well?

When we visit you
Our clothes are ripped and torn
And you listen all over our naked body.
As to the cause of our illness
A glance at our rags would be more
Revealing. One and the same cause wears out
Our bodies and our clothes.

The pain in our shoulder comes
You say, from the damp; and this is also the cause
Of the patch on the apartment wall.
So tell us then:
Where does the damp come from?

Too much work and too little food
Make us weak and scrawny.
Your prescription says:
Put on more weight.
You might as well tell a fish
Go climb a tree

How much time can you give us?
We see: one carpet in your flat costs
The fees you take from
Five thousand consultations

You’ll no doubt protest
Your innocence. The damp patch
On the wall of our apartments
Tells the same story.

Bertolt Brecht

Scotland Road

Liverpool’s Scotland Road Writers’ Workshop was formed in 1973 for, and by, working class writers. They produced a magazine with support from Merseyside Arts Association. They also recorded tapes documenting a rent strike in the city.
This poem is from Writing, a collection of work by the Federation Worker Writers and Community Publishers, 1978.

Scottie Road

Scruffy, scruffy
Scottie Road
Always dirty with
Bomdies and bricks
Only the outskirts
have green grass
and trees
The kids are always
hanging about…
nowhere to go
nothing to do
scruffy, scruffy
Scottie Road.

Barbara Kildare

Assorted Knuckleheads

Letter to punks, skins, teds, whatevers in Sounds, 12 August, 1978.

A Snob
I’d just like to point out to the assorted knuckleheads who write to this column that live music is there to be watched, listened to, appreciated or disliked. It is not an excuse for the hordes of morons from housing estates, high-rise blocks or other working-class backgrounds to assemble and drunkenly set upon true music lovers with no consideration for either the band or the audience.
Punks, skins, teds, hippies, headbangers – all these so-called categories have their black sheep. To this lot all I can say is grow up and think about behaving responsibly – what you do is neither clever nor brave. Whether you’re a punk, skin or whatever, enjoy your type of music and let others do the same. Enough said? – P. Bennett, Hull

New Wave Poem

Poem from Sounds, 7 May, 1977.

A NEW WAVE poem to brighten up your letters page:

The hippies throw cans at us,
the straights think we’re sick,
the teds want to chain us,
they must all be thick.
Whilst they’re fighting us,
we’re fighting the government,
they just cannot sus,
that one day we’ll be in parliament. – Alan

First Class Citizen

Paul Weller poem from his 1980 zine December Child, first issue.

First Class Citizen

I clean my teeth
I wash my face
I take a bath
I pick my spots
and talc my bot
it means a lot
to be a first class citizen.

I clean my shoes
I wear a suit
I eat my food
I take a walk
I shit and piss
I like to read
it makes me think
talk to my friends
who are all first class citizens.

I pay my tax
I’ve no arrears
It’s my career
Being a first class citizen.

Paul Weller