Monthly Archives: July 2022

Bionic Afro Comb

Poem from One For Blair, an anthology of poems for young people, edited by Chris Searle, 1989.

Bionic Afro Comb

They beat up William,
They nearly killed him.
Then Carlton came along
With his afro comb.
And quick as a flash
Those thugs were gone.

Bev Shaw, London

Erotic Neurotic

The Saints second single reviewed in theĀ NME, 23 April, 1977 by Steve Clarke.

The Saints: Erotic Neurotic (Harvest)
Phil McNeil of the Ray Davie Tapes informs me that The Saints are the chic-est thing in punk rock. For my money – if this single is anything to go by – they represent the unacceptable face of punk rock. “Erotic Neurotic” is played at a furious rate, the proverbial buzzsaw guitar right upfront. Black Sabbath fans’ll love it.

Born To Be Wild

A sociology loving biker has perhaps read too much New English Library and writes in to the Sounds letters page, 3 November, 1979.

Senior Citizen
I was into the Sounds until ’73 then I got into the MM and have now changed back to the Sounds because of the HM album. I shall continue buying the Sounds as I believe it’s better than the MM (big deal. – Ed) What I fail to understand is what are the teenagers and possibly those in their early twenties into! They seem to be trying to relive the past. There’s teds of the ’50s, mods of the early ’60s and smoothies of the late ’60s. All they represent is capitalism, by wasting their money on any rubbish that is said to be mod or ridiculous looking teddyboy suits. And smoothies are no different. The idea is to change society, not become part of it and stagnate. It’s the capitalist education system that makes us look at life smallmindedly and think only of material possessions and hard work to obtain them.
All you need is a leather jacket and a pair of Levi’s, then you can spend the rest of your money on a decent machine not a piece of pressed tin on wheels. The Tories and the rich would love it if we were all teds, smoothies and mods: make them work and sell their rubbish abroad. The rockers of the early 60s didn’t die out, they became Hells Angels, the mods slipped back into society and a few got in the hippy thing. But our eyes are watching this mod revival thing very keenly; one step out of line and we shall emerge from the shadows and our wrath will be upon you. Some of us may have wives and children but we still keep an eye on what is happening around us. – A Road Rat, c/o Sauron of Mordor, Middle Earth.
PS: I would like to inform HM Karen the Deep Purple freak that most of us HM guys have settled down with a chick, but if you’re interested in a hairy HM Angel, put an ad in the Sounds.

Where Do I Stand?

From Uffington zine A Z, number 2, 1981.

Where Do I Stand

I aim for a career,
I aim for a future,
Why do I do it? I want to know!
Who is it that tries to mould me?
Pressuring me to conform,
Am I going to be produced for them?
I’ve got something to offer,
So they kick me into shape.
Is it for my own good or theirs?
Seniors look down on me,
Letting me know they’ve had it hard,
Which is why I know nothing,
That is until I’m like them.
But I am me,
And that will always be.
They can try but they won’t change me!
If only they would realise I am me……


Sturm Und Drang

An early questioning of the direction of punk from the NME letters page, 23 April, 1977, edited by Charles Shaar Murray.

What is this New Wave anyway? Is it the one used by the Thin White Duke from his limo in Victoria, and if so, wasn’t this merely a revived-45-degree copy of the one popularised by that other, somewhat less innocuous visitor to Berlin in the Thirties?
Or was it devised by John Cleese at the Ministry of Silly Waves? Does Britannia still rules the waves?
N. Vague, Bondi Beach
Do absurd people with ridiculous pseudonyms still write dumb letters to Gasbag? – CSM
Do bears poop in the woods? – THE POPE


Annie Brechin camps it up in this 2022 poem.

Camping Apology

we go camping. we drive through glasgow rain and I think
shit, this weekend is fucked but then
when we reach the trossachs the sun pours over the hills
not like honey but like butter or the soft cheese in our sambos.

we go camping. the tent is borrowed, the sleeping bag
borrowed but we erect them anyway without much
of a bother. I have remembered the precious toilet paper.
our 4-pound park permit gives us access to the whole
glorious bounty of nature. smell it.

we go camping. the loch is immensely beautiful.
we go to climb a hill and I can’t, puffing.
pandemic pounds piled on.

we go camping because we have no money
because the cost of living is rising
and the politicians are lying on tv again
then lying about lying
as if we couldn’t tell, which some can’t
or won’t, having long ago sewn their eyes shut.

we go camping and feel guilty for buying beer
and a sausage supper because we’ll be living on beans
for a week at least now.

we go camping and feel guilty because Ukraine
is still being bombed and what can we do?

should we still live out our little lives?
gather what comfort we can from what little we have?

ice shelves are melting. the land is on fire.
we go camping and I will not apologise.
tears running down my sorry, sorry face.

Annie Brechin

Small Wonder

3 Small Wonder singles, including Menace and the Cravats, reviewed in Sounds, 16 June, 1979 by Phil Sutcliffe.

Murder The Disturbed: ‘Gentle Deception’ (Small Wonder)
More heavy expositions of the modern nightmare. Peopled by strangers and monsters in the corner. A useful diagram of the brain and its functions on the cover. Ultra-straight-faced. A lot of output through imaginative arrangement of limited technique. The punk perspective gone high-brow. From Newcastle which doesn’t always mean it’s great.

The Cravats: ‘The End’ (Small Wonder)
Similar only moreso. If independent label releases are anything to go by Mod isn’t the latest thing – Aridity got there first. Maybe tortured ugliness is an easy option in a sense. What I want right now is a tune.

Menace: ‘Last Year’s Youth’ (Small Wonder)
Well almost. At least a hunk of punk out on the pavement and shouting rather than withering away inside a plastic bag of angst, weltsehmerz and apfelstrudel. The drummer, Noel Martin, is so loud I think he’s beating on a set of gasometers.