Five ranters from the early 80s: Seething Wells, Nick Toczek, Wild Willi Beckett, Joolz, and Little Brother.
Back in 1985 several ranting poets toured Holland. In proper form they toured with punk bands.
Cheers to Nick Toczek for digging this out. Nick writes: “Me and Swells over in Holland same time as Instigators. I’d been in touch with Rob Berends at Paperclip Agency to set this up. He’d previously got me to put together a ranting package for a huge international poetry festival in Amsterdam – six of us did it – me, Swells, Attila, Little Brother, Belinda Blanchard and Dave Reeves – last two then went home, rest of us did more gigs and loads of press and radio stuff.”
Testament of Reality zine, number 9, 1984, reviews an all-dayer at Nick Toczek’s regular punk venue.
The last all-dayer at the Bier Kellar for a bit and the best attended n’all, on the whole it was good but there’s always shit mixed in isn’t there?
Genocide Association were on first and were suitably bad, possibly worse than the Scum Dribbluurrz, two of which were playing… mixed reaction, mainly silence. The Abused from somewhere round here were up next. I’d heard contrasting reports about them so they were a lot better than I expected, though they thought they were shit. They’re bringing out a single soon so that might be worth a listen.
Crucified By Christians were the first to get any kind of reaction from crowd I think, I like their stuff a lot, especially ‘Gun’ which was the highlight of a short set.
I think Chronic were on next, I’m not sure cos I don’t like ’em. They were on sometime anyway, Bleed and 13 Horses Legs came and went and did nothing for me either, sorry.
Next up were Rattus from Finland who got everyone going suitably daft at the front. Rather enjoyable but they got a bit predictable towards the end.
Same goes for the Mau Maus.
The Heist (?) were on next, Black Flag’s roadies I think and a bunch of complete pricks. They were supposed to be a joke but it wasn’t very funny so when they use dedications like “This is for all the girls who are gonna suck my cock tonight,” people are obviously gonna get pissed off and angry so the spit, inevitable bottles, (well, glasses) started flying stagewards. Bands like this shouldn’t be allowed to perform.
All credit to the Newtown Neurotics for dedicating ‘No Respect’ to the Heist at the beginning of their set, the best band of the night. We got to hear a lot of new stuff tonight as well. I’ll never get tired of seeing this group.
The Hagars were next and were a bit disappointing. This was the third and worst time I’d seen them, I think some tempers may still have been running after The Heist who got ‘By Force’ dedicated to them. The only reason they were disappointing was I’ve seen them do much better but they were still good, though not a patch on the Neurotics.
Cult Maniax were bring. Good to be silly to but not a lot else. At first I thought they were playing at Sex Pistols but I don’t think that now.
OOOps! I forgot to mention Stagnant Era who were fourth on and considering the past times I’ve seen them they were great.
The band everyone had come for next… Black Flag, and boy were they boring! I think a lot of people will disagree here but for me they were little more than a heavy (and I mean heavvvy) metal trash outfit who sweated a lot. This opinion has nothing to do with them having long hair, just their music was incredibly tedious and boring. Sorry but I felt they were a let down… bring back the Neurotics!
Original ranter Ginger John talks the history of ranting poetry on the always top drawer Lunar Poetry Podcasts, from 2015.
Propaganda from Nick Toczek’s Ulterior Motives cassette, Bluurg, 1985.
Cassette compilation from 1984, complete with muddy sound, featuring a range of punk bands including Newtown Neurotics, Chumbawamba, and more as well as poetry from Nick Toczek and Ginger John.
A benefit album for the Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign featuring poets Nick Toczek and Attila the Stockbroker. There are also several punk bands including Zounds, the Apostles, and the Neurotics, as well as Welsh language punk band Anhrefn. The album came out in 1987 on Happy Mike Records. In 1988 it was released again by Workers Playtime Records.
Nick Toczek – Noo Yawk Squawk 0:00
Nick Toczek – Sheer Funk 1:45
Culture Shock – Catching Flies 3:23
Anhrefn – Nefoedd Un Uffern Llall 7:21
Dan – Best Of Families 11:57
Neurotics – Never Hold Your Tongue 13:46
Zounds – Demystification 16:53
Attila The Stockbroker – Libyan Students From Hel 20:36
Karma Sutra – Let Them Eat Samosas 23:45
Some Weird Sin – God Bless America 28:11
Instigators – Eye To Eye 32:26
Heresy – Flowers In Concrete 35:14
Heresy – Cornered Rat 38:12
The Apostles – Inner Space