Tag Archives: Seething Wells

Ginger John Podcast

Original ranter Ginger John talks the history of ranting poetry on the always top drawer Lunar Poetry Podcasts, from 2015.


Rising Son Seething Wells

Seething Wells’ half of the split EP with Little Brother: The Rising Son of ranting Verse. Radical Wallpaper Records, RAD WALL 004, 1982.

The Screaming Jelly Fish

Seething Wells, as Susan Williams, gets her punk on, in the NME, 25 February, 1984.

The Screaming Jelly Fish
Bradford 1 in 12 Club

The chap allowed the task of verbalising the group’s angst and fury bears more than a passing resemblance to a rather cuddly Bull Mastiff. One does not blame him for this: we can’t all live up to the slim, small-bottomed yet rugged stereotype perpetuated by the fat and greasy, huge-arsed slugs of the advertising media. One simply mentions it.
But, cry anguished readers, what of the music? This is after all not the Dog Breeders’ Express but a journal dedicated to that segment of our throbbing cultural funny-farm known jokingly as Pop Music. And so Dear Reader, it is to the music that we now turn our attention.
Despite the name with its manifold nudge-nudge-wink-wink ‘who’s been knocking back the old psychedelic wibbeldy-wobbeldy pills then -?’ connotations, The Screaming Jelly Fish are first and foremost a Punk Rock Band. This is established by their inability to play their instruments with any degree of technical skill, their tight trousers and their rather unnerving habit of grinning sheepishly at one another during the occasional accidental discord rather than pretending that the awful noise thus made is made on purpose in an attempt to emulate, say, Jimi Hendrix or some other recognised Master of the Electric Guitar whose reputation is based solely on their complete inability to play the instrument properly (unlike, say, Hank Marvin).
Doubtless they are politically aware to an extent betrayed by such masterfully ambiguous statements as: “This one’s about people who say they like the army and they’re going to join the Terriers when they’re 18 but don’t and it’s a TRUE STORY!”
They are FUN. Which fact dooms them to obscurity until such time as the prevalent morbid obsession with the grim and mock serious can be said no longer to prevail.

The Enigmatic Susan Williams

Bandits At 4 O’Clock

Steve Kent from The Business and Nick Austin, previously of Chelsea, were members of this band reviewed by Susan ‘Seething Wells’ Williams in the NME, 25 February, 1984. The lad was spot on about The Smiths.

Bandits At 4 O’Clock
Leeds The Bierkeller

Dear Reader,
YOU WIMP! So the manky Manc misery merchants – purveyors of itty-bitty dribble-chinned gumby rhumba-toons got your vote for this year’s Great White Hope, eh? Hey Man, You still into Combat 84? God how passé! Don’tcha know it’s ‘BünkerFunk’ this time around?
You spineless filth. You jellyfish. You make me ill.
There are bands out there comprised of eager boys still screaming their bollocks off over such hackneyed motifs as ENERGY! (groan) HONESTY! (yawn) and, of course, AGGRESSION! (simper) from whom we barely hear a whisper such is your obsession with transvestism, fringes, sexually transmitted diseases and plastic fascism.
Such a band are the Bandits. Four chaps who probably have the word PASSION tattooed in black and red across their tightly clenched buttocks. They have style, they have guitars held at cock height, they are devilishly spunky, they have tons of tunes and as such they are doomed to shatter on the thick woolly hide of your miserable parochialism. You should be ashamed!
If I could write bad ennuff I would defect to Sounds, knowing that there I’d find a readership hip to the latest in pig-ignorant machismo, a foible infinitely more attractive than your drooling over grey cerebral pap.
It’s a matter of taste, Pal.
I’ve got it. You haven’t.

Susan Williams

Poetry Olympics Vol. 1

This review of the Poetry Olympics album is from Norwich poetry zine, Speakeasy, issue 2, May, 1982.

Poetry Olympics Vol.1

Recorded live at the Poetry Olympics. Poetry as it should be VERY LIVE. The record features 12 poets, including; Roger McGough, John Cooper Clarke, and Michael Horovitz. Two interesting new comers are Attila the Stockbroker and Seething Wells. Good readers, good poems. One word of advice, if you haven’t heard John Cooper Clarke read sit down before you listen.
(£4 from all round records, 60 Red Cliff Rd. London SW10)

Martin Edwards

Raw And Biting

The anthology Apples and Snakes: Raw and Biting Cabaret Poetry reviewed in Jamming!, number 21, 1984.

Apples and Snakes: Raw and Biting Cabaret Poetry
(Pluto Press, £1.95)

Following the success of the Apples and Snakes cabaret comes this volume of representative work. ‘Here are the rants, raves, screams, and whispers that are the poetry of today’, proclaims the cover.
The intentions of A&S are creditable enough – a return to the idea of poetry as a means of mass communication/information, rather than safe entertainment for a smug elite – though ultimately they are playing to an equally narrow field as their reactionary precursors.
Take Attila the Stockbroker (please!) who reveals his bootboy mentality in ‘Contributory Negligence’ (concerning the beating up of a judge) – ‘He asked for it! He’s rich and snobbish/right wing, racist sexist too!’ Hardly endearing qualities, though merely a listing of traits he knows his ‘hip’ audience will despise, thus justifying his violence.
The original emphasis, it must be remembered, was on performance, and many of these pieces suffer as words on a page. The contributions from John Hegley – hilarious in his deadpan style – appear curious nonstarters in print.
Also, the poets tend to over-reach themselves, writing what they ‘ought’ to, rather than what they know. The most effective pieces come from deeply-felt emotions on a wide range of topics (those by Marsha Prescod, Rory McLeod, Fran Landesman, for example).
Otherwise we have little more than ‘grown -up’ nursery rhymes – the type of crude lavatory humour that typifies most ‘youth’ poetry, from Seething Wells and John Cooper Clarke through to Pat Condell. Politically there is little genuine concern here – were the country ever run by a humane government (a contradiction like ‘living corpse’, but bear with me) this bunch would be at a loss for subject matter.
What is advertised as ‘raw and biting’ is, at the end of the day, as toothless and ineffectual as its declared enemy.

Anthony Blampied