Matt Hudson and Steve Spon discuss life in punk Luton back in the day.
I was featured recently in an Anglia TV special marking 40 years since the punk movement. This two part mini documentary series is about punk in the Eastern Counties and was hosted by Anglia TV’s Matt Hudson who was a big punk fan and UK Decay fan.
Matt was the same presenter who featured UK Decay and Bauhaus in “The Origins of Goth” feature back in 2014.
Also featured are Steve Ignorant from Crass, Charlie Harper from UK Subs and author and university lecturer Matt Worley whose new book No Future is an in-depth look at the effect punk had on politics and culture.
There are also some still shots of early 1980’s Luton Punks featured on the show taken from UK Decay’s Communities web archive.
It comes in two parts…
Marking 40 years since the punk movement
Punk memories: Looking back at legendary venues in our region
Interviewed for ITV Punk Special out in 2018!
Yesterday I returned to the Hat Factory Arts and Media Center in Luton to take part in an interview with Anglia TV’s Matt Hudson. He is a massive UK Decay fan and sent me a host of live tapes ten years ago when we were getting the UK Decay Communities website going.
Matt is putting together a show that highlights the birth of the punk movement in the Anglia region and what it was like growing up throughout the Punk era. It is something that he is quite knowledgeable about as he grew up in this scene himself. So we had a couple hour chat with edited highlights to be seen on the forthcoming production due out in the new year. Besides your truly Matt has interviewed Steve Ignorant , Chris Needs who played guitar for The Users in Cambridge, Matt Whorley whose book No Future has just been published by Cambridge University Press and Jonty Young who runs the Punk in the East website. There will also be a special emphasis on tales from the gig at the end of the pier, The West Runton Pavilion. So a lot to look forward to!
Please check back here or visit UK Decay ‘s family of websites for updates on this
An interesting review of the Cherry Red Silhouettes and Statues 5 CD box set
Including a quote or two from yours truly!
Silhouettes And Statues 5 CD Gothic Compilation
I have a couple of tracks coming out on this forthcoming release due out in June 2017 on Cherry Red. This will be one of the most compelling Goth compilations ever to see the light of day.
On disc one, I co wrote and performed a song I brought to the mix after I was ‘poached ‘ by UK Decay from Pneumania in 1979 – ‘Black Cat’. This became one of the most enduring UK Decay live tracks during both the early and later periods. A few tracks later I appear with- IN Excelsis on a track called Carnival Of The Gullible’. I formed In Excelsis with Mark Bond and Errol Blythe formerly from Post Punk legends, Ritual and Colin Rocks who later joined Mark. E. Smith with The Fall.. Errol and Mark were left stranded after drummer Raymundo and Bassist Jamie were ‘poached’ by Ian Astbury form Southern Death Cult so after UK Decay split at the end of 1982. This was a weird period for me, I flirted with Gaynor and Rick from World Circus, Jammed with Rob from The Wall , then finally teaming up with Mark Errol and Colin to form IN Excelsis in 1983. Richard Anderson got in touch with me in 2016 explaining his interest in creating the ‘ultimate’ Gothic Rock compilation, so I digitally re-mastered ‘Black Cat’ especially for this compilation.
Below is a bit of ‘official’ blurb about the compilation
Cherry Red have announced the tracklisting for “Silhouettes and Statues” – A Gothic Revolution: 1978 – 1986 5CD collection, which is due 30th June. Silhouettes and Statues is described as “an era-defining journey through the gothic revolution that thrived in the underbelly of the UK’s music scene during the late 1970s and 1980s. From Joy Division’s haunted soul-searching to the wild, hairspray guzzling antics of Alien Sex Fiend and everything in-between, the myriad components of that time and place are brought together here for the first time in this kind of detail.”
The set comes in a deluxe hardback book format featuring 80+ tracks, with over 18,000 words of sleevenotes (including artist contributions) and unseen images.
See the tracklisting here
Watch Dumping It On Parliament documentary by Andy Wilshire
I promised someone at the recent Luton Centre of the Punk Universe thing that I would post up a link to the recent documentary.
Last year I worked on with a couple of artists that were commissioned to take a look at the local alternative culture during the mid eighties.
Step back in time to the post-punk scene of the mid 1980’s. Think Siouxsie Sioux, a DIY ethic, scratch video, protest, Thatcher.
This is the backdrop to Dump It On Parliament Revisited, a new living history artwork exploring counter-culture local history, created by artists Dash MacDonald and Demitrios Kargotis (DASHNDEM) and artist/musician Roshi Nasehi as part of the 2015 Library as Laboratory commission.
DASHNDEM had discovered the story of the Dump It On Parliament post-punk compilation tape whilst researching Bedfordshire’s alternative local history. In 1986 a group of local post-punk bands, including Luton’s Steve Spon from UK Decay, had joined together to create a musical protest tape, to campaign against a proposed nuclear waste site at Elstow near Bedford. In the end the government withdrew its plans but the tape was released and proved popular. The artists wanted to understand the socio-economic and political climate at that time and contrast it with what people are people angry about now.
This was a really eye opening and exciting project to work on Dash, Dem, Roshi and company were really inspired by the local scene’s coalescing protest during the mid eighties against nuclear dumping in nearby Elstow. There was a huge focus on the pre internet, Social Media age when protest and the D.I.Y culture carved precursory inroads that laid the foundations to the contemporary. Here students backpedaled and used cut and paste with scissors ,glue and Letraset instead of Photoshop. Today’s bands from the area each provide a cover of the original compilation protest Cassette and go on to write an original song with today’s issues that one might want to dump on parliament
The Original 1986 compilation
With Abbo and Spon….
Spon (left) Abbo (right) at DV8 2012
Abbo and I will be at Luton’s Hat Factory Art’s and Media Centre on Friday 25th November to talk about Punk in the Luton area back in the late seventies. This is part of the “40 years of Punk” celebrations going down over November at that venue and widely across the country. I am hoping to put together a few slides of various characters, bands, venues, fanzines from Luton and the surrounding are during the late seventies early eighties period. Hopefully this inspire discussion among ourselves and the audience.
Then Justin Saban will join us and we shall perform a couple our punk platters ‘unplugged’ style. So after I have written this I had better dust off the cobwebs of my guitar and get practicing!
When are UK Decay returning for more gigs and recordings? – As part of the talk we shall be hosting a questions and answers session hopefully this question and many others will be answered!
Tickets are just £5.00 bookable in advance from here
I shall be calling in on the two punk music documentary s, “The Clash: Westway to the World & Dump it on Parliament Revisted” being shown at The Hat Factory Art and Media Centre in Luton on November 3rd. This being part of the Punk 1976 season…
November 2016 marks 40 years since the release of the Sex Pistols' debut single, Anarchy in the UK. To mark the anniversary of the movement, Luton Culture present a short season of Punk events. Punks influence and impact on Luton will be explored, as well as its continuing influence, from fashion to film, politics to identity, and, of course, music.
A film double bill.
The Clash: Westway to the World is a career retrospective of British punk band The Clash, featuring exclusive interviews with the entire band.
Dump It On Parliament Revisited tells the story of how in 1986 a group of Bedfordshire bands put together a music compilation tape to protest against a proposed nuclear waste dump near Elstow, and how that counter culture, DIY ethic still resonates for local bands and musicians today.
The film, created by Andy Willsher, meshes the past and the present, using interviews and original footage, and referencing the cut-up film making techniques that emerged in the Punk & Post Punk era in the late 1970s & 80s.
I make an appearance in the The Dump It On Parliament Revisited documentary a project I was significantly involved with and very much enjoyed over 2015.