Three tapes from two bands hailing from Southend On Sea. Both bands have two members in common, those members being Paul Brown and Graham Burnett, the later is a regular commentator on this very site.
Autumn Poison was the name given to the radiation sickness that followed the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which Graham chose after recieving a letter from Toxic Grafity’s Mike Diboll who used to spray stencilled Japanese characters on the envelopes of the long letters he used to send Graham. Graham wrote back to ask Mike what the symbols meant and a band name was born.
The first Autumn Poison cassette has a lyric booklet accompaining it. The second Autumn Poison cassette has an inlay booklet held within the artwork with pages and pages of text (24 pages to be precise) that would even put The Apostles text sheets shoved into that band’s records and cassettes to shame. The Love Over Law release came originally with a 48 page booklet! The reams of information held within these printed masterpieces would have been just as (or perhaps more) important as the actual music being played on these cassettes.
I decided to place the Love Over Law tape onto this post (although the band and tape were both existing past 1986 so really should be in the post 86 section of this site) as I thought it would be better to keep all this work from these Southend On Sea bands on the single post.
The text below was liberated from the southendpunk.com site – Thanks in advance to them. Photographs are from Graham’s collection.
Autumn Poison – Songs of Anger, Songs of Hope – 1982
Autumn Poison – Kitchen Sink Politics – 1984
Autumn Poison were an anarcho punk group from Southend, and were formed around the ‘core’ members of Graham Burnett, Sheena Fulton and Paul Brown. They existed between 1980 – 1985 and played many concerts in and around Southend, often with the like minded Kronstadt Uprising. When they first formed, they were originally called Enola Death, but soon changed their name to Autumn Poison. Graham had switched to Vocals after previously playing drums in Stripey Zebras, whom had played many great shows in 1980 around the area, especially at Focus and The Zero 6.
The band were an important part of the ‘cassette culture’ of the 1980’s (Graham ran his own label – New Crimes Tapes that was affiliated with his fanzine, New Crimes) and released two key cassettes on New Crimes Tapes – the first ‘Songs of Anger, Songs of Hope’, was originally issued with a free lyric booklet and badge and was a good document of the first phase of the bands career, featuring songs such as ‘Police Force’, ‘The Sun Says’ and ‘Fox Hunting’. With the key line up of Graham and Sheena on Vocals, Julian Ware-Lane on Guitar, Steve on Bass and Kevin Hickling on Drums, the band played a lot of concerts in the period, often in conjunction with the Kronstadt Uprising, many of which were benefits for the CND or local Animal Rights groups. Key shows of the time would have included The Thorpedene Community Centre gig with Kronstadt and Hagar The Womb on the 14.08.82, a local headliner at The Cliff Hotel with The Committee on the 06.08.83 and a gig at The Grand Hotel in Leigh with The Omega Tribe and Youth in Asia on the 25.09.83.
The band eventually disbanded around 1985, but fast forwarding to 1994, Graham and Paul reformed the band in order to record a track for Bullshit Detector Volume #4, a compilation put together by Resistance Productions, a Swiss-based Anarcho Punk record and cassette label, who wanted to continue the tradition of the earlier Crass compiled Bullshit Detector Volumes. (Autumn Poison’s track was notable too for including a sample of Crass Drummer Penny Rimbaud.)
After Autumn Poison disbanded, Graham and Paul would go on to occasionally collaborate under the title of ‘Love Over Law’, and release several cassette albums in the late 1980’s early 1990’s. Graham had also run the ‘Pritty Toons Press’ for several years, producing local fanzines such as his own, New Crimes, as well as Necrology and Confidential Waste, and nowadays runs permaculture workshops and various eco-friendly schemes. Paul Brown had a brief tenure in Kronstadt Uprising, and in 1984 played with Steve Pegrum in local band ‘The Children of the Revolution’. He continues to play and teach guitar. Kevin co-ran ‘SLAB’ in the mid ’80’s (Southend Libertarian Anarchist Broadsheet) and still drums occasionally.
Further updates on Autumn Poison band members:
Sheena left Southend to become a ‘New Age Traveller’ in 1990, she now lives with her family on the Isle of Lewis and has very recently become a grandmother!
Paul continues to earn a good living as professional guitar tutor and still plays locally in various bands ranging from folk to jazz to heavy rock.
Julian is now a prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party and continues to campaign and comment on local and national issues.
Steve continues to live and work in Southend, and still plays in various local bands.
Graham has written books about and teaches Permaculture courses, including in the garden of former Crass HQ Dial House, and is now married to Sheena’s sister Debby, his website is http://www.spiralseed.co.uk/.
Love Over Law – This World We Must Leave – 1988
Indebted to the most excellent Seema Kapoor for lending these tapes to me so I could upload them onto this KYPP site.