Autumn Poison / Love Over Law – New Crimes Cassettes – 1982 / 1984 / 1988

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 site – Thanks in advance to them. Photographs are from Graham’s collection.

Autumn Poison – Songs of Anger, Songs of Hope – 1982

Hiroshima / War Crimes (Afganistan El Salvador) / Fox Hunting / Uranium / Worship The Bomb / The Power And The Glory / Smokescreen / Swords Into Plougshares

Animals Are Not Ours To Eat Wear Or Experiment On / Who Would Rape Mother Earth? / Contributory Negligence / Dirty Business / Porton Down / The Sun Says / Sense Your Own Strength

Autumn Poison – Kitchen Sink Politics – 1984

Conflict / Song Of The Experts / A Message To All Rulers / Mass Murderers / Stiffled Colours / Joke Army / Superiority Hypocrisy / A National Anthem

One Thousand Miles / Axania Song (Behead The Eagle) / Hospitals (Public Heath Or Private Wealth) / Liberation Dance / Half The Sky / Kitchen Sink Politics / Utopia (A New World In Our Hearts) 

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

Love Over Law – This World We Must Leave – 1988

Oppression / Utopia (A New World In Our Hearts) / McDonalds / Dirty Business / Stifled Colours / The Song Of The Experts / The Vancouver Five / One Thousand Miles

Indebted to the most excellent Seema Kapoor for lending these tapes to me so I could upload them onto this KYPP site.

17 comments on “Autumn Poison / Love Over Law – New Crimes Cassettes – 1982 / 1984 / 1988

  1. Chris L on said:

    Great to hear these. I must have got the ‘Songs of Anger…’ one off Graham, perhaps after hearing them on one of his New Crimes comp tapes. Sure I got a badge of that ‘Work For Peace Now’ design as well. A big ‘hello’ to Graham and Seema and hope to catch up with you both sometime soon.

  2. been looking for this many thanks

  3. back2front on said:

    Great stuff – pleased to see this up here – I think I still have some of the original tapes – parts of the “This World We Must Leave” booklet appeared in one of my early zines. Love Over Law also did a track for an Anarchist Black Cross benefit I put out around 1990, lovely people that they were/are.

    Cheers Graham!

    I always liked the love over law chinese symbols – v. crass but v. cool

    PS Graham, that CD and zine are in the post

  4. Cheers Danny – will sort out the paypal thing and the other thing you wanted, cheers Graham

  5. In case you were wondering, the Love Over Law Chinese symbols means “reveal” or “resolve”.

  6. Chris Low on said:

    or “remove (from bag) before serving”

  7. I think I knew that at the time but had long ago forgotten – thanks Tim. Cheers also Chris – Wonder if our vain attempts at adding Crass inspired ‘mystique’ to our efforts by adding obscure oriental symbols back in the day ever featured on the Chinese equivalent of ‘Engrish Funny’???? I like to think so…

  8. Thank you very much! I have been curious about these tapes for years.

  9. Stumbled upon this site by pure coincidence. Been telling my students I’m listed as an “anarchist guitarist” so I googled myself and this page featured under the wikipedia stripey zebras link. Sometimes you forget what you spent hours doing. The Autumn Poison / Love over Law stuff was always Graham’s lyrics with an attempt to make do with limited technology. These days its so easy to record yourself and very professionally. Back then £25 got you a tape deck and a prayer and if thats all you’ve got then you go for it! Personally I’m quite proud these tapes are still being listened to.

    In the listings of stuff I’m currently up to there was the forgotten subject of “FLAMJAM”. A Flamenco trio with two guitars and percussion. Been at that for over five years now as if thats not long enough. Basically playing outdoor gigs and weddings. Not very anarchic….but back in the day… sigh!

    Oh and Graham, guess what Steve Palmers got me playing again? Paint it Black…Ha Ha!!

  10. Steve Palmer on said:

    Yeah – happy days! I don’t think I’ve heard Kitchen Sink Politics since we recorded it (in a garden shed!). It sounds pretty reasonable now considering the gear we had to do it on.

    I’d never picked up a bass guitar before Graham asked me to join the band. Paul had just left but hung around to teach me the bass parts and then usually turned up at the gigs to do the sound and lights and whatever so it seemed logical for him to rejoin when Julian left!

    I remember the band rehearsing in my front room in North Road with several tea-towels over the drums much to Kev’s annoyance. We then progressed to what must have been the smallest ever rehearsal room just off Queens Road were we all had to play standing in a line cos it was so narrow

    We did some pretty memorable gigs looking back such as the one at the Roundacre in Basildon where half the band got on the wrong train ending up in Tilbury or somewhere and only just made it. The best gigs were probably at the Grand – I have some live tapes somewhere (I guess Graham has the originals). The short lived (i.e. one night only) Sid’s Club at Anabella’s disco was a memorable night too as was the Focus gig with Six Minute War (with a dressing room!!).

    The photos at the top of the page were taken at the Cliff pub where we put on a benefit with The Committee. We (I say we – it was actually Paul I expect) had to cobble together a PA out of odds and sods and we didn’t play terribly well but unless my memory is faulty I think there was a Stripy Zebra’s reunion for a couple of songs which lifted the evening!

    Anyway thanks for putting the tapes on the site.

  11. Ah memories! Good to hear from you Paul and Steve, great that you found your way to the online treasure trove that is KYPP! Plenty of other Southend related delights on here including the Sinyx, Kronstadt, etc…

    I think the last time I saw you chaps was the Motorhead gig last autumn, blimey was that really nearly a year ago???

    There is talk of a Stripey Zebras reunion gig or two later this year, watch this space as they say… Hey paul you can be a special guest and not turn up 😉

  12. PS I also fondly remember our rehearsals in Kev’s shed when we would practice ‘Motorhead by Motorhead’ as Kev would insist on calling the song, even though we used to patiently explain that it wasn’t ‘Motorhead by Motorhead’ as Motorhead wern’t performing it, we were…

  13. Hi Graham.

    I don’t know if you are aware but I have tried to put a Stripey Zebras reunion together every year since 1985 but before I got to call anyone to see if they’d be interested I decided to leave the band. 🙂

    I even left the Train Fares…and that was a solo project!!

    Ah…..Since then I’ve been in Arfur Doo and the Toe Rags for over 5 years, The Invisible Enemy for 5 years and Flam Jam since God knows how long. I can stick it out after all………

    I like Motorhead by Motorhead…I also like Black Sabbath by Black Sabbath and In a Big Country by Big Country……Any other suggestions?

    Anyone remember Daphne and Celeste?

  14. On a more creative note I can separate these tracks if anyone is interested. Once done I’ll send the tracks to the site for upload. Not everyone wants to plough through one mp3 to get to their “favourite track”. :p

  15. Remember Daphne and Celeste? I’ve actually seen them live! In a park in Brighton, the bloke who played Ricky out of Eastenders also performed on the same bill…

    I’d love to have seperate MP3’s of the Autumn Poison tracks even if no-one else is interested!

  16. love this band! would love a separate track list for ‘songs of anger, songs of hope’ please!

  17. Before Autumn Poison there was Enola Death, who had a few rehearsals in a garden shed, using a grass collecting box from a lawnmower as a drum kit. We did one gig in a muddy field at Stonehenge festival in 1980, but I’m not sure if anybody actually watched us. Anyway, Graham and Wayne of Enola Death have reunited 34 years later and are now performing as Warty Hubbard and his Magic Cupboard and include a few old Enola Death and Stripey Zebras songs in our set. Here we are doing a couple of other old anarchopunk classics….

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