Eighties Punk stories in ebook news

We have been alerted to the news of punk fiction relating to the nineteen eighties being released in ebook form, available for free. We have been alerted to this by the writer of said works.

Marcus Blakeston, the author and self-proclaimed ‘shouting poet’, says the work is “Nine interlinked slice of life dramas set in and around a small Yorkshire town in the early 1980s. They are populated by an assortment of punks, skinheads, yobs and hooligans. Not suitable for yuppies.”

As far as I can gather you get the books for free HERE

And there’s more about it all HERE , where for some reason it asks for £2.50. but you can read it all anyway.

A biography of sorts and the subject matter within the books:

“I was 13 in year zero. Like most of the people in these stories, I was too young for the first wave and only really got to be a part of it for the second, though my older brother did sneak me in to the local night club to see a few of the original bands.

I left school the year Thatcher first started to fuck the country up, and other than a few brief periods in dead-end jobs, I spent most of her reign on the dole, just like most of the people I knew.

In the 80s I started writing poetry. Spurred on by people around me, I used to dive on stage uninvited at local gigs and shout poetry at the audience while the band tuned up, until I either ran out of poems or got shoved off the stage by the band. I was approached by Marcus Featherby once, who said he was looking for a poet to put on a compilation album he was putting together for PAX Records, but I turned it down.

Domesticity called in the late 80s, with children arriving soon after, and all my childhood interests were put to one side. I still went to gigs, but only as a member of the audience. I stopped writing, and the dole forced me onto various training schemes that I hated intensely until one day I said I was interested in computers and they sent me on a computer training course. I found I had a flair for desktop publishing, and landed a job with a local training company who had bought the software but struggled to do anything worthwhile with it. They paid me through college on day release, I got myself a degree in graphic design, and then they made me redundant.

Back on the dole again, everything was completely different. Now you had to actually prove you were applying for jobs before they would give you anything, and they treated you like scum. I couldn’t really handle that, so I set up my own business, designing leaflets (and later websites) for anyone who would pay me. I also buy and sell on Ebay, mostly books and old games consoles, but also anything else I think might turn a modest profit”.

This is the blurb for the full book:

Nine interlinked slice of life dramas set in and around a small Yorkshire town in the early 1980s. Written by shouting poet Marcus Blakeston, they are populated by an assortment of punks, skinheads, yobs and hooligans. Not suitable for yuppies.

Punk and Disorderly: Punk rocker Colin Baxter was looking for a good night out, getting as drunk as possible to escape the tedium of his life on the dole. He certainly wasn’t looking for a fight with one of the local skinheads.

Yob Culture: Skinhead Trog was in a foul mood when he pushed through the door to The Black Bull, and the rowdy sounds of his favourite band The Cockney Upstarts playing on the jukebox did little to calm him. It was bad enough having his bird yelling and screaming at him and then stamping off in a sulk without having some gobby student call him a ‘rotter’.

Bored Teenagers: Four short vignettes in which nothing much happens.

Warrior in Woolworths: Woolworths security guard John Taylor doesn’t like punks. If he had his way they would all be shipped off to the Falklands to fight the Argies. Management might say he has to let scum like that in the shop, but that doesn’t mean he has to put up with any nonsense from them.

Gothic Rooms: “Come back to my bedsit,” Stiggy said, “we’ll play some records and stuff.” But when Colin gets there he finds out Stiggy has other plans.

It’s All Done by Mirrors: Colin and Brian had it all planned out, a romantic night out with a couple of punk birds – go and see a band, ply the birds with drinks all night, then see how it goes. But then glue sniffer and social misfit Stiggy decides to tag along.

Sniffin Glue: There’s only one thing worse than having some kid yapping in your ear while you’re trying to enjoy a good bag of glue in peace, and that’s having the coppers turn up while you’re off your head and unable to defend yourself.

I’m an Upstart: Top oi band The Cockney Upstarts, much loved by both punks and skinheads alike, are playing in nearby Shefferham. Unfortunately they chose to play at a time when tensions between punks and skinheads are running high. Life Moves On. An announcement is made.

Discuss – should some future puppy madness be disseminated this way?

  1. Marcus Blakeston
    Marcus Blakeston
    July 30, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    Thanks for the mention. Just for clarity, £2.50 is for the super deluxe ebook with spiffy design for ebook readers or for something to print out and read on the toilet. 🙂

  2. AL Puppy
    AL Puppy
    August 1, 2011 at 8:02 am

    What we need is an editor to go through the site and pick out a few highlights. One way to do it would be to look for posts that got the most comments. If possible then a selection of the comments could be included – but that could be tricky – ethically we would need to get permissions. Which could mean contacting a lot of people.

    Ditto photographs. And ideally the e-book should also come with a KYPP compilation soundtrack to listen to as you read it.

    It needs to be done though- KYPP is now a huge archive of material, some of which- on Brougham Road, Campbell Buildings is ‘living history’. At the moment it is mainly of interest to people who already have an interest – in one of the hundreds of groups featured, or who have a personal link to the places/ people/ period.

    But – for an example – when I got in touch with Andy Roberts about his book Albion Dreaming (a popular history of LSD in Britain) and the punk/ free festivals connections – he said he didn’t include those connections since -being of the hippy generation- it wasn’t something he knew about.

    My argument is that punk sent a shockwave through the UK counterculture . Accounts of punk which only cover 1976/7 or accounts of the counterculture which treat it as a hippy thing miss the complexity of what happened. Straight histories of the period look at the mainstream politics and economic strategies – but only discuss the riots and the anti-nuclear protests as background noise -and don’t recognise that the mix of politics, music and popular counterculture which simultaneously gave rise to the free festival/ traveller culture AND punk in the mid seventies was still disrupting the spectacle 20 and even 30 years later…

  3. martin c
    martin c
    August 2, 2011 at 9:19 am

    This looks like fun, looking forward to reading Warrior in Woolworths..

  4. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    August 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    I remember Hooligan Press published a couple of ‘punk fiction’ books back in the 80s, including ‘From Beneath The Keyboard’, which was a collection of short stories, and ‘The Free’, about an Anarchist revolution in London (I think) which was later republished by Hooligan Press. I also have somewhere a couple of other books of ‘punk fiction’, can’t remember who published them, but one was another collection of short stories including one by Andy Martin, and Robert Wyatt also had a contribution, strangely enough… The other book was I think called ‘Seaton Point’, about a tower block in Hackney that was once home to Jon Active. This one was a ‘multiauthored’ novel IIRC, although I recall that I found it pretty unreadable….

  5. Penguin
    August 4, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    I think the book with contributions from Andy Martin, Nick Blinko, Nikki Sudden, Robert Wyatt and others was Gobbing, Pogoing and Gratuitous Bad Language!: An Anthology of Punk Short Stories which came out on Robert Dellars (Straight Up fanzine) Spare Change Books. Seaton Point was also published on Spare Change Books I think.

  6. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    August 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm

    That’s the one! BTW meant to say that ‘The Free’ was reprinted by ‘Attack! International’, not Hooligan… A!I also did that Tin Tin book, was it called ‘Breaking Free’? I thought it was great at the time, not so sure what I’d think of it now…

  7. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    August 4, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Spare Change also did a ‘Mad Liberation’ anthology of stories around mental health issues which I’ve got lying around somewhere.

  8. Marcus Blakeston
    Marcus Blakeston
    August 9, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    Hello Graham, you won’t recognise the name but we used to converse in the punk and vegan groups on usenet a few years back. 🙂

    A few others, off the top of my head:

    England Belongs to Me by Steve Goodman
    Punk Fiction by various (based on song lyrics)
    Honour Among Punks (comic strip series with punks in the Victorian era)
    Then there was the Gideon Sam and Richard Allen cash-ins in 77.
    And hoodieripper for punk romance stories, but I’m not sure if he’s still putting them out or not.

  9. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    August 22, 2011 at 1:25 am

    Hi Marcus – ha ha, yes I had the Richard Allen ‘Punk Rock’ cash-in book – a friend gave it to me as a birthday present one year – it was pretty terrible IIRC!!! Didn’t Stewart Home go through a period of writing a load of Richard Allen spoof books? I did have one called ‘Class War’ or something, quite funny for the first few pages but got a bit monotonous after a while…

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