The Mob – All The Madmen Records – 1980 / 1983

The Mob formed in a village near Yeovil in Somerset, England, around the beginning of 1978. The band at this time consisted of Mark (guitar, vocals and songwriter), Graham (drums), and Curtis (bass and backing vocals). All of the members of The Mob had previously been in a band called Magnum Force while at school together…

The Mob played local halls and did not go too far out of the west country region during this early time in the band’s history.

A lot of the early gigs were attended by local meatheads, and there was quite a bit of hostility shown from some members of the audience towards the band and their friends, which sometimes ended in violence. This aggression was common all over England during and after punks ‘heyday’ specifically in small towns and villages. The Mob blagged a slot on the 1978 Stonehenge free festival, a festival which the band supported and had attended before the punk explosion of 1977. The Mob performed at this free festival throughout the following years until the band’s breakup in 1983.

The following year in 1979, the band’s gigs opened up quite a bit, the band went on the road with Here and Now who drew a different audience than the ‘bored youngsters’ that would cause trouble in youth clubs in and around Yeovil. The band also experienced playing their first European gigs with Here And Now. Both these bands performed together in Holland towards the end of 1979 which was useful for The Mob as they got to know the members, and the hangers on, of the free festival scene. The Mob performed for a second year at the Stonehenge free festival during the summer solstice.

At this time there was a small explosion of various like minded individuals in the  local area who had started bands and began to organise their gigs with The Mob. Some of the friends included Geoff, who had the original All The Madmen fanzine based at his parents house, where most of the friends would hang out without too much grief from Geoff’s parents.

The record label name, soon to be born, was a continuation of the fanzine name. The fanzine was dying down a bit by 1979-80. The members of The Mob, Debbie (who went on to form My Bloody Valentine in the mid 1980’s) and Christine from The Bikini Mutants were also regular friends and visitors to Geoff’s parents house along with Wilf who supplied the artwork for a lot of the releases on the All The Madmen record label and all The Mob’s vinyl output in particular.

The Androids Of Mu were also close to The Mob at this time.

The band’s first single ‘Crying Again’ 7″ was recorded in the winter of 1979 at Crypt Studios in Stevenage, by Here And Now’s soundman, and resident Street Level Studios engineer, Grant Showbiz.

The record was released on Geoff’s All The Madmen record label, with the help of Max who saved up a fair bit of cash to put the single out in the early months of 1980.

Crying Again


The next single, the ‘Witch Hunt’ 7″ was recorded in the summer of 1980 at Spaceward in Cambridge, and had a much bigger impact, reaching further out via the network of fanzines growing up in the rise of Crass and bands of that scene. Also John Peel played it a bit, and therefore this single was just about everybody’s first experience of The Mob specifially if you were outside the band’s immediate local area.

At the start of  ‘Witch Hunt’, there is a blood-curdling scream, this scream was used on the ansa-phone message when ringing up Geoff’s house in Larkhill Road from then on!

More local gigs followed, also a small ‘free’ tour in the vein of what Here And Now were promoting a year earlier. This tour was called Weird Tales and included The Mob, The Astronauts, Zounds, Andriods Of Mu plus any local bands that happened to be in the area the tour had got to that day. The band’s got paid by passing around a hat during the gigs…

A few tracks still exist on tape of this era, mostly on Kif Kif’s cassette label Fuck Off tape label, ‘Tribute To Bert Weeden’ and a little later on ‘Folk In Hell’ being two of them worth listening to.

The band played the Stonehenge free festival in 1980, unfortunately this was the year when some trouble brewed up during the day from some violent biker gangs who did not have the patience to listen to ‘punk’ music and specifically Crass who were to play there set later on in the evening. The Snipers and The Mob got off lightly, but when The Epileptics (soon to be renamed Flux Of Pink Indians) were performing the trouble started and many people were hurt in the clashes. Zounds, Poison Girls and Crass did not even get to perform as the promoters and the sound guy, Grant Showbiz, could not guarantee the safety of these bands or the punks who had come to see them perform. Ironically both Crass and Poison Girls successfully played this same festival the year before in 1979 with no trouble whatsoever. The difference between both years, according to Mark Mob, was that hundreds of ‘Kings Road’ fashion punks turned up in 1980. This is what seemed to upset the biker gangs.

Witch Hunt

Shuffling Souls

In the beginning of 1981, Mark and Curtis moved up to London into the squats of Brougham Road, Graham had decided to stay in Yeovil so the band were in need of a new drummer. After previously trying out Adie (from Null And Void) and a guy called Tim Hutton (from Zounds), they recruited fellow Brougham Road resident Josef Porter (from Zounds, Null And Void and Entire Cosmos).

On the back of the popularity of the ‘Witch Hunt’ single, and with the new drummer in place, the band got together to record some tracks to be released on cassette format. The tape was recorded in Josef’s bedroom in Brougham Road, Hackney and was eventually entitled ‘Ching’. This very basic bedroom recording was sold at gigs and through mailorder to people writing to the band.

The Mob caught the attention of Penny Rimbaud, drummer and writer for the seminal anarcho-punk band Crass, who recruited them for a recording of a single on Crass Records.

‘No Doves Fly Here’ 7″ is not quite like anything else the Mob ever recorded. This is partly because of the tune’s violently slow pace and vivid anti-war lyrics. It’s also due to the production tweaks added later by Rimbaud at Southern Studios in North London, including his famous sound clips and a very prominent synth track that the band hadn’t expected. At the time when the soon to be released record was sent to The Mob, the sound effects annoyed the band members to various degrees. There are test pressings of the original drum and bass version around, which sounds decent enough, but I think what Penny tried to do does add emotion to the tracks, and the tracks sound better for the tweaking. That is just my view though, and I must add, I also like and respect Penny very much!

More information on this release by The Mob HERE

The intense power of the song, combined with Crass’ better distribution via Rough Trade, ensured this release to be in the top 5 of the then independent charts for several weeks.

The Mob played a Streetlevel music festival in 1982 at a playground on Hampstead Heath, this performance was witnessed by Alistair Livingston, Tony D, Val D, Min and several other notible Kill Your Pet Puppy collective members. The first time the band and the fanzine contributors had crossed paths.

The band also performed at the infamous ZigZag squat gig in December 1982, along with some of the best in the anarcho-punk scene including Omega Tribe, Faction, D.I.R.T, Null And Void, Lack Of Knowledge, The Apostles, Conflict, Poison Girls, D & V, and Crass themselves. This gig was partly organised by members of the Kill Your Pet Puppy collective.

In the autumn of 1982, The Mob recorded some tracks at Spaceward with the financial help of Kill Your Pet Puppy collective members, Alistair Livingston and Mick Lugworm. The product was released by All the Madmen records early on in the spring of 1983 with the backing of Geoff Travis of Rough Trade, who saw the potential in dealing with this band / label for his organisation.

The ‘Let The Tribe Increase’ album was a milestone for The Mob, and for the anarcho scene that the band had been lumped into against their wishes. The band never wanted any labels pushed onto them, although the band members had respect for all the individuals that they crossed paths with, bands, writers, activists etc. The album is considered a ‘classic’ by many 1000’s of people around the world, and rightly so.

The release came with stunning artwork from Wilf (borrowed if we are to be polite, from Alternative TV’s second album ‘Vibing Up The Senile Man’ – The ATV album nobody liked, because the tracks were not fast and did not have enough fuzz boxes on them) and a huge poster…

The original artwork by Wilf that was considered would have been too expensive to print so the band went for the cheaper two colour option instead.

The album hit the top 3 in the independent charts with the help of the fanzine writers and the music weeklies of the time which in no small way was down to Alistair Livingston and Tony D from Kill Your Pet Puppy fanzine pushing the album whenever and wherever they could, including getting a cover and centre spread of Punk Lives magazine which had quite a large circulation at the time. Also The Mob who had previously been playing to such colourful audiences at the Wapping Autonomy Centre, the Centro Iberico, Meanwhile Gardens and a host of other ‘off the circuit’ venues throughout the last couple of years helped to push the record.

Furthermore bands like Blood And Roses, Sex Gang Children, Southern Death Cult and Brigandage were getting positive publicity at the time, and The Mob were generally regarded as a similar sort of band attitude wise, esp in the better fanzines like Kill Your Pet Puppy and Vague, as well as the music weeklies like the N.M.E.

The final Mob release was the ‘Mirror Breaks’ 7″, again recorded at Spaceward and released in the summer of 1983. Musically it was one of the prettier songs that the band had attempted, but with the same feel and some of the best lyrics of any Mob song in the set at the time.

The Mirror Breaks


This last single was selling very well, as was the album, what better time to knock it all on the head, and get something else done than during the pinnacle of the band…!

Mark Mob decided a couple of months after a European tour in the winter of 1983, to put down his guitar, put his teepee in the truck, and roam around the countryside, originally with the Peace Convoy, then settling at Pooh Corner for several years, later still settling down near Bath with his family.

The Mob bowing out at the top of the band’s popularity was a sensible thing to have done, and the band’s legacy is greater for it.

In 1984 Josef and Curtis continued performing together with Blyth Power until those old friends split up late 1986.

Josef carried on Blyth Power for many years with different line ups, and they still play a few times a year. Curtis has settled in Wales and has became a chef. He hopes to own his own restaurant sometime in the future. Josef is now in charge of testing models (airfix toys not girls) for a magazine. Josef’s ‘dream’ job. Mark has a van parts business, buying and selling scrap metal. He spends a fair bit of time in his second home in Morrocco. Wilf, the artist of all the record sleeves and much more than that, a close friend to all the band, passed away in the late 1990’s.

All the Madmen records continued thoughout under Alistair Livingston’s guidance after Mark Mob had disappeared in 1984. He helped release the Astronauts album ‘All Done By Mirrors’ in late 1983, the Flowers In The Dustbin 12″ and the Zos Kia 7″ in 1984 featuring Kill Your Pet Puppy collective member, Min.

Rob Challice from Faction, took the record label over in 1985 and released a whole heap more material by Blyth Power, The Astronauts and Thatcher On Acid until early 1988, when All The Madmen records closed it’s doors for the last time.

Official Mob Site

Official ATM site

All artwork by Wilf including the record sleeves, photographs from the collections of Mark Mob, Min, Val D and Penguin. Joanne Childs also supplied the original Wilf artwork that heads this post and Mark Mob supplied the original artwork for the ‘Let The Tribe Increase’ LP.

The very early Mob flyer promoting a gig at Poole courtesy of Kerr Ray Z Fokker, the Weird Tales Tour posters and photo are from Nick Godwins collection and all other flyers and the two examples of Wilf’s artwork at the bottom of the post from Penguin’s collection.

  1. expletive undeleted
    expletive undeleted
    May 22, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I was lucky enough to see their gig at the Co-op Hall in Doncaster with Benjamin Zephaniah, the Passion Killers and the Chumbas. And D&V? The local CND organiser gave a load of us a lift over from Scunny in his transit.

    It’s all a long time ago and I don’t remember much but I do remember they played a great set. Let the Tribe still sounds good. Love it.

    I also love the fact that you’ll probably never see Anjelina Jolie or David Beckham in a Mob t-shirt.

  2. DavidM
    May 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Interesting point regarding The Mob and individual celebrities chosen attire. Dunno if folks here were aware of the controversy surrounding Lady Gaga’s Telephone vid in which she’s seen wearing a studded leather sporting Doom and Icons Of Filth logos.

  3. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    May 23, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    Can’t say I think it is any individual band’s fault that the sporting and showbiz elite have suddenly started to wear clothing with 25 – 30 year old anarcho bands on.

    Where’s the controversy exactly?

    The ‘stars’ don’t know what they are wearing or what the logos represent do they?

    The bands certainly did not send them mailorder for the stars to wear.

    If anything it could show that the designers of these clothes probably come from our generation and felt the logos looked stunning when they, the designers, were growing up, maybe the designers were actually old punks?

    Perhaps some royalties to the bands would have been nice but none of these punk bands were ever that far ahead with trademarking their material, audio or image wise. Too busy being punk rockers I guess.
    I made my own Mob and Crass shirts and never got any grief for breaking any copyright issues from bands or gig goers alike.
    (One of my Mob shirts was printed at Interaction in Kentish Town and had the Wilf artwork on, the one of the girl with the crashed helicopter which may be veiwed on the post above. Looked well nice, limited edition of one!)

    If I saw a KYPP or a Mob shirt on Ledley King, I think I would probably be pretty chuffed.

    But maybe I have missed something here, so please let me know if I have.

  4. alistairliv
    May 24, 2010 at 6:51 am

    On a scale of outrage from 1 to 11 Ms Gaga (she is not actually a member of the aristocracy) wearing a studded leather jacket plus studded bra and panties with some logos on it rates about minus 3. Unless Beki Bondage wants to complain…

  5. Nic
    May 24, 2010 at 9:06 am

    The styling for Lady Gaga in that video (where she sports a leather jacket with Doom, Icons of Filth and GISM logos) is almost certainly the result of the director of the video – Jona Akerlund. Before his career as a video director to entertainers like Madonna, Metallica and U2, he had been the drummer in the Black Metal band Bathory (back in the early 80’s)…

    There’s always been an interface between fashion and music subcultures: after all, the way Punks dressed between 1976 and 1980 was almost completely dictated by the style template laid out by Westwood and McLaren…

  6. slyme68
    May 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm

    i like lady gaga’s playing with her appearance, i think she can wear whatever she wants. a mate, though, blames finding her 13 year old daughter posting her tits on the web on these booty shakin r&b videos… and the narrative of this video is shallow compared to say, the scum manifesto which at least is not a disguised advert for virgin mobile…

  7. DavidM
    May 24, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    These are our creations, so folks should not at all be surprised when the products of our labour are used in a commercial setting and one alien and contrary to everything we stand for. It caused quite a bit of controversy and outrage amongst many active in today’s anarcho/crust/DIY community. This is our culture, and not theirs to use and manipulate however they see fit.

  8. Penguin
    Penguin • Post Author •
    May 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    Fair enough David, seems a little precious to me but there you go.

    The products of our labour? The Doom symbol probably took the brummies ten minutes to design on a back of an A4 sheet of paper one night down the Mermaid!
    I reckon if you ask a member of Doom whether they dislike there work being in a video of a top selling artist they would probably not mind at all. The members may even show it off to there children, “thats daddy’s old band”.
    Still as I am not active in the anarcho / crust / DIY scene as much as I was as a teenager (although I generally try to follow the basic rules I learned 30 years ago) it is not really my place to judge how important these symbols still are to the anarcho community of 2010.

  9. DavidM
    May 24, 2010 at 8:46 pm

    Doom are actually furious regarding the matter of their logo being used in this manner.
    Sure, I could have perhaps chosen my words more carefully, better illustrating the point I’d intended to make. They’ve taken something we hold dear, be that a symbol, and reduced it’s meaning to something of no true worth. In the hands of the music biz, they become commodities. Like the old adage sez: Punk belongs to the punks not the businessmen.

  10. alistairliv
    May 25, 2010 at 10:31 am

    But David, under capitalism everything becomes a commodity. So long as we live (as even the most anarcho of punks must do) within a world of social relationships defined by capital, then everything we produce – including the most rebellious music or subversive images and even the work we put into creating alaternative ways of life – is expropriated by capital and turned into a commodity.

    If Doom really are furious (and google searching hasn’t found any statements of outrage by the band) – why pick on Lady Gaga?

    It is capitalism they should be furious with. I don’t know Doom’s politics – are they anarchists? If they are then they need a bit of education in the workings of capital and the fetishism of commodities.

    For starters, have a read of this

  11. Nic
    May 25, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I read an interesting interview with Lady Gaga in last Saturday’s Times magazine where she talked about being a ‘Goth’ in her younger days and also about how she feels a kinship with those people who are marginalised by the wider culutre. Thinking optimistically: perhaps she wanted to use such logos because of her own personal experience of the music and ideas of these bands? Stranger things have happened…

    DavidM: I’m curious to know how Lady Gaga having a Doom logo on her jacket reduces its meaning “to something of no true worth”?

    It’s been some time since I actively engaged with the ‘Anarcho / Crust / DIY’ community, but one thing I have noticed over the past 15 plus years is the way in which there seems to be a T-Shirt or a patch available for every conceivable band. This fetishism of the ‘marketing brand’ (ie the logo) seems to dictate the ‘fashion look’ of the large majority of people involved in that community. What difference is there between Lady Gaga wearing that leather jacket and an ‘Anarcho / Crust /DIY’ follower dressed in all black and wearing a baseball cap and jacket sewn with band patches (alongside the obligatory couple of fleshtunnels and attendant tattoos)? It all seems like fashion to me… 🙂
    I’m not sure if you can get them yet, but I imagine that patched Y-fronts with readymade (screenprinted) skidmarks aren’t too far away…

    Rich Militia from Bradford (once of Sore Throat) designed the Doom logo so you’d probably have to ask him what he thinks about it…In fact, knowing Rich – he WOULD be furious about it, but only because he likes getting furious with anything he can get his hands on… 😉

  12. Nic
    May 25, 2010 at 11:11 am

    Al – Doom could losely be described as ‘Anarcho Syndicalists’ (although they may beg to differ). They are involved in the 1 in 12 Club in Bradford…

  13. jock
    May 25, 2010 at 11:16 am

    as for Valerie Solanas SCUM book, i gave up after about 10 pages, andy warhol was an easy target, maybe i’d have more time for her book if she’d shot nixon or reagan.
    too much hate for me in there, or have i missed something?

  14. DavidM
    May 25, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Alistair, gotta say I’m pretty damn pissed with your post, the implication being, that is in regards to Doom’s violent disgust re. Lady Gaga’s use of their logo and coz you couldn’t find any indication of any such thing online, that I’m lying. Man, where do you get off suggesting something of this kind? Had had serious doubts regarding my place here before and whether I should continue to post. This however has forced my hand. Over and out.

  15. Nic
    May 25, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    DavidM – I can’t speak for Al, but I don’t think he was trying to label you as anything. He was asking questions, that’s all…No need for twisted knickers…

    I’ll ask Bri (Doom guitarist) what the ‘Doom Position’ is on Lady Gaga…

  16. Nuzz
    May 25, 2010 at 10:28 pm

    Lady Gaga likes 70’s ‘pronto punkers’ The Heavy Metal Kids this adds nothing to any debate, but I just thought I’d mention it because…….

  17. Chris
    May 26, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    What a strange thread.

    If Doom are ‘anarcho syndicalists’ i find it surprising they ever found time to make music out with their union activities as the whole genus of anarcho syndicalism is working within a union to offer solidarity and embrace other workplace struggles, building “one big union” from bottom up.

    Nic will be right about Lady Gaga simply wearing that jacket as it was given to her by a stylist. The chances of it being anything otherwise are about as unlikely as her, er … being an anarcho syndicalist. Don’t understand how anyone could ever give a flying fuck what T-shirt / jacket patches anyone wears, or does someone have to pass an eligibility test decreeing x amount of years involved with the punk underground scene before they are allowed to wear a band’s logo on their chest. Like the Hells Angels ‘earning’ their back patches??

    And wasn’t the whole ‘crust’ scene just a style of music and a fashion anyway? News to me if it was ever anything else; certainly to those followers of it i’ve encountered, who to be honest – and having worked in ‘fashion’ myself – are greater fashion ‘slaves’ than any couture designer or Vogue stylist i’ve ever met. Nothing wrong with that and each to their own but to feel violated when one’s subcultural totems are ‘appropriated’ by those who are perceived to represent the mainstream just seems like adolescent preciousness to me. Who’s to say Angeline Jolie wasn’t a Crass fan in her youth? Liz Hurley certainly was. And for every sad fan-boy venting their spleen over Beckham wearing that repulsive diamante Voyage shirt I bet there’s ten thousand who may just possibly have seen him wearing the shirt and googled ‘Crass’? Who knows? Who cares? I think there’s ten million things more important for folk to get worked up over, surely….

  18. Chris
    May 26, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    >>jock: as for Valerie Solanas SCUM book, i gave up after about 10 pages, andy warhol was an easy target, maybe i’d have more time for her book if she’d shot nixon or reagan.
    too much hate for me in there, or have i missed something?<<

    Extremity sells and is an easy way to make a name for oneself. Doesn't necessarily mean one believes a word of what is written. Indeed Solanas always claimed SCUM was meant as satire and analogy. She was just another wannabe Factory starlet who, for one reason or another, didn't make it and due to her mental disturbance became fixated on this spurning (after approaching Warhol to make a film of a play she wrote he cast her a small part in the not exactly acclaimed film "I, Man").

  19. Nic
    May 26, 2010 at 2:17 pm

    Chris – I think you can engage in political activities AND play music too, you know. One of my friends works/ is a rep in one union, active in another and still finds time to play in 3 bands…Even revolutionaries have to find time for hobbies 😉

    I suppose that the recuperation of expression by the dominant culture is something that would conceivably merit attention and critique. I myself have merely been enjoying Ellen von Unworth’s recent photoshoot with the Gaga-ster for Out magazine…

  20. Chris
    May 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm

    Nic – yea, I know and agree. I have the utmost admiration for active syndicalists, but it’s never really existed in the UK, has it…? Since the 1930s anyway, apart from pockets in things like a few Ford plants in the ’70s etc. Tho I know DAM (UK section of IWW) were active during the miners strike and did sterling work in the Ardbride factory Laura Ashley dispute. I was only making the point as for a band to *describe* themselves ‘Anarcho Syndicalist’ would just be a bit daft as the nature of industry has changed so dramatically since the Thatcher years. Also, I don’t know many punk musicians who work in unionised workplaces for a start! But I actually misread your original post so just ignore me.

    “I suppose that the recuperation of expression by the dominant culture is something that would conceivably merit attention and critique”

    Yes, totally agree. Personally, it always raises my hackles when I see certain iconic (Vietnam) war graphics appropriated by shitty bands and club nights (one could also make a case for Paris 1968 imagery tho I think that is slightly different – as is the Banshees/Discharge use of John Heartfield collages) but in this case it is just fucking BAND LOGOS – Crass/Doom/Gism… a name or a symbol: Means NOTHING. And I cannot for the life of me understand how anyone/band could possibly be ‘furious’ about Lady Gaga wearing their patches on a jacket in a video, other than that it is simply the response *expected* by one’s fanbase as it’s simple pragmatism to trumpet one’s hostility towards ‘commercial culture’ if one’s market demographic is based on underground/DIY status.

    Incidentally, Neil Barrett does a punky studded leather, should you have a few grand to spare and no great surfeit of taste, and Antwerp designer Raf Simons has been using punky patches on his clothes for years. My only complaint being that they ruin otherwise nice pieces by turning one into a walking billboard hoarding for some fairly gash bands.

  21. Graham Burnett
    Graham Burnett
    May 26, 2010 at 6:57 pm

    I used to have a single by some (explicitly) anarcho-syndicalist band called ‘Heavy Manners’ or something, can’t remember but do remember the red and black sleeve and loads of stuff about A/S on the inner sleeve. Ring any bells?

  22. Chris
    May 26, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Alas not. However a google search for “heavy manners” + “anarcho syndicalist” did turn up THIS site which contains some fascinating stuff about ‘ReRe Records’ which I must admit I had never heard of.

  23. Chris
    May 27, 2010 at 12:32 am

    >>Nic: one thing I have noticed over the past 15 plus years is the way in which there seems to be a T-Shirt or a patch available for every conceivable band. This fetishism of the ‘marketing brand’ (ie the logo) seems to dictate the ‘fashion look’ of the large majority of people involved in that community. What difference is there between Lady Gaga wearing that leather jacket and an ‘Anarcho / Crust /DIY’ follower dressed in all black and wearing a baseball cap and jacket sewn with band patches<<

    Just re-read this. An interesting and very true observation. Where did all this patch malarkey come from anyway? From the early to mid '80s about the only patches you'd ever see 'anarcho punks' wearing were the Crass 'Anti War' one and those crappy ones that appeared to be printed on used hankerchiefs that you got along with that photocopied 'FAQ' sheet when you wrote to Discharge. Indeed, it was almost regarded as a bit naff to wear a badge simply with a band's name/logo on it, with generally BUAV or Peace Pledge Union slogan buttons being the favoured accoutrement.

    Also, around the early to mid 80s anarcho punk scene you never really saw many studded leather jackets anyway apart from , as they were known the 'Postcard Punks' who used to make their money from charging tourists for photos. Either because they were pretty bloody expensive and you didn't really get second hand ones too often or because of the animal rights aspect. I remember in summer 1983 Andy Martin – in typical 'Andy Martin-ness' – going out and getting a dog collar and leather jacket which he threatened to paint The Exploited on the back of simply because you really didn't see anyone else looking like that. The look du jour generally being those West German army jackets or donkey jackets.

    Furthermore, where did that totally generic sub-death metal type of font practically ALL those bands you see on patches come from? That sort of spindly script a bit like Amebix used, and, i think Antisect…? In fact if that IS their origin that's a pretty sad reflection on the scene in my view; band logos being something i've always found fascinating. Still every band back then had some predictably uniform logo incorporating anarchy and CND symbols so it's not really all that different I s'pose. What was that Outsiders quote? 'You have to be one of the crowd to show you don't conform'. Not that we're probably not all guilty of that to some degree, after all that's what binds together and consolidates any subculture but I always thought half the point of punk was rejecting that uniformist tendency. Something Nic and the nascent Napalm Death, amongst a small number of others, were quite courageous in challenging.

    DavidM: Come back and don't be such a big flouncing blouse! 🙂

  24. Nic
    May 27, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I think that the ‘Patches’ thing developed out of the USA. The Americans picked up on the ‘Crust’ thing a little later (in fact, there wasn’t really a ‘Crust’ thing until it was picked up by the Americans who seem to have a penchant for creating new sub-genres out of existing genres), and amplified the need for a ‘look’ to differentiate…As you say, the emphasis on displaying bandnames was largely located in the ‘Postcard Punks’ cult and viewed as slightly vulgar by right-thinking APF clones. The development of the UK ‘Hardcore’ scene saw an increase in prominently displayed band names, probably because people were desparate to demonstrate their ‘cool’ choices of listening material…

    The fonts used by ‘Crust’ bands almost always have their roots in Antisect and Amebix as they are the talismanic groups for that scene. There is also an influence from Death Metal (and latterly Black Metal)…

    Chris: many great releases on Recommended / ReR. The These Records shop (in Elephant & Castle / Lambeth) always stocked a lot of their catalogue – I think there was a loose affiliation going on…

  25. alistairliv
    May 27, 2010 at 11:35 am

    On 1 May 2010, in a comment on Toxic Grafitti post, Nick Hydra pointed out that the Amebix face logo was from an original by Austin Osman Spare.

    AOS also developed a system of magic based on sigils (signs and symbols) see which was popularised in the late eighties/early ninties by choas magicians.

    Nick H. said he checked with Amebix and they confirmed the AOS/ Amebix link. Not sure about the actual fonts used by ‘crust’ bands mentioned by Nic above, but if derived from Amebix then that places the Doom etc patches on Lady Gaga’s leather jacket within an occult rather than political (symbolic) context.

    The ‘crust’ patches/ band logos are therefore fetishes (in a magical rather than sexual sense). A fetish is a powerful object/ commodity which is hedged around with rules and prohibitions about who can or cannot touch or even look at it.

    If David M is right (as, David please note, I am sure you are) and Lady Gaga’s use of the Doom symbol/ patch has created outrage – is this political outrage at the commercialisation of an anarchist (syndicalist) sign?

    Or is it outrage at the ‘desecration’ of a totemic/ magical sign?

  26. Chris
    May 27, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    actually, i just googled “lady ga ga doom gism” and this thread was the first to pop up (didn’t Profane Existance use to be some sort of fanzine? – it does sound familiar)

    (includes screen grabs of said fatwa provoking jacket)

    anyway, it would appear that rather than being ‘furious’ the punk community seem to be rather “stoked” (as I believe the vernacular to be) by it all.

    Or as the final contribution succinctly puts it – “Who cares?”

  27. Martin C
    Martin C
    May 27, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Oh, “Profane Existence” was terrible, as I remember it. Picked it up once in the early ’90s, it had some pics of punks posing with face-scarves and guns (not so incredible given they’re legal in some US states) and some guy banging on about how he’d had a vasectomy, as part of his duty to saving Mother Earth from overpopulation. They used to have snide digs at fanzines that weren’t ‘political’ enough (or that dared run non-related content, like articles on football), especially UK zines like Dregs, HAGL and Punk Shocker.

    I don’t really get what the Lady Gaga fuss is about either. I’m still trying to get over the time a bloke in an Ian Stuart shirt appeared on ’15-1′.

  28. Martin C
    Martin C
    May 27, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Actually, Nic, you might know about this – when I was at school, possibly 1989, Radio 4 broadcast a programme about UK hardcore, and I think I remember some Tory MP being on it, saying his favourite band was the Electro Hippies, because their songs were only 3 seconds long. Don’t suppose you were involved in this, or know if any recordings of the programme are floating about cyberspace?

  29. Chris
    May 27, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    >>martin C: I’m still trying to get over the time a bloke in an Ian Stuart shirt appeared on ‘15-1′ <<

    Haha! I remember that! Beardie guy , wasn't he? looked like him out of 'Nuts In May'. "IDS" in celtic script and an image of a wonky looking viking – a mighty blow against ZOG getting that one over on the Bolshevik Broadcasting Corporation.

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