Tag Archives: doncaster

UV Pop

I MET John White aka UV Pop when I bunked off sixth form and went over to Doncaster with some girl I was seeing at the time to interview Marcus Featherby about his label, Pax. I’d come into contact with Marcus through the punk gigs he promoted at the Marples in Sheffield. I’d never met anyone quite like either of them before.

At the time, Marcus was staying at John’s two-up-two-down in Bentley. My most vivid memory is the heating not being on, despite it being a very cold Yorkshire winter, but then again, I was still living with my parents, and didn’t have to worry about paying for leccy. And I think my girlfriend was much more impressed with both John and Marcus than she was with me.

Marcus gave me a copy of the debut, Cabs-produced UV Pop single, and I was impressed enough to interview John for my fanzine. I have no clue whether we did the interview in person or through the post.

People being vegetarian seemed to be really important to me at the time (I’d gone veggie about six months earlier, so I had the conviction of the convert), and I had yet to work out the world was coloured in various shades of grey rather than the black and white certainty I so clearly craved.

I’d like to say my interview technique is more subtle and nuanced these days but it really isn’t.

I can’t find any activity for UV Pop (who eventually became a proper band despite John’s reservations), beyond 2012, but I hope John is still making music.

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Crow People

CROW PEOPLE came from some pit village near Doncaster but they seemed to play an awful lot of gigs in the ‘industrial garden town’ of Scunthorpe.

I first remember coming across them at one such packed, sweaty gig in the mid-Eighties, although when I ran into Mark (who now has a teenage daughter and a career as a teacher) at the Flux gig at the 1in12 in Bradford last year, he told me that we’d actually met a good few years before when I was wandering around the Arndale in Doncaster, trying to sell records I didn’t want to unsuspecting punk rockers. It’s news to me.

Although they only released a couple of records throughout their career, they never got any press attention (apart from the stuff I wrote myself) and were barely known outside our little patch of South Yorkshire / North Lincolnshire, Crow People were a tremendous live band.

I used to get absolutely blasted, sit on the floor cross-legged and spin-out to their chugging, swirling, psychedelic space-rock. Way fucking cool.

I even ended up putting them on in Leeds, at this mad Leeds Abortion Fund benefit at Leeds Poly with the Wedding Present offshoot the Ukrainians and LS6 indie-sirens Sharon. Coming through a decent PA, Crow People just sounded extraordinarily powerful and intense  – though the evening was marred when, at a crazy post-gig party at the Sharon girls’ house, one of their knobhead mates from Donny had an argument with his missus and trashed Paddy’s bedroom.

Their lack of recognition always baffled me.

They released a couple of records on Armstrong’s Meantime label but I have no mp3s for you, I’m afraid. I lost my copy of Cloud Songs years ago. Anyone has a spare, or even photographs of the band, well, you know where I am ..

In the meantime, here’s an interview I did with Mark for GRUNT magazine in 1988.

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The Mob

LARGELY forgotten by all but what remains of the anarcho-punk cognoscenti, Mark, Curtis and Joseph were a trio of hippy punks from Yeovil who subverted the mores of the ‘Crass punk’ scene with a less strident, less straightforward, more soulful approach than many other bands associated with Crass.

Thanks to a very groovy local CND organiser, John Bennett, who hired a van, a load of us went over to Doncaster Co-op Hall to see what turned out to be their last gig, alongside Benjamin Zephaniah, D&V, Chumbawamba and the Passion Killers.

Their set was pretty intense, with the band running through stuff like Witch Hunt, No Doves Fly Here and Stay, as well as lots of tunes from their album, Let The Tribe Increase. I danced my little socks off.

I wanted to interview them for my fanzine but something came up on the night and by the time they got around to answering the questions I posted to them later, they’d decided to call it a day.

For some reason, I always thought it was Curtis who answered the questions but the quotes were, strangely, unattributed in the zine, so now I‘m not so sure. Hmmm.

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THERE’S a definite absence of songs about animal rights on Mob records – is this because you think it’s a relatively unimportant issue?

“The Mob started before it became the done thing to write about issues (war/animal liberation/violence). The songs were more personal and not about specific things. One of the reasons the Mob stopped was because of the pressure to write songs about specific targets such as animal rights.

“It is very dangerous to assume that, so long as people come up with the right answers and is ‘ideologically sound’, then that group or person is okay because then it all becomes very moralistic – the most difficult thing to do is get on, and live, be a whole human being.

“Hitler was a vegetarian”.

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Germ Free Adolescents by X-Ray Spex (EMI)

MUCH as we hate to admit it, blokes often develop what little musical taste we possess from hanging around with women.

We might bemoan their inability to put the right CD in the right fucking case, get all condescending about their blissful ignorance of the intricacies of Jah Wobble’s early career or straight take the piss out of their lamentable regard for Coldplay, but women tend to like stuff because they actually like it, not because it’s fashionable and they think they should. Unlike many blokes. Continue reading

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