Themes From Great Cities

It might have come to your attention that I'm not a regular poster of love and understanding, which you will just have to get used to. I will however, have bursts of creativity where I move completely randomly from post to post with no rhyme or reason. I have recently posted a few singles (7 & 12”) and the odd bootleg which have been received very well by all who visit. More of the same will continue as you, dear readers, seem to be enjoying them.

Some of the rips are my own, but many more are from other blogs and I’m just sharing the wealth. If other bloggers out there wish to share the rips from my posts, please as I do, host them yourself. To combat this, the FLAC files that are over 6 months old will be replaced with MP3 files.

Finally I am happy to re-up old posts where the link has expired. Please comment in the relevant posts comments box.


Old Tarts

Poison Girls were an incredible force of nature. Spat out from the underbelly of the UK punk scene, they paired up with a dodgy band down the road called Crass. The two bands played 100 shows together in the span of three years and they bonded on a conceptual and artistic way to approach punk.  

Vi Subversa was a child in the East End of London during the Second World War, an evacuee during the Blitz, became part of the Soho anarchist scene of the 50s, took part in the original CND march to Aldermaston, then a counter culture drop out of the 60s, finally found herself in the mid 70s, aged 40, with two children, living in Brighton. There, along with Richard Famous, Lance d'Boyle and Bella Donna - all attached to activities at Brighton's Resources Centre (an old Presbyterian church with a rehearsals and gig space in its vaults) she formed Poison Girls.

After relocating to the Burleigh House squat near Epping and eventually recruiting Bernhardt Rebours on bass, Poison Girls first music release was 1979's Piano Lessons / Closed Shop on their own Xntrix label in collaboration with Pete Stennett's Small Wonder Records (Bauhaus, The Cure, Patrik Fitzgerald, Crass, Cravats, Anthrax....), a local shop-based independent record label.

Later in 1979 followed HEX.  Recorded at Southern Studios, produced by Penny Rimbaud and engineered by John Loder, HEX is a 12” 45rpm mini-album, again released with the help of Small Wonder Records.

HEX is an extraordinary punk record. With additional vocals by Eve Libertine of Crass and including contributions by Vi Subversa's children; Pete Fender and Gem Stone (also known as Honey Bane), the album lays out the band's vision in Vi's searing lyrics against a backdrop of deep, beautiful and sometimes frightening music. Vi channels the anger and frustrations of any mother living in what was (and still is) a mans world.

From the opening salvo “If I had my time again, I’d like to come back as a man!” to the final “Reality Attack, Reality Attack Reality ATTACK ATTACK ATTACK” the record bristles with a fiery passion and intensity. The lyrics explore the expectations of normality, political correctness, pressures of conformity, pain and mental illness and the horrors of war. The music is diamond hard but with a tender edge, and the whole soundscape is overlaid with ‘found’ recordings of everyday life.

Ripped here from the Statement CD box set to MP3 @ 320kbps

Poison Girls; Hex [Expanded]

1.     Revenge
2.     Cats Eye
3.     Piano Lessons
4.     Closed Shop
5.     The Moon (I Wanted)
6.     Old Tart
7.     Crisis
8.     Ideologically Unsound
9.     Bremen Song
10. Political Love
11. Jump Mama Jump
12. Under The Doctor
13. Reality Attack
14. Persons Unknown
15. State Control
16. Bully Boys
17. Tension
18.SS Snoopers