Tuesday, February 16, 2010

www.deathrock.com - Sinnersday

THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS are the real proof that new wave was punk’s successor. Founded in 1983 by Scotsman Jock McDonald, they immediately rose to fame by covering an entire SEX PISTOLS album (guess which one, actually) in an electro style. It became an overnight success and mockery, irony and gay cynicism became their trademark. The inspiration for their songs could easily be referred to as quite unusual: The Bunker (Albert Speer), Serge Gainsbourg’s Harley David and horror movies to name but a few. With the beginning of the 90s, the group went into some kind of hibernation until its revival in 1996. Mark Humphrey on keyboards and Pat Pattyn (ex-NACHT UND NEBEL) on drums completed the band.

Belgium is important to the band (Pat Pattyn was not the only Belgian member, in the 80s TC MATIC’s Serge Feys and even Bart Peeters were part of the club) and they performed a lot in the surroundings of Ostend. They developed a penchant for horror pulp and were not afraid to tackle religious themes; even French lyrics are part of the concept. They distinguished themselves from others by playing original music with a lot of punk, wave and gothic influences. In March 2009, they released a new album called ‘Last Will and Testament’. http://www.bollock-brothers.com/

Music & Performance
The set opened with a very long and emotional guitar intro which slightly resembled THE SIMPLE MINDS and even brought the intro to ‘Welcome To The Pleasuredome’ by FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD to mind. Singer Jock MacDonald entered the stage in some kind of old fashioned and worn down, oversized tweed suite like those associated with homeless people. He immediately grasped the audience’s attention and never lost his grip. The lyrics were funny and the music exactly what we expected. After linking Jesus to Kurt Cobain, the focus now was placed on Serge Gainsbourg. Everybody knows the phrase “Harley David, Son of a Bitch”. Or you should if you’re in your 30s or 40s.

In-between songs, Jock dragged his son onto the stage, just to say hello to the people and then continued with more fun and anarchy, and talk about football. Considering the band’s origins, a SEX PISTOLS cover was unavoidable and that the band’s drummer Patrick Pattyn used to be with NACHT UND NEBEL, a Belgian wave and synth band from the 80s, a cover of ‘Beats of Love’ was played and set the crowd on fire. In Belgium, you never can go wrong with this song. A lot of the old cult hits were played and Jock maintained a good interaction with his audience, making this gig a great experience. It was fun, it was good and it was what the crowd wanted. Perfect!

The Straps – Young Guns Of Brixton

The Straps – Young Guns Of Brixton.

The Straps emerged from the ashes of The Pack in south London Town as the 70s neared their death. Fired by the enthusiasm & DIY aesthetic of Punk Rock, The Straps flirted with rockabilly to forge a sound that would eventually become known as ‘Punkabilly’.

The following passage is taken from the Boy shop (Kings Rd) website & illustrates just what made The Straps such a unique combo:

‘There were Punk bands that changed things and there were punk bands that just made noise without any statements. Probably my favourite Punk band would have to be The Straps. My reasons for this choice is simple: they were original Punks that took up guitars and started creating a sound that was totally in tune with the Punk Movement from 78 onwards. The Straps never really got the recognition they deserved, probably due to lack of management, but they did tour the UK with The Damned and had a strong hardcore following across the country. The Straps always ended up in some sort of chaotic scenario that was out of their control, like the time they were lined up to play the Rainbow theatre with Adam & the Ants and were told to feck off cause the promoter had not paid for the PA. All the bands were kicked out the Rainbow – the promoter was Jock McDonald – hahahaha.

The Straps played the 100 Club quite often and also The Music Machine. Their songs had plenty of raw energy, songs like ‘Pox Kid’, ‘No Liquor’ (aka ‘No Vicar’), ‘Brixton’ and ‘News Of The Day", with Andy Sex Gang on backing vocals. How's this for lyrics:

‘A Kentucky fried Chicken and a few chip shops,
Quite a few Punks & too many drunks,
Ah, life in Brixton, feel the heat,
Too much trouble on the street,
But I'm not gonna leave,
I've got nothing else nothing to achieve’

Only somebody living in Brixton could write these lyrics and of course The Straps were based in various squats in the South of London finally anchoring in Brixton, I was surprised that Mick Jones did not reach out and give The Straps a helping hand.

The Straps singer Jock also worked in BOY for a spell and Jim Walker left PIL to play with The Straps due to Simon & John "Big Poopsy" Werner who were already adding their Canadian talent alongside Dave "Diesel" Reeves and Jock Strap "Johnny Grant". They released a 7" Single, a 12" Single and an album entitled ‘BRIXTON’. I heard that the singer now lives in Cornwall and has 4 kids and still has the master tapes - so maybe in the future we will see a Straps CD on sale.

Stan Stammers played with The Straps before he moved over to The Pack (aka Theatre of Hate). There was a little feud between The Straps and TOH – funny, cause Kirk came from Cornwall and Jock now lives there. Talking of which - did you know that Kirk and Boy George were good friends? – Dennis Boy

As a bonus to our recent feature on The Pack, Johnny Forgotten tracked down Dave Reeves (Bass) to his south London home to quiz him about Punk Rock, Kirk Brandon, The Damned, Punkabilly & his memories of The Straps:

trakMARX - What turned you onto Punk Rock?

Dave – The Sex Pistols on the Today Show (Bill Grundy).

trakMARX - What was your first genuine Punk Rock experience?

Dave – I saw the Ramones with Talking Heads supporting at the Croydon Greyhound. It cost £1 to get in.

trakMARX - When did you decide to take Mark P up on his advice, form a group & join in?

Dave - I started playing guitar at 13 years old & I was 14/15 when punk burst on the scene. I thought fuck it - I can do that!

trakMARX - The Straps eventually swapped members with The Pack following the sacking of Kirk Brandon. Tell us more about the 'sacking' - it doesn't seem to be mentioned in Kirk's Pack biog.

Dave - To be honest I can’t remember 100% what happened between Kirk & The Pack so I would rather not comment as I don’t want a lawsuit like Boy George ended up with!

trakMARX - How long did it take for the new Straps to get down to business?

Dave - After Stan & Luke left, Simon Werner, John Werner & Jim Walker (PIL) rehearsed on a Thursday night with me & Jock. We played at The Music Machine on Friday night with the UK SUBS (which are the two live tracks on our album - early 1980 - I think). So we only had 1 rehearsal.

trakMARX - How did you get involved with Donut Records?

Dave - Donut records was Jim Walkers label.

trakMARX - Who were your label mates?

Dave – Our labels mates were The Pack before they split & joined us.

trakMARX - Your debut 45 - "Just Can't Take It Anymore"/"New Age" (Donut 1) - hit the racks in 1980 with a punked up rockabilly vibe. What were your influences around the time of its composition/recording?

Dave - I was a big Damned & Ruts fan, the ‘Punkabilly’ (‘Just Can`t Take Anymore’) came about by fucking around in rehearsals with me & Stan & then Jock added the vocals in 1979. It’s been said that we may have invented Punkabilly, it was way before The Straycats had even been in the UK. I recently saw Tim from The Polecats & he told me that they wanted to release a cover of ‘Just Can’t Take Anymore’ for their 2nd single - but their record company said it was too punky for them.

trakMARX - The Straps were big mates of The Damned. How did this come about & what anecdotal memories survive?

Dave - I live in the Croydon area of South London & Captain was a drinking buddy of mine, we used to frequent the wonderful pubs of Croydon on a regular basis. Captain told me about The Black Album tour (1980) & Jim Walker paid £2,000 for us to get on it & jolly good fun it was, as you can imagine.

trakMARX - A second 45 - "Brixton"/"No Liquor" (Donut 3) - followed in 1982 & saw a return to a Punkier sound. Why did you abandon the rockabilly tendencies?

Dave – ‘Brixton’/’No Liquor’ was the true Straps sound, & we didn’t have anymore rockabilly songs, that was just a one off track which I personally feel was the wrong track to release as it wasn’t the real Straps music. I think we should have released House Of The Rising Sun.

trakMARX - "The Straps" (CYC 2) LP arrived on Cyclops in 1983 featuring Rat Scabies on drums on one track. What can you remember of the recording of the LP?

Dave - The album was recorded in 6 hours (Cyclops was Simon’s label which released The Pack records). We just played a live gig with no overdubs or extra tracks or anything - & went for it. Jim Walker had left by then & Pete Davies (UK SUBS) stood in & he didn`t even rehearse with us, he turned up at the studio & we gave him a brief blast of each song & nodded to him when each song was about to end. Rat Scabies was on 1 track only (‘No Liquor’) which was a demo that Jock & Simon did with him. Andi Sexgang is on backing vocals on ‘News Of The Day’ which he wrote & was his 1st release when he was in the Panic Buttons (he played Bass for us before Stan joined & used to live in a squat in Battersea with Jock).

trakMARX - Tell us about the death of The Straps.

Dave - The Straps fell apart in 83, I think. We had just recorded a 3rd single called ‘Omega Man’. It just didn’t feel right anymore, it seemed to have lost it’s spark & we drifted apart. Jock went on to record some stuff with Jah Wobble in Bartok & some more stuff with Rat.

trakMARX - How was Kirk Brandon's subsequent success perceived by The Straps.

Dave - Kirk always seemed a bit distant, but I got on really well with Stan & Luke & I was genuinely pleased that they went on to be successful.

trakMARX - How has the world treated the ex-Straps since meltdown & what are you all up to these days?

Dave - We played Brixton academy in 93 (Me & Jock were the only original members) on the Fuck Reading gig. I still get recognised when I go to the odd gig, which I find amusing after all these years. Jock moved to Cornwall, living the simple life. I am back in touch with him now. Don`t know where Simon, John or Jim are though. I seem to be getting a lot of interest lately regarding the band which I think is great. There’s even talk of releasing a ‘best of’ album.

Johnny Forgotten – tMx 14 – 04/04

Kevin Mooney vs Jock

Adam has an interesting version of events of what happened afterwards with the fight with 4Be2's. What's your side of the story?
I remember that they started on Mandy, Adam and Marco, and then Jordan and I came down. There was a big fight, and that little fucking arsehole, Jock McDonald, I jumped on him and started having a go at him. There were about ten other people. I tell you, that 4be2 lot are a bunch of fucking wankers. No doubt they still are, you know, drunk 'round Finsbury Park. They were arseholes. And I tell you what, the most annoying thing was I beat Jock McDonald in that fight, but someone broke my bass. And that pissed me off because that was a really good bass. It was a Gibson, and I'd never had one like that before or since.
So you couldn't get it fixed?
No, I tried to get another one but it wasn't the same.
So it was actually a proper fight? Adam claims he was almost stabbed and Mandy saved him...
Yeah, he was going on about all that and Jordan was quite feisty in that one, and there was an Antfan with a mohican. I used to talk to him a lot but I never knew his name, he was there.
Did that used to happen a lot?
Yeah, and I was surprised because that happened right in the middle of the BBC. We were walking back, getting ready to go out and then these fucking arseholes jumped us. I wouldn't mind, but they never made a good fucking record in their life! Fair enough if it was Johnny Rotten or something, but it was Johnny Rotten's wanker brother.
So why were they there?
Fuck knows.
So things like that did happen?
Oh yeah, a lot of that happened. We had some very strange violent scenes.

Bad News

The Adam & The Ants gig @ The Rainbow in 78 included The Slits, Mothers Pride (Girl Band) & Raped. The gig was cancelled as we were doing our sound check & we were told to get off stage & leave the venue immediately as Jock McDonald hadn't paid for the hire. There must have been at least 3 or 4,000 people outside waiting to come in.

Celtic Soul Rebels - Shane MacGowan

In 1973, MacGowan's mother persuaded him to try to get some 0-levels, so he went to Hammersmith College - "my finishing school, the shittiest college for further education in London" - where he formed his first band, Hot Dogs With Everything. "I met Shane in the art class and I knew by looking at him that he was a Stooges and an MC5 fan," says his former bandimate Bernie France. "We also liked Hawkwind and the Pink Fairies, anything that was loud and had a lot of energy. There was a motley bunch of about five of us who would just go and get wrecked all the time and listen to records."
On top of pints of lager, speed and acid, MacGowan's family GP had put him on a heavy prescription of valium, and he started to suffer from acute anxiety attacks. He agreed to undergo a six-month detox in London's Bethlem Royal Hospital. "Rather than being sectioned I went into the loony bin of my own accord," he says. "I saw people being given ECT and I saw what it did to them. I saw lots of horrible things. But the minute I was threatened with ECT, I shaped up really fast and became ultra-sane. I started psychoanalysing my shrink, which was probably part of his technique. He could have sectioned me for another six months but our conversations convinced him of my sanity."
When Shane emerged from Bethlem, he immersed himself in London's live music scene, going to see bands like Dr Feelgood and Joe Strummer's 101ers. It was at one of the latter's gigs, in the spring of 1976, that he first encountered the Sex Pistols.
"They were the band I'd been waiting for all my life," he says. "Johnny Rotten was like Jesus Christ and we were his disciples. He looked great, he sounded great, he was great. And it was just a question of, Yeah, fuck it. I hate everything and they're actually doing it."
As Shane O'Hooligan, he became one of the best known faces on the punk scene. He formed The Nipple Erectors - later The Nips - and hinted at his future flair for songwriting when he penned the pop-punk classic, Gabrielle. By 1979 The Nips had split up and MacGowan was doing occasional gigs with The Millwall Chainsaws, a speed and amyl nitrate-fuelled punk band fronted by his mate Spider Stacy, whom he had first encountered at a Ramones gig a few years previously.
Like MacGowan, the Chainsaws lived in a squat in Burton Street, between Euston and King's Cross, an area that was also home to future Pogues Jem Finer, James Fearnley, Andrew Ranken and Darryl Hunt, "I was living in Judd Street in another big squat where Jock McDonald used to incite us into Molotov cocktailing the police on a Saturday night," says Hunt. "It was a very exciting and extremely creative time.
"Jock McDonald was the manager of 4Be2s, a brilliant post-punk band who subverted the immigrant put-down "No Irish, no blacks, no dogs" by fusing Irish music with dub. They were fronted by John Lydon's brother Jimmy, who sometimes joined Shane MacGowan in a chorus of Irish rebel songs, a pub pastime that MacGowan more frequently indulged in with Spider Stacy.
One Monday night in April 1981, MacGowan and The Millwall Chainsaws' drummer Ollie Watts were down in Soho at the New Romantic club, Cabaret Futura, when they decided that this was the time and the place to take Irish rebel music to the masses. Two weeks later, the Chainsaws donned suits to become The New Republicans and their five-song set included The Rising Of The Moon and The Patriot Game, plus Brendan Behan's The Auld Triangle. "Singing Irish rebel songs was a really good way of sticking up two fingers at the establishment," says Spider. "There was very little you could have done that would have been more calculated to annoy in London at that time." The audience included a group of about 20 off-duty squaddies who pelted them with beer cans and chips. "Everyone was totally out of their minds on booze and the plugs got pulled and we got thrown out," says MacGowan. "We were thinking of it as a one-off, but we quickly realised that if it caused that many people to be upset, or to wonder what the fuck was going on,then it was worth continuing with."

"Live performances (Official bootleg)"

Par Jérôme Delvaux

La troisième sortie officielle des Bollock Brothers est un double LP live enregistré en 1983 en Belgique, en festival à La Panne, mais aussi à Madrid, à La Haye et à la mythique Batcave de Londres. Réédité une seule fois en CD, en 1989, il est aujourd’hui devenu presque totalement introuvable, même en seconde main. A tel point qu’un farouche opposant au téléchargement illégal comme moi a dû se résoudre à installer Soulseek pour pouvoir se le procurer…

Et je ne le regrette pas une seconde car ce Live performances est vraiment un disque à part dans la discographie des Bollock Brothers. Enregistré à l’époque où ils commençaient à s’imposer grâce au succès, coup sur coup, de leur LP inaugural, The last supper, et de leur album de reprises électro de Never mind the bollocks des Sex Pistols, cette collection de (faux) bootlegs est l’un des disques les plus foutrement rock’n’roll qui me soit passé dans les mains (une expression qui ne convient pas vraiment pour un download illégal, mais passons).

Bourré de samples abracadabrants, de bidouillages foutraques et d’interventions décalées d’un Jock McDonald passablement ivre au micro, Live performances s’ouvre par une version d’anthologie de The slow removal of Vincent Van Gogh’s left ear. Geordie et Youth, respectivement guitariste et bassiste de Killing Joke, jouaient sur la version originale en studio. Sur scène, à la côte belge, on retrouve Keith Bradshaw à la basse et Richard Collins et Keith Lewis aux guitares, soutenus par un orgue halluciné qui rappelle par moments le son des premiers Doors. Leur jeu est moins lourd, moins pesant et moins précis que celui de leurs confrères de Killing Joke. Ils proposent en vérité une version plus chaotique, plus speedée, plus psyché serais-je tenté de dire. Pour moi, la version studio de Van Gogh (disponible sur le Best of The Bollocks sorti en 1999) et celle du live sont complémentaires : elles offrent deux facettes d’un même petit chef-d’œuvre instrumental.

Le morceau suivant, Loose, est une reprise totalement crade des Stooges (de l’album Fun house). En bon écossais, Jock McDonald l’introduit en insultant Londres, la ville où il réside : « London is a fucking shit-hole of a town ». A un spectateur qui lui répond en gueulant « We’re all shit ! », il assène : « I’ve smoked a lot of it tonight ». Le ton est donné. Le morceau peut débuter sur les chapeaux de roue... pour ce qui se révèlera être une version encore plus décadente que celle d’Iggy et ses Stooges - avec à nouveau cet orgue à la Manzarek à l’avant-plan.

Et puis les tubes s’enchainent : Horror movies, jouée de façon beaucoup plus punk et énervée que sur le single (poppy et sans aspérités) ; le hit The bunker, devenu un classique de la new wave ; le faussement moralisateur The last supper, mais aussi - et surtout - une version de neuf minutes de Reincarnation of qui part en free-style total avec un Jock McDonald délirant en guise de… réincarnation de Jim Morrison - tellement délirant que le morceau n’a très vite plus grand-chose à voir avec l’original.

Les titres suivants (en fait le second LP de la première édition en vinyle) sont tous tirés du concert à la Batcave de Londres. La Batcave, c’est cette boîte new wave de Soho qui servit de QG à la scène gothic-rock britannique à partir de 1982 (au point d’avoir donné son nom à un de ses sous-genres). Fréquentée par tout ce que la capitale anglaise comptait de musiciens alternatifs (Robert Smith, Siouxsie Sioux, Marc Almond et Nick Cave en étaient tous des habitués), la Batcave constituait une halte obligatoire pour tous les groupes post-punk de l’époque. De passage un beau soir de 1983, les Bollock Brothers y présentèrent un set essentiellement axé sur leurs reprises d’électro beurrée des Sex Pistols : New York, Holidays in the sun, Problems, Pretty vacant, God save the Queen (les deux dernières avec au chant Michael Fagan, un déséquilibré devenu célèbre après avoir réussi à s’introduire dans la chambre à coucher de la Reine Elisabeth II). Et c’est peu dire qu’ils les massacrent, ces hymnes des Pistols. Délibérément et avec un talent certain pour les relectures électro bon marché. Peaches n’aurait pas fait mieux.

Oser sortir un live pareil, aussi crade, aussi brailleur, aussi furieux, aussi suintant d’alcool, était une démarche totalement punk, de la part du groupe comme du label. L’écouter aujourd’hui donne juste envie d’aller se bourrer la gueule dans un bar glauque en regardant un groupe de sous-Iggy Pop ou de grossiers avatars des Pistols jouer les deux seuls accords qu’ils connaissent et se rouler au sol en hurlant… (ou de le faire soi-même). Ca fait du bien par où ça passe... On sait d’avance qu’on aura un mal de tête insupportable le lendemain matin, mais we don’t care !

J. Arthur Rank, 1st Baron Rank

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the song "The Gift" by the Bollock Brothers, a lyric refers to the act of male masturbation as "having a J. Arthur Rank."

Joseph Arthur Rank, 1st Baron Rank (22 December 1888 – 29 March 1972) was a British industrialist and film producer, and founder of the Rank Organisation, now known as The Rank Group Plc.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Obituary - Simon Hobart

Legendary London club promoter Simon Hobart dead at 41

Simon Hobart

Dynamic promoter and DJ who brought imaginative flair to the London gay club scene

David Hudson
Wednesday November 2, 2005
The Guardian

The club promoter and DJ Simon Hobart, who has died unexpectedly at the age of 41, made a major contribution to London's gay club landscape, providing a haven for thousands of young gay people who felt out of place elsewhere. A courteous, charming and unassuming man, he stamped his mark on an arena awash with overinflated egos, exhibitionists and hyperbole.

Though born in Peru, Simon was brought up in Hemel Hempstead, where he attended Cavendish comprehensive school. Like many, he escaped the boredom of small-town life through a love of music, embracing post-punk and the outsider allure of the fledgling goth scene. At 16, he moved to London to become a trainee chef at the Ritz hotel, but soon left to study for his A-levels at Kingsway College, Westminster.

Article continues
By this time he had already discovered London's nightlife, hanging out at clubs such as the Blitz, presided over by an early hero and inspiration, Steve Strange. Simon got his first break from infamous punk gig promoter Jock McDonald, who invited him to DJ at the Kariba club in Soho in 1982.

Simon launched his first club night as a promoter, Fly Trap, in June 1983. This ran for a few months, and was followed by the Kit Kat in February 1984. Opening at Studio One on Oxford Street (now the Metro), it moved to a converted warehouse known as the Pleasure Dive in Westbourne Grove, where it became London's premier goth hangout, providing a more glamorous and tongue-in-cheek alternative to its more po-faced rival, the Batcave in Soho. The Kit Kat gave Simon his first taste of notoriety, when in January 1985 it landed him on the front page of the Sun. Police had raided the club for drugs and arrested Simon, a photographer snapping "the godfather of goth" as he was led away - he was just 21 at the time.

The Kit Kat attracted a cross-section of goths, punks and outsiders of all sexual persuasions. Simon felt infinitely more comfortable there than on the commercial gay scene, which was still preoccupied with high-energy pop and disco: "I hated the mentality of the people. I hated the music that was being offered, and found it insulting to your intelligence and tastes. We don't want to all act like teenage girls. We don't all want to go to a nightclub just to take drugs or to have sex." This sense of alienation kept Simon in the straight club world, and he went on to launch the rock night Bedrock and house club Fusion, both at the Marquee on Charing Cross Road. But it was the arrival of Britpop in the mid-90s that prompted his entry into the gay club scene.

"I sensed bands like Blur, Pulp and Elastica had an ironic, theatrical element that ran counter to its shoe-gazing, indie dirge side, so I decided to trial a night called Popstarz, where the emphasis would be on boozing not cruising, as an antidote to the mainstream gay scene." The night launched, somewhat ambitiously, in 1995 at the 900-capacity Paradise club at the Angel, Islington, but Simon had few fears of failure. "If Popstarz had failed I wouldn't have embarrassed myself, because I didn't know anyone in the gay community!"

Popstarz didn't fail. It quickly became a huge success, providing an escape for gay lovers of rock and indie music, and anyone else who felt out of place in more mainstream gay venues. Over the last 10 years it has moved from north London to the West End, before settling in its current home, the Scala at King's Cross, and becoming the country's biggest indie night, gay or straight.

Simon was taken aback at how quickly it established a loyal following, and felt encouraged to expand. Following its launch at the Cross Bar at King's Cross, Popstarz spin-off Miss-Shapes recently celebrated its ninth birthday, while three years ago Simon took over the lease of a basement venue in Falconberg Mews, Soho, transforming it into Ghetto, a seven-nights-a-week hangout for alternative gay tribes.

At the end of last year, he bought his first premises, a former Chinese restaurant on Wardour Street that he relaunched as Trash Palace, providing an early evening option for his crowd and an intimate club space. At the time of his death, he presided over a clubbing empire, either promoting his own nights or hosting a diverse collection of offerings, from Red Eye to Nag Nag Nag, Don't Call Me Babe to Pimp, and many others. Uninterested in material success, he entertained only other club promoters who had a passion and belief in what they were doing.

In 2003, The Observer included Simon in its list of the 20 most influential gay people in the country. That year, he launched the annual Ray Of Light event at the Crash club in Vauxhall, raising money for MacMillan Cancer Relief. It was conceived in response to his mother's death from the disease. He is survived by his father and brother.

· Simon Hobart, club promoter and DJ, born September 29 1964; died October 23 2005

Thursday, February 11, 2010

If Jokes Could Kill

From New Music News, UK music newspaper, 14 June 1980

Being 'Sid reincarnate', Youth found himself playing bas in Lydon Minor's 4 Be 2's, until deciding to leave them recently after the completion of his contractual obligations, much to the annoyance of Swami Jock McDonald, who has apparently convinced himself that the lines in Killing Joke's 'Psyche': "Look at the controller/A Nazi with a social degree/A middle-class hero/A rapist with his eyes on me" are about his not-so-good self. (Personally, I'd have thought 15 seconds with Jock McDonald would be enough to convince anyone that he isn't exactly dripping with degrees, social or otherwise . . . obviously, I can't vouch for the other claims.)

4-Skins and Infa-Riot

Both the 4-Skins and Infa-Riot were emphatic about the need to learn from the Rejects’ mistakes and get away from football trouble. The 4-Skins favoured no one team (Hodges was West Ham, Hoxton, Spurs, Steve, Arsenal and Jacobs, Millwall) and no one political preference (Hoxton was a liberal; Steve left Labour; Jacobs apolitical; and Hodges was a reformed right-winger very pro anti-unemployment campaigns). Infa-Riot were the same, professing no football affiliations. Mensi wrote their first Sounds review and he and Jock McDonald got them their first London gigs. Musically, they were a lot like a lither, wilder Upstarts. Like most Upstarts-influenced groups Infa-Riot played gigs for Rock Against Racism (an apparently noble campaign that was actually a front for the extreme Left SWP). Criminal Class played RAR gigs too, and a benefit for the highly suspect Troops Out Of Ireland movement.


The whole story begins when The Outsiders, all school friends, formed in 1976. Adrian Janes devising what would become the particular apt moniker for the group. The three members had varied tastes in music initially: Adrian Borland (singer, guitarist) being fairly possessed by the Stooges, Velvet Underground and David Bowie, Bob Lawrence (bass) having a more catholic record collection including jazz, Gabriel era Genesis and even classical music, but sharing a love of the jarring atonal nature of the Velvets. Adrian Janes (drums) was excited by the emotional and lyrical power of diverse artists such as John Lennon. Todd Rundgren and soul music. All three saw the glimmers of the punk scene as refreshing and vital with the added attraction that the pseudo-anarchic attitudes of the summer of '76 were a tiny collision with the fact that they were all finished with their state education strait-jacket. No more short hair for us they thought. (but more of that later!)

The first album "Calling On Youth" had already been recorded with the exception of a few track, the title song among them, before any notion of Anarchy in the U.K and the band would admit to a shift of gear and streamlining of sound once the momentum of the moment got underway. However Adrian Borland's intimate, some would say carnal knowledge of the Stooges, already went back three years and the rhythm section could see what he had been raving about endlessly all this time was now definitely worth pursuing. With this responsibility as frontman, singer and guitarist, he steered the band into the narrower channels of his own obsession! The debut L.P released in May 1977 was followed swiftly by the "One to Infinity" EP. By now the band were regulars of the Roxy dressing room and the Vortex toilet, going down fairly well or fairly badly depending more or less on how many Sham 69 fans were in the audience. Managed for a time by Jock "Bollock Brother" McDonald the band won the 1978 Stiff Records Battle of the band fiasco but no deal was forthcoming.

The group remained with the label funded by Adrian Borland's parents (!) Raw Edge - a small profit being made by all concerned. The groups final vinyl bow was "Close Up" which was recorded in the comparatively Hi-Tech Spaceward Studios, Cambridge in the summer of 78. Most other recording had been made in the Borland family front room on a 4 track Teac. The results of the Spaceward sessions were probably the groups most concise statements and hinted at where Adrian Borland would go with his Eighties outfit "THE SOUND" The similarities between the music of the Outsiders and Warsaw an early incarnation of Joy Division are unavoidable and 1977's "Freeway" shows that Joy Division, specifically "Shadow Play" weren't the first band to strike out with variations on Iggy Pop's "The Idiot"! Alienation was the order of these particular days. Drummer Adrian Janes showed robust concern for the coherence and validity of the lyrics. A duty he shared with Borland, Janes contributing the larger amount. He considered words to be an added weapon along with the generally savage tone of guitars and rumble of Bob Lawrence bass. "It's an other area of possibilities let's make the best use of it" was his thrust and lyrically The Outsiders certainly stood apart, at least from most of their contemporaries with the exception of Magazine and a few others. The song "New Uniform" represents a return swipe at a scene which generally exiled them for having grammar school accents and shoulder length hair (the Patti Smith Group and the Ramones were frequently cited by the band in defense against the latter charges.)

The apex of the bands career as far as Adrian Borland was concerned, was the night in 1977 when Iggy Pop jumped down the Roxy Club's stairs and onto the stage to sing the second verse of their faithfully rendered "Raw Power". It could be lightheartedly supposed this has left Adrian Borland forever wondering in the no-mans land between sanity, and the notion that he is some kind of honorary "Stooge". The next song that night was also a cover, "Waiting for the Man" by the Velvets. One person in the small audience wondering aloud whether Lou Reed would now walk on the stage. So, The Outsiders were a facet of Punk that never really fitted. Too literate, probably too musical but vital to Adrian Borland at least in formulating attitudes and an intend that he would carry into the next decade. The band went their separate ways soon after the release of "Close Up" in February 1979 (Graham Bailey joining the band, he is seen in the "Close Up" photographs, before he and Adrian Borland went on to form THE SOUND. But they had made their small but unique contribution to the shock inflicted on a medium that constantly seems on the verge of imminent demise.

Adrian Janes

A Punk’s Journey

Toby Mott - 2009

The Roxy. My 14th birthday spent with my twin brother. Loud pounding darkness, cheap lager, the smell of cigarettes, sweat and piss. There were two floors, almost empty like another kind of youth club, a few other teenage punks escaping boredom. The manager asked me into his office where a filthy mattress was up against the wall; he propositioned me, and unnerved I made a hasty retreat back into the club. It was a place with nothing to do with school, authority, mass culture, or C&A. Its energy was infectious.

Coming from a troubled, chaotic home life, here was a world for me; I was part of something else.

1977: a defining moment, not just for me but for Britain. It started here.
Pimlico, London, living just minutes from the Kings Road, Chelsea, the epicentre of Punk.
I had spiky soaped hair, charity-shop paint-splattered DIY punk clothes with Dr. Martin boots. No Boy or Seditionaries tartan bondage trousers or mohican hair, that was for poseurs, “plastic” weekend punks. We didn’t use the term “Punk” to describe ourselves, that was another label to reject. We were the ‘New Wave’, preoccupied with music, drink, speed & sex. I had an identity away from dull pedestrian conformity, anti-establishment and for us that meant anti-everything: this stance resulted not only in old ladies crossing the road to avoid us but in constant stop-and-searches by the police. Another form of harassment was random violence from teddy boys, soul boys and later skinheads. We did not stand and fight but took to our toes, “legging it”.
Late one night on Queensway, soul boys leaving the ice rink chased me. I ran into a Burger bar and dived behind the counter, having to explain what I was doing. The cockney counter girl urged me to go outside and fight. I waited till it was safe.
X Ray Spexs and The Clash at the Rock against Racism concert in Victoria Park, East London. On the bus home we were terrorised by skinheads. I got away without a kicking, as they fancied my sister. All this hassle was increasing my alienation.
Up all night speeding on blues [amphetamine], three for a quid. Drenched in sweat, pogoing down the front of gigs, gobbing at the singer, showing disdain for all authority. Drinking lager & blackcurrant, sleeping in squats, with brief excited sexual encounters. Lying in bed coming down off speed, feeling shit, staring up at the Debbie Harry poster on my ceiling. With the chorus of “what have we got… fuck all” [Sham 69]. It was all I wanted.
At 14 I had sex for the first time at the Milestone Hotel, Kensington with a Nancy Spungen look-alike, meeting her upstairs at the Roebuck pub on the Kings Road. She was American with peroxide hair. It was drunk and fast. Going home in the morning I paid full fare on the bus. My next fuck was in a Kings Cross squat one Sunday afternoon after shoplifting at Camden Lock Market. I had arrived.

We called ourselves ASA, Anarchist Street Army, a bunch of dispossessed glue and solvent sniffing kids from Pimlico Comprehensive. Our attempt at forming a band resulted in noise that even by punk standards was rubbish.
Playing truant, half my days were spent at Recordsville on Wilton Road or Rough Trade and Jock McDonald’s stall at Beaufort Market. Listening intently to new single releases, adding to my collection of picture sleeve 45’s at 90 pence each, “In the city”, “White riot”, “Oh bondage up yours” spinning endlessly on my Dansett record player.
The sleeves gave the record company addresses where we would show up to be given badges, posters, whatever was free; Stepforward, Stiff, Polydor… most obliged.
We marched to save the Roxy, running up the stairs of Capital Radio attempting to crash on air during the Nicky Horne show.

Scouring the gigs pages of the NME, reviews in Ripped & Torn, life revolved around seeing bands every night regardless of school, my parents having effectlessly lost control of their teenage children: Menace, Chelsea, Adverts, The Ants, 999, reggae bands Steel Pulse, Aswad. Bunking the tube to The Nashville, West Kensington, the Electric Ballroom, Camden Town, Music Machine, Mornington Crescent, The Greyhound at Croydon, various student union gigs, the city was ours, often ending up at the all-night cafe on Whitehall off Trafalgar Square.
One Friday, taking the boat train to Paris to see the Banshees, me and school friend Daniel ended up getting arrested at a loud illegal party, spending the night in a Paris holding jail, released to the British embassy to be deported back to Victoria. We followed The Clash around the south of England on National Express Coaches, Bernie Rhodes opening the back doors for us ticketless London punks. After the show, wet with cold sweat and stranded in a coastal town, could have been Plymouth or Southampton, sleeping on a hard bench until the first coach back to London.
Smashing fake bottles on each other as extras in the Great Rock and Roll Swindle. I can be seen pogoing around as a jazz-funk band play.
This was a vacant space, a free for all, political leaflets from the extreme left & right vied for our attention they were circulated inside and outside gigs: Socialist Workers Party, Anti Nazi League, National Front, British Movement. I was taken with the utopian ideas of Anarchy, often visiting the Freedom bookshop at Aldgate East to buy Black Flag.

1978: enduring a family Xmas day missing PIL’s first gig, but seeing the next one on the Boxing Day at The Rainbow, Finsbury Park. John Lydon in a tartan suit with heavy dub backing. Public Image was a reinvention, Rotten was the past.
Punk ended for me listening to the sounds of Crass. One night I walked out of The UK Subs at the Marquee on Wardour Street. That night I was watching the band from the back, not ‘down the front’. I was detached; no longer a participant. As I left, something for me was over.

1979: leaving school, Thatcher won the election.
As punk stood still I moved on. Now was the post punk time, Joy Division, OMD, New Romantics and Two Tone, with the memory of punk in all that was happening.
I left home at 16 and moved into a squat on Carburton Street just off Great Portland Street, with Boy George, Philip Salon, Marilyn, and like-minded others. I worked for the fashion photographer Mark Lebon at Bow Street Studios.

1980: enrolling at Kingsway College, Clerkenwell whilst working as a cook in the evenings at Maxwell’s, Covent Garden, and hanging out at Blitz, hosted by Steve Strange.

1982: moving to London’s east end into short-life housing in Bow. I founded the Grey Organisation artist group. We executed direct art actions, covering Cork Street galleries in grey paint, crashing the London International Art Fair. I worked for David Dawson at the B2 Gallery, Wapping, appeared in Derek Jarman films and appeared in Gilbert & George “Exister” pieces.
Lynne Franks launched the Grey Organisation into the 80’s world of PR, modelling for Katherine Hamnett at The Albert Hall, Yohji Yamamoto in Paris. Supporting Red Wedge, meeting Neil Kinnock at the Houses of Parliament, promoting Swatch watches. Drinking bottled beer at The Soho Brassiere and half lagers at The French House, Dean Street, later moving on to the Wag club. We were embraced by the new style magazines in our identikit grey suits, close cropped hair & white shirts, our uniform of the city.
In a post-war grey London, we were discovering cappuccino, illegal warehouse parties and a technicolor european identity. A world away from the quaint black & white Hovis nostalgia of ye olde England. Yuppies, BMW’s and money were to rule, and being part of the punk ethos we did not seem to benefit from or embrace the new Thatcher philosophy - or did we? We had rebelled, stood apart, and for me that continued as the 1980’s recession bit.

In 1977 my bedroom was covered in posters, flyers and shelves full of records and fanzines, and when I left home these significant symbols of my past were stored away.
In 1997 I returned from living in America and started to add to my collection. I appreciated the visual immediacy which never seemed tired or dated.
The Mott Collection illustrates the energy, boredom, dynamism and the diverse political social and class issues that were all part of Punk.

The ideals of self-empowerment, motivation, action and common cause are evident throughout. To me they are the spirit of Punk.

Toby Mott 2009

2000 Punks in battle with police

News of the world

Jock McDonald: my little stall on Londonds kings road of where I brought the clash to play on the roof, and I filled the kings road with Punks, the first time on londons streets that the spg (special patrol group) real bastards were used

NME-Thrills-Beaufort 79-04-07

Cancelled minutes before due to Police presence

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Bollock Brothers und Boysox


Eine der erfolgreichsten britischen Bands des letzten Vierteljahrhunderts ist zurück! THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS, der schicke Mix aus Punk und Kabarett, flirten schon seit Jahren mit verdrehten Rock und Dance Grooves und haben in dieser Zeit eine ganze Stange wahrer Hymnen auf die Welt losgelassen. Nun sind sie zurück und haben ein Album im Gepäck, das ein ganz heißer Anwärter auf das Album ihrer Karriere ist. ,The Last Will & Testament" ist der perfekte Soundtrack für den laufenden Sommer. Vor zwei Jahren starb ganz plötzlich eins der Gründungsmitglieder der BOLLOCK BROTHERS, ,Big" Mark Humphrey. Die Band war betroffen, schwor sich aber jedoch, Mark zu Ehren ein neues Album aufzunehmen. Der Tod des Kollegen funktionierte als plötzliche Inspiration für Sänger Jock McDonald, so dass die BOLLOCK BROTHERS gar nicht lange brauchten, um sich im belgischen Studio häuslich einzurichten. ,Last Will & Testament" ist so viel mehr als nur ein Tribut an Big Mark; Jock McDonald erlebt den zweiten Frühling, singt wie ein jugendlicher Krawallmacher mit ganzem Herzen und lässt den Hörer nach dem Ende des letzten Tracks mit Bild eines weisen alten Wolfs vor dem inneren Auge zurück. Im Jahre sind THE BOLLOCK BROTHERS noch immer hungrig und voller Leidenschaft. Die erste Hälfte des Albums ist mit Lichtgeschwindigkeit unterwegs und verbindet eine ganze Armada von verschiedenen Spielarten und Launen. All das kommt jedoch in einer einzigartigen Zeitreise zusammen - eine Reise in das private Universum von McDonald. Und wenn es ein Song verdient, die Hymne dieses Spätsommers zu werden, dann ist das eindeutig die BOLLOCK BROTHERS Version von THE WHOs ,My Generation"!

Billy's - Beaufort Market

Jock McDonald present's at
Billy's - Beaufort Market
Saturday 31 March 1979
Beaufort Market, London
Protest Gig Cancelled!

Kings Road Riot

Jock McDonald wind up
Saturday 31 March 1979
Beaufort Market, London

Protest Gig Cancelled!

Jock McDonald: my little stall on Londonds kings road of where I brought the clash to play on the roof, and I filled the kings road with Punks, the first time on londons streets that the spg (special patrol group) real bastards were used

Roxy Club : Interview with Paul Marko

Author: John Clarkson
Published: 20/06/2008

The Roxy was a legendary Covent Garden nightclub, which serving as a base in 1977 for the early punk movement, saw bands such as the Buzzcocks, the Adverts, the Damned, the Heartbreakers, the Jam, the Slits, the Stranglers and X Ray Spex all pass through its doors.

The focus for much myth making, one of the stories that has generated about the Roxy over the years is that, after it opened on New Year's Eve 1976 at a show headlined by the Clash, it stayed open for exactly a hundred days. While its original promoters Andy Czezowski and Barry Jones were ejected from the club for non-payment of the rent in April 1977 and it was constantly threatened with closure as a result of complaints from local residents, it in fact it survived for another year after that until April 1978. After Czezowski and Jones were forced out, it re-opened briefly as a rock 'n' roll club at the height of punk and ted battles in London, before returning to its punk roots and being taken over in its last few months by a shady underworld figure, Kevin St John.

Paul Marko, who runs Punk77 www.punk77.co.uk, undoubtedly the most authoritative old school punk site on the web, has recently self-published a book about the club, 'The Roxy London WC2 ; A Punk History'. A vast but thoroughly riveting 500 pages in length, it tells of its brief glory period under Czezowski and Jones' tenure ; its decline as first of all the gangsters and then finally builders moved in, and also of the two live albums it created, the chart-breaking 'Live at the Roxy', and the posthumous, poorly-received 'Farewell to the Roxy'.

Paul Marko spoke to Pennyblackmusic about the writing of his book, and, thirty years on after its demise, the Roxy's enduring legacy.

PB : How long did it take you to write your book ?

PM : It took about a year.

PB : You have also got a full-time job working in E finance and run the Punk 77 website as well. Was it difficult balancing your commitments for work and with the website with writing the book ?

PM : When I started the website I spent an inordinate amount of time working on it, but the longer I did it the more quick and efficient I became at doing things for it, and the book came into the void there.

It was difficult though. The amount of hours I worked on it were just ridiculous, especially as in the end I decided to self-publish it. My girlfriend and I had to do all the setting out of the layout, find the photos and do the proofing ourselves.

PB : There have been a lot of other books about punk in recent years. Your book, however, only makes passing mention of Sex Pistols and Sid Vicious. If you’re writing a book about punk these days, it seems that you really have to have the Sex Pistols or the Clash on the cover. Did that make it difficult for you to find a publisher as a result ? Was that why you decided to self-publish it ?

PM : Yes. I fully appreciated that the book dealt with a niche area of punk. Trying to sell something like that to the shops is very difficult. All they will see is ‘The Roxy Club : London WC2’ on the cover. If it had said ‘The Clash’ on it, then that would have been fine. That is just the way things are these days though. It is the same when you look at‘Mojo’. You might see the Sex Pistols on the cover, but never any of the other not-so-well known punk bands. It is like having Princess Di on the cover of ‘The Sun’. Your circulation goes up by having something familiar and well-known on it.

PB : You have said in the introduction to the book that you always swore that you would never write a book. What made you change your mind ?

PM : The whole project started when I did an up-date on the Punk77 website about the Roxy Club. With various interviews with various people I had done, I already had a few little snippets on it, and then I started to interview more people about it. The more I looked into it the more interested I became in it and eventually my girlfriend said to me, “You should do a book on it.” It was after she said that that I started writing it.

I thought that in writing it I might be able provide a different slant on 70’s punk, more of a view from the street and the actual people that were there and visited the club, the opposite to the usual range of talking heads, and the same musicians and journalists who always appear in these books. Then I was able to wrap around the subject of the Roxy a few other things as well, like the battles between teds and punks which hadn’t been covered that much before.

PB : You were 13 in 1977 and never actually went to the Roxy Club though.

PM : No, I never did (Laughs).

PB : What do you think then was the ultimate fascination to you of it ?

PM : I do remember getting the ‘Live at the Roxy’album at the time. I lived up North in Inverness then, and to me, all those hundreds of miles away from it, it just seemed totally exotic. One of the things I really love about that first Roxy Club album is that, as well as some great music, it has this absolutely fantastic sleeve and then inner sleeve that has all these wonderful photos of punk and punkettes and the bands. I suppose that was where my initial interest stemmed with it.

You could be writing a book on the Roxy Club or you could be writing a book about Julius Caesar, but the more details you uncover the more you live it. There were times when I was writing it when I felt that I could actually taste the atmosphere in there. It was really strange, but I got so close to it from people’s testimonies and everything else that comes with writing a book that I felt that if I went back in time I would be able to walk straight into the Roxy without any problems.

PB : You talked to hundreds of people to write this book , didn’t you ?

PM : Yes. A lot of people in fact contradict each other with their quotes. That is the beauty though of memory. I was stunned though at how amazing some people’s memories were. They could remember certain nights there thirty years on in full detail. There must have something magical about the place if they were able to remember things so clearly. Some of them also kept a diary. Some of the book is lifted straight from their diaries.

PB : The diary of a 16 year old punk and Roxy regular Arcane Vendetta is used to provide a lot of the main backdrop to the early days of the club. How did you come across his diary ?

PM : When I started the book I seriously thought it would about 150 pages long (Laughs), but more and things started to come out of the woodwork.In the case of Arcane Vendetta, it really was a matter of typing Roxy Club into Google. I found him on about page 160 there (Laughs).I scoured the web for anyone who mentioned the Roxy, and then would follow the link to it and ask them if they wanted to be interviewed for the book.

You never know what you are going to end up with when you do that. Sometimes people would say, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll do an interview”, and then I would end up getting like three words out of them. Other times people would go, “Oh, alright, if I have to” and they would provide shed loads of information. Arcane Vendetta was one of those. He provided a lot of the book’s photographs as well as his diary.

PB : How many of these people did you know already through the Punk ’77 website and how many of them did you have to trace such as Arcane Vendetta ?

PM : To be honest I didn’t know very many of them beforehand, That’s the beauty of the internet though. It is so easy to get in touch with people. It wasn’t too much of a problem really.

PB : Andy Czezowski and Barry Jones were ejected from the club on the 23rd April 1977 because of alleged non payment of the rent. By that stage punk had become much more fashionable than when the club had opened four months before. Do you think the real reason they were kicked out was because they simply hadn’t paid their rent, or do you think the owners just wanted a bigger slice of the action basically ?

PM : Even now I get confused with the whole finances of that club, but I am pretty much sure that it didn’t have a drinks licence. It always ran on extensions and ninety day appeals.

I think the basic thought behind it on both sides was to squeeze as much out of it as quickly as possible. Andy has since admitted that. The owners would sometimes come down on nights when it was absolutely packed out. They would see loads of kids there and I think they decided that they wanted a slice of the action and thought, “Let’s turf them out”.

Andy and Barry hadn’t paid the rent though for some weeks either. I think that they knew that they were screwed as they kept having to agree to these ridiculous rent demands to stay open and just in the end stopped paying them. It was always on the cards though that they would go.

PB : The Roxy lasted for sixteen months and throughout had a faltering history. Do you think it was always ultimately destined for failure ?

PM : I think that failure is probably the wrong word. I think it was doomed and in a way, to be honest, that probably helped it. It could never have been a success in the long term. The local residents always wanted it closed and that was why there were so many of these ninety day appeals. It was always doomed.

PB : It ended up being owned by a gay gangster, Kevin St John, who had spent several years in jail. How did he end up running the Roxy ?

PM : Even though one of them was a barrister, the previous owners were no doubt linked to various shady underworld figures and so sold it to him. The club was already on borrowed time. He must have known that and I think that the only reason why he took it on was as a front for something else or possibly as a means of procuring young boys.

He also worked as a booking agent, and a lot of the punk bands I spoke to for the book described having to audition at his house where he would make lots of lewd comments and come on to them. When you’re in a rock ‘n’ roll band,and you’re young and you’re trying to get fame, you’ll do pretty much anything. I don’t think much has changed there. I am pretty much sure that there are still managers who screw their bands in both senses.

PB : He was by all accounts a pretty shadowy figure. There is only one photo of him in the book because that is all that you could find,. The circumstances of his death in approximately 1982 were dubious and you have said in the book that a lot of people even now were very reluctant to talk about him. Was it difficult researching his role in the club as a result ?

PM : The worst part was trying to find out about his death. My girlfriend, her sister and myself spent days in the British Newspaper Library trying to find out what happened.

A lot of people I spoke to for the book mentioned reading about his death in ‘The Evening Standard’ in around about 1982. That is the kind of thing that when you are researching something you think, “Oh, well, I suppose that is something”. We had to look at all these newspapers, not just for 1982, but on the years on either side over a five year period. It was overwhelming really.

The more interviews I did the more I was able to build up a picture of the man. People would give or lend me fanzines from the time and there were a lot of snippets there about him. In the end I was able to piece together quite a lot of information about him.

PB : You think he was killed in a car crash, don’t you ?

PM : I am pretty much sure of it. We were never able to find out definitely even despite all that research, but that seems to be the general consensus. I think he would have phoned me by now otherwise if he was still alive (Laughs).

PB : The first era of the club saw a lot of well known names like the Clash, X Ray Spex, Wire and the Heartbreakers all playi there. The latter era saw a lot more obscure acts, bands such as Blitz, Open Sore and Billy Karloff and the Goats, play there. A lot of these latter day Roxy Club bands are dismissed as being really bad. Do you think that is true or do you think as punk had become much more mainstream that they were just eclipsed by all the other punk groups and punk clubs which had also sprung up since the Roxy Club has first opened it doors ?

PM : I think the standard definitely went down. All the top groups who had originally played the Roxy had record deals and got too big to play there. If you look at the second layer of groups which played there, you can, however, see another level of top groups starting to come out. Sham 69, the UK Subs, the Psychedelic Furs, even Adam and the Ants all played there during its last days. Those were all groups that were going to be as big over the next couple of years or even bigger than those in that first layer.

There is a loss of quality though. A lot of people had hopped onto the bandwagon by that stage and there were so many punk bands that there was inevitably going to be a decline in standards. A lot of those punk bands’ dream was to play somewhere like the Roxy.

Even though if you look at that first wave of bands, people like the Adverts had maybe three singles that did well. They had one album that did well also and then that was basically it for them. X Ray didn’t get a deal for a long time, but they were exactly the same. They had a couple of singles and did just one album of any note. Very few of those bands had any kind of longevity apart from the Stranglers, the Damned and the Clash, the actual cream of the crop really. It was probably the best that carried on going really.

PB : Now that you have done the book what will you do now ? Will you just go back to running the Punk ’77 website ?

PM : I think I will. I enjoy the immediacy of websites. I enjoy the typos. I enjoy being proved wrong and being able to go back and change stuff and to make amends for the horrible, pithy comments I have made. To me the website is a lot more fun because it is so immediate and also because it is free for everybody.

PB : Would you ever do a second book ?

PM : I can’t see it myself. The only thing I would probably be interested in doing is Andy Czezowski'ss autobiography since I have learnt so much about him doing this book, but I think he wants something like twelve volumes of it. His pre Roxy years. His time in the Roxy. His years with the Fridge, the club he ran after that. I don’t know if I would have enough time or the patience to write all of that (Laughs)…

PB : (Laughs) Thank you very much.

Jock McDonald vs Serge Gainsbourg

Jock McDonald talks about how he met Serge Gainsbourg in Paris

Wayne County & The Electric Chairs

Wayne throughout his career has been a mixture of confusing possibilities. Man or woman but never wanting to be completely one or the other. Taking hormones but pulling out from the final chop as it were Wayne slowly became more of a woman so much so that in the gossip column of Sounds (16.9.78) Jock McDonald (Vortex club DJ) was reported as trying to pull her at Dingwalls as he described her a the prettiest girl in the place.

Wayne County & The Electric Chairs

The Spotty Dogs @ The Roxy

The Spotty Dogs - Camden Town London

Our most pleasing accolade was to come from either Kevin St John or Jock McDonald, can't remember which. Whist playing our set at the Roxy one of them in a fit of rage and disgust, rushed downstairs and pulled out all the plugs on the amps. I still to this day don't know how we got a residency there.

God the Roxy was a shit hole! We loved it!

Nik Fiend - Alien Sex Friend

Nik Fiend: Around '78 we were going to do a gig on the roof of Beaufort Market in the King's Road. I think Jock MacDonald (of Bollock Brothers) had organised it & there was going to be a big headliner band but so many punks turned up that the police closed off the street & arrested people & stopped everything. We were lucky not to get arrested ourselves. We also did a gig in Oxford, where I jumped onto the bar at the side & ran along it, as I went back towards the stage someone set my shirt on fire. I went flying into the drums, they started to burn, & the curtains as well, somehow someone put it all out & we carried on. Munchie from Tenpole Tudor was playing bass that night. That was part of it, playing with all different people. There was another good one at a venue in York Way, I got halfway through the gig & wanted to liven things up a bit so I dropped my trousers, jumped off the stage & ran around the place, half the place emptied!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Queen Is Dead - The Smiths

The Queen is Dead

The verse

So I broke into the Palace
with a sponge and a rusty spanner
she said: "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
I said: "that's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

is a reference to Michael Fagin, who had his fifteen minutes of fame in 1982 when, under the influence of alcohol, he gained entry into Buckingham Palace one night and had what I can only imagine to be a rather surreal conversation with the Queen, whilst sat on the edge of her bed. The British tabloid press had a field day with his revelation that the Queen and Prince Phillip slept in seperate beds.

The second pair of lines in the verse refer to a short-lived Sex Pistols sound-alike band called, unimaginatively, "The Bollock Brothers". Fagin "guest-starred" by providing vocals for their 1983 offering, "Never Mind The Bollocks '83", a putrid collection of synth-based Sex Pistols cover versions.


Oh ! Take me back to dear old Blighty,
Put me on the train for London Town,
Take me anywhere,
Drop me anywhere,
Liverpool, Leeds or Birmingham
But I don't care,
I should like to see my ...

I don't bless them
Farewell to this land's cheerless marshes
Hemmed in like a boar between arches
Her very Lowness with a head in a sling
I'm truly sorry - but it sounds like a wonderful thing

I said Charles, don't you ever crave
To appear on the front of the Daily Mail
Dressed in your Mother's bridal veil ?
Oh ...
And so, I checked all the registered historical facts
And I was shocked into shame to discover
How I'm the 18th pale descendant
Of some old queen or other

Oh, has the world changed, or have I changed ?
Oh has the world changed, or have I changed ?

Some 9-year old tough who peddles drugs
I swear to God
I swear : I never even knew what drugs were
Oh ...
So, I broke into the palace
With a sponge and a rusty spanner
She said : "Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing"
I said : "That's nothing - you should hear me play piano"

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
But when you're tied to your Mother's apron
No-one talks about castration
Oh ...

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
Like love and law and poverty
Oh, these are the things that kill me

We can go for a walk where it's quiet and dry
And talk about precious things
But the rain that flattens my hair ...
Oh, these are the things that kill me

All their lies about make-up and long hair, are still there

Past the Pub who saps your body
And the church who'll snatch your money
The Queen is dead, boys
And it's so lonely on a limb
Past the Pub that wrecks your body
And the church - all they want is your money
The Queen is dead, boys
And it's so lonely on a limb

Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely
Life is very long, when you're lonely

“Creme fraiche” - Jock McDonald

De groep “Creme fraiche”, met als mentale motor Kris Mys, bracht een opmerkelijke CD op de Belgische markt. Het album “Creme fraiche’s lounge en bounce grooves vol 1″ leent zich perfect voor de moderne DJ, clubs en loungebar. Het is muziek die u meesleept in een trip van een funky grooves en jazzy riffs. Aan het project werkten verschillende artiesten mee waaronder Vlaanderens raptalent Dista. Van de UK kwam zanger en frontman Jock McDonald van de legendarisch groep The Bollock Brothers speciaal over voor de opnames.


Bollocks is a word of Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning "testicles". The word is often used figuratively in British English slang, as a noun to mean "nonsense", an expletive following a minor accident or misfortune, or an adjective to mean "poor quality" or "useless". Similarly, the common phrases "Bollocks to this!" or "That's a load of old bollocks" generally indicate contempt for a certain task, subject or opinion. Conversely, the word also figures in idiomatic phrases such as "the dog's bollocks" and "top bollock(s)", which usually refer to something which is admired, approved of or well-respected.

The Classic Rock Club Cheshunt

How we got Here !!!!

Well back in the eighties the “Bollocks brothers” teamed up with “Crow”to play great music over the airwaves in the traditional British Pirate fashion. We managed to find somewhere permanent to broadcast from (without getting busted) 24/7. The type of music we played at the time was not available on the radio, so we put a programme together to give the the local community the option of listening to Classic Rock, Prog Rock, psychedelic rock, Hard Rock , Space rock, Blues, Modern jazz, Ambient, Avent garde, Dub, ….just about everything you could not get on the radio unless you tuned into John Peel… These days with DAB radio you can get Rock music when you tune into Planet Rock but all the tracks they play are too obvious and still too safe because the suits who organise the playlists for the likes of Tony Iommi, Ian Anderson and Rick Wakeman, need to get their revenue from the corporations that advertise on in between tunes. “Radio Never Say Die!” played music that was played at home by real music lovers because we are passionate musicologists and we grew up in the East End where the whole teenage culture revolved around a wonderful melting pot of music all fused together to give what we have today!! In the mid nineties we discovered the internet and tried out internet broadcasting. We found out very quickly that we could spread good music around the planet. So before all the laws came in to get us jumping thru hoops, we soon had 85 countries tuning into RNSD….It was fantastic…we were getting great feedback from the rest of the world, even NASA were tuning in !!! As we all know once the suits realise they can cash in on a new medium the small guys like the local cornershop will get crushed. We had our servers in Minneapolis broadcasting to the world because this service was not available in the U.K. at the time. RNSD did not have a successful business model because we were more into the music than the money, unfortunately we were a bunch of old hippies at heart so we went skint The servers were taken off us in lewe of back rent and we were off the air again. So I thought lets go back to our roots and take RNSD back on the road. Enter The “Royal Standard Music Venue” in Walthamstowe. I got in touch with some old mates in bands from the seventies who were still on the circuit and we came up with “Radio Never Say Die” presents… After a few shows where we would play C.D,s fans really liked and put on Real bands, not tribute bands, that people wanted to See and listen to. We managed to keep going every other Thursday nite for about 3 glorious years. The following bands that played were Humble Pie, Micky Moody, Colin Blunstone and Rod Agent, Wishbone Ash, The Ozric Tentacles, Stray, The Grounhogs, Tim Rose, The “Mad World” of Arthur Brown, Nik Turners Inner City Unit, Stan Webbs Chicken Shack, Blues guitarist from the USA. Carvin Jones, Martin Turner, (from wishbone ash) Hawkwind guitarist Huw Lloyd Langton, Original Thin Lizzy guitarist Eric Bell, Vertigo label band Clear Blue Sky, ELP,s Carl Palmer…..and too many more to mention Now you get an idea of the type of gig we were….we could do it again, if conditions prevail… First of all we need a demand…This is where you lot come in… I can get a venue where we would start off by playing all the type of music I mentioned above…we would have a “collectors corner” where we could buy, sell or swap c.d.s with each other we could enjoy a glass of real ale at reasonable prices listen to music played through a quality sound system, with a psychedelic light show, see films of all our favourite bands and perhaps listen to the occasional live acoustic act…I would try to keep admission free entry to begin with…. If we can get an audience (35 and over) that would appreciate this type of nite out we can the introduce the “live” bands again …I think that sounds like a plan !!!! You can help make this happen by refusing to watch Big Brother, Emmerdale, Eastenders and Coronation St, by sending me an email to get on our mailing list for future events… I cant do this if you don’t come, we need an audience to make it happen!! There are venues out there who know me and would welcome the customers who love Rock music …so lets all make it happen, get involved, get up off your arses and send me your email or myspace address and be part of the “Rado Never Say Die!” road show Well that’s how “Radio Never Say Die!” has evolved into its next incarnation of The “Classic Rock Club” (Cheshunt) ….. These days the D.J.s at Radio Never Say Die are spinning the black plastic for “The Classic Rock Club” in Cheshunt. We still have the Mighty “Crow”, “D.J. Chilli”, “Ruben from Redbridge” The “Bollocks Brothers”, and on rare occasions , when we can get them out of retirement, “Gomez Gonzalez” and “Sal Paradise”….. We are fortunate enough to have guest D.J,s such as Barry “Vertigo” Winton who is an expert on all things Prog Rock and The Vertigo Label We also have our very good friend Nick Salomon from the “Bevis Frond” who has one of the best Psychedelic collections in the country !!... Nick could often be heard on the airwaves of the mighty “Radio Caroline” playing the best in sounds on the British Psychedelic scene as well as “Radio Never Say Die!” The “Classic Rock Club” has a long history and pedigree for playing the tunes real Music Lovers enjoy…over the years we have been influenced by many genres of Rock music and bands that was spun out from the late sixties and early seventies…… The following Bands are just a few names that come under the heading of Classic Rock, Progressive Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Jazz Rock, Hard Rock, Folk Rock, Acid Rock, Space Rock and Kraut Rock…….
The Band of Gypsys, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Led Zeppelin, Cream, Pink Floyd, Jeff Beck, Blind Faith, Captain Beefheart, The Doors, S.R.V. Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, Nektar, Frank Zappa, The Grateful Dead, Grand Funk Railroad ,Iron Butterfly, Jefferson Airplane, Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Humble Pie, Fleetwood Mac, Muddy Waters,Yes, Hawkwind, Miles Davis, Man, Terry Reid, Traffic, Spooky tooth, Jethro Tull, Them, Moby Grape, The Electric Prunes, Fairport Convention, Love, M.C.5 Tim Buckley, Rolling Stones, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Trapeze, Stray, Caravan, David Bowie, Ivor Cutler, The Velvet Underground Wishbone Ash, The Mothers of Invention, The Allman Bros Band, Santana, Status Quo, The Misunderstood, High Tide, Patto, Iron Maiden,

Vive La Fête: Vive Les Remixes - Review

Vive La Fête: Vive Les Remixes

Horror Movies

Surprise, 2006

Remixplaten zijn een gevaarlijke soort. Slechts zelden krijgen we een volwaardige alternatieve luisterervaring (of die ene uitzonderlijke verbetering), maar vaker vervallen ze in algehele overbodigheid. De minimale electronica van Vive La Fête vormt in feite een uitgekiende grondstof voor de mixtafel, dus willen we het oor toch nog eens tegen deze schijf schurken. Na het tegenvallende Grand Prix (2005) is het misschien ook geen slecht idee om de gevestigde waarden nog even van onder het stof te halen.

Spijtig genoeg wordt ook hier redundantie al snel de rode draad die de nieuwe versies verbindt. In de Vivasulfer remix wordt ‘Noir Désir’ ontdaan van al zijn charme, waardoor zowel de kinderlijke naïviteit van het begin als de temper tantrum aan het einde verloren gaan. Het ooit zo amusante ‘Tokyo’ verwordt in de VLF remix tot bijster saaie electro waarin te veel gesnoeid werd in de lyrics van Pynoo en de weinig verfrissende electobeat geen compensatie kan bieden voor dit gebrek. Ook de twee remixes van ‘Liberté’ zijn zo monotoon dat ze in feite allebei overbodig worden. Waar deze tracks te minimalistisch aangepakt zijn, gaat Tommy Sunshine’s behandeling van ‘Maquillage’ dan weer net iets té sterk over the top met zware electronica en zelfs een lichte trance-invloed.

Gelukkig wordt hier en daar toch nog eens raak geschoten. Het hoogtepunt van de plaat is zonder twijfel ‘Attaque Reprise’, dat ondanks het chaotische begin, dat nergens heen lijkt te gaan, toch uitmondt in een zware loop waar Giorgio Moroder jaloers op geweest zou zijn. Gooi daarbij de plezante kreetjes van Pynoo en heerlijk onbeduidende lyrics: de perfectie is bereikt. Ook de glamoureuze en opzwepende mix van ‘Laisse-moi’ mag er zijn. Sickboy schoot op ‘Vire Le Mash-Up’ Nuit Blanche aan flarden; geen kwalitatief hoogstandje maar wel een verzekerde brede glimlach op het gezicht.

Ook de b-kantjes en onuitgegeven covers kunnen nog enige verrijking bieden. In deze categorie is de geweldigde eighties camp ‘Horror Movies’ (oospronkelijk van de Bollock Brothers) dé must-have en het bewijs dat Pynoo er ook in slaagt om haar Engels van een amusant accentje te voorzien. Meer glansrijke kitsch is er met ‘Vivre Sur Video’ (ooit een bescheiden hit voor Trans-X). Ook het op andere albums afwezige singletje ‘Schwarzkopf’ tekent hier present, zij het dan in de lichtjes minderwaardige doch niet zo ver van het origineel afwijkende ‘R-Kut Remix The Backlash’. Laat de verwachtingen wat betreft Mommens’ interpretatie van ‘Child In Time’ trouwens niet al te zeer de hoogte in schieten, want met een speelduur van acht minuten wordt de track langzaamaan gedraineerd van alle relevantie.

‘Vive Les Remixes’ heeft al bij al nog zeer waardevolle momenten, maar laat ons als totaalpakket toch op onze honger zitten. Door middel van enkele beter overdachte keuzes had dit nochtans een prachtcompilatie kunnen worden. In plaats van het sowieso al weinig betekenende ‘Liberté’ twee maal te laten opdraven, hadden ‘Je Veux Pas’, ‘Touche Pas’ en ‘Hot Shot’ betere en meer voor de hand liggende kandidaten voor een nieuw jasje gevormd. Eveneens opvallend door afwezigheid is de voortreffelijke cover en publieksfavoriet ‘Banana Split’, die na localisering op single en ep toch ook een plaats verdient op een full release. Gezien de vele mogelijkheden die de backcatalogue te bieden heeft, is het spijtig dat slechts de helft van de tracks hier enige meerwaarde bieden. Hoewel deze hoogtepunten gegarandeerd genot bieden, gaan we voor één keer toch voor de mathematisch aanpak en krijgt ‘Vive Les Remixes’ dus slechts de helft van de te sprokkelen punten. En het had nog wel zo mooi kunnen zijn …

Door Tom De Moor 06/01/2007

Last Will And Testament - Review

Last Will And Testament
New wave • Punk • Unclassifiable

MBC Records

Review by Kurt Ingels 19/09/2009


Op 31 maart 2008 overleed Bollock Brothers toetsenist ’Big’ Mark Humphrey die van in den beginnen deel had uitgemaakt van de haast legendarische 'enfants terribles' The Bollock Brothers. Het duurde even, maar Jock Mc Donnald en de zijnen zijn terug met een nieuw album “Last Will And Testament“, opgedragen aan wijlen “Big” Mark Humphrey.

The Bollock Brothers vandaag nog een punkband noemen zou de waarheid geweld aan doen, hoewel, de groep slaagt er ook nu weer in zowat alle stijlen met elkaar te combineren tot een ironisch punk cabaret dat je moeilijk au serieux kunt nemen maar precies het net daardoor altijd doet. “Henry the 8th” is regelrechte pretpunk, in opener “Cyberspace Polaroid” gaat de groep de electro clash richting uit al malen ze er en passant wel Rod Steward’s “Do You Think I Am Sexy” tussen. “My Generation” is een zwaar toegetakelde cover van The Who, “Search And Destroy” laat de anarcho punker in ons los! Met “Israelites - Wet Dream” (live versie) gaan we de reggae tour op. “Der Bunker” tovert één van The Bollock Brother klassiekers om in een pervers duet, “Queen And Country” is een song voor hun te vroeg overleden kameraad “Big” Mark Humphrey, dé “Harley Davidson” wordt à la Serge Gainsbourg opnieuw van stal gehaald. Het titelnummer “Last Will And Testament” is een parabel in de stijl van “The Four Horseman Of The Apocalypse”, zoals alleen Jock McDonnald deze kan verhalen, met in het middenstuk knipogen naar de Patti Smith klassieker “Dancing Barefoot”.

In het oeuvre van The Bollock Brothers zitten uiteraard wel meer knipogen. Frisse nonsens, Britse humor, frivole dubbelzinnigheid het zit er ook op deze “Last Will And Testament” weer allemaal in. Je houdt er van of je loopt er van weg. Maar ik behoor tot die eerste groep. Een leuke hymne aan het voetbal en aan Jock’s neefje in “King Tim James O’Donnel”; veel vrouwelijke vocalen en vooral een album dat mee vorm werd gegeven door Danny Mommens van Vive La Fête. Groots is dit niet, maar om het maar even zo uit te drukken, het is gewoon fantastisch en vooral het zijn gewoon The Bollock Brothers. Love it or leave it.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Simon Hobart - Bio

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simon Hobart (1964 – 23 October 2005)
was one of the most influential figures in British gay nightlife of his era. He was most famous for creating the hugely popular, long-running alternative nightclub Popstarz at London's Scala. He was also the owner and promoter of Soho venues Ghetto (with its world-famous Nag Nag Nag night) and Trash Palace.

Early career
He began his career as a promoter and DJ at a Westbourne Grove goth club in the early 80s, the Kitcat. In 1984, a photo of him in full goth regalia was splashed across the front page of the tabloid The Sun, above the caption "Godfather of Goth." Hobart took the fall for the first club raid on London’s first all-night club. Police (dressed as goths) surveiled the soon-to-be infamous venue and saw no club managers or owners at the place: just the 20-year old DJ. 200 police descended upon the premises. Hobart got away with community service and the club became wildly popular.

Following the huge success of the night, he went on to open another club that became a legend of its time, Bedrock. He has said in interviews that he promoted the club's opening night (17th February 1989 At Oxfords, 21 Oxford street W1) by not letting anyone in, forcing them in a long queue outside, but blasting the music and pretending it was packed to capacity inside. There was immediate buzz about the new, "wildly successful" indie dance night.

His growing reputation led to DJ residencies at the Heaven nightclub. Simon then moved into Drum and Bass - opening two major underground DnB nights, Fusion and Vivid, both having capacities of about 1200 people.

Popstarz and later career
On 25 May 1995, he started his first gay night, Popstarz, capitalizing on the popularity of Britpop. "If Popstarz had failed," he told Alternative London Magazine, "I wouldn’t have embarrassed myself, because I didn’t know anyone in the gay community." It became his most successful creation, and more than a thousand patrons a week continue to arrive each Friday. Many stars have partied there, and it has been host to many world-class bands, including Scissor Sisters, The Dandy Warhols, Le Tigre, and Goldfrapp.

He told Gay.com that he started Popstarz to bring something different to the gay scene, away from the “factory-farm stereotyped, mindless, blinkered gay people” churned out by other clubs. "The feeling was that gay people had been liberated from the hell that they’d been in for most of their teen to adult lives,” he said. “So many people said to me it was like coming out of the closet for the second time.”

In more recent years, his passion was the Ghetto (previously the Tube Nightclub), a small basement club behind the London Astoria, where he had the opportunity to nurture a number of criss-crossing alternative gay scenes. The Ghetto, where Simon spent six nights a week (except Fridays at Popstarz, where he spun), had nights ranging from Redeye (gay metal/punk/rock with devout regulars who connected on the bentpunk internet forum) to The Cock (celebrity-studded, ambisexual post-electroclash) to Misshapes (cutting edge indie with a heavy lesbian presence). On Saturdays Simon himself spun at Wig Out, his packed, unpretentious pop night. Shortly before his death, his new alternative bar Trash Palace hosted the first gay freshers fair for new students in the capital.

Simon often said he was willing to take losses on certain nights (such as Redeye) because he was so committed to promoting the alternative gay scene. In fact, all events and venues run by Simon were and continue to be run on a semi-charitable basis with any profits after costs going to charity.

In 2003, The Observer included Simon in its list of the 20 most influential gay people in the country.

Simon Hobart died in the early hours of Sunday 23 October 2005 after falling from steps outside his home.

Bollock Brothers Biography - NME

Bollock Brothers Biography
The Bollock Brothers are a British Punk act formed in 1979 by the London promoter, DJ and manager Jock McDonald and are latterly best known for their cover of Serge Gainsbourg's song "Harley David (Son of a Bitch)".

Alter-incarnations of the band include Red Lipstique, fronted by Dave Archer and Terry

The BB's were renowned for their left field covers of such songs as Dracs Back, Shame Shame Shame (as Red Lipstique) and For Your Love as well as their self penned creations such as Horror Movies and The Slow Removal of The Left Ear of Vincent Van Gogh. Always on the lookout for clever publicity, their 1983 electro version of the Sex Pistols' album Never Mind The Bollocks received critical acclaim and featured a certain Michael Fagan, the man who famously entered the Queens bedchamber at Buckingham Palace

During the 80's Jock McDonald (ever accompanied by man mountain bouncer "Baby") ran the Studio 21 club in London and frequently featured guest DJ's such as Billy McKenzie of The Associates and regular guest The Fatman (John Blackledge) from the Glamour Club at Crocs in Essex. Studio 21 was one of the most avante garde clubs of its time and was known as the place to be for those who did not simply wish to pose at Camden Palace or the Blitz. The BB's regularly performed at Studio 21 also.

The current members are Jock McDonald (vocals), Henning Janssen (guitar), Richard Collins (bass) and Patrick Pattyn (drums). Henning Janssen is currently represented by Fre Landuyt, the guitarist of the Belgian band Surf Speed Ball Jr.

"Big Mark" Humphries, keyboard player of The Bollock Brothers died on March 31, 2008.

Nick Leeson - Bio

In the early 1980s, Nick Leeson landed a job as a clerk with royal bank Coutts, followed by a string of jobs with other banks, ending up with Barings, where he quickly made an impression and was promoted to the trading floor.

Before long, he was appointed manager of a new operation in futures markets on the Singapore Monetary Exchange (SIMEX) and was soon making millions for Barings by betting on the future direction of the Nikkei Index. His bosses back in London, who viewed with glee his large profits, trusted the whizzkid. Leeson and his wife Lisa seemed to have everything: a salary of £50,000 with bonuses of up to £150,000, weekends in exotic places, a smart apartment and frequent parties and to top it all they even seemed to be very much in love.

SIMEX trading floor
Barings believed that it wasn't exposed to any losses because Leeson claimed that he was executing purchase orders on behalf of a client. What the company did not realise is that it was responsible for error account 88888 where Leeson hid his losses. This account had been set up to cover up a mistake made by an inexperienced team member, which led to a loss of £20,000. Leeson now used this account to cover his own mounting losses.

As the losses grew, Leeson requested extra funds to continue trading, hoping to extricate himself from the mess by more deals. Over three months he bought more than 20,000 futures contracts worth about $180,000 each in a vain attempt to move the market. Some three quarters of the $1.3 billion he lost Barrings resulted from these trades. When Barings executives discovered what had happened, they informed the Bank of England that Barings was effectively bust. In his wake Nick Leeson had wiped out the 233 year old Baring investment Bank, who proudly counted HM The Queen as a client. The $1.3 billion dollars of liabilities he had run up was more than the entire capital and reserves of the bank.

Eventually arrested in Frankfurt, Germany, Nick spent a few fraught months trying to escape extradition to Singapore. He failed and in December 1995 a court in Singapore sentenced him to six and a half years in prison. Lisa his wife got a job as an airhostess to be able to visit him regularly. At first, their marriage survived the strain of being apart, but what Lisa could not abide were his revelations of his infidelity with Geisha girls and she divorced him. Within months, Leeson was diagnosed as suffering from cancer of the colon. His weight plummeted and most of his hair fell out from chemotherapy.

Finally released in 1999, and despite his return to the UK bringing a realisation that the high life had been swept away — he was effectively homeless and without a job — Nick enjoyed a fairly hedonistic first year seeing friends and family but also continuing his cancer treatment.

Nick Leeson has proved his resilience and has been able to capitalise on his experiences. He was paid a substantial fee for the newspaper serialisation of his book in The Mail. The story was then turned into a film, Rogue Trader, starring Ewan McGregor. During 2001 he undertook a Psychology degree and Nick now spends much of his time presenting talks to companies on Risk Management and undertaking after-dinner and conference speaking based on his life experiences. In early 2005 Nick was appointed General Manager of Galway United FC. June 2005 saw the release of his new book Back from the Brink, Coping with Stress, published by Virgin Books.

With a psychology degree and a second marriage to Irish beautician Leona Tormay, (with her own children Kersty (8) and Alex (4)) after trying for a baby they were delighted when, in 2004, Leona gave birth to a baby boy. Nick comments; “I'm of the mindset that cancer must not take you over and control your life. I do believe that the more positive you are, the greater your chance of survival." his advice to others is never to bottle up stress as he himself did: "You need to talk and express yourself as I now do to Leona. With cancer as with other problems, it's amazing how adaptable human beings are, and you will be able to cope provided you keep a strong frame of mind."