January 24, 2015
“Thought-provoking monologues and confrontational lyrics bring you on a cold, doom-laden journey of perpetual war, psychological mind control and disillusionment.”
Police Bastard – Confined CD (Iron Man) Distributed via Cargo Records
Police Bastard – It’s Good To Hate CD/DVD (Iron Man) Distributed via Cargo Records
Police Bastard – Confined – CD Album (Iron Man Records) Distributed by Cargo
“The album starts with “The Curse Of The Cross”, an anti-theistic slice of brutality, which leaves the listener in no doubt that Police Bastard mean business. You even get a quote from Richard Dawkins about teaching the bible as fiction. Musically they give us huge chugging riffs on “Brought To Our Knees”, which tackles the blandness of multi-national companies infecting the high street, set against the backdrop of the widening gap between rich and poor. For those that like their anthems loud and stompy, “Sick Sick System” will no doubt win a seal of approval with its knock about Punk mayhem and catchy refrain, ‘sick sick system, same old bullshit’. Elsewhere on the album, we get subjects as diverse as being captivated by virtual reality (Word Confined) and environmental disaster from the hand of mankind (Cries From The Earth). Album closer “Fortress” sees organised religion attacked once more, and poses the question, how long before it crumbles…..” – Zak, Ryans Gig Guide (Dec 01, 2013)
“….From Mark Orton‘s cover art through the final song, “Fortress,” Police Bastard have presented an album that uses hardcore’s battering ram approach to push through a series of songs that depict how humanity has destroyed the Earth. Lines such as “We’re sealing our fate” hammer home the idea that mankind has taken the world to the edge of existence, and we’ll all soon perish, should we not change our ways. Thankfully, Confined manages to never lapse into Earth Crisis-like preaching, choosing instead to quote the likes of John Gray‘s Straw Dogs: “Long after the traces of the human animal have disappeared, many of the species it is bent on destroying will still be around, along with others that have yet to spring up. The Earth will forget mankind. The play of life will go on.” While the music is basic hardcore which occasionally aims for bigger sonic targets, the lyrics and presentation are what make Police Bastard worth checking out……” – Rock Star Journalist, Rock Star Journalist (Nov 22, 2013)
The Curse Of The Cross, Brought To Our Knees, Sick Sick System, Humanimal, Cries From The Earth, Binary Thinker, Words Confined, Bite The Hand, We Are The Dead, Fortress.
The album was Recorded, Mixed, Produced and Mastered by Simon Reeves at Framework Recording Studios.
Police Bastard – T-shirts and other items of interest Buy here
IMB6020 Police Bastard – Dead to the world CD Album (Discography of everything from Gulf War Syndrome onwards with 7 never released new songs. Should be released next…..)
January 22, 2015
Jan 24th – The Riverside, Sheffield
March 7th – The Birdcage, Southsea
April 4th – Zonhoven Punk Fest
May 23rd – Fibbers, Dublin
June 6th – The Hairy Dog, Derby
June 12-14th – Symmetry Fest Norfolk
July 3rd – Birmingham
July 4th – Degeneration Fest, Telford
Aug 6-9th – Rebellion Blackpool
Aug 13th-16th – Boomtown, Winchester
Sept 11th-12th – Shrubfest, Norfolk
P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics.
Phil Pain: Vox and Guitar
Captain Ozbert: Vox and Bass
Dan the Man: Vox and Drums
Steuie Boh: Vox and Percussion and Saxophone
Steo: Vox and Samples
P.A.I.N Gig Bookings & P.A.I.N record or live Reviews:
Iron Man Records: (uk+44) 07974 746810 email: mark at ironmanrecords.co.uk
P.A.I.N Facebook Page
P.A.I.N : “Oh My God! We’re Doing it.” CD Buy it
P.A.I.N featuring Howard Marks : “Let Me Grow More Weed” CD single Buy it
P.A.I.N : “Our Universe Commences Here” Gatefold Vinyl Buy it
P.A.I.N for Download on iTunes
P.A.I.N releases are also available through Amazon and the usual suspects like HMV.
January 20, 2015
As my readers will remember, last November marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Detroit Artists Workshop, a seminal collective of cultural workers I’m proud to have been a part of.
This coming June will mark the 50th anniversary of the Artists Workshop Press, which published my first books of poetry. And to celebrate my half a century as a poet and writer I have collected 25 poems & 25 writings for Its All Good: A John Sinclair Reader, which I hope to see published in an American edition this year, and hopefully by the publisher of this magazine for which I’ve written a column each month for the past four years.
Now I’m in the process of presenting excerpts from It’s All Good in this column, and this week’s episode is a look at the Detroit Artists Workshop by two of the founding members several months after its creation. This article has been edited from its original appearance in a magazine called New University Thought.
In the context of this column, it’s worth while to note that the Detroit Artists Workshop was a hotbed of weed smoking. We were breathing together to forge a creative conspiracy in the decrepit city of Detroit.
As we’ve seen in a previous installment of this column, the Detroit Narcotics Squad pinpointed the Artists Workshop and this writer as dangerous factors opposed to their utter control of the life of the city, and they caused us a world of pain but we continued to make our art and organize ourselves for effective cultural action.
Finally, I gave the two joints in my famous marijuana case to an undercover policewoman—at the Artists Workshop.
* * * * *
GETTING OUT FROM UNDER
The Detroit Artists’ Workshop Society
By Robin Eichele and John Sinclair
Detroit, despite all its pretensions, has been artistically “dead” for longer than most people here want to admit. Young artists of all disciplines have made it a necessary point in the past generation or two to get out of Detroit as soon as possible for the vital centers of U.S. kulchur—New York, San Francisco, even Chicago.
Detroit has really been nowhere, as the saying goes: one halfway decent theater, one museum, a decaying jazz scene, no community of poets, painters, writers, anything.
A group of young Detroit artists—at first primarily poets and musicians, most of us students at Wayne State University—got together in the late summer of 1964 and decided to do something to make Detroit a viable and vital place to live and work.
A number of us, having found Detroit an inhabitable urban environment, had made various efforts to provide a focal point for Detroit artistic activity in the past: poet George Tysh’s “Touchstone” was a storefront gallery and meeting place that failed to survive due to lack of strong support, and more recently Tysh and painter Carl Shurer operated the Red Door gallery, a center of avant-garde film showings, exhibitions of paintings, and general “hanging out” that ceased operation with Shurer’s departure for Greece in June 1964.
The people who had been active in these ventures formed the nucleus of a new group, the Artists Workshop Society, a totally cooperative organization designed and structured to draw upon the resources of every participating individual in order to perpetuate itself—and promote community thinking on an artistic and personal level—through its own cohesive community nature.
Two artists who would play a key role in the establishment of the Artists Workshop met in June of 1964 and immediately began looking for ways to draw the artistic community together into an effective working group. Charles Moore, a musician, and John Sinclair, a poet and writer involved in the Detroit jazz scene, were at first concerned with providing a place for musicians to rehearse and present formal concerts of the new jazz music.
As the members of the core group talked to more and more people about our concept of a Detroit Artists Workshop, we found a large (although rather cynical) interest, and our original conception grew broader as more of our friends and associates offered ideas and support for its implementation.
On the 1st of November, 1964 the Artists Workshop Society presented the first in what has become a series of free weekly open Sunday afternoon “events” that integrate jazz, poetry readings, and exhibitions of visual arts.
Moore’s group, the Detroit Contemporary 5, donates its time and talent for free concerts, the readings are done by Workshop members and supporters, and Detroit artists and photographers display their work—all for the benefit of the community rather than financial remuneration.
The group wanted more than this surface unity, however: Our goal was (and is) to pull together the active and potential artists in the Detroit area into a working, cooperative community of human beings that would offer to each individual an open, supportive artistic environment.
We saw Detroit as essentially virgin ground—there was everything to be done, the raw material was at hand, and we started working to exploit the situation in what we saw as the best interests of every artistically-oriented individual in the community.
With the physical forces in operation, a spiritual focal point quickly evolved. The Sunday programs began to draw upwards of 100 people weekly, almost wholly from the peripheral student-“beatnik”-artist community that already loosely existed.
No “outside” advertising was done: people were informed of the Workshop’s doings by mimeographed flyers announcing each week’s program, passed out hand to hand by Workshop members to likely looking persons in the immediate vicinity.
Our intention was to attract like-minded people to the Workshop, which we regarded as an emergency measure to help salvage the salvageable; “outsiders,” e.g. entertainment-seekers and “culture-vultures,” would have defeated the group’s purposes.
Cooperative “self-education” classes in jazz history and music appreciation, practical film-making, and contemporary poetry were organized and “taught” by Workshop members to supplement the WSU’s meager programs in these areas and as a means of educating members in the community in the artistic disciplines in which they were involved.
Soon the Artists Workshop Press was organized to mimeograph weekly bulletins and other propaganda, with the ultimate goal (soon to be realized) of printing books of poetry and prose by Workshop members for local and national distribution.
We are operating on what is truly a “grass-roots” level—dealing with people, people who still can be saved—and the success, however large or small, of such a venture depends entirely on personal, individual, immediate direct action in the radical sense of cutting to the root of the problem and working from there.
We have come from nowhere—powerless, no money, with only our personal visions and energies to keep us working at what we believe is useful—and we have made a dent in the huge mountain of ignorance and greed looming high before us in the dark.
We at the Artists Workshop believe that if enough of us are willing to start at the bottom, stop beating our heads against the walls that society has put up for us, organize, and GET TO WORK, to avert the “total disaster now on tracks.”
We don’t claim to have the “only way,” or the “true way”—these labels are not relevant—but we do have a way, and we are following it. And we do mean business.
You can buy John Sinclair books and music in the Iron Man Shop
January 8, 2015
TC Lethbridge – 2000 TC (Released by Iron Man Records – 23rd November 2014)
If you spend too much time in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction you might end up running a record label. Living life in a completely deluded state, generating massive debt for no apparent reason can be difficult to keep going for more than 17 years at a time but, it seems by some terrible mistake I’ve made it look relatively easy. But anyway, enough of that, I want to explain something.
I went to a meeting last year year, the back room of a pub, The George in Southwark actually. The pub is just a few minutes walk from The Shard in London. Gimpo worked on The Shard and if I was going to park anywhere, parking at the foot of the Shard endorsed his work. I’ve spent time, 25 hours at a time, in a van going round the M25 with Gimpo, and believe me, it’s an experience to be had. I was with Steve Fly, a writer, musician and someone who plays drums for the Detroit Poet, John Sinclair who used to manage MC5 and was a founder member of the White Panthers. Steve and John released Mohawk through Iron Man Records in March and I was interested to accompany Steve to the meeting. I wanted to listen in, and if necessary, endorse him as a potential Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger, a new stage play by Daisy Eris Campbell. Daisy is the daughter of Ken Campbell who staged the Illuminatus! in 1976. I was 5 years old when all of that was going on.
The meeting was interesting as I had never met Daisy before and had no idea what to expect. Michelle the production manager, who was sat opposite, seemed to be keen to find the right people to take on the task ahead and no one was thinking any of this was going to be easy. A lot of hard work was ahead. If Bill Drummond had gone out to get Araldite in 1976, never to return…I was sure that this new stage adaptation of Robert Anton Wilson’s book The Cosmic Trigger was not going to be any easier for anyone.
Robert Anton Wilson was an American author novelist, psychologist, essayist, editor, playwright, poet, futurist, civil libertarian and self-described agnostic mystic. I discovered Robert Anton Wilson by way of a band called The KLF and the various aliases from The Timelords, The Jams, The Justified Ancients of MU MU, to 2K and K Foundation. Magic Temple of Discordian Promotions gave me many of Robert Anton Wilson’s books as a present which I’ve read and sometimes re-read. Magick was also a big KLF fan and seemed to know more than me so we soon became good friends. Both Robert Anton Wilson and the discussions I had about his work with Magick gave me inspiration when organising gigs for bands in Birmingham, when signing on and eating the food in my housemate’s cupboard was about all I had. The last posting that Robert Anton Wilson put on his website said: “I look forward without dogmatic optimism but without dread. I love you all and I deeply implore you to keep the lasagna flying.” The whole concept of keeping the lasagne flying made sure I didn’t get any ideas like getting a job or doing anything sensible with my time. In fact, I only stopped organising gigs because the venue I worked at, The Old Railway, was scheduled to be bulldozed. But that’s an aside, someone else was at the meeting who I knew of but had never met. Flinton Chalk was sat across from me, he was the one who sold the old car to Jimmy Cauty which ended up being used in KLF music videos and was renamed Ford Timelord. Flinton had bought the car from a film studio and spent time with friends dressing up as a nun and driving around doing donuts in muddy fields in the middle of the night. You might be wondering where on earth all this is going. You see, as John Higgs will tell you, if you happen to run a record label and read his book The Brandy Of The Damned “This is the problem with doing weird things. If you behave like a reasonable person, then the world will be reasonable back. If you step outside of the norm, however, and act in freaky ways, then the world will match you step for step. ”
And this is how I ended up talking with Flinton about the car, dressing up as a transvestite pirate nun, Jimmy Cauty, KLF, Julian Cope, Tall Hats, Stones Circles, and his time living in Avebury. I used to live in Wiltshire so I know that part of the world pretty well. Judging by the number of times I had driven through Avebury late at night in the early 1990’s its a wonder I didn’t run Flinton down. Somehow we got on to 111hz which can wait for another time, and then to a serious story about his trip to Mothers Jam on Fyfield down near Avebury. A stone tried to dematerialise Flinton and Julian Cope on one of their outings to collect photos and detail for The Modern Antiquarian. Flinton also told me about his band TC Lethbridge, named after Thomas Charles Lethbridge, who was an English archaeologist, parapsychologist, and explorer.
Having spent every last penny for the last 17 years on a record label that few people have any interest in, or understanding of, I was in no mood to consider working with another band and certainly not one that hadn’t played a gig, or had been missing for 23 years with three unreleased albums. But, I have done many things over the years, sometimes for money, sometimes for free, and sometimes because insanity is a far more rational approach to a complex situation than trying to think things through properly. And that’s how I ended up agreeing to help TC Lethbridge until they found someone more suitable.
Sat next to me, Steve Fly had just been appointed Music Director for The Cosmic Trigger so the work was done. I didn’t get out of the building until I had also agreed to do whatever I could to help The Cosmic Trigger. What had started out in my mind as a meeting to endorse Steve and “listen in and learn,” ended up as “You don’t listen and you never learn.” And so it began. TC Lethbridge had found themselves a record label.
I drove back to Birmingham wondering if I would ever learn anything ever. But that was then, so here’s to the now.
John Higgs is the Author of ‘The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band who Burned A Million Pounds’ and ‘I Have America Surrounded: The Life of Timothy Leary’. John Also writes fiction (as JMR Higgs) including The Brandy of the Damned and The First Church on the Moon.
I’ve read John’s book on Timothy Leary and also his book on the KLF and The Brandy of The Damned. All of them are well worth the read, you can make your own mind up which one to read first but, before you consider any of those, I want to tell you about his latest work.
John Higgs has written a book called 2000 TC: Standing on the Verge of Getting It On. The book is not for sale, it will be one of a private edition of 111 copies. Don’t ask. The answer will blow the right side of your brain.
2000 TC was written to mark The Cosmic Trigger play and festival performance in Liverpool. It is the story of TC Lethbridge, who played their first gig after the play, 23 years after they formed. TC Lethbridge are Doggen and Kev Bales, of Spiritualized and Julian Cope/Brain Donor, and Flinton Chalk, who you’ll find more about in John’s KLF book (pages 116-117).
2000 TC is an album recorded by TC Lethbridge in Avebury 20 years ago. It was remastered by the same person who remastered the recent Led Zeppelin reissues. Don’t ask about that either, that’s another story altogether. Flinton met me backstage at The Barbican on 31st May after John Sinclair had performed with The Founder Effect supporting Marshall Allen and The Sun Ra Arkestra. The gig was to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Sun Ra and it was a suitable venue to hand over the 2000 TC master. The album was released on November 23rd by Iron Man Records along with an album called Moon Equipped and another called Mina. The band have been missing for 23 years and now they are back with a gig as part of The Cosmic Trigger, a book by John Higgs, and three albums on Iron Man Records.
I should mention that Thomas Charles Lethbridge was born 23rd March 1901 and passed away on 30th September 1971. You may be interested to know that 30th September 1971 is my birthday. Let me be clear: I am not the reincarnation of TC Lethbridge. If I had come up with a good reason not to work with the band of the same name, it still wouldn’t have stopped anything. It appears from birth, despite my protesting, I have been destined to know TC Lethbridge and release the records by a band of the same name. You cant make this stuff up, no one would believe it. Give the music a listen, you might like it.
The voice on the 2000 TC track Bou Saada is that of Brian Barritt. He makes an appearance in the book Cosmic Trigger, when Timothy Leary tells Robert Anton Wilson that he needs to talk to Brian if they are to both understand Aleister Crowley.
John Higgs said “Spending a few months writing a biography of a band who have yet to show their faces in public was not the most career-minded way to spend my time, but it had to be done. This is a story about people who’ve had some form of visionary or incomprehensible experience, and about how they can only move on and process what happened to them through a creative act. It is about the impact an uncompleted artistic project can have on a life. It also functions as a jigsaw piece, connecting the story in my Timothy Leary book to the one I tell in The KLF.
So, yeah, it had to be written.
No doubt it will be made more widely available at some point, in some format, in some way, should the band keep gigging and putting themselves about. But until then – more about the band here, and catch them Saturday if you can.”
All three TC Lethbridge albums – Moon Equipped, Mina, and 2000 TC were released on 23rd November 2014 on Iron Man Records. Note: Any money generated from sales of these TC Lethbridge albums will be used to finance a vinyl and CD release of each record in future.
If you are interested in reviewing the 2000 TC book or reviewing any TC Lethbridge album get in touch
John Higgs spoke in Liverpool on the Sunday after Robin Ince and made an attempt to make sense of the preceeding days. Unfortunately I didn’t get there, I had to finish a few things and then pop out for a bit. I needed to get some Araldite.
Find out more about the band here:
TC Lethbridge website: http://www.tclethbridge.com