Howard Marks 1945 – 2016

April 11, 2016

Howard Marks performing at The Garage, London in 2000

“In the early hours of 10th April 2016, Howard Marks died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his four loving children.

The best-selling author, life time campaigner, raconteur, stand-up comedian and counterculture hero died after battling bowel cancer that was diagnosed at a terminal stage in August 2014.

He fought the illness with grace and humour.

His death was 21 years to the day since his release from prison in the United States, his second bout of imprisonment for cannabis smuggling since his miraculous acquittal at the Old Bailey in 1980.

One of his last acts was to set up the Mr Nice foundation, to ensure the causes dear to him continue to receive his support.”

“I have tried every way I can think of to accelerate the day of Cannabis legalisation, thereby ceasing the torture of Cannabis smokers. I’ve flooded the country with the good herb, I’ve stood for Parliament, and I’ve skinned up in police stations. None of it has worked. I needed help. I got it from P.A.I.N., the best guys in the world” – Howard Marks (2000)

Iron Man Records had the pleasure of meeting, working with and listening to Howard Marks. He really was exactly as you would hope. A truly decent bloke, funny, humble and just Mr Nice. His life and work will live on…..

“You might control a lot of things Drugs Tsar, but you’ll never control my mind…..” Howard Marks from the song Let Me Grow More Weed he recorded with P.A.I.N

It is with great sadness I have to post news of his passing. Love to all his family and those who knew him.

Mark, Iron Man Records 11th April 2016

P.A.I.N Tour 2015

January 22, 2015

P.A.I.N Tour Dates 2015
P.A.I.N have a number of tour dates for 2015 and more to be confirmed soon. Here are the dates so far:

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

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.

P.A.I.N - May 23rd 2015 Fibber Magees

P.A.I.N – Our Universe Commences Here Vinyl distributed by Cargo

September 30, 2014

P.A.I.N - O.U.C.H - Our Universe Commences Here 1600x1600

Track Listings

1. Schtum
2. P.A.I.N
3. Blue Ska
4. Rocking Cross De Borda
5. Neighbourhood Watch
6. Super Drugs
7. A-Z
8. S.T.A.H.B.M
9. Eastern Dub
10. Chickens

Double Gatefold Vinyl (Distributed By Cargo 13 Oct 2014)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Iron Man Records

O.U.C.H is the long awaited second album from P.A.I.N. The South London conspiracy offer the world a radioactive audio file crammed full of Nuclear Dub, Genetically modified Ska, and BSE laced Punk Rock. The album is about the prison system, its use against the defenceless, and laws that cannot be defended. The band have found allies in unexpected places, such as the well documented liason with Howard Marks and the support of Kate Bush. Always outspoken, P.A.I.N see their music as a vehicle of political expression; There is much more to Our Universe than the prohibition of Cannabis, you only have to look at the poetic irony of simultaneous fuel protests and widespread environmental catastrophe. Everyone will talk of the necessity for radical change, yet still, nothing changes. Are we all just consumers for the profit of the IMF? Do our lives really amount to a column of figures? Just who has the power now? Surprisingly, it’s still all of us. The Protest Movement has become global in response, and we now have a genuine opportunity to fight back at the real enemy; no longer the copper, or politician, but the evil bastards who claim with a straight face that they own 90% of the worlds resources. We are all born on this planet and every single human being alive has an equal right to life, air, water, and food. They tell us that this is being naive and unrealistic. We tell them that we will never rest until our demands are met, they had better sleep lightly – P.A.I.N.

Original sleeve artwork by top British cartoonist Pete Loveday whose Saga of Russell comic books can be found around the world. P.A.I.N feature ex-members of R.D.F and A.O.S.3. Members of P.A.I.N can also be found in SUICIDE BID, RUBELLA BALLET, LESS and LEGION OF DYNAMIC DISCHORD.

P.A.I.N - OUCH poster 150 dpi

P.A.I.N – Oh My God! We’re doing it! CD distributed by Cargo

September 29, 2014

P.A.I.N - Oh My God! We're Doing It....We're Fuckin' Doing It....!! 1600x1600

Track Listings
1. Intro/Beltane
2. Everything Must Go
3. Pork Dub
4. British Justice
5. No Leaders For The Free
6. Money
7. Oh No! It’s The Pigs
8. Lighters
9. Punx With Guns

Audio CD (Distributed by Cargo 13 Oct 2014)
Number of Discs: 1
Label: Iron Man Records

This is the re-issue on Iron Man Records of P.A.I.N’s classic first album. Originally released on Inner State back in 1995 the album sold out and after the collapse of Inner State had been lost until now. The Original artwork has been reconstructed to be as close to the original as possible and the track listing includes all the classics from the P.A.I.N set.

The album includes the work of Phil, Dan and Ozzy who were all in R.D.F. Phil has also played guitar with RUBELLA BALLET and been involved with the band called SUICIDE BID. John is no longer performing with the band and is currently working with a reformed A.O.S.3. (John also did LEGION OF DYNAMIC DISCHORD and later a band called LESS)

This record was seen by P.A.I.N as the third in a trilogy, RDF: Raggamuffin Statement, A.O.S.3: Diversionary Tactics and this cd P.A.I.N: Oh My God! We’re Doing it.

P.A.I.N play heavy dub reggae, good time ska, and pissed off punk rock, and endeavour to keep their addled heads around the contradictory and confusing areas of radical politics. The Band has supported numerous underground struggles and pressure groups along the way, working extensively with groups like Reclaim the Streets, Anti-globalisation groups, Hunt Saboteurs, Anti-fascists, Squatters, Mad Pride, MacLibel, and many more….

That’s the politics, however, it would be to sell the band short to say the story stops there…They are, like most punk bands, part Pistols, part Spinal Tap (actually, was there much difference?) and the best things about P.A.I.N are the stories of what has happened to them over the years, genuinely unbelievable situations…Contrary to the many rumours circulating, the band have not split up, they never did. The band are alive and well and gigging all over the place, writing songs for the next album. They have a page on facebook too.

“Through raw dub, reggae and punk rock P.A.I.N. challenge inconsistent politics and attack and question through intelligent and bright lyrics: “So many thousands across the country with nowhere to go at night, so they take over empty derelict houses to call their own and try to put right, can’t you see that squatting is not a moral wrong it’s a cry for help from those in need, anxious for a roof over their head when the council are deaf to their pleas”. There are bands that just use politics as a front and something to sing about and there are bands that truly believe in what they are writing and singing about and who are devoted to it even when they’re not making music and that’s P.A.I.N. Their sound and attitude is unquestionably English and this record could have come out in the late ’70’s, early ’80’s or really anytime up to the present. It’s old-fashioned and fresh all at once and it’s a pity that you don’t really get bands like this anymore….really staunch, raw political bands. It’s all just silly shit these days where very few punk rock bands have got anything really important to say.”

 “P.A.I.N (Propaganda and Information Network for the uninitiated) were/are a band formed from the ashes of the seminal RDF (Radical Dance Faction) and the festy-dub-ska-punk AOS3 (named after Augustus Owsley Stanley III, maker of much LSD and roadie for Grateful Dead). With that background in mind, “Oh My God…” manages to combine a hard radical political edge with catchy tunes, skanking dub and some original sampling!

At just over 40 minutes with 9 tracks including the RDF songs “Punx with guns” and “Lighters” (with the same tune as Dum-Diggy on Ragamuffin Statement) there is something for everyone on here. From the slowed-out dub reggae of “Beltane” and the ludicrously catchy “Money” to the punked up “British Justice” and “Oh no! It’s the Pigs,” this album incorporates the best of the earlier bands’ sounds. The political angle makes this album sublime and not done in a conventional anarcho-ranting way but fusing some humour, simple choruses and catchy tunes such as “If you go down to Sainsbury’s, the special offer of the week is that it’s free” and “British justice… British justice… I can’t make sense of it ‘cos I’m stupid.” Vegetarianism, environmental activism, anti-capitalism, self-organisation and anti-statism are among the topics covered in songs, but not in a preach-shove-down-throat way but to the relaxing dub beats and bouncing British punk. To round it all off, the album ends with armed revolution on the streets of Britain!

Admittedly the recording quality could be a tad better but by standards of other DIY punk/reggae/free-festival types, it’s not that bad! To top it all off, the title comes from the truly brilliant anarchist-propaganda Tin Tin “Breaking Free” comic which makes for a great album cover and t-shirt!

“Oh my God…” brings together all the best elements of AOS3, RDF, the anarchist-influences, free festivalling and biting satire. Still going strong despite losing John from AOS3, P.A.I.N manage to make one of the best ska-dub-punk-esque releases which you can come back to again and again. Finally, to top it all off, many hours will be wasted laughing at the booklet that comes with it demonstrating all the political acts against the state, government, Tories and much more. May the session continue!” By MH Lambert on 8 Oct 2007.

P.A.I.N- Oh My God! Net Advert

Howard Marks at The Adam & Eve, Birmingham, Friday 3rd February 2012

January 7, 2012

An Evening with Howard Marks
Howard Marks at The Adam & Eve, Birmingham, Friday 3rd February 2012

Friday, 3rd February 2012

The Adam & Eve, 201 Bradford Street, Digbeth, Birmingham, B12 0JD

8pm til 4am

Mr Nice is returning to Birmingham and the Adam & Eve.

During the mid 1980s, Howard Marks had forty-three aliases, eighty-nine phone lines, and twenty five companies trading throughout the world. Bars, recording studios, offshore banks: all were money-laundering vehicles serving the core activity: dope dealing.

Marks began to deal during a postgraduate philosophy course at Oxford and was soon moving large quantities of hashish into Europe and America in the equipment of touring rock bands. The academic life began to lose its allure. At the height of his career, he was smuggling consignments of up to thirty tons from Pakistan and Thailand to America and Canada and had contact with organisations as diverse as the CIA, MI6, the IRA, and the Mafia.

After many years and a world-wide operation by the Drug Enforcement Agency, he was busted and sentenced to twenty five years in prison at the United States Federal Penitentiary, Terre Haute, Indiana, the site of America’s only Federal Death Row.
He was released on parole in April 1995 after serving seven years of his sentence….and now he’s coming to the Adam!

Tickets £7 Buy Your Tickets Here

P.A.I.N and Howard Marks - Let Me Grow More Weed

IMB6002 P.A.I.N featuring Howard Marks : “Let Me Grow More Weed” CD single Buy it here,

Download it from iTunes here or watch the video below.

You may be interested to know that some ten years ago Howard Marks and the Propaganga and Information Network (P.A.I.N.) recorded a song called “Let me grow more weed.” The song was released by Birmingham based record label Iron Man Records. The record aimed to introduce the legalisation of Cannabis into a more common arena for discussion and targeted the unconverted, the people who would not normally take an interest in the cause. Howard and the band threw down the gauntlet to the Government. They believe Cannabis should be legalised and will not stand aside ever. Howard Marks’ book “Mr. Nice” is a best seller, his articles in magazines have become notorious. He stands at the front line of the cause to legalise drugs and people are listening. P.A.I.N. on a more underground level, are also on the front-line of many different causes and social comment, one of them being the legalisation of Cannabis. “Let me grow more weed” has a message for all to read: Cannabis should be legalised.

“I have tried every way I can think of to accelerate the day of Cannabis legalisation, thereby ceasing the torture of Cannabis smokers. I’ve flooded the country with the good herb, I’ve stood for Parliament, and I’ve skinned up in police stations. None of it has worked. I needed help. I got it from P.A.I.N., the best guys in the world” – Howard Marks (2000)