bandz ahoy
This is all I(/we) want for Christmas


Because he's hilarious, because he's got stories, because he's got good taste (and not the same taste as most of dissensus)

because he talks about music as a part of life, because he knows about other, sometimes arcane, stuff (because he hipped me to satanic nazi yorkshiremen threatening to stab people in pub car parks on camera, i think?)

because, because I joined here relatively 'late', I have no idea who the fuck he is and perhaps i'll find out more as he guides us through his 100 BEST SONGS EVER


As I was telling Pearsall at the Society of Dilettanti Xmas lunch: the music biz is a bigger plague on humankind than monkeypox. Coke-bloated liggers, pissers and kiss-me-arses, all the way from Bandcamp to the BBC.

Behold: a decrepit necropaedophile fumbling in a teenybopper’s drawers on TOTP – yet the cameras roll on! A ragga producer hires gunmen on mopeds to deliver overdue royalties to a struggling MC – a payment delivered in HOT LEAD. Just as ugly: a camel-faced cunt who edits ‘The Quietus’ phones three non-white industry contacts to ask Huurrggh…can I still say Mark E Smith hollering about n*****s on ‘The Classical’ is trés cool without getting cancelled? It’d make a phone scammer blush.

What we need is someone to tell the music biz to PISS OFF. A BIG PISS OFF TO THE MUSICK BIZ.



65p? You can’t even get a bag of Space Raiders for that now.

Anyway, here’s 15-year old punk rocker (and future Big Jugs pin-up) Donna Boylan, AKA Donna Kebab (she should have stuck with this one), AKA Honey Bane, effortlessly knocking out a 3-track EP while on the lam from juvenile detention centre and sofa-surfing her way around East London and the Essex border.

Now, I come from the civilised part of town – North-West is the best (even Colindale) – but I’m no stranger to Dissensus’ beloved East End. My Auntie Birdie lived off Vicarage Lane in Stratford with her miserable husband Fred. So back in the ‘80s, after I’d nagged my mummy to take me to the London Dungeon for the umpteenth time, back when it was a fleapit on Tooley Street (and full of waxworks of peasants with boils being eaten alive by rats, and snarling, blood-splattered Boadicea grinding a massive fuck-off pike into a Roman soldier’s windpipe), we’d travel over to Stratford afterwards for a sandwich and tea. Then my mum and aunt would decamp to The Bay Tree for scotch and dry gingers and a gossip, dragging me along, so Fred could watch the racing in peace. Squinting though the mists of time, I can just about pick up The Bay Tree again…signed pic of Bobby Moore hanging over the bar…cheese and onion rolls by the drip trays…fags smouldering in Charrington ashtrays…Lennie Peters lookalike in a yellow sweater, holding court at the bar…going outside to pat the brewery dray horse, on the rare afternoon our paths collided…and Funny Charlie with his porkpie hat, pencil ‘tache and flash suit, flirting with all the women, spoiling kids rotten with packets of crisps and creased-up banknotes, guffawing away like life couldn’t touch him. I went back to The Bay Tree in 2002 with a mate from Woodford and his wife, and it was crap…just aluminium-strip tables with Smirnoff Ice promo flyers dumped over them.

The A-side’s the EPIC melodrama Girl On The Run – best thing she ever did, I reckon. I still love the intro to this and get goosebumps when the bass kicks in: something about it conjures up pre-CCTV London for me. Teen runaways were a moral panic back in the early ‘80s, as was child abduction (you can get a sense of the vibe in the ’83 film Runners). I dunno: you wash up on this shithole planet, innocent as a lamb – then, four news reports later, you realise a load of perverts want to snuff you out. I once asked my dad: why do people snatch kids? I knew not to get into some weirdo’s motor, but why did they want us? What was their end game? “SO THEY CAN STICK THEIR PENIS UP YOUR BACKSIDE,” my dad tutted, as if I’d asked him why vampires have sharp teeth. But how was I supposed to know? And why did grown men want to wee in children’s bums? Should also mention that Girl On The Run is the only punk song I’ve ever heard that features a woodblock solo, which you never got with Black Flag.

It's all about the A-side, but the B-side’s not too shabby: Porno Grows is like some sort of seedy jazzy tune with fuzz bass and Honey Bane decrying porn and Soho saunas. There’s a dumb line that might get her into trouble now (and doesn’t make much sense) but Porno crashing down on London is a good lyric – think Debord would have liked it. The EP ends with Boring Conversations, a more straightforward punk rant about having to spend the morning with the truant officer.

Oh yeah, members of Crass play on it.

After this she did a reggae 7”, then signed to EMI, who repackaged her as a sort of Toyah-goes-Selecter act. It was awful. Her penultimate EMI single saw her go electro (ironically titled Wish I Could Be Me). It’s not the worst thing she recorded, but sounds like some moron at the label had heard Paul Haig's Blue For You and decided she’d be a juicier cash cow if they marketed her as the girl version. On that 7" front cover shot, Honey looks like she’s just had ECT, with the sort of thousand-yard stare you’d expect from someone chewed up and spat out by The Biz. After fleeing that cesspit of corruption, spreading your growler for Razzle readers must have felt sublime.

Decades later, some sleuth (not me!) stumbled across an online forum of, er, vintage wank-mag connoisseurs, and unearthed a thread of lovingly scanned Honey Bane scud pics, including a few where she was pregnant – which he then leaked to an anarcho-punk message board (didn’t go down well). Yes, I’ve seen them, and no, I didn’t. She also starred as an inmate in the dreadful film Scrubbers (billed as ‘the female Scum’). All I remember about it is a girl getting hit with a bucket of shit, and Pat Butcher in a tracksuit.

Will bow out by acknowledging the other East London blonde bombshell: Sam Fox, who also signed her first record deal at 15 and made bank from her tits, but hit jackpot doing it. But Fox was from Mile End: a bruiser capable of holding her own against the sleazebags in The Biz, and supported by a family…something Boylan, as a frequent ward of the state (and later ostracised as a ‘sell-out’ by her former punk pals), lacked. Though now at least her best record’s forever immortalised…on the only forum that gave Paul Hotflush a nervous breakdown.




Cheapo CD compilations are people too, and we’ll abide no musical snobbery here! Oh OK, just not about this one. It's a great example of how packaging can make all the difference: if Dub Chill Out had come out on Blood & Fire or Soul Jazz…or hadn’t been called Dub Chill Out…or had featured sleevenotes a cut above ‘Trance’ is dub in a modern setting (written by Guardian hack Rick Glanvill – see, Sufi was right to ban ‘em)…the experts would still be raving about it and elevating it to god-tier status. And they’d be right, because whoever selected these tracks was onto a winner from start to finish.

The only real cock-up’s that nearly all the songs are mistitled. From what I’ve managed to work out over the years, a fair chunk of the compilation's been sourced from the albums Rocker’s Almighty Dub, Bunny Lee’s King Of Dub and Scientist’s Scientific Dub. You also get a dub of Linval Thompson’s Don’t Try To Rob I and some brilliant Lee Perry tracks that aren’t even by him. But we’re trying to ‘dub chill out’ here, not kick off a 200-page ruckus on the Blood & Fire forum, so let’s pretend they’re really by Scratch and hail Venus and Hold Of Death as wondrous outtakes beamed in from a parallel-universe Black Ark (it’ll all be AI-generated soon anyway).

I worked in Shoreditch for a few years and my favourite local pub was The Fox on Paul Street – not least because all the girls from the fashion company downstairs used to drink there. The French barman Eric was always playing Dub Chill Out on his shifts – which included the afternoon of 9/11, where we washed up at 3 or 4pm after a rumour spread around our office that a sixth plane was heading towards London. Can you imagine? The directors bolted off for Old Street station and told us all to go home - based on a rumour that we were going to get WTC'd. I can't even remember who started it. Fuck going on boring demonstrations or flinging paint over a Watteau: you can bring power to its knees by just making stuff up. Worked for the publishers of the libelles in France.

So, Dub Chill Out is really my '9/11 album', bringing back happy, hazy memories of boozing it up all afternoon, evening and night with Eric and Chris from the picture desk, and this incredible feeling that global jihad might at least mean we wouldn't have go to work soon. Though there was a drunk city boy in the pub insisting the Chinese must have done it. Anyway, here’s Scientist’s Blacka Shade Of Dub (mistitled King Tubby’s Dark Destroyer Dub on the CD) - the second half of which sounds to these ears like a descending fleet of phantom planes heading for the Lloyd's building.


I think everyone’s familiar with the links between ska/rocksteady and UK mod/skinhead culture by now. It all gets a bit boring. So, it’s great to hear Dave & Ansel Collins give props to the skins’ arch-enemies THE GREASE as they set off for their bank holiday beano on the Isle of Man (no doubt whipping a few mods with car aerials along the way). Also worth mentioning that Philthy Animal Taylor from Motorhead was into reggae and bluebeat in his teens.

I think it was Zeno of Citium who said there’s basically two types of ‘man’ – mods vs rockers. I’ve never figured out which one I am. I’d like to think I could hang with the mods… a fashionable man about town, creases like knives, hoovering up dexedrine in Bar Italia. And I really like Making Time by The Creation. But I’ve always hated parkers (which are just anoraks, basically) and can’t look at a Lambretta without thinking mobility scooter, no matter how many mirrors you stick on it. Wiping your grimy paws on your unwashed, blood, beer and puke-encrusted leathers and denims ‘til you have to have them surgically removed from your scabies-infested carcass is more my style, sadly. But then again, all these biker gangs have WAY too much bureaucracy for my who knows which way I'd have swung when the deckchairs started flying on Brighton Pier? Probably hiding in a café, taking the piss from the window.





I was raised Roman Catholic. I’m actually named after St Martin de Porres – the first mixed-race person to be canonised, and patron saint of racial equality and social justice – so cut me some slack on the Oi! records. Apparently St Martin had the powers of bilocation and levitation, plus the ability to communicate with animals, so he's a handy patron to have: never know when you'll need to tell a king cobra to fuck off.

But being a left-footer in Ireland or the UK is pretty dull, especially as an altar boy. I spent one Good Friday evening wearing a frock and swinging a thurible as I slowly lapped the entire church on a ‘Stations of the Cross’ circuit, alongside a geriatric priest with hair sprouting out of his ears – and that was AFTER having worked the earlier 3pm service! Even my parents had driven home by then, leaving me to it. That's 14 Stations in total, with a full rosary for each took ages. I know it’s become trendy for young men on the alt-right to declare their allegiance to Catholicism, but if you haven’t got at least one Stations of the Cross tour under your belt, you’re just a poser in my eyes…

Meanwhile, in the Spanish town of Calanda, people were making a gleeful racket: smashing drums all Easter weekend while pointy-hooded priests and flagellants marched in front of carnival floats packed with flowers and weeping statues. And they had good weather. The altar boys wore military-style jackets with golden braid and buttons, which looked well neat - unlike the shapeless frock I was issued. Maybe if I’d grown up with such full-on Catholic bling, the Devil would've had to come up with something spicier than Never Mind The Bollocks... to lure me off the righteous path.

Triumph Of The Flesh is a straight-up recording of one of these Calanda Easter drum freakouts. Apparently, the drumming reaches such an intensity IRL it causes houses to shake, and can trigger religious ecstasy in participants. Regrettably, this LP was released as a picture disc (a few copies have actual blood pressed in the grooves) so the volume’s not quite as bone-rattling as we’d all have liked it.

Vagina Dentata Organ is basically Jordi Valls, a piss-taking Dali obsessive (and port connoisseur) who knocked around with Throbbing Gristle, Psychic TV and Whitehouse back in the day. His other releases include Music For The Hashishins: Trained To Kill (42 minutes of a dog snarling - seriously, that's it) and The Last Supper (the CIA audio recording of the Jonestown Massacre as it unfolded: also, unhelpfully, pressed on picture disc, so it sounds like Jim Jones is frying bacon in the background – but at least it looks good). Jordi’s major brush with fame was when he guested on Spanish arts & culture show La Edad de Oro, where, pre-empting Kanye by several decades with his fetching face mask, he ‘played’ a ‘mix’ of his recordings while hacking at blood-bags concealed behind paintings - supported by the world’s laziest pack of German Shepherds. I think the plan was for the blood to drive the mutts into a frenzy, unleashing total canine chaos in the studio – but they clearly fancied a lie-down instead.

Meanwhile, British youth had to make do with 'Cheggers Plays Pop'

I'm sure Triumph Of The Flesh is no substitute for actually travelling to Calanda and having the drums pound you in the gut ((something I keep meaning to do, but still haven't got round to...please Version, don't look it up on here...maybe in 2024, though?)) but I like the record enough to include it in my top 100. I don’t know why the disc’s part-credited to The Pagan Drums of Calanda. Was The Catholic Drums of Calanda not edgy enough for Psychic TV fans? I reckon torturing and burning alive half the population of the Iberian Peninsula (as well as turning Goa into a mass grave) carries a fair amount of industrial edgelord gravitas.

I used to play this album a lot when I went to LA Fitness in Golders Green between 2009-2010, to drown out the dogshit the gym used to play – that fucking Like a G6 tune for starters. Or the hit me on my beeper! beeper! beeper! beeper! song…I’ll hit you with something, you cunt…shut the fuck up! I’m trying to get fit here. I’d stick my earphones in and play Triumph Of The Flesh as loudly as possible, spraying sweat and snot all over the cross-trainer. It still sounds like going to war.

Oh St Martin, all the angels and saints…the filth I witnessed in LA Fitness! Men screaming AWWWGGGHHHH!! as they lifted in front of the mirror. Stinking of ammonia, like big babies’ nappies. Pulling down their shorts and injecting themselves with steroids! AWWWWGGGGHHH!! Might as well have been shoving the dumbbells up their arses. Israeli girls in make-up, lycra and high heels...eating KFC on the treadmills! A toothless old man rolling around on the floor…groping and french-kissing the gym ball! Could've just knocked the Stella and kebabs on the head and saved myself the sordid spectacle.

Martin de Porres is also the patron saint of innkeepers.

John Eden interviewed Jordi Valls here: