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Pondering

December 31, 2006

Due to fending off flu and pretending I’ve only got a cold as I hate being ill even though I have to admit – right now I do feel shit and merely getting through today has been a bit of a struggle. Consequently I’ve been ‘zoning out’ and pondering a few things. Firstly, I’ve had a song going around my head incessantly that I haven’t heard for years but used to love – ‘Violence Grows’ by The Fatal Microbes. It was one of John Peel’s favourites which is where I first heard it. I wasn’t allowed to listen to John Peel so I had to hide an old transistor radio in my pillow-case and play it really quietly through the pillow to hear anything that was banned. I’m glad I did. The Fatal Microbes were a UK punk group. Honey Bane (Donna Tracey) was lead vocals with Gem Stone (Gemma Sansom) on drums, Pete Fender (Daniel Sansom) on guitar, and Scotty Boy Barker (Scott Barker) who was replaced as bassist by It (Quentin North). I was trying to put up an mp3 of the track here but it won’t accept the code – bugger. Here’s a picture of some of the original founder members instead

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Honey Bane later released the EP “You Can Be You” with the band Crass under the name Donna and the Kebabs. This featured the track Girl On The Run, which was recorded whilst Bane was on the run from a children’s home. In fact, she was on the ‘most wanted’ list for 3 years. Jimmy Pursey (Sham 69), in his capacity as talent scout for EMI-subsidiary Zonophone, signed her on a 5 year contract at the age of 14 I think. 3 singles were issued in the spring of 1981, including the top 40 hit Turn Me On, Turn Me Off. Honey Bane has two singles in the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles.

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I never knew that Pete Fender, Gem Stone and It had originally met when they formed the band Punktuation in 1976. With an average age of just 13 years, it would make them probably the youngest punk band in the country at the time. Vi Subversa who was the lead singer of Poison Girls was another favourite of mine – I also had no idea that they were all related – she is Gem Stone and Pete Fender’s mother. Apart from Charlie Harper (UK Subs) she is thought to be the oldest punk vocalist alive today. Here’s a picture of the Fatal Microbes Violence Grows EP cover. Incredible.

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And I’ve just finished reading this:

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I really enjoyed it. It takes a while to get into. I said that about Booker prize-winning Vernon God Little (also by the same author) which I never did get into – in fact I could never get past the first two pages. There was something about the ‘voice’ that I found irksome. I will definately go back and re-visit and give it another go. Sometimes you need to read the new stuff before you can tackle the original I find. DCB Pierre is not his real name. The nom de plume stands for Dirty But Clean Pierre. Dirty But Clean I guess referring to himself and Pierre was a nickname given to him as a child – it is the name of a Seventies cartoon character. DCB is Australian but raised in Mexico and now living in Ireland. He once sold a house on behalf of a friend and spent half of the proceeds on his once allegedly gianormous drug habit. Interesting. Next – I’m reading this:

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I don’t know much about it but it’s apparent theme is possibly quite similar to the book I’ve just finished which is a coincidence as I was given it for Christmas. The other one I bought for myself.

I think that’s it for now.

PS: Get your slutpods here

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13 Comments
  1. That’s odd. I had trouble with Vernon God Little too. Couldn’t get into it. But I’m a glutton for punishment so I’ll look for DBC’s latest effort.<br/><br/>And I came across this…<br/><br/>http://www.coverbrowser.com/covers/worst-album-covers<br/><br/>Thought you might be interested..

  2. Istvanski permalink

    Blimey! I remember seeing Donna &amp; the Kebabs at that venue in Hammersmith (Clarendon I think it was, not the Odeon). They supported a band called The Straight (mate’s band) and they did a god-awful version of "Polly put the kettle on".<br/><br/>Thanks for rekindling that nightmare, RoMo.

  3. Istvanski permalink

    P.S. Hope you recover quickly from the flu and have a cracking new year.

  4. rockmother permalink

    Dickley – well – maybe try Ludmila first and then go back. I’m going to – I’ll report back.<br/><br/>Ister – The Clarendon! I remember being told I was too young to get in there and to ‘hop it’! Not fair seeing as Donna and her Kebabs were the same age! I’ve just realised – due to the code embedding issue which I had to take off – it seems to have taken a whole paragraph off this post. I was a bit delirious on Benylin4Flu mixture so obviously didn’t notice. Will update shortly – not that many people will notice (or care quite possibly!)<br/><br/>Looks like New Year is cancelled this year due to flu unless I suddenly get better by teatime!

  5. mimi buzzard permalink

    I liked Veron God Little but didn’t enjoy Ludmilla that much…A Short History of Tractors is a great book, i enjoyed that a lot, hope you will too!<br/><br/>Happy New Year:)

  6. Betty permalink

    God, I remember that Fatal Microbes song …<br/><br/>"When you’re getting kicked to deff in a London pedestrian subway, don’t fink passers by will help, they’ll look the other way". Wonder what happened to Honey Bane?<br/><br/>Happy New Year, hope you feel better soon, etc.

  7. rockmother permalink

    Mimi B – I’m going to give Vernon God Little another go – happy new year.<br/><br/>Betty – Honey Bane on munterspace and alive and well by the way. Ftal Microbes are on my last 2006 podcast – should be up in about half an hour.<br/>Have a great New Year – I’ll probably be in watching Jools Holland Hootenanny and mixing Benylin4flu mixture with champagne at midnight! xx

  8. Tedward's Missing Ear permalink

    I really liked Vernon God Little but haven’t read Ludmilla yet. I thought the Ukrainian Tractor book was very funny. Enjoy.

  9. llewtrah permalink

    Ooh – please post a review of the tractors book, I’ve been dithering over whether to get it for ages. Though if I wait long enough it will probably turn up in Oxfam.

  10. rockmother permalink

    Tedwards and Llewtrah Otter Lady – I’m not enjoying tractor book so far. Am finding the humour a little irritating. It might just be that it was too stark a contrast to the previous book. I’ve shelved it in favour of finishing a Rachel Cusk novel – then I’ll go back to it I think.

  11. GreatSheElephant permalink

    I really enjoyed vernon god little once I got into it. Tractors was OK but a bit ‘superior’ in tone. Which it was meant to be – but still.

  12. "It" permalink

    You may be interested to know that Honey Bane is alive and well and living in the US now. Im pretty sure she wasnt signed to EMI until she was 17 at the earliest. I seem to recall being on backing vocals with Pete Fender and "the crowd" when she recorded "Jimmy (listen to me)" at Abbey Road. That would have been in about 1979 or 80.

  13. rockmother permalink

    It – cool – thanks for dropping by. I think Honey Bane is back in UK now…couldn’t be absolutely sure though. What do you do now? Are you still involved in music?

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