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Seething And Loathing In Chalk Farm

Stuart Bailie | 20:56 UK time, Friday, 30 October 2009

Atilla The Stockbroker was ranting, the Mekons sent their regards and so did Billy Bragg and the Redskins. Fanzine culture was saluted and all we needed was a Miner's Strike to make the evocation of mid-Eighties agit-rock more complete. Actually there was one other dimension missing, and that was why we had gathered in a North London pub on a sweet Thursday night. We were remembering the late NME writer, Steven Wells.

I mentioned his passing few weeks ago, and while there was a get-together just after, this was more expansive. There was clips of Swells when he featured on the Whistle Test -having sport with John Peel and mugging with style. We saw bits of the videos he made for the Manics, Skunk Anansie and more. I'd forgotten his involvement in the unreleased Ash movie, and we heard Ewan McGregor manfully reading the Swells script. His mates from Chumbawamba read out his hilarious dismissal of Belle And Sebastian and another pal, Tony White, gave us excerpts from Steven's novel, Tits Out Teenage Terror Totty.

The guy's humour and contrary style filled the room and many old friendships were revived. He used the exclamation mark like a pitchfork, he had moral purpose and the common consensus was that they really don't make them in that manner any more.

Here's me, rightfully happy to see two old colleagues, Terry Staunton and Dele Fadele.
swells1.jpg

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