Stand Up and Spit is a site I’ve been following for a while, it is curated by poet Tim Wells and features zines, NME interviews, newspaper cuttings from punk bands denouncing nazi punks, in short it is a window into the world of the poetry and punk scene in the late 70’s/ early eighties.
There are people featured who you may know, such as Attila the Stockbroker, John Cooper Clarke and Gary Bushell. There are people who you may not know, punk bands, ranting poets (ranting is the opposite of flowery, traditional prose poetry) and yet their performances are only a youtube search away such as this from Nick Toczeks:
The interesting things that set this site apart and sometimes depressing fact is that many of the lyrics and standpoint views aren’t that different from what we hear now, we still have to have an anti-fascist movement, we still live in an age of austerity but people are still getting up, singing and ranting against it . Indeed going through the rich content you can see a direct lineage to the ranters of now such as the Sleaford Mods.
Tim Wells recollects his days as a young suedehead and sometimes comments, but mostly posts the zines and music that document those days when poets and punk bands were on the same bill.This curated site is soon to pass onto the physical plane in a series of gigs and an exhibition of materials sponsored by the arts/heritage and national lottery funding. If you happen to be in London on Thursday there is an event called ‘Talking liberties’ at the British Library, a discussion about the outpouring of ranters running with free speech against the establishment.
I’ve learned a lot about youth culture, politics and ranting of the punk and post punk era from this site, it is a microcosm of the near past I knew nothing about , we need more cultural historical sites like these.
‘Talking Liberties’ Thurs 15th May, The British Library, 6.30pm.
Stand Up and Spit site here
Full list of gigs associated with Stand Up and Spit events here