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Alistair Livingstone’s ‘9162 words on The Mob by Lance Hahn’

Excellent article from Alistair Livingstone’s blog ‘Greengalloway’. The original can be found here.


9162 words on The Mob by Lance Hahn

Original art work for ‘Let the Tribe Increase’ by Wilf
I have just been reading The Aesthetic of Our Anger. Anarcho-Punk, Politics and Music edited by Mike Dines & Matthew Worley which

explores the development of the anarcho-punk scene from the late 1970s, raising questions over the origins of the scene, its form, structure and cultural significance examining how anarcho-punk moved away from using ‘anarchy’ as mere connotation and shock value towards an approach that served to make punk a threat again.

It is 325 pages long and gives the impression of being an authoritative text. However Matthew Worley has assured me that it is more of  ” a round-up of what people are currently looking at … such books are in part designed to reveal the gaps and encourage further research.”

A gap which the book reveals is the absence of The Mob from current research on anarcho-punk. In the hope of encouraging further research and making it easier to access ‘info’ on The Mob, here is an extract from the late Lance Hahn’s unpublished book on anarcho-punk which would have be titled ‘Let the Tribe Increase’.

The Story Of The Mob by Lance Hahn

“No Doves Fly Here” is one of the most powerful musical statements to come out of what

Literature of Resistance, as Literal Resistance by Mark P. Williams

Literature of Resistance, as Literal Resistance

The Seven-Author Novel Seaton Point

by Mark P. Williams

“The strong reader—whether actor, critic, director, artist, political polemicist, or whatever—expands the range of signification within the text; the strong text expands the horizon of the reader. We make the classic our own, bring it into our world; but we also give ourselves up to it, enter into its world” —Jonathan Bate, Shakespearean Constitutions: Politics, Theatre, Criticism 1730-1830.[1]

In 1997, seven people on a East London council estate decided to write a novel together that would be composed of stories based on their own lives and would appropriate the form of the novel to promote their circumstances and outlook. They produced the novel Seaton Point (1998), composed of intersecting stories of eccentric characters, vampirism, debt-collectors and demons, working-class culture and urban Gothic parody, set in and around a block of flats in Hackney.

It is a novel which resists many of the attributes of the postmodernist literary novel as we understand it – and falls stylistically and conceptually close to the work of Tony White. In an interview with 3AM Magazine,[2] Tony White explains how he has found the experience of writing for a specific audience expectation and deadline to produced not only different approaches to completing the work but concretely different experiences of writing. This attention to the changes in the fundamental experience of writing brought about by writing for rigid stricture, such as the strict ‘realism’ required for his contribution to the All Hail the New Puritans, or to a particular intertextual frame of reference, as he did in his novel Road Rage!, drawing on Stewart Home’s early novels (and the Richard Allen skinhead pulps which inspired them) produces a Modernistic avant-garde effect. Like these works Seaton Point demonstrates an interest in the performative quality of writing as an activity which produces its own logic; for the writers of Seaton Point, the collectivity and social activity informs every aspect of the text.

The authors of Seaton Point describe their text as ‘an inner-city tale of magic, mayhem and gratuitous sex scenes’ and wrote a provocative introduction in which they propose multi-author texts as an opposition to the cult of the author as originating genius of artistic work; they write:

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The Radicalization of Pedagogy: Anarchism, Geography, and the Spirit of Revolt

The Radicalization of Pedagogy: Anarchism, Geography, and the Spirit of Revolt

Part one of an innovative trilogy on anarchist geography, this volume examines the potential of anarchist pedagogic practices for geographic knowledge


How do activists learn radical politics? Does the increasing neoliberalisation of education1783486716-230x345.jpg limit the possibilities of transgressive pedagogies? And in what contexts have anarchist geographers successfully shaped alternative pedagogic practices? Pedagogy is central to geographical knowledge and represents one of the key sites of contact where anarchist approaches can inform and revitalize contemporary geographical thought. This book looks at how anarchist geographers have shaped pedagogies that move towards bottom-up, ‘organic’ transformations of societies, spaces, subjectivities, and modes of organizing, where the importance of direct action and prefigurative politics take precedence over concerns about the state. Examining contemporary and historical case studies across the world, from formal and informal contexts, the chapters show the potential for new imaginaries of anarchist geographies that will challenge and inspire geographers to travel beyond the traditional frontiers of geographical knowledge.

Moments of Excess by The Free Association

The first decade of the twenty-first century was marked by a series of global summits which seemed to assume ever-greater importance – from the WTO ministerial meeting in Seattle at the end of 1999, through the G8 summits at Genoa, Evian and Gleneagles, up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) at Copenhagen in 2009.large_716_moments_excess3_400x400.jpg

But these global summits did not pass uncontested. Alongside and against them, there unfolded a different version of globalization. Moments of Excess is a collection of texts which offer an insider analysis of this cycle of counter-summit mobilisations. It weaves lucid descriptions of the intensity of collective action into a more sober reflection on the developing problematics of the ‘movement of movements’. The collection examines essential questions concerning the character of anti-capitalist movements, and the very meaning of movement; the relationship between intensive collective experiences – ‘moments of excess’ – and ‘everyday life’; and the tensions between open, all-inclusive, ‘constitutive’ practices, on the one hand, and the necessity of closure, limits and antagonism, on the other.

Moments of Excess includes a new introduction explaining the origin of the texts and their relation to event-based politics, and a postscript which explores new possibilities for anti-capitalist movements in the midst of crisis.

Read some of the reviews here.

Moments of Excess is published by PM Press and is available direct from the publishers here. Alternatively, if you live in the UK or Europe it might be easier to get it from Word Power Books here.

Contribution to Aesthetic of Our Anger by The Free Association

The kids was just crass

June 2016 Published in The Aesthetic of Our Anger: Anarcho-Punk, Politics and Music, 1979-84 Edited by Mike Dines & Matthew Worley (Minor Compositions)

It’s the final scene of Trainspotting. Renton, the book’s main protagonist, creeps out of a hotel room with a bag full of money and flees to Amsterdam. Having completed a drug deal with his childhood friends, he’s now ripping them off. But this is no simple tale of avarice. It’s the act of betrayal that motivates Renton, much more than the money. By ensuring that his psycho-mate Begbie will kill him if he ever returns to Edinburgh, Renton is trying to engineer a clean break with his junky past: “There, he could not be anything more than he was. Now, free from them all, for good, he could be what he wanted to be.” In reality a break is never clean. We always bring a remainder with us, whether familiar modes of acting or habitual patterns of thought. But at least by breaking with his old haunts and his junky associates, Renton has increased his chances of self-reinvention.

A similar tale is told in Julian Temple’s documentary “Joe Strummer, The Future is Unwritten”. A key moment in the film comes when Strummer’s band, the 101ers, support The Sex Pistols. At the time the 101ers were the more successful of the two but Joe immediately knew his group were over. They had been a close-knit group named after the squat they lived in at 101 Walterton Road. Yet Strummer not only broke up the band but also cut his former housemates dead. The film contains poignant testimony of the hurt and bewilderment the ex-101ers felt when Strummer refused to acknowledge them. Over the next few weeks Strummer altered his look, changed his sensibilities and joined The Clash. Punk was a Year Zero for Strummer. He felt he had to break from his hippy friends if he was to explore the new potential.  Continue reading

Review of the darkening light by Rich Cubesville

Review of the darkening light in One Way Ticket to Cubesville

It is 1986, two years after Crass have called it a day, and the anarcho-punk scene feels like it’s falling apart. Heavy metal has ransacked punk like a muscle-bound Viking invader and Crass Utopianism is as murky as the homebrewed lager drunk by The Darkening Light‘s main protagonist, Frank. In the transition between anarcho-punk and UKHC, Frank and his friends tumble into their huntsab group’s Sherpa van to journey between Wiltshire and Wood Green for an all-day squat gig featuring Antisect, Atavistic and Heresy. Ted Curtis’s writing captures the mood of dislocation and isolation and the tuppence ha’penny hedonism of homebrew and glue as Frank fumbles for answers in a contradictory scene whose protagonists wrap its rules around their own awkward personalities. The anarcho-punk preoccupation with veganism chokes in the blue haze of rollup smoke and is muted behind the pandemonium and horror stories that fly around the gig.

Review of Aesthetic of Our Anger by Simon Reynolds


Matthew Worley is an old mate who I haven’t seen in a while but used to knock around with in the Nineties. He was the co-creator of Crash, a polemical poster pamphlet that caused a bit of a stir in London at that time. And his extraordinary generosity with cassettes of hard-to-find electronic and musique concrete (along with other out genres like Krautrock) pushed me towards the obsession with the bleepy-squinky zones of music that erupted in the 2000s and still has me checking out the latest additions to the Creel Pone discography.

Since those days Matthew took an academic path and he’s now a professor of modern history. His particular interest is the intersection between youth culture and politics in the late Seventies / early Eighties – especially, those strands of punk that have been less studied and (ap)praised, such as Oi! and anarcho. The fruits of this fascination include a bunch of papers in journals and this year’s publication The Aesthetic of Our Anger: Anarcho-Punk, Politics and Music: a collection, co-edited with Mike Dines, of essays and interviews relating to all aspects of A-punk, from the graphic language to anarcho-zines to Stop the City to Ireland’s Hope Collective and the squat-punk scene in Bristol. Get it at Minor Compositions.

Another project that Matthew had a hand in is the collectively edited (by the Subcultures Network) collection Fight Back: Punk, Politics and Resistance, Continue reading

Interview With Ted Curtis, Author of the darkening light

I popped round to see Ted in his humble abode in Seaton Point, a tower-block in Hackney, north London…..he showed me the view across London, made me a brew and we got talking……

 Can you please introduce yourself and name a few of your publications.

 My name is Ted Curtis, I’m 50 and I’m from the West Country. I’m a failed writer, a failed drinker and a failed punk rocker. I wrote the darkening light and a non-fiction book about Palestine and various short stories, which are in various publications. I also co-wrote a 261563.jpgnovel, Seaton Point, which is where I live.

You also have chapters in Mad Pride: A Celebration of Mad Culture and Gobbing, Pogoing and Gratuitous Bad Language!: An Anthology of Punk Short Stories. You’ve said that Seaton Point was named after the block of flats where you live in Hackney. How much of your work is autobiographical? Let’s begin with the darkening light for instance.

I would say that the darkening light is 50/50 autobiographical. In terms of the story itself there is a cut-off point and a come back-in point. So, this was a real gig, although I can’t remember who the people I’d gone to it with were and I can’t remember who played. But I know that we got into this van at ten in the morning and I started drinking and I immediately went into an alcoholic blackout, which I didn’t come out of until the early hours of the next day. So, this gig happened, and I thought that I would build the story around the event. I picked a number of different people who would have been likely to have been there, mostly changing their names, and I picked out bands that were popular at the time. So there was a gig, but not all of those bands would have played. There might have been a big band who played whom I wasn’t aware of, ‘cos I don’t remember seeing any bands there to be honest! [Laughs] All I can remember is bits and pieces. I remember seeing Monty from the [Hackney] Hell Crew on the stairs, which is in the book, and that’s it really.

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