Angelic Upstarts – Another ‘Bombed Out’.
The album cover to the Angelic Upstart’s later (1991) album, Bombed Out.
Let me introduce you to (or remind you of) Punk band the Angelic Upstarts.
In spite of their skinhead look, the Angelic Upstarts’ Politics in the late 1970s and early 1980s were firmly anti-fascist and they are rightly remembered for some important singles and albums, the name of one of which I used as a chapter heading in Bombed Out!.
The Upstarts first came to my notice in 1978 when I used to see their single “The Murder of Liddle Towers” in record boxes in my local Punk records shop. This song was about the murder – – or officially, the ‘unlawful death’ – of a man called Liddle Towers, who’d been arrested and beaten up in police custody, and who had died from his injuries shortly after being released.
Nobody in the police force was ever prosecuted for this death-by-beating, as it happened back in the 1970s when the British police force could do whatever the fuck they wanted and get away with it. Naively, nobody could believe such things happened in police custody back then (unless you’d been in it, of course).
In 1981 the Upstarts brought out a seminal album called 2,000,000 Voices, named after the sorry statistic of that number of people being unemployed in the UK, of which I was one at that time. In fact statistics now put the number of unemployed at 2,500,000 in 1981, with over 6,000 people joining the dole queue every single day at the height of the recession.
This is the same dismal economic background that swirls around my Punk and New Wave Memoir, Bombed Out!
I decided to use the name of the Angelic Upstarts’ 2,000,000 Voices album as the title for an important chapter in the book referring to Margaret Thatcher, who was presiding over the social and economic disintegration of the country at the time, until reined in by near anarchy as British cities rose up in protest at her policies, in the riots of 1981.
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php
This is a great track from the Upstarts’ album, Bombed Out: Red Till Dead.