Here’s a high-quality version of ‘Please Sell No More Drink To My Father’, as sung by Elsa Lanchester, the opening verse of which is quoted at the start of my recent story Reconstruction Monument.
The story itself was inspired by the closure of The Charlie Chaplin in Elephant and Castle, and the general way in which South London, a long-maligned and neglected section of the city, is presently being carved up and torn down. Reaction to change is often met with nostalgia, which can easily gloss over the specifics of history. It can also mask or attempt to excuse awful behaviour and attitudes.
Since writing this story, closure of the Elephant and Castle Shopping Centre has been confirmed, which will displace a large Latinx community.
I cross Waterloo Bridge twice a day. Whenever I do, I see Cleopatra’s Needle. It is older than the city it stands in by around a millennium-and-a-half and older than me by double that and 500 years. It was gazed upon by Ramases II, Cleopatra, Ceaser and Mark Antony (and those are just the big names).
The people who carved it are not remembered.
I barely know the name of the person who did my job before me.
I don’t even know the names of all my great-grandparents.
I wrote this poem and recite it to myself every time I see the needle.
I guest presented an episode of my mom’s podcast ‘Hit it and Split’ last Sunday (23/09).
My mom ‘DJ Deb’ has been DJing for some years now, largely as a part of The Shout Collective (also featuring my dad Norman, Jamie Renton- the man behind Chilli Fried and Aly Prince, who hosts the equally excellent The Folk and Roots Show on RNIB radio). After one set I thought she should have her own podcast, so I put her in contact with my pal Conan Neutron, who set up the radio station Radio NOPE a couple of years ago.
She’s been asking me to go on for a while, but since I played a load of punk, dancehall and industrial noise it might be a while before I do another.
The show goes out every Sunday at 4pm UK time on Radio NOPE. I addition to DJ Deb, it has an exciting and varied roster of guest presenters, including Adam ‘Bottleneck’ Blake and Sam Holloway (who helped me record this episode!)
Lady Leshurr – Upset
The Slits – Love Und Romance (Peel Sessions 1977)
Sacred Paws – Strike A Match
Wat Tyler – Not Superstitious
The Wharves – Renew
Nadia Rose – Station
The Bug – Poison Dart feat. Warrior Queen
Liberez – Захвална породица (Grateful Family)
Rattle – Stringer Bell
Lal & Mike Waterson – Fine Horseman
X-Ray Spex – Art-I-Ficial
Life Without Buildings – The Leanover
Menace Beach – Fortune Teller
Camera Obscura – Lloyd, I’m Ready To Be Heartbroken
The Delgados – Pull The Wires From The Wall