Alternative Ulster

Here are a few contributions MES made to the fanzine Alternative Ulster, dating from 1978/79

From AU #7 (Aug/Sep 78?)

Yes, you've guessed it
 And a letter, from p.32:

"The Fall are a rock'n roll band, Mr. Angry! It's our primary objective! That's what I think seperates us from the bands we are classified with (Subway Sect, Magazine - aargh!). We love it. We dig the beat. I think that's where all these up and coming middle-class bands fall (!) down. They sort of run before they can walk..."A.U." in general builds me up. It's one of the only papers I can identify with. The U.K. press is all gloomy and shallow. You're not elitist, non rock n' roll Devo pseuds. You like us and the Dogs and I think that's great.."  Mark Smith, Manchester
N.B. Dave Angry was Dave McCullough's nom-de-plume at the time.

From AU #9 (early 1979?)

Mark Smith writes:


Personnel changes in rock bands - a fascinating glimpse into their unreal world! A while back I tried to compile some kind of history for myself. But history is horseshit as its dominated by future & present. eg. in 1896 wrote a book called "The S.S." about a gang of black-uniformed thugs who rampage Europe killing people  - get this - thinking they're purifying the human race. So what. Anyway, personnel-wise the band's history was thus: Xmas '77 - 'He wants to be a musician + study music sheets. He quit'. Easter '77 - 'She quit - freak-out'. Xmas '78 - 'he want to be a musician + get crowd reaction. He quit.' - dog shit.
Did you know?
That when the Russians took Berlin in '45 they found 2000 hari-karied Buddhist monks in German uniforms?

(Mark Franker private 'tec working for wrong side. Just back from assignment on black pilgrimage from Chorazina).
Won the pools last week so we went to the Factory. Only venue left around here and I have a sneaky feeling it won't be around much longer. But there's no-one to blame except bands and kids (is there ever?). Manchester seems obsessed with its own image. Tarted-up people shout: 'Hey! Mark Smith!' Reply: 'Hey! Justin Hairdo! Bill Glossop!' Was entertained by crass 'Fall'-type bands 1 year late with real musicians this time round. Miserable buggers! The Factory and the Manchester Musicians' Collective. The former frightened of spades, the latter by anyone who says 'Boo!' My spies went to one Collective meeting where the proposal was to buy their venue's manager more drinks to pacify him into still letting them use said venue. Awe-inspiring, eh? Think it's time for thr psycho mafia to visit them.
The big hole in the new wave economics was the old 'your own record label/record' lie. It's only rich kids who have that kind of dough! Let's face it! The other alternative is good guys painted black like your own Hooley-baby, + that's why you should love him. Otherwise its the same middle-class bastards still running everything, as Lennon said, approximately.

"Take No Prisoners" - Lou Reed (Expensive) In which Lou caps his renaissance started on "Coney Island" and achieves everything he set out to in '67. His band make Ian Dury's present hit-making dabbling in Coleman and other u-stroke-ground black music look timid. Watch Nick Kent squirm out of admitting he was wrong (+ even more verbal diarhoea - like that preceeding paragraph!).

'Wilful Damage' are the only M/cr band doing anything positive once they drop punk influence. Come across like the best of 'The Worst' with touch of Zappa + rock'n'roll. Also watch for 'Staff 9' (you'll probably hear something presswise c.1982 - an artist forecasting the future! The only good guage!)

Mark Smith