"Various reviews of Mark Stewart & the Maffia gigs in the UK:
http://kidshirt.blogspot.com/2005/06/i-wake-up-in-city.html (with photos)
Plus Resonance FM are apparently broadcasting the Bristol show on Monday night [13June] between 8:30 and 10:00pm [ed. note: Use World Clock to figure out what time that is for you. I think that would 2:30-4 PM my time (CST).]
The current issue of The Wire also features a Mark Stewart 'Invisible Jukebox' interview which is good."
Culf found a site devoted to Bristol's infamous club, The Dug Out where everyone, including The Pop Group, hung out. Check out the Vaults section.
Pascal (of the French band "La STPO") found a great quote from David Thomas of Pere Ubu, talking about their tour mates, The Pop Group, in an interview during their 1978 UK tour. I've added the quote to the gig ad page, under the Pere Ubu tour ad.
Another question... I saw this t-shirt advertised on eBay as having been purchased in 1980 at a London concert. Authentic or reproduction? (like those "We Are All Prostitutes" t-shirts so prevalent on eBay right now...) UPDATE: 'themazzystar' says probably not genuine.
Also, I see Mark Stewart's anthology, Kiss the Future, will be released 6 June on Amazon.co.uk. I've added it to the offspring page.
Ryan, over at Break My Face, gave me this A4 booklet, entitled "We Are All Prostitutes" and containing a series of political concerns of the time and, obviously, of The Pop Group. Does anyone know anything about this booklet?
Looks like Mark Stewart will now be playing in London the night before the Bristol gig, with none other than Aphex Twin (dj set). Part of All Tomorrow's Parties? June 2, SEOne Club. Thanks (again) for the update, James!
Alex spotted this on Soul-Jazz: "For those of you who wish to look even more into the future, the next two albums after this will be Mark Stewart's Kiss The Future, an anthology of his work with legendary Pop Group, The Maffia etc up to the present day. Mark Stewart and The Pop Group invented a sound that was subsequently taken up by Portishead, Tricky, Massive etc.and became known as the Bristol Sound. Mark Stewart and The Pop Group are the kings of Post-Punk and beyond and this anthology spans the whole of his career."
Update: Pete sent the track list to the CD:
She's Beyond Good And Evil
We Are All Prostitutes
High Ideals and Crazy Dreams
We Are Time
The Lunatics Are Taking Over The Asylum
Added 3 flyers to the press page. "A message", a promo for We Are All Prostitutes, and a flyer for a 1979 Manchester gig with A Certain Ratio. Thanks, Andy, for the scans!
Mark Stewart and Maffia + Adrian Sherwood are scheduled to play the Venn Festival, 3June05, Malcolm X Centre, Bristol. Thanks to Chiz and James for the news.
Rhodri K, former classmate of Mark Stewart, saw The Pop Group at Bristol Uni in 1978. One of the tapes playing before the show was a recording of Herbert Marcuse, talking about socialism, time and "shooting at the clocks". Rhodri tracked down the recording on the internet and sent it to me. He thinks the speech may have influenced the lyrics of We Are Time. See what you think. Here is the recording of the speech.
Hurry on over to spoiltvictorianchild mp3 blog for a bonanza of Pop Group and offspring mp3s!
Added another poster for the Amnesty International gigs, that I found but did not win on eBay.
Added a couple of adverts for Y and tour to the press clippings page and another Good Missionaries flyer.
Updated the Jukebox and added a link to a mini-site on This Heat to the links page.
Added Janez' full telephone interview with Mark Stewart in streaming audio to the press clippings page (where else could I put it?!). Janez had rung up Mark Stewart in an interview for college radio in Ljubljana, capitol of Slovenia, around the time of Control Data.
Check out BBC 2 for a Bristol music documentary, with interviews with Mark, Gareth, and others, including contributor to this site, Tim Williams. Thanks to Nigel, RAB, Alex, Wayne, and Andrew for letting me know about this.
Added a scathing NME review of We Are Time, by John Gill
Added another from the box of Dursley scans. Rupert also sent a copy of this. Thanks! This is a review of The Pop Group and This Heat, from NME, July 1978; the same show I just added from Sounds.
Also added some photo clippings from Rupert. There are a couple of questions associated with these photos. One, are the top two shots from Ally Pally (Alexandra Palace)? And the bottom photo is from the CND rally, but is it The Pop Group?
Announcing a new feature on this site that I think you'll like: an mp3 web-log (aka blog) about The Pop Group and their descendents, The Pop Group jukebox. Comments are enabled, so please let me know what you think.
Another from Dave Dursley's scans: John Gill's article and interview with The Pop Group in Sounds, July 1978.
Also, I've updated the discography page with streaming mp3 of some tracks (sorry, I can't post downloadable mp3s), while phasing out the low-fi crappy .wav files.
Added The Wire's review of Y, when it was re-released as a CD, in 1996. Thanks to John Eden at Uncarved for this one.
Another belated posting from Dave's scans: NME review of Amnesty International benefit featuring Cabaret Voltaire, LKJ, Nico and The Pop Group.
And proof that The Pop Group was not John Waddington's first band: a review of The Boyfriends in rehearsal (along with The Pop Group review) in Loaded 3.
Cleaning up my office today, I found 5 floppy disks that Dave Dursley sent me way back in 1998, full of scanned stuff about the Pop Group. Most of the stuff was already up on the site, but I found this review of The Pop Group before they'd ever played in front of an audience! Another one from Loaded fanzine.
Also, a brief piece from the NME, on The Pop Group opening for Elvis Costello, Christmas Eve, 1977.
Thanks, Dave, and, if you ever stop by the site, it'd be good to hear from you again.
Tim Williams, editor of Bristol's Loaded fanzine (back in the '70s, that is), recently wrote a great article for you, dear reader, on the early days of The Pop Group. Thanks very much to Tim for this. And thanks to Simon Holland for the photos illustrating the article.
New Nectarine No. 9 album features Gareth playing "fuzz clarinet and piano", and he will playing some live dates with them, as well. Thanks, Mark Lungo, for the update.
Posted a review of Glastonbury Fair, 1979, by RAB. Only a brief mention of The Pop Group (The track 'We Are Time' on 'We Are Time' was recorded at Glastonbury '79), but interesting for a snapshot of the times.
RAB sent a copy of his interview with the Pop Group in Sounds, December 1977, possibly the earliest appearance of the Pop Group in the national music press.
Andy has put together a page called Musings Around Post Punk Funk. Check it out!
Found a great photo of The Pop Group on the cover of the Italian 'zine, Rockerilla. Added it to the press page.
Alex attended a 5 hour On-U/Adrian Sherwood festival in Holland and reported "going completely out of my mind" when the unannounced special guest, Mark Stewart, came onstage. Alex says, "He did 4 songs, but put almost all of his songs in the lyrics. At one time he also sang (shouted) "I'm a thief of fire!!!!"
The show is available in streamingRealAudio here. Thanks, Alex, for the link. We're all jealous.
Added a CC Sager review/interview to the press page. Thanks, Douglas.
Stanislav writes to say that he featured The Pop Group and offspring on his radio show in New Orleans. The set is online, streaming and mp3, on his site: Little Lighthouse.
Philippe Carly has finally posted his excellent photos of The Pop Group on his New Wave Photos site. Thanks, Wilson, for the great news.
But who is that mystery bass player? I recognize Dan Catsis (the bearded one) - didn't know he was left-handed - switching off on guitar and bass, but there are a couple of photos of a second bassist. Anyone know? God, these photos are tantalizing. Sure wish I'd seen them play live.
Haven't had any news to report in awhile, so I'll just throw out some links: An enthusiastic review of C.C. Sager's latest; and Trouser Press is back online with brief entries on The Pop Group and Pigbag, and longer ones on Head, Mark Stewart, and Rip Rig.
I registered the domain name www.thepopgroup.net. It goes to this site, but it's a little easier to remember than the University's cumbersome URL.
lo-fi jr discovered yet another compilation featuring The Pop Group. This one is to be called Post Punk (not quite as creative a title as 'Cockney Sound Just Now'....), on Rough Trade.
Janez, from Slovenia, interviewed Mark Stewart for his college radio station in 1996. He has just made the recording available online as an mp3 on his website. Check it out. Good interview. (Or you can read it, if you can read Slovenian.)
Added C.C.Sager's The Last Second of Normal Time to the offspring page, because it's out now. I've ordered my copy from Creeping Bent Organization.
Takuji posted an enlargement of the Pop Group's mugshots that are on his copy of We Are Time. Also here. Thanks again, Takuji!
Nigel noticed a new compilation called Wild Dub: Dread Meets Punk Rocker that features The Pop Group's Where There's a Will, along with a host of others, some rather unlikely. Available from your local Amazon.com or co.uk or .de or .jp
In other exciting news, I finally tracked down a 'new' Pop Group track, an entirely different and funky version of Please Don't Sell Your Dreams. It is from the Radar Sessions, most of which are featured on We Are Time. If I'm not mistaken (and PLEASE correct me if you know), these are the tracks that Hugh Cornwell produced. Enjoy! Thanks very much to James Ellis for this prize.
Added some Japanese releases to the Discography. Thanks to Takuji for scans of the strangely titled 'Cockney Sound Just Now' (Cockney?!) compilation and the Japanese LP version of We Are Time.
Read some exciting news on Creeping Bent's site today (thanks, John, for the tip off).
New Gareth Sager abum out soon, a post apocalypic slab of urban claustrophobia!
Several people have written me, since I posted that my copy of the For How Much Longer CD does not include the Last Poets' track, One Out of Many. There are at least 2 different CD versions of this disc (only available from Japan), and if you're buying a copy, make sure it's got all the tracks! One Out of Many is worth having. But don't worry about me; I just got the double-whammy Japanese CD, with For How Much Longer and We Are Time on one disc. This has been exceedingly rare, but it's been turning up with more frequency recently. Don't know why.
Did a bit of an overhaul on the old site. While most of it should be transparent, the main thing you might notice is the navigation bar at the top of every page. Something I've been thinking about for a long time and finally got around to. Please let me know if you find any broken links or anything weird.
Added the Sounds 24March1979 cover story and interview to the press section.
Happy New Year to all!
I've heard from Kevin Pearce, author of Something Beginning With O. He is, thankfully, okay with my borrowing Chapter 5 from his book. He also pointed out that the Zigzag article on my press clippings page is by Steve Walsh of Manicured Noise (link to article by Kevin), a group that toured with The Pop Group.
"Washing one's hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral." -Paulo Freire, educator (1921-1997)
Found this quote in my inbox this morning, from dictionary.com's Word-a-day mailing. Sounds quite like the line from No Spectators.
Also found a great photo of the We Are All Prostitutes shirt. Added it to the bottom of the badges page.
After years of trying to get it, I finally got For How Much Longer on cd. I've paid for it before but never received it until today. From Tokyo. I hadn't realized that The Last Poets song One Out of Many had been left off of the cd. Tis a shame. Oh, well, nice to finally have this on cd.
Looks like Japan has re-released Y and We Are All Prostitutes CDs. The only place I've found them for sale is on amazon.de. Thanks, Jan, for the info.
So, I lost the bid on the Japanese pressing of the We Are All Prostitutes single. I'd be interested in a better scan of the inner sleeve, if anyone owns it. Here's a snapshot from eBay. Another image found on eBay is the cover of Sounds, 1979, which features a negative image of The Pop Group. I've included it at the top of this page along with an inverted image so you can actually see the band photo.
On-U's Chainstore Massacre is out now, and what's more, Mark Stewart's track is available for download, in its entirety, in mp3 format at On-U. Check it out. Thanks, Giorgia, for the heads up.
After much searching, I tracked down Kevin Pearce's long out of print book, Something Beginning With O. I've been seeing quotes from it forever on the 'net (including on this site) but couldn't find the thing itself. Got it off eBay from a seller in Lockerbie, Scotland. I was surprised at what a thin book it is, as packed as it is with quotable quotes. It includes a never-seen-before (by me) photo of a very young Pop Group. Here is the photo and Chapter 5, which is about The Fall and The Pop Group. Enjoy.
Finally! merged the two versions of the Y discography that I've had online for over 3 years! into one document. Let me know if you have any corrections.
Finally tracked down Head's Tales of Ordinary Madness. Added it to the offspring page.
Added some scans of some never-seen-before (by me) Pop Group badges to my badges page. And added bootleg cassette artwork (as sold in Camden Market, London, back in the day) to the bootleg page. Thanks to Paul Atton for these. Also, check out Paul's memories of several Pop Group, Rip Rig, and Maximum Joy shows.
Nigel noticed that Mark Stewart is recording with Adrian Sherwood, a track called "The Lunatics are Taking Over the Asylum" for an On-U compilation. And Alex talked to Adrian S. at a Little Axe show and confirmed this.
Tim Lamb clued me in about another post-Pop Group On-U project, Playgroup, featuring John Waddington and Bruce Smith and the usual On-U cast of thousands. It's good stuff.
Gareth Sager is working on a solo album under the name C.C. Sager, for Creeping Bent Organisation. Scheduled for release Summer 2002.
Interesting tidbit: I bought the Steve Beresford and Tristan Honsinger (Honsinger played cello on We Are All Prostitutes, among other Pop Group tracks) CD re-release of Double Idemnity, originally on Y Records. In the liner notes, Beresford says 'I think [Dick O'Dell] got the Y motif from the back cover of Spiritual Unity by Albert Ayler....' So, I searched the web and found a scan of the back cover and an accompanying quote from the sleeve notes that says "The symbol 'Y' predates recorded history and represents the rising spirit of man." Thanks to Rattay Music and the Albert Ayler fan site.
Interesting Pop Group review at Datacide.
Added a link to author Simon Reynold's article on post-punk, with quite a bit on The Pop Group.
Finally typed up a little account of our trip to the UK back in October.
The Pop Group's She is Beyond Good and Evil is featured on a new compilation of post-punk hits called "In the Beginning There was Rhythm," along with This Heat, Cabaret Voltaire, A Certain Ratio, The Slits (obviously), and others on Soul Jazz Records.
Michael Millett sent me scans of the inserts that came with his US copy of For How Much Longer. one - two - three
They've been added to the posters page.
Added the Simon Underwood-produced Mouth 7" to the Y discography page. Thanks to Tim for the scans.
Added The Glaxo Babies Shake! to the Offspring page. The Pop Group often covered Shake (the Foundations) at their gigs, like this bootleg from the Alexandra Palace gig.
Awhile back, I mentioned Napster as a great place to get mp3s of Pop Group material. Now Audiogalaxy (based here in Austin, Texas, by the way) is the place to be. I just found Shake the Foundations by Pop Group and Ari there. Someone please share the Glaxo Babies' version!
Thanks to Mike Crawford of Apache Dropout (Rich Beale is the singer for A.D.) for the scans of C.C. Sager (Gareth solo release) and Head's Sin Bin single and Intoxicator L.P. that I've added to the offspring page. (I've since found a copy of Intoxicator, and I like it, especially the song, "Under the Influence of Books.")
Also, much gratitude for Mike's hospitality during our visit to Bristol. I will elaborate on our trip at some point.
Tim Bayes sent a movie file of the Pop Group doing Rob A Bank live. You'll need high-bandwidth or lots of patience to download it, as it's almost 7MB in size. But it's worth it.
xpyda sent a pic of the We Are All Prostitutes t-shirt, with himself in it.
Added She is Beyond Good and Evil mp3 from the Bristol Granary 10-Oct-78 to the bootleg page. Thanks to Alex for this.
Found a link to Foel Studio where the Pop Group recorded For How Much Longer and various other tracks. The Foel Studio website lists The Pop Group on their clients page.
I'm not sure how I missed this before, but I just discovered that 2 New Age Steppers LPs have been reissued on CD. Action Battlefield and the s/t album seem to be available at all the online CD stores. New Age Steppers s/t seems to include several members of the Pop Group + some Slits and others, while Action Battlefield seems to be On-U folks with Ari (Slits) singing.
Added images of 2 Maximum Joy singles to the offspring page and better images of 3 Pigbag singles that I already had listed. Also, added links to images from the Y discography pages of John and Alex .
Added a pretty good article on The Pop Group from Zigzag mag, circa 1978.
Uploaded another mp3 from the Helsinki show, one that wasn't on Mona Mona. Thanks very much to Alex Koppert for this one! Not sure what the song title is, but it's probably "Work Work Work" or "Entertain Your Life Away." On the bootleg page.
Also, got an email from an online CD company saying, "Could we get a link on your site? We try to carry a full range of available Pop Group Inventory. Keep up the good work!!!!"
Well, here's the link:
And..... I've recently
gotten two separate requests for info on who owns the rights to the
Pop Group's recordings. Two different independent labels are wanting
to re-release PG material (an Australian company wants to do a box set!!).
As these recordings go for ridiculous prices on ebay, I don't know why
they aren't continually in print anyway. If anyone has any info that
would help out, please let me know.
Got a copy of For How Much Longer, with all 4 double-sided posters in excellent shape, off ebay. Scanned the posters that I had previously never seen and posted them on the posters page.
Added Pop Group interview from Slash magazine (San Francisco, 1980), and relinked Dave Dursley's rememberance of early Pop Group in Bristol, and two video stills.
I can't afford a .com yet, but I have registered http://go.to/popgroup if that's easier to remember than the University's unwieldy URL ccwf.cc.utexas.edu/~edge/etc/etc/etc. It's got ads and all that, of course, but you can "Open frame in new window" or whatever and be in the real thing.
Ricardo Vieira sent scans of the cover of the bootleg Mona Mona.
Tim Woodhouse sent me a copy of the Nick Cave testimonial for We Are All Prostitutes as shown on Channel 4. Thanks, Tim! The footage is from "She is Beyond Good and Evil" and "Boys From Brazil." I'll see about making a QuickTime movie of it, but it may be too big.
Nick Halliwell sent a scan from this month's Mojo that features a little blurb on the Pop Group and a mention of this website. Cool!
Fixed the guestbook script. I guess it's been broken since I tried to fix a Y2K bug at the first of the year. It's back up now.
Also added the compilation 1-2-3-4 to the discography page. Here's the bit on the Pop Group from the liner notes of 1-2-3-4. (Thanks, Edward.)
I've uploaded 2 bootleg mp3 files of The Pop Group on John Peel, We Are Time and Words Disobey Me. Here.
Finally got a copy of the Pop Group/Mark Stewart live bootleg disc. (Thanks, Nick!) Crazy stuff. Of the 4 tracks listed as Pop Group, I personally think only 3 are actually Pop Group. I think the 4th is Mark Stewart & Maffia covering We Are All Prostitutes. I've made MP3s of the tracks and am trying to find a home for them.
Anyone know anything about "Le Chimp Atomique" listed as a Pop Group album on http://search.cdzone.co.uk? It has the same catalog number as the Y cd, SCANCD14. Strange! [Ed. note: Nigel Hardy has solved the mystery. The CD appears to be "by techno blacksheep Tobias Scmidt" on Scandinavia records, hence the Scan14. -28Feb02]
By the way, they have some Japanese imports listed, for those of you who have been trying to track them down.
Installed a search engine. I think the site is big enough to warrant a search engine now. In fact, I think it was overdue. Try it out!
Loaded 2 versions of the discography for Y Records. These were sent in response to someone's comment in the guestbook that he thought Y Records was run by The Pop Group. Alex Koppert sent his version about the same time that John Henderson entered the whole discog in the guestbook. This was back in April, but I'm just now getting around to sticking them on the site. Eventually, I might get around to merging them, but for now, here they are. John's Y discog and Alex's Y discog (Alex's headings are in Dutch, but you'll be able to figure it out).
I went to the UK for a brief holiday last month. Among other destinations, I spent a couple of days in Bristol, trying to track down Pop Group info. I talked to Dan Catsis (PG bass player) for awhile on the phone, but we didn't manage to get together. I just rang him up out of nowhere the night I got to Bristol. My trip was spur of the moment, so I didn't have enough time to contact him before heading over. Dan corrected a couple of minor mistakes I had made on the site, one being my incorrect assumption that John Waddington had formed Maximum Joy, when in fact John had joined later. On the trip, I was able to hear Maximum Joy for the first time. I rather enjoyed the single, Stretch. Didn't hear the album.
I tried to track down John Waddington, who also lives in Bristol, with no luck. I don't think he's in a band at the moment. I had read about his band Normal 2000, but don't know if they still play or if they've ever recorded.
Another neat thing
I saw at Cube, but didn't get a copy of, was a family tree of all the
Bristol bands. Pretty cool.
Yet another new look for the home page. If you miss the old one, here it is.
Started a new section: a discography of The Pop Group's offspring, like Rip Rig and Panic, Maximum Joy, etc. Will add to it over time.
Finally transcribed a very long article and interview from NME (30June79) and uploaded it to the press clippings section.
29Jan99 - It had to happen sooner or later. The Pop Group finally made it on to a punk-rock compilation cd. Actually, a "postpunk" compilation cd. Rhino Records has just released 3 cd's of postpunk. The Pop Group's We Are Time is on the 1st volume, Scared to Dance. I was beginning to wonder what the hell was going on with all these millions of compilations and no Pop Group anywhere (other than Volume). Pigbag is on the same disk.
I see they've also shown up on a punk-rock compilation, a 5 cd set. UK release, I think. "1-2-3-4, Punk and New Wave 1976-1979," on Universal. The reference number is MCD 60066. (Thanks, Edward.)
I am NOT in the Channel 4 viewing area (Texas is a long way out of the viewing area), so if anyone caught the show on videotape , think of me when you think of dubbing a copy! - Dixon
The Pop Group's "We Are All Prostitutes" is out! It is a sort of Greatest Hits, and it's MIGHTY FINE!
You can order "We Are All Prostitutes" and "Y" directly from Rough Trade.
INTENT" - if you order stuff from cdnow
or cduniverse, like I do, be
warned that "Subversive Intent," which is listed at both places,
is in fact "We Are All Prostitutes." It is the Japanese release
of that album, and it is just incorrectly listed. Maybe something was
lost in the translation from English to Japanese and back again.
28July98: A guy named Mark writes, "I don't know if this is true or not but there was supposedly a promo 12" of "She is Beyond Good and Evil/3.38" that had a bonus track on it. Someone told me that at a record show in NYC but they could have been full of shit." Anyone heard of this mysterious release?