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Due to fending off flu and pretending I’ve only got a cold as I hate being ill even though I have to admit – right now I do feel shit and merely getting through today has been a bit of a struggle. Consequently I’ve been ‘zoning out’ and pondering a few things. Firstly, I’ve had a song going around my head incessantly that I haven’t heard for years but used to love – ‘Violence Grows’ by The Fatal Microbes. It was one of John Peel’s favourites which is where I first heard it. I wasn’t allowed to listen to John Peel so I had to hide an old transistor radio in my pillow-case and play it really quietly through the pillow to hear anything that was banned. I’m glad I did. The Fatal Microbes were a UK punk group. Honey Bane (Donna Tracey) was lead vocals with Gem Stone (Gemma Sansom) on drums, Pete Fender (Daniel Sansom) on guitar, and Scotty Boy Barker (Scott Barker) who was replaced as bassist by It (Quentin North). I was trying to put up an mp3 of the track here but it won’t accept the code – bugger. Here’s a picture of some of the original founder members instead


Honey Bane later released the EP “You Can Be You” with the band Crass under the name Donna and the Kebabs. This featured the track Girl On The Run, which was recorded whilst Bane was on the run from a children’s home. In fact, she was on the ‘most wanted’ list for 3 years. Jimmy Pursey (Sham 69), in his capacity as talent scout for EMI-subsidiary Zonophone, signed her on a 5 year contract at the age of 14 I think. 3 singles were issued in the spring of 1981, including the top 40 hit Turn Me On, Turn Me Off. Honey Bane has two singles in the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles.


I never knew that Pete Fender, Gem Stone and It had originally met when they formed the band Punktuation in 1976. With an average age of just 13 years, it would make them probably the youngest punk band in the country at the time. Vi Subversa who was the lead singer of Poison Girls was another favourite of mine – I also had no idea that they were all related – she is Gem Stone and Pete Fender’s mother. Apart from Charlie Harper (UK Subs) she is thought to be the oldest punk vocalist alive today. Here’s a picture of the Fatal Microbes Violence Grows EP cover. Incredible.


And I’ve just finished reading this:


I really enjoyed it. It takes a while to get into. I said that about Booker prize-winning Vernon God Little (also by the same author) which I never did get into – in fact I could never get past the first two pages. There was something about the ‘voice’ that I found irksome. I will definately go back and re-visit and give it another go. Sometimes you need to read the new stuff before you can tackle the original I find. DCB Pierre is not his real name. The nom de plume stands for Dirty But Clean Pierre. Dirty But Clean I guess referring to himself and Pierre was a nickname given to him as a child – it is the name of a Seventies cartoon character. DCB is Australian but raised in Mexico and now living in Ireland. He once sold a house on behalf of a friend and spent half of the proceeds on his once allegedly gianormous drug habit. Interesting. Next – I’m reading this:


I don’t know much about it but it’s apparent theme is possibly quite similar to the book I’ve just finished which is a coincidence as I was given it for Christmas. The other one I bought for myself.

I think that’s it for now.

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