The feeling of an icicle in the chest is how I would describe it.
The icicle likes to go on a negative thought hunt always the places that make us feel bad about ourselves. It will then go on a bad memory hunt – picking out files in our minds from the past. Things that have been and gone, not really significant but it tells you it is — it knows where to go.
The icicle is only a feeling and it needs an outlet, we could just as easily obsess over good things with good thoughts but the icicle doesn’t want to go there.
Anxiety is it’s clinical name, try and think of a positive thought but the icicle’s walls come up higher; this is us in an episode or a prolonged attack.
The icicle then decides to go on a “what if” hunt, building up scenarios for the future as if the bad event is actually happening right now.
So, you may hear people say “don’t think like that” yeah? Well it’s not you that has the 100mph icicle garbage truck going round the head. This excess adrenaline needs an outlet. If I say don’t think about a pink elephant what do you think you are going think about? The icicle loves avoidance it feeds of it!
If I can change my brain and body, I can change my mind and in turn my life!!
How exercise is very important, even just a nice walk in nature can do you the world of good (there is also a natural probiotic bacteria that is released in nature, that is good for us) and Yoga stretching is great for my Vagus nerve and my Psoas muscle. Both of them are related to the fight and flight response. Exercise gives more time than it takes. I think that exercise is the most powerful antidepressant. And its great for the hypothalamus. The control centre of the brain.
Motion is emotion. It’s about getting the issues out of the tissues.
Breathing techniques can change everything.
The breath is what connects the mind and body.
I’ve found that if I write down all the good I see in my day (thankful and grateful journal) it helps me think and feel more positive, rather than thinking impending doom all the time. Train the mind to notice the good things.
But not to become to obsessed on being happy all the time. Because striving for happiness can be very tiring. The constant pursuit can have the opposite effect. Thinking of massive changes can be overwhelming.
If you can isolate the things that makes you feel worse, then you can also spot the things that make you feel better.
If you are in the mindset of, “I could do better” all the time, this can go against you, by making things unachievable. If you want to make lasting changes, then you need to start small.
The unconscious mind learns by repetition.
One of the problem that has come from positive psychology is that we have distorted our thoughts about normal emotions like, disappointment, anxiety, sadness, depression, anger, bereavement and many more, and we’ve given them label’s and literally shining a light on them. And then we’ve made happiness the be all and end all.
I’ve learned that meditation and mindfulness can help me become more familiar with myself (know thy self), and how to deal with any situation better, by being aware of my response to them and how my emotions can teach me so much about myself.
Both have helped me stay out of the high Beta brain wave, and more in the Alpha. Also how to use my whole brain, rather than the left or right separately. And they too also help the Amygdala to decrease in size.
How playing can be so good for your inner child, who hasn’t a worry in the world. Getting in the zone, the flow, in the now. Escapism.
I’ve learned that I am not all my thoughts, I don’t need to react to them, resemble them, or become them, if I just acknowledge them, be aware of them, and ask myself if they support me or not, then I’m in control of them rather than them in control of me.
Remembering after a panic attack to shake it out, like the animals do in nature, after being chased by a predictor. Dispersing all the unwanted, unhelpful chemicals.
We have always focused on the dangers, the frets, the negative things in life. This has helped us survive in the past. But that way of thinking isn’t helping us anymore, in fact, it is now doing the opposite and harming us. It’s time to start focusing on the helpful things, the things that make us feel good inside, the things that send the right chemicals and hormones to our body’s and brains, to help us heal, grow and live.
The body is a reflection of our thoughts, emotions and our beliefs, more than anything else.
And last but not least, remember, love is our most powerful emotion!
So replace fear with love.
Our brain and body can’t do both emotions simultaneously.
Anxiety can be switched off far more effectively by heart-focused activity rather than head-focused activity.
We must learn to see any illness, mental or physical, as part of our journey and as signposts along the way, rather than something to fight and get rid of. We need to stop being ‘at war’ with our minds and body.
All this has taught me that when it gets hard I need to be in the now, in the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) relaxed state, not in the sympathetic nervous system (fight, flight, freeze) fear. Both these systems cannot work simultaneously.
Going along with our terrace, music, threads section. Holywell Street have been hoping to bring in Peter Hooton from The Farm, for a chat for some time. We are pleased to say that he has taken time out of his active schedule to pop into HWS Towers to see us.
Peter Hooton was born Liverpool September 1962 in the Everton district of the City. This city was a massive influence on him and in particular his beloved Liverpool FC. Famous for his music and sharp witted tongue. He went on to create a fanzine, entitled The End. With no journalistic experience, he felt that Liverpool (more so the football fans), needed something witty, warm and intelligent to read at the match. He is very much an activist for the working class.
Thanks for speaking to us mate, how things?
Congratulations on Liverpool winning the league, there was a spell there, you weren’t sure if COVID-19 would halt this happening.
Do you expect a bit of domestic domination going forward for Liverpool.
I hope so – I think we’ve got the players and arguably the best manager in the world, but it depends on a few things – nobody knows how Covid-19 will affect teams but I think if Klopp is at the helm, I am confident we can dominate. City were supposed to be the best team in the history of football, but Liverpool totally blew them away last season. I really hope they get their act together again so they can give us more of a challenge next season.
A few bands tour and play an album in it’s entirety is this something you would consider?
We did it a few years ago with Spartacus – I enjoyed it but would still rather play from our entire back catalogue. I can see why bands do it, but I prefer the entire catalogue.
From the back catalogue which of the albums optimises The Farm the most?
Pastures Old and New was a selection of Peel and BBC sessions so I suppose that was our sound in the 1980s but as soon as we discovered and used technology Spartacus was our ‘sound’- we were ring to emulate what was happening in London with Big Audio Dynamite and Flowered Up but journalists lumped us in with Madchester which was lazy and inaccurate!
I believe Stan Smith is one of your favourite trainees … what are your top three?
Stan Smith originals Stan Smith black Stan Smith blue Seriously they are my favourite closely followed by Puma States and Adidas Gazelle.
What are your best three ’80s terraces looks?
That’s a difficult one but the first would be a green Peter Storm Lois jean and a pair of trainees. Second would be the duffel coat with straights and a pair of suede desert boots Third would be a tweed jacket polo shirt, jeans and cord shoes.
And of course can you give us your top three influential albums?
Revolver – The Beatles The Blue Nile – A Walk Across the Rooftops The Clash – The Clash but this list changes all the time
The End Fanzine began in 1981 what did you initially expect from it?
I just wanted to make people laugh and encourage people to write about their lives. Every knob head does it now on social media but in those days, it was quite revolutionary to get the working class to write about their lives. I wanted it to be observations of everyday life – we never had one ‘joke’ in The End, but people found it funny. We were ruthless and attacked every sacred cow and basically anything that moved. I wanted it to be a magazine that people had to take notice of. It was the first magazine to include music and football, but I did not see it as a ‘football’ fanzine even though we were trying to appeal to people who went to Liverpool and Everton matches especially the away games. Hopefully, we encouraged people to write and express themselves – if it was still going today, we would have a field day with the conspiracy theory crew!
In honour of the End Fanzine can you please give us an IN and an OUT for this week?
IN – Shamrock Rovers v AC Milan
OUT – Piers Corbyn
We were recently made aware that the Cavern Club in Liverpool being under threat due to COVID-19, are you supporting the case to keep it open?
Yeh, believe it or not I Chair the Beatles Legacy Group for Liverpool City Council – it is unthinkable that it would close but they need Government help to get them through this period when they can only open with a reduced capacity. It was 500 but they have been told they can only have 150 in at the moment. I think in fact I am sure people will rally around to help them.
We were shocked and saddened to at the passing of Andrew Weatherall here. How did you view him and his work?
He was a visionary. When I first heard him DJing I was mesmerised as his tastes were so varied, I loved the way he mixed different genres. In a way he reminded me of John Peel. I did not know at the time, but he had started the Boys Own fanzine in London with Terry Farley and Simon Eckel after reading The End. They loved The End, but I remember Terry Farley telling me it was probably too left wing for Stamford Bridge so obviously with Boys Own they kept to clubbing and fashion. When we went to Ibiza in 1990, he was at the top of his powers but he was never big headed or pretentious. His remix of Soon by My Bloody Valentine was the sound of that summer for me. I was so shocked when he passed away – but his music will never die!
Pre-Covid, have you been up to Scotland for any games in recent times?
Not recently – a few years ago my mates lad was on loan from Everton at Motherwell so went to a couple of games and another mate was the coach at Hibs with Stubbs, so we went to Easter Road a couple of times. The last time I went to Celtic was when Liverpool played there but my claim to fame is, I shook Jock Steins hand when we went on a school trip to Glasgow to play some teams and got a tour of Parkhead with Jock. The next day we went to see Celtic v Aberdeen and the Celtic fans sang a wonderful version of YNWA – a higher pitch to the Kop but I will always remember it.
We went to Balloch after the game in the school minibus as we were staying in a Youth Hostel there. Our priests who were on the strict side were in plain clothes so when we went to a local chippy with them, we thought nothing of it. All sudden a police van screeched to a halt and a load of police pinned everyone against the wall. Our priests tried to explain we had just come from the Celtic match, but the police were not having it they just would not listen. We were all trying to control our laughter as one priest was a ‘authoritarian’, but the police were telling him to shut up. It turns out they were looking for a Glasgow gang in the area – oh how we laughed (we all had Celtic scarves bobble hats on) – the priests never got an apology but, in a way, we were made up they had been powerless!
Do you think Celtic will do 10-in-a-row?
Yes, who will stop them?
As a vocal Corbyn supporter, what are you views on Keir Starmer?
No comment until I see my lawyers
Has he got the metal to see it through and get rid of Tories?
Mass confusion appears to be the main weapon of modern politics – everyone should watch Bitter Lake and Hyper normalisation by Adam Curtis to understand how confusion is the weapon of control – how in the year 2020 we can end up with Boris Johnson as the Prime Minister is the perfect example of that. An old Etonian with few if any redeeming qualities was voted in by the so-called Red Wall to their eternal shame – nothing seems to have changed since the Ragged Trouser Philanthropists was written in 1914.
What was your favourite stadia Liverpool won a European Cup in and why?
Must be the Olympic Stadium in Rome when we beat Roma in 1984 in their own ground. I have never heard a noise like it before or since when the teams took to the field. As far as the Romans were concerned, they had already won it – after we beat them on pens it was like an inferno as they burnt all their massive flags. Let’s say they were not happy.
Football was very different, and the match going experience fraught with danger, No alla violenza, how did you become involved in that?
I was not involved in No Alla Violenza I just wore the t-shirts. As far as I know they were not an organisation as such it was a just a t-shirt – during that period the working class just decided fighting at the match was an 80s thing. Dance Culture swept the nation and after years of the authorities under Thatcher trying to clamp down on football violence it was football fans themselves who rejected it in favour of peace and love (and doves)
Would you agree that the “right-wing” tried to high-jack the casual scene of the ’80s?
I think they succeeded – as soon as every small town in England started dressing like the big city teams it was inevitable. But the so-called ‘casual’ scene was never about politics it was about fashion.
What’s your take on the Football Lads and Lasses against Fascism (FLAF)?
Anyone who fights against fascism needs support – I wouldn’t say I know much about them, but they are a good antidote to the DFLA who are an embarrassment.
Favourite “lively away day” and why?
I always liked going to London games – they had a touch of glamour and adventure about them although the tube stations could be scary places. I loved going to Chelsea, Spurs, West Ham and Arsenal back in the 80s until I was kicked unconscious at White Hart Lane. I made the mistake of wanting to stay in London to go to a mates birthday party I had met on holiday, he was a Cockney but into The Clash, so we got on. Fatal mistake, as I had to cut off one of the side streets on the Tottenham High Rd to get back to his car. I unfortunately picked a street that about 50 Spurs were coming down and as soon as they saw me in my cagoule and trainees they pounced. I thought I was getting away jumping over parked cars but then heading towards someone on the pavement who looked like Giant Haystacks. He bounced me into the privots and the last I can remember was the pack of hyenas screaming kill the ‘scarse cant’ – I’m not sure how long I was out for but the lad who woke me up said he was a Millwall fan and he had rescued me. I went in the ambulance to a local hospital and it was like a war zone – when I staggered in everyone laughed – one Spurs wag with a screwdriver sticking out of his thigh shouted ‘fackin hell scarse you been run over by a bus?’ – oh how we laughed! The camaraderie in the hospital was something to behold. I lost my two front teeth and had a fractured cheekbone, but I did get a grand in compensation, which was a good pay-out. Something happened that day as I could’ve died I suppose – I think I must have got some sort of brain damage as I became indifferent to what other people thought of me so maybe that enabled me to write The End and sing in front of people with The Farm- I certainly wasn’t as self-conscious after the attack.
Bramley Moore Dock, is this a good move for the peoples club, Goodison Park is a great away ground and one of the few left, will you miss going?
I think they should stay and invest in the team and redevelop Goodison. When the Spirit of Shankly were protesting Hicks and Gillett in 2008 to 2010 we argued with them to redevelop Anfield, but they said it was impossible but when the new owners took over in 2010, they did exactly that. I know Evertonians want a new start but I would say be careful what you wish for just look at Arsenal and West Ham – we told the West Ham fans the move would cripple their identity and they still would struggle to get in the top 4 – that move did just that and they have lost their heart & soul and they are still a million miles from the Champions League.
Finally, 2020 has been tough from promotion of live music, what is planned from The Farm?
There is very little chance of us playing again this year. All our festivals and support slots with Madness have been put back until 2021 so hopefully they can happen then. One consequence of the pandemic is All Together Now has become a song for unity in many countries around the world and we can see in our Spotify listeners that we should tour South America when all this is over as Brazil and Argentina can’t get enough of The Farm!
Thanks for popping in Peter and talking with us. Much love.
Thanks to Peter and the Holywell Street team: Angela, Paul, Red Caz for the questions.
Imagine a slightly more argumentative version of Alf Garnett, throw in an almost pathological hatred of the Welsh, put it into a suit and tie, and you have a curious little git called Trigger Hume.
Trigger was from Hike in the Scottish Borders and loved nothing more than a good row – it was his hobby – only he often lost, which meant that his squabbles would sometimes take a sinister turn with him going home to ‘get his gun’.
Of course the gun didn’t exist, and no one really thought that it did. Gun crime was non-existent in Hike then and it still is now, which is hardly surprising if the underworld there are all trying to bust caps into each other with imaginary shooters .
Most days you would catch Trigger and his ‘henchman’ Hike Wattie (HW) in the White Swan playing dominoes, both wearing a suit and tie as they did every day of the year. At the end of each game, whoever won would sing to the other, ‘It’s like taking candy from a baybeeee’.
That Len Barry classic still gives me the scunner, like when Quint scrapes his finger nails down that blackboard in ‘Jaws’, or when Boris Johnson speaks.
Rumour has it that Trigger got expelled from the Army when he was 18 for ‘skelpin Welsh cunts’. Now, being expelled from the Army for assaulting Nazi sympathisers or maybe even holding a grudge against one of their former enemies could be excused. But the Welsh? It’s like hating kittens or her out of Countdown – it doesn’t make sense. But, for some inexplicable reason he had an issue with our Celtic brothers and he’s still bitter to this day.
Surely he can’t have believed all the rumours about the sheep?
However, for all his faults, Trigger did have a sense of humour, sort of. He and HW would chuckle away at funerals, prompting an uncomfortable feeling within a morbid situation.
Every funeral wake they attended, the double act would approach the deceased’s family telling them, ‘They will be up there having a pirty.’ As if that was some kind of comfort. It’s up there with the classic: ‘They’re in a better place now.’
The White Swan attracted other strange individuals, such as Flossy MacFarlane. That, of course, is if you call sitting and staring at the regulars in the pub and claiming that you had hidden super powers strange. I always thought Flossy would be ideally suited at leading a cult, but the pub was his place of worship.
I used to work shifts in the bar and listen to their mundane drivel. Sometimes Flossy would sit with Trigger and HW while they were playing dominoes, in fact it was usually just the three of them in the pub during weekdays. Flossy would use his powers to tell them that he knew who would win each game before they’d even started, but would keep the information to himself. Trigger would say, ‘He kens fack all!’
As well as trying to read your mind, Flossy would claim that he knew the lottery numbers for the upcoming draw, again keeping the info to himself. It should be noted, however, that during the whole time I knew him, the most he ever won was a tenner. Either some cruel punter had hidden some kryptonite somewhere in the pub to deliberately weaken his powers, or, as is more likely, he was talking a load of shite.
Every second year the Welsh rugby fans would arrive in Hike for the Home Nations match. Many of our Celtic brothers would stay within the pubs and most of the locals would join them. I’ve had a lot of liking for the Welsh most of my life and that seemed to be the general attitude with most of the locals.
However, Trigger could not contain himself if he saw ‘Welsh caaants’. The only other group of people who even came close to yanking his dick as much as the Welsh were anyone from the Sovr Plooms area, a town 18 miles away who were the sworn enemies of Hike folk.
One Friday evening in the pub, the Welsh crowd were in scooping up, all in-song with locals sharing and joining in. Trigger was looking over in their direction and may as well have been holding up a sign telling them all to fuck off. To him, they were about as welcome as a gay dance troupe dressed in drag at the Westboro Baptist Church’s Christmas Party.
After a while he decided to introduce himself to the exotic foreigners by aiming a punch at one of them while shouting, ‘Ya taffy bastirt,’ then missing before spinning around 360 degrees and punching the table as he fell to the ground. A round of applause was the obvious response from the joyful, hectic pub. True to form, Trigger tells everyone he’s away to get his ‘fackin gun’ and he was never seen again until midweek.
A few days later, it appeared that Trig had broken his wrist due to his boxing antics. When anyone enquired as to the cause of the injury, his comeback was, ‘skelpin Welsh caaants’ followed by a ‘kakakakakakaka’ smokers laugh, although, I’m not sure our Celtic guests would agree with the story.
Back in the pub midweek, Trig was struggling to play dominoes with HW due to his wrist being wrapped up, so they got their kicks from old singalong songs from the jukebox. When I was working in the bar it was quite soul destroying at times so I would sit with a wee notepad writing down what I saw and heard. This was for amusement purposes in later days. At least the pub had a new fit barmaid who had started, a good soul named Sophia who was also very astute and sensible.
Hike Wattie always had this ‘I-know-more-than-you face’ when it came to music and would clash with Flossy on a regular basis. It was my first shift of a humdrum week and I was hanging by a thread after a few days of alcohol and Collie dugs intake. The three amigos were picking songs from the jukebox from days gone by such as Boney M and Alvin Stardust. They then had the notion to play us, ‘Ooh Aah … Just A Little Bit’ by Gina G; this whole situation was like a theme tune to my depression. Any positive attitude was sinking back to that dark cobweb place.
To make things worse they started a threesome choir to the chorus, ‘Ooh Aah … Just A Little Bit, Ooh Aah, Just A Little Bit morrrre’ directed at the lovely fit Sophia behind the bar, they then proceed with the offer of, ‘Gees a coup’, which was their way of welcoming her.
Sophia was just smiling with that look of ‘heard it all before’ that all bar staff learn to do as I threatened to pull the plug on their shenanigans. Trigger’s reasoned that this was because I was, ‘Jist a Sovr Plooms bastitrt!’ The cringeometer was off the Richter scale by this time.
Later in the day after continuous pints of pale ale and shots of whisky, the three amigos were sitting putting the world to rights with Flossy gazing at them. The odd bit of personal abuse was fired each way, then Trigger offers Flossy outside. HW tells him to get away hame to his wife. Trigs rejected this suggestion with, ‘Fack off! I worship the grund that’s coming ae her!’ An average day in a Hike pub.
Blobby Chris was another celebrity ’round those parts. He would wobble into the pub like an elephant seal who had just done a half marathon for charity. I normally wouldn’t concern myself with his size and indulge in fattism but his choice of football team, severe right-wing politics and funny as toothache racist jokes, were suited to his big red raging face that always looked if he had just bought a massive bouncy castle and blew it up with his mouth.
He was also a miserable half-glass full type and whenever he replied to a question it was as if you had just woken him up from a snooze by teabagging him and hitting his genitals with the jaggy side of a hair brush. The only time you would see a grin on Blob’s face was when he was in the pub singing Rangers songs with his buddies. This lot were of standard bluenose material, steeped in deep mediocrity and Herrenvolk Hubris with a compassion bypass.
You could argue and debate with this lot all day, but their white-flag moment will come when you are reminded that you don’t meet the requirements for being a ‘people’ like standard as themselves. This settles their debate.
One glorious evening there was a young crowd sitting at the back of the pub being quite rowdy, although harmless. Every so often I would ask them to simmer down.
Blobby Chris wobbled in as he normally would. The young crew at the back decided to have a wee sing-along aimed at him. To the theme tune of ‘Jim’ll Fix It’:
’10 bacon rolls was only the start of it
Strawberry gateaux can’t get enough of it
Chris will eat it
Chris will eat it for you
and you and you
and pum pa pum …’
The other pub locals sung along in unison including Trig, HW and Flossy. Blobby Chris was eyeballing over in rage and giving them the middle bar, pork sausage style. I must confess I would normally have stopped this disrespectful commotion, but I couldn’t bring myself to step in for some reason. I let this catchy ditty continuously flow as I served him with his usual pint of cider.
The highlight of the Hike year was the Common Riding which happened in June. It was the annual town festival and it involved people riding horses through the town to mark some old historical traditions. When I say people, I should point out that women were banned from riding. In fact it was easier to get a woman to ride John Barrowman than it was to get one to ride a horse during the Common Riding back then.
I didn’t pay much attention to this malarkey, but it seemed to be a topic of debate especially with Trigger, HW and any women arguing the case in the pub. Although the double act would say, ‘Oo must stick wae oor tradtions of nae weemin’, they never actually left the pub to join in with the festivities.
This is the self-declared “Michigan State Militia” who only a few weeks ago were allowed to walk freely right up to and inside a federal building armed with an array of automatic weapons. Once inside they shouted abuse at state officials and what were they so upset about?
Lockdown. See, they are Free Born (White) Americans and as such can disobey government restrictions, even during a pandemic that could if not controlled wipe out millions of their fellow citizens.
Now, Imagine if they were all black men carrying such weapons and a very real grievance that those supposedly employed to “protect and serve” their communities keep on, week after week, year after year, decade after decade, century after century, brutalising and murdering people of your own colour AND are supported in this by the white power structures that benefited from the enslavement of your ancestors.
How far do you reckon they’d have got before the police opened fire?
That’s the difference. Of course during a riot when for a few hours the normal laws and power structures and economic systems of oppression are no longer there, people will loot and take what they can.
Yes people will say “what if they trashed or torched your business then Mr Bleeding Heart Liberal?”!and i’d deffo be pissed off because ours is a community project but still i think i’d understand the motivation and justified rage manifesting itself in the only way it can: destruction.
Riots are not just acts of chaotic criminality, they are symbolic. Some would argue that violence achieves nothing and that all riots burn themselves out, the state elites will continue to rule, poor people will stay poor and the police will keep in protecting and serving people like them and brutalising and murdering people who they despise.
Poverty breeds crime. Simple. Power breeds crime. Simple. It’s all subjective. The President is a criminal on a whole different scale to that poor black kid grafting a pair of trabs.
Yet there is a feeling that THIS time the power elites aren’t so powerful as they once were and that the old orders both in the US, UK and Europe – ya know “The Free West” are crumbling away before our eyes.
usually when faced with a crisis of this magnitude the capitalist class will engineer a war of “nations” – flag waving, calls for patriotic duty against enemies real and imagined and then the circus keeps on moving along to the next town.
Send in the clowns. When there’s an accident, a tight rope walker falls to their death, a lion bites the head of its tamer, the circus master with his big whip sends in the clowns to distract the audience from the shit show.
Trump and Johnson are just a sideshow even if they don’t know it themselves.
Not on the telly only on HWS platforms, in out shake it all about!
Lockdown story writing
Pinky out espresso drinking
Weatherall’s 11 o’clock drop
Ye auld Twisters
Paul Heaton — great man, great life
Dressing like an Afghan Hound during lockdown
Cleaning all your Adidas shoes while isolating
Magnum ice cream plain or mint
Doddsy’s social media Rebel nights
Two offices on Holywell Street after lockdown
Voodoo Ray pumped up on iTunes
Saffiyah Khan coming to HWS
Toady from Neighbours
Gerrard arrogance personified
“It is what it is”
”everything happens for a reason” cosmic forces crap!
Cummings, Trump, Bojo
Nacho Novo — now he is a whopper!
Daily Record desperate for positive SEVCO news
Wee ponytail on beard types
Mental Health stigma
That is all for now, thanks for checking in.
*Please note Holywell Street offices will be open for the public to visit after lockdown, come along and see us! Bring the fuck-it bucket from KFC at the Forge. Speak to Paul Kealy for further details.
HWS hooked up with Bev Thompson (Aquascutum Girl) once again. We wanted to converse over the film “Beverley” which is now viewable to watch. Also, her social upbringing, being a Rude Girl during the two-tone scene and moving onto being a casual girl in Leicester City’s Baby Squad. The racial tension growing up in Leicester and the political mix from Rude Girl to Casual. This is the life of a mixed-race teen in the ‘80s.
She is one cool lady and perfect for our subculture section.
Red Casual, Angela and Paul connected with her through Skype.
How’s things? Thanks for talking to us again. We see the film Beverley can now be watched by everyone rather than just the film festivals. This has raised more interest again with a lot of new viewers.
For the new readers what is the film about and what was it trying to convey to the audience?
The film was based on my childhood growing up in Leicester in 1980. Highfields was an inner-city multi-cultural community. When I was 11 years-old we moved to the outskirts, suburban life was a big culture shock. I was used to the sound of Reggae, the smell of Ganja (Cannabis) and playing –outside. I had no idea that some-one’s skin –colour was an issue, until I moved to a white conservative area.
In the film, Bev makes friends with the local kids – due to their shared love of two-tone.
Two-Tone music was ‘protest music’ made in the U.K. it was the rage against the machine and stood-up against racism and inequality. Thatcherism neo-liberalism was killing socialist ideals and dissipating working-class communities. It was a dark time for every-one.
Two-Tone was a music and fashion genre, a re-mix of Jamaican Ska and the sharp Black and White clothes worn by Rude Boys in 1960s Jamaican. This style was imported and influenced 1960’s MOD Culture, (1960’s my Dad came here a Jamaican rude-boy and met my British mum who was a Mod).
Paul: How did you get involved in it?
Cass Pennant, Alex and myself were travelling by train to make the football fashion documentary ‘Casuals’ I told them about me being a Rude-Girl and moving from one culture to another. I am mixed-race, and I guess the face of ‘1980s multi-culture Britain. Cass loved two-tone and the concept, that’s how the idea for the film got started.
The film was made in 2014 at the peak of Austerity. The Tories were back in power and immigration back on the agenda, the far-right were becoming popular again, the rise of Islamophobia meant the Muslim community were being targeted. Hate-crime against refugees and EU citizens from Eastern Europe were also increasing.
The protest music was now Grime.
It was the right time to make a film.
Paul: How well was the film received over the last few years?
The short film couldn’t have done any better. We had stars like Vicky McClure, Neville Staples and the late Rankin Roger involved plus support from the two-tone community. Sennia Nenua, who played my younger sister, went on to have a lead role in the Hollywood blockbuster ‘The girl with all the Gifts’
We won every award possible including making it to the last five films to be nominated for the short-film Oscar, the eventual winner had edited our film!
This is an Exclusive I have never talked about this publicly … Unfortunately the feature-film deal came along – I pulled out. The script had reverted back to the old stereotypes were good and all the BAME characters bad. I won’t do a feature-length version unless it is authentic.
There has been a floodgate of films dealing with Black British Identity and Black cinema is killing it. Queen and Slim was amazing, an independent, low budget, protest film.
Angela: I transitioned from Celtic supporter to Casual by becoming friends with boys and girls of the same age around 1984. How did your transition come about?
I was 15 years-old I hung out with a group of lads on a Saturday afternoon, we started joining in with the football- hooligan skirmishes. As the token-female, I made sure I was one step ahead with my clothes. My mum had a good eye too – before Casuals I wore Benetton and other designer labels. My Dad wore Gabicci – we were a sharp-dressing family. So, I easily morphed into Aquascutum Girl.
Angela: Some of the guys didn’t like us girls, others respected us. We would act as lookout and “pretend” girlfriend to whomever in our mob were under the watchful eye of the police. What was your experience?
I always preffered hanging out with the lads – I could boss them around – lol. Boys went on adventures, which I loved! Football on a Saturday was a build up of anticipation, a fierce battle, and then the euphoric after-glow. It taught me self-respect, that I should be proud of whom I am and that a strong team of good mates is priceless, I am still close friends with most the lads from those days.
Angela: I am now 49 and still feel that my years with CSC and beyond are still grounding, keeps me strong as a mother and daughter. The sense of camaraderie speaks for itself. I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Those lessons I’ve passed on to my children – if you’re going to pick a tribe pick a loyal one.
In the Casual’s documentary you mention it become easier to became a casual due to Leicester’s multi-racial crew whereas Skinhead seem to get highjacked by the far-right would you agree?
The Casuals movement or being a Trendy, as I called it, meant wearing trendy clothes-expensive name brands, specifically ‘casual’ sportswear like tracksuits and trainers. Until then ‘sportswear’ was only worn if you were playing a sport! The favourite brands were Fila, Kappa, Tachini, Lacoste and Adidas.
The Skinheads still wore shirts, drainpipe jeans and Doc Martens – a style stolen from the original Rude Boys in Jamaica. But now their divisive views seemed out-dated. Leicester was the multi-cultural capital of the U.K. Our football firm’s head-boy was a Black Guy.
The racist skinhead had to modernise or slipped back into the shadows. We had Whites, Blacks and Asian Hooligans, the full-works, all-standing side by side, against the common enemies – rival fans and the police. The police were vicious. The worse violence was dished out by the boys-in-blue, her majesty hooligan squad.
Laya Lewis plays the part well would you agree?
Laya Lewis played me in the film – brilliant casting. Laya had been in Skins a TV drama based in Bristol, so had lots of experience. She also resembled, the young me, so she was perfect. I wouldn’t have wanted anyone else to play me.
The Stone Foundation are an interesting band with a mix of ska, R&B and soul they do the theme tune Beverley for the film – an outstanding track. How does that feel to have a song dedicated to you?
The film’s theme song by Stone Foundation was inspired after meeting the guys at one of their Gigs. Cass was a fan and converted me. The song is timeless, and I never get tired of listening to it. I feel honoured to have a song based on me but ultimately, it’s about all of us, in an image conscious world – we’re all judged on our appearance, but some more than others?
Here we go, can you give us your five favourite terrace labels 1985 onwards?
Aquascutum – Classic British Clothing – every-one needs to buy one thing from this label it will last a lifetime.
Benetton – Their advertising campaign was years ahead of its time and I love that poster, showing a global community. Their Brand has always been in style.
Fila and Lacoste who doesn’t love their logo – and flannel trackies – I just think ‘sexy beast’.
If I was buying a Trendy Label today Burberry and Pringle have got some mouth –watering garments. They’ve up-dated their brand but stayed loyal to the original patterns. Although I don’t know what Burberry was trying with its ‘noose’ jumper, which was disturbing!
Your favourite albums?
Musically – I want to big up Skinny man album ‘Council Estate of the Mind’ – a lyrical opera. He opened the door to the Grime genre but has never got the credit he deserved, from the mainstream music industry.
I probably know all the words, to all the songs on Bob Marley’s Catch a Fire album
I love ‘Jungle’ music and a Rave is a good place to let your hair down and dance like no-one’s watching
Music – all depends on my mood – but let’s say anything I can stamp my feet too haha! Music that literally moves me!
I believe Celtic is your team up here, what did you think to our support for Palestine display?
Yes. I also remember reading how Celtic had been fined by UEFA but managed to crowd-fund 20 times that amount. I love it when principles and action overcome threats and intimidation, but to do it for such a political hot potato as Palestine true courage and integrity.
The people of Palestine live in worse conditions then the blacks in South Africa under Apartheid, yet the world turns a blind eye – why? Celtic are keeping the voice of the Palestine alive and that is the best use of football I’ve ever seen! Never give up, Never!
”you have to be some-one” — Bob Marley is this still your inspirational quote?
Yeah, I am an all or nothing kinda girl – that will never change.
Thanks for talking to us Bev.
*Beverley the short movie can now be seen on youtube:BEVERLEY Award Winning Short Ska Film
What I have come to discover is that although isolation is badly stressful and has mental health implications to many people. I have also discovered “normal” isn’t very healthy.
To go back to normal as we put it is to return to the stress of modern day living and the anxieties that brings. “Normal” is not normal — it has become more apparent that the stress of modern day life — we are not equipped for.
Okay, a lot of us by the Grace-of-god have the luxury of working from our homes; why should a large number of us lose out. What has also become apparent is that a modern day capitalist society is not equipped for lockdown and isolation.
Call this a freak of nature — this is obviously the fault of nobody. But, a key worker can survive where as someone who perhaps works in a shop, a factory or has a small business can lose everything including their home?
Capitalism and the working class majority do not co-exist in present society. We are not all in this together.
The underprivileged and the sick suffer in a “normal” modern day society then suffer again during and after a pandemic lockdown.
Survival of the fittest I hear you say! No chance!
The virus pandemic has exposed underlying conditions of capitalism. I expect a prolonged period of economic depression.
With the market system now in meltdown the laws of capitalism are now kicked aside — production is paralysed and supply has fallen. So those who previously preached “efficiency” for a free market are now demanding big measures from the state to save capitalism.
We now have a world crisis of capitalism. Let us hope we see the light.
If returning to normal is to be a slave to a broken capitalism then normal is not normal.