Saturday 27 February 2010

Dirty Squatters

"Some dirty squatters moved into my street with their non-sexist haircuts and their dirty feet. Their dogs, cats. Political elite. They may have beds but they don't use sheets ..." Zounds' Dirty Squatters starts off in typical Daily Mail Tory tabloid rant mode but there is a nice twist at the end when Mr Angry finds his job's not going too well and he's beginning to think if you can't beat 'em then join 'em. Zounds was one of the groups closely associated with the Crass anarcho-punk thing. Funny phenomenon that scene/subculture, with all the kids walking round in their leather jackets with the circle-A branding on the back. It's easy to be cynical, but things are never simple, and in fact Zounds was a cracking group with fantastic tunes and smart lyrics. Their LP for Rough Trade, The Curse of Zounds, was even produced by the incredibly important Adam Kidron around the same time he was working with Orange Juice, Scritti Politti, Raincoats, etc. Actually a number of the groups associated with Crass were great, like The Mob, Rubella Ballet, Poison Girls, but Zounds' sounds resound still. Zounds was associated with the squatting/punk community around Brougham Road, Hackney. And it would be interesting to know statistics on the number of discarded/derelict properties in central London in the '70s/early '80s which were used by squatters, and of those squatters how many were seeking a new life/identity in London rather than being born 'n' bred in the metropolis. There have certainly been arguments made for squatters saving Victorian London from the town planners, with the irony being that these saved properties now sell for ridiculous sums which only the likes of Kate Moss can afford. Anyone know the link between Kate Moss and Zounds? Here's a clue ... Blyth Power!

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