Anti Social Workers and Me

UNLIKE MOST music journalists, I didn’t want to be in a band. I’d signed a record deal a year before through the legendary dub producer the Mad Professor’s Ariwa label with my band Anti Social Workers. Our LP Positive Style got glowing reviews in all the music press and we toured at venues like London’s Dominion Theatre with reggae icons like Peter Tosh and Eek A Mouse.

So that was out of my system. Plus I didn’t want to be a Pop PR or do drugs with Lemmy. Amusingly the Anti-Social Workers toured with other pop writers from the music press at benefit gigs for the Miners, Printers et al. These included the group the Redksins ( Chris ‘X’ Moore from the NME), poet Attila The Stockbroker (John Opposition from Sounds) and poet Seething Wells (Steven Wells from the NME) as well as supporting the usual suspects such as Billy Bragg, New Model Army, Three Johns and Benjamin Zephaniah. We all reviewed each other unashamedly as the loofah to the Thatcherite scourge.

Talk about power, corruption and gratuitous nepotism. John Opposition from Sounds said:  “It’s time that someone managed to cross over and equally appeal to the punk and reggae audiences and the Anti Social Workers may just be the band to do it.” Steven Wells from the NME wrote: “The Anti Social Workers jumped from Poland’s failed revolution to abusing the alleged Robert Elms in the time-honoured fashion of the Socialist anti-pose.” X Moore from the NME said: “Positive Style is an album set apart.” Sean O’Hagan of the NME talked about “the Anti Social Workers’ lauded first LP”, and Gaye Abandon, also of the NME, wrote that “the Anti Social Workers, four young persons of various cult persuasions, had the novel idea of singing and toasting over tasty dub tracks courtesy of the Mad Professor”….

Respect due to all those writers.

© Paul Wellings‘I’m A Journalist…Get Me Out Of Here’, 2004

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