Patrick Hamilton: Angelic Upstarts

Upstart
I used to write often. Now I’m a bore. This year, one article in the Friday Guardian Film and Music Supplement, for that is what a petis bourgeois bore I am, inspired me. Here is a link to it. http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2010/mar/18/oi-cockney-rejects-garry-bushell-interview

What drew me in, on one level, was it let me rediscover a genre I briefly encountered as a Kerrang! reader in my youth. I’m not that fucking old, but I like to think I am. Some underlying psychological tension or something. Anyway, this particular article alerted my attention to the Angelic Upstarts. A band I had never heard before. Probably as I am not from left-wing, street-fighting working-class stock. Well, that’s not a good enough reason. We fought in our own ways, if it matters. Having been out of work for the majority of that darkest of years, 2009, I found 2010, being in a new job, provided me with beer and juke box funds to enjoy in the company of new and old comrades.

One particular boozer was a frequent haunt, mainly due to the fairly decent juke box and strong booze. Low and behold, the juke box had the track “I’m an Upstart!” by the Angelic Upstarts on.  This was how I got to hear the band, apart from the compulsory visits to YouTube. It is one of the best calls to arms tracks you’ll ever hear in your life. Throw those Rage albums away at last, the big boys have arrived. Now, maybe this is foolish to mention, but fuck it, hear it goes. The general election had been called. The campaigning was in full swing. But in a town with a forgone conclusion, us stuck up cunts had to show our disdain. The plan was to get boozed up, then drive in to the complete Tory stronghold of the countryside, and let rip on the Conservative election placards.

In the company of beautiful people, emotion and booze have a euphoric execution. And the soundtrack to fuel this was “I’m an Upstart!” In a chorus of “I’m an Upstart Oi!

We don’t need to be clever to learn your lies
We only have to listen, open up our eyes
Try to be honest, get kicked in the face
But if you cheat you’re just a rat in the race

I’m an upstart
Hey whatcha gonna do
I’m an upstart
Listen I’m talking to you

Seek out an identity
You alienate society
Face the facts, why not admit it
How can you be outrageous when
your mother won’t allow it?

Listen to the track and you’ll understand it. It’s a fucking fuel pumping, adrenalin kicking, let’s-av-it-son, non-shoe gaze, malarkey. Forget the failed attempt of dubstep to soundtrack the coming insurrection, it should be tracks like “I’m an Upstart!” at the forefront.  And reader, believe you me when I say I was up for fucking up some Tory placards at the arse end of this pub stop.

 

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