It was a very bad time for the conservative anarchist but nevertheless, Martin, Aubrey and I (and a few occasional 'also rans') formed into a gang of nocturnal amphetamine road-beasts. As the WSF (Wagnerian Soul Fraternity)...
Reverbstorm: Savoy, Soul and Suicide
b y P a u l T e m p l e
A clip of an article from Headpress mag issue 7, can read in full on Savoy website (link at end)
Headpress magazine, No 7, 1993
It was a very bad time for the conservative anarchist but nevertheless, Martin, Aubrey and I (and a few occasional 'also rans') formed into a gang of nocturnal amphetamine road-beasts. As the WSF (Wagnerian Soul Fraternity), we spent months and months travelling to Northern niters in a beat-up car, with Bruckners IVth, or the Solti version of Die Walküre blasting out of the windows. Faster faster, louder louder. With the north winds blowing through our scurf at 120mph, reeking of chemicals and Juicy Fruit, hitting Niters and living furiously. We developed our own language, and we all spoke in this thick Edinburgh-ese (five years on and I still can't shake it off).
For two years I never read a paper or saw a television. We became aesthetites and energy obsessives, but would pursue any old head-fuck for a laugh. Our heroes were Wilhelm Reich, Franz Antoine Mesmer, G.I. Gurdjieff (who, legend has it, could suck enough energy out of a room to kill a yak at a hundred paces. Though I didn't know it at the time, Martin's brother was part of a Gurdjieff group in California). The fetish for mass-free primordial energy was also reflected in our taste in music: total amphetamine Northern, Mighty Phil Spector and 19th Century classical God-head bangers. We hated house-music and referred to ravers as acid- cripples.
The niter scene was for toxic avengers only. The newies scene was past its prime due to the ritual slaying of its chief exponent DJ Keb Darge, but it was still very vicious and intense. An outsider could be kicked in the face if he danced like an on-location rare groover. Or he could be spat at, or worse, laughed off the floor. Quite right too. We could be in some God-forsaken place like Chesterfield Conservative Club, or a barn somewhere in Scotland, and the atmosphere would be formidable, Nothing short of Total Commitment was the thing. Total Commitment and Total Human Electricity. A normal person didn't stand a chance, it was too intimidating. The dance floor was more like a damn bull-ring than anything. You'd see the most beautifully elegant dancer, and he'd be a steel-worker or something. With a complete empathy for the music. I remember watching this stocky brick ####house going through his paces to Ends Of The Earth by Tony Middleton. When the record was just about to peak, he mimed a noose going round his neck. When the almighty climax was delivered, he gave the invisible rope a sharp yank and hung himself
The WSF invariably turned up like a trio of quarter-tipped tornadoes. We were the absolute best dancers. Martin used to do this slow drag number across the floor, like a rabbit with mixamatosis. Approaching the middle-eight, he'd generally lean back on his worn heels, go quick as a whip into a 360 degree spin then WAP! He'd clap so hard his hands would bleed.
Aubrey was the very model of a human jack-hammer, his bug-eyes trembling with the paranoia of future busts, but deep down not caring too much. His stomp-favour generally leaned toward an On Broadway chord sequence which would ejaculate over Orangemen drums and hysterical Psycho soundtrack strings.
Myself, I favoured a shifty, shifty side thing, one hand on hip, followed by a hi-kick on a peak, a jenny-like spin on a drum-roll, a side WAP on a beat-drop, plenty of flambé hand-gestures and orange squash between very violent numbers like With These Eyes by The Fabulous Peps on Wee Records, Take It Baby by the Showmen on Swan, If You Ask Me, Jerry Williams on Calla, and Where Can She Run To by the Jammers on Loma. The more unrestrained the music, the wilder the life.
AFTER MONTHS OF MOTORWAY MAYHEM, I fell into an extreme state of love with a girl called ..........
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