The Swell Mob

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ray miller
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The Swell Mob

Post by ray miller » Tue Mar 10, 2020 10:32 am

After Mothers had closed their doors
you’d find Brum’s discerning music fans
in Barbarella’s. You’d also find Tall Paul,
6 foot daft with a habit of walking on
the tops of cars when making his way home
while attempting to play the mouth-organ.

He was there every Thursday and Friday night,
pogoing the sticky carpets of Datachic
or observing the strict punk dress code of The Pose,
which in his case consisted of safety-pins,
plastic sunglasses, jelly sandals, beach party shirt,
and an old school tie beneath his dad’s suit jacket.

He was there when Rat Scabies set his arm on fire,
it was him threw a pint of beer on Paul Weller.
He was there with his band, The Swell Mob,
on lead vocals and concussion, when Billy Idol
got the hump with them slagging off his broodiness
and chased him up the Hagley Road, car to car .

His finest minute was the Blondie gig:
Debbie Harry was singing Rip Her To Shreds,
the front row gobbing on her as a mark of respect.
Tall Paul claimed he was just wiping
spit off her dress, but Chris Stein objected
and wrapped his guitar round Tall Paul’s head.

Stein was dragged off stage by the surf
of the crowd, before Big Tex could intervene
and pull him out and back again.
Tall Paul claimed he never felt a thing,
but Chris Stein was so full of contrition
he let Tall Paul play his mouth-organ

on Will Anything Happen?
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

NotQuiteSure
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Re: The Swell Mob

Post by NotQuiteSure » Tue Mar 10, 2020 12:55 pm

.
Hi ray,
bit of pot and kettle, I know, but this feels a bit too long
(and, good though it is, shouldn't the title be 'Tall Paul'?).

Just to be clear, it isn't Weller's band that was 'The Swell Mob' was it?

Might benefit from being a specific 'pint of beer' in S3?


A(n untidy) bit of cut 'n' paste ...


Back then you’d find Brum’s discerning music
fans in Barbarella’s after Mothers had closed
their doors, along with Tall Paul, 6 foot daft ,
lead vocals and concussion for The Swell Mob,
He'd a habit of walking home on the tops of cars
serenading the west side with his mouth-organ.

It was him threw a pint of beer on Paul Weller.
Got chased up the Hagley Road, car to car by Billy
Idol who'd got the hump with them slagging off
his broodiness. He was there when Rat Scabies set
his arm on fire. His finest minute was the Blondie gig:

Debbie Harry singing Rip Her To Shreds, front row
gobbing as a mark of respect. Tall Paul claimed
he was just wiping spit off her dress, but Stein objected
and wrapped his guitar round Paul’s head. Tall Paul claimed
he never felt a thing, but Stein he was so full of contrition
he let him play harmonica on Will Anything Happen?


Regards, Not



.

David
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Re: The Swell Mob

Post by David » Sat Mar 14, 2020 2:41 pm

True story?

ray miller
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Re: The Swell Mob

Post by ray miller » Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:38 am

Thanks, fellas. Actually, I think I need another stanza which would be about The Swell Mob. I agree about the title but I love the name and there was such a band. Paul Weller created The Style Council after The Jam. Not dissimilar.
It's a true-ish story. The Blondie incident is true, apart from the mouth organ bit. The Rat Scabies and Paul Weller incidents are true, the Billy Idol isn't.
I've been writing a story, on and off, about imaginary bands of that era. I've got The Swell Mob, The Acoustic Blankets, Plotinus and The Gnostics and Gob.
I'm out of faith and in my cups
I contemplate such bitter stuff.

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Re: The Swell Mob

Post by Poet » Tue Mar 17, 2020 12:31 pm

ray miller wrote:
Sun Mar 15, 2020 10:38 am
Thanks, fellas. Actually, I think I need another stanza which would be about The Swell Mob. I agree about the title but I love the name and there was such a band. Paul Weller created The Style Council after The Jam. Not dissimilar.
It's a true-ish story. The Blondie incident is true, apart from the mouth organ bit. The Rat Scabies and Paul Weller incidents are true, the Billy Idol isn't.
I've been writing a story, on and off, about imaginary bands of that era. I've got The Swell Mob, The Acoustic Blankets, Plotinus and The Gnostics and Gob.
Gob is a real band lol, they are from Canada. Anyway I like your poem, it is long but it was worth reading.

David
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Re: The Swell Mob

Post by David » Tue Mar 17, 2020 5:14 pm

I thought it had the feel of a true story (as most of your poems do. I would say.)

Very good anyway.

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