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Hex Fremlin once had a song called Your Nation Is Not My Nation, which I’ve sneakily namechecked in this piece sent to my local Labour-left magazine, the Forest & Wye Valley Clarion. That’s a lame FOISTIAN connection and reason for publishing it for you all to have a look at, but sod it.

Anyway, here’s another FOIST song that has nothing to do with the article, really… from the old Soundcloud account (which I’ve forgotten the log-in to) dating back to 1992 and inspired by a visit to a field. The new account at soundcloud.com/foist is much better!

EITHER I have a heightened sense of déjà vu, or history really is repeating itself.

Many Clarion readers might draw many comparisons with the ConDems to Thatcher’s 1980s, when Ghost Town by The Specials topped the chart, inner cities were ablaze, the government declared war on the workers and destroyed their industries and rights, the poor were told to ‘get on their bikes’ to find non-existent jobs, there was a rapid privatisation programme…

But… wait… the clocks are whirring backwards at an incredible rate, and, yes, the time machine (thanks HG Wells) has taken me much further back, to the years before Nye Bevan, Keir Hardie, the Suffragettes, Chartists and Luddites. I’ve come to a shuddering halt 13 years before the French Revolution and shortly before Tom Paine’s Common Sense and Rights of Man.

1776: the dawning of the Industrial Revolution, the year Adam Smith lit the touchpaper for laissez-faire capitalism with The Wealth of Nations, when a fresh class of privileged merchants and stockbrokers joined forces with aristocrats to form a consolidated elite. Known as tons, bucks, men of quality, or simply The World, the dandified ruling class kept different hours to the oi polloi, gambling through the night, and blearily taking up their daily offices in parliament and the judiciary – when pertinent to their own interests. Membership of the group was tiny, they had their fingers in many lucrative pies, home and abroad, and their only contract with the other 99% was to press them for taxes so they could protect and build their own fiefdoms within an expanding British Empire.

Only a tiny percentage of the population could vote, private property was far more sacred than human lives, the poor were poor because they deserved to be poor, and their survival depended on charity.

When politicians spoke of the “country” they really meant their estates, rather than any national interest. Parliament was for proscribing law, raising taxes for and endorsing military and buccaneer adventures. Wiping out a native population, subjugating it and seizing the land was lauded in the highest court, while stealing a loaf of bread to fend off starvation was a hanging offence.

The Royalists in Parliament had, post-Restoration, been given the name Tories – from the Irish tórai, for robber – and it stuck.  The two “sides”, the Tories and the Whigs (now the LibDems) both solely represented the interests of the ruling class.

The idea of widening the voting franchise was considered absurd by MPs and their cronies. The Leveller Thomas Rainsborough had asked Cromwell’s grandees in 1647 what he and fellow New Model Army veterans had been fighting for in the Civil War if not their individual rights, including a vote. He was slapped down: “No man hath a right to an interest or share in the disposing of the affairs of the kingdom… that hath not a permanent fixed interest in this kingdom.” And so it remained until after 1918.

Adam Smith’s laissez-faire is all about freedom… for some. The “invisible hand”, a self-regulating mechanism, would ensure all remained well and prosperous… for certain players. Laissez-faire relies on the poor and slaves as the necessary cogs (although steadily replaced by machines), the producers; the middling types, the petit bourgeoisie are the consumers and junior managers of industry, fuel for the oligarchy’s engine.

We still have a situation where many producers can’t afford to be consumers of the products they spend many of their waking hours making; the British Empire has been replaced by a corporate jostle for global dominance; our police and army exist mainly to protect private property and secure more of it (in Iraq’s case, for oil interests); the Big Society and the shrinking of the welfare state are signs of passing any social contract to the patronising whim of charity.

As for the class-variable treatment of thieves, we in the Forest of Dean have recently fended off a government-sponsored land-robbery attempt (hurrah for us!) while someone who steals a bottle of water is imprisoned for four years. We are governed by a kleptocracy – the word was coined for post-Communist Russia but Cameron and co’s asset-stripping of the NHS and our other public possessions, so blatantly being handed to MPs and their close friends and beneficiaries are signs of obvious “crony capitalism”, to be polite.

The laissez-faire dream of globalisation has resulted in the increasing exploitation of cheap labour abroad, and herding the discarded British cogs into a workfare conveyor. Rather than London being riddled with slums as it was in 1776, the poor are now being driven out altogether. The latest cunning plan for the London of Boris is that many Londoners priced out of renting their current homes will be shipped to cheaper estates as far away as Merthyr Tydfil, squatting is now officially illegal, and rough-sleepers are to be eradicated (following an attempt in Cardiff, it’s due to become City of Westminster policy).

Fast forward… the time machine pauses at 1962, the year the Beatles released Love Me Do as a prelude to the Swinging Sixties, when Chicago economist Milton Friedman published Capitalism and Freedom, interpreted further down the line by Naomi Klein as The Shock Doctrine. Whether they’ve manifested as a dash for individual economic freedom against Commies and statists, robbery on a gargantuan scale, a racheting-up of the military-industrial complex, Friedman’s policies have engulfed almost the entire world.

Friedman had the first chance to try out his laissez-faire upgrade in 1975 when the military dictator Augusto Pinochet called for his expertise. Never mind Chile’s countless “disappeared” supporters of democracy, Friedman’s “Chilean Miracle” was the toast of Washington and London. Thatcher had much to discuss with Pinochet over tea, and Reagan also followed Friedman’s recommendations: more law and order enforcement to protect property rights, and relaxed regulations for free-marketeers. And so it goes on…

After dumping Clause IV, Blair and Brown continued down the same Thatcherite path, thinly disguised as the “third way”. This meant further privatisation, authoritarianism, “shock and awe” mass murder in Iraq and Afghanistan, and bailing out beached-whale banks with public money, coupled with a decline in Party membership.

Most therapists would advise that ruminating on the past is a bad idea. Regressing to the squalid, inequitable 18th century is, too.

We really want a future, and not one proscribed and confined by determinist “realities” that advocate the same neoliberal approach but only applied more gently and caringly.

Any glance at the Greek Syriza movement, the Indignados of Spain, the Occupy movement, the Arab Spring, the Bolivars and Zapatistas of South America – mass emerging movements despite their marginalisation and scant coverage from mainstream media, reveals a new wave of beyond-Mammon enlightenment from those outside the institutions of power; a growing consensus and call for “real democracy now”. We all know that the banking system, property, wealth and the magic-wand creation of money as debt have shaky foundations or exist only in a bubble ready to be punctured and so much wealth and power has been ill-gained.

One major difference between now and 1776 is that we have secured the vote. If you don’t vote, you have no right to complain: this argument often blames low turnouts simply on apathy, hence the Tories taking the reins in 2010 with a mandate from a whopping 20% of us.

The argument works just as well turned on its head: if you do vote, you are giving credence and sanctioning a vicious economic and political system which favours only the few, bleeding the many.

I reluctantly put a cross for Labour merely because I prefer bad to worse. I am continually drawn into arguments with friends who say they are both the same, that a Labour government would merely be a shuffling of the pack. I counter that perhaps there’ll be a smidgeon more compassion for the downtrodden. But is that enough?

The Labour Party is only as good as the people within the Movement, trying to affect change, as has been recently argued here in the Clarion. Jon Cruddas, Labour’s policy chief, severely laid into neoliberalism in his review of a book, Britannia Unchained, by Progressive, anti-compassionate Conservative MPs. Perhaps all is not lost.

But is Labour’s “market” confined to the 30-odd per cent niche that turn out for the elections, or is the Party also working for the disenfranchised, the let-down, democracy’s outsiders, the apathetic majority (depending on perspective)?

Will Labour continue to perpetuate this downward spiral of debt and austerity, insisting that increasingly ruthless cuts are “necessary” as borrowing inexorably soars in order to pay ever-inflating interest rates, while trillions of pounds owed by high-flyers, more than enough to wipe clean the deficit, are being written off?

Or… will Miliband’s Labour instead take us back to, say, 1845? Then the forecast was, revolution likely unless the proles are pacified, and quickly. Friedrich Engels published The Condition of the Working Class in England, and Benjamin Disraeli wove fiction and politics together for his novel Sybil, or the Two Nations. Engels wanted social justice and an end to exploitation, Disraeli to preserve a hierarchy maintained by aristocrats and their lackeys, putting the brakes on the rampant commercial sector, thus preserving class divisions. Disraeli’s paternalistic vision of an “organic society” was a natural hierarchy where everyone knew their place in the pyramid, and classes had obligations to each other.

In the Thatcher era, a Disraeli-ite might have been a Tory “wet”, or a Europhobe, sometimes verging on jingoistic nationalist, a flag-waving protectionist.

So what can one make of Miliband’s “one nation” mantra? He has yet to flesh out the rhetoric, despite repeating it like a robot with a trapped-circuit. Does Miliband’s “Blue Labour” simply equate with “nice” socially responsible Toryism rather than Cameron’s rampant, violent, heartless, cruel Toryism?

Or is “One Nation” just another way of saying “we’re all in this together”? Aside from it offending my internationalist sensibilities, I don’t know whether “one nation” means me and my fellow impoverished political outsiders, or is about as inclusive as Cameron’s “together”?

Besides, nations have become increasingly irrelevant as they’ve been dwarfed by multinationals. In the IMF and EU-driven misery that engulfs Greece, fascism is flourishing around the Greek flag. Do we really want to encourage national flag-waving in such a climate, when scapegoating the most vulnerable is all the rage?

How can I be British and proud when I discover Poppy Day is a networking event for arms dealers, when the Union flag is and remains a symbol of imperial oppression, when the most powerful upholders of church, state and law turn out to be child abusers?

Nobody cares… so we Vote Nobody, to echo a recent Bristol mock-election campaign. Many of my friends believe that if voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.  I hope that Labour will prove them wrong.

If Labour hasn’t the courage or will to make a decisive break with neoliberalism (as has Syriza in Greece, and the post-bloodless-revolution government of Iceland), I too may feel obliged to vote with my feet, telling Miliband: “Your nation is not my nation.”

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“Remember, remember, the fifth of November/ Gunpowder, treason and plot/ I see no reason why gunpowder, treason/ should ever be forgot.”

Guy Fawkes was an anarchist hero who bravely tried to help his fellow oppressed humans by putting a few fireworks under the feet of corrupt members of Parliament. He was caught, hung, drawn and quartered by the military-industrial complex of 1605, but the people have remembered his brave deeds ever since with a bonfire, sometimes topped with an effigy of a hated political figurehead. Some people now wear a Guy Fawkes mask as they call for a bonfire of bonfires… there have even been stunts to deliver gunpowder to Parliament.

Ah, so November 5, it’s people’s justice time against parliament and authority, right? And let’s face it, this year the bonfires are gonna be raging full on, as it emerges just about every voice of authority – from ex-prime ministers, lords, senior Tories to TV celebrities, pop stars, hospital and charity bosses, to the Royal family are not merely mentally abusing us every day with their bullshit and thieving wholesale from us all our time, energy and taxes to keep up their lavish lifestyles, forcing poor people out of their homes, and then banning them from squatting or even being homeless on the street. But it is now starting to emerge that they’ve been abusing the most vulnerable (and even the dead) and children physically, and sexually too and if any of the victims speak out, it’s swept under the carpet as unthinkable… But you only need to look at the horrific way slavemasters treated slaves in the Caribbean and USA to realise that have manipulated society to control it are sadistic psychopaths.

Anyway, step into the prophetic world of HELIUM DEALER. Tis Monday, November 5, and a jolly – though cold – family seaside picnic is interrupted by a news bulletin…

Ok, time to level and de-fantasise… Guido Fawkes (also the name of a present-day right-wing blogger) was a Catholic unhappy about the Protestant rulers. He intended to replace James I with a Catholic monarch. He was no anarchist hero.From 1606, Bonfire Night was instituted by the crown, state and church for vigilance against Catholics, and also the burning down of the Houses of Parliament. It was a way to recruit a loyalist mob, a vanguard against a rival power, the Vatican, and also persecute Catholic people. During Cromwell’s reign, Christmas and other celebrations were banned, with November 5 being the only officially permitted party.

Still now, you’ll notice those with the public fireworks licenses are official bodies and royally-approved charities. In Lewes, the burning effigies sometimes border on fascistic, such as one year when gypsies were featured. Yet when we burnt a sculpture of Big Ben in the Forest of Dean (not on November 5, but January 3) the repercussions led to a people’s victory (against the Forest sell-off). And there have been occasions in history when state-sponsored pogroms against Catholics (and other minority groups) have gone wrong for the powers-that-be. Notably the 1780 Gordon Riots when the homes of the super-rich and the Bank of England got torched and the poorer Catholic homes were left intact.

But, anyway, this V For Vendetta film came out in 2006, Hollywood-ising and very much negating the power and intellect of Alan Moore’s comics and turning Bonfire Night into “rebellion against the fascist government night”, which ultimately is seen as a patriotic act. V For Vendetta started out in Alan Moore’s mind as an anarchist debate with many ambiguities, unlike the simplified movie. Moore’s V was no superhero, he was full of foibles. Natalie Portman and Steven Fry’s performances are other reasons why the film is a dud. And I REALLY hate the cooking scenes.

Nevertheless, those that identify with Anonymous and put up Facebook posts with the mask and quotes from the film are still making a very worthwhile stand against this truly horrendous mob that have seized control with only 20% support. I mean, what else can we do? This situation and the need for action – whether autonomous or mass-organised against these UTTER BASTARDS – goes beyond any -ism, specific theory or ideology, although the names evoked most often these days seem to be Tom Paine (18th century) and Gerard Winstanley/The Diggers (17th cent).

Let’s have your suggestions in the comments box… this could be a sequel blog… how do we destroy or escape a sadistic patriarchal militaristic violent paedophiliac control-freak monetarian brutalist society and make the world nicer for the many, rather than cushioned for the few at the expense of the many? Or is Tarzan Evans living in a different reality, and prone to exaggerate, misinform and mislead?

Btw, regarding paedophiles and those in authority that allow them to get away with it, here’s STIGMATA KETCHUP with a ditty inspired by the visit to Britain – which we paid for – of Pope “Hitler Youth” Benedict the 3000th… (just to point out, I attack the institutions and the figureheads of religions, governments, media, military, police and finance not the many decent individuals within the institutions)…

Happy Bonfire Night folks! Don’t get too carried away, mind…

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Why do we at FOIST love Hallowe’en, All Hallow’s Eve or Samhain, Saint Satan’s Day, International Anarchy Night, whatever you want to call it? For the following reasons:

1. IT PISSES OFF GOD-BOTHERERS: This time of year is devilishly tricky for diehard Christians and the lawmaking Establishment in general. While the church and state have managed to co-opt the Bacchanalian orgy of Saturnalia and the winter Solstice to claim as the saviour’s birthday, and attempted to turn Eostre’s festival of fertility on its head by claiming THAT as the time when Jesus became a zombie, Friday 13th stylee… anyone with any sense knows that October 31 is the day the dead come to dance, and there’s nowt any contrary religious freak can dissuade us of that. As Hallowe’en invites a lot of chaos and revelry, an echo of the Lord of Misrule festivities of ancient times (when a poor person was genially permitted – or in some cases, banned – from turning the hierarchy upside down – and to treat his lord as a slave for a day… or however long he could get away with). Hallowe’en is a license to dress as outrageously as you like, and be who you want to be, even your worst nightmare. It’s great! And in the spirit of Hallowe’en, I hope many costumed ghouls and things that go bump in the night attend my local bible-bashers’ anti-Hallowe’en fireworks party tonight. Let’s show them fundamentalists they can’t try and brainwash their community (of Mitcheldean etc). Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys urged us to “take your social regulations and shove em up your ass”. I have spotted some donkeys in a field, but I don’t really want to go there. Besides, they don’t belong to me. (Incidentally, did you know ‘ass’ is one of only a few Celtic-derived words in the English language? Llareggub is another)

2. HALLOWE’EN PISSES OFF BORING GROWN-UPS

Ok, granted, sometimes kids go too far with the eggs and flour, their idea of a ‘trick’ when they don’t get a treat. What to do? Board up all your windows, pull your shutters down and triple-lock your doors… or keep a stock of licorice allsorts, Werther’s originals or mint humbugs (the sweets today’s children really love) to quell their anti-adult uprising. If you’re too tight and uncharitable to give strange children sweets, you deserve what’s coming… having said that, I have no sweets or no money, perspex or plywood! Seriously though, I’d much rather give to that local charity than the poppy pusher… In fact, why should the Royal British Legion get my money when I haven’t seen any equivocal retraction of the claim (made recently by its outgoing president) to weapons-makers that poppy day events are ideal networking events for selling arms and perpetuating wars? See http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2012/oct/15/royal-british-legion-president-quits After being caught out, Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely might have been obliged to resign, but has the Legion properly distanced itself from the claims? Unlike Hallowe’en, the warmongering establishment puts us on a collective guilt trip if we don’t “wear our poppies with pride”. And unlike the trick or treaters who only call once (normally), the poppy-seller will knock on my door persistently, on a weekly basis, until I find some change to give him. “I’m sorry I’ve got no money” is not a permitted excuse for the remembrance merchant. This year, I’m gonna be a pariah and not help fund future wars in the guise of remembering past ones… and I hope you’ll join me.

3. IT WAKES UP THE DEAD

A few Hallowe’ens ago, FOIST got out the ouija board, as is only right and proper, and made contact with Joe Meek. Initially, Mr Meek (from Newent) accused Dr Pleasure of stealing his techniques and ideas. It wasn’t the case – Pleasure couldn’t even whistle Telstar (Margaret Thatcher’s favourite tune, incidentally), and was almost unaware of the producer extraordinaire. To cut a long story short, HELIUM DEALER made friends with the ghost of Joe Meek, and were posthumously permitted – nee, encouraged! – to sample David John & The Mood’s Digging For Gold, as well as the Moontrekkers and Screaming Lord Sutch for its tribute to Joe Meek… Shock Ice (Joe Meek’s Ice Cream Van)… FOIST played it to a manifestation of Joe via a special audio device which connected to the spirit world… his response? The ouija board spelled out: “See you in the charts.” What number in the hit parade the song got to, FOIST doesn’t know. I mean, who follows the charts these days? Here’s the Hallowe’en beauty, 2/3rds of the way through this little YouTube collection:

4. STONES TURN TO SPONGE

According to FOIST’s cosmic Hallowe’en calendar, if you hurl yourself at a stone – any stone, except concrete or bricks, they don’t work – at 9.37pm today, you will be enveloped within it and transported to another dimension. Because at this time, all stone turns to sponge. It’s a kind of open day for the inner-stone world. Red sandstone tends to be quite a mundane other spirit world, while – if you happen to be in the Preseli Hills – bluestone has itchy feet. It has the tendency to force you to carry it hundreds of miles, which can be back-breaking, and treacherous when it comes to the Severn Bridge. HELIUM DEALER found oolithic limestone an interesting experience. Armed with a video camera and recording devices, this is what transpired inside the stone… the visuals were something else, and quite unexpected… indeed, you might say disjointed, as they had no connection with the lyrics, communicated to us by the Buckstone in Staunton. A bit garbled, perhaps because concrete now stops the mighty stone from rocking after it rocked someone to death in the 1930s (or maybe before), and concrete is bad news for the stone spirits!

FOIST invites everyone else to share their ‘inside stone’ videos via the comments box below… 9.37pm tonight is the time they spongify, don’t be late, and don’t forget to bring expensive sound and video equipment with you when you take a run and jump at the stone… the longer the run-up, the faster, the better…

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I wrote a long eloquent post but the goddamn thing deleted itself… so this time I won’t bother, simply to urge you to attend the reunion THIS COMING SUNDAY [3pm, Railway pub, Newnham-on-Severn) of POSH FROCK & JUKEBOX, back after more than 20 years, members of which have conspired with FOIST at various times (including very recently in the case of Black Mountain Fiddler Jim, guest star of the new BIG CUN TREE EP, and in the distant past, Tony Hopkins (guitar), with the short-lived SEX TONES). The aforementioned ‘TONES supported John Otway (a friend of one Foistian family) at Cinderford’s Dean Centre (sledgehammers, kitchen sinks, Velvets songs, some may recall…). Now Mr Otway came to prominence in 1977 with one WILD WILLY BARRETT, for Really Free, who has been tracked down and performs exclusively at The Flying Shack, Staverton, NEXT FRIDAY (Nov 9, 7pm, Glos Airport). Here’s two visual and aural reminders (more info follows)…

So anyway, Poetpilot, the unique promoter in the most unique venue in Gloucestershire (ok, the Flying Shack doesn’t literally fly, but things inside it do… and how many lyrical flying instructors with a penchant for lost punk legends do you know? One.) presents Wild Willie Barrett there at the Shack, in a hangar at Gloucestershire Airport, halfway between Gloucester and Cheltenham on the backroads…

Here’s what Poetpilot says: “OK, tickets £5 (includes temp club membership for the night), doors open 7pm, music starts c. 8.45 pm, you get tickets by calling us at Flying Shack on 01452 690046 or email mike@flyingshack.com or better still in person at The Shack for cash! Lots of info on Willy at www.willybarrett.com

He adds: “This one is our musical highlight of the year and is a ticket-only event at 」5 per head. Willy had some chart fame in the 70s and 80s with John Otway, and now fronts a band that is totally original yet loads of fun. Here’s Willy’s press release…

“There’s no doubt about it, the evenings are definitely getting darker, the clocks will soon be going back – but we have the answer: beat those autumn blues with a evening of music and humour.

“Buckinghamshire’s very own eccentric musician Wild Willy Barrett comes to the Flying Shack on Friday 9 November with his band Sleeping Dogz .

“Their original blend of material covers genres from Bluegrass, Irish jigs and acoustic blues to what can only be described as punk folk, played on instruments as diverse as guitar, banjo, fiddle, cello, Irish pipes, whistles and drums.

“Willy has been working in France for the last year with French singer Mary-Laure (who will also be with him at The Flying Shack where the talented multi-instrumentalist has been putting together a more up-beat set with jazz-jive and country rock influences.

“Willy says he is undergoing a musical metamorphosis and this is reflected in his playing. If you are looking for a group within a set genre performing covers, forget it. However, if you are looking for a truly original performance full of fun, dry humour and the unexpected, with toe-tapping fiddle and banjo interspersed with haunting vocals, cello and guitar – see you there!”

Can’t say fairer that that… NOVEMBER 9, SEE YOU AT THE FLYING SHACK 🙂

And, in case you have the attention span of an amoeba, don’t forget THIS SUNDAY AFTERNOON, Posh Frock & Jukebox at the Railway, Newnham… This is what they say: “The original members of Posh Frock and Jukebox: James (Flee) Anderson, Patrick Barcoe, Simon Davies, Tony Hopkins and Jim Williams, are getting together for a reunion gig at The Railway Inn Newnham on the 4th of November at 4:00PM. This will be the first time we’ve all played together in over 20 years and we’re really looking forward to it. So if there’s anyone who still remembers us it’d would be great to see you! And even if you don’t remember us it would still be good to see you!!”

Lastly, they add… PLEASE NOTE! THE GIG STARTS AT 4:00pm AND NOT 3:00pm AS IT STATES AT THE TOP OF THIS PAGE! So take note, it’s 4pm!

Pure Evil’s Jacky… heading for four figures, with YOUR HELP!

OK, FOIST-lovers, please get all your family, friends and even those who aren’t your friends to watch this YOUTUBE video, to get it up from 925 views and into the stellar realms of thousands!!!

Pure Evil, a band that evolved simultaneously inside and outside the FOIST umbrella… they recognised that to be tainted with the FOIST hex of non-success was not the best strategy, so recorded their LP, 20 Golden Greats elsewhere in a deep city Fortress… but they were lovingly received back to the FOIST stable in the womb-like forest nest for this psychotic music hall tribute, Jacky, a few years ago, recorded at the Spike Fawkes Film Studios in Ruardean. Ideal for any Bar Mitzvah or fundamentalist cheesecake weaving class, this cheeky number is just one facet of this grotesque-burlesque jazz-funk-punk-cabaret-lounge-toilet ensemble… a great deal of work went into this film (edited by FOIST design supremo Ed Risbey). However, an accompanying non-musical film Suppertime With Pure Evil, was subsequently banned and removed from public view. Too gratuitous and taboo-breaking even for the 21st century…

Now sit back, and enjoy, we need at least 75 people… (OR THE EVILS WILL COME AND GET YA)…

Yours, honoured to be named EVIL 7

FOIST history* timeline

* histories are subjective, so “his story” in this case is mine (TE)

1988: DR PLEASURE comes into existence thanks to the random accumulation of chemicals. He records schoolboy smut-rock collective THE METALLS (or Metallic Bondage Masters) on 4-track cassette (the medium for all early Foist), his first solo work, influenced by acid house and electro, and METASSIUM, a treble-obsessed electronic sonic terrorist organisation. Instruments used in the proto-FOIST studio then were guitar, bass, percussion, ZX Spectrum computer, Casio and Yamaha DS keyboards, breaks and beats LPs and other samples.

1989: Pleasure encounters Tarzan Evans, Freeway Smith and Lawnmower Green. Tarzan and Freeway, with Ben Gates, form BIG FOIST, named after a song by the Minutemen, a band they greatly admire. FOIST gigs begin at Coleford Community Centre, the first gig featuring Newport band Carlton B Morgan & The Supernormals, and a song improvised on the spot, called Safety Andrex. Unable to find a drummer, BIG FOIST dissolve, partly due to mushrooms, but after making one 4-track session. Metassium continues. Afternoon Sky may have formed at this point. By the end of the year, the FOIST label is formed, as is HEX FREMLIN, with Lawnmower Green on keyboards, Tarzan on vocals, and Freeway, guitar. Instead of a drummer, VERTEBRAE RICHARDSON joins on ghetto-blaster… Vertebrae plays breakbeats, and Freeway Smith’s bass parts and samples from Radio 4 plays etc.

1990: The fortnightly Coleford gigs take off massively after Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine play, shortly followed by EMF, HDQ, Moonflowers and many others. HEX FREMLIN play for free beer, and chaos sometimes results. The Coleford gigs (all of them in aid of the youth club) are stopped by the Chamber of Commerce and others because the owners of boarded-up shops objected. Many other FOIST acts make recordings, including AFTERNOON SKY, EX, CLOT SANOS, ZEBEDEE AARDVARK O’RILEY etc etc, a combination of 4-track and ‘field’ cassette recordings. FOIST cassettes THE STOREY OF BRIAN’S MIND and HEX FREMLIN’s TOP OF THE POPS VOL 23 quickly become bestsellers.

1991: Less FOIST made in this year, as DR PLEASURE moved from the Forest of Dean to Portsmouth. HEX FREMLIN recorded one track there, the anti-military song I’m Sorry Mrs Jones Your Son’s Just Been Shot Down In Iraq

1992: Moses Zephaniah Parker, previously immortalised in Clot Sanos’s Ballad of Yorkley Bus Stop epic (reprised in bite-size form in 2011), joins HEX FREMLIN on bass. When they play their biggest gig yet, supporting RDF and Daisy Chainsaw at the Gloucester Guildhall, Vertebrae collapses several times on stage, but the crowd just think HEX FREMLIN are dubbing it up, so get away with it. Practically get heckled off stage at Newport’s (legendary) TJs supporting Boss Hog, as they are left bass-less when Moses is too hungover to make the gig. Still no drummer in sight. They also play a 30-minute non-stop set in Cardiff’s Chapter, to a seemingly perplexed audience. At some point, Tarzan Evans gets a summer job in Devon and busks around Europe on the paltry savings from job, leaving HEX FREMLIN to continue with 2 temporary vocalists, Kev Page and Dave Palmer.

1993: Freeway, Moses and drummer Godfrey Dreamtone form CASUM, and HEX FREMLIN persuades Godfrey to join this FOIST act too.

1994: CASUM up and gigging and recording, easily eclipsing the popularity of any prior FOIST act. Around this time, THE UNSTRUNG saw Foist venturing into folky/semi-acoustic territory. HEX FREMLIN. now with an almost wholly new set and sound, record their best known song Feltham Bassett (produced by Mike Cooling) and also play some gigs, but finally realised they are indeed Hexed, and lay it to rest following a cheesy disco fancy-dress party at the Rosswyn (RIP) in Ross-on-Wye.

1995: CASUM tour Ireland and record and… HELIUM DEALER form, experimenting with jungle, Welsh-language radio, grind-hop and the legendary KEITH ODEON (now confined to a shed in Berry Hill).

1996-2000: These years are a blur for me. FOIST staged The (F)art of Noise with lots of bands at the Severn Revels Festival, FOIST acts DIRTYBOY were signed as were TURBOWANKER, two opposites on the musical scene. Both went on to massive success, the former in the lounge-punk-pop-grunge-electro-hippy scene, and the latter in the anarcho-punk world.

2002: At about this time, FOIST was located in a woodshed in Ruardean Woodside, soundproofed so much loudness and revelry occurred, including THE SHANDY-LEERS, UNCLE BEN’S CREAM SUPPER, and PURE EVIL were associated from time to time.

2003-9: FOIST continued with an ever dazzling array of acts, until…

2009: Beccy, the former singer from DIRTYBOY (now, alas, split), became landlord of the Angel in Coleford, and gave FOIST the green light to start putting on gigs. Launching ANOTHER FINE MESS, FOIST sought to reinvigorate the Forest of Dean music scene with a weekly open stage night in the pub. This led to the all-dayers Angelfest and Zombiefest, as well as a free compilation CD of many different artists from the Forest of Dean, Out of the Woods.

2010: FOIST artists, especially HELIUM DEALER, active, combine to record the All Six Fingers LP.

2011: FOIST spends the entire year on the 3600ADD project (60 unnamed tracks, total time 3600 secs)

2012: FOIST records an EP with its most folk act yet, BIG CUN TREE, more protein-shakin’ funky frolics from ADULT PLAYROOM, and other artists yet to be realised, marketed, branded and promoted. FOIST also disappoints many people by pulling out of an over-ambitious proposal for a walkabout performance called the Brain Parade. What it was to entail might never be revealed… FOIST releases may become available if there is any interest, for cost price or less.. WE’RE AMATEURS AND WE’RE NOT PROUD!

Waiting… Always Waiting

FOIST is Waiting for its latest manufactured pop act which we are grooming for megastardom to come up with a name, and Waiting for the chance to make this into a proper video (anyone want to be an extra? Let us know in the comments below). We’re also Waiting for politicians to get what they deserve (fill that one in yourself) for the (insert adjective here) way they treat us. Just generally Waiting… Waiting for people to react, to DO SOMETHING, ANYTHING… Hello? Hollow?
(though obviously waiting doesn’t have to mean ‘impatiently waiting’… I think there’s a nice bit of musical patience going on here perhaps?)