Mike Clarke's the punk behind the UK's long running Infllammable
Material distro, record Label, Defiant Pose fanzine and guitarist in
numerous punk outfits spanning the last 25 years including
Youth In Asia and Decadent Few. He's still making sporadic
assaults within punk scene despite the cold current UK
climate. Mike ain't a man of few words, he dregs up some
interesting views and perspectives on the punk scene then
and now. So if you want an informed view from the street
check this out!
Mike couldn't supply any band pix as he sent some off to
some unscrupilous geezer researching a punk book and the
tosser never returned 'em, plus the book never materialised, so
that's why there aint none!!!
So Mike you got 3 phases to your punk career as far as I can see....your bands, the fanzine and the distro record label. So lets start at
the beginning....What were your first Punk connections?
My first Punk connections came through a mixture of what I read and word-of-mouth.I was born about 15 minutes' drive West of London,on the
Heathrow flightpath.In 1976 I was fifteen and,like a lot of other kids,interested in music but pretty dissatisfied about what I was getting.As a kid I lived in
Los Angeles for a while because my dad was working at the airport there.I can remember the Moon Landing,Vietnam and Charles Manson from that
time.The earliest records I liked were my mum's Tamla Motown and Rolling Stones' singles and things like `Double Barrel' by Dave & Ansell Collins,early
Ska/Reggae.The first LP I ever bought was `All The Young Dudes' by Mott The Hoople,
then it was Sweet,T.Rex, Bowie etc. At 14 me and a few friends
had a bedroom band,making our own little tapes with covers for a laugh.
We used acoustic guitars & biscuit tins,plus a tape-recorder stuck on the
window-sill to capture the sound of the planes coming in to land at Heathrow.Once we stood outside Windsor Free Festival and listened to Hawkwind,
when someone got a cheap electric guitar and small practice amp we would play along to Hawkwind because it was so simple.In 1975 we used to sneak
into a club called Skindles in Maidenhead and see bands like the Groundhogs and Budgie.
You could pick up old 60's/70's albums for next to nothing in
junk shops in Windsor or Slough back then:we'd buy all sorts,I can remember liking odd tracks by bands but nothing seemed to grab us.
All our older
brothers had been skinheads or glam rockers,but they ended up just into football.

Give us a snapshot of the early London Punk scene you were familiar with?
When I first heard about Punk it was from reading Melody Maker, NME etc; people like Caroline Coon were talking about this band
The Sex Pistols. It caught my interest,even though this band apparently played crude, untogether music in an era where
`professionalism' still ruled and everyone seemed to possess a copy of either `Dark Side Of The Moon' or `Tubular Bells'.
At that point
(1976), I don't think there was much fuss,a few devotees like Caroline Coon or Jon Ingham,and playing music,even just outside London,
was considered a hobby rather than anything serious.
There wasn't much. Fashion was non-existent except a few left-over teddy boys,
the odd hippie or skinhead,some Hells' Angels. You would go to a disco and it was the same old crap:10 CC's `I'm Not In Love' for the
girls, 'Freebird' by Lynyrd Skynyrd for the blokes,and it would always end in a big fight. Then there was a really long hot summer in
1976, we went on holiday to Ilfracombe and I remember the Melody Maker cover about the Sex Pistols playing at the Nashville, the
famous photo of a fight going off in front of the stage. It suddenly looked like something a bit dangerous, the one quality completely
lacking in everything else at the time. Also there was a TV programme by Janet Street Porter and that got me even more interested.
Most people then had longish hair, Hippie had become Establishment,so cropped hair and drain-pipes looked radical for the time. A
teacher gave me some dope at 14 and I remember thinking `Is This it?'.Looking back,we had all this pent-up energy and it was going
nowhere. When I heard `Anarchy In The UK' in a disco and watched the whole place erupt like on the terraces, I suddenly thought this
was great, very corny but you knew nothing was going to be quite the same afterwards. It was like Year Zero, suddenly everything else
sounded irrelevant. Nowadays it would be more self-conscious, because all the templates are there to work from. Then, we were pretty
ignorant media-wise,at least outside London
and as teenagers.
The early Punks were
John King's book "Human Punk" has it
right on the nail:
most kids in our area just had
straight legs,short hair, DM's and a couple of
The select few who went up the 100
Club and followed
the Pistols were older than
us, had jobs,were closer to Mods or Soulboys
in their fashion-aesthetic.
By 1977 it was the
younger kids who came into it because of the
publicity, less elitist.
It blew up because of the
Bill Grundy TV thing. It's hard to look back
objectively because, if you were 15/16 then,it
was perfect; you were impressionable/fearless/
full of energy, waiting for something to happen
but not quite sure what, you're eager to
participate and try everything like sex/drugs/
alcohol/music. Plus,like everything at that age
you live for the day; I never for a moment
wondered what it would be like in 25 years
time, and never dreamed that anyone would
be asking me about it all these years on.
Anyway,London as I remember it was a lot of
bands,a lot of new places and thousands of
faces that I often wonder what became of
? In Slough there was a band called Open Sore, we would go to local gigs at Slough College,High Wycombe,
Bracknell Sports Centre etc,plus get a train up to London to the Marquee,Roundhouse,Vortex,Sundown,
Croydon Greyhound and so on. saw bands
Stranglers, Damned, Jolt, New Hearts, Skrewdriver, Wasps, X Ray Spex, Jam, Siouxsie, 999, Slits, Subway Sect, London etc. There
weren't many Punk records so you bought them all if you could. I used to grab the music papers every Wednesday morning to see what was out, what
was on. Gradually you would get into the music,the gigs,then like I said the old records were banished to the cupboard,the hair was shorn.
When I left
school in summer 1977 it was all in full swing, there was all the controversy surrounding the
Sex Pistols and you tended to take sides all the idiots you
hated at school were still listening to Pink Floyd and telling you
the Pistols' "couldn't play". Again, it's all down to Youth and the misty lens of hindsight;
it was a glorious summer, I no longer had to bother about school, I worked on a hot dog stall to earn some cash to buy records,go to gigs etc so it was

How did you get involved in this thing we call Punk,and tell us about your first band?
My first proper band was whilst still at school,4 of us,including a pair of twins who went on to
In The Nursery. We covered the few Punk records we had outside the big ones (Clash,
), things like Chelsea and the Cortinas, plus a few of our own songs. We tried to play at a
street party during Jubilee Day in Windsor,but it didn't happen (my friend had a `God Save The
Queen' t-shirt and we were bombarded with stuff out from cars all day long), so our only gig was in
a local school. That was late '77 and I already had another band with the drummer and two other
guys I'd met. That became
They Must Be Russians. The name came from a letter I saw in the
Daily Mirror or The Sun, some irate woman complaining about
the Pistols' image of the Queen
with her nose pierced. There was a band in Sheffield who had the name too,coincidentally my
sister started going out with the guitarist many years later (he later joined Clock DVA, formed The
Box etc) and it came up in conversation, small world. We made a split single in 1978 with two
Scots blokes,known as Joe 9T & The Thunderbirds, but I think the record didn't come out until early 1979. We
played a few times in a pub called The Chippenham in Maida Vale,London W9,which is still there, with
and The Passengers (some of whom later became Propaganda, I'm told),Tesco Bombers
(members of The Homosexuals) and Bank Of Dresden. There was a little scene that seemed to revolve around
the pub. First time we played there the audience consisted of a few locals and the Ladbroke Grove skins,who
Sham's first fans until the Camden Town lot took over. Our singer was a bit of a ligger so there was talk of
supports with
Kleenex, Spizz Oil and the Lurkers, but eventually we petered out in summer 1979; I saw the
drummer a few times in the early 80's but as for the rest of them
,..John Peel played the single a couple of times
and many years later I saw it going for silly amounts of money on a stall in a Record Fair up here. We had the
requisite stupid names too, Reggie Mental/Lance Boil/Guy Rope/Spotty Dick. It's hard to give a `snapshot' of
those early days, it's a long time ago and would probably look different if you asked each person, but I used to
notice a real difference outside London,even in the Thames Valley, where you'd mainly get inquisitive kids rather
than full-on `Punks'.In London you'd have some of those too,plus the press,but a lot of people who'd been into it
since the early days still and those who took the fashion side of it seriously:
short spikey hair,ripped clothes,safety
pins and,by 1977, Seditionaries/Boy gear, the serious fashion-cases. At the bigger gigs you'd have a lot of
curious people who'd just come in to see what this Punk lark was all about,places like the Vortex was a smaller
crowd,a lot of the Kings Road brigade plus people from `the scene'.
There was probably a lot of snobbery going
on even then, the `real' punks sneering at the kids who hadn't cropped their hair yet,and everyone looking down
on the mid-30's guys with beards or flares. Stupid really, but all good fun at the time. There's been a rash/
plethora/avalanche of books claiming to tell THE REAL STORY OF PUNK and a vast amount of very smugly-
delivered hindsight. Suddenly, everyone has their own version of events, 25 years on and seen through that very
blurry lens of hindsight. What I remember with piercing clarity is the absolute hatred it all seemed to engender in
many older people;all of a sudden their staid, grey status quo (no pun intended) was being shattered by a bunch
of snotty, upstart kids who `couldn't even play' (whatever that meant), and, what's more, didn't care! Typical
English mean spirits, an odd trait of this country, combine envy/bitterness/defeatism and they'll always prefer the
dismal and staid boredom of their lives to anything new or fresh. I had a bondage shirt from Seditionaries
(pinched,along with a thick ear from Vivienne Westwood). It took some bottle even to wear that shirt because of
the reactions.
The older 30/40 year-old blokes were jealous I think. Everything was still so grey and dismal,and it
took Punk to lift people out of that. All those sad bastards in their corduroys,the smug/apathetic leftover hippie
soundmen at gigs,the pitiful bands chugging away at their little pub gigs-it was all over for them and they knew it,and responded true to form,with
ignorance and hatred.
But,you can write all the fancy coffee-table books you want,take all the Karaoke-reunion all-dayers at Morecombe or Blackpool,
the sociology lectures, whatever, it's still like trying to bottle a fleeting emotion;f or many it was that summer, right time/right place,things changed and
they moved on. One last thing, I get sick of people like Marco Pirroni spouting the same old thing in every coffee-table `Punk' tome you care to browse
through in the book shop,y'know, it-was-all-finished-by-early-1977-because-all-these-`other'-people-came-in,
as if it should have stayed like some
secret society, a little Masonic Lodge comprised solely of the Bromley Contingent,all patting themselves.

So You drifted into the next Punk explosion and DECADENT FEW, or was there any other
stuff in between you'd like to tell us about?
After THEY MUST BE RUSSIANS I didn't play in another band until 1980/81.The Punk scene in
London was very big by 1979, probably more actual visible `punks' on the street than at any time
before or since. You also had skinheads, 2 Tone and that pathetic Mod `Revival' coming up. West of
London there were lots of good scenes too, Reading had bands like
(Howard Jones and his brothers, later became RED BEAT, a Killing Joke-style outfit, so I'm
told?), out in West London/Middlesex were the original
CHAOS/SATELLITES and more. In London
itself the drugs turned everything pretty ugly,that and the violence. Everyone did `blues' (Speed, three
for a quid),then all of a sudden the supply vanished and people were doling out Tuinol instead,which is
a heavy-duty downer,disastrous when mixed with booze. More than a few people suspected Police
involvement,all the low-level speed dealers got their collars felt and the market was flooded with this
shit instead. Heroin reared its' head around this time again too. What with the skinhead violence,punk
gangs fighting each other etc etc,I think a lot of the more creative/positive people got out around this
time:there were still some great bands but even the music was beginning to change for the worse,the
innovation and variety diminishing, trenches dug and little sub-genres forming which left many drawing
lines in the sand,divide/rule. What was once just `Punk', this vast umbrella encompassing all manner of
outcasts, misfits and interpretations began to solidify into dogma and ritual. Suddenly bands that dared
to deviate from the standard
UK Subs/ Angelic Upstarts-style 3 chord bluster were getting bottled
off. Punks were moving to London from up North,Scotland,wherever,squatting had started on a larger
scale, there were lots of incidents of locals ganging up to kick the `freaks' out of their areas. I think all
youth movements turn in on themselves eventually, which with a lot of help from the Police/authorities/
Press this one did too. Anyway, No Fun all of a sudden, so I pissed off to the South of France for a bit
to sleep on a beach, live on bread and cheap wine in 100 degrees' heat, put up with more Police
harassment (`Sales Anglais!'). When I came back I joined
DISEASE, who were from a place called
Bracknell. We played around London and the Thames Valley. There was a local club in Slough called
Studio 1, so we put on bands like
BLACK EASTER (Farnborough, one of whom's girlfriend was a
young Liz Hurley),
VOID (Windsor), REVOLT and DEATH POP (Slough) and
PANZER CORPS (Aldershot, I think). In London we played with bands like
CHAOS, ACTIFED, LONDON PX etc. The music was a bit limited, the singer into
the whole
GBH/ Exploited thing. One night in Farnborough Jimmy Pursey
turned up and started doing some Mime in the corner of the bar until
unceremoniously pelted with plastic glasses, fagends,gob and ashtrays. Very
surreal. Still,that's `the kids' for you Jim. Anyway, I moved up to London (the East
End) properly in 1981, had a band called
BASTARDS OF GOD briefly with the
drummer and bassist of
DISEASE, then me and the drummer joined YOUTH IN
towards their end in 1983/4.
Together with Kay,
YIA singer, and a bassplayer,we formed DECADENT FEW in
1984.The whole
Crass scene was another result of Punk splintering off into
various diverse little factions; the first time I saw them was in 1979 at Conway
Hall in Holborn and it was pretty stunning, the backdrop/wall of noise/movies/
black clothing. Together with
The Epileptics, Poison Girls and Rubella Ballet
they were beginning to take Punk back from the commercialised mainstream and
into the gutter where it belonged, small clubs/ pubs/hired halls in the middle of
nowhere etc.Looking back, I think there was a lot of diversity and imagination
within Anarcho Punk, as opposed to the whole
Exploited/Anti Pasti/Vice
scene, but once the holier-than-thou dogma set in then it became
equally boring.
Crass opened up a Pandora's box for lots of people to create
and thrive who didn't feel comfortable with the same old pub rock as purveyed by the likes of the
Anti-Nowhere League and co. Nowadays a lot of
people, especially outside the UK, seem to draw on the 80's Punk for inspiration whilst the '77 era is fossilised in Myth, discussed in hushed or pompous
tones depending on who's doing the blathering (and there's plenty of them).
The Exploited/ANWL are simple and easy to digest, back to good old
rock'n'roll dressed up in a standard `Punk' uniform, whereas the whole
Crass thing has been harder for the professional Media ex-punks to write coffee-
table books on or wax nostalgic about, yet culturally it probably had as much impact as
The Sex Pistols. In the end inspiration became imitation and
the sloganeering rang distinctly hollow by 1985-don't eat meat/ vivisection is bad/war is horrible on one hand, don't join the Army/police harassment/
Maggie is a bitch on the other, and all repeated ad nauseum.
Crass put their money where their mouths were with an Anarchy Centre in Wapping, E.
London, but it ended up full of books by dead Russians and endless and dismal debates, something to berate yer stockbroker dad with over the nut
roast, infuriating when you looked outside to see Maggie Thatcher dismantling half the country/Miners' Strike etc and here was a potential and
vociferous opposition that was too busy bickering whether it was Bakunin or Bertie Bassett who stated (categorically,mind) that `the urban proletariat
will not be liberated until..',fiddling while Rome burns,squabbling over semantics,charging headlong down a cul-de-sac and so on.Then,when it all
became too much,the poor dears became hippies in trucks,'dropping out' or turning to smack in their Hackney squats! When we started
,because Kay had been in YIA we knew we were going to be saddled with a lot of that, but actually most of us were from the 1977 era, Kay used to
go out with
Johnny Moped back in the day, so we drew from broader sources. Anyway, DF lasted until 1994 on and off,played 4/500 odd gigs,did an
LP/7"/two tapes and various compilations. You asked about the LP title, Irrehuus, it's Swiss German I'm told. The LP was recorded in the BBC studios in
Maida Vale,same studio as Bing Crosby did `White Christmas' as the plaque above me stated (?!) - it was a scam thanks to a mutual friend of one of
John Peel's producers. There was another LP recorded in 1987 which was never released, plus a whole new LP written but never recorded around the
time we split up. Kay had a stunning voice, whereas the rest of us struggled to keep up; because she was loud she got the inevitable Poly Styrene
comparisons, but it was a different voice, natural with perfect pitch and we were often told: she's wasted in a punk band! Her main influences were Billie
Holiday, Alison Moyet and an old 60's singer Timi Yuro.

Did you get much Fanzine exposure?
Not much.Initially it was the Anarcho-zines because of the YIA connection,
asking us whether we ate meat or not, anything but the actual music.It wasn't
that we didn't have political/social views,just that the questioners excluded
everything else,especially humour. After the umpteenth dumb question about
nukes or vivisection, I think I told the guy that, of course we eat meat:Bombs?
More bombs. Kay did most of the interviews after that. I can't remember why the
band finished specifically, we just fizzled out, it was harder and harder to find
places to play, to find a new drummer. Towards the end we were playing with
bands like RDF, cod crusty reggae with a social conscience and the Levellers'
audience. We had problems finding a decent drummer, Kay got pregnant and
decided to move to the seaside, so it just ended. The only thing I regret is we
never played further abroad than Eire, but we had some great times which
made it all worthwhile,all the hundreds of great scenes up and down the
country, the good people and strange situations which you never get to
experience unless you just off your arse and make the move.

What about the origins of DEFIANT POSE fanzine?
I actually started a fanzine in 1978 called Love And Romance, we planned to
the Slits, Subway Sect and Siouxsie, but it fell apart in the planning
stage. The singer of
They Must Be Russians found out Siouxsie's real
surname and rang her mum's phone number in Chislehurst, Kent and kept
ringing it, I think
Siouxsie herself was having her Sunday dinner there one day
and gave him a mouthful when he called for the nth time. I managed to almost
interview Tessa from
the Slits down the Portobello Road but we drank too
much and smoked too many of the joints piled inside her handbag and both
gradually lost the ability to form sentences. The other guy helping me met the
Subway Sect at their rehearsal place, but they just stared at him catatonically
whilst picking at their Oxfam jumpers and he forgot to turn the cassette recorder
on, so that was that. I got Defiant Pose going in 1980,did 3 scrappy issues by
1981, nothing important; a mate used to print them at his work after everyone
went home. We would sell them to people in the street, deliberately not always
to punks.The only positive thing was I moaned how nothing was happening
locally and a month later two new fanzines started in Slough and sent me copies
so it does work sometimes!

One particular favourite of mine was Toxic Graffity, it featured in one
issue a band called The HERETICS. I mean fucking hell, they looked the
scruffiest fuckers on Planet Earth, which I thought was great at the
TG was great, though he went into orbit on the last issue.I remember the Heretics-the first crusties anyone? That was in 1979, I used to hang around
the Portobello Road (West London) with a skinhead girl from Brixton who was going out with Sam from
the Heretics.They were a squat band from
Kilburn. A great inspiration for me was
Panache fanzine, those guys did what the music papers should have been doing instead of ligging and waiting
for payola, i.e. actually hanging around and watching loads of bands-it had terrible photos,  they were always too drunk to focus or interview people
properly, leaving half their next issue on the bus etc etc. We used to go to places like Aylesbury Friars to see
The Clash or Penetration, come out at
closing time and realise we were thirty miles from home with no alternative except to walk on a freezing November night. Panache captured that kind of
thing well, it had a great sense of humour. I saved a lot of the '76-79 era zines, but lost a whole box of the
Crass ones during innumerable moves. I'm
told that London museums like the Victoria And Albert bought up any old `zines they could find. At 18 or 19 you naively scrawl some stuff on paper,print
it up and twenty years later some academic puts it in a glass case and calls it a `cultural legacy'. Most of the early UK zines had very little to write about
in retrospect,I mean in December 1976 there were about 5 records, so they were thin on content and used attitude to compensate.

So, 2001 and Defiant Pose returns. What about the distro/label?
The fanzine came back because I'd written a lot of stuff in the intervening years so had some friends,and
suddenly we had the time to do it again. and thought most fanzines were stuck in the same dull blueprint
they'd followed since the mid-80's and lost that attitude. It's also a conscious alternative to the interminable
array of UK `zines that simply follow the US format of columns/reviews. After X amount of years of doing a
label we rarely got an order based on a good `zine review,especially compared to the impact of seeing a
band live.
it's good to see mags like Fracture and Reason To Believe,but endless columns starting off with `It's 4am, I'm
on my 50th cup of Coffee, deadline is 3 hours away and I can't think of anything to write',try harder or just
don't bother!! On the other hand,those kind of mags (and Maximum Rocknroll for that matter) are made up
of peoples contributions,so if it's not to your taste then you should write something yourself! People have
called DP nostalgic, but we wrote so much stuff that it'll take a few issues to get up to the 90's even. I don't
actually think much about the past: it's gone and you have to live for the Now, as they say, but you also can't
do the American thing, i.e.deny the past and it's relevance to the here and now. In the lifespan of the human race,1977 to 2002 is a very short space of
time. As for music, the corporations have followed suit so as to sell you the same old crap dressed up as `new' a few years down the line.First vinyl was
to be superceded by compact discs,then mini discs;you were expected to buy the same music all over again just in a different format.Musically,they
dress up some old TSOL/LA Punk,call it the Offspring or Blink 182 and tell the next generation that it's `new', in the UK it's
Coldplay/Toploader/Stereophonics etc, which are all bland mid-70s Rock-give it a hip haircut, sell a few songs to the makers of car ads and bingo, it's
`new'! Supposed `mass communication' often means less communication, because it's harder and harder to wade through all the crap out there and
find the genuine article.
I started the distro in 1990 because there were lots of great little records coming out on independent labels in the US and you couldn't get them in the
UK,so I just started buying a box of this,a box of that, selling to friends,then mail order and it grew from there. 90% of the titles are things I would buy
myself. As of this point (late 2002), thedistro will be winding down; I'm a little weary of all the genres/sub-genres that so many
people adhere to, the whole business of `exclusive' releases also makes it harder to pick up certain US labels.The increasingly inept UK Postal system
doesn't help, neither the unwarranted attentions of Customs.At the moment I'm backed up well into 2003 with new releases/debts/moneys owing, but
after that…In some ways it's been pretty stagnant over the last two years, which goes back to the point I made about all the little sub-genres:some
people buy only reissues of old rarities,others it's just Hardcore,others only Japanese stuff.The days of someone just picking out the best music
regardless of where or when it was made have gone.One thing about this whole `DIY' concept;whilst the system of trading records with other,overseas,
labels works brilliantly most of the time,there are still way too many rip-off artists and whingers to whom `DIY' is an excuse to be lazy,dishonest or
generally just do a shoddy job and to fall back on their little punk rock dogmas to get themselves off the hook!
We also did weekly gigs at the George Robey in Finsbury Park(North London) between 1994-96,when it got sold to Vince Power(Mean Fiddler),who
turned it into the Powerhaus 2, not sure what it is now.The Robey was probably the last place that anyone could play;the PA was terrible,the beer was
piss,it was a dump but it had all the character many other venues lacked.This goes back to what I said earlier about the lack of any space in London:
somewhere like the Robey just rotted for the past 20 years,but the punks and people who had come to London from elsewhere to realise their dreams
or just do something creative simply can't exist here anymore. Every piece of Real Estate is now in the hands of some middle class buy-to-let couple,
yuppie or estate agent, the creative people have gone and what we have is a
corporate,homogenized culture. There are people still trying to do things,but I look forward to
the day that the prices crash and the freaks can come back and run wild again. The label
followed in 1994,10 releases to date,all new UK bands, most of the records were sold abroad
though. All the bands were current, but very few people were interested in either
Coitus, Substandard, Rectify
or Urko except the Americans and the Japanese.The
second hand records are another matter; firstly the Japanese decided they could buy culture
wholesale, so the prices of the obscure old UK 7"s rose disproportionate to the quality of the
music within the grooves.The prices are now far beyond the reach of the average Brit punk,
old or new, so it's good to see the bootleggers knocking these (often,frankly,overrated) old
7"s out for three quid a pop. It amuses me how some dealers whinge about the bootlegs (but
still sell them on their lists!) and claim that it `ruins the collectors' market': isn't music
supposed to be accessible to all? Wasn't punk above all a `people's music' (anyone can do
it/anyone will do it)? I don't think any music belongs in the realms of some elitist,aristocratic
`collectors cult'. If anyone asks or cares what Defiant Pose is about, that's it-life, love, fun,
new experiences,the past/present/ future,the whole lot-not some dusty,aloof,snobbish
collectors' crap, this hermetically-sealed mummified hoarding of the past,`the way we were'
petrified in time and hidden behind a glass case in an intellectual museum. As for `Punk' now,
well it's stuck between the nostalgia industry and the thousands of young kids all over the
world who are doing things in the here and now. The past is obviously relevant to what's
happening now, but I think most of the old bands who reform, whether to cash in or simply
because they're enjoying it again, have forgotten their original inspiration; it's a different time
and the circumstances that applied to Punk in the old days don't necessarily apply in 2002.
Despite that, what happens now has to be relevant to the present. Corpses attract vultures
so I'm suspicious of any lofty academical history lesson on `Punk'.There's still a big dischotomy between those looking for some political comment in
their music and those who aren't;a lot of Political Correctness only actually serves to censor the English language.There's been a million and one
waves of so-called `rebellion',paying lip service to the current dogma of the particular sub-culture,and it never ceases to amaze me that those who
shout the loudest about bands `selling out' are often the ones who either go on to work for some corporate industry themselves or never have to worry
about earning a crust anyway(no pun intended).I get the same bullshit for doing the mail-order,kids who weren't even born in 1980 expecting to pay
1980 prices for a US import LP,whingeing that a six quid album isn't `fookin' DIY' when the LP cost me £5.50 to get in and when the extent of their
participation in the `scene' is buying a record now and again. Alternatively,the `rock & roll,drink and fuck up' crowd are just as tedious-
Blues/Jazz/Reggae,most popular music forms have some basis in social comment/protest,so if you can't stand bands that have something to say then
why not stick to the Top Forty??!! There's the same amount of things to protest against,if not more, than in 1977 or 1982, especially since September
11th, which gave the US & British Governments a golden opportunity to curtail civil rights and increase their surveillance powers. 0So, Punk in 2002 is
still caught between the two, the activists and the consumers, the past and the present.To ignore all the music that has come since the mid-80's leaves
a lot of the old bands sounding as if they're stranded in time,frozen and irrelevant,and as Punk was so relevant to it's time,whether the late 70's or the
early 80's,strikes me as a contradiction,but,hey,enjoy the music and contribute/participate,the same arguments will be going on in another 20 years

1984 1 track on 'We Don't Want Your Fucking War' compilation LP (Mortarhate)
1986 Dying We Shall Live DEMO cassette (self-released)
1987 1 track on 'House Of Dolls' compilation 7" (Free with House Of Dolls magazine)
1988 Kaputt DEMO cassette (self-released)
1991 Irrehuus LP (Full Circle Records)
1994 They Shoot Children 7" (Inflammable Material Records)
1995 4 tracks on 'Six Pack To Go' compilation CD (Stiff Pole USA)
Also, tracks on many compilation tapes over the years and 1 LP recorded in 1989 but
unreleased. 3rd LP was written in 1993 but never recorded

1980 DISEASE 7" EP Recorded but never released.

You can contact Mike either through his website portal or at this address you your right
PO BOX 2544,
READ Caroline Coons review HERE
That letter
The crude Sex Pistols in 1976 (DC Collection)
Vivienne Westwwod ready to hand out the slaps to shoplifters (DC Collection)
DISEASE flyer (Mike Clarke)
DECADENT FEW  (Mike Clarke)
DEFIANT POSE #4 2001 * * * *
Be Jyyyzusss this is a blast from the past. The last issue of London's
Defiant Pose to hit Britain's streets was back in 1981!!!!! So you'd be
right in thinking Mike the editor was pretty laid back in his approach.
But hold your horses for just one second. Printed word might be
scarce on the ground round W11, but Mike ain't been idle. For a start
his high quality distro Inflammable Material has been active for years
and years. And besides that, he's been in a few bands since '78 with
Decadent Few springing to mind. So he's got the drill and sure ain't
been dragging his Defiant heels totally. The Defiant Pose philosophy
on life is if bands can reform then fuck it, why not zines? And It's good
to have another zine
writer back in the UK ink cells who has an opinion
of his own. Instead of the sheep that cover the same old bands and
heap on us the same old rules...snooze!!! Defiant Pose won't inflict
that on us for sure, although we could fall asleep waiting for the next
issue to arrive. Yeah poseurs, more defiance is planned depending
how this one hits the fan? It's 64 pages are packed solid full of views,
insights and general opinions on what life throws at a punk. Maybe a
bit too nostalgic for some, but this is after all the reentry edition. And it
ain't an easy read coz it comes at you from different angles. Defiant
Pose won't give up it's goods easily. And some of them are worth
pursuing. But you gotta prowl it's pages for the booty. Which is a good
move in one way, but it can be frustrating. Especially when articles
overlap each other like hands outstretched trying to catch a barmaids
attention in a busy pub on a Friday night (snigger). So lazy readers
who want it all on a plate in neatly indexed sections beware, coz you
won't like it too much. There's no defining this issue either, which has
gotta be good. What stands out most about this zine is Mike's bitter,
cynical, and extremely entertaining observations on London life and
the punk scene in general. I like his style coz he don't bullshit. He
"if it was 100% down to me, the obnoxious quotient
would've been on every page, but there's a limit to just slagging
off everything".
Well that maybe true, but id rather read a witty put
down than banal praise any day of the week, wouldn't you? Defiant
Pose comes in an original cut 'n' paste style, with well picked stark
images and text peering out from beneath the page. Some of the
duplications were a strain on the eyes but the purloined interviews
were diverse. There's part one of a quirky Keith Levine (ex-
heart to heart. Alongside a gritty Gulf War veteran perspective. Lots of
guest articles on teenagers, death row, Dublin punks, a Seattle scene
report , 77 photo gallery, a Brazilian scene report and people I've
never even heard of? Plus a great insight into the original wave of
fanzines reprinted from Sounds back in 1977.  That alone should have
the fellow zinesters out there blowing chunks. Best of all was an
hysterical Sir George Robey (old London punk venue) spotlight, I can
still smell the urine. No reviews this issue, which is a pity, coz id really
like to hear what Mike thinks of today's punk. The knives are definitely
still sharp in W11!!!!!
£1.50/$3.00 postpaid From
Inflammable Material, PO Box 2544, London NW6 3DF, England
DEFIANT POSE #1 1980 (Mike Clarke)
HERETICS 1979 (DC Collection)
Substandard 'Consuming Need' EP on Inflammable Material