Mark Stewart

Bristol

Photograph by Michel Fenderwoods

Name, where are you from?
Mark Stewart. As someone who’s always been on another planet and, as my Rasta mates say, we’re outernational by way of Bristol.

Describe your style in three words?
Lounge lout-couture.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever been to?
The Clash at the ICA, 1976. (See picture in the gallery below) It was pure renegade energy.

If you could be on the line up with any two bands in history?
The Revolutionaries who I saw at the legendary Bamboo club in Bristol as a kid. Their drummer Style Scott for me is the beat mechanic, one of the two best drummers in the world.

As you know this next choice is not officially a band but…Malcolm X. As he relates to the other best drummer in the world Keith LeBlanc who made tracks with samples of Malcolm X’s voice with his widow's blessing.

Which subcultures have influenced you?
Raggamuffin. As a junior smoothie what stopped me from becoming a terrace legend was in those dread times the spiritual influence and sufferation songs of amazing Jamaican deejays of the 70s such as Jah Stitch, Jah Woosh, Prince Hammer and Prince Far-I. I had the pleasure of running with the last two! (See picture in the gallery below).

If you could spend an hour with anyone from history?
The Count of St Germain who seems to be a time travelling illuminoid who turns up at crucial moments in revolutionary history. We could desperately do with an hour of his time now.

Of all the venues you’ve played, which is your favourite?
The Marquee in London. I’ve got amazing memories of playing there with The Pop Group on the day that Elvis died. We were a mere support band to our Bristolian punk legend mates The Cortinas but after the gig we were put on the front cover of Bristol fanzine Loaded (wow!) (See picture in the gallery below) I met Keith Levene from Public Image Ltd that night for the first time and had a lovely conversation with him about portals in the street outside.

Your greatest unsung hero or heroine in music?
The Cockerel Chorus for making ‘Nice One Cyril’. Basically, when this song came out it became a real rallying call for nutters far and wide.


'Learning To Cope With Cowardice', the groundbreaking debut solo album by visionary post-punk iconoclast Mark Stewart (of The Pop Group), is to be given a definitive reissue alongside 'The Lost Tapes', a newly discovered cache of unreleased material.

The release is set for 25th January 2019 and can be pre-ordered at smarturl.it/mark-stewart.

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