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79

 

Fuckin ell, fuckin….ell, 15 fuckin minutes and they’re still here…..15 fuckin minutes…………..and they’re still here…..witterin away. In me ead….me ead….all I’ve got is David Bowie, TVC 15.…what was he singin? Was it transmission or transition? What the fuck was it? 15 minutes and I’m still surrounded by them. Was it TVC 15.…..transition, transmission….or was it Lou Reed, Transformer…..??

 

The 79 bus to Netherley….Picton Road…..and fuckin ell…..students are still on the bus. They don’t even look at each other when they’re talking. The one next to me hasn’t stopped talking and….she’s talking to the fuckin window….in one of those southern Thames estuary accentless accents…..”Christmas, yeah…I’ll be fuckin hammered yeah, fuckin smashed yeah……”

 

The other one next to her is staring oblivious and can’t get a fuckin word in……What the fuckin ell are students still doing on the bus??? It used to be the 86 as they began to colonise Parli, Prinny Park and Lark Lane. And now they’re still on the fuckin bus to Netherley.

 

I suppose there is one saving grace tho. They have never colonised the Liverpool accent, ave they?? As the United Kingdom sinks into the universality of one fuckin Thames estuary accent….Liverpool has stood out as its accent is becoming harsher and more pronounced than ever…..sheer class.

 

The attempt to “middle-fuckin-classify” Liverpool began back in the 1970s…..The Liverpool Poly became a hotbed of seething student revolt (that’s a contradiction if ever there was one). The sais students then mutated into lecturers, teachers and social workers. Control freakery in extremis. Thinking it would be so fuckin easy to go ethnic…they migrated en masse to areas around Parli and Prinny Park.

 

What did they bring to those areas?…..Middle class angst and control. Fuckin po faced, miserable cunts. And by the time they had finished, the whole area had been cleansed…..Every bar….club….brothel and illicit drinking den that defined the area, permanent reminders of the huge migration into Liverpool of Afro-Caribbeans, all those places were gone for good.

 

Back in the late 70s and early 80s two of the funniest acts still relevant to Liverpool today. One when we used to sit in a boozer in Richmond Square, The Shakey…..another seething hotbed….four of us had decided to form another revolutionary party……This time we had Alexi Sayle’s ma with us to make five. Sometimes we’d hear him practicing his ACT…..Was one the funniest people around…..He’d start with how he was christened Alexi “Vladimir Ulyanov Lenin Trotsky’s Theory Of Permanent Revolution Storming Of The Winter Palace Death To All Capitalist Dogs” Sayle…..then he’d ask “D’yer think me mum and dad were communists?” The other one was jeggsy Dodd and his “They’re a funny fuckin bunch them student types.”

 

I learned both of them off by heart. When I went to (you need the middle class accent to say it properly) ‘Neecaraaagwaaa), in the 1990s as part of a work brigade helping the Sandinistas to defend their revolution….Work brigades, the local Nicaraguans could never get over or understand ….they thought we were all fuckin nuts. Cos all they wanted to do was sit around singing, dancing and getting pissed….they gloried in being lazy twats…..Anyway I was in charge of entertainment for when we reached the farming Co-Op…fuckin miles from anywhere and stuck up the side of this mountain.

 

The first week we were there, the Friday night, just before the tunes went on….Black Box to Talking Heads……I went into me comedy routine….finished with “They’re a fuckin funny bunch them students “….I was greeted in stony silence . No one laughed…….I never realised that 90% of the group were….student types…….

 

As the weeks went by….the more and more I would get bladdered with the locals each night on their local hooch….( a cheeky little bouquet of rice, corn and sugar……the equivalent of some fell walker’s socks which have fermented…)..I would then change the words to “they’re a funny fuckin bunch them middle class, Oxbridge educated, aren’t I fuckin trendy coming to Neecaraaagwa but it will look good on my CV when I get a cushy number with Oxfam types”. But by  this time hardly anyone was talking to me anyway.

 

I go to get off the bus, 4 stops from Netherley……and she’s still at it…..lookin out the window….witterin away……fuckin haaammmmered, yeaaah….David Bowie, TVC15, Transition, Transmission, Lou Reed, Alexi Sayle, Jeggsy Doyle….and now them funny fuckin bunch of student  types are ;livin…..in Netherley…….

 

Higgo            

 

The World In One City

 

The two girls sat next to me on the platform

Looked Chinese but spoke Russian

Maybe they were from Kazakstan

Or one of the former Soviets

Where Genghis Khan once ruled

Leaving his Mongol DNA spread

Over the steppes

One was short and dumpy

The other tall and elegant

With a long pink scarf tied around her neck

They looked happy and prosperous

 

The Somali man crosses Skelhorne

His face appears concentrated, stern

As he nonchalantly avoids the taxis and the cars

He looks as if he’s got things on his mind

Someone to meet at Lime St

Someone to look after or look over maybe

Or maybe he’s just going for a brew

 

Outside the Adelphi on the benches

Three men crouch, two of them sit

Cross legged, heads down, tucked into

Folded arms, hiding from the world

Like pigeons escaping the rain

The other stares ahead into the sun

It has been a long night

And it will be along day too

 

Up on Renshaw, the Asian lad

Crosses the road in his Liverpool shirt

Maybe a local, maybe from outside

Here for the Toulouse game the night before

Liverpool’s Asian fan base has given the kop

A new blend, a new balance of old and new

Identifiably new from the kop of ten

Fifteen or twenty years ago

 

The old black man outside the post office

On Hardman shuffles past the bus-stop

Where the gaunt girls sit, pale and shivering

Bruised by the night’s passing

He doesn’t see them, he looks through them

He looks through the world

Lost in a land where the sun disappears

For summer and the rain stains the posters

Offering escape in music, in alcohol, in drugs

 

On the corner of Knight and Rodney

The Chinese students walk happily together

Clutching their ring-binders

Treating education with respect and  discipline

Heading off to class to study this and that

To escape the blueprint of tradition yet

The burdens of expectation weigh even heavier

But they wear it lightly

 

By the stone suitcases on Hope

A Japanese couple get out of a cab

Fab Four Taxi Tours on the side

They click cameras at the mop top relic

As three hunched figures

Two men, one woman

Rattling from the ruins on their lives

Look on bemused

Invisible to the tourists and the cabbies

And everyone else who looks away

To avoid eye contact with the dead

 

The Arab man in the Patti Smith t-shirt

The ginger haired girl with the black eyes

The old Jamaican with grey dreads riding his bike

The three Balkan men in their dated shirts

The American family studying their map

You notice them because they’re not like you

And you don’t notice the ones who do

 

Nolan Jones

 

Supermarket Sweep

 

I was only 24 Hours from Asda

I was only a day away from her arse

 

The checkout girl asked us

Did we need any help packing our bags

I answered no thanks we’ve only bought

A bag of  mince and a packet of fags

Her face was brutal, a proper frightener

She had eyes like Adolf Hitler

And hair like Paul Breitner

 

I shot a man in Tesco just to watch him die

I ordered wings in Aldi just to watch them fry

 

The Morrisons fish counter smelled of fanny

The ciggie counter bouncer was old and canny

The greeter was gay and hammy

The freezer cold and clammy

 

We changed a bag of slummy into booze

Passed two bagheads in the loos

Joined the jibbers in the take back queues

Exchanged a tracky top for some kiddie’s shoes

 

Netto whisky is badly blended with bleach

Polish is easy to learn but difficult to teach

They shut down the butchers for a health and safety breach

I bought a DVD; the best of Stacey Keach.

 

We spent a week in Somerfield

A fortnight in the Co-Op

We bought a timeshare at Lidl

For sixty quid a pop

We turned our backs on Kwiksave

When they called the bizzies in

We had out behind The Premmy

They found us in the bins

 

We kited cards in TJ Hughes

Flooded Iceland, blew a fuse

Made a mint in Matalan

Fenced it to a Catalan

Drowned the cats and fed the dog

Booked a ticket to The Clog

 

I was only 24 Hours from Asda

I was only a day from her arse.

 

Jimmy Joyce

 

 


 

 

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