Gone But Not Forgotten! The Fabulous POLY STERENE And X-RAY SPEX

Great bands from the past

5 March 2022

One of the most genuine Brit punk bands of
the late ’70s was, unquestionably, X-RAY SPEX.

School friends Marianne Joan Elliott-Saidn, loudmouth Poly Styrene, and
Susan Whitby, saxophonist Lora Logic, started the group in 1976 and made
an instant intense impact on London’s punk scene with loud and clear feminist
punk manifestos, but they also ranted about our consumer society, environment
issues and other essential daily life problems.

They sounded amazing, they looked amazing and they
made an amazing debut LP with Germ Free Adolescents.

By 1979 Styrene left the band an ddid some solo work and
later X-Ray Spex had some reunion shows, but in 2011 Poly
was diagnosed with breast cancer. She didn’t survive the
cruel attack on her body. She was only 53. R.I.P.

Three great X-Ray moments…

– THE DAY THE WORLD TURNED DAY GLO –

– IDENTITY –

– OH BONDAGE! UP YOURS! –
(Saxy live version. ACE!)

Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard
But I think “oh bondage, up yours!”
One-two-three-four!
Bind me, tie me, chain me to the wall
I wanna be a slave to you all
Oh bondage, up yours
Oh bondage, no more

X-RAY SPEX: Story

Brand New In-Depth Documentary – ‘I AM A CLICHE: POLY STYRENE’

About old and new music movies…

10 March 2021

I AM A CLICHE – POLY STYRENE

Documentary about multi-faceted British punk legend Poly Styrene who introduced the world to a new sound of rebellion, using her unconventional voice to sing about identity, consumerism, postmodernism, and everything she saw unfolding in late 1970s England, with a rare prescience. As the frontwoman of X-Ray Spex, the Anglo-Somali punk musician was also a key inspiration for the riot grrrl and Afropunk movements. But the late punk maverick didn’t just leave behind an immense cultural footprint.

Directed by: Poly’s daughter Celeste Bell (interview here under) and Paul Sng

Released: 27 February 2021 – Now streaming through independent cinemas in the UK
and Ireland and will premiere in North America at SXSW from March 16-20.

More info ‘to watch’, here via Modern Films.

Louder Than War wrote: “A dazzling documentary that will renew your faith in the
power of cinema to depict lives that aren’t so easily narrated… This film is so much more than a documentary. Certainly, it offers insight into Poly Styrene’s life and career in X-Ray Spex, and it brings together incredible commentary from voices that include Pauline Black, Ana da Silva, Kathleen Hanna, Rhoda Dakar, Don Letts, Neneh Cherry, Vivien Goldman, John Robb, Gina Birch, and so many others. But even more, it’s an elegiac rumination on a complicated yet beautiful life, and the power of narrative for those, like Bell, who do the storytelling.” Full review here.

The trailer

The cliché

Turn Up The Volume‘s numero uno X-Ray Spex cracker…

POLY STYRENE: Facebook


Rest in peace, heroine…