X-Ray Spex singer Poly Styrene r.i.p.

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

Apparently her cancer came back and got her. No news links yet, but that's the word.

Sad, considering she was just on the verge of a new album release and some touring.

Johnny Fever, Monday, 25 April 2011 23:54 (ten years ago) link

horrible news

balls, Monday, 25 April 2011 23:56 (ten years ago) link

Wow! Inspired by tune-YARDS, I went through an X-Ray Spex phase last week. RIP.

A week ago on her FB page:

Slowly slowly trying to get better, miss my walk along the promenade. Would be so nice to sing again, and play my new album live. Its nice to have something positive to look forward to, Love Poly X

Damn.

Craiger Lazer (Craigo Boingo), Monday, 25 April 2011 23:58 (ten years ago) link

Why u brake heart? RIP

ELO ENO ONO (James Redd and the Blecchs), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:02 (ten years ago) link

RIP, she was the template.

it's time for the fish in the perculator (Steve Shasta), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:03 (ten years ago) link

aw man, no!

RIP

tInA-yOtHeRs (donna rouge), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:04 (ten years ago) link

Still hunting down a news report/confirmation of it. I'm inclined to believe the news based on who told me, but I'm sort of hoping it's just erroneous gossip.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:08 (ten years ago) link

Oh Poly

immer wieder, ralf & günther (NickB), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:09 (ten years ago) link

Oh cancer, up yours

A Zed and Two Nults (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:10 (ten years ago) link

If true, extremely sad. No one else like her, ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSrOJ1ig6tI

clemenza, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:11 (ten years ago) link

Do we have confirmation?

Nothing yet, but people have started posting condolences on twitter and on her facebook page. If it's not true, AW-KWARD!

This is the time of day UK news outlets would be running skeleton crews though, right?

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:25 (ten years ago) link

sad news for sure. Germfree Adolescents is probably bested on my Singles Going Steady when it comes to first wave brit punk for me

Fellini.Kuti, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:26 (ten years ago) link

on my = only by, sry

Fellini.Kuti, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:28 (ten years ago) link

According to an NPR Christgau story I just looked at, her album was scheduled for release tomorrow. Tomorrow.

clemenza, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:37 (ten years ago) link

It was released 3/28 in the UK, but from what I understand she's been too ill to really do any of the promotion she would've liked to.

I listened to some clips and it's REALLY good.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:39 (ten years ago) link

Still nothing anywhere an hour later. Really hoping this does turn out to be a hoax and we won't have to revive this thread for another 50 years.

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 00:52 (ten years ago) link

Oh gosh. Such an inspiration to me as a teen. RIP

Handjobs for a sport (C. Grisso/McCain), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 01:13 (ten years ago) link

I guess that doesn't really add anything that Johnny Fever hasn't already said.

clemenza, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 01:50 (ten years ago) link

Yeah, that's from my editor at the Weekly there. Nothing specific still.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 01:52 (ten years ago) link

hope this isn't true

the wages of sin is about tree fiddy (WmC), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 01:52 (ten years ago) link

i hate to be the guy betting on death, but she seems like an unlikely subject of a hoax

Fellini.Kuti, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 02:15 (ten years ago) link

really hope this isn't true. :(

germfree adolescents broke my mind in half when i was 17 and still holds up better than just about any other punk album of its time.

(The Other) J.D. (J.D.), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 02:17 (ten years ago) link

Symond Lawes
i just spoke to her mother and its very true, she passed away quietly last night, her mother and daughter were with her, bless you marianne. symond xxx

pan loco y salsa loca (get bent), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 07:47 (ten years ago) link

shit... Oh cancer, up yours

Stockhausen's Ekranoplan Quartet (Elvis Telecom), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 09:46 (ten years ago) link

Yes very much up yours. RIP, we'll miss you. :-(

Nathalie (stevienixed), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 10:26 (ten years ago) link

Here's another thread where we curse Cancer. RIP

Mark G, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 10:41 (ten years ago) link

Aww RIP. Such a great voice.

Telemachus Sneezed (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:04 (ten years ago) link

didn't realize she would have been 20 in 1977. I dunno if the other Spex were younger, but photos of the band made me think they were closer to 16 than 20 in their heyday.

bendy, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:08 (ten years ago) link

christ. r.i.p.

Land of Rap and Homies (kkvgz), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:09 (ten years ago) link

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ue5jyj_nosc

probly still my favourite

A Zed and Two Nults (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:11 (ten years ago) link

RIP Poly. So glad I went to the reunion gig a few years ago. She looked so great then too.

a fucking stove just fell on my foot. (Colonel Poo), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:12 (ten years ago) link

Tragic. RIP Poly.

None'll come and then a lot'll (Tom D.), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 11:16 (ten years ago) link

One of THE great voices in popular music history. RIP

Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 13:32 (ten years ago) link

Aw, I was hoping to wake up this morning and find out I'd been foolish to start this thread. :(

Johnny Fever, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 13:41 (ten years ago) link

cancer.grrrr. RIP

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 13:49 (ten years ago) link

RIP

grill 'em bake 'em fry 'em burn 'em (snoball), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 13:53 (ten years ago) link

RIP

the wages of sin is about tree fiddy (WmC), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 14:09 (ten years ago) link

Maura remembers.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 14:16 (ten years ago) link

fucking sucks. RIP Poly

Anything that still matters to me about punk was embodied in Poly Styrene.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 15:25 (ten years ago) link

Kathleen Hanna.

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 16:51 (ten years ago) link

Just... :(

textbook blows on the head (dowd), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 16:52 (ten years ago) link

rip

gospodin simmel, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:17 (ten years ago) link

Aw no! I literally found out TWO HOURS AGO about the new album, played & quite liked, and searched "styrene" to see if anything was said about it on here... RIP Poly :(

anatol_merklich, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 18:37 (ten years ago) link

Everything I read about her over the years suggests she was a decent human being, sad to read about this, the piece in the guardian a while ago made it sound like it was bad, but not hopeless.

Great powerful, foghorn blast of a voice on those old recordings, this is awesome:

http://youtu.be/OGcWtPOL6aQ

Letzte Tage - Letzte Pächmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 26 April 2011 19:14 (ten years ago) link

She made me feel better about my teenage orthodontia. RIP Poly.

kate78, Tuesday, 26 April 2011 21:08 (ten years ago) link

Just watched that BBC broadcast from '79, "Who Is Poly Styrene?" (on YouTube). I found it difficult to pick up on all the voice-over commentary. Great document, but I did find it all a little depressing.

clemenza, Thursday, 13 July 2017 16:17 (three years ago) link

two years pass...

https://tribunemag.co.uk/2020/05/lets-submerge

xyzzzz__, Friday, 22 May 2020 12:49 (eleven months ago) link

I contributed to Kickstarter a few years ago for a documentary involving Poly Styrene's daughter. Still waiting--hope it didn't get derailed.

clemenza, Friday, 22 May 2020 12:51 (eleven months ago) link

*sigh*

Spocks on the Run (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 22 May 2020 13:42 (eleven months ago) link

clemenza, this article mentions your documentary being still in production. Seems like an interesting approach. https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidchiu/2019/10/14/poly-styrene-punk-icon-biography-dayglo/#4d2f69ef3685

Meanwhile, a documentary about Styrene directed by Paul Sng (which involves both Howe and Bell) is currently in production. “Its angle is more of a communication between daughter and mother,” Howe says of the film, “with the story unfolding via letters from Celeste to Poly amid interviews threaded throughout. Some of the interviewees appear in both projects, some exclusively were for the book. The letters also appear in adapted or expanded forms in the book, too.”

Spocks on the Run (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 22 May 2020 13:46 (eleven months ago) link

seven months pass...

Yama yama yama!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXVEEwBEDcY

Waterloo Subset (Tom D.), Saturday, 16 January 2021 13:40 (three months ago) link

Would like to see this doc living online, growing changing grooving over the years---would it get too set in its ways, and/or break sideways, become something xtreme, come home again--? This and/or another doc.

Seems plausible enough:

Introducing worker clone
As our subordinated slave
His expertise proficiency
Will surely dig our grave

Maybe not dig it all, but at least take the handle for a while.

dow, Saturday, 16 January 2021 16:36 (three months ago) link

Great! I contributed to that, and have been getting updates for what seems like almost since she died. Now it's a case of getting to see it.

clemenza, Saturday, 16 January 2021 16:51 (three months ago) link

Cool! Plus I didn't even know the 1979 BBC profile you mentioned above existed till today!

Waterloo Subset (Tom D.), Saturday, 16 January 2021 18:38 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

Got the same e-mail today some of you probably got:
----------------------------------------------------
POLY STYRENE: I AM A CLICHÉ is on release across the UK/Ireland from Fri 05 Mar via Modern Films online cinema platform and will be broadcast on Sat 06 Mar at 9pm on SkyArts (available on Sky channel 122, Freeview 11, Freesat 147, and Virgin Media 123).

You can pre-order the film and support local independent cinemas using this link: https://www.modernfilms.com/polystyrene

If you are outside the UK you will be able to watch the film very soon; we are working with international partners to bring the film to the US, Europe and beyond. As soon as we have more information on international screenings as well as DVDs and Bluray DVDs we will let you know (an email will be sent to check we have your current address). The film will also be screened at several film festivals around the world throughout 2021, the first of which will be SXSW, March 16-20. We will announce the full festival line-up very soon.

clemenza, Monday, 1 March 2021 19:14 (two months ago) link

Had not seen that. Thanks

curmudgeon, Tuesday, 2 March 2021 05:02 (two months ago) link

10 minutes...

koogs, Saturday, 6 March 2021 20:51 (two months ago) link

Excellent photo/video coverage - but unfortunately I found it a bit ponderous and slow.

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 6 March 2021 23:01 (two months ago) link

certainly not enough actual music

liked what they played of the solo stuff even though it was nothing like x ray spex

what was the book she was reading?

koogs, Saturday, 6 March 2021 23:11 (two months ago) link

(ha, it's her own book)

koogs, Saturday, 6 March 2021 23:13 (two months ago) link

Daughter looks very young for 40.

Did they skip talking about Lora Logic leaving until the krsna era. Was wondering what the story on that was during the band era so did I miss it earlier or was it glossed then touched on later.

Sad to hear about her in Gunter Grove. But do think I had heard dodgy stories about there before. & Sid could be an oaf.

Otherwise yeah really moving.
Is there a full Musikladen of them surviving or was that a more than one artist edition. Not sure what there is of them live visual in any form of long form.
Don't remember coming across that if it is in circulation.

Is Translucence any good?

Stevolende, Sunday, 7 March 2021 01:05 (two months ago) link

I just downloaded Translucence because I realised I'd never listened to it, but have heard her 2 solo albums from this century - Generation Indigo has some great songs on it.

It was nice for me to see the Hastings footage, and the other period footage in general. I thought they got the amount of music about right really.

I went to the reunion gig, nearly didn't because I think it sold out, I bought a ticket off a tout, for less than face value though. That in itself was an experience, he threatened me because I'd offered to buy a ticket off someone on his "patch" I guess. In the end I paid the same because he insisted he bought the ticket off the bloke for a tenner and sold it to me for £20 which is what I said I'd pay in the first place. After that he literally whipped his cock out and just stood pissing into the street.

CP Radio Gorgeous (Colonel Poo), Sunday, 7 March 2021 01:15 (two months ago) link

After watching the film I downloaded the ‘Translucence’ album...one of the tracks’Sky Diver’ was used in the film that sounded great...will have a deeper listen tomorrow but sounded really nice

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Sunday, 7 March 2021 01:22 (two months ago) link

Translucence is quite good. She had a gift for melody, very much present in X-Ray Spex but it also translates to other settings.

Yeah liked that garagey element to the Spex sound, noticed that the narrator used the term Power Pop at one point but don't think it totally fitting.
But melody + drive may get you to something adjacent I guess.

Do people think of X Ray Spex as a punk band. I know they played festivals in Blackpool etc in reunion years. & played the Roxy but seems they don't fit the later imposed template. Sui generis possibly which should have remained a punk trope I would think inherently by definition and so on. Did she say she thought punk was just a label.

Thinking about a press release that was shown at several points. Dayglo logo on green paper or to that effect. Looked d.i.y but was that possible at the time.
Either white border around the logo was printed on green which I'm not sure is easy or green is printed on rest of paper.
Just thinking that effect seems to have taken more artifice than would first appear. No computer printing. & typing legible on top of that green.
Not a print expert but not sure that's something that could be done on a xerox machine. Which is odd. Stood out though.

Stevolende, Sunday, 7 March 2021 07:32 (two months ago) link

Yeah, I'm guessing that was a Virgin Records promo sheet.

Mark G, Sunday, 7 March 2021 09:22 (two months ago) link

Daughter looks very young for 40.

And also sounds exactly like her mother.

Wrote For Lunch (Tom D.), Sunday, 7 March 2021 10:39 (two months ago) link

She does, yes.

Mark G, Sunday, 7 March 2021 10:54 (two months ago) link

Dayglo logo on green paper or to that effect. Looked d.i.y but was that possible at the time.

Definitely was possible, and it was a time of graphic creativity and experimentation. I follow the work of Barney Bubbles, thanks to the great curating work of Paul Gorman and others, and there's an interesting cross-over from his graphic work with the hippie/radical newspaper Frendz and Hawkwind to design work on punk and new wave records.

Luna Schlosser, Sunday, 7 March 2021 11:48 (two months ago) link

Do people think of X Ray Spex as a punk band

Did at the time ( I was in my early teens and not going to gigs, but following music papers)...And I do now really; they were part of the wave that was inspired by seeing the Sex Pistols early on.

Even at the time there were 'purists' saying that the punk scene was already over by the time X Ray Spex had their residency at the Man in the Moon in the Kings Road.

The definitions around punk were always a bit fluid and frisky. I think Mick Farren observed at the time that the route from hippie to punk was often shorter and more common that people realised.

Luna Schlosser, Sunday, 7 March 2021 12:00 (two months ago) link

xp press release To be multiply printed?
Would think that white printed on green would wind up not looking great.
& green printed around white and then having the press release actually legible on it would seem to be a little difficult.
Could have this wrong but at a atime before computerised printing I would think it wasn't that easy.
Presumably this is something that is being produced to be sent to a number of different media outlets which I would have thought was costly.
BUt maybe it was a project that the art department liked so got behind. I'm just thinking looks like there's a lot more work gone into it than would first appear. & presumably isn't the only press release being worked on at any one time.

Stevolende, Sunday, 7 March 2021 12:11 (two months ago) link

That is, dayglo logo had a white border. Dayglo yellow on green might not look so odd on its own , probably less noticeable since green/yellow border in other forms of colour creation. White printed on green going to wind up with distinct greenish tinge.

Stevolende, Sunday, 7 March 2021 12:17 (two months ago) link

I wonder if press releases and ornate letter heading graphics were more important in the 70s, perhaps because of the lack of digital social media to promote bands.

One thing I've noticed from the Barney Bubbles estate is that just how many people on the music scene, even on the fringes, had their own logo. Ok - the one below is a bit earlier....

https://assets.bigcartel.com/product_images/228894620/F3604650-3CF9-4D11-88BC-084F4F87B13C.jpeg

Luna Schlosser, Sunday, 7 March 2021 12:46 (two months ago) link

blue on blue might look a bit blue

Stevolende, Sunday, 7 March 2021 12:53 (two months ago) link

I'm a massive Barney Bubbles fan and a Stacia fan. Had never seen that love from Miss Stacia print. Most excellent!

stirmonster, Sunday, 7 March 2021 12:57 (two months ago) link

well you're goingto want to have some kind of recognisable tag. Were people graffiting band names in places at teh time?
THink I was seeing mod revival names getting tagged in places or at least things like bus stops.
JUst adds a little something when you're doing your best to get noticed.

Though you do want to not look gimmicky and you also don't want to look like you sold out to the man by it all looking too utterly professional.
Underground artists are useful and can add credibility not that you're own shouldn't be enough. Badge of honour and the company being kept. Also presumably the understanding taht an underground comic artist isn't selling out to the man by doing that.

Stevolende, Sunday, 7 March 2021 13:13 (two months ago) link

I definitely think of X-Ray Spex as a punk band, their noise and velocity and Poly’s immortal yawp all very much scan as punk (as opposed to, say, Essential Logic, who seem post-punk even tho “Aerosol Burns” is indisputably a punk classic).

never heard Translucence before, this is wonderful

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Sunday, 7 March 2021 16:13 (two months ago) link

X ray spex are/we're punk because they split before they 'moved on' with their sound, "Highly Inflammable" excepted

Mark G, Sunday, 7 March 2021 16:20 (two months ago) link

They're somewhere between punk and new wave without really being post-punk.

Halfway there but for you, Sunday, 7 March 2021 16:31 (two months ago) link

they are 100% "class of 77" punk to me, the LP is a bit more filled out in sound but all the lyrics are like ur-punk Rosetta stones

I like signing up to dead sites (sleeve), Sunday, 7 March 2021 16:34 (two months ago) link

can I watch this now btw? where?

I like signing up to dead sites (sleeve), Sunday, 7 March 2021 16:35 (two months ago) link

I guess the (excellent) title song of their first album is sort of new-wavey, but I count them as ground-zero punk, just like everyone else on the The Roxy London WC2 album, even if some of them like the Buzzcocks and Wire proceeded in different directions.

clemenza, Sunday, 7 March 2021 17:01 (two months ago) link

xpost upthread:

If you are outside the UK you will be able to watch the film very soon; we are working with international partners to bring the film to the US, Europe and beyond. As soon as we have more information on international screenings as well as DVDs and Bluray DVDs we will let you know (an email will be sent to check we have your current address). The film will also be screened at several film festivals around the world throughout 2021, the first of which will be SXSW, March 16-20. We will announce the full festival line-up very soon.

That said one wonders if VPNs could help with this:

https://www.modernfilms.com/polystyrene/watch

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 7 March 2021 17:15 (two months ago) link

Sky Arts showed it last night in the UK which might mean it gets a repeat in the middle of the night over teh next couple of weeks, Might not. Worked with the Rob lloyd film anyway

Stevolende, Sunday, 7 March 2021 18:29 (two months ago) link

it's on again friday (along with the Rock against Racism thing that was shown after it which also features Poly and was worth a watch if you needed reminding how racist the late 70s were)

koogs, Sunday, 7 March 2021 18:53 (two months ago) link

I think I taped the 2 of those and teh damned thing taht was on after the RAR . Haven't checked tehy all came out yet though. may be low on space

Stevolende, Sunday, 7 March 2021 18:56 (two months ago) link

The Rock Against Racism one looked a bit like it was produced by the propaganda wing of the SWP but was useful for showing that, despite what a lot of people seem to think now, punk and punk rockers were, for the most part, very much on the right side of history. As did the Poly Styrene doc.

Wrote For Lunch (Tom D.), Sunday, 7 March 2021 19:12 (two months ago) link

My sister was at the Victoria Park gig... but so were a lot of other people!

Wrote For Lunch (Tom D.), Sunday, 7 March 2021 19:16 (two months ago) link

Translucence is on Spotify. Probably never looked for it or under teh name Poly Styrene until now.
There's also a much later solo lp up there.
The Pre X Ray Spex single was included on ana anthology some years ago too so may be up there somewhere too.

Stevolende, Monday, 8 March 2021 09:10 (two months ago) link

That newer one, Generation Indigo, was released right around when she died. It's pretty good!

Just rewatched this and liked it a lot more. I think I was feeling too restless to appreciate it fully last week.

The archive footage and photography in general is very good. There’s something about a lot of the voices that still feels a bit flat and lifeless.

Luna Schlosser, Saturday, 13 March 2021 12:28 (two months ago) link

i liked that they broke away from the normal talking head presentation these docs usually have and didn't show the heads. it didn't feel flat to me but perhaps that's what made it seem flat?

stirmonster, Saturday, 13 March 2021 13:14 (two months ago) link

two weeks pass...

US screening is happening! Online via the SFFILM Festival, get a ticket now

https://sffilm.org/event/poly-styrene-i-am-a-cliche/

Ned Raggett, Saturday, 27 March 2021 16:39 (one month ago) link

one month passes...

Excellent doc!

SQUIRREL MEAT!! (Capitaine Jay Vee), Saturday, 1 May 2021 12:13 (two weeks ago) link


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.