the fourteenth gig I can remember going to

Click here for a complete list of entries in the series  “the first 23 gigs I can remember going to”.


14. Alien Sex Fiend, Psychic TV, Steven Wells. Hackney Empire, 30 September 1987.

Doing our bit for Biafra. Jello Biafra.

This was a benefit for the Dead Kennedys’ No More Censorship Defence Fund – the group were being done for “distribution of harmful matter to minors” when someone’s Mum had called the police after seeing some HR Giger artwork they had used. There was a fair bit of coverage about the trial in the UK media if you knew where to look. I recall the NME’s “Censorship” issue being especially good and to give them fair due they ran regular news updates about the case as well. I assume that this was largely down to the insistence of my favourite ranter Steven Wells, aided and abetted by Stuart Cosgrove (see what happened to him in a previous entry).

Rehberg struck up a conversation with Paula P-Orridge by the merchandise stall. She seemed fantastically nice, but I just lurked about in the background. Grinning like a moron.

I probably picked up a shit load more live LPs and other merchandise.

The crowd was a motley punky/crusty collection – more dyed hair than my previous time at the Empire when PTV were headlining, but actually less diverse. Swells was compering and was characteristically in our faces from the off. He dispatched some hecklers with aplomb, correctly identifying them as being try-hard punks with hilariously fake cockernee accents.

There was a small bunch of us down the front for PTV, who launched into a rendition of “My Old Man’s A Dustman” and complained about Alien Sex Fiend demanding a sack of cash for expenses. It ended up being a nice intimate set in a venue which was slightly too big. I was still fascinated by Psychic TV fans at this point.

We watched about five minutes of Alien Sex Fiend and fucked off back home in Peter’s car. I could just about tolerate their electro-crusty-gothness, but this was all a complete no-go zone for my designated driver. To give Alien Sex Fiend their due, it looks like they did a two night stint at the Empire. I have developed a soft spot for their drongo-disco anthem “Smells Like Shit” over the years.

After my exam failure I was trying to stay in my parents’ good books. They were very pleased to see me back so early. After all, I had work the next day…


  1. my mate went to tea at Casa Sex Fiend down in Streatham. Apparently they were polite and genteel and used their best crockery, although everything in the house was black and purple. I LOVE ASF.


  3. I promoted this gig and Genesis was a pain in the arse from start to finish. he complained constantly about the fiends who were very nice the whole time and they recieved no expenses. The only thing they got was a back stage rider bigger than we would of liked to give but still smaller than the one thier agent demanded. mr and mrs Fiend came all the way from Wales at their own expense unlike genisis who moaned about the size of his dressing room and had a house round the corner.I am still grateful for all of thier support but the porridge was out of order.

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