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Extracts from Bovver - Bristol music and fashion past by Chris Brown

Bovver book jacket

Chris Brown's Bovver is available to buy online from Amazon.

Quotes | Extracts

John King, author of Football Factory, called it 'Social history with steel toe caps', The Bristol Evening Post, 'A jaw-dropping account of the 70s', Venue magazine: 'Nick Hornby's darker side'.

Gashead - a Bristol football fanzine states:

'The book is also a welcome antidote to the continuous assault of Abba tribute bands that seem to occur with frightening rapidity these days. There must be thousands of youngsters growing up today who honestly believe that music started and finished with The Swedes in the 70's - hopefully they'll read Bovver and look a bit further than 'Waterloo the Musical'. Remembering the ska, reggae, soul and punk that Brown listened to (while rejecting much of the fare Radio One promoted) is a musical ride that makes you want to go and spend a day with Chris' record collection!'

ESPN Soccernet writes:

Where Bovver tries to break new ground is its exploration of the music and fashion that shaped the decade. Starting with skinheads, it travels via soulboys, Clockwork Orange and Glam rock, ending with punk and mod revivalists. The revelation that make-up and fur coats were standard issue terrace uniform around 1974 breaks the stereotype of wide-trousered, long-haired louts exchanging punches. The entire fashion exposé bought new meaning to claims that rival hooligan firms never 'run' from each other. Balanced on six-inch platforms they didn't have any choice. Anyone with a familiarity of 1970s music, both pop and underground, will probably appreciate the story's tasty soundtrack. But it's possible that much of the discography (bar the odd YMCA and ABBA reference) will mean little to adolescent fans of football hooligan books. They will forever precede the word Dekker with Double rather than Desmond. Bovver falls somewhere between a conventional hooligan punch up book and a university cultural studies textbook. Marketing it as the former would be an injustice because it cuts deeper. As well as the violence, the fashion and the music it manages to successfully recapture the early seventies optimism before moving on to working class disillusionment as the decade closes - an era of strikes, soaring unemployment and record-breaking heat waves.


Chapter 18 - A momentary respite and a musical interlude

One consequence of Hampshire’s incarceration was my renewed acquaintance with the enigmatic Karen, my head told me I should stay well clear but unfortunately my lower regions told me otherwise, what’s more I was getting blisters on the palm of my right hand and my eye sight was failing. The Tote End’s loss was the dance floors gain as Scamps, Bailey’s and the newly-opened Maxims on Park Street, vied for my attention. For the first time since I had learned to tie the laces of my bovver boots, football was taking a back seat, oddly the lure of the terrace had lost its attraction since Rovers had gained promotion, proving the point that the thrill of the chase far exceeded the thrill of the kill. I even relented and took my trophy girlfriend to her first match, thankfully it finished in a dour 1-0 win against a dull Bolton side on a miserable winter’s day, it had the desired effect, she never wanted to go to a match again.

A disappointing mid season with such low-lights as a 1-4 home defeat against the Shit from across the river and numbingly dull 0-0 draws with such greats as Orient and Blackpool proved that life in the higher division wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. The City game had been a major let-down, with Eastville resembling a police state such was the police’s determination to avoid the aggro that had marred the previous season’s encounter, the huge blue line had proved effective, barely a punch was thrown as the two mobs were kept well apart. The highlights of my week were now becoming the almost nightly visits to the pubs and clubs of the Centre, resplendent in my newly acquired hand-made, cream double-breasted box jacket and chocolate-brown, monstrous 24 inch bags, the brown velvet dicky-bow and white shoes completing the 40s Humphrey Bogart look that was becoming de rigeur for the ever-so-trendy Way-In crowd on College Green and the gangster-themed Broads in Knowle. The Way-In, as well as being the most trendiest pub around, was the favourite haunt of Bristol’s famous and notorious gay icon, Sapphire, an attention-seeking black cross-dresser whose trademark was a bright yellow star dyed into his neatly coiffered affro. Sapphire loved the attention and for a short time was a go-go dancer at Bailey’s where his gyrations thrilled and entertained the crowds, none more so than Paul Wiltshire, but that’s another story.

If the football was proving to be an anticlimax at least the music was going from strength to strength, 1975 saw some cracking music, not least from the Average White Band doing a passable impression of James Brown’s musical sidekicks Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker. The AWB’s February hit Pick Up the Pieces, belying the fact the band originated on the mean streets of Glasgow rather than the mean streets of Chicago, at least it proved Scotland wasn’t all Bay City Rollers and Rod Stewart. Other home-grown bands to get in on the act were the Northern Soul imitators Wigan’s Chosen Few with Footsee and Wigan’s Ovation with Skiing in the Snow, paying homage to the home of Northern Soul, the legendary Wigan Casino.

The year and the music progressed, couples across the country bumped in tune to Van McCoy’s The Hustle, a lame disco hit which nevertheless filled the dance floor as did Bill Curtis’s Fatback Band with Keep on Steppin’. James Brown and his ‘above-average black band’ The JB’s enhanced his ‘Godfather of Soul’ reputation with Sex Machine, a cracking follow-up to his superb Payback of the previous year, even the moody funk poet, Gill Scott-Heron followed up his success from twelve months earlier with the thought provoking Johannesburg, which proved that funk could make bold, political statements as well as being decidedly danceable.

BT Express’s Express was a huge hit in the clubs and the single featured Parts 1 and 2 on the A and B sides which enabled the deejays, who were becoming as well known as some of the artistes, to mix two discs on separate turntables to extend the length of playtime, this was specifically aimed at the emerging dance culture and ultimately paved the way for the extended 12 inch dance versions which were to become the norm in later years. Express featured a wonderful string and brass combination, something that was to become synonymous with the disco/funk music of that era. Always There, a beautiful brassy instrumental by Ronnie Laws, just oozed laid-back coolness. The obscure Oliver Sain was back with his jazzy instrumental Bus Stop, a track that was amongst the first to feature whistles, it wouldn’t be long before every disco hit seemingly included them and every serious dancer sported them. George ‘Bad’ Benson, with the mighty Supership even managed an appearance in the UK top thirty, Hamilton Bohannon had no less than four disco hits in the space of eight months, Donald Byrd and the Blackbyrds had two hits with I Need You and their first and only British chart entry with Walking in Rhythm, the list, like the new 12" records went on and on.

The most unexpected dance hit of the year however was Makes You Blind, what made it so surprising was that it was a B-side and even more astounding was that it was made by the Glitter Band, now thankfully liberated from their embarrassing ‘leader’ Gary Glitter. Even my first musical love reggae made a comeback with Susan Cadogan sweetly singing Hurts So Good and Bob Marley and the Wailers with their live recording of No Woman, No Cry opening the eyes and ears of a completely new audience, if the football was no longer giving me the adrenaline rush the music certainly was.

The music itself was still relatively hard to come by, for while the trendy kids of the 70s were listening to the funkiest street sounds around, Radio One was still churning out its daily diet of hackneyed, bromidic pap that appealed as much to your parents as it did to your kid sister. 1975 saw number one hits for Tammy Wynette with her country and western hit (or was it some cunt from Weston as Aggie so eloquently put it) Stand By Your Man and Hold Me Close by David Essex, hardly uplifting anthems.

The Abba phenomenon had kicked off the previous year when their atrocious Eurovision Song Content winner Waterloo rocketed straight to number one, the four members of the group looked like they were straight out of a Swedish blue movie with Agnetha and her perfect arse being the star turn. Amazingly by the end of 1976 Abba had become the world’s best-selling group, Otis Redding must have been spinning in his grave.

While the unitiated listened to Dave Lee Travis, who was as amusing as a dose of clap, the cognescenti amongst the nation’s youth religiously tuned in to Robbie Vincent’s Soul and Funk show at six every Saturday evening which provided us with our weekly fix from across the Atlantic. If it wasn’t for his show I would have been as ignorant as the rest of the country, until then I had thought the magnificent Ohio Players were an American baseball team.

The Ohio’s first album on the Mercury label after spending many years on Chicago’s Westbound, was the quintessential Fire - which, if released by a white rock outfit would have been known as a ‘concept’ album - its menacing title track being perhaps their most recognisable song: a heavy guitar riff and simple, ominous, yowling lyrics featuring the vocals of lead singer Leroy ‘Sugarfoot’ Bonner. The Ohio Players’ trademarks from their earlier Westbound recordings were all there, uncluttered, doom-laden sounds, naked, provocative women on the cover and a no-star approach, all the tunes were listed as written and produced by the whole band. The single, Fire was destined to become one of the all-time funk favourites and before the year was out the band had released the equally impressive album Honey which included their biggest hit to date, Love Rollercoaster, (which was successfully revived in 1996 by The Red Hot Chilli Peppers), plus the seriously funky Fopp and the magnificently deranged ballad Sweet Sticky Thing. The obligatory naked babe on the cover, this time sensuously dripping with sweet, sticky honey, simply added to the band’s appeal. The Ohio Players were one of the most innovative and imaginative bands of this era, their music would influence numerous acts who followed in their funky footsteps.

The only other national radio deejay of note was the eccentric Emperor Rosko who, since the 60s had been at the forefront of bringing American soul music into Britain. Rosko’s style, heavily influenced by the Californian deejay Wolfman Jack, couldn’t be further removed from the Hairy Cornflake (as DLT insisted on calling himself) if he tried.

More closer to home deejays such as Paul Russell, Seymour, Superfly, Paul Alexander a.k.a. Maceo and the evergreen Jason did their best to bring the sounds of Chicago and New York into the pubs and clubs of Bristol. For sheer fanatical promotion of funk music in Bristol however, none were more zealous than the Ashby brothers, Adryan and Steve.

I remembered Steve from the Elephant several years earlier, where Iggy consistently wound him up with his request for the non-existent Funky Milkman by The Nurdlers. Steve’s funkiest record then was Higher and Higher by Jackie Wilson, he led a precarious existence then, keeping one eye on his precious records and the other on the not so precious clientele, the threat of a major ruck never far away. By the Spring of 1975 Steve and Adryan’s weekly appearance at the new Guildhall Tavern in Broad Street was bringing in a veritable army of young soul boys and girls. The two brothers had always appeared under the name of ASA Enterprises, but taking advantage of a teenagers natural desire to belong, kept the initials and changed their name to form the Avon Soul Army.

New recruits for the Army signed up every week, the only qualification required was to have soul coursing through your veins, not difficult for me when I had been reared on the Stax and Atlantic labels of the 60s. The alternative, well there was no alternative, Status Quo, Suzi Quatro,10cc or Queen versus Isaac Hayes, James Brown or Marvin Gaye, no contest. We even had our own tee-shirts, natty white or yellow with a helmeted soldier squinting through the sight of a rifle, complete with the Avon Soul Army logo. Thankfully, the ASA crossed the football divide, the tee-shirts were as popular on the Tote End as they were at Ashton, it didn’t quite unite us but at least it gave us some common ground, the Soul brothers even laid on Saturday lunchtime sessions specifically for the football fans, trouble was rare, due to the fact that we were more interested with listening to the music rather than kicking lumps out of each other, which was more than could be said for what was happening at the football grounds of our green and pleasant land.

Chapter 20 - Changin’ times

Away from football, the nightclubs were now in their heyday, the music at its peak, funk was the dance music of the 70s and by 1975 it was well on its way to reaching its zenith. Clubs like Raquels in the Entertainment Centre, Tiffany’s on the Downs, Vadims on Queens Road, Maxims on Park Street and the Carousel near Bath all competed with each other to bring the best in dance music to its devoted and enthusiastic fans. The dance generation bought about the latest change in fashion, with blokes both wanting and willing to show-off their expertise and prowess on the dancefloors.

Baggy bowling shirts complete with American team logos and loud, garish Hawaiian shirts bought either second hand or from the new trendy clothes boutique Clobber, rapidly replaced the flyaway collar, fitted shirts and tight, star-patterned sweaters of the previous years. The outrageously wide flares were also on the wane, at least with the newly-emerging, funkateering soul boys, who had started wearing peg-style trousers known as ‘Zooters’, these were the complete opposite of flares, with heavy pleats at the top, gathered in with a belt and tapering to a tight fit at the ankle, reminiscent of the ‘Zoot’ suits of the 1930s as worn by your old man when he was strutting his stuff to Ambrose and his Band. Pointed winkle-pickers and open-toed sandals, both leather and more oddly plastic, completed the ensemble which although popular with the southern trendies was virtually non-existent north of Watford. Clobber, which had a sister shop in Newport, South Wales was owned by a smooth, trendy geezer named Alan who formerly played in Andy Fairweather-Lowe’s band, Amen Corner. Alan and his shop manager Richard, played a major role in dictating and influencing fashion in Bristol during the 70s, and their independent, alternative stance made a welcome change from the mass High Street stores such as Austins and Burtons.

Many of the southern youngsters who sported the new change in fashion were drawn not only to US contemporary funk but also to Northern Soul, whose followers had long worn oversize shirts emblazoned with badges proclaiming ‘Keep the Faith’ and ‘The Torch All Nighter’ and which portrayed the clenched black fist that was synonymous with the US Black Power movement, but whereas the southerners taste in trousers and footwear had shifted dramatically, the northerners clung on grimly to their high-waisted, monstrously wide flares and flat-soled mocassins. Northern Soul was a genre of soul music which had been around since the 60s, this distinctive music with its emphasis on the back beat and its fast energetic pace survived in its own small pockets where it created its own charts. In the north of England, where skinheads had taken longer to die out than in the south, clubs in places like Stoke, Blackpool, Manchester and Wigan continued to play predominately 60s soul music and it was in these clubs that the music was to survive for a good many years. One club in particular, the Wigan Casino, became famous when the media cottoned on to the fact that young people could enjoy themselves all night without having to resort to smashing the place up. Coaches from Bristol, South Wales and the rest of the country regularly journeyed to Lancashire where the alcohol-free environment, served milk and Lucozade, admittedly laced with uppers of varying descriptions, ensured all-night music throbbed to 2,000 or so devoted worshippers.

Northern Soul, although an important part of the British dance music scene failed to stir much passion in me, I could not see the attraction of ancient recordings of obscure and often long-dead artists (the records themselves often had their labels removed by jealous and over-protective deejays like Ian Levine, in order to retain their kudos). By the time the Wigan Casino burnt down in 1976, Northern Soul, like glam rock, was passed its sell-by date and its devotees were down to only a handful of die-hard enthusiasts, but the burning question remained on most southern soul boys lips was ‘Who the fuck was Major Lance?’

The extravagant back flips and characteristic side-to-side shuffling of Northern Soul’s fanatical followers and their legendary ‘All nighters’, where the only white powder used was talcum powder for the dancefloor, should not be dismissed however, as many years later the dance moves resurfaced in the form of breakdancing and the all nighters developed into ‘raves’, the legacy of Northern Soul lived on.

South of Brum however, in clubs like The Goldmine in Canvey Island and Lacy Lady in Ilford, deejays such as Chris Hill and Froggy ensured the funk just kept on coming, Do It Any Way You Wanna by Peoples Choice was the major hit of late 1975, the stompingly good, Wipe Your Feet and Dance by Wee Willie and the Winners was a dance sensation and Latin Hustle by Eddie Drennon was a huge hit in the clubs and eventually broke into the top twenty in February of the following year. My own personal favourite What’s the Name of this Funk (Spiderman) by the old ivory tinkler Ramsey Lewis featured high in the Avon Soul Army charts but sunk without trace as far as Radio One was concerned. Some of the more well-known performers who also made an appearance were the erstwhile Motown boys, the Isley Brothers with Fight the Power and The Miracles, sans Smokey, with Love Machine, which even managed to get to number three in the national record charts.

Other funk bands that featured in the national charts were Banbarra who had a minor hit with Shack up and ex-Animal Eric Burdon’s War, with two hits Me and Baby Brother and Low Rider (amusingly adapted in the 90s for a Marmite Ad), both recordings featuring Lee Oskar’s amazing harmonica skills. Whilst Bill Curtis’s Fatback Band, with five top forty hits including Yum, Yum and Do the Bus Stop from September 1975 to August 1976, could possibly lay claim to being the most successful funk band of the 70s. Their sell-out live appearance at the Colston Hall unleashed a thousand or so harmonised black and white whistle-blowing teenagers on to the unsuspecting City Centre.

Chapter 25 - No Fun

The banning of punks from the city centre bars and clubs effectively forced them into less fashionable pubs in the outlying districts, landlords of drinking houses in Redland, St Pauls and Barton Hill suddenly found themselves benefiting from the actions of their beleaguered colleagues in the LVA and with the association of Rovers’ fans with punks, us more soberly dressed Rovers’ fans found ourselves becoming increasingly outnumbered by our City rivals in our traditional watering holes.

Although we were unaware of it at the time, the turn of events were to have far-reaching consequences - the inexorable decline of Rovers’ fans dominance on the streets of Bristol was on its way, due in no small part to our taste in music and of a volley of beer glasses thrown at the optics in the Assize Courts Tavern one Friday night, the Yanks have an expression for it, ‘Shit happens’.

*  *  *

In an attempt to alleviate the gloom Rovers signed the veteran football nomad Bobby Gould from Wolves, his first game in mid October against Blackburn Rovers produced an unforgettable hat-trick and culminated in a 4-1 victory. The depressed mass of the Tote End, now devoid of any style or culture but revelling in its own misery celebrated later that evening by visiting en masse a punk club of legendary seediness, the British Queen in St Pauls, to see a punk band of equally legendary proportions, the all-girl outfit, The Slits.

The British Queen, or BQ club as it was more commonly called, was a small, desperately dingy pub off of Portland Square run perversely, when you consider the politics of a sizeable chunk of its clientele, by an affable elderly West Indian named Slim, who took great delight in alleviating acne-ridden punks, sporting right-wing regalia, of their hard-earned lucre.

Rovers’ punks had taken to visiting the BQ most Saturday lunchtimes before games to hear their very own Roy ‘Play Misty for Me’ Savage spin an eclectic mix of music ranging from Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry’s latest dub recordings from the Black Ark studios to the faster-than-a-speeding-bullet Shadow by The Lurkers. The wonderfully romantic Shadow was an endearing three-way punk love story, which in two and a half short minutes told of a boy’s undying love for a girl who had unfortunately ditched him for another. Pete Stride’s energetic and robust guitar solo lead in to Howard Wall’s classic line coming from the dumped boyfriend who threatened to ‘shoot that boy in the legs when ’e comes to ring your bell’. Not surprisingly the record which was released on the fledgling Beggar’s Banquet label never featured on Radio One’s playlist, but it will long be remembered as a vintage punk record which did its best to show punk’s more softer side, admittedly played at 90 miles an hour and at a decibel level which would put Concorde to shame.

If Roy Savage, the resident DJ, had a softer side he didn’t show it, he did however have an uncannily appropriate surname and was born to be a punk, he had long lost his Rod Stewart identity and his predilection for all things Clockwork Orange had gone the same way as his tartan scarf and Tam o’ shanter. The ‘Play Misty’ reference of his pseudonym was due to his fascination with the film of that name in which Clint Eastwood starred as a Californian DJ and Jessica Walter featured as a sexually obsessed crazed female stalker, only Roy knew what connection it had with punk and 1970s Britain - Roy was one weird, but very likeable bloke.

The Slits at the time consisted of Ari Up attempting vocals, Viv Albertine on guitar, Tessa Pollitt on bass and Palmolive on drums, and more than any other punk band were prime exponents of the principle that put enthusiasm above talent, they were to music what Rovers were to the beautiful game. Skill, talent or professionalism were not words that came easy to both, to be honest, neither Rovers or The Slits could play to save their lives. Their arrival on stage was greeted with a raucous mix of ‘Bobby, Bobby, Bobby Gould’, ‘Sieg Heil’ and most predictably ‘Get yer tits out!’, it did not bode well.

Almost from the off trouble started, no sooner had Ari Up started yelping in her native German accent and the band attempted their reggae-influenced style of punk than the bottles and glasses started flying. The Neanderthal chant of ‘Nash, Nash, Nash-nul Front!’ rose from the sweating mass with the accompanying right arms stiffly saluting the steamy air. The Slits, to their credit carried on regardless but they were fighting a losing battle, a mass brawl had started in the crowd between the various political factions and the music became a secondary issue. I was at the back of the crowd observing the unfolding chaos with Hampshire, Roger Mitchum, Rich Nunn and Steve Clarke. Clarkey was one of Egghead’s Chelsea mates who, like him had shared his allegiance between the Shed and the Tote, I looked at Clarkey who was carrying a rather self-satisfied smile on his face.

‘Bobby Gould has got a lot to answer for,’ he said with a smirk. We had instigated the racists chants and were now proudly watching the consequences of our actions. Two punks from opposite political spectrums were now grappling on stage and the mike stand was wrenched from Ari Up’s hands and flung into the crowd spear-like with devastating consequences, The Slits could stand no more and Ari Up lead the retreat to the dressing room with a parting ‘You’re just a bunch of fascist wankers!’. Big bad Bob Doughty grabbed the vacant mike and took the opportunity of spouting his own philosophy to the unruly audience.

‘Yeah, um right, National Front, ha! yeah Bristol Rovers, er yeah, Bobby Gould, fucking Rovers, ha ha, cider, yeah, fuck the City!’, words did not come easy to Doughty, not words with more than two syllables anyway.

Behind Doughty from the left of the stage appeared a leather-clad roadie who was determined to rescue the band’s precious equipment from the howling mob, the assembled fascists couldn’t believe their luck for the unfortunate roadie was as black as Newgate’s knocker, the rain of glasses, bottles and spittle was immediate and odious shouts of ‘Get the nigger’ filled the air. The roadie crouched in the corner of the stage wrapping his arms around his head in a vain attempt to protect himself from the onslaught. It was a cowardly and ugly assault and looked like it was about to get even uglier when a tall, gawky punk jumped on stage and headed menacingly to the under-siege roadie, it was someone I knew well from the Tote, a wild, unpredictable but frighteningly educated character who though a fanatical Rovers’ fan hailed from the City heartland of Bedminster. Keith Malloney was the same age as me and had served his apprenticeship with myself and Wiltshire. From the early 70s he had proved himself as a wild card who often struggled with controlling his temper, Keith’s venom was always there, bubbling just below the surface of his sallow skin.

Keith and I had been involved in a rumble with a group of West Ham fans in a match at Eastville a number of years earlier, it had started as good-natured banter on the steps leading up to the Tote, but had quickly deteriorated into an ugly slanging match, we were heavily outnumbered but I could see Keith’s rage welling up inside of him as each reference to ‘Sheep shagging, carrot crunchers’ hit home, Keith exploded and charged up the steps towards the incredulous Cockneys. I followed on in the wake of Keith’s rampage and we took down a couple of Hammers before the law moved in and nicked Keith, since that day Keith and I had remained good mates although there was one thing that cut through our friendship like a knife, Keith was an extreme socialist and fully paid up member of the Anti Nazi League and naturally despised my association with the National Front.

‘C’mon, get up!’ Keith yelled at the bloodied roadie, he offered his hand in assistance.

‘Fuck off Bristol wanker!’ came the ungrateful reply.

‘Look, I ain’t fucking about, get up before they kill you!’ Keith meant it, the crowd were baying for blood.

Keith grabbed the roadie and manhandled him offstage shielding him from the never ending hail of missiles, which were now hitting home on Keith’s unprotected head, despite Keith’s act of heroism the ugly atmosphere continued, obscene racist chants filled the smokey air.

Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Seig Heil!’ a hundred right arms thrust into the air, more reminiscent of 1940s Nuremburg than 1970s Britain, it was a disturbing sight that made the hair stand up on the back of my neck, and regrettably I was part of it.

My bladder beckoned me outside, a wall built in Victorian times served as a convenient urinal, the dark stains and foul smell confirming the fact that I was not the first. I stood there holding my breath as firmly as I held my cock, listening to the familiar sounds of disorder emanating from the BQ, casually whistling ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ as glass upon glass smashed in tune to Elgar’s patriotic offering. Through my drunken whistling I could hear another familiar sound in the distance, faint at first but growing to the unmistakable wailing of a police siren, there was only one place it was heading. The harsh blue light intermittently lit up the street, tyres squealed on the damp cobbles as the squad car rounded the corner, I dashed back into the BQ where Roy Savage was trying to restore order, The Clash’s White Riot was blaring out, it was not Roy’s wisest of choices.

‘Come on let’s leg it, the law’s outside!’ I shouted above the noise to Wiltshire and the others, but it was too late, the coppers were already at the door, truncheons drawn, eagerly awaiting the confrontation and raring to crack a few heads.

As the law moved in we side-stepped them and made for the toilets where a battered and graffiti-strewn door led on to the open street. More reinforcements arrived as we casually sauntered across the road to watch the unfolding drama. Half an hour went by before peace of sorts was restored, each passing minute saw another copper emerge from the BQ with a squealing, snarling youth entrapped in their vice-like grip which was only released when they were unceremoniously dumped in the waiting meat wagon. An attentive crowd of onlookers had gathered including Churchill and his City boys, the sound of the sirens had attracted them like flies to the proverbial shit. With so many coppers in attendance there was little likelihood of it going off, Churchill got lippy.

‘You an’ your punk mates misbehaving again then Hampshire?’

‘Wassit to you Churchill, you short arsed cunt. Up for it or what?’ Hamps took a step forward.

‘Any time, Hampshire, any time - could be sooner than you think.’ Churchill signed off with a smirk, something was being planned in his devious little brain, something we didn’t have long to wait for.

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