The Voice Of The North

by Steve North

"It's all gone quiet over there......"

Having just returned from my jaunts abroad, (look out for my potted guide to countries England invaded and then fucked up) I popped up to the Albion to attend the last two home games of the season, only to find a demonstration at one and an abandoned game at the other. The sense of outrage was so much stronger than three months earlier, that some sort of trouble was inevitable in the closing games of the season, but to see over ten thousand people at what many believed would be the last match ever at the Goldstone was a very emotional sight.

So the end of a long, long season, possibly the worst in Brighton And Hove Albion's history and David Bellotti and Bill Archer still carry on regardless despite the fact that they are universally despised and disliked by anyone with an interest in the club. It doesn't matter what your opinion is about what happened at the last two home games, almost everyone without question believes the pitch invasion and the demonstrations were as a direct result of the misinformation, half-baked promises and downright porkies that have come from these two men.

And what is Bill Archer's response to the demonstration at the York game? That it was orchestrated by Combat 18 - What is this man on? Hasn't he been to the Goldstone recently? Hasn't he heard practically the whole ground chanting "sack the board"? Didn't he realise that until a few idiots destroyed the goalposts, most people were actually cheering the pitch invasion? Oh I'm sorry, I forgot, he lives in Crewe, bought his shares in the club for sixty five pounds and hasn't been seen at a home game for over three months. These weren't the actions of a few mindless Fascists, it was a genuine wave of anger by people who thought their football club was about to fold. The only possible way forward now is for Bill Archer to relinquish his stake in the club, let someone with a genuine interest come in, (Liam Brady?) and then publicly humiliate Bellotti in front of ten thousand people....sorry, sack David Bellotti, the only person to make Michael Howard seem less of a slug in comparison.

Having spent the last three months performing in a creaky old sitcom about three sad men in hospital, playing to audiences comprised of Nick Leeson lookalikes and strange androids with Ghengis Khan attitudes who say things like "Is it still raining back in Blighty?" and "It was much better here when we used to run the show", (what can they possibly be talking about?) getting decent match reports on Endsleigh league division two was obviously a major priority and ultimately pretty fruitless. (Aside from the odd fax, thanks Paul.)

All over the Gulf the only people I met who had any interest in football were, you've guessed it; Man United fans, likewise the only music heard anywhere consisted of "In paradise", "Mr Boombastic" and "I luv u baby" played on an endless loop making you crave some Napalm Death to pulp them into oblivion.

Performing plays in five star hotels is all very well, but it reduces the world to a bland existence where everything is at its most obvious or mediocre, be it football, music or any kind of culture. You might be in Dubai, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpar but you'd never know it' stuck in your Holiday Inn or Hilton, protected from the poverty and reality that is outside. The ultimate example of this is Burma's year of tourism which is promoting luxury hotels and tours in the face of some appalling human rights abuses or China with western businesses practically falling over each other to invest in one of the fastest growing economies in the world, conveniently forgetting about Tianieman Square and the fact they've recently executed people for stealing cars.

So its back to the coldest spring since 1904, Brighton Council prosecuting squeegees and Sex Pistol's gigs in Finsbury Park.

"Back in Blighty eh? Pass the marmite and the Pg Tips and fuck 'em all thats what I say.....Taxes, what are taxes...waah, waah, waah."

Steve North. 25.6.96.

Steve's Review of 1995
"Colin" in London's Burning
Steve's (Uncensored) "Hyper" (May 1996)
Steve's (Uncensored) "Hyper" (July 1996)