Monday, 27 February 2012

Kevin Sampson exclusive;- The End of The Futurama

I’d assume most of you know who Kevin Sampson is…In fact I’d assume most of you actually know Kevin better than I do.

For those that might not know about him, Kevin is an author of fine books. Books that should appeal to most fans of The End, books, mostly set on Merseyside that include such follies as following footie, fighting, drinking, relationships, drug wars, fashion, music etc..sound familiar? My favourite book of his Stars are Stars centred on a young Liverpool lad discovering women and politics set around the uni’s and pubs of Liverpool in the 80's that echoed a period of my life that I’d forgotten all about (not all good memories either). But from his other books like, Powder, Leisure, Freshers, Outlaws and his first (probably most famous) book Awaydays, there is something there for every discernable End reader.

Kevin first came to my attention as a letter writer to the End (check the book, they should all be there). He befriended Peter and Mick and suddenly he became part of the team.
Apart from his obvious writing skills, what I remember most about Kevin was his unbridled enthusiasm. We were a right lazy gang of bastards at the best of times. Our staff meetings (in the Post Office pub on school lane) had dwindled to twice a year. But when Kevin joined us, he steered us to the dizzy heights of 3 or 4 a year. We became that bit more driven. I just remember him laughing his head off and loving every minute of what was going on and pushing us to get it written and out on the streets.
I also remember Kevin, after he moved on from The End and had started writing for the likes The Face, loaded and the NME, hitting the headlines for having a gig review printed in The NME of the Stranglers in Brady’s or somewhere. Then The Stranglers contacting the NME to announce that the gig never happened, it was pure fiction. I just thought, Genius! How very End like. Those NME types always were a bunch of dopey fuckers. I hope he was paid well. It certainly didn’t do his future career any harm.

After Peter Hooton recently did an interview recalling his favourite End articles, (featured here on this web page) I contacted Kevin to ask if he would contribute his own favourite End memories. We are dead proud to be able to publish the following exclusive tale.

The End of The Futurama

17th September 1983 - I was coltishly excited, setting off down the M62, destination Leeds. In my own tiny head (and it is, physically, not much bigger than a sixpence) I was proving a point. Myself and Mick Potter had the week before taken two carrier bags-full of End magazines up to Liverpool University’s Mountford Hall where Bronski Beat were playing. Mick didn’t think students would be much interested in The End but I’d said we should give it a go and, to his amazement and my own mild surprise, we sold the lot, very easily, very quickly. Mick thought it only right and proper that we should treat ourselves to a small drink with a percentage of the proceeds.

If you’ll indulge me for a second and place yourselves back in world where people didn’t really go to festivals, habitually, in droves, several times a summer, you might be able to appreciate what a rare and special opportunity it was to have, almost on your doorstep, an annual celebration of Indie Music. The first one, at Queens Hall in Leeds in 1979, featured Echo & The Bunnymen, Joy Division, Teardrop Explodes, Simple Minds, U2, Altered Images, Soft Cell, The Associates, The Fall, Public Image Ltd….it was great. The festival moved around a bit, landing at Deeside Leisure Centre in 1982, but for the 83 edition it was back in Leeds - and it was an out and out Goth Fest. The line-up was mostly the likes of Killing Joke, Southern Death Cult, Danielle Dax, New Model Army, etc, but The Smiths were playing, and that made it worth the aggro. Just how much aggro, we were yet to see.

Mick, Peter, Phil and The End Select Committee were off up to Edinburgh to see John Peel. Signing on at the time and unable to afford the meagre entrance fee to Futurama, I convinced them to let me take 4 boxes - 200 copies - to Leeds. The first 30 sales would cover my trip, the rest would be profit. Out of a combination of amusement and the sheer weirdness of the idea of Flesh For Lulu fans pouring over the musings of Joe Wagg and The Goats, Operation Futurama was given the green light.

It was a doddle at first. I quickly settled into a winning routine of approaching couples outside Queen’s Hall - preferably bespectacled couples in long tweed overcoats - and putting the following proposition to them:

“Buy The End, studenty types?”

The male in the couple would always back away, but the female of the species, not wishing to be rude, would say:

“What is it, exactly?”
“It’s a satirical magazine”, I’d quip. “With cartoons and indispensable lists and everything. Only thirty new pence.”

I sold loads. Enough to get inside. Where it was a little trickier. There were literally dozens of fanzines being hawked around the cavernous indoor festival. Everyone who looked like a possible End convert already had a clutch of mags in their mitts, sticking out of their pockets, stuck down the back of their (black, loads of chains and zips) kecks. Occasionally people would offer the remainder of their pint, or offer me 17p - but I was determined I was going back to Liverpool with at least £40 in takings… I decided to head back outside, where the pickings had been richer.

Two hours later I only had a handful left. Could easily have sold twice as many - particularly to the weirder species of goth. It seemed to go that the more eyeliner the lad was wearing, the more eagerly they’d snap it up, paying with ten-bob pieces and saying “keep the change, all for a good cause” and things like this. I felt genuinely guilty that they’d go inside, buy a plastic pint pot, three quarters’ full of cider, sit back against the wall and read Tony McClelland or Peter Hooton ripping their lifestyles to shreds with their rapier quills. Maybe they got some perverse kind of kick out of being the subject of such mirth, or maybe they were just a brand new breed of laugh-a-minute lovable Goths - the Lesser-Spotted Humorous Chuckle-Loving Gothicus, much given to outbursts of spontaneous laughter before turning up the Bauhaus to full volume and staring mournfully into the distance. And the kids today think they invented Bi-Polar…

As I crossed the road to the chippie, pockets weighed down with slummy, little did I know I was mere moments away from one of the strangest culinary requests I would hear, ever, anywhere, with no exception. Ahead of me in the queue was a little rascal with tousled hair and bad troos made of the type of material that crackles when you walk past metal. He stood and his tiptoes and asked the following question:

“How much are your sausages, love?”

The woman serving us was 60. The lad was about 10. She told him how much. He narrowed his eyes, jangled his money in his palm, studied the menu again before making up his mind.

“Pint of sausages please, love.”

“Love” duly obliged without so much as batting an eyelid. Patted the jumbo bangers tightly and neatly into a pint pot, took the lad’s money and bade him adieu. To quote The Rutles, I found myself shocked and stunned. Very stunned.

Sat on the wall outside the Queen‘s Hall munching my oh-so-cosmopolitan chips and gravy, I was approached by two young dandies who you just knew, in the blink of an eye, were Service Crew. From foot to throat, they were clobbered up; Korsika, needle cords, navy blue lambswool crew necks, short, golf-style Burberry jackets and lots of Tom - gold necklaces, sovs, one of them had a bit of wrist chain going on. It wasn’t what we’d wear ourselves, but they looked alright, I thought. They looked good. They greeted me thus:

“Now then, Scouse. What brings you to town?”

I was mildly excited at being addressed as “Scouse”. I’m a nice, laid-back lad from over the water, more than accustomed to the ribbing of my rough Liverpudlian pals over my mellow accent. But to these two kiddas, I was Scouse. I told them I was selling The End.

“What’s it about?”
“Well, among other things, it celebrates the bastion of fashion that is Leeds…”
“You taking the piss?”
“Got to admit it, boys - yes.”

They laughed. I’d have been disappointed - and hospitalised - if they hadn’t. In these situations, up and down the country, over the years, being an ardent pacifist/coward I’ve always felt confident enough that if you’re on your own, no-one is seriously going to do you in so long as you keep your end up, so to speak. It’s better to give them a bit of lip than go into some spiel about how much you love Leeds and Johnny Giles is your secret hero… fuck that. Give them a bit of stick. They love it.

We got into talking about clothes; they were intrigued to hear that no-one in Liverpool really wore labels any more. I told them that some of the younger lads were into their Fila and Kappa, but the nearest a lot of the 42 games a season boys came to logos was a big Head overnight bag. I asked them why they hadn’t gone the game - Leeds were away at Birmingham that day, one of their big grudge games. They said they both had banning orders and Leeds had a dedicated Jack who would shadow them around on match days, making sure they didn’t slip inside the ground or onto the train. They were killing time now until the train got back from Birmingham.

The Smiths were due on so I shook hands with the lads, told them to give me two minute head start before they started reading The End and headed back inside Queens Hall. I remember being made up when the fella on the concessions stall gave me notes for all the smash that had been weighing me down, but don’t recall ANYTHING about the gig. A load of students, Goths and earnest young people in long Macintoshes came out for a breather and a proper pint after The Smiths went off, streaming out down the road and into the nearest empty-ish boozer. Games of pool started, money was poured into the jukebox (which wasn’t bad - tracks like Ashes To Ashes and Town Called Malice were on it; I kept putting Precious on), general excitable chatter bubbling around the place and lots of good-humoured arguments about the merits of the oddity that was Ligature, then…silence, followed by a tangible air of terror. You could feel it before you had chance to compute it. From the other side of the pub, a load of punks, Goths and students came diving into the pool room, sheer horror on their faces. For many of them, it may well have been the first time they’d seen real, nasty, physical violence close up, but what unfolded was carnage. The Service Crew came in through one door while half a dozen of them ran round the back and piled into the Pool Room and systematically started attacking the gig goers. There were pool balls whizzing through the air, glasses smashing, girls screaming. It was over in seconds. The pub’s manager had been warned there was 30 lads on their way up to his alehouse, but called the police before he had chance to lock the doors. Old Bill duly arrived, and the Service Crew vapourised as quickly as they’d arrived.

The incident wouldn’t even have registered on the radar of the Futurama’s organisers, yet in some ways the pub mismatch was symbolic of the way the festival had been going. For a few years in the aftermath of Punk, kids seemed to be pretty open-minded. You could be into Secret Affair and The Jam, but you’d go and watch Culture, or Echo & The Bunnymen, too. Everyone I knew listened to John Peel - everyone - and he’d turn you onto strange bands you might not have given a chance if you’d seen their photo in Sounds or NME. But within a few years of that golden age, the nation was once again dividing itself into subcultures, as Britain’s youth have always done. There were Psychobillies and Buffalo Girls; Funkateers and Squatpunks. The final straw for me was Londoners ripping their jeans to shreds, sticking a funny little hat on and calling the look Hard Times Chic. 1983 turned out to be Futurama’s last rites. But The End was on the up. From being a mainly Scouse concern it was making its way, now, to all sorts of nooks and crannies around the U.K and beyond and was about to enjoy its own golden years. As for myself, I left the city of Leeds with £41.50 and a lifelong yen for a pint of sausages.

* The author has never been much of a one for research, let alone checking his facts. He freely admits he has written this account straight from the well of his addled memory bank. Something completely different may have happened. You’ll have to buy The Best Of The End to find out

You can still buy The END BOOK and read Kevin’s letters. There is a limited amount of signed copies in Waterstones on Bold Street and in the Liverpool 1 shop. and of course you can still get it on line here.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Steve Rotheram MP loves The End

Steve Rotheram
is a much respected Member Of Parliament, an ex brickie colleague of mine, an ex co-editor (again, along with your humble narrator) of Mod fanzine, Time for action....but he is most famous for having a letter printed in The End, proclaiming his love for all things New Romantic. Here he is outside the houses of parliament proudly displaying his End .

You can still buy The END BOOK and read "Rozo's" letter. There is a limited amount of signed copies in Waterstones on Bold Street and in the Liverpool 1 shop. and of course you can still get it on line here.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Don't Buy The S*n

The S*n on Sunday goes on sale this week........shame on any fucker that buys it, ever.

Monday, 20 February 2012

The New Caldera,Don't buy the sun

The New Caldera

The New Caldera are a new band from Liverpool and have recorded this track called Don’t Buy The Sun

To listen to more songs and find out more about them, check out the following links

Nice one boy’s


Saturday, 11 February 2012

The End on Soccer A.M.

Soccer a.m.'s Helen Chamberlain and that other gobshite recomend that you buy The End...and lets face it, if you haven't bought it by now, you must be some kind of knobhead.

There are still a limited amount left if you want to buy it check out the following places;-

The End is on sale at and in selected shops -

Waterstones: Liverpool Bold St, Liverpool 1, Ormskirk, Chester, Birkenhead, Southport.

HMV: Liverpool South Street, London Oxford Circus

News From Nowhere, Liverpool

Pritchards, Crosby

Hat, Scarf or Badge, Liverpool

Ran, Bold St Liverpool

Hairy Records, Liverpool

Jumbo Records, Leeds

Oi Polloi, Manchester

Garbstore, London

Superdenim, York

Shed, Ashton Under Lyne

Hooto's Favourite End articles- Sabotage times

Peter Hooton recalls his favourite articles from The End with Sabotage


It was the very first football fanzine, and believe it or not, sandwiched somewhere between the jibes at Yorkshiremen and poems from prison inmates, th ere was actually some articles about football....

Some of my favourite articles in The End were related to football.

The Secret World of Amateur footballers Vol 14 was simply an observation that sometime back in the 1980’s people stopped using normal sports bags and ended up walking into the pub before and after their match with a massive bag (usually Head) that were meant for tennis players on a world tour. We used to see these characters after the match when the bags would be piled up obstructing your way to the bar or the toilets. You dare not ask them politely to move these as you were likely to incur the wrath of the whole team. These bags were a badge of honour the bigger the better but they also looked hilarious. What on earth did they have in those bags?

Another favourite was What’s Wrong With Football? in Vol 16 which pointed out that the game had lost much of its appeal due to the lack of genuine baldness on the pitch. Not the modern crop haired variety but the lack of genuine comb over baldies like Ralph Coates, Nobby Stiles, George Cohen and Bobby Charlton. The golden age of British football we argued had been full of them but the 80’s seemed to lack the once ubiquitous comb over. This was obviously the main problem with the game in that period and we knew it..

Even though The End wasn’t primarily a football fanzine we were however obsessed with football terrace fashions. The Disappearing World of The Wool was basically a back- handed compliment to Leeds fans who had started to become fashionable.

Mexico 1986 Vol 18 also came under the spotlight as we analysed why pundits on panels thought it was essential to attempt humour when they weren’t naturally gifted in that department. They failed miserably of course but the BBC was trying to keep up with the Saint & Greavsie show which did have its moments. On The Ball we argued was great because it was spontaneous but as soon as the TV executives decided Ian St John and Jimmy Greaves were ‘sit down’ comedians it all went downhill very quickly. We also looked at the actual sayings the commentators came out with during games and what they really meant i.e. ‘ferocious in his appetite for the game’ really meant ‘a dirty little bastard’ ‘nice controlled football’ a crap boring England performance (some things never change)

Even though The End wasn’t primarily a football fanzine we were however obsessed with football terrace fashions. The Disappearing World of The Wool was basically a back- handed compliment to Leeds fans who had started to become fashionable and had abandoned the scarves around the wrist syndrome and started to dress in a casual style. Some people got it some didn’t but The End seemed to strike a cord with many and still seems to raise a laugh as it concentrated on boasters and bullshitters who we all know are still very much in abundance.

The End is on sale at and in selected shops -

Waterstones: Liverpool Bold St, Liverpool 1, Ormskirk, Chester, Birkenhead, Southport.

HMV: Liverpool South Street, London Oxford Circus

News From Nowhere, Liverpool

Pritchards, Crosby

Hat, Scarf or Badge, Liverpool

Ran, Bold St Liverpool

Hairy Records, Liverpool

Jumbo Records, Leeds

Oi Polloi, Manchester

Garbstore, London

Superdenim, York

Shed, Ashton Under Lyne

Friday, 10 February 2012

END BOOK Review- Scrapingthebarrel

The End Book Reviewed by Scrapingthebarrel

"I feel daft that I’m only just getting round to doing a write up on this. The truth is I only managed to get hold of a copy last week, I was hoping to pick this up back at Christmas just gone but as that was to no avail I’m just getting round to it now and my word it has been worth the wait. I don’t think I really need to discuss the in’s and out’s (no pun intended) of The End to anyone, as most people who are reading this are fully aware of how important it’s precense was in Liverpool during the 80′s. Personally, I only became aware of the world of The End about 3 years ago as, and I’ll be honest here, I wasn’t around to experience it at it’s peak and it’s been one of Liverpool’s best kept secrets for a while. I was only exposed to it via a kind chap who I used to speak to on a forum a few years back. At the time I was trying to get my hand on some old back copies of the Everton fanzine “When Skies are Grey” when the chap in question kindly scanned a few old copies of the Everton zine along with a few original copies of The End and sent them through to me via PDF format, instantly I was hooked and started researching.

Over the last few years there has been talk of the legendary Scouse mag making a return or the possibility of a repress of the old copies, however it was only last year that, finally, the lads behind the mag along with the folks over at Sabotage Times finally got together and made the talk a reality via this very smart, well presented book that contains all 20 issues of the brilliant mag that made it’s way around the terraces of most of the 80′s football grounds. The book certainly does not disappoint whatsoever"

To read the full review visit;

Dropkick Murphys- Liverpool 02 Academey Feb 8 2012

DROPKICK MURPHYS Liverpool 02 Academy
The Dropkick Murphy’s are mysteriously not so well known in Liverpool. Here’s a band who celebrate the underdog/the working classes and trade union values (things Liverpool prides itself on) but very few of my English and Irish friends seem to be aware of them…and also, considering the majority of my friends come from Irish descent, love Irish music (from Christy Moore, to the Dubliners, to the Pogues) and punk……and the Dropkick Murphy’s play a crossover of punk and traditional Irish tunes…not many have followed me in my decade long obsession with this band. It seems that the trad Irish fans find them too punky and the punks don’t get the influx of Irish-ness. It can’t be because they aren’t from Ireland as most of me mates loved the Pogues, and everyone knows that the majority of that band were actually English. To be honest, I don’t give a shite.
The Dropkick Murphy’s are fucking brilliant…and recorded the finest version of Fields of Athenry that I’ve ever heard. They’ve recorded with the Dubliners, Shane McGowan and Bruce Springsteen to name but a few. They’ve covered Stiff little Fingers, The Dubliners, Woody Guthrie and hundreds of Traditional Irish classics Like The Wild Rover, The Rocky road to Dublin, Finnegan’s wake and the aforementioned Fields of Athenry. But its their own songs that set them apart from the 1000’s of other bands and musicians who follow the Irish path. Rip roaring Songs like The Dirty Glass , Captain Kelly’s kitchen, Caught in a jar, boys from the Docks, barroom hero, Road of The Righteous, bastards on parade Shipping up to Boston etc…with their pro trade unions and anti establishment odes, they just demand to be sang along to with treble Jameson’s in hand.
And so it was, with a few treble Jameson’s consumed, that I headed to the 02. To make it even more memorable it was the 1st time I’d been out for a drink with, and gone to a gig with my 17 year old daughter Charlie..and my wonderful niece, Laura (both of whom have no doubt been subliminally forced to love The Dropkick Murphy’s after a decade of having to listen to them in me car, or at 3 in the morning at the weekend when I’ve had a few too many). Unfortunately my mate Paul was a no show, after he received the devastating and tragic news…….......that his son had got a school report that didn’t live up to his expectations….all of our thoughts are with you during this stressful time mate (in case this isn’t blindingly obvious, I am being fuckin sarcastic here!)

The first thing I noticed on the night was the surprising amount of people going who weren’t from Liverpool. In the Head of steam Pub, before the gig, I met people from Middleborough, Bradford, Barnsley and, bizarrely, Philadelphia who had travelled to Liverpool specifically for this gig. After loading up with whiskey and beers we headed up to the 02. Unfortunately I missed the first support act, Bible code Sundays, a new very promising London based celtic rock band, who who have already amassed a loyal following. I was really looking forward to seeing them. Gutted. Check them out here
Next up were American band, The Bouncing Souls,( ) who were quite good. They reminded me a bit of Rancid, but with less variation
Some 20 minutes or so after the Bouncing Souls lbounced off stage, Dropkick Murphy’s entered the arena to a tumultuous welcome from the sell out crowd and launched into a riotous “Hang em high”, from their 2011 album Going Out In Style. This fat old man was immediately moved to dancing and singing along with his niece and daughter and 99% of the crowd (some miserable cunt behind me never cracked a smile, never mind sang along!)..and set the tone for the rest of the evening. A blistering set had the crowd on fire. A mixture of songs covering their whole career interspersed between songs from the Going out in style album satisfied old fans and new. We had tried to guess the set list based on their recent shows in Europe, but we were hopelessly (and delightedly) wrong . We had, Barroom hero, The gangs all here, peg o' my heart, Citizen CIA, boys on the docks, take the bastards down, going out in style, Shipping up to Boston and the irish rover..all performed immaculately at break-net speed. However, what sets apart a great gig from an amazing gig is those stand out moments that make a punter think “I’ll never forget this”…and this gig had them by the score. For me, a throwback to their punkier days “skinhead on the MBTA” had me in raptures…and then the was the part when main Dropkick, ken Casey acknowledged the night…and the new connections between the band and Liverpool (the Dropkicks hail from Boston, and are rabid Boston red sox fans…The red sox are now owned by John W Henry…who bought the red sox and after a period in the doldrums helped them win their first world series since 1918..the same John W Henry who has now bought Liverpool FC and is hoping he can help break Liverpool’s Premier League duck and win their 1st title since they last won it back in 1990. In honour of the world series triumph, Dropkick Murphy’s reinvented the red sox fans anthem, Tessie and played it live in the world famous Fenway Park stadium…so in recognition of the connections we got (something along the lines of) “Fuck me! What a night!…why the hell don’t we play Liverpool more often??…..especially as we now have this new connection with John W Henry, the Red sox and honour that we’re gonna play two songs just for tonight” this was met by cheers from reds, and pantomime boo’s from the bluenoses, then the Murphy’s burst into Tessie and a wonderful version of Fields of Athenry that brought tears to my eyes.. For me though, the highlight of the night was a barnstorming version of Johnny I hardly Knew ya (Harroo!) that just defied you not to chant along with it (I think even auld fuckin’ misery guts behind me even managed a Harroo! or two!) To cap it all, during the encore when a massive section of the female section of the audience invaded the stage for kiss me I’m shitfaced, my daughter was high jacked and sent crowd surfing as she tried to get to the stage! By the end of the night we were we merry as fuck, voices hoarse from singing and completely exhilarated. This could not have been further from a Mumford and sons gig than you could ever imagine ..and Thank fuck for that! Boss night.
Full set list;-
Hang 'Em High
Sunday Hardcore Matinee
The Gang's All Here
Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ya
Deeds Not Words
Climbing a Chair To Bed
Fields of Athenry

Going Out In Style
Barroom Hero
The Warrior's Code
Take 'Em Down
Devil's Brigade
Boys on the Docks
The State of Massachusetts
Peg O' My Heart
Heroes From Our Past
Broken Hymns
The Irish Rover
Kiss Me, I'm Shitfaced
Skinhead on the MBTA
Citizen C.I.A

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Tales from The Lids, New Fanzine

New Liverpool Fanzine to look out for. "Tales from The Lids"

"The Lids are proud to announce the publication of the first (or, to be a total smart arse:'inaugural') issue of TALES FROM THE LIDS: Merseyside Culture, Music, Footy, The Return of Eric's, friggin big rants at everything from pitch-invading cats, dickhead workmates, Boris 'balloonhead' Johnson and knobheads on buses and trains...As well as League Cup Final Preview, Lee da Lid on Billy Butler/ Miller show reviews, Going the match vs watching it in the alehouse, the top ten lies women tell to men, the worst jobs in the world, shithouse bully's, and some weird phenomena stories thrown in for good in other words, a mad combo of The End, Boss, Through The Wind & Rain, and the Fortean Times...Should be out in next few days...Available from HJC shop opposite Anfield next home game.... GRAB A COPY LIDS & LIDETTES Price: three knicker (with a quid going to HJC, of course!!!) YNWA JF96 x"

see their facebook page here;

Monday, 6 February 2012


In the 90's Cantril Farm was famed for having dozens of "bedroom bands", groups of lads who were amazingly talented, but never had the motivation to take it to the next level.
Club Fiction are the latest in a line of bands to emerge from Cantril Farm, Liverpool. a couple of the lads from the band perform a cover of Kids by MGMT here. Thankfully though Club Fiction have moved from the bedroom and are already gigging accross the city- hopefully you'll hear alot more from them in 2012