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Flicking through the issues # 1 - It's Grim up North

It feels like yesterday that we sat down together and brought Freestyle Magazine into life. But believe it or not, our first issue Game on came out  5 years ago, meaning 2014 is officially meant to be our 5th anniversary! Crazy....however, we thought that now is the right time for a little recap. We love flicking through our past issues and share them with you. In the following weeks we will feature bits and pieces of some of what we think are our best articles and most-loved stories from 5 years FSM. Starting  today with one of Jason's favourites. Enjoy!

It's Grim Up North. The poetry of John Cooper Clarke

Poems by John Cooper Clarke / Photos by Paul Stuart


John Cooper Clarke is the personification of frestyle. He came to prominence during the late-1970s as part of the punk movement and has since built a career with his tough and gritty poems delivered in his trademark northern accent, while sporting drainpipe trousers, pointy shoes, and a permanent big-bad-hair-day hairstyle.

Joy Division, Elvis Costello, the Fall, the Sex Pistols and the Arctic Monkeys have all said that his poems have been inspirational, and he has opened for many of these groups at gigs and festivals. Although he confesses to not being any good at Frisbee, for us JCC is still the ultimate freestyler.



the bloody cops are bloody keen
to bloody keep it bloody clean
the bloody chief's a bloody swine
who bloody draws a bloody line
at bloody fun and bloody games
the bloody kids he bloody blames
are nowehere to be bloody found
anywhere in chicken town

the bloody scene is bloody sad
the bloody news is bloody bad
the bloody weed is bloody turf
the bloody speed is bloody surf
the bloody folks are bloody daft
don't make me bloody laugh
it bloody hurts to look around
everywhere in chicken town

the bloody train is bloody late
you bloody wait you bloody wait
you're bloody lost and bloody found
stuck in bloody chicken town

the bloody view is bloody vile
for bloody miles and bloody miles
the bloody babies bloody cry
the bloody flowers bloody die
the bloody food is bloody muck
the bloody drains are bloody fucked
the colour scheme is bloody brown
everywhere in chicken town

the bloody pubs are bloody dull
the bloody clubs are bloody full
of bloody girls and bloody guys
with bloody murder in their eyes
a bloody bloke is bloody stabbed
waiting for a bloody cab
you bloody stay at bloody home
the bloody neighbors bloody moan
keep the bloody racket down
this is bloody chicken town

the bloody train is bloody late
you bloody wait you bloody wait
you're bloody lost and bloody found
stuck in bloody chicken town

the bloody pies are bloody old
the bloody chips are bloody cold
the bloody beer is bloody flat
the bloody flats have bloody rats
the bloody clocks are bloody wrong
the bloody days are bloody long
it bloody gets you bloody down
evidently chicken town



      Like a Night Club in the morning, you're the bitter end.
      Like a recently disinfected shit-house, you're clean round the bend.
      You give me the horrors
      too bad to be true
      All of my tomorrows
      are lousy cause of you.

     You put the Shat in Shatter
      Put the Pain in Spain
      Your germs are splattered about
      Your face is just a stain. 

      You're certainly no raver, commonly known as a drag.
      Do us all a favour, here... wear this polythene bag.

      You're like a dose of scabies,
      I've got you under my skin.
      You make life a fairy tale... Grimm!

      People mention murder, the moment you arrive.
      I'd consider killing you if I thought you were alive.
      You've got this slippery quality,
      it makes me think of phlegm,
      and a dual personality
      I hate both of them.

      Your bad breath, vamps disease, destruction, and decay.
      Please, please, please, please, take yourself away.
      Like a death a birthday party,
      you ruin all the fun.
      Like a sucked and spat our smartie,
      you're no use to anyone.
      Like the shadow of the guillotine
      on a dead consumptive's face.
      Speaking as an outsider,
      what do you think of the human race

      You went to a progressive psychiatrist.
      He recommended suicide...
      before scratching your bad name off his list,
      and pointing the way outside.

      You hear laughter breaking through, it makes you want to fart.
      You're heading for a breakdown,
      better pull yourself apart.

      Your dirty name gets passed about when something goes amiss.
      Your attitudes are platitudes,
      just make me wanna piss.

      What kind of creature bore you
      Was is some kind of bat
      They can't find a good word for you,
      but I can...

by fsm