Subversion (Suicide? No! Murder #4)

I have 4 issues of this zine (edited by a couple living in London); not sure if they did more. According to the dates of some records reviewed the time-period must be 1983-84. Content-wise there’s interviews, scene-reports, reviews and some opinions. The people doing it (Dena & Keith) were very interested in worldwide punk [Pretty much the first UK zine to concentrate solely on international hardcore and mainly on non-US HC to boot.”] It seems like they opened a small ‘record-shop’/stall (and mailorder) on Portobello Road [market on Saturdays in Notting Hill, London] called Spoilet Records. Don’t know how it went. [“A box of records on a miniscule table.”] I lost contact with them a long time ago. In an article in Maximum Rock’n’Roll I read: “I was swapping lots of great stuff […] with Keith Blakeman of Suicide? No! Murder zine, who was in ‘Suicide’ (the London band on the Beating The Meat LP, not the New York band). Keith […] married Dena of Femzine, who came over from Canada on the first ‘D.O.A.’ tour.”

We (me and 3 friends) were in London and at some gig they heard us speaking Spanish and started to ask things about the punk scene in Spain. If I remember well we agreed to meet up the next day and they brought several copies of their zine for us. We kept in touch for some time via letters, exchanging zines, tapes and info.

#1: Articles, interviews with ‘B.G.K.’, ‘Disorder’, ‘Upright Citizens’, scene-reports (Finland & NJ-NY). #2: ‘Black Flag’, ‘Wasted Talent’, ‘Die Toten Hosen’, ‘La Uvi’, ‘Vulpess’, ‘Squits’, ‘Headcleaners’, scene-reports (Spain, Canada). #3: ‘Lärm’, ‘Power Age’, ‘The Effigies’, ‘Pictish Blood’, ‘The Eu’s Arse’, scene-reports (Basque Country [Euskadi], Norway). #4: ‘D.O.A.’, ‘Scapegoats’, ‘Subversion’, ‘Svart Framtid’, ‘Zyklome-A’, scene-reports (Denmark, Germany, Yugoslavia).

‘Richard Hardcross’, formerly Brigada Criminal zine, Zarautz (Euskadi)

I still remember that London zine… I toured 4 weeks through the UK in 1984 and visited Keith and Dena. I know they were, at least Keith, a bunch of years older then me back then… Very kind and polite people.

Kalle Stietzel, ‘Scapegoats’ drummer, Kiel (Germany)

Often wonder what happened to Keith and Dena. I heard by ’85 they’d lost interest in hardcore and had gotten into 60s garage.

Charlie Mason, Dorchester/Bristol (UK)

‘Stel’, Dena, Keith, and Bart & Ludwig ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ in Camden Town (photo by Dirk Ceustermans)

‘Subversion’ was a band from Hasselt (Belgium) with scenester ‘Stel’ Steven R. (bass) and his mates ‘Witte’ (drums), ‘Vo’ guitar’ & ‘Unesco’ (vocals). They featured on the Second Time Around compilation-tape (on Dirk Michiels’ Punk Etc., 1983) and the Bollox To The Gonads – Here’s The Testicles compilation-LP (on Marcus Featherby’s label Pax recs, 1984). The tracks were re-released by an American label in 2008…


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1 Response to Subversion (Suicide? No! Murder #4)

  1. Mark Barker says:

    Keith wasn’t Canadian (he was from Fulham) although Dena was (I think she did SCHRIK fanzine, Ontario ’81/’82). Keith was one of the first Brits into obscure International punk and H.C. (along with Tez, Shesk, Dig and a few others).
    I was also into “foreign” punk (as it was unpolitely referred to over here in the UK) in the early 80s. There weren’t many UK distros selling European punk so I would order stuff through their (spoiled) mailorder… I remember ordering the ‘Eater’ EP (Swedish one) and Keith wrote back “Sorry it’s sold out but I’m sending you my copy, hope that’s OK.”. I wouldn’t have known the difference anyway as this was still in 1984. But this maybe shows he was going off HC/punk even by then.
    I think FEMZINE was around the same time as the last few issues of SUICIDE NO MURDER. Maybe SNM was mostly Keith’s idea and FEMZINE more Dena’s? But I am only guessing. Dena definetly did an even earlier zine in Canada (probably before meeting Keith). I no longer have these zines as I stupidly threw all mine away in the 80s and it is proving to be very difficult/expensive buying them back now!
    Mike Clarke of Inflammable Material distro/Defiant Pose zine from London mentioned their later fanzine. Couldn’t recall the name but there were 2 issues and it covered some punk but more garage type stuff. Mike Clarke actually knew them personally (being a Londoner) so probably knew more than me and his band were interviewed in Femzine (he was in ‘Decadent Few’ and ‘Youth In Asia’).
    I was mostly aware of Keith just as one of the few Brits promoting lesser known overseas punk when it
    was not very popular at al here (now people will pay £100s for these records). Tez [Andy Turner] from ‘Xpozez’, with his Retaliation records was an important one…
    Keith hasn’t been seen in ages. Apparently he sold all of his record-collection which would have had some very rare stuff!
    I did the interview with Andy of Xcentric Noise recs (online at MRR’s website) which you quoted from. Andy also mentions selling Keith a ‘Buzzcocks’ bootleg album so I guess this was around 1980 and Keith got him into American stuff like ‘Bad Religon’ (Andy or Shesk also sold a ‘Buzzcocks’ bootleg to Janne of the Malign Massacre label who got him into Scandanavian stuff). Weird how all these connections were made back then! Keith was in a very obscure punk band called ‘Suicide’. No one seems to know anything about them! even though they made a couple of studio-tapes, did a gig with ‘The Lurkers’ (Fulham connection there) and appeared on a Xcentric Noise compilation-LP in the early 80s.
    Quite a few UK punks used to dislike any overseas stuff as they “weren’t punk enough” or something but in that photo all the Belgian punks look much more “Hardcore” than Keith!

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