Let’s get one thing clear from the start. This isn’t a memoir. This isn’t the life story of one of the most beloved writers, of a certain alterative demographic. Punk Snot Dead is a story of survival in the early eighties, when the older punks had already declared punk to be dead when The Clash signed to the majors (they were wrong) and the new wave of punks were getting shot at from all sides. This is the story of how the man we came to know as Morat survived those years in Thatcher’s Britain, when the punk scene was a lot less united. If you are a fan of punk, hardcore or indeed any form of heavy music, are between the ages of 35 and 45, then your formative years were probably spent trawling the pages of Kerrang! looking for the interviews or reviews conducted, and submitted, by the curiously named Morat. A Morat review was almost a guarantee that you needed to buy, and hear, whatever record he was talking about.
The man lives and breathes punk rock and that comes shining through as he describes the heady days of travelling from the Isle of Wight to the big smoke, armed with nothing more than a sleeping bag and a change of t-shirt, to see his favorite bands. He meets a host of characters along the way as he hitches his way up and down Britain’s motorways and some of the situations he finds himself range from the sublime to the download ridiculous. Having sex with a rather noisy goth girl in a park whilst hiding from a gang of skinheads, stands out as one of the funnier stories in the book albeit with an undertone of genuine terror. I was lucky enough to grow up in a punk scene that was, to some degree at least, united where punks, HC kids and skins shared the mosh pits, but that wasn’t always the case. Rejected by the establishment and abused by future peers, punks in this country weren’t accepted anywhere, and were often at the unpleasant end of beatings from the skins and mainstream folk of the time.
For a tale that only spans a fortnight, Punk Snot Dead packs an awful lot of detail, humour and the occasional spattering of political opinion into its pages and serves as an incredible insight into the punk scene of the eighties from a man who lived through it to tell the tale. Totally recommended… Chris Andrews
Make Morat smile and find out what the scene was really like” back in the day” by picking up Punk Snot Dead here