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Song of the day – 334: Mari Elliott (Poly Styrene)

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I was looking for something to commemorate the sad news of Poly Styrene’s passing in this series.

Bianca sent me a link to her daughter Celeste Bell-Dos Santos’s Madrid-based band Debutant Disco, and I thought that was pretty cool. Sparky brash ska-punk with a fine female vocal (like you’d expect!). I might yet run with them. But then I noticed that the excellently-named Her Jazz blog had posted up a link to the pre-X-Ray Spex single by Mari Elliott (Poly’s real name). For a period of time in the late 70s I was totally after this single – pleasingly lightweight reggae in the style of Janet Kay or someone – but no joy. It’s a real pleasure, albeit a pleasure tempered by sadness, to discover it 30 years on.

I’ve already seen some asshole commentators in the mainstream press describe Poly retrospectively as “ungainly”. FUCK OFF, Variety.

I’m going to link to the B-side, actually – it’s very sweet.

One Response to Song of the day – 334: Mari Elliott (Poly Styrene)

  1. Simon Warner May 13, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    “Ungainly”?? How fucking dare they. Her every move was the definition of grace and originality; lyrically, musically and physically. She was no stereotypical Barbie doll pop cliché, she was real – a big girl daring to be critical, political and (shock, horror) sexual. Like countless late ’70s boys AND girls I fancied her like mad. Such a brilliant iconic trailblazer was bound to get a truly ungainly response from sheep.

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