Monday, 26 April 2010

Kendall cops give it up

1980. Gang of Four plays the Brewery Arts Centre in an arctic Kendall, a triumphant homecoming for our bassplayer and local boy, Dave Allen. Adrian Thrills & Penny Smith from the NME are with us . The story they write and shoot will be our first ever front page.

The show's great, fierce and determined, in a broiling room packed with put-upon local punksters. The next day, heading back to London, we're stopped by a police roadblock and a half-dozen cops. There's been a robbery , they say: "some televisions have been stolen"; we have to open the van so the cops can take a look. No worries, nothing's in back, only music gear, take a look. We're then told to turn out our pockets - what, for TVs? - and the cop's visibly pissed off that no-one's holding gear. We're taken under escort to Kendall nick and held all day in the cells, interrogated , given the usual guff that "one of your mates has confessed" -what , to nicking tellies? - and fingerprinted. Adrian, an innocent Southerner, is strip-searched by a pervy copper. He says "Drop yer kecks!" (trousers) in broad Lancastrian and , this done, says "Lift your knackers!" (balls) - at which Thrills pulls up his underpants - " No, you twat, not your knickers, your knackers!" . But A has never stored Mary Jane under his scrotum. Far too moist. We are told to go. No charges are made. Our expensive London brief sends them a letter pointing out that everything the cops did broke the law and they must destroy their illegally obtained fingerprints of innocent men. You get the Police you deserve.

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