Poly Styrene – a new tribute from Al Hillier

Poly Styrene
Just some thoughts
Tragedy is the only word that springs to my mind when referring to the loss of something or someone that can never be replaced and in this instance it is the only word that fits.
Poly Styrene was a complete one off.
I really can’t add much to what John Robb has as so eloquently and passionately written other than to say that when I first saw Poly and her band, I knew that I was looking at the ”˜future’ and not just the ”˜present’ (although of course it most certainly was) or the past and I couldn’t see any combination of those times or relevant elements that had created this phenomenon, as was nearly always the case in so many other new artists who were derivative by their influences and that sent a massive tingle down my spine.
This was not just the ”˜Future’ it was chillingly ”˜futuristic’ and if I were to be totally honest I’d have to admit to feeling quite confused and maybe a little perplexed although completely exhilarated by the sound she was making and strangely challenged by the words that she used.
It was just so far ahead and was one of those moments when what you are observing is so special, so unique, that an ”˜instant’ evaluation was almost impossible and some time was needed (well in my case) to take it all in and work it all out. ”˜Consumerism? Teenage angst? Demonstrating an almost unnerving ability to express complex and important issues that most of us just filed away in our heads was astonishing as was her understanding of the intricate interface we were all subjected to at that time with our embryonic dealings with the growing ”˜throw away’ and ”˜fast food’ society, that most of us looked at as an advancement, but not to Poly, she saw the future once again
“I clambered over mounds and mounds
Of polystyrene foam
And fell into a swimming pool
Filled with fairy snow
And watched the world turn day-glo
I drove my polypropylene
Car on wheels of sponge
Then pulled into a wimpy bar
To have a rubber bun”
Poly’s stage presence was mesmeric; she moved instinctively like a swaying rhythmic tribal warrior princess, with such natural cadence and effortlessly and perhaps unknowingly, drew on a cultural heritage that gave her a fundamental regal ness which again, can sometimes be a little disquieting for average Joe’s like me and she wore her ”˜uncool’ teeth braces like a shiny Colt 45, a badge of office , a statement, “fuck you if you think I look uncool” such a powerful symbol of her triumph over those teenage ”˜balls and chains’ that reduced many to quivering wrecks at the thought of having to endure them and many others to a lifetime of malformed teeth because they wouldn’t.
In my opinion young people of my generation just did not think like Poly in those days and any genuine ”˜girlpower’ revolution was a lifetime away. As John has said Poly will remain an icon for just about anyone, male or female who wants to break the mould, who is determined to express themselves in their own way even if it appears to buck the system.
God bless you Poly
April 30th 2011

Debutant Disco
Please listen to this is. It’s by Celeste, Polys daughter; Young blood”¦A chip off the old block.


Blogs Featured

The Author

Words by

Share and comment

2 comments on “Poly Styrene – a new tribute from Al Hillier”

Leave a comment?
  1. Alan A Hillier


    The Prophetic Poly “One day there will be wars over water”
    and who’d argue with her


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Your Tickets At Skiddle

To buy tickets for our events please visit: Skiddle.

Tickets by Skiddle