Andy C DIY or DieAndy C – DIY or Die

Self-published – out now


The latest collection of punk poetry from Andy C is an authentic working-class voice recounting real life and takes no prisoners.

Reviewing poetry is a weird old game. Each poem has its own beginning, middle and end, its own subject, its own tempo. You need to let each one resonate, rather than gallop through voraciously gorging on one after the other, like Augustus Gloop with a box of chocolates. Inevitably what you’re getting from me is going to be a broad brush stroke impression, rather than a blow by blow account.

This latest collection from Andy C has distinct themes. It is the ramblings, rumblings and mumblings from the mind of an anti-fascist punk rocker reluctantly working to make someone else rich. Across 29 poems you get an honest insight into what life was like in Carrington’s world over the last 4 years. Carrington’s style is confrontational. However, having to deal with arsehole co-workers and bosses, then racists in the park and finally “little dicks” letting off fireworks that stops you from sleeping would tend to make you a bit agitated. Watching too much shit TV and having to navigate shopping centres just winds you up even more.

The layout gives you a feel for how these verses should be read. Not the traditional poetic style (“using big words and wanky meta-phors” as he puts it in Too Many Poets) but designed to emphasise keywords and phrases to hammer home the belligerent point. Punk poetry. From the street. 23 fucks, 4 cunts, 14 shits, 6 derivatives of wank. Not for anyone who thinks swearing isn’t big or clever… In truth, it is sometimes one of the only liberating things we can still do. If you think about how far removed the beat poets were from posh English voices enunciating sonnets and then how far removed John Cooper Clarke is from those nice beat poets, Carrington is another step away again.

The horror and inhumanity of the 2020 lockdown inevitably get a look in with Staying@Home. The “Covid deniers / Anti-vaxxers / QAnon freaks” get their own poem in All About You.  For the Love of the Game is where Andy spells out the problems with modern football, from racism to big money and VAR.

Amidst the anger, the satire of When Wi-Fi Goes Down… should provoke a wry smile. Like a telescope being pulled into focus from the horizon of society level to the detail of daily life, we get an insight into Andy’s personal existence.

No 1 All Over is about doing your own haircut, “I’m a SKINHEAD / not a bone-head, cause I listen to SKA and like my head shaved clean”. C+A recounts having to deal with bigots when you’re in an inter-racial relationship “We’re all 1 race [Human]” The telescope zooms out again for Enough’s Enough in which he returns to a favoured subject matter of early volumes – fighting fascism by any means necessary.

As a collection, this book holds up a mirror to the state of our society today viewed from the bottom up and it’s not pretty. The media is awash with outrageous comments from the out of touch rich e.g. Kirsty Allsop, daughter of the 6th Baron Hindlip, telling the plebs to give up lattes and Netlfix and they will be able to afford to buy a house, as if she has a clue what real life is like. We need more voices like Andy C’s if the written word isn’t to remain a preserve of the privileged and present a distorted version of reality.  Ignore the “have yachts”, listen to the “have nots”.

Buy direct from Andy C.  This paperback is £6 + P&P or pay what you want for the digital.


Words by Nathan Brown. Check out his Louder Than War Author Archive.

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Nathan got bitten by the punk rock bug at the tender age of 7, when The Kids Were United and Sid Was Innocent. Since then, inspired by the anarcho-punk movement he has played in numerous bands including Armoured Flu Unit, Liberty, Abrazos, Whole In The Head & Haywire; written for zines, promoted gigs and was one half of DJ outfit Aggro-Culture Sound System. He has No Gods, No Masters and since meeting many of them has No More Heroes.


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