THE APOTLES - punk rock anti-heroes




By 1980 the media and music industry had turned their backs on punk rock.For the mainstream it was an event in 1977-79 which was now thankfully over.But out in the real world people with nothing else to do had a hunger for its energy and excitement.The huge anarcho punk upheavels of 1982-84 were just around the corner and among those who would be sucked in but were for now living their own vision of punk were THE APOSTLES.

The Apostles;the skinhead punks who later liked to describe themselves as an "art and performance group" were as contradictory as they were controversial.As pretentious as they were down to earth.

These Hackney (east London) anti-heroes became one of the more unusual to be linked to the anarchist punk scene.Formed in 1980 they soon became known for controversial views combined with hardcore punk anthems.Each 7" and LP was packed with artwork and literature with the  individualistic views of Andy Martin.Their enthusiasm for blues,folk and experimental music and outspoken opinions often alienated the punks who loved their class war street anthems and made the APOSTLES one of the less predictable punk bands.

Andy Martin and Dave Fanning became the nucleus of the group and made the Apostles the ultimate working class grassroots political punk band in the UK.They stopped playing gigs in the mid 1980s and communicated instead with regular pamphlets,manifestos and the phenomenal letter writing skills of the rev Andy Martin.What made the Apostles distinctive was their refusal to stick to the cliched subject matter of the UK anarcho punk scene - anti-war/anti-state/anti-nuclear/ pro anarchy peace and freedom.Their songs covered decaying inner city concerns of drug addiction,mugging,local corrupt politicians,drug dealers,abused,traumatised kids,personel confusion, self-doubt, loneliness,self hatred etc.
In the early 1980s The Apostles were the only band associated with the anarcho scene whose songs dealt with racism and emotions. Why?
Perhaps these issues were too complex  for (mostly young) punk bands .
It was the unique sentiments in the lyrics as much as their all-encompassing music which seperated The Apostles from any other band of the time.

The records often featured large sections of avant garde,industrial soundscapes as much as hardcore punk.For this reason the Apostles from 1985 were viewed as oddities on the margins of the underground punk scene.
From a time when underground punk was hugely popular, but still subversive and hated by all British radio,tv and music press the APOSTLES music at its best is a soundtrack to the 1980s Britain of social upheavel,riots,civil disturbance,cold war,nuclear paranoia,strikes,vicious cops,mass unemployment and hordes of punks everywhere.


Andy Martin helped run the Autonomy Centre funded by CRASS(from proceeds from their 7") in 1981.Set up as an independent anarchist punk venue this held twice weekly gigs,meetings,printing facilities.Located in a rough area of Wapping east London the Centre hosted early London gigs by CONFLICT,RUDIMENTARY PENI,SINYX,THE MOB,ZOUNDS,YOUTH IN ASIA,ASSASSINS OF HOPE as well as THE APOSTLES and CRASS themselves.When it closed (due to high rent) it moved in 1982 to the larger CENTRO IBERICO  - an old squatted school in west London.

Andy Martin's recollections of anarcho punk 1980-85

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THE APOSTLES - Acts Of The Apostles In The Theatre Of Fear LP(vinyl only)   3rd of 8 albums by London's infamous punk anti heroes. Includes poster, lyric sheet and a full colour sleeve - their only one! On good old vinyl 4 (UK) . 5 / $8 (worldwide)

For a full list of records,CDs,fanzines click here



THE APOSTLES released many cassette-only albums and several were excellent

Demo  Albums (cassette only)

The Apostles  1981
The 2nd Dark Age 1982
Libertarian Propoganda 1982
Topics For Discussion 1982
Swimmers In The Sea Of Life   1983
Will I Ever Be Free? 1984
Fire In The Sky 1985
Visions Of The End 1985
Punk Leftovers 1986
Private Performances 1987
Gary Cooke Was Here 1987
The Progressive Blues Experiment   1988
The 12th Gate To The Underworld 1988
Death   1988
How To Suck Seed 1988
Life   1989

Blow It Up,Burn It Down,Kick It Till It Breaks!   -   1st ep   1982
Rising From The Ashes   -   2nd ep   1983
The Curse Of The Creature   -  3rd ep   1983
The Giving Of Love Costs Nothing   -  4th ep   1984
Smash The Spectacle   -  5th ep   1984
Anathema/The Apostles   -  6th ep   1985
Death To Wacky Pop!   -  7th ep   1986
No Faith No Fear   -  8th ep   1989
Punk Obituary   -   1st album   1985
The Lives & Times Of The Apostles   -   2nd album   1986
The Acts Of The Apostles In The Theatre Of Fear   -  3rd album   1986
How Much Longer?  -   4th album   1986
Equinox Screams   -  5th album   1987
The Other Operation   -  6th album   1988
Other Releases

Cartography - art and music package   1986
Live At The Recession Club   1983
Christ! Its The Apostles 1983

Apostles LP Reviews

view album/ep artwork in thegallery

read Andy Martin's reflections on anarcho punk in articles

Listen to the APOSTLES  here


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