Mark Stewart, Fiery British Rocker, Is Dead at 61

Mark Stewart, the incendiary frontman of British post-punk band Pop Group, has ridiculed the group’s bright name with an explosive mix of funk, noise rock, free jazz experimentalism and anti-authoritarian fury. Died April 21st. 62.

his obituary statement It’s on his London-based recording label, Mute. No other details were provided.

In 1977, when punk rock was shaking the foundations of the British music scene, a pop group was born in Bristol, England. Mr. Stewart was inspired by the iconoclastic fury of punk. “There is arrogance in power,” he once said.

On stage, the band created Cyclone Force, which puts many punk bands to shame. Swirling like crazy from his jaguar pout and barking rebellious lyrics, Mr. Stewart sent the audience into a frenzy with songs like: “We are all whores” The band’s most famous single of 1979, reaching number eight on the UK indie charts. The lyrics include the lines:

we are all whores
everyone has their own price
And you too have to learn to live with lies

The pop group’s live performance was “stricken with indomitable force and sudden visceral fury. barely breatheAfter Stewart’s death, musician and author Nick Cave paid tribute to his website, The Red Hand Files.

Justifiable anger was as inherent in Mr. Stewart’s character as it was in his music. “Mark has taught me a lot about his life.” Stop yelling. “

The band had little commercial impact, which makes sense given their disdain for all things capitalistic. As mentioned in Explosion in the center of goods

Mark Stewart was born on 10 August 1960 in Bristol, South West England, one of two sons to an engineer father and a mother who worked with children with learning disabilities. .

Bristol in the 1970s was a rough town, Stewart once said. His towering height meant that by the time he was a preteen he was already 6 feet 6 inches. But a thug’s life wasn’t for him. Music was his passion—he and his friends considered themselves music-agnostic, but junk. Wearing a worn mohair sweater, he staged a punk show at his local youth center.

“The local gang really, really got it for me,” he said in an Arts Desk interview. I didn’t realize how old I was, they thought I was around 20, so they smashed all the youth club windows and I had to climb out the bathroom window.”

Music was a way out. “If the city you live in is not noisy, you dreamhe said in a 2014 interview with Vice.

Mr. Stewart formed the pop group in 1976 with the band’s original members John Waddington (guitar), Simon Underwood (bass), Gareth Sager (guitar and sax), and Bruce Smith (drums).

The band was named after Mr. Stewart’s mother. “I think she said, ‘Oh, Mark’s forming a pop group,'” he told Vice. .

The band’s first album ‘Y’, released in 1979 and produced by British dub master Dennis Bovell, had little commercial impact.

“These influential journalists thought we were deliberately desensitized,” Stewart told Vice. brave failureExciting but infuriating. “

The Pop Group did all but mellow on their sophomore album.How much more genocide can we tolerate?,” released the following year. It crackled with angry denunciations of Thatcher-era Britain. Critic Simon Reynolds wrote in his 2012 essay, UK Post-Punk, that while some dismissed it as a “smug soapbox agitprop”, the album was “Y ‘ has come to be considered a classic by many. .

Looking back on the 2016 re-released album, the site Punknews.org said: collapsing society Caught on tape, it runs through a gamut of paranoia and death. please dig “

Although the band broke up shortly after the release of their second album, Stewart continued to be prolific, working with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails, Tricky and Massive Attack, releasing eclectic solo albums over the years. Subtle like a bazooka.

The first “Learning to Cope With Cowardice” was re-released in 1983 in 2006.The music site Pitchfork described this “possible lunatic and authority criticism refusal It was marginalized in his own time, only to be seen later as a visionary. “

Little is known about Mr. Stewart’s personal life, and no information about his survivors was available.

In 2010, he reunited with the pop group and released two more albums, ‘Citizen Zombie’ (2015) and ‘Honeymoon on Mars’ (2016). Both that album and live performances showed that the band and Mr. Stewart hadn’t lost their flicker of fire.

“How peculiar, beautifully polished Ben Beaumont-Thomas of The Guardian wrote in his review of the 2010 London show:

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