Legendary performance arts collective The Mutoid Waste Company have been around since the early 80’s and there is a good chance that if you have been on the festival scene you will have wondered if you were seeing things when they turned up with vehicular metallic beasts and strange sculptures. They may even have had a rag-tag collective of bands such as 2000DS, Screechrock, LS Diesel, Inner City Unit and Hawkwind accompanying them and making things even more of a surreal experience. Cyber punk well before the term even existed they welded bizarre shapes out of metal that looked like they had crawled out The Cursed Earth, often they belched out fire and the post-apocalyptic creations were like all your favourite films and comics. Think of a mix of Mad Max, The Cars That Ate Paris, Tank Girl & Judge Dredd. Their history has been well documented, this link is a very good starting point if you wish to delve among the origins of these futuristic scrap metal merchants.


From punk through to rave culture they embraced it all playing squat parties and free festivals and even having their own headquarters just by the legendary Scala Cinema (before it got turned into a sterile venue) in Kings Cross. With times changing they left and found favour in Europe but returned to their heartland for one day as part of the 40th anniversary of punk. This very friendly for all the family event included a couple of processions of their motorcade along with a clattering soundtrack going from punk into heady techno. No bands played whilst I was there so for a change here is a visual review of the show. They say a picture paints a thousand words anyway so enjoy this close up look.

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(Pete Woods)