The long-awaited, crowd funded story of Harlow's Newtown Neurotics will have its first showing this autumn, with a live performance by the band plus a Q&A hosted by Steve Lamacq!
This is the story of the dismantling of the welfare state, this is a story of resistance, a story of standing up for what you believe. This is a story about three musicians (Steve Drewett – guitar & vocals, Colin Dredd – bass, Simon Lomond – drums) brought up in Harlow, a new town, whose ‘design for living’ offered a bright new future, an enhancement of community not a denial of it. When in 1979 Margret Thatcher became prime minister and later, relaxed media ownership laws in the UK for Rupert Murdoch, the neo liberal experiment began and storm clouds gathered.
The UK would never be the same again.
For every action, there is a reaction and the Newtown Neurotics, at this point, two non-political classic singles into their career, turned their attention to the ruling party of our land and recorded their incendiary single Kick Out The Tories. The battle of ideas was underway and the band stood by their town, stood by the Miners in their fight against political and cultural vandalism and stood by their belief that the Tories needed to be stopped.
The arc of this era of modern history is documented in their songs.
“If you want to know how we got to where we are now with Brexit et al. it’s all here. In this story“. Kick Out! The Newtown Neurotics Story: Watch the trailer below:
“I’ve seen your future, a generation with nothing left to lose” Fighting Times (Steve Drewett 1985).
Steve was kind enough to answer my questions about the film – firstly, about it’s origin: “The original kernel of an idea which turned into Kick Out! The Newtown Neurotics Story, was when we approached film maker Luke Baker with a request that maybe he could help us make a music video of the Neurotics. We were growing tired of the hundreds of clips of us on YouTube filmed on people’s mobiles, often with appalling sound and vision. Unlike so many other bands, we had never focused ourselves on making a music video and felt it was well overdue that we did so.”
“The problem was though, that once we had talked to Luke, we found he was not overly interested in doing that. He said he would rather make a documentary on the band. Initially, I was disappointed by his reaction, as I was entirely focused on getting a music video done but when I thought of what I had seen of his previous work, I just knew he could do us proud. The more we discussed it, the more we were convinced that this was the right thing to do”.
Steve also wished to express his gratitude: “I am so thankful for all the fans who contributed to the crowdfunding of’ Kick Out, not just for the money, but also for being so patient as we had our plans disrupted by Covid and Lockdown. The pandemic caused us to cancel our planned London Premiere in 2020 and when things improved, we found that the final part of the film had to be changed, simply because there was more Newtown Neurotics story to be told, to bring it all bang up to date. The final version has turned out even better than what was previously considered the finished film, and we are so pleased with this turn of events, despite the struggle to get this to your screens“.
In addition, Steve wanted to credit the contributors to the film: “I would also like to thank the people who were involved in the extensive interviewing. We ended up with so much compelling material from these sessions that we could have made many films out of it. It was often somewhat painful to leave out great insights, humour and inspired dialog but that is the nature of the beast“.
“For all those who took part but never made the cut, we are so grateful to them taking the time and effort. If you got left out, it was not because what you said was not important, it was just because of time. I would like think we could use some of it in the future“.
Steve‘s final thoughts about the film: “It is a wonderful and surreal experience to see your life flash before you, and to not be drowning. It was also immensely satisfying to see what our small band of brothers, the Newtown Neurotics, have managed to achieve with our music and ideas. In particular, I feel immense gratitude to Simon, Adam, Colin, Luke and a cast of thousands in helping me express myself. One of the hardest things in this life is to be heard. We played, people listened“.
Read more from Steve and the band’s interview with Punktuation! Magazine late last year: HERE
For a band that was for so long entwined with the happenings and events of the world, it probably shouldn’t have been a surprise that something like a pandemic would curtail the release of Kick Out. But we’re here and I’m pleased that those who have followed the Neurotics, and the film, are finally given the chance to see it.“
He adds: “It’s been a privilege to have been allowed into their circle and trusted to bringing their story to life, a task only made possible by the generosity and enthusiasm of those who contributed to crowd fund all those years ago.
Presented by Crosstown Concerts, PRB Presents and Music Film Network; in addition to the first public screening of the film, there will also be a Q&A Session hosted by long time supporter of the band, BBC Radio 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq. This will be followed by a Live Performance from Newtown Neurotics (now comprised of original members Steve and Simon, with the excellent Adam Smith on bass) – an evening not to be missed!
In conclusion from Steve Drewett: “We stood up for ourselves and found others (our audience) to stand with us. Thank you all, now… Let’s Kick Out The Tories!“
Make sure you put this event in your Punk diary, (Tuesday 5th September, 2023 at the 100 Club, London) – get your tickets from HERE
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‘Usually found jumping around down the front at gigs, I also relish taking photos and videos, singing, speaking with fellow music fans, and asking musicians the questions nobody else does Writing about my favourite bands and connecting with people who love music too keeps me more-or-less sane I’ve worked for over 25 years at a video production company, mainly filming live music events, therefore I have an additional backstage perspective!’