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On/off: Mark Stewart (pop Group To Maffia)

Fri 18 February 2011 // 20:00

(Fri 18th / 8pm / £6/5)
(Tøni Schifer / 2009 / 90 minutes)

Described by Nick Cave as "totally in your face", Mark Stewart has been screaming at the carefully-constructed illusions of The Spectacle for over thirty years now.

He began as teenage lead singer and revolutionary sloganeer for Bristol’s post-punk pioneers The Pop Group, who together created a hugely influential and radical collision of punk, funk, dub, jazz and noise. Later joining the mighty On-U Sound collective (-which also included the late Ari Up of The Slits), he fronted The Maffia’s industrial-strength hip hop/funk/dub juggernaut, and was both a mentor to Tricky and a musical collaborator with The Wild Bunch/Massive Attack. Right up to the present day, he’s still unleashing punky electronic collaborations with kindred heavyweights such as The Bug.

Lyrically prescient, his recurrent dystopian themes include the creep of technology, surveillance and data control, unchecked corporate power, commodity fetishism, and urban alienation.

The film includes interviews not just with the man himself, but many of those he’s worked alongside, including his Pop Group cohorts, and On-U linchpins Adrian Sherwood and Tackhead. Also featured are some of the musicians who cite him as an influence, such as Nick Cave and Massive Attack, plus a variety of live footage from the last thirty years.

DJs on the night: Payback Hi Fi + very special guest Dan Catsis of The Pop Group.
Presented in conjunction with Melting Pot Productions.