blackmail press 16
Andrew Fagan
new zealand
Andrew Fagan was the lead singer/showoff in the Wellington punk rock band ‘The Ambitious Vegetables’ circa 1978. He formed ‘The Mockers’ in Wellington 1980 whilst completing a BA in Politics. The Mockers played a lot of gigs and got well known. 
NZ Vocalist of the year 1985 and five albums later The Mockers fled to the UK to try again. Trapped in a flat with everyone fucking each other’s girlfriends it all ended fairly predictably, how do you spell ‘animosity’?.
Eventually back in Auckland in the early nineties, a solo album ‘Blisters’ followed; but Bloke New Zealand (BNZ) didn’t really respond.  Three poetry books further cemented his distance from rugby league audiences.
Back to the UK in 1995 and LIG was formed to carry his songwriting torch.
One critic likened Fagan’s band LIG to “a single-minded musical crusade with take a flyer myopic vision, slashing a path through the undergrowth with their machetes, heading for the high ground with no map to speak of, forever upwards, almost making it to the clearing at the top with a large audience, but not quite.  Music anthropologists in time will find their bones and see how close they deserved to get."
Back again in NZ Harper Collins released ‘Swirly World, the solo voyages’ (2002) a sailing narrative that tells his story quite poignantly.
You can see Fagan and his band LIG at a gig somewhere in NZ. Adults only.    
His poems here are from a new collection ‘Overnight Downpour’



It was late
And there was still a long way left to go
We had long since stopped speaking
Although often we had touched before

In the dark
You saw a shooting star
Heard me snoring
We’d had an early morning

With no relief
We could not see where we were going
Over our collective horizon
Beating to windward

Mere moments of memory
Yet wishing them away
Relentlessly squinting at the horizon
And sometimes at each other
Beating to windward
As often we seem to do


Don’t tell me it’s dirty again
I just don’t think I could handle it

Don’t tell me it’s dirty again
Iv’e only recently been using it

Don’t tell me it’s dirty again
I was working in the garden

Don’t tell me it’s dirty again
I had an itchy bottom

Don’t tell me it’s dirty again
That’s why I  paint  it black


The bin is
All full up now
And ready to go

Down to the verge
Where unknown men
Often with tattoos
Take it to an equally unknown place

If I was a dog
I’d savage it too
That tantalising smell
Of ‘come and get it’ decay

Savour the delight
Of someone else’s leftovers
More than enough
For the less discerning


Love coming out of her face
And she didn’t ever notice

Mannerisms far too compelling
Full of itself
And she didn’t ever notice

Love coming out of her face
Even though she felt quite angry

Far too hooked on barbed wire words
Smelling like someone needing attention
And she didn’t ever notice

Love coming out of her face
Little shoots of buoyant charm

Love coming out of her face

Future fast forward
The free bar closed
In shadows lurk neglect

Brightly lit
In someone else’s corner

And she didn’t ever notice
Love  coming out of her face

(for Claire)

All alone up Cuba street
South past the polytech
And power lines prancing
Bright ribbons of
Well charged civilisation

A hard northwesterly
Punctuated by
The odd passing car
4am and it’s one foot
In front of the other

And a memory of you
Late into another well used night
Another hard northwesterly
In darkest Berhampore

Waving goodbye
Before your leukemia treatment

Up your garden path
Taking your chest with you
Gracefully and regretfully
Uninterrupted by me