Music for the Poorly Educated

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Excerpt from “The Prison Diaries” by Lev Parker
Day 7 – Sunday
“C of E service!” bellowed the guard with Gary Glitter sideburns and what looks like a disturbing blush of mascara. If he is wearing makeup, that is a truly unwelcome transgression of the austere prison aesthetic. I instinctively avoid his eyes, keeping them fixed on the poster behind him promoting the system’s “positive influence.”

My first introduction to the “work” of Lev Parker - one of the most ubiquitous non-musician characters of the Fat White Family inner-circle - was his online serialisation of his three week stint in Wandsworth prison for a public order offence around the time of the London Riots (having been unfortunate enough to be relying on Saul Adamczewski as his only witness at his trial, who didn’t show up). Subsequent “projects”, such as The Fat White Manson Family (a Charles Mason cover band featuring Saul & Joe Fat Whites & Madonnatron) & his first print volume of poetry “100 Haikus about Haemorrhoid Cream” further piqued my interest in his “oeuvre” & with his pseudo-cult organisation/underground publishing imprint Morbid Books (with members and contributors such as Ian Svenonius, Stewart Home, Jeremy Reed, Nina Power & Boyd Rice), it felt like Trashmouth Records had some kind of noxious literary twin evolving, so when he approached me with the idea of some kind of Trashmouth Records/Morbid Books collaboration, I thought it’d be well worth a look. . .

Initially imagined by Lev himself as playing more of a curatorial role, I preferred the idea of him reciting poetry over some kind of suitable music background. So after being brought along as compere on the Insecure Men tour, he recruited Marley Mackey (also now a member of Warmduscher) & Aiden Clough from the band to provide something that bridged the gap between soundtrack music, exotica and synth pop.
The poems he chose to recite were mostly from his 2017 book Poetry for the Poorly Educated, but also included a series of unique sestinas – a form of classical poetry that has to our knowledge never been utilised in rock or pop music.

The album, as with all Trashmouth releases, was produced by Liam D May at the former New Malden Trashmouth Studios site & as well as Lev, Marley & Aiden, it features cameos by Saul Adamczewski from Fat White Family & Ilya Permyakov, one of the writer-directors from the notorious Dau Project