An evening in Brighton with punk legend Jordan

Posted On 12 Jun 2019 at 5:17 pm
Jordan at The Prince Albert, Brighton 08.06.19 (pic Ian Bourn Photography)


Thankfully the Gods were looking down favourably on the Brighton & Hove Music Team on Saturday 8th June. The two events that we really wanted to cover were situated virtually next door to each other.

For a majority of the day we were stationed at the Green Door Store, located beneath Brighton Railway Station, where we were observing no less than ten musical acts performing during this years Utopia festival – read our report on that HERE.

I personally witnessed eight of the acts playing live and then thankfully the remaining two artists were to expertly reviewed by our professional photographer Sara-Louise Bowrey, who had been happily snapping away all day inside the Green Door Store.

Christmas collections
Jordan at The Prince Albert, Brighton 08.06.19 (pic Cris Watkins/PunkInFocus)

I meanwhile bolted across the road and met up with another of our professional photographers Cris at The Prince Albert. The reason for this manoeuvre was that the ‘Queen of Punk’ Jordan had actually sold out the concert venue with an evening dedicated to the story of her truly fascinating and often tumultuous life. Entitled ‘Defying Gravity: Jordan’s Story’ it mirrored the title of her tremendous new 446 page autobiography which she has recently unleashed with the assistance of Cathi Unsworth. There’s tons of interesting accounts in the volume that covers all of her life to date, with obviously a massive chunk being dedicated to all things punk and fashion, and so I for one certainly wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to directly hearing the tales of all the shenanigans that have gone on over the past 40 years of punk.

Not only was there the opportunity to listen in wonderment, but afterwards the punters would be able to put their burning questions to Her Highness themselves – I had my question and certainly had to go. Finally punters would be able to get their book purchase signed. I had already purchased and totally read mine cover-to-cover prior to the event.

Timmy DeRella at The Prince Albert, Brighton 08.06.19 (pic Cris Watkins/PunkInFocus)

The special night was put together by Debs and bass supremo Timmy DeRella (of London’s Rockaway Beach club fame) with the assistance of Will Moore from The Prince Albert and Brighton based couple DJ’s Simon Price and Jayney BlamBlam were on the decks prior to and after Her Majesty’s arrival.

Billy ‘Chainsaw’ Houlston at The Prince Albert, Brighton 08.06.19 (pic Cris Watkins/PunkInFocus)

The questions on the night were being posed by former Siouxsie & The Banshees tour manager, Brummie born Hove based Billy ‘Chainsaw’ Houlston, who also incidentally ran Siouxsie’s fan club from 1979 to 1995.

Let’s face it Jordan was punk even before punk started up in the UK. She was working in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s Kings Road ‘Sex’ boutique even before the Sex Pistols came into being. Her attitude and bleached platinum-blonde bouffant hairdo with dark raccoon-like eye makeup made her an icon of punk subculture.

People are aware of the fact that Jordan was within the Sex Pistols tight community of friends and has also appeared in a few films and on many fashion pages, but I suspect that many less are aware that she used to manage Adam & The Ants and even eventually married one of them.

Jordan has hung out with many famous people, including David Bowie, Andy Warhol, Derek Jarman, and The New York Dolls to name just a few. There’s many, many more listed in the book, but I don’t want to spoil it for you.

Jordan at The Prince Albert, Brighton 08.06.19 (pic Ian Bourn Photography)

The punters welcomed Jordan, she took to her throne and was kindly supplied ample liquid refreshment by Timmy. The session kicked off with Billy’s calming voice holding it all together. Jordan sometimes gave a gap of two or three seconds before answering a question in order to thoroughly think it through and thus deliver the exact answer.

Having previously read every page of her autobiography, I personally was able to answer many questions in my head, but there were a number of new revelations, including one astounding one that I had previously not been aware of, which I believe is best left in that room.

The punters attending were from all walks of life and ages, which I was pleased to see – Jordan has captured the imagination of many different souls. Our photographer Cris Watkins was taking shots and so was our other photographer friend Ian Bourn, who certainly had the choice seat of all the punters present.

One thing is certain from this evening and that is Jordan came across just as you would expect – totally honest! Whether the subject was her accident as a child, The Sex Pistols, Sid and Nancy, Adam Ant, Toyah Wilcox, the ‘Jubilee’ film, Derek Jarman, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, Andy Warhol, David Bowie, becoming a veterinary nurse and so on.

A testament to a great evening, is that my mate also came along with us and he is certainly not a massive fan of punk, but he was extremely pleased that he attended the terrific evening. To be honest, I think he is in awe of Jordan, just like many present.    

Jordan at The Prince Albert, Brighton 08.06.19 (pic Cris Watkins/PunkInFocus)

I’ve got virtually every track that was played tonight – how many do you own? Simon & Jayney’s ‘Up Yours – Punk & New Wave anthems 1976-1980’ punk 45’s playlist for the night was:

X-Ray Spex – ‘Germ-Free Adolescents’

John Cooper Clarke – ‘Beasley Street’

Wayne County & The Electric Chairs – ‘F*** Off’

The Stooges – ‘I Wanna Be Your Dog’

Adam & The Ants – ‘Zerox’

Siouxsie And The Banshees – ‘Mirage’

Dead Boys – ‘Sonic Reducer’

Sex Pistols – ‘Silly Thing’

The Damned – ‘Love Song’

Lene Lovich – ‘Lucky Number’

New York Dolls – ‘Trash’

Buzzcocks – ‘I Don’t Mind’

Public Image Ltd – ‘Public Image’

Bow Wow Wow – ‘C30 C60 C90 Go!’

The Slits – ‘I Heard It Through The Grapevine’

Generation X – ‘King Rocker’

Stiff Little Fingers – ‘Alternative Ulster’

The Cramps – ‘Human Fly’

The Adverts – ‘Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’

The Stranglers – ‘No More Heroes’

Sex Pistols – ‘Bodies’

The Undertones – ‘My Perfect Cousin’

Adam & The Ants – ‘Fall-In’

X-Ray Spex – ‘The Day The World Turned Day Glo’

Gary Glitter – ‘Rock’n’Roll Part 2’

– – – – – – – – – –

Jordan Q&A

– – – – – – – – – –

Richard Hell And The Voidoids – ‘Blank Generation’

Adam & The Ants – ‘Cartrouble’

The Faces – ‘Stay With Me’

X-Ray Spex – ‘Identity’

The Damned – ‘New Rose’

Ramones – ‘Judy Is A Punk’

Sex Pistols – ‘Holidays In The Sun’

Buzzcocks – ‘Everybody’s Happy Nowadays’

Siouxsie And The Banshees – ‘Hong Kong Garden’

Johnny Thunders And The Heartbreakers – ‘Born To Lose’

Patti Smith Group – ‘Gloria’

Stiff Little Fingers – ‘Suspect Device’

Jonathan Richman And The Modern Lovers – ‘Roadrunner’

Blondie – ‘X Offender’

Ramones – ‘Rockaway Beach’

Cheap Trick – ‘I Want You To Want Me’

The Damned – ‘Neat Neat Neat’

Plastic Bertrand – ‘Ca Plane Pour Moi’

New York Dolls – ‘Personality Crisis’

The Runaways – ‘Cherry Bomb’

Buzzcocks – ‘What Do I Get?’

Sex Pistols – ‘Pretty Vacant’

The Only Ones – ‘Another Girl, Another Planet’

Richard Hell And The Voidoids – ‘Love Comes In Spurts’

Sid Vicious – ‘My Way’

X-Ray Spex – ‘Oh Bondage! Up Yours’

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