“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is the legendary Bristol artist, vocalist, producer and songwriter and someone I’ve been a big fan of ever since I got a chance to play the video by the band that made him infamous,  The Pop Group “She Is Beyond Good & Evil” as part of a punk special (representing post-punk obvs) on MTV Europe’s Alternative Nation which was part of my first job in TV, 25 years ago. I also own physical copies (remember them?) of the imperious, spidery yet expansive “Y” and also “Learning To Cope With Cowardice” and “The Lost Tapes” (as Mark Stewart and The Maffia) on a couple of slabs of handsome vinyl. The latter records were apocalyptic when that meant Thatcher, Reagan and the shadow of the bomb and yet now still sound just as fresh as we face up to new kinds of existential threats from pandemics, endemic racism and the human erosion of the planet. Mark Stewart, an outsider’s outsider has an innate way with words, economical yet incisive and aptly describes himself as singer / idealista / new banalist / bombart / modern sleep /ghost culture. Restlessly inventive, a sonic adventurer and prophet/poet, I’ve been keen to get him on these pages for a while, and that time is fortunately now!

Mark is headlining an exclusive stream of music and visuals for a fundraiser curated by Our Music, with proceeds going to Our Kitchen, a charity helping to combat food poverty in the community of Thanet (somewhere very close to my heart since it’s my parents neighbourhood and much loved/visited). He will be e performing a DJ set, transmitting ‘sci-fi lullabies from the haunted dancehall’ and comprising selected material from an ongoing project as Mark Stewart’s Creed with collaborator & On-U Sound archivist Patrick Dokter (aka Dr Dub / Uncle Fester on Acid).

I love to lose myself in Mark’s almost alien-sounding sonic adventures, so it’s sure to be a treat, and with that in mind, I was excited to find out what his “song for ewe” choice would be for Velvet Sheep.

Before that, I should also mention that in association with the fundraiser there is an exclusive album called “Our Music” available through Bandcamp that features the likes of Andrew Weatherall, Lumpen Nobleman, Lee Scratch Perry,  Adrian Sherwood and of course our man Mark whose contribution
NoHumanEye Vs​.​Mark Stewart – Deep Time Dub (Mark Stewart Remix) you can hear (and buy with the album) below…

Before you do, please welcome to Velvet Sheep, Mark Stewart!

Here’s the official blurb for the Our Music fundraiser event from Our Kitchen’s Ben Millar…

“”Mark Stewart’s Creed” will be part of a fundraiser streaming event in conjunction with Our Kitchen On The Isle Of Thanet and Faith In Strangers on Saturday 3rd April. This special set, directed by Uncle Fester On Acid, is part of a great evening, with other exclusive sets by Rainforth, Liotia, Uncle Fester On Acid, as well as music videos from Sonskriff, Meatraffle, and Nick Woolfson & Pitch Black. Tickets cost £5, but you can pay more of you think it’s a good cause.”

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/our-music-tickets-141728420521

And here’s a bit more about the vital work of Our Kitchen:

Our Kitchen helps people in Thanet who are struggling to get a healthy, nutritious diet. Over 27% of Thanet’s children live in poverty, yet food becomes an issue that is often overlooked. People who visit get good quality foods at about 40% of the normal supermarket cost, customers leave with a sense of dignity as well as a full shopping bag. Our Kitchen also helps with this with Meal Kits and Recipe Cards via its shops in Margate and Ramsgate.

And without further ado cos you’re here for the music too, this is Mark Stewart’s informative and entertaining “song for ewe”…

“The Crackdown” by Cabaret Voltaire reminds me a lot of Sayak Valencia’s “Gore Capitalism”, especially how Mallinder describes this state brutality as a “tool of necroempowerment” with the destruction of the body as a kind of capital accumulation.”

To find out more about Our Kitchen On The Isle Of Thanet, visit:

https://ourkitchenontheisleofthanet.org.uk/

For Mark Stewart news and more, here’s Mark’s site:

www.markstewartmusic.com

THANKS VERY MUCH MARK STEWART AND ALSO TO BEN MILLAR