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Steven Wells

Steven  Wells

Steven Wells, aka Swells, aka Seething Wells, aka Susan Williams, aka aka aka, was one of the truly great comedians working in rock prose - a sit-down comic if ever there was one. He wrote for NME, Philadelphia Weekly and other rags, and appeared frequently on the telly. Swells died in his adopted Philadelphia in June 2009.

RBP writers pay tribute to Swellsy

List of articles in the library by artist

Anthrax, Public Enemy: Anthrax and Chuck D: Noise From The Black Stuff

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, June 1991

Five years after Run DMC's groundbreaking rap reworking of Aerosmith's 'Walk This Way', rock is finally repaying the compliment with ANTHRAX'S astonishing take on Public ...

Apache Indian: Big Bhangra Theory

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, January 1993

He's been called the voice of Asian youth, the pop Gandhi and a politician but, according to APACHE INDIAN, his music just reflects the sound ...

Ash: Turn Up, Check In, Rock Out!

Report by Steven Wells, Vox, December 1995

These days, most teenagers leave school and sign on. But not ASH – they play loud punk rock, trash hotels and party till they puke. ...

Eric B & Rakim, LL Cool J, Public Enemy: LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim: Hammersmith Odeon, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, November 1987

SOFA, SO GOOOOOOD! ...

Bad Boys Inc: Naughty By Nurture

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, July 1993

It's easy to be cynical about 'manufactured' Pop Stars, how it's all so easy for talentless young upstarts to get fame and fortune beyond their ...

Buju Banton: Young Slack Teenager

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, August 1993

Two years ago, BUJU BANTON caused a furore with his single 'Boom Bye Bye', advocating the killing of homosexuals, a controversy further fuelled when his ...

The Beastie Boys: Rap Around The Cock

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, January 1987

THE BEASTIE BOYS take a long, slow ride into the sewers of their minds, accompanied by a fascinated hack, one STEVEN WELLS. They do it ...

The Beastie Boys, Cypress Hill, Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against The Machine, Cypress Hill, Beastie Boys: Los Angeles Velodrome, CA

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, May 1994

SHIRT UP AND DANCE ...

Bolt Thrower, Extreme Noise Terror, Napalm Death: Napalm Death, Extreme Noise Terror, Bolt Thrower: ULU, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1989

"AAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!" ...

Bon Jovi: Don't Mention The Hair!

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, June 2000

Tousled, crimped and teased to perfection, how can NME not mention poodle rock's most celebrated barnet? So Bon Jovi, hair we go! ...

Johnny Cash: Old, Gifted And Black

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, April 1991

A C&W star for longer than most people have been alive, you'd expect JOHNNY CASH to be a down home, redneck good ol'boy. Hell no! ...

Catatonia: Feds And Rockers!

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 1998

Mulder & Scully. Horses' heads in people's beds. Selfish genes. Blimey what are those crazy cats CATATONIA singing about? Well, don't bother asking the band. ...

The Chemical Brothers: Octagon Theatre, Sheffield

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, December 1997

THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS: A couple of girly-haired posho Oxbridge medieval language student chancers who claim that their 'big beat' mobile disco can knock any rock ...

Chumbawamba, Crass, Flux of Pink Indians, Poison Girls: Veg Wedge

Overview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, May 1987

With Crass, Poison Girls and Flux in either retirement or a state of change, and Conflict in trouble, the anarcho-punk movement is in tatters. STEVEN ...

Phil Collins: Ugly Bald Bastard Speaks (to Phil Collins)

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1990

• He leaves the toilet seat up! He does stuff in the privacy of his own house! He's worth 22 million! He's not a rich ...

Cowboy Junkies: Steers Beers and Pointy Ears

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1992

Q: Who killed John Wayne?A: Burt Lungcancer.– Cowboy drug joke, trad. ...

The Cult: Bill and Ian's Excellent Adventure

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 1992

Free-wheelin' through the Deep South, peddling their Bible Of Dangerous Rawk to innocent kids and getting chased by magnum-toting sheriffs...Yeah, THE CULT are still up ...

Daisy Chainsaw: Drivin' Miss Daisy

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, January 1992

In less than eight years, Daisy Chainsaw will be crushed to death by a giant rock from outer space. So shut up! Listen! We haven't ...

East 17: C'mon Feel The Boys

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, September 1994

Hard-lad hoodlums in a world of antiseptic pop fodder, EAST 17 are the credible alternative to the usual pec-flexing pin-ups that try to storm the ...

Eels: The Freak Shall Inherit The Earth

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1997

The EELS are the band currently treating Britain to the joys of geek power with their hit single, 'Novocaine For The Soul'. And leading their ...

Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Theaudience: Theaudience: Sophie's Choice

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, August 1998

First she was a grunge slacker, then an Adidas-clad Britpopper, but nowadays it's not so clear. Is THEAUDIENCE's glamourpuss Sophie Ellis Bextor "showbiz royalty" or ...

Eminem: The Slim Shady LP (Aftermath/Interscope)

Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, April 1999

MMM, LET'S TALK about sweeties! M&M's are the grey squirrels of the confectionery world, driving the indigenous British Smartie to the verge of extinction. A ...

Fields Of The Nephilim: The Marquee, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, January 1988

NEPHI-PHLEGM ...

Fun-Da-Mental: Bummer Holiday

Report by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, July 1995

The last time FUN-DA-MENTAL took a journalist to Pakistan, the writer came home a jibbering wreck and the band split. A return trip anyone? Bribes/blackmail/strict ...

Garbage: Litter from America!

Interview by Steven Wells, Vox, April 1996

SAN FRANCISCO: Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas is being projected onto the fire curtain while the stage is being prepared for Garbage. The soundless ...

Garbage: Return of the Muck!

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1998

Take some scary spiders, a few mad mutts, a sound akin to the Pet Shop Boys on downers and, er, eye of Shirley Manson, and ...

Hanson: Swells Interviews Hanson

Interview by Steven Wells, playlouder.com, March 2004

...

Huggy Bear: Ready, Teddy, Go!

Special Feature by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1993

You've seen HUGGY BEAR smash up mainstream complacency on The Word, you've been baffled by a load of biased ranting on some kind of new ...

Jesus Jones

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, July 1989

THERE IS a sound where pop meets chaos and rides its fury and when I heard it I fall in love... ...

L7: Strip Sleaze Artists

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, May 1992

Ranting, shouting, swearing, spilling conspiracy theories, spitting food in faces — L7, that is, not STEVEN WELLS (for once)! Gag, vom and die laughing as ...

Manic Street Preachers: Manic On The Streets Of London

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, January 1991

"SMASH HITS is more effective in polluting minds than Goebbels ever was…" ...

Marilyn Manson: The Afterlife Of Brian

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, August 1992

You may think that MARILYN MANSON (or Brian to his mum) is just a spooky goth who smokes human bones and sings about scabby angels ...

Mansun: Rocket From The Cryptic

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 1997

It's a mighty strange world that MANSUN inhabit — stripping vicars, bend-your-brains surrealism, anti-religious ranting and, of course, songs about chickens. STEVEN WELLS takes the ...

Metallica, Queen: Metallica: Het's Induction Hour

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, May 1992

JAMES HETFIELD likes weapons, Queen, women who aren't brain-surgeons, hates rap and looking like Lemmy, doesn't know all the words to 'Bohemian Rhapsody' but feels ...

Mudhoney: Dweeb Will, Dweeb Will Rock You!

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, July 1990

Diseased drugvom and dogs! MUDHONEY cut through STEVEN WELLS' spunk encrusted C60 to give us the bald and rotting bare facts about the inadequacy of ...

No Way Sis, Oasis: No Way Sis: Faker Makers!

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, December 1996

• Tipped for the Christmas Number One spot, besieged by groupies, plagued by demented fans — yup, Oasis copyists NO WAY SIS have made it ...

Gary Numan: "I'd love to carry a gun. If some nutter comes at me with a gun I'd like to be able to shoot him."

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, October 1988

"IT'S COLD outside" sang GARY NUMAN nine years ago during 'Are Friend's Electric''s wintery grip on the charts. None of Gaz's more recent attempts have ...

N.W.A.: Some Muthas Do 'Ave 'Em

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, June 1990

Rubbing white America's nose in its own racism or blagging big bucks by glorifying gangsterism, NWA are not the FBI-pigs' favourite people. STEVEN 'Wild West' ...

N.W.A.: Niggers With Attitude: Straight Outta Compton (4th And Broadway LP/Cassette/CD)

Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, September 1989

PAINT IT BLACK ...

Offspring: The Offspring: Spawn To Be Wild

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 1997

• Californian punk rockers THE OFFSPRING are hated by the American 'underground'. Why? Well, they love 70s disco, one of them is saving for his ...

Orbital: Corn Circle Jerks

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, September 1991

Techno-slaphead alert! Bow-tie-wearing aliens with enormo-ears from planet Proper Dance Music are writhing in our cornfields and masquerading as ORBITAL. Beam me up, Rotty, screams ...

Ozzy Osbourne: Big Oz I Love You

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, May 1989

Why does MR OSBOURNE bite the heads off small animals? Ozzy can. Get it? Is Oz a fat geriatric bastard who'd be better off playing ...

Pearl Jam: New Oyster Cult

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1992

PROBLEM: A man knocks on the door of a Manchester hotel room and hands me a note which says: "Band been held up at knife-point. ...

Pink: Go Ahead Pink, Make Our Day!

Comment by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, May 2002

Be afraid Britney, Gwen and Kylie: there's only one candidate to be the new Madonna ...

Pop Will Eat Itself, Public Enemy: Pop Will Eat Itself (and Public Enemy): Scrapping With Rap

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, October 1988

AS DEF JAM'S happy rap panto rolls through Europe, Pop Will Eat Itself and Public Enemy are getting on fine. Unfortunately the hordes of Belgian ...

Professor Griff: 100 Per Cent Prof.

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1990

Accused of anti-Semitism, dissing the President, condoning Idi Amin and generally being a bit of a foam-flecked Rottweiler, Public Enemy's Minister Of Information PROFESSOR GRIFF ...

Phil Spector, Radiohead: Steven Wells On Rock Snobs

Column by Steven Wells, playlouder.com, August 2003

The The Stages Of Pop-Man ...

Rage Against the Machine: Rage Against The Machine: Livid In The Material World

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 1993

From Comershop to Consolidated, politics is most emphatically back on the pop agenda. And throwing up the high-wire act between semtex and spandex to beat ...

The Red Hot Chili Peppers: Red Hot Chili Peppers: See You Later Ejaculator

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1992

THINK OF one word to sum up the Red Hot Chili Peppers. COME ON! COME ON! Sex, right? Right. ...

Reef: Bad Rock!: Reef: Royal Albert Hall, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, May 1999

"I LIKE TEQUILA!/It mek me happy!"No, sorry, that's Terrorvision. This is Reef — the other mighty-biceped bunch of lantern-jawed provincial troglodytes who bring us lumps ...

Kid Rock: At Last! Could Kid Rock Be The Saviour Of Rock? Oops. Sorry.

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, October 1999

"HEY, SCATLAND! R U ready for some medal!? How many of you guyz are gonna getta 'shag' tonite!?" ...

The Rolling Stones: Wembley Stadium, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, July 1990

AS THE Stones plodded through crap recent album track after crap recent album track we became restless. We started shouting abuse at the fans. They ...

Seven Year Bitch: Smashed!, Islington, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 1993

BOYS ARE BORING. The tedious parade of middle-class white males desperately trying to persuade us that they 'hurt', that they 'suffer' ...YAWNO YAWNO! But listen ...

The Sex Pistols: Crystal Palace Sports Centre, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, August 2002

We Might As Well Be Proud Of Them ...

Shaggy

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 2001

He's boombastic, totally fantastic, he'll do anything for love but he won't do that. Re-introducing Shaggy, the '90s pop dancehall king whose rude rhymes are ...

Silverfish: Acid Louse Revival

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 1992

Sex, sex, sex, sex, sex, punk rock and sex. SILVERFISH have snogged everyone in pop music, and dreamt that they've snogged everyone else. STEVEN WELLS ...

Skunk Anansie: Skin Complaints

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, September 1996

Skunk Anansie are a rock band with a difference because the 'Nansie are a rock band who actually ROCK! Like a bastard, in fact… and ...

Sleater Kinney: Sleater-Kinney: The Hot Rock

Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, February 1999

The Ember Strikes Back ...

The Spice Girls: The Spice Is Right: The Spice Girls: Spiceworld: The Movie

Film/DVD Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, January 1998

DIRECTOR: Bob Spiers STARRING: Sporty, Posh, Ginger, Scary, Baby, Richard E Grant, Roger Moore, Michael Barrymore ...

Super Furry Animals: Scream! Latvia! Scream!

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, July 1997

 ...that's right, Latvia, 'cos SUPER FURRY ANIMALS are heading your way, and they've got new single 'The International Language Of Screaming' and STEVEN WELLS with ...

T'Pau: Crystal Tipps, Kicks to Kill

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, March 1988

All hail t'purveyors of t'power and t'glory that is T'PAU. STEVEN WELLS meets up with Caz Decker in Berlin. Swoon. ...

Underworld: The Rocket, London

Live Review by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, June 1998

WE GOT NO 'Born Slippy' with its killer "lager lager lager" chorus tonight because sensitive artist Darren Emerson is "fucked off with it". Well excuse ...

Yazz: The Benetton Skeleton Gets It On

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, December 1988

Who is this seaweed munching ex-clothes-horse YAZZ person? And why am I covered in bark? asks STEVEN WELLS. ...

ZZ Top: We Are Beard

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, January 1991

From out of the Texan desert they came, with recycled riffs, "ironic" sexism and grotesque amounts of facial hair… the Middle Aged Mutant Guitar Heroes! ...

List of genre pieces

Acid Crackdown: Get Right Off One Chummy

Report by Paolo Hewitt, Sean O'Hagan, Steven Wells, New Musical Express, November 1988

With the hysteria now reaching fever pitch and questions being asked in the (non-Acid) House, NME calls a time out to assess the damage in the tab-mad ...

Cynthia Plastercaster: This Woman Has Handled The Biggest Things In Rock

Interview by Steven Wells, New Musical Express, July 1989

Twenty years ago The Plastercasters of Chicago were the most infamous groupies in America. Now, hardened professional CYNTHIA PLASTERCASTER is back with tales of naked ...

Groupies: Stars In Their Thighs

Report and Interview by Steven Wells, David Quantick, New Musical Express, March 1992

NME'S LOOK AT THE THINGS THAT GO HUMP IN THE NIGHT ...

Why Great Footballers Like Really Crap Music

Essay by Steven Wells, Guardian Unlimited, March 2003

WITH ALL THE current hoo-hah about how all gun crime in the UK is obviously caused by listening to gangsta chaps rapping about ho's and ...

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