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Oh Bondage Up Yours!
Poly Styrene was sitting in her 'POLYSTYRENE' boutique in Beaufort Market, King's Road, when the manager of a local pub named MAN IN THE MOON came in and picked up a snazzy, slim-line, Day-Glo tie. His focus, however, was on the girl with braces on her teeth: Poly. Having read in the local Chelsea newspaper that Poly also had a band, this entrepreneur offered a residency at MAN IN THE MOON. X-RAY SPEX Played every Wednesday night. They soon became the darlings of the arty Chelsea set, a handful of music journalists... and fans who'd spotted them early on.
X-RAY SPEX started to get a following as they played small venues all over the UK. Word had spread about the fresh appeal and raw power, which resulted in a swift signing to Richard Branson's Virgin Records for a one-off single, the infamous OH BONDAGE UP YOURS!
X-RAY SPEX made several television appearances in the UK and Europe. Poly gave interviews on the radio, but X-RAY SPEX at the time were not considered to have a radio-friendly sound. Their following mainly came from their live performances. They did play live on the John Peel sessions, however, a highly-esteemed Radio One late-night show that had more of an underground appeal.
X-RAY SPEX got lucky, playing twice a night for two weeks at CBGB'S in New York City. Many of the New York New Wave set turned out in style.
On returning to the UK, the venues got bigger and bigger, culminating in a tour of all the Odeons in the UK, with Hammersmith Odeon as the Grand Finale.
POLY STYRENE often changed the line-up of the band until they finally all gelled with each other. In the final line-up, everybody felt musically equal due to age and experience. "It was a little like being in the last year of school together," says Poly, "gigging alongside. Jak, Paul, Rudi, and BP. Similarly, as at the end of the school term, the time had come to say goodbye."
The estate of the late Poly Styrene is managed by her daughter, Celeste Bell
For all queries relating to the Poly Styrene estate (X-Ray Spex/Poly Styrene Rights, Licensing, Merchandise etc) please contact Celeste.