Andy Martin
Andy Martin is a musician, lyricist and writer who lives in London, England.

The 1980s

During the 1980s, he was the singer, lyricist and occasionally drummer for The Apostles
The Apostles
The Apostles are an experimental punk rock band who developed within the confines of the 1980s Anarcho Punk scene in the UK, but did not necessarily adhere to the aesthetics of that movement.-History:...

, a group that was founded in 1979 by four North London schoolboys, William 'Bill' Corbett
William 'Bill' Corbett
William 'Bill' Corbett is a musician, historian, disc jockey and photographer who lives in London, England.Corbett was one of the founding members of The Apostles, an anarcho-punk band that formed in Hackney in 1979...

, Julian Portinari, Dan Macintyre and Pete Byng-Hall and played a prominent part in the anarcho-punk
Anarcho-punk is punk rock that promotes anarchism. The term anarcho-punk is sometimes applied exclusively to bands that were part of the original anarcho-punk movement in the United Kingdom in the late 1970s and early 1980s...

 scene in London. Some of the band's recordings appeared on the record label
Independent record label
An independent record label is a record label operating without the funding of or outside the organizations of the major record labels. A great number of bands and musical acts begin on independent labels.-Overview:...

 Mortarhate run by the group Conflict
Conflict (band)
Conflict is an English anarcho-punk band originally based around Eltham in South London. Formed in 1981, the band's original line up consisted of: Colin Jerwood , Francisco 'Paco' Carreno , Big John , Steve , Pauline , Paul aka 'Nihilistic Nobody' . Their first release was the EP "The House That...

; other recordings, many on cassette,were released by The Apostles themselves. The group published their own zine
A zine is most commonly a small circulation publication of original or appropriated texts and images. More broadly, the term encompasses any self-published work of minority interest usually reproduced via photocopier....

 called Scum, and the Anarchist classic Precautions essentialles pour la bonne. During this period Martin and various associates, including at times members of the band Crass
Crass are an English punk rock band that was formed in 1977, which promoted anarchism as a political ideology, way of living, and as a resistance movement. Crass popularised the seminal anarcho-punk movement of the punk subculture, and advocated direct action, animal rights, and environmentalism...

, helped run several different anarchist venues in London for performances, films and meetings, including "The Autonomy Centre
Wapping Autonomy Centre
Wapping Autonomy Centre was a social centre set up in a rented former warehouse space in the Wapping area of London Docklands from late 1981 to 1982...

" and "The Zig-Zag Club". During the time he was with The Apostles, Martin began to express his views about his own homosexuality
Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, homosexuality refers to "an enduring pattern of or disposition to experience sexual, affectional, or romantic attractions" primarily or exclusively to people of the same...

 and the topic in general in his lyrics for the band, emerging as a forerunner for the nascent Queercore
Queercore is a cultural and social movement that began in the mid-1980s as an offshoot of punk. It is distinguished by being discontent with society in general and its rejection of the disapproval of the gay, bisexual, and lesbian communities and their "oppressive agenda"...

 scene. The Apostles, as well as Martin's next band, Academy 23, were both on the J.D.s Top Ten Tape, the first queercore compilation, issued by J.D.s
J.D.s is a queer punk zine founded in Toronto by G.B. Jones and co-published with Bruce LaBruce, that ran for eight issues from 1985 to 1991....

zine in 1990, and were interviewed in Homocore
Homocore (zine)
Homocore is an American anarcho-punk zine created by Tom Jennings and Deke Nihilson, and published in San Francisco from 1988 to 1991. One of the first queer zines, Homocore was directed toward the hardcore punk youth of the gay underground...


During the 1980s Martin and fellow Apostle Dave Fanning had sought to go far beyond the typical manner of releasing records. Each of their releases came with booklets or pamphlets written by Martin and artwork and comics by Fanning. Eventually they ceased to perform live in order to concentrate on this aspect of the band. Disillusioned with the punk scene, their interests in art and in other forms of music such as folk
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 and Industrial
Industrial music
Industrial music is a style of experimental music that draws on transgressive and provocative themes. The term was coined in the mid-1970s with the founding of Industrial Records by the band Throbbing Gristle, and the creation of the slogan "industrial music for industrial people". In general, the...

 began to surface.

The 1990s

In 1990, The Apostles changed their name to Academy 23
Academy 23
Academy 23 was a British experimental music project created by Andy Martin and Dave Fanning, immediately after disbanding their former group The Apostles. Founded in London in 1989, the band released music primarily on audio cassette, as part of the cassette culture movement...

, and at the same time changed directions musically and philosophically. The band became more involved in cassette culture
Cassette culture
Cassette culture, or the cassette underground , refers to the practices surrounding amateur production and distribution of recorded music that emerged in the late 1970s via home-made audio cassettes...

 and collaborated with Industrial band The Grey Wolves
The Grey Wolves
The Grey Wolves are a British Industrial music group. They were formed in 1985 by Dave Padbury and Trevor Ward.-History:The band has been credited with pioneering the 'death industrial' subgenre in industrial music. Their work has also been described as 'dark ambient' and as 'power electronics'...

 on a couple of recordings. Moving away from their earlier punk sound, they successfully merged folk and industrial elements, and in the process became one of the early creators of the genre that would come to be called neo-folk. Frequently recording in other languages such as German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, they became popular in continental Europe.

Also in 1990, Andy Martin began a collaboration with Peter Williams, who later joined Academy 23, in a band they named Time To Think
Time to Think
Time to Think is Mo Foster's third solo album.Most of the tracks were written whilst Mo was on a trip to New Zealand. The album was conceptualised as a soundscape of acoustic instruments and to that end was recorded in a small Oxfordshire church, picked because of its beautiful acoustics...

, releasing several cassettes and a 7" EP on Williams' label Thinking Time.

From 1992 till 2001, Andy Martin wrote for and edited 26 issues of the non-commercial art magazine SMILE
SMILE (magazine)
SMILE is an international magazine of multiple origins. Since 1984, an estimated 100 different issues of SMILE have been published by different people in different countries of the world.-History:...

, an internationally edited publication first launched by Stewart Home
Stewart Home
Stewart Home is an English artist, filmmaker, writer, pamphleteer, art historian, and activist. He is best known for his novels such as the non-narrative 69 Things To Do With A Dead Princess , his re-imagining of the 1960s in Tainted Love , and earlier parodistic pulp fictions Pure Mania, Red...

 in February 1984.


At the end of the nineties, Academy 23 changed names once again, this time to Unit, for which Andy Martin continues to perform and write. His constant collaborator through all three bands has been Dave Fanning.

Martin is also an essayist and chronicler of the periods in which his bands existed.

External links

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