Very saddened tonight to hear that Mensi of The Upstarts has succumbed to COVID. How terribly sad for a devoted father of a young family.
The first time that I met Mensi would have been a brief encounter when we demonstrated against the annual march by the National Front just on Remembrance Sunday, just an hour or two after the real deal,to lay wreaths at the Cenotaph in Whitehall to commemorate those that that fell in the struggle against nazism and fascism.... all the while holding aloft swastikas..... I mean, I ask you!?
Before the early afternoon ended with an adrenaline filled game of cat and mouse with officers of the Metropolitan Police, I walked past Mensi in the crowd,. I said 'Hi Mensi', to which he replied 'Awreet son' without his steely gaze ever deviating from the street corner from which we knew that the NF column would first appear. Total commitment.
I first saw the Upstarts live at about the same time, 1988, Marquee, supported by Blaggers ITA and Atilla. As I remember Max Splodge was carried off his drum stool and the stage in a comatose condition. Mensi was in his element with the crowd, would not leave the stage until the management pulled the plug on him.
On another occasion I saw The Upstarts at the Garage in Islington I think and someone passed Mensi in a Skewdriver shirt. Bad mistake, the young nazi acolyte ended up shirtless.
Sleep well big man, you were an inspiration.