Harry became landlord of my local in the early 90's. He was a strange charmless fella with a degree in bullshit and upsetting people. He became the first proper landlord of The Swan, Northolt that they'd had since Scouse about a year previously. There had been temporary managers but most bailed out as it wasn't the easiest gaff to run. It became a bit of a drug supermarket around 89/90 and although The World Cup was a welcome relief for Scouse, and it kept all the ravers out as most of them were more interested in popping E's in fields than England's famous exploits in Italy. Apart from when it got a bit tense when England played Ireland and someone smacked a plastic (cough) it was quite a happy time for the Scouse . Well until the penalty shoot out against Germany when a load of tearful English started beating up the Mercedes in the car park and it turned out to be Scouse's Mrs's pride and joy.

The Swan was notorious for serving up gear, and somehow we all knew the plod were coming a good hour before the inevitable raid. Most usually went down The Greenwood when this happened and if anyone got lifted it was usually the young Grayzie singing about the infamous triple policeman killer in a song that was heard at football grounds up and down the country ...." HARRY ROBERTS IS OUR FRIEND, IS OUR FRIEND, IS OUR FRIEND, HARRY ROBERTS IS OUR FRIEND, HE KILLS COPPERS!!"

Unfortunately Grayzie in his pissed state would sing it right in front of a rozzer's face and before you knew it, he was in the back of the van quicker than Gary Glitter going through a playground.

urry up harry pub landlord stuart deabill zani 2Scouse left after a while and took my massive Union Jack flag with him which is unlike a Liverpudlian , but to be fair he was a decent bloke and running The Swan probably aged him 10 years in 18 months. Especially the night Geoff, Kit and Brady decided to march through the pub stark bollock naked because it was the anniversary of Geoff leaving the Army. About turn, quick march, left right, left right....several times until Scouse went mad when Geoff tried to give him a cuddle.What made it worse was that Brady had a tide ring round his waist which had one of my mates retching.

Which brings us to Harry. A diminutive bloke with little man syndrome. Tight curlyish hair and a dress sense straight out of Matalan. A face like a badly worn cheese grater. His M.O. was to clean the pub up. He brought some bird with him to help out, but she soon done the off as one of the regulars tried to set light to the bar whilst she was serving. The bloke ended up with the lighter fuel on his arm and a third degree burn to go home with.

Harry was given some dough by the brewery and employed a couple of bouncers as H flexed his muscles and started banning all the wrong un's (which of course is all the characters).

As our mob were just mainly drinkers and grafters he took a shine to us and started laying on food for our Sunday Football Team even though most of us thought he was a cxxt. He then started coming to training with us as we couldn't really say no as for a couple of our players it was the only solid food they got all weekend.H had started telling all and sundry he was on Stoke City's books when he was 16 so we were expecting a bit of a Micky Thomas. Instead we got Joey Deacon.Fucking useless, couldn't trap a bag of sand and had the touch of a rapist. We used to set him up for 50/50s so someone could go through him and leave him crumpled like a Terylene shirt on the astroturf. He'd come off hobbling going "Fookin hell I've lost a bit of pace lads, was a fookin time I'd have run rings round you coonts" . We'd roll our eyes and just hope he'd get in the car with Chapman and Iggy for a lift back to the pub just so we could keep all the boring bastards in one motor.

started laying on food for our Sunday Football Team
Time went on and the pub had less and less trade as one by one he was banning everyone . Even took it out on one fella for spilling his beer over a bird H fancied. Hid behind the bouncer as he was launched out of the pub. Then one day Harry asked me if I fancied doing a disco every Friday and could I fill the pub? Fucking right I could H, how much? We charge the brewery 100 quid, 60/40 in your favour? " Fack off H it's got to be 80 notes as I've got to hire the speakers" "75 and it's a deal you fooking robbin Cockney bastard" "I'm not a cockney, we're in West London you mug"
"Whatever, just get it rammed geezer" Well I knew I wouldn't get it rammed but it started up alright, a few faces came down first couple of weeks.

This was about 1993 and I was bang into My House, so mixing the beats was my forte (or it would have been if I was any good, more like pots and pans down the fucking stairs to be honest) and throwing a few old classics in like Buzzcocks/Small Faces/Motown etc for the last hour.

Well fucking hell, anyone over 35 was moaning their bollocks off about the Shades of Rhythm and the latest 12" on Deconstruction and H was starting to wonder if he'd done the right thing hiring me. One Bank Holiday though it all changed for Harry when he tried to pull one of the barmaids who happened to be a mate's Mrs.Matey got behind the jump and gave Harry a couple of digs. Even the lovable Micky P who was Harry's main doorman was sick of him and didn't throw the fella out as he knew the northern mug was in the wrong.

hurry up harry pub landlord stuart deabill zani  4The next month the pub was virtually empty as Harry had banned so many and we'd all had enough of the silly twat . We even stopped going there after the Sunday games. One Friday after I'd played a 3 hour set (phew rock and roll) to an empty pub, save for some old slag called Weenie and her scurvy ridden pals , Harry told me that next Friday was his last night at the Swan but keep it down as he didn't want everyone to know.

Not one to break a confidence as a rule, but I fucking told everyone.

Walked in the pub to set up as per usual and the pub was half full at 7.30 with loads of old (banned) faces. Word really had got about, and as Harry liked a dip in the brewery's dough I think he decided that as the pub was so dead previously he'd nick the dough that was for the bouncers and skip on their services for the night.By 9.30 the gaff was mobbed and there were blokes skinning up, sword fights with the pool cues in the public bar. I was downing pint after pint as my broken beats gave way to the punk funk gear of the 70's and 80's at full volume. By 10.30 the bar I played in was heaving and Harry had already been threatened with a kick round Northolt for previous banning orders on certain members of a not very nice estate.

Harry was wildly gesticulating behind the bar, while I pretended not to see or hear.
10 minutes later H came running over screaming " Stop after the next record, the old Bill were on their way and some of your cockney bastard mates are gonna get fookin nicked". I didn't have a microphone, but I thought fuck it.
Fuelled by Fosters Export I let the record finish that I was playing and shouted out to the pub "OLD BILL COMING!!" ..... Big Jo replied... " FUCK EM!!" ....
Everyone moody started hiding things and Gary W went and moved his motor which was full of Woolworths and Boots stock that was a bit lively.
Pub's at fever pitch now so I dug out Sham 69's Hurry Up Harry. Possibly the best timed record I'd ever played, unless you were Harry.


There's blokes on tables jumping up and down flicking V signs at H, hanging off the jukebox by the side of the raised area where I was playing laughing manically. Geezerbirds making the record jump by nudging the turntable when asking for Wham pissed on sneaked in Vodka and then calling me all sorts as I've told them to fuck off. Richy P comes over and says "You got My Generation? Go on, put it on, we'll smash the pub up!" I was that hammered and getting off on the madness I thought "Too right!" As Sham was coming to an end, I caught Harry's eye.

A mixture of fear and hate came over his face looking at me which turned to shock as a glass shattered on the floor. I couldn't find The Who in my box (thank fuck) but whacked on The Stones Satisfaction. The sight of loads of my mates including Rory, Smurf , Matty and local wrong un's doing Mick Jagger impressions behind me as the Police finally walk in the door is one I'll carry for a long, long time.
The first copper in just looks at everyone in dismay. Then on cue, not just Grayzie but most of the pub this time.... " HARRY ROBERTS IS OUR FRIEND......."

Never did see Harry from Stoke again........

Used by Kind Permission of Stuart Deabill and Away From The Numbers

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