I know that hundreds of tributes to Poly Styrene will have been written today, and far better worded than anything I can put together, but I just can’t let her death go unmentioned here. Poly was such a one-off and a fantastic example of energetic originality during my punky youth, with her brightly coloured anti-fashion clothes and her spirited attitude. I reckon the world could do with a few more female role models like that around now.
Back in punk’s heyday she helped me and, I’m sure, thousands of other young girls to appreciate the fun to be had in being a little bit different. She inspired many to explore the possibilities of doing your own thing creatively and sartorially - let alone all the women whom she reminded that it was possible to sing in a band and not have to fit into the pouting, pin-up stereotype. ‘Oh Bondage Up Yours’ just says it all!
I guess you could say she inspired a true sense of identity (which just happens to be my fave Xray Spex song too…)