Friends band together to bring punk home

STEVE ANDREWS: The former Wellington punk died in London in December.
STEVE ANDREWS: The former Wellington punk died in London in December.

The body of a well-known Wellington punk has been lying in a London mortuary for more than a month while friends find the money to bring him home.

Steve Andrews, 46, the flamboyant singer in the 1980s and 90s Wellington bands Vas Deferens and Flesh D-Vice, died from head injuries after a fight outside a southwest London pub in early December.

Tonight a who's who of Wellington rock - including Head Like a Hole's Booga Beazley and members of Flesh D-Vice and Vas Deferens - will perform at San Francisco Bath House to raise money to bring his body home and cover funeral costs.

Friend Tom Lynch, who helped organise the show, said with 150 $20 tickets sold for the gig by Friday and at least $2000 raised so far in donations they were well on their way to raising enough money.

But with total repatriation and funeral expenses expected to mount up to more than $11,000 there was still a way to go.

San Francisco Bath House had waived its usual hire fee for the night.

''It's been really touching just how much Steve mattered to people - people like me who knew him most of our lives but also people who only met him briefly.''

A bank account to help with costs had attracted donations ranging from $2 to $500, while one person had pledged $1000, Mr Lynch said.

Tonight will feature two of Andrews' old bands, Good Ole Boys and Vas Deferens, playing with vocalists Jerry Moran from Jungle Mice and Eugene Pope from Flesh D-Vice in his place.

Beazley from Head Like a Hole and Reta La Quesne from Axel Grinders would appear as guest vocalists before the screening of a short film featuring Andrews.Clash covers band Wazzo Clash will also perform.

Andrews' girlfriend - who was with him when he died in London - did not want to talk, but Mr Lynch said she remained ''devastated''.

''It is completely life-changing for her. She has been very moved as well by the support she has got.''
London Metropolitan Police arrested a 28-year-old man from Exeter, southwest England, for suspected murder. No charges had been laid and he was bailed till late February.

A police spokesman said the murder investigation was ongoing and the arrested man was ''not necessarily the only man in the frame''.

Mr Lynch said it was hoped Andrews' body would be flown home for a funeral later this month.

Tickets for tonight's gig, which starts at 8pm, are $20 on the door.

Contact Tom Hunt
Breaking news reporter
Twitter: @tomdom76

The Dominion Post