On april 28th the East End Film Festival has presented the world premiere of the documentary “On/Off: Mark Stewart from Pop Group to Maffia”.
The film retraces Mark Stewart’s steps and paths from the early days of The Pop Group right up to the present. Director Toni Schifer followed the singer around for a full two years and the result is said to be a crafted and detailed, often intimate portrait of the artist, supplemented by interviews with Mark Stewart himself, Adrian Sherwood (On-U Sound), Daniel Miller (Mute), Nick Cave, Mick Harvey, Doug Wimbish, Skip McDonald, Keith LeBlanc, Gareth Sager (The Pop Group, Rip Rig and Panic) and many others, plus live recordings and music clips.
At a Q&A session following the premier of “On/Off”, Mark Stewart announced that legendary punk-funk-jazz-dub band The Pop Group might reform. They would be doing their debut album “Y” (which by the way was produced by Dennis Bovell). Dispelling any notions that the politically charged singer would be selling out and cashing in like so many of his musical peers, Stewart quickly added that he would use the reunion as a mass media platform for promoting his subversive message. “An explosion in the heart of the commodity”. Mark Stewart also announced future collaborations with Massive Attack, Cabaret Voltaire’s Richard H. Kirk and former PiL, Sex Pistols and early Clash guitarist Keith Levene.