Paul Allen, who rose to fame with his notorious Swansea anthem ‘The Mosh Song’ has died after a short illness
‘If you’re reading this then I’m afraid it’s bad news, mosh.’
This may well have been the opening line of an autobiographical obituary of comedian and writer Paul Allen who has died at the age of 66 after a period of illness.
Paul was a comedian with a sharp satirical eye and a cutting turn of phrase, who rose to fame with his notorious Swansea anthem ‘The Mosh Song’ also known as ‘Oi, mush’.
The song hit internet gold when it was first released over 20 years ago, quickly being downloaded over tens of thousands of times, causing chaos on the dancefloors of night clubs and putting him in the puritanical firing line for the excessive use of expletives.
Inspired by the people and streets of his hometown, and recorded by Peter King, it’s the story of a teenager with an attitude problem who grows up and it developed a cult following which still exists today, spanning generations.
Causing a splash
Born in Swansea and raised in Townhill, Paul lived a colourful life, working in the club run by flyweight champion boxer Jimmy Wilde, before running away and becoming a clown with Chipperfield’s circus, and later adding ‘Roadie for Welsh rock band Sassafras’ to his eclectic CV.
Further exploits in this gentle man’s life included a spell in the merchant navy as a cook which began and ended with him setting fire to the galley and the crew’s Christmas dinner on his first ship, leading to him being put ashore in Gibraltar.
Re-joining the Merch as a steward, he twice caused a splash, one time going overboard on a lifeboat training exercise and needing to be rescued himself, and another time tumbling into the harbour at Athens with his hand jammed in a fridge…
In the mid-eighties, however, he finally found his niche, and ceased presenting a risk to sailors, when he became a stand-up comic, performing at the Swansea Fringe and later Glastonbury Festival and the Comedy Store in London.
With his friend ‘Spiv’ Viv Kenning, he established a comedy club in Swansea at the Singleton pub, where one of his best-known characters, Wayne Champagne, was born, the deluded Cabaret singer who became a regular comedy weather reader on LBC.
In the mid-2000s he lived in Tenerife for a while but came back to Swansea to deal with his health problems, and although he continued writing, he stepped off the comedy circuit, reflecting in an interview with the Evening Post: “That was difficult because it is hard to be a stand up if you can’t stand up,” he said.
“It made me reasses. I had limited mobility, so I can’t travel anymore. There’s not much call for a sit-down comic.”
Paul was a funny man to the very bones of him, adored by his many friends, and one of the funniest Christmas dinner guests you could ever hope for.
Beyond the humour which permeated so much, he was also a tender and caring soul, insightful, informed and incorrigible.
In recent years, the restrictions of COVID meant he did not get out so much, but he was in constant contact with his adored daughter Leanne and his closest friends by the magic of technology.
He died at home on 31 October surrounded by his loving family.
He was a small man who made a massive impact. They will all miss him.
(Caution: contains extremely colourful language)
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.
A Jack Legend…!!!! RIP Paul.
A Welsh legend epic song so sad he’s passed away
A genuine nice bloke and funny to boot. Spent a fair bit of time drinking and playing pool with him in Uplands about 10 years ago. Swansea will be a bit less colourful without him around.