Skinheads of Chicago (SHOC): an interview with Corky ‘Boxcutter’

There are some varieties of skinhead that we prefer to others – but overall, we enjoy the culture’s different facets. We like that aspects of skinhead change over time and vary from country to country, reflecting their environment while still retaining that basic essence that is hard to pin down. We like the fact that such a broad range of different music styles has somehow become associated with skinhead over the years.

And we like that the skinhead world can be as surprising and contradictory as life itself. You wouldn’t expect a bunch of skins, for instance, to head to the Nation of Islam headquarters to watch Public Enemy (the hip-hop one) – especially if some of them were white and Jewish. But that’s just one of the things that Corky’s mates got up to back in the 80s.

Corky is bit of a legendary character from the Chicago scene. Back in the day, he ran with SHOC (Skinheads of Chicago), a multi-ethnic crew that stood on the opposite side of Christian Picciolini’s nazi skins, CASH (Chicago Area Skinheads – we interviewed Christian about them here)
. Our own Girth first came across Corky on Instagram under @BoxcutterBrigade, where he documents his memories of characters with photos and interesting stories – and he decided to interview the bloke.

Continue reading

Cosenza in our hearts: an interview with Lumpen

South Italy is a beautiful place, even if living there can be difficult for many who leave in search of a better life. But there are those who decide to stay to create something different, which then becomes a source of pride, and they decide to export it to other places – for example, by recording a new album. Just like Lumpen, an Oi band from Calabria that has been active in the skinhead scene for more than 20 years. Francesca Chiari spoke to Silverio Tucci, the band’s original guitarist from Cosenza.

Continue reading

Classic albums: ‘Voice of a Generation’ by Blitz

It’s my great pleasure to discuss Voice of a Generation with Neil ‘Mackie’ McLennan, the man who played the bass on one of history’s most legendary Oi/punk albums – perhaps the most legendary one, and a strong influence on everyone from Templars and Criminal Damage to the more recent Mess.

When I was 17-18, I played a cassette tape of Voice of a Generation every day until it died (from memory, From Chaos to 1984 by the 4-Skins was on the other side – my two new favourite albums after years of G.B.H, Discharge and Daily Terror). But that’s just on a personal sidenote… Over to Neil ‘Mackie’ Mc Lennan!

Matt Crombieboy

Continue reading

Classic albums: ‘L’âge de glace’ by Paris Violence

Paris Violence has never exactly played standard-issue Oi, but 20 years ago, Flav took things to the next level when releasing L’âge de glace – an album informed by his earlier ‘Chaos en France on a rainy Monday’ sound, but also by the eminently continental ‘cold wave’ genre and NWOBEM (New Wave of British ‘Eavy Metal). The result was arguably one of the coldest and strangest albums linked to the Oi genre, fully living up to its title: ice age.

L’âge de glace has just been rereleased by Common People Records. Matt Crombieboy sat Flav down for a song-by-song account. For an older interview we did with Flav, click HERE. Or else, just read on.

Continue reading

HOXBLOOD: THE REDSKINS OF 80s WEST BERLIN

If you’ve watched Chasseurs des skins you’ll remember the so-called redskins from Paris, who liked to sport hammers and sickles, but whose vaguely libertarian politics didn’t really extend beyond anti-fascism. Elsewhere, though, there were those who took the ‘red’ in redskin a great deal more seriously. For instance, Ugly – co-founder of the Red Guards, a hardline Hoxhaite (pro-Albania Marxist-Leninist) skinhead youth league in 1980s West Berlin. 

Matt Crombieboy spoke to the chap who also co-founded the legendary Skintonic zine.

Continue reading

Rimini skingirl: an interview with Betty Reazione

Ah, Rimini – one of Europe’s major tourist destinations, home to a sandy beach and over 1,000 hotels. But also the birthplace of important Italian Oi bands such as Dioxina, who were active from 1981–1986, and Reazione, who have carried on the flame since the 90s. Francesca Bologna interviewed Betty Reazione, founding member and long-standing bassist of the latter band.

Part of our Skingirls Italia series (click here for part 1 and part 2)

Continue reading

Until the bitter end: The story of Daily Terror and Pedder Teumer

vbdgfhbdfh

Few readers, aside from fans of old-school European punk, will have heard of Daily Terror. Yet in the 1980s they were an important West German punk group – and later, they arguably turned into the best skinhead band the country had produced, even if the likes of Böhse Onkelz were more popular.

Truth be told, it’s hard for me to be objective because the matter is to a certain extent personal.  Continue reading

Do You Remember The Days of 79?

No Jeans! No Greens! No Casuals! London Scooter Clubs 1979-1985
Roger Allen, Old Dog Publishing 2020

Driving a scooter through London wearing a parka in 1980/81 was seen by other youth cults as a provocative gesture. It was seen as an invitation to violence by skinheads, casuals and bikers that roamed the same streets. Soon these scooter-riding mods banded together in clubs united by a shared interest in scooters, as well as fashion and music, to present a united front against their enemies.

After visits up North, on scooter runs to Scarborough, a lot of these clubs started to drop the mod fashion and picked up on the scooter boy look of the Northern clubs. Many London mods didn’t get it and banned scooter boys from their venues with signs proclaiming ‘No Jeans!, No Greens!, No Casuals!’ in other words no scooter boys.

Roger Allen spent two years interviewing over 60 members of the clubs that existed within the London area between 1979 and 1985. The A23 Crusaders and The Paddington, The Wasps and The Viceroys, The Nomads and the Virgin Soldiers and all the 80 scooter clubs that made up this scene. Andrew Stevens spoke to him about the 337-pages strong result.

Continue reading

From the outskirts of Milan: Sempre Peggio

In Italy, like everywhere else, the live music situation is pretty dire at the moment. With regular gigs all being cancelled, sometimes the kids are lucky enough to catch bands playing acoustic gigs in parks and such. But in September, an anti-fascist benefit concert was organised outdoors at the CPA, a legendary centro sociale (occupied social centre) in the south Florence area. One of the three bands was Sempre Peggio, who are among the most cherished groups on the Italian Oi scene right now. Francesca Bologna had a chat with Martin, the singer of the Milanese band.

Continue reading

Crophead record roundup #7

Tchernobyl: Consumé par le feu EP
(Une vie pour rien Vinyles)

Another new band from the Paris Oi scene – this digital EP (published in April 2020) is their second release. Their self-titled 2019 demo sounded like Brutal Combat: sluggish, brutal and a bit retarded. It did, however, contain some surprising minor key harmonies. With ‘Vengeance’, Consumé par le feu opens along similar lines, but then takes a sudden turn to frosty post-punk guitar atmospherics while maintaining its basic growliness. Although they hail from Paris, you could therefore say that the band distils the ‘best of Brest’. Or you could slam them for ticking all the trendy boxes du jour. But the truth is that Tchernobyl are bloody good. Better, in fact, that some of their sources from the 80s could have dreamed of becoming.

Continue reading