Crophead Record Roundup #2

Keeping his ear close to the street, our incorruptible Abdul Bleach Boy is back to guide you through the latest batch of crophead-related releases. So put on your boots, splash on your Brut, and start stompin’. Continue reading

Sometimes good guys wear white Sta Prest: Saxby interviewed

As we entered the Plough and Harrow, a pub in Leytonstone that still feels a bit like the East End, we were greeted by Graham Saxby. An old-school skinhead through and through, the man makes an effort to look sharp, sporting a sleeveless argyle jumper, off-white Sta Prest and highly polished burgundy DMs. Later that night, he would be on stage performing with The Warriors alongside The Angry Agenda, Top Dog and north London’s own Kilburn Bomb Squad.  Continue reading

Malice in Sunderland: Trev HAGL on North East Oi!

Trev HAGL, to anyone outside of the world of Oi and North East punx, the name needs no introduction. For the rest of you however, Trev has valiantly kept the fires burning for Oi through thick and thin since the 80s, even when others packed up and went home. 

Editor of innumerable zines over the years, most notably HAGL (‘Have A Good Laugh’), which spoke truth to power during the fag-end of Thatcher and the dark days of Major, ‘stalwart’ doesn’t really do justice for a man who lives it as he sees it and generally spends his time in pursuit of well-crafted tunes, cheap beer and a good laugh (or ‘savage amusement’, another zine title).  Continue reading

Crophead Record Roundup #1

With so many releases coming out every month, it’s important to separate the wheat from the chaff. We pride ourselves on being independent and incorruptible. Therefore, dear music industry, keep your filthy money, your freebies and your cocaine – we’ll write nothing but our honest opinions on your output (though if you offered a million, we could talk about it I guess). Continue reading

Close Combat: local dialects and misbehaviour

I’ll be honest: there’s one aspect of skinhead culture I never really liked: subcultural self-pity. OK, so Mick Furbank’s famous ‘crucified skinhead’ design looks cool and always will. But the whole “so misunderstood & always blamed for everything” victim complex does get on my tits sometimes. How many more documentaries and Vice articles where we whine about being misrepresented as mindless thugs and racists? Come on. No black person ever gives a shit what I wear. Only privileged white liberals eye you with worry and suspicion. And so they should – because that’s what keeps them from co-opting our culture wholesale. After all, would you want skinhead to become as acceptable to them as punk is today? Continue reading

The Brest syndrome: a chat with Syndrome 81

Scientists agree that some of the best Oi and punk music is coming from France nowadays, and that’s increasingly becomibrng common knowledge on our shores too: just ask any man, woman or child on a London bus. If you follow the French scene closely, Syndrome 81 will not have escaped you. Hailing from the chilly and wet seaside town of Brest, the band’s first outing was their self-titled demo of 2013, followed by the monumental Désert Urbain EP, a split-EP, and a 7’ single. Continue reading

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

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Aside from die-hard fans of old-school punk from the continent, few readers will have heard of Daily Terror. Yet in Germany in the 1980s and beyond, they were an important punk band turned skinhead – and although some Oi bands were better known, Daily Terror were arguably the best the country had produced.

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

Appearance and prejudice

“I’ve been attacked for political reasons – by West Indians who, like everyone else, have been mugged into thinking that all geezers with long hair are commies and all skinheads are fascists. In fact, we’ve got a lot in common with blacks. We both get police pressure, we both get spat on, we can’t get jobs, and we get kicked out of places. Except they have a colour they can never change, and we’ve got an appearance that we can change. The strongest thing to be is male, white, middle class and normal looking, isn’t it? Cause you’ve got it all then.” – ‘Deptford’ John Armitage, 1982

The Last Resort live at The Pipeline, 2 April 2016

1981

Once upon a time, the mainstream media demonised The Last Resort as the ultimate violent hooligan outfit, and their live shows were depicted as cesspits of mindless thuggery. In hindsight, you were probably just as likely to encounter tribal aggro and booze-fuelled scuffles, say, at a Crass or Discharge gig. At a time when Thatcher’s policies relegated hundreds of thousands to the scrapheap, working class youths had to assert themselves somehow.

Of course, that’s not what you expect to see at an average Oi gig today. Continue reading