Skinheads in the Hong Kong Garden

On this day 40 years ago, Siouxsie and the Banshees released their debut single, ‘Hong Kong Garden’. Here’s what Siouxsie said about the song in an interview with Uncut magazine in 2005:

hong kong“I’ll never forget, there was a Chinese restaurant in Chislehurst called the ‘Hong Kong Garden’. Me and my friend were really upset that we used to go there and like, occasionally when the skinheads would turn up it would really turn really ugly. These gits would just go in en masse and just terrorise these Chinese people who were working there. We’d try and say ‘Leave them alone’, you know. It was a kind of tribute”. Continue reading

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This ugly old world: a chat with IENA

Remember hearing Rixe for the first time? It felt like a lightning bolt instantly pulverising a world of facile pop-punk ‘Oi’ bands – within seconds, any notion that they had a ‘right’ to exist was put to rest.

The debut EP by IENA hit us in a very similar vein. Although not actually a skinhead band, IENA certainly sound like one. That’s partly down to Marco’s vocal delivery, which one may describe as more domineering than punk singing – more “one step closer and you’re dead” than “fuck you, I won’t do my homework”. Continue reading

Crophead Record Roundup #5

Reconquesta & Codi de Silenci: La força de la raó Split EP (Disco Nightmare)

Codi de Silenci and Reconquesta hail from the Lleida and Barcelona regions of Catalonia respectively. Both are skinhead bands of a Catalan separatist persuasion, and just as Catalan separatism has reached boiling point, these bands are on top of their game with their new split-EP, La força de la raó. Continue reading

Paris Violence in our minds: an interview with Flav

It wasn’t so long ago – five years perhaps – that I stumbled upon the name Paris Violence in a blog entry on classic French Oi band Komintern Sect: “Paris Violence should be right up your alley”, was a commenter’s advice to frog-Oi loving Anglo-Saxons.

But then, the sounds I found on YouTube weren’t quite what I had expected. Although the Fred Perry-clad lead singer’s vocal style clearly placed the band in the skinhead camp, and the melancholic overtones evoked Chaos en France-era memories, there was something else going on too. Continue reading

Crophead record roundup #4

Klasse Kriminale: Construito in Italia 7’ EP (Skinhead Sounds)

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Skinhead Sounds is run by Italian skinhead historian Flavio (who we interviewed here) and has just reissued two classic 7-inches. Constriuto in Italia is the 30th-anniversary release of the debut EP by Klasse Kriminale, who in the latter half of the 80s were one of very few Italian Oi bands left. Continue reading

Drinking with the swamp krauts: The Young Ones

Despite their band name, the Young Ones are actually in their thirties like all of us. Unlike most of us, they are a band from the Oi capital of Maastricht, which is run by them and their elder peers in Close Combat (who we interviewed before). They have finally started doing some new music after being out the game for some eight years. Their sound is like sped-up Cockney Rejects with a smattering of Hard Skinesque humour. Girth spoke to their bassist Merijn, whose interest in conspiracy theorist David Icke is second only to ours. Continue reading

Crophead record roundup #3

Bored of playing Ed Sheeran’s new album over and over? Run out of Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa bootlegs to explore? Grown sick of your homemade ‘Beyoncé Ballads’ compilation? Abdul Bleach Boy takes you on a journey through recent crophead releases, not suggesting but telling you what to listen to. Continue reading

Skankin’ Warsaw in 1979: when Magura brought 2 Tone to Poland

You may be surprised to read that a local variation of ‘the look’ was seen in Warsaw as early as 1979. Kryzys were one of the earliest Polish punk bands, and their drummer Maciej ‘Magura’ Goralski was the mod of the band. Continue reading

Lord of the jeans or: why Scott Maracle is Out of Order

You’ve heard of Lord of the Rings? Well, Scott Maracle is Lord of the Jeans. We had the pleasure of meeting this rock ‘n’ roll troubadour at the Great Skinhead Reunion in Brighton last May. For the uninitiated, the Reunion is an annual get-together that has been slammed by both fascists and anti-fascists. We have no real idea why. To us, it just seems like a friendly, fun and trouble-free event attended by pleasure seekers of different colours and creeds. Continue reading

The Jersey Juggernaut: a chat with Hub City Stompers

Coming straight out of Dirty Jersey and weighing a grand total of 1500lbs are the lords of street ska, the Hub City Stompers. They might hail from the wrong side of the pond – through no fault of their own, we hasten to add – yet these hard hitting live action lunatics will make you dance violently until your bones break. Girth conducted an interview with vocalist Travis Nelson. Enjoi! Continue reading