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

Long live Eccles: rare Chelsea Shed Boys pictures resurface

Yesterday on the unofficial Chelsea FC forum, The Shed End, a photographer named David Nicolson posted a couple of rare Chelsea Shed Boys pictures, including of their notorious leader, Danny ‘Eccles’ Harkins.  Continue reading

Are these the earliest pictures of German skinheads?

The first picture, shot either in 1979 or early 1980, shows bassist Erwin Lieske of Hamburg punk band Kotzbrocken (not to be confused with Cotzbrocken from Cologne) playing live at Krawall 2000, a short-lived punk venue in the St Pauli quarter. Note two skinheads with shaved heads and braces standing behind him. This is a scan from an old book about punk, ‘Der Grosse Schwindel’ (authors: Jürgen Stark and MIchael Kurzawa, published in 1981 and long out of print).

1979-krawall-2000hirez 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

Bring back the donkey jacket

Last week, I pontificated in typically elitist London fashion on crombie overcoats. Well, that has now prompted a response article from my Yorkshire bro, the Northern Avenger. Here’s his tribute to an unjustly reviled skinhead staple. Ladies and gentlemen, bootgirls and bootboys, I’m handing over to the Northern Avenger…

The humble donkey jacket: one of the mainstays of the British coal miner, binman, and other manual workers and lefties of years past – and (some) skinheads of course. It has a long history with the working class. I will try – and probably fail – to explain some of its history and relevance to the skinhead cult. Continue reading

A Crombie christmas

About a year ago, I sneered that there was nothing “authentically skinhead” about owning a genuine Crombie. With no small amount of inverted snobbery, I suggested there was no point in getting one unless you were an “MP, diplomat or KGB agent“. Well, that was before I had one. Since then, I have sussed an unbelievable bargain for a black ‘retro coat’ by Crombie in mint condition. Now I think real Crombies are the dog’s bollocks and an absolute must-have.” Whereas I once scoffed at the 4-Skins’ sarcastic putdown, “I wear a cheap crombie, and that’s about all”, now I sing along with conviction. Continue reading

Skinheads and racism in a German news article, June 1970

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‘London skinhead and cop’ – from Der Spiegel, no 24/1970

Below, you will find our translation of an article that was first published in the German news weekly Der Spiegel on 8 June 1970. As far as we’re aware, it’s the only time the press in that country reported on the original skinhead wave. It would be eight years before skinheads made another appearance in Der Spiegel, once again in connection with racism and street thuggery in the East End of London. Continue reading

A skinhead in Paris, 1979-83

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Paris skinhead band Swingo Porkies, early 1980s

While the original wave of skinheads remained a strictly British phenomenon – the closest the French came to mod were the minets – it didn’t take long for the late 1970s revival to cross the Channel. As the Sham Army turned concert halls into battlefields and skinheads began to proliferate across Britain again, a small gang of punks in a working class banlieue of Paris took note. Around 1978, Farid, Pierrot, Fan, Fabian and about a dozen of mates swapped their spiky hair and leather for clean-cut crops and MA-1 jackets. Continue reading

The Bovver Boot #2, 1986

 

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It’s no secret that the British ‘sussed skin’ movement of the 1980s is one of several sources of inspiration for this blog. Although we ultimately want to do our own thing rather than imitate, the combination of sharp style and smart politics is still an excellent starting point. Continue reading

Girls boycott club over ‘Skinheads’ ban

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Find below a little tale of solidarity among female teenagers in Dublin, originally published in the Sunday Independent (Ireland) on 19 April 1970 and transcribed especially for you.

Two things jump out at me: firstly, the girls’ overnight transition from ‘weirdo’ (hippie) to skinhead, and their continued friendship with hairies. This is somewhat at odds with the accepted notion of ‘working class skinheads’ versus ‘middle class hippies’. Continue reading