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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The faces of a football hooligan

Nowadays it’s all prawn sandwiches and latte, but there were times when people went to football carrying meathooks… Interview with ‘Peter’, a 17 years old Park Lane boy from a “housing estate in the heart of the East End”.

From the Sunday Times, 21 September 1969. Continue reading

Hardcore Hegelian: an interview with Stewart Home

The likes of the Cockney Rejects and East End Badoes have penned entire albums recently on the subject of East End gentrification, but for Stewart Home it’s a cause to fight. A one-time Neoist but always a novelist, a quick scan of his books since 1988 reveals a range of titles from The Assault on Culture to The Nine Lives of Ray the Cat Jones, via Blow Job and Cunt, naturally. Stevo met the crophead chronicler of pulp and punk at the foot of the Barbican and repaired to a nearby Spoons to talk Marx and mods. Continue reading

Another Rebel Thread: an interview with Roger K. Burton

Having dressed film stars (Quadrophenia, Absolute Beginners, Young Soul Rebels) and countless music videos, it’s unsurprising that Roger Burton sought to not only document his time in the business but also the vast attire he’s amassed along the way. Rebel Threads (Laurence King Publishing) is that book, spanning the range of British youth subcultures from the war onwards and delving into the fashions which gave them their name. Continue reading

From Mod to Bootboy: Scootering in the Seventies

It’s fair to say that scooters were one of the few staples of mod culture to survive intact as the subculture gave way to skinheads and bootboys. Many a self-respecting bootboy was pictured above their two-stroke brand of choice in the early seventies, and the presence of the mod revival later in the decade could give the impression that the scooterboy culture was all the rage throughout. But as Ashley Lenton (Classic Scooterist, Vespa News) writes here, scooterists were actually a dying force in the seventies and it was only thanks to a dedicated band that we can document it now. Continue reading

Punk Bashing Time: an interview with Andrew Gallix

It was no less than Garry Bushell himself who wrote of “dreading well-meaning graduates with crops and tailor-made crombies” in Sounds when he met with the teenaged members of ‘Skins Against the Nazis’ in 1978. Stevo had a few less hang-ups about meeting a fully-fledged Professor at the Sorbonne in Paris to go over his new book Punk Is Dead (Zer0 Books), which in part deals with aspects of skinhead’s troubled history among punk.

But then Andrew Gallix, who also edits the eclectic and punked-up webzine 3:AM, was a little more gracious and even-handed than some of the book’s other contributors when it came to recounting his own experiences.

Continue reading

Italia Skins! An interview with Flavio Frezza

There are so many Italian skinheads living in London today, one wonders when they’ll start running out of them back home. Younger on average than the indigenous skinhead population, they infuse our scene with the kind of energy only a country shaped like a steel-capped boot could produce.

True enough, the relationship between the local tribes and new arrivals has sometimes been a bit… tense. To contribute to a better understanding between the two, we thought we’d find out more about Italian skinheads and their specific history. Who better to ask than Flavio Frezza, who has written a book called Italia Skins?

Crombieboy spoke to him about Italian skins past and present, and we’re proud to present the resulting interview:

PART 1 – From ‘nihilist punk’ to skinhead

PART 2 – Bands, politics & trouble

PART 3 – Today and tomorrow

Many thanks to Valentina G of Italian Skinheads for kindly letting us use her pictures. Oi Oi!

Italia Skins is out on Hellnation Libri/Red Star Press now.

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

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