Literary hooligan: an interview with John King

Headhunters, White Trash, Skinheads and, most recently, The Liberal Politics of Adolf Hitler – as the titles of John King’s novels alone suggest, the godfather of hoolie lit is not one to dodge controversy or trouble. Living it as he’s writing it, the same has certainly been true for his real life persona.

King is something like British literature’s face of Oi. As many Londoners will know, this connection extends to the live events he puts on at the 100 Club. Named after his fourth novel, Human Punk, King’s night frequently features prole punk icons such as The Last Resort, Cockney Rejects, Ruts DC and Sham 69. Continue reading

Made to intimidate: before Dr Marten’s ruled

So you still think the ‘spirit of 69’ was all about cropheads polishing their Dr Marten’s to a mirror shine? You reckon battered footwear is for punks and high commando boots for boneheads and fetishists only? Well, think again. The Northern Avenger will give you a quick rundown of various boots worn before DM’s became all the rage. 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

Combat: an interview with Ben Nevis Clothing of Camden

Among affordable clothing brands, there is one that enjoys almost unreserved respect among skinheads: Ben Nevis Clothing of London, known especially for its ‘Combat’ Harrington and donkey jackets. With its shop located within a few minutes walk from Camden Town station, Ben Nevis has been producing quality clobber for generations.
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

A rough guide to trucker jackets

The trucker jacket – or denim jacket, to some – is a staple of the skinhead and bootboy wardrobe that has been worn for generations. The Northern Avenger will not explore the entire history of the trucker jacket, but he will provide a rough guide mainly to the models that were worn in the original skinhead era. 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

Come on Boro! An interview with Tom Loizou

As long-standing readers will remember, Creases Like Knives is based in north London’s Haringey borough – Spurs territory, but also where Coles Park Stadium, home to Haringey Borough FC, is located. Haringey Borough FC has been knocking about under that name since 1973, although its pre-history goes all the way back to 1907.

After last Saturday’s match against Brentwood FC, which Borough won 3–2, we had a chat with their hard-working manager, Tommy Loizou. He told us how hard it is to run a non league club, who his key players are, and about his transfer policy. 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