Skinkorps story: an interview with Philippe Nicolas

Skinkorps – what’s your take on them? Asking Creases Like Knives contributors and friends, I get a broad range of views. “They had a bad reputation”, says one of them, “and some provocative attitudes too, but probably no interest in politics”. – “Ultimately, they were just a regular Oi band, no different to The Last Resort or 4-Skins”, argues another. – “They were one of the dodgier French 80s bands”, counters a friend. And a French acquaintance adds, “We pretty much take for granted that Skinkorps was a right-wing band”.

24b4c26c16a14c93899bb438e87fec42Whatever truth – or untruth – to each of these statements, it’s beyond dispute that Skinkorps from Rouen played some of the most bone-crushing Oi of the 80s. A typical Skinkorps song was mid-tempo to sluggish, featured a loud bassline that carried the tune along and a rough vocal with that arrogant, domineering intonation so characteristic of French bands from the period. The lyrics were often humorous, sarcastic, even cynical – too ambiguously so for some tastes. Continue reading

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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 a dozen mates swapped their spiky hair and leather for clean-cut crops and MA-1 jackets. Continue reading