Trespass – Oi Polloi On The Beach Of The Thames

Oi Polloi
Mark Thomas
Flowers of Flesh & Blood
Thames Beach (Gabriel’s Wharf)
London – 26/9/15

tresspassoi_polloi_thames_beachWhen last week rumours began circulating of a proposed gathering of punks somewhere along the Thames near the Southbank and Waterloo that was to be hosted by comedian, presenter and political satirist Mark Thomas and included live sets by Scottish Oi/Punk/anarcho legends Oi Polloi and London punx, Flowers Of Flesh And Blood, it was debatable whether this would be allowed to happen in one of the busiest tourist areas of South London.

Yet, sure enough, come the day the event had been revealed as ‘Trespass – Oi Polloi On The Beach Of The Thames’ and as we walked down to Gabriel’s Wharf, next to Oxo Tower, onto that small beach area where I had previously built sandcastles with my kids (up the punx), a huge hardcore punk roar was already rising from the beach area up onto the bank and Flowers Of Flesh And Blood were housed on a small stage in the sand, surrounded by two hundred or so punx as the band carved through a tight set of metallic anarcho thrash to bemused and amused looks from the tourists looking down on the beach.

We quickly headed down and joined the crowd, bumping into many friends equally bemused by the surreal situation as Flowers kicked into a Minor Threat medley of ‘Filler’ and ‘I Don’t Wanna Hear It’ as the sand-mosh-pit exploded. There’s a small girl on the beach building a sandcastle, she flattens it with her shovel. Up on the bank two young kids with giant teddy bears make them pogo in time to the music. An old fella looks down onto the crowd of punks falling over in the sand, laughing and grinning from ear to ear. The atmosphere is great, pure fun. There are no police here yet, no trouble. The organisers had the foresight to hand out a few yellow ‘official’ looking security vests to give the appearance of some kind of official organisation, which amazingly, works.

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But there is a point to all of this. As Mark Thomas takes to the mic, among many jokes about gammon nonce David Cameron, he talks about how it’s people, not buildings and corporations that make cities and we have every right to reclaim public areas for protest and events to cheers from the crowd as Oi Polloi take to the sand and kick into ‘Resist The Atomic Menace’ from the first single back in 1986. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Oi Polloi (probably not since the early 90s), but they’re as good as they ever were. Frontman Deek is irrepressible, funny, charming, energetic yet still railing against the world.

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As ‘Punks Picnic’ bellows from the PA, there’s still no sign of any police to break up the party and as the sun starts to descend and the booze is flowing, Oi Polloi inspire bedlam in the sand as the pit reaches fever point and the crowd piles in, singing along to every word, punching the air as the tourists above take photos and film what they can to take back home to their friends and family…”you’ll never believe what we saw in London today”.

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Then later that evening, the so called ‘Fuck Parade’ organised by Class War, kicked off in Shoreditch. A supposed protest against the gentrification of London, it saw an angry mob of so-called anarchists target an independent business and scare, frighten and intimidate people. A total contrast to the positive, fun vibes felt earlier in the day by the river where the message was delivered in a good and uplifting way, educating the public and making them think. ‘Fuck Parade’ was an ugly event that achieved nothing but to terrify the public by acting like thugs. A sad end to a righteous day of protest and music but the fun memories will remain for those that rocked on the beach that day and the public that stumbled across it.

James Sherry

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Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC

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We’ve waited a long time for this one. Crowd-funding for the making of ‘Salad Days’, a look at the incredibly fertile hardcore punk movement that exploded out of Washington DC in the early 80s, first started over four years ago when brief snippets and enticing trailers started to work their way across the internets. And now it’s finally here…

We live in an age now where so many bands, movements and artists are getting to tell their stories in film. Every week there’s a new music documentary to see, a story to tell, but Salad Days is something special. From the very start, the Washington DC punk scene documented itself. More than any other punk scene in the world at that time, the participants took care to photograph, film and record everything that was happening. They knew what they were doing was important and special and wanted it preserved. “I didn’t want to own the scene, I just wanted there to be one,” explains Ian Mackaye, who through his work with Minor Threat, Fugazi, Dischord Records and many more is understandably the lynch pin and constant through the whole movie. So the upshot of this is that there is a wealth of incredible footage in this film. It rushes past, much like the music, in a high-speed, high-energy blur. This is not any easy film to sit still and watch in a cinema, as each band and song crashes by, every moment made me want to leap out of my seat and explode.

Ph: Ian Mackaye of Minor Threat, Wilson Center, DC, 1983 by Jim Saah

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Film maker Scott Crawford has done an incredible job of capturing the spirit and energy of the time. Having been involved in the scene in DC from a very young age (he was just 12 when he started going to gigs and making fanzines), he was trusted to tell the story and help the various participants open up.

Running chronologically from when Bad Brains exploded onto the scene and everything went FAST with bands like SOA, Void. Teen idles, Minor Threat, Untouchables, Youth Bridge, to the mid-80s ‘Revolution Summer’ years with Rites Of Spring, Embrace, Gray Matter, Dave Grohl’s first band Mission Impossible. They then move onto the end of the 80s as the alternative rock explosion beckoned, and Grohl, fresh out of Dischord legends Scream propelled Nirvana into the mainstream, bringing Fugazi attention they never expected, Jawbox a major label deal and the rest is history.

There are so many magical moments in ‘Salad Days’ that it’s difficult to know where to start but here’s a few. The footage of Void is utterly off-the-hook insane and demonic, the bit where MacKaye talks about Straight Edge and how he still gets people, to this day, phoning him at the Dischord office and screaming “hey Ian, I’m drunk, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT!!” before slamming the phone down, the self-belief, politics and conviction that run through every band, the thought that they really believed they were making a difference and could change. Subject to change. The realisation of just how young everyone one was when this started…

“Salad days” is a Shakespearean idiomatic expression to refer to a youthful time, accompanied by the inexperience, enthusiasm, idealism, innocence, or indiscretion that one associates with a young person.”

That says it all.

James Sherry

You can pre-order the film on Vimeo as it will be Video On Demand from August 4th.

PiL announce new album

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John Lydon’s legendary Public Image Limited have announced their 10th studio album, What The World Needs Now…, for release on September 4th.

The album follows 2012’s This is PiL, which marked the band’s first release in 17 years, and will be preceded by a 10″ single, ‘Double Trouble’ / ‘Betty Page’, on August 21st. The single is also said to be backed by a non-album track titled, ‘Turkey Tits’.

What The World Needs Now… was recorded at Steve Winwood’s Wincraft Studios in the Cotswolds and is a project entirely self-funded by the band to be released on their own label, PiL Official. A full EU tour has also been announced today and will take in a string of shows through the UK, listed below. Tickets go on general sale this Thursday May 21st at 9am.

UK Tour dates

September
18th – Glasgow, 02 ABC
19th – Manchester Academy
20th – Newcastle, Riverside
22nd – York, Fibbers
23rd – Coventry, The Copper Rooms @ Warwick University
25th – Bristol, 02 Academy
26th – Buckley, Tivoli
27th – Reading, Sub 89
29th – Bexhill, De La Warr Pavilion
30th – Norwich, UEA

October
2nd – London, 02 Shepherds Bush Empire
3rd – Frome, Cheese and Grain
4th – Southampton, Engine Rooms

Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät interview

Photos and thanks to: Kalle Pajamaa

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When we announced the news that Finnish punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät were chosen to participate in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the news spread like wildfire. Why? Because PKN are one of the hardest working bands out there, living a dream playing punk rock to underground crowds, whilst also living with their own learning disabilities. The support for them is massive.

On February 7th a national vote will take place on Finnish TV to find the artist their country wants to front the competition. It’s a very different place from playing punk rock venues with the likes of their UK mates Hard Skin who we saw play in London last October, but they need your vote to get through.

Regardless of our British ties, we would love to see Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät go all the way, so if you are reading this, get right behind them and spread the word as far as you can!

If PKN are new to your radar, some of the band knew each other from when they were younger, some of them met in working in the same culture workshop. Together they work daily with radio shows, making music and other culture following the success of their amazing film ‘The Punk Syndrome’ – it’s a phenomenal story, go scout it out.

Who would have thought that the journey would take you to Eurovision! Are you excited or dreading it?

Toni: Yes I am excited.

Kari: I am excited because it’s a once in a lifetime experience.

How did you become involved in it? It was definitely the biggest surprise of all time.

Kari: Pertti is a Eurovision fan. He likes them and knows who have previously won the contest.

Pertti: Yeah, I’ve always been a great fan of the Eurovision Song Contest. I wanted to play there, so we had to take part in the UMK contest first! And PKN was chosen!

Do you have to prepare many tracks for the competition in advance?

Toni: We had three new songs that were not released yet. We recorded them and sent them to the “jury”. They chose the song “Aina mun pitää” and took the band in. We also made a music video for it.

Knowing it’s Eurovision, will you compromise and write any poppier material for this competition?

Toni: No, only punk rock.

Kari: No way!

Have you worked any funny dance routines yet for your set to blend in with everyone else?

Toni: No. But I will dance if the television is filming me.

Knowing that Lordi from your home country won it in 2006, are you planning to wear similar costumes?!

Toni: Of course!

Kari: No. I will use my own clothing. My motorcycle vest!

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Has Lordi been in touch yet, or are they still stuck in those costumes unable to communicate with other bands since?!

Toni: We were playing with him in Rovaniemi. He came along and sang our song Pyhäpäivä with us.

Kari: He’s also been singing with us. We met and traded phone numbers. He sent our manager a text message a few weeks ago, cheered us on and wished us good luck!

Is there a communal desire to spread the good message that others with learning difficulties can achieve the things they want with some well earnt support within this competition?

Toni: That’s right.

Kari: I hope so!!!

Knowing that TV and social media can be a cruel place to be when it comes to the general public having opinions on people’s music, are you ready for the potential backlash?

Toni: I am ready.

Kari: I know and I’m ready.

What message to you have for the haters?

Kari: You don’t have to insult us for a reason like this. If you want to achieve something in your own life, you have to do it. And this is something I want to do.

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From seeing you at previous shows, Kari sometimes gets excited and rocks out with an erection in his pants, have you thought of ways of keeping it down if you reach the final so you are not disqualified?!

Toni: We will not win.

Kari: I will not take my penis out at the Eurovision, but other gigs, it’s alright!

Our mutual friend Sean from Hard Skin is famously a big fan of previous winners Abba, as he seems to always DJ their music at punk shows, in an ideal world would you prefer to see him front:

A) Puppet on a String in 1967 (video)
B) Ding A Dong in 1975 – (video)
C) or…Making Your Mind Up in 1981 (video)

Kari: Making Your Mind Up! Sean is an Abba fan. I like that 70s music too even though I sing different kind of music. If Sean will leave Hard Skin and start singing this kind of music, he would have fun and nice time. He could jump and swing and sing those kind of songs!

Ha! We will try and fix that for you, I’m sure he will be up for it. So finally, are you in it to win it?

Toni: We are going to win. If we win.

Kari: It’ll feel very great, good and awesome. If you’re in for something, you must enjoy it. Full heart.

Good luck from all of us out here, we will be right behind you!

Kari: Wonderful!! Very good! Very yes!

PKN punk band to enter Eurovision!

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Legendary Finnish punk band Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät (better known in these parts as PKN) have been selected for their home country’s televised Eurovision Song Contest process and have made it through to represent their country! Congratulations!

Read our recent interview with the band here!

Brought to worldwide attention by the fantastic documentary about their lives called ‘The Punk Syndrome’, Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät have all grown up with learning difficulties and disabilities and have found expression, release and noise in punk rock. The film tells the story of their lives and the band and is a must see.

Last December they toured the UK with Hard Skin for the second time and the excitement and energy they generate from the stage will now be televised across the world!

This could well be the most punk rock event of 2015. Pertti Kurikan Nimipäivät MUST WIN.

Follow their journey from updates on our FB page. Enjoy their song entry ‘Aina Mun Pitää’:

Watch the trailer for their documentary:

Blast Skates shred Stockwell and Bl’ast

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The South London reprobates also known as the Blast Skateboards crew literally had a blast with Bl’ast before Bl’ast blasted through a set of raging hardcore at the Underworld last week.

With busted noses from the pit melee aside, a Stockwell session proceeded the punk and here’s evidence. Not a yeti in sight.

American Hardcore exhibition & book incoming

The 80s hardcore scene in the US has been done to death but still keeps giving in 2013. A new A5 book and exhibition featuring 50 7″ covers from classic releases in that era will be showcased in London at The Vinyl Factory’s gallery in Chelsea from 11 April – 4 May.

Titled American Hardcore, 1978-1990 the book limited to only 300 (signed and numbered) comes with a fold-out A1 print and exclusive 7″ vinyl pressing of a Black Flag interview from 1981 and is printed using a Risograph machine. This is a special print process akin to screen printing, and perfectly reflects the DIY aesthetic of the artwork.

The book that is available to pre-order for £50 also has an extended Q&A with author and UK punk collector Toby Mott and US punk collector and curator Bryan Ray Turcotte discussing the importance of the scene that spread like wildfire and paved the way for many touring bands generations after.

The collection of 50 seven-inch singles will be for sale as a framed artwork from the gallery. Put this in your diary today and we will bring you a gallery feature on this when it opens.

Wildmen

Wildmen
‘Haters Gonna Hate’
Shit Music For Shit People

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wildmen_hatersgonnahateThose who picked up the limited edition, spaghetti stained ‘I Spit On Your Graves‘ 7″ that was released by the Italian based label Kuma Records will be stoked to know that the duo known as the Wildmen are ready to release a full length in February and this is the first offering.

The band bring their own version of 60’s garage-punk back with a tashe-tinged groove similar to our favourite four-piece, the Black Lips but brings a dose of goodness that we keep coming back to this month. The duo simply rock and roll at the perfect temperature.

‘Haters Gonna Hate’ is the latest slice of Wildmen magic that is served up with a message to go fuck yourself. You know Haters Gonna Hate. So just keep walking down the road. Get some of this here.

Video of Henry Rollins on Channel 4 news last night

Black Flag singer and all round hardcore legend Henry Rollins found himself live on Channel 4 news last night with Jon Snow. The news featured a look back to Punk Rock’s roots in documentary style and discussed punk, the questioning of authority and a new resuurgence of the scene. Watch it below.

In related punk news, look out for the killer new book (that we are currently reading) by Jon Savage titled ‘Punk: An Aesthetic’. Jon’s work is outstanding at usual and a must read.

Listen to new Pissed Jeans track ‘Bathroom Laughter’

pisssed_jeans_honeys_sleeve_artSub Pop are about to unleash the brand new Pissed Jeans album Honey’s. The album has been produced by British producer and ex Fudge Tunnel founder Alex Newport, who once again has brought the carnage of the band’s live sound back onto a long playing format that is destined to bring aural delight.

Have a taste of what’s coming with ‘Bathroom Laughter’. The album Honeys is released on Feb 11th. Pre-order your copy here.