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Music fans September 26, 2021

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.
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Speaking of fans, thanks to JM for sending the following link on. This from the Sunday World which looks at:

Former terror chiefs Johnny ‘Mad Dog’ Adair and Sam ‘Skelly’ McCrory [who] are hailed as trailblazing musicians in a new book on Ulster punks.

Before the infamous Shankill Road duo got involved in paramilitaries, they were members of skinhead ‘Oi’ band Offensive Weapon whose gigs in Belfast attracted hundreds of fans.

And they find themselves featured in the book Oi and Skinheads in Northern Ireland.

Oi is fascinating in its own way – and I’ve got to be honest, a genre I love – not least for the fact that in 1977 onwards it was Sham 69 and bands like that that before I got into heavy rock really made me sit up and listen. It was a genuinely working class phenomenon which at its margins unfortunately though perhaps predictably brushed up against the far-right. Perhaps no great surprise that those like Adair and McCrory in Northern Ireland would have been attracted to Oi.

 

 

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1. Brian Hanley - September 26, 2021

The article doesn’t mention that Adair and McCrory were members of the National Front at the time, were photographed on an NF march through Belfast in 1983 (?) and played gigs at NF events in Britain. One account claims they took part in a racial attack on a man in London when over for a gig. I’m sure there were others involved in the shinhead/Oi scene in the North who had different politics but I hope the book doesn’t gloss over that aspect of the scene.

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WorldbyStorm - September 26, 2021

Yep. I’m surprised even by the laudatory tone of it as outlined in the article as it stands.

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2. crocodileshoes - September 26, 2021

As I recall, the chief advocate (and namer) of Oi was ex-Trot Garry Bushell, later to be a candidate for the far-right ‘English Democrats’ and an annoying tabloid controversialist, for decades. Bushell compiled an Oi album called, charmingly, ‘Strength Through Oi’. He wrote for Sounds in the late 70s/ early 80s. He made the case for skinhead culture as an authentic expression of working class youth; as I remember, this infuriated the journos on the paper who were almost all left-leaning.

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WorldbyStorm - September 26, 2021

That’s right, he was certainly one of the few in the music magazines at the time supporting Oi and his politics were nothing to write home about.

But I think bands like The Business, Cockney Rejects and particularly Angelic Upstarts and The Oppressed who were anti-fascist then and to this day were more representative of the mainstream of Oi (though no question about it there was an ahem interest in violence).

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mal - September 29, 2021

Strength Thru Oi didn’t just have a dodgy title, it had a big fuckoff picture of neo-nazi skinhead Nicky Crane (later worked as security for Skrewdriver, later still came out as gay and left the neo-nazi movement) on the cover. Garry claims that he’d found the picture of Crane on a Christmas card and didn’t notice until the pic had been blown up for the album sleeve that Crane had obvious Nazi tattoos. Rather than delay releasing the album he just had them airbrushed out. I’m not sure who would be sending out a Christmas card with a picture of Nicky Crane in the front though, since the same year that the album came out he went to jail for a racially motivated attack on some black teenagers.

Incidentally, some of the members of Chumbawamba (back when they were still anarcho-punks) managed to wangle their way into the recording sessions for another Bushell-sponsored Oi! compilation by pretending to be in an Oi! band called Skin Disease and writing him lurid letters about all the hooliganism they had supposedly been up to. Their contribution was a song whose only lyric were the words “I’m thick” repeated over and over again: amazingly, it made it into the compliation.

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