Tuesday, April 25, 2017

oi liked it

a bit. for a while.

As I recall it, the Angelic Upstarts insisted on playing this single completely live in the Top of the Pops studio

At the time it felt like they'd totally blown their chance  of a breakthrough hit through sheer bloody-minded obstinacy (commendable in a way)

However listening to the recorded version (first track on the album below) i can't really hear that much difference -  the vocal is a little clearer than the groggy roar of TOTP, the sound is a smidgeon clearer and tighter, but overall it's darn close to the pummeling crudity of  live-in-the-TOTP-studio

I don't think this sound was even called Oi! yet... indeed punk / postpunk had yet to fully go their separate ways (Stiff Little Fingers were on Rough Trade, after all)

So at this time, only a year or so into being seriously awake to rockmusic, I would have been as excited about things like "Teenage Warning" and "California Uber Alles" and "Babylon's Burning" (or in a different way CRASS)  as I was by PiL or Slits or The Fall... it was all hitting my sixteen year old ears as a an attacking rush of newness

The blackmail-letter style cut-out newsprint typography a la Bollocks!

Now I remember at the time finding the tautology of "if the kids were united they will never be divided"  facile  - and the music a simplistic insult - but listening now Sham's big hit sounds pretty exciting

That first revving-off riff is basically a  "No Fun" a bit faster, isn't it

But then and now I would draw the line at "Hurry Up Harry", it's all a bit gorblimey guvnor

I don't think I came across this Sham doc on YouTube last time I brushed against the topic of Oi!

By the time it got to things like  "The Greatest Cockney Rip Off" I'd have been a card-carrying postpunker, so anything Oi! would have been looked down on - seen as only a notch  higher on the reactionary-scale than NWOBHM stuff like Saxon and Maiden

The Rejects are punk if it had only consisted of the Jones-Cook element (even that title - "Greatest... Rip Off"  is a nod to Swindle)

Oh but look at this -  glam-Oi! with a psych-era Stones cover

1 comment:

  1. I was a huge fan of the despised Saxon at the time. Their albums are not really neglected masterpieces, to be honest, but they have their moments, when they hit an avant-lumpen groove somewhere between prime era Status Quo and Queens of the Stone Age.

    This is their masterpiece, which always reminds me of Band of Susans: https://youtu.be/4Ev3G18Hr_A