U.K. Street Punks Booze & Glory Pick Their 10 Favorite Oi! Bands
[Oi! isn’t the red-headed stepchild of punk. It’s the put-upon wayward uncle that works at the docks, drinks a little too much and always seems to dribble shepherd’s pie on his Fred Perry polo. He’s a loveable lout who means well but makes mistakes, and after every punch-up at the pub, he’s waiting with a bear hug and apology. Spawned in late-’70s Britain and now a worldwide phenomenon, Oi! is essentially working-class rock ‘n’ roll, and in celebration of his unpretentious, cathartic, knuckleheaded sound, we asked Mark Boozer, singer for U.K. foursome’s Booze & Glory, to make us a list of his favorite bands. Read his picks below — then check out his crew’s latest album, ‘As Bold As Brass.’]
I’ve been asked to pick my 10 favourite Oi! bands, and today, this is my list. Tomorrow it might be slightly different. I would go for Blitz, Cockney Rejects, Anti Heroes, Oxymoron or Skinflicks, maybe. There are lots of great bands like The Agitators from Belgium, Lioin’s Law from France, the Cliches from Sweden, Runnin Riot from N. Ireland, Gimp Fist from U.K., the Ruckers from Germany, NOI!SE and OFC from the U.S., Razorblade from Holland or recently Bishops Green from Canada. But what do I know?
I won’t be very original here: This band is the best band I ever heard in my life. Some people call it Oi!, some punk, rock ‘n’ roll or whatever, but to me, it doesn’t matter how you name it, as long as its called Cock Sparrer! I love them for their melodies, lyrics and amazing live shows. Put it this way: If Cock Sparrer had never existed, I woudn’t be part of the scene, and I’m sure there are people who feel the same. ‘Shock Troops’ is the best street-punk album ever made.
The Last Resort
I wasn’t really keen on the Last Resort until I heard ‘They Never Take Us.’ Since then, they are one of my favorite bands, and after the last album, ‘This Is My England,’ I like them even more! Massive sound, working class lyrics and great people first of all!
‘Suburban Rebels,’ ‘Saturdays Heroes’ and ‘The Truth, the Whole Truth & Nothing But the Truth’ are my favorite albums. I remember their “love affair” with HC music, which put me off a bit from them for a while. Not because I don’t like HC (I do!), but I just didn’t like fast and heavy versions of their best songs, that’s all. But whoever’s seen them live recently knows that they sound like the good old Business again. I only need the new album now. Come on, Fitzy. How long we do have to wait?
The European scene has lots of great Oi! bands! One of my favorite is Dutch Oi! legends Evil Conduct. I like their simple and melodic sound and their classic skinhead image. ‘Rule OK’ and ‘King of Kings’ are my favorite albums.
Love it or hate it, as they say! I love it without a doubt! Its hard to pick their best album, as I like all of them — each of them is different — from simply Oi!, through folk (‘Langtan’) until amazing ‘Forever.’ Whatever you think of them, you must admit that not many punk bands can play Fender Telecaster the way Ron does. And this is the power of this band.
Top 10 Oi! bands would not be fair if there’s not at least one American band on the list. My choice is Templars from NYC — for their classic, raw sound and great lyrics! Brilliant band!
Horrorshow is a band from my home town. I grew up with their songs and will always have a soft spot for them. I can’t see them recording the new album ever again (Banan, tell me I’m wrong!), but I hope I will attend at least couple of their shows before they call it a day.
Argy Bargy became one of my favourite bands not just because Watford Jon gave me a bag of their t-shirts a couple months ago, but because they recorded two brilliant albums — ‘The Likes of Us’ and the last one, ‘Hopes, Dreams, Lies & Schemes’ — and their live shows are the bollocks! With members from Cock Sparrer and Knuckledust, you just can’t go wrong! If you ever share a stage with them, and all the sudden your beer will go missing from your fridge at the backstage, blame the singer!
German Oi! is going strong, as we know, and Stomper 98 rules! Even though I cant really understand what they sing about, when I saw them live first time, I could not believe how much energy those guys have! Everything is like it should be from the first minute of the gig — you just have to see it to believe it.
And last but not least, Vanilla Muffins. If you know me personally, you just know I love them! The most underrated Oi! band in my opinion. Sugar Oi! Come on!