Monday, December 19, 2022

Socialism through Oi? - music and politics 1982

From Socialist Worker (9 January 1982), Chris Moore looks ahead to a year in music (Moore was in the Socialist Workers Party and wrote for NME as X Moore).

'While Adam played Prince Charming and while white funksters swapped favourite shirts, Toxteth danced to the sound of breaking glass... 1981 was the year compliant complacency set in and fightback was drowned out. 1982 will be harder... 

It's depressing but honest to admit that there is in reality no working class mass movement called Oi, no revolutionary punk/skinhead force threatening to smash capitalism... (or whatever it is Gal Bushell
wants to smash now that he's replaced the revolutionary party with Oi! the Party)...

1982 will fight back not with angst-ridden Sturm and Drang aggro singles but with ideas. The strength of musical muscle behind CND and the strength of three and a half million on the dole will force the music press this year to give the movements the level of coverage RAR [Rock Against Racism] used to get when Webster was fouling the TV screens and Lewisham was throwing bricks and bottles tiswas style(e)

The bands you will see that fuel and fire the arguments, pulling the music press away from the bar and beyond will be varied. Scritti Politti will talk a lot and win people to their ideas and music, in spite of coming it with the intellectual verbals. Grace Jones and Pigbag will keep you dancing through the
year, the Higsons and the Stunt Kites will surprize you, and Black Flag and Death in
June will crack it... Listen to the poets, dance to the rhythm, clash and rock against Thatcher!'

Some interesting choices there - Death in June may have had their roots in radical left punk band Crisis but they were soon being denounced as fascist sympathisers. 

Moore's dismissal of Oi brough an angry response from a left wing skinhead which was printed under the heading 'Socialism thru' Oi': 'Oi bands and their followers have short hair cuts and Air Wair boots. We just can't afford all the trendy gear the high street posers wear'.

Moore was not averse to the skinhead look himself. Later that year he founded The Redskins.

[found this browsing through old copies of SW scanned by the excellent Splits and Fusions]


No comments: