This review from Hard As Nails, No. 4, 1984 is of one of the Miner’s benefits that Red Action put on during the strike.
These were notable in that the put on many bands that the mainstream left wouldn’t touch, yet these were the bands that working class kids liked and who had something in common with.
I was at this gig, as the review says, it was a belter.
Newtown Neurotics/Action Pact/The Burial – at the London School of Economics
I’ve never had reason to visit the LSE before, and I really expected the audience to be made up of trendy leftie middle class posers, but I was in for a pleasant surprise – as we turned the corner a couple of tanked-up skins cheerfully skipped by and disappeared into the Strand. We paid our money and wandered in, we were early so the bar seemed the best target. Once there we discovered that this was one party that wouldn’t be gate-crashed, such was the feeling of unity, not to mention the question of numbers. . . by the middle of the evening the beer induced chanting of the Red Action faction had risen to choir proportions, the number of shaven-headed herberts increasing steadily with the arrival of teams and individuals from all over London and the home counties. it also highlighted the broad cross-section of skin style in ’84, from polished heads, army greens and 14 high steels to polished brogues, sharp suits and side-partings. Skins together, skins forever – magic!
But what about the music? First on were The Burial, so rightly described as being under-rehearsed and over-excited. Despite some obvious shortcomings they managed to bounce through a lively little set, and went down well with the stomping skins and pogo-ing punks. Somewhere between Suggs and Gary Hodges frontman manic Mick took us from the beefy O! of Blockheads to the lilting calypso of Sheila…but they seemed to end all too soon. Still, next time…
I managed to miss Action Pact completely, being otherwise engaged at the bar, but I did get good reports of their set later. Last band on were the Neurotics, whose set was tighter than street bard Gal’ Johnson, but not quite as funny. Anyway they hit hard at all the right targets, the great Mindless Violence was only bettered by it’s vinyl A-side, Kick Out The Tories – which truly got everyone going. later on it took several cups of strong tea and burnt toast to get the buzz out of my head, this gig was a talking point for days, and it deserved to be. The real McOi!
Me at the gig