Politics and violence were all part of the mix at gigs in the late 70s/early 80s. They were the arena where fascism and anti-fascism slugged it out. This response to a racist is from the letters page of Sounds, 25 October, 1980.
I’m not ashamed of being white or of my British heritage either, but that doesn’t equate with the National Front.It does, however, mean a desire to preserve the free speech and democracy we supposedly enjoy in Britain and no doubt the NF do encounter a healthy and venomous opposition, but mainly because there is a realisation that were the NF to gain sufficient impetus, they may not extend the same courtesy of free speech as you and I would perhaps grant them.
You can hardly expect me to defend those who would not have the slightest qualms about denying me the ‘free speech’ that the NF enjoy anyway; I’ve seen one of their political party broadcasts on TV myself.
“Never any outcry about the homeless, jobless, whites?” Every time I turn the television on, a politician or trade unionist is decrying the obscenity of 2 million unemployed. The number is, I assume inclusive of all races. And what about the ‘inter-tribe fights in African States?” that’s no justification of racialism in this country.
“Proud to be white, so are my mates, and if that makes us racist, well so what?” So everything. If you ARE a racist, admit it. If you’re not you should realise the implications of glibness on the subject when compared to the rest of your letter. And I’m sure Sounds writers don’t wish they were black, even though they may well be biased; they’d probably rather be what they are: white and affluent.
Marc, Wotton-Under-Edge, Glos.
Red Action’s report on the National Front attack on the Redskin’s at the GLC ‘Jobs For A Change’ festival from Red Action, 13, 1984. There’s also some reports on the aftermath.
A cartoon drawn by Phill Jupitus from the Red Wedge Comedy Tour programme, 1986.
This is possibly the first mention of gay skinheads and comes from Scum, number 3, 1980. The ‘zine was done by Andy Martin from anarchist punk band The Apostles.
The 80s camapaign to get yoofs voting for Labour has their first London gig, reviewed in the NME, 5 April, 1986.
This is from the 1969 Corgi anthology Doves For The 70s.
Peter Marshall is a prolific writer including a history of anarchism.
Now We Shall March Through The Streets
When our days were young
The air was full of our glory –
The jets screaming our triumph,
The villagers fleeing in a thousand directions,
And our rockets tearing into their heels.
Well I can speak
Of the mastery of metal over flesh –
Salvoes, machine-gun streams
Leaving blood flowing freely
Even gaily, in the blood season
Of our manhood.
I can write of power,
And nerve tangles of pleasure and fear,
Tenseness and excitement,
The godliness of sky and speed
Suggesting honour and importance –
Yet when I remember, when I think
Of howling motors and hailing metal,
I can set down nothing of significance –
Only some political ramblings
Not worth recall.
A report on a gig organised by Manchester lesbians and gays from 1985. The strike had ended on 3rd March 1985 but the hardship of a year on the picket lines bit deep.
People across the country rallied to support the miners, especially as the brutality of Thatcherism demonstrated by the Police became more and more blatant, as the chaps in the film says: “We all have the same enemies.”
The Redskins are featured, they gigged solidly in support of the miners and often had striking miners on stage to talk about the struggle.