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 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.
From the NME, 22/29 December, 1984
Phoney Clash Mania!
A sad night. For all Joe Strummer’s renewed vigour and Smiley Culture’s wit and wordage, this was one of the worst rock shows your reviewer has witnessed in ages.
From the same South London stable as Asher Senator, Smiley Culture is the prince of the new wave of fast-patter deejays, delivering his raps in double-quick time and with tongue-twisting diction. Remember the days when reggae was supposed to be laid back? Smiley don’t and his “lyrics of quantity” spout from that grinning mouth at an alleged rate of 195 words a minute.
Backed only by a tape of some looping dubwise rhythms, the man in the tam and the sky-blue tracksuit slam-bammed his way through ‘Police Officer’ and ‘Cockney Translation’, the latter now embellished with Yankee-style abridgements, but his impact was severely dampened by an overdose of mid-song balderdash.
Stoned exhortations of “Everybody say Clash” and sermons on the joys of sweet sensimelia only punctured the pace and timbre of Smiley’s double-time talkovers. In the course of half-a-dozen toasts, there was simply too much twaddle and not enough serious talk.
Under the banner Arthur Scargill’s Christmas Party and in front of a backdrop depicting the bleak post-industrial silhouettes of a dying mining town, Strummer’s three new apprentices struck up the stark opening chords of ‘One More Time’ and it immediately felt good to know that The Clash were back.
Drawing liberally from a catalogue that now stretches back eight years, The Clash play for close on two hours but there is little coherence or crispness to their set. Compared to, say, The Redskins scampering through ‘Unionise’ or ‘Lean On Me’ in Hammersmith only a week earlier, Strummer and company dilute much of their political force by their fanciful and romanticised imagery.
And judging by their reception afforded the speech of a striking miner before their set – gobbed at, splattered in beer and eventually subjected to the indignity of having his papers torn up by a marauding punk who had forced his way on stage – any political points being made by The Clash are lost on certain sections of their audience.
The absurdness of regurgitating 1977’s sermon in 1984 aside, some of the new songs previewed on the last tour – ‘This Is England’ and ‘Are You Ready’ – promise better once they have been captured, litigation permitting, on vinyl.
But on stage, The Clash at the moment are a case of an excess of energy at best being misdirected and at worst going to waste. Like a rabbit caught in a snare, the more they kick the more entangled they seem to become.
It’s time they quit holding out and drew another breath.
The Height Of Bad Manners reviewed by Chris Dean in the NME, 4 June, 1983.
Me, I’d be the last to trade excuses with you, but make a mental, it takes time to review a Bad Manners album – not a few days extra to scrape up a sociological State Of The Art analysis to hang on this Greatest Hits package, but several weeks to floor-test this record in its element at parties, and then scrape up a sociological State Of The Art analysis to hang thereon.
Last party I tested this out at was back in York, when I came home home to find my mum throwing a pre-Election knees-up. A sort of ‘Labour Paaaaarty’, with all the ingredients for sound rave-up – two thirds of the General Management Committee, a couple of councillors and a few entryists keeping their heads down in the corner.
Only problem was the Branch Secretary was caught short for records (‘Andy Williams Sings The Red Flag’ permitting) and, sheer chance, I had this album, the perfect complement to a front room full of bopping reformists. And what a complement More popular than King Arthur, Buster went down a storm. Our Tony put his back out of joint dancing to the ‘Can Can’, Shirl got ribbed for ‘My Girl Lollipop’ and ‘Buena Sera’ got Ray singing “Tain’t no sin to throw off your skin and daqnce around in your bones”…Hit me with those naughty-type radical lyrics!
Bad Manners’ Greatest Hits means an album of party favourites, and can Buster and the boys party! Some people would give their philosophy degree for the ability to make really party music; some people ony have to grin and flaunt it, and who better to get teenies and grannies grinning hopelessly than Fatty Buster hisself.
You remember Buster – the only pop star from ’79’s ska explosion who looked like he’d been poured into his Sta-Prest and forgotten to say “When!”. Bad Manners took themselves a slice of 2-Tone’s essential party spirit and built a whole group around Buster’s tongue – Manners live were chaos incorporated. Buster looning while the rest of the band went on groove manoeuvres, rough(ly) R&B and neat ska steals set off by Winston Bazoomies’ harp.
‘The Height Of Bad Manners’ is everything you’ve already heard, all the chartbreakers plus extras like ‘Inner London Violence’ and ‘Elizabethan Reggae’. But if ‘Lip Up Fatty’ sounds dead similar to Clancy Eccles and ‘Buena Sera’ sounds nothing like Toto Puente, who gives a monkey’s gone midnight?
With upful music in a downtrodden state, Bad Manners still grin and flaunt it in spite of the times – and, tearsferfears, what times! These days angst isn’t an adolescent condition, it’s a friggin’ movement. Sure thang, whining’s back in fashion.
The message in this glorious moozic is don’t whine too loudly, angst-ridden ones. Better must come. Remember, even people have ears.