I must have a subconscious quest to support / open for bands from my teenage record collection. With the likes of UK Subs, 999, Stiff Little Fingers, Culture Shock already chalked off the list, to support the Cockney Rejects is an absolute honour.
‘Don’t be so fackin stupid, we’ve got holes in our arses just like you,’ said Mickey Geggus after I had told them I was feeling a little starstruck. They gave me a group hug.
My love for the Cockney Rejects during my formative years was (is) as much as my love for Crass. Both may be at opposite ends of the spectrum; from preaching anarchy and peace to cracking heads on the terraces, but for me it was (and still is) all punk rock.
The Cockney Rejects are on tour, Vince Riordan is back in the fold… His imposing frame and ICF stature initially scared me and I’m sure he walked past my 12-year-old self outside the Racecourse ground when Wrexham were at home to West Ham in the old Second Division. Tonight, and every night I’m sure; he’s a true gentleman. Cockney Rejects are a street punk band; not Oi, not skinhead… Street Punk, and they’ve got a sackful of classic tunes to boot.
Chester’s Live Rooms is a purpose built venue with a great stage and you can take your vantage point from anywhere and get a full view. The Rejects are soundchecking when we (Spam Javelin) arrive, jamming something that sounds like Marc Bolan. Our drummer is late… He’s always late… When he dies he’ll be known as the Late Late Gwion… It’s 6:30pm and the doors open at 7pm and Ryuko are also waiting to soundcheck… There’s not gonna be time to set our kit up… ‘It’s OK, you can use ours,’ said our East End friends… Gentlemen.
‘Those cunts are playing up the road,’ says Stinky Turner, referring to The Damned gig in Liverpool tonight. ‘Not sure how many will be here, but we’ll give one hundred percent regardless.’
Indeed they did…
War On The Terraces, Someone Like You, Join The Rejects, East End, We Are The Firm, We Can Do Anything, The Power & The Glory, Cockney Rip-Off, Police Car, Flares ‘n’ Slippers and the seldom played Hate Of The City. They kept coming and the gift kept on giving… One hundred percent… It was a mosh pit melee, mayhem and madness – what a great night, culminating with my favourite Oi Oi Oi.
Let’s be havin’ ya…