weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
Combat 77 was founded in early 2007 by memmbers of Riot Company, Annex 5 and Vendetta. Within a few months the band played at the ‘Punk & Disorderly’ fest in Berlin en recorded a debute full-length. After this the band continued playing live and even managed to do a two-week tour through China. All questions answered by Björn (drums).
October 2011 – band website
Can you introduce the band, who are the members?
We are Combat 77 from Hannover (Germany), we got together in 2007. The current line-up is Kirsten (vocals), Dole (guitar), Leif (guitar), Hannes (bass) and Bjorn (drums). Band members have played or still play in bands like Riot Company, Annex5, Lion Shield and Vendetta. Our album ‘100% Oi!’ was released in 2008 by Sunny Bastards / Contra Records.
Why is your band named Combat 77? Is this meant as a tribute to Combat 84 or is or there other/more reasons?
We tried to combine the skinhead and punk element in one name, so we took ‘Combat’ from the skinhead side and ’77’ from the punk side. Nothing more to it and nothing less.
You are one of the few female fronted Oi!/streetpunk bands. Do you have any idea why women are so underrepresented in this scene?
Maybe because the general understanding of working class tends to have a stronger appeal to the male species due to traditional reasons and the gender role associated with it. Fortunately other female fronted bands like Vice Squad, The Expelled and Bovver 96 have proven that there is more to Oi! than a single-sided attitude.
I often have the impression that the German scene is very closed. Most bands sing in German, they mostly play in Germany and they release their records through German record labels. Are you the exception that confirms the rule or is my view on the German scene incorrect?
In fact, there are a lot of German bands that sing in English (Oxymoron, Eastside Boys, Urban Rejects, Riot Company, Cracks & Scars, Guts & Glory, Tower Blocks, Barroom Heroes, Bovver Boys…), and many of them have played gigs in countries like Italy, Spain, France, England (have a look at the line-up of Blackpool’s Rebellion Festival), Poland, Czech Republic and even done tours in the States or Indonesia. German record labels like Sunny Bastards, KB Records or Bandworm are offering decent deals to bands, so it’s no point to look somewhere else, except maybe for licensing
How on earth did you manage to tour in China? I’m familiar with many Asian Oi!-bands from countries such as Japan, Indonesia or Thailand, but i hardly know any Chinese Oi! bands…
We got an offer from the Chinese record label Kids Union Records to license our album ‘100% Oi!’ in China. Since they also have a booking service we agreed to play a 10 days tour in China, starting in Beijing and ending in Hong Kong. Currently not many Chinese Oi! bands exist, the most popular ones are probably Mi San Dao and The No Name from Beijing and Oi Squad from Hong Kong.
How was it to play in China?
The tour was very adventurous. On our flight to Beijing, our drummer’s bass pedal was confiscated as an alleged weapon, so we had to stay one night in Paris. Then some of our baggage got lost, but we still made it to the first gig at the ‘Mao Live House’ in Beijing. From there we travelled mostly by train. The cities we played were very big and very crowded, and it took us a while to get accustomed to the incredible traffic situation.
We were often viewed with great curiosity by the local authorities, especially at the train stations. On one occasion we even had an official guard sitting in front of one venue to make sure there is no public disturbance going on whatsoever. It seemed, anyway, that the clubs have more fear of drunken foreigners than of the native audience (who seemed to enjoy any kind of ‘alternative’ event very much). Normally you find one rock club venue in each big city where all kind of rock and pop bands play, ranging from April Lavigne and Backstreet Boys to Napalm Death.
We consistently got a very good crowd reaction, and our singer Kirsten was often approached by female fans who expressed their admiration by telling her that they thought it was very courageous of her to be the female singer of a band. Hong Kong is definitely more ‘open’ than the rest of China; in some areas you might think you are somewhere in a London pub area. Anyone interested in reading our ‘China tour diary’, please visit our website.
After that you released a split cd with Indulgencia from Russia. Do you have any plans to play there as well?
So far we didn’t get any decent offers from there, so we’ll see what happens in the future.