weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
Subculture from Cambridge (England) was founded in 1981. After several gigs the band was invited to appear at the Oi! Oi! That’s Y’r Lot LP. Soon the band recorded their first EP but calls it a day in late 1983. Nearly twenty years later the band is back with a new EP. All questions were answered by Phil Parker (bass).
june 2012 – band website
Let’s start with the most obvious question: How does it feel to be back again?
It feels great! Our country and the rest of the world is in a right old state so there is plenty to shout about – never vote a leader cause they are all the same!! We said it in 1983 and we’ll say it again now – the working classes are getting shafted by the privileged few. It’s been going on for hundreds of years and it’s gotta stop! There’s never been a better time to be in a working class punk band sticking it to the man! And the Eton rifles who run the shit called government and banks, we say fuck them!
During the punk revival of the mid 90ies several old bands reformed. But you needed another twenty years to make the decision to continue. Why did you took so long?
There are a few reasons why we have not reformed until now… first and foremost the band wanted nothing to do with a scene that was tainted with the bad taste of dodgy politics. Be it right wing or left wing, they are all cunts! We were never involved in anyway with the people that ruined the Oi! scene in the 1980’s and we never will be.
This time around we are gonna make sure our views are crystal clear: nazi/commi punks & skins or what ever, can fuck right off! Enough said. secondly Pete (vocals) was building his refrigeration empire away from Cambridge, we lost touch with him for a good few years and Dean (guitar) was away sun bathing on a beach in Spain someplace – he was actually working the nightclubs as an underground house DJ – and Matt (bass and drums) and me were busy bringing up a family and playing in other bands together. Check out Except The General and Out Of Nowhere, two great punk psych bands that released some great songs (look on itunes or spotify, etc).
One of the reasons to call it a day was because you didn’t want to be associated with dodgy politics. Do you think the situation changed for the better these days?
I believe 100 percent in freedom of speech, so everybody is in my view entitled to a political opinion as long as they don’t try and latch there twisted ideas onto our band or scene. There will always be idiots in any walk of life, we just try our best to avoid them, they’ll eventually get bored and run home to mummy!
When people speak of the early days of Oi! they mostly speak about the London bands. How was the scene in Cambridge those days?
The scene in Cambridge was ok, a few good punk bands around, the usual pub venues to play in, we also had a great venue called the Sea Cadet Hall. Many great nights were had down there dancing under the lights to punk bands of the early 1980’s scene, there were the usual tribes of old England roaming the streets looking for a good time like the skins, punks, mods, rockers, Gothics… it seamed in those days everyone belonged to one tribe or another…
We soon broke out of Cambridge and got involved with the scene around the Blue Coat Boy Pub in islington London (the legendary punk and skinhead club Skunx), we played there many times with some of the best bands from the uk82 scene including Blitz , The Business, Red Alert, Peter and The Test Tube Babies, The Addicts, et cetera. We also played with cock sparrer and the exploited at the 100 club in London around the same time.
You just released a new EP called ‘Just play the music’. How are the reactions so far? Is it mainly people who know your earlier work who buy it or are it also people who weren’t familiar with the band yet?
The reaction to the new songs has been great so far, people – new and old – seem to like them. The songs on the new EP are fresh enough to appeal to new ears and yet have enough of the old Subculture to please the old school.
When i read the lyrics of songs like ‘Hidden Agenda’ or ‘Revolution Beat’ I notice you try to tend away from the cliches which are often used in Oi! and streetpunk music. With which motivation do you write your lyrics? As an outlet for daily life or do you also have the intention to spread your word with it?
The words to the Subculture songs are always honest social comments on things that are happening or happened in our own lives. I believe a song with a good message is always a winner. To be honest, a lots of the stuff out under the Oi! or punk banner is a load of old bollocks, although if you look hard enough you’ll always find something cool!
You’ll play at the Rebellion festival in august. Are you excited to play there? Is this your biggest gig so far?
Yeah, i think we are all excited (and a tad nervous)! It’s the first time we have played a festival anywhere so as a whole it’ll be our biggest show, if anyone show’s up to actually watch us old dogs play it’ll be a bonus. We did play in front of 700 people supporting stiff little fingers last october in Northampton (England), that was a great gig and we went down a storm.
Do you have any closing comments or future plans to announce?
Yeah! All you skins and punk and herberts too, come check us out , have a look at our website, support the band by buying a cd or vinyl single so we can keep going some more. And last but not least thanks to anyone who has ever helped us along the punk rock path and remember kids… working class kids sing loud and clear, let the nation know were here!!! Up the punks (and all you rebels where ever you may be)!!
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