Cockney Rejects


Cockney Rejects

Cockney Rejects are an Oi! punk band that formed in the East End of London in 1977. Their 1980 song "Oi, Oi, Oi" was the inspiration for the name of the Oi! music genre.

Their biggest hit record in the United Kingdom, 1980's "The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off",was a parody of Sham 69's song "Hersham Boys". Other Cockney Rejects songs were less commercial,partly because they tended to be about hard-edged topics such as street fighting or football hooliganism. The band members are loyal supporters of West Ham United F.C.,and pay tribute to the club with their hit cover version of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles",a song which has been sung by the West Ham supporters at the match since the 1920s. Other singles to chart in the UK were "Bad Man," "We Can Do Anything," and "We Are the Firm" (all 1980).

The violence depicted in their lyrics was often mirrored at their concerts, and the band members often fought to defend themselves (often from supporters of opposing football teams) or to split up conflicts between audience members. Jeff and Mick Geggus (who are brothers) had both been amateur youth boxers, and had fought at the national level. 

Cockney Rejects expressed contempt for all politicians in their lyrics, and they rejected media claims that they had a British Movement following, or that the band members supported the views of that far right group. In their first Sounds interview, they mockingly referred to the British Movement as the "German Movement" and stated that many of their heroes were black boxers. Jeff Turner's autobiography Cockney Reject describes an incident in which the band members and their supporters had a massive fight against British Movement members at one of Cockney Rejects' early concerts.

Cockney Rejects released their most recent album Unforgiven on the G&R London in dependent record label in May 2007.

The Cockney Rejects were formed in 1978 by, brothers, Jeff Turner and Micky Geggus, with their brother-in-law Chris Murrell on bass and Paul Harvey on drums. Their first demo 'Flares n' Slippers' caught the attention of Small Wonder Records owner Pete Stennett, who introduced the band to Bob Sergeant. With Sergeant, they recorded their single "I Wanna Be A Star"; the song was a huge success and sold out its first pressing.

At this point, the brothers replaced Murrell and Harvey with Vince Riordan, on bass, and Andy Scott, on the drums, from fellow East End band, The Tickets. This would be known as the Cockney Rejects 'classic' lineup, and its debut at the Bridge House in Canning Town in June 1979 is considered a turning point for the band. In September of that same year, the band signed with EMI and released their 'Greatest Hits, Vol. 1' in February 1980. 

Band members

Original line up (1978-79.)

    * Jeff Geggus, aka Jeff Turner, aka "Stinky" Turner (vocals)
    * Mick Geggus (guitar)
    * Chris Murrell (bass guitar)
    * Paul Harvey ( drums)


    * Stinky Turner (vocals)
    * Micky Geggus (lead guitar)
    * Vince Riordan (bass)
    * Andy " Atlas " Scott (drums)


    * Stinky Turner (Vocals)
    * Micky Geggus (Guitars)
    * Vince Riordan (Bass)
    * Nigel Woolf (Drums)


    * Stinky Turner/Jefferson Turner (vocals)
    * Mick Geggus (guitars)
    * Vince/Vinnie Riordan (bass)
    * Keith "Stix" Warrington (drums)


    * Jeff Turner (vocals)
    * Mick Geggus (guitars)
    * Ian Campbell (bass)
    * Keith Warrington (drums)


(See line-up 4)


    * Jeff Turner (vocals)
    * Mick Geggus (guitar)
    * Tony Van Frater (bass)
    * Andrew Laing (drums)


    * Jeff Turner (vocals)
    * Mick Geggus (guitars)
    * Tony Van Frater (bass)
    * Les "Nobby" Cobb (drums)

Present line up (2007)

(See 1999 Line Up)
Previous band members

    * Micky Burt (drums) (1989) (Didn't actually play any gigs; he wasn't available for the May 1989 gig in Berchem, Belgium, so Keith Warrington was brought back)
    * (Record producer Peter Wilson played drums on the "Flares & Slippers" EP)



    * Greatest Hits Volume 1 (EMI, 1980) UK #22
    * Greatest Hits Volume 2 (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK #23
    * Greatest Hits Volume 3 (Live & Loud) (EMI/Zemaphone, 1981) UK #27
    * The Power and the Glory (EMI/Zonophone, 1981)
    * The Wild Ones (AKA1, 1982)
    * Quiet Storm (Heavy Metal Records, 1984)
    * Unheard Rejects (Wonderful World Records, 1985)
    * Lethal (Neat Records, 1990)
    * The Punk Singles Collection (Dojo, 1997)
    * Greatest Hits Volume 4 (Rhythm Vicar, 1997)
    * Out of the Gutter (Captain Oi Records, 2003)
    * Unforgiven (G&R Records, 2007)

EPs and singles

    * "Flares & Slippers" (7-inch, EP) (Small Wonder, 1979)
    * "I'm Not a Fool" (7-inch single) (EMI, 1979) UK #65
    * "Bad Man" (7-inch) (EMI, 1980) UK #65
    * "The Greatest Cockney Rip Off" (7-inch. Limited Edition in Yellow Vinyl) (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK #21
    * "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" (7-inch) (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK #35
    * "We Can Do Anything" (7-inch) (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK #65
    * "We Are the Firm" (7-inch) (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK #54
    * "Easy Life" (7-inch, Live EP) (EMI/Zonophone, 1981)
    * "On the Streets Again" (7-inch) (EMI/Zonophone, 1981)
    * "Till the End of the Day" (7-inch) (AKA 1982)
    * "Back to the Start" (7-inch) (Heavy Metal Records, 1984)


    * Oi! The Album (1980)
    * "Total Noise" (7-inch EP) (1983)
    * Oi! Oi! Oi! (Castle, 1997)
    * Lords Of Oi! (Dressed to Kill, 1997)
    * Back on the Street (Victory Records, 2000)[Reissue of " Greatest Hits Vol4 "]
    * Addicted to Oi! (2001)

The 4-Skins

The 4-Skins



The 4-Skins are a working class Oi! punk rock band from the East End of London, England. Originally composed of Gary Hodges (vocals), 'Hoxton' Tom McCourt guitar), Steve 'H' Hamer (bass) and Gary Hitchcock (drums), they formed in 1979 and disbanded in 1984 –although a new line-up formed in 2007.


Most of the original four band members were or had been skinheads, thus the double meaning of the band's name. However, Steve Pear had a rockabilly style, and Hoxton Tom McCourt — who was a suedehead — was one of the leading participants of the mod revival. Initially the band members had known each other from football, or from following bands such as Sham 69 and Menace.

Prior to the release of the band's debut single, "One Law For Them", The 4-Skins contributed songs to the first three Oi! compilation albums, alongside bands such as Cockney Rejects, Cock Sparrer, The Business and Angelic Upstarts. Many of their songs dealt with violent topics, but the band has claimed they were discussing the realities of inner city life, not promoting violence. Other 4-Skins song topics include police harassment, political corruption, war and unemployment.

The 4-Skins went through many personnel changes during their five-year existence, with only bassist/songwriter 'Hoxton' Tom McCourt being present in every line-up of the band. Other former members include Roi Pearce, who was also the frontman of The Last Resort, and Paul Swain, a guitarist who later joined the white power rock band Skrewdriver.

In 2007, the band reformed with two original members  — lead singer Gary Hodges and bassist Steve 'H' Harmer, plus guitarist Mick Geggus and drummer Andy Russell of the Cockney Rejects. This line-up recorded two songs, "Chaos 2007" and "Glory Days" for the compilation album Kings of Streetpunk, released on the independent record label G&R London. It was stated that this line-up would not perform live.[citation needed]

2008 saw Hodges form a new version of the band under the name Gary Hodges' 4-Skins, featuring Indecent Exposure members Tom Brennan (guitar), Graham Bacon (bass) and Sedge Swatton (drums). This line-up played three shows – one in Berlin at the Punk and Disorderly festival, in Allentown, PA at the East Coast Oi Fest and an appearance as the headlining act on the final day of the Blackpool Rebellion punk festival in August 2008. Two newly-recorded tracks were also released for free on The 4-Skins' official web page. Both were covers of Slade songs – "Cum on Feel the Noize" and "Thanks for the Memories". Following this, the band made the decision to continue recording and touring.


Band members



    * Hoxton Tom McCourt (guitar)
    * Gary Hodges (vocals)
    * Steve 'H' Harmer (bass)
    * Gary Hitchcock (drums).


    * Hoxton Tom McCourt (bass)
    * Gary Hodges (vocals)
    * Steve 'Rockabilly' Pear (guitar)
    * John Jacobs (drums)


    * Hoxton Tom McCourt (bass)
    * Tony 'Panther' Cummins (vocals)
    * John Jacobs (guitar/keyboards)
    * Pete Abbot (drums)


    * Hoxton Tom McCourt (bass)
    * Roi Pearce (vocals)
    * Paul Swain (guitar)
    * Ian Bramson (drums)


    * Gary Hodges (vocals)
    * Steve 'H' Harmer (bass)
    * Mick Geggus (guitar)
    * Andy Russell (drums)


    * Gary Hodges (vocals)
    * Graham Bacon (bass)
    * Tom Brennan (guitar)
    * Sedge Swatton (drums)

Partial discography


    * The Good, The Bad & The 4-Skins (Secret Records (SEC 4), 1982)
    * A Fistful Of...4-Skins (Syndicate Records (SYN 1), 1983)
    * From Chaos to 1984 (Live) (Syndicate Records (SYN LP 5), 1984)
    * The Return (Randale Records (RAN 050), 2010)


    * One Law For Them / Brave New World (Clockwork Fun (CF 101), 1981)
    * Yesterdays Heroes / Justice/Get Out Of My Life (Secret Records (SHH 125), 1981)
    * Low Life / Bread Or Blood (Secret Records (SHH 141), 1982)
    * The 4-Skins - Thanks For The Memories / Evil Conduct - The Way We Feel (Clockwork Firm / Randale Records (CF-001 / RAN 47), 2009)

Oi! compilation appearances

    * "Wonderful World", "Chaos" – Oi! The Album (EMI, 1980)
    * "1984", "Sorry" – Strength Thru Oi! (Decca Records, 1981)
    * "Evil" – Carry On Oi! (Secret Records, 1981)
    * "On The Streets" – Son Of Oi! (Syndicate Records, 1983)
    * "Clockwork Skinhead", "Plastic Gangster", "Summer Holiday"- Lords Of Oi! (Dressed To Kill, 1997)
    * "Glory Days", "Chaos 2007" - Kings of Street Punk (G&R London, 2007)


    * A Few 4-Skins More, Vol.1 (Link Records, 1987)
    * A Few 4-Skins More, Vol.2 (Link Records, 1987)
    * The Wonderful World Of The 4-Skins (1987)
    * The Best Of 4-Skins (1989)
    * The Best Of The 4 Skins (1997 Harry May/Link Records, Limited edition including 7" singles)
    * Clockwork Skinhead (2000)
    * Singles & Rarities (Captain Oi! Records, 2000)
    * The Secret Life of the 4-Skins (Captain Oi! Records, 2001)
    * History Of... (Double CD, Taang Records, 2003)




Prince Buster

Prince Buster 




Cecil Bustamente Campbell, O.D. (born 28 May 1938), better known as Prince Buster and also known by his Muslim name Muhammed Yusef Ali, is a musician from Kingston, Jamaica is regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of ska and rocksteady music.The records he made on the Blue Beat label in the 1960s inspired many reggae and ska artists.

Early life


Campbell began his professional career as a singer in 1956; performing in Kingston nightclubs. He formed a succession of bands with several of his friends, none of which were successful. Campbell's music career reached maturity with the growth of the sound system. Across Jamaica, music promoters drove vans filled with stereo equipment to stage mobile parties. The operators of the sound system would play the popular R&B dance records of the day and often they would have a vocalist called a toaster call out the dancers' names, chant in rhythm, and make light-hearted boasts. Deejay "toasting" was one of the precursors to the style of vocal delivery that eventually evolved into rap.

Eventually, Campbell was introduced to Clement Dodd, a musically-inclined businessman who operated one of Kingston's most popular sound systems. Interestingly, Campbell was not hired as a musician but as security; because of rivalries between fans devoted to a particular sound system, the parties sometimes could become quite rough, and Campbell had been a skillful amateur boxer as a teenager. It was in this line of work that he earned the nickname "The Prince", which along with his boyhood moniker "Buster" (from his middle name Bustamente), formed the name under which he would later become famous.  


Artistic and producing career


In 1960, Buster produced a record for the Folkes Brothers for the Wild Bells label, "Oh Carolina," under his nickname. This record was Jamaica's first to involve an element of African music - the drumming in the record was provided by Count Ossie, the lead nyabinghi drummer from the rastafarian camp, Camp David in the hills above Kingston. It was an instant hit in Jamaica, and Buster's early records, which were released in the UK by Blue Beat Records contributed greatly to the developing sound of ska. Buster was soon recording his own compositions as well as producing records for others.

From 1963 to the end of the decade, Buster wrote and produced hundreds of songs for Blue Beat. Soon after his initial success, Buster was drawing international attention. He toured Britain extensively during this period, playing to sellout crowds, and appeared on commercial TV broadcaster Rediffusion London's Friday early-evening pop show Ready, Steady, Go! in 1964. While in England, Buster met World Heavyweight Champion boxer Muhammad Ali, a meeting that resulted in Buster joining the Nation of Islam as well as Ali being mentioned in the song "Earthquake on Orange Street." He went on to be a popular as a recorded and touring artist in Europe, and though none of his singles charted as highly in the United States, he went on a successful American tour in 1967 to support the little-known RCA Victor LP release "The Ten Commandments (From Man To Woman)". Today, the album (catalog LSP-3792) is a highly-sought-after rarity among collectors of ska and foundation reggae.

Prince Buster had two hit singles in the UK. "Al Capone" (#18, 1967) and much later with an updated version of "Whine And Grine", which was used on a television advertisement (#21, 1998).[3]In 1972 Buster gained notoriety for the title track of his album Big Five, a raunched-up re-write of Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia" with explicit references to sex and drugs.

Besides being a pioneering musician, Buster, like Clement Dodd, was also very interested in business. He started a record shop in Kingston in the early 1960s which is still owned and operated by his family today. Later he founded a jukebox company. He also started the Prince Buster Records label, at first as an attempt to keep the Melodisc label viable,[4] but today is used to reissue his music.


Post-recording life


The ska sound and rhythms were undergoing a change by the late 1960s, musicians were slowing the beat and introducing more subtle rhythmic pulses that audiences found less frantic and therefore easier to dance too. This new music was eventually called rocksteady, slower than ska and more influenced by gospel and soul. Rocksteady itself would eventually be replaced by reggae. In addition to the musical influence that ska and rocksteady exerted, many reggae lyrics expressed an Afrocentric, Marcus Garvey-inspired worldview, which had been present in some of Prince Buster's songs. Bob Marley, Toots Hibbert, and other reggae stars have acknowledged their debt. Buster also made a cameo appearance in the acclaimed international hit movie, The Harder They Come. However, reggae's Rastafarian orientation led the Muslim Prince to keep an arms distance away from the new music. He turned toward more traditional tourist-based business ventures instead and gracefully exited the Jamaican music scene.

By the late 1970s, Buster was in serious financial trouble. His business ventures were all posting losses or low profits, and the loans he had taken out to start them were catching up. Fortunately for him, ska was experiencing a revival in the United Kingdom, and the most prominent bands of the revival drew from his material. In 1979, the band Madness (named after one of Prince Buster's songs) released their first record, a tribute to Buster called "The Prince", which urged ska fans to remember "the man who set the beat". Their second single was a cover of Buster's "One Step Beyond" which reached the Top 10, and a cover of the band's namesake, "Madness," was also included on the debut Madness album. On their first album, The Specials covered "Too Hot" and drew heavily on "Judge Dread" in the song "Stupid Marriage" and "Al Capone" in the song "Gangsters." The Specials also included a cover of Buster's version of "Enjoy Yourself", on their second album. Not to be outdone, the The Beat included on its first album covers of the Buster originals "Rough Rider" and "Whine & Grine." Interest in Buster soared during this time; he received royalties when his songs were covered by 2-Tone bands, and his old records were re-issued and sold well. Buster's songs continued to be popular sources for ska bands in the U.S., an example being The Toasters covering "Hard Man Fe Dead" in 1996. In 1989, Prince Buster recorded a 12" single with London based ska and blues band, The Trojans, which was released on Gaz's Rockin' Records in the UK. "Stack O Lee" was a limited edition and it sold out within weeks.

Prince Buster now lives in Miami, Florida. He has performed at a few shows over the past several years, including the 2002 Legends Of Ska festival in Toronto, in Dedham, Massachusetts in 2002, in the 2006 Boss Sounds Reggae Festival in Newcastle upon Tyne, 40th Montreoux Jazz Festival in Switzerland with Delroy Williams Junction Band and 2007's Rhythm Festival. During the last day of the 2008 Notting Hill Carnival, Prince Buster made an appearance on the Gaz's Rockin' Blues stage, alongside The Trojans.

Prince Buster was due to make a rare live appearance in London on September 5, 2009 at Camden Centre, but it was announced by email to ticket holders on August 24, 2009 that it was cancelled.



Album discography

    * I Feel The Spirit (1963)
    * Fly Flying Ska (1964)
    * It's Burke's Law (1965)
    * Pain In My Belly (1965)
    * Ska-Lip-Soul (1965)
    * What A Hard Man Fe Dead (1967)
    * Prince Buster On Tour (1967)
    * Judge Dread Rock Steady (1967)
    * Ten Commandments - RCA (1967)
    * Wreck A Pum Pum (1968)
    * Tutti Frutti - Melodisc (1968)
    * FABulous Greatest Hits - FAB (1968)
    * The Outlaw - Blue Beat (1969)
    * 15 Oldies but Goodies - FAB
    * Big Five - Melodisc (1972)
    * The Message-Dub Wise - FAB/Melodisc (1972)
    * Dance Cleopatra Dance - Blue Elephant (1972)
    * Chi Chi Run - FAB (1973)
    * She Was A Rough Rider (1978)
    * Sister Big Stuff - Melodisc (1976)
    * Jamaica's Greatest - Melodisc
    * Subliminal Reaction - Subliminal Reacton
    * FABulous Greatest Hits - 1963-1981 - Sequel (1993)
    * The Original Golden Oldies Volume 1 (1998)
    * The Original Golden Oldies Volume 2 (1999)
    * The King of Ska (2002)


Laurel Aitken

Lorenzo Aitken (April 22, 1927 – July 17, 2005), better known as Laurel Aitken, was a singer and one of the originators of Jamaican ska music. He is often referred to as the "Godfather of ska".

Born in Cuba of mixed Cuban and Jamaican descent, Aitken and his family settled in Jamaica in 1938. After an early career working for the Jamaican Tourist Board singing mento songs for visitors arriving at Kingston Harbour, he became a popular nightclub entertainer. His first recordings in the late 1950s were mento tunes such as "Nebuchnezer", "Sweet Chariot" (aka the gospel classic "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot") and "Baba Kill Me Goat". Progressing to a pre-ska shuffle, Aitken's 1958 single "Little Sheila"/"Boogie in My Bones" was one of the first records produced by Chris Blackwell, who founded his Island Records label that year, and the first Jamaican popular music record to be released in the United Kingdom. Other rock and roll singles from this period include "Low Down Dirty Girl", "Drinkin' Whisky" and "More Whisky", produced by Duke Reid.

Aitken moved to Brixton, London in 1960 and recorded for the Blue Beat label, releasing fifteen singles before returning to Jamaica in 1963. He recorded for Duke Reid, with backing from The Skatalites on tracks such as "Zion" and "Weary Wanderer", before returning to the UK, where he began working with Pama Records. He recorded hits such as "Fire in Mi Wire" and "Landlord and Tenants", which led to a wider recognition outside of Jamaica and the UK. This cemented his position as one of ska's leading artists and earned him the nicknames The Godfather of Ska,[1] and later Boss Skinhead. He gained a loyal following not only among the West Indian community, but also among mods, skinheads and other ska fans. He had hit records in the United Kingdom and other countries in the 1950s through to the 1970s on labels such as Blue Beat, Pama, Trojan, Rio, Dr. Bird, Nu-Beat, Ska-Beat, and Dice. Some of his singles featured B-sides credited to his brother, guitarist Bobby Aitken. Aitken also recorded a few talk-over/deejay tracks under the guise of 'King Horror', such as "Loch Ness Monster", "Dracula, Prince of Darkness", and "The Hole". Aitken settled in Leicester with his wife in 1970. His output slowed in the 1970s and during this period he worked as an entertainer in nightclubs and restaurants in the area including the popular 'Costa Brava Restaurant' in Leicester under his real name Lorenzo. In 1980, with ska enjoying a resurgence in the wake of the 2 Tone movement, Aitken had his first success in the UK Singles Chart with "Rudi Got Married" (#60). Aitken's career took in mento/calypso, R&B, ska, rock steady, and reggae, and in the 1990s he even turned his talents to dancehall. He performed occasional concerts almost until his death from a heart attack in 2005. After a long campaign, a blue plaque in his honour was put up at his Leicester home in 2007.

Laurel Aitken



The blurb on the back:
A young and brutal bovver boy called Joe Hawkins caused outrage when he was first introduced to the world in the NEL smash hit, Skinhead.
Now Joe has grown his hair and swapped his boots and braces for a velvet-collared Abercrombie coat. His aggro days are over ... but his city-slicker days are just beginning.

opening lines:
As he stood in the dock, Joe Hawkins considered his situation with utter detachment.

Richard Allen was the best-known pseudonym employed by James Moffatt, and his best-known book was Skinhead, to which this was the first sequel. If you were at school in the early-Seventies, you'll probably remember this stuff: it sold in vast quantities and, even more significantly, it was passed from hand to hand by those seeking a quick shot of sex and violence, attracting a readership in places where no skinhead had yet trod. It's quite possible that Skinhead was read more widely amongst teenagers than any other novel of the period.
Allen seemed even more surprised by the instant success of that book than anyone else, and – unusually for an exploitation novel – this sequel comes with an Author’s Preface, in which he insists that his work is not responsible for encouraging skinhead violence. Indeed he’d like it to be known that he thoroughly disapproves of those who have fostered ‘a climate of anarchy’ in Britain. So, if it’s not him, who or what is responsible for the growth of these youth cults? Well, everyone else, of course, argues Allen, pointing to:
leniency in courtrooms, catering to fads by mercenary-minded rag-trade merchants, a soft-peddling attitude by politicians who look for teenage votes to save their seats, and an overwhelming pandering by the news media… (p.5)
As a mea non culpa, it’s not very impressive, but – three decades on – it’s not really our place to judge him on whether he encouraged ‘anti-social behaviour’. So let’s judge the novel simply as a piece of writing. And the verdict is that it’s not very wonderful. In fact it’s nasty, brutish and short. And while the casual inelegance undoubtedly suits the subject, it does prove wearing: for such a brief book, it doesn’t half feel like a long read, devoid of even a single flash of inspiration. Just an occasional phrase that wasn’t completely flat would have been a joy. Worse, the language is not only plain but – by modern standards – terribly tame, so that even the most unpleasant scene (which, as you’d expect, involves a female victim) isn’t really capable of any shock value.
Hard to believe that anyone new would bother, but for some of those who read this stuff at the age of thirteen, there might be a nostalgic appeal, I guess. And at least suedeheads wore better clothes than skinheads.