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)



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