A few weeks ago on the Just Some Punk Songs show I broadcast the Top 30 Oi songs released since 1st Jan 2000 as voted for by The Church Of Oi! Facebook group. One band I wasn't surprised to see make the Top 10 were Leicester's B-Squadron. They've only released one ep so far but what a fantastic ep it was and it's no surprise it was recieved so well. For one of the best examples there is of raw, modern day oi! music go here
Soon after the release of the ep they decided to call it a day, a decision which happily they reversed and 2017 will see the release of their debut album. It's definitely one of the most anticipated releases of the year.
Today I'm extremely pleased to bring you the 10 favourite songs of frontman Travis, not only has he chosen a bunch of classic tracks, he's also very kindly added comprehensive commentary so many thanks and over to you mate.....
I'd like to thank mick at just some punk songs and the boys at the church of Oi! for giving me this opportunity. I hope you enjoyed the choices. Cheers. Travis.
1) COCKNEY REJECTS - Someone Like You
The Kings. The guvnors. Original and best. I'd been listening to punk since I was a kid, I loved the sound but a lot of the meaning in the lyrics went over my young head, I mean what does a 6/7 year old know about anarchy really? Then these boys came and changed the game, that same raucous sound but with words I could directly link to my own life. Songs I could relate to and that put it on a whole new level. I've picked this track simply for these few words... got a kicking from me brother, had a row with me mother, I'm in trouble everyday, them words hit me bang on the chin, like they were written for me and the kids on my street, which I guess they were really. They had it spot on when they said 'the east end's all around', cos it was, not just London but all over Britain. I'm honoured to now call the Rejects my pals, I've been all over Europe on roadie duties with them and I've lost count the amount of times I've seen em live. They never let you down or fail to blow you clean away with their power. There's a little firm of us from leicester that follow the band religiously. Football fans like us and Mick n Jeff are also huge boxing fans like myself, Jeff is encyclopaedic on the subject. They are heroes in every sense of the word and a worthy number one in any list. I'd like to dedicate this track to the memory of our dear departed and much missed friend Tony Van Frater. God bless.
2) SEX PISTOLS - God Save The Queen
The track that started this lifelong love affair with punk rock and oi! Summer '77 I was a snot nosed 6 year old, I remember it distinctly,I'd been to the TSB bank with my grannie to get a silver jubilee commemorative coin and when I got home the radio was babbling about these disrespectful outrageous thugs singing a horrible song about our sovereign ,of course I was hooked. I got never mind the bollocks for Christmas and the rest is history. I have a strange affinity with cook and jones, both thieving council estate scallywags ha ha ha. Fuck all them art school poseurs and privileged pretenders, the Pistols were the real deal, working class lads that changed the world forever. I might be in a minority here but I'm a big admirer of the royals, I love our Queen, fuck the silly punk rock handbook that says you've got to be anti this or anti that. When I say God save the Queen I actually mean it maaaan.
3) 4 SKINS - Evil
Two words.. Hoxton Tom. The look, the presence, the clobber, the style. The embodiment of Oi for me. My favourite 4 Skins track of all time and another we've covered, this time with kind permission from the man himself. The big debate of course is Hodges, Roi or Panther. I personally favour Roi, just cos I love his voice and the 'fistful' album, but there's a strong case for each and it all comes down to personal preference I suppose. Also like to mention original bassist Steve 'H' Harmer here, another of the old school who's support has been unwavering. A top top geezer.
4) LAST RESORT - Freedom
The opening track to a stonewall classic album. A mainstay of any self respecting 'erberts collection. I love roi's voice, that Sarf Lahndan growl is like a punch in the ear'ole and you recognise it instantly. I could of picked any number of Resort tracks but I went for this one because it has probably the best intro of any song ever written, as soon as you hear that opening guitar you still get that 'hairs on the back of your neck' moment. YOU'LL BE SORRY YOU NEVER FREED 'EM BEFORE....
5) STIFF LITTLE FINGERS - Alternative Ulster
Chosen simply because it was the first record I ever bought with my own ( pocket ) money. Revolver records in leicester market place for the grand sum of 60p. As a rag arsed kid from inner city leicester I knew nothing of the troubles really, I had no idea what the lyrics were about and Belfast might as well have been on the moon. Funnily enough I now have a lot of good good friends over the water in Ulster. They've been through the mill and seen things we as Englishmen simply cannot comprehend, despite all that they are the most welcoming and hospitable folk on gods green earth. So this is as much for those good people as it is for me.
6) COMBAT 84 - Rapist
What a band. What a track. Dripping with menace and aggression and I agree wholeheartedly with its message. B Squadron have been given kind permission to use this track by Deptford John, I just hope we do it the justice it deserves. C84 are a HUGE influence on us and we have actively tried to emulate that early 80's raw and gritty sound. R.I.P Chubby, thanks for the music.
7) BLITZ - Razors In The Night
You just knew anything that came out on 'No Future' back in the day was half right. These boys then raised the bar. I read somewhere they tried to rid themselves of the Oi! Label but for me this is pure unadulterated Oi! The early singles and Voice Of A Generation LP were exactly that, the voice of a generation. Blasted this track as a young kid and I still blast it out today. A proper audio kick in the bollocks. Love it.
8) ARGY BARGY - Saturday's Glory
Great band. Standard bearers for the scene in modern times.Watford Jon has been behind B Squadron since day one. Someone I have a great deal of respect for not only as a man but as a lyricist as well. There's a million and one songs on the subject but this one is THE one for me. For all those not involved in a nice bit of football skullduggery, it says it all. An insight for the uninitiated. I JUST CANT HELP IT...
9) ALBERTO Y LOS TRIOS PARANOIAS - Kill
From modern day to back in the day. From the sublime 'snuff rock' ep. They were a pisstake band, a parody of The Damned but this had everything a young punk rocker wanted to hear, angry guitars, heavy drums, offensive lyrics and swearing!!! Something to upset your ma and da, 100% punk rock for me. TURN IT UP!
10) CROWN COURT - Hated But Rated
Straight in with a modem track but a classic nonetheless. Trev is a good lad, well connected over Tottenham and he knows the score. I love crown court, I can't think of a single track I don't like, but this one is fucking genius. Great riff, echoes of Slade and even a bit of blues, proper bootboy rock n roll, but the fucking lyrics man ! Brilliant in their simplicity, to the point and 100% bang on. Says a lot about the scene today with snipers and finger pointers all over the gaff.... 'you think you're in the know, you think you're all clued up, you ain't nowhere to be seen, gobbed off, got done'... perfect. I wish I'd written it ha ha.