Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
on 3 August 2010
This was a really good book, full of interesting, informative facts, written by a man who was there at the time of the youth cult phenomenon.
Yep, dear old Garry Bushell, the man the middle-classes love to hate, has seen it all; bikers, mods, glory boys, skinheads, punks and, or course, those Oi! Oi! boys.
Shooting from the hip, like a man on a mission, Garry takes us on a journey, a journey via the blood spattered boots and braces of British youth culture throughout the decades. Culturally accurate, the book is littered with references to loafers, sta prest trousers, crombies and the bands of the time, as our host illuminates the dark trail of devastation and fashion left in the wake of British sub-culture.
In actual fact, the books sub-title is somewhat of a misnomer, as the tales of aggro are not the dominant theme. Nah, in my opinion it should be called Workers Revenge, or some other class orientated title, as Bushell shows how the anger of the working classes should be directed at its most obvious enemy - the ruling classes - rather than the in-fighting he goes on to describe.
The targets for Bushell's ire are wide and varied: un-hygienic anarcho punkers, such as Crass, Robert Elms, Janet Street-Porter, working-class wannabes, the list is endless. Still, rather than reading like the rantings of a grumpy old man, one finds oneself agreeing with the `Bush' as he tells it like it is.
Being a fan of Oi! I knew I would enjoy the chapters on the likes of the 4-Skins/Cockney Rejects/Menace, etc, but other chapters proved gems of delight - especially the New Romantic character assassination. Indeed, so funny was it that I laughed out loud on the train on numerous occasions, fronting down the strange looks from the suited commuters with the line "it's Garry Bushell, he's so funny".
Another thing that struck me about this book was how important Hoxton Tom was to many of the youth cults, especially Oi! and Mod.
The only complaint I have is that the book fails to go into sufficient detail of the legacy of Oi! on the German punk scene, apart from mentions of Oxymoron and the brilliant Stomper 98. I would also have listed Und Ab by 4 Promille or other bands such as Loikaemie, Die Lokalmatadore, Suspekt, Oi-Melz, The Shocks and hundreds more. One other band should also have been mentioned: Swedish superstars of Oi!: Perkele and their class CD Confront
Still, this is a minor grumble and I won't take off a star from what is a superb book, a book guaranteed to stir the old memory banks, whatever youth cult the reader may have belonged to, or, in my case, still belongs to!
I guess old punks never die, they just grow old disgracefully - and end up writing books!