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Thursday, Apr 8, 2010
by PopMatters Staff
by Alexis Petridis
The Guardian (18 March 2010)

“Thirty years ago, a rock writer coined the term ‘Oi!’ to decribe his favourite music. Soon ‘punk’s idiot half-brother’ was synonymous with arson, racism and football violence…. In the eyes of its remaining fans, Oi! is the “real thing”, the genuine sound of Britain’s streets in the late 70s, populated by artists Bushell championed when the rest of the music press concentrated on “bands who dropped literary references you wouldn’t have got if you didn’t have a masters’ degree and wrote pretentious lyrics”. Bands such as the Cockney Rejects, the Angelic Upstarts – Marxists from South Shields managed by a man Bushell colourfully describes as “a psychopath – his house had bars over all the windows because people had thrown firebombs through it” – Red Alert, Peter and the Test Tube Babies. It briefly stormed the charts. The Angelic Upstarts followed the Cockney Rejects onto Top of the Pops, while Splodgenessabounds made the Top 10 with the deathless Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please. But today, if the general public have heard of it at all, they tend to agree with the assessment once offered by journalist and broadcaster Stuart Maconie: “Punk’s stunted idiot half-brother, musically primitive and politically unsavoury, with its close links to far-right groups.” It is, asserts Bushell, “without a doubt, the most misunderstood genre in history”.”


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