Saturday, 6 March 2010

East End

"Tell you about the place I've lived all my life. I'll tell you all the truth about the struggle and strife. All the toffs say it's a bit of a dive. It's the only place left where anyone is alive ... Take a walk around Bethnal Green. Or meet the Mile End mob. Well they're mean. Get a 69 bus to Canning Town. It's never ever gonna get us down ... We can't help it if we're working class yobs. We can't help it if we hate the snobs. So you can stick to your seaside, your beaches and sand. 'Cos we've got the best home in the land ..." The inimitable Stinky Turner sticks up for his manor on the Cockney Rejects' East End. Say what you will about the group and its music, the Rejects were nevertheless a blast of fresh air when they burst upon the music scene in '79 with what seemed like an authentic howl of working class rage against anything and everything. My abiding memory is of the Flares & Slippers EP on Small Wonder, Stinky in his pyjamas, and John Peel introducing Police Car in those expletive-free days with the words: "Freedom? There ain't no Nottingham Forest freedom". Funny what sticks in your mind. As if there wasn't enough trouble with tribalism back in those dangerous days, the Rejects added a bit of spice with their very public support for West Ham, which resulted in a rumpus whenever they went on tour. As for West Ham, at least in 1980 when the Rejects got to sing Bubbles on Top of the Pops the club won a major trophy as unfancied underdogs ... Adrian Sherwood made reference to the same momentous event on Billy Bonds MBE which was one of a few fantastic West Ham related tracks on the Barmy Army's The English Disease. The English Disease was a name applied to football hooligans during the Thatcher years, and they were one of her enemies within. It's odd then in recent years to see her heir's favourite Morrissey dressed up in his West Ham Boys amateur boxing club shirt enthusing about the Cockney Rejects. "The sound of the Rejects is the ringing hum of human energy," says Morrissey ...


  1. Just find this blog
    A great idea!. From Argentina ( yes, yes, I know, I know...)two suggestions I did not found: London calling (Clash) Waterloo Sunset (Kinks)

  2. Thanks Jorge. Glad you're enjoying it!

  3. "I like punk, and I like Sham, I got nicked over West Ham" (Police Car)