Sunday, February 16, 2014

"East End Babylon" DVD (director: Richard England)

Fine documentary of British oi! punk legends

Tracing the history of England's influential punk thugs, the Cockney Rejects, this exceptionally well-produced documentary interviews all the appropriate suspects, and features tons of archival footage. It's a treasure trove for fans of the band that pretty well started the "oi!" scene, for better or worse.

Balancing punk rock DIY aesthetics and street-brawling, football-flag-waving hooliganism, the Cockney Rejects were a raw and polarizing force in the original punk rock scene, inviting (against their own beliefs) right-wing affiliations. 

Told by band members (namely part-time pro boxer and founding guitarist Mick Geggus), their story is one of many brawls and battles (with the police as well as other football fans). Their reformation in the early 2000s (which continues to this day) shows them riding the classic wave punk revival bandwagon, and still steadfastly supporting their heroes (the West Ham United football club). 

It's all a fascinating and informative look at a band that deserves a bit more respect in the punk scene, if for nothing else, their longevity and tenacity in the face of such adversity. 

No comments: