U.K. Subs play The Witchwood, Ashton under Lyne, England
CHARLIE HARPER- vocals & harmonica
ALVIN GIBBS- bass
JAMIE OLIVER- drums
The following news story appeared on the T&M homepage
- 12/12/2013: U.K. Subs Full Band Statement (re the 8/12/13 gig in Ashton under Lyne)
Following on from the recent individual Facebook statements from Charlie, Alvin and Jamie, which seem to have satisfied most people but not all, the band would like to further point out that we had no knowledge about Pressure 28s dubious singer and his racist past until various pieces of evidence were sent to us over the last few days indicating this band was not all they seemed after all. In order then to put this crazy notion that we are Nazi sympathetic to rest once and for all, please note that the U.K. Subs have instructed their UK and European gig booking agents to implement a blanket policy forthwith that all Subs' promoters must vet the support bands they provide to make sure they are in no way affiliated to any right wing organisations and that they have no record of spreading race hate or Nazi ideology either via their music or on their websites. If we discover a band has been offered to share a bill with us that fits this description we will refuse to perform with them and demand their replacement with a suitable group who share the same ideals as the U.K. Subs.
The band's collective and avowed policy is that we are, and always have been, and always will be an Anti-Nazi, Anti-racist band.
Charlie, Jet, Alvin, Jamie: U.K. Subs 12-12-2013.
The following statement was issued on the UK Subs Facebook page on 11/12/2013
A message from Charlie Harper regarding Sunday's gig with Pressure 28:
"Well what a palaver ( time consuming fuss ) Collins Dictionary..
We had a really good gig, a good night was had by all.
We rarely have the privilege of choosing the support and we were surprised when a full blooded skin band turned up.
Jake the bass player was refused Alvin's bass amp and had to go into the public address D.I Jake did not get snotty about it, in fact the band were as good as any band we have met on the road.
The singer took time to let the crowd know that they are being slagged off, accused of being racist, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.
All we can say is that at no time did I, Yuko, Jet or any one in the band feel threatened, on the contrary, there was no problem sharing a dressing room with these guys.
Punks and skins shared a lively pit."
The following statement was issued on the UK Subs Facebook page on 10/12/2013
Today's statement on recent rumours and accusations about the U.K. Subs...
Written by bassist ALVIN GIBBS
"OK, usually I don't get involved in disjointed, sporadic, ill-informed debates on Facebook but when your band is being accused of being Nazi sympathisers and thereby by implication I find myself
being tarred with the same brush it's time to hit a few keys and defend the honour and integrity of the UK Subs and point out a few 'facts' to the perpetrators of this ridiculous theory. First off, in the 33 years I've been associated with the Subs we have never deviated from a collective point of view that has been anything but clearly anti-Nazi. I, as member of the band, have played at least 20 anti-Nazi events around Europe in recent years including performing on the back of flatbed truck in Italy while Fascists hurled insults and pieces of paving stone at us when we disrupted their rally. Listen to our lyrics and you will find copious amounts of evidence to support our conscious intensions to act on Nazi theology and the spread of other totalitarian systems (of the left or right) in the same manner as kryptonite acted upon Superman. Surely my self-penned song on the new album 'Coalition Government Blues' demonstrates that we are not even conventionally right wing! On a personal level it's well known that I'm half Portuguese, with my mum's mother being Brazilian and her grandfather having been a black emancipated Brazilian slave. When my mother remarried after divorcing my father she took a husband who was black Jamaican. He was one of the finest, kindest men I've ever met in my life and my sisters and I loved him dearly... unfortunately he died of cancer in 2002. Together we would go to see Palace play with his Caribbean mates, drink together in the South Norwood pubs and attended parties where white & black mixed happily. During WW II my great uncle helped liberate Belsen concentration camp. There he met & eventually married my great aunt Ghuter who was the only member of her Jewish family to emerge from that terrible place alive. She became a very close member of our family. There is not a racist bone in my body & anyone who knows me knows that. Why then, with my mixed-race genealogy and hatred of racism, would I choose to play in a band with Nazi sympathisers? The answer is of course the accusation is both foolish and beneath contempt. Let me now deal with how this 'theory' evolved: yesterday we played a show in Ashton-under-Lyne. The promoter had booked a support band that we had no knowledge of. The bass player of this band, Pressure 28, asked to use my amp, which I refused because we now have a blanket policy of not lending gear to supports due to too many bust speakers and other problems in the past. Anyway, Jake, that was his name, was fine about that & I explained how he could play directly into the PA using his monitor as a speaker, for which he thanked me. The rest of the band were polite and friendly. They were evidently skinheads, but so what, punks & skins should be comrades and we welcome none punk bands of any genre to open up for us. Jamie then got a report from someone on Facebook that they might have Nazi associations. I spoke to Jake after their soundcheck and he told me his ex-girlfriend was Caribbean & how he thought it was great that a skinhead band that he'd met in the USA, The Templar, had 2 black members, being as this was a rare occurrence . This was an intelligent, articulate and rational guy who was evidently not racist. I did not speak to the other members but they behaved with respect and politeness towards us and the audience that entire evening. There was a fair few skins there to see them and they equally acted with respect and mixed happily with the punks and others in the audience. I listened closely to their lyrics for signs of a far right agenda but there was nothing at all to indicate they were in any way promoting views that we would have found risible. They even played a version of Secret Affair's 'Time For Action', a pop Mod anthem and hardly a white power call-to-arms. During our set Jake spend the entire time dancing around in the mosh pit with the punks, helping up the fallen and enjoying the music. Someone then Facebooked Jamie to say their name was somehow contrived from a 'known' Nazi lexicon, when in fact it nothing more than the tyre pressure of a well known Italian scooter! If you go to their webpage you can see there is no suggestion of an association with Right Wing causes & they claim to be simply a skinhead oi, Cockney Rejects, type outfit. But of course none of this satisfied the minority hysterical contingent that inhabit planet Facebook. So, let me makes this plain and simple: We would not choose to play with a band with a Nazi agenda and/or affiliations; but based on the what I saw and heard this was no Nazi preaching outfit. Of course, I cannot ascertain the personal political theology of each individual member, but it's in the behaviour and what I hear and see for myself that I make up my mind not from the rumour mill of the social media. I can't fucking believe I'm having to defend the UK Subs and myself against charges of being Nazi tolerant. What band recorded and released a song entitled 'Nazi Cunts'? It's time for this irrational and unnecessary 'debate' to end so we can all move on to more pressing issues that need our attention in the real world. A"
Originally posted HERE is the 'NOTANOVELTY' Blog summary of events:
UK Subs, nazi’s, antifa, mad few days!!
Well, what a crazy couple of days it’s been in the punk rock world! This is a bit of an extension on my previous post about nazi’s at gigs…
So what’s happened now?? Well, let’s just clear up who the UK Subs are for a start. They are one of the most respected bands on the punk scene, they’ve been around since the 70′s and despite good success and longevity, they’ve always maintained the punk ethic of being accessible and very grass roots. They are very much loved in the scene and CONSISTENTLY get great turnouts at gigs. I’ll link to to all relevant pages at the end of this blog.
UK Subs are currently on tour, and on Sunday evening it was discovered the support band for the evening was Pressure 28 – this band are well known as having links to far right extremist organisations. People contacted the UK Subs immediately to advise them. Here however is where the first problem lies – they’re on tour and no matter how big you are, that is still very hectic. Also, a band as big as the Subs will hear all kinds of things probably every day – they gig 6 months of the year around the world. Some of it may be true, some of it may be malicious. On the evening of a gig, they are unlikely to be in the frame of mind to investigate this properly (I think there is no doubt that had this information come from a source trusted by them, they would act differently) and as such they took no action. That’s actually not true and here’s where the second problem lies. What actually happened is that word got round that people were tipping the Subs off and (I’m giving the benefit of the doubt to the band here due to pressures of touring etc) the drummer Jamie (who is quite a nice geezer and fucking class drummer, actual proper technician, too good for a punk band…!!) put out a knee jerk reaction that wasn’t very helpful. He’s since deleted it, so I won’t repeat it here, but it fanned the flames. The activists went into overdrive – it is well known that UK Subs are completely sound with no racist views – they and their loved ones are from a range of heritages, which is why this was even more alarming. Obviously, this gave people on the other side of the spectrum to leap to the Subs defence.
So before we go any further, what’s the actual problem here? Simply put, race hatred should not be given a platform, be it musical or otherwise – by letting a band such as this on a gig, it raises the profile of them and their members which gives them a wider reach to spread their hatred. By saying it’s OK, then more people will turn up to gigs and be openly racist (see my link above about why this is bad on a small scale, never mind a large scale). Whilst you may be non-political right now, do you want to be at the receiving end of an attack because you’re speaking to a black/gay/whatever person?
What happened next then? Well, it was all kicking off over the internet over the next few days – on various pages everyone was going mad. Not just one group of people, but massive amounts of people were leaping to the Subs’ defence, massive amounts of people asking them to speak out. It was portrayed as though there was a collective voice had called the UK Subs nazi’s – this was not the case, there were different pockets of collective voices (I’m in one of those collectives and there were a LOT of people speaking out who I didn’t know) saying the Subs were known to be against the right wing so they should make a comment. Eventually, UK Subs made an official comment, and it didn’t go down well – it was very long and basically said Pressure 28 were OK. This was despite all the evidence given to them. Mensi, lead singer of the Angelic Upstarts, very outspoken anti-racists was pleading with the Subs to say something sensible and was massively criticised by people, including 2 members of UK Subs for his ‘one man crusade’ – bit harsh seeing as he didn’t instigate the outcry! Still the different pockets were shouting out for Subs to see sense.
Then this morning, popular blogger and journalist John Robb (Louder Than War/Goldblade) put the story out with an introduction that cited the whole thing was based on unfounded internet rumours. This was immediately spotted by a number of people, and one of his own writers got in touch with him direct and presented him with evidence, and the intro was suitably changed.
Later on this afternoon, Alvin who had put out the official statement for UK Subs contacted Mensi again and stated that having now had time to review all the evidence, Pressure 28 will be going nowhere near UK Subs gigs and all promoters from this point will be made very much aware that any UK Subs gig with right wing bands in support, will be cancelled.
That, ladies and gentlemen, is a result. Please support UK Subs (they’re in Derby on Thursday and Birmingham on Friday) as it’s very clear where they stand and they are a cracking live band.
Here’s lots of links…
Alvin’s final statement – https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151860742703753&set=o.113232765417169&type=1&ref=nf
UK Subs links;
Louder Than War;
The following gig review is from the superb FUNGALPUNK website
Originally published HERE
"Having missed the previous days gig due to being overly tempted by a Baikal Teal in Southport the thought of missing this one was too much to bear. My all time favourite band and a chance to catch up with a few old faces twisted my weary arm and I arrived at the gaff in good time to meet up with many a rock and roll 'erbert. A few flyers were sprinkled and duly gobbled up several times over (don't forget January the 18th people - DIY purism all the way plug, plug) and I wagged my jaw merrily with a few old fruits regarding giggage and in fact, birding. Round the back and 12 sheets passed over and more chatting with the night's promotional deviant Dennis 'The Oi' Matthews - what a grand chap with his wicked humour, no nonsense style and frequently puffed pressure busting pipe ha, ha. Ex-promoter Steve Lillis popped up too and a good old catch up was had - we put the world to rights tha' knows.
More flyering, a few beers, a good crowd building, first band - Pressure 28.
Pressure 28 have baggage, it is quite well known on the scene that political shit flies this way and that, various names get dragged here and there, some never shake free of the grimy web. Fuck all of that - music is my passion, darn noise - do ya hear me - and I'd much like to keep it that way. I ain't got no time for prejudices and idiocy - we are all equal, we need to smash every fuckin' barrier we build and wake up and concentrate on whipping the piss takers, the criminals, the egotists etc. Anyway, I digress, to the set. Fuckin' A-class if you ask me and despite a change up in personnel since last time I saw em' I thought this was most excellent with the front lout especially creating a fine old showpiece. Each song was loaded with the 'OI' spirit and reeked of a birth from the cobblestones. Songs such as 'Your Responsibility', 'Do Wot You Like' and 'Tell Me A Story' ring with sincerity and hit a chord with the on-looking brigade as do most of what this band delivers. A few covers were thrown in with 'Time For Action' an unadulterated joy and 'Chaos' a well-drilled version that has fine impact. On stage the two guitarists were a little static but as they relax more and more into their roles fluidity within the fleshed framework will come. Sticks were tidy and overall the band put on a good un'. One noticeable hiccup is par for the course in this proudly unprofessional scene and if P28 ever stroll down your way you would be wise not to miss em - earthy urban noise of a quality standard for sure.
Only one support band tonight, no time to waste.
The UK Subs - a band I regard as the most convincing punk band of our age despite my DIY underdog slant that decries too much nostalgia and old time back crawling. Still moving, still relevant and still approachable this unit have swapped and shifted but never flopped and drifted - a fine work ethos, a remarkable output and one that has kept me entertained for approximately 35 years. Tonight’s set was well drilled, organised and absolutely fuckin' spot on the mark. These days, when viewing the Subs I always worry in case I am going to come away deflated, defeated and think 'shit, that's it' - what a prune hey? I should know better! So what of the set? 'Creation' kicked off and is one of the bands most modern efforts although this beauty has been kicking around the sonic shitbowl for quite some time now - a crackin' song and one of several up to date efforts with 'This Chaos' an undoubted classic, 'Detox' a solid surprise and '18 Wheels' an excuse to use that bloody harmonica ha, ha. All potent and hypnotic Subs class and that is before I add such delights as 'New York State Police', 'Time And Matter', 'Down On The Farm', 'Stranglehold', and other such brain tattooing ditties. As an extra treat we saw the band don Santa hats and belt out the vulgar chuggery of 'Hey Santa', a song I can only recall seeing them do once before and that was on a snowy December night back in 1991. A mixture of poignancy and pride swept over me at this stage as I wondered where the time had gone and how all we can do is strive on to keep this noise making going and arousing our true passions. The fact remains though The UK Subs still rock, I am still a stubborn twat fighting for the underdog and this movement, with whatever label you want to put on it, still magnetises people who have just gotta get their fix. Throughout the players did their bits – Gibbs wank is 4 wired weapon with quality attention and really gave the fretted shaft a good old seeing to. Jet is a different beast these days to the nervous, unsettled chap he was when first joining the Subs – he his a fine guitarist now and well into the groove with utter dedication and precision. Jamie is one of the best young drummers out there – take time to watch his energy, focus, tympanic trickery – I tell ya man he is bang on his game. Harper at the fore is rubbish, a real twat and ruins everything – ha, ha – what you don’t believe me – just as well because this guy, despite the age, still has it – too many superlatives spring to mind – I’ll stick to one, a word I feel is overused in many situations but here is absolutely perfect – legend – and the title is well deserved. The set came to a close, I was well fuckin' pleased with this and am already looking forward to the next one - see - another rock and roll addict. Up the Subs and a swollen thank you to each cacophonic component for their contribution to a wonderful noise.
Cheers to all that made this another fine night out - I always have time for the Subs, have great faith there is a lot more to come and hopefully more and more people will wake up as to how necessary bands like this are. Back to the gutter for me though and hopefully will see a few heads enjoying the new bands who are just as important - think on folks.
FOOTNOTE:Following this review and the opinions expressed therein it seems many feathers have been ruffled and opinions have been outed. The review was written as per, natural and off the cuff, with the intention of staying politically free and avoiding any ensnaring bullshit. My aim, with everything I do on this site, is to push and promote the things I adore - namely noise and nature and to get people enthused and duly discussing. I feel the above review reflects my passion and stubbornness but as been viewed by some as a fence sitting angle and by a very few misguided individuals as tolerant of right wing issues. I am under no illusion that whatever is written some people will always read into it what they will due to some grudge, insecurity or lack of insight - this is par for the course with public appraisals. Having said this I feel it utterly important to state my stance on certain matters and it is as thus - I hold no sway with any right wing leanings and find prejudice in all its forms utterly disgusting. I will try, as best I can, to keep noise moving and keep all I do as transparent as possible and hopefully keep things 'out in the open' and more healthy than it currently stands. Music will always be a minefield for people who seek self reward but to play games in order to achieve this is utterly foul and soon found out. I must also add that being a sheep is not my thing and I take time to work things out for myself and go with the flow that seems right (mistakes are made but also many correct decisions are had too). My apologies to those who find the above article upsetting, thanks to those who understand my angle. I openly admit that what I do is a lost cause but why should I suppress my passion and do fuck all. Remember too that I deal with a whole heap of noise and many bands fall under the spotlight - I cannot keep dossiers on all bands and monitor their every move and motivation. To end - fuck your prejudice, fuck misdirected hate, fuck racism and fuck the bastards who only do things for their own gain - over and out and thank you for reading.
review by Fungalpunk/OMD (8 December 2013)"
Please contact us if you can provide this website with any of the following:
- Your personal review of the show
- A poster/flyer/ticket for this gig
- A recording of the gig
- Photos from this gig
- This gig's set list
- Any newspaper/fanzine preview or review