Here are a handful of shots from crusty hardcore punks Born/Dead’s last ever gig on UK soil. It was a belter of a night and a great way for the band to go out. I’d almost forgotten that I had these but better late than never eh? I’m crap at editing and sharing pics (that’s providing I’ve remembered to take my camera along in the first place). I’ll try and do better from now on.

Venue: The White Hart, Whitehall, Bristol, UK
Date: Saturday 22nd August 2009
Band members: Will (guitar), Wyatt (bass), Mackey (drums)
Other notes: support bands were Jesus Bruiser, Warprayer and War Coma

Hold A Grudge – Doing Time CD

Hold A Grudge CD coverHold A Grudge are classic mid-paced hardcore, the good old solid kind that’ll get you through a bad day with enough left over for a pleasant supper. While at first it may seem like there’s nothing particularly groundbreaking about the sound, listen a bit more closely and you’ll find there’s plenty of originality on show, more than enough to make it enjoyable to the ears rather than just a task they have to endure. Beyond the initial intensity we’ve come to love from the style, there’s a strong street edge that’s well-executed and is a respectful nod to their oldschool punk and Oi! forbears. And the smooth tightness that you’d expect from bandmates who’ve done hard time together is all present and correct.

Lyrics adopt a posi attitude with a sussed social conscience, but don’t forget that everyday life can be tough at times. HAG know that survival doesn’t always come easy and occasionally carries a heavy price, but never forget that the good times always outweigh the bad. It’s clear that the need for unity underpins much of their thinking, and who can argue with that?

Altogether, this album is far more a pleasure than a chore and is a cut above much of what passes for hardcore these days.

For people who also like: Agnostic Front, Blitz, Conflict

OP’s opinion: Four

Download sample track – Doing Time
Hold A Grudge Myspace
Buy from Insurgence Records

Scum Of Toytown – Strike CD

Artist: Scum Of Toytown
Title: Strike
Source: CD
Format: FLAC
Running time (h:m:s): 00:36:18
Size (mb): 228
Label: Words Of Warning
Cat. No: WOWCD41
Year: 1994

01. (00:04:21) Scum Of Toytown – Crisis
02. (00:02:39) Scum Of Toytown – Sink Or Swim
03. (00:01:52) Scum Of Toytown – Curfew
04. (00:05:44) Scum Of Toytown – Different Drum
05. (00:02:03) Scum Of Toytown – Mr. Clinton
06. (00:04:34) Scum Of Toytown – Six Feet Higher
07. (00:03:12) Scum Of Toytown – Glug Glug
08. (00:03:54) Scum Of Toytown – Jackboot Crusade
09. (00:05:38) Scum Of Toytown – Feedback
10. (00:02:22) Scum Of Toytown – Work, Rest And Riot

Scum Of Toytown 'Strike' coverHere’s another corker from the peak of the free festival scene back in the 90’s. The bands and the people remained determined to get it on, despite the best attempts of the braindead pigs at The Beanfield or the joyless fucks in Whitehall. Scum Of Toytown were part of the furniture and laid down dancy dubpunk tunes that caught the mood perfectly. Politically conscious lyrics err on the positive side and, for the most part, so do the tunes. A bit of minor key melancholy doesn’t go amiss but ultimately the band wanted to make sure that Emma Goldman’s spirit lived on. Sadly I never got to see them in their natural environment, but this CD isn’t a bad substitue at all (especially with a cold beer and a spliff round a fire in the garden).

OP’s opinion: Four half

Click here to request the download link.

If you are the copyright owner and want us to take down your music, just click here and let us know. We’re really not trying to piss anyone off, we just want to share rare and out-of-print music with people who want to hear it.

This one was requested by Neil C who sent me a lovely email. Flattery and insomnia will get you everywhere.

Cauliflower With Mustard Sauce

This is another contribution from landysrock (cheers). Unfortunately, I don’t like overly mustard-flavoured things (a teaspoon or so in a curry or stew is my limit) but, for those who do, it probably doesn’t get much simpler than this unless you’re squeezing some on a veggiedog.

Goes with anything! Serves 4-6.

  • 600ml unsweetened soya milk
  • A good size cauliflower, cut up into florets
  • 3 tbs of soya marg
  • 3 tbs of plain flour
  • 3 tbs of Dijon / wholegrain mustard

Steam / boil the cauliflower for about 5-10 mins and set aside. Meanwhile, melt the marge in a small saucepan and add the flour to combine, mix for 1 min on a gentle heat then add the mustard and mix through. Gradually pour in the soya milk mixing continuously into a smooth sauce while bringing to the boil, then simmer gently for 4-5 mins.

Place the cauliflower into an ovenproof dish and pour the sauce over the top, grill for about 5 mins or so until the top is golden brown.

The Redskins – Epilogue CD

Redskins Epilogue CD coverBack in the 80s, Britain and much of the rest of the world was a grim place and, to a large extent, the music we listened to reflected that. Sure we had coloured hair, drink, drugs and free festivals to take the edge off, and a few bands who tried to infuse their music with the joy of life rather than the fear of death. But mostly we listened to quite despairing noise about the state of the world which, although it stirred us up, could’ve sometimes done with a lighter side too.

Of those few bands who led the charge to a brighter future, The Redskins stand tall. Unashamedly left in the Marxist tradition, they still managed to endear themselves to many of the more militantly-inspired anarcho mob too, partly because they walked the political talk far more convincingly than other Reds we’d come across but mostly because their music was (and still is) just so fucking good! Here were tunes that were born in the heat of the dancefloor on Wigan Pier before becoming teenagers and hanging out in dingy pub back rooms with the punks. It was Northern meets rebel soul and the result was explosive.

Their recorded output was sparse, with only one studio album (‘Neither Washington Nor Moscow’) and a handful of singles along the way before they called it quits. Luckily, this gem of a CD has been given life by the good people at Insurgence and provides a fitting conclusion to their history. It pulls together the rarest cuts that chart the band’s life, from the pre-Redskins days of No Swastikas in 1981 to a live recording of a gig in Germany from 1986, the year they called it quits. There’s also an unbroadcast hidden track from the Peel session they recorded the same year.

The whole package is top notch, with a classy digipack sleeve, liner notes that capture the effect they had, a spot-on production job (especially considering the source material) and a selection of tunes worth every penny you’ll pay for this disc.

For people who also like: 2-Tone, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Rancid, all-night dancing

OP’s opinion: Four half

Download sample track – Unionise (CNT single)
Redskins fansite and forum
Buy from Insurgence Records

Jamaican Fritters

If you’ve got the munchies and want a fairly quick and filling snack, these should fit the bill. They’re a variation on the Indian pakora, but the addition of the buckwheat flour seems to make them both lighter and more substantial. If you don’t have buckwheat flour, just replace it with extra chickpea flour. They’re nice and fatty so don’t eat too many or you won’t have enough room for beer.

Makes about 12-15 decent-sized fritters.

  • 1/2 cup chickpea (gram) flour
  • 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1 tbs soya flour (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Rajah jerk seasoning powder (different brands may need adjustment)
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1-2 pinches chili flakes
  • Juice of half a lime
  • 1-inch cube fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 medium carrot, grated
  • 1 medium potato, grated
  • 1 stick celery, finely diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely sliced
  • Water as needed
  • Oil for deep-frying

Mix the first 6 ingredients together in a bowl. Then slowly start whisking in water until you have a thick batter. Squeeze in the lime juice and mix that in too. Add the ginger and garlic to the batter and stir through. Use your hands to mix the carrot, potato, celery and onion together on the chopping board, then dump the whole lot into the batter. Mix thoroughly with a spoon until everything is completely coated.

Put the oil in a pan (I use a wok) – you want it around an inch and a half deep. Place on a medium heat and give it a few minutes to reach a decent temperature. Use a spoon and drop / scoop dollops of the batter mix into the oil. You’ll get around 3-4 at a time into a wok. Let them cook for a couple of minutes or so on one side then flip ’em over and do the same until they’re a nice tan colour all over. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon and drain for a minute on kitchen paper (or newspaper if you’re a cheapskate like me). Eat hot, warm or cold, maybe with some kind of sauce or dip and definitely with a cold beer.

Old Crust For New Bread

Oli of Civilisation Records is putting out a repress of Hellbastard’s classic first studio LP ‘Heading For Internal Darkness‘. Having bought stuff from him before I know and appreciate the time and effort he puts in to producing some really tasty bits of vinyl, and this looks to be no different.

Artwork printing and plastic pressing are in their final stages, but Oli’s still taking pre-orders (1000 are being pressed, 150 on clear vinyl). It’s €11 plus a few euros for postage depending on location and a bit more if you use PayPal. That’s only three and a bit pub pints, and this’ll give me more pleasure for much longer without any hint of a hangover (unless I drink a reasonable volume of cider while listening to it, so maybe a 1-in-3 chance).

Drop Oli a line for more info via civilisation-records [at]

Ya Basta! – Lucha Y Fiesta CD

Artist: Ya Basta! (website not updated in a long time!)
Title: Lucha Y Fiesta
Source: CD
Format: FLAC
Running time (h:m:s): 00:36:55
Size (mb): 265
Label: Basta Banda
Cat. No: YB2001-01
Year: 2001

1. (00:03:52) Ya Basta! – Cocktail Molotov
2. (00:03:10) Ya Basta! – Ouvrier
3. (00:03:56) Ya Basta! – Systeme Scolaire
4. (00:02:27) Ya Basta! – Lucha Y Fiesta
5. (00:02:59) Ya Basta! – Kamilia
6. (00:02:54) Ya Basta! – 60’s
7. (00:04:07) Ya Basta! – Notre Resistance
8. (00:02:17) Ya Basta! – La Force Du Droit
9. (00:03:14) Ya Basta! – Insupportables
10. (00:03:20) Ya Basta! – Barcelone
11. (00:04:40) Ya Basta! – EZLN

I’ve always felt that YB! are one of those bands who should be better known than they appear to be, at least outside of continental Europe. These French skanarcho-skindicalists have created some of the finest kick-up-the-dust tunes around, laced with lyrics as sharp as their dress sense. They called it a day in 2006 but, when music is this good, it stays fresh no matter what. There’s big and bold brass holding the centre ground, while the rest of the band generate stonkingly upbeat boot-moving rhythms and melodies that backs it all up with perfect ease.

The dual vocal delivery is spot-on and, while everything is sung in French (you can find the original lyrics using the search function at ‘Just Some Lyrics‘), it’s not too hard to get where they’re coming from if you don’t speak the lingo (Google will help you fill in the gaps). Their passion for the politics oozes from every pore and the passion for their culture is captured in every single note.

OP’s opinion: Five

Click here to request the download link.

If you are the copyright owner and want us to take down your music, just click here and let us know. We’re really not trying to piss anyone off, we just want to share rare and out-of-print music with people who want to hear it.

If you like this band, you should also check out Guarapita. I had the good fortune to catch ’em live a few weeks back and they did the business. OK, there was no brass involved, but that same Ya Basta vibe was there in buckets. As was the guarapita cocktail (aged rum, passion fruit juice, sugar) that they dished out in generous measure to a thirsty and appreciative crowd. They’ve made all of their tunes available for free download from their site, in ogg format (don’t worry, there are plenty of programs that can deal with ogg files) and all under a generous Creative Commons licence.

Tomato & Red Onion Salad With A Punchy Dressing

Simple things can often give the greatest pleasure, much like your humble author. This salad and dressing is one of them.

Makes however much you want (salad) and loads (dressing).

For the salad:

  • As many tomatoes as you need for the number of people eating it – cherry tomatoes are best and should be halved, larger tomatoes should be divided as appropriate
  • 1 large red onion for every 6-10 people (depending on your personal tastes), halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • You could add a rib of thinly sliced celery if the mood takes you

Gently mix them together in a suitably-sized bowl.

For the dressing:

  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • 1 tsp whole dried peppercorns
  • 4 tbs olive oil, as good as you can afford
  • 2 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp basil, minced

Crush the salt and peppercorns together in a pestle and mortar, spice mill etc. and put into a screw-top jar. Add the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and basil, screw on the lid and shake vigourously for a few seconds. Pour desired amount over the salad and gently mix to coat everything. Store any leftover dressing in the jar in the fridge and it’ll keep for quite a few days – I pretty much guarantee you’ll finish it off before it actually goes off.

If you’re feeling more adventurous, try adding a pinch or two of cayenne pepper powder and/or replacing some/all of the balsamic vinegar with a few teaspoons of lemon/lime juice and maybe a pinch of caster sugar. Use your tongue and get creative (as the actress said to the bishop).

A//Political – The Greatest Working Crass Rip-Off – Discography LP + Book

A//PoliticalI have never been so happy or excited about a record as when this one arrived at my door. A//Political are one of my favourite bands of all time so there will be no surprise that I will have nothing but great things to say about them. Anyway, after a long wait this record finally is out and it is one that sees one of the most active anarcho peace punk bands’ songs and writing compiled into a 60 page book and LP/CD.

A//Political claimed ‘the music is just a soundtrack to the words’. Although this maybe true, what a great soundtrack. You can hear their heavily influenced peace punk carrying aspects of bands such as Crass and Conflict but brought together with a bit more speed and aggression to create a faster tempo and more hard hitting anarcho punk soundtrack, with similar drum beats to Crass and interludes which bring you to the next lyrically packed verse in which you will need the lyrics to keep up as they are spat out with passion across the soundtrack.

The book holds between its cover the lyrics to the songs including some tracks which are on the CD and not the LP. These are tracks which featured on the ‘Planting The Seeds Of Revolution’ demo tape. These lyrics are well thought out and take a good look at the system in which we live in and, in songs like ‘Stop Thinking And Pogo’ and ‘Obscene Gestures’, sizes up the punk community which we belong to. Also in the book is an interview between the band and Profane Existence and a history of the band, as well as some old fliers. Finally we come to the communiqués which were put out by the band, giving you that extra bit of anarchism.

They were a band that seemed to pick up from where the 80’s anarcho bands left off trying to improve things, and broaden the look beyond that of the punk community to that of the wider world.

Great album, and the book has got everything you need for a good read on anarchism and punk.

AD’s opinion: Five

A//Political Myspace
Buy from Threat To Existence Records and other fine distros

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