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Thursday, September 15, 2005

Review: Cock Sparrer - Live: Runnin' Riot Across The USA

This live album, one of five from the band, was recorded on their 2000 tour of the states. I'm not reviewing it except to note the sound quality is better than 2003's Back Home. It's the McGuffin, as Hitchcock used to say. My only point in writing is to say Cock Sparrer is the first and best freakin' Oi band of all time, and if you think otherwise all I'll do is smile like I'm holding back a stinky.

Info on the band is here and here.

If Oi is working class punk for the lads in the pub and the football stands, Cock Sparrer is THE band. If you think it's mindless violence and Road Warrior meets Taxi Driver fetishes, stick with cartoon bands with cartoon logos. On The Simpsons the animal chain of command goes mouse, cat and dog. In Oi the order of excellence is Cock Sparrer, Sham 69 and The Business.

Friends since the age of 11, they formed their first band in1972. Their fast, hard and melodic pub rock came into fashion when the Sex Pistols broke. The single "Runnin' Riot" was released in 1977. Read the band's history. They opted out of the record industry money-go-round (Kink's reference!) and mostly sat it out until 1982. They were going to headline the Wasted Festival this October in San Bernardino but the show was cancelled just today.

Their catalog is unmatched for consistently delivering the goods. They are the most melodic, flexible and creative Oi band. Their studio work is more pub oriented while their live shows are straight ahead rockers. They stand proud when it's right and warn against extremism and destructive nonsense when they see it. Sham 69 flirted with the National Front but couldn't control the monsters they stirred up to begin with. Cock Sparrer also has sense of humor. On Back Home vocalist Colin McFaull opens a tune with "This is a song we've never played before live. In 3 minutes you'll know why". I also think "A.U." is funny even if the printed lyrics say otherwise.

Here's Cock Sparrer lyrics. Start your collection with Bloody Minded and go anywhere else from there. My favorite track at the moment is "Bats Out", which is what you'd get if Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry were in the same band. Berry taped himself urinating on a hooker and Lewis married his 13 year old cousin. Cock Sparrer's just fat and old as far as I know.

What's a cock sparrer? It's a tough guy who fights. It's a long story....

1 Comments:

Anonymous Micky Beaufoy said...

Emerson - thanks for the kind words - and we too were absolutely gutted that the Wasted USA gig was cancelled for reasons completely outside our control - we had been looking forward to it for months.

And yes, AU is meant to be a bit funny (well at least satirical), summed up by the line "it's not jealousy" - when it obviously is.

Anyway - hope we get another serious gig offer soon.

Cheers for now
Micky Beaufoy
CockSParrer guitars
email:Sparrer1@redhouseservices.com

2:32 AM

 

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