Bulldog Spirit @ Wasted Festival, Melbourne, September 2nd, 2006

    To be a Skinhead, you must love your Doc Martens. You must love ska music. You must have the right attitude, the right attitude from the heart and the brain. You must like football. You must like to dance harder than anybody else, of any subculture. And most of all, you need to be anti-racist.

Well it’s no big secret that I’m into scooters.

April 1, 2005. Interview with Fiona : aussieskins :

Doug : I met some of those “SHARP” kids in Missing Link and they didn’t have a problem with us. In fact they apologised for fighting during our set at the punk’s picnic…

The only people that really gave us shit were those oh-so open-minded PC crusty types at the picnic… as soon as we got up on the stage at the punk’s picnic they started shouting stuff out at us like ‘Smash the Nazis’ and all this type of crap. I think we got discriminated against because we wash and have jobs and haircuts…

But seriously, Melbourne is the only place we’ve been to where any of that political crap has gone on.

Saturday, April 27, 2002. Bulldog Spirit Melbourne Tour Diary :

Doug : “When we played Dirty Ol’ Town, Adam says, in the height of good humour, ‘this o­ne’s for Ulster’ as I’m doing the harmonica intro…” Man then asks Doug what Adam means. “I told him there was nothing to it”; obviously it was a remark made at complete random. Same man then asks ‘Why do you have to be such a fucking girl?’

I asked him ‘Did you just call me a girl?’ He said ‘yes’, so I responded accordingly with a quick headbutt to the nose… The sad thing about it is, someone said that the Ulster bloke’s mate was the guitarist from Vicious Circle. Along with Depression and Civil Dissident, they are o­ne of my favourite Aussie bands and I was looking forward to playing with them at the picnic. No hard feelings there I hope.

Sunday, April 28, 2002. Bulldog Spirit Melbourne Tour Diary :

Back to the Birmingham

It seems the [bonehead] contingent all waited until today to see Bulldog Spirit. BHK played first today, unfortunately to a pretty empty room… Bulldog Spirit played next and the room filled out a bit as the [bones] came in to watch. Rotten played after us and I reckon they were even better than at the picnic. I’m really impressed with this band. Kind of ’85 style chaos punk done really well. The [bones] asked James from Rotten if they could play a couple of ‘apolitical’ songs. Ideologically James was very much opposed, but in reality he didn’t really have much choice as they pretty much outnumbered everyone in the room. The boys, Bail Up!, played some solid sounding Oi style tunes including a Last Resort and a 4 Skins cover before diverting from their ‘apolitical’ stand and launching into full blown white power stuff.

Monday, April 29, 2002. Bulldog Spirit Melbourne Tour Diary :

We went back to the Arthouse to pick up our gear, pay up, and leave. The guy at the Arty said that he got a phone call at 3am o­n Sunday morning saying that there were twenty blokes coming to get us and that he’d better let them in. The guy told them that we were at a party so they didn’t bother showing. Talk about a storm in a teacup.

‘I hate quoting bands to make a point, but Roddy Moreno summed it up pretty well’:

To close I’d just like to say:

FUCK FASCISM BEFORE IT FUCKS YOU.

STAY S-H-A-R-P.

Bulldog Spirit will be playing this Saturday at The Espy between 7.40 – 8.10 in The Gershwin Room.

The following bands will happily be sharing the stage with them:

PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES, BEERZONE, NO IDEA, THE BLURTERS, CHARTER 77, MARCHING ORDERS, THE BLACK MARKET, THE CORPS, DRAGSTRIPPERS, HATEMAIL, SCHLAUNCHER, CHAOS 69, RULE 303 and THE TWITS, CRACKWHORE, BASTARD SQUAD, PISS CHRIST, THE HOMICIDES, DISTORTED TRUTH, GODNOSE, HEAD INC., RITALIN, SLICK 46, RUN FOR COVER, UNEMPLOYED SUPER VILLIANS, DARKEST DAY and R.U.S.T.

See also : Blut und Ehre : Melbourne ISD Memorial Gig : September 23, 2006 // Good Skinhead Music // Poland: Solidarity for Tomek Wilkoszewski // “White Terrror” // Loikaemie

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2020 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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48 Responses to Bulldog Spirit @ Wasted Festival, Melbourne, September 2nd, 2006

  1. gnwp says:

    Problem with ‘apolitical’ bands is that they’ll have to play with political bands (be it left or right) at some point.
    I have nothing against those bands, but at least they could make it clear where they stand, they don’t have to sing about it.

  2. @ndy says:

    Problem with ‘apolitical’ bands is there’s no such thing: I reject the notion that any particular band can assume some kind of special status simply by stating ‘we’re not political’, a status which magically confers upon them an ability to have their actions — or inactions — removed from any notion of accountability or responsibility.

    It’s fucking pissweak.

    The fact is anyone can sing about anything they want — there’s no shortage of punk bands out there talkin’ ’bout ‘revolution’, ‘cos it’s piss-easy.

    Labels aren’t warranties, and what matters is what you do. Punk is as punk does, and allowing fucking arseholes inroads into any sub-cultural milieu is absolutely certain to rebound on you/me/us.

    We tell them where to go ‘cos we’ve got more sus…

  3. gnwp says:

    BTW, I’m not going to Wasted, but i’ll go see “Raised fist” when they come in October.
    You should check them out.

    And I’ll contact you in a week or two via pm; I’ll send you mp3 cd with albums by los fastidios, opcio k-95, non servium, loikaemie and whatever else you might like.

  4. @ndy says:

    Cool! Thanks!

    I’ve heard one album by Raised Fist; can’t remember which one. Seem to remember liking it but.

    Usually avoid seeing international acts, as tickets are generally way too expensive, I’m poor.

    If only more bands were like Fugazi

  5. wee jin suk says:

    Apolitical is how music and bands should be.. Music is from a dimension that is neither right nor left, it only becomes right and left when channeled through speakers and human ears.
    Politicians have a tendency to ruin everything good about music.
    Oi! musos are generally shite left or right..
    Crass were musically shite..
    The less politics there are the more talented the musicians can be. Pissweak musos take clear political sides if I may paraphrase your wee @ndEE.

  6. @ndy says:

    “He who knows only music understands nothing about it.”

    — Hanns Eisler (1898-1962)

  7. gnwp says:

    wee jin suk, if i wanted music to be played just right, without fuck ups – I would go and see opera or Metallica.

    Music is more than art to me, and I dont care how many chords someone can play.

    The less politics there are the more talented the musicians can be…

    Thats just bullshit. Youre saying that if someone sings about love, they can be better musicians just because they stay away from politics? Lyrics cant influence ones musical ability.
    Some Propagandhi lyrics are better than their music.

    @ndy, Raised Fist are a fast hard core band, full of anger and energy. Theyre from Sweden.

  8. Doug says:

    Umm hi,

    Someone mailed me this link to check out.

    You don\’t seem to get the bit where I\’m laughing at the crusties for calling us Nazis when we\’re not, or the bit where I say I like those anti racist punk bands like Civil Dissident.

    Maybe you could come and see us at Wasted where we will probably do covers of multi-racial anti-racist bands like Agnostic Front, or maybe you could actually talk to me at one of the many Night At The Hop reggae nights I put on in Melbourne.

    The only fascist thing I can see here is you attempting to spread lies and propaganda.

    Cheers.

  9. @ndy says:

    Hi Doug,

    Glad you could make it.

    I “get” the bit where you’re laughing at ‘crusties’ ‘cos some apparently called you (ie, Bulldog Spirit) Nazis.

    I also “get” the fact that you like Civil Dissident.

    Here’s what I don’t “get”:

    1) Why, as a lyricist vocalist who’s conscious that “you’ve got a chance to get a message across so why waste it?”, you haven’t addressed the issue of racism. In other words, why yr reluctant, as a (self-identified) skinhead, to say ‘fuck racism’ ‘fuck fascism’.

    2) Why you don’t think that being a bonehead makes someone “a fucken dick”.

    3) Why, as a skinhead, you’d want to have anything to do with boneheads, whether in Canberra, Melbourne, or any other place. Honestly, who gives a shit if they “accept” you? (Who gives a fuck what boneheads think?!?) More to the point, why do you accept them their false claims to skinhead status?

    4) Why you’d ideally like to play with Condemned 84.

    5) Why yr drummer dedicated a Pogues song (ffs!) to ‘Ulster’. (If you want me to elaborate, I will, but if you know anything about the Pogues, skinhead culture, history politics / Irish history — you do — it should be obvious why this is provocative.)

    6) Why you don’t realise that, as a skinhead / streetpunk / oi! band, unless you send a clear msg telling them to fuck off, you’re gonna attract boneheads to yr gigs, possibly (sic) even a bonehead following. (And why you don’t appear to realise that ‘this is a bad thing’.)

    7) What do you think of Bail Up! (or Blood Red Eagle for that matter)?

    8 ) If you really don’t care what audience you play to, would you play at the B&H ISD memorial gig? (Or alongside other boneheaded noise-makers.)

    9) Why did you agree to play at a gig full of boneheads? A gig which also feat. Bail Up!?

    10) What “lies”? Seriously… where when have I lied?

    11) Where the fuck do you Bulldog Spirit stand?

    12) Why is that such a difficult q to answer? (Are you confused about skinhead culture?)

    Cheers,

    @ndy.

  10. Fiona says:

    It is always best to actually research a band properly before you go writing blogs about them.. It makes some funny reading though..

    Doug maybe at the next Night at the Hop you should play some Bail Up! Although maybe in the eyes of these guys you already do that! Ha ha.. What a pisser.

  11. @ndy says:

    Hi Fiona,

    Glad you could make it too.

    It would’ve been better if you’d taken the opportunity to actually say something of substance though.

    Cheers,

    @ndy.

  12. @ndy says:

    PS.

    Roddy Moreno :

    SHARP, and more importantly, the SHARP attitude has had a massive influence on Skinhead culture. Remember how it used to be back in the eighties when the Boneheads nearly strangled the cult. Remember how kids thought to be a Skinhead you had to be a Nazi. If it wasn’t for SHARP and other groups like AFA, ARA, RASH and all the rest we would be swimming in a sea of swastikas by now. Don’t listen to all the shit about splits and politics, the Boneheads go on about it because they know how we drove them underground and reclaimed Skinhead culture for true Skinheads. The non-politicals go on about it because it’s easier than taking on the scum. I’ve been a Skinhead since 1969 and I know what it’s meant since day one.

    Do you?

  13. Lewy says:

    hey,
    interesting blog to read. I have encounters with skins/street punks of the more non-political \”stance\”, it is a stance and i agree with your comments on that, sometimes they just don\’t have the guts to stand on either side of issues. unfortunately some people don\’t see fash as scum and don\’t want to seperate themselves from them and deal with the repercussions as maybe you or i would.

    hope you\’re well,
    happy reading fashos
    -your brother in arms-
    Lewy

  14. Wee Jin Suk says:

    Some Propagandhi lyrics are better than their music.

    gnwp, you are basically agreeing with me here. And yep I acknowledge your point about Metallica and bands in the late 80s learning to play their instruments and then crossing over into the metal scene, sometimes albeit with disastrous musical results ie the \’crossover\’ album by DRI and COC who were fine punk bands before they crossed over. However, Oi! and punk often means musically lacking and that is part of its aesthetic. You actually need to go beyond chords and notes and the 440 scale to get my attention. Atonal drones mixed with Korean wailing and the Daegum flute for example. See what comes out musically after the Echelon powers kill 2 million of your population (ie 20%) backing up South Korea\’s right to have Korean Oi! music in the 21st century, plenty of SHARP skins in Daejon slamming in Timberland boots mind you. As a mid 30s academic I got up and played some full on thrash basslines solo for the punks and SHARP skins of Korea in between sets just to blow them away.

    Now let\’s examine the political situation on the ground with Oi! in the UK in the 80s and 90s.

    ISD of Skrewdriver was a working class asshole who transcended his Scottish roots to attempt to alter the English political scene with tracks like England\’s Rose. His musical talent was limited as was that of his band members. He was authentically dole/working class from Blackpool. In a way he undermined England politically causing social divisions – this may have been his intention.

    Oi Polloi! formed in an expensive private school in Edinburgh, slightly above the Oi! average musically in terms of musicianship (possibly due to having over 50 members). Supposedly anarchist and singing in Gaelic on recent releases and about Scottish nationalists like Willie MacRae being assassinated by MI5. So what is anarchist about base nationalism? What is working class about private education in Edinburgh? They have the same ethnic background as Australia\’s richest family the Murdochs. They don\’t seem so oppressed to me.

    So referring back to the 60s as the time when skin culture was stolen by middle class Nazis is basically in error. 95% of Oi! music is substandard and politically confused whether from the left or the right. It takes some level of understanding to see just how \’right out of the way\’ the underclass is before they turn to the extreme right and how wealthy and priveleged many anarchists are in spite of their (dis)guises.

    If you are looking for music that is fast, skilled, intercultural, timeless and about goals beyond worldly concerns like racism and antifaggoti (dry sticks of fascism) try Mahavishnu John McLaughlin:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_McLaughlin_(musician)

    However, some ancient and recent Vishnu based yoga texts form the basis of an Indian Nazism (which the Europeans copied) if you decode them. Nothing is pure. Nothing is sacred.

  15. Doug says:

    Usually I don’t respond to stupid allegations of racism and stuff, but on this occasion I feel obliged to respond because I would hate to think that this blog might affect the running of the Wasted festival which a lot of people have put a lot of time and effort in to make happen.

    1) Why, as a lyricist [and] vocalist who’s conscious that “you’ve got a chance to get a message across so why waste it?”, you haven’t addressed the issue of racism. In other words, why yr reluctant, as a (self-identified) skinhead, to say ‘fuck racism’ [and] ‘fuck fascism’.

    I guess I don’t really see it as a big issue. Maybe I will one day. I wasn’t even born the last time fascism was an active threat in Australia, maybe if I lived in Europe in places like Italy or something where they have a history of fascism and active fascist parties I would be compelled enough to write a song. To me political ideology is like a fantasy, like Dungeons and Dragons or something. In my opinion no defined ideology has a chance of making an impact on the Australian political landscape. We have a political system where no matter who you vote for there is going to be a Liberal or Labor party in power who are so similar that it really doesn’t make much difference anyway. I can’t see that changing in the foreseeable future. I was thinking of writing a song about that soon.

    Racism is also something that doesn’t affect me in any way that I can think of. Maybe one day something will happen that I will write a song about it, but it’s not really something that’s ever affected me enough to write about.

    2) Why you don’t think that being a bonehead makes someone “a fucken dick”.

    I think anyone who tries to hijack the skinhead subculture for their personal political ends is a “fucken dick” whether it be left wing politics, right wing politics, gender politics, sexual politics, racial politics, class politics or whatever.

    3) Why, as a skinhead, you’d want to have anything to do with boneheads, whether in Canberra, Melbourne, or any other place. Honestly, who gives a shit if they “accept” you? (Who gives a fuck what boneheads think?!?) More to the point, why do you accept them [and] their false claims to skinhead status?

    I don’t really care who accepts me or who doesn’t. I don’t know where you get that notion from. I couldn’t actually care less about someone’s “skinhead status”. Look ideally I think all skinheads should be riding around on Lambretta GP200’s with sta prest and brogues and large check Ben Shermans and Crombies hunting down original reggae 7″s.

    Put it this way, I’m confident enough in myself not to worry about who’s wearing what clothes or who’s political opinions are sound or not.

    4) Why you’d ideally like to play with Condemned 84.

    I’d ideally like to play with a number of bands, not just Condemned 84. Condemned 84 are great though, there was a period in the 80’s post the Southall Riots where Oi! was misguidedly written off as a right wing movement by the media and for all intents and purposes was dead. There weren’t many bands flying the banner for Oi! in that time and Condemned 84 were there and releasing records. They have an aggressive Oi! sound that I like.

    5) Why yr drummer dedicated a Pogues song (ffs!) to ‘Ulster’. (If you want me to elaborate, I will, but if you know anything about the Pogues, skinhead culture, history [and] politics / Irish history — [and] you do — it should be obvious why this is provocative.)

    If you read the tour diary [that] was our guitarist. Like I explained it was a joke and said in that manner. Like you said, it was a Pogues song ffs. I also just started singing and playing guitar in an Irish/Traditional Australian folk band that does Pogues and Popes covers.

    6) Why you don’t realise that, as a skinhead / streetpunk / oi! band, unless you send a clear msg telling them to fuck off, you’re gonna attract boneheads to yr gigs, possibly (sic) even a bonehead following. (And why you don’t appear to realise that ‘this is a bad thing’.)

    I make music. I don’t censor who listens to it. I don’t scan people for their politics at the door and wouldn’t want to. I just do what I do, and if you like it you like it, and if you don’t you don’t.

    7) What do you think of Bail Up! (or Blood Red Eagle for that matter)?

    I think it was irresponsible of Bail Up! to ask to play that show and promise to play apolitical songs when they knew the organiser was against it, and then play white power songs. I told them that. But having heard their music, while I may not agree with all their lyrics, musically they have an aggressive hardcore/Oi! crossover sound which remind me of Slapshot which is a band I really like.

    As for Blood Red Eagle, I don’t really get into the music that I’ve heard or singing about Vikings and stuff.

    8 ) If you really don’t care what audience you play to, would you play at the B&H ISD memorial gig? (Or alongside other boneheaded noise-makers.)

    No I wouldn’t play at a Blood and Honour gig. I don’t play gigs organised by any political movement whether it be Socialist Alliance or Blood and Honour.

    9) Why did you agree to play at a gig full of boneheads? A gig which also feat. Bail Up!?

    If you read the tour diary, Bail Up were never on the line up. The members happened to be there and asked the organiser to borrow gear and play after all the bands had finished.

    10) What “lies”? Seriously… where [and] when have I lied?

    By trying to imply that we are some kind of fascist or Nazi or racist band on this page.

    11) Where the fuck do you [and] Bulldog Spirit stand?

    On the ground. I mean what do you want me to say. Dear @ndy, Bulldog Spirit is not a fascist, racist or Nazi band. I hope that satisfies you.

    12) Why is that such a difficult q to answer? (Are you confused about skinhead culture?)

    Having been a skinhead for about 20 years, I think I’m pretty much sussed on skinhead culture. I’m not confused. I think you’re confused. You seem to think that it’s your role to accuse people about some bullshit until they justify themselves to you. I mean I could sit here and crap on about how I organise reggae nights with a black guy, how I just bought my half indian friend in Hell City Glamours a book about Phil Lynott who is a black irishman, how i’ve gone out with girls that are maori and chinese/jamaican blah blah blah, but really it galls me to justify myself to people just because they think it is their role to be the PC police.

    You know you quote Roddy Moreno at length and that’s great, I mean that’s one person’s opinion and he’s entitled to it. I don’t think he’s right when he says “If it wasn’t for SHARP and other groups like AFA, ARA, RASH and all the rest we would be swimming in a sea of swastikas by now”. Like I said, I’ve been a skinhead for 20 years, and that whole time there’s been a lot of guys who are just busy getting on living their lives, buying records, going to shows, wearing the gear etc that haven’t been involved in politics whether it be white power or trying to rescue the image of skinhead for the public. But as he’s been so actively involved in his crusade for so long, he probably sees things like that.

    I hope this clears up any misonceptions you may have.

  16. @ndy says:

    Hi Doug,

    Thanks for taking the time to respond to my questions — I mean that sincerely.

    That said…

    I’ve got no idea if this blog might affect the Wasted Festival — I kinda doubt it. (For example, I’ve written to most of the bands featured on the bill, but only one has bothered to respond… and I’ve got no idea what their response meant!) My suspicion is that most punters, even if they’re aware, simply don’t give a fuck, and the bands themselves are too busy pissing in one another’s pockets to want to make waves.

    Which is understandable — it’s a small scene, after all.

    And it’s not like punk/oi is about taking a stand… is it?

    ===

    On fascism in Australia : depends what you mean by ‘fascism’. As a social movement, it barely exists, and what elements there are (eg, the Australia First Party) are tiny and thoroughly discredited.

    Historically speaking, in the 20s and 30s, it was immigrant Italian and Spanish workers — anarchists to be exact — who fought Fascism in the most direct fashion. For example:

    “(Italian) Anarchists took to visiting clubs, restaurants and boarding houses known to be frequented by Fascists, and provoked the latter to fight. The anarchists were armed with knives, truncheons and even pistols… Yet, the most common form of violence during these years was the practice of assaulting members of Fascist organisations and of ripping from their coats the Fascist Party badge, that the anarchists publicly and contemptuously named the nit.”

    Or as Durruti put it: “Fascism is not to be debated. It is to be smashed.”

    (Oh yeah, there was also a thing called WWII. Tens of thousands of Aussies died apparently.)

    I put it to you that one of the reasons Fascism / fascism is not a big issue for you is that others fought it — people who’s names have been almost entirely forgotten, it seems — and fought it successfully: with courage and resolve.

    Nevertheless, I think it should be obvious to anyone with a ‘heart and a brain’ that the possibility of more virulent strains of racist and fascist ideology (re-)emerging in Australia is ever-present.

    Remember Cronulla?

    Pauline Hanson?

    One Nation?

    This isn’t ancient history, it’s late 20th and early 21st century Australia.

    But really — and this is kinda my point — the struggle against (racism and) fascism needs to be placed in context, and the context in this case is contemporary Australian skinhead culture — a culture of which you and your band are a part.

    So yes, skinhead / oi! is about ‘having a laugh and having a say’.

    The laughter I’ve no problem with.

    But what are you saying? Further, what are you doing?

    This is my central question.

    According to you, fascism is not a problem. Racism is not a problem. ‘Politics’ is not a problem (‘cos you can’t win anyway).

    To me, this is a fantasy, and your attitude — and, presumably, that of Bulldog Spirit as a whole — may be encapsulated in one phrase: ‘I’m alright Jack’.

    My response: first, I disagree with your assessment. Secondly, turning your back on social struggles is a form of political betrayal, which has little to do with the fighting spirit of punk / oi music and culture (at least as I and many others understand it).

    And I honestly wonder if you’re walking around with your eyes closed.

    Your attitude (and your politics) may be defined as being profoundly conservative, if not reactionary, and this kind of defeatism is dangerous. And again, from my perspective, it has very little to do with the sound — or the politics — of ‘the streets’.

    (Needless to say, it also stands in stark contrast to the macho posturing traditionally associated with oi.)

    Believe it or not, the fact that racism may not be an issue for you doesn’t mean it’s not an issue for others, and that includes the people who go to gigs: the Asian kids, the black kids, the queer kids, and all the the kids who, for one reason or another, don’t fit some fucking scumbag’s idea of the kinds of people who deserve respect.

    And solidarity.

    The meaning of ‘skinhead’ isn’t given; it’s subject to political contestation. Again, what side are you on?

    As for the notion that acknowledging the (to me, rather obvious) political aspect of skinhead implies ‘people pushing their personal/political agenda onto others’…

    Huh?

    I don’t get it. Expressing your opinion has nothing to do with ‘hijacking’, it’s simply a question: Who are you? What do want? What do you think?

    (As to where I get the idea that ‘acceptance’ is an issue:

    Fiona : On your last trip down to Melbourne I hear one of your gigs got overrun by boneheads. Do you find that because you are skinheads and aren’t SHARP, left, red or whatever, the anti-fascist fashion [sic] is that people assume you are a bonehead band?

    Well only me and Adam are skins in the band, but I guess because I’m the singer, the whole skinhead thing gets a pretty high profile. We were pretty much promoted as a ‘skinhead’ band in Melbourne with pictures of skinheads and stuff all over the flyers. So I guess all kindsa skins came to check us out. I mean personally I don’t really give a shit what you believe in, you could believe in the tooth fairy for all I care and still come to a show… just don’t be a fucken dick! You know I’ve known a couple of those right wing guys for fucken years from back in the day in Canberra or whatever and they can accept us…)

    On Condemned 84 :

    ‘The term “fencewalking” is used to describe a band, organization or individual in the punk scene whose opinions and ideals reflect a bent that border[s] on racist. Usually it constitutes a right-wing bent that is blatantly sexist and homophobic, nationalistic to a fault, and anti-communist. Often the person or group in question is not racist, so a lot in the scene will give them a pass on the other offen[c]es, putting them in the unfortunate position of looking hypocritical when they rationalize their support.

    For years folks in the Oi! scene have debated the fencewalking status of the UK Oi! band Condemned 84. Not any more. During the weekend of July 21-22, 2001 GMM Records [held] its annual Beer Olympics at the Masquerade in Atlanta. Slated to perform [were] the Anti-Heroes (whose lead singer owns GMM Records), Agnostic Front, the Krays, and others. Also among the performers [were] the Templars and Oxblood. The drummer for the Templars and Oxblood is black, and the lead singer for Oxblood is also black. This didn’t sit too well with Condemned 84 apparently, and on GMM’s website, this appeared:

    GMM regrets to inform its supporters that Condemned 84 will not be appearing [in] the GMM Beer Olympics. C-84 has opted not to perform due to the fact that two bands who have African-American members would be performing on the same stage. We are shocked to hear that one of our bands would take this racist outlook in this day and age. We at GMM are also shocked that a band that we have invested time and money [in] in the past would come out and embarrass us with this statement.

    GMM and its bands are strongly anti-racist and we hope our supporters are as well. We hope you will still make a strong showing at the GMM Beer Olympics to support our great acts like Pressure Point, the Templars, the Anti-Heroes and all the other acts.

    Fuck C-84. They ain’t great — they’re scum.

    http://www.onepeoplesproject.com/site/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=795&Itemid=2

    (Oh, and there’s lots more…)

    On Bail Up! :

    Yeah… there’s nothing worse than an impolite neo-Nazi.

    (Roll of eyes.)

    Bail Up! are fucking scum… but I take it that you flat-out don’t fucking care.

    Ditto Blood Red Eagle.

    As for why we’re not swimming in a sea of fucking swastikas at punk / oi gigs, the reason is pretty simple.

    They were smashed.

    See:

    http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=294
    http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=283
    http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=64

    Finally, some famous last words:

    Racist Friend — The Specials

    If you have a racist friend
    Now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end

    Be it your sister
    Be it your brother
    Be it your cousin or your uncle or your lover

    If you have a racist friend
    Now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end

    Be it your best friend
    Or any other
    Is it your husband or your father or your mother?

    Tell them to change their views
    Or change their friends
    Now is the time, now is the time, for your friendship to end

    So if you know a racist who thinks he is your friend
    Now is the time, now is the time for your friendship to end

    Call yourself my friend?
    Now is the time to make up your mind, don’t try to pretend

    Be it your sister
    Be it your brother
    Be it your cousin or your uncle or your lover

    So if you are a racist
    Our friendship has got to end
    And if your friends are racists don’t pretend to be my friend

    So if you have a racist friend
    Now is the time, now is the time for our friendship to end

    GOODBYE

  17. Isabel says:

    woah, bulldog spirit is one of the least rightwing bands of the “genre” ive heard. seriously.

    to claim that a band must be racist because theyve shaved their heads and have not proclaimed [themselves] to be sharp is ignorant. really, do you know these guys? some guy said something about Ulster… well fuck a doodle doo. really, that must mean that doug and the rest of the band hate me, after all i am from a strong irish catholic family. mate, maybe you should contextualise your quotes before you brand a band with a slanderous, untrue label.

  18. @ndy says:

    “I put it to you that one of the reasons Fascism / fascism is not a big issue for you is that others fought it — people WHOSE names have been almost entirely forgotten, it seems — and fought it successfully: with courage and resolve.”

    — @ndy the fucking pedant…

  19. @ndy says:

    Hi Isabel,

    For the record, I haven’t labelled Bulldog Spirit racist or fascist. I have, however, questioned their politics, and done so on the basis of the above. From what I can gather, they’re a fairly standard bunch of fencesitters.

    And as Roddy says, it’s easier than taking on the scum.

  20. Chaos82 says:

    Hey Andy,

    I respect and agree with a number of things you say, but I also think that you have a ‘one dimensional’ view of reality. It should be clear that the real world is far more complex than clichéd quotes or recycled rhetoric of left or right political persuasion. If anything, trumpeting political ideology can be a total distraction from real and urgent political issues at hand. Flags, drums, banners, loyalty oaths, and so on can influence anyone who gets a little too excited about a particular political standpoint. Many on both sides are guilty of this.

    Basically your focus is obsessive, narrow, and neglects certain fundamentals which are crucial for understanding the world. Can you honestly say that conflict between fascists and SHARPs, for example, accurately represents the issues of struggle on a scale that matters? People in real positions of power would probably not even notice any of this, let alone consider it relevant. Most thinktanks probably don’t even see the need to have an opinion on it. Are we forgetting who makes real decisions here? Well-fortified power structures certainly do not appear overnight.

    Ok, for the sake of clarification, here’s an example of what you said to Doug:

    (Oh yeah, there was also a thing called WWII. Tens of thousands of Aussies died apparently.)

    I think this illustrates my point to some extent, because this comment is one dimensional, lazy, and nothing more than a blatant assumption.

    The assumption is that we were fighting fascism. Well, it\’s interesting to note, for example, how Western powers favoured and admired Mussolini in his early fascist days. It was, after all, good for investment and so on. So with Western assistance it didn’t take long for the fascists to regain power (that is, real power, the type the media doesn’t mention) after they were defeated. Last thing the Allies wanted was partisans forming a socialist government in northern Italy.

    Of course, there are times when fighting racism is crucial, but there are also other times when you may as well be talking about different football teams. That’s the kind of impact it does, or doesn’t have.

    And Hansonism??? C’mon. Who cares? Obviously you give mainstream media a lot of credit.

    Issues like the Australian government supporting the racist and terrorist Israeli government is a more crucial issue I think.

  21. Trav says:

    How fucken good were Bulldog Spirit at Wasted?!! Keep it up boys, it’s fucken great stuff!

  22. @ndy says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your comments.

    (And apologies for the delay in publishing them — I’ve been away.)

    So…

    Yes, the real world is complex; no, I don’t think that my view of reality is one-dimensional (what dimension are you referring to?). I also disagree that my “focus is obsessive, narrow, and neglects certain fundamentals which are crucial for understanding the world” (what ‘fundamentals’?).

    To answer your question:

    “Can [I] honestly say that conflict between fascists and SHARPs, for example, accurately represents the issues of struggle on a scale that matters?”

    To begin with, there’s lots of ‘issues’ and lots of ‘struggles’; no issue is single, and all struggles are inter-related. But really, to answer this question depends on one’s position and one’s perspective.

    I live in Melbourne. I like music. I like going to gigs. I don’t want boneheads making trouble, and I would much rather see, and support, bands which are unafraid to take a stand, bands which have something to say, and bands which act with integrity. In that regard, I’m not alone.

    I don’t know if that answers your question. Maybe you could re-phrase it?

    “People in real positions of power would probably not even notice any of this, let alone consider it relevant.”

    Well, I think that depends on what you think ‘this’ is. As I wrote in response to Doug, in Australia:

    “As a social movement, [fascism] barely exists, and what elements there are (eg, the Australia First Party) are tiny and thoroughly discredited.”

    However, if you trace the history of fascism — both as an ideology and as a movement — many people in positions of power have been implicated, in one way or another, in this history. I’ve made numerous references to this on my blog. (If you’d like me to be more specific, I’d be happy to.) In contemporary Australia, ASIO boss Paul O’Sullivan declared in May of this year that the agency was (or had been) investigating links between the racist attacks at Cronulla, local neo-Nazis, and other members of the far right milieu. As I wrote at the time:

    “In response to growing public unease and tepid criticism from elites, and in a rather obvious PR exercise, the organisation’s current boss, Paul O’Sullivan, has recently publicly stated (May 4) that ASIO has been cooperating with police agencies, Federal and State, to investigate the ‘race riot’ in the beachside suburb of Cronulla, NSW in December last year.”

    http://slackbastard.anarchobase.com/?p=208

    Further, it’s a simple and — I would have thought — relatively uncontroversial fact that part of ASIO’s mandate is to maintain a watching brief on ‘political extremism’, whether of ‘the left’ or of ‘the right’. Secondly, this is a practice ASIO has engaged in since its formation. (Although it’s main focus has always been, and will continue to be, ‘the left’.)

    Generally speaking, however, the agency’s focus is ‘political’ in the sense that its direction is determined by the government, and accords with the government’s political priorities, whatever these happen to be at the time. Currently, for example, ASIO is focused heavily on spying on the activities of local Muslims, with particular reference to those identified as being adherents of ‘radical’ or ‘fundamentalist’ interpretations of Islam.

    Again, if you’d like further references, either in relation to ASIO’s history or its current preoccupations, there’s plenty available.

    To continue.

    “Most thinktanks probably don’t even see the need to have an opinion on it. Are we forgetting who makes real decisions here? Well-fortified power structures certainly do not appear overnight.”

    Most so-called ‘thinktanks’ are simply corporate-funded PR agencies, and their focus is determined by the needs of their sponsors. In the Australian context, a useful history of their evolution and social function is provided by Alex Carey in his book Taking the Risk Out of Democracy; more contemporary reflections are provided by a handful of scholars, most notably Sharon Beder (see, in particular, Global Spin: The Corporate Assault on Environmentalism). There are, of course, others, and I for one appreciate their efforts.

    http://www.press.uillinois.edu/s97/carey.html
    http://homepage.mac.com/herinst/sbeder/global.html

    As for WWII and the struggle against fascism, my comment was facetious. What I was trying to draw Doug’s (and others’) attention to was history, and the reasons why ‘it’s not a big issue’. I’m well aware that the US state, for example, is not committed to ‘anti-fascism’, nor was this its motivation in entering the war in Europe. In fact, no state is ‘anti-fascist’ in principle. People, on the other hand, can be, and many Australian soldiers were motivated by their hatred of fascism and a desire to see it destroyed.

    As for the role of the US and other Western powers in shaping post-WWII Europe, I’ve commented on this issue previously, and am well aware of the manner in which genuinely anti-fascist forces were destroyed or subverted in favour of their reactionary opponents. Western governments favoured and admired not just Mussolini, but Franco and Hitler too.

    “And Hansonism??? C’mon. Who cares?”

    I cited Hansonism as a recent example of a popular outburst of racism and, arguably, incipient fascism… there’s a reason why neo-Nazis flocked to her like flies to shit.

    “Issues like the Australian government supporting the racist and terrorist Israeli government is a more crucial issue I think.”

    I comment on a number of issues on my blog, including the Australian government’s involvement in the fraudulent ‘war on terror’. Its support for Israeli government policy, however, is largely tokenisitic. Finally, I fail to see why paying attention to the inroads political reactionaries are making into local youth subcultures such as punk and skinhead necessarily means not paying attention to issues of wider importance. In fact, that’s why I’m happy to do both this and more.

    Cheers,

    @ndy.

    PS. Trav, you’re a boring fanboy.

  23. @ndy says:

    (Although ITS main focus has always been, and will continue to be, ‘the left’.)

    Fuckity fuck.

    …Oh, and that\’s \”tokenistic\”, not \”tokenisitic\”.

  24. meatdog says:

    PRIDE! PRIDE! STRENGTH! STRENGTH! AND HOMUS! IT MAKE A FUCKING GOOD DINNA!

    BULLDOG SPIRIT ARE GONNA TAKE OVER YOUR SCENE, IT WON\’T BE A PLACE WHERE YOU\’LL FIT IN, SO JUST STAY THE FUCK, THE FUCK AWAY[!]

  25. @ndy says:

    OKAY! OKAY! YOU WANT HOMUS, YOU GOT HOMUS!

    HOMUS!

    Time to prepare

    10 mins

    Ingredients

    1 can chickpeas (drained)
    2 cloves garlic (peeled)
    2 tbs tahini paste
    squeeze lemon juice
    3 tbs olive oil
    pinch salt
    pinch chilli powder (if required)

    Instructions

    Place all ingredients in blender, and blitz until smooth, add a little more oil if too dry.

    Great with rice crackers for dipping.

  26. Chaos82 says:

    Hello Andy,

    It seems that you have a lot of time on your hands to respond to posts in the manner that you do, and unfortunately I cannot dedicate heaps of time to discuss and debate these issues like you can. However, I for one am always complaining about apathy in the scene and, in fact, have even written songs about it. So I cannot really ignore this opportunity and feel compelled to respond.

    Recently, I was studying a certain text which has been used by many universities in the International Relations and Political Science departments. The text is Global Political Economy (O’Brien & Williams, 2004). In chapter one it says this:

      Facts do not exist independently of explanatory frameworks. Facts are pieces of information that are thought to correspond to reality and be true, but the way in which they are perceived and judged is influenced by theory. (p.13)

    The chapter expands on this by emphasising various political standpoints which are both similar and in contrast to each other. Furthermore, in describing examples of major political events, the book makes no mention of what is truth or lies, right or wrong. All that seems to matter is these different ‘realities’ based on theory. Evidence seems to be something abstract.

    So when I first read this chapter I was astounded by what I thought to be such a dismissive and irresponsible stance. Facts are facts, it couldn’t be anymore simple. Noam Chomsky is continuously accused of thinking in black and white terms, but the way he uses parallels and equations to illustrate crucial points is a very reliable way of approaching issues in my opinion. International Relations theory does have a tendency to distort cold simple facts, and as we know, for good reason. However, while theory should not have this much influence, it seems that it does on many levels. We could substitute theory for fixation or emotional fervour, but I shall return to this point once I make a few other points.

    I am glad that you used the Cronulla incident as an example of racism in this country. However, while I do not dispute what was reported (though it could have been exaggerated somewhat) I think that in this example we are dealing with a type of racism that has yet to be mentioned. Ok, I’ll try to explain what I mean.

    When we have people that belong to certain racist groups / parties or whatever and are overt about it, they can easily be identified and targeted. They are usually quite vocal about their stance and can be found at certain events. But the overt racists, or to put it another way, ones that are part of a movement dedicated to it, are such an insignificant number compared to the ones involved at Cronulla, the ones who voted for Hanson, and/or the ones that could make up the majority of some redneck hick town. The presence of racism could be so entrenched and ingrained in a population of a town but may not necessarily manifest until something like Cronulla. We could be talking to many people who may never mention that they are racist and it could stay that way until they have a few drinks and something triggers a bit of patriotism. So what do we do? Conduct a survey in a potential racist town so we know who to attack? For many, the racist views remain personal and only come out in heated debates.

    Not so long ago I was in the right place at the right time and saved a Lebanese bloke from getting severely beaten or perhaps worse. It was at the height of patriotic fervour – the Commonwealth Games. Five pissed yobs draped in Aussie flags saw a Lebanese male crossing the street in the middle of the city and decided that he was a terrorist. They proceeded to kick the shit out of him. I’m not saying I can always take on five people successfully, but I guess I was lucky on this occasion and after a hard fight they eventually walked away. Funny thing is, as they walked off they called me a ‘fascist’. Must have been the boots, I don’t know. But the point is that if it wasn’t for those conditions — Commonwealth Games, alcohol, media influence, ignorance and so on — that incident may never have happened. I could have spoken to those yobs on another occasion and never suspected anything worth caring about.

    So the type of overt and blatant racism that you refer to is such a tiny percentage, compared to the phenomenon that I just described. Boneheads or identifiable neo-Nazis barely exist in this country. You give them more credit than what they deserve. The issue is not simply about two armies facing each other on a battlefield. It is much deeper and more complex than that. Perhaps you need to believe there is an identifiable army of Nazis to carry on what could be your obsession. I hope this is not the case. I hope it\’s more about reality and not the lifestyle.

    As a side issue, I grew up with many Oi skins and watched them later became neo-Nazis. The neo-Nazi skins didn’t even exist in Melbourne until about 84 – when they were eventually influenced by Skrewdriver. For years after that, at least until the early nineties, the majority of skinheads were neo-Nazis. This was so prevalent that a large number of skins weren’t even into Oi bands. This was because of contradictions obviously. The only connection that could be found was the ones that used to be into Oi. So the skins completely separated from the punks and you would rarely see them at punk gigs. It was clear where these skinheads stood and any Red skins or Sharps were virtually unheard of. The term ‘bonehead’ is a modern term and would not have made sense in the 80s. In my opinion, what is considered to be the skinhead scene these days is quite healthy compared to the early days. There was a time when it was necessary to have battles with ‘boneheads’, as you call them. But looking at things from my perspective, or from anyone else’s who is a bit older, to suggest that we have a problem with neo-Nazi skinheads in this country, or at least in Melbourne, is quite absurd. Especially when their politics are just as abstract as someone who thinks they are a Viking. It usually stays that way and rarely becomes an issue of street politics. I don’t think we are threatened by Vikings.

  27. @ndy says:

    Hi Jason,

    Thanks for your comments.

    I’ll respond in detail over the course of the next day or so.

    Cheers,

    @ndy.

  28. aketus says:

    ‘Meatdog’??

    haha

    I really have to agree with him, @ndy… I don’t think the meat/bull dog scene is really your demographic 🙂

  29. Malcom says:

    Personally i think its you who is the fa[s]cist. You try and force someone like Doug to have a poltical opinion, when he has made it clear its not an issue for him.

    Have you ever stopped to think that maybe some people just dont give a fuck about politics and all of your anarcho/commie/nazi or whatever it is bullshit???? Some of us just like to live life and enjoy it, instead of being a whinging, miserable, political activist cunt, who forces their opinions on others, w[he]ther it be left or right.

    Politics is fucking BORING!!!!

  30. @ndy says:

    Hi Malcom,

    If you think I’m a fascist, so be it. I don’t know you (afaik) so I don’t really care all that much. Further, I doubt you know what yr talking about, as you seem to use it (‘fascist’) simply as a term of abuse.

    As for my “forcing” Doug to have a political opinion… Doug’s free to do and say whatever he wants: I have absolutely no control over Doug’s life or opinions, and I don’t want any either: that would be ‘fascist’. However (and I would’ve thunk I’d made this clear already) if someone plays in a skinhead band, I think it’s reasonable to ask ‘where are you coming from?’. Further, having read an interview with Doug, his recounting of his band’s experiences on the road — especially in Melbourne, my town — as well as had an opportunity to examine his musical influences, I think it’s fair enough to do so.

    Finally, if the macho posturing associated with skinhead / oi! is to be taken seriously, then merely asking a few questions about race and racism is surely something yr typical skinhead can handle. To put it simply: Doug’s big enough and ugly enough to look after himself.

    So yeah, I’m fully aware of the fact that some people just don’t give a fuck. And if some (others) choose to go through life with their brains switched ‘off’, again, so be it.

    Cheers,

    @ndy.

  31. @ndy says:

    Hi Jason,

    The recent coupla posts reminded me I was gonna respond to you.

    So here goes:

    1) Inre facts and explanatory frameworks :

    “Facts do not exist independently of explanatory frameworks. Facts are pieces of information that are thought to correspond to reality and be true, but the way in which they are perceived and judged is influenced by theory.”

    To me, that seems like a fairly reasonable statement. I’d add: there are any number of ‘facts’ available for our consideration. So, what we choose as being the (most) relevant facts depends upon a) the subject of our discussion (what the fuck we’re talking about) and b) the perspective we bring to it (what the fuck we’re on about).

    By way of example: in the film Manufacturing Consent, Chomsky is asked by an interviewer about his role in ‘The Faurisson Affair’. One of the things Chomsky says in response is ‘Do the facts matter or don’t they?’ (or words to that effect). In other words, he argues — in his defence — that he does not agree with Faurisson (who denies the occurrence of the Holocaust / Shoah), and the inclusion of a statement by him in defence of ‘free speech’ as an introduction to one of Faurisson’s essays should not be read as such.

    For more info, see: The Faurisson Affair : Noam Chomsky writes to Lawrence K. Kolodney (Circa 1989-1991) ( http://www.chomsky.info/letters/1989—-.htm ).

    2) Inre ‘Cronulla’ :

    I agree with you that racists who organise themselves into parties and movements is one thing; the underlying racism which exists among the general population, another. I also agree that the former group is tiny in numbers and — usually — marginal in significance.

    That said…

    The outburst of racist violence at Cronulla was preceded by a series of attacks — both real and imagined — on white beach-goers by young Lebanese men. These attacks took place over a number of years, and were accompanied by what seems to have been a fairly widespread understanding — at least among local (white) residents and (white) beach-goers — that the police response to these attacks was inadequate, at best. In other words, such attacks were not being brought to a halt, and the offenders punished for their crimes — as is presumed to normally be the case.

    Leaving aside, for a moment, the accuracy of this depiction, it’s my view that under such circumstances (and given the existence of a more general, and quite pervasive, sense of suspicion of — and hostility towards — Muslims and ‘people of Middle Eastern appearance’ on the part of white Australians), such an outburst was probably only a matter of time. In addition, the Cronulla ‘riot’, and the racist hysteria which fuelled it, was cynically capitalised on by leading figures in the local political establishment and in the media.

    (Gay shock-jock Alan Jones in particular. See David Marr, ‘Alan Jones: I’m the person that’s led this charge’, The Age, December 13, 2005 : http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/alan-jones-im-the-person-thats-led-this-charge/2005/12/12/1134236003153.html .)

    3) More generally:

    Given the existence of an undercurrent of white racism, it makes sense, I think, to monitor the activities of ‘organised (white) racists’.

    As for boneheads, I think yr assessment is largely accurate. (And I’m not that young: for example, I can remember seeing Bastard Squad perform at the Sarah Sands in the late 80s / early 90s — a gig at which there was also boneheads, as it happens… although that’s another story!)

    Lastly, the struggle against racism and fascism is a global one. The successes of neo-Nazi and fascist tendencies in Germany or the UK is a matter of concern to me, and my concern with that struggle is one informed by my anarchism. Thus the fate of my comrades in those countries — and all others — is an issue, and I make no apologies for following their course, and reporting it on my blog.

    Cheers,

    @ndy.

  32. Trav says:

    “PS. Trav, you’re a boring fanboy.”

    I’m a fanboy? No, I happen to like music and couldn’t give two fucken shits what you think the band members are into! It’s only entertainment, it’s not gonna change the world! Get over yourself and go out there and live life. For fuck’s sake…

  33. @ndy says:

    Whatever mate: lie down with dogs, wake up with fleas.

    Interview with Barney, NAPALM DEATH:

    What do you think those who care about this issue should do?

    I would say boycott, boycott, boycott. Don’t buy the fUCKing records. Just leave it alone.

    These guys have got an agenda. Some of them don’t know what they are talking about. Some of these white power black metal bands are just stupid kids spreading poison, which is dangerous enough in itself. But there are certain bands where you don’t know that their proceeds isn’t going to funding maybe funding mailers [direct mailings – ed], or maybe worse.

    You know Resistance Records, which is one of the more well-known ones. We were at Milwaukee Metalfest a few years ago and they had a store there. And it was like, what the hell was this? There were white power kids blatantly walking around and giving me the evils, you know, obviously, trying to provoke me.

    This goes to promoters too. Hell, you make enough money. Show some integrity. Stop these people from coming in and infesting the scene. If you think it is any good for the scene, then think again. It is just going to cause all kinds of problems.

    What message do you have for those who feel that white power music isn’t a problem for the metal scene?

    Use your common sense. Look at what is going on around you. Just think. If there is a long-haired metal guy out there in a band, think of him going to a show where there are boneheads. Imagine walking in and there are tons and tons of boneheads, and just imagine the hassle you are going to get. And now put that into other people’s worlds. Put that, say, into a regular Joe Chinese guy’s life. A Chinese kid who goes to shows and buys your CD’s. Use your common sense. You don’t want boneheads at your shows.

  34. Fiona says:

    “…stupid kids spreading poison, which is dangerous enough in itself…”

    Yes… I agree with this statement too @ndy…

  35. Trav says:

    Once again you’re missing the point, Bulldog Spirit are not “spreading” anything! They are a fucking band who sing about life, no political message, no bullshit, just the life they (and a lot of other people) live. Maybe you should use your own brain instead of quoting others all the time.

  36. @ndy says:

    Fiona,

    Uh-huh.

    Trav,

    Doug writes the lyrics. From what I can gather, he doesn’t like junkies and he thinks that ‘pride’ and ‘strength’ are important qualities. Beyond that, I dunno.

    Yawn.

  37. Trav says:

    Yeah exactly – yawn. If that’s all you take from the lyrics, fine, what the fuck do you keep going on about them for? You put forth some questions and Doug has answered them, isn’t that enough? Seems to me you’re just trying to uncover something that isn’t there in the first place.

  38. Fiona says:

    @ndy.

    You should come out next time to a A Night at the Hop and actually meet Doug. There is one coming up soon, although I am not sure of the date. It will be at the British Crown in Smith St, Collingwood.

    Or do you like to keep your identity a secret like you say the right wingers do?

  39. @ndy says:

    Trav,

    I don’t know what you mean by “what the fuck do you keep going on about them for?”: I’m responding to yours and other’s comments.

    In any case, if you read the original blogpost — to which these comments are meant to be a response — you’ll notice that I don’t mention Doug’s lyrics once. Instead, what I’ve drawn attention to is Doug’s — and, by extension, Bulldog Spirit’s — attitude towards boneheads. This is based not on the band’s lyrics (of which I’ve only been able to find three, on myspace) but his opinions as expressed through interviews and a tour diary. In responding to my questions, Doug has made it quite clear that for him — and by extension, his band — racism is not an issue, fascism is not an issue (which is why he doesn’t address such topics in his lyrics) “politics” is, by and large, boring and stupid, and the band aren’t racist, fascist or neo-Nazi.

    In short, boneheads are neither welcome nor unwelcome at Bulldog Spirit gigs, and the band is unwilling to express anti-racist views in their lyrics, or be associated in any way, shape or form with SHARP, or any other recognisably anti-racist skinhead (or non-skinhead) group.

    So… I’ve come to the conclusion that the band is as I described them to Isabel previously: “From what I can gather, they’re a fairly standard bunch of fencesitters.”

    If you disagree, please feel free to say so, OK?

    (And if I’ve failed to uncover a “fascist beast” lurking at the heart of Bulldog Spirit, believe it or not, I’m glad!)

  40. Trav says:

    Yeah I do disagree actually. Just because a band doesn’t write songs about certain issues doesn’t mean they lean one way or the other on it. It’s quite stupid to assume that.

    If you’re only responding to mine and others comments, why is there mention of Bulldog Spirit in other posts here, posts that have absolutely nothing to do with the band:

    “Among the fascists who’ve indicated that they’ll be joining their Kameraden already in Melbourne will be boneheads from Brisbane and Perth-based convicted neo-Nazi criminal — and former member of the ANM and White Devils gang — Ben Weerheym. Locals attending the gig include Patriotic Youth League spokesperson Luke Connors (whose racist diatribes on Scumfront are posted under the pseudonym ‘young_soldier’) and Bulldog Spirit fan and Wasted Festival attendee Damien Ovchynik — vocalist with Bail Up! (one of the three bands scheduled to perform on the night: the others being Blood Red Eagle (Newcastle) and Ultraviolence).”

    So what, the guys a Bulldog Spirit fan who went to Wasted! What about everybody else who went to Wasted? What if the person in question was an AC/DC fan (or any other band/artist whatever the fuck you wanna insert here)? Would you be attacking them?

    I’d say they probably don’t support SHARP for the same reason they don’t do Blood & Honour gigs – because they are not interested in their band being hi-jacked by political twits.

    I agree with Fiona, perhaps you should come to the next installment of A Night At The Hop and actually meet Doug and form a real opinion of the guy and what he’s about. That’s assuming you can pull yourself away from the computer and go out into the real world…

  41. @ndy says:

    “Just because a band doesn’t write songs about certain issues doesn’t mean they lean one way or the other on it. It’s quite stupid to assume that.”

    1) I agree. And that’s precisely why I haven’t done so.

    AGAIN:

    “…if you read the original blogpost — to which these comments are meant to be a response — you’ll notice that I don’t mention Doug’s lyrics once. Instead, what I’ve drawn attention to is Doug’s — and, by extension, Bulldog Spirit’s — attitude towards boneheads. This is based not on the band’s lyrics (of which I’ve only been able to find three, on myspace) but his opinions as expressed through interviews and a tour diary. In responding to my questions, Doug has made it quite clear that for him — and by extension, his band — racism is not an issue, fascism is not an issue (which is why he doesn’t address such topics in his lyrics)[,] “politics” is, by and large, boring and stupid, and the band aren’t racist, fascist or neo-Nazi.

    In short, boneheads are neither welcome nor unwelcome at Bulldog Spirit gigs, and the band is unwilling to express anti-racist views in their lyrics, or be associated in any way, shape or form with SHARP, or any other recognisably anti-racist skinhead (or non-skinhead) group.

    So… I’ve come to the conclusion that the band is as I described them to Isabel previously: “From what I can gather, they’re a fairly standard bunch of fencesitters.”

    And when I ask ‘Do you disagree?’, the above is what I’m referring to.

    To which I’d add:

    2) Doug would like to play with the “great” Condemned 84, a fascist oi! band.

    How can someone who is not in a racist, fascist or neo-Nazi band want to play with one that is?

    3) I’ve never asked Doug to support SHARP, nor embrace left-wing politics. Further, you don’t need to do either to be anti-racist. Lots of (OK, some) skins with ‘right-wing’ politics — or skins with little or no interest in “politics” — hate racism, and all the stupid baggage that comes with it, and are prepared to say so; the reasons for this have quite a lot to do with acknowledging the multi-racial and multi-ethnic origins of skinhead culture. To my mind, it’s a simple matter of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.

    Boneheads either deny this history or denigrate it.

    That’s (partly) why they’re called boneheads.

    4) Inre Damien Ovchynik (Bail Up!) and his enjoyment of Bulldog Spirit:

    Ovchynik could listen to oompah music for all I care: the point is he was at Wasted, and had previously performed with Bulldog Spirit — even if the manner in which he did so was rather rude (Doug: “The members happened to be there and asked the organiser to borrow gear and play after all the bands had finished”.)

    Yeah… right. They just “happened” to be there, at The Birmingham, with their bonehead mates.

    If the organiser had said ‘no’ (assuming he wanted to), he would’ve had to face down a room full of boneheads…

    alone

    and with obvious consequences for his health and well-being one would assume (and as Doug himself has implied).

    And I guess when the boneheads from Blood & Honour have held gigs and meetings at “The Birmy” in the past — and, of course, tonight — they also just “happened” to be there?

    As John Elliot might say: Pig’s arse.

  42. @ndy says:

    Fiona.

    How was tonight’s gig?

  43. Trav says:

    OK.

    “if you read the original blogpost — to which these comments are meant to be a response — you’ll notice that I don’t mention Doug’s lyrics once.”

    Perhaps not in the original post, but in responding posts you have asked: “Why, as a lyricist vocalist who’s conscious that “you’ve got a chance to get a message across so why waste it?”, you haven’t addressed the issue of racism. In other words, why yr reluctant, as a (self-identified) skinhead, to say ‘fuck racism’ ‘fuck fascism’.”. Perhaps he just plain doesn’t want to… To be quite honest why does it matter? If every skinhead band was either racist or anti-racist and there was no middle ground it would be quite boring I believe.

    And this: “Doug would like to play with the “great” Condemned 84, a fascist oi! band.

    How can someone who is not in a racist, fascist or neo-Nazi band want to play with one that is?”

    Why are C84 “fascist”? They are actually my personal favourite band. I have everything they’ve ever released, nowhere in there lyrics have they said anything fascist or racist. Anyway C84 are an entirely different issue, we’re talking about Bulldog Spirit…

    “I’ve never asked Doug to support SHARP, nor embrace left-wing politics. Further, you don’t need to do either to be anti-racist. Lots of (OK, some) skins with ‘right-wing’ politics — or skins with little or no interest in “politics” — hate racism, and all the stupid baggage that comes with it, and are prepared to say so; the reasons for this have quite a lot to do with acknowledging the multi-racial and multi-ethnic origins of skinhead culture. To my mind, it’s a simple matter of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”

    I agree, I myself am quite right-wing and I find the idea of racism laughable really. Any thinking person should realise how wrong it is. But just because someone won’t take a stand against it means fuck all to me. Perhaps they have better things to do, like live their own lives.

    And lastly:

    “Yeah… right. They just “happened” to be there, at The Birmingham, with their bonehead mates.”

    I myself was at this gig and attended the punks picnic gig the day before and I’ll tell you, the boneheads who showed up at the Birmy and did so of their own accord. It had nothing to do with the fact that Bulldog Spirit where there. The reason they showed up is because at the punks picnic the day before there were fights between some SHARP kids and a couple of boneheads who were there. A random person who was only trying to break it up and had nothing to do with either group (and wasn’t even a skinhead I believe) ended up getting stabbed by one of the brave SHARP skins. The next day the bonehead contingent showed up in force probably hoping to “settle the score” or some stupid shit. It was an excuse for a fight for them and thank fuck for everyone else there wasn’t a SHARP in sight because apart from Bail Up! hijacking the gig at the end I suppose you could say it was pretty peaceful.

  44. @ndy says:

    [quote]…you have asked: “Why, as a lyricist [and] vocalist who’s conscious that “you’ve got a chance to get a message across so why waste it?”, you haven’t addressed the issue of racism. In other words, why yr reluctant, as a (self-identified) skinhead, to say ‘fuck racism’ ‘fuck fascism’.”

    Perhaps he just plain doesn’t want to… To be quite honest why does it matter? If every skinhead band was either racist or anti-racist and there was no middle ground it would be quite boring I believe.[/quote]

    There is no ‘middle ground’… I honestly don’t understand what you mean by this. What does it mean?

    Obviously, Doug doesn’t wanna address the q. If he wanted to, he would.

    Why does it matter?

    It matters in terms of est what the fuck Doug and the band are on about. Loadsa oi! bands hide their shitty politics behind vacuous sloganeering… I wanna know what’s behind the pridepridepride, strengthstrengthstrength.

    Plus, it’s a q that’s often directed at skinhead bands, and with good reason.

    [quote]And this: “Doug would like to play with the “great” Condemned 84, a fascist oi! band.

    How can someone who is not in a racist, fascist or neo-Nazi band want to play with one that is?”

    Why are C84 “fascist”? They are actually my personal favourite band. I have everything they’ve ever released, nowhere in [their] lyrics have they said anything fascist or racist. Anyway C84 are an entirely different issue, we’re talking about Bulldog Spirit…[/quote]

    Of course. But bands and music don’t appear out of thin air. Any musician with half a brain understands that they’re part of a tradition, pay their respects to those who came before them and, maybe, hopefully, in turn, inspire younger musos…

    So, musical influences are important, yeah?

    So too, political ones?

    There’s millions of bands out there, and probably tens of thousands of oi!/streetpunk bands…

    As for Condemned 84, they ‘officially’ got off the fence in 2001, if not before. Just prior to withdrawing from the 2001 GMM Beer Olympics (‘cos they was scheduled to share the bill with bands containing black musicians, and didn’t want to upset their fanbase in Europe and the UK), in Italy, they played a gig for the openly bonehead Veneto Fronte Skinhead. Further, on numerous occasions they’ve openly expressed their hatred for homosexuals, ‘reds’, refused to play gigs with ‘reds’ or anti-fascist oi! bands, and happily play for boneheads, including B&H and Hammerskins. (‘Storming To Power’ was released on Rock-O-Rama in ’92.)

    So, they’re just one of a number of oi! bands that do a Pauline: wrap themselves in the flag, talk shit about being ‘working class’, say they’re not political, talk endless amounts of shit about it, and, through their actions, place themselves firmly within the racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic far right.

    Fuck ’em, they’re wankers.

    [quote]“I’ve never asked Doug to support SHARP, nor embrace left-wing politics. Further, you don’t need to do either to be anti-racist. Lots of (OK, some) skins with ‘right-wing’ politics — or skins with little or no interest in “politics” — hate racism, and all the stupid baggage that comes with it, and are prepared to say so; the reasons for this have quite a lot to do with acknowledging the multi-racial and multi-ethnic origins of skinhead culture. To my mind, it’s a simple matter of R.E.S.P.E.C.T.”

    I agree, I myself am quite right-wing and I find the idea of racism laughable really. Any thinking person should realise how wrong it is. But just because someone won’t take a stand against it means fuck all to me. Perhaps they have better things to do, like live their own lives.[/quote]

    I’m not gonna even bother with that one.

    [quote]And lastly:

    “Yeah… right. They just “happened” to be there, at The Birmingham, with their bonehead mates.”

    I myself was at this gig and attended the punk’s picnic gig the day before and I’ll tell you, the boneheads who showed up at the Birmy did so of their own accord. It had nothing to do with the fact that Bulldog Spirit where there. The reason they showed up is because at the punk’s picnic the day before there were fights between some SHARP kids and a couple of boneheads who were there. A random person who was only trying to break it up and had nothing to do with either group (and wasn’t even a skinhead I believe) ended up getting stabbed by one of the brave SHARP skins. The next day the bonehead contingent showed up in force probably hoping to “settle the score” or some stupid shit. It was an excuse for a fight for them and thank fuck for everyone else there wasn’t a SHARP in sight because apart from Bail Up! hijacking the gig at the end I suppose you could say it was pretty peaceful.[/quote]

    Ditto.

    Bands who give a shit don’t play for boneheads.

    Bulldog Spirit don’t give a shit.

    That’s my point.

  45. Josh Papas says:

    You cunts talk shit!

  46. @ndy says:

    You are a man of few words!

  47. Anonymous Troll says:

    shit andy! you are a ranty little cunt, arent you?
    its highly understandable why you dont show your face, if you started mouth like that in public you would likely be beaten down before you got halfway to your drawn out 20th paragraph.
    your rants are tedious and silly like rick from the young ones. skins in the 60s acted nothing like you. keep being a source of amusement for real skins.

  48. @ndy says:

    G’day Anonymous,

    You do realise that this post is dated August 30, 2006 yeah? Which is like 5 1/2 years ago? Buggered if I know why you’ve waited all this time to comment: feel free to explain if you like.

    Cheers,

    Andy.

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