The Libertines, The Buzzcocks, The 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster, Miss Black America, The Others
Love Music Hate Racism gig
London Astoria, March 16th 2004

This was something you really had to be at. There’s so much to say about it that goes beyond words, that when written down looks trite or banal or merely like sloganeering, that made this night special. Such as the rousing reception given to the striking Scottish Nursery Nurses, the 14 year olds pogoing to the Buzzcocks and singing along to every word, the euphoric cheers that met every mention of Joe Strummer, the stunning visuals, Pete Libertine’s speech “The BNP are cunts!” and the crowd’s chorus of “Fuck the Nazis”. Above all it was the charged intelligent passionate committed atmosphere created by 2000 black and white, young and old, music fans who love music and hate racism and who are determined that the Nazi nightmare must happen “Never Again!”

Sadly for us The Others sounded rather like “Mind The Gap!” as we rushed up from Tottenham Court Road tube arriving just in time to see Miss Black America take to the stage to give one of their most energetic, wired, chaotic performances to date. Seymour and co were on top form, playing mostly new songs including the exceptional “Automatic”, and sounding like a band reborn.

The 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster’s mix of Goth sleeze, blues and swampy strut reminded anyone who’d forgotten of the multicultural heart of pop music - without its black roots, there would have been no Elvis, no Rolling Stones, no Sex Pistols, no Groop Dogdrill. No Fun. At all. The 80s Matchbox B-Line Disaster make this point in a terrifyingly unpredictable onslaught of pain and pleasure.

Ever Fallen In Love With Somebody You Shouldn’t Have? Without playing this, perhaps their biggest hit, The Buzzcocks showed what a massive store of top pop punk songs they have. From "Boredom" to new single "Sick City Sometimes” (reviewed in the new R*E*P*E*A*T), they had this writer in the palm of their hands, revelling in the perfect combination of Diggle and Shelley’s vocal and guitar styles. Their “Harmony In My Head” was the first punk single I ever bought; twenty five years later, seeing them share a stage with a band on my label was one of the best feelings I’ve ever had connected with this fanzine. And if you ever wonder whether POP can make you happy, take a listen to the trebly two note guitar solo vocal harmony perfection of The Buzzcocks.

And then, the Libertines. You know their story, you know how they look set to be the saviours of British guitar music, and tonight they have us in their power. Combining punk commitment with indie ethics, they are quickly emerging as the ones most likely to take on where The Clash left off. Which is why, in this time for heroes, it was fitting that none others than living legend Mick Jones joined them for the encore, including a version of ‘Should I Stay Or Should I Go?’

Which brings us back to the ghost haunting the whole night, that of Joe Strummer; this was almost his night for he showed us that pop music and politics not only can but must go together. All it requires for evil to triumph is that the rest of us do nothing. Wearing badges is not enough. Which is why it was OUR night too. Visit these websites now and see what you can do to help preserve that multicultural, creative society that allows punk music, indie music, rap music, reggae music, metal music, hip hop music - OUR MUSIC! - to flourish!

Love Music Hate Racism Anti Nazi League Unite Against Fascism

Rosey; pix by Phil Fisk (see