When: Tue., Dec. 18 2012
THE BUSINESS Class of ’79 London rockers The Business are standard bearers for the British Oi movement. Oi, the second wave of Brit punk, mopped up resistance after the shock-troop assault of the Sex Pistols, Clash and Stranglers. Harder, louder and more working-class than it’s artsier elder New Wave, the brattier little brother Oi relies on simple melodies wrapped in massed male choruses patterned on football chants. It’s fist-pumpin’, beer swillin’ stuff that draws on the good-timey boot-stompers of ’70s glam rockers Slade. The music’s popularity proved a curse when British fascists hijacked the genre to lure young, testosterone-addled recruits, thereby tarring the entire scene — and key players like The Business — with a Neo-Nazi brush. Mutual loathing between Oi bands and fascists touched off race riots like The Business’ 1981 Southall gig that left 110 injured and one olde English pub burned to the ground. More melodic, dynamic and resilient than its cohorts, The Business soldiered on, coming to the attention of American hardcore legends Rancid, which championed The Business’ cause, introducing the Brit brethren to U.S. punk fans. Nowadays, The Business still keeps touch with its working-class, rollicking roots, bringing us Yanks a little class consciousness along with the good times.