Wednesday, September 27, 2006
The band that saw the light of day at the tail end of the eighties with the goal of fighting fascism was originaly called Blaggers. They were openly left wing and proud to be an anti fascist skinhead band, their first gig was supporting the Angelic Upstarts, those early gigs were very much a case of wearing their beliefs on their sleeves as many of them were benefits for various left wing causes. They recorded an average album for Oi Records called 'On Yer Toez' which would be of little interest were it not for the political content. During this period the band started to build a solid following in Germany and changed their name to Blaggers ITA, added a trumpet player, by 1991 they were using an onstage rapper to further develop their sound. 1992 saw their second album with the in your face title of 'Fuck Fascism, Fuck Capitalism' released, obviously due to its title airplay was rather thin on the ground. Their third release 'United Colours Of Blaggers ITA' was to find itself a place in the indie top ten. This success lead to interest in the band from major labels despite their anti capitalist stance, and the band eventually signed with EMI, and for some of their supporters this was a sell out akin to the clash signing up with CBS. This marriage in hell was to leave us with the one album the very nineties titled 'Bad Karma' one must bear in mind that at the beginning of the decade the UK was tired and run down after the wreckage of the Thatcher years. A recent relistening to the album reminded me how powerful and diverse the record actually was, it's always nice to see big record label money going to good use! The credits on the back could well read The Clash, Karl Marx, Senser, Black Panthers, Manic Street Preachers............. get the idea? 'Famine Queen' mixes dance and rock sensibilities together with success, some nice shades of Led Zeppelin and a droning Eastern influence. 'Slam' is a 100mph no hold bared race with funky guitars sounding like something from a prime 70's TV cop show. And as for 'Hate Generator' if it is possible, this sounds like it should have been on 'London Calling'. The Blaggers ITA did not out stay their welcome at EMI and left by mutual agreement shortly after the albums August 1994 release. From here on it was more or less downhill with vocalist Matty being kicked out the following year due to his uncontrollable heroin addiction that was to lead to his early death in 200. The band called it a day in 1995, though they did reform as Blaggers AKA in 2001 to play some German shows.