The Oppressed … Anti Fascist Skinheads (Oi!) [Music/Discography/Review]

Most people equals skinheads with racism and neo-nazis. That’s not how it all started, but the nazis hi-jacked the concept and they where the ones making headlines in the newspapers, so today most people think all skinheads are racist scumbags. The Oppressed was flying the Anti Racist flag in the 1980’s and still do today.

The History

The Oppressed is a Welsh Oi! band that formed in 1981 in Cardiff, Wales. Most of the musicians in the band’s various lineups have been skinheads. Throughout the band’s career, the members (especially vocalist Roddy Moreno) openly expressed opposition to racism and fascism — in their lyrics, interviews, on-stage comments and other actions. In 1989, Moreno visited New York City and met a few members of Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice (SHARP). On his return to the United Kingdom, he started promoting SHARP ideals to British skinheads. The band has also had ties to other anti-racist groups, such as Anti-Fascist Action. Moreno is a Cardiff City F.C. supporter, and some of the band’s songs express that support.

Oi! STORY – THE 80s

March 1981, Russel (DUCKY) Payne is released from Borstal and I get released from Prison. At the time we didn’t know each other and it’s just coincidence that we were both banged up for violence. Anyway, Ducky (GUITAR), his brother Ronnie (BASS) and Gary Tier (DRUMS), all Cardiff Skins, along with Martin Brennan (VOCALS) a valley Skin, form an Oi! band. After tossing a few names around, including FORCED OPPRESSION, they decide that THE OPPRESSED fits the bill. So it was that with not much ability and a ton of enthusiasm the boys set out to have a ball. While all this was going on I was forming INSANITY SQUAD with me on guitar, my brother Dom on bass, his mate Vince King on vocals, and a nutter called Ed Flemming on drums. Me and Vince was Skins and Dom and Ed was Punks so that made us Cardiffs first Skunk band. We played a few local gigs, recorded nothing and fell apart after trying play a gig so pissed we couldn’t see straight. Back at Duckys house Ronnie had left the band. No big story, he just wasn’t into it. Looking for a new bass player they ask my mate if he wanted to join but he couldn’t play a triangle so he suggested me. I’d seen their first gig and I remember telling my missus how “I should be in that band”. So Ducky, Gary and Brennan eventually turn up on my doorstep and make me an offer I couldn’t refuse. I suggested Dom on Bass with me as second Guitarist and the boys were all happy. This was around Xmas 1981 and this line up lasted about a year. Brennan and Gary had decided to leave so I took over vocals and we found the Kid, Lee Jenkins, to take care of drumming. Lee was from Risca, about 20 miles out of Cardiff, a 16 year old Skin who told me “I’m fucking brilliant” when I asked him if he was any good, and “course I have, that’s why I’m fucking brilliant” to “got a kit?” This line up lasted about 2 years and recorded nearly everything issued in the eighties. Almost all our gigs ended in a ruck (boys will be boys) and eventually we just got pissed off with whole thing. We did get together in the studio with Juan Garcia, a punk from near Cardiff on drums. We recorded 3 cover versions but played no gigs. So that was it for the eighties. Less than 4 years but it seemed like a lifetime…… 

Oi! STORY – THE 90s

After the split in ’84, I spent the next 6 years setting up and running my Oi! Records and Ska Records labels, helped to establish S.H.A.R.P and in 1987/8 I put together The Rude Boys with my brothers Dom and Adrian (R.I.P), and 3 sax players. By the end of the eighties the Rude Boys had fallen apart and the labels were struggling. There was a baby (THE Oi! BOY) on the way so I give up on music and got a job. I put The Oppressed back together in 1994 after some Fascist shite had been putting up C’18 (Ni**ers Out) stickers in my area. I tore off the stickers and thought “fuck this” and set out to use the bands profile to Fight Fascism again. For the next 2 years me, Dom and Adrian recorded some Anti-Fascist records including the benefit E-P “FUCK FASCISM”. We played a few local “Shows for the Boys” including our farewell gig with the Warriors which was filmed for the THEY THINK IT’S ALL OVER – IT IS NOW video. Although this was our farewell gig we received an offer we couldn’t refuse, to play the Camden Irish Center for ANTI-FASCIST ACTION (Oct’ 5th 1996).The Business had a gig wrecked by C’18 because they wouldn’t have C’18 provide security. The Fascists then announced that no Oi! bands could play London without C’18 security. The lads from A-F-A said “FUCK THAT” and arranged a concert for us. Floyd was now in the band on guitar and this was his one and only gig with us. The Stage Bottles had come from Germany to support us. It was a top night. Just like back in ’81, no trouble at all. It was one of our best gigs and, not surprisingly, C’18 became invisible men. 1998 saw us back together with a new drummer (YAN) to do some more recording and we’ve done nothing since…. 
Now it’s 2004 and we’re back in rehearsals. The latest line up is still me, Dom and Floyd, with Tony Kizmus (ex-Societys Rejects) on drums.. If it all goes well we’ll be back for the odd festival later in the year. 

Oi! STORY – THE 00s 

Since writing this we spent 2005 playing all over Europe and did one night in Canada for the Insurgence Records boys which was filmed for the Brotherhood DVD with The Prowlers. I hit 50 in 2006 and decided it was a good time to close the book on the band. 
Now it’s 2010 and we’re back for another load of gigs…. 
So now it’s 2016 and after playing all around the world it’s time to call it a day. Problems with my health and hitting 60 contributed to the decision but I look back with pride…. 
It’s now 2020 and at the grand old age of 63 I’ve put the band back together. This time Ducky’s back on guitar. After a 36 year break it’s great to have him back in the band he started 39 years ago. The 2 new boys are Che on drums and Ross on bass. Both boys are from Bridgend and also play in South Wales Punk band The Evil Turkeys. They’re great lads with a wicked sense of humour and fitted right in. 

Cheers one and all. 
It’s been emotional. 
Roddy Moreno

The “Oi Story” part is from the bands FB page

Discography

(1983) Oi! The Tape [Demotape]

9/10

5 out of the 6 tracks later appeared on their debut album “Oi! Oi! Music”. I love these tracks and I love how they sounded here in ruff demo versions.

Favourite track: Riot
Album Versions: Discogs

1983Victims / Work Together7″
1983Never Say Die E.P.7″

(1984) Oi! Oi! Music [Album]

10/10

This is the ultimate skinhead Oi! album! It’s simply amazing from start to finish. The lyrics, the music, the attitude, the sound and it has a menacing atmosphere. Like the soundtrack to hunting down nazi skins.

Favourite track: Riot
Album Versions: Discogs


(1985) 1981/4 – Fatal Blow [Album]

8/10

I was guessing that as the title suggest the recording are from 1981, but released in 1984. The sound quality certainly suggest it’s demo recordings from 1981. But as you see down below the first 3 cover tracks are from 1984. The 1984 tracks are really good covers, “Angels With Dirty Faces” by Sham 69, “Bad man” by Cockney Rejects and “ACAB” by 4-Skins.

Notes:
Tracks A1 to A3 recorded August 1984. 
Track B1 is a 1982 demo track. 
Tracks B2 to B5 are 1981 demo tracks. 

Favourite track: Bad Man
Album Versions: Discogs

1988Dead & BuriedCompilation of Victims / Work Together 7″,
Never Say Die EP and the demotape Oi! The Tape

(1994) We Can Do Anything [Album]

4/10

Holy crap was I disappointed when this one came out 10 years after the last real full-length album. Still disappointed when listening to it today.

Favourite track:
Album Versions: Discogs

1994Anti Fascist Oi! E.P.7″
19955-4-3-2-1 EP ‎7″
1995Fuck Fascism E.P. 7″
1996They Think It’s All Over… It Is Now! ‎7″

(1996) Music For Hooligans [Album]

7/10

I know this is a lot of peoples favorite record by the band, but to me it’s not even close to the debut. The aggression that was displayed on 1984’s Oi! Oi! was simply outstanding. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a really good album, and I like the football fans sing-a-long style of vocals, but I still miss the aggressive vocals on the debut.

Favourite track: Skinhead Times
Album Versions: Discogs


(1996) The Best Of The Oppressed [Compilation]

10/10

Not much to sy about this one, simply an awesome compilation of the bands recordings.

Favourite track: Riot
Album Versions: Discogs


(1997) They Think It’s All Over … It Is Now [Video]

Not Yet Reviewed

Favourite track: Joe Hawkins
Versions: Discogs


(1997) Live 84 [Live Album]

Not Yet Reviewed

Favourite track:
Album Versions: Discogs


1997The Noise EP7″
1997Strength In Unity! 2×7″ Split with Impact
1998Fatskins / The Oppressed7″ Split with Fatskins 
1998More Noize For The BoysCompilation
1999Out On The Streets Again 7″ Split with Cock Sparrer
1999Totally Oppressed ‎Compilation
2001Oi! Singles & Rarities Compilation
2004Antifa In USSR Compilation
2004Heavyweight Oi! Championship Of The World 7″ Split with Klasse Kriminale
2005The Insurgence E-P ‎7″
2005Skinhead Times 1982-1998 Compilation
2005Won’t Say Sorry The Complete Cover Story Compilation
2008Football Violence ‎(7″, EP)7″
2010 Split EP 7″ Split with 7er Jungs
2011 S.H.A.R.P. As A Razor7″ Split with The Bois & The D Teez
2011Antifa Hooligans7″
2013Live At Crash In FreiburgSplit Live Album with Enraged Minority
20132 Generations – 1 Message ‎7″ Split with Wasted Youth
2013Blue Army ‎CDr
2015Skins ‘N’ Punks Volume 6Split Album with The Prowlers
2015Greatest Bootstompin’ Hits – Japan Only EditionCompilation
2016Antifascist Oi! – Live And Loud!! Live Album
201620 Años SHARP Buenos Aires – Compilado 1981 – 2004 Compilation
2020Anti-Fascist Oi! Since 1981 Compilation

CHECK OUT AN EXTENDED
DISCOGRAPHY ON DISCOGS

Please support this blog by sharing this article as a tweet!

MORE MUSIC RELATED REVIEWS HERE