Oi!- the set list...Cockney Rejects
Oi!- the set list...Cockney Rejects
Oi!- the set list...Cockney Rejects
Oi!- the set list…Cockney Rejects

Liverpool O2 Academy
Nov 3rd 2012

Morrissey once described Cockney Rejects as “…a ringing hum of human energy”. Had he been in the Liverpool Academy tonight, he’d surely have used those words again.

Although the Rejects were support for the very popular Rancid, my trip to Liverpool was for one reason only…at last, I was to catch up with that band who 33 years ago, brought me something new and something different and who helped paved the way for what became known by some as Oi!

From the same stable as Sham 69 and Angelic Upstarts, Cockney Rejects burst on to the scene with more than a little help from the likes of Jimmy Pursey, Gary Bushell, and John Peel. In fact, the first time I ever heard the Rejects was when listening to John Peel in bed one night (10pm, Radio 1, on a school night!) – Peel played the Pursey-produced “Flares ‘n’ Slippers” and I just knew straight away that me and the Rejects were going to get on just fine!

Tonight, the Rejects took me back to those nights in 1979 – to when I was a 14 year old Punk, looking for something new…for the next big thing. “Here comes the new Punk” as they famously say!

They kicked off tonight’s set perfectly – the track that started it all. Flares ‘n’ Slippers set the scene brilliantly, as they then spent the next 40 minutes storming through a “Best of Cockney Rejects” set.

“We’re Cockney Rejects. We’ve been around a long time and we’re gonna be around for a long time” – Jeff Turner seemed to be loving it right from the start, bouncing and jabbing on stage like the boxer he used to be many years ago.

Old Rejects classics like East End and Join the Rejects (dedicated to Joe Strummer) were belted out with that human energy that Morrissey had spoken about. The wonderful I’m Not A Fool, The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off and Bad Man were all delivered with a raw pride and passion that just shines through.

Then the final mayhem, with Police Car, War on the Terraces and Oi Oi Oi – by this time, old Punks and young Rancid fans alike were lapping up the blistering, powerful energy on show.

It was a truly wonderful set. The crowd enjoyed it, the band appeared to have loved it and I’d at last seen what I wanted to see. As Joe Strummer himself once said, they certainly are “the real deal”.

Lawrence Chapple-Gill – Manchester


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