The recent gig by the UK Subs at the Witchwood in Ashton has exploded into controversy after an intense argument on Facebook over the support band, Pressure 28, who many people consider to be a Nazi band. Allegedly there is much evidence to support this accusation, and the fact that Pressure 28 are a ‘blood and honour band’ (a neo-Nazi music promotion network) only serves to back up the assertion.
Initially the Subs drummer posted a statement (which has since been deleted) saying that it was ok to play with any bands regardless of their politics, and since then UK Subs have refused to acknowledge any evidence that Pressure 28 are Nazis. Until now.
The above led to UK Subs being accused of all sorts – which as anyone knows the band can testify is rubbish. So to clarify this argument UK Subs bassist Alvin Gibbs has offered the following very eloquent statement on the UK Subs facebook page…
“OK, usually I don’t get involved in disjointed, sporadic, ill-informed debates on Facebook but when your band is being accused of being Nazi sympathisers and thereby by implication I find myself being tarred with the same brush it’s time to hit a few keys and defend the honour and integrity of the UK Subs and point out a few ‘facts’ to the perpetrators of this ridiculous theory.”
“First off, in the 33 years I’ve been associated with the Subs we have never deviated from a collective point of view that has been anything but clearly anti-Nazi. I, as member of the band, have played at least 20 anti-Nazi events around Europe in recent years including performing on the back of flatbed truck in Italy while Fascists hurled insults and pieces of paving stone at us when we disrupted their rally.”
“Listen to our lyrics and you will find copious amounts of evidence to support our conscious intensions to act on Nazi theology and the spread of other totalitarian systems (of the left or right) in the same manner as kryptonite acted upon Superman. Surely my self-penned song on the new album ‘Coalition Government Blues’ demonstrates that we are not even conventionally right wing!”
“On a personal level it’s well known that I’m half Portuguese, with my mum’s mother being Brazilian and her grandfather having been a black emancipated Brazilian slave. When my mother remarried after divorcing my father she took a husband who was black Jamaican. He was one of the finest, kindest men I’ve ever met in my life and my sisters and I loved him dearly… unfortunately he died of cancer in 2002. Together we would go to see Palace play with his Caribbean mates, drink together in the South Norwood pubs and attended parties where white & black mixed happily.”
“During WW II my great uncle helped liberate Belsen concentration camp. There he met & eventually married my great aunt Ghuter who was the only member of her Jewish family to emerge from that terrible place alive. She became a very close member of our family. There is not a racist bone in my body & anyone who knows me knows that. Why then, with my mixed-race genealogy and hatred of racism, would I choose to play in a band with Nazi sympathisers? The answer is of course the accusation is both foolish and beneath contempt.”
“Let me now deal with how this ‘theory’ evolved: yesterday we played a show in Ashton-under-Lyne. The promoter had booked a support band that we had no knowledge of. The bass player of this band, Pressure 28, asked to use my amp, which I refused because we now have a blanket policy of not lending gear to supports due to too many bust speakers and other problems in the past. Anyway, Jake, that was his name, was fine about that & I explained how he could play directly into the PA using his monitor as a speaker, for which he thanked me. The rest of the band were polite and friendly. They were evidently skinheads, but so what, punks & skins should be comrades and we welcome none punk bands of any genre to open up for us.”
“Jamie then got a report from someone on Facebook that they might have Nazi associations. I spoke to Jake after their soundcheck and he told me his ex-girlfriend was Caribbean & how he thought it was great that a skinhead band that he’d met in the USA, The Templar, had 2 black members, being as this was a rare occurrence . This was an intelligent, articulate and rational guy who was evidently not racist. I did not speak to the other members but they behaved with respect and politeness towards us and the audience that entire evening. There was a fair few skins there to see them and they equally acted with respect and mixed happily with the punks and others in the audience. I listened closely to their lyrics for signs of a far right agenda but there was nothing at all to indicate they were in any way promoting views that we would have found risible. They even played a version of Secret Affair’s ‘Time For Action’, a pop Mod anthem and hardly a white power call-to-arms.”
“During our set Jake spend the entire time dancing around in the mosh pit with the punks, helping up the fallen and enjoying the music. Someone then Facebooked Jamie to say their name was somehow contrived from a ‘known’ Nazi lexicon, when in fact it nothing more than the tyre pressure of a well known Italian scooter! If you go to their webpage you can see there is no suggestion of an association with Right Wing causes & they claim to be simply a skinhead oi, Cockney Rejects, type outfit. But of course none of this satisfied the minority hysterical contingent that inhabit planet Facebook. So, let me makes this plain and simple: We would not choose to play with a band with a Nazi agenda and/or affiliations; but based on the what I saw and heard this was no Nazi preaching outfit. Of course, I cannot ascertain the personal political theology of each individual member, but it’s in the behaviour and what I hear and see for myself that I make up my mind not from the rumour mill of the social media. I can’t fucking believe I’m having to defend the UK Subs and myself against charges of being Nazi tolerant. What band recorded and released a song entitled ‘Nazi Cunts’? It’s time for this irrational and unnecessary ‘debate’ to end so we can all move on to more pressing issues that need our attention in the real world. A.”