One of the first interviews I managed to confirm was with Liam from Booze & Glory, who I had known for about ten years and was pretty easy to get hold of. He answered all my questions quickly and I remember thinking 'if everyone's like this it'll be a breeze to get this done.' Liam, thank you for being the first and most hassle free interview of Rebellion 2012
This London band formed in 2008 and describe their influences as British Oi!, dirty streets and cold booze. Rancid six-stringer Lars Frederiksen says, "Being a personal favourite and one of the best bands out there right now, I'm proud to be playing a few shows with Booze & Glory this year. Their record 'Trouble Free' is in current rotation on my record player". The band write poignant sing-a-long skinhead music with careful attention given to the production and delivery of their records.
Rebellion sat down with guitarist and vocalist Liam in an East End boozer to talk about their upcoming gigs with Rancid, the Olympics being held in London and the comeback of Oi!
Rebellion: Hi Liam, Rebellion's at the bar and getting a round in, who's having what?
Liam: Booze & Glory are Mark on vocals and guitar, Liam also on vocals and guitar, Bart on bass and Mario on drums. As for drinking, whiskey all the way!
Rebellion: This is your second Rebellion now, being the absolute festival openers last year. Are you pleased to be back? (and slightly higher up the bill!)
Liam: Yes! We're very happy to be back at Rebellion again for the 2nd time (although we have been coming for years anyway!). We had a great time last year, there's not many places you're going to play at 11am on a Thursday morning! But the crowd was brilliant and we was happy to kick Rebellion 2011 off in style!
Rebellion: Who on the bill do you recommend we don't miss?
Liam: There's such a good line up it's hard to pick favourites, but I will definitely be dragging myself from the bar to catch Sydney Ducks. I've wanted to see them live for a while and I'm sure it's going to be great. I'm also looking forward to seeing The Uppercuts, they are a quality London band and well worth getting your arses up to see! The Agitators from Belgium always do a great set!
Rebellion: Would you agree that we're currently experiencing a resurgence of Oi!, with bands like yourselves, Runnin Riot, Sydney Ducks, Old Firm Casuals, Noi!se, Harrington Saints, Control, all seeming to be doing really well.
Liam: I'm sure Oi! is making a comeback, there's some great bands out in the US now and it's great some of them are making it over here to play, I think with so many new bands appearing it's keeping the scene fresh and exciting. As for gigs, it seems there's a lot more younger Skinheads coming out and the older fellas are being drawn back by the reforming of some of the classic bands like Infa Riot. The future's looking good for Oi!
Rebellion: Your track 'Swinging Fucking Hammers' was one side of the memorial record for Maximum RockNRoll's Bruce Roehrs, how did that come about?
Liam: Skippy from Pirates Press approached us with the idea of a special memorial vinyl release for Bruce. He thought that 'Swinging Fucking Hammers' optimised the character and spirit of Bruce Roehrs, so we more than happily donated the song for the record, along with the Harrington Saints who gave 'Claret & Blue'. Pirates Press did an amazing job of the vinyl, which was crossed hammer shaped and came in various claret and blue colors and splatters, all of which are now framed on my wall! We were very proud to be part of it. If you're lucky you may still be able to donate and pick up a copy at www.piratespress.com/bruce
Rebellion: As far as I can count, you've worked with at least six different labels to date, how do you decide what projects to be involved with?
Liam: Six! Well what can I say? We're just a bunch of tarts that will go with anyone! Both our first album 'Always On The Wrong Side' and our second, 'Trouble Free' were released on Step 1 Music, with Contra Records taking care on the vinyl release of 'Trouble Free'. We also worked with Pirates Press Records for the Bruce Roehrs release and appeared on the 'Oi! this is Street Punk' compilation. We also released a split 7" with the Warriors on Randale Records. As for deciding what we do and don't do, it's tough sometimes because we all work full time. It's difficult enough to fit all the gigs in, let alone get in the studio to record for further release and although we get offers to be on compilations and splits we sometimes haven't got the material or time to record more and no one wants to hear the same B&G track on 4 or 5 different comps...
Rebellion: London is central to many of your tracks. Are you excited about the Olympics?
Liam: I really have a love/hate relationship with London, when it's good there's nowhere I would rather be than in London, but when things get bad it can be a pretty grim place to be. Take last summer for example! As for the Olympics, I live 5 minutes from the main site and I worked in the main stadium during the building. Apart from giving some people a bit of work for a short time, what good is it really going to do? Oh, and I'm still praying West Ham don't get it after! We have played at Upton Park for over a century, if we move I think it would be a real shame to lose so much heritage.
Rebellion: What does where you come from mean to Booze & Glory? Where else do you draw inspiration from?
Liam: I think one of the defining things about Oi! and Punk is that it's real, you sing songs that are about things that affect you day in day out, so coming from where we come from has a huge influence on what we play and how we play it! I'm not just talking about London either. Although now living in London, Mark, Bart & Mario are from Poland, which brings in a different perspective to our music. They obviously take influence from the Europeon bands that they were listening to when they were younger like Horrorshow from Poland.
Rebellion: How would you describe one of your gigs?
Liam: Fun I hope! We're just out to enjoy ourselves so as long as the crowd enjoys it we're happy!
- The Future is Unwritten. Make the most of every single day.