Saturday-night fighters | Bleader

Saturday-night fighters

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On the road trip I took to Minneapolis this weekend, I got to pick a fair amount of the music in the van, and the most vocal response I got was to Boot Power Vol. 3: 1970-1979, a free compilation from the excellent glam-rock blog Crazee Kids Sound. The boots referred to in the title aren't the sparkly platforms that most people associate with glam but rather Doc Martens, and the music is harder stuff aimed less at fey Ziggy Stardust wannabes and more at shit-kicking working-class dudes who dug glam's sound but didn't have much use for its androgyny.

Most of the bands in the accompanying photo collage have a rough-and-tumble badass image--they look like gangs of young soccer hooligans taken off the street and tidied up a bit. It's worth noting that when Motorhead's "City Kids" comes up on the playlist it's not jarring in the least.

The late-70s tunes by punk bands Sham 69, the Terrorways, and the Undertones don't feel out of place either. And even the more outright glam material--with its sneering, cocky attitude and aggressive interpretation of 50s rock 'n' roll--makes a compelling case that the first wave of British punk wasn't quite the revolutionary quantum shift people tend to imagine. Rudi's choppy pop number "I Spy," released in '79, is the end product of the band's evolution from glam--they're named after a song by hideously underappreciated glam band the Jook--into full-on punk (they eventually shared stages with the Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers, both of whom they sort of remind me of). And the presence of the Angelic Upstarts has the happy side effect of exposing oi's roots in glam, something that's sure to annoy a good percentage of hardcore oi fans--which is good, because most hardcore oi fans are dicks.

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