Cockney Rejects Biography.
The Cockney Rejects were formed in 1978 in London’s East End by Jeff Turner and Micky Geggus. Fueled by their love of old-school punk and seventies rock, they recruited then brother-in-law Chris Murrell on bass and Paul Harvey on drums.
Their first demo, ‘Flares n’ slippers’ caught the attention of small wonder records supremo Pete Stennett who put them into the studio with producer Bob Sergeant to record the song as a single with ‘I wanna be a star’ on the b-side.
The single was a huge success which sold out its’ initial pressing and went on to figure prominently in the indie charts for months.
Realising that the original line up was only ever going to be temporary, they recruited 21 year old Vince Riordan on bass, who in turn brought in drummer Andy Scott from fellow East End band The Tickets, and the ‘classic’ line up debuted at their regular haunt the Bridge house in Canning Town in June ’79 supporting the Little Roosters and life was never the same after that!
As the press went potty and so did the punters, so the record deal offers came flooding in and in September ’79 the band signed with EMI after which the classic ‘Greatest hits Vol.1’ was released in Febuary 1980.
Not a band to rest on its’ laurels, in between touring the U.K the band found time to record ‘Greatest hits Vol. 2’ which was released in October of that year, and had two hit singles with ‘The greatest Cockney Ripoff’ and ‘I’m forever blowing bubbles’ which celebrated the fact that their beloved West Ham United had reached the F.A cup final that year.
Unfortunately at that time the band were beginning to be associated with the burgeoning football hooligan movement that had arisen in Britain at that time, and because of their unabashed association with West Ham united, battles with rival factions at gigs effectively ended the band as a touring unit, and when then GLC supremo Ken Livingstone slapped a totally uncalled for London- wide ban on them (there was never any trouble in London!) the band seemed doomed.
A hastily-arranged live album ‘Greatest hits Vol 3’ was released in March 1981 and from then on the band went in to ‘Beatles’ mode and only released records. Shaping their sledgehammer sound into a more refined beast, the band released ‘The power and the Glory’ in August 1981, and after leaving EMI after 4 albums they released the full-on metal ‘Wild Ones’ on the NEMS label in September 1982.
At that point Vince decided to leave the band, and the remaining three incorporated bass player Ian Campbell for 1984’s ‘Quiet Storm’ which was released on the Heavy Metal records label, which was voted by Kerrang! Magazine the fifth best release of the year, alongside such greats as Deep Purple and Aerosmith.
However, the boys missed Vince and decided to call it a day, only briefly reuniting for the hard rock ‘Lethal’ album on Neat records which was released in April 1990, after which they went their separate ways again.
However, nine years later, interest in the band was awoken by young American bands such as Rancid, green Day and Blink 182 who cited the Rejects as major influences and after a Levi’s ad featured ‘Im not a fool’ Rejects mania seemed to be in full swing and demand for the band to reform, record and play live again reached fever pitch.
With Vince retired from the rock business, Mick asked his old friend from Sunderland’s Red alert Tony Van Frater to join the band on bass, and Tony in turn brought in Andrew ‘Lainey’ Laing on drums, and they recorded an album of Rejects covers called, well well well, ‘Greatest hits Vol.4’ which was released on the Rhythm vicar label in November 1999.
The new line-up also clicked fabulously live, and sell out tour followed sell out tour all over the world, and they released a new album, ‘Out of the Gutter’ in June 2002.
They followed that up with the mighty ‘Unforgiven’ which was released on G&R London in June 2007, and have gone from strength to strength ever since, playing to packed houses the world over with high energy shows which literally take the breath away and show the youngsters how it really SHOULD be done!
In May 2010 they realized a lifetime’s dream and played ‘Bubbles’ to 25000 people at West Ham’s ground in support of their friend Kevin Mitchell on his world title challenge to Michael Katsidis.
The boys are currently writing new material for their forthcoming 10th studio album, as well as working on the forthcoming documentary about the band, ‘East End Babylon’ which is due for release in 2011.
What with all this and new tours being planned all the time, it really is time for everybody to Join the Rejects…….And this time, nobody gets themselves killed!