Great Skinhead Reunion revue, By David Webster
Arrived in Brighton around 1.30 with my mate Steve Aller holding high expectations of what the weekend had in store. I was not to be disappointed as this years reunion was even better than the 2013 event. After checking in at the Adelaide hotel, we made our way to the Volks where we met up with many old mates, Dave Ryan and his son Sid, Dave Nash, Lisa Sumner, Lynda Scarpellini, Jo Barnett, Steve Parish, and many more. The vibe was good as we all sat around chatting outside in the sun whilst the music blasted out. First band on were ”Grade 2” who performed well above anything I had anticipated. This band made up of 3 lads all still at school showed a confidence well above their years. Sid the vocalist showing no nerves at all. I was straight on the dancefloor throwing myself about like a spider on acid. Loved every second of their set. Then it was back to the fresh air of Brighton to cool myself down. Saw a old flame from the past, [11 years to be exact!] Ana, and straight away we connected. The relationship blossomed over the w/e. Back to the bands and next on were Swedish Oi band ”Agent Bulldog” who had brought with them a large Swedish contingent. Although I could not understand the lyrics to their songs, I still enjoyed their set very much and had a jump around. Last band of the night were ”The Downsetters” who I had seen earlier in the year at Skamouth. The masses obviously enjoyed these lads as the dance floor filled. Their set included a combination of covers and their own material, which was very good. They even did a ska version of the Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant, which I was not sure about! By around 10ish the bands had finished. But for many the night was just beginning as the crowds headed for the next venue [which I cannot remember the name of!] After a short walk we arrived to hear old Trojan sounds blasting out, and so the dancing continued into the early hours. By around 1 o clock this old boy was done in, my bed was calling.
Up early to hit the breakfast table, so after a shower and a squirt of Steves chanel deodorant, off we toddled. We eventually hit the Volks around 1ish on another scorching day. Gutted that I had missed Ken and Bobbi’s wedding do.Already the place was heaving with skinheads slowly getting pissed. As a non drinker it was J20s all the way, kinda funny seeing most getting pissed whilst I remained sober. The music is my alcohol! The Dr Martens photo booth was in big demand as many queued for a free photo. First band on today were ”Lineside” who I must apologise to for missing. I took a break from reunion activities for a walk along Brighton pier with the Latina Ana, where we got more reacquainted, and indulged in a ice cream. Back to the Volks just in time to catch Linesides last number. They actually sounded very good indeed. Next band up were the 2-Tones, who I thoroughly enjoyed from last years reunion. Again, they blew the roof off with the dance floor packed as they belted out cover after cover of our favourite ska/Trojan sounds. A hour or so later it was time for Saturdays headlining band ”The Feckin Ejits” a band I had not seen since the 1980’s. Really enjoyed this set as the crowd went mental to ”You gotta kick a picket or two”. Top marks Mr Sterling! Then at 10-30 it was off to the ?????? for more dancing. My poor feet were done in, the dms are certainly better than brogues for jumping about in. Again by 1ish I was cream crackered and pestered Steve to go back to the hotel. [He had the solitary key!]. And so endeth day 2.
Up early, due to my mate Steve singing Judge Dredd songs whilst I was trying to sleep. Down for brekky, then it was more sleep. Got to the Volks to find it still packed, regardless of many having headed home for work commitments. Only 2 bands tonight. ”Jack the Lad” with Gunk from Condemned 84 who did a complete set of Oi covers, and jolly good fun it was too! Once again I jumped about like a loony on day release. Finally it was the highlight of the w/e [not including meeting Ana again] the band I had really came to see ”The Last Resort”, having not seen them for a few years I was really psyched up. And what a energetic set it was. All the old favourites, mixed in with newer stuff like Never get a job, and the superb We are invincible. The floor was a mass of boots, muscle and sweat [with a couple of females amongst the nutters, well done Jo Barnett and Tash] . After 2 encores that was it, no more bands. But certainly not the end of the night as Ana and I strolled romantically along the beach with the lit up pier and big wheel in the background. Awww how nice. Still made it back to the volks for the last hour or so of music. The djs incidentally have been superb. Top marks to them all. Also the bar staff who were kept on their toes. Gotta say a massive thank you to everyone that made this w/e such a great event. It is what you make it to a point, but after all is said and done it would not be happening without Symond. Sod the haters. Roll on 2015s Reunion. Oi oi that’s yer lot Dave Webster. Could have wrote much more, but have left my personal details out. Ha ha.