The Last Resort are a name synonomous with the Oi! movement both as a shop catering for those of the skinhead persuasion and lifestyle in the ‘80’s. One of the iconic bands of that era, whose reputation far outweighed their recorded output, this has resulted in the band being given legendary status despite only being together originally for little over a year between 1980 and 1982, with their first gig being as support to the Originals, featuring soon-to-be Last Resort bassist Arthur Kay at Acklam Hall in West London on March 4th, 1981.
Following this gig, the band put out the first ever cassette-only release on the Cringe Music label, which was sold over the counter of the aforementioned shop and whose tracks featured heavily in Garry Bushell’s Punk and Oi! Charts through Sounds, the music paper of its day. The band got together originally in 1980 after Roi had seen a band called The Rivals rehearsing, following this, he met up with a guitarist called Charlie Duggan. Graham Saxby was then recruited on vocals, and at a Rivals gig they found a drummer called Andy Benfield.
As stated, the name Last Resort came from a shop owned by Micky French who happily agreed to let the band share the name. Following on from the first gig and cassette release, Saxby left the band in early 1981, with Roi taking over on vocals and Arthur Kay being recruited to take over bass duties. This line-up played on the “Strength Thru Oi!” and “Carry On Oi!” album tracks and recorded the band’s first album, “Way Of Life – Skinhead Anthems”, which was originally released on their own Last Resort records in 1982.
The band then split-up as a result of getting blamed for violence at or near their gigs, which were nothing to do with the band; and were blown-up out of all proportion by the anti-Oi! media feeling at the time. The band along with The Business and the 4-Skins (who Roi later joined as vocalist) were playing at the Hamsborough Tavern in Southall when it was attacked and burnt to the ground by misguided locals.
Following this split, there was a reformation of sorts in 1988 when Arthur and Andy, contacted Roi to reform the band, bringing in Mark Edwards from The Rivals on lead guitar. However when Arthur and Andy dropped out, Roi recruited Dean Wilkinson on drums and Mick Melville on bass to complete the band, which was called The Resort. This line-up released the “1989” album, before splitting-up at Christmas 1990.
The current line-up of the band featuring Chris Jones on drums and former Anti-Nowhere League personnel, John “J.J” Pearce on bass and Keith “Beef” Hillyer on guitar alongside Roi of course, got together in Millennium year, 2000 and immediately recorded an eight track demo, featuring both old and new songs including “Working Class Kids” and “Held Hostage”, originally released on the first cassette!
This line-up was originally going to be called Millwall Roi and they released the first fruits of the line-up via the track “We’re Gonna Get You” on the “Addicted To Oi!” compilation through “Captain Oi! Records”. They also contributed “Wonderful World” and “Chaos” to the 4-Skins release, “Secret Life of the 4-Skins”, again through Captain Oi!, and covers of “Gotta Go” as Millwall Roi and “She’s A Skinhead Girl Warrior”, actually as Last Resort to the “Worldwide Tribute To The Real Oi! – Vol 2” compilation on Triple Crown Records.
It wasn’t until 2002, however, that the band finally began to use the Last Resort moniker as German Festival Organisers M.A.D. assured the band that this name was the one that the fans would more readily identify with. So Last Resort were officially reborn, playing the “Punk and Disorderly Festival” in 2002. Since that gig, the band have also played in France, Belgium, Sweden, Spain and England, playing their first home country gig in 21 Years at the Hounslow Rifleman in 2003.
Other notable appearances since that time, have seen the band play at the “Beer Olympics” in Atlanta USA, without Roi!!!, the “Full Force Festival” in Germany, “Wasted” in England on a number of occasions, “The Fury Fest” in France and “Punk and Disorderly” a further couple of times. The band have also announced their intention to the Punk World by releasing their aptly titled comeback album “Resurrection” through “Captain Oi! Records” in February 2005, which was far more powerful and hard-hitting than their earlier releases, featuring old Resort songs re-worked, prime covers and some great new material.
* The Last Resort is says that the Worldwide Tribute To The Real Oi (vol 1&2) were Triple Crown releases. These actually weren’t. Both these releases are I Scream Records releases which (at the time) were licensed out to Triple Crown for North America.
In 2009 I Scream Records signed The Last Resort and released “You’ll Never Take Us; Skinhead Anthems II”.
* Kindly added by
I Scream Records
PO Box 310344
Brooklyn, NY 11231