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The Business brought the skinheads to Mercury Lounge (pics)

photos by Jason House

The Business

Oi! is a melodic type of punk-rock which originated in Britain around 1980 and has since spread throughout the world. The forefathers of Oi! (Sham 69, Menace, The Lurkers, Slaughter And The Dogs, Cockney Rejects, Cock Sparrer, Angelic Upstarts, etc.) played what some of the smarter press of the time dubbed, “real-punk” (i.e. punk-rock with a message/theme of “social realism”). A lot of the press who courted the original wave of punk-rock, wholly ignored or wrote-off what was soon to be called Oi! as “thug-rock,” and thus insured unfair treatment of the genre right from the get-go.

Around 1980, bands like the 4-Skins (East London), Infa Riot (North London), The Last Resort (Herne Bay), Red Alert (Sunderland), The Business (South London) and Blitz (Manchester) began to pop-up all across Great Britain. This phenomenon of strikingly similar-minded, yet unrelated bands was quickly clumped together as “Oi!” by Sounds journalist Gary Bushell, taking the name from the classic Cockney Rejects song, “Oi! Oi! Oi!” Bushell not only gave Oi! its name, he compiled and gave the world the first Oi! compilation, “Oi! The Album” (released by EMI injunction with Sounds magazine). “Oi! The Album” — though not a truly stellar record or even completely representative of the Oi! genre of the time — set the precedent for the compilation as an important part of the Oi! movement, as witnessed by the release of countless Oi!-focused compilations world-wide ever since its release. Musically, Oi! is generally distinguished by anthemic melodies, terrace-style backing vocals and a pace/tempo more suitable for pogoing and singing along, than slam-dancing and stage-diving. Together with ska and reggae, Oi! forms the musical focus of the traditional skinhead subculture, and together with hardcore and classic punk-rock, it forms the musical focus of the punk subculture. [FAQ for skinheads]

Oi! punks The Business kicked off a US tour at Mercury Lounge in NYC on Friday night (9/2). Pictures from that NYC show continue below…

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Dirty Spiders

Broken Heroes

Broken Heroes

Broken Heroes

Broken Heroes

Broken Heroes

Broken Heroes

Broken Heroes

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Krays

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business

The Business — 2011 Tour Dates
7th – 42nd Street Rock House – Greensburg
8th – Smalls – Hamtramck
9th – Now That’s Class – Cleveland
10th – Southgate House – Newport
11th – Firbird – St Louis
12th – Cosmic Charlies – Lexington
13th – The Masquerade, Hell Down – Atlanta
14th – Berkley Cafe – Raleigh
15th – Skate High – Virginia Beach
16th – Otto Bar – Baltimore
17th – FutureBar at Club 58 – Quincy (MA)
18th – FutureBar at Club 58 – Quincy (MA)

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