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The Redskins were an English band formed in 1982, notable for their Trotskyite politics and whose music combined influences from soul, rockabilly, pop and punk rock. The band formed in York, England in 1982 (from the ashes of punk band No Swastikas), with Chris Dean (vocals/guitar), Martin Hewes (bass/backing vocals) and Nick King (drums). Chris Dean wrote for NME magazine under the name X. Moore. Dean and Hewes were members of the Socialist Workers Party. The band members wore skinhead clothing styles and helped inspire the redskin movement.

The band released their first single, "Lev Bronstein", on the CNT record label in 1982. They released one more single, "Lean On Me", on CNT before signing to London Records. On 10 June 1984, a group of white power skinheads attacked the band and their audience during a performance at the free GLC-sponsored Jobs for a Change festival at Jubilee Gardens, South Bank. In November 1984, an appearance on Channel 4's The Tube saw accusations of censorship after the band invited a striking miner on stage to deliver a speech during their performance, and his microphone connection was allegedly cut.

King was replaced in 1985 by Paul Hookham, although for the recording of the band's first EMI/Decca single "Bring it Down", Style Council drummer Steve White was brought in to perform. Shortly afterwards, Hookham took over full-time drum duties. Their next single, "Kick Over The Statues", was rush-released on an independent label with an uncredited sleeve after London/Decca rejected its release as a benefit for the anti-apartheid movement. The band released one full album, Neither Washington Nor Moscow, and two final singles before splitting at the end of 1986.

Links To Peel

Peel was a supporter of the band and after hearing their first single, Lev Bronstein (Leon Trotsky's real name) he booked them for their first Radio One session. The session took place on October 9th 1982 and was broadcast on October 20th. The Redskins played 4 songs "Unionize", "Reds Strike The Blues", "Kick Over The Statues" and "Peasant Army". They also played the themed tune of Pickin' The Blues, as an outro to their first session broadcast on 20 October 1982.

The session was the first time the band had used a brass section. The line up for the brass section was later to settle as Kevin Robinson (trumpet), Trevor Edwards (trombone) and Ray Carless (tenor sax). In 1987 Strange Fruit Records released the session as a 12 inch single.

Peel was well aware of the band's politics and sarcastically introduced them as one of his loony left wing spots on his 14 May 1986 show.

Festive Fifty Entries

Sessions

THE REDSKINS John Peel 9th October 198214:23

THE REDSKINS John Peel 9th October 1982

The first session is available on The Peel Sessions (12", Strange Fruit, 1987)

1. Recorded: 1982-10-09. Broadcast: 20 October 1982. Repeated: 15 November 1982, Karl's Tape Mid November 1982, 28 December 1982, Can I Hear Shipbuilding

  • The Peasant Army / Kick Over The Statues / Reds Strike The Blues / Unionize & Pickin' The Blues (Outro)

2. Recorded: 1983-08-08. Broadcast: 15 August 1983. Repeated: 06 September 1983

  • Young And Proud / Hold On / 99-And-A-Half / Take No Heroes

Other Shows Played

The Redskins - Lean on me03:56

The Redskins - Lean on me

1982

  • 23 August 1982: The Peasant Army (single – Lev Bronstein b-side) CNT
  • 21 December 1982: 'Peasant Army (7 inch-B side of Lev Bronstein)' (CNT Productions) FF #31

1983

1984

The Redskins - Keep on Keepin' On (High Quality)04:34

The Redskins - Keep on Keepin' On (High Quality)

The infamous Tube incident in 1984 where the band invited a striking miner to speak during their performance.

1985

1986

  • 17 March 1986: Go Get Organized! (LP - Neither Washington Nor Moscow) Decca

1987

  • Peel Early 1987: Unionize (EP - The Peel Session) Strange Fruit
  • 02 June 1987: Kick Over The Statues (12" - The Peel Sessions) Strange Fruit

External Links

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