|

Click here to expand and collapse the player

Cock Sparrer

Rate It! Avg: 4.0 (17 ratings)
  • Formed: London, England
  • Years Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s

Albums

Biography All Music GuideWikipedia

All Music Guide:

One of the first Oi! bands, Cock Sparrer was playing loud, raw, Cockney working-class anthems as early as the first wave of British punk, although record company difficulties prevented them from issuing much material until the early '80s, when the Oi!movement was well underway. The group formed in London's East End in 1975, originally as a hard-edged pub rock combo in the vein of Dr. Feelgood. Four of the members -- vocalist Colin McFaull, guitarist Mick Beaufoy, bassist Steve Burgess, and drummer Steve Bruce -- had been schoolmates since age 11, and had been playing together in cover bands three years prior. They were joined by rhythm guitarist Garrie Lammin (Burgess' cousin), and soon began playing the Bridgehouse Pub in Canning Town on a regular basis. The emergence of the Sex Pistols presented an opportunity to further toughen up their sound, which sparked a brief interest from Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren that didn't end up amounting to much. In 1977, Cock Sparrer signed with Decca Records (which had already landed another proto-Oi! band in Slaughter & the Dogs) and recorded their debut single, "Runnin' Riot," which was followed by a cover of the Rolling Stones' "We Love You." However, disagreements with Decca led to the sense that the band's simple, basic, street-level sound wasn't really understood; as a result, their self-titled debut was, for some reason, issued only in Spain. Lammin left the group to pursue an acting career not long after, and a frustrated Cock Sparrer went on an unofficial hiatus.

By the early '80s, bands like Sham 69, the Angelic Upstarts, and the Cockney Rejects had transformed the working-class punk sensibility into a Cockney-dominated subgenre dubbed Oi! As early progenitors of the scene, Cock Sparrer was in demand once again, especially after their song "Sunday Stripper" appeared on an Oi! compilation. They began gigging again and quickly landed a record deal, resulting in the 1982 hit single "England Belongs to Me," which struck a chord during the middle of the Falklands War. Cock Sparrer's official U.K. debut album, Shock Troops, was also released in 1982 and became a long-standing Oi! favorite. Guitarist Beaufoy left the band in 1983 and was replaced by the tandem of Chris Skepis (rhythm) and Shug O'Neill (lead). This lineup recorded the follow-up album, 1984's Runnin' Riot in '84, but Skepis and O'Neill both departed shortly thereafter. Beaufoy rejoined briefly for the Live & Loud album, released in 1987, but disagreements within the band and (again) with their record company precipitated another breakup.

In late 1992, Cock Sparrer was invited to play a reunion gig at the Astoria, near Charing Cross. The appearance of over 2,000 fans stunned the band into a full-fledged reunion, featuring the original quartet of McFaull, Beaufoy, Burgess, and Bruce, plus new rhythm guitarist Daryl Smith. In early 1994, Cock Sparrer released Guilty as Charged, their first album of all-new material in a decade. The odds-and-ends EP Run Away followed in 1995, featuring live and studio recordings; the proper follow-up to Guilty as Charged, Two Monkeys, was released in 1997, with rumors that it would be the band's last album featuring all new material. A spate of compilations and live recordings followed during the next few years, with the band continuing to tour extensively, hitting the U.S. in 2000.

Wikipedia:

Cock Sparrer is a punk rock band formed in 1972 in the East End of London, England. Although they have never enjoyed commercial success, they are considered one of the most influential streetpunk bands of all time, helping pave the way for the late-1970s punk scene and the Oi! subgenre. Their songs have been covered by many punk, Oi!, and hardcore bands.

Their style was influenced by pub rock, glam rock and raw 1960s beat music as delivered by bands like the Small Faces and The Who. Their lyrics mostly dealt with topics related to the daily lives of working class people. Their name derives from their original name, Cock Sparrow, a Cockney term of familiarity.

^ http://www.allmusic.com/artist/cock-sparrer-mn0000793022/biography^ Image of band's original "business" card

Career[edit]

Cock Sparrer was founded by Colin McFaull, Mick Beaufoy, Steve "Burge" Burgess and Steve Bruce – who had known each other since the age of 11. Playing in nightclubs in and around London, they developed the style that was later to be known as streetpunk or Oi!, mixed with pub rock/R&B influences. In 1976, Garrie Lammin (Burge's cousin) joined as second guitarist, and the band met with Malcolm McLaren, who was considering managing Cock Sparrer alongside the Sex Pistols. According to members of the band, the deal never happened because McLaren refused to buy them a round of beers; another explanation given is that they refused to cut their hair in a style that McLaren wanted.

In 1977, the band secured a deal with Decca Records, who were hoping to cash in on the now blooming punk movement. The first Cock Sparrer single was "Runnin' Riot", released in May 1977. It did not sell well, nor did the following single (a cover of the Rolling Stones' "We Love You"), and Decca dropped the band in 1978. The band members had already recorded an album's worth of material, which was only released in Spain as Cock Sparrer and wasn't officially issued in the UK until Razor Records released it in 1987 as True Grit. Cock Sparrer ceased activity in late 1978, with Lammin leaving the group.

In 1981, old Cock Sparrer songs were included on several Oi! compilation albums, and interest in the band began to rise again. They reformed in 1982 - with Chris Skepis replacing Gary Lammin as second guitarist - and signed to Carrere Records, which released the "England Belongs to Me" single. The next release was the band's debut album Shock Troops in 1983. It included the songs "Where Are They Now", "I Got Your Number"' and "Riot Squad." Beaufoy then left the band and was replaced by Shug O'Neill. Third album Running Riot in '84 was released in October 1984, after which the band ceased activity once more, although a "live" album recorded around this time was released in 1987.

The band performed several reunion concerts in 1992 (with Daryl Smith as long-term replacement for O'Neill), and in 1994 they released a new album, Guilty as Charged. In 1997, they released the album Two Monkeys. Since then, Cock Sparrer has occasionally toured and has performed sporadically at punk festivals including the Wasted/Rebellion festival. In April 2008 they headlined Rebellion Vienna and also headlined Rebellion Blackpool in August 2008. They also headlined the Punk & Disorderly-Festival in Berlin in 2009. They also played Riot Fest in Chicago playing at the Congress Theater on 10/10/09 and headlined at the Metro on 10/11/09. They returned to play Riot Fest again in 2014.

The band released their sixth studio album, Here We Stand, in November 2007.

UFC fighter Dan Hardy has used the song "England Belongs to Me" as his walk-out music. "Take 'em All" has a long history of being sung by Major League Soccer supporter groups, including the Empire Supporters Club And Viking Army Supporters Club for the New York Red Bulls and the Emerald City Supporters for the Seattle Sounders FC. In 2012, Cock Sparrer marked their 40th anniversary along with Rancid who were celebrating their 20th anniversary. They played two sold-out concerts in New York, and headlined the Christmas Bash in Birmingham as part of the Rebellion Festival on the 8th of December 2012.

^ http://www.studsandpunks.co.uk/interviews/harvey-taylor-interview-with-cock-sparrer^ http://www.punk77.co.uk/groups/cocksparre_history.htm^ http://www.uberrock.co.uk/interviews/63-december-interviews/403-gary-lammin-bermondsey-joyriders-.html^ "Rebellion Vienna 2008 Bands". Retrieved 2008-08-27. ^ "Blackpool Confirmed Bands". Retrieved 2008-08-27. ^ "Captain Oi! Records". Retrieved 2007-08-10. ^ Booth, Tim (2009-06-28). "Sounders make noise". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2009-08-11. 

Cock Sparrer members[edit]

Colin McFaull – vocalsMick Beaufoy – lead guitarDaryl Smith – rhythm guitarSteve Burgess – bass guitarSteve Bruce – drums

Footnotes[edit]

more »more »

Tour Dates All Dates Dates In My Area

Date Venue Location Tickets
11.28.14 Union Transfer Philadelphia, PA US
11.29.14 Trocadero Theatre Philadelphia, PA US
11.30.14 Baltimore Soundstage Baltimore, MD US