Sleeping With the Enemy: Condemned 84’s Affair with the Extreme Right

A concert slated for Toronto, featuring Condemned 84 (England), supported by the likes of Légitime Violence (Quebec), threatens to flood the area with fascist lowlife and their passive supporters on the night of Saturday, June 22. Many Facebook faces are pledging attendance, quite possibly not altogether clued in as to the dodgy nature of the event.

Consider the following a public service announcement.

As is par for the course with attempts from this backward sector of the skinhead scene, the gig-poster touts the usual disclaimer, ‘No Politics!’ The bands featured, to the contrary, are far from apolitical. As the documented pattern that follows makes absolutely clear, the involved bands and event organizers thrive on being closeted about their extreme-right connections and stance. The tactic is cowardly, but one that actually works quite well for them in sidestepping and redirecting condemnation from other voices in the scene.

Condemned 84 is not Apolitical. They Never Were. They are a RAC band.

RAC, or ‘Rock Against Communism,’ was an organization set up by the National Front , the British neo-fascist party that fuelled an epidemic of violence against immigrants in the 1970s and 1980s.  It was a counterpoint to the soft-Left’s Rock Against Racism movement (the fascists tired old gag of painting anyone who opposes them a “red”), and later developed into the neo-Nazi organization Blood & Honour.  RAC has survived within the right-wing skinhead scene as a last-chance saloon for the sort of cowardly sad-sack skinheads who crave the close proximity to the forces of darkness without having the balls to raise their stiff right arms in the air. The band Condemned 84, which in its early beginnings made great skinhead music with fantastically dumb lyrics, has had a long history of being guarded about its viewpoints and alliances.

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In response to an interview question in ‘War On The Terraces’ fanzine in 1989 (sourced  from German: http://osbuendnis.wordpress.com), vocalist Kevin Parker speaks out about the band’s brand of ‘patriotism’:

“FZ: I always thought that Condemned 84 was an Oi band with no political statements, and was so surprised when I saw the new t-Shirt (Condemned 84 – Rock Against Communism). Are your lyrics now also political?

Kev (Condemned 84):  I would first like to say that we have always been against Communism. The new songs are political, by which I mean they are patriotic.

The design in question features the same ‘Rock Against Communism’ logo as employed by the household bonehead band, Skrewdriver.

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The connection might be utterly lost to contemporary hangers-on of the RAC scene, but most skinheads who’ve served in the scene long enough know full-well that Skrewdriver and RAC as a movement/genre is nazi music, simple and plain.  The most recent RAC Facebook page boasts “For Faith, Folk, and Family! White Pride World Wide!” while promoting notoriously musically-challenged bonehead bands like Brutal Attack.

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What ‘patriotism’ means for C84 can be discerned from this response in an interview with the right-wing fanzine Bulldog from Germany (sourced  from German: http://osbuendnis.wordpress.com):

“Bulldog: What do you think about the attacks on asylum seekers in Germany?

Kev (Condemned 84): I think that sooner or later something had to happen, because many foreigners always call forth hatred among the population.”

Despite years of debate in the Oi! scene about Condemned 84 and their fence-walking ways, the band has played to their ‘apolitical’ and ‘patriotic’ fan-club in the US on several occasions. In 2001, the band was supposed to play the annual GMM Records Beer Olympics in Atlanta. Prior to the event taking place, the following statement was issued on GMM’s website:

GMM regrets to inform its supporters that Condemned 84 will not be appearing [in] the GMM Beer Olympics. C-84 has opted not to perform due to the fact that two bands who have African-American members would be performing on the same stage. We are shocked to hear that one of our bands would take this racist outlook in this day and age. We at GMM are also shocked that a band that we have invested time and money [in] in the past would come out and embarrass us with this statement.

In an interview with Ox Fanzine (retranslated from German), the organizer goes on to state, “Condemned emailed me stating that they would not be playing because Pressure Point are a left wing band and even though they are wrong about that, I asked how they felt about playing with Adolph and the Piss Artists or the Templars as support bands. They stated that that wouldn’t work either. When I asked what would be wrong with APA and Templars, they stated that I shouldn’t let APA or the Templars play on the same day as them. I then emailed them that all this was a terrible misunderstanding, and asked them if they didn’t want to be on stage with the Templars or Pressure Point because they had black band members, to which Kev said: Yes, and if it gets out that they had played with bands with blacks in them, their right wing fans in Europe would really beat the shit out of them.” http://www.ox-fanzine.de/web/itv/527/interviews.212.html

Sharing the stage with folks of other ethnicities certainly hasn’t stopped C84 from playing in the US on other occasions, so it remains somewhat unclear as to how accurate GMM’s claims were. C84 never weighed in on the issue in their own defence. One thing is certain; where there is controversy to be made, the race card is played by all sides, be it the RAC contingent tripping over themselves to highlight association with other ethnicities, or the liberal Left framing everything in the context of race. The multi-racial nature of this scene has never made it immune from a variety of idiots.

Condemned 84: Unjustly Condemned as Neo-Nazis?

It’s not a very well-kept secret that Cliff Warby, former Condemned 84 drummer, was a known outspoken, open racist, and neo-Nazi. Warby, still active in the USA, has been photographed numerous times at holocaust-denier meetings and similar garden parties in Georgia, decked out in full bonehead regalia. Pictured here at another American rally, is Cliff Warby suffering from what seems to be too much starch in his shirt.

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Warby was never actually kicked out of the band. He moved to the US, but the band never distanced themselves from him, still including him on thanks lists. Sure, Warby’s out of the picture and C84 can carry on denying all accusations from the Left-wing detractors they vilify so consistently. But the undisputed fact is, Condemned 84 regularly play for Nazis.

Hammerskins are well-known as a nazi bonehead organization.  Some may recall less than a year ago a deadbeat named Wade Michael Page walked into a Sikh temple in Wisconsin and gunned down six innocent people, including an 84 year old man.  That was one of the Hammerskins finest recruits.

Pictured below the band performs for the Hammerskins at their clubhouse in Milan (Skinhouse Milano), with the Hammerskin logos covered by less offensive banners, just in case somebody publishes the photo.

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C84’s support band at this same event, Porco 69, a couple of minutes earlier, much less concerned about keeping up appearances, because they openly flaunt the fact they are a Hammerskin band.

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As for their so-called ‘apolitical’ shows….

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It’s probably not what it looks like. This guy’s probably just trying to get the bartender’s attention to order a few cold ones for his mates, as any good ‘patriot’ would. C84 will repeatedly shirk responsibility for this because flying the apolitical flag means you can pretty much get away with whatever you want. But there’s a reason boneheads find safe haven at their shows.

Vratar Brka i drugari predgrupa Condemned 84 Mali klub SKC Beograd  14 jun 2008 photo by Aleksandar Zec  - 006

Clearly, Condemned 84 and bands in their orbit are interested in playing to the extreme right, as well as the apolitical crowd. Just as they try to obscure the fact that they play for organized neo-Nazis to sidestep criticism from the non-political clientele, they also try to manage perceptions for the benefit of their neo-Nazi clientele. Only when this dishonest, behind-the-scenes manipulation of perceptions is unsuccessful, do they try to cover their asses; usually by denying everything. Their apolitical fan-club is then all too eager to have them back on their shows and festivals. The band has never had to justify any of their actions. They’re cashing in on both crowds.

Same Ultra-nationalism, Different Country

The main support for Condemned 84 on the show that’s been announced for Toronto is Légitime Violence, an ultra-nationalist RAC band connected with the right wing skinhead crews, Quebec Stompers (Quebec City) and Coup de Masse (Montreal). LV are venomously anti-left wing (hippies and other soft targets only, please), while at the same time cowering behind the ‘apolitical’ label. The band’s imagery displays an obsession with portraying steroid junked-up skinheads preying on the smallest and weakest of the stereotypical ‘left-wing activist’. Proudly sporting “anti-antifa” t-shirts all over Facebook (anti-antifa means anti-anti-fascist, and is a slogan/psuedo-movement started by neo-nazis in Europe), they’ve been fairly open about their political leanings. Arguably, their hatred of anti-fascists is somewhat justified. Quebec Stompers and Coup de Masse has been kicked around a fair bit by anti-fascists, although evidently, not hard enough.

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Légitime Violence have played in their hometown Quebec  with the likes of Les Vilains, Trouble Makers, Bootprint, and most recently with Offensive Weapon, covering songs from other fascist bands such as Bully Boys, Evil Skins, and No Remorse. Neo-Nazis and other boneheads are always welcome to attend their shows, at times comprising the majority of the audience. The shows are held at secret locations because they’ve been smashed out of the scene in the past. If Facebook is any indicator (and it really isn’t), it would appear this group is on the up and up. The reality is that, according to the organizer of the Toronto show, these Quebecois ‘patriots’ were approached to finance the C84 visit because they pull down significant funding through their drug-peddling activities.

As is the case with Condemned 84, Légitime Violence have figured out that the only way they can sell records and maintain some form of street credibility (contrived or otherwise) is to play up the ‘bad boy’ angle, while of course not going too far overboard with being too openly controversial with the fascist shtick. LV don’t seem to be as good at it as C84.

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In 2011, Légitime Violence created a tempest in a teapot following public outcry over their scheduled appearance on the Quebec music festival, Midnight Flight. Accusations that the band were neo-Nazis stemmed primarily from the band’s repertoire including two cover songs from the French bonehead band, Evil Skins; the track ‘Lost Love’ mocking the plight of Jews in the concentration camps and ending with the phrase “rolling out the wire, prepare the Zyklon B!” In response to the controversy, a member of LV told the press that the choice for covering those songs comes from their singer. “I imagine there’s a context that explains the anti-Semitism of them. I do not have to justify it,” he says.

Of course. You don’t have to justify anything.  All you have to do to defend your connection to the extreme right movement is tell everyone that you are apolitical. If it ain’t political issues for you, then surely it must be mental ones. Wondering what else right-wing Quebecois ultra-nationalist skinheads have to say? Look no further:

Symbole de virilité, “Icon of masculinity,
Champion de la vulgarité, Champion of vulgarity,
Toutes les femmes veulent nous sucer, All the women want to suck our dicks,
On veut juste les enculer, We just want to fuck them up the ass.”
Ces petits gauchistes efféminés, “These little effeminate leftists,
Qui se permettent de nous critiquer, Who allow themselves to criticize us,
N’oseront jamais nous affronter, Will never dare to face us,
On va tous les poignarder » We are going to stab them all.”

The interesting thing about the last few lines of this slice of lyrical genius came in reference to an incident that took place at Le Café Bar l’Agité in Quebec City. Considered as a venue sympathetic to progressive individuals, the Quebec Stompers crew decided to make an appearance there and began stabbing soft targets; an evening that ended in arrests and the accidental stabbing of LV’s lead singer by one of his own stooges.

Rock Against Condemned 84

In the 80s, Condemned 84 and their supporters tried to attack a concert put on by the anarchist-styled punk band, Conflict. In return, they got their asses handed to them. How embarrassing that must have been. C84 can ride the wave of being ‘persecuted’ by the PC Left and the ‘reds’ but in reality, they are traitors to the scene and to the cause of honest patriotism for that matter. What kind of patriotism are bands like these harping on about when they visually and lyrically pledge allegiance to the flag of their country; paying homage to veterans of world wars when at the same time bunking up with the kind of scum our grandfathers honourably laid down their lives fighting against? You don’t need to read a political text to comprehend that hypocrisy.

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This isn’t about being “PC,” and this isn’t just about one dodgy band either – it’s about a disturbing agenda being pushed by the fence-sitters and closet-fascists who, under the deceptive banner of “no politics” want to make our scene a safe zone for nazi bullshit. This isn’t a coincidence – it’s been a conscious strategy of the nazis after being forced underground in previous decades: infiltrate the “apolitical” fold and recruit amongst the fence-sitters; after all, if you already listening to nazi bands and claim “anti-antifa,” how much farther do you have to go?  The fascists smell easy pickings.

Most of these posers weren’t around in the 80s and 90s when real skinheads took a stand, fought hard and shed blood to drive the boneheads out of our scene; they’ve been living in the house we built and now think its okay to invite the enemy over for a slumber party.  If they knew the days when the Heritage Front marched in the streets and where packs of cowardly boneheads jumped people walking alone at night, they might not think it’s cool to flirt with the fash. Or maybe they would. One thing is for certain – this attempt to bring C84 to Toronto has drawn a line in the sand. People are going to have to decide what side of the fence they’re on – and who’s on that side with them.

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2 thoughts on “Sleeping With the Enemy: Condemned 84’s Affair with the Extreme Right

  1. Pingback: Toronto sagt nein zu Condemned 84 | Bigshotzine

  2. Pingback: Toronto sagt nein zu Condemned 84 « RASH Leipzig

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