Welcome to The Great Skinhead Reunion, Brighton 2017 2-3-4th June
Well here we are on the 7th Great Skinhead Reunion, and what a journey its been. From the humble beginnings of a plan born from the real heart ache of losing such good friends of mine, that were the Wycombe skinheads 1978-90.
As I have mentioned, my heartache was also mixed with guilt, for not being there when my friends needed me most, we had flown our own ways. When one of them cut his own throat in prison, after he had murdered 2 people who he loved. When another had experienced 10 years of post traumatic stress, due to his friend being shot and killed in his arms, whilst in the army. My friend left, got onto heroin and lived the life of a bum in a shop doorway for some years, before dying a week after I bumped into him.. the other lads have equally tragic stories. These are societies embarrassment. The people they don't want to know, from place they don't want to go.
But they were my friends, the kids I grew up with, the violent days of the 1980's you couldn't have wished for a more loyal crew. But as times changed, life moved on. The boots found their way to a dusty loft. The kids came along, and their school uniform or bike took priority over a gig and a beer out with your mates. New families were born. But for some, that never happened. They were thrown onto the wasteland of humanity, too traumatised and abused, to know how to live a 'normal' life. They were kings of the skinhead world. Respected, adored and loved. But as the crew broke up, the regular Friday drink no longer. The party was over, replaced by a lonely world of weed, Coke and smack, rejected even by the people they knew as friends
But that bond and connection of being Skinheads stayed with all of us, even if it wasn't always obvious from the outside. We left the council estate, left the town , mixed with people from every corner of the globe, became friends with the dreaded middle class. Personally I travelled to many exotic places, Indian Hindu temples, Buddhist retreats in Sri Lanka, Fighting the demons of the mind. Mexico, South America. Living the life of a gypsy, working on large festivals like Glastonbury. Selling the Roundhouse gig out with my dear friend Poly Styrene and Xray Spex. But in me, the skinhead was always there. 12 years of fighting the system, every street gang and bootboy that came my way, was a grounding. It helped me in those later years, when I beat the fuck out of a rapist on a train in Malaysia, when I was surrounded by crazed knife wielding Indians in Hubli , southern India, after witnessing a religious based riot in which three people were hacked to death. The skinhead street fighter was there. When some street muggers tried their luck with cs gas up Holloway road, after an oasis show. The Skinhead was always there. Even when I was going to Hare Krishna meetings to support poly styrene and her severe mental health issues, we often talked about our days as punks and skinheads. We were connected on that deeper level, that the music industry hangers on, that so desperately wanted to be around the fame and fortune, could never begin to understand.
I was a Dad, and living my life, a million miles away from the Micklefield council estate, but then the phone calls came of another friend taken so soon, another trip back to my home town, the old pub, the same roads, but the faces older, the sadness so severe.
I knew I had to do something for them, for me, and for every skinhead in the UK, and in fact the World. I wanted no part in the violence, I wanted no part in faction, division or soap box politics. I definitely wanted no part in hate. Would anyone feel the way I did, were there any real skinheads left in this world?
THE WYCOMBE SKINHEADS
Well this weekend we will see a minimum of 600 skinheads in Brighton. You have come from Finland, Norway, Australia, USA, Germany, France, Holland, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Eastern Europe,Brazil, Argentina, From the northern towns of England, Scotland. From Dublin and Belfast, from the West and East. You have all come to be as one, to a place where you can truly be among your own. The Reggae music for the soul, the Oi for the blood. The beer to pickle the brain.
Every one of you representing a subculture we all built, that has spread the world. Its bigger than any one of us, its bigger than any faction, any hate...............SKINHEADS, UNITED WE STAND!!!
There will be 3 full days and nights of the scenes best DJ's and bands invited from across the world to perform. We choose the very best to play, and all represent a genuine part of skinhead history, SKA, Punk, and Oi! From across the planet.
We also hold our End of Summer Northern Skinhead gathering. in the same Spirit as Brighton. 2 days of partying and drinking, with the best bands and friends a person could ask for
Great Skinhead Northern Gathering Tickets Here