Sounds Like: Cockney Rejects, The Exploited (the real exploited page), Motörhead, Sex Pistols, Hanoi Rocks
Label: Punk Lives Live
“With a blatantly blue collar outlook on the world, blended with a seriously street punk sound that doesn’t hide from its metal or glam roots, Underclass UK are an exemplary representative of the British Street scene” About.Com 2012
Underclass UK have that sort of street-level DIY pedigree that boasts of credibility tempered with years – decades even – of hard luck.
Formed in the early ’80s by a group of teenagers, frontman Stuart Newman began the project by cranking through covers of ’80s punk and hard rock, before recruiting guitarist Andy Price. The pair wrote much of the band’s debut album, Gratuitous and prepared to start playing out, until drug charges landed Price in prison for a few years. By the time he was released, that was the end of it all.
Except it wasn’t. Not for Newman…
A few decades later found Stuart working as an audio engineer, having produced videos for street punk mainstays like the Exploited and Cockney Rejects, as well as writing the ‘Control!’ Street Punk Fanzine. Here was the type of guy who had come up in punk and never left the scene, with a story under his belt about how he “sort of” had a band. And so, 30 years after those initial chats about starting a band had taken place, Newman went back into the studio to put that Gratuitous album to rest.
This wasn’t where it ended as Newman then found himself playing the music live opening for the UK Subs in London. From there, Underclass UK recorded the track “World Class Tears (of a Nation),” and at that point they were pretty much an unstoppable juggernaut. In relative terms anyway.
In 2012 they released their second album ‘Kill The Poor’.
This release was a mere three years after ‘Gratuitous’ and as the first album took decades to come to fruition, we’re talking about a band that’s now reaching lightening speed!
Like the hard luck that plagued them initially, the arrival of ‘Kill The Poor’ wasn’t without setbacks. Just three weeks from its release, the band’s Facebook Page was shut down, after the album was miscategorised as being “likely to incite hatred and/or violence”. So history aside, who are Underclass UK?
They play serious street punk that shows off their roots in the ’80s scene. Comparisons to bands Exploited or Cockney Rejects are not without warrant, as there is an inherent rawness to what they’re doing. It’s explicit and honest.
A new, but brief, line up saw Andy Brown come in on drums, with Clem Pavey joining on bass. This line up played one show at BH2, London supporting 999 before original drummer, Quinn, came back into the fold due to time constraints on Andy’s part. August saw the band’s music featured on UK television. Disability show, I Spazticus aired commissioned track, Dwarf Punch Sandwich 3 nights in a row on Channel 4. A support slot was secured for Argy Bargy’s first show of 2013 at South London’s New Cross Inn and it was with this line up that ‘Live & Loud’ was recorded.
A series of in-or-around London dates was booked and, amazingly, Price reunited with the band after some 25 years. Ironically, Quinn quit again at the same time leading to the band cancelleing a show with Infa Riot and The Warrior, but not before recording the the lions share of a new album for 2014 release….
2014 see’s Not In My Name released….
All Underclass UK audio releases are available for FREE download via the Nimbit store on their Facebook page (also FREE via Reverbnation and Spotify).
Reverbnation Link: http://www.reverbnation.com/underclassuk