This post is one of a series describing my top ten London punk songs
The Cockney Rejects burst onto the London punk scene in 1979 with ‘Flares and Slippers’, a piercing sonic assault on the wearers of said items of clothing.
The single was much loved by John Peel, I can vividly remember him playing the single for the first time, there was nothing like it around at the time and the band made a strong impact on me.
A few months later they released “I’m Not a Fool”, the b-side of which was ‘East End’, a joyfully noisy hymn in praise of the band’s home turf:
Take a walk around Bethnal Green
Meet the Mile End mob
Well they’re mean
Get a 69 bus to Canning Town
It’s never ever, ever gonna get us down
We can’t help it if we’re working class yobs
We can’t help it if we hate the snobs
They can stick to their beaches and their seaside and sand
Cos we’ve got the best home in the land
All this pegged on to a glorious hand clapping, football chant riff, for your perfect sing-along punk rock frenzy.
What else do you want?
The band did eventually transformed into a ‘heavy rock’ outfit and it all went downhill from there. Still, for a while they shone brightly and we loved them for it.
You can read a more in depth article on the band at the Punky Gibbon site.