Thursday, April 22, 2010

Case - Croydon Oi and the oldest graffiti in New Cross (?)

We've previously considered some of the ancient graffiti of South London (notably the now painted over Cold Blow Lane tunnel), those spectral traces of lost bands, social movements and love affairs. At that point where the Old Kent Road becomes the New Cross Road, under the railway bridge just past Ilderton Road if you're heading South, you can still see a few letters of a word that by my reckoning must have been painted getting on for 30 years ago.

The word is 'Case' - to those in the know a punk band from Croydon in the early '80s associated with the Oi scene, to those not in the know a band best known for their prolific graffiti campaign. At least one of their efforts still remains, as we can see. I think I need to do a proper feature on Oi in South London, an oft-misunderstood working class punk/skin scene famously championed by journalist Gary Bushell at the time.

Of Case, Bushell says: 'And when great Oi-influenced bands did break through in ’83 they all fell at early fences. Croydon’s Case were cracking – they specialised in a ballsy brand of high-octane pop fresher than Max Miller chewing polos in a mountain stream and were fronted by the exceptionally expressive Matthew Newman. Case attracted acclaim from most quarters (including the Daily Mirror and Radio One) but fell apart when Matthew swapped the stage for domestic bliss with Splodge co-vocalist Christine Miller'. There's another South London connection there as Splodge were from Peckham, but that can wait for another day.

In 1981, Punk's not Dead zine wrote: "CASE: One of the most invigorating moments of my life this year was wandering into the Woolwich Tramshed to be whacked wide awake by an experience more invigorating than the kiss of my life from Pamela Stephenson. That experience was a shower, not of cold water, but a motley one from Croydon name of Case who specialise in fast, boisterous new wave rock that's catchily uncategorisable. There's some Ruts in there, even a touch of the Beat, pushing pumping power, red hot and hard-driving, and the punks and skins in the audience were going seriously bonkers. Case are fronted by cropped Matthew Newman (picture) who is incredible to watch. One minute he's Buster Bloodvessel, the next Ronnie Kray. A clown and a criminal, a nut-case and a hardcase all rolled into one, leaping into the audience and rolling round the floor with a snatch of enthusiastic punky punters. I've never seen a face that says so much and for forty minutes it's physically impossible to take yer eyes of him . . .".

Not much of their stuff online as far as I can see, but you can listen to their ska infused track Oh on youtube.


Yr Heartout said...

On the subject of graffiti anyone remember the massive one on the trackside between Blackheath and Lewisham stations which read I FEEL LIKE ALAN MINTER - a line from The Fall's Fit And Working Again. It was there for well over 20 years - may even be there now hidden by the buddleia. Love to shake the hand of whoever did it as it made me smile many a time and must have confused many others!

scared of chives said...

...and what about 'We all have loved you Rael' under Lewisham Station's bridge at Lewisham Way - since gone. It's a line from an album by Genesis - 'The lamb lies down on Broadway' - 1974 and the graffiti is probably from the same year.

ps: my band supported Case (and The Papers) at a gig in 1980 in Chistlehurst Caves in Kent - in support of CND. I remember Matt being a top bloke, if a little bonkers.

Anonymous said...

LONDON: 100 Club
SAT 5TH NOV, 2011 7.30pm

CLUB SKA are proud to present the first show in over 25 years by 80's punk/ska legends the mighty CASE and their very special friends INFA-RIOT - also playing their first show in London since the 80's - with support from 80's ska legends THE RIFFS this incredible bill will make a night to be remembered for many years. MC's on the night will be Geno Blue and the wonderful Manic Esso (The Lurkers). The Club Ska Sound System with Andy V and Matty J and Top Deck Phil will provide a mash up of ska and punk sounds with dancing through till 1am.

CASE were often touted as "the best live band in London" in the early 80's - their 'Wheat from the Chaff' EP has passed into punk rock and ska folk-lore for its brilliance and rarity. November 5th will see original members of the band MATTHEW NEWMAN (Vocals), ROB BROOK (Guitar) and MARTIN PARROTT (Drums) and new member MARK WYETH (bass) play their first show together in over 25 years. Damaged Goods Records have gathered together all of the early CASE material in a new compilation CD entitled 'Ain't Gonna Dance' - which includes all the tracks on the 'Wheat From' EP and this show will mark the official release of that new album.

INFA-RIOT need very little introduction to punk fans. They made a triumphant return to live performance at this years Rebellion Festival at Blackpool and with LEE WILSON leading the way on vocals this prestigious night at the 100 Club will mark the bands first London show since the 80's. Club Ska are very proud that they have agreed to appear as Very Special Guests and know they will be fantastic.

THE RIFFS are old friends of CLUB SKA and firm favourites too. With hits like 'Blind Date' they never go wrong and made their wonderful live album at Club Ska in 2005. Welcome back chaps.

Expect musical fireworks on the 5th of November as we light the blue touch paper for a night of incendiary punk and ska!!

Wildcornerz said...

If anyone has any old pictures of the CASE graffiti they don't mind sharing, we would love to recieve them at for a online photography project. Thank you. :]

Anonymous said...

Someone posted this 'Case' link in a conversation about early London graffiti developments... In a facebook group called early London graffiti and hip hop. Cheers for the historicals ! Go well ! Richie Pops Baker ☺️πŸ™πŸ½~❤️πŸ’₯☀️πŸŒΏπŸ’§πŸŒ⚛