Riot Squad is a Mansfield-based punkgroup which was formed in september-81. The original line up was Dunk Mason(vocals), Nigel Nello Nelson/guitar) and Wayne Butler(bass). Interest came from Rondolet Records and they signed and released their first single “Fuck The Tories” and then after that the second single “Riots in the city”
After this Nello left the band and he was replaced by the guitarist Staz and then Dunk also left because he set up his own record label.
From 1983 it was some big changes to the line-up. Wayne became the guitarist and a new bassist Chad came to the band and the lead vocals was done by the ex-roadie Lee(Waynes brother) A few weeks after the new lineup was established Dunk approached Riot Squad as his first signing.
They went into the studio early 1983 again and recording “Don´t be denied” and “I´m OK Fuck you” which came up to the Indie Charts to no 2 and only beaten of PIL´s Death Disco.
By 1984 things took a bad turn as Lee was sent down for GBH and the band were falling out with the label due to financial disagreements regarding royalties. The band left Rot Records however not before Dunk released all of the singles and some unreleased demos on the LP “No Potential Threat”. After this the band disbanded with each member going their own separate ways and later on, Anagram released all of Riot Squad´s songs on a “Punk singles collection” compilation.
20 years on, Ched started a band with the intention of playing classic punk covers just for the laugh. Pommi came back to the drum kit and luck would have it, the local advert for a guitarist was answered by Staz. Vocals were taken care of by Mark Ainger, ex-leader of Ched´s previous band Rev. Ainger and the Arse Holes. The band´quickly got a set together and were ready for gigging when a friend of Pommi´s asked them to play a gig in Newcastle as Riot Squad when he realised they comprised of ex-members of said band. The lads agreed and started to learn some old “Squad-songs” and also some new material that Ched and Pommi had written.
The first gig with the new RIOT Squad took place in Newcastle 16th of august 2003 along side with Drongos For Europe, Crashed out and UK Subs. After this came more gigs and they released a 7-track titled “No Escape”. Just after that CD problems were again evident, which resulted in Pommi quitting in december 2004.
In July 2005 Pommi returned and the same lineup decided to give things another shot. They received interest from US label SOS Records but after a handful of gigs they split up after internal disagreements and Mark announcing he was leaving.
During this time Pommi was contacted by young punk guitarist Luke. The pair had talked of workingon a project while back but nothing had come of it. Until now. Ched had also been wanting to do something different and after a few phone calls the three of them began rehearsing together. It wasn´t long before new songs were written, however they were struggling to find a frontman until Pommi´s mate Paul “CHiz” Shakespeare – ex-frontman of Chesterfield punkbands Septic Psychos and No Dead Meat joined the line up.
Originally the band started off with new songs and were looking for a new name, however promoters and friends of the band wouldn´t let the Riot Squad name lie. On april 7th 2006 the latest incarnation of Riot Squad played their first gig in The green room in Chesterfield and since then they have been gigging regularly all over the country. 2007 has already been a busy one for the group with a visit at Punk & Disroderly in Berlin in march as well as their first full length LP Persecute the Weak, control the strong” on Suicide Circle Records was released.
This was a long history about the group and when I ask them to tell me about today´s members they say – OK Chiz 43, Vocals-Long standing scenester who played in Septic Psychos(Who had songs on The punks dead, nah mate…Comp LP way back). He later played in No Dead Meat. Who recorded songs but never got released, It´s good stuff too. He´s got kids and he´s a builder, a sound bloke, great frontman, punkrocker and he likes a drink.
Ched 43, bass, joined the band in late 82. Played in a few different bands. He´s got a family and he´s a joiner. Like´s a drink too, talks Latvian when he´s drunk. Bad point, not drive the van when gigging.
Luke 25, guitar- joined the band last year. He have played in other bands too, he works in an office. He has a girlfriend and he´s way cool. Gave the band a good kick up the arse too. He´s done a loads of skateboarding, BMX, rugby etc….No bad points.
Pommi 42, drums- founder member from late 80/81. Weirdo, no family, no girlfriend, he´s a postman, goes to gigs and collects records.
I got the record from the band and I really like it, they don´t sound as middle aged old men which is tired and I think they sound like a new angry band.- Thanks for the review, sounds good. I like the fact that 3 of us are fourty plus and playing, fast hard punkrock. We used to get compared to the Exploited a lot which is fine by me. We all got slightly different tastes so we try to throw in a bit of everything.
Pommi thinks it´s more fun to play nowadays if you compare with the old days and the biggest difference is that they can play a bit better. Also gigs are better organized. There ain´t the trouble now at gigs as there used to be. Punk rock found a level too which he like, scratch the surface and it´s there abundance. Fuck MTV punk rock he says. It´s some more bands which is called Riot Squad around the world, is this fact which is disturbing them? - Yeah, I heard that there´s a Riot Squad in Texas and one in Belgium. The original Riot Squad was a band from the 60´s. Don´t bother me at all, could be confusing at times though….don´t think no one has right to the name. Riot Squad tm, I don´t think so.
They have released the new album on their own label Suicide Circle Label. He likes the DIY attitude. They´re looking for more bands for future releases. No metal/pop punk please he says. They did send some demos to labels but it was poor response. Dr Strange was interested but too busy at that time and they wanted to get things moving. And how they got treated by labels way back he´s happy to do-it-yourself.
I think they sound more angry now than they did when they were younger- The playing better comes into it a bit and the fact that I´m (we) are probably more angry now than we were way back- just look at the state the worlds in right now. Sure makes me angry.
It´s all down to personal taste says Pommi when we talk about reviews and we all don´t like the same bands. He thinks that good reviews are great and that the bad ones are not so good. He trust both cause they tell it how it comes across to the individual. The most peculiar review they have got is that they were “Bluster” – like wind, we can sure trump.
Fast angry punk is the three words which comes up to Pommi´s head when I ask him to describe their music.
Pommi think´s England is a expensive country to live in but from a punk rock scene point of view it´s great.- We got a fucked up government, are all governments fucked up? Cliché but Blair is just a bush lapdog. All these people dying in wars , for what?
Pommi thinks that politic and punk is going hand in hand and that´s one of the reasons why he got into punk in the first place. Making a stand against injustice, racism, wars, capitalism etc…..he loves that and he thinks that Subhumans(UK) is the best political band.
Burn Subvert Destroy, Drongos for Europe, Homebrew, Hyeans, Arguments, One Man Stand, Criminal Sex , Certfied is among the bands he mention when I ask him if there´s any good bands in England right now.
What does he know about Sweden then…..good bands or so? – The generic answer !? Cold, IKEA, Volvo. A friend of mine lives there, forgot what area, says it´s a good place to live, but expensive. I´ve never been there , maybe we´ll platy there one day. I know of the backyard Babies. I have seen them a few times, really great. I´ve seen a few “Burning Heart” bands too. No Fun at All, Millencollin etc…How good do they play?
For Pommi is punk a lifestyle and it makes him meeting great people and bands all the time. He plays punkrock every day! Once he took a non-punk friend to a gig and she said-It was a aquired taste, I told her , No you either get it straight away or not at all.
I ask him to rank his best records, best concerts and the most important things in life but he think that is way too tough to do but just hearing a record for the first time that blows you away, you know the feeling? Be something like this:
Youth Brigade- Sound and fury LP
Ruts-The Crack LP
Penetration-Moving Targets LP….
I could pick 100 more like that! Gigs too many to list, the best live band for me though are the Dickies, always great…Important things- My aunty and Uncle, friends, records collection, punkrock.
My first record was Alice Cooper 7 in the mid 70´s. Can´t remember the title but it wasn´t Schools Out…The last was Dickies Live in Belfast 1999 boot LP on coloured vinyl just the other day. Most expensive must be Big Boys-Frast Cars 7 ep 5 00 dollar. Most embarrassing must be Andy Williams-Greatest Hits? I like it!
They do one Wire and one Black Flag cover on the new CD and is 12XU and wasted. The Wire song their bassist did in previous bands and Pommi think that´s a great song to play and they did Wasted by Black Flag for the Wasted Festival in Blackpool and it´s stucked after that. It´s a tribute to the early Black Flag too, the later stuff….aaahhh(says Pommi)
There isn´t so many interviews so he don´t think it´s boring…but he can talk about records all day if anyone wants to talk about that. When I ask him to ask a question they never get, he says: -Why does our guitarist(Luke) look like a fish? Nobody knows!!
They have never been to Sweden but of course they love to come here and play here sometimes. Derby Vic, Notts, St Albans, Blackpool is among the best places to play Pommi says and a good gig with them is when they as hard as they can. They must have fun and make a statement. Relax and have some beers. Their audience is very mixed because they get the older punks and also the kids. It´s pretty much a mixed age range, It´s good to see younger kids checking out the ageing bands and not following what the MTV put on a plate for them.
Pommi have a good receipt for the racists – Give them a good hiding and then re-educate them!!
Ruts or The Dickies is the best bands in punkhistory think Pommi and his all time favourite punksong is New Law by Kraut and their best song is……pressure?
They´re going to keep doing as many gigs as possible and hopefully some more gigs in Europe…They will start working on new songs and putting on other bands in the Mansfield and Chesterfield area and release some other bands on their label.
His wisdomword must be Tolerance and Pommi says as the last words :- Thanks for the interest Peter….anybody wanting a CD or shirt(get in touch)