Blitz - New Mills, Punk/Oi!

Formed: New Mills, Derbyshire, England, UK

Band Bio / Discography / Lineups / Band bio from 'Voice Of A Generation' CD Reissue

The ultimate Oi!/hardcore band, this quartet from Derbyshire quartet comprised two skins (Carl, Charlie) and two punks (Nidge, Mackie). Quaint as it may now seem, back then this was supposed to be a Major Political Statement, the kids being united and all that. They were also one of the hottest UK bands of the early 80s, immensely successful (in punk terms anyway) and influential, with a chainsaw guitar that made early Ramones sound refined, and a vocalist who sounded like he was chewing razorblades.

They were the quintessential Oi! band.

VOICE OF A GENERATION

This is the voice of a generation
Of unemployment and aggravation
Life's too short for wasting time
Because of this I'm wasting mine

I just can't go on living this way
It's always the same day after day
Fed up of sitting and lying around
I just can't seem to get off the ground

And I don't wanna be poor no more
And I don't wanna be poor no more

This is the voice...

Blitz - New Mills Brickwall Oi!Blitz - New Mills Punk

Their debut single, the All Out Attack E.P.. was lifted directly from their demo, and is notable not only for the amount of copies it sold (25,000) but also for being the first on No Future Records. Completely uncompromising and raw, it rode high in the indies for nearly a year, by which time they'd issued the astonishingly brutal Never Surrender 45.

SOMEONE'S GONNA DIE

This is where the good times went
With his brains lying on the pavement
With a broken bottle in his hand
And another in his back

Do you feel alright?
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Someone's gonna die tonight
Oi! Oi! Oi!
Do you feel alright?
Oi! Oi! Oi!
The boys are out tonight

Was it something that he said?
Or his football scarf now stained red
Or the broken bottle in his hand
You will never understand

NEVER SURRENDER

Never Surrender

Never surrender, never give in
Never let the enemy win
Never say why, never say die
It's always worth another try

Never surrender

Never give in to things they say
Better move fast before its too late
Lose the race, lose your face
Better keep cool and play the ace

BELOW: Images from the 'All Out Attack E.P.'

Blitz - All Out Attack E.P. UK 7" UK 7" 1981 (No Future - OI 1) Inside 1Blitz - All Out Attack E.P. UK 7" UK 7" 1981 (No Future - OI 1) Inside 4

Blitz - All Out Attack E.P. UK 7" UK 7" 1981 (No Future - OI 1) Inside 3Blitz - All Out Attack E.P. UK 7" UK 7" 1981 (No Future - OI 1) Inside 2

RAZORS IN THE NIGHT

Running away, something better ahead
But you gotta think fast before it's too late
Just one cut around your head
Just one minute and you'll call me dead

You better watch out for the razors in the night
You better leave out the razors in the night

Backstreet boys wear boots and braces
Razor blades and angry faces
Too much tension, too much beer
What the hell am I doing here

Murder is the biggest prize in sport
Cause violence is the only game you've been taught
A pool of warm blood is your prize
Or a cold blade across your eyes

Recorded with an absolute disdain for fidelity, Voice Of A Generation is a sporadically fine album, full of threatening behaviour, even making room for a version of Lou Reed’s ‘Vicious’ that is not as out of place as you might think. While not actually melodic, the choruses on the album’s best cuts - ‘We Are The Boys’, ‘Propaganda’, ‘Warriors’ (better heard on the subsequent single), ‘Nation On Fire’ (the dub intro of which sticks out like a sore thumb) - are quite catchy. It’s just a shame that a fair amount of the surrounding material is undistinguished – one suspects with more time spent on it, this could really have been the gilt-edged streetpunk masterpiece many say it is.

NATION ON FIRE

It's summertime and the country's on the line
The lads are on the streets and the riots doing fine
Picking up the pieces after the night
Picking up the pieces for another fight
The bricks beat down in the boys in blue
There's no escape, they're coming for you
The clubs come down 'round your head
It's war on the streets and they're running red!

Police are running facing defeat
Cities burning in the summerheat
Police are running facing defeat
Cities burning in the summerheat

The law can't stop the anger of the crowds
They're still coming through tear-gas clouds
Police are running, facing defeat
Tears are falling in the summerheat

The bricks beat down in the boys in blue
There's no escape, they're coming for you
The clubs come down 'round your head
It's war on the streets and they're running red!

Warriors came out in August 1982 to more critical acclaim and strong sales, despite having included it on the LP in a different version. Slower but no less gruff or gutteral, it was an excellent single.

Blitz - Oi! Oi! Oi!WARRIORS

The sun is setting and the day is late
As we walk over this wasteland of hate
There's people getting angry in these darkest hours
There's blood on the streets and the streets are ours

Warriors, never forget the Warriors

Our mates are diamond and we shine like steel
You can't beat us down the wounds will never heal
You can't take us for a ride
You can't rob a warrior of his pride

It's your hate on which we feed
We are the new class we are the new breed
Send our regards to a nation on fire
And with love a bouquet of barbed wire

 

They followed the release of 'Warriors' by touring with G.B.H. and Abrasive Wheels. The experience was enough for bassist Mackie to leave. Their producer Tim Harris replaced him for the more melodic New Age single, their most ambitious effort thus far, a fine punk tune that supplemented its wall-of-noise racket with a piano and featured a dub version on the B-Side of the 12”. It didn't even sound like it was recorded in a dustbin (it recalls Sham 69’s ‘Unite And Win’ if you ask me). But shortly after its release guitarist Nidge Miller left as well, promptly forming Rose Of Victory with Mackie.

Blitz -Punk LivesNEW AGE

When I hear.... the sound of concrete and steel
I sense a rythm, that science can't feel
I feel the beat.... of our hearts as one
I hold your colour, when my vision is gone
This power is something but the force is blind
Transmitted through a network, of your own kind
As minutes tick away.... and days become years
I know this old feeling, it's a substance in my tears

And the kids on the street
And the kids everywhere
And all I gotta say is the kids don't care

When i hear...................
I sense a rythm...............
I feel the beat...............
I hold your colour............
When you've got me running and you stop my machine
You try to tell me something, that has never been
When you stop me running, with my own pack
You know you've got me swearing that I'll get my own back

The remaining Blitz members decided to carry on with a drastically altered sound, effectively bringing an end to the "punk" part of their story. With Second Empire Justice and their subsequent singles they made one of rock’s most surprising about-turns, ditching the guitars and trying to be New Order! No more boot boy anthems housed in crappy black-and-white sleeves with skulls plastered all over them, these are the works of Sensitive Artists, packaged in subtle arty covers a la Factory Records. Who could have been prepared for this? After this none-too-sensible career move they released another single (Solar) and split up.

The Killing Dream is an alleged reformation album featuring only guitarist Nidge (on everything apart from drums, which is provided by a machine) and a new vocalist who is barely audible – probably a good thing, unlike the record, which isn’t.

Nidge died in 2007, aged 48, shortly after a reunion tour.

 

DISCOGRAPHY

Singles / Albums

Blitz - All Out Attack E.P. Blitz - Never Surrender / Razors In The Night Blitz - Warriors Blitz - Voice Of A Generation Blitz - New Age
All Out Attack E.P.
(7", 1981)
Never Surrender / Razors In The Night
(7", 1982)
Warriors (7", 1982) Voice Of A Generation (LP, 1982) New Age (7", 1983)
Blitz - Telecommunication Blitz - Second Empire Justice Blitz - Solar Blitz - The Killing Dream  
Telecommunication (7"/12", 1983) Second Empire Justice (LP, 1983) Solar (7"/12", 1983) The Killing Dream (LP/CD, 1989)  

Extraneous Releases

Blitz - Propaganda / Moscow Blitz - Blitzed - An All Out Attack Blitz - New Breed EP Blitz - Best Of Blitz Blitz - Blitz Hits
Propaganda / Moscow
(7", flexi, 1982)
Blitzed - An All Out Attack (LP, 1988)

New Breed EP
(7", 1992)
Best Of Blitz
(CD, 1993)
Blitz Hits (CD, 1994)
Blitz - The Complete Blitz Singles Collection Blitz - All Out Attack Blitz - Warriors CD Blitz - Voice Of A Generation - The No Future Years Blitz - Punk Singles & Rarities 1980-83
The Complete Blitz Singles Collection
(CD, 1994)
All Out Attack
(LP, 1997)
Warriors (CD, 1999) Voice Of A Generation - The No Future Years
(2xCD, 2000)
Punk Singles & Rarities 1980-83
(CD, 2001)
Blitz - All Out Blitz: The Very Best Of Blitz Blitz - Hits Blitz - Time Bomb: Early Singles And Demos Collection    
All Out Blitz: The Very Best Of Blitz
(CD, 2005)
Hits (CD, 2005) Time Bomb: Early Singles And Demos Collection (LP, 2013)    

Bootlegs

Blitz / Violators        
Blitz / Violators
(LP, split, 1999)
       

 

Various Artists

Carry On Oi! UK LP 1981 (Secret): Nation On Fire / Youth

Punk And Disorderly UK LP 1982 (Abstract Sounds): Someone's Gonna Die

The Secret Life Of Punks UK LP 1982 (Secret): Youth

Total Noise #1 UK 7" 1982 (Total Noise): Voice Of A Generation (Poor No More)

Burning Ambitions (A History Of Punk) UK 2xLP 1982 (Cherry Red): Someone's Gonna Die

There Is No Future (The History Of No Future) UK LP 1984 (No Future): Someone's Gonna Die / Warriors

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 1 UK LP 1987 (Link): Time Bomb

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 2 UK LP 1987 (Link): 4Q

Oi!.. The Picture Disc UK LP 1987 (Link): Criminal Damage

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 3 UK LP 1988 (Link): Youth

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 4 UK LP 1988 (Link): Escape

Guaranteed Mug Free Zone UK LP 1988 (Link): Time Bomb

Oi! Oi! Oi! UK LP 1990 (Link): Those Days

The Joys Of Oi! UK LP 1990 (Link): 4Q

The Oddities Of Oi! UK LP 1990 (Link): Warriors

The Best Of Oi! Volume 2 UK CD 1992 (Link): Nation On Fire

No Future: The Singles Collection UK CD 1994 (Anagram): Someone's Gonna Die / Never Surrender / Warriors

No Future: Punk Singles Collection Volume Two UK CD 1995 (Anagram): Fight To Live / Razors In The Night / Youth

Oi! The Rarities Vol 5 UK CD 1996 (Captain Oi!): Voice Of A Generation

The Punk Generation UK 4xCD 1995 (Castle Communications): Nation On Fire / Youth / Time Bomb

UK/DK - The Original Video Soundtrack UK CD 1995 (Anagram): New Age / Warriors

Oi! The Singles Collection Vol 1 UK CD 1995 (Captain Oi!): Never Surrender / Razors In The Night

Oi! The Singles Collection Vol 3 UK CD 1997 (Captain Oi!): Warriors / Youth (Different Version)

Links

 

 

You can add stuff and make comments/corrections by emailing me at:

jane@punkygibbon.co.uk

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