OI SQUAD

Live review from Heavy #16

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1. 1969
2. Too Old to Die Young
3. Manny
4. PK (Bootboys)
5. Working Klasse
6. Yer Wrong
7. Saturday Boys
8. Trendy Cunts
9. Loud N Proud
10. Small Town
11. Free Beer
12. We’re Comin Back
13. Beat Out Your Heart

When Oi Squad took to the stage, it was like dynamite had gone off. The ragtag band of misfits lead by profane singer Moy, charged each song with a great mix of punk politicism and rock ‘n’ roll insouciance. However, that initial blast fizzled thin over an excessive 13-song set – even though most songs were only around the two-minute mark.

Guitarist Ray was gratingly out of tune throughout almost the entire show, and drummer Glen had difficulty reigning in the mayhem around him to consistent rhythms. Meanwhile, bassist Kuro kept it simple, with basic yet effective riffs – it wasn’t her fault she was turned up far too loud compared to the other players.

Three-quarters of the way through the set, the show halted due to feedback problems from the amp. “Can we get rid of this white noise? We sound shit already,” quipped Moy. A natural frontman wearing camo pants and Doc Martens, he leapt on and off the stage, barking out rapid-fire lyrics in his grizzled cadence and grinning wildly as the cacophony clattered around him.

Manny Pacquiano, the warrior of Pinoy!” he bellowed during the early Green Day-inspired Manny, one of the more overtly political songs of the set. From the raucous, shouty pun of Boot Boys, to the jaunty Ramones bass jolts of Working Class, and the ska-by-numbers Trendy Cunts, the band revelled in the noisy and the sweary.

Though, by the sluggish ode to alcoholism Free Beer, many punters had already headed to the back of the room to get a drink. The high point of the set was penultimate song Beat Out Your Heart, with a catchy chorus sung sweetly by Kuro. With a little more direction and musical skill, the band could be a solid launchpad for Moy’s antics and radical lyrics. But at Heavy, there was too much roughness around the edges to get those good ideas across.

- El Jay

 

在碰上Oi Squad之前,筆者從沒有在香港遇見過標榜玩Oi! 龐克的樂隊,也許因為本地樂隊覺得這種風格太「英式」、太勉強,要模仿的話有點尷尬。但這隊四人組合的表演姿態卻很自然,給筆者的第一印象是龐克式派對音樂。光頭的菲律賓主音Moi是靈魂人物,不斷以強勁、沙啞、粗糙的聲線帶領著觀眾呼喊Oi! Oi! Oi!,熱血沸騰,充滿男兒氣。

Oi Squad當晚演出的歌曲結構上較為簡單,大部份只不過使用三、四個chords,題材主要涉及刻板的酒後事跡、無政府主義等等。然而,最突出的兩首歌曲–––「Trendy Cunts」和「Beat Out Your Heart」–––彷彿將筆者帶回到龐克先鋒樂隊The Clash的世界。「Trendy Cunts」受牙買加reggae風格影響,節奏怪異,徘徊在shuffle和straight之間的灰色地帶,而「Beat Out Your Heart」是encore的一首歌,由女結他手主唱,與Moi的吶喊形成對比,很有新鮮感。

– Elson Tong


u70154.jpgLive Review from Underground 70:

Oi Squad features prominently the charismatic singer Moi from The Philippines. In the middle of the set, the venue was visited by the Police on regular health check and Moi was so serious, yakking and barking, it was like he truly thought the Police wanted to wreck the event. Moi is a bald head vocal in his late 40’s with energy that would put some younger bands to shame. It was a lot of Oi’s and three-chord progressions, or, actually, some four-chord progressions. But, with Oi Squad, punk is no longer about anger. They could be a noisy party band and it’d be just fine. The Guinness, that Moi hoist constantly, must have been a sign. At the end of the set, they did a ska number, bloody hell, not so punk, at which time, dance was the thing. In fact, throughout the set, the crowd was non-stop dancing. Clearly, there is no need for slam-dancing in this set. Are they just scum or are they doing their job? Well, that’s another story.
Bun Ng

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Live Review from Underground 64:
Setlist:

  • 1. Work Together
  • 2. 1969
  • 3. Alone
  • 4. Saturday Boys
  • 5. Yer Wrong
  • 6. Fight Back
  • 7. Trendy Cunts
  • 8. Pok Guy
  • 9. Borstal
  • 10. Loud n Proud
  • 11. DIY (Defiant Scum)
  • 12. ACAB

Apart from Defiant Scum and the Squawk, Oi! Squad is one of the very few local punk bands that has the true street punk spirit. Beer, fuck you and Oi! Oi! Oi!, the crowd has already gone crazy and began crowd-surfing in the first few songs. They spill beer; they mosh; they rant together as they lift their fists up high. Every song Oi! Squad delivers has so much energy that just keeps the pit going and heats up the blood temperature of those not moving. Their sound is not just limited to raw, straight, head-on punk though, Pierre (also the guitarist of Defiant Scum if I’m still up to date) brings in some really sick Ska-punk melodies, chords and solos. And this characteristic is what gives the audience a chill break, allowing them to bounce, recharge and sip beer before they go again.

Just when the punkers yell out that their next song is Pok Guy, the whole crowd is aroused by the fact that this Cantonese swear word is uttered by a group of pissed off gweilos. The ordinary cheering rhythm at the intro functions to kick-start the build-up of the real climax of their set – DIY, the local street punk anthem written by Defiant Scum.

As a considerably new punk band that has only played several shows, Oi! Squad exceeds everyone’s expectations. Oi! Oi! Fuckin’ Oi!

Nicholas

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