The 4-Skins

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The 4-Skins

The classic 4-Skins line-up, McCourt, Pear, Jacobs and Hodges, outside Tower Hill tube station, 1980
Background information
Also known as Gary Hodges' 4-Skins
Origin East End of London, England
Genres Oi!, Punk rock
Years active 1979 – 1984
2007 – present
Labels Clockwork Fun
Secret Records
Syndicate Records
G&R London
Randale Records
Clockwork Firm
Members
As Gary Hodges' 4-Skins
Gary Hodges
Graham Bacon
Tom Brennan
Sedge Swatton
Past members
Hoxton Tom McCourt
Roi Pearce
Paul Swain
Ian Bramson
Gary Hitchcock
Steve 'Rockabilly' Pear
John Jacobs
Tony 'Panther' Cummins
Jod "Big Gun" Spiro
Pete Abbot
Steve 'H' Hamer
Mick Geggus
Andy Russell

The 4-Skins are a Nationalist Oi! punk rock band from the East End of London, England. They formed in 1979 and disbanded in 1984, although a new line-up has formed in 2007.

Prior to the release of the band's debut single, "One Law For Them", The 4-Skins contributed songs to the first three Oi! compilation albums, alongside bands such as Cockney Rejects, Cock Sparrer, The Business and left winged, Angelic Upstarts. Other well-known songs include: "Sorry", "Evil", "Chaos", "Plastic Gangsters" and "A.C.A.B." (All Coppers Are Bastards). Many of their songs dealt with violent topics, but the band has claimed they were discussing the realities of inner city life, not promoting violence. Other 4-Skins song topics include police harassment, political corruption, war and unemployment. Most of the original four band members were or had been skinheads, thus the double meaning of the band's name. However, Steve Pear had a rockabilly style, and Hoxton Tom McCourt — who was a suedehead — was one of the leading faces in the mod revival. Initially the band members had known each other from football, or from following bands such as Sham 69 and Menace.

The 4-Skins went through many personnel changes during their five-year existence, only bassist/songwriter 'Hoxton' Tom McCourt being present in every line-up of the band. Notable former members include former frontman of The Last Resort, Roi Pearce and guitarist Paul Swain, who later joined Skrewdriver.

In 2007, the band reformed with two of the original members - lead singer Gary Hodges and bassist Steve 'H' Harmer, plus the Cockney Reject's Mick Geggus and Andy Russell on guitar and drums respectively. The new line-up has been recording an album for the record label G&R London. This new line-up appeared on the G&R London compilation album Kings of Streetpunk, with the songs "Chaos 2007" and "Glory Days".

Band members

The 4-Skins, Hodges, Pear, Jacobs and McCourt in 1980 at Aldgate East, East London.

1979–1980

  • Hoxton Tom McCourt (guitar)
  • Gary Hodges (vocals)
  • Steve 'H' Harmer (bass)
  • Gary Hitchcock (drums).

1980–1981

  • Hoxton Tom McCourt (bass)
  • Gary Hodges (vocals)
  • Steve 'Rockabilly' Pear (guitar)
  • John Jacobs (drums)

1981–1983

  • Hoxton Tom McCourt (bass)
  • Tony 'Panther' Cummins (vocals)
  • John Jacobs (guitar/keyboards)
  • Pete Abbot (drums)

1983–1984

2007

  • Gary Hodges (vocals)
  • Steve 'H' Harmer (bass)
  • Mick Geggus (guitar)
  • Andy Russell (drums)

2008–present

  • Gary Hodges (vocals)
  • Bakes (bass)
  • Big Tom (guitar)
  • Sedge (drums)

Partial discography

Albums

Collections

  • A Few 4-Skins More, Vol.1 (Link Records, 1987)
  • A Few 4-Skins More, Vol.2 (Link Records, 1987)
  • The Wonderful World Of The 4-Skins (1987)
  • The Best Of 4-Skins (1989)
  • The Best Of The 4 Skins (Harry May/Link Records, 1997)  – limited edition including 7" singles
  • Clockwork Skinhead (2000)
  • Singles & Rarities (Captain Oi! Records, 2000)
  • The Secret Life of the 4-Skins (Captain Oi! Records, 2001)
  • History Of... (Double CD, Taang Records, 2003)

Singles and EPs

  • One Law For Them/Brave New World (Clockwork Fun (CF 101), 1981)
  • Yesterdays Heroes/Justice/Get Out Of My Life (Secret Records (SHH 125), 1981)
  • Low Life/Bread Or Blood (Secret Records (SHH 141), 1982)
  • Turning the Past into the Present  – The 4-Skins, "Thanks For The Memories"/Evil Conduct, "The Way We Feel" (Clockwork Firm/Randale Records (655321 CF-001/RAN 47), 2009)

Compilation appearances

  • "Wonderful World", "Chaos"  – Oi! The Album (EMI, 1980)
  • "1984", "Sorry"  – Strength Thru Oi! (Decca Records, 1981)
  • "Evil"  – Carry On Oi! (Secret Records, 1981)
  • "One Law for Them", "Yesterday's Heroes"  – The Secret Life of Punks (Secret Records, 1982)
  • "On The Streets"  – Son of Oi! (Syndicate, 1983)
  • "Clockwork Skinhead", "Plastic Gangster", "Summer Holiday"  - Lords Of Oi! (Dressed To Kill, 1997)
  • "Glory Days", "Chaos 2007" - Kings of Street Punk (G&R London, 2007)

External links