With their explosive fusion of punk and northern soul, violence and belligerence, this politically driven English band brought the left-wing skinhead movement together. Originally known as No Swastikas, they went to London where singer/guitarist Chris Dean (born c.1963) acquired the name X. Moore. Chris Dean is also a writer for the New Musical Express. Martin Hewes (bass) and Nick King were the other founding members (drums). A flexible brass section, which included Steve Nicol and Lloyd Dwyer as its most enduring members, joined them both in the studio and on stage. They were able to arrange a session for the John Peel BBC Radio 1 show in 1982 after their daring debut, “Peasant Army,” on Leeds-based independent CNT Records, which would be aired five times.
Gary Bushell, a journalist for Sounds, chose the follow-up, “Lean On Me,” as Single Of The Year. Due to their solely political lyrics (they were all Socialist Workers Party members), they quickly attracted the attention of big musical labels, which led to a deal with London Records. On the eve of the group’s second significant tour, King was replaced by Paul Hookham (ex-English Subtitles, Lemons, Woodentops) due to personal differences. Although ‘Keep On Keeping On’ and subsequent singles fell short of their early promise, by 1984 they had turned into ardent supporters of the striking National Union of Miners, performing at a number of events on their behalf. Although the band’s debut album, Neither Washington Nor Moscow, received favorable reviews, critics continued to label them as underachievers, a destiny they willingly chose when they disbanded in 1986. Hewes went back to working as a motorcycle dispatcher. ✪