Which Is Gayer--a Skinhead Punk Rock Show or a Belle and Sebastian Disco?

By Steven Wells
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 7 | Posted Feb. 20, 2009

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English skinhead Oi! band Hard Skin.

The edited highlights for those with limited time: 1) "Do I have a message for Philadelphia? Yeah, fuck off," says Fat Bob, bass player for legendary English skinhead Oi! band Hard Skin. 2) "Oh my God! He said twee!" shrieks the 17-year-old Philly princess in a homemade "Twee as Fuck" T-shirt. "A skinhead punched my glasses off!" she later adds. 3) The gay cowboy successfully placed the Calvin Kleins on the straight goat's ass.

I try to explain to my dad over the phone why I intend to wear a homemade "Belle and Sebastian Are Rubbish" T-shirt to a Belle and Sebastian dance party.

"It's what sociologists call a breaching experiment," I tell him. "Into the twee community."

"What's twee?" he asks. "Is that like when Americans dress their kids up like prostitutes and then put them in dog shows for pedophiles?" he asks. "Like in that film Little Miss Sunshine?"
"Sort of," I say.

So which is gayer--a skinhead punk rock show or a Belle and Sebastian disco? And can either of them possibly be as gay as Philadelphia's first-ever gay rodeo? The answer might surprise you. But only if you've never actually seen dozens of sweaty, shaven and smoothly muscular young sex-bombs wriggling and writhing in a pheromone-reeking dogpile in the mosh pit of an Oi! gig. Obviously.

Welcome to the hastily edited highlights of a weekend spent with skinheads, hilariously witty and super-excited teenage twee-heads (who turn out to be secret skinheads), and gay cowboys and cowgirls.

Every now and then Philly plays host to a clusterfuck of events that just scream out to be juxtaposed. The Hard Skin show at the First Unitarian Church; the Belle and Sebastian dance party at National Mechanics; and the Liberty Stampede gay rodeo at the Devon Horse Show Fairgrounds were three such events.

If your brain isn't already fizzing with the possibilities, then please stop reading now. You're obviously not intelligent enough for this. You're banned. Go on, fuck off.


Hard Skin are an always-in-character mock-Oi! band from London. "We're into drinking, fucking, fighting and felching," says Fat Bob outside the Church before the show. He adds, "But not fisting. Fisting is wrong."

They also hold the passionate and oft-expressed view that all cops are cunts.

"Your mayor says you should all stop killing each other," says Fat Bob onstage, even as the chords of "A.C.A.C. (All Cops Are Cunts)" fade in the background. "He also says you should stop killing coppers. Both of these things are wrong. You should all carry on shooting each other because fewer Americans is good for the world."

Some members of an audience festooned in rebel gear and anarchist symbols shout "Fuck you" and give Fat Bob the patriotic anarcho-finger.

"And you should carry on killing coppers," he says.

Freeze.

Are you actually allowed to say that in Philadelphia just days after yet another city-stopping slain-cop funeral? Read the papers and you'd get the impression that anybody who said what Fat Bob just said would immediately get ripped to shreds by outraged and out-of-control-with-anguish grief-stricken citizens.

Unfreeze.

"Because all coppers are cunts!" roars Fat Bob. The mob--far from being outraged or even upset--roars its approval. And seconds later these grinning American children (it's an all-ages matinee) are singing the words to "Copper Cunt" ("Copper, copper, copper! Cunt! Cunt! Cunt!") in a scene reminiscent of The Vagina Monologues, but with more power chords, sweat and class hatred.

Eighteen blocks away and four hours from now Joey Sweeney of Philebrity.com will be fiddling with a confusing snakes' nest of multicolored wires as he sets up his laptops for Philly's fourth-ever Belle and Sebastian dance party.

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COMMENTS

Comments 1 - 7 of 7
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1. Joseph David Lattanzio said... on May 19, 2008 at 08:37AM

“I want to read about the guy at the Hard Skin show who was wearing face paint.”

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2. Steven Wells said... on May 19, 2008 at 05:37PM

“He was the new bass player for Retard Strength. He wore corpse paint and a super hone made S+M spiky wristband. I did make copious notes about the marvelous incongruity of this with reference to how Rpb Halford of Judas Priest got the entire world of metal dressing in gay S+M gear. But I forgot. Sorry.”

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3. Guy Incognito said... on May 20, 2008 at 03:36PM

“Joey Sweeney is a douchebag. 'NUFF SAID.”

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4. pleaseplantme said... on May 20, 2008 at 08:01PM

“Thanks for the article Steven Wells! You rule! It's a shame the same guy who puts on the Belle & Sebastian disco is Joey Sweeney from Philebrity.”

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5. Dave said... on May 28, 2008 at 03:30PM

“ah hey steven wells. you didn't put the part of me singing at the hardskin show into your video. that woulda been great! haha, but fuck I'm in there somewhere. see you at the next hard skin show then.”

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6. drewski said... on Jan 16, 2009 at 01:34AM

“"Chav" is more like wigger or white trash. White boys in wifebeaters and probably some ink, except you can tell the US "chav" 'cause his ink is likely to be the plainer (as in homegrown, juvie, or jailhouse) version. Not what you'd see on some skinny but well-fed whiteboy from Coatesville or Exton. Fat Bob is welcome to service my member, as is the unfortunately-tedious Henry "why doesn't he come out?" Rollins. But I'm just sayin'. Me, I like gettin' serviced by both skins and chavs.”

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7. Anonymous said... on Aug 28, 2011 at 03:07PM

“How much for the shirt?”

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