Cock Sparrer

Cock Sparrer

Live: Runnin’ Riot Across the U.S.A.

TKO

No doubt hampered by a name that sounds vaguely homoerotic to most North Americans, Cock Sparrer finally came to our continent for four shows in February of 2000. These godfathers of Oi-punk rock date from the glory days of ’77, and have never stopped, keeping more or less the same line-up (at one point where the band is being introduced, the singer says of one of his mates: “He’s the new kid, only been with us for eight years”) all the while.

This is basically a live greatest hits package, although not as compelling as the six-song live portion of Bloody Minded• (a best-of put out by Dr. Strange/Bitzcore around 1997), with the vocals being a bit too loud throughout, and the mixer missing a goodly number of guitar solos. Still, this a good introduction to the band for the uninitiated, with the big classic songs like “Because You’re Young,” “Runnin’ Riot,” and “England Belongs to Me.” And anyone who’s already a fan (like yours truly) will want it as well, even if only to celebrate the lads finally making it to the States.

TKO Records, 4104 24th St. #103, San Francisco, CA 94114, http://www.tkorecords.com, http://www.sparrer.freeserve.co.uk

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