THE BOIS - The Pride of Lion City
If you haven't heard THE BOIS yet, this will be a good jumping-on point! THE PRIDE OF LION CITY is a double album collection of everything the band issued prior to HIGH ON OI! Completely remastered from the original recordings, which suffered from censorship, these versions have had the swearing restored to their intended glory.
This collection contains their first two albums, CREAM OF THE CROPS and NEW GENERATION, together with material that didn't make it onto the originals, as they were intended: LOUD, UNCOMPROMISING, and SWEARING INTACT. This Limited Edition set comes in a 2-disc poly-case with a gold-printed slipcover and a pull-out poster documenting the history of The Bois in the context of Southeastern skinhead culture. Collectors should not miss this!
FORMAT: 2-disc Poly / Slipcase
It's sometimes hard to remember life without the internet, and that in the late 90's the global skinhead scene was linked chaotically through fanzines, penfriends and occasional films or photobooks which now hold cult status.
It was then that the first mention of skinheads in Singapore came to the world's attention, when George Marshall's Skinhead Times newspaper began shifting units globally. A few name checks here and there made people aware that something was happening, but nobody knew for sure what.
On the streets of Lion City, angry young kids were escaping the high pressure society through music. The first hardcore bands had emerged, and soon Oi! vinyl was being imported and circulated among small groups of friends. Just like many of us in colder climates, the weekends were times for drunken hooligans getting together and blasting tapes of The Business, Cock Sparrer and The Oppressed. Only instead of cold concrete streets and grey, rainy housing estates, the music was echoing in the shade of palm trees, and drifting on the air with the scent of fried rice.
Housing is expensive, and in Singapore you're unlikely to move out of the family home unless you're committing to a life of marriage and kids. Also many skins come from muslim households where alcohol in the house isn't common. As a result the bonds of friendship made on the streets were a second family to many young skins and skingirls, at a time when they felt increasingly cut off from mainstream society.
At this point there were literally hundreds of young skinheads in Singapore, but also these times were very violent. As the kids from dead end jobs and poor areas were never likely to afford the expensive bars reserved for bankers and expats, they stole beer from the 7-11 and hung out around music shops and shopping arcades. Skinhead crews became known by the area they frequented, The Adelphi Crew from near City Hall, the Forum Bootboys from Orchard, Tong Building Crew and Plaza Singapura. Sometimes petty rivalries between skins spilled into open conflict at gigs or in the streets. Clashes between skinheads and local gangsters over territorial disputes also became a weekend activity, with some of the lads still bearing the scars of samurai swords to prove it. But the skinheads stayed firm, and never let police or gangsters remove the spirit of '69 from the streets of Singapore.
In 2001, a new band emerged, when a few young skinheads met each other on the streets of Singapore, and at the shows of the first wave of Lion City skinhead bands. Bands like The Maniacs, Crewcutz and Stomping Ground were already pulling in crowds, and across Asia bands like ACAB were already pushing the Oi! sound in a distinctively melodic Asian direction. In 2001 the lads went into the practice studio and had a shot at a cover of 'Suburban Rebels;' apparently it was flawless (if you believe frontman, Baba), and so The Bois were born. Before too long they were writing their own songs, and recording albums for the local scene. These early albums never saw the light of day outside Asia, until now.
Following their first placement on a local compilation, Oi! The Uprising, 2003 would see the release of their now-classic first album, Cream of the Crops, on CD, on Clockwork Records. One year later, they would release their second album, New Generation. Quite possibly with the aims of commercial success in mind, but allegedly not in line with the band’s wishes, the label issued New Generation with the swearing ‘bleeped out’. Colourful language was so rampant in one of the tracks (Die Troopers), that it was omitted from that original release. The collection you now hold in your hands - The Pride of Lion City - collects all the recordings from this era constituting Cream of the Crops and New Generation. All tracks have been remastered and, with extra special tender, loving care, the swearing has been meticulously restored to its original intended glory.
In the early 2000's we made a website for The Oppressed, and we were surprised and confused that a lot of the traffic was coming from South East Asia. The forum was full of people speaking Indonesian and Malay. Apparently The Bois were among those visitors, and as the website grew, they were among the global traffic of young skinheads checking regularly for updates.
In 2011 Baba from The Bois made the trip to Europe for the first time on holiday. As he was in the UK, he went to Cardiff to meet Roddy Moreno from The Oppressed. After this the idea of an Asian tour for The Oppressed began to be discussed in earnest. This idea finally came to fruition in 2012 as the Welsh band touched down at Changi airport, and despite the jetlag, pushed through three unforgettable gigs in Jakarta, Kuala Lumpar and Singapore. Although Roddy refused to eat the local food and lived off KFC, they say that thanks to Tony the shares in the Tiger Beer company went through the roof that weekend – and he aquired a taste for West Ham shirts.
By the end of that tour, brothers for life had been made, with The Bois and The Oppressed continuing to collaborate on vinyl and on stage. Following the self-release of their third studio album, High On Oi!, and a split CDEP with The Oppressed and D Teez, S.H.A.R.P. As A Razor, The Bois provided a backing band for an Asian mini-tour as The Oppressed L.C.S. (Lion City Skins) when Roddy and Ronny came back for their honeymoon later that year.
In the summer of 2013, The Bois touched down at Frankfurt Airport and set off on tour in Europe, promoting their most recent single, Till I Die, featuring The Oppressed L.C.S.. Although Europe had already seen the occasional Japanese Oi band such as Anger Flares, Drex and Cobra, the first representative of the South East Asian scene to make it through was The Bois, some twenty years after the scene started in Singapore. Roddy joined the lads again in Hamburg for a great gig in the St Pauli FC clubhouse, and then they hit the road, making new friends in Utrecht, Paris, Switzerland, Prague and ending with a packed tent at Mighty Sounds Festival in the Czech Republic.
That's the story so far. As the internet makes the world smaller, many more skins are finding their way on pilgrimage to Asia, and Asian skins are finding their way further afield. The Bois have cemented their reputation as one of South east Asia's heavyweight Oi bands, and will continue to put boot prints across the world!
Skinhead for life – worldwide.