Blaggers ITA

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Blaggers ITA
GenresStreetpunk, punk rock, rapcore, Oi!
Years active1988–1995
LabelsWords Of Warning, Parlophone

Blaggers ITA (formerly The Blaggers) were a British punk rock band founded in 1988.[1] Main vocalist Matty 'Blagg' Roberts had previously fronted Oi! band Complete Control,[2] who released an LP on Oi! Records in 1985[3] while original second vocalist Tim 'Bilko' (aka 'Teething') Wells had previously been in the band Anti Social Workers, who released an album on Mad Professor's Ariwa label in 1983.[4] Blaggers ITA were noted for their strong anti-fascist and left wing lyrics and activism.[5]

Although the band initially played in a generic Oi! style, they later added a trumpet player and incorporated influences from hip hop and electronic dance music, including sampling, and added the letters ITA to their name ("In The Area"), inspired by Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound Records.[citation needed]

The band had close links with Anti Fascist Action (AFA), donating money to the organisation and promoting its ideology.[6] The band's support for revolutionary politics and AFA meant that in the early 1990s there were part of direct action against Neo-Nazi groups such as Blood & Honour [2] and C18.

In 1993 they signed a record deal with EMI[7] and enjoyed some commercial success with three minor hit singles.[8] Stress and Oxygen benefitted from promotional videos,[9][10] while Abandon Ship saw an appearance on The Word.[11]

The record deal resulted in some criticism due to EMI's status as a major label and large corporation, and its former links with the arms trade.[12] In a debate strongly echoed four years later in the case of Chumbawamba, the band justified the move with the argument that the financial and promotional support of EMI would enable their political message to reach a wider public; they also argued that the deal gave the band more money to spend on political causes.[13] For example, money earmarked for promotional events was used on full page adverts in the national music press promoting direct physical anti-fascist action, while creative use of tour support funds went to aid political groups throughout the country.

In mid 1993, the group embarked on a high-profile UK tour supporting Manic Street Preachers. In July 1993, frontman Matty Blagg allegedly punched Melody Maker writer Dave Simpson, as a consequence of Simpson stating that Matty could never reform his fascist past (as a teenager Matty had been associated with the British Movement but while in prison was enlightened by another prisoner and subsequently dedicated the rest of his life to educating others) resulting in a court appearance and the case being dismissed. No trial took place.[14] The incident led to the cancellation of festival slots (inc. main stage slots at Reading and Glastonbury), an effective boycott by the music press,[14] and the consequent cancellation of their EMI contract.

Shortly afterwards Matty Roberts left the band, which for a short time continued without him. Roberts died on 22 February 2000.[15]

A new version of the band named Blaggers AKA formed in 2002. This line up has played gigs and festivals across Europe, including benefits for the Independent Working Class Association [16][17] and Antifa groups,[18] but has not released any records.

Tim Wells is still active as a ranting poet.[19]


Early-1990s lineup[edit]

  • Matty Blagg - lead vocals
  • Christy Robson - rapper/DJ
  • Steve Serious - guitar
  • Paul The Pig - guitar
  • Matt Vinyl - bass
  • Jason 'Wrist Action Jackson' Cook - drums
  • Brendan 'Rimmer' Hodges - trumpet, samples and design (credited SIT Inc)
  • Carlos Coutinho - keyboards

Other musicians[edit]

  • Bilko - second vocalist (1988–1989)
  • Jez the Jester - drums (1988–1989)
  • Cab - drums (1989)
  • Gary the Squatter - guitar (1989–1990)
  • Olaf - sax (1992) + sax and vocalist (since 2001)
  • Marcel - guitar (since 2001)
  • Brian Hayes - guitar (1993-1996)



  • On Yer Toez (released as The Blaggers) (1989)
  • Blaggamuffin (1991) [mini-LP] [20]
  • Fuck Fascism, Fuck Capitalism, Society's Fucked (1991)
  • God Save the Cockroach (1992) [mini-LP, aka New Kids On The Blag] [21]
  • United Colours of Blaggers ITA (1993)
  • Bad Karma (1994)

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "It's Up To You" (1990)
  • Beirut EP (1990)
  • "Victory to ANC" (flexi disc, 1991)
  • "Here's Johnny" (1992)
  • "The Way We Operate" (1992)
  • "Wildside" (bootleg credited to Ramraiders ITA, 1993)
  • "Stresss" (1993)
  • "Oxygen" (1993)
  • "Abandon Ship" (1993)
  • "Mantrap" (1994)
  • "Thrill Her With a Gun/Dairy Thief" (1995)
  • "Rumblefish/Death by Cool" (1995)
  • "Guns Of Brixton" (1995)
  • "Session" (1995)


  1. ^ "Dementlieu Punk Archive". Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Dementlieu Punk Archive:Blaggers ITA: interview from UK Resist 5". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  3. ^ "Complete Control (2)". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  4. ^ "Anti Social Workers And The Mad Professor* - Punky Reggae Party". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Dementlieu Punk Archive:Blaggers ITA: interview from UK Resist 5". Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  7. ^ "Dementlieu Punk Archive:Blagegrs ITA: Stress Press Release". Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  8. ^ Official Charts - Blaggers ITA . (2012-04-19). Retrieved on 2012-05-03.
  9. ^ "The Blaggers ITA - Stresss". YouTube. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  10. ^ "Blaggers ITA - Oxygen". YouTube. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  11. ^ "Blaggers ITA - Abandon Ship (live)". YouTube. Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  12. ^ "The Blaggers ITA" (PDF). Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  13. ^ "The Blaggers ITA" (PDF). Retrieved 20 September 2020.
  14. ^ a b "Blaggers ITA Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  15. ^ "Obituary - Matty 'Blag' Roberts". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Stage Bottles". Archived from the original on 19 July 2011. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  17. ^ "World | Iwca Benefit Gig". 20 May 2005. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  18. ^ "Antifa UK Gig, Saturday 6th October, London". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  19. ^ Goodhall, Anna (19 December 2008). "Kaiser Chiefs takeover: Anna Goodhall interviews poet Tim Wells". Retrieved 11 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Blaggers I*T*A* - Blaggamuffin". Discogs.
  21. ^ "Blaggers ITA - New Kids On The Blag". Discogs.

External links[edit]