The East End Badoes have been around since the early days of the Oi! scene and last year released one of my favourite albums of the year. I recently caught up with bassist James Crutwell about the origins of the band, being labelled a ‘Dodgy’ band amongst other things.
SOTS –Thanks for taking the time to speak to me. The band has been around since the first wave of Oi!, can you give is a brief history of the band?
James Crutwell – The band was originally formed around 1980 by Tel and some of his mates. Although they split fairly early on after. They reformed in the mid 2000’s and again, went on a bit of a hiatus in about 2009. Reforming again in 2014 the Badoes have been active since.
SOTS – What made you form the band in the first place and who were the main influences?
JC – The original line up wanted formed as they were involved in the Oi scene at the time. Being mates with, and influenced by bands like the Rejects, 4 Skins etc made them want to start a band.
SOTS – The band has had several members over the years with Terry being the only original member, how long has this current line-up been together?
JC – As the line-up we are now, we’ve been together since July 2016.
SOTS – The band now has a couple of younger members, what have these guys brought to the band that maybe older members might not have?
JC – I think that it’s really brought a wide range of influences to the table. We’ve got influences ranging right from the early days up to the current bands both U.K and Stateside. It’s really helped shape the sound that we have.
SOTS – Who are some of your favourite bands that have shared the stage with over the years?
JC – We’ve been incredibly fortunate over the last few years to play with some incredible bands. The Cockney Rejects at the 100 Club was a memorable one. It was the first time I’d played alongside a childhood idol. The Last Resort are always a favourite to play with. A fantastic band both on, and off stage. My absolute favourite though, was when we opened for The Dropkick Murphy’s. The Living End were the other support band. DKM have been my favourite band since I was about 11, so that was a real honour. It was a really surreal moment turning around to see the band I’ve been watching for years now watching me.
SOTS – Last year you released the excellent ‘A Punk Rock Sound With An East End Beat’, your first proper album. How did it feel to finally get the album out? Are you happy with how the album was received?
JC – It felt fantastic! It’s an album we’re all really proud with. The reception it’s had has been absolutely mind blowing. It’s incredible that there are a lot of people who aren’t fans of punk who have really enjoyed it. We’re all just 5 working guys, so to have an album that is enjoyed by so many people around the world is really humbling!
SOTS – The album was launched at the legendary 100 Club, how did it feel to launch the album at such an iconic venue?
JC – That was a blinding experience. For me personally, it was the first place I saw EEB. It’s got a lot of sentimental value to me for that. It’s a venue that has more history than anyone could imagine. It’s always a pleasure to step on that stage. To headline it was unbelievable and we were really grateful for a cracking crowd that night.
SOTS – Have you got any plans to get back into the studio?
JC – We’re constantly writing as individuals. It’s just a case of getting those all down now. Hopefully it won’t be too long before we’re back in the studio.
SOTS – When I googled the band for this interview, I came across a website that the labelled the band as a ‘Dodgy Oi! Band’. What have you got to say about this? It must be annoying when people write things like this that aren’t true?
JC – It does my head in that we’re on there. The articles on there are thrown completely out of context, badly written, unresearched and give us a bad name that isn’t justified. There is absolutely nothing ‘dodgy’ about us and it winds me up being on there.
SOTS – There are some great bands on the scene as well as some great promoters that are prepared to put on gigs, what are your thoughts on the scene? What bands are you currently listening to?
JC- On the whole, it’s a fantastic scene right now. I love how close it is. All the bands are mates with each other. The bands are mates with the punters. No egos. No bullshit. It’s great to be a part of. There are so many great bands right now. Although, it has to be said, that it’s a massive loss to see the Watford Punk Collective go in recent months. They were always the most supportive bunch you could ask for.
In terms of what I’m listening to now, I’m always listening to the likes of Arch Rivals, Angry Agenda and Grade 2, who are a band really destined to go places! I’ve constantly got The Interrupters in my head too at the moment.
SOTS- I managed to catch you guys at last year’s Rebellion Festival which one of my highlights, how does it feel to play such a great festival?
JC – That’s a massive compliment! Especially considering how many brilliant bands are on every year! Thank you.
Playing Rebellion is always a highlight of the year. This year also marks 10 years since me and dad went for the first time. I’d gone up there year after year dreaming of playing it, so it’s always a memorable one. The crowds are always really good to us there.
SOTS – You are back on the bill for this year’s festival? Are looking forward to it? Who else you looking forward to seeing?
JC- We’re on the Thursday from 9:45-10:35 in the Pavilion. I’m looking forward to trying out a new stage!
Sparrer, Sparrer and Sparrer ha-ha. In all seriousness though, there are some blinding bands on this year. Pears are worth seeing. Millie Manders And The Shut Up. Millie has a fantastic voice and they always put on a great show! There are some cracking bands on the introducing stage, Tokyo Rankers, Scandal, Call Me Malcolm, Rats Nest and Terminal Heads. Then there’s the ‘Rebellion staples’ like Gimp Fist who I always look forward to seeing.
I’ll be about down the front for bands all weekend!
SOTS – For anyone that hasn’t seen an East End Badoes show what can they expect?
JC- Playing live is what we love to do. It’s always a very high energy performance. We always want to make it a real show. Quite often myself and Tel end up in the crowd. We have a great laugh while we do it too!
SOTS – Thanks again for chatting to me and I’ll see you guys at Rebellion.
JC- Absolute pleasure! Catch you there!