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Peterborough (UK) Oi! / Streetpunk

Spud - Vocals / Guitar

Here you can read the interview with THE TOKYO RANKERS which was out on Boots and Braces zine not far ago. Great interview with Spud, guitar and vocals who will talk about Peterborough streetpunk and Oi! band THE TOKYO RANKERS.

Oi! guys. Could you introduce your band The Tokyo Rankers and its current line-up? Could you reveal us anything interesting or less-known about each band member?

Oi oi, our current line up Is Jimmy on bass, Krystian on guitar,  Dario on drums and me Spud on guitar and vocals. I asked the band for interesting facts but they all said they are as interesting as slugs.

Jimmy - Bass Guitar
Dario - Drums
Krystian -  Guitar

Why did you actually decide to form The Tokyo Rankers at end of November 2016? Would you tell the main reason was that the local scene was lacking a decent Oi!/Punk band after the demise of The Black Marias? What are the greatest achievements of The Tokyo Rankers so far?

Myself and Jimmy decide to basically carry on from where the Black Marias finished, we both wanted to write new songs and originally Mitch was joining us at the time we had no name and no songs but it became clear that Mitch had other commitments so I took over on vocals with Jim on bass and Dario on drums, who had played on our last Black Marias gig for us. I don’t think we were conscious if filling the gap left by the Marias we just didn’t want to stop playing but the luck scene us definitely lacking any real punk and oi bands.
We are a new band so achievements so far have been limited. Just getting out there and playing and producing an album in such a short time has been satisfying.

Why did you choose just such a strange name The Tokyo Rankers? :-)) Is there any story hidden behind this name? What everything does your city Peterborough have in common with Tokyo? :-))

Ha ha no connection with Tokyo and yes pretty strange name for a band, it started as a joke between myself and Jimmy whilst discussing a non pc 80s comedian called benny hill. He used to do an impression of a Japanese guy. I will have to look him up but basically ranker should have a w at the front of it. doesn’t mean anything just stuck at the beginning that’s all.

As far as I know, you have passed through one line-up change when Wojtek was replaced by Krystian, right? What was the reason? Do you still keep in touch with him? Does he play in another band now?

The line up change wasn’t something we expected so soon but all I will say is that it was a disagreement that spiralled out of control and we have no contact with Wojtek but I’m sure he will join another band.


The Tokyo Rankers Members

It is not secret that Jimmy and Spud both played in an Oi!/Punk band
The Black Marias, while Dario and Krystian in a punk/rock and roll band The Moonshiners. Could you tell us as much information about both bands as possible, especially in terms of music and lyrics? Why have The Black Marias actually split up in 2016? Which songs do you consider to be the best pieces of The Black Marias and The Moonshiners, and which ones are your favourites even now?

The moonshiners were formed in peterborough in 2015, they sing a lot
about alcohol and sing about things they get angry about, its punk with a
blues twist. Black marias had been together 13 years we had very limited success despite writing what we thought were good songs, I think the band had run its course gigs were becoming laboured and not enjoyable anymore rehearsals few and far between and line up changes were creeping in. We had some great songs; cunt, another day another dollar,football ain’t cricket,as both, to chav and chav not. I would say go back and have listen if you missed them, a decent band in my selfish opinion. All the band made contributions to the songs lyrically and musically.

How would you describe your music except the usual Oi!/Punk label?
Who is responsible for the music and lyrics of The Tokyo Rankers? Wouldyou tell it is a teamwork or there is a leader or frontman between you?

I’m not very keen on labelling a band as people all have different opinions as to what our sound will be to them, but you could on describe us as a street punk I suppose. Myself and jimmy both write the lyrics and we have very different styles of writing as you can tell by the songs, Jimmys lyrics are garage roof, unsettled mine are more like don’t get me started and bastards back. tend to write the songs as we rehearse and they are quite spontaneous usually.

Which bands are your main inspiration and influence if we focus mainly to Oi!/streetpunk scene? I have already noticed a certain references to a bands like Sham 69, Cockney Rejects, Cock Sparrer, Peter And The Test  Tube Babies, The Warriors, Control, Resistance 77 and Vicious Rumours. Is this list correct? How much are you affected by the music just of these bands? Please, appoint also 3 favourite songs by each of the aforementioned bands.

Pretty fair to say those bands but many also, East end baddoes, Business
Argy Bargy so many bands and yes that’s just the punk/oi stuff, we have
many influences from all other subcultures.
We all grew up with these bands danced to these bands and wore the vinyl constantly playing the tracks over and over again, so they were massively influential and will always be reflected in what we play.
3 songs from each band now that’s tough especially considering its me
answering the questions so you have to put this down to my personal
choice. Here goes sham 69,that’s life, angels with dirty faces, hurry up harry, Cockney Rejects hard for me being millwall lol bad man, babylon police car. Cock sparrer take em all England belongs,because your young. Pttb,up yer bum, jinx,and a new one none of your business The Warriors, bowler hats and baseball bats.surburban shit hole, operation oi Control, skinhead tatoos are the story hooligan rock and roll. Resistance 77,true punk and oi,spirit of St George, do something.
Vicious rumours,this is your life,nobody’s fool,old but not dead

Your debut album entitled ‘Don't Get Me Started’ is just out. How would you introduce and characterize it by your own words? Why did you decide to release it as digipack CD? Is it a completely DIY work or you have collaborated also with any label? Where can we buy it? What reviews have you so far received about it?

The album was a must for us to get out we were keen to keep the songs
fresh and raw and that does come out on the album, not too fussy just as
they are live. We went with DIY as that’s how we have pretty much always done over the years and to be honest it’s not easy finding a label
sometimes. We have a collaboration now with Evil Records ( to release on vinyl very soon you can buy the album directly from us from the band camp or Facebook page or at a gig from us. As the album has just come out we have had no reviews as yet but it seems people like it.

What is the background of the song “Glory Days” and why do you think all those glory days have faded away? What is the last chance to get away escape this fucking mess? How would you imagine such glory days in your mind?

Glory days is more about the people who have left the scene given up on
all the bollox that goes on these days ,the scene is a fucking mess sometimes and sometimes people need to escape cos it ain’t worth all the hassle.

A song titled ”You Ain't Me” is telling the story of bullshit words leading in a fight. Is this song based on your own experiences? What are the worst bullshit words that you can't stand in any way? How often are you forced to stand up in a fight because of that?

Ha ha, been a long time since I had to stand up and fight but yes the song is about people just taking a dislike to someone for whatever reason when they have done nothing ,I just don’t like bullies worst bullshit words? The ones fuelled by ignorance and intolerance.

I think the song ”Ordinary People” includes a socio-critical lyrics. Would you tell the ordinary English people have become only a mindless machines which have still less and less time to live a decent lives? How would you characterize the current ordinary Englishman? What are his main worries and desires? 

The song really is just an observation of the people around me, the people I work with etc just go round and round .work ,pub, kids at the weekend with very little chance of moving out of the trappings of life its not a reflection off how all English people are but there are so many maybe they are happy this way who knows. to say what the worries and desires are outside of my own circle for me my worry would be that we are being further and further pushed into a corner. There is a very fine line these days between being ok and being thrown on the scrapheap.

I can feel a bit of nostalgia from the song ”Out Of Time”. It claims you feel to be liberated, underrated and overstated already from the 80’s. Could you explain this attitude of yours? Have you been involved in Oi!/Punk scene already in the 80’s? If so, what are the greatest differences now and then? What do you miss the most from those times?

Oh I miss the 80s,had the best time so much new music and cultures what wasn’t to like, just wrote the song cos someone said to me I love your eighties look lol, it hadn’t occurred to me till then that i had a look! cos that’s how I have dressed since the eighties and it makes you wonder are you out of step, out of time but I do feel liberated because of it it’s who I am and everyone else these days have no identity.

A song titled ”See Ya” states you are living in a police state now. What are the main causes of this situation? Are you really so much tracked, watched and under constant control? How much is the political police on the rise in England nowadays? What are your personal experiences with the boys in blue and their practise?

Song isn’t about me really more about people wanting change things cos they feel oppressed but don’t know where to start so just sit at home wishing they could change a system they don’t like.

A song titled ”What You gonna Do” refers to a PC brigade trying to set up their own "Punk Rock rules" How much is the current Oi!/Punk scene affected by the madness of political correctness in England? Why do you think there are even a bands letting those PC clowns to dictate them what to think, what to sing, which bands to play with, etc.?

The pc brigade don’t you love em .lots of problems in the UK. The problem is sometimes they get it wrong and people get destroyed on social media for speaking there mind even if it’s not remotely racist or homophobic etc etc, you would have to ask individual bands about why they let people dictate to them I don’t think there are many, most I know say fuck em. We can longer even laugh at ourselves or each other anymore, there is always someone who will get offended but hey if ya don’t like it just don’t listen dont get me wrong we do not advocate extremist views, we are not a right wing band and never would be but you can get labelled just by someone
thinking you are and knowing anything about you.

A song titled ”God Save Rock And Roll” is a tribute to the best musical genre ever. Do you still remember at your first steps in the waters of rock and roll? :-)) What is the true spirit of rock & roll in your opinion? Which rock n roll pioneers do you admire the most and why? Why do you thinkthat punkrock, SKA and skinhead rock are its best subgenres? :-))

Can’t beat rock and roll can ya whatever genre you like, oi and ska clearly our favourites but I was brought up on original rock and roll through my parents, rebellious music in its day pioneers many of them joe strummer, jimmy hendrix, pete townsend, Paul Weller, John lydon. Johhny cash Chuck berry malcolm owen Endless pioneers just to many to list.



Side A

Glory Days
You ain't me
Ordinary people
Out of time
Get the bastards back



What ya gotta do
Garage roof
God save rock and roll
Sex and Violence
Don't get me started

Side B







Check THE TOKYO RANKERS - Interview here!

(c) Evil Records, 2018


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