Cockney Rejects

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Cockney Rejects
Cockney Rejects 2013
Cockney Rejects 2013
Background information
Also known asThe Rejects
OriginEast End of London, England
GenresPunk rock
Street punk
Years active1977–present
MembersJeff Geggus
Mick Geggus
Vince Riordan
Joe Sansome
Past membersChris Murrell
Paul Harvey
Andy Scott
Nigel Woolf
Ian Campbell
Keith Warrington
Nobby Cobb
Micky Burt
Tony Van Frater
Andrew Laing

Cockney Rejects are an English punk rock band that formed in the East End of London in 1977.[1] Their 1980 song "Oi, Oi, Oi" was the inspiration for the name of the Oi! music genre.[2][3] The band members are supporters of West Ham United, and pay tribute to the club with their hit cover version of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles", a song traditionally sung by West Ham supporters.[4]


Cockney Rejects were formed in 1977 by brothers Jeff and Micky Geggus, with their brother-in-law Chris Murrell on bass and Paul Harvey on drums. Their first demo, "Flares n' Slippers", caught the attention of Small Wonder Records owner Pete Stennett, who introduced the band to Bob Sergeant. With Sergeant, they recorded their single "Flares n' Slippers", which sold out its first pressing. Murrell and Harvey were then replaced by Vince Riordan on bass and Andy Scott on drums, from fellow East End London band, The Tickets. This became known as Cockney Rejects' classic lineup, and its debut at the Bridge House in Canning Town in June 1979 is considered a turning point for the band. In September of that same year, the band signed with EMI and released their album Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 in February 1980.[5][6]

Their biggest hit single in the United Kingdom, 1980's "The Greatest Cockney Rip-Off", was a parody of Sham 69's song "Hersham Boys".[5] Other Cockney Rejects songs were less commercial, partly because they tended to be about hard-edged topics such as street fighting or football hooliganism. Other singles to appear in the UK were "Bad Man," "We Can Do Anything," "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles " and "We Are the Firm" — all from 1980.[7]

The violence depicted in their lyrics was often mirrored at their concerts, and the band members often fought to defend themselves (often from supporters of opposing football teams) or to split up conflicts between audience members.[8] Jeff and Mick Geggus (who are brothers) had both been amateur youth boxers, and had fought at the national level. Bass player Vince Riordan's uncle was Jack "The Hat" McVitie, a Cockney gangster who was murdered by Reggie Kray.[9][10]

Cockney Rejects expressed contempt for all politicians in their lyrics, and they rejected media claims that they had a British Movement following, or that the band members supported the views of that far right group.[5] In their first Sounds interview, they mockingly referred to the British Movement as the "German Movement" and stated that many of their heroes were black boxers.[2] Jeff Turner's autobiography Cockney Reject describes an incident in which the band members and their supporters had a massive fight against British Movement members at one of Cockney Rejects' early concerts.[8]

EMI records released a definitive Rejects retrospective on 29 August 2011. Called Join the Rejects, the Zonophone years '79-'81, it was a three-disc collection of all their EMI recordings including all the Peel sessions and rare demos from the day. Also included was a colour booklet with a blow-by-blow account of the stories behind the music by Micky Geggus.

The Rejects movie East End Babylon and an album of the same name were released in 2013.

Tony Van Frater died in October 2015, aged 51.[11]

In February 2016, it was announced that former Cockney Reject bass player Vince Riordan had re-joined the band again.

The group were slated to perform their first Australian shows in February 2019, however a family emergency necessitated the postponement of the concerts to July. The concerts were later rescheduled to October and went ahead that month to critical acclaim.


Jeff Turner 2013
Mick Geggus 2013
Tony Van Frater 2013
Andrew Laing 2013



  • Jeff Geggus (Vocals)
  • Mick Geggus (Guitar)
  • Vince Riordan (Bass)
  • Andy "Atlas" Scott (Drums)


  • Jeff Geggus (Vocals)
  • Mick Geggus (Guitar)
  • Vince Riordan (Bass)
  • Nigel Woolf (Drums)


  • Jeff Geggus (Vocals)
  • Mick Geggus (Guitar)
  • Vince/Vinnie Riordan (Bass)
  • Keith "Stix" Warrington (Drums)


  • Jeff Geggus (Vocals)
  • Mick Geggus (Guitar)
  • Ian Campbell (Bass)
  • Keith Warrington (Drums)


(See 1980-1983 line-up)


  • Jeff Geggus (Vocals)
  • Mick Geggus (Guitar)
  • Tony Van Frater (Bass)
  • Andrew Laing (Drums)


  • Jeff Geggus (Vocals)
  • Mick Geggus (Guitar)
  • Tony Van Frater (Bass)
  • Les "Nobby" Cobb (Drums)


(See 1999 line-up)


  • Jeff Geggus (Vocals)
  • Mick Geggus (Guitar)
  • Vince Riordan (Bass)
  • Andrew Laing (Drums)
  • Joe Perry Sansome (Drums) 2017

Other members[edit]

  • Micky Burt (Drums) (1989) (did not actually play any gigs; he was not available for the May 1989 gig in Berchem, Belgium, so Keith Warrington was brought back)
  • Record Producer Peter Wilson played drums on the "Flares & Slippers" Demo Tape.




EPs and singles[edit]

  • "Flares & Slippers" (7-inch, EP) (Small Wonder, 1979)
  • "I'm Not a Fool" (7-inch single) (EMI, 1979) UK No. 65
  • "Bad Man" (7-inch) (EMI, 1980) UK No. 65
  • "The Greatest Cockney Rip Off" (7-inch. Limited Edition in Yellow Vinyl) (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK No. 21
  • "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" (7-inch) (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK No. 35
  • "We Can Do Anything" (7-inch) (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK No. 65
  • "We Are the Firm" (7-inch) (EMI/Zonophone, 1980) UK No. 54
  • "Easy Life" (7-inch, Live EP) (EMI/Zonophone, 1981)
  • "On the Streets Again" (7-inch) (EMI/Zonophone, 1981)
  • "Till the End of the Day" (7-inch) (AKA 1982)
  • "Back to the Start" (7-inch) (Heavy Metal Records, 1984)[7]
  • "It's Gonna Kick Off!" (7-inch, EP) (Cadiz Music, 2016)
  • "Goodbye Upton Park" (7-inch) (Cadiz Music,2016)[13]

Compilation & Live albums[edit]

  • Greatest Hits Vol. 3 (Live & Loud) (1981)
  • Unheard Rejects (1985 - collection of demo tracks recorded between 1979 and 1981)
  • We Are The Firm (1986)
  • The Best Of The Cockney Rejects (1993)
  • The Punk Singles Collection (Dojo, 1997)
  • Oi! Oi! Oi! (Castle, 1997)
  • Greatest Hits Volume 4: Here They Come Again (Rhythm Vicar, 2000 - reissued as Back on the Street - Victory Records, 2000)
  • Join the Rejects, the Zonophone years '79-'81 (EMI, )


  • Oi! The Album (1980)
  • Total Noise (7-inch EP - 1983 - as Dead Generation)
  • Lords Of Oi! (Dressed to Kill, 1997)
  • Addicted to Oi! (2001)


  1. ^ "Cockney Rejects". Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b Bushell, Garry. "Oi! – The Truth". Archived from the original on 31 July 2008.
  3. ^ Neal, Martin (16 July 2019). "Punk legend's tribute to much-missed former bandmate who died suddenly". essexlive. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  4. ^ "'I'm forever blowing bubbles' - The story behind famous West Ham chant |". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. pp. 279/80. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  6. ^ "Cockney Rejects Lyrics, Music, News and Biography | MetroLyrics". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 112. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ a b Turner, Jeff; Garry Bushell (2005). Cockney Reject. London: John Blake Publishing Ltd. ISBN 1-84454-054-5.
  9. ^ Jason Allday (21 July 2014). JUNIOR. Author House. p. 326. ISBN 978-1-4969-1365-4.
  10. ^ Petridis, Alexis (18 March 2010). "Misunderstood or hateful? Oi!'s rise and fall". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  11. ^ "Sunderland musician Tony Van Frater dies at 51". Shields Gazette. Archived from the original on 28 July 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
  12. ^ "Cockney Rejects - discography, line-up, biography, interviews, photos". Retrieved 21 June 2020.
  13. ^ "Cockney Rejects Lyrics, Music, News and Biography | MetroLyrics". Retrieved 21 June 2020.

External links[edit]