Published on Sunday, 08 July 2012 17:21 Written by Alexander Gray
The year 2012 began relatively successfully for the alliance of the UK “chapter” of Volksfront (VFUK), Racial Volunteer Force (RVF), British Freedom Fighters and the Pirates group. On 10 March, the RVF held a “Unity gig” to commemorate four of the five members of the band Violent Storm who were killed in a car accident in March 1992. The gig was held at the Riverside Tavern in Newport, but the landlord admitted afterwards that he had been duped by the concert organisers who had promised a “night of 2-Tone Ska music”. Investigation of the outrageous event is understood to be in the hands of none other than Special Branch. If the breach of licensing regulations is confirmed, the offence can carry a maximum sentence of six months’ jail or a £20,000 fine.
After threatening to “smash up” the alliance’s gigs, Blood and Honour attempted to disrupt the Unity gig by holding a separate Violent Storm memorial on the same day, also in Wales. B&H’s gig was supported by the bands Section 88 and Celtic Warrior, whose lead singer Nigel “Billy” Bartlett was jailed in 2009 for five years and three months after pleading guilty to selling a stun gun, CS gas canisters and illegal drugs. Interestingly, Bartlett, a former builder and nightclub bouncer, had been released on conditional bail in 2008 after pleading not guilty to supplying class A and B drugs, as well as possessing racist materials.
Despite its pompous start, the anti-B&H alliance seems to have already destroyed itself. The internal conflict surfaced before and during the European Althing 2012, a social event organised by the VFUK. The gathering was set to take place in South England on 5 and 6 June but heavy rain left the land that the VFUK had rented for the event completely flooded.
This was not the only blow to the organisation. Already in mid-April, three bands that were to play at the European Althing fell out with the VFUK: Avalon, Criminal Brainstorm and Turnball AC’s. The departure of Avalon and therefore the Pirates group was particularly painful, as the band’s lead singer Graham “Grumpy” Thompson was in the forefront of the anti-B&H alliance and even launched a (now closed down) social networking website. Yet it was Thompson who had a tiff with the VFUK and eventually split Avalon in spring. Thompson is also said to have conned his band “mates” over money.
The night before the Althing, British Volksfront activists, joined by the group’s members and supporters from the USA, Spain and Australia, went to a pub in Somerset and the usual nazi drinking spree began. It continued the next day when more nazis from the RVF and the South Wales division of British Movement arrived in the pub to booze up and listen to music in the function room. Although Avalon had pulled out, two ex-members of the band formed a one-off group with ex-members of Unit 28 and played covers from Skrewdriver, the founding band of white power music. They were followed by a ballads set by two female singers. An event that had promised camping, football, tug of war, archery and target shooting ended up a trivial booze night with dull music.
B&H has fared hardly better recently. On 5 May, B&H’s North West Division held a concert in Manchester that featured Whitelaw, March or Die and Hearts of Oak. However, B&H is planning two annual gigs for this summer. On 14 July, the B&H London Brigade is holding a No Surrender gig (Aryan, Blackout, Legion of St George, and Gentleman Thugs), while on 18 August the Welsh Division is organising a memorial gig for “Stinko, the Celtic Warrior bass player who died on 18 August 1998 (Brutal Attack, Blackout, and March or Die).