- This article is about the Scottish punk band. For the Greek expression see hoi polloi.
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Oi Polloi playing at Augustibuller in Sweden, 6 August 2005.
|Genres||Anarcho-punk, Oi!, punk rock, Scottish Gaelic punk|
|Labels||Campary records, Ruptured Ambitions, Words of Warning, Oi! Records, Green Vomit|
Bus Station Loonies
Divide & Conquer
In Decades Decline
|Past members||Murray Briggs
Stu "Doccy" Dunn
David "Rat" Connolly
Chris "Felcher" Wheelie/Chris Willsher
The Love Doctor
Roland "Roland Wagstaff" Wagstaff
Brian "Red" Tipa
Oi Polloi are a punk rock band from Scotland that formed around 1981. Starting as an Oi! band, they are now generally more associated with the anarcho-punk genre. The band has become notable for their contributions to the Scottish Gaelic punk subgenre. The name probably comes from the Greek expression "Οι πολλοί" and it is a pun on the phrase hoi polloi meaning "the masses" or "the common people".
The band has gone through about 50 members since their formation, and their only permanent member has been vocalist Deek Allen, who has also been involved in Gaelic-language television. The band has included punks and skinheads. The members have been supporters of Anti-Fascist Action and Earth First!, and they use the motto "No Compromise in Defence of Our Earth," which is an adaptation of Earth First!'s motto. They support direct action in defence of the environment, hunt sabotage and resistance against racism, sexism, homophobia, fascism and imperialism.
After numerous gigs in the Edinburgh area and the recording of the group's self-recorded first cassette demo, Last of the Mohicans, drummer Stu "Doccy" Dunn left to become a karate instructor and was replaced by Muz, who later recorded with the Apostles.. Oi Polloi's first studio recording was the demo Destroi the System, which was released in 1984 or 1985. After Sounds magazine gave their previous home-recorded demo a favourable review, demand increased for gigs. A second studio demo, Green Anarchoi followed before the release of the first vinyl EP, Resist the Atomic Menace.
Oi Polloi started singing in Scottish Gaelic in 1996, recording the Carson? EP, (released 2003), then recording and releasing the full length LP Ar Ceòl Ar Cànan Ar-A-Mach in 2006. They also use the language in day-to-day communications. They consider the use of Gaelic and other endangered languages as important to maintaining the biocultural diversity of life. They toured Europe with Seattle-based punk band Mill a h-Uile Rud, who sing only in Scottish Gaelic, and Les Ramoneurs de menhirs, who mostly sing in Breton. In 2013, they collaborated with CLÀR, the Scottish Gaelic publisher, to launch Mill a h-Uile Rud singer Tim Armstrong's Gaelic science fiction novel Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach at events at Elvis Shakespeare on Leith Walk and on The Cruz Boat at the Shore in Leith. The (now legendary amongst the Leith community) Leith Walk gig played out while Hibernian F.C. played out a 3-3 draw agains St. Mirren F.C., inadvertendly diverting Police resources at a crucial time and allowing the Anarcho-punk, Oi!, punk rock, street celebration to continue uninhibited, proving a significant landmark in Gaelic culture.
Apostles and Political Asylum drummer Chris Low also played in Oi Polloi for a while. Drummer Murray Briggs, who played on several of the band's 7" records, as well as the Fuaim Catha LP, now plays in Scottish indie pop band Aberfeldy along with brother Riley, who had a brief spell as Oi Polloi's guitarist in the 1990s. Brian Tipa was instrumental in writing a great deal of material for the band in the mid 1990s, including the Fuaim Catha LP, which was co-written with Calum Mackenzie two weeks before it was recorded. David "Rat" Connolly was the guitarist through much of the early years, playing his last gig and album in 1991. Connolly wrote the music for songs such as "Pigs for Slaughter" and "Boot Down The Door", and he went on to become an archaeologist and Middle Eastern adventurer.
Former bass player Calum Mackenzie (1992–99) relocated to the United States and went on to play in several bands. On the "Omnicide" 7", bass and some vocals were by Morag Cruickshank from the Aberdeen grindcore band Grunge. Guitarist Ricky Olsen first appeared on 1999's "THC" 7", having replaced Matt "Keith Chugwin" Finch in 1997. Olsen was replaced in 1999 by Ethan Buck, and then by Yaga who left to join Disorder. Olsen later rejoined the band and a stable line-up has existed since 2001 (with the exception of Calum Nicolson's replacement on bass in 2006): Deek "Ruairidh" Allan on vocals, Cameron Tongs on drums, Oigridh on Basses and Olsen on guitars.
- Skins 'N' Punks Volume Two (Split w Betrayed) 1986
- Unlimited Genocide (Split w A.O.A.) 1986
- Mad As... (Split w Toxik Ephex) 1987
- Unite And Win (Oi! Records) 1987
- In Defence of Our Earth (Words of Warning Records) 1990
- You've Heard It All Before Track on The Crass Covers Compilation album (Ruptured Ambitions Records) 1993
- Fight Back! (Re-Release of Old Split Material) 1994
- Total Anarchoi (Live/Studio Collection – CD/LP) 1996
- Fuaim Catha (Skuld Records) 1999
- Outraged by the System (Step-1 Music) 2002
- Heavenly Peace (Split 12" EP w Nikmat Olalim, Campari Records) 2006
- Ar Ceòl Ar Cànan Ar-A-Mach (Self Release/Campari records/Nikt Nic Nie Wie) 2006
- Gaidhlig na Lasair (compilation of underground Gaelic punk and techno)(Problem? Records) 2006
- Total Resistance to the Fucking System (Plastic Bomb) 2008
- SS Politician (Chaosrurale Records/Active Rebellion) 2010
- Duisg! (Plastic Bomb/Active Rebellion) 2012
- Resist the Atomic Menace 1986 (re-released 1994)
- Outrage 1988
- Omnicide 1991 (Words of Warning Records)
- Guilty (Ruptured Ambitions Records) 1993
- Oi Polloi / Blownapart Bastards (Split) 1994
- Oi Polloi - s/t (Nikt Nic Nie Wie)
- Bare Faced Hypocrisy Sells Records The Anti-Chumbawamba EP w/Riot/Clone, The Bus Station Loonies, Anxiety Society, The Chineapple Punks, Love Chips and Peas, and Wat Tyler 1998 (Ruptured Ambitions Records)
- THC (Campary Rec.) 1998
- Let the Boots Do the Talking (Ruptured Ambitions Records) 1999
- Carson? (Nikt Nic Nie Wie) 2003
- Ceòl Gàidhlig mar Sgian nad Amhaich (compilation with Mill a h-uile rud, Atomgevitter and Nad Aislingean) (Problem Records) 2005
- Mind the Bollocks (Kämäset Levyt Records) 2007
- Cyklopen split EP with Kansalaistottelemattomuus 2010
- Split EP with Appalachian Terror Unit Profane Existence (US)/NNNW (Europe) 2011
- Split EP with Na Gathan (Limited May Tour Edition) Problem Records 2012
Oi Polloi: The Movie
- "An dà chòmhlan punc a tha a' seinn sa Ghàidhlig". The Scotsman (18 March 2005)
- "Ar-a-mach cànain: a' chiad chlàr fada roc gu tur sa Ghàidhlig". The Scotsman (5 May 2006)
- "Gaels must look to the radical fringe". The Scotsman (30 July 2005)
- Armstrong, Tim (April 2013). "Bogadh Punc ann an Dun Eideann". DRILSEACH. Retrieved 29 April 2013.
- McLauchlin, Brian (27 April 2013). "Hibernian 3-3 St Mirren". BBC Scotland. Retrieved 30 May 2013.
- Official website
- Live review by John Robb, Manchester July 2011
- Article on Gaelic punk in The Scotsman newspaper (Scottish Gaelic)
- Article in The Scotsman's Gaelic page on Oi Polloi and their Ar Cànan, Ar Ceòl, Ar-a-mach LP
- BBC Radio nan Gaidheal Rapal session February 2008 with 3 Gaelic tracks
- Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach website – Tim Armstrong/CLAR literary collaboration