As previously noted on this blog, The Strike are back and are playing their first show on Sunday, August 16 in Hamilton at This Ain’t Hollywood, with The Fallout, Strong As One and Come Out Swinging.
Ric Taylor from View Magazine had a chat with drummer “Lucky” Pete Lambert … here’s the article:
Hamilton is a glorious place that continues to have worldwide rippling effects on music. Take one “Lukcy” Pete Lambert. The London, Ontario born drummer got his start with bands like NFG during the first wave of punk but in the ’80s explored his musical muse in England with the like of The Trojans and The Angelic Upstarts. Lambert would eventually return to Canada following a more alt-country muse in bands like Cry Baby and Kensington Hillbillies but more recently, he’s made Hamilton his home for the last eight years and been exploring more of his punk roots. Of late, Lambert helps to coordinate the annual Joe Strummer tribute and a few years ago he’d cross the path of one Fergus Mcleod who’d been at the heyday of what was punk, or more specifically, Oi – a working class sub-genre of punk.
“The Strike were a three piece Oi/punk band who formed in 1979 in Inverness, Scotland, lead by Fergus Mcleod on bass and lead vocals, he was also the principal songwriter,” explains Lambert. “Two of their songs, “Skinhead” and “Gang Warfare” appears on the classic album Strength Through Oi in 1981 and gained them a fair bit of notoriety. A couple of subsequent singles were released but no real success was attained. However, through the years, they have become legendary because of the two tracks and in the ’90s a full CD was released with the few already released tracks and a bunch of demos. Such was the ongoing interest that the album was recently reissued on vinyl.”
“In the ’90s, Fergus moved to Canada and formed another well known punk/Oi band called Emergency, in Vancouver, who released self-titled album in 2004,” adds Lambert. “Mcleod eventually ended up in London, Ontario in the late 2000s and that’s where I met him, when he was working in Michael Todd’s Speed City Records. Of course, we ended up talking about my involvement with The Angelic Upstarts and he told me the story of The Strike. He mentioned that The Strike was the only band from the Strength Through Oi album that hadn’t played the annual Rebellion festival in Blackpool, England yet. I suggested that if he ever thought seriously about forming a new line-up, I would be interested in being the drummer, especially if it meant playing Rebellion.”
With Lambert leading the charge, he decided to enlist another Hamiltonian with a long history in punk to help out on reviving The Strike.
“When I went in to [the ] Crash Landing [music store] to speak to Chris Crash about it, he said ‘you mean The Strike from the Strength Through Oi album?’ and then proceeded to quote all the lyrics from Skinhead off by heart. Well, was he excited! I knew that we had the perfect combination and the spark to get this thing up and running and so we began rehearsing in March.”
With rehearsals going well, The Strike returns for their first show in some three-plus decades this weekend as a strong punk trio that might not be the Scottish band of old but with it being two-thirds Hamilton punk, they’ll be as purposeful as they ever were.
“There may be a little grey hair involved but there is a certain spirit behind the music that we capture in this incarnation,” notes Lambert. “We’re playing with The Oppressed, a UK band, in Toronto in September and as soon as we’re done these shows we’re going to be working on new material. We’re excited to be playing this music and it’s got a lot of Hamilton in it. It’s good fun music for everybody. It’s what was really going on in the streets, in the reality of people’s lives and that’s what this music is about.”