DVD Reviews

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East End Babylon: The Story Of The Cockney Rejects
Cadiz Music
On DVD: 11.12.13

Directed by Richard England (who produced Oil City Confidential) and told from the perspectives of Mick (Stinky Turner) and Jeff Geggus (Cockney Rejects), this essential rock n’ roll documentary is a must-see for any music lover. Mick and Jeff cite that for them, there were only three ways to deal with living in the infamous East End of London’s Canning Town: football (soccer), boxing and rock n’ roll. Formed in 1978, the Cockney Rejects cut a swath through the London punk scene. They conned their way into their first demo, went to Top of the Pops, then headlong into brutal fights with rival football fans due to their undying allegiance to West Ham. Something they more than publicized through their hit cover of West Ham’s anthem, “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles.” This impressive documentary utilizes historical footage alongside impressive accounts from members of the band. They tell the dramatic history of London’s East End through entertaining tales of the toughness and resilience of one of England’s most notorious punk/Oi! bands. One word of warning: If you’re not well acquainted with the cockney dialect, use subtitles when digesting this film. Otherwise, grab a pint and enjoy. –Nick Kuzmack

Kids Like You & Me
MVDvisual
On DVD: 12.03.13

This documentary surprises with its abundance of information and humility. What I thought might be a 75-minute video of Black Lips’ illegal antics on- and offstage (probably still worth watching) turned out to have more political information than it did illegal activities. The story follows Black Lips across a “revolutionary” Middle East tour. Revolutionary, because places like Egypt don’t have much of a garage or punk scene, and they rarely see U.S. bands. If your band has the means to tour anywhere, are you going to pick one of the most unstable parts of the world? Sure, Mexico is insane and Africa is tragic in many ways, but the Middle East seems to be constantly on the verge of imploding. This documentary shows that tension and how the Black Lips’ music provides the youth a break from the constant stress of life in the cities they tour. This isn’t because the Black Lips are special, but because they’re willing. They’re willing to share their music where many other American bands can’t or won’t, and to show those in the Middle East that, in many ways, we are just like them. –Justin Gallegos