BLAGGERS I.T.A: Rumblefish / Death Death by Cool (aka DxC) / DxC (Eastern Mix), Rumblefish (demo)
UK anti-fascist band with modern approach. Blaggers I.T.A. are deeply political – they are affiliated with the fight-fire-with-fire Anti Fascist Action organization – but the politics here go past the familiar ‘racism is bad’ chant that we all know and dig a little deeper into UK and world politics. This is done with an eloquence approaching that of the Manic Street Preachers, although with a good deal more clarity. Musically, they have Oasis’ cool-hooligan swagger and pop-suss combined with a punk attack that will have the New Wave of New Wave bands giving up and going home and fans of The Clash getting excited. On top of all this a samples-and-rap element that the 94-model Pop Will Eat Itself would (and *do*) thoroughly approve of. The music borrows freely from other sources, but the samples and vocals give the album an unmistakable identity of its own.
|3||DxC (Eastern Mix)|
- Producer, Mixed By – Ralph Jezzard
- Written By, Performer – Blaggers ITA
- Blaggers ITA (formerly The Blaggers) were a British punk rock band founded in 1988. Main vocalist Matty ‘Blagg’ Roberts had previously fronted Oi! band Complete Control, who released an LP on Oi! Records in 1985 while original second vocalist Tim ‘Bilko’ (aka ‘Teething’) Wells had previously been in the band Anti Social Workers, who released an album on Mad Professor‘s Ariwa label in 1983. Blaggers ITA were noted for their strong anti-fascist and left wing lyrics and activism.
Although the band initially played in a generic Oi! style, they later added a trumpet player and incorporated influences from hip hop and electronic dance music, including sampling, and added the letters ITA to their name (“In The Area”), inspired by Adrian Sherwood‘s On-U Sound Records.
The band had close links with Anti Fascist Action (AFA), donating money to the organisation and promoting its ideology. The band’s support for revolutionary politics and AFA meant that in the early 1990s they became a target of Neo-Nazi groups such as Blood & Honour  and C18.
In 1993 they signed a record deal with EMI and enjoyed some commercial success with three minor hit singles. Stress and Oxygen benefitted from promotional videos, while Abandon Ship saw an appearance on The Word.
The record deal resulted in some criticism due to EMI’s status as a major label and large corporation, and its former links with the arms trade. In a debate strongly echoed four years later in the case of Chumbawamba, the band justified the move with the argument that the financial and promotional support of EMI would enable their political message to reach a wider public; they also argued that the deal gave the band more money to spend on political causes. For example, money earmarked for promotional events was used on full page adverts in the national music press promoting direct physical anti-fascist action, while creative use of tour support funds went to aid political groups throughout the country.
In the summer of 1993, the group embarked on a high-profile UK tour supporting Manic Street Preachers. In July 1993, frontman Matty Blagg allegedly punched Melody Maker writer Dave Simpson, as a consequence of Simpson stating that Matty could never reform his fascist past (as a teenager Matty had been associated with the British Movement but while in prison was enlightened by another prisoner and subsequently dedicated the rest of his life to educating others) resulting in a court appearance and the case being dismissed. No trial took place. The incident led to the cancellation of festival slots (inc. main stage slots at Reading and Glastonbury), an effective boycott by the music press, and the consequent cancellation of their EMI contract.
Shortly afterwards Matty Roberts left the band, which for a short time continued without him. Roberts died on 22 February 2000.
A new version of the band named Blaggers AKA formed in 2002. This line up has played gigs and festivals across Europe, including benefits for the Independent Working Class Association  and Antifa groups, but has not released any records.