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Last Resort
29/07/2003 (interview with Roi Pearce)

Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

The band originally formed in 1980 with the first gig at West London's Acklem Hall 4th March 1981.

The current line-up is me (Roi) on vocals, Chris Jones on drums, John Pearce (no relation) on playing bass and Keith Hillyer on guitar.

The band have been back together in this format since 2000. We recorded eight tracks 18 months ago, four old and four new including 'Working Class Kids' and 'Held Hostage' from the Peel & Birdhouse session. Only one of the tracks has been released - 'We're Gonna Get You' was on 'Addicted To Oi!' under Millwall Roi. We have loads of lyrics written and now we are just fitting riffs around the lyrics.


The first release was a limited edition cassette single in 1981 (on Cringe Music) with Saxby on vocals and me on bass which featured 'Violence In Our Minds', 'Held Hostage', 'Soul Boys' and a cover of Coventry punk band The Squad 'Eight Pounds a Week'. This later formed part of the tracks on Link Records split with Combat 84.

There were then two tracks on the second oi! album 'Strength Thru Oi!'; - 'Working Class Kids' and 'Johnny Barden'.

I don't believe the next release ever came out on Phonagram as planned. It was due to be a triple sided single with Infa Riot, 4-Skins and Last Resort. The Last Resort track was Violence In Our Minds.

Next up was Carry On Oi! with 'Kings Of The Jungle'. The photos for this were taken outside on the steps of the National History Museum and are being used on the flyers for our forthcoming gig at the Riffleman in Hounslow!

We then appear for the first time as the Warriors on 'Oi! Oi! That's Yer Lot', as Last Resort are no longer about. The track is 'Horror Show'. (On the Punk side).

The Last Resort 'Way Of Life - Skinhead Anthems', first issued on LP by Last Resort Records in 1982. This came out on a few different colours, scarlet being the most common. In the 90's it was rereleased as the first Captain Oi! release. The 11 original tracks have now been joined by four bonus cuts including "King Of The Jungle" from the "Carry On Oi!" LP. Available as a picture disc with an eight-page booklet including lyrics. Captain Oi! also issued this classic release on record in both black and clear vinyl complete with lyric insert.

Arthur Kay' final appearance was appear on was the infamous 'United Skins' where we did 'Wicked Women' under the name Warrior.

I then went onto be with the 4-Skins, releases include 'On The Streets' and 'A Fistfull Of 4 Skins'. Did a couple of releases as the Resort (Resort 1989 and got a track on the Pop Oi! compilation called 'Rubber Jenny') and then went onto the Heavy Metal Outlaws where we recorded 'Sex For Sexism Sake' and '60's Meant Nothing'.

So why reform after all this time? And why choose to do it as the Last Resort rather than he latter day band The Resort? How did you get the current members together?

There was a lot of pressure for us to reform from people like Lol Pryor and Chris Jones our drummer. After a lot of thought, and getting the right mix of people involved we got back together. Originally the plan was to come back just as 'Roi', but it was decided when we played 'Punk & Disorderly' in Berlin last year that it was the name 'Last Resort' that people knew.

Chris and John both played in the Anti Nowhere League in recent years. And Chris also went out to the US with me, when I spent some time out in the States. They also played with Tommy in the Resort back in 89. Keith joined after we were recording. He also played in the Heavy Metal Outlaws along with Steve Whale from the Business. John in Keith were also in a band together in the 90's in the vein of the Chillie Peppers. The band was called Noghy Pighir.

The personnel mix is extremely important and without the right people it would not of happened. We know each others strengths and boslter each other along. What you now have is phenomenal - a wall of sound.

Do you plan any new Last Resort releases and what tracks can people expect when you play live?

The gig in Hounslow is going to be a remise, a party, a mix up, fuck it up and having a blast. It is our first UK gig in 21 years! Hopefully you will find it ballsy, in your face punchy. We have all learnt a lot musically over the past 20 years or so. So expect improved timing, phasing and pitching. Track wise this gig will be mainly old, but with some new mixed in as well. The Hounslow gig came about due to a meeting at a football match!

The plan is to release a new Last Resort album around March 2004.

What has the highlight and the low been of the bands career and would you have done anything different with the Last Resort if you could?

I have no regrets. I just know more now and would have maybe made decisions differently if I had the knowledge back then. We were just kids back then, wanting to do the right things just going about it in the wrong way. We were just about for a year and a half and it died just as quickly as it grew. There was not enough to substain it. There were strong indexical but it was just mishandled.


How have your European dates gone? And if you could play with a line up of any other bands from history, which bands would it be?

We have done two German dates. The Berlin was a real eye opener to the size of things. We also played one in Belgium.

If I could put a lineup together it would have to be;-
Discipline (really great band)
Angelic Upstarts
And of course the Sparrer.

Do you think street music will rise again? How do you find it different today then when you started?

It seems to be on the move already. With gigs like this happening and a world wide interest. Let's hope that this time we can try and take it to another level.

What is the best and worst Last Resort Covers you have heard other bands do?

There is a French compilation which has covers of 'Chaos' and 'Held Hostage' sung in French - very strange. There have also been some big bands that have covered Last Resort songs. Madball did Violence In Our Minds', Sick Of It All do 'Working Class Kids', and Discipline have also covered us. My favourite though is Cro-Mags 'Freedom' This is fantastic, a proper classic.

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 2003.

We have the Hounslow gig in September, followed by a return to Berlin to the 'Punk & Disorderly' festival in December. We have a few other things in the pipeline as well, plus the panned release for early next year.

Any final comments?

Let the music do the talking!

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Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.