Skroteez were a Scottish punk rock band from Livingston, formed in 1979.
Livingston is a "new town", which refers to a set of towns created under acts of parliament to reduce overcrowding in urban centers (also known as an "overspill estate"). Livingston was the result of the government's Glasgow slum clearance policy. The band's song "Newtown" and the title of the "Overspill" EP are references to this, and the word "Livi" in the song title "Livi Punks" is a reference to Livingston.
For a time, there were violent rivalries between the Livi punks, and punks in nearby cities, described by Welshy of External Menace in his account
("The Pish between two Shittys"), and the song "Livi Punks" seems to indicate that the Skroteez were a part of this.
There's nothing here
Except for youth unemployment
This is the good life
In the so-called new town
There's nothing here at all
For any enjoyment
They should blow it all up
Or else burn it all down
(from Final Curtain #6, December 1982)
Livingston is a deprived newtown, situated in the central belt of Scotland.
From this area comes one of the brightest Scottish prospects for a punk band
since the Exploited. The Skroteez should be as big as the Exploited, because the
Skroteez are better than the bloody Exploited. The only reason the Exploited
'Made It' as the biggest punk band since the Sex Pistols was because nothing ever came
out of Scotland like that before. Now the novelties wearing off, and Scotland is
breeding some excellent bands. Along with the Skroteez, there's On Parole,
the Strike, the Alternative, UK Anarchists, External Menace, Chaotic Youth, and
Due to the situation in Scotland, many of these bands will never see vinyl.
It would be a shame if the Skroteez never got more recognition. Formed
three years ago, when punk was on the decline, were the first line-up of this
excellent band. After several line-up changes and local gigs, the Skroteez
put together a strong set of songs, and a strong local following of the Livi
punkz and skinz. They went ahead and recorded their first demo tape,
with six tracks... Maggie, TPC, Corrupt, Livi Punks, Mr. Screw, Addict, and Skippy.
Building on their set, the Skroteez plodded on through the dark ages of 1980 and
built up a good following. The second demo was a major break. A bloke from
Fast Records came up to produce it, and was so impressed by the band's
ability that he immediately put in a word for the band, and so the Overspill EP
was released. It consisted of three tracks... "Newtown", "Who's Law", and
"Livi Punks". This got favourable reviews and brought airplay and some much
deserved acclaim. Plans to play to trade unionists in Poland were soon
diminished, and more gigs were sought after.
Soon after the EP, bassist Tony was chucked out and replaced by the original
bass guitarist, Frank Conway. This brought the line-up to Hendo (vocals),
Frank (bass), Stu (drums), and Billy (guitar). The Skroteez then played
Skunx Club in London, together with On Parole. Then, Manchest Drifters Club
with Red Alert. Red Alert (being the theiving bastards they are) knicked one of
the Skroteez's amps.
In October 82, the third demo was recorded. This one had four tracks, which were
"Bastards", "Mr. Screw" (new version), "Addict" (longer version), and the hard-hitting
"Official Swine". This will be released whenever a label is sensible enough to
realize how good it is. It's unlikely that it will by followed up by Fast Records.
Meanwhile, but the Overspill EP and try to catch them live.
By Banny (82)
SKROTEEZ "OVERSPILL" 7" EP