Formed from the ashes of UK anarcho reggae outfit Military Surplus, RDF, as they were commonly abbreviated, started in 1987. Their line-ups were erratic but were based around the one constant, lyricist and vocalist Chris Bowsher. Using beat poetry, with its imagery of modern decay and capitalism gone wrong, their chosen musical outlet was reggae and ska. Bowsher was a veteran of the early punk explosion, and was particularly enamoured of bands such as the Clash and Ruts who attempted to bridge the gap between rock and black music. Alongside the Levellers, they became prime movers in the media-christened ‘crusty’ movement (i.e., their following comprised largely the dispossessed and homeless, bonded by a political consciousness that has its roots in hippiedom, beatnik romanticism and early 80s anarcho-punk).
Share this page