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Matty Blag
Matthew Roberts
February 22, 2000
Age 36 
 OD 
 
OBITUARY 
BIOGRAPHY 
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Buy or Hear the Music 
    
Editor's Pick:  On Yer Toez
 
 
 
 

OBITUARY 
NME
     
MATTY BLAG
 1964-2000 

                   Former BLAGGERS ITA Matty Blag - real name 
                   MATTHEW ROBERTS - died of a suspected drug 
                   overdose last Tuesday (February 22).  He was 36. 

                   Blaggers ITA rose to fame in the mid-90s and 
                   were well-known for their strong anti-fascist messages. 

                   They played a blend of punk rock and rap music and 
                   often took part in Anti Facist Action rallies and 
                   advocated direct action against far-right organisations. 

                   In fact, Matty famously beat up a Melody Maker 
                   journalist who, during an interview, kept telling Matty 
                   that people who beat up fascists were as bad as 
                   fascists themselves. 

                   Blaggers reached the outer reaches of the charts on a 
                   number of occasions, but probably their best-known 
                   record was 'Abandon Ship', which reached 48 when 
                   released through their then label Parlophone in 
                   January 1994. 

                   A memorial service was held for Matty in his home 
                   town of Oswestry, Shrophshire, yesterday (March 7). 
 

    
  
 
NY TIMES
        
 
 
       
 

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BIOGRAPHY
 
 
Band Bio
 
     Blaggers I.T.A. are a UK band that last year were being splashed all 
    over the pages of the British music press, being an anti-fascist band before  
    the cause was a compulsory fashion statement. They now release their  
    major-label debut, an album which outperforms their debut and stands  
    favorably alongside any of the other Brit-pop albums that have been raved  
    about this year, and, yet, barely a whisper is heard. Why is this ? 
      
            Well, at the height of the hype, an after-show discussion over a few 
    drinks between lead Blagger Matty and a Melody Maker journalist ended up with 
    the journalist receiving a kicking after making several disparaging comments 
    to Matty's face. The resultant furor has resulted in the band being given an 
    unofficial cold shoulder. 
      
            Now, I am in no way saying that what Matty did was admirable, but the 
    hypocrisy displayed in crucifying a band for displaying the same tendencies 
    they seem only too happy to encourage in Oasis, and an act of violence they 
    would have cheered from the roof-tops had it been perpetrated against an 
    insulting *tabloid* journalist rather than 'one of them', is laughable. Seems 
    you can talk about how hard you are till the cows come home as long as you 
    don't actually *do* anything. 
      
            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 are like all your favourite current Brit-Pop bands 
    rolled into one (which is what makes the press snub all the more apparent) - 
    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. 
      
            Sure, its not all perfect. Its often all too easy for the message to 
    get lost in Matty's sneer and snarl and co-hort Christy's speed-fire rap but 
    the adrenaline rush makes up for this.  
      
            The music borrows freely from other sources, but the samples and vocals 
    give the album an unmistakeable identity of its own. Everything from the 
    90-mph ram-raid of "Stresss" with its 70s-cop-show trumpets to the mid-pace 
    soaring guitar-pop of "Hate Generator" reeks of something that, under normal 
    circumstances, the UK press would be getting excited about. 
      
            In the absence of that support then.....the hype starts here. 
    - Martin Bate -- Consumable
 
 
  
 
 

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"> 
" width=468 height=60>
 
HEAR OR BUY THE MUSIC
 
 
    • It is possible to hear the following cd's/songs by choosing from the links listed below. 
    • You can also purchase discounted cd's, tapes, vynyl, and videos from the same secure site.
           
    CD'S
    LINKS NOT WIRED FOR SOUND YET
          SONGS
REVIEW: Blaggers I.T.A. _Bad Karma_ (Parlophone) 

        Blaggers I.T.A. are a UK band that last year were being splashed all 
over the pages of the British music press, being an anti-fascist band before  
the cause was a compulsory fashion statement. They now release their  
major-label debut, an album which outperforms their debut and stands  
favorably alongside any of the other Brit-pop albums that have been raved  
about this year, and, yet, barely a whisper is heard. Why is this ? 
  
        Well, at the height of the hype, an after-show discussion over a few 
drinks between lead Blagger Matty and a Melody Maker journalist ended up with 
the journalist receiving a kicking after making several disparaging comments 
to Matty's face. The resultant furor has resulted in the band being given an 
unofficial cold shoulder. 
  
        Now, I am in no way saying that what Matty did was admirable, but the 
hypocrisy displayed in crucifying a band for displaying the same tendencies 
they seem only too happy to encourage in Oasis, and an act of violence they 
would have cheered from the roof-tops had it been perpetrated against an 
insulting *tabloid* journalist rather than 'one of them', is laughable. Seems 
you can talk about how hard you are till the cows come home as long as you 
don't actually *do* anything. 
  
        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 are like all your favourite current Brit-Pop bands 
rolled into one (which is what makes the press snub all the more apparent) - 
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. 
  
        Sure, its not all perfect. Its often all too easy for the message to 
get lost in Matty's sneer and snarl and co-hort Christy's speed-fire rap but 
the adrenaline rush makes up for this.  
  
        The music borrows freely from other sources, but the samples and vocals 
give the album an unmistakeable identity of its own. Everything from the 
90-mph ram-raid of "Stresss" with its 70s-cop-show trumpets to the mid-pace 
soaring guitar-pop of "Hate Generator" reeks of something that, under normal 
circumstances, the UK press would be getting excited about. 
  
        In the absence of that support then.....the hype starts here. 
- Martin Bate -- Consumable

 
 
 
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