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Plan B Photographed In Skrewdriver T Shirt
The Quietus , July 22nd, 2012 05:18

Has Ill Manors rapper had an attack of the Morrisseys?

As reported on Brian Whelan's excellent blog recently, UK rapper/neo-soul star Plan B was photographed last week wearing a T shirt bearing the band name Skrewdriver.

The picture was taken from the front cover of popular free title, Shortlist which has a circulation of over half a million copies a week.

The The Defamation Of Strickland Banks star was giving an interview to promote his new album and film (both called Ill Manors). The photoshoot took place immediately on his arrival at the studio, but it isn't made clear if the clothes belong to the rapper or were given to him by a stylist.

The T shirt appears to bear a picture of Nicky Crane, a violent Nazi skin who provided security for Skrewdriver and served several jail terms for racist assaults. Donaldson and Crane both fell out when the latter came out as gay towards the end of his life.

For many, the white power, bonehead band Skrewdriver represented the absolute nadir of popular music's interaction with the Fascist movement, given that their message was evangelical, unironic, violent, radical and, to a certain degree, popular. That singer Ian Stuart Donaldson died in a car crash in 1992, did nothing to hurt their standing worldwide among neo-Nazis.

The band however started as a non-politically aligned punk group in 1976 signed to Chiswick, and this incarnation of the group still has many fans internationally including J Mascis and Pink Eyes from Fucked Up. (Pink Eyes, aka Damian from Fucked Up, delivered a righteous screed on the subject of being a fan of the band's early recordings on the Guardian which is worth checking out.)

The interview with Benjamin Paul Ballance-Drew aka Plan B is still viewable on the Shortlist website where you can clearly see he is wearing the neo-Nazi band top.

It seems highly unlikely that Plan B has accidentally revealed himself to be - or indeed is - a Nazi especially given his recent, left leaning and nuanced 'Ill Manors' single but it is ironic and doesn't help him any that during the interview he praises Tim Roth's acting in Made In Britain, Alan Clarke's 1982 film about racist skinheads.

He was asked: "Do you look at actors such as Winstone, Gary Oldman and Tim Roth and think, 'I’d like to be at that level in 20 years'?"

And replied: "Oh mate, Tim Roth in Made In Britain – f*cking amazing. In 20 years, I’d love to be at the level they’re at, but it depends how I look. Some people don’t age well for films. They lose that spark. Oldman’s still got it, Ray’s still got it. It all depends on what fate’s got in store for me."