The Business

The Business



The Business are an English Oi!/punk rock band formed in 1979 in Lewisham, South London. The band was formed in 1979 by school friends Steve Kent (guitar), Micky Fitz (vocals), Nick Cunningham (drums) and Martin Smith (bass).

They played their first gig in front of friends in February 1980, and after taking on Lol Pryor as manager, began performing more often.

The band’s first release was the song Out in the Cold on the A Sudden Surge of Sound compilation album.They played their first Oi! concert in 1981, supporting The 4-Skins, and they became closely associated with the Oi! scene from then on.

While the Oi! movement was labelled as far right and racist, The Business took a stance against political extremism with their “Oi Against Racism and Political Extremism …But Still Against The System” tour.

In November 1981, they released their debut single, Harry May, which spent over three months in the UK Indie Chart, reaching #13.

The initial line-up split up in late 1981, with Kent, Cunningham, and Smith forming Q-Bow, but Fitz carried on with Pryor, recruiting Graham Ball on guitar, Mark Brennan and Steve Whale from The Blackout, and John Fisher on drums.

The new line-up made their live debut in January 1982, after which Ball and Fisher departed, leaving the band as a four-piece, with Kev Boyce of The Blackout on drums. The new line-up recorded the Smash the Discos EP, which was a #3 indie hit, and after a short tour, they recorded their debut album, which was to be called Loud, Proud, and Punk. The master tapes for the album went missing after disagreements between the band’s label and the studio, forcing them to re-record the album, which was released as Suburban Rebels in May 1983. The album was remixed by their label, Secret, without them knowing, and Secret’s financial difficulties limited promotion of the album. Frustrated by this, the band split up, with The Business members forming short-lived bands Chapter and Sabre Dance. Pryor issued a retrospective album consisting of demos and live tracks on his Syndicate label, the success of which prompted the band to reform and record a what was to be marketed as a live album, Loud, Proud, and Punk. It was actually recorded in a studio, with crowd noise dubbed in later. Pryor renamed his record label Wonderful World and issued several Business albums in late 1985, with the Drinking and Driving tour following. The name of the tour caused controversy, with tabloid journalists accusing the band of condoning drunk-driving, although the title was tongue-in-cheek.

In late 1986, Brennan and Pryor founded Link Records, and with Brennan becoming increasingly busy running the label, the band split up again.

In 1992, Fitz performed a few songs guesting with The Elite and he reformed the band to play a benefit concert for Bobby Moore, who had recently died of cancer. Brennan later started a new record label, Captain Oi! Records and did not join the reformed band. The band’s line-up then became Micky Fitz (singer), Steve Whale (guitar), Lol Proctor (bass) and Micky Fairbairn (drums). The band released a new single Anywhere But Here and new album Keep The Faith in 1994.

After a number of tours in Western Europe, the band played their first gigs in America in August 1994. In 1997 The Business released The Truth, The Whole Truth and Nothing But The Truth (which was produced by Lars Frederiksen from Rancid). Despite various line up changes, the band’s popularity continues to grow today with regular tours of America, West Europe, Australia and the Far East.


Official Productions


Suburban Rebels (1983) Secret Records

1980-81 – Official Bootleg (1983) Syndicate #17

Loud, Proud & Punk – Live) (1984) Syndicate #22

Saturday’s Heroes (1985) Harry May

Welcome To The Real World (1988) Link

In and Out of Business (1990) Link (mail-order only, reissued on CD 1998 by Mog)

Keep The Faith (1994) Century Media

The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth (1997) Taang!

No Mercy For You (2001) Burning Heart

Under The Influence (2003) Rhythm Vicar

Hardcore Hooligan (2003) Burning Heart

Doing The Business (2010) Sailor’s Grave



“Harry May” (1981) Secret #13

“Smash the Discos EP” (1982) Secret #3

“Out of Business” (1983) Secret (withdrawn)

“Get Out of My House” (1985) Wonderful World

“Drinking and Driving” (1985) Diamond #27

“Do a Runner” (1988) Link

“Anywhere But Here” (1994) Walzwerk

“Death II Dance” (1996) Taang!

“One Common Voice” (1997) Taang!

“Hell 2 Pay” (2002) TKO

“Mean Girl EP” (2008) Bad Dog


Compilations/Live albums

Back To Back (1985) Wonderful World

Back To Back Volume 2 (1985) Wonderful World

Singalongabusiness (1986) Dojo

Live & Loud (1989) Link

The Business 1979-1989 (1991) Blackout

The Best of The Business: 28 Classic Oi Anthems… (1992) Link

The Complete Business Singles Collection (1995) Anagram

Harry May – The Singles Collection (1996) Taang!

Loud, Proud and Oi! (1996) Dojo

Harry May – The Singles Collection (1996) Taang!

The Business Live (1998) Pinhead


Live Albums and Bootlegs



Mob Mentality (2000) Taang! (split with Dropkick Murphys)



A Sudden Surge of Sound LP (1980) VU

Carry On Oi! LP (1981) Secret

Oi! Oi! That’s Yer Lot! LP (1982) Secret

The Scret Life Of Punks LP (1982) Secret

Burning Ambitions: A History Of Punk 2 X LP (1982) Cherry Red

UK/DK LP (1982) Anagram

Defiant Pose LP (1983) Illegal

Son Of Oi! LP (1984) Syndicate

Oi! The Resurrection LP (1987) Link

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 1 LP (1987) Link

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 2 LP (1987) Link

The Sound Of Oi! (1987) Link

Oi!..The Picture Disc LP (1987) Link

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 2 LP (1987) Link

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 3 LP (1988) Link

Oi!..The Picture Disc Volume 2 LP (1988) Link

Oi!..That’s What I Call Music LP (1988) Link

Oi!..The Main Event LP (1988) Link

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 4 LP (1988) Link

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 5 LP (1989) Link

Pop Oi! LP (1989) Link

Oi! Chartbusters Volume 6 LP (1990) Link

Punk On The Road LP (1990) Skunx

The Oddities Of Oi! LP (1991) Link

Heroes And Villans LP (1996) Step-1

Oi! It’s A World League LP (1193) Havin’ a Laugh

Nobody’s Heroes (1993) Castle Communications

The Punk Generation (1993) Castle Communications

The Voice Of The Street (1995) Pub City Royal

Kill Your Radio (IRS, 1995)

The Punk Rockers (Castle Communications, 1995)

The Best Of Oi! LP (1996) Dojo

Secret Records – The Punk Singles Collection Volume 1 LP (1996) Captain Oi!

Punk & Nasty (1996) Emporio

Real Punk – The Nasty Years (1996) Cleopatra

England’s Glory (1996) Cherry Red

Punk Crazy (1996) Castle Pulse

Anarchy From The UK – Volume 1 (1996) Dojo

Secret Records – The Punk Singles Collection Volume 2 LP (1996) Captain Oi!

The Great British Punk Rock Explosion LP (1996) Dojo

Trouble On The Terraces LP (1996) Step-1

The Best Of Oi! LP (1996) Dojo

Heroes And Villans LP (1996) Step-1

Punk & Disorderly LP (1996) Step-1

Tribute To The Smiths (1996) Too Damn Hype

Forever Blowing Bubbles (1996) Cherry Red

Punk Power (1996) Emporio

On The Streets (1997) We Bite

Give ‘Em The Boot (1997) Hellcat

Oi! The Tine (1997) Harry May

Box Or be Boxed (1997) Lonsdale

Down To Margate (1997) Harry May

100% British Oi! (1998) Captain Oi!

Cheap Shots III (1998) Burning Heart

Lords Of Oi! (1998) Dressed To Kill

Live Hate (1998) Music Collection

The World Of Football – The Good, The Bad and the Ugly Of World Football (1998) Charlton

Scene Killer Volume 1 (1998) Outsider

Around The World In 80 Minutes (1999) Rotten

The Greatest Punk Of All Time (1999) Dressed To Kill

Punk (1999) Pegasus

Oi! This Is England (2000) Dressed To Kill

Cheap Shots IV (2000) Burning Heart

The Worldwide Tribute To Real Oi! (2000) I Scream

Spirit Of The Street (2000) Burning Heart

Complete Burning Ambitions – A History Of Punk (2001) Cleopatra

Punk-O-Rama 6 (2001) Epitaph

Cheap Shots V (2001) Burning Heart

Cash From Chaos – Complete Punk Collection (2001) EMI

Without Warning – It’s Punch Drunk IV (2002) TKO

Addicted To Oi! (2002) Captain Oi!

Riot (2003) Hepcat

The Kings Of Street Punk (2007) G&R

Doing The Business(2010) STD


Track Lists