Cockney Rejects @ Exit Festival 2018, Novi Sad, Serbia

Words: Miljan Milekić

At this very moment, as I’m writing this, Lukaku just scored against England at the FIFA World Cup. And I just realized I’m kinda sorry that happened. Nine out of ten times I would root for this Belgian team, but after last night, I somehow tend to be on the side of team England. And Cockney Rejects have everything to do with it.

Although I grew up in Novi Sad, the town that is strongly associated with the oi! punk culture, and especially Cockney Rejects, this was my first time seeing them. Back in 2010, they played the To Be Punk Festival, but I was young and stupid and left the show after just one song. The reason – well, I was young and stupid. In 2014 they played the Exit Festival, but I was working and had to be somewhere else. This time, there wasn’t a chance I’d miss it.

Ever since the start, it was clear this would be a memorable show. The band was in the mood, the crowd was ready to cause mayhem. It didn’t take long before everyone went crazy. The football jerseys and scarfs of West Ham United occupied the first rows, while ‘We Are The Firm’ saw the first Bengal torch. Mosh pits also didn’t take long to happen, but it was amazing to see the old punks taking care of the younger ones, continuing the tradition.

Speaking of, the majority of the crowd was in their thirties and forties, but the age span was one of the biggest I saw in years. Different generations singing as one, greeting the legendary band. On the other hand, Cockney Rejects didn’t lose any time. Killing it from the very beginning, delivering hit after hit, they owned the stage. On the stage, they looked like they were twenty and not fifty years old, while Jeff Turner was all around the place, turning it into his own boxing ring. Oh, and should I mention the chaos ‘I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles,’ and ‘Oi, Oi, Oi!’ caused?


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