1978

Early in 1978 Ian was at the Fairport Convention concert and got involved in a fight with bouncers and received a beating, requiring some thirty-two stitches in a back wound. The band soon after made their first European gig in Paris headlining at the Gibbs Club in Paris. With Chiswick still telling Ian that they would get nowhere as a skinhead band and the music journalists wanting Ian to make a statement distancing the band from their skinhead following, by late 1978, Chiswick Records asked the lads to change their image and sent them to a farm in Peterborough to prepare for a new LP. On their return the band had a big row with the management and told Ted Carroll to fuck off. The management at Chiswick didn’t like the way Skrewdriver wouldn’t bow down to the media and denounce the racist skinheads supporters the band were attracting. Faced with nowhere to play, and unable to get a new recording contract, the pressure took its toll and Skrewdriver split. On July 14, 1978, the Albany’s theatre, then called Albany Empire in Deptford was destroyed by fire the cause of which has never been established. But after hosting over 15 Rock Against Racism concerts the figure of blame was pointed at NF-sympathisers.