The Cockney Rejects, Mick and Jeff Geggus, are the stars of a feature length documentary, ‘East End Babylon’, which will be shown at Cardiff Odeon on 8 November. I caught up with Mick last week for a quick chat; after a tough and well documented life in the East End of London, his dream is to relocate to Dorset and have his own garden.
“I still live in a Tower Block in the East End at the moment but at least twice a year I get over to the West Country for a holiday. I love it there. Being in a band, I have seen the World and sights like the Grand Canyon and West Pacific Highway but the little villages in Devon and Dorset and places like Lulworth Cove are just so beautiful. I know we always moan about the weather in this country but it’s what keeps us green and it’s a green unlike any other. I also love the sea. I used to be a commercial diver, which isn’t as grand as it sounds; we were usually diving in an old quarry to raise dumped cars. It was no James Bond.” he laughs.
Famous in the 70’s and 80’s for ‘inspiring a generation’, the Cockney Rejects have found a new fanbase since 2000. “We’ve been back on the road for 13 years and it’s going from strength to strength.” Mick explains, “We were special guests at a Stone Roses Show in London recently, alongside Bradley Wiggins, Jessica Ennis and Jimmy Page which was great.”
The Geggus brothers are also launching a new album, also called East End Babylon, to coincide with the film, as well as confirming Tour dates for next year. Despite a hectic time ahead, Mick obviously appreciates the quiet times too, as he explains “I love unspoilt areas; 25 years ago I loved Sharma El Sheikh in Egypt, it was just a row of tents but now it’s all commercial especially with divers. There aint no place like home really. Obviously the East End a densely populated area but I get out on my pushbike everyday and my fiancee and I grow our own herbs at the flat as I love to cook. I’m a dab hand at Asian cuisine. Cooking and gardening – I’m all for the simple life now.” he laughs “My dream is to move to Dorset and have a garden to grow my own veg. I’ve done all the Inner City stuff, I’m over 50, in my autumn years and really want to have a garden. I’m determined to do it.”
Mick also loves Wales. “We recorded our 2nd album in 1980 at Rockfield Studios in Monmouth; that’s another beautiful place. We love touring Wales too, we’re always really well received there. We are sorting out Tour dates at the moment and will be coming to Wales for sure. The crowds are always well behaved and of course, they’re legendary singers, which is great at a gig.”
Find out more about the Cockney Rejects at www.cockneyrejects.com.