Oi Polloi are a punk rock band from Scotland that formed around 1981. Starting as an Oi! band, they are now generally more associated with the anarcho-punk genre. The band has become notable for their contributions to the Scottish Gaelic punk subgenre. The name probably comes from the Greek expression "Οι πολλοί" and it is a pun on the phrase hoi polloi meaning "the masses" or "the common people".
The band has gone through about 50 members since their formation, and their only permanent member has been vocalist Deek Allen, who has also been involved in Gaelic-language television. The band has included punks and skinheads. The members have been supporters of Anti-Fascist Action and Earth First!, and they use the motto "No Compromise in Defence of Our Earth," which is an adaptation of Earth First!'s motto. They support direct action in defence of the environment, hunt sabotage and resistance against racism, sexism, homophobia, fascism and imperialism.
After gigs in the Edinburgh area and the recording of the band's self-recorded first cassette demo, Last of the Mohicans, drummer Stu "Doccy" Dunn left to become a karate instructor. A second studio demo, Green Anarchoi and their first vinyl EP, Resist the Atomic Menace, followed.
Oi Polloi started singing in Scottish Gaelic in 1996, recording the Carson? EP, (2003), then recording and releasing the full-length LP Ar Ceòl Ar Cànan Ar-A-Mach in 2006. The band members also use Scottish Gaelic in day-to-day communications.
In 2013, they collaborated with CLÀR, a Scottish Gaelic publisher, to launch Air Cuan Dubh Drilseach, a Gaelic science fiction novel by Tim Armstrong, the singer of Mill a h-Uile Rud, at events at Elvis Shakespeare on Leith Walk and on The Cruz Boat at the shore in Leith. The gig at Elvis Shakespeare happened at the same time as Hibernian F.C. played a 3-3 draw against St. Mirren F.C., an event which diverted police resources away from the punk rock street celebration, proving a significant landmark in Gaelic culture.