Monday, 3 October 2016

War's No Fairytale, Guns and Bombs aren't Fucking Toys!

Like so many people, I have plenty of arguments about punk. Recently, I’ve managed to get two of them off my chest. The first is that, in the UK at least, the commercial zenith of punk happened in 1979, rather than in the fetishised years of 1976-78. I made this point in my Popular Music and Society article about being a school kid in that peak year. The second is that, when it comes to the punk diaspora, the greatest legacy has not come from the leading British bands of the late 1970s, or from the CBGB’s punk of seventies New York. The continuing punk lifestyle and ethos instead owes more to anarcho punk bands, such as Crass and Flux of Pink Indians, who arose to prominence in the UK in the early 1980s, and hardcore American punk bands, such as Black Flag and Minor Threat, who first recorded slightly later. I arrive at this point in my review of the Subcultures Network’ book Fight Back: Punk, Politics and Resistance, which is in the latest edition of Popular Music. The title of this book also gave me an opportunity to reference the great Stoke-on-Trent punk band, Discharge. Altogether now: ‘We’ve been shit on far too long. Fight the system, fight back!’

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