40 years ago punk and anarchy hit the UK 40 years ago punk and anarchy hit the UK; IT'S 40 YEARS SINCE A NEW MUSICAL PHENOMENON CALLED PUNK ARRIVED. LESLEY OLDFIELD RECALLS ANARCHY IN THE UK.
IIT caught a mood and a spirit of rebellion in the 1970s ... but most of all, punk rock was creative and exciting for those involved. And it all began 40 years ago.
Here in the North East it fired the imagination of many teenagers, some of whom formed their own punk bands, including those remembered by the contributors to this amazing gallery of punk fans, visiting stars and fledgling musicians.
Carl Lister, who is now a helideck landing officer offshore, supplied some of the most striking images. He said: "I got into punk at about 11 or 12 years old with Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, and so on.
"I left school in 1983. It was Thatcher's Britain - no jobs, no prospects. Got my Mohican haircut and a bunch of us - the South Shields punks - had a laugh and a great time. Life on the dole was hard, but we still enjoyed ourselves watching bands, like Crass and Conflict. Good times.
"I now work offshore as a Helideck landing officer and I'll be 50 later this year, but I still go to watch punk bands, the next being Sham 69 and the Angelic Upstarts in June."
Fan Keith Newman now presents a radio show on punk and is helping lead a double decker bus tour of North East punk landmarks and venues on bank holiday Monday to mark 40 years of punk music.
Keith said: "I was the singer in The Village Idiots. We only played three gigs. We were on a council-run scheme designed to keep kids off the streets. They gave us instruments and rehearsal space and we had to do something for the community.
"Our first gig was at Prudhoe Hospital and we called ourselves TVI. Our second gig was at a scout hut in Forest Hall for friends and family. The third was at The Garage in Bell's Court, behind Pilgrim Street in Newcastle which was a proper punk venue in an old warehouse.
"We didn't record anything but it was good fun, exactly what punk should have been about. Then I was in a band called Damian. I got a job working for Northern Gas and a bank loan for PS750 and with that I bought my first car, keyboards and an amp. Damian was a sevenpiece band with two backing singers and we all wore black, with black nail varnish. That was 1981. We played very dark and sombre stuff and did 15 gigs across the North East - we were never famous.
"I have really got back into it now and met all my heroes since joining Radio Northumberland five years ago and my show New Wave with Newman.
"It was exciting for a young teenager to be part of something different with punk. It is something I am very proud of. I would love to make a record even now, to do one last gig.
"Back in the 1970s if you tried to get near a punk star you had no chance but now they are playing pubs. And not one punk I have met has been a horrible person - they have all been really lovely people. It was just totally new at the time and people are frightened by new things. There were a lot of people who took it very seriously but for most people it was another source of music and a chance to rebel."
Artist Brian Gibson took so many photographs back in 1977 that he started a punk fanzine in Newcastle. The same images, many featured here, are now being used in his artwork and he would love to show it in the city.
He said: "I grew up in West Denton and left in 1984. I was 18 or 19. I was going to see bands before that from about the age of 15 but was never old enough to go places like The Mayfair. Then the punk thing came along.
"I was really into stuff like Bowie and Iggy Pop and my friends liked that kind of music as well but it was a very small group of people who did. I was doing a photography course and the first exciting thing was when T Rex played and The Damned were the support act. Then there was The Clash at Newcastle University and there were loads of kids from housing estates turned up and the students were a bit terrified - but it was all good natured.
"There was a jubilee gig at The Guildhall in Newcastle with Penetration (from Ferryhill, County Durham) and a band called Warsaw who later became Joy Division. Everything just took off really. Me and my schoolfriend John used to do to gigs together and another lad recognised that I had been to gigs and taken photos.
"Talking Heads, Generation X and The Adverts all came to the North East. We started a fanzine called Deviation at Tyneside Free Press which we wrote and collated ourselves. There was lots going on in the Whitley Bay area and then the Angelic Upstarts began in South Shields. There was a venue just past Cullercoats and Siouxsee and the Banshees, and Penetration , played there.
"I had my hair short and wore combat trousers - I never went for the Mohican. I had red boots and was going into secondhand shops looking for clothes and getting a shirt and painting it and putting badges on it. It was very creative. Everyone was doing something. It was a very, very exciting time because all these people came together - there was a big scene in Washington and in Jesmond it was more hippyish, then skinheads from Scotswood were getting into stuff and all these tribal things merged together. It was very interesting and very exciting."
If anyone would like to help Brian bring his art to the region, see the contact page at briangibson. yolasite.com If you would like to join Keith's bus tour, which includes a state of the art sound system for classic punk and new wave songs that relate to the stories being told, tickets are PS5 from Julie Clay on 0191 253 1618. Or see www.
tyneidols.com/events where it is advertised as: "Sort of like anarchy, but nice."
| We would love to add more photographs to the gallery, so please send in to firstname.lastname@example.org including your name and area, and any special memory you would like to share.
in by Carl Lister of South Shields
Brian Gibson North Shields punk group Speed. Photo by
Ramones City Hall gig in December, 1977. Photo by Brian Gibson
of punk band Penetration in 1977. Photo by Brian Gibson
Punk band Conflict
Keith Newman the mic,
next to Listen record shop -Baz Jon Scott." Photo Brian Gibson
Photo sent in Carl Lister of South Shields