PragVEC – Existential

4th October 2022 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

Looking back from more than half a century later, it’s astonishing how rapidly the primitive pounding of punk evolved into the questing experimentalism of postpunk. PragVEC were one of the first to embrace the avant-garde.

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Spizzoil – 6,000 Crazy

1st October 2022 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

Of all the oddballs produced by punk (and there were many), one of the oddest was Kenneth Spiers – universally known as Spizz. He’s best known (if at all) for his habit of constantly changing the name of his band – always using ‘Spizz’ somewhere – over the course of his long career.

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The Mekons – Where Were You?

29th September 2022 · 1970s, 1978, Music, Punk

The Mekons were one of the quintessential punk groups, coming out of art school in Leeds in 1976 – the same scene that spawned Gang Of Four and Delta 5. Where Were You? – a minimalist masterpiece of bare-bones punk rock – remains one of the defining songs of the era. (more…)

The more I delve into the vaults of vintage soul, the more previously unheard gems I unearth. I guess that goes without saying. Like this classic example, a tune that’s better than many of the similar soul singles that packed the charts in the Sixties and Seventies.

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Pere Ubu came out of Cleveland in the mid-Seventies with an abrasive avant-garde sound unlike anyone before or since. This was their remarkable debut.

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Cabaret Voltaire were England’s answer to Suicide, and a key component in the development of industrial and dance music.

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Suicide – Rocket U.S.A.

25th September 2022 · 1970s, 1976, Music, Punk

I love Suicide. They were punks before punk and their debut album is the template for nearly all the electronica to emerge since its release in 1977. This is their first release – the version of Rocket U.S.A. that appeared on the Live At Max’s compilation the year before. And this is the article I wrote for The Quietus when Alan Vega died in 2016:

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Not even hardcore punks from the Class of ’77 are likely to remember Kleenex – Switzerland’s solitary contribution to punk. Or their two singles on Rough Trade that went on to inspire the Riot Grrrl movement.

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Fanny – Hey Bulldog

17th September 2022 · 1970s, 1971, Music

You can imagine how hilarious it was when I was a schoolboy to discover there was a rock group called Fanny. Adding to the overall hilarity, they were GIRLS. (more…)

It’s easy to forget what a rarity an all-female band was back in the mid-to-late 1970s. All we had was The Slits… until The Raincoats came along.