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. 

I didn’t realise my copy of Echo & The Bunnymen’s debut single, The Pictures On My Wall, was one of a limited edition of 4,000. I bought it in May 1979 and a few months later I went to see them for the first time at the Electric Ballroom in Camden. (more…)

Wah! Heat – Better Scream

12th September 2022 · 1970s, 1979, Music, Punk

Late-seventies Liverpool again… and one of my favourite singles of all time. Pete Wylie might not have had the public acclaim of his erstwhile bandmates Ian McCulloch and Julian Cope but he was arguably the most talented of a supremely talented trio. He certainly thought so. (more…)

Liverpool had never loomed large in my musical education. I was never sold on Cilla or Gerry & The Pacemakers or even the big names like, er, The Swinging Blue Jeans. Merseybeat left me cold. Until I heard the Teardops. (more…)

This startling oddity is about as ‘punk’ as it’s possible to get, despite consisting of nothing but a drum and a voice. It’s one of the angriest tirades you’ll ever hear. It still sounds shocking today. (more…)

The Cigarettes came from Lincoln and dressed like mods but played like punks. Well, it worked for The Jam. It didn’t bring as much success for The Cigarettes but they didn’t have the songwriting skills of a Weller. Then again, not many did. (more…)

Joni Mitchell at the peak of her powers with a crack team of jazz musicians, performing live on her Mingus tour in California in 1979. (more…)

Marianne Faithfull made a comeback, a generation after she came to fame in the Sixties, with the powerful Broken English. (more…)


It’s funny to recall how much I hated disco at the time because this is another of those songs that just puts a smile on your face the minute you hear it.


RIP Julz Sale (Delta 5)

23rd October 2021 · 1970s, 1979, Music, Punk

RIP Julz Sale, the singer in proto-feminist post-punk band Delta 5 – a vital part of the soundtrack of my youth.