Revisiting the life and times of Pistols and Clash and their whole ‘scene’ got me thinking about where we are now with it all.
Being punk now in 2022 is starkly different to what it meant to being punk in the 1970s.
Of course, that will come naturally over time as music preferences bend and cultures bend willingly – or willingly – with it.
Arguably one of Britians most recognisable youth tribes, the Punk movement emerged in the 70s with mohawks, safety pins and a load of spunkin’ attitude. A wave-on-wave of definitive action, it brought talking points to not only their punkist scenes but also to the mainstream, embezzling and filtering into the most left-wing of news channels as it couldn’t be ignored about.
More so a direct, nihilist approach simply refusing to be put in tickboxes of our youth, many argue that the punk is all but dead in the modern music we see today.
But I don’t necessarily think so. It’s certainly still out there.
You’ve just got to know where to look. The catharsis of Camden Town nightlife still brings home to those who grew up in the ’70s that the traditional punk spirit still rings true in the ears – especially with the likes of iconic Underworld and Electric Ballroom paving new paths for those traditionalists to follow.
But often, punks keep themselves to themselves, embracing change in their own way – a more abstract way, if you like. Gone are the days of traditional punk escapism, and in its way a more broad-stroke of ideas, an emotive storytelling swinging the line between the highs and lows of modern life. Simply put, there’s a feeling that punk has ultimately grown up.
Take Bristol band, IDLES. Seen as an initial buzz band in the discussion of new post-punk movements we see today, they are known for their distinctively high-brow and high-energy live shows, possessing an angry spirit of a caved-in society allthewhile harking for actual change. Vivid storytellers through their post-punk music, they steep in a modernised approach to punk – as we begin to actually think what more we can do, as opposed to just shouting at the man in the sky. A complex negative as we dive through the many holes of modern life.
Another band badged up within the movement, are Irish-born dark-red Fontaines D.C. A more gloomy and tentative state than our Bristolian counterparts, their damnation of youthful hope charts a difficult understanding of perceived identity and losing yourself.
Other notable mentions driving the same hard-fledged music are shame, Goat Girl and Yard Act.
Of course, we can’t possibly ignore our punk acts from over the pond still ripping up stages in the USA! Any notable mentions?
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