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Having spent most of my teenage evenings on licensed premises, I was intrigued to see BBC4’s programme on pub rock and its influence on Punk Britannia. Since this also seemed to take in the New York Dolls, who certainly never bought me a pint at the (non-rockin’) Prince Of Wales in Lea Bridge Road, Clapton (although the great Jimmy McCulloch memorably did), I must admit I found it hard to work out who begat whom. Eggs Over Easy fathers of punk? Yeh, sure. I saw Ducks Deluxe, Bees Make Honey and Brinsley Schwartz on the same bill and it was only the Ducks that seemed to give a quack. The Kilburns were a laff but a terrible mess. Dr Feelgood were fantastic, as were Eddie & The Hotrods, and while both peaked too briefly, the TV show at least knew they had their part to play. I interviewed Lee Brilleaux long after The Feelgoods meant anything, and he played down his band’s contribution to punk and rock in general. “You don’t want to hear an old man ******* off,” he harrumphed wryly. I do fear that most of the young people who might have been sad enough to be in on the evening the show was screened might have wondered what all the fuss was about: who were all these old men, erm, pleasuring themselves?
The programme on TV Smith, We Who Wait, was much better, perhaps because it only had one subject to focus on. Smith’s band, The Adverts, was one of the most interesting of the era, and the singer came across as almost a heroic figure flying in the face of the mainstream – not that it is ever really wise to consider musicians as heroes when you think what some other unsung people do on a daily basis. Didn’t someone once advise us to worship No More Heroes? Anyway, glad to see the punk progs on telly. I await the documentaries about jazz-funk – the other UK youth cult of the era – with little expectation… Anyone know where I can get an authentic 70s Ford Capri-style ‘honk if you funk’ car sticker?
Grafting away on the next issue of the mag this week; in tribute to the upcoming Euros it’s a kind of a cross-continental issue, with Blur and Vince Eager representing England; Can and Bear Family from Germany; from Ireland, Radiators From Space; and from America, but loved all over Europe, Willy DeVille. We were going to include Franz Ferdinand, but they were left at home for controversial political reasons…
Hope you have a good week,
Thank you for reading,