Is Punk dead?

Punk.  Ok, What’ve you got? New Rose.  Break it Up.  Anarchy in the UK.  Rip Her To Shreds?!?!?!  Burn Stuff.  Are the Kids still Alright??  Ian Dury.  Slight and meagre recollections of a weekend Broadsheet journo characterising Dury and his ascent, rising up through a sick childhood and the drag of Polio to become the figure we know and love today.

I remember asking mother as a young child, “Mum, what is grunge?” to which she responded, “Errm, it’s a bit like American punk.

Last night, blurred on a bump I saw Shonen Knife play at the Scala, Kings Cross where I had never been before. 

Beforehand, we just about managed to sink two ales amid scenes of some ghastly new paving and road markings in one of the sunnier spots of Islington’s Georgian quarter.  Filthy McNasty.  A quaint crowd at the bar.  Then Mary turned up, asking nicely if anyone got a cigarette.  The young barman comes out to shoo her away, recounting nights when she took to screaming at the man who wouldn’t give her a smoke.  Mental Illness really gets peoples’ backs up.

Dark room.  Support band, rocking out and a room full of Nirvana fans, skins, musos and trendy students just about manage to bob heads.  Furious blasts of punk energy emanate from the stage and yet barely a ripple of it flows through to the audience.  As every song draws to a close, the crowd claps.  A polite applause.

Shonen Knife.  Storm the show.  They make happy punk and I can still recall some of the tunes.  I like them, I really do.  But I did get thinking, were the people really clapping after ever song in a Sex Pistols set?  Is that how it worked then, cause I doubt it.  It’s like there’s so little left to be really angry about that the spectacle, nay spectre of punk rock leaves even the most ardent fan treating a live set like it’s a fucking folk gig.  Tories installed in a coalition with the Liberals at Numero 10 and there is no mob.  The youth are already tired and bored after a long day spent hard at work…

Listen, I’m sure I can listen to the Exploited or any one of them bands that sell more badges than albums.  Oops.  But really, Punk?  I was never that much of a fan.  Would much rather listen to this lot…


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One response to “Is Punk dead?

  1. Ummmm…. ok……… So , did you like Shonen Knife’s concert, or not?? (I really can’t get a read on it)
    ps, after being a rabid fan of SK since 1997 , I finally saw them in concert last week and, I had the greatest time in my life, after 30 years of recording, the Knife are not only still around, but, better than ever!

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