Saturday, 2 August 2008

The spirit of 76

I’ve been listening to Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s play ‘This is the modern world’ on Radio 4. It’s part of a themed series called ‘One chord wonders’ about a punk reunion (‘band reunions are totally against the spirit of 76. Let’s have an audience reunion...’).

There was a lot to like in this. The soundtrack was great: the records were the ones that we were really listening to, not the ones that people think we were listening to. And the modern-day rant against the Police was spot-on. Thirty years on, I can't help agreeing that violence in the face of the Police, the Stranglers, and ‘Anarchy’ T shirts is a perfectly valid response.

But if you read George Melly’s ‘Revolt into Style’ you’d realise these things were inevitable. (I still remember the day when my fashion-victim friend got rid of her Purdy cut and went to Miss Selfridge’s for a punk outfit.)

I also liked Frank Cottrell-Boyce’s article about writing the series, in which he says:
When I'm talking to my mates, we still try to figure out whether things are punk or not before approving of them.
He gives some examples: growing your own vegetables is punk; mobile phones are not punk.
Here’s my list. Supermarkets: not punk. Farmers’ markets: punk. Cars: not punk. Bicycles: punk. Blogging: punk. Facebook: not punk. Folk music: punk. Guitar bands (especially those who copy the music of thirty years ago): not punk. Living for the moment: punk. Nostalgia: not punk, ever.

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