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article imageReview: Welcome to 'Punk Britannia' Special

By Alexander Baron     Jun 9, 2012 in Entertainment
The BBC is currently screening a short documentary series called 'Punk Britannia' which traces the development of this 1970s music genre.
The first part of this BBC4 series is called Punk Britannia - 1. Pre-Punk 1972-1976, and features interviews with many of the major players, including music journalists, one of whom, Caroline Coon, is attributed as the first person to use the term punk music, and making Johnny Rotten king of the new genre. It was not though, surprisingly, London or even UK bands that were responsible for the rise of punk in the first instance.
The programme dates its origin to an American group that visited London, Eggs Over Easy, who had anything but a punk sound. They played in London public houses, and this led to the creation of the London pub circuit where bands played to small, intimate audiences at venues like the Hope & Anchor in Islington.
Kilburn And The High Roads met at the Canterbury College of Art; they were fronted by Ian Dury (who died in March 2000); Dury was wearing a razor blade in his ear years before the punk movement took off. Adam Ant said the song Rough Kids (which Dury co-wrote) was one of the first punk sounds and “very London”.
The film American Grafitti was said to have been very influential in the development of the scene. Two bands that came up from Canvey Island - Dr Feelgood and Eddie & The Hot Rods - were two of the biggest names at the time.
Adam Ant added there would have been no punk without glam rock. There is a lot more here including how about Malcolm McLaren decided to create a UK version of the New York Dolls, which was of course the Sex Pistols up to what is said to be the first punk single ever released in Britain, or in effect anywhere, New Rose by The Damned. It was though and remains the Sex Pistols more than any other band whose name is associated with punk, most especially its and their raw power.
Currently, the man from SongFacts has 9 Sex Pistols songs in his database, including of course God Save The Queen.
More about punk music, caroline coon, Sex pistols, johnny rotten, john lydon
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