The UK disco boom started in the mid 70's, and continued through the early 80's. The London UK premier for Saturday Night Fever was on January 1st 1978. The US release was in December 1977. The dress style was particularly annoying as mainstream UK nightclubs were scattered with twits wearing powder blue suits, dodgy shirt collars, gold medallions and leather dancing shoes. I was attending Chester college at the time and guys in my class were getting their hair permed. Disco fever peaked at the end of 1977, with the release of the movie soundtrack. As Brits started to hear stories of the wild nights at Studio 54 in New York City they took the bait, hook line and sinker. Ten of the 17 songs from the soundtrack would become hits, with seven #1 hits.
In contrast the punk rockers were rock and rollers wearing leather jackets, tee shirts [often ripped or with written slogans] narrow pants or jeans, with DM's or creepers and sometimes bleached or died black hair. The London designers did their best to cash in with different ideas but we had no money, and thrift stores and jumble sales were cheap. The whole piercing, mohawk and Ronald McDonald hair coloring thing, did not occur until later, toward 1980.
Why Control's punk protest was to take all of our sound equipment out onto the Street. The street ran adjacent to the cinema. Hundreds of people were queued up to watch Saturday Night Fever that evening. The line was four people deep, and around the block as they were standing in the drizzle close to our practice room. We plugged everything in, and the sound blew down the street like a tornado. Cookie was thrashing about with power and fury, creating the most intense high energy rock & snarl monster these poor disco ducks had ever seen.
Above "Why Control's" practice room Bath Street Chester
An Indian waiter and a cab driver stopped to see what was going on. They were both laughing and stayed to listen, but everyone in the queue looked shit scared. After a while a cop arrived. Surprisingly he was polite and simply asked us to stop and take the equipment back inside. This was an interesting time for the UK, the SUS rule was still used extensively, and to spend a night in-side would almost guarantee getting rolled by the scuffers.
Maybe we made a difference that day. I think that Joe Strummer would have approved....