Teenage Punk Rockers

This site explores the punk culture as it was in 1977 England. We were teenage punk rockers that wrote a fanzine and formed a garage band.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Why Control 1977; Top 40 Singles Chart

The Sex Pistols played their last UK date on Christmas Day 1977, and below is a listing of the music that the radio stations were playing at the time. Even Bob Geldof had moved into mainstream an denied his roots to make money. "Mary of the 4th form", what was that? Later he would participate in "Live Aid" and request the tapes to be destroyed, and then 20 years later used his own company to repackage and sell the event.

Week Ending 31st December 1977

1 Wings; Mull Of Kintyre / Girl's School
2 Brighouse And Rastrick Brass Band; The Floral Dance
3 Bee Gees; How Deep Is Your Love
4 Ruby Winters; I Will
5 Bing Crosby ; White Christmas
6 Donna Summer; Love's Unkind
7 Bonnie Tyler ; It's A Heartache
8 Darts ; Daddy Cool
9 Jonathan Richman; Egyptian Reggae
10 Hot Chocolate ; Put Your Love In Me
11 Boney M ; Belfast
12 Showaddywaddy; Dancin' Party
13 Dooleys ; Love Of My Life
14 Elvis Presley; My Way
15 Elvis Costello ; Watching The Detectives

Amazing footage from Eric's Liverpool October 1977

16 Boomtown Rats; Mary Of The Fourth Form
17 David Soul ; Let's Have A Quiet Night In
18 Crystal Gayle; Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue
19 Chic ; Dance Dance Dance
20 E.L.O.; Turn To Stone
21 Yannis Markopoulos; Who Pays The Ferryman
22 Queen ; We Are The Champions / We Will Rock You
23 Dooley Wilson; As Time Goes By
24 Julie Covington; Only Women Bleed
25 Status Quo ; Rockin' All Over The World
26 Donna Summer; I Love You
27 Muppets ; Don't Dilly Dally / Waiting At The Church
28 Bob Marley; Jamming / Punky Reggae Party
29 John Otway & Wild Willy Barrett; Really Free
30 Diana Ross ; Gettin' Ready For Love
31 Carl Douglas; Run Back
32 Barron Knights; Live In Trouble
33 Boz Scaggs ; Hollywood
34 Althia And Donna; Uptown Top Ranking
35 Abba ; Name Of The Game
36 Banned; Little Girl
37 Santana; She's Not There
38 Baccara ; Yes Sir I Can Boogie
39 Neil Diamond; Desiree
40 Emotions ; I Don't Want To Lose Your

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Why Control 1977; Eric's Friday November 18th 1977

After searching the internet for days, I have confirmed the date that Paul Cook and Steve Jones arrived at Eric's. I had a couple of facts, I remembered that the Buzzcocks were performing at the club on the same night, and the Pistols were in Liverpool promoting their Album at Virgin records.

28th October 1977
The Sex Pistols' debut album, 'Never Mind The Bollocks' is released. It follows hot on the heels of 'Spunk' the bootleg album that features the band's original demos that Malcolm took round all the companies.

Friday, 18 November 1977
The Pistol's first visit today is to Virgin records in Manchester, then it's on to Piccadilly Radio followed by BBC Radio Manchester. On to Liverpool and the Virgin record shop. After this they visit Radio City and BBC Radio Merseyside. During the evening Paul and Steve head over to Eric's 9 Mathew Street, Liverpool to watch The Toilets, The Fall, and The Buzzcocks. Alg and Mart talk to Steve Jones at the bar, Paul spends most of the evening sitting off to one side with a couple of girls. Later Steve throws a beer glass at Pete Shelly as he is performing, but he misses and nobody is hurt.

25th December 1977
The Sex Pistols play an afternoon Christmas Party at Huddersfield's Ivanhoes Club for children of local firemen, laid-off workers and single-parents. 1,000 bottles of pop and a huge cake are supplied by Virgin who also lay on free busses. In the evening the Pistols play the same venue. This would be the last UK performance of the Pistols before their US tour and split.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Bombsite Fanzine 1977; Eric's Cell Division

Above; Eric's Regulars Shani, unknown, Janet, Woody, Daisy
Eric's opened on October 1st 1976 on Mathew St opposite The Cavern Club where The Beatles had played during the 60's. Eric's was more than a club that allowed bands to play in Liverpool. It was a necessary avenue for youth energy during a period of regional depression and devastating unemployment. It was a place for young people to escape and be themselves and would help design a Merseyside future. The low ceiling, brick walls and humidity allowed the sound of cheap guitars to blast around the room with exhilarating energy. Whatever you believed or however you dressed you were part of something. Local punks, mods, Bowie, Roxie, Deaf School believers were all educated in Eric's basement. They were learning how to get out and do something, start a band, start a fanzine, start a record label, or design a line of clothing. Downstairs in the basement was the epicenter where young people gathered for the same reason, to be inspired. History remembers the musicians. But, this place was not just for music it was an incubator for entrepreneurial spirit, and from here artistic threads would stream across the planet.
The Sex Pistols Free Trade shows starting in June of 1976 gave the Manchester scene a lift. The London scene was 12 months ahead, and Liverpool had arrived a little late to the party.  It was not until June or July 1977 that a few Eric's homegrown bands - the Spitfire Boys, The Toilets and Brownshirts were ready to tour south to London. Liverpool was following Deaf School, Roxy music, and Art Rock when the anarchic change arrived and almost missed the nihilistic explosion.
Amongst the Liverpool regulars were others who would travel in from Chester, St Helens, Runcorn and North Wales, and had followed the Manchester scene. Spitfire Boy, Paul Rutherford had regularly visited The Kings Road and was enthused by the fresh sounds of the London scene. Eric's regulars were influenced by the nationwide movement and driven by a failing economy. Groups would work out different musical styles and tastes in their garages, bedrooms and even church halls. And, as the sounds developed, their expression flourished, and the artists would discover new creative directions Eric's Club and Roger Eagle were the catalysts that allowed groups of friends to move out of the bedroom and perform front of each other and express their individuality. 

Above; Musical Cell Division into the future
Even bands that fell by the wayside after a single gig, would realigned with other friends and change the recipe, to move the sound to another level.
The Eric's model flourished, because the 50 to 100 early enthusiasts remained constant, and the core kept coming back and built confidence with each other. From November 1976 through the spring of 1978 the Eric's regulars would help launch Liverpool in a new musical direction.
Roger Eagle influenced the new Liverpool sound as he favored a type of music and style, so as early as 1977 their were signs of Liverpool post punk branding beginning to develop. Liverpool and Eric's punk bands like the The Toilets, The Spitfire Boys, the Crucial Three, the Brownshirts, Radio Blank and Berlin and Why Control were disbanded by 1978.

Above; The Buckley Contingent Tommy, Droopy, Hawkeye 1978
The Toilets" eventually became The Alarm, but they receive little recognition as a band stimulated by the Eric's magic. Mike Peter's and the Alarm spread what they had learned in that brick bunker around the planet.
The local art bands were talented, and sometimes enjoyable, and served to add a creative spirit to the club recipe. But for Why Control it was all about the movement and the punk energy.
There is a bigger story somewhere, and history may have swindled some of the Mathew St. magic. Maybe, someday, someone will bring it together and honor "all" of the talent created in that special place. I trust that Liverpool and the UK will recognize the power of youth creativity and we can all learn how to energize it again.

Above; Eric's Regulars Jock , Algy and Tommy

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Bombsite fanzine; Eric's forgotton

Too Punk to Handle..

Accelerators - c1977-81, feat; Chris Martin (voc,hrmc), Martin 'Yarker' Smith (gtr) (later Lawnmower), Kathy Freeman (gtr,keys) (now of Kathy-X), Tony Doyle (bass) (later Lawnmower, Adams Family, Cat Scratch Fever), Brian 'Damage' Harcombe (drms) (Shop Soiled, Filibuster, Death Kit, Restless later Adams Family). Orig bassist was Graham Marsh (for 1st 3mnths). Martin Yarker replaced by Leigh Marles for final year. Rel 12" EP Pop Guns & Green Lanterns (on Spiv). Also had a trk 'Radio Blues' on 'Street To Street' comp on Open Eye Recs. Did over 400 gigs. Chris or Tony was verbally abused on Prescott Rd by Mick Mada for having a Leo Sayer haircut & a shit band, they went onto work together on the sound at the Garden Festival in 1985. Did T.V. + Radio, played gigs from Havanna Club to Liverpool Empire to numerous festivals. Ran own management, record label (Spiv Recs) + P.A.and transport. Played alongside Siouxsie + Banshees, XTC, Rich Kids, Steve Hillage, Discharge, Buzzcocks, Ronnie Lane's Slim Chance, Spizz, Angelic Upstarts, Cheap Trick, OMD, Tom Robinson. Road crew - Mike Walker (sound,driver), Chris Bray (backline) and Sandra (drum tech).

Berlin – band (1977-78), feat; Roy White (voc) (later Fun, Victims of Romance, White & Torch, Roy White Band), Johnny 'Riff' Reynolds (gtr) (later Fun, 3D), Jim Mealy (bass) (later Fun, Victims of Romance, White & Torch, Roy White Band, Bamboo Fringe), Gerry Garland (sax) (later Fun, Victims of Romance, Bamboo Fringe), Roy Banks (drms) who left to get married.

A Design For Living - A Design For Living, formed in 1977 by John Talbot and Steve Whittle, evolved through various personnel changes into The Flag, Marinebeat and finally The Paper Tribe. The musical style also changing from a raw edged "summer of punk" guitar-driven vibe to a post punk electronica. This fertile time was punctuated by support slots for various bands including Howard Devoto and Fad Gadget as well as headliners, usually in L'pool or Bristol. Steve left the band in 1980 but rejoined the Beach Bastards in 1988.

China Crisis - Founded in Liverpool, England by Gary Daly and Eddie Lundon. The two started working together in 1979 after leaving school. Gary Daly - Vocals, keyboards; Eddie Lundon - Guitar, vocals; Garry "Gazza" Johnson - Bass guitar ;Kevin Wilkinson - Drums and percussion; Brian McNeill - Keyboards; Dave Reilly - Percussion
China Crisis emerged from the post-Eric's Club scene in Liverpool. Originally signed to the Inevitable label they established themselves as capable songwriters, crafting intelligent yet accessible pop tunes. This later led to chart success when the signed to the Virgin label with top twenty hits such as Black Man Ray and Christian. Their biggest success was with Wishful Thinking which reached No. 9 in the UK charts in 1984.

Destroyers - band of mid to late 70s, feat; Ian Barry (bass) (later of 3d A Fish in Sea, Snapshots, Sneax), Mark Barry (gtr), They played Erics more times than any other band (resident band early 77 to early 78). Ian has since moved to California & Mark is recording a Granada TV (Jan03) for Peter Hooton (The Farm) about the Liverpool scene in the late 70's early 80's.

Hugo Dines Band - (1977-78) feat; Carl Gleeson (voc,gtr) (later Malchix, Cracked Actor), John Hall (gtr) (later MI5, Flashpoint), Tom (bass), ? (drms). A live video of them with the Spitfire Boys was rec at Erics. Used to have several backing singers.

Martin and the Brownshirts - raw energy punk and Eric's regulars from Chester.

Norman Graveney, Paul Adams, Willie Williams, Paul Urmston. Later Norman and Willie formed post punk band The Montellas, toured US with "Was not Was" Check vid here

They produced some great material, but there was a change of management, so it's all sitting on the shelves of the record company. By all accounts it's a masterpiece -with production input from Don Was of Was (Not Was), but even the band members haven't got copies, so very little chance of it seeing the light of day. Maybe someone should petition BMG Records?

Nina Antonia - When Nina decided to combine her dual fascinations for rock'n'roll and the printed word she headed straight for familiar territory. "I didn't have any experience in writing books, I was 22 years old and all I'd done was contribute two short pieces to a local fanzine. What prompted me to write 'In Cold Blood' was that Johnny had gone M.I.A. Lost in America some place--and maybe dead, according to the rumours. I just couldn't bear the thought of it, and writing 'In Cold Blood' became the quest to find Johnny Thunders."
"For all the difficulties," Antonia says. "And the hours spent in solitude working away, I'm really glad that I've written the books that I have. It's like capturing a moment that otherwise might have just slipped by."
As well as continuing to write, Nina started managing 4 piece outfit The Skuzzies in 2006. Hailed by Strokes producer Gordon Raphael as 'The best new band in London in the last 5 years' The Skuzzies have their own gritty mythology which has only just begun to unfold. According to Nina The Skuzzies " Are like the city after midnight, dangerous and appealing." For more on The Skuzzies go to www.myspace.com/skuzzies

OMD - Eric's was the venue of choice for the debut performance of Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark in October 1978. Naming themselves after an obscure VCLXI song, Humphreys and McCluskey launched their own unique style of catchy electronic melodies that helped form OMD's reputation for intelligent pop. Back then, to burden your band with such an unwieldy name as Orchestral Maneuvers In The Dark might have seemed somewhat unwise, but the obvious commercial appeal of their music provoked enough interest that it eventually led to Factory Record's supremo Tony Wilson offering them the chance to cut their debut single 'Electricity' on the Factory label. Interesting fact, Chester Valentino was a pseudonym for Paul Collister used on early OMD releases. The name actually came from a nightclub in Chester called Valentino's.

Stormtroopers – punk band formed Feb77 after listening to the Ramones 1st LP, feat; Mark Alman (voc), John "Bandage" England (bass), Mike Howarth (gtr), Johnny Mac (drms). Played Eric's once and had to rename for the gig as Stiletto Heels as Roger Eagle thought the name was too fascist. The name Stormtroopers was actually a mishearing of "Shocktroopers" on the Ramones LP. Played a number of local gigs around L'pool, Widnes and Warrington and a gig at The Roxy in London. Split Dec77 when Mike had left to go to Uni and following a series of guitarists boredom set in. Their hand painted band van was the talk of L'pool. "Have you seen The Stormtroopers" splashed over the sides of an ex bread van.

The Toilets - Rhyl's 1st punk band formed in 1977, feat Mike Peters (aka WC Smith) (gtr), Glyn Crossley (aka Steve Shock) (bass), Nigel Buckle (Des Troy) (drms), O'Malley (Bo Larks) (voc). Orig singer Gaz Hughes didn't show up for rehearsals. Played 1st gig at the Palace Hotel in Rhyl opening with Nothing To Do. Built up large support in North Wales and supported The Slits, The Clash and Buzzcocks with songs such as Alarm Alarm, James Bond, and Social Security. Split up in 1978 playing their last show at the 1520 Club in Rhyl on Jan 27th. The Toilets were re-created in 1992 by Mike for a one-off performance at the first MPO Gathering weekend.

Unit Q - Hoylake based punk band (1977-79) feat; Wayne Hudson (voc), Beaker (gtr), Stu Crosby (drms) and another gtr. Played regularly across Wirral, often at The Hamilton in B'head with Abort The Attack (ATA) etc.Regulars at The Rakers in Hoylake. A live tape of a Hamilton show exists though the quality is appalling. Wayne Hudson still lives in Hoylake, Beaker disappeared to Berlin (rumour has). Described as an excellent punk group in the traditional sense whose song highlight was 'CID Man'.

Why Control – punk band (formed 1977), prev called Bombsite, after local fanzine they produced. The band featured Clif 'Cookie' Ison (voc), Martin Cass (gtr), Colin Gronbach (bass), Mark Hodgkinson (drms). As Eric's regulars they quickly developed a following around Liverpool, Queensferry, Mold and Chester. Songs incl; Why Control It, England's Glory, I Hate, History, Sold Out.
Inspired by bands like The Clash, The Pistols and The Buzzcocks the members avoided the local art crowd and believed punk rock was about breaking down walls with raw energy, loud amps and broken speakers. The idea of a record deal or signing a record contract contradicted or eroded the origins of their ideology.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Why Control 1977 - Morley Almost Bang On

Born in Stockport, Manchester, Paul Morley worked as a writer critic for the NME during 1977. He is recognized as an influence on almost every significant British music writer to have emerged since. Here Paul describes his northern experience, and compares Liverpool and Manchester music development. The commentary below was written some time ago but the link is still alive, if you want the rest of the story. I believe that Morley's description of the Liverpool 1977 punk scene is pretty straight. Joe Strummer talking to half of Liverpool description is incorrect and most likely occurred at a later Eric's appearance in 78 or 79. We were at both Clash shows during 1977. During the May show there was a gathering with Joe and Mick around the dressing room door, that spilled into the dressing room, but it consisted of about 20 or 30 Eric's regulars. The October 22nd show was an interesting night as the band flew into Speke airport from Belfast. The plane was delayed due to bad weather. People at the club were starting to think that the band were not going to arrive. People started to leave the club. Mike Peters was keeping us up to speed with what was happening since that night his band The Toilets were supported the Clash. He discusses this night briefly on The Alarm web site.
The Liverpool scene started a little later than other parts of the country. Historically it was tough to know how to avoid the trap of appearing to be creating another Merseybeat scene. Throughout the early Seventies, only Deaf School, a self-conscious sort of panto Roxy Music, gave any clues as to how to form a new Liverpool band without being the Beatles.
Eric's opened in October 1976 as a members club, which allowed it to stay open until 2am, and it started to put on bands like the Ramones, the Damned, Talking Heads , and Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers . The Spitfire Boys were playing Ramones covers on a Warrington bill with the Buzzcocks and the Heartbreakers by May '77 and as the only Liverpool based punk group at the time, they would support all the visiting groups. They were also the first Liverpool punk band to have a record out, but in a way their take on punk was a false start, and was soon overtaken by the Liverpool scenesters, jokesters, gossipers and posers who acted like superstars when their only audience was each other. There had been an underground since 1975, with glam followers looking to create a New York type scene around their love for Bowie and Roxy, but for a while it was more clothes, and hair, than music. The vitriolic Pete Burns was the city's ultimate face with make-up better than any music he ever made.
Perhaps Liverpool was in some ways slow to get going because they didn't have the Sex Pistols visit twice. The closest the Pistols got was Chester some time in the autumn of '76. [Pistols actually played a gig in October 1976] The big change in Liverpool happened when the Clash played Eric's on 5 May 1977, and Joe Strummer spent hours talking with half of Liverpool, or at least the half of Liverpool that was a) reading the NME; b) wanting to form a group; c) living more or less with each other; d) working out what particular pose would save their lives; or e) hating/bitching about members of other Liverpool cliques and clans and cults who just weren't cool enough, pretty enough, arty enough or good enough.


Friday, December 21, 2007

Bombsite Fanzine 1977; Spitfire Boys

Photo of Paul Rutherford [maggot] with Peter Griffith [Griff] in background at Eric's September 1977; Photo Bombsite Fanzine.


Liverpool's first Punk band [if you don't count Radio Blank] emerged from St. Helen's on the outskirts of the city. Dave Littler formed the band after hustling his way onto a support slot for a Heartbreakers gig at Parr Hall in Warrington on Friday May 13th 1977.  

Above; Photo description is switched & should read Griff and Dave.

Originally the band had called themselves The Blackmailers, but Dave Littler and Wayne County would re-name the band during Wayne County's first appearance at Eric's.
The clip [below] from Bombsite issue two Saturday September 20th 1977, The Spitfire Boys,  The Prefects and The Slits gig at Eric's.

Considered Liverpool's first Punk band to release a single "British Refugee" B side "Mein Kampf" on October 7th 1977. Maggots performance as front man was always energetic. He had velocity to his vocal style and thundered through song lyrics spitting out vocals.

After buying their record, Mike Iball asked Griff at Eric's to write out the word to the track on a beer coaster, because he couldn't understand what Maggot was singing! 

Later band members Budgie ( Pete Clarke), would drum for The Slits and Siouxie & the Banshees, and then married Siouxie Sue from the band. Maggot (or Paul Rutherford), would become a member of Frankie goes to Hollywood. David Littler went on to join The Photons with Steve Strange of Visage and Vince Ely of the Psychedelic Furs. Later he formed the White Brothers alongside front man Glenn Carmichael. David and Glenn still collaborate with side projects.

David and Budgie continue to stay in contact but have not seen each other for a good while.Today, David [Aug 2008] performs and produces solo art and music projects, Anyone wishing to contact David can do so at sounds@poppymusic.co.uk . Lastly, Griff notes [08:11:08] "I relocated to Ireland and still speak to Paul on a regular basis. I am now a father of 6 lovely children and a proud grandad too, creatively I spend time painting and love life to the full". Frontman Paul Rutherford lives in New Zealand. Bombsite reviewed the band a few times during 1977, and were present for their debut show at Parr Hall.  These guys put on an incredible show and were remarkably popular with the punks at Eric's, but little throughout the UK. Touring became difficult as punk bands were banned by regional authorities. Through 1977 the British media would distort stories about Punks that stoked tension between Skins and Teds. 

Above; Paul Rutherford ; Photo from Mel is part of the Soulkiss collection

They toured London supporting the Slits but found difficulties penetrating the London scene. Furthermore, toward the end of 1977 Liverpool was tiring of three chord rock and the melodic electronic style of Liverpool post punk boom was developing. Signs of a breakup started in early December, Pete Wylie joined the band for some rehearsals. Moreover, Dave Littler has indicated that the lack of management focus and direction hastened the split. The band folded on Thursday 22nd December 1977. Unfortunately, Liverpool lost something on that day, they were more than just a band they started something. 

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bombsite Fanzine 1977; Radio Blank

On July 16th 1977 the writers headed over to Eric's to see The Jam play. The evening is written about in Bombsite #1. On their way over, and to their disappointment they discover that the Jam had canceled the show.

above click to read
The Jam were getting to be fairly well known, so anyone filling the spot would have a challenge. Radio Blank a newly formed Liverpool band got the billing for the night. Bombsite reviewed the evening and noted that the band did not appear to feel much like a punk band, but they played a varied set that included The Stranglers Peaches, and David Bowie's Suffragette City, and the overall performance was pretty good. They were followed by the Spitfire Boys who were having equipment problems, but still exploded with tons of energy.

above click to read
Punk Rockers and Eric's regulars, Melanie Smith and Vanessa Goode were also at the show that night and took some photos of the bands. Melanie's blog commentary records more of the evening in her diary at www.soulkiss.co.uk

Credits to Melanie and Vanessa for the David Balfe picture above;

Radio Blank played Eric's five times in their year-long career. This four-piece, formed in November 1976, played R&B inspired punk. The group was composed of:

Alan Gill : guitar, vocals
Dave Balfe : bass, vocals, Keyboard
Keith Hartley : vocals
Stephen Brick : drums - [Note;- If any one can assist, looking for photos and any recordings]

above click to read
They are remembered for an arty or experimental approach to their music and performances with artists & poets sometimes joining them on stage.
Over time they had some changes in their lineup including; Dave Hughes, Chris Teepee, Martin Cooper whom later joined OMD, Andy McCluskey also member of OMD, Kenny Peers, Gordon Hon and Max.
In 1978, Dave Balfe left the group to join Big In Japan and then later he joined The Teardrop Explodes and worked on Echo and the Bunnymen's first album release. In July 1980 Alan Gill joined Dave Balfe in The Teardrop Explodes. Alan Gill co-wrote their most successful single, Reward.
According to Teardrop Explodes Julian Cope, Alan Gill was arrested and put in jail for 18 months for being a drug dealer. His defense was that he gave most of the drugs away and that through the free distribution of skunk he was providing access to a higher realm of consciousness. After setting up Zoo records with Bill Drummond, Dave Balfe went on to be a record company mogul via Food Records (Jesus Jones, Blur and Kula Shaker etc). Blur's Country House is about him.
Dave Balfe also directed two of Blur's early music videos, She’s So High and There’s No Other Way. He is now writing and directing both film and theater, and still lives in his UK house in the country.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Why Control 1977; England's Glory

Fed by conditions of the British economy the 1976 anti-state anti police riots in South London set the stage of what was to come. The hated "Sus" law gave the police the power to stop and search anyone they wanted, a power they used to hassle young men and immigrants on the street often violently.

By 1977, the had Queen started her silver jubilee tour and the country celebrated with street parties and buying commemorative tea cups and silver coins. Prime Minister James Callaghan opened the latest stretch of the M4 motorway. Almost oblivious to the real state of Britain.

South Wales saw a four month long bread strike. British capitalism had fallen further and further behind her main rivals. In 1960 Britain's share of world trade in manufactured goods was 16.5 per cent. In 1976 it had fallen to 7.0 per cent. For example, with shipbuilding, a Liverpool industry, Britain's share of world production in 1955 was 26.6 per cent; in 1976 it was 4 per cent.
The Midland Bank Report of May 1977 says: 'Economic miracles seem at a discount, and the prospect is for no more than a minor upturn in a long recession.'
Even Italy the other sick economy of Europe had increased their share of world manufactured exports by nearly one half since 1974.
The Chancellor, Denis Healey, boasts to fellow industrialists that Britain now has the cheapest labor of all the industrialized countries. For the UK it was $3.37. Japan had increased her wage rates by practically three times since 1970 reaching $3.32. In France the hourly pay in industry was $5.47. West Germany was $6.21 and even workers in Italy exceeded that of British workers reaching $5.51 per hour. The United States rate was $7.26, the second highest in the world to Sweden.

In 1970 there were 8.2 million people employed in manufacturing in Britain , but by 1977 the total was only 7.2 million.
In June 1977, The Banker, listed the top 300 banks in the world . Not one British bank is amongst the ten largest banks. Barclays had slipped to twelfth place, National Westminster to twentieth, Midland to fortieth and Lloyds to forty-second place.
The Economist of 23 April 1977, points out: Britain's pessimists believe that private industry is more likely to slide from recession to total extinction.

1977 was a critical year in the history of UK popular music and related sub-cultures, the year that punk, dub and reggae went over overground in the UK. Junior Murvin's Police and Thieves (famously covered by The Clash) 'had blared out from a speaker dangled from an upstairs window when anti-fascist demonstrators attacked the National Front march in The Battle of Lewisham during August 1977. Lewisham was to become the largest violent political event in many years. Many thousands of people had turned out to oppose the fascists, and it was the first time that riot shields had been used in the UK.

By 1977 Great Britain was in ruin, it was an economic and social disaster, and government official figures confirm it. For males under 25 the outlook was particularly bleak, with unemployment for this segment in Liverpool and Manchester running above 30%. Manufacturing output had fallen, new building development had fallen, personal income, living standards and consumer spending were all lower than 1974 and the outlook appeared no better.

Disco fever and wealthy rock stars were polluting the charts and the radio, Donna Summer was ranting and the Average White Band were blabbing out happy tunes. But, the movement had started, and The Clash and The Sex Pistols were storming through the British projects trying to energize an out of work generation. Banned by authorities, and misunderstood for their actions, they provoked counter-attack after counter-attack, as local councils and authorities worked to shut it all down. The Pistols switched names and venues, and the Clash fired through Britain spreading the word with Joe Strummer as the three chord ambassador.

Below; World in Action social documentary describing 1980 Liverpool, suburb Birkenhead.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Bombsite Fanzine 1977; Gig Listing

The following is a list of gig reviews from Bombsite fanzine. Circulated during 1977 around Liverpool, Chester and Manchester. The stories inside are not reviews that have been distorted by a record executive expense account. The writers interviewed band members and captured the sound and energy of live performances from a teenage punk perspective. They are gig commentaries untainted by misty eyed memories, and in many cases, the only historical record of the event available.

Thursday May 5th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Clash

Sunday May 8th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - The Clash

Thursday July 7th 1977 - Mr. Digby's Birkenhead - The Jam

Thursday July 7th 1977 - Mr. Digby's Birkenhead - The Mutant's

Saturday July 16th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Jam [canceled]
Saturday July 16th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Radio Blank
Saturday July 16th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Spitfire Boys

Late July early August 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Damned [need help with date]
Late July early August 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Adverts

Tuesday August 2nd 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Elvis Costello & The Attractions
filmed for Granada TV Tony Wilson "So it Goes" [no review]

Saturday August 13th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Table
Saturday August 13th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - XTC [recorded for album]

Tuesday August 16th 1977 - Graceland Memphis - Elvis Died

Saturday August 20th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Spitfire Boys
Saturday August 20th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Prefects
Saturday August 20th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Slits

Monday August 22th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Fast Breeder
Monday August 22th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Wire
Monday August 22th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Slaughter & the Dogs

Saturday August 27th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Big in Japan
Saturday August 27th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Generation X

Sunday August 28th 1977 - Electric Circus - Manchester - The Slugs
Sunday August 28th 1977 - Electric Circus - Manchester - The Distractions [met them at the gig]
Sunday August 28th 1977 - Electric Circus - Manchester - 999
Sunday August 28th 1977 - Electric Circus - Manchester - The Adverts

Saturday September 3rd 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Rage
Saturday September 3rd 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Worst
Saturday September 3rd 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Buzzcocks

Wednesday September 7th 1977 - Rooster's Nantwich - Martin & the Brownshirts

Saturday September 10th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - Wayne County & The Electric Chairs

Saturday September 10th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - Suburban Studs [no review]
Saturday September 10th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - Snatch [no review]

Sunday September 11th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - The Models [no review]
Sunday September 11th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - The Stilettos [no review]

Friday September 16th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Adverts [no review]
Friday September 16th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - The Only Ones [no review]

Saturday September 17th 1977 - Eric's Liverpool - 999

Sunday September 11th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - The Motors [no review]
Sunday September 11th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - Screwdriver [no review]

Saturday September 24th 1977 - The Moonstone - Liverpool - The Mutants [no review]

Saturday September 24th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - The Rezillos [no review]

Sunday September 25th 1977 - Electric Circus Manchester - The Slits [no review]

Saturday October 1st + 2nd 1977 - Electric Circus - Manchester - Closing down punk show [no review]

Saturday October 1st 1977 - Eric's - Alternative TV [Mel's Diary with David Balfe]
Saturday October 1st 1977 - Eric's - Amazorblades [Mel's Diary with David Balfe]

Saturday October 8th 1977 - Eric's - Cherry Vanilla [no review]

Friday October 14th 1977 - Liverpool Uni - The Drones
Friday October 14th 1977 - Liverpool Uni - The Stranglers
Friday October 14th 1977 - Eric's - The Skunks [no review]
Saturday October 15th 1977 - Eric's - Adam and the Ants [no review]

Saturday October 22nd 1977 - Eric's - The Clash [no review]
Saturday October 22nd 1977 - Eric's - The Toilets [no review]

Saturday October 29th 1977 - Eric's - Eater [no review]
Saturday October 29th 1977 - Eric's - The Crab's [no review]

Friday November 18th 1977 - Eric's - Paul Cook & Steve Jones visit club
Friday November 18th 1977 - Eric's - The Buzzcocks [no review]
Friday November 18th 1977 - Eric's - The Fall [no review]
Friday November 18th 1977 - Eric's - The Toilets [no review]

Wednesday November 23rd 1977 - Eric's - Wayne County and the Electric Chairs
Wednesday November 23rd 1977 - Eric's - Alternative TV

Story Archive