30 Years Of Punk

Steve Lamacq presents two programmes examining the legacy of punk.


01England's Still Dreaming20061202

The focus is on 1976: by the mid-70s, the UK was experiencing economic meltdown, with lengthening dole queues and rubbish-strewn streets. In retrospect, it was inevitable that the music of the time would be dark, nihilistic and fuelled by an energized political anger.

In New York, the music scene, built around CBGB's, was much more rooted in rock's rich tapestry and art school ideas and nowhere near as ferocious and dangerous as what was happening in Britain.

The London punk scene, initially driven by Malcolm McClaren's clever posturing, was given the perfect psychodrama by John Lydon's fierce intelligence and neo-psychotic glare. The Sex Pistols were getting out onto the sleepy circuit, wrecking PAs and getting occasional column inches. The Stranglers were gigging around the country, trading punches with irate punters. In Bolton, the Buzzcocks read a paragraph about the Pistols in the NME and drove all the way down to London to search for the band. TV Smith was putting together the Adverts in Torquay.

Everywhere punk rock was beginning to emerge and all these loose strands were beginning to coalesce around the Sex Pistols. McClaren noticed this and managed to place the movement behind his group. A generation of kids, let down by the government and disgusted by the Queen's Silver Jubilee, had at last found an expression for their discontent, a music that spoke back to them.

With contributions from John Lydon, Malcolm McClaren, Mick Jones, Hugh Cornwell, TV Smith, Howard Devoto and Pete Shelley.

02 LASTLove Will Tear Us Apart... Again20061209

Steve charts the demise of the first punk explosion with the murder of Nancy Spungen and subsequent death of Sid Vicious. By 1979, the Pistols had imploded, the Clash had embraced rock 'n' roll and a new generation was making its feelings known, and the late 1970s saw an explosion of street punk culture.

Including contributions from Hooky, Barney, the Edge, Terry Hall, Mark E Smith, Crass, the Exploited and UK Subs.