Tag Archive: The Sex Pistols

A NEW DAY YESTERDAY by Mike Barnes (Omnibus Press, 2020)

book cover

The decision to undertake a full survey of Progressive Rock music in the UK up to the mid-1970s is as bold and bonkers a project as a band embarking on a triple concept album. Yet, it works for me.

Progressive (Prog) Rock evolved in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of what Wiki defines as a “mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility”

Mike Barnes challenges the common prejudices surrounding this much maligned genre.

In setting the record straight, he immediately dispels the myth that Prog songs were mostly about wizards, elves and hobbits. He also shows that, contrary to common belief, bands were not universally trying to bridge the divide between classical music and rock. Rather, jazz, blues and psychedelia were key influences. Continue reading

viv_albertineCLOTHES, CLOTHES, CLOTHES. MUSIC, MUSIC, MUSIC. BOYS, BOYS, BOYS by Viv Albertine (Faber & Faber, 2014)

I started this autobiography expecting a fun but frivolous account of the punk era. It is all that and more.

Viv Albertine was at the heart of the heady period in the late 1970s when the British establishment were running scared. The Slits were one of the many bands that were inspired by the so-called ‘filfth and fury’ of The Sex Pistols; four feisty females who were not about to let a lack of musical expertise hold them back.

Albertine was the guitarist in that band’s early years. I regret to say that I never did see them play live but I treasure the memory of first hearing them on a John Peel session – four tracks recorded in September 1977 that captured their ramshackle brilliance.

The book contains plenty of fascinating insights into the ordinary world that preceded and followed the extraordinary explosion of rebel yells. Continue reading

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