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What we’re listening to this week #32

Last night the kind folk at Museum of London invited us along to the iconic 100 Club for the launch party of Punk London – a year of events, gigs, exhibitions and films celebrating 40 years of punk heritage influence in London. Inspired by spending an evening with Don Letts on the decks and Dr John Cooper Clarke on stage, our WWLTTW curator Andy has dedicated this week’s Studio playlist to the sounds of counter-culture. Here’s what we’re listening to this week…


Punk is dead. Long live Punk.

New Wave is the new wave, so get ready for a revival of all things Punk over the next eighteen months.

Hard to believe that something so fleeting could make such an impression on our culture.

But it did.

Need a quick update on Punk music? (We won’t attempt to explain Punk sensibilities here but here’s a big gobbet of the stuff from both sides of the Atlantic – the British took it and made it their own, and re-exported it to the rest of the world. You know the story).

Possibly the first Punk single. The Damned – New Rose:

Possibly one of the first influences. The Stooges – I Wanna Be Your Dog (1969):

– or you could have The Velvet Underground – I’m Waiting For My Man (1970):

Probably the collision between Glam and Punk (and the stepping off for Malcolm McLaren’s influence as Sex Pistols’ manager). New York Dolls – Personality Crisis:

How it was so hard to be bothered. Buzzcocks – Boredom:

How gender wasn’t an issue. X-Ray Spex – Oh Bondage Up Yours!:

How New York made it cool (and pulled a lot of young men through their early years. Or, how gender became an issue). Blondie – Rip Her To Shreds (1976):

How New York made it fun. Ramones – Sheena Is A Punk Rocker:

How it grew and matured out of dressing up. Siouxsie And The Banshees – Mirage:

How there was always danger. Slaughter And The Dogs – Where Have All The Boot Boys Gone:

How it’s such a pain when it gets too popular. Television Personalities – Part Time Punks:

How to complain about how unfair it all is. The Adverts – No Time To Be 21:

How politics, social issues and current affairs were key to the ‘disaffected’. The Dead Kennedys – Holiday in Cambodia:

How it influenced Metalheads. The Ruts – In a Rut:

How it managed to stay a little weird. Wire – I am the Fly:

How it stayed true to ART as it spread and grew (NSFW):

And how, fundamentally, it was pure poetry. Patrik Fitzgerald – Little Fishes:

And finally, how the Punk/DIY ethos tipped over into other genre. Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five – The Message:

No Clash or Sex Pistols here, because they are ubiquitous. You can argue among yourselves over what constitutes Punk for your (im)perfect hitlist – plenty of Power Pop, Pop Punk and Heavy Metal to choose from.

Ever tried Folk Punk, Pop Punk, Acid Punk, Jazz Punk, Disco-Punk, Punk Blues, Steampunk or Golf Punk?

Why not suggest a track to feature in a future #WWLTTW. If you can be bothered.

Hate it or hate it, indifference won’t do.

Practice your sneer, it’s going to come in handy this year.


Get the playlist on Spotify. If you want:

Lead image: Group of punk girls pose by the river, London, 1980. ©Chris Parker & PYMCA, courtesy of Punk.London.


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