Burning Britain Paperback – 21 Aug 2014
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"[A] chatty, engaging history [that] follows the regional lines along which UK punk's 'second wave' scene divided." --"Guardian"
"For those with a burning desire to dig deeper than The Clash and Sex Pistols to discover below-the-radar groups from the original British punk rock scene, then "Burning Britain" is your new Bible." --John B. Moore, "New Noise ""Magazine"
About the Author
Ian Glasper is a writer, the founder of the now-defunct Blackfish Records, which released 20 punk, hardcore, and metalcore albums, and a member of many DIY punk bands. He is the author of "Armed with Anger" and "Trapped in a Scene: UK Hardcore 1985-1989."
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Covering about 100 bands by the region of the UK in which they emerged, each band is given a solid 3-8 pages including their history, essential discography, rare photos and funny stories to keep us all entertained. Too many to mention here but just to name some of the well-known outfits (not all ready mentioned) : Blitz, One Way System, Anti-Nowhere League, Abrasive Wheels, English Dogs, Peter & the Test Tube Babies, Chaos UK, Partisans, Outcasts; and some of the lesser known bands: the Destructors, Mayhem, Major Accident, Resistance 77, Violators, Demob, Red Alert etc. etc.
Though the author does say that other early 80s punk offshoots are not covered in this edition, he does include some that provide a kind of crossover: 4-Skins (Oi/skinhead); Disorder (anarchist); Angelic Upstarts (2nd wave?); UK Decay (goth); and the Newtown Neurotics (often referred to as soul-punk, though, bar the Redskins, I can't think of any other bands with this tag!).
There is also a chapter highlighting several leading record companies that are 'keeping the flag flying', their discographies, the Holidays in the Sun concerts, and other book releases.
It would be great to think that Ian Glasper plans a book for each of the early 80s punk offshoots. He mentions that the anarchists will be coming, but here's hoping for more 2nd wave (Ruts etc), Oi and even goth and grebo? Maybe there would not be a big enough market for this but I would like to think that not just 'those that were around at the time' are going to pick up this current title, but also anyone remotely interested in this hugely diverse music genre, and that includes fans of bands like Green Day whose lead singer has proclaimed that they are 'far more punk than the Sex Pistols ever were'. Loved the last video guys; how much did that cost?
I have been waiting for a book like this to come along for ages, so here's to you, Mr Glasper. And if you've managed to pick yourself up a copy then go and get the equally good DVD of the same name. Some real gems here!
Although some bands have a very similar story to tell ie. Inspired to form band by Pistols/ Ramones - form band that can hardly play - learn to play better - appear on Riot City/ No Future compilation - release proper lp - go through 100s of line up changes - split - reform to play HITS with at most 1 original member, each profile is still engaging and informative. Almost every major figure of the time makes a contribution (where's Wattie?) to help provide a clear picture of the scene in terms of who helped who, who hated who, who sold out, who went on too long, who split up too soon, who wasn't really much cop, who was more punk than anyone else and who didn't want to be more punk than anyone else as those being more punk than anyone else were actually just playing up to stereotypes of what being punk should be etc etc etc...
Many bands who may have been lost to the annals of history also get their due, for example I would never have discovered The Violators had I not been intrigued by their profile here, nor would I have sought out the No Future & Small Wonder singles collections.
This release will also be great news for the good folk at Anagram & Captain Oi!, seeing as 90% of the artists within have appeared on one or t`other label at some point!
A fine job all round - read, learn and enjoy. Hopefully the volume 2 on anarcho punk Ian alludes to in the intro will be equally as enjoyable.
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