Ian Glasper: How Punk Survived The Nineties' – book review about 90s UK Punk

Armed with Anger – How UK Punk Survived the Nineties 
Ian Glasper (Cherry Red Books)

Now it probably is dereliction of duty or just plain lazy of me, but I’m not gonna read this massive fourth in the trilogy from cover to cover before I review it. I’ve read the others and I know exactly how Glasper works.

He’s thorough and democratic. He lets everyone speak, tell their own story, edits out the rambling and bullshit and presents a fair picture of all the main bands from all over the UK and Ireland. Geographically divided up. It’s an encyclopaedic but down-to-earth reference book, full of detail and anecdotes.

This one covers the nineties and is not as genre-specific as the previous books; Burning Britain covered the Second Wave of Punk, UK 82 for want of a better catch-all; The Day The Country Died was all of the so-called ”ËœAnarcho-Punk’ bands and; Trapped in a Scene was UK ”Ëœhardcore’.

This new one “the fourth in the trilogy’ covers everything that was around in the nineties but retained punk independence from the ”Ëœmusic business’ and mainstream; hardcore, anarcho, thrash and what was initially called ”ËœEmo’ before the term was appropriated by the mass media.

Like me, after the introduction you’ll skip straight to the chapter on your area and see how many people you know / bands you’ve seen are included ”¦ and indeed if you are there. Chances are that if you were in a punk band in the nineties you are there somewhere.

Essential reading, as always with Ian Glasper‘s work.

There’s a fantastic interview with Ian Glasper here if you want to know more about him and his books.

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Ged Babey is 56. from Southampton, has written since 1985 for Sound Info, Due South, various fanzines and websites, contributed to Record Collector magazine and was sole author of 'Punk Throwback' fanzine -the name of which was taken from an insult hurled at him by the singer with a young band he managed for a while. Ged believes that all good music and art has a connection with punk rock.


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