RESO16_FULL_WEBPunk. London. 40 Years of Subversive Culture: 2016, year-long festival is “supported by the Mayor of London” and funded by Lottery Grant
. Is this in the spirit of punk itself asks Ged Babey…

You don’t believe us?  Have a look at the website here

The Press Release section says

London to celebrate 40 years of punk culture in 2016

London’s leading cultural venues announce plans to celebrate the legacy and continuing influence of London’s punk scene throughout 2016.
Live gigs, talks, films, exhibitions and museum displays are all part of a year-long celebration of subversive culture.

Not only will punk’s roots in London be explored, but also its on-going influence on modern day culture and society, from fashion to film, politics to identity, and of course music.

Punk London will kick off with the Resolution Festival from 4 to 14 January 2016 at The 100 Club, the world-renowned music venue that hosted the legendary two-day 100 Club Punk Festival in September 1976.

Other organisations involved in Punk London include the British Fashion Council, British Film Institute, British Library, Design Museum, Doc ‘n Roll Films, Institute of Contemporary Arts, Live Nation Merchandise, Museum of London, The Photographers’ Gallery, Rough Trade, PYMCA, Premier and On|Off, Roundhouse and Universal Music Catalogue.

Reflecting that there is as much interest in punks today as there was in 1976, Punk London has received a £99,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London said:

“Punk smashed its way onto the UK’s music scene in the 70s, with its base largely in London, and profoundly changed not only music but art, fashion and culture forever, giving many disillusioned young people a voice for the first time. Punk is as iconic to the UK’s heritage story as Stonehenge and the British Museum and we’re delighted to support the Punk London cultural programme and want to encourage people across the country to celebrate their own punk heritage in 2016.”

Punk London is supported by the Mayor of London.

Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. @heritagelottery


Significantly, the 100 Club website page for the Resolution 2016 gigs makes no mention of the Mayor or Lottery involvement. 


Louder Than War says

In 1977  Punk was regarded as “a bigger threat to our way of life than hyper-inflation and Russian Communism” according to one Establishment rentaquote (and used in TV special Brass Tacks).

The slogan “Germany got Baader-Meinhof, England got punk,” appears on the sleeve of Crass ‘The Feeding Of The Five Thousand’ reissue (although I cannot remember where it originated.)

These two quotes alone, and any dictionary definition of punk as being ‘anti-establishment’ alone should be set in stark relief against the fact that Punk. London is “supported by the Lord Mayor of London” currently Boris Johnson, a floppy haired Tory buffoon on the face of it, but a dangerously ambitious politician authoritarian underneath.

Punk has always had contradictions at its heart but being assimilated into the Establishment and Heritage Culture is just plain wrong, isn’t it?

On the Official Website – click on DO IT YOURSELF and the link is pages and pages of red-taped form-filling to try and apply for a Lottery Heritage Grant! The exact OPPOSITE of doing it yourself.

The “Year Long Festival” is kicked off by gigs at the 100 Club and there are some familiar names there. Are the artists playing ‘betraying punks legacy’ by taking part in an event ‘supported by’ Boris ?  Did they even know about his involvement?

They are all invited, cordially, to put their side to Louder Than War….

But,  looking at it from a practical commonsense standpoint, these are all decent working musicians, trying to earn a living in hard times; why shouldn’t they play, get paid, take the piss and ‘celebrate’ Punks 40th anniversary…?

40 Years is a long time ago.

Punk means or meant, so much, and so many different things to a wide cross-section of people involved or on the fringes…. there is a world of difference between a 1976 London Punk,  a 1980 provincial Crass punk and a Green Day fan…. Punk meant EVERYTHING to many…. Punk saved lives, created careers, changed outlooks, created opportunities, and maybe Punk FAILED to change anything at all….

Punks ‘Utopian Heresies are its gift to the world’ (c) Jon Savage – but do NOT belong to Boris Johnson and shouldn’t be included on his CV to be trotted out at Election time as a token example of his diverse agenda.

Or  is it ‘Only Rock’n’Roll and was punk  just ‘a series of shock slogans and token tantrums’?  Two slogans from Punks later incarnations, Riot Grrrl and the New Wave of New Wave seem to apply perfectly.  Huggy Bears  ‘THIS IS HAPPENING WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION and S*M*A*S*H’s  WHOEVER IS IN POWER, I’LL BE THE OPPOSITION.

Punk’s 40th Anniversary should, of course, be celebrated and does have huge cultural value and importance, but does punk want or need the support of Boris?   We are pretty sure that the support is not a mutual thing.

Let us know what you think.

PUNK.LONDON Official Website.

100 Club Resolution 2016 page with ticket links.


All words Ged Babey for Louder Than War

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  1. Shite. Who cares. Punk meant everything to me as a kid. that was then, Don’t need to go back there via some shit lottery funded Boris bollocks. Turning rebellion into money. Punk is still happening now, Savages, Fat White Family, Sleaford Mods etc etc.

    • so the tories had us punks arrested and sent on sharp short shock, punnished, persecuted by the pigs, treated worse than blacks during the riots, now the scummy twat kiddie fuckers want to make money out of us, are these punks forgetting what punk is and was about, rebelling against the system, you cant be a anarchist if you give those bastards money and pay off the tory twats…fuck the tories

      • All politicians hated punk, not just Tories. Labour councils banned punk, Labour’s Livingstone shut down London venues to punk bands. Speak to Eastern European punks about what life was like for them under “socialism”

  2. Punk viewed through a glass darkly thanks to Lottery Funding and the Mayor? Just confirms that punk is no more than a museum exhibit and has no more relevance to today than the Teds we used to spar with back in 76/77. To be honest, the punks from 40 years ago wouldn’t know where to start with the post-Millennials – how to agitate, educate and organise a generation glued to their mobile devices? Sad…

  3. The more punk gigs the better, let’s face it every kid has a deluxe tablet and slick trainers nowadays so they have little reason to subvert. Boris is a bit of a rascal, maybe he’ll use Kill the Poor as his campaign song.

    • Bring one of these devices to the club (httpss://, force the kids to have a immersive, analog experience at a live show, and chaos just might ensue. Even with the mayor’s seal-of-approval, his office can’t determine what the result might be. Happy holidays, (ex-) punks and punkettes!

  4. I have no problem with the musicians still gigging if they can sell tickets but to try and turn punk into some establishment funded circus is criminal. Punk was about young people making their own opportunities through music, art, drama and political action; everything that young people are encouraged not to do today – so largely don’t. The spirit / legacy of Punk is alive and well and can be seen through the likes of Banksy or Sleaford Mods etc and it was always about moving on – that’s why each Clash album was different from the one before and why Lydon did Pil after the Pistols. Punk, or people that were involved, should not need recognition from the establishment. They should just want the establishment to Fuck Off because it is still corrupt and harmful!!

  5. It seems strange that gigs at the 100 Club need this sort of sponsorship, after all most bands listed here have played the venue before without it. Boris Johnson is a cold, calculating man despite the veneer of a loveable halfwit and a danger to any sort of freedom.

    Can’t really blame the bands involved as it’s a paying gig for them though I wish they didn’t.

  6. Think people are being a bit hypersensitive here. I can’t see Boris getting down the front at Anti Nowhere League or GBH gig, so does it really matter if they are ‘sanctioning’ it or not? The more publicity the better, if that means Prince Charles advertising it, then who gives a fuck? Most of the bands have been gigging tirelessly for decades with scant publicity or reward.

    And people saying things like punk is a museum piece or past it simply don’t know what they are talking about. There are umpteen punk gigs taking place every week organised by people taking things into their own hands. And that’s regardless of whether the establishment OR some original punks tell them they’re wasting their time.

    Oh and Banksy? Yeah real anti mainstream stuff that.

  7. Most of the original punk bands were just as much a part of the corporate music business as any other music around at the time. Granted, often only through being exploited by the music biz, but still very few of them could claim that they ‘did it themselves’. You can’t be outside the establishment and true to the punk values you espouse by then signing to CBS or EMI. Do Pistols & Clash fans think that those record labels represented the height of independent thought?

    The only bands I can think of that had any meaningful impact and truly maintained DIY principles and actions were the likes of Crass, Poison Girls, Subhumans.

    As for the rest, it’s only rock’n’roll. Great tunes, but not Punk. Not worth getting overheated about, one way or the other.

  8. Great idea, it means you can watch out for 2 or 3 good gigs in a row and make it worth the trip . To those who knock it, yes it may not be as new or as energetic as 1977 but punk is still the only music i have any interest in

  9. I don’t care if this person or that person supports or pays for punk shows just as long as they happen and the bands get paid. It’s not like most of the original bands made a good living out of it and those still going now have bills to pay like everyone else. I only care if the music is good. I’ll be going to Resolution and if Boris rides by like the last time I was at the 100 Club we’ll start a chorus of ‘Who’s the bastard on the bike’ again. :)

  10. Too right. Punk meant everything to me, the moment I was aware of it I stopped being a greased, albeit a young one. I was never in a group and never one to be too into ‘who you know’ but I was a Hounslow Mentals hanger on with Sid etc and than one of the Whitton for years until I headed off to Essex with Wobble.

    The whole anniversary thing just depresses me and much as I’m sure some of it’d be interested and I might be tempted if the group’s was right, I’ve moved on. I’ve still pretty much the same attitude but I’m 55 and bald ffs! I don’t need to fill some pathetic twats pockets or have owt to do with the revisionist arty types and professional punks and ex journalists who have made careers on the back of something that meant more to me than music or art.

    The fact that it’s supported by Boris! Tories, Labour, straights, music bis, they all tried, and pretty much succeeded to grab control of what they could and crush what they couldn’t. Punk was hugely influential, but ultimately a failure, look at things today, or rather don’t. Business controls just about everything. Conforming to the correct fashion does the rest. Do I need to be stuck in an artificial time warp to still be a punk? Like ruck do I, or you. Think for yourself, do it yourself and never forget the scorn and ridicule the establishment felt and still feel for those of us who cared. Think of punk on tv, dress up etc , pins and Mohican wigs ffs.

    Apparently we’ve just listed some pistols graffiti, brace yourselves for more bollocks from ‘experts’ who’ve no idea but liked Souxsie aaagh!

    Depressed, torn, mixed up and mostly, angry.

    Nick, glad I’m out of it

  11. I should add that I do appreciate that most of the real groups made nothing out of it and don’t really begrudge them the chance to enjoy themselves.



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