Thursday, 10 March 2016

Punkest of The Punk?

A good friend of mine, Bethany, pointed me to an article about a Cramps concert in 1978 where they played Napa State Mental Hospital . The article is here . While I laud the band for doing that , and many have done similar things before and since . Take Johnny Cash at San Quentin for instance , bands playing for people who normally would not be treated to live music . One of the best examples of that I have seen was at The Chase Park Festival at Whickham where the whole set up was geared towards total social integration (see review here)

Punky Reggae
My issue with the "I'm Punkier Than You" thing is that as soon as you adjectivise the word it becomes it's own establishment , and Punk is meant to be anti establishment. I remember hearing that Bob Marley had a song called Punky Reggae Party ... just the title made me cringe , as though Bob was trying to jump on a bandwagon . If a band described themselves as punky I would expect something like The Knack singing My Sharona.

A punk is an undesirable , a delinquent , something that doesn't care so for a real punk gig or record , it should challenge , it should be unexpected , and really The Cramps gig was something you would expect The Cramps to do. It wasn't what Fleetwood Mac would do , but then again , when they followed up Rumours with Tusk wasn't that a total punk thing to do , they risked destroying everything with Tusk , although it's probably my favourite album of theirs.

And what about The KLF / Extreme Noise Terror at The Brits , that was a shock to the mainstream, showing punk attitude 15 years after the British Explosion.

Then you had teh Sex Pistols a manufactured bad boy band who's album was heavy metal with a sneer. I bought "New Rose" by The Damned when it came out , "I'm Stranded" by The Saints and then when I heard Anarchy In The UK I was really disappointed because it was metal not punk.

So really if you want the most in your face example of punk attitude it has to be The KLF at the Brits , because the Cramps were just doing what The Cramps did, The KLF actually shocked.

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