Rubella Ballet – Centro Iberico – 2/5/82

Rubella Ballet performance

After receiving a cassette of a Rubella Ballet performance at the Centro Iberico in 1982 from Peck, originally from Colchester but now a long time Ipswich resident along with getting a large box of paperwork and photographs from Tony D to scan in for a possible project in the future, I can now place some of this material together in this KYPP post.

Firstly thanks to Peck, Tony D and Mick Mercer (photograph of Rubella Ballet performing at the Centro Iberico) for all the component parts that make up this post (except the Centro Iberico Punk Lives article that has lain dormant at Penguin Towers for many years).

The recording of the Rubella Ballet performance is recorded on a hand held recorder and is not of the greatest quality sadly, although it is reasonable and does give a snippet of the atmosphere on the night. Rubella Ballet shared the night with Conflict, Assassins Of Hope and Zounds, the other bands performing on the night.

Tony D’s original typed interview conducted in June 1982, part of which ended up included for Zig Zag magazine, and Al Puppy’s article on the Centro Iberico written in 1983 and included in Punk Lives magazine are uploaded in full onto this post. The pages may be viewed via the HERE link below each scanned page. There is a magnifying glass option when the link gets you to the Photo Bucket web page to get a really good quality viewing of the text.

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The Centro Iberico, a squatted school originally housed Spanish anarchists, assumed runaways from General Franco’s four decade rule which started in 1936 and lasted into the mid 1970’s.

Spain was an outsider in Europe due to the totalitarian regime that General Franco led during those years so many Spanish citizens would have tried to get out of Spain as best as they could considering the circumstances. I can only guess that most of these Spanish squatters were illegally based in London and could only claim benefits and British citizenship after convenience marriages to British men and women.

Feel free to correct me on that point.

The Centro Iberico was putting on performances by outsider bands a little before the Wapping Autonomy Centre closed it’s first floor doors. Raped (Cuddly Toys) and Rudi from Belfast, Northern Ireland performed at the squat in October 1978 and Throbbing Gristle performed in January 1979 are two examples of performances that occurred.

The gigs at the Centro Iberico were not exclusive to the peace punk bands of the day. Whitehouse also performed at the Centro Iberico on a couple of occasions. William Orbit had been living at the squat since the late 1970’s and had performed there in the 1980’s.

The Centro Iberico article written by Al Puppy and included in the Punk Lives magazine is important to add to this post. The article gives an overall picture of the venue alongside the autonomy centres prior to the punks descending onto the Centro Iberico for Sunday night gigs, and is a wonderful insight of some of the people involved in these autonomy centres during the early 1980’s era.

Unknown, Wolfen, Val and Greenhair inside the Centro Iberico.

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