Sexy Hooligans – Memories of the 100 Club Punk Festival – 20/09/76

Exactly thirty seven years ago tonight, a Monday night, Michelle was waiting in a queue to witness the two day punk festival held at the 100 Club in Oxford Street in the centre of London. Below are written memories of that night and of the era. The text immediately below is written by Michelle herself and the text below Michelle’s was written by Caroline Coon for a review of the festival which was published in Melody Maker a week or two after the punk festival had taken place.

The two photographs of Michelle in the ‘leopard skin’ jacket at the front of the queue for the event are courtesy of the Caroline Coon collection. All the photographs of the bands at the actual festival were taken by, and are part of Michelle’s collection. Also the photograph of Michelle in 1976 that heads this post and the photo booth shots from 1977 to 1979 are from Michelle’s collection. Thank you to her for letting KYPP use them.

Fast forward a handful of years from those nights in September 1976 and Michelle would front the band Brigandage and live amongst the Puppy Collective in and around the squats of Hampstead. Michelle’s band, Brigandage, was a firm favourite of the Puppy Collective and to a much younger Penguin.

Previous to forming Brigandage in 1979, Michelle was in the band V.D.U that put out one 7″ single ‘Don’t Cry For Me’ on Thin Sliced records. Sadly I do not own this artefact but if and when I do I will place it up on KYPP.

You may hear Brigandage in all there glorious pomp on two previous KYPP posts HERE and HERE.

Michelle is still involved in the scene in no small way after all these years. She has never really been away. Brigandage have not reformed (although that might be nice at some point in the future). What Michelle has been doing for several years now is to create lovingly screen printed replicas of some of the original Seditionaries stock, original stock long gone now. Michelle also creates her own clothing inspired by the Seditionaries brand from 1977 which are equally beautiful and well made for both men and for women.

For more information on her business Sexy Hooligans you may follow this link HERE.

Six examples from the huge range of Sexy Hooligan clothing may be viewed below the 100 club punk festival post.

Please support Sexy Hooligans if you can, and no there is not a free shirt in it for me!


My boyfriend Bruno and I were a little different at school in that we loved Roxy Music. I think we loved them more than Bowie although we saw him on the 1976 ‘Thin White Duke’ tour. We loved Lou Reed and the Velvets and the Rocky Horror Picture Show, Bruno had a massive record collection for the time. We just liked things that weren’t long hair and flares and dull like Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Genesis. This made us odd at school.

He read the Melody Maker and when we were about 15 we started going to gigs, even rock and roll gigs. It was fun but there was a feeling in the air that something was about to happen, about to explode. Then one day we read about a band called Eddie And the Hot Rods and they sounded exciting. We did not make it to the gig, we had tickets for Doctors Of Madness instead. Then it happened: Sex Pistols front page of the Melody Maker. The fight from the stage of the Nashville club in Kensington. That was it, straight up to London to see them perform. They seemed so exciting, out of the ordinary. They looked like us, were young. They did not have long hair it was short like ours.

People do not realise how absolutely boring and tedious Britain was in the early 1970’s, how the sixties dreams of revolution had died and left a vacuum. Also it was a lot easier for me to get to gigs because I lived in a suburb of London.

The atmosphere at the 100 Club punk festival was electric. We had seen Sex Pistols several times before, and The Clash. They had five members then, Keith Levine was the third guitarist for a while.

Dreadful bands like The Suburban Studs used to support them. They were dreadful. We nearly walked out before Sex Pistols came on! They brought a pigs head out on stage, so you see people were already trying to latch on to this new feeling of punk shock but getting it dreadfully wrong.

It was an incredible two nights but it was marred by the glass throwing incident which Sid, then the drummer of Souxsie And The Banshees (or Suzy And The Banshees at that festival) got blamed for. My cousin and I got small bits of glass showering over our face but it was a friend I’d met at Blitz, Cherry (I think that was her name) who got glass in her eye. It blinded her in one eye and I think she was and wanted to continue to be, an artist. The incident put paid to that. Obviously the atmosphere changed suddenly. There was blood, screaming, crying and ambulances and police. It calmed down after she was taken away but everybody started to leave. Souixsie stood on the stairs and asked people to stay and support The Buzzcocks.  Bruno and myself could not as we needed to get the last train back to the suburbs. Should have stayed to see them, as it was Howard Devoto’s band at that time.

All I can say about seeing Sex Pistols was that the first time Johnny stepped onto the stage I practically fell to my knees, it was like a life changing religious experience. Here was someone who understood what I was feeling inside. I now longer felt alone. We were individuals shoulder to shoulder with other individuals. Not some mindless gang but a group of people who had finally found their way to a home.

Michelle Brigandage / Sexy Hooligans


Monday, September 20th: The Sex Pistols, the Clash, Subway Sect, Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Tuesday, September 21st: The Damned, Chris Spedding and the Vibrators, the Buzzcocks, and Stinky Toys (from France).

The first mass exposure of Punk Rock to the music press and record industry. On the second day, after an accident in which Dave Vanium’s friend lost her eye, Sid Vicious was arrested. When I tried to find out why, I too was arrested. During most of Chris Spedding’s set I was in the police station with Sid but I was released (and later given an absolute discharge) in time to see the festival end.

Monday September 20th

Nothing quite so collectively out of context as last Monday’s queue outside the 100 Club has gathered on Oxford Street for nearly a decade. When the Hari Krishna chanters stopped rush-hour traffic in their saffron robes and bald heads and started pinging finger cymbals, there was no denying that the hippie era had arrived.

The six-hundred strong line which straggled across two blocks waiting for the Punk Rock Festival to start was again indisputable evidence that a new decade in rock is about to begin.

Two eighteen-year-olds from Salisbury were at the head of the queue. ‘I’ve been waiting for something to identify with,’ says Gareth enthusiastically. ‘There’s been nothing for years. I just want to be involved, really.’

Michelle and Bruno are both sixteen. Their hair is short and neat. Their attire, shirts and ties, ‘leopard skin’ jackets, stilleto heels, pointed toes and dramatic make-up, is echoed down the line – in various home-made and inventive variations.

‘They’re the best bands around,’ says Michelle, who’s a seasoned fan already. ‘They’re playing the music of the people.’

Over the last eight months, a generation of rock fans has been developing an extraordinary sense of belonging together. Excited by the blast of direct energy in the music of the bands playing on the Punk Rock Festival bill, they are creating a new cultural identity for themselves. They have their own clothes, language, ‘in’ jokes and fanzines. There is a healthy comradeship and competitiveness in equal doses. The established bands share their equipment and rehearsal space, and most of the established musicians are encouraging friends to form bands of their own. Apart from the thirty musicians actually playing in the Festival, the audience itself is seething with new talent.

Tim, Pete, George and Bill – all seventeen – are from North London and Southend. ‘We listen to everything from Weather Report to MC5,’ says school boy Tim. ‘But we come here to pick up tips. Our band’s called “1919 Ulterior Motive Five” ’cause there’s four of us, see.’

Johnny Moped is there looking to find musicians for his band The Morons. Chaotic Bass is on the loose. Fat Steve of the Babes says he’s rehearsing. Fourteen year old Rodger Bullen, Rat Scabies’ protégé, has just joined Eater.

The creative buzz and exciting feel that something is ‘happening’ is infectious. There is a continual stream of criticism and rude abuse poured over each other’s favourite enterprise, but having and giving back that kind of attention is part of the fun. ‘Do It Yourself’ could be the motto down at the 100 Club. Everyone wants to get in on the act. Everyone can.

The Subway Sect. It’s their first-ever gig. There’s Vic Godard (19) and Paul Myers (bass). Paul Smith (18) has played for five weeks and Robert Miller (lead guitar) for three months. They are familiar faces, having been in the audience at many Pistols gigs. It’s been tough for them to find rehearsal rooms, but after a weekend at the Clash’s spacious studio, their set is debut ready.

They stalk purposefully on stage and without looking at the audience start a lengthy, foot-finding, tuning-type warm-up. Already they look like they belong together.

‘We’re the, er, Subway,’ pause ‘Sect’ pronounces Vic, turning at last to the audience.

The Clash planned to let Siouxsie and the Banshees use their equipment at the 100 Club festival, but when their manager, Bernard Rhodes, saw Siouxsie wearing a swastika arm band (which she refused to remove), they withdrew their consent. Why?

‘I felt she wasn’t aware of what she was letting herself in for’ said Bernard. ‘Our equipment is very distinctive we’ve painted it luminous pink. If she used it, we too would be associated with the swastika. I felt she was mucking about with a loaded gun and we didn’t want to have anything to do with it.

‘The whole swastika thing is quite funny really. When I was working with Malcolm he went up North and came back with a whole load of bits and pieces with swastikas on them which someone had given him. Eventually Siouxsie wore one of the shirts, more because it was there than anything else. She said that as a symbol of shock, the swastika was the only thing around. I don’t think she thought very much about it. As a symbol, or an emblem it was a random choice. A bad accident. A bit of a red herring. But the Clash are into specifics, not red herrings. If we’re going to use emblems, then they should be nearer the mark. People can do what they want. But we don’t think the swastika means anything relevant to us.”

Siouxsie and the Banshees. It’s never the same at a Pistols’ gig nowadays if what is known as the ‘Bromley Contingent’ isn’t there. This inseparable unit are Steve (21), Bill (22), Simon (19) – he sells hot-dogs off a mobile stand during the day raspberry-haired Debbie and Siouxsie herself.

They first heard the Pistols at their local Tech in January, and they’ve been faithful followers ever since. They made the trip to Paris in a ropey old car to see their heroes’ first overseas performance, and Siouxsie, shocking in her semi-nudity, got punched on the nose.

She is nothing if not magnificent. Her short hair, which she sweeps in great waves over her head, is streaked with red, like flames. She’ll wear black plastic non-existent bras, one mesh and one rubber stocking, suspender belts (various), all covered by a polka-dotted, transparent plastic mac. Over the weeks the Bromley Contingent’s continuous parade of inventive dress (it’s rarely the same two weeks running) has set the fashion. It was only a matter of time before they took their street theatre to the stage.

Apart from Siouxsie, membership of the band was not settled until the day before the festival. Everyone thought, though, that they’d carry out their much advertised plan to sing ‘Goldfinger’. It was not to be. At the last moment, in an orgy of rock iconoclasm they decided on The Lords Prayer spiced up with ‘the most ridiculous rock songs ever written’.

Two-tone Steve (his hair is black on top, white at the sides) was on a bass he picked up for the first time the night before. Sid Vicious, Johnny Rotten’s friend, and inventor of the pogo dance, was on drums. He had one rehearsal. A mature gent called Marco was lead guitarist.

The prayer begins. It’s a wild improvisation, a public jam, a bizarre stage fantasy acted out for real. The sound is what you’d expect from, er, novices. But Sid, with miraculous command, starts his minimal thud and doesn’t fluctuate the beat from start to finish of the, er, set. Against this rough corrugation of sound, Siouxsie, with the grace of a redeemed ghoul, rifles the senses with an unnerving, screaching recitative. ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door’ creep into the act. Sid flickers a smile, Marco, his guitar feeding back, rolls up his sleeves, and Two-tone Steve two-tones.

The audience, enjoying the band’s nerve and audacity, eggs them on, gets bored, has a laugh then wonders how much more it can take. Twenty minutes later, on a nod from Marco, Sid just stops. The enthusiastic cheering is a just recognition of their success. If the punk rock scene has anything to offer, it’s the opportunity for anyone to get up and experience the reality of their wildest stage-struck dreams. The bar-flies are horrified.

‘God, it was awful’ says Howard Thompson, an A&R man from Island. But Siouxsie is not interested in contracts.

‘The ending was a mistake,’ she says. ‘I thought we’d go on until they pulled us off.’

The Clash. ‘They’re Great!’ shouts a bespectacled youth half way through this band’s set. ‘I used to listen to Yes and Genesis.’ At last, after three months intensive rehearsals and three gigs, the Clash hit close to top form. We see a glimpse of their very considerable potential.

They have reduced their line-up. Rhythm guitarist Keith Levene is off forming a new band. This has left Joe Strummer (lead vocals and guitar), Mick Jones (lead guitar), and Paul Simonon (bass), more room to move. And this they do, powering through their first number, ‘White Riot’. The audience is instantly approving. The band is fast, tough and lyrical, and they’ve mastered the way of dovetailing Joe’s mellow approach with Mick’s spikey aggression. They blaze through ‘London’s Burning’ with raging intensity. Terry Chimes (drums) uses the opportunity to undercut his solid bass drum surge with candescent splashes over the high hat. They play eleven of their eighteen songs including ‘I’m So Bored with the USA’, ‘Protex Blue’ (with Mick on lead vocals), ‘Deny’, and ‘Janie Jones’. They end the set with ‘1977’.

Later, I ask Paul Simonon, who has played bass for only six months, how he feels about the set. ‘I’ve got to get better. I’m never content. I know I can do a lot with the bass. Most of them stand still like John Entwistle. I want to move around and give the audience a good time. And give myself a good time too.’

Joe Strummer, who’s last band was the now-fabled 101’ers, has played with very experienced musicians. What was it like playing with someone like Paul who’s learning as he goes? ‘It’s really great,’ he says. ‘When a musician knows all his oats it gets boring. It’s not exciting for them and they start playing for playing’s sake and the emotion disappears. It’s really exciting playing with Paul because there are no rules. My guitar style is really rudimentary and Mick’s is great, so the combination is really interesting.’

The Sex Pistols. The atmosphere in the club is feverishly high pitched. This is the band everyone’s been waiting for. Not everyone, however, is happy about the Pistols’ growing success and notoriety. The private party is over. The band is public property. It had to happen. But with mixed feelings the band’s throbbing nucleus of fans are holding their breath as their champions start a steady climb to the ethereal reaches of stardom and rock immortality. Will the businessmen spoil them?, is the anxious question.

Already the band has changed – especially Johnny Rotten and Steve Jones. Once Rotten would poke his pretty mug into any camera lens and leer. Now he’s likely to sweep his arms across his face with an Ava Gardner gesture of exclusivity.

Jones, once the brooding loner unsure of his sex appeal, is now exuding a magnetic confidence which guarantees a screen of exotic women around him. Glen Matlock and Paul Cook, perhaps because they’ve been less ‘visible’, have yet to zip into their rock star mantles. They will, once their partnership – Glen’s driving fluid bass lines and Paul’s billowing drum storm – is recognised as the superb bed-rock of taut rhythmic structures it is.

The band’s fanatical following is growing fast. Fans follow them all over the country from gig to gig. They are the unquestioned stars of the Punk Rock Festival and as they step on stage they are greeted with lung bursting cheers.

‘We’ve got another Underground at last,’ shouts an ecstatic youth, ‘I’ve waited seven years for this.’

Over the nine months that the Pistols have played together, Rotten has developed his stage presence beyond the realms even his most ardent fans imagined possible. He is still prying open the nether reaches of his personality and presenting audiences with yet another dark fragment from his psyche. Once he moved over the stage squirming and jiggering around like a spinderly, geigercounter needle measuring radio activity. Rarely was he motionless. Lately, he rarely moves. He can be quite sickeningly still. This deathly, morgue-like stance sets skin crawling, and his lyrics are as suffocating as the world they describe.

He wears a bondage suit for the festival. It’s a black affair, dangling with zips, chains, safety pins and crucifixes. He is bound around the chest and knees, a confinement symbolising the urban reality he sees around him.

The set begins. The band hit their instruments in unison. It’s the fanfare intro to ‘Anarchy in the U.K’. SMASH – and their instantly identifiable, careering, evisceral splurge sears the air. The fans go wild. Johnny strains at his jump-suit prison. He breaks loose and burns into ‘I Wanna Be Me’. The crowd sprawls at his feet, a struggling heap of excited bodies.

‘Alright,’ says Johnny calmly disengaging his feet from the melee, ‘all off the stage, chuckies…’

The photographers fight for better shots, the pogo dancers leap above the crowd, sweat pours and the crush rolls forward and back from the stage like a tidal wave.

The band, lifted by the positive vibes, delivers pin-perfect versions of ‘Seventeen’, ‘I’m a Lazy Sod’, ‘New York’, ‘Pushin’ and A Shovin’’ – the fans call out for ‘Sub-Mission’ – ‘next number’ drawls Johnny. It’s the Monkees’ ‘Stepping Stone’. Then ‘I Love You’, their cynical anthem to suburbia.

Steve breaks open, flinging his guitar diagonally across his chest and slicing up his fret, he leads the band with power and imagination through a breathless one hour and fifteen minutes of thunderous rock ‘n’ roll. They play ‘Sub-Mission’, ‘Liar’ – a favourite with the audience – ‘No Feelings’, ‘Substitute’, ‘Pretty Vacant’ and they finish the set with ‘Problems’ and ‘No Fun’. They are called back for a triumphant encore.

The Sex Pistols were terrific. Compulsively physical. Frightening in their teenage vision of world disintegration. And refreshing in their musical directness and technical virtuosity. Whether their music will make the Top 20 or not is irrelevant. They’re doing it for a new generation of rock fans who think they’re fantastic.

Tuesday, September 21st

The audience on the second night of the festival is conspicuously longer haired and more denim clad. The atmosphere is competitive still but without the reigning kings there’s not the same buzz.

Stinky Toys. Ellie (20), the Stinky Toys’ singer, has calmed down. The night before, when she realised there was no time for the band to play, she’d made a not-too-successful prima-donna exit – kick, push, tut-tut at tables as she ran out into Oxford Street where, it is said, she was saved from wounding herself under a bus.

Her band is very French, i.e. very, very serious. They’ve frowned for two days and they frown even more when, after three very short numbers, including ‘Under My Thumb’ they get nil reaction from the crowd. There’s Bruno Carone (lead guitar), Jacno (rhythm), Oswald (bass), and Harve on drums. They play completely out of tune even though they spend minutes between numbers ‘tuning-up’.

Ellie’s voice, a high pitched whine, has 90% of the older male population diving back to the bar. And yet? Well, even though she sings in English and not one of the words from songs like ‘Pe Pe Gestapo’ or ‘Kill The Pain’ are intelligible, she has presence. You have to watch her. As the band liven-up with petulant anger at the impassive crowd, Ellie, frisking her blond hair out of beautiful blue eyes, does a frenzied dance before the mike. If only the rest of the band didn’t give the impression they want to get off the stage as fast as they can.

Which singers, I ask Ellie, before she dashes off after the set to catch the last train to Paris, have influenced her most? ‘Brenda Lee,’ she says ‘and Glenda Jackson…’ Umm.

The Damned. There’s something very special about this band. They’ve come a long way fast from the night, three months ago, when they played their first gig at the Nashville. Not that they actually played together that night. Each one of them did his own number in a private daze. Out of time, out of key, the cacophony was terrible enough to be great. The band took to the stage like famished maggots to an over-ripe cheese. They are all born performers, without a shred of inhibition. They are more voluptuous, both musically and physically, than the Pistols, and less classically musical than the Clash. But, with these two bands they are the third key-stone to emerge and they are holding up a corner of the canopy loosely covering the punk rock scene.

Rat Scabies is already being tagged a nubile John Bonham. He drums as solid as an express train. Ray Burns, whose lips always glisten with Woolworth’s best pearly pink Tu lipstick, plays bass as if he were Marc Bolan on lead guitar. He’s articulate and sensitive but he chooses to fool everyone with a front as benevolently mad as a village idiot’s. Bryan James (lead guitar), the band’s ‘elder’, is likely to look up from his guitar, catch Rat and Ray acting out their star trips, and crack up with spontaneous laughter.

Their lead singer, Dave Vanium (he gave up his daytime job as a grave-digger last week), looks as if he’s immaculately risen from Dracula’s crypt. On stage he hisses like an angry bat. And, for one so new to the game, he can keep a show going through appalling obstacles.

As they steam blissfully through ‘Neat, Neat, Neat’ and their soon-to-be-released single ‘New Rose’, the sound is atrocious. Vanium’s mike keeps crackling and cutting out, but the show goes on with the minimum of fuss.

Half way through ‘Fan Club’ they take off, pile-driving and crazy fierce, with Bryan pounding the coagulation with a fine treble texture. They are having fun but after their non-revivalist version of the Beatles’ ‘Help!’ the music staggers to a halt.

‘Who’s come here tonight to listen to music?’ challenges Rat as he spars with his drum-sticks on Ray’s bass. It is always difficult for Rat to keep sitting at his drum kit for more than a few numbers at a time. Bryan, meanwhile, has broken a string. After ten minutes the roadie still hasn’t fixed it. Chaos on stage. The show starts again.

‘We’re sorry to sound just like the last band,’ leers Dave, ‘but we can’t help it,’ and he rips into the Stooges’ ‘1970’. He leaps and scrabbles at the torrid air and flinging back his glossy black head he spits out lyrics in a style which is developing into a show-stopper.

Suddenly he jumps into the audience. O.K. that’s par for the course. But when he gets back up on stage again he screams with a conviction which transcends a stage act, ‘Someone has just hit one very near and dear to me’. The show goes on, but Dave is on the verge of freaking.

Minutes later three people appear at the back of the club. There is no commotion but they are bleeding. The atmosphere chills perceptibly. Onto the stage leaps Mr. Hunter, the club’s manager. ‘If there’s any more glasses thrown,’ he yells, ‘you’ll all have to go home.’ The show starts again for ‘So Messed Up’, the last number. The band screams through it, black and moody, slamming out the last riffs before they make a dash to the dressing-room. Dave, whose girl-friend was one of the injured people, heads straight for the street in time to sit in the ambulance as it heads for hospital.

A glass lobbed at the stage, hit a pillar, shattered and sprayed the audience instead.

Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols’ manager, tries to buy a drink and is refused because the barman doesn’t want any more missiles flying through the air.

‘Why don’t you serve drinks in plastic cups,’ asked Malcolm.

‘Who do you think we are!’ is the reply. ‘We’re civilized down here.’

The Vibrators – and Chris Spedding. The show goes on. The first time the Vibrators, John Ellis (lead guitar), Knox (lead vocals) and Jon Edwards (drums) played at the 100 Club, their manager-cum-bassist, Pat Collins, told me, ‘We don’t really go along with the Punk Rock thing, but it’s the fashion isn’t it?’ Since then they’ve cut off their long hair. However, they still play very few original numbers. They’re a punchy little R&B outfit. And since Chris Spedding hasn’t managed to form a band they are the ideal bunch for him. He wants to play it safe. They know all the old classics.

Their first number (Spedding joins them later) is a bluesy carnage of ‘I Saw You Standing There’. Then they spew into ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’.

By this time, policemen, plain clothes and in uniform, are mingling with the audience. Everyone feels uncomfortable. People have been hurt quietly. There wasn’t a fight, and nobody knows exactly what happened.

Suddenly, with no more impact than a moving dark blue flash, five uniformed police surround a figure by the bar. He looks surprised. Blank. He’s guided to the exit and arrested. It’s Sid Vicious, Siouxsie and the Banshees’ drummer.

The Vibrators play on. Spedding joins them. He’s dressed in black from head to foot and his eyes are like coalholes in his white face. He humps into ‘Motorbikin’’. Ray Burns, who’s standing at the side of the stage, can resist no longer. Up to the mikes he leaps. They are turned off until he reaches the other side of the stage. Spedding’s cool. Ray sings the choruses and the audience seeing that Spedding is trying to slip away cheer him back again. They all mash into ‘Great Balls Of Fire’ and for good measure – with half the audience groaning ‘boring’, ‘old’, and the others leaping about – they wring life into ‘Let’s Twist Again’. Well, they did it! In the dressing room, dripping with sweat, Spedding is actually grinning. He enjoyed himself.

The Buzzcocks. This Manchester band was formed less than two months ago. The front line – Howard Devoto (vocals). Peter Shelley, who plays a chopped-in-half, second-hand ‘Starway’ and Steve Diggle (bass) are pint-sized. Howard, who doesn’t speak to the audience much – has just dyed his mousey hair orange. All the band’s energy implodes around John Maher’s drum kit. But like sparrows in a sand bath, they throw up a gritty cloud of sound. Through numbers like ‘Breakdown’, ‘Orgasm Addict’, ‘Boredom’ and ‘Oh Shit’, their sound is quaintly compact. But their approach, though very energetic is unnecessarily defensive and calculating. Devoto insists that he is only in a rock band ‘temporarily’ and his self-conscious lack of commitmentcomes across. He doesn’t laugh much and he hates being on stage.

The festival ends with the Buzzcocks fluttering into the audience and Peter Shelley’s guitar still on stage feeding back. It pounds out a gut-wrenching lub dub, lub dud like the no-feeling sound of a robot’s heartbeat.

It was a bitter-sweet two days. There was a fine display of inventive music, plenty of hope, a lot of fun, and revived spirits. The star bands gave their best, and the newcomers were very entertaining. But, echoing the black spots in almost all festivals this summer, someone was badly hurt by an alcohol container.

Thus the optimism of this otherwise milestone event was undercut with sadness. Nobody wants to see the fiery, aggressive energy in the music diminished. But, promoters, increasingly eager to book punk-rock bands, must take a few elementary precautions (like plastic mugs) to protect their very young audience. It’s the only sensible way to present their scene.

Caroline Coon – Melody Maker – 2 October 1976


These are just six examples of a huge range of Sexy Hooligans clothing for men and women, all top quality material. Please go and check out the Sexy Hooligans website HERE.

Think I might get a ‘Vive Le Rock’ shirt for myself. The only ‘Seditionaries style’ shirt I owned as a teenager!

  1. AL Puppy
    AL Puppy
    September 20, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    One of my treasured/ enduring memories is when Brigandage played at the Centro Iberico. Half way through their set the power went off but this didn’t put Michelle off her stride – she led the crowd of anarcho-punks through a ‘sing-along with the Sex Pistols’ complete with a rousing rendition of ‘Anarchy in the UK’ until the electricity came back on.

  2. Martin
    September 21, 2013 at 7:59 am

    Loved reading this, can hardly begin to image how exciting the gigs must have been.

    About the Swastika. Rhodes was right to refuse the equipment, and the Banshees had later form: “Too many Jews for my liking” from Love in a Void, remember?

  3. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    September 21, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    This summer in Normandy I saw an authentic Nazi Armband in a museum about the Nazi occupation of the area. It was compulsory wear for Frenchmen such as farm labourers to indicate they were working for the Nazi’s and not pilfering from the fields.

    It made me think about the Nazi armband wearers of the early punk movement: wearing it as a statement saying ‘we are forced to work for the Fascist regime in this country’. Of course a yellow star (and there were several ranks of them in this museum) would have been better to convey a message about the similarity between English Government and the Nazis.

    The armband certainly caused an upheaval of emotions in me that I doubt the museum curators had envisaged. And all day long after that I had ATV’s ‘How Much Longer’ bouncing around in my head.

  4. Steve
    September 22, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Did people really claim in 1976 that that was the spirit in which wearing a Nazi armband was intended? (ie signifying that they were the victims of oppression).

    There’s a sort of intellectual respectability to that, even if it does seem a ludicrous exaggeration of reality, but I’ve literally never seen anybody put forward that argument! I’ve always viewed it as misguided shock value, pure and simple.

  5. Tony Puppy
    Tony Puppy
    September 23, 2013 at 1:01 am

    Hi Steve,

    no one said that about the Nazi armbands at the time. It just crossed my mind when in the museum, seeing one and the reason for the French having to wear one. Just punted it up to get it out of my mind.

  6. Sam
    September 23, 2013 at 3:39 pm

    They were there for the shock value, in a similar way that hell’s angels wore them. ‘Rapist’ masks etc weren’t very right on either. As we all grew up within the shadow of WWII it was just a way to annoy your parents. On a trip to Holland with Leigh Kendal in 1980 we watched a troop of cadets march past and I mockingly did a Nazi salute. One of the Dutch people with us hurriedly stopped me. It was a very different thing in countries that had been occupied and I would have been lynched if any of the older people around had seen me and taken me seriously.

  7. danmac
    February 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    My brother-in-law Paul in the suit, tie and shades standing in the queue to the left of Siouxsie – Roxy Music freak – reckons ‘it all got a bit silly in 1977’….

  8. George ward
    George ward
    February 9, 2020 at 4:12 pm

    This would of been my favourite place ever to have been ! Wow what excitement and original people with all there own style and to change it weekly , must of been fantastic ! My sister bought me anarchy when it came out , I was to young but loved it , she was a couple of years older and into it and she got me into the scene , which I am until this day ! Michele is a friend mainly through her shop , if only I had been there !!!

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