This one has been so hard to limit to twenty songs! I’m not even a Punk, per se, I’m a Rock Chick although my taste in music leans more towards the harder, sleazier element than the soft! Every time I think I’ve got the list finalised I think of another song I like, and have already ditched The Boomtown Rats, GBH and Toyah. Some of the songs I wanted to include aren’t on Spotify, so had to be left out, and I couldn’t think of a song I wanted to include by a Welsh punk band either, I quite like The Alarm but they’re just not hardcore enough! There may well be a 20 British Punk songs 2, I can’t say I’ll get up to list 95 though – this isn’t quite Now That’s What I Call Music it’s just a list of songs I like and enjoy listening to. I hope you do too. If you know any good Welsh punk then add a comment and I’ll have a listen just in case there’s a British Punk Playlist 2!
So What – Anti-Nowhere League
AKA So Fucking What, the opening words, and with me being a fan of rude offensive lyrics thought I’d have it as my ring tone! Good idea? Well after getting some strange looks at work (in the day job) I keep the phone on vibrate only these days! I’d heard of Anti-Nowhere League but didn’t really know much about them until I went to Glasgow one weekend, six years ago, and looked to see if there were any good bands on; saw these were playing at Ivory Blacks; watched a few videos on YouTube including this one; thought it will be a laugh if nothing else!. It turned out to be one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to and I’m now a firm fan!
The Bitch – Slaughter and the Dogs
Slaughter and the Dogs, another band I came to see by fluke, I used to work with two guys who used to go on and on about how wonderful they were. With a name like Slaughter and the Dogs I thought ‘Yeah right!’ so when I saw that they were playing at The Thatched House in Stockport, one bleak, cold December when I had nothing better to do I went to see what all the fuss was about. Turns out they were right, Slaughter and the Dogs are fantastic live and I’ve gone for the song which befits a nutjob Rock Journo – The Bitch!
Let’s Get Wasted – Dirt Box Disco
Dirt Box Disco (DBD), what can I say that I haven’t already said. They’re like the midlands answer to St Winifred’s school choir! Grandma we love you -v- Let’s Get (Fucking) Wasted! My late Gran once bought me ‘When A Child Is Born’ by Johnny Mathis for Christmas, it’s the only record I recall her buying for me and I never did buy Grandma We Love You for her! It’s a bit late now but I have fond memories of the game old girl she was, and if she was still alive today I’m sure she would love Dirt Box Disco, so Gran I’ve chosen this one for you!
Sellotape – Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions
The main songwriter from DBD is the one eyed balaclavaed sex god Spunk Volcano. He’s such a prolific writer that as well as all the DBD releases he has a side project Spunk Volcano and the Eruptions. With three releases under their belts I have a plethora of Spunk injected punk rock songs to choose from I could have gone for something from Injection or Shit Generation but I’m going with Sellotape, the first track from their self-titled debut EP. A punk rock love song, which can only serve to show that there’s a heart beneath that Woolly mask, and I still like to think he’s the spit of Dave Navarro if only I could get close enough to whip off the balaclava!
On a Noose – Towers Of London
You either love them or hate them and I’m firmly camped in the former category. Sat at home one evening around ten years ago with Scuzz or Kerrang on the TV in the background, I heard the opening bars to On a Noose, looked up at the TV, and was instantly hooked! Made a note of the band, got their album Blood, Sweat and Towers as soon as I could and it became one of my favourite albums ever, and that was on first listen. I don’t care whether anyone else likes them or not. I love them and I’m determined to see the reformed Towers of London as soon as I can, if they haven’t split up again already!
Danny is a Tranny – Hung Like Hanratty
I came across Hung Like Hanratty when they supported Slaughter and the Dogs at Warehouse 23 in Wakefield, these guys are entertaining and great fun, with a great line in costumes and props, but they are very offensive. It’s punk, it’s tongue in cheek and if you don’t want to be offended then don’t listen!
Zulu Beat – King Kurt
I first heard Zulu Beat by King Kurt in Raffles nightclub in Wakefield and I clearly remember all the guys standing round doing a warrior like thrusting dance to the Ooh Wallah Wallahs – like some punk rock mating call!
Too Loaded For Love – The Black Bullets
I saw The Black Bullets when they supporting the Anti-Nowhere League at the 100 Club in London. Unfortunately not with Rob Castle as frontman, as he’d already swanned off to America and married ex Nashville Pussy bassist Corey Parks. Great band though and I love this song, too loaded or not!
Papa’s Got a Brand New Pigbag – Pigbag
An instrumental dance punk record, with an interesting name, I have no idea what a Pigbag is but this tune just wants to make you get up and dance round the living room. If you’ve got high enough ceilings why not pogo!
New Rose – The Damned
Even if you’re not a big fan of punk you must surely have heard of The Damned and one or two of the band members Dave Vanian, Rat Scabies or Captain Sensible. They are yet another band who have been going for over forty years and have an extensive back catalogue, including the popular Smash It Up but my firm favourite has to be their first single New Rose, which was released back in 1976.
Dead Mommas Grave – The Kingcrows
The last band I saw in 2016 were The Kingcrows at Westgate 23 in Heckmondwike. They celebrated their tenth anniversary last year. I splashed out £7 to buy Funland, their latest release and wanted to include the opening track Here We Go in this list but it’s not on spotify so I’ve chosen a nice explicit one about sex in graveyards instead!
Identity – X-Ray Spex
Another band formed back in 1976 they don’t have an extensive back catalogue but X-Ray Spex did release five singles in their hey day and I could just have easily gone for Oh Bondage Up Yours but I’ve picked Identity for this list. Their singer went by the stage name of Poly Styrene,what a fabulous name. Alas Poly died of cancer in 2011 aged only 53.
I Don’t Need to Tell Her – The Lurkers
The Lurkers recommended to me by the same guys at work who recommended Slaughter and the Dogs. They’ve been going since 1976 and although none of the original line-up remain. Arturo Bassick joined for a time in 1977 before leaving but he’s back in the fold and will be fronting them at several gigs this year including an appearance at Rebellion Punk Music Festival in Blackpool in August.
Masquerade – The Skids
What do I remember about Masquerade by The Skids, apart from it being a great song? I went to an all girls school but we had a brother school we got the same bus as the boys to and from school and had joint end of term discos, where we used to dance to many songs, including this but the boys would sing masturbate instead of masquerade! That’s teenage boys for you!
Sweaty Betty – The Macc Lads
With the opening line ‘Well she wore big knickers and worked on t’sewage farm’ how could any woman fail to be impressed by the lyrics of The Macc Lads, Macclesfield’s finest export since the silk industry died! (Possibly because the silk factories couldn’t keep up with the demand for big knickers!) Their lyrics are clever, witty and offensive. I did see them at Manchester International II many years ago, the electrics kept cutting out because of all the beer lobbed at them, I hope it was beer anyway!
My Perfect Cousin – The Undertones
Derry’s finest export The Understones formed in 1975 with Feargal Sharkey on vocals, he left the band in 1983, and it was over ten years before they reformed with Paul McLoone on vocals. Everyone has a perfect someone in their lives. Mine isn’t a cousin it’s a brother. Eleven years younger than me he was always the perfect child. As he now runs a pub in London and Iron Maiden‘s Bruce Dickinson held Trooper’s first anniversary party there he’s as perfect as a younger brother can be!
5 Minutes – The Stranglers
Don’t know that much by The Stranglers as I can’t say I’m a particularly big fan but I love this song. If anyone asked me to name a song by them I can only think of this or Duchess. Hang on I now remember Golden Brown, a lovely melodic song if you like the slower number. Oh and didn’t Jet Black wear a gas mask? My mind is full of useless information when I bother to think about things!
Beat The Bastards – The Exploited
To date I haven’t managed to see The Exploited live. I remember seeing Dead Cities on Top of the Pops back in 1981 and being impressed by Wattie’s fine Mohican. Wattie suffered a heart attack live on stage a couple of years ago, but thankfully he’s recovered and the band have some gigs lined up in 2017, so I may well get to see them in some dead city or other in the not too distant future!
Overkill – Motörhead
Why include heavy metal band Motörhead in a list of punk rock songs? I think music can cross many boundaries and I’ve been to many a Motorhead gig and seen hardcore punks with fine mohawks and I’ve been to many a punk gig where Motörhead t-shirts have been worn by both audience and band members alike. Motörhead play metal fast and there’s many I time I pick up the Motörhead influence when reviewing a punk band.
Friggin In The Riggin – The Sex Pistols
The Sex Pistols deemed to be the band who initiated the punk rock movement in the UK have a chequered history including murder, suicide, an appearance on I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here and generally just a sex, drugs and rock n roll lifestyle. I started with an offensive song and I’ll finish this British Punk playlist with, what must be, the ultimate song for causing offence from the band who started it all way back in 1975!
Hope you enjoyed this little taster of what punk rock can offer, but if you didn’t I shall leave you with three little words – So F**king What!