Indie pop, fanzines and punk rock

9 Are you scared to get punky? Indie pop, fanzines and punk rock Pete Dale This chapter will argue that fanzines played a crucial role in the formation of a perceived genre (or, arguably, sub-genre) called, variously, indie pop, cutie, C86, twee, jangle-pop, shambling or anorak. For the purpose of discussion in this chapter, the scene in question is referred to as ‘1980s indie pop’ or just ‘indie pop’. In the twenty-first century, the descriptor ‘indie pop’ is sometimes applied, in vernacular contexts, to post-1980s ‘indie’ music which is qualitatively and

in Ripped, torn and cut
Identity, performance and the Left 1972–79

-union credentials when he defeated Wilson and Castle over Industrial Relations legislation, but this did little to protect him once in power.13 Union tensions culminated in the unsuccessful firemen’s strike and the ‘winter of discontent’, which saw out the last months of Callaghan’s government. Although Labour was brought to its knees, the unions were not winning. The unions were fragmented and defensive, whilst rising unemployment disciplined the workforce. The Left takes things personally Elsewhere lifestyle was being politicised. Punk fermented as a new form of cultural

in Gay men and the Left in post-war Britain

channel. As he and fellow RAR activists wrote, ‘working class kids NOW are political and fun without having to make 5 minute speeches to prove it’.5 Widgery’s apparent eagerness to yield the political initiative to such radicalising influences as punk rock and angry British youth led one party critic, Ian Birchall, to claim that he saw ‘everything from the standpoint of the mass movement, nothing from the standpoint of the party’.6 According to Birchall, Widgery placed a naive faith in goodwill rather than ‘hard politics’,7 and he attributes this shortcoming to Widgery

in Crisis music
Abstract only

2 Music worlds In the previous chapter I suggested that punk and post-punk are best conceived, for sociological purposes, as ‘music worlds’, a concept I  adapt from Howard Becker’s notion of ‘art worlds’ (1951, 1963, 1974, 1976, 1982, 1995, 2004, 2006a, 2006b; Faulkner and Becker 2009; see also Bottero and Crossley 2011; Finnegan 1989; Lopes 2002; Martin 1995, 2005, 2006a, 2006b). In this chapter I elaborate upon this concept. Before I do, however, I briefly review three alternative conceptions, explaining why I have chosen ‘music worlds’ over them. As much

in Networks of sound, style and subversion
The milieu culture of DIY punk

5 Crass, subculture and class: the milieu culture of DIY punk Peter Webb This chapter presents an account of the activities and social formation of the DIY punk band Crass in order to develop a critique of the notion of ‘subculture’ employed at the time of the group’s existence (1977–85) by the Birmingham University Centre for Contemporary Cultural Studies (CCCS). It supplies a narrative of how the band and the cultural movement known as `anarchopunk’ provided a ‘milieu’ where class identities could blend and develop hybrid forms of cultural and social capital.1

in Fight back
The transgressive zine culture of industrial music in the 1970s and 1980s

8 ‘Don’t do as you’re told, do as you think’: the transgressive zine culture of industrial music in the 1970s and 1980s Benjamin Bland Of all the musical subgenres that emerged in the immediate post-punk era, industrial may be seen as that which most readily transcended the traditional confines of a musical movement. Industrial stood out as a result of its strong focus on aesthetics and ideas, even in a musical landscape that was widely concerned with rejecting tradition and which interpreted ‘punk as an imperative to constant change’.1 S. Alexander Reed

in Ripped, torn and cut
Abstract only
Alternative Ulster?

, ‘many resources in aesthetic alter-­modern spaces of the past via which to experiment with steps forward’.5 Wark’s comments were made in response to Alex Williams and Nick Srnicek’s #Accelerate: Manifesto for an Accelerationist Politics (2013), but through its critique #Celerity forms something of a manifesto in itself. In the following concluding remarks, I draw upon this document, but I do so in the context of another manifesto or movement of sorts, namely Northern Irish punk. My focus is on the punk fanzine Alternative Ulster and, more particularly, a polemic piece

in Northern Ireland and the politics of boredom
Essays to celebrate the life and work of Chris Wrigley

This book reflects upon the wide range of Chris Wrigley's research and publications in the study of the various aspects of British labour history. It presents a set of themes revolving around the British labour movement and the lives of those connected with it. The book begins with a discussion on biography in the shape of George Howell's work on trade unions and presents Herbert Gladstone's view that the unions emerged from the medieval workers guilds. Chris was also interested in political figures connected with progressivism and the labour movement, which is reflected in the examination of Gladstone's role in the Liberal Party. There is an examination of the Co-operative Party in the north-east of England, the 1911 National Insurance Act, and the relationship between the unions and the Labour Party. The inter-war British labour politics is covered by the disaffiliation of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) from the Labour Party and by a study of the Progressive League. British and German working class lives are compared in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Female trade unionism is dealt with a focus on Association of Women Clerks and Secretaries (AWCS). The contribution of the Lansburys is brought by an essay on the role of the family members in working-class politics, including women's enfranchisement. The book also deals with the attempt by the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB) to engage with punk music, and ends with a discussion on the theme of Labour disunity.

‘Crisis music’ and political ephemera in the emergent ‘structure of feeling’, 1976–83

this dominant narrative via two debates; one, which emphasised the ‘crisis of the left’, was initiated in 1978 by Eric Hobsbawm’s ‘The Forward March of Labour Halted?’ and identified the political consequences of the fracturing of the traditional working class; the other was initiated by Stuart Hall’s analysis of Thatcherism in 1979, which emphasised the ‘rise of the right’.3 While a number of accounts of punk raise criticisms of racism and sexism, other stories of this period remain unacknowledged or neglected, particularly ‘Crisis music’ and political ephemera

in Fight back
My life in fanzines

was always about being part of something. We took the inclusive anyone-can-do-it ethos of punk rock and fanzines into running what was ultimately a very successful record label, and which operated and supported us for eight years. We priced records cheaply, crammed lots of tracks on, didn’t do limited editions or special versions, and exchanged huge numbers of letters with our record-buying public – many of whom also wrote fanzines, ran record labels, were in bands, or otherwise part of this whole thing. The whole point was that there was no divide between us as

in Ripped, torn and cut