A fascinating series of talks, live bands and a disco will take over Liverpool’s Central Library to complement the punk exhibition, which has been extended to Sunday 3 March 2019 by popular demand.
The attitude and style of punk inspired a complete upheaval in artistic expression, fashion, design, media, and music. In a series of conversations led by Professor Colin Fallows, meet and hear some of those who both spearheaded the new spirit, or used it to unleash their own creative freedom.
Colin Fallows is an artist, curator and Professor of Sound and Visual Arts at Liverpool John Moores University. He has been instrumental in the acquisition of world-class archives of popular culture/counterculture held at Liverpool John Moores University. As curator and research consultant to these archives, he has researched and curated materials in a variety of contexts for large-scale exhibitions in galleries and museums across nine countries. He co-curated Punk 1976-78 at the British Library London (2016), Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens (2017-18), and Liverpool Central Library (2018-19).
The ticketed events taking place are:
Thursday 21 February 2019 from 6 pm onwards: PT Madden, Emma Harrison and Jah Wobble
Punk was brilliantly documented by numerous photographers, but the images captured by our first two speakers of the evening are among the most memorable of all.
PT Madden caught the Sex Pistols at the very beginning, and his 26-piece photographic artwork Sex Pistols – April 1976 is a unique artistic document of a live performance by the then barely known group. He kept the negatives under his bed for almost 40 years, allowing only a few of the exposures to be seen in recent years.
Emma Harrison is a multidisciplinary artist working in painting, scenic and public art, film and photography. Her friendship with Slits singer Ari Up in the 1970s led to Harrison documenting an entire early performance by the Slits. Her unprecedented access to the group meant she was also able to take a series of intimate dressing room photographs prior to the show. In addition to photographing the early punk movement, she also played a part in the early graffiti movement in New York. In the 1980s and 1990s, she worked extensively painting and designing scenery for feature films including The Company of Wolves (1984) by Neil Jordan; as well as painting and designing scenery for pop videos for clients including: Boy George, Dr. Feelgood, Duran Duran, Malcolm McLaren and many more.
Jah Wobble aka John Wardle originally met John Lydon, John Grey and Sid Vicious at Kingsway College in 1973. It was Vicious who originally nicknamed John ‘Jah Wobble’, and would also loan him his first bass guitar. As a lover of dub reggae, Wardle took immediately to the instrument, and in 1978 Lydon asked Wardle to join Public Image Limited (aka PiL) where his bass sound became the backbone of the band. After two magnificent albums, including the internationally acclaimed Metal Box (1979), Wardle left to pursue a hugely diverse musical career, often blending in his genuine passion for Eastern and Global music. His acclaimed autobiography Memoirs of a Geezer was published by Serpent’s Tail in 2009.
Saturday 23 February 2019, 7.30 pm onwards: Pogo in the Picton
A unique opportunity to enjoy a Punk disco in the magnificent surroundings and grandeur of the Picton Reading Room. The DJ will be Stormin’ Norman Killon, the original Eric’s club DJ from the Punk era.
Monday 25 February 2019, 1 to 2 pm: Tracey Thorn in Conversation
In a 1970s commuter town, Tracey Thorn’s teenage life was forged from what failed to happen. Her diaries were packed with entries about not buying things, not going to the disco, the school coach not arriving.
Before she was a bestselling musician and writer, Tracey Thorn was a typical teenager: bored and cynical, despairing of her aspirational parents. Her only comfort came from house parties, Meaningful Conversations, and the female pop icons who hinted at a new kind of living. Returning more than three decades later to Brookmans Park, scene of her childhood, Thorn takes us beyond the bus shelters and pub car parks, the utopian cul-de-sacs, the train to Potters Bar and the weekly discos, to the parents who wanted so much for their children, the children who wanted none of it. With her trademark wit and insight, Thorn reconsiders the greenbelt post-war dream so many artists have mocked, and so many artists have come from. Tracey Thorn will be in conversation with Simon Savidge.
Thursday 28 February 2019 from 7.30 pm onwards: Punk at the Picton
A superb roster of bands will play live. There will be Gentle Scars, who include Martin Dempsey of the early local punk band Albert Dock who supported the Sex Pistols in their one and only gig at Eric’s; The Blanketman, an up and coming band from Manchester; and St Lucifer. The event will be compered by punk poet Emily Oldfield.
Friday 1 March 2019 from 6 pm onwards: Will Sergeant, John J Campbell and Jon Savage
Will Sergeant is best known for his work as songwriter and lead guitarist with Echo and The Bunnymen, formed from the emerging post-Punk scene centred on Eric’s club in Liverpool in the late 1970s, and with whom he has recorded and performed world-wide for over forty years. Echo and The Bunnymen’s debut album, Crocodiles (1980) went into the top 20 of the UK Albums Chart. After releasing their second album, Heaven Up Here (1981), the band achieved mainstream success with the album Porcupine (1983), and Ocean Rain (1984) continued the band’s success with the single The Killing Moon (1984). Will Sergeant also has long-term ties with the experimental side of life, in the fields of performance, recording and the visual arts.
John J. Campbell is a Liverpool based artist and musician whose multimedia work encompasses public art installation, electronic sound works, and group performance. He has published work nationally and internationally for over forty years under his own name and as the group It’s Immaterial. It’s Immaterial compositions and recordings include the internationally acclaimed CDs titled: Life’s Hard and Then You Die (1986, Virgin Records) and Song (1991, Virgin Records). A new collection of work titled House for Sale is due for release in March 2019. John also played in the early local bands Albert Dock and Yachts.
Jon Savage is a leading UK based writer and cultural historian. In 1976, he published the fanzine London’s Outrage and during the following years he has written widely for British and American newspapers and magazines. His book England’s Dreaming: Sex Pistols and Punk Rock (1993) is now regarded as the definitive history of the late seventies. England’s Dreaming: The Jon Savage Archive, the largest single collection of Punk related material in the world, is housed at Liverpool John Moores University.