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Every home should have a copy

Tony Suspect, from the long-running, world-famous zine Suspect Device has declared that “every home should have a copy” of punk author extraordinaire Ian Glasper’s new book dedicated to the unsung heroes of the eighties UK punk scene and their collective stories and the fundamental and inescapable credo that “punk really flourishes when sticking two fingers up to the mainstream instead of trying to embrace it”, A Country Fit For Heroes.

 

It’s a near-perfect summation of a literary adventure that captures and embodies the spirit and energy of a time when the scene was leaving the populist seventies idea of what punk was behind and reinventing itself as a socially aware, politically charged juggernaut that would lay the foundation for everything that the Hardcore and Punk scenes would later become.

 

And if you want to find out why Tony said what he did about Ian’s new book, you can pre-order it from Earth Island Books and experience the thrills and excitement of yesterday, and lose yourself in the tales of the modern scenes founding fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters for yourself…

"A COUNTRY FIT FOR HEROES: DIY Punk in Eighties Britain by Ian Glasper - Earth Island Books

Ian Glasper continues his quest to fully document the UK punk scene of the 1980s, this time focussing on bands who are, maybe, a little less known because most didn’t release anything more than a couple of demos and the odd compilation track, and often didn’t get out of their local area. In many ways these are the bands who really grabbed hold of the “anyone can do it” attitude and despite a lack of funds, equipment or even an audience, formed bands, wrote songs and did it just because they could and because it was fun. It doesn’t mean that these bands were any less worthy than those who did have records out, it’s just that they stayed underground and local, so therefore went under the national radar. The two Southampton bands featured are a good example; Nox Mortis could have been better known, they were certainly good enough and very important to the fledgling local DIY punk scene, but circumstances and tragedy intervened and all they left was a demo, some comp tracks and a lot of memories. Then there was Suburban Filth, and band of teenagers who got together in a small town just outside Southampton and, not letting a lack of musical ability stop them, had a lot of fun making a racket and writing songs with anti-war, anti-monarchy, anti-police type lyrics, recording a 20 track demo in drummer Rut’s front room. This is what made punk great, the Suburban Filth story is repeated through the book, and there are close to 700 pages full featuring over 140 bands, most of whom you’ve probably never heard of but who deserve to have their story told. As with Ian Glasper’s other books, this is our history and he does a great job in documenting it. Punk meant something to those of us who were teenagers in the early 1980s, it informed us and entertained us and set our course for the rest of our lives. The punk explosion may have only lasted a short time in the minds of the mainstream, many declaring it dead by 1979, but it had opened the door for hundreds of kids in not only the UK, but the rest of the world as well, and this book shows that while the original bands shouted their slogans from major label releases, the real heroes got on with putting those sentiments into practise and recorded them on hand held cassette players. Those heroes are in this book, looking to Discharge and Crass rather than the Sex Pistols and The Clash for their inspiration, showing that punk really flourishes when sticking two fingers up to the mainstream rather than trying to embrace it. Every home should have a copy of this book."

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