Proud Gallery Camden
November 3rd 2016 – January 22nd 2017
I have to admit, punk as a music genre pretty much passed me by when it actually happened. I was 14 years old in 1976, growing up in rural Germany and punk was just not on my radar. Sure, pictures of spiky haired youths with safety pins through their cheeks showed eventually up in papers and on TV, and I do remember when I went to uni in 1981, and the UK was already very much in a post-punk phase, that there were a few teenagers hanging round the city centre in full punk garb, but on the whole I believe small town Germany lacked the special circumstances this subculture needed to evolve. It was only after I moved to England and listened to the music, read up on the history and watched documentaries that the impact punk had on young people, music and society fully hit me and it has fascinated me ever since.
Punk first emerged in the US in the 1970s as a product of the ‘60s countercultural movements with bands like the Ramones and Blondie from the New York scene. It spread across the globe like wildfire driven by the constraints of society, with unemployment, racial tensions and social upheaval providing fuel for their fires. Meanwhile punk really got hold of London in a big way, where the emerging style and attitude was very much a product of British youth culture. Loved and hated in equal measure but impossible to ignore, it was during the summer of 1976 that the movement gained notoriety as The Damned, Sex Pistols and The Clash were beginning to ignite the imagination of the disenchanted youth amidst the social unrest of 1970s England.
This exhibition of Adrian Boot’s photographs captures the ethos and raw spirit of the punk heyday and many of the bands and people who led the distinct cultural shift of the most incendiary era in music history. It includes photographs of The Clash taken in 1977 at the infamous Rehearsal Rehearsals studio, Stables Market where Proud Camden resides, marking a true homecoming.
The Horse Hospital
Chalk Farm Road
London NW1 8AH
Opening times: Mondays to Sundays, 11am to 5pm