Updated: Apr 5, 2022
Punk is dead so they say, do you agree? Maybe not, but punk is getting older, fatter and lazier than ever and seems to hanker towards yesteryear. Nostalgia seems to be the thing that fans want. Whether that be 999, The UK Subs, SLF etc. Each one has its place in history but what about the future of Punk, where is it?
It used to be in the bedrooms, on the walls, in record shops and most definitely on the streets. But not now! Punk is dragged out at the weekend, boots are pulled on, hair is spiked, jacket studded and it's off to the big venues at £80 a ticket to watch The Damned go through the same old motions or any other band you wish to think of. But when the smaller DIY bands are on, nobody seems to notice.
Hotels get paid, top priced drinks get supped, Wetherspoons takes a battering, then it's off to the gig where the reality is most of the ‘better bands’ don't get seen because everyone’s outside having a social gathering, so they play to a half empty room, sell a bit of merch and get paid absolute peanuts. But hey they are happy because they've shared a stage with their heroes right?? !!
Well you know what? that stinks! Because next week they will be out plying their craft to 20 people, one dog and a few regulars. Their big break has become a let down because folk couldn't be arsed standing square and centre up front and finding out what new talent is about. But who’s to blame for that?
We should be giving the lesser bands in the scene the biggest crowd because they are the ones who contribute the most and expect the least. So why is it not happening?
These lesser bands don't turn up, play an hour of the old hits for 5k 10k 20k and fuck off till next time, these smaller bands are your future (not no future!) We should give the smaller bands in the scene some respect when it comes to
promoters paying them (actual cash not a chip supper like we heard about recently) that’s just taking the piss and some bands need to stop prostituting themselves!
fans turning out (how many times during lockdown have we heard said we want live music to go to, what they really mean is we want nostalgia filled venues we can actually be arsed going to for karaoke).
By only supporting nostalgia, it’s killing the scene, the subculture, the ethos!
There are lots of pockets of DIY punk making a difference in the scene but you have to look hard for it if you want to support it, it’s not shoved under your nose via big sponsors. Sadly, many supporters of Punk music now know nothing of what is happening in the DIY punk scene, nor do they care about the DIY ethos! It’s not important to them, it’s not what they want, it's not what they can do anymore! Work, houses, mortgages, cars, latest everything is comfortable and a weekend uniform and hair colour to ‘fit in’, is how they roll, as long as they can sing-a-long to nostalgia and stand outside when the lesser-known bands are on having paid top dollar for tickets and drinks!!!! Meanwhile the small independent music venues, pubs and clubs continue to struggle.
The past is the past? or is it just confusing? Can you remember what you stood for?
Small independent festivals in the garden of a house, woodland gigs you wouldn't know about unless you saw through the trees, regular nights in back rooms of local pubs in non de script towns, punk bands playing that folk have never seen. And not one nostalgia band in sight. Some are even free entry and some are BYOB and a tent at most!
Punkboot supports the Spirit of DIY in what we do, you'll notice we don't hanker towards nostalgia although we aint daft, we know that's what the market wants but we choose to support the under-dogs, the new bands, the youngsters coming into and hopefully staying in the scene, because believe it or not when the nostalgia merchants are all drinking at the bar in the big arenas in the sky, these bands will still be gigging and wanting your support!
Question is - Where will you be?