Pubs, disco and fighting Nazis: how Leeds nurtured British post-punk
Posted by The Editor on April 19, 2019 4:00 am
Tags: British identity and society, Culture, Gang of Four, Indie, Leeds, Music, Pop and rock, Punk, Social history, Society, UK news, Young people
Categories: µ Newsjones
Against the backdrop of the Yorkshire Ripper and fascist thugs, bands in late-70s Leeds started creating the most dynamic DIY music in the UK – and all from a single pub
In the late 1970s, a small group of art students at Leeds University created a pivotal hotbed of radical post-punk. Gang of Four’s jerky-punky-funky music would influence bands as diverse as the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Massive Attack. Together with the jaggedly romantic Mekons and the slightly lesser-known Delta 5 (and, initially, the early Scritti Politti, who formed at the polytechnic), they established a blueprint of fiery, political, community and DIY-based creativity that reverberates through the city’s music scene to this day.
“Some nights I’d watch Gang of Four and think, ‘I’m watching the best band in the world’,” original Mekons guitarist Kevin Lycett remembers over a green tea in the Fenton, the pub where the scene once congregated. “‘And they’re my mates. How on earth is this happening among people I get pissed with?’”