Friday, 28 January 2011

Friars, Aylesbury

In the late 1970s, early 1980s, when I was a nice young grammar school lad, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, had the unlikely distinction of being the first town outside London that the 'punk' bands who scored headlines in the music press played after they'd done the 100 Club, the Roxy, the Marquee etc. For the price of a week's worth of school dinners, the likes of The Jam, The Clash and Ian Dury played the Civic Centre, only yards from the freakish, giant plastic animals Kubrick filmed for 'Clockwork Orange' but never included in the final cut. Aylesbury's own musical exports at the time - and, indeed, hereafter - were John Otway (taught in primary school by my godmother) and, erm, Marillion (who once enjoyed the ignominy of being beaten into third place in a Best Local Bands Poll by an almost entirely fictitious band of grammar school fifth-formers called HGB Terminal that only played one gig at a Methodist youth club).
Some photographic evidence of all of this era is at the following, thanks to photographer Don Stone:

1978: The first gig I went to, pretending to be my best mate's older sister (long story):

1978: Magazine, with Howard Devoto up a pole:

1978: Tom Robinson (no prizes for guessing which pic's from '2-4-6-8 Motorway'

1978: The Clash, The Slits and The Innocents

1979: The Undertones, The Knack (!) etc

1979: The Pretenders

1980: The Clash/Ian Dury (and note 'extortionate' ticket price of £3 - for the first date of the 'London Calling' tour).

1980: The Ramones/The Boys

1980: Iggy Pop/Psychedelic Furs

Tragically, there don't appear to be any photos surviving from U2's first UK gig outside Ireland (no, really, they were quite promising then: I only went because Peel was playing them all the time), or, indeed, the Wire/The Cure double-headlining diplomatic nightmare, Gang of Four with their arms in plaster after having been attacked by neo-Nazi idiots or Vic Godard and the Subway Sect in their Frank Sinatra phase.

What there are, though, are photos from John Otway's outdoor freebie in the Market Square (allegedly the very same Market Square mentioned by Bowie at the start of 'Five Years'), pics displayed here:

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