Sniffin Glue The Essential Punk Accessory (Sanctuary Music).
Mark P may still stand behind his much quoted theory that Punk Rock died the day The Clash signed to CBS - but Punk Rock actually died the day Alternative TV signed to Deptford Fun City and it died of boredom.
Sniffin Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory first appeared in book form a couple of years ago. It collated reproductions of every original issue of Punks own fanzine along with extensive new material from both Mark P & Danny Baker. It now has an aural companion in the shape of this here CD:
Compiled by Mark P himself, Sniffin Glue: The Essential Punk Accessory is a 24 track trawl through the muddied waters of that 1st incisive wave.
Opening with The Ramones Now I Wanna Sniff Some Glue is not just an attempt at retrogressive poetic licence there would have been no fanzine without The Ramones. The superb sleeve notes leave you in no doubt that without import copies of The Ramones & the Roundhouse shows of July 1976 UK Punk Rock could have been a very different place. The Ramones were THE catalyst.
Eddie & The Hot Rods chip in with a spirited run through Wooly Bully yes, that old Wooly Bully - & mighty scary it is too. The Hot Rods caused a storm on the pub rock scene with their explosive Live At The Marquee EP & although they were never really a Punk band in the true spirit of the word, they certainly werent Dr Feelgood either. The Hot Rods would score success later with the anthemic Do Anything You Wanna Do & the Life On The Line LP.
The Damned, as we all know by heart by now, were the first Punks to make it to the pressing plant - & New Rose was amongst the finest fair they ever produced. Ushered in by Vanians incredulous question, Is she really going out with him! the song is then pummelled to within an inch of its life by Rats insistent kit & the godlike guitar sound of Brian James. The Damned led & others followed until they fell over.
The Gorillas were known as The Hammersmith Gorillas immediately prior to Punk & shortened their name to blend in. Group leader, Jesse Hector, had done time in Crushed Butler (the UKs original proto-metal band) in the late 60s/early 70s but was destined to miss the boat & remain on the island of lost souls indefinitely.
The Clash were some of the quickest bandwagon jumpers on the block & within days of seeing the Pistols had cut their hair & stencilled their fatigues accordingly. More of a rock n roll group than a Punk band, The Clash single-handedly turned the anger & polemic of Punk in their own general direction & set the controls for the heart of the USA. White Riot still remains from the days when they meant it man - & even though Punk had technically died before theyd even recorded it - it remains a colossus in Punks opening salvo of 45 rpm mayhem.
The Saints were so Punk without trying that it near made everyone else want to give up. Raised in isolation in Aus & brought up on Funhouse & beer, The Saints were harder than a phalanx of Sids on speed & twice as fast. Im Stranded was by nowhere near their finest hour & all 3 studio LPs are essential. The Saints, like The Ramones, were Punk.
The inclusion of a demo of the Pistols Anarchy tells you 3 things:
1/ Virgin wouldnt sanction the use of a cut from Bollocks.
2/ The Pistols owe an awful lot to Chris Thomas.
3/ You couldnt really leave them off.
Subway Sects Nobodys Scared is a real Punk Rock record. Vic Goddard was one of the first young kids to form a band after seeing the Pistols & this is his finest hour: Everyone is a prostitute singing a song in prison.
Richard Hell got ripped off something chronic by Punk Rock: it stole his haircut & ripped t-shirt & covered him in gob on The Clash tour. Absolutely no way to treat a genius but thats the way the shit cookie crumbles in the world of Punk Rock. Blank Generation says it all & considerably more in just under 3 minutes.
Buzzcocks also suffer from record company intransigence shuffle, chipping in with a live run through Breakdown from the Live At The Roxy series. Buzzcocks were one of the best Punk Rock groups ever & you should own: Times Up, Another Music In Another Kitchen & their 1st 6 or 7 45 rpm discs.
Generation Xs Your Generation still rattles along with Modtastic intent. An answer record to The Whos Your Generation, it would be followed by a mighty fine debut LP that carried more than its fair share of roughly hewn pop gems wrapped in Punk sus.
Chelseas Right To Work is a Punk nugget this is what it should have all been about. Mark Ps Step Forward label took more risks in its 1st 10 x 45s than CBS took in half a century. Chelsea have never sounded so good since even after the arrival of Romans Millions. A diamond from the r(o)ubble.
The Adverts were Punk Rock then & Tim Smith is still Punk Rock now. Saw through any of his limbs & you can quite plainly make out the words Punk & Rock. For Tim Punk Rock has been a lifestyle not an accessory & you can still catch him flogging himself to death at a venue near you today. One Chord Wonders says it all: eloquently, intelligently & amusingly how many ways do you want it?
The Jam were never Punks, obviously, & Paul Weller turned out to be a bigger twat than the cunts we were trying to get rid of originally - but that doesnt stop In The City being any less exciting & awe inspiring than it still is.
The Heartbreakers flew into the UK in late 76 & a new junkie was christened every 2 hours. Some nights Johnny was so strung out he had to be propped up before he could play guitar. Born To Loose proved to be as prophetic as it was anthemic - ooh how we swooned - & mostly still do.
The Cortinas were from Bristol & one of them eventually ended up in The Clash - MK 3. Trivia aside, Fascist Dictator proved that everyone in UK Punk could have their 15 minutes or in The Cortinas case, 2 minutes 34 seconds.
Johnny Moped once featured Captain Sensible & any thoughts he may have had about making the wrong career move are ably banished by Incendiary Device. Johnny Moped remain a cult group to this day & their lead singer is still insane.
Sham 69s I Dont Wanna is a real Punk Rock record made by a real Punk Rock group. The art school wankers hated them & they were eventually compromised by their own image. Its a thin line between short hair & Swastikas as Jimmy & the boys learnt some time later.
ATV = 3 points in time. Mark Ps own mob pioneered the fanzine bound flexi-disc with Love Lies Limp a song about erectile issues given away free with the last issue of Sniffin Glue. ATV eventually recorded the superb Image Has Cracked LP before slowly disappearing up Perrys own bum-hole along with Here & Now & half of Throbbing Gristle.
Penetration may have come from the frozen North but that didnt stop Pauline Murray melting the hearts of many a provincial lad down at their local Loccarno. Dont Dictate was a moment in time they never bettered but that didnt stop them becoming the 1st Punk Rock group to release an LP on luminous vinyl.
X-Ray Spex were a wonderful cartoon of a Punk group. Fronted by the now sadly very mad Poly Styrene (not her real name), their particular brand of sax infused 1234 rammalamma was always fraught with enjoyment & twice as celebratory. Im A Poseur caught the mood perfectly we were ALL poseurs & we simply didnt care. So there.
The Lurkers have often been referred to as a proper Punk Rock group in these pages thats because they were. Starting with The Ramones & veering off in the direction of The Saints, The Lurkers were the purists purists. Shadow was there finest 3 minutes in 1977 & it remains resolutely so to this day. I dont need to tell you they were all super fellas indeed.
Roadrunner by The Modern Lovers was another one of those cuts that started it all. Iggy Pop obsessive, Jonathon Richman, used to be so scared of his own voice that hed hide below the mixing desk consul when recording vocal takes with the lights out. Now - how strange is that?
Sniffin Glue closes with 12XU by Wire - & why shouldnt it? Wire were there at the Roxy despite being slightly old enough to know better (well, some of them anyway) & rather more talented than theyd care to admit at the time. Still, I saw you in a mag smoking a fag - & I guess thats gonna have to do.
And there we have it quite literally 24 songs, 64.13 minutes. Just over an hour that changed the world forever. Which subsequent generation can make such a pompous claim?
Marquee Smith tMx11 08/03