A natural place to start our exploration of UK Pub Rock would be in a Pub I suppose. One of the principle Pub Rock venues was the Hope and Anchor in Islington,where the Front Row Festival was held between November 22nd and December 15th 1977. A very accurate document of live music in the year 'Punk Rock Exploded'......as we see, as in the charts and record shops, Punk Rock was largely notable for its absence. Most of the acts on this compilation would have sat confusingly in the Punk and New Wave section of my local record store. A mixture of what we now call Proto-Punk, Power Pop, Pub Punk, and Pub Rock were all slotted into the New Wave shoebox by confused demin clad staff who listened to Little Feat and had beards; today we'd call them 'Hipsters'.
There's some bandwagon punk on here of course like the lamentable Suburban Studs, and the admittedly excellent 999;Aussie Pub Rock by the fantastic Saints,the proto-post punk pop of XTC, and trendy Kings Road 'Punkers' X-Ray Spex.
Quite a mixed bag, but anything with Wilko Johnson on it has to be worth the entry fee; counterbalanced by an appearance by maybe the biggest Pub Rock band ever(except maybe AC/DC?), the inexcusably toe curlingly bad, Dire Straits!!?
The stand out tracks are ,obviously, The Saints and ,somewhat less obviously, The Steve Gibbons Band's 'Speed Kills'.
Like the swinging '60s' ; in 1977 Punk Rock was largely confined to a few streets in London,the tabloids, and the Music Press. This is a more accurate document of the music scene in '77, where Flares still ruled, beards ,long hair, beer rather than speed as the drug of choice, and not a single garment from Seditionaries or Boy to be seen.Pub legends ,The Sex Pistols, were unavailable; but this lot were,in a small venue near you. And everyone was signed to a major label;well,at least until the end of 1978 that is.