Saturday, 30 July 2016

Various Artists‎– "Hope & Anchor Front Row Festival" ( Warner Bros. Records ‎– K 66077) 1978

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' 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.


1–Wilko Johnson Band-Dr. Feelgood 2:43
2–The Stranglers-Straighten Out 2:58
3–Tyla Gang-Styrofoam 2:04
4–The Pirates-Don't München It 3:2
5–Steve Gibbons Band-Speed Kills 3:30
6–XTC-I'm Bugged 4:22
7–Suburban Studs-I Hate School 2:37
8–The Pleasers-Billy 1:59
9–XTC-Science Friction 2:45
10–Dire Straits-Eastbound Train 3:25
11–Burlesque -Bizz Fizz 5:00
12–X-Ray-Spex -Let's Submerge 3:02
13–999-Crazy 3:18
14–The Saints-Demolition Girl 3:45
15–999-Quite Disappointing 2:00
16–The Only Ones-Creatures Of Doom 3:18
17–The Pirates-Gibson Martin Fender 3:26
18–Steel Pulse-Sound Check 3:41
19–Roogalator-Zero Hero 3:43
20–Philip Rambow-Underground Romance 5:45
21–The Pleasers-Rock & Roll Radio 2:29
22–Tyla Gang-On The Street 3:00
23–Steve Gibbons Band-Johnny Cool 3:29
24–Wilko Johnson Band-Twenty Yards Behind 2:03
25–The Stranglers-Hanging Around 4:16

DOWNLOAD from the front row HERE!


FiveGunsWest said...

This is where I initially learned about some of these groups. Of course, I knew of the obvious ones but this album has the only cut I can stomach by Dire Straits and the Pirates sets were quite impressive. Almost every cut here is stand up stuff. Hard to go wrong with this. I still rock it on the I-Pod occasionally. Great post and thanks so much.

stephen Surreal said...

Tried downloading from gmail,sent to amazon for summink absolutely nuthin to do with the album,fortunately the link is fine from here,no bad thing,i been missing out on some excellent posts as per :)

Jonny Zchivago said...

Hello Stephen,we are missing comments from you as of recent times.Gud to see you back.
Are you saying that there's a problem downloading this?....the file is rather large, i hesitated splitting it into two parts but cunt be arsed!

abramson said...

Certainly takes me back. Amazing how small this little was and it did get really hot.
Often wondered why no one's ever tried releasing the full sets, I believe the stranglers has made it but not sure about any others. I would love to here the only ones, steel pulse hell even the pleasers.

Jonny Zchivago said...

yep coming up we have the full sets by The Stranglers and the Saints....may have the Pirates too.

FiveGunsWest said...

that'd be dynamite too................

sweethooligan said...

Played the shit out of this album when it came out... funnily enough the Keine Namen set didn't make the cut ;)

Unknown said...

Aww my dear, so good to find this double album again out of the mist of times !!!