Pub Rock

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Intro

This is a music genre that kicked off during the early to mid '70s out of the United Kingdom, mostly in and around the London area.

It was a "back-to-basics"/"stripped-down" style which was partly a reaction against Progressive Rock and Glam Rock.

The style might have been a little short-lived, but Pub Rock rejected the stadium/larger gig venues and returned to that "D.I.Y.", Rock n Roll attitude, hosting their shows in the smaller pubs and clubs of its early years.

It was also a crucial catalyst for UK Punk.

Characteristics

It was deliberately gritty, it kicked against Glam Rock, the standard style of clothing was based around denim, plaid shirts, tatty jeans and droopy hair.

The key figureheads of this movement were Dr. Feelgood, their image included their frontman’s filthy looking white suit, it was said by some that the bands looked "menacing and threatening", another great quote was "like villains on The Sweeney".

These bands disdained any form of looking flash, there was no importance on fashion, which made a refreshing change to some of the fashion driven music of the time.

Truely Underground

Pub Rock was primarily a live phenomenon, during its height (early to mid '70s, it churned out one solitary Top 20 single (Ace’s "How Long?").

A number of the bands did suffer when moving from live shows to the studio, where they struggled to recapture that live sound.

As a result of these artists championing the smaller venues, Pub Rock caused a revived in the local pub/club scene that had dwindled since the 1960s. New aspiring bands could now find venues to play without needing to have a record company behind them.

Pub Rock was primarily restricted to Greater London with some overspill into Essex, although the central belt in Scotland also produced local bands such as The Cheetahs and The Plastic Flies.

Scene leaders like Dr. Feelgood, Kilburn and the High Roads and Ducks Deluxe played simple, "back to mono" Rhythm and Blues in the tradition of their British forerunners like the The Rolling Stones, The Who and the Yardbirds, with fuzzy guitars and vocals that sounded like they meant what they were singing about.

Some Bands

A few artists that may well help to define this genre;-

Dr. Feelgood

Wilko Johnson

Nick Lowe

Johnny Kidd and the Pirates

Elvis Costello

Eddie & The Hot Rods

Ducks Deluxe

Ian Dury and the Blockheads

The 101'ers

Rockpile

Nine Below Zero

Dave Edmunds

The Inmates

Graham Parker

The Stranglers

Kilburn and the High Roads

The Motors

Riff Raff (Billy Bragg)

Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers

The Hamsters

Pink Fairies

UK Subs

Internal Links

Some other pages that would be considered relevant and may be of interest;-