Wednesday, December 19, 2012

South Wales Punk

Do investigate Dave Smitham's excellent South Wales Punk photographic archive. As an actual attendee of the infamous Sex Pistols gig at the Castle Cinema, Caerphilly, in 1976, he was ideally positioned to capture lucid shots not only of the headliners but of support acts the Clash and the Heartbreakers. Also included is a photograph of his ticket for that culturally historic gig which he purchased at Spillers Records in downtown Cardiff. Furthermore you will find some terrific shots of the Slits and Siouxsie and the Banshees taken at the two best local punk venues of the era: the Stowaway, Newport, and Top Rank, Cardiff. Dave, a visual artist from Cardiff, could often be found in other hipster joints of the period such as Mark Taylor's clothing outlets Paradise Garage, Cairo and Civilization. You would also find him propping up the bar in cool dives such as Soho HiTech (run by the Coulsen brothers) in the Duke Street arcade, and the Square Club. Impeccable credentials, then. You can read Dave's thoughts on these early Welsh punk gigs here and also an interesting feature on Valleys punk rockers the Tax Exiles here. For Dave's eye-witness account of the Pistols' Caerphilly concert, go here.

* Photos are ©Dave Smitham. Many thanks to Dave for granting me permission to use his pictures. The top photograph shows Ari Up of the Slits at the Stowaway, Newport, 1978. Bottom pic is a poster advertising the gig itself.