Archive for the ‘Blitzkrieg Bop’ Category

Blitzkrieg Bop: Various gigs 1977 and 1978

_DSC3253 [LR]Mark recently sent me some great photographs of punk bands playing locally in the late 70s and I have been including these in my posts. One band that I now realise I should have highlighted before is Teesside punk rockers Blitzkrieg Bop, who I saw many times often supporting “name” punk bands. The line-up of Blitzkrieg Bop changed several times but the main character I remember was “Blank Frank” the lead vocalist.

The core line-up of the band started as John Hodgson aka Blank Frank, Alan Cornforth aka Nicky Knoxx & Damian (Dimmer) Blackwell aka Telly Sett. After many line-up changes this trio finally emerged as Blitzkrieg Bop in February 1977, joined by Mick Hylton (aka Mick Sick) and Anne Hodgson (aka Gloria). They recorded their debut single “Let’s Go” / “Bugger Off” / “9 Till 5” and released a limited run of 500 copies in early June 1977. By this time guitarist Dimmer Blackwell had left and the band carried on as a four piece. The single sold out within days and received a good review in the NME. (Adapted from Wikipedia).

I definitely saw Blitzkrieg Bop support Radio Stars at Newcastle Poly (7th October 1977) a_DSC3235 [CROP][LR] gig in which their set was interrupted by young band Speed who would often turn up and play at gigs unannounced. I also saw them supporting Generation X at Newcastle University (11th March 1978), X-Ray Spex at Redcar Coatham Bowl (23rd April 1978) and Penetration at Redcar Coatham Bowl (8th December 1978). I also saw them supporting Penetration at Middlesbrough Rock Garden on at least a couple of occasions (possibly 27th January 1978 and/or 18th March 1978). (Thanks to the great Blitzkrieg Bop site for the dates of the gigs).

Like many of the local punk bands of the time, Blitzkrieg Bop were a breath of fresh air: crazy, kooky, cool (all at the same time!), fast, reckless, exciting and best of all LOUD! Happy, happy days.

Thanks again to Mark for his great photographs of Blitzkrieg Bop, taken at Middlesbrough Rock Garden.

In the next few days I shall return to some more recent gigs and cover concerts I have seen over the last few years including KISS, Rolling Stones, The Who and many more.

X Ray Spex Redcar Coatham Bowl 23rd April 1978

X Ray Spex Redcar Coatham Bowl 23rd April 1978X-Ray-Spex-Oh-Bondage-Up-Yours
The night the Coatham Bowl turned Dayglo.
Poly Styrene exploded onto the stage; a bundle of crazy youthful energy. Art-I-Ficial !! Off we went, the crowd jumping and pogoing along to the loud raucous noise. A manic hippy looking guy with long hair ran to the front of the stage, squeezing discordant noises from his sax. Poly screamed into the mike, shook her head, swung her dreads around and around, and lost herself in a childish whirling dance. The pace, the noise and the music were relentless. Identity !! ……Warrior in Woolworths (my favourite)….They played many of the tracks which would make their classic debut Germ Free Adolescents so great. X Ray Spex were joyous, hectic, amateur, funny, bright and loud. They were also amazing and one of the most fun acts to emerge from punk. Their songs each had a message, but not in the serious gloomy way of many of the bands of the time. Poly was a one-off and the songs all had catchy hooks and were 100% pure pop. They crashed through Oh Bondage! Up Yours! And then they were gone, back to the planet Plastic, from whence they came. Wonderful.
Support came from local Teesside punk rockers Britzkrieg Bop.
Setlist (something like): Art-I-Ficial; Obsessed With You; Identity; Let’s Submerge; Plastic Bag; I Live Off You; I Am a Poseur; Genetic Engineering; I Am a Cliche; The Day the World Turned Dayglo; Warrior in Woolworths; Oh Bondage! Up Yours!
RIP Poly Styrene