Kings of Pub Rock

The recent genre changes got me thinking. Once music is divided into sub genres you leave out as many as you include. One such omitted genre in this instance being Pub Rock, I’m not debating that it should be included, merely using it as a good excuse to ramble.
For those who don't know Pub Rock, more here (rather dated piece). In short Pub Rock was centred around the pubs of north London and was the grass roots reaction to what many saw as the over blown excess of early 70’s Prog Rock and Album oriented rock coming out of the States, and the precursor to Punk. It was raw and personal. Whatever it lacked in quality was more than compensated for in passion and atmosphere (the largely pissed audiences must have helped). The scene was not without it’s real talents Joe Strummer (with 101er’s), Eddie and the Hotrods, Billy Brag (as Riff Raff), Ian Dury (then Kilburn and the Highroads), Elvis Costello and John Otway…… OK I’m stretching the definition of talent with Otway .

What’s more Pub Rock evolved and is still alive and well in the UK. I don’t know if it’s a label they would attach to themselves but I think Mad Staring Eyes are testament to that. I asked them via e-mail about the song King of Pub Rock and Oli wrote….

‘Al the singer wrote the lyrics about a time that he spent touring the darkest London pubs with guitar in hand doing spontaneous open mics and starting big bawdy east-end singalongs.
The song is really about one time in particular...some dive on the Seven Sisters road where for that night he was the King Of Pub Rock.
Every character in the song: the drug dealer, the butch lesbians, the pretty barmaid, the busboy, the bored drunkard, the couple in love, the poet who cant rhyme, the chef who cant cook and the scary tattooed guy with the 'I’m going to kill you' look in his eye were all there.’

Oli also gave an example of one of his Pub Rock favourites; 'down on the jetty' by Dr Feelgood. It’s not possible to mention Dr Feelgood without mentioning Stiff Records, when I say mention I mean I could do another twenty pages, I’ll spare you that and leave it at a link.

Other 61er’s that could fit the Pub rock genre might include.
Gin Riots. Who mention Pub rock in there blurb (I’m not making this shit up)

Not My Day.


Plans & Apologies

The Malloys

A Gluck Trolling

Heck! I don’t half go on when I get started.


silkworm said...

nice one. you're making me really miss my Mojo subscription. if only it wasn't so pricey to get in the states.

Alex Gloworld said...

As a sometime member of the aforementioned Glurk Trolling I can vouch for their ability to rock in pubs, usually after consuming plenty of the good on sale therein.
I uploaded some of their more accessible material, their "early material" is very lo-fi.
Check their myspace page:

willie said...

Alex I'll check that out. When you say 'I uploaded some of their more accessible material' do you mean the ones on 61 now?
I love 'em by the way and have all three in 'My Music'.

madstaringdrummer said...

glad you're using our song willie, lots of amazing music came out of that whole pub rock scene. even though loads of london bands complain a lot about the live music scene in london and the uk in general its still pretty unique and probably the main reason is the pub venues that are on every street. mad staring eyes coming to a pub near you!

Alex Gloworld said...

Willie - yes the 3 Trolling tracks on the61 now are what I call more accessible, listen to "We Are Not Russians" on their MySpace page for comparison.
The band all had their heads removed & put into cryogenic storage until such time that the world was truly ready for their return ;-)

willie said...

Alex-Well a dozen of us found them to be accessible ;-)
Mad Drummer- Glad you liked the piece. I shall spend as much time in as many pubs as I can. Just in case you swing by :)