The New European: Pub rock – the forgotten moment in musical history that changed us all forever

Overshadowed by what preceded and followed it, pub rock was a defining genre in the development of music. Sophia Deboick re-establishes the story of a quintessentially British culture and sound which went down surprisingly well on the continent too

Pub rock was British to its core. A scene focussed on a handful of London pubs, it featured an earthy musical approach, idiomatic lyrics and, in the case of many of its leading progenitors, an authentic menace and unreconstructed masculinity which has been the dubious speciality of British rock. Yet in the mid-70s the Europeans lapped it up and the continent provided a fertile touring ground for a coterie of bands who were all about live performance. Their influence was far-reaching and has lasted over four decades.

Entering certain north and west London pubs on a given night in the early 70s, you might have bene confronted by a well over-capacity crowd going crazy for a band playing R&B or country rock with an energy and DIY approach that foreshadowed new genres to come. This was the London of IRA attacks, strikes and the Three-Day Week. Glam rock had reached its worst excesses, its significant artists having moved on to better things; discontent and musical revolution was in the air…

The New European, 7 July 2017, pp. 36-37.

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