Opening Knorr and Richon’s Punks feels a bit like entering one of the nightclubs the book depicts – crossing the threshold of its heavy black cover and fumbling your way through deep purple interior pages the colour of raggedy, booze-stained velvet curtains. Once inside, we’re met with a posing gallery of safety-pin-pierced and swastika’d teenagers; a snapshot of 1977’s underground punk scene shot over 3 months at two London nightclubs. Nonchalant faces glare at us in suitably stark black and white – the camera’s harsh, direct flash bouncing off dewy, acne-pockmarked skin adorned with eyeliner scrawls visibly melting in a soup of sweat and hot stage lighting. Of course, Punks is nothing revelatory – the paraphernalia and insignia of the punk subculture has been synonymous with facile teenage rebellion for decades. However what it is, is something arguably more enjoyable; a direct and accessible archive of bored and awkward youths “peacocking” in front of the lens.
GOST/ 80pp/ £25/ November 2013/ ISBN 978-0-9574272-6-6
Reviewed by Holly Lucas
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