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British Library offers teenage kicks at new Punk exhibition


The British Library is set to celebrate the 40th anniversary of punk with a new exhibition of memorabilia which opens this weekend.
The exhibition ‘Punk 1976-78’ examines the way in which punk changed the cultural landscape in Britain across music, fashion, film and design.

It also highlights how the punk movement had a lasting impact on the independent music scene and helped to challenge the conventional image of women in rock bands.

"Forty years ago punk had a huge impact on many aspects of British culture and continues to do so today, so we’re excited to dedicate an exhibition to it – featuring music, film, magazines and fanzines, record sleeves and more," said Andy Linehan, Curator of Popular Music Recordings at the British Library.

"Punk 1976-78 showcases the British Library’s unique collection of contemporary culture, as well as celebrating a phenomenon that spread across the nation and changed our cultural landscape."

A tape recording of The Clash

The exhibition features rare posters, flyers, fanzines, photographs and audio recordings from the Library’s extensive collection, along with material from the U.K’s biggest archive of punk memorabilia held by Liverpool John Moores University.

Amongst the most notable artefacts on display are a rare copy of the Sex Pistol’s unreleased God Save the Queen single; original clothing from Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s notorious SEX boutique; the leather jacket owned by The Damned’s drummer Rat Scabies; and even John Peel’s personal copy of the Undertones’ classic single Teenage Kicks.

The exhibition will be also accompanied by a series of events, featuring some of the most significant figures from the punk movement live in conversation.

These include An Evening with John Lydon, the iconic lead singer of the Sex Pistols and Public Image Ltd; Buzzcocks: In their Own Words, an evening with original band members Steve Diggle and Pete Shelley; and Stories from the She Punks, with Tessa Pollitt from The Slits, Gina Birch from the Raincoats, Helen from The Chefs and Jane Woodgate from the Mo-Dettes.

‘Punk 1976-78’ opens to the public on May 13, and runs until October 2.


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