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Pre-Punk 1972-1976

Episode 1 of 3

Series about the history of punk rock begins with the precursors to the likes of the Sex Pistols and the Clash - pub rockers such as Dr Feelgood and Ducks Deluxe.

Narrated by Peter Capaldi, this opener of a three-part documentary series in BBC FOUR's celebrated 'Britannia' strand is scheduled to chime with the 35th anniversary of the Queen's Silver Jubilee and the arrival of punk as national and then international music culture. The film explores the road to punk in Britain, which begins in the early 70s with a young generation already conscious that they have 'missed the 60s party' and are stuck in a Britain heading for economic woes and dwindling opportunities. Meanwhile the music of the day - prog and super rock - seems to ask not for their interest and involvement, but only their awe and their money.

But before the punk generation finally arises to have its say during 1976 come a group of pub rockers, a generation of bands sandwiched between 60s hippies and mid-70s punks who will help pave the way towards the short, sharp shock of punk, only to be elbowed aside by the emergence of the Sex Pistols, the Clash et al.

An unlikely cast of characters set the scene for punk in early 70s Britain. Reacting against overblown super rock of the day and the glam their younger sisters like on Top of the Pops, pub rock set the template for punk. Small venues, fast retro rock 'n' roll and bags of attitude typified bands like Dr Feelgood, Ducks Deluxe, Kilburn and the High Roads and Eddie and the Hotrods. These bands engendered a small London scene which is sometimes forgotten and helped define the Pistols, the Clash and the Damned, both positively and negatively.

Featuring copious unseen archive footage and interviews with John Lydon, Paul Weller, Mick Jones, Wilko Johnson, Nick Lowe, Adam Ant, Brian James and many more.

59 minutes

Last on

Sat 2 Jul 2016 00:30

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Music Played

Timings (where shown) are from the start of the programme in hours and minutes

  • Sex Pistols

    Pretty Vacant

  • Sex Pistols

    Holidays in the Sun

  • Dr. Feelgood


  • Eggs Over Easy

    Runnin' Down to Memphis

  • Eggs Over Easy

    Party Party

  • Brinsley Schwarz

    Ju Ju Man

  • Ducks Deluxe

    Coast to Coast

  • Bees Make Honey


  • Kursaal Flyers

    Street of the Music

  • Slade

    Coz I Love You

  • David Bowie

    Watch That Man

  • Kilburn and The High Roads

    Mumba Rumba and the Cocktail Rock

  • Kilburn and The High Roads

    Rough Kids

  • Vince Taylor

    Brand New Cadillac

  • Dr. Feelgood

    Johnny B Goode

  • Dr. Feelgood

    She Does it Right

  • Eddie & the Hot Rods

    Get out of Denver

  • Eddie & the Hot Rods

    Do Anything You Wanna Do

  • Richard Hell & The Voidoids

    Blank Generation

  • T. Rex

    Hot Love

  • David Bowie

    The Jean Genie

  • New York Dolls

    Jet Boy

  • New York Dolls

    Great Big Kiss

  • Tymon Dogg

    Johnny Is a Wanderer

  • The 101ers

    Steamgauge 99

  • The 101ers

    Keys to Your Heart

  • Doctors of Madness


  • Clash


  • Sex Pistols

    Steppin Stone

    • Live at Chelmsford Prison.
  • The Damned

    New Rose

  • Clash

    Police & Thieves

  • The Damned

    Neat Neat Neat

  • Nick Lowe

    Heart of the City

  • Sex Pistols


  • Sex Pistols

    Anarchy in the UK


Role Contributor
Producer Andy Dunn
Director Andy Dunn
Series Producer Ben Whalley
Narrator Peter Capaldi