The Sex Pistols last ever British gig which was in Huddersfield is to be featured on a radio documentary.
To mark 40 years since the start of the punk phenomenon Radio 4 is to air Punk, the Pistols and the Provinces by Mark Hodkinson.
The programme will be broadcast at 11.30am on Tuesday, May 24 and repeated at 3.30pm on Saturday, May, 28.
Music fan Mark said: “Punk is viewed principally as a London phenomenon but, unknown to many, their touring career outside the capital was book-ended by two shows more than 200 miles away from the capital – and both in Yorkshire.
On Wednesday May 19, 1976 – six months before the release of their first single and their notorious appearance when they swore on the Tonight show with Bill Grundy – the Sex Pistols performed at Sayer’s nightclub in the market town of Northallerton in North Yorkshire.
Just 19 months later on Christmas Day 1977 the band made their last UK appearance at Ivanhoes club in Huddersfield – and tickets for this legendary event cost just £1.75.
Mark has visited both towns and found people who were at the gigs. He has also plotted the impact of punk in the provinces where thousands, if not millions, of disgruntled teenagers heeded The Clash’s entreaty to the ‘faraway towns’ to ‘come out of the cupboard, you boys and girls’ (London Calling).
One of those at the Huddersfield gig was Mark Burgess who later formed his own band, The Chameleons, and has spent the last 35 years touring the world. Mark was responsible for setting about Johnny Rotten with a giant cake at the afternoon concert in Huddersfield which was held mainly for the children of striking firemen.
Mark said: ‘‘He was singing about being a bloody mess on the track Bodies, so I thought it would be a good idea to him into one!’’
In the programme the punk-poet Andy T speaks of the inspiration punk provided and its wider significance is discussed by Dr Simon Warner, a lecturer in popular music studies at the University of Leeds while Dr Jennifer Otter Bickerdike, a rock ’n’ roll cultural historian, claims punk was a major influence in the empowerment of women.
John Robb, an author on several books on punk and a member of the band, The Membranes, discusses the issue of ‘selling out’ and punk’s lasting influence.