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Pub rock (UK)
Stylistic origins rock and roll, garage rock, British blues, folk rock, power pop, funk, hard rock, R&B, beat music, twelve bar blues
Cultural origins 1970s London and Essex
Typical instruments Guitar, Bass, Drums, Piano
Mainstream popularity United Kingdom
Derivative forms protopunk, punk rock, New Wave, mod revival, indie rock, Britpop

Pub rock was a mid- to late-1970s musical movement, largely centred around North London and South East Essex, particularly Canvey Island and Southend on Sea. Pub rock was largely a reaction to much of the popular music of the era, which tended to be dominated by progressive rock and highly polished, supposedly over-produced American West Coast 'AOR' sounds. Many viewed such music as inaccessible and 'out of touch', while pub rock was very much about getting 'back to basics', tending to be based around live performances in small pubs and clubs, playing unpretentious music, from country rock to rhythm and blues-influenced hard rock.



The Hope and Anchor in Islington, a notable pub rock venue

Pub rock was viewed by many as being an immediate precursor to the UK punk rock scene. Indeed, many pub rock acts such as the U.K. Subs and Eddie and the Hot Rods went on to find fame in the first wave of British punk, while groups such as The 101'ers featured Joe Strummer of The Clash, and Kilburn and the High Roads included Ian Dury amongst their members.

Pub rock is usually traced back to the "Tally Ho", a former jazz pub in Kentish Town, where Eggs over Easy started playing in May 1971, and were soon joined by Bees Make Honey, Brinsley Schwarz, Max Merritt and the Meteors, Ducks Deluxe and The Amber Squad.[1]

Most of the venues were in large Victorian pubs "north of Regents Park" where there were plenty of suitable pubs.[2] One of the most notable venues was the Hope and Anchor pub on Islington's Upper Street, still a venue. Other important pub rock venues included the Pegasus Music Hall on Green Lanes, the Dublin Castle in Camden Town, The Pied Bull at The Angel (also gone), Bull and Gate in Kentish Town, the Kensington near Olympia and the George Robey in Finsbury Park (now demolished).

Out of London, venues included the Dagenham Roundhouse, The Grand in Leigh on Sea and the Admiral Jellicoe on Canvey Island. Many of these pub venues, particularly the Hope and Anchor, became notable for hosting punk rock later.

Besides the well-known venues, many other London pubs of the time would hire out the large meeting halls, music halls or ex-billiards rooms they often had available as do-it-yourself gigs for aspiring pub or punk rock musicians.

Notable acts

See also


  1. ^ Birch, Will (2003). No Sleep Till Canvey Island – The Great Pub Rock Revolution (1st ed.). London: Virgin Books Ltd. pp. 120–129. ISBN 0-7535-0740-4.  
  2. ^ "Pub Rock- Pre Punk music". Retrieved 2010-01-06.  

External links



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