Surviving In Leather, Bristles, Studs, Punk Rock and GBH
A book review by Wayne Reid
When Mike Stone’s label ‘Clay Records’ unleashed GBH and Discharge on the unsuspecting public, Punk Rock came of age, a new sound was born and with it came a new generation of followers, a new wave of Punk Rockers, a new Hardcore….
When Mike Stone’s label ‘Clay Records’ unleashed GBH and Discharge on the unsuspecting public, Punk Rock came of age, a new sound was born and with it came a new generation of followers, a new wave of Punk Rockers, a new Hardcore. Punk was no longer the default home of bored middle-class art school dropouts, it was taken by working class kids as their own, taken by force in a hard fought battle of the bands in pubs, clubs and venues around the UK, eventually spreading to Europe and the USA. Ross Lomas writes in depth, with an honesty and self-deprecating manner that brings to life the reality of the struggles, the infighting, and brotherhood of a band keeping it together on (and off) tour. The ups and downs of surviving in an ad hoc world of Punk Rock excess, drinking, drugs, parties and the lack of any glamour of sleeping on floors, in the back of a van whilst surviving on less than today’s minimum wage.
It’s not often I read a book and find people I know turning up in anecdotes, but when I do, I know those stories are true, and it makes me love the writer all the more.
Ross’s story is never easy, retold with the help of Steve Pottinger, there is humour, hope, fear and brotherhood in every line. Survival is the ultimate victory and GBH are true survivors, still pushing boundaries, still putting out great shows to substantial audiences worldwide, despite all the pitfalls, despite the let downs and the hardships, still here, a band of brothers willing to do whatever it takes to survive, almost 40 years since a very shy bass player took to the stage for the first time, overcoming his biggest fears, his own demons, just getting up there and doing a great job, time after time.
A highly recommended read for fans and aspiring Punk Rock musicians, this is the real deal, this is what you get, this is real life in 300 glorious pages.
City Baby by Ross Lomas, with Steve Pottinger
First published by Bazillion Points 2015