PUNK+ (Shelia Rock, First Third Books)

PUNK+ (Shelia Rock, First Third Books)

Limited edition book PUNK+ launches 25 April 2013

The revolution of the late 1970’s more commonly know as Punk spawned a blitz of good music, fashion, design and expression, that is still reflected in today’s culture. But for the majority may not have witnessed the music explosion, which makes Shelia Rock’s limited edition book Punk+  immediately important information for the mildly curios and entertaining vindication for the experienced.

Shelia Rock was party to numerous intimate moments of punk. Her unique perspective comes through her portraits of influential acts including The Clash, The Jam, Generation X, Siouxsie & the Banshees, The Subway Sect, The Damned and The Buzzcocks. She also documented some notorious yet till now unseen events in punk history such as The Moors Murderers rehearsals (Anyone?). But some of my favourite photos are of the crowd and street photos which bring some of the colour and vibrant creativity – which made a mockery of a seven year old feeling triumphant that he made a fair job safety pinning his denim jacket would have been deflated by what the older lads were doing, in Shelia’s photos there even comes a point where the crowd look more like band members.
The look of Punk was important and Shelia Rock also documents both designer and street styles between 1976-9 that had such an effect on fashion, society and politics, including Vivienne Westwood’s shop SEX as well as BOY, Robot and Acme Attractions. Great to see new shots of Jordan and Cat Woman as well as several characters that would be more at home in some Dickinson eroticism or another group all shredded ready for action.

Sheila’s conversations with Chrissie Hynde, Tony James, Don Letts, Jeanette Lee, Glen Matlock, Chris Salewicz, Jon Savage, Steven Severin, Paul Simonon, Jah Wobble and more, provide an illuminating commentary on the punk phenomenon. As she observes “Punk was all about changing and surviving”. The interviews add even more depth to the varied visuals. Here’s a random Paul Simonon quote, he comments “The pictures in the last chapter show how things started to evolve from Punk; develop and branch out into other areas. How British fashion and history were changing. It’s not just about the bands, it’s about people… People and their looks.”

Punk+ works very well, with a comprehensive array of photos, well layed out in the limited edition title’s 266 pages or so. anyone that needs a reminder or to discover of an explosion of colour, expression, attitude and creativity could not do more better than Punk+ as a one-stop photographic sociology of the original counter-culture. A beautiful document of a blank generation. 9.2
Steve Janes


Limited to 2000 numbered and signed books, including 300 deluxe versions exclusively available through First Third Books website.
The book can be ordered here:

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PUNK+ (Shelia Rock, First Third Books)