The Saints
Guy Lochhead, 21/04/12
New Zealand proto-punk band who played rock music faster and more raw than their contemporaries. They had broken up by 1979, when a lot of punk groups were just getting started. They started by covering pop songs by Del Shannon, Tina Turner and others, with an energy and enthusiasm that rendered the originals pretty much unrecognisable, but soon started writing their own songs. They had some trouble from police, who shut down many of their gigs, but responded by turning their house into the 76 Club so they had somewhere to play. Although three of the four original members left in 1979, the singer Chris Bailey carried on releasing his own music under the Saints name until 1990, when he “went solo”. An excellent band who wrote some properly innovative song with some great lyrics and a great general, uncompromising attitude. I love that they saw and rejected the conformity of the leather-and-zips image so early on. Great stuff. I will include (I’m) Stranded and Eternally Yours – the first because it was a visionary slice of proto-punk, and the second because it was already developing the punk sound – horns etc. – at a time when most punk bands were just getting started…

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