“Street Punk – The Series” (SPTS) is a documentary project, which is a continuation of ‘’Street Punk – The Movie’’ (2000), a film by Stuart Newman. It is our attempt to pay tribute to the amazing DIY punk rock scene, to dig deep into the meaning of street punk, and to explore how the scene has been changing during the years. We are willing to do this by filming the gigs, the bands, the crowd and the DIY promoters.
Over the last 8 years Tutek has filmed hundreds of punk gigs in London, the UK and Europe. We’ve done numerous interviews with the street punk scene pioneers, both old legends like Menace or The Business and the fresh blood like Rats Nest and Grade 2. We have harddrives clogged with data collected in the past years of Lost Data Production (LDP)’s existence. We can admit we’ve had a few fuck ups on the way, some interviews called off last moment (we’ll never forget the day when our DIY spirit has been battled by the corporate capitalist monster and the interview with the legend of NYHC cancelled 10 mins before our scheduled time at O2 forum Kentish Town), some data magically got lost for ever (we’re called Lost Data Productions for a reason), not everything has always been going our way. But that’s the way things are and it’s been a hell of a journey, and a big learning, and SPTS means the world to us. With Stuart’s blessing and invaluable help, and more and more people joining the LDP crew, the project has been slowly but surely going forward.
Still a lot needs to be done and the current situation with the covid-19 outbreak has sadly thwarted our plans. It’s tough times for bands, promotors, venues, festivals… As for LDP, since Tutek has lost his job and the whole project had been financed from his own pocket, we are now trying new ways of getting funds to cover the production costs. Some of the interviews that we’ve had scheduled, and which would have been crucial to the project, will not be happening any time soon. But we will be trying to maximize this time and using it as an opportunity to work on editing and planning for the ‘’after the lockdown’’ reality. Although the premiere of the first episode is now postponed until further notice, we just wanted to say bare with us, and as a tribute to all working class heroes on the 1st of May Workers Day we are publishing a SPTS sneak peak: this fine gig of The Old Firm Casuals, Grade2, Knock Off and Rats Nest at The Dome.
Why do we think this gig is a great forerunner of what’s gonna come next? It’s clearly showcasing a current profile of the UK punk rock scene, a smooth and consistent interfusion of the old and new generation. It’s also a brilliant example of diligent and successful work of DIY believers. The gig was held at The Dome, one of few prominent London underground venues, and organised by Human Punk, promoters who always bring top quality live punk music in London.
Firstly, kick started by Rats Nest – ‘’a happy accident’’, as they described themselves, when interviewed by us in Derby in 2019. They also told us The Dome is one of their favourite live venues. This young band was mentioned by many musicians during our interviews, when we were asking about which new bands are to be watched within the scene. Rats Nest is a piece of UK punk rock history in itself, with the drummer, Connor Kaos, being a son of the bass player from Last Resort. It shows the scene is still alive, young people are still into the scene, and 20 years later after Stuart Newman’s film the new generation of punks is writing new chapters. Their music influences include Discharge and d-beat scene as well as ska bands such as Popes of Chillitown.
Knock Off – The band has existed since 2013, and they play honest and powerful street punk. They supported bands like The Business and Last Resort but also Buzzcocks and UK Subs. They also have been very much influenced by the first wave of punk. We were lucky to interview Andy (vocals/guitar), and Andy (drums/vocals) during the Resolution Festival in January this year at The 100 Club. They told us how the street punk and punk scene has got united, and that punks and skinheads now come to the same gigs. No more hatred and racist shit just principals such as music, footy and beer.
Grade 2 – they started off playing as teenagers in their hometown on the Isle of Wight, but quickly started touring on the mainland, and later also in Europe and the United States. Their career gained momentum, when they met Lars Frederiksen, who saw their potential and introduced them to another Rancid band member, Tim Armstrong, who also operates the punk rock record label Hellcat. Long story short, Grade 2 are now signed to Hellcat. Guys are very ambitious, very hardworking and we are looking forward to visiting them at the Isle of Wight one day when the corona-shitstorm calms down.
Last but not least – The Old Firm Casuals. American street punk/Oi! band from California. Formed in San Francisco in 2010 and co-fronted by living legend Lars Frederiksen, also known from Rancid, Lars Frederisken and The Bastards, Stomper 98, The Last Resort and UK Subs. He’s also a producer for Dropkick Murphys, Agnostic Front, The Business, GBH and Cock Sparrer. The band is a quintessence of rude, proud, angry oi! punk. No more description is needed here, the music speaks for itself. Just watch the gig where they’re playing the newest songs from Holger Danske as well as older favourites.
We hope this gig will bring back some good memories and will stimulate your appetite for more of what we have planned. In our eyes, this gig is a monument of how the UK punk rock and American HC musicians inspire each other, learn from each other, and work together. So, what the fuck is street punk? Is it just music or way of life? Well, this project is a discovery journey and you are all invited.