Huck reports on Wasteland of my Fathers, an exhibition taking “a vivid look into an under-reported chapter in punk’s story”: the Welsh scene.
Victimize formed on a council estate in Barry, then an ailing port town in south Wales, in the late 1970s. Their take on punk, confined to a few singles and compilation appearances, replaced the cartoonish nihilism of the Sex Pistols with a sense of hard-nosed, grounded inertia that makes you want to climb out of your own skin. A photo of the young band — their leather jackets set against the rubble of a demolition site — leads off Wasteland of My Fathers, a new exhibition that assembles a vivid look into under-reported chapter in punk’s story.
Designed by Cardiff Music History’s David Taylor, the retrospective will form part of the Llais festival at the Wales Millennium Centre in the capital between September 25th and November 5th. It delves into a Welsh scene that existed in the fading light of heavy industry, percolating throughout the 1980s in dockers’ cottages and mining villages, from the southern coast to Blaina in the heart of the valleys and on to Bangor in the north.
“If you think about punk, you probably think about London or New York,” Taylor says. “It was very different in Wales. It was Thatcher’s Britain. They were playing benefit gigs for the miners in London. In Wales, the bands’ families were down the mines. It was closer to home.”
Funny they had more to be angry about, but looks like they were having more fun. The exhibition is free of charge, but you’ll have to get yerself to the Wales Milllenium Center in Cardiff.