Throughout the years, British culture has changed immensely with the times and this could be in part down to punk music. From the image of stuffed shirt older people to the rock and roll image of today, this island has been heavily influenced by punk music.
If we go all the way back to the turn of the century, Britain was seen to be the stiff, old fashioned union that didn’t move with the times. They told their young people what to do and that was a sentiment that was portrayed in hundreds of movies. The punk movement was born from a desire to get rid of these authoritarian overlords and rebel with music, fashion and lifestyle choices.
It was all about being bigger and bolder than those that had gone before, rebelling against the stereotypical British sensibilities. This was important to the youth, who were tired of hearing what their parents had done better than themselves. There’s a huge debate about where punk started, whether it came from the UK or USA a la SLC Punk, but the sentiment was the same around the world.
This gradually had an effect on the culture of the UK, as the establishment began to notice this group of rabble rousers causing a scene. Life in Great Britain for teenagers wasn’t always charmed, as they had a massive unemployment rate and nothing to do with their time. While some thought this was corrupting their kids, it actually just showed a side of them that the establishment had been ignoring for a long time.
People began to question aspects of society that they’d always taken for granted, like the role of the monarchy. These became rallying points for youngsters as they questioned their bingo playing parents about what the queen actually did for the country. Of course, these punks are now the bingo players themselves but the online version changed the way British play bingo games, so they can still tell themselves their nothing like their boring parents. Bingo sites are now full of these once young punks, with some bingo sites even having anti-establishment themes and messages.
The way people dressed changed entirely, from preppy clothes and hippy gear to bright tartans and somewhat dubious hairstyles. This era made its mark on history and popular culture in a massive way. Our American cousins went down a similar, yet different route, emulating the style and also managing to make it their own. Fashion was a form of art at this time and designers like Vivienne Westwood really immersed themselves in the changing culture.
From challenging just how punk people were to fighting for no good reason, this movement was alive with passion and activity. Then, as quickly as it came it started to fade, though the effects still remained. Punks were quickly replaced by other sub groups and they by yet more still in the decades to follow. No movement can be around forever and the golden age of the punk had passed all to quickly.
There are still punks out there though, still disrupting society in the small ways that they always have. Whether they stand out because they look different or they’re protesting the latest inhumanity, punks will always be able to influence the world and culture that surrounds us, no matter how many there are.