pub rock

pub rock
   A specifically English minor music genre, pub rock was based in the London music scene of the 1970s and received its name from the lucrative pub venue circuit, which consisted of small bands playing in pub back rooms. Seen as a welcome reaction against the progressive rock and stadium rock of this period, it presaged punk rock as the antithesis of the overblown clichéd rock scene, although punk would later infiltrate and ultimately take over the circuit. Based in venues such as the Hope and Anchor, the Greyhound and the Falcon, it had no real stylistic features musically but, like punk, it gave bands the opportunity to play live during a period when it was becoming increasingly difficult to be heard. Notable pub rockers include Nick Lowe (and his band Brinsley Schwarz), Ian Dury (Kilburn and the Highroads) and two-tone/ ska band Madness, all of whom began their careers on the pub circuit and went on to achieve major chart successes. Other acts, such as Dr Feelgood and The Jam, built up major followings on the circuit but were loath to be a part of the pub rock ‘scene’. The opening up of new venues following the punk explosion of the late 1970s ended the dominance of the pub circuit.
   See also: pop and rock

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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