Anti-Nowhere League, The Meteors, The Defects – 23rd August 1982

16th May 2022 – This was the rescheduling of a show that was supposed to have been Discharge, The Anti-Nowhere League, The Exploited, Chron-Gen and Anti Pasti on the Apocalypse Now Punk Tour in July of 1981 (or possibly, and more likely, 5th June 1982). I can’t recall the reason but that show got cancelled, maybe connected with the riots that had been happening around the country over the last 12 months or so and only tangentially related to punk shows. There’s a reference to the 5th June 1982 show being cancelled due to illness. There was still a fear and suspicion around punk rock in general (sometimes, but not often with good reason).

I loved Chron-Gen at the time, all the bands actually but I had a live tape of Chron-Gen that I played to death. I used to walk my grandparents’ fat springer spaniel, her name was Jenny and instead of shouting ‘come on, Jenny’ I would shout ‘Chron Gen’ replicating the words from their song. Again, I was quite pleased with myself at this wordplay.

Discharge, The Exploited and Anti-Pasti! Oh well, never mind! Here’s a review from Sounds that would’ve had me excited at the time.

A funny thing about this rescheduled show was that it was advertised on the local TV station one night, around 10pm. It felt like this movement that we were part of was really happening.

It was disappointing that the Meteors played this instead and they brought their stupid violent psychobilly fans with them. I loved a good rough and tumble in the pit but they were just about pure violence, fists and elbows flying.

Having been threatened and harassed continually, though managing to mostly escape any real violence I was acutely aware that this was going to be a dangerous place to be on this night. I pocketed my busted Swiss Army knife which had two short blades and a can piercer that could all be utilised at once. During the Anti-Nowhere League set, I felt a hand brush the back of my head as I was watching, soon followed by a full-on punch. I turned around to find a couple of nasty looking skinheads, one looking like the younger brother of the other who was egging him on. They realised what I knew, that I was a soft target.

I scooted away to the other side of the hall, feeling for the knife in my pocket but my common sense and fear held me back. To be honest that ruined the rest of the show and really remains my only lasting memory from it. I got out as quick as I could after it had finished and into my waiting mum’s car, annoyed and upset.

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