New Wave Photos
August 17, 2003 3:57 PM   Subscribe You will find here a selection of photos (mainly B&W) taken mostly in the late 70's and early 80's of popular and not so popular "rock", "new wave" and "punk" groups.
posted by soundofsuburbia (22 comments total)
The Banshees - 1244 photos
Big Country - 10 photos

Moral: Get a girl in the band. Hell, even x-mal (now there was a band) have 181 photos.
posted by ciderwoman at 4:24 PM on August 17, 2003

jesus murphy on high, mink deville is not a new wave band.
posted by t r a c y at 4:35 PM on August 17, 2003

ahh yes, new wave.
queen. deep purple. earch, wind & fire. rod stewart.
posted by quonsar at 5:06 PM on August 17, 2003

In the early 80's "new wave" was a much misused term. When I was about 13, "new wave" was applied to shit like this, this, this and this, which may be all right for girls or something, but for teenage boys with veins filling with testosterone, it just ain't gonna cut it.

So we walked around with "New Wave Sucks" written on our jackets and cranked up the Metallica and Anvil. By the time I was 15, I had straightened out the difference between "punk" and "new wave" ( I was especailly disturbed that i kept seeing the Ramones grouped with the synth bands, when they seened to have more in common with the hard rock we liked--volume, speed, guitars etc), though a crash self-study course in rock history.

It wasn't till much later that I found out that stuff like this, this and this was plastered with the "new wave" label, which does it a great disservice. And i took crap from both my metal pals for broadening my horizons and from punk/new wavers for remaining faithful to my metal roots. I eventually distanced my self from both and worked my way to roots music and 60's garage.

I'm quite frankly tired of the false old wave/new wave dichotomy anyway. To define a movement purely in oppositional terms is follish.
posted by jonmc at 5:12 PM on August 17, 2003

It's a bit like the current "nu-rock", jonmc. Come see the new rock, same as the old rock.

This is a haunted man. Brilliant photos.
posted by Jimbob at 5:21 PM on August 17, 2003

I think it's *all* his photos. Regardless of whether you call them punk, new wave, or whatever, they include a great many experimentalists and one-hit wonders and generally obscure creative geniuses from the late seventies and early eighties. Reads like the record bins of the old Rough Trade. There's skads of fantastic and nostalgic stuff in there, from Ari Up to Z'ev.

Absolutely great site, soundofsuburbia.
posted by carter at 5:26 PM on August 17, 2003

Hmm, Joy Division, The Smiths, The Cure. Bands I never quite got, somehow. Although plenty of people whom i otherwise respect love them, so who knows, maybe I'm just deficient.

Perhaps one day, Dee Snider, James Hetfield and Lemmy will walk into bar and come face to face with Morrisey, Robert Smith and Ian Curtis and they will all have a pint with no bloodshed occuring.

But probably not.
posted by jonmc at 5:28 PM on August 17, 2003

I don't think just having a girl in the band does it, or there would be more pictures of the Cramps than the Cure.

...and TAT'S a helluva double bill, by the way...
posted by dogwelder at 5:29 PM on August 17, 2003

186 pictures of Les Gauff' au Suc' (?) vs 69 of The Ramones? And 0 (none) of X-Ray Spex?? (Talking about girls in the band...) I fart in your general direction!
posted by languagehat at 5:43 PM on August 17, 2003

Amazing collection! Great link soundofsuburbia! I bet this guy's got loads of amazing stories. My jealous knows no bounds.
posted by shoepal at 7:40 PM on August 17, 2003

I never realized that Kate Bush was new wave.... I always loved her....
posted by Eekacat at 7:45 PM on August 17, 2003

Ah, memories. Great site. This pic made it all worthwhile for me. Yowza!
posted by davebush at 8:02 PM on August 17, 2003

The owner of this site, Philipe Carly, contacted me and asked if I would post this for him:


Before I start, I would like to thank you all for taking the time to visit my site and most of all for sharing your comments about it.

I tried to log on MetaFilter to address a few of your comments, but MetaFilter isn't accepting new members temporarily, I had to ask one of you to post this for me.

First of all Ciderwoman is right on target, but unfortunately with the wrong examples: yes, it helped to have a girl (or several for that matter): hey I was a young dude, full of testosterone back then :-). Apologies if that sounds chauvinistic or politically incorrect. BUT I was (and still am) genuinely a fan of Siouxsie and the Banshees (and X-Mal Deutschland for that matter). I've seen 30+ Banshees gigs. Hence the large (huge) number of photos. I never really looked at Siouxsie as a girl in a band, I truly consider her as a "person" and if she has a lot of "stage appeal", to me she has no "sex appeal" at all (unlike, say Debbie Harry). When you take photos at a gig, your point you view is slightly different from that of the audience: what you want is as I said "stage appeal": movement, poses, visual diversity. If the music is varied but everyone stands like a store mannequin with dull lightshow I will take little photos. Same if there is not enough lights.

Many of your comments circle around the denomination "new wave". Well I had to choose a name for the site, hadn't I? I figured 'new wave' represented for best or for worse the core of my interest in those days. And yes, there are lots of these photos that aren't even remotely connected with 'new wave'. As Carter guessed, the site is there to showcase all the photos I took then, also the photos I've done more recently. I was working for magazines then which helped me get in and take photos at gigs I liked but it also meant going and taking pictures at some I liked less. Yin and Yang. And yes, I did make decisions I now regret: like not photographing a band because it was 'just a support act', and I wanted to make sure I had enough film for the main act. Like spend too much time at the bar during a festival and missing a couple of bands. But I never could have guessed my photos would one day end up on a web site so widely visible and visited. Besides, I was young, not rich, film and processing were relatively expensive and there was such an abundance of (good) gigs, we took it for granted. I never imagined I would have to stand up behind my choices / decisions some 20 years later. Besides, I had a manual camera with a few fixed focus lenses which meant loosing lots of time swapping lenses, trying to focus and get the proper exposure.

As for the more recent stuff: the response I got from this site (both in terms of visits and feeback) gave me a kick in the butt and I decided to resume taking pictures at concerts. But in 15 years, I had lost most of the contacts I had in the business, plus the business has changed enormously. So it was (still is) extremely difficult to get a photo pass these days. Fortunately, a friend of mine runs an independant record label, and it was easy for me to
take pictures at his bands' gigs (hence Les Gauff' au Suc') and reacquaint myself with the trade. I now shoot digital with a good camera that has auto exposure, auto focus, and zooms so I can at last take lots of pictures during a gig (or the first 3 numbers of it, as is often the case nowadays). WhatI'd love most is be able to go back in time with my present equipment and record more thoroughly everything I missed. But it will never be possible, so I have to live with that... and so do you ;-)

Thanks again for visiting the site and reading through this.

philippe carly
posted by davebush at 6:43 AM on August 18, 2003

thanks for that davebush. oooh, siouxie shots! Sadly I tried to have her hairdo. Failed miserably, the black turned green. eeew.
posted by dabitch at 7:35 AM on August 18, 2003

Yeah, thank you davebush! And thanks for the photos, Philippe!
posted by soundofsuburbia at 8:36 AM on August 18, 2003

Here's what the scene in Cincinnati looked like back then, at a place called The Jockey Club. Cool national and local bands.

Here's some friends of mine who played there, and includes a scary picture of me dressed as a 17th century poof (albeit, with glasses...).

Glad I got that out of my system...
posted by jpburns at 9:16 AM on August 18, 2003

What, no Elvis Costello?
posted by Robot Johnny at 9:57 AM on August 18, 2003

Any attempts to pin down the correct usage of the phrase "new wave" are quixotic since it's the phrase is obviously used so loosely. Many people my age (pushing 30) tend to closely associate "new wave" with the new romantic bands like Duran Duran or synthpop bands like Depeche Mode. (But consider the fact that the "no wave" moniker for certain NYC bands of the late 70s was coined prior to the rise of Duran Duran, Flock of Seagulls, et al.) I've talked to older punks who associate "new wave" with the wave of post-Ramones, post-Sex Pistols punk bands like Blondie, the Buzzcocks, or Joy Division. But I and probably most people just use it as an umbrella term for all of the pop music of the early to mid 80s (Duran Duran, the Specials, Human League, the Cure, the Smiths, the B-52s) that would later be labeled "alternative." Doesn't help, does it? For me, there's nothing that ties those bands together besides a common audience... and maybe an entry in the Trouser Press record guide.

Oh, and great photos!
posted by cobra libre at 10:26 AM on August 18, 2003

Man did this site bring back memories. Thanks for the link!
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:02 PM on August 18, 2003

Well expressed, Cobra Libre. I make a pretty arbitrary distinction between "new wave" and "postpunk" -- new wave bands are the late-'70s/early-'80s groups I knew about when I was thirteen (in 1983); postpunk bands are the late-'70s/early-'80s groups I got into when I was a college DJ.

So -- Missing Persons, Berlin, and Bow Wow Wow are new wave; Liliput, Wire, and Swell Maps are postpunk. It's scientific.
posted by lisa g at 6:10 PM on August 18, 2003

Ah, yes, LiLiPUT, they were great! Remember when they were Kleenex? Their single "Ü" was one of the weirdest things I'd heard this side of Captain Beefheart. (Damn, I thought I was linking to the Kleenex page of that punk/new-wave site, but I see it's a fershlugginer Flash site, so you'll have to click on Swiss Punk & Wave, scroll down to just above the first picture, and click on Kleenex/Liliput.) Here's a nice review (that also mentions my beloved Lora Logic's band Essential Logic). Those were the days.
posted by languagehat at 7:03 PM on August 18, 2003

Blondie was most definitely NOT a post-Ramones band. They both came out of the CBGB's scene at roughly the same time.

As for the term "New Wave", it was a label stuck on punk by the record industry to make the music sound less threatening to buyers, so it's essentially meaningless.
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:31 PM on August 18, 2003

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