No Machos or Pop Stars : When the Leeds Art Experiment Went Punk
Early Leeds Punk Scene - Book - by Gavin Butt
punk's arrival in 1976, many art students in the northern English city
of Leeds traded their paintbrushes for guitars and synthesizers. In
bands ranging from Gang of Four, Soft Cell, and Delta 5 to the Mekons,
Scritti Politti, and Fad Gadget, these artists-turned-musicians
challenged the limits of what was deemed possible in rock and pop music.
Taking avant-garde ideas to the record-buying public, they created
situationist antirock and art punk, penned deconstructed pop ditties
about Jacques Derrida, and took the aesthetics of collage and shock to
dark, brooding electro-dance music.
In No Machos or Pop Stars Gavin Butt tells the fascinating story of the post-punk scene in Leeds, showing how England's state-funded education policy brought together art students from different social classes to create a fertile ground for musical experimentation. Drawing on extensive interviews with band members, their associates, and teachers, Butt details the groups who wanted to dismantle both art world and music industry hierarchies by making it possible to dance to their art. Their stories reveal the subversive influence of art school in a regional music scene of lasting international significance.