British Post-punk Bands: Squid (Photo Credit: Benedicte Dacquin)
The British post-punk scene has come a long way since their establishment in the 1970’s with often minimalist and sometimes avant-garde experimentation with classic rock and punk. The diverse and wide genre remains true to its DIY ethic with current bands exploring various styles, as the genre often takes an attitudinal rather than sonic proposition. Now, take a look at some of our favourite modern and up-and-coming British post-punk bands making their stamp on the music scene.
British Post-Punk Bands You Need to Watch
Formed whilst at University in Brighton, the five-piece played their first gig after replying to an advert for ‘young person’s jazz night’. Rapidly compiling a set with jolty, angular guitars, pronounced basslines and yelping vocals, they perked up the ears of Speedy Wunderground. Bringing forward the energy of punk with a contemporary nod, Squid are just the chaotically wonderful band that British post-punk music needs.
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South London’s hotly-tipped four-piece Dry Cleaning make acerbic post-punk topped with gritty spoken vocals. Lewis Maynard (bass), Tom Dowse (guitar) and Nick Buxton (drums) initially played as an instrumental group inspired by new wave from the likes of the Feelies, the Clean and the B52s. Florence Shaw later joined, casting her satirical, dry spoken vocals. Their debut EP Sweet Princess received much attention with its Megan-Markle referencing ‘Magic of Meghan’ and they have since created much hype in the London scene and far beyond.
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Dublin’s Fontaines D.C.’s abrasive vocals, charged percussion and tumbling guitars won them album of the year 2019 from both Rough Trade and BBC Radio 6 Music. Dublin City is embedded in both their name and sound: heavily accented vocals, rickety rhythms and punk licks. It’s looking up for the band as their complex and confident follow-up album comes out later this month.
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Irish multifaceted artist poet-musician Sinead O’Brien’s influences can be attributed from the realism of Patti Smith, the Fall and Mark E. Smith. Her spoken vocals blended with post-punk and art rock fuels thrilling live performances in London and beyond. O’Brien’s written work has featured in London Magazine whose alumni include Sylvia Path and T.S. Eliot.
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Beginning as singer-songwriter Dana Margolin’s DIY project in Brighton, Porridge Radio relocated to London to blend art-punk, garage rock and slowcore. 2020 saw the release of their second album Every Bad which alleviated the band from minimalist lo-fi to delightfully dynamic post-punk. ‘Sweet’ showcases the band’s expertise in balance of delicacy and rage amongst jagged guitars, dreamy synths and undisguised vocals.
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Harnessing the energy of classic 1970s punk, childhood pals of foursome Italia 90 bring a fresh perspective to London’s punk scene with their politically charged, barking vocals and rumbling guitars. Already receiving impressive comparisons to early Joy Division, the Fall and Protomartyr with only a couple of EPs, they are definitely ones to watch.
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Grungy and gritty post-punk band Sorry champion North London’s DIY sludgy scene and attitude. Started by two best friends Asha Lorenz and Louis O’Bryen, they would compete on Soundcloud during school before realising they were better together. They experimented with everything from trip-hop, 90s alternative rock, grunge and early trap before releasing their thrilling debut earlier this year. The highly anticipated album 925 is dark, intriguing and playful, demonstrating capabilities beyond the British post-punk scene.
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Brought together by the real-life subject of IDLES’ pro-immigrant anthem, ‘Danny Nedelko’, Bristol foursome Heavy Lungs are reinjecting the heaviness and excitement back into British post-punk scenes. Their hugely energetic and thrilling live shows demonstrate the buzz over the young band, with roaring guitars and raw vocals inducing monstrous mosh pits. The band hasn’t even released a full-length album, yet, they have proven that they are one of the British post-punk bands worth watching.
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