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Provincial Gains: Sex Pistols in the Early Summer of '76

Clinton Heylin, 'Anarchy in the Year Zero' (Route Books), May 2016

"The sound is a mean cacophony, not unreminiscent of Bowie's early Spiders, the material a mixture of Anglo-American teen punk classics – the Stooges' 'No Fun', 'Substitute' and a naively-perverted rerun of the Small Faces 'Whatcha Gonna Do About It' – and furious originals. The bulk of attention centres on lead singer Johnny Rotten, mod/skinhead in appearance and demeanour, peer of the sneer and all-round bad kid. Unfortunately the Sex Pistols seem unable at present to sustain their grubby villainy through more than two consecutive gigs, still slipping over the razor-line that divides genuine menace from self-consciously petulant attitude-copying. On a good night, though, they're the nastiest little cluster of individuals to have boarded a London stage in years." (Giovanni Dadomo, Time Out, 7/5/76)

Total word count of piece: 3321

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