What you hold in your hands could be thought of as a visual accompaniment to my recent 'Burning Britain: The History of UK Punk 1980-1984' book, although it admittedly doesn't pertain to be either as comprehensive or as far-reaching as that particular document. What it is though, is a neat snapshot of some of the bands from said book doing what they do/did best - blasting out anti-social punk rock in various seedy establishments around the world. It's not always perfect quality and it's not all from the early Eighties, but hey, there were very few decent video cameras around back then, and none of the bands ever imagined that their modest home movies - initially filmed just for their own enjoyment - might one day end up on a DV in your player. And after all, this is a punk rock film, which means you get all the feedback, warts 'n' all, not to mention some occasionally shambolic camera work, but if you're not down with that, go watch MTV or whatever else it is that tries to pass itself of as punk nowadays.
Meanwhile, those with an appreciation for the old school way of doing things can settle back and enjoy this collection of rare treats, many of them prised from the bands' own archives. Almost a dozen of the tracks here have never seen the light of day until now, and most of the others have yet to enjoy a proper digital release. Alongside the bonus photo gallery, which features some of the pictures we couldn't fit in the 'Burning Britain' book, it's a spirited, evocative collection of in-your-face punk rock, spanning over two decades of gloriously mutilated guitar chords and some of the most urgent impassioned sounds you could ever hope to entice from a cheap guitar amplifier.
Ranging from the ABH's ultra-rare "Don't Mess With The SAS' (an elusive example of an original UK82 promo clip) right up to recent live footage from scene stalwarts such as GBH and Discharge, that proves beyond any shadow of doubt how little the passage of time has done to dim their visceral ferocity, 'Burning Britain' ain't always pretty, but it's the only place you’ll ever see the likes of The Destructors, Mau Maus and Ad Nauseam strutting their stuff on DVD, and if that isn't worth the price of admission, then what is?