When Punk Came to Rural France
The Clash and Sting feature in Jean Gaumy's photographs of a music festival in south-western France in 1977, the summer punk went global
1977 was the year that punk exploded into global cultural consciousness. Records central to the punk rock movement were released, including: The Clash by The Clash, The Damned’s Damned, Damned, Damned, the Dead Boys’ Young, Loud and Snotty, Johnny Thunders and the Heartbreakers’ L.A.M.F., The Jam’s In the City, the Ramones’ Rocket to Russia, Richard Hell and the Voidoids’ Blank Generation, the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols, Television’s Marquee Moon, and Wire’s Pink Flag. It was also the year that spawned several iconic bands: The Avengers, Bad Brains, Black Flag, Crass, Discharge, Fear, the Flesh Eaters, the Germs, the Misfits, 999, The Pagans, The Plasmatics, VOM, The Weirdos, X, and X-Ray Spex.
Following the phenomenan in the US and UK, the punk movement began to spread through Europe. In the summer of 1977, in a weekend fesitval staged in a bullfighting arena in the town of Mont de Marsan in south-western France, 2000 spectators enjoyed music from The Damned, The Clash, Dr Feelgood and The Police. In his last self-started project before he joined Magnum, a curious Jean Gaumy was in attendance. “The punk movement was not really my thing but my interest in all these nascent movements motivated me,” he says. “I wanted to see. I went. And I saw.” Gaumy’s images depict young people in their DIY punk ensembles, watching bands in the bull ring, as well as candid shots of a youthful Sting and Clash guitaristPaul Simonon.