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The Spitz Gallery - The Sex Pistols

6 Jun – 4 Jul 2004

Having witnessed the first ever Sex Pistols gig purely by mistake in 1975, Paul Terence Madden went on to make the most of his good fortune – by taking these pictures of the band performing at the Nashville Rooms, West Kensington in April 1976. This, the very first public exhibition of what he captured, is a chance to take a look at some visceral musical history in the making. Giant prints make the band’s larger than life status a literal truth. They evoke the exhilaration of witnessing the punk revolution at an embryonic stage.

Of the night he took the pictures, photomontagist and onetime musician and NME Journalist Madden states: “I think there were about thirty people there but only four of them were there to see The Sex Pistols. This is why I was able to stand so close with an utterly clear view. As it was the first time I had used a 35mm SLR camera, I don’t think I even moved my position once, such was my inexperience. As far as I was concerned I had the best possible view and that was where I was going to take the pictures from.”

“Apart from the throbbing, ballsy and utterly grooving rock music, one of the things I loved about the Sex Pistols was this sheer malevolent atmosphere emanating from Johnny Rotten's eyeballs. It was like the death ray from hell and back, you couldn’t hold his stare at all - which when you thought about it was really terrifying but also made you giggle hysterically inside - producing incredible tension and excitement. The only way I can possibly explain it is - its like the moment just before you know you’re going to have to get into a fight and the adrenalin kicks in but you don't care because you know you’re going to win...”

In December of that year, Bill Grundy invited the Sex Pistols to “say something outrageous” live on Thames TV. Nothing would ever be the same again.

The Spitz, live music, gallery, bar & bistro
109 Commercial Street, Old Spitalfields Market, London E1 6BG
box office & info 020 7392 9032, press 020 7053 2046

June Highlights:

02 Mice Parade (electronically imagineered post-rock)
10 Perrin Double Bill (sibling musicians Lola and Roland Perrin) 14 Think of One (BBC Radio 3 World Music Boundary Crossing winners this
15 Avril (winner of the Prix Constantin in 2002 promoting another album interfacing guitars and electronics) 16 Regina Spektor (Wonderful up and coming anti-folk singer who toured with The Strokes) 19 Maroon Town Brazilian Summer Carnival 20 Spitz TV (interstellar lineup featuring They Came From the Stars, I Saw
27 Anti-Glastonbury (antidote to the I'm-not-at-Glastonbury blues)



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