The only straightedge kid left in town

About ten years ago there was a reasonably thriving punk-rock scene in this area. Well, as thriving as it could be for a small town in the middle of the UK. Still, there were a number of a small venues in my town and a couple of nearby cities which regularly had punk rock and hardcore bands playing in them, and there was a pretty strong following. Enough that local rock clubs often had punk-rock or hardcore sets during a regular rock night.

Around that time, I was DJing in a little club in Coventry, playing mostly rock and punk stuff on a Friday night. We would regularly crank up bands like NOFX, Ignite, Boysetsfire and Thursday, and the dancefloor would be packed with guys in cut-off shorts and girls with tattoos shoving each other happily round the place with smiles on their faces. But after a while, things just started drying up.

The crowd started changing. The punks dwindled, replaced by metalheads. After a while though even these stopped coming, and the club was forced to wind up business. Never mind, I thought, these things happen. I’ll just have to find somewhere else to jam. But then a realisation hit me. The punks were all gone.

All the clubs in Coventry, Leicester and Birmingham which had frequently catered to the punk and hardcore crown had either stopped , closed or burnt down (R.I.P. Eddies – you were never the same after you reopened). The groups of punks you’d often see milling around town centres planning the overthrow of the government (at least that’s what I assume they were all discussing) were conspicuously absent.

So here I am, the only straightedge kid left in town, wondering what happened. Did everyone just grow up? Maybe. A lot of my friends have families of their own now. I guess they don’t get out much anymore. Maybe the punk-rock scene is still strong and I’m the one who’s out of it. But if that’s the case, how the hell do I get back into it?

I put an ad online looking for like-minded musicians to form a melodic hardcore band. No responses so far. But I won’t give up. To quote Bane: “Just like this X on the back of my hand, I’m not going nowhere”.

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