Pioneering punk rockers play at The Grand

The Drones. (s)
The Drones. (s)
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One of the pioneering bands of the punk rock movement – The Drones – will relive the spirit of ’77 when the cult Manchester group stage their first gig for quarter of a century at Clitheroe’s Grand Theatre this month (May 21st)

And The Drones – whose single Bone Idol was named in Mojo magazine’s best punk rock songs of all time - will be supported by local favourites The Not Sensibles from Burnley.

Promoter Chris Ozit, one of the founders of the famous Deeply Vale Festival, said: “The Drones and Physical Wrecks from Rochdale, who are both on the bill at Clitheroe, were the first two punk bands to play Deeply Vale in 1977.

“So, as punk celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, this is our own way of celebrating that musical revolution with some of the grass roots punk bands of that era.”

The Drones debut album – Further Temptations – has come to be regarded as a punk classic as they emerged as one of the most electrifying bands from Manchester’s punk scene, with Slaughter and the Dogs and the Buzzcocks.

They appeared on two influential early punk albums Streets and Short Circuit: Live at the Electric Circus.

The Drones were also regulars at the Roxy Club in London, supporting X Ray Spex and The Stranglers.

With their buzz saw guitar hits Persecution Complex and Lookalikes – they played long closed city venues – Pips, Rafters and the Electric Circus – at the heart of the Manchester punk revolution.

Although lead singer and guitarist M.J. Drone died in 2013, The Drones have reformed with original members Steve Cundall and Gary Callendar with new faces Martin Smith and Glenn Jones.

The Not Sensibles, meanwhile, whose single I’m in Love with Margaret Thatcher saw them enjoy a chart hit in 1980, along with their only album Instant Classic, will also play their first show at the Ribble Valley venue.

Although they split shortly afterwards, they reformed a decade ago with the original line-up – Haggis, Sage, Rog Sensible, Gary Brown and Kevin Hemingway.

Following Baroness Thatcher’s death in 2013, I’m in Love with Margaret Thatcher received additional publicity when there was an online campaign to boost the record’s re-entry into the charts as a download, to counter the promotion of ‘Ding-Dong! The Witch is dead’, by anti-Thatcher activists.

The Drones, Physical Wrecks, The Not Sensibles and punk poet Andy T.

Clitheroe Grand Theatre, May 21st. £10. Box office 01200 421599.

The Drones. (s)