Kevin Cummins' lustrous black and white documents of the punk scene in Manchester are iconic so, to coincide with the launch of our latest postcard box set with him we invited Kevin to the Old Granada Studios, [where Tony Wilson made So it Goes; the studio where the Sex Pistols recorded their first TV appearance] to find out more about his work at the time, and what it meant to him as a young creative in Manchester and his reflections on why it's still relevant.
Watch the interview here -
Kevin started as a professional photographer just as Punk took off in his hometown of Manchester. He'd recently graduated from college and had taken a part-time job as a photography technician which gave him access to kit and support he wouldn't usually have had access to. In his words - it gave him a level of professionalism that he hadn't yet earned.
The fact that he wasn't using his own equipment meant that he had to treat it carefully. This along with his shyness at that time meant that he had to find a way to navigate and observe the energetic punk gigs without getting too close to the chaos. He would ask the bands to let him take pictures from the stage - partly for safety - but he soon realised that he preferred that view - the audience and the interaction was the more interesting viewpoint - and the careful approach gave his images a considered timeless appeal - that was of the moment, but important future document of the movement.
Punk: The Blank Generation Postcard set is available now - from the usual Polite stockists and here.