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Interview With My Generation

LEEDS, 1984-1991

My Generation is a new exhibition of old photos by Andrew Bannerman-Bayles and Andrew Medcalf, two school friends who moved from Darlington to Leeds in 1984 and began to document the thriving punk and local squat scene. The images span from 1984-1991, an era when punk, politics, communal living and outdoor raves were a fixture in Chapeltown, Headingley, Woodhouse and Meanwood. This is the first time they have been displayed in public.

During the 1980s, Leeds had a large number of long term squatted properties that became central to a scene often overlooked in the city’s musical history. The bands and promoters contributed to a culture that supported resistance movements including radical feminism, anarchism and the miners’ strike. The city played a pivotal role in a wider national network of squats, cultivating a vibrant alternative view of music, art and literature.

Working alongside legendary promoter John Keenan, The Flame In Hand Collective hosted and crewed some of the featured hardcore and punk gigs from local and international bands including Fugazi, Nirvana and Rollins Band – Henry Rollins even moved to 52 Harold Mount in 1985 to record Hot Animal Machine at Off Beat Studios.

The exhibition has been curated by East Street Arts and runs until 26 October at Newlyn Gallery (West Yorkshire Playhouse) and The Reliance.