Steidl, 2020. First edition. Hardcover, 80 pp., 72 b/w illustrations, 285 x 375 mm. Photographs and text by Chris Killip. Design by Pony Ltd.
Selected as one of the Best Photobooks of 2020 by Mark Steinmetz
Late in 2016 Chris Killip's son serendipitously discovered a box of contact sheets of the photos his father had made at The Station, an anarcho-punk music venue in Gateshead open from 1981 to 1985. These images of raw youth caught in the heat of celebration had lain dormant for 30 years; they now return to life in this book. The Station was not merely a music and rehearsal space, but a crucible for the self-expression of the sub-cultures and punk politics of the time.
As Killip recollects: “When I first went to The Station in April 1985, I was amazed by the energy and feel of the place. It was totally different, run for and by the people who went there. Every Saturday that I could, I photographed there. Nobody ever asked me where I was from or even who I was. A 39-year-old with cropped white hair, always wearing a suit, with pockets stitched inside the jacket to hold my slides. With a 4 × 5 camera around my neck and a Norman flash and its battery around my waist, I must have looked like something out of a 1950s B movie. 1985 was just after the miners strike and there was a lot of youth unemployment. Most of the punks at The Station didn’t have a job, and this place, run as a very inclusive collective, was so important to them and their self-worth.”