In the wake of punk rock, after twenty years of carefully packaged pop and rock fantasy, cold, hard reality finally kicked in the doors of the music industry. Overnight, a generation raised on aspirational boy meets girl tales, the clichés of rock ‘n roll excess and the unreachable otherworldliness of glam and progressive rock were freed to pour the reality of their everyday experience into their music.

In no time at all, a dark, brutal sensibility crept into the UK’s post-punk wasteland, reflecting the political, social and spiritual situation. Thoughts and feelings that pop music had repressed for decades were at last unleashed as the anger, the frustration, the self-loathing and the disenchantment flowed. The instrumentation, imagery, appearance and attitudes varied wildly from tribe to tribe in this primordial, year zero atmosphere, but by the late 1970s a gothic sensibility had taken root which reset the boundaries of musical and lyrical expression forever…..

Silhouettes and Statues is an era-defining journey through the gothic revolution that thrived in the underbelly of the UK’s music scene during the late 1970s and 1980s. From Joy Division’s haunted soul-searching to the wild, hairspray guzzling antics of Alien Sex Fiend and everything in-between, the myriad components of that time and place are brought together here for the first time in this kind of detail.

Packaged in a deluxe hardback book format, and featuring 80+ tracks, over 18,000 words of sleevenotes (including artist contributions) and unseen images, Silhouettes and Statues seeks to reposition and redefine this music, these feelings and the spirit of perverse honesty and joyful detachment that prevailed whilst the country mutated into something few of us recognised or cared for.

We are in touch with dozens of the artists featured here and who are available for interview and comment, and have access to photographic archives as required.

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