American punk rock icons Black Flag return to the UK for a national tour this October. Getintothis’ Will Neville raises the banner in welcome.
Originally known as Panic, Black Flag were formed in California in 1976 by guitarist Greg Ginn, who remains their lead songwriter and the only original member still in the group. Their initial influences were the sludgy sound of the Stooges and the hard & fast Ramones.
One of the pioneers of hardcore punk in the US, they released six albums on Ginn’s own SST Records before breaking up in 1986. A seventh appeared in 2013, while they are currently recording new material for a future release.
The band’s sound developed over the years and they were one of the first hardcore bands to incorporate other influences, such as heavy metal and jazz. This alienated some of their early fans, but as their songs became longer their audeice grew. Nowadays, Black Flag are recognised as a key influence on the development of US punk, hardcore and post-hardcore.
They are currently on their third reunion, with today’s line-up including Mike Vallely, who first sang with the band in 2003, and bassist Tyler Smith and Brandon Pertzborn on drums, who both joined in 2014.
The band is probably best remembered for the early 1980’s when they were fronted by the menacing Henry Rollins, who of course went on to a long a varied solo career in music, spoken word and litereature.
This will be their first visit to the UK since 1984, with support from fellow Californian hardcore punk band Total Chaos.
The UK tour dates in full are:
October 7 – Electric Ballroom, London
October 8 – The Mill, Birmingham
October 9 – The Waterfront, Norwich
October 11 – Engine Rooms, Southampton
October 12 – The Tramshed, Cardiff
October 13 – Academy 2, Manchester