I’m not really one for housework, so Punk house : interiors in anarchy was destined to be a winner with me. Sure, a nice looking coffee table book edited by Thurston Moore (from Sonic Youth) might not be very punk, but these places deserve some kind of treatment. Be it warehouse, treehouse, basement or farm, these low-cost dwellings provide shelter for touring bands, gig venues and the creative hub where many zines are published. I guess the houses could be viewed as a continuation of the 60s commune.
The author and photographer Abby Banks was once in a band with the great name Vomit Dichotomy (is that when your liquids and your solids come out separately?). Her idea for the photos came when she went to see some bands play at a punk house. The house was for sale and its distinctive decoration was about to be dismantled. Banks wanted to document it before it went away. Quoted in the New York Times, she said “I just think they’re really important and beautiful. For some people it will be their lifestyle forever, but for others it’s just a phase.” The ephemeral nature of the houses is demonstrated by the fact that many of the places no longer existed by the time the book had been published. This got me reminiscing about some of the house set-ups I’ve visited that aren’t around now. Christchurch must have had many similar establishments over time. I’d love to hear about them.