Excerpt from The Punk Years
I was planning to write this big long thing about X-Ray Spex but this documentary should explain why they are one of my all time favorite bands. I first heard “Oh Bondage, Up Yours” (a feminist critique of bondage, by the way) when I was 13 and the music totally captivated me. Drawing on the Situationists, the lead singer, Poly Styrene was decades ahead of her time with her critiques of consumerism and her eco-consciousness. Even to this day, there are very few bands whose lyrics are as political and witty. Also, she was one of the first punk rock women of color, very important to me when I was young, as I saw a little of myself in her. I used to be so into them that I had a crush on a guy in high school just because he was the only person I knew that owned an X-Ray Spex t-shirt. The saxophones, the cracking of Poly’s voice, the sing-a-long melodies are all small auditory treasures I continue to enjoy again and again!
Live at the Hope & Anchor, part one (documentary by British television)
Live at the Hope & Anchor, part two