Ty Segall: The New Punk

Ask anyone about punk and they will reflect on “the old days”. Back in the days where The Clash smashed guitars on stage and The Sex Pistols vomited outside Buckingham Palace. It’s safe to say those times are dead. John Lydon was in a butter advert. Don’t need to say anymore, eh? Yes, the cringe-worthy Camden “punks” still exist, scraping two pennies together to try and get a can of Special Brew by taking photos with teenage tourists, but punk has a whole new face and a whole new name now. Punk still exists and if you claim it doesn’t then you just aren’t looking fucking hard enough. Here enters Ty Segall. The 29-year-old Californian is a pioneer in the current garage and lo-fi scene - that’s undeniable. Starting from playing chaotic shows with various underground bands in the Orange County and San Francisco Bay Area, Segall quickly found his niche in punk and pursued it with attitude and confidence, kick-starting a solo career that to date has eight studio albums and more E.Ps and singles. Every record was a push from the last and he has always been present, in the back of your mind, in the eye of the fans looking to get high on fuzz and guitar solos.

A couple of weeks back saw Segall take to The Forum in Kentish Town in front of a sold out crowd, suited in a boiler suit and with his Muggers standing loud behind him. His set was nothing short of powerful, reminiscence of Black Flag and The Stooges, Segall dominating the stage and having a crowd wrapped around his little finger. From above it’s a scene from a zombie film. Sweat, flying beer and punches make it look like a hooligan riot, except everyone is there out of desire to feel the realness and non-bullshit sound of The Muggers. Ten minutes prior to watching it unfold from the balcony, I found myself in the pit at the front frantically burning through rolls of Ilford film trying to capture Segall’s essence. He’s captivating. He lingers over, placing a nappy on my head at one point. He teases the eager fans front row, reaching beyond the bewildered security but never quite managing to get close enough to Segall. The pit of punches and kicks, of fans going over the barrier and trying to shake away from security’s grip ends and fans flood out of the venue’s double doors into the refreshing chilled air. It ends in smiles and a respect for each other.

Ty Segall is the future of punk. He’s the wake up that people need and he’s not the only one doing it. Thee Oh Sees, Deerhunter, King Gizzard. The list goes on and on, the list is stronger than ever and it’s not going to slow down any time soon. The pits are still there, the noise is still there, the community is still there. Open your eyes to the new sounds, not just The Buzzcocks on a McDonald’s advert.