In the beginning there was nothing...................... When all of a sudden, there was Nuffin'
Nuffin hailed from Caterham, a small town at the southern-most fringes of London.
The band was formed in 1976 from schoolmates Roger Bullen (aka Dee Generate) on drums, Paul and Steven Flynn on bass and guitar respectively, Neil Faulkner (later of The Gene Syndrome) on guitar and Chris Brown on vocals. However, the line-up was to prove short-lived when Dee was approached to join Eater (Outside View/Dreaming of the USA) and found himself unable to commit to both bands. Thankfully, the ever versatile musician Faulkner offered to take over Nuffin's drumming duties and quickly formed a tight rhythm section with Paul Flynn's bass.
From Late 76 the band embarked on an intense period of writing and rehearsing fuelled by the desire to share their youthful observations of life with like-minded teens. The songs reflected an adolescent demographic with plenty of romantic angst (Pigs Can't Fly, Mandy Tuesday Wendy and Red Day Blues) They also wrote political songs forged in the socio-political landscape of a decaying Britain and fermented in a grey, brooding London landscape (Crowd Control, SOS for the SS, Centrepoint Anywhere) The band's sound was unapologetically punk in its purest form with Faulkner/ P Flynn's machine-gun rapid drums and staccato bass accentuated by the raw slap-strum of Steve Flynn's telecaster and Chris Brown's acidic vocals.
Nuffin's first gig was to have been a support to Eater in Caterham, Jan 1977 but, with a mere 48 to go the gig was cancelled by the Church, Local Council and Police. The notoriety of the Sex Pistols, a reactionary press and a suspicious public meant a band could be banned before playing a single note live. Nuffin were early devotees of the now legendary Roxy Club WC2. In March 77 having been invited by Dee to see Eater play live, Eater's support failed to show and once again Nuffin had the opportunity to play support. But, yet again the fates conspired to prevent Eater and Nuffin sharing the same stage when Chris, Neil and Steve realised they had rather forgetfully left the band's bassist Paul at home.
It would be another 5 months and several gigs before Nuffin would play the Roxy. In August 1977 they played a Roxy audition night and, fortuitously for the band's posterity , part of their performance was captured by London Weekend Television for the Janet Street Porter narrated 1977 The Year of the Punk. The programme aired at midnight on New Year's Day 1978 and captures perfectly the London Punk scene in 1977 a copy of the programme surfaced in the noughties on YouTube.
For some the era of punk died with the closure of the Roxy Club in early 1978 and by the end of that year Nuffin had disbanded. The possibility of a deal with Raw records had been mooted but due to the members different aspirations this was not to be. In truth, for Nuffin it never really was about a record deal but about the opportunity to share their take on life with like-minded peers, struggling to face adulthood in the period just before what has since been labelled 'Thatcher's Britain'. Apart from the YouTube clip of TYOTP all that remains on tape is the band's 4 track demo, copies of which circulated amongst the band's followers (imagine an era before downloads, streaming and Spotify!) but what does remain is an authentic taste of what it felt like to come of age in the Year of the Punk.