1978 was a fruitful year for punk-rock

While the genre did not last long in Catalonia, at the end of 1977 and through 1978 bands that were punk in everything but name performed gigs and festivals all over the country

Despite the association with the UK, punk also made an impression here. Most of the groups insisted they weren't punks, as did English groups, even the Clash. It is the problem of putting labels on things.

Whatever you call it, things happened at the end of the 1970s. In the Aliança festival I organised, all the groups (except Ramoncín, who I did not speak to) played their own music, which was basically rock, but faster. Yet for me they were punks. There was no interest in instrumental prowess, but rather the need to play hard, to connect with people, criticise society and establish a complicity in existing on the margins.

At the end of 1977 and through 1978 there were a series of punk festivals. On December 4 1977 was the Festival Punk Rock at the Aliança of Poble Nou, organised by Cuc Sonat, with Marxa, Mortimer, La Banda Trapera del Río, Peligro and Ramoncín & WC?. It was the first punk festival in Spain and the 1,500 tickets sold out. That was followed on January 15 1978 by the Festival Punk Rock at the Pavelló Municipal d'Esports in Girona, also organised by Cuc Sonat.

At the end of January 1978, Cuc Sonat tried to organise weekly punk-rock concerts at the Club Montclar (Gràcia). Although the Club Cultural Montclar board assented and the posters were made, the Asociación de Industriales y Comerciantes de Gracia, who owned the premises, refused to allow the concerts to go ahead.

On January 21 1978, Els Masturbadors Mongòlics played at La Orquídea. Johnny Rotten announced the end of the Sex Pistols. In February, Cuc Sonat organised concerts at the Diana hall, where Rock & Roll Däm, Mortimer and La Banda Trapera del Río performed. A week later French Dogs, Peligro and Basura performed. Peligro were signed up by Gay & Company and supported Iggy Pop on his tour.

After these groups had been performing in small venues, on June 23 1978, Cuc Sonat set up a festival in La Tortuga Ligera campsite, in Castelldefels. Beach, woods, film projections, stalls and 24 groups performing over the 24 hours of the festival. Whether they paid or not, some 23,000 people attended.

The ideas driving these bands was shared by groups like La Propiedad es un Robo, Macromassa, Psicópatas del Norte, Almen T.N.T..., who set up cooperatives, made their own records, found gigs... In the same way that writers who cannot get published end up self-publishing books , these unaccepted artists played in bars. It was the do-it-yourself era.

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