Anti-Nowhere League: We Are the League

by Pete Crigler

antinowhereleague_wearedvd_250If you are unfamiliar with the Anti-Nowhere League, where the hell have you been hiding? Only one of the most controversial punk bands of the second wave, they are best known for the track “So What,” which people found so horrible and shocking, they tried to have it banned. Metallica covered it in the ‘90s and made it a classic; they even performed it live on some MTV European awards show in 1998 and it was great. This film covers the band members’ less than upright childhoods before convening together because they found something in punk rock that they were unable to find elsewhere.

Interviewing all four original members is a great way to get the full story. By not relying on too many other talking heads other than members of the Damned and their manager, you’re able to get the full uncluttered story of a band with many ups and downs. Though they didn’t release as much material as some of their counterparts, they still continue to play shows featuring singer Animal and younger guys backing him up. Without a doubt, the most appealing aspect of the film, besides the censorship debacle surrounding “So What,” is the recording of the band’s second album The Perfect Crime in 1987. By this point, punk was passé and the band was trying to sell some records. So they made a New Wave punk disc and had matching hair and outfits. This was definitely an embarrassing time in the band’s career, and it’s all captured on video.

Overall, this is a better than average documentary look at one of the more underrated British punk bands. As a bonus, it comes with a previously unreleased live show from 1982 newly remastered, so that’s definitely a plus. More than anything, watching this film makes you want to dig deeper into the band’s catalogue and discover just what it is that made them so interesting in the first place.

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