Handbag - UK Punk RoxyHandbag UK Punk Gay 1977

Formed: England

Obscure gay band which played the Roxy (more often than any other band, apparently). They were in fact "the house band for gay nights" at the venue, according to Paul Marko's superb book, 'The Roxy London WC2: A Punk History', where all the quotes below are taken from:

"I saw and played with Handbag live quite a few times in 1975/6/7/8. They were a glam rock three piece (bit like a poor Groundhogs or Taste) and they played lots of Gay Liberation Front and quasi-Marxist/agitprop gigs as well as punk gigs. When I first saw them they were more rock and heavy pop and then they went through a transformation. I remember saying that they could NO WAY be Punks as the singer had a beard and wore flares! I saw them booed off stage once by a load of queens and hippies as during one number the singer had a dummy head on a stick and pretended to bugger both another member of the band and some busty woman who ambled onto staged dressed in revealing clothes. It was hardly Kylie Minogue or Ziggy Stardust but I think their hearts for rock theatre were in the right place! Methinks the booing was not so much do their ('huh!') sexual shenanigans as the audience might have wanted something a little more musically exciting!" - Faebhean Kwest (Raped).

"A gay trio specialising in Ziggy era Bowie covers, all cropped hair, whale herders, leather jackets, rolled up jeans and boots - Y.M.C.A. drag before it was invented, A good band but not what one would have expected in London's top Punk nighterie!" - Steve Hooker (The Heat)

"Outside was a list of forthcoming bands and our initial enthusiasm was dampened somewhat by the discovery that we'd booked into "Gay Night" supporting a band ominously called Handbag. The sound of an extremely camp singer echoing up the dark stairs added to our discomfort, causing two members of the band (from the none-too-cosmopolitan Valley town of Mountain Ash) to start talking loudly in deep voices as we brought the equipment in. In the shared dressing room backstage, the bass player confided that he was worried about changing as - and apparently this is common amongst the bass playing fraternity - he wore no underpants (well, this was the unenlightened 1970s where homophobia was sadly rampant)" - Mike Slocombe (Beggar)



Singles & Albums

Handbag - Snatchin' By HandbagSnatchin' By Handbag (LP, 1977)

Handbag - The Aggressive Style Punk RockThe Aggressive Style Punk Rock By Handbag (LP, 1978)

Extraneous Releases

Handbag - Superstar Car CrashSuperstar Car Crash (7", 2005)





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