In praise of the moshpit: Photographing Auckland’s punk decade

In praise of the moshpit: Photographing Auckland’s punk decade

Essay by Adrian Hatwell

Published by The Spinoff

8 August, 2017

Adrian Hatwell talks to photographer and Rip It Up founder Murray Cammick about his exhibition AK 75-85, on now at Black Asterisk Gallery in Auckland.

“This is not a punk show.”

That’s what Auckland photographer Murray Cammick tells me of his latest exhibition, AK 75-85. But after a quick look at the images on display, I think he might be wrong.

The series features candid black-and-white photos shot by Cammick while covering the Auckland scene as a music journalist during the 10 years when punk and new wave slammed enthusiastically against the established music scene. Folkloric punk bands like the Scavengers, the Suburban Reptiles and Toy Love are featured alongside visiting icons including Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Siouxsie Sioux and Johnny Ramone.

Ebullient crowds, sweat-slicked moshpits, off-stage camaraderie and long-gone punk clubs have all been lovingly seared into Cammick’s Tri-X film. Even the exhibition’s name is a callback to Ripper Records’ AK79 compilation, the essential audio chronicle of Auckland punk. It may not be a punk show to the photographer, but viewers could hardly ask for a more intimate glimpse into the early days of that scene.

Read the full essay on The Spinoff

Murray Cammick,  Screaming Meemees North Shore Netball Hall

Murray Cammick, Screaming Meemees North Shore Netball Hall