NL Gazette

The far-fetched story of how punk music thrived in an otherwise quiet city

Nfld and Labrador

Key takeaways: 

  • Punk in the Pearl.
  • If the Pearl was mocked by townies, the bands it produced snickered right back.

How did Mount Pearl evolve so punk?

It’s a tired, suburban city, far from the shore of mainland Canada and anchored in the center of the North Atlantic Ocean.

It’s not quite the set many might think would foster ages of musicians and bands concentrated mainly on a fringe genre of music that burst out of underground scenes in London, New York, and California in the 1970s.

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How did Mount Pearl evolve so punk?

St. John’s, the bigger city to the east, may have had the downtown bars, the university campus, and most venues where bands could play. Still, despite or maybe even because of its tree-lined roads and quiet suburban vibe, the Pearl had the heart and muscle in Newfoundland and Labrador’s punk scene.

If the Pearl was smirked at by townies, the bands it produced sneered straight back.

And now that history is being caught in an arrangement that puts a spotlight on a scene felt legendary by local music lovers, even if it’s also been largely ignored by the public.

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