Atmospheric images of Liverpools youthful and exhilarating post-punk era feature in a new exhibition by photographer Francesco Mellina at the National Conservation Centre
from 1 May to 31 August 2009.
Sound and Vision: Music and Fashion photographed by Francesco Mellina, Liverpool, 1978-82 showcases 60 photographs most of them previously unseen.
The exhibition reveals a unique visual record of the citys music and fashion scene, capturing the striking individuality and self-expression of gig-goers and acts in this pivotal era from New Wave and Northern Soul to the New Romantics and Rockabillies.
Featuring iconic Liverpool bands and artists such as Echo and the Bunnymen, The Teardrop Explodes, Pete Wylie and Pete Burns, Mellinas photographs document key gigs and music spots of the time, along with many more names who went on to achieve worldwide status including Roxy Music, The Clash, The Ramones and The Smiths as well as artists such as Mick Hucknall and U2 who were still opening support acts at the time.
Italian-born Francesco Mellina trained in photography at Liverpool Art School in the 1970s and went on to manage Liverpool band Nightmares in Wax, which later became Dead or Alive. He then set up Black Eye Records, establishing himself on the Liverpool music scene and becoming a familiar face with bands and gig-goers alike. He was also nationally recognised and regularly contributed to magazines such as The Face, Smash Hits, Melody Maker and NME.
His popularity resulted in him being uniquely positioned to intimately capture the edgy fashion and music trends that were created, nurtured and encouraged in the city during the late 70s and early 80s.
This closeness to his subjects offers exciting glimpses and rare insights into a time that many still try to imitate but can never truly replicate.