Youth subcultures fascinate me, none more so than those that have emerged from the streets of London.
One of the most prolific photographers to capture London’s punks Derek Ridgers, has a beautiful book documenting his years spent in iconic London clubs such as Taboo, the Electric Ballroom and the Batcave among others.
You’ll have seen his photography before, with a career spanning over 30 years, Ridgers has photographed a vast array of individuals from film, fashion, music and more. I was first drawn to his work actually via photographs he shot at the Vortex Club in Soho of Siouxsie Sioux and early Adam and the Ants in 1977.
His book 78-87 London Youth published this year is a fantastic collection of striking portraits taken over a ten-year span which captures “punk’s evolution into goth, the skinhead revival and the New Romantic scene, and the eventual emergence of Acid House and the new psychedelia.”
These striking images were the result of Ridgers seeking out unique individuals in London clubs. Looking for an interesting background in a given club or space, he would stay in one spot waiting for people to walk past. Sometimes Ridgers would be there all night waiting till the very end for that perfect person who looked brilliant to come by.
78-87 London Youth is an interesting glimpse into some of the influential London scenes of the time and the ever evolving face of youth subcultures. An excellent collection of portrait photography, I highly recommend Derek Ridgers’ book.
Photo Credit: Derek Ridgers.