Swansea Punk

Punk rock, post punk and new wave in the Swansea area-1977-1983

The Autonomes

The Autonomes existed from 1978 - 1980. Hailing from the Sketty Park/Tycoch area,the band debuted at The Heathcliff Club in Mount Pleasant supporting Next Step and the newly-formed Venom. With an average age of 15 their gigging availability normally depended upon whether it was a school night and if Dick 'The Wedgefaced Axeman' Strawbridge's dad would drive them to the show in his wood-panelled Vauxhall estate. Original vocalist Steven 'Stan' Hanney left after only a few appearances to join Ian Bone's Living Legends. He was replaced by Neil 'Smelly Nelly' MacDonald. Bassist Greg 'Weg' Evans (former Noise vocalist and younger brother of Venom co-founder Glenn Evans) left soon afterwards and was subsequently replaced by 13 year old Stephen 'Haggis' Harris. Appearances at the infamous Olchfa Drama Hall gigs in early 1980 cemented the final lineup as the band's material started to veer from earlier punk compositions such as Chaos and Do The Stormtrooper towards the more chemically influenced Who's Going Up The Watertower and Doomsday. The band's final gig was at Circles in late 1980.


Stan was 14 in the first wave of punk. He was in the Autonomes Swansea’s finest proper punk couldn’t play anything band. He told me his parents took him on holiday to Jersey when he was 13. You all know that last holiday with your parents. They took him to see Showaddywaddy. Stan cracked…after Under the Moon of Love. ‘FUCKING SHIT…fucking rubbish’ he cried as he walked out. A wonderful act on a par with the Strasbourg evenements. Punk’s not dead. One person acted on their own – how hard is that. STAN – WHERE ARE YOU? (From "Heckling Showaddywaddy",(Ian Bone's Blog) (here)




"We Are Autonomes", was released on Messthetics compilation #104 DIY 77-81 South Wales",

10 track cassette. Given away at Autonomes reunion gig 6th April 2013.(Ltd edition of 50 copies) (Punkhouse Records TIDY 1)

12-track album contained on two black vinyl 33rpm 7-inch singles (Ltd edition of 100 copies) (PunkHouse Records TIDY 2)



A final gig, supporting The Vibrators, was held on the 28th December 2014 at The Garage , Uplands, Swansea which was filmed and recorded and can be watched on YouTube here



More info about PunkHouse Records products can be found here





Music supplied by kind permission of Neil McDonald


Pretty Soon 1979

What Sex live 1979

Do The Stormtrooper (live 1980)

Living in The Twentieth Century

We Are Autonomes

We’ re Annoyed (version)


What Sex

Rama Lama Bootleg

History of The Western Philosopher


Who's Going Up The Tower



Do The Stormtrooper


Neil (Nelly) McDonald - vocals

Greg (Weg) Evans - bass

Steve (Stan) Hanney - vocals

Andrew (Griff)Griffiths - drums

Richard (Wedge-faced Axeman) Strawbridge - vocals

Stephen (Haggis) Harris - bass



Autonomes family tree



Images below (by kind permission of Stephen Harris, Mitchell Edmonds, Neil McDonald and others) include:

Nellie, Greg, Stan, Griff,Dick, Haggis, Gig poster, Fanzine cover, gig pictures (at Swansea University and Olchfa School), record cover









fanzine cover


fanzine cover

2x7in single


Neil & Griff

Neil with flag