2. Johnny | Sheffield 3 February 2017 |  © Postcard Cafe


3. Johnny | Sheffield 3 February 2017 |  © Postcard Cafe


1. Johnny | Sheffield 3 February 2017 |  © Postcard Cafe


4. Johnny | Sheffield 3 February 2017 |  © Postcard Cafe


Sheffield  |  3 February 2017.

While out with my camera I could hear the sound of some fantastic old punk rock anthems playing in the distance.  I assumed it to be a band and headed for the sound.  There was no band just Johnny and his electric guitar playing to an audience of anyone who might either appreciate or perhaps anyone who couldn’t avoid his music!  His stage was a concrete bench and on the steep rise from the railway station in Sheffield he appeared to tower over the city below.  Next to him was a set list and he was thrashing out old punk rock tunes written from a time before he was born.  His presence, enthusiasm, energy and spirit put a smile on the faces of passers by.  Hardly pausing between numbers and with his amp turned up to 11 he played like the city was his for the taking.

I managed to speak with him briefly and he gave permission for me to take the photographs.  (I offered to send him copies).  He told me his name was Johnny and that he was originally from Poland.  He had come to the UK on the promise of steady work through an employment agency.  The reality was far from the promise and he was now trying to earn a living with his busking.  It was obvious to me that he was more interested in playing his music than in talking to some dodgy photographer! Our conversation was brief.  He lit up a cigarette and played on…

Although most of the above photographs are silhouettes I also wanted to offer a sense of place.  Anyone who knows Sheffield will recognise the English Heritage listed Park Hill flats in the second shot.  Most of the flats are empty and boarded up.   They offered a fitting backdrop to Johnny’s punk rock.

Below are a few classic songs which may well be in Johnny’s song book…

Love Song – The Damned

Sheena is a Punk Rocker – The Ramones

One Chord Wonders – The Adverts

Suspect Device –  Stiff Little Fingers