This photo is of me in November 2004, hustling demo CDs outside Mister Smiths (previously of Poole Hill, Bournemouth) with a former partner in crime, Alice Ralph, looking very cool in her Le Tigre t shirt.

I’m glad my friend Kerry captured this moment as it’s the perfect photo to introduce a new series of articles I’m writing called Lessons From Punk Rock. As I’ve traversed my career path to date there have been certain ideas and themes introduced that have made me realise just how many core principles were present back in the days I dedicated to cutting hundred of flyers with a cheap guillotine and evenings spent in dingy, beaten up venues, mapping out a route through the scene.

As a full disclaimer, in these stories ‘Punk Rock’ is less of an aesthetic, although some of the characters embodied this well, and more about the ethos. Musically, there was some diversity, although in hindsight perhaps not enough, but the sound is less relevant than the D.I.Y approach that we adopted.

When I was interviewed for my degree course, currently my highest level of qualification, it felt as if it was my adventures in music that were of interest to Dr. Janice Denegri Knott (who would later become a beloved colleague) rather than my academic achievements to date. At this point in time (early 2007) I was putting on shows locally, bringing new artists to the area, introducing them via a medium still in it’s infancy that you may now be familiar with, the podcast.

I also like this photo because it’s perfectly framed to show me doubling up on merchandise (hat and hoodie) from my all time favourite band Less Than Jake, from Gainesville, Florida. A decade later I got to work with them, but this moment in time feels like light years away from such a golden opportunity. We’ll get to that story.

I hope that these tales will be of interest to a business audience and I’ll be aiming to outline the connections in each article. If we’re not already connected on LinkedIn you can find me at http://linkedin.com/in/liamtoms – I’ll be posting notifications of future editions over there.

🤘

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