AN EXTENSIVE UK tour of fine-art photographs is set to visit Swindon this month, one of just five dates announced for 2017.

Hundreds of fans will head to Swindon as The Fine Art Of Punk & New Wave hits the road with the largest tour of its kind, some 40 years after the birth of a music genre that shook the world.

Dick Lovett Mini in Ashworth Road, Swindon will be transformed into a stunning art gallery for one night only on Thursday, December 7. The tour then continues across the UK.

Organised by music exhibition specialists Off Beat Lounge, each evening features the work of New Musical Express photographers Chalkie Davies and Denis O’Regan, and marks this tour as the definitive visual record of the period.

1977 saw the full punk explosion, with debut albums from The Damned, The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam and Elvis Costello to name but a few. Blondie, The Ramones and Iggy Pop arrived from America and the 1970s ended with a bang.

Chalkie Davies joined the NME as staff photographer in 1975 and worked there until 1979, where he shot numerous covers and features, as well as touring with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello and Thin Lizzy for whom he shot the sleeve of Live and Dangerous.

Always wanting to be a studio photographer, he gave up touring in 1980 and moved permanently into the studio, specializing in black and white portraiture.

He shot dozens of record covers for many artists including The Specials, The Pretenders, The Who, Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, David Bowie, David Gilmour and Robert Plant.

Nicknamed ‘Reg’ by Duran Duran, ‘Scoop’ by Bob Geldof, and on one occasion ‘Yob’ by Keith Richards, Denis O’Regan has flown Concorde from Paris to New York and back in 24 hours, enjoyed dinner for two in Japan with Joni Mitchell, survived a 140mph car crash in Sweden in Phil Lynott’s Mercedes, been jailed in Costa Rica, picnicked with David Bowie in Australia and jammed with Bob Geldof in Italy.

He’s partied with Prince at Paisley Park in Minnesota, and with Queen in a German brothel.

He’s argued with Bob Marley in Jamaica (they made up), been kissed by Pete Townsend on the lips, survived floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and monsoons and was the official photographer at Live Aid.

These one-night-only events, with either Denis O’Regan or Chalkie Davies in attendance for VIP ticket-holder-only Q&A sessions, will take visitors back to arguably the most rebellious period ever seen in the music business. Featuring over 40 raucous live performances and whacky off-stage moments, along with a glimpse into the austere times that gave birth to punk and new wave, these events follow Off Beat exhibition tours that have featured Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie & Queen to national acclaim in recent years, raising approaching £10,000 for charities in the process.

Off Beat Lounge founder, Mark Overton thinks attendees are in for an evocative experience; “I was 15 years old in 1977, and left school the next year. By the time I started my first job, punk was over, and new wave bands like the Jam & Blondie were established. These are genres that split the nation, mostly based on age. So nothing new there!”

All events will run from 7.30pm to 9pm for standard admission tickets, with VIP ticket holders gaining access from 6.30pm for a ‘Question and Answer’ session and private viewing.

Tickets are £9.50 and VIP tickets £29.50, and are available at