Punk gigs late 70s/early 80s had an air of menace a lot of the time.
Bradford St Georges Hall often had NF types turning up, often from Leeds. I seem to recall Buzzcocks in 78 saw some nazis kick off, then get a good kicking.
Middlesbrough Rock Garden was notorious. The gig guides in Sounds and NME used to put a note in warning people following bands to avoid it. Went to a gig there in the early 80s with some mates from the Boro. Can't remember the name of the band, but half-way through a load of skinheads stood on a table in front of the stage, giving nazi salutes at the band, who looked understandably nervous. We decided to leave and go to a pub. Later, as we walked past the Rock Garden, we spotted said skinheads chinning the band and nicking their gear. We thought about stepping in, but there was a lot of em.....
Going to see the pre-cursor of Bradford's Southern Death Cult, VIolation, was often entertaining. Never more so than at a gig in Huddersfield (1979?) when we were in a tiny club, couple of songs in, and some local type hit one of the travelling Bradford fans with a studded belt. At this point the singer, Mick Brady, who looked like an extra from the Munsters, announced that 'Bradford lot will take on Huddersfield lot'. Before we could say WTF, it all kicked off and we had to make a dash for it. Running through the streets of Huddersfield, people of all types joined in the chase as we headed towards the bus station. A load of us piled on the Bradford bus and the driver quickly shut the door. The fighting carried on all round the bus while the driver waited patiently to keep to his timetable. Frigging mental.
A few years later, a band of mates from North Devon, the Cult Maniax, contacted us to say they were playing in Huddersfield. We tried to talk them out of it, but the place was already booked. Long story short, a full-scale riot broke out during the first song. Blood and broken glass everywhere. The band described the scene later as a hail of pint glasses hit the stage, with band members jumping into the crowd to whack skinheads over the head with mic stands. I remember walking in after the place had just emptied and it looked like a scene from a wild west bar fight. What made it worse was that a load of the people who'd come with the band had to go to the infirmary while the rest of us headed back to Bradford. They didn't come back for hours, and when they did they told us that a load of the local skins were in A&E too, and piled in to the Devon punks. Mayhem ensued, again.
Before the gig, we were in a pub across the road from the venue, when some of the skins with 'cut here' tattoos on their necks, were engaging our Devonian friends in conversation and they turned to me to say how friendly people were. When I told them they weren't being friendly, but just wanted to know where they were from so they had an excuse to kick their heads in, they laughed and said I was too cynical....
Once went with Southern Death Cult to Colwyn Bay, supporting Theatre of Hate, at a gig on the end of a pier. The place became hostile quite quickly with loads of local glue sniffers, actually sniffing it from the tin, trying to get on stage. After the gig they wouldn't leave and we had to get 'tooled up' with whatever was available, mainly mic stands, and prepare to fight our way out. Luckily two local coppers turned up and encouraged the glue sniffers to sniff elsewhere.
Palm Cove club, Bradford, could get a bit hairy Was there once when some bloke got his back slashed from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Cut right through a donkey jacket, denim jacket and t-shirt. Blood all over the shop.