‘We Who Wait’: BBC documentary on original punks T.V. Smith and the Adverts
02:55 pm

The Adverts had the poor luck to have a talented songwriter in T.V. Smith, a foxy-looking female bass guitarist, and an opening salvo that remarked on punk musicians who might not have been too technically proficient (a group that included some of the people in the Adverts, as it happened). Smith’s songwriting ambitions didn’t entirely fit in with the London punk scene that enabled the band’s existence, and the apparent boon of Gaye Advert’s photogenic, oftentimes goth-like glare simply became a weapon nay-sayers could use to put down the band (as in, “Oi, that girl bass player can’t play”). And naming your first single “One Chord Wonders,” well, you’re just asking for it now, aren’t you?

The Adverts broke up in 1979 after a single on Stiff Records (the aforementioned “One Chord Wonders,” featuring a typically brilliant Barney Bubbles cover) and a true hit in “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” for Bright Records—as well as two LPs—but the frontman and main songwriter for the band, T.V. Smith, never quit making good music, becoming something of a “troubadour,” in the words of Richard Strange as uttered in the 2012 BBC4 documentary We Who Wait: TV Smith & the Adverts.

When I first heard “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes” I knew exactly who Gary Gilmore was but it had never occurred to me that the song was referencing a historical fact, that Gilmore had made sure to donate his eyes so that another might see. Would you want to have to look through Gary Gilmore’s eyes?

More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider
02:55 pm
Incredible NEWLY UNCOVERED 1977 footage of UK punk bands: Damned! Generation X! Adverts! Rich Kids!

With the steady influx of punk rock documentaries, books, and all manner of info (and YouTube fare) coming in from all directions—thankfully eyes are opening to all the wild stuff from the 1920s to the 1950s as much as to 70s punk and other recent upheavals—something like this still truly amazes me, especially since this accidentally seldom-seen footage captures a couple of extra special treasures for the jaded and world-weary punk connoisseur/freak/snob.
The footage is from an apparently unaired UK TV show called Impact and was filmed December 21st 1977 by one Mike Mansfield. Mansfield was a producer, most importantly to us of the UK TV show Supersonic which started in 1975 and was a much hipper version of Top Of The Pops. Supersonic featured great performances of glam rockers like T.Rex and others colliding with the punk movement.
One of the great surprises here is the only known footage of the five-piece version of The Damned with second guitarist Lu (who is currently playing in PiL, strangely enough) and Jon Moss, later of Culture Club fame, on drums! Also featured are The Rich Kids, former Sex Pistol Glen Matlock’s post-Pistols band with Steve New, Midge Ure (Ultravox) and Rusty Egan (Visage); the amazing Adverts are here and so the great Generation X with vocalist Billy Idol, bassist Tony James (later of Sigue Sigue Sputnik) and Bob “Derwood” Andrews, considered by many (myself included) to be the single best guitarist to come out of the punk rock era.

No sense in waiting—watch this treat after the jump! Enjoy!

Posted by Howie Pyro
07:15 am
‘Raw Energy’: Punk Rock the Early Years 1977-78

England: Thirty-five years on from Punk, and what the fuck has changed? The Queen is still on her throne. Celebrations are underway for another jubilee. The police continue to be a law unto themselves. The tabloid press peddles more smut and fear. The Westminster government is still centered on rewarding self-interest. And Johnny Rotten is a popular entertainer.

The promise of revolution and change was little more than adman’s wet-dream. All that remains is the music - the passion, the energy, the belief in something better - and that at least touched enough to inculcate the possibility for change.

Raw Energy - Punk the Early Years is a documentary made in 1978, which details many of the players who have tended to be overlooked by the usual focus on The Sex Pistols and The Clash. Here you’ll find Jordan (the original not the silicon pin-up and author) telling us, “it’s good females can get up on stage and have as much admiration as the male contingent”; the record execs explaining their dealings with The Pistols, The Clash, The Hot Rods and looking for the “next trend”; a young Danny Baker, who wrote for original punk magazine Sniffin Glue, summing up his frustration with “all you’re trained for is to be in a factory at the end of 20 years, and that’s the biggest insult…”; the comparisons between Punk and Monterey; the politics; the violence against young punks; and what Punk bands were really like - performances from The Slits, The Adverts, Eddie and The Hot Rods, X-Ray Spex, and even Billy Idol and Generation X.


Posted by Paul Gallagher
07:45 pm