I remember The Adverts well and they were always my favourite of the first generation of UK punk. They had energy, enthusiasm, a great singer and above all, great songs. Musicianship, apart from guitarist Howard Pickup, was never their strongpoint as recordings of some very ramshackle gigs confirm.
Guess what, that didn't matter one bit.
Anyway, when I found this recording I was expecting that Tim Smith would have a slick and well rehearsed group of musicians to back him at this recreation of the first Adverts album on the very stage they played on all those years ago. How wrong I was! These guys played just as badly as the original Adverts due, I suspect, to a lack of rehearsal rather than a lack of talent. The playing is truly awful, discordant, out of time and out of tune. Yes, it really did sound like it did so long ago. I loved it. The bland and anodyne middle aged nostalgia show I was expecting was replaced by a performance full of fire and energy. Tim sounded just as angry and intense as he did in 1976, albeit at an octave lower.
Guess what, none of that mattered one bit.
Do yourself a favour and buy this album.
on 11 November 2008
'Crossing the Red Sea With The Adverts' was one of the seminal punk albums of 1977. The Adverts, led by TV Smith, displaying both sophisticated lyricism and often shambolic playing.
Thirty years later TV, supported by the Bored Teenagers (better known as Suzy & Los Quattro from Spain), recreated the whole of the album live at the 100 Club, the home of punk rock.
It was a special celebratory, and very sweaty, night, and this album, and the DVD which is also available, capture it all.
A great night, and a great album.