Thursday, 17 September 2009
TV Smith and Gaye Advert at the punk ROCK-TIL-YOU-DROP gig
There was a rumour that Tim Smith (AKA TV Smith, former front-man for The Adverts) and Gaye Advert (former bassist) were coming to watch Punks Not Dad at the punk Rock-Til-You-Drop gig at The Dublin Castle last night.
This rumour became a likely event about 8pm when I added their names to the guest list. And the likely event became a reality, when they walked into the pub about 9pm.
The Adverts are my favourite punk band. At secondary school, just before I belatedly discovered The Doors and decided I wanted to be Jim Morrison, I wanted to be TV Smith. I prized myself into the tightest drainpipes, bought the skinniest black ties and made my own badges like he did from newspaper headlines, in order to think, and feel something like I thought TV Smith did - which was probably quite uncomfortable, especially around the groin.
I wanted to write songs using the kind of imagery that TV Smith did. I was into all things apocalyptic back then and his lyrics always really inspired me to write more songs about, what in the early 80s appeared to be, inevitable Armageddon. And this was before I could even play guitar. I didn't have to know what his words meant, I just knew they sounded cool. I even called my first band and proper song, which included a bar-chord progression, 'Subterranean', after this line in The Drowning Men from 'Crossing The Red Sea with The Adverts'.
We're the subterranean vandals,
Tying air lines around door handles.
I like this one too:
The mutant freaks fantastical.
Knife's edge, unreal or actual.
Ambition stunted, the future fated.
(© TV Smith)
Having once before stood only six feet away from Tim at a back-stage bar, and on that occasion not plucked up the courage to say hello, I wasn't going to miss the opportunity last night. Anyway, this time I had a good reason, as promoter of the act he and Gaye had come to see, to introduce myself. Which I did.
Both Tim and Gaye we're lovely and were happy to pose for a photograph with me, which was sweet, and also meant I didn't need to Photoshop one up this morning.
The gig itself was a real hoot and another great opportunity to socialise with active members of the RTYD network. The night opened with a storming set by South London three piece Probing Cranks, whose sound seems to owe something to the likes of The Stranglers and Killing Joke. They were followed by Punks Not Dad, who did not disappoint. They played all the faves, including In Me Shed, We Are The Dads and of course, Gaye Advert's Eyes, as well as their newest song I Can't Get It Up. They even bought a piece of IKEA furniture for the audience to assemble and graffiti during the latter song, which was a nice touch.
Although Punks Not Dad would have been a hard act for most bands to follow, 14 Carat Grapefruit managed to equal the entertainment value of their comic-punk allies. They unveiled two new songs My Mate Dave and a two-chord wonder, written especially for the occasion, and Otto Pthrugg had us in stitches all over again, ranting and raving his way through songs from the band's album Long Time Coming.
The Outbursts also put in a fantastic performance playing their own brand of garage punk with menace. Lead singer and keen fisherman Ian put in a suitably snarling vocal performance, and new-boy, guitarist Neale, played like he had been in the band for years.
DJ Dog-Headed Men entertained us between bands with quirky cover versions of punk classics, like To Drunk To Fuck and Gary Gilmore's Eyes, in bossanova and easy-listening styles, which added even more humour to the ocassion.
Great night, great bunch of people.
We must do it again, before too long.