BBC4 will be showing a one hour documentary about the life and career of singer-songwriter and Adverts frontman, TV Smith on June 1st at 11pm.
"We Who Wait" tells the story of punk band The Adverts and the continuing music career of their former frontman TV Smith; one of the most talented, literate and passionate - yet curiously overlooked - songwriters to emerge from London's vibrant '77 new wave scene. TV Smith formed The Adverts in late '76 with his girlfriend Gaye and press criticism of the band's alleged musical ineptitude was answered by a defiant and iconic debut single "One Chord Wonders". A couple of months later, they secured their first chart hit with the macabre punk classic, "Gary Gilmores Eyes". Gaye's status as reluctant punk icon ensured the band received a lot of press attention, and a promising future beckoned. However, after a well-received but underperforming debut LP and a critically-reviled follow-up, The Adverts suffered an acrimonious collapse.
Pushed to the margins of the music industry by shifting musical trends and a stubborn refusal to compromise, Smith nonetheless continued a dogged struggle to make a living as a singer and songwriter in the face of critical hostility and industry indifference. After years of bad luck, personal loss and failed bands, Smith's persistence is finally paying dividends. He has carved out a career as a solo artist and troubadour and painstakingly built a new audience through constant touring. To this day, he remains a fiercely inventive songwriter and an electrifying live performer - an enduring embodiment of punk's DIY ethos, passion and power. A thrilling testament to one of UK music's great outsiders, "We Who Wait" features a wealth of stills and archive footage and contributions from former band members, collaborators, critics and friends including Smith and Gaye Advert, Brian James, Richard Strange, John Robb, Greil Marcus, Miles, Henry Rollins, Ian MacKaye and many others.
|Gaye Advert & TV Smith November 2011 - Photo by Steve Worrall|
Also, this ties in nicely with my TV Smith gig, in conjunction with Southend Punk web-site and Radio Podrophenia, at The Railway Hotel in Southend-on-Sea on Friday June 22nd, which promises to be a very special night indeed. Also on the bill will be Dick York performing a solo acoustic set. Dick used to be in locally based Mod Revival band, Sta-Prest, but is now playing in Cryssis alongside Vom Ritchie, drummer in German super-star Punk band Die Toten Hosen. Joining the party will be Andy J Gallagher playing his barbed, bitter-sweet yet tuneful songs, with a guest appearance by Roman Jugg of The Damned and Naz Nomad. If that is not enough, then the evening will be rounded off with a stomping selection of weird and wonderful covers, rare soul and psychedelic grooves from DJ's Mondo & Piley of Radio Podrophenia. Be there early as there is a lot to cram in and I wouldn't want you to miss any of the fun!
You can hear Rock Photographer, Paul Slattery, talking about his adventures in Punk Rock, which include The Adverts, in the Bonus Track of Episode 2 of the Retrosonic Podcast.
Click HERE to listen/download.