TV Smith Dulcimer Flyer Sept 17

TV Smith / Harvey's Rabbit

Dulcimer, Manchester, UK

15th September 2017

Rating: 5/5



TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 6I’ve caught TV Smith many times over the years, notably at the Rebellion Festival where he is an annual fixture playing multiple sets, but it’s been a while since he appeared on my home turf, so when tonight’s show at the Dulcimer in the South of the city was announced our attendance was a given as TV Smith is one of the originals from the first wave of punk, and ever since he launched onto the scene with The Adverts back in 1976 he has ploughed a unique path. TV Smith arrives late to the show but still kindly spares 15 minutes to talk to The Punk Site and we discuss punk, touring and what the future holds for TV Smith, the interview will appear on The Punk Site shortly. Tonight’s show is in the intimate setting of upstairs at Dulcimer which is absolutely packed out for tonight’s show.
TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 Blazing SnowmenThroughout tonight’s show I bump into faces old and new, it’s always heartening that when I attend small provincial shows I always encounter people who I’ve met at festivals and shows over the years, showing that there is a dedication to the punk scene that goes beyond a superficial commitment, but onto tonight’s show. The Blazing Snowmen were a late addition to the bill, they are a trio that recall laidback strains of county and possess the spirit of The Pogues more melancholy compositions which is offset by a peculiarly Mancunian disposition. The double bass, and who doesn’t love a double bass, adds weight to their laid back style, this might be an unexpected addition to the bill but it’s one that’s strangely welcome. 
TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 Harveys RabbitHarvey’s Rabbit are second on the bill and they bring a different element to tonight’s show, their discordant and stripped down post punk set of indie influenced punk is something that recalls The Fall and The Chameleons, but it retains a distinctly unique perspective. Eighties indie influences clash with abrasive punk rock style that makes puts me in mind of the transatlantic cousins of the likes of The Thermals, driving punk is melded with an indie sensibility to create an impressive soundtrack, and the perfect act to precede the appearance of TV Smith. The Dulcimer seems ill equipped for tonight’s show, the tiny venue could have been filled twice over for tonight’s show by TV Smith, but for the cramped and intimate setting only adds to the atmosphere for tonight’s show.
TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 1Tonight’s stripped down acoustic show starts with an unreleased song that will presumably appear on his new album, and is preceded by a heartfelt “what the fuck is going in the world” that indicates that TV Smith has lost none of his anger towards the state of global politics, and this makes his new album something to look forward to in 2018. TV Smith remains an iconic figure in the punk world, just look at those reference his work as being influential, everyone from Henry Rollins to German stadium punks Die Toten Hosen, with whom he has co-written tracks on their albums, cite him as an influence, and you can see why, even in his stripped down acoustic sets the anger at the powers that be looms large, and this is no champagne socialism as you sense that the ire at social injustice is bone deep in TV Smith.
TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 2His set veers between his solo work and the classic The Adverts songs, but the line between these is indivisible as the social satire and fury is a trademark that had been an ever present for over forty years, and shows no sign of diminishing anytime soon. There’s something about TV Smith, whilst many of his contemporaries are playing money spinning reunion tours, that often fall somewhat flat, he is delivering earnest, heartfelt sets that are the bedrock of punk attitude. If you haven’t encountered TV Smith live then you should as the iconic singer is still playing 130 plus shows each year and shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. Tonight’s show at Dulcimer is as good a set as I’ve seen by him over the years, it spans the adverts early punk recordings, through his various incarnations over the years in a decades spanning set that defies the passing of the years.
TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 3The Lion And The Lamb, from 1992’s March Of The Giants, provides a more reflective moment in the set, and as ever he stamps out his own percussive beat to his songs on the stage. If you want to see the spirit of 76 it won’t be at an elaborately packaged reunion tour, it will be TV Smith playing to packed intimate venues on his own terms. New material is peppered throughout the set and unlike many of his peers this is equally well received as the material from the dawn of punk, and think seriously, how many bands can you say that about, the number is likely to be low or zero and that is what is magical about TV Smith, his solo material has lost none of the impact of his classic punk material, and that is a truly rare thing in an age of reunion tours and manufactured outrage
TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 4Of course The Adverts best known songs encourage a raucous singalong, but the songs from his forthcoming album indicate that the flame burns as strongly as it did over 40 years ago. My personal favourite One Day My String Will Snap is aired towards the end of this set, alongside new material and the inevitable encores from The Adverts back catalogue, that whilst are welcome they are not essential to his set and I doubt many of the artists from the first wave of punk can claim that. The density of the crowd at the Dulcimer means that TV Smith cannot leave the stage and has no option but to give in to their demands for a further encore, and we get Tomahawk Cruise and a spirited The Good Times Are Back before Runaway Train Driver ensures tonight’s show goes on way beyond curfew and is brought to a triumphant  finale to end a perfect set by one of punks true originals.
TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 5TV Smith‘s website can be found here and his online store is here 
TV Smith‘s Bandcamp can be found here
You can order the Harvey’s Rabbit back catalogue via Rotator Records here and Harvey’s Rabbit can be found on Facebook here
Dulcimer‘s website is here
Live photography is by Dean Unsworth, his Instagram account is located here
You can click on any of Dean’s photos to view a slide show of the images

The Sandells Release ‘Forwards!’ Album

Sandells Forwards!The Sandells were formed in Manchester in 2006 by Tim Lyons, a mainstay of the Manchester scene in The Things, Harvey’s Rabbit and Red Turns To, the band have comprised a number of musicians over the years before settling on the current line up featuring Brian Benson on drums and Johann Kloos on guitar. It is this line up that has evolved to take up the challenge posed by a near vacuum that was once the Manchester music scene. Three guys who are old enough to remember those days… but with the will to create something new and different, in their own way.

Forwards! can be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp here