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TV Smith Interview Sept 17

TV Smith

The Adverts, TV Smith's Cheap, TV Smith's Explorers, TV Smith


By on 15th September 2017 at Dulcimer, Manchester, UK

 

 

TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 6In the recent trend for interviewing people in unexpected places I find myself interviewing TV Smith on the fire escape outside Dulcimer, the venue he’s due to play tonight that lies in the suburbs of South Manchester. Despite both of us arriving late to the venue TV Smith kindly takes the time to sit outside and discuss punk, touring and what the future holds for the iconic singer and songwriter. After last year’s interview in Preston was sadly lost we find ourselves halfway up the fire escape outside Dulcimer in an attempt to stop history repeating itself as the noise levels in the venue, and it’s smoking area, are every bit as loud as you’d expect on a Friday night in Manchester.

Thanks for taking time out to talk to The Punk Site and welcome to Manchester, when were you last here?

You hit me with a difficult one…. it does seem like a long time, it think it was the last time I was here at the Dulcimer, which was at least a year ago.

TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 5We caught you at the Rebellion Festival in Blackpool earlier this year, you seem to be an annual fixture there

I always have been, I’ve done every year since it started, we started off just doing The Adverts songs with the band. I’ve been touring with the Bored Teenagers a lot more in Europe and the Useless album seems to be popular over there, we played the whole useless album in Germany and then mixed it up for Rebellion.

We covered the set of your solo material at the Rebellion Festival

That was my favourite one I think, it’s good to do a set of the other songs as well.

Songs like My String Will Snap and Good Times Are Back seem to be more relevant than ever

That’s the terrible thing isn’t it, but I’m also writing a load of new stuff to keep moving it forward.

TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 4Does this mean we can expect a new album?

Whenever I get a chance between touring I’m recording the next album, I’m still out doing 130 gigs a year so the time I get to record is stretched over quite a long period in small sessions. I think I’ve got my best collection of songs ever for the next album, but I’m not going to rush it, it’s not like I’ve got a record company with a release schedule. I’m just doing it whenever I get a chance and when it’s ready I’ll put it out, I’m hoping it’ll be out in Spring next year.

There’s a big shift to the DIY movement at the moment, you’ve been doing this for a long time and seem to have laid some of the groundwork for this movement

I came back to DIY that’s the thing, The Adverts wasn’t that DIY as we were with proper labels, but after being out of the music business for a long period in the eighties and nineties I came back to my DIY roots. It was the only way forward, apart from the fact it’s very satisfying to do it all yourself, you’ve got assume you aren’t going to get any support from the music business so you have to do it yourself, and it’s a good and honest way to do it.

TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 3You’re still pulling crowds, the sets I saw at Rebellion were packed out

Yeah it’s great, Rebellion is full of all the people you see out in the little club shows throughout the year, it’s the moment they all come together in a dirty great big crowd and it’s a special occasion. I always think Rebellion is like the thank you for all the little club shows.

Are there more trips into Europe planned?

Yeah always, I’m on a sort of never ending tour, I’ll play a few dates round Britain and then go out to Germany for a few days, that’s the way my touring goes, it’s not one huge block of six weeks and then stay at home, I just constantly go out for a few days here and there.

TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 1Is your popularity in Germany enhanced by the link with Die Toten Hosen?

That was the link that started it off and where people first heard about me, they covered Gary Gilmore’s Eyes, well they covered a whole load of UK punk bands, that was an entry into Germany to play a few small shows and get used to the way it is there, and they really took to me in a way they weren’t taking to me in Britain at the time. I went over there a lot and built up a good audience out there, it’s probably my best country really.

Are you still working with Die Toten Hosen?

Little bits now and then, nothing to speak of really, I co-wrote a song on their last album and did some lyrics on one of their songs but I’m not at liberty to tell you which one! I co wrote Pushed Again on a previous album, they’d already registered the song but they realised they didn’t have any lyrics for it and they came to me as they decided they wanted English lyrics, I love the song so I wrote the lyrics with Campino the lead singer. As it was already registered I didn’t get my name on it but they made a present of recording the Useless album for me instead which was a fair deal.

TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 2I think the Useless album is the best introduction to your back catalogue

Yeah, over the years my stuff has been recorded in cheap studios and different studios and with different line ups, the idea behind it was to make a solid album with the best songs, with the same band in a good studio so it had a really consistent sound, it’s different to the way I usually work but it was nice thing to do.

As one of the people who was in at year zero of the punk scene how does t feel looking at it now

It’s an underground scene, I don’t really know what the punk scene is but for me it’s characterised by the live scene, it’s all about bands playing in small pubs and clubs to whoever they can find, the way people get together, the fact the audiences are similar and the feeling in the crowd. When I was a kid that was always what a gig was about, it was meeting your mates and that was a big part of it and I think that is happening again now, and when you go to something like Rebellion you see just how many of you there are, it’s not a bad little movement really.

TV Smith Dulcimer Sept 17 7Are there any bands at the moment from tours or festivals you’ve played that have caught your imagination?

I still see a lot of bands that I like, it’s a tough question off the top of my head because I see a lot of stuff out there, but in Edinburgh last night for example I was supported by Billy Liar who’s a great Scottish singer songwriter with really high energy, and before he played there was a duo called Paper Rifles who were also really great in the Scottish singer songwriter idiom and I’d never heard of them before, and that’s just one night out with two great bands on the same bill as me. I also love Harvey’s Rabbit who are playing tonight.

Can we expect any new material in the set tonight?

Yeah, I’m road testing the new songs on the tour, as I many as I can slip in without anyone minding! actually I’ve got to say the new songs are being received just as well, if not better, than the old ones which is good to know.

Thanks for taking time out to talk to The Punk Site

TV Smith Interview 2 Sept 17The Punk Site review of TV Smith live at the Dulcimer can be read here

TV Smith‘s website can be found here and his online store is here 

TV Smith‘s Bandcamp can be found here 

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

Rebellion 2017 April

Rebellion Festival (Friday)

Blackpool Winter Gardens, UK

Friday 4th August 2017
By

Rating: 5/5

 
 

 

 
Rebellion 17 Heavy DrapesA meander from my hotel with twanging hamstrings and aching calves takes me through Blackpool’s faded glamour and back to the Winter Gardens where an enormous queue has formed to get in for Saturday’s impressive line up which means I’ve already missed Aerial Salad by the time I finally get in. My Friday opens with the Kenneths who blow away the cobwebs after last night excess on a sundrenched Casbah Stage, their set of high energy punk rock starts Friday off perfectly. The Heavy Drapes have made the leap from the introducing stage last year to the Empress Ballroom, and you can see why, they deliver an anthemic set of pulverising old school punk rock, that means Friday has kicked into gear early.
 
Rebellion 17 SvetlanasI catch the end of Sensa Yuma‘s heavyweight set as we head back outside to catch Maid Of Ace rocking the Casbah Stage, and they don’t disappoint the as the hyperactive all female quartet deliver a full tilt set of raucous punk rock, that I sadly have to cut short as Svetlanas are playing the Pavillion Stage, they are a must see as they have just released what looks like being my favourite album of 2017. Svetlanas are something to behold, carrying the energy of early Dead Kennedys and the Dwarves best recordings. Svetlanas lead singer Olga prowls the stage and the dance floor like a caged animal, her intense stage presence is matched by a frantic hardcore edged soundtrack, and all the expectations from their incredible new album, This Is Moscow Not LA, are exceeded. This is a band you need to see live as I doubt I’ll encounter a better live ever act this weekend, or this year, and I have to buy a new t shirt afterwards as the one I was wearing is now soaked as I was down the front throughout Svetlanas incredible set.
 
As I wander outside for a cigarette I catch John Robb, one of Manchester’s punk mainstays, playing an impressive set with The Membranes complete with a full choir, had it not clashed with Svetlanas this is something I’d have made a point of catching. Tagada Jones follow with a blast of hard edged Gallic street punk, to me bands like this are one of the joys of the Rebellion Festival. I would never have encountered these in my local punk scene, but the Rebellion Festival unites cultures and scenes in the punk community like no other festival, and along with Svetlanas I have encountered two incredible bands from mainland Europe. Behind me a moshpit forms of their hardcore fans who have made the journey across the channel and Tagada Jones are for me one of the best discoveries of the Rebellion Festival, and I recommend you investigate this band who prove that punk rock travels beyond the usual English and American borders.
 
Rebellion 17 TV SmithSeeing TV Smith is an essential part of rebellion, the former lead singer of The Adverts was there at the start and to see him playing with a full band,  The Bored Teenagers, is a temptation that is too good to resist. Tonight’s set with the Bored Teenagers is focused upon his post adverts solo material, and songs such as the Good Times Are Back and My String Will Snap sound as relevant as the day the day the day were written, if not more so. Further wandering finds another of punks old school, Vice Squad, sounding re-energised for the Rebellion Festival, and alongside their extensive back catalogue they close with the Motorhead classic, Ace Of Spades. A brief  break precedes a return to the Casbah Stage where The Real McKenzies are bringing their Celtic punk rock to Blackpool and they are celebrating 25 years together, another band I’ve intended to see for a number of years and however good you may think they are on record, live is where they are at their beer fuelled best and they bring a party atmosphere to the Friday night at the Rebellion Festival.
 
I’ve intended to see DOA ever since I bought 13 Flavours Of Doom a long long time ago, several farewell tours have meant that I thought it would never happen, but Friday night at the Rebellion Festival brings the legendary Canadian outfit to the Casbah Stage. There is nothing I can say about these Canadian punk legends that hasn’t already been said, but I’m going to say it anyway, the politically charged punk band deserves every accolade that’s thrown at them, they have been around for four decades and it’s been worth the wait to finally see them. Tonight the Casbah Stage has had a distinctly Northern exposure and when DOA play Already Dead, the first song I ever heard by them, I think I’ve peaked, but add to this songs such as General Strike, that’s dedicated to Theresa May, and Race Riot, then my day is utterly made. DOA return for an encore of Full Metal Jackoff, from their amazing album recorded with Jello Biafra, Last Scream Of The Missing Neighbours, and the inevitable ending of Fucked Up Donald, this marks an incredible end to an amazing day that has mainly been spent on the Casbah Stage, they leave with the words “together we can, together we will, make the world a better place’.
 
Sometimes the Rebellion Festival holds secrets, such as F.I.L.F., which turns out to be an unheralded and unpublicised Macc Lads reunion, with original members Stez Styx, Mutley McLadd, The Beater and Chorley The Hord, with new addition Bammy, who between them were banned from more venues than any other British punk band, in fact probably more than the rest of them put together. Tonight they are mainly covering classic punk songs and the band are clearly enjoying being back together, but they close with a final encore of the Macc Lads obscene classic Blackpool, and what else would they choose for the Rebellion Festival, that’s thrown in for good measure the venue erupts, and this is the welcome return of another band I never thought I would see again.
 
The review of the Saturday at the Rebellion Festival 2017 will follow shortly on The Punk Site.
 
The Rebellion Festival wesbsite is here
 
Unofficial live photography courtesy of Froggy and Eloise Coone
 
You can click on any of the photos to view a slide show of the images
 
 

The Punk Site ‘Rebellion Festival 2017’ Preview, Part Two

Rebellion 2017 April2016 saw the Rebellion Festival celebrate its 20th year alongside the 40th anniversary of punk with a spectacular sold-out event. Over four days at Blackpool’s Winter Gardens, iconic bands from every aspect of punk across the world shared stages with new and emerging talent, and the 2017 Rebellion Festival looks set to be no different. Returning to Winter Gardens in Blackpool from the 3rd to the 6th of August, the line-up is shaping up to be another punk genre defining event. The Punk Site is fortunate enough to be covering the Rebellion Festival again this year, as this is Europe’s largest punk festival and it boasts a bewildering array of bands, acts, art and temptations, we’re going to be looking ahead at what this years Rebellion Festival has to offer

The full line can be viewed here and tickets for the 2017 Rebellion Festival can be purchased here

The 2017 Rebellion Festival preview for Friday 4th August can be viewed below Read More…