The Adverts

Live and Loud!! [Link]

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by Jack Rabid

Though somewhat muted thanks to the bootleg quality of the recording -- it sounds like an excellent walkman audience tape, but an audience tape nonetheless -- the vigor of the performance makes this the best live release of the Adverts so far and, thus, a release of note. No recording date is given, but from the set list it must be 1977 or very early 1978, as only the first of the Adverts' two LPs, Crossing the Red Sea With the Adverts, and their early singles' B-sides are performed. In fact, the immortal punk classic "One Chord Wonders" appears for the second time as an encore; likely they'd run out of songs after playing the first 12! So, unlike the way too early, first gigs Live at the Roxy (recorded in 1977 and released in 1990 on Receiver U.K.), Live and Loud!! catches the band in its prime and at the height of its emergence during the seminal London punk explosion. The band thus seems even more aggressive on the chord changes, fills, chording attack, and leads, without losing the primal savagery of Red Sea's renditions. Though lacking the enormous aural power of the just becoming fully realized Sex Pistols, Clash, Buzzcocks, and Damned, the Adverts' staying power came from the much-admired material and lyrical ideas that remain cutting edge, with just enough octane (and Laurie Driver's oddly unique 2/4 sped-up T. Rex drum pounding) to make it all slowly smoke and smolder anyway. Howard Pickup's guitar is particularly zooming, his simple, distorted vacuum-cleaner sound sustained through all the winning verses and choruses leader/singer T.V. Smith composed. And those lyrics have truly stood the test of time. From the obvious but insightful "Bored Teenagers" to the more insidious "New Church" and "The Great British Mistake," and of course the shrewd hit single "Gary Gilmore's Eyes," Smith's panicking rat-in-a-maze delivery and well-reasoned amusing-cynical words are fully audible on this recording and benefit from the band's more solid, more throat-grabbing charge. Rarely has unadorned, still-learning music by youths for youths seemed so mature without concession. Do not buy this if you haven't heard their oft-reissued Red Sea. That and the Peel Sessions EP are the places to start. But whether you're a recent or old student/fan of the enduring, well-missed phenomenon that was punk, this is an OK documentation of one of the most important bands of the time.

blue highlight denotes track pick