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This article is written by Ian John Deary and was published in Sounds on 14th October, 1978.

Flirting with the Freshers

The Adverts
Edinburgh

FRESHERS' WEEKS are dismal affairs. Bewildered children straight out of school spend a week filling in forms and being badgered into joining anything from SWP to the Hot Air Ballooning Society and on the Saturday night the smug freshers' committee throws a big party with a name band. It's possibly the band who have the most dismal time of all since no outsiders (or few) are allowed in and the crowd are apathetic non-fans for the most part. The Adverts were chosen for this year's freshers' party at Riccarton's Heriot-Watt university.
Less than 100 students milled around the front of the stage awaiting the arrival of the heroes the rest sat in the bar and for the rest of the night chose to stay there.
First song by the Adverts was a new one 'Fate Of Criminals' played at a slower pace than usual and its reception was lukewarm. Indeed the show was three numbers old before it took off with a great rendition of 'Bombsite Boy' which got the heads bobbing up and down like a bingo-ball machine on speed.
New songs alternated with old but the rapture that followed favourites like 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes' and 'New Church' (complete with hilarious duff intro) easily outshone equally good new songs such as 'I Surrender' and the new single 'TV's Over'.
It was gratifying to see that few males had come just to stare at Gaye for, sweet though she is, she is no great show-woman and deftly ignores all the lusty stares that must be a huge bore to her by now. Her only visible show of emotion was the odd snigger at TV and, in states of extreme excitement, she would chew her gum faster than previously. No, true star of The Adverts is songwriter TV Smith who possesses at least 90 per cent of the group's charisma. His style is manifest from his clothes (which look like the tattered remnants of a decadent past shades, silver jacket, fluorescent red tie) to his movements onstage where he leaps, crawls, pirhouettes with boundless energy. Only weak spot is his solipsistic patter between numbers surely this intelligent young songwriter has more to say than "awright?" and '"ow are ya?".
I heard complaints that The Adverts are not developing musically it's true that solos are still scarce and Gaye's bass is as unadventurous as ever. But unlike other bands The Adverts have still got many good punk songs left in them and do not need to add frills to their music to keep it exciting. Just ask the fans who genuinely called them back for two well-deserved encores, ending with the anthemic 'One Chord Wonders'.

IAN JOHN DEARY

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