This article is written by Rick Joseph and was published in New Musical Express on 3rd November, 1979.
Apart from the fact that it was to be The Advert's last appearance on a London stage, this was something of a non-event.
The kiss of death had already been planted on their new album by the most unsympathetic
production imaginable, and their losing streak accompanied them to the stage of
the Marquee where the final throes of their corporate demise were enacted before
a crowd of exuberant onlookers.
Only two of the band's original stalwarts were present: gangling brainchild and master of ceremonies TV Smith, and the sultry bassist-in-waiting Gaye Advert. A posse of eleventh-hour recruits had been gathered for the occasion: an incognito drummer who kept the beat unobtrusively; Gaye's brother (Guy Advert?) replaced Howard Pickup on guitar and did a passable impersonation of Keith Richard's grandad; and Tim Cross, who featured on 'A Cast Of Thousands', flailed at the keyboards.
If ever there was a five-sided mismatch of individual intentions it was onstage
As main visual foils, TV and Gaye merely re-inforced each other's vulnerability — a case of one's indifference off-setting the other's narcissism. TV entered the spirit of the occasion with a great deal of derring-do, even ripping his pants into the bargain. Despite the overt pomposity of his lyrics and his modest capability as a singer, he cut a genial, if helpless figure.
But Ms Advert's aloof, impassive stance hardly disguised her contempt for the
whole affair. She remained, to all intents and purposes, decidedly out-to-lunch.
Meanwhile, some kind of music was of course taking place, although it would seem futile to classify it beyond shambolic light entertainment.
It was a precarious situation, largely because TV's high-flown, self-conscious songs deserved a more sympathetic treatment than the musicians were generally
able or willing to muster. The result was a shoddy pantomime in which TV was left to cope with the unenviable role of Principal Boy. Even their most stirring songs 'Gary Gilmore's Eyes' sounded effete and unconvincing.
Fluctuating from sporadic excitement to tedium, it really depended on where you
chose to focus your attention. The wilder excesses of TV's stage histrionics were,
for the best part, matched by Tim Cross' physical approach to the keyboards —
which entailed all manner of Svengali-esque posturing and over-dramatised affection
towards his instrument. Nonetheless, his elegant swirling touches proved to be
the most refreshing element of this sluggish recital.
Although the gig attracted the customary scenarios of dive-bombing and stage-mobbing
from the audience, it was altogether too inauspicious and average to inspire an
in situ obituary. As the Adverts clambered back onstage for an encore, they announced
their decision to knock it on the head and go their separate ways. For a brief
spell they were showered in gob and glory as befitting a band that was destined
to be the soft underbelly of progress
They ain't resting, they're just dead.