Tuesday 12th 2017f December 2017
updated: 10-Jun-2003



Blackburn, 13 Sep 2002, Friday
Review written by: TJ


View also the photos of this gig taken by TJ!

TV Crazy In Blackburn Vasey

For An Explosive Performance Well Worth Waiting For!

Arrived in, back to basics, Blackburn early and on checking out how rough the pubs looked decided to get changed in the car. Covered my new grey Useless T shirt with my work shirt and entered the Malt & Hops. The music was on so loud in vibrated all the wood panelling. Black(burn) Cat mild was on great form.

After waiting for an hour I decided to sit out the front and phone some people on my mobile whilst I awaited C5. Of course he went through the side door and we missed each other.

Harry Pogue phoned me because I had inadvertsently phoned him. “Do you fancy going to see members of Hawkwind at Hebden Bridge?” asked HP. “Is there anyone else on the bill?”  I replied, “Yes, the Doctors Of Madness singer called Kid Strange, I’ve heard of them somewhere!” I sighed and explained, “The Doctors Of Madness are the greatest band of all time Harry, Kid Strange is Richard Strange.” HP’s light came on “I’ll go and get some flyers for you.” Result!

I see C5 at the Gladstone statue and pretend to run past him – how can you not notice someone in a Channel 5 T-shirt? We walk to the gig and decide to go in the KFC opposite. One of the dozens of youths who randomly stroll around Blackburn banged on the window and flashed me and C5 the Barclays Banker hand sign – charming! The stereo system is broken and sounds like a demented Norman Collier (shit – I am old!). They simply turn it up instead of off! Strange town! 

As soon as we sat down to eat we saw TV heading towards the KFC…surely not!!! Yep! In he came, but what did he order in a Kentucky Fried Chicken shop??? “What do you think of this ghost town?” asks TV. “Rather strange” we reply.

We are all soon in the North Bar for the gig. TV explains that he is playing a big birthday party for one of his mates and they have set up the Black (burn and pool) gigs as a sandwich around it. Sound check time and TV treats us to Future and Lion.

A Craig Casson look-a-like enters and TV introduces us to long-term TV fan Richard Watson. It’s TV talk time. As Richard talks about his favourite songs I realise he is the bloke who sent me the second entry in the TV Top 20 chart. Only Richard calls Straight and Narrow, Poison Arrow!  New TUTS nickname time!

We decide to talk Cheap and Explore the Adverts for a while, before campaigning for Richard’s support in the great C5’s, Channel 5 versus Tj’s, March Of The Giants debate. Poison Arrow takes the Easy Way out and opts for Last Words Of The Great Explorer. I simply Walk Away.

The jukebox spits out various punk oldies. The hours pass very slowly. Then at 10:30 p.m. C5’s eyes widen in awe and he announces “It’s THE GREAT MAN!” Sure enough Gary Gilmore’s Eyes blasts out of the dead loud sound system. Then up gets the support and walks on stage during TV’s finest hour. “Surely not” sighed C5. As Aneurysm tuned up C5’s jaw dropped so much it hit the floor. “They probably don’t even know it’s THE GREAT MAN!” he groaned. Sure enough they started playing before Gilmore’s astonished eyes!

Aneurysm were 21st Century Punks. For some reason they reminded me of a demented Status Quo caught up with a screaming Slipknot vocal. The sound was literally ear splitting. Does everyone in Blackburn walk around with permanent ear defenders in?

“You probably won’t like this one,” announced one of the young singers. He screamed so loud into the mike that I thought he head was going to explode like something out of the Scanners horror film.

“What a loud band!” shouted a humorous TV, as he arrived on stage a few minutes later. “If I’m too loud tell me and I’ll ignore you!” Wham! Into one of TV’s best new songs; NOT A BAD DAY – too right! We all knew the day was about to get considerably better.

Bam! NO TIME TO BE 21. A clone of Southwick’s Smelly danced at the front. This Rasta haired punk had ‘Exploding Baby’ written on his back. “I saw you in Blackburn in 1977 in cost £1.50” shouted E Baby at TV. Yep, definitely the clone of Smelly. “I was 11 and I’m 36 now” “If you find anybody who’s getting younger – let me know” retorted TV, bursting into BORED TEANAGERS. As he hit the last note one loud dancing girl at the front shouted out” I’m going to heckle”. Excellent all the ingredients for an awesome show were lined up: The drugged up Rasta Punk talking bollocks, the cocky liberated and loud female heckler, a trio of TUTS and THE GREAT MAN in explosive form.

“I always opened with this when I played in America,” grinned TV as he hit those powerful first notes of ATLANTIC TUNNEL. “The Americans did like it, they fucking hate President Bush as much as we do and his little puppeto over here.” Quipped Teev.

“Not so shit here is it? Give us a push and we can enjoy ourselves…” WHAT IF?

“Immortality is coming soon” IMMORTAL RICH.   

THIS YEAR, NEXT YEAR “Sometimes never” screamed TV.

“Future” bellowed a desperate fan. “First request and it’s not Gilmore’s Eyes” laughed TV. THE FUTURE USED TO BE BETTER. “The Servant” I scream to deaf ears.

ONE MILLION POUNDS “Don’t you hate those stupid games shows?” questioned the man. “Celebrities in the jungle being eaten by snakes. “Tony Blackburn (no connection to this strange town) was in it” “He won!” shouted out a couple of eager fans. “Blackburn won!!! It has come to this! I would have paid to watch him being eaten by crocodiles or snakes. You do Top Of The Pops and Tony Blackburn laughs at you never forget that!” grimaced TV. “It was the plastic sunglasses” chuckled one comedian in the crowd. SWIMMING IN THE FLOOD; the only song that can currently compete with As Soon As I Found It. By coincidence and destiny, rather than by design, I push to the front side and take a pic of TV, just as he delivers “So when the crowd yells and the camera’s on you, well you know what you must do.”

“I’ve got my band in a box with me. And they said an old Punk Rocker wouldn’t understand technology.” EARTH BOUND, another ace track from the next awesome album. Shit! I thought, could it end up being the best album of all time? I decide not to mention this thought to C5 next to me (for fairly obvious reasons.)

“STRONG HORSE” shouts an excited fan. TV obliges “This is for the new Thatch, Mr Tony Puppeto Blair.” “The Servant” I scream to deaf ears. “CAST OF THOUSANDS” yells the crowd. C5 is in seventh heaven. TV criticises the forthcoming war with Iraq. After Cast, TV mentions his old sparring partner, the Cast Killer, Gary Bushell “White is right indeed, his morals are screwed right up his arse.” “THIRD TERM” is the last of the trio of political and news classics demanded by a hungry crowd. “The new definition of democracy is that the political powers make you vote for who they want you to vote for these days,” remonstrated TV Smith.

Then right in my right ear I heard “BOMBSITE BOY.” “Who said that? Asked TV “You! Oh well I like a challenge.” I looked round as TV hit that booming bass intro and copped the grinning face of Richard, of the Poison Arrow. “Great Call” congratulated C5. “We’ll be seeing this anytime now.” Missile time with TOMAHAWK CRUISE. C5 roared along with enormous passion. Twang, TV’s string snapped. “The Americans have sent a smart bomb to snap my string – It’s that fucking TV Smith, he’s singing about us again,” laughed Tim, raising his hands high in adulation as he fixes his guitar. The crowd cheer as TV announces “A new string ladies and gentleman, we don’t have much to fucking celebrate!” “And now my only love song… THE BEATIFUL BOMB.” My turn to grin, as I turn round to jibe Poison Arrow as TV plays Richards least favourite Channel 5 song. “Thanks TV” shouts Mr C5, grinning like Nicholson in the Batman movie.

Speaking of grinning, I KNOW WHAT YOU WANT, it’s time for that specimen grin, which I try to grab on film. “Punk Rocker smiles on stage!” announces TV in his best Newshound voice.

“That was my happiest song, shall I play my most miserable song?” “No” I jokingly respond. Enter the first chords of THE DAY WE CAUGHT THE BIG FISH to cheers all round. I lean towards C5 and say “I actually enjoyed this today (referring to playing Big Fish on Useless on my journey to Blackburn.) ”Yes, it’s been an excellent gig,” replied C5. Again TV raised his hands to accept the adulation “My most miserable song, you’ve got to celebrate something.” Laughed TV.

“The Servant” I scream to deaf ears.

“MY PUNK ROCK POEM, shut the fuck up for one minute!” TV goaded to the noisy ignorant bastard talking at the back of the gig. As TV finished off with “The Adverts changed their lives,” Richard cried out “Yes!” GARY GILMORE’S EYES had the heckler and E Boy dancing at the front again. “Quickstep” bawled E Boy. “Do you know how hard to play Quickstep is?” asked an up-for-it anyway TV. “My Place” blurted E Boy. “Hey he let me off Quickstep!” Smiled a relieved Teev. C5 muttered “My Place” beaming in TV XTC. As SAFETY IN NUMBERS finished two independent punters bellowed “WE WHO WAIT.” "Two people that’s a democracy, George bush got in on less,” said TV obliging.   

“The Servant” I scream to deaf ears.

ONLY ONE FLAVOUR was a real crowd pleaser. “This is a song about life after punk called GENERATION Y.”

“If you find it hard to find me on tour check out www.TVSMITH.com“ the crowd joined in shouting out the internet site address. Klaus would have been well chuffed if he had been at the gig. LION AND THE LAMB follows.

“The Servant” I scream to deaf ears.

“I haven’t forgotten you…” I smiled hopefully, “…Dave” EXPENSIVE BEING POOR has Dave, who is sporting a Gen Y T-Shirt with the sleeves cut off, dancing and singing along.

“The Servant” I scream to deaf ears. “

“Shoe disaster,” screams one of the fans. “Shoe disaster” that’s the worlds worst heckling” laughed TV. “Shoe disaster????” he said again to himself looking perplexed.

“So there I am in this quiet carriage on the train and all the mobiles are going off and everyone’s answering them saying, shhh! I’m in the quiet carriage and I’m not supposed to talk. Ten minutes later they are still blarting away.” THE WORLD JUST GOT SMALLER.

I check my watch and it’s 12:30 p.m. in Blackburn Vasey and TV is doing a Royston Vasey local people impersonation. THIN GREEN LINE is song 29. The TUTS on tour were hoping for about 24 or 25 - cracked it!

TV ends the explosive performance with…

…THE SERVANT, you ask, no it was RUNAWAY TRAIN DRIVER. 

PA, C5 and I discuss how awesome the gig was as I write out an extra set list for TV. C5 gets me a poster of the gig from the wall. TV signs my poster; TV Smith à TV à Tj.

I pass TV the Set List. It’s signed at the bottom… Tj YOUR SERVANT!  



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