Review by Uli Schmid:
T.V. Smith (support: Basic Session X), Munich, Substanz, 24th June 2001
As I hadn't managed to get to any gigs of the first part of T.V.'s tour of
Germany, of course I had to drive to Munich for this one as it was the only
in the south of Germany. Good thing that it was a Sunday so the motorway wasn't
as crowded with lorries and cars as on weekdays.
At about 6 pm I picked up my mate Wolfgang. He bought some T.V. Smith CD's after
I played my copy of "Generation Y" to him. As he played them quite
said it was kind of a "duty" for him to join me on this trip! So we
our hometown (near Ulm) to Munich, where we arrived at 7.30 pm, we had no
problem finding the street where the club "Substanz" is placed.
When we entered the venue it turned out to be one of these half pub / half music
club types of places, which had a nice atmosphere for a gig like this.
T.V. Smith was sitting at the bar, so we said hello and I introduced Wolfgang
him. (I have known T.V. since '99 when I first met him at a London gig.)
Garden Gang singer PamP and his girlfriend Andi passed by, so we said hello
them as well (I knew them from T.V.'s German gigs in September 2000)...
Wolfgang and me sat down next to Tim and chatted for a while about some punk
personalities like Charlie Harper and Brian James. He also told us how the
recent gigs had been going and that he seems to be getting more attention in
Germany through the "Useless" CD with Die Toten Hosen (which can't
There weren't many people in the club yet, but later on something you could
a "crowd" had gathered. So the support band "Basic Session X"
started their gig
with acoustic songs (played on guitar, bass, accordeon - occasionally with
trumpet or keyboards). At first the audience seemed a bit too cool for my
liking, so when T.V. started I had a bit of doubt if the gig would turn out
well, but three songs into the set all my doubts had completely vanished!!
"Immortal Rich" was the third song (following "Atlantic Tunnel"
and "No Time To
Be 21"), can anybody tell me why this can't be a major hit single? From
song forward everything just clicked, T.V. put across more energy than many
5-piece bands!! I can't remember the exact order in which the songs were played,
but I can tell you there were a lot from "Generation Y" (e.g. "This
Year", "What If?" and "Happy Homeland") and many more
of my favourites like "The
Future Used To Be Better" and also a few new songs which aren't released
(one song was performed in German: "Es stört mich nicht"). As
usual he explained
the contents of most songs in German language. Before he played "Only One
Flavour" he told us that he did a video for this song together with Die
Hosen and there was a competition on a video channel, which T.V. lost against
Bobo and the Spice Girls, much to everyone's surprise, ha ha... (By the way,
T.V. calls them "Scheiss Girls"!)
Of course he played a lot of songs which are featured on "Useless".
He told us
some people seem to think that all of his records are useless (which only goes
to show there are some people who don't know anything about good music with
lyrics)! It seemed to me that there were many listeners who've heard the
"Useless" CD in Munich, as they were cheering a lot whenever he played
these songs; especially "Gary Gilmore's Eyes" (of course) received
a lot of
applause. Before this song he performed his punkrock poem (which is called "My
The end of the regular set was a fast "Runaway Train Driver". Of course
calling for encores, so T.V. asked Basic Session X to join him onstage for a
three-language-version of "Eurodisneyland Tomorrow" (in English, German
Spanish)! After this we still didn't have enough, T.V. said he had a day off
next day, so he had no trouble at all in playing a bit longer (only WE might
have to work on Monday morning)...
Someone called for "One Chord Wonders", T.V. said he has so many songs,
forgotten to include this one! So after a beautiful version of "Useless"
song), PamP joined T.V. on backing vocals for the final "One Chord Wonders".
It was a great gig, well worth the drive to Munich! Let's hope T.V. will come