Friday 23rd 2021f July 2021
updated: 10-Jun-2003

Ashton-Under-Lyne, 20 Sep 2001, Thursday
Review written by: TJ

As promised, here's a review of the Ashton gig on the 20th September at the Witchwood.

Arrived early. Timed it well 'cos my old mate Nev was just getting them in. Nev had gone to see The Adverts with me twice back in '77 and he was with me when I first saw TV again in December '98.
Ordered an excellent pint of Nottingham's finest; Castle Rock.

I thought I recognised one burly punk bloke in the bar, but, couldn't figure out where from. We decided to leave the bar and go through into the concert room after an old bloke had nearly puked on my jacket - at last after all these years someone actually puking at a punk gig!!

999 where much more popular than I realised - there were dozens of punters, many with 999 regalia.

We got a seat right at the front. The support band were a Punk/New Wave tribute band called the Geckos. They where far more New Wave than Punk and played such fringe Punk music as XTC and Elvis Costello. To cry's of "play something Punk" and a wave of fleeing mohicans, they responded with an untimely Tommy Gun. The singer was okay and the bassist was a laugh, but, a guitarist chewing gum and wearing an Addidas shirt just doesn't seen very Punk to me.

My concern went towards TV - how would this crowd respond to the likes of the classic "As Soon As I Found It I Lost It"?

TV came over and we chatted about the Sheffield gig and the racisism being stired up in the hatepapers. He asked about the gang (Smit & Henry - they will be catching up with TV in Cambridge - see ya their lads).

Then it was TV's turn on stage and he just went for it - bursting into Only One Flavour. With comments like I'd like to play this one before we all die - he dived into his past and pulled out New Church. This was followed by an appropriate request for The Future Used To Be Better - TV blistered through it. After a much too short 30 minutes TV finished off with his sung-a-long hit, GG's Eyes. The applause brought him back for a final rapid fire version of One Chord Wonders.

The first time I'd seen TV in a Punk setting since '77 and he produced the goods - nice one Teev!

999 finished off a good night and I polished off another few pints of Castle Rock (so the second half of the night was a little blury). "Chicane Destination" was the highlight of their set for me. The guy in the bar turned out to be 999's bass player for the gig, but, that didn't explain where I knew him from, 'cos I unfortunately missed 999 in '77.

I remember Nick Cash (the vocalsit) shouting out something about "they hit me and they hit TV Smith" (I think this was connected to that late '76/early '77 fun pass time of Punk bashing!).

Nick thanked the bass player from the Lurkers and it all began to fit into place. The Lurkers bass player is the guy who is interviewed at length (in his mums front room whilst watching Top Of The Pops) in the "Punk in London" German video I got from Chris Savage. I went over to have a chat with him and see if I was right. yep it was him - he seemed like a bloody good bloke as well!

The mystery solved I said my farewells and headed back to the local Hotel for a kip.

This was the second gig in TV's biggest British tour for years - miss it at your peril!