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

Cambridge, 18 Oct 2001, Thursday
Review written by: TJ

View also the photos of this gig taken by TJ!

TV Explosion in Cambridge

Hit Cambridge at the wrong junction and got lost. Phoned the hotel for directions and listened intently - not realising that I was driving straight past their front door! Eventually arrived with just minutes to spare. Flung on my One Chord Wonders T Shirt and black gig gear and sprinted to the local Adnams pub. Smit, Henry, Mark and the gang from Thomas Cook were already there. Straight to the bar for Lees bitter and grub. Jenny ordered a seafood dish and asked them to check that there were no prawns in it (she hates them). The girl came back and said "the dish only has very little prawns in it so will it be okay." We howled with laughter! (it was like telling a vegetarian that it's okay to eat frogs legs 'cos they're only tiny!) Speaking of vegetarian, I wasn't laughing for long - my chicken was just skin and bones!

Henry dashed off to catch the start of Miss Black America - a wise move. We arrived some time later, to be greeted by TV in the entrance to a small cosy room, at the back of the pub. He was watching the support with interest. "These are great they've just played New England," he declared. I was surprised to find that the band had a male and a female singer (although I later found out from Henry that she was a special guest who had only just gone on stage). He had War Fever written down his right arm - to give even more respect he opened one song with "this ones by the worlds greatest songwriter, bar TV Smith of course". They were spot on, creating an excellent vibe throughout the room.

More beer and a chance to finally meet Alan Smith (a TV/999 fan I had got to know through Klaus's site). Alan was impressed that I'd figured out who he was in such a packed crowd (I didn't let on that TV had pointed him out when we arrived).

TV time! Straight into the song of the tour; the cool acoustic Atlantic Tunnel. That was that, crowd completely won over. Bam! Straight into Flavour, 21 and Rich. Teev is at his energetic, aggressive and passionate best, he's really going for it tonight.

After two tuneful Gen Y tracks, TV takes stabs at religion (New Church) and money (£1,000,000). Then it's the beautiful new ballad As Soon As I Found It I Lost It - it sends a shiver right down my spine! Alan thinks that, if TV can get the right backing and production, he has got a hit on his hands with this standout track. Then on to the ever-popular classics Lion and Poor, with sequencer. Your Ticket Out Of Here?……No thanks!

The gig is red hot - literally!!

TV told everyone about Sony's new push on Punk and how it's so sincere that they didn't even let him and Gaye into the club at a book launch party.

Tour photography time. Tried to get Smit watching TV to pick up on the atmosphere. It didn't quite work, so I went for an elation close up shot (okay it's not Smit's most handsome pic, but you've got to admit he sure looks well happy!)

All the way through TV's dropping in his classic topical one liners "American spy satellites are looking for us they'll be sending a smart bomb down the chimney - mind you it's not the smart bombs you have to worry about, it's the dumb ones." "American weapons are really accurate, they can hit a warehouse dead centre - so long as it has a Red Cross target to aim at!" Bang! TV blasts into an explosive version of Tomahawk Cruise!

TV asks his mate for a beer while he plays Big Fish (he'd once said "please don't play The Day We Caught The Big Fish because even though all your songs are miserable this one is even more miserable"). I follow him through to the bar for some beers and a chat about his Big Fish is miserable comment - "ever wish you'd kept your big mouth shut?" he joked.

Back to one of my fav's - I Know What You Want, starting with a mega specimen grin. At the final riff Tim almost catches his guitar on the drapes hanging from the ceiling "Oops that was close - the Americans will bomb anyone with material on their head".

TV powers through String Snap, Gilmore's Eyes, Wonders and Teenagers. Amidst several shouts for On The Roof by yours truly, but TV couldn't hear me, dismayed I screech "Useless". Teev obliges! This, the ironic title track of his latest German CD, is now getting it's well deserved bask in glory.

"This is my last song - it's about the driver of a train load of nuclear waste………." TV hammers into Runaway Train Driver.

The crowd, who have kept the atmosphere totally electric, loudly disclaim their protest. "Mooooorrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeee, Mooooorrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeee!" Smit bellows above the rest of the yelling crowd! Mark Moore (Smit's mate) pushes his way to the front unable to understand why he has suddenly become so incredibly popular - nobody has the heart to tell him. Henry sees his chance and cry's "The Future Used To Be Better" TV agrees and he throws himself into Future with even more real, real passion.

A fantastic song to end a tremendous night. Took a quick final photo of Spinning Jenny and Mark Mooooorrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeee and bid farewell to Alan and the man. The gang set off back for either hotel or long drive home, pronouncing the gig the best TV solo show we've ever seen.

The good news is that I've four in a row next week - can't wait!

Tj (explosive bullets loaded by Henry)