TV Smith + The Briefs
TV Smith, The Briefs @ The Victoria Inn, Derby, Friday 15th December 2006
Within an hour of us getting to the Vic on this rainy night, the small venue was fully packed with over 100 punters, a stronger turn out than for the Briefs’ Tuesday appearance in Birmingham… The crowd was an even mix of old + young, always the way in Derby, + always good to see.
TV took the stage just after 9pm, following a couple of unmemorable local support bands. His set-list is always open to audience suggestions, + while he jokes that nobody wants to hear the new ones, his loyal fan base obviously love ‘em as equals to the Adverts’ classics. After an early Punk Rock Poem/Gary Gilmore’s Eyes he unveiled a new unrecorded song called Weak Glue, about the grim events after Hurricane Katrina.
TV Smith’s words are sharp, relevant + funny. The clench of his jaw shows he’s deadly serious, but he has to break it between every song with a warm + sheepish grin… Rebelling comes naturally to him, + with his personality, politics + honesty, his solo gigs are the full package. It’s great to see him with a backing band, but you never miss it when he’s on his own. Weak Glue’s ‘the troops were elsewhere’ line led naturally onto Not In My Name, then Bring the Bull Down, Thin Green Line, Tomahawk Cruise + Bored Teenagers. A passionate Generation Y had the whole venue gob smacked in quiet respect. So TV took the opportunity to slip in a quick plug for his new ‘Tour Diaries’ book, jokingly calling himself ‘an anarchist + a hypocrite’ (his homemade t-shirt said ‘Show me the money…’), + then wrapped up (no pun OK!) perfectly with Christmas Bloody Christmas, an anti-consumerist anthem for anyone feeling swamped by festive madness. This was maybe the best I have ever seen TV Smith. As he turned away to leave the stage we got a flash of the back of his T-shirt which read ‘… + I’ll show you the crime’. What a man!
The background rock/punk/? CD which came on as the Briefs got ready sure sounded rubbish in comparison with the imminent day-glo thrills. Their scruffy image of skinny ties, drainpipes, plastic shades + hair bleached to fuck marks ‘em out as proud junkies of 77 Britophilia - + coming from Seattle they must feel at home with our weather… The Briefs sound fast + addictive, singing about uppers, weird sex + being an outcast from the mainstream USA. They bounce around the stage, taking turns at vocal duties (including drummer Chris Brief) + rubbery-faced gurning, + the sweat quickly starts to flow. The Vic Inn is a dream venue to catch them in - small + dark, with a low ceiling… The front row of the crowd get a close-up frigging from the hyper band. Ears + teeth buzzing, your pulse starts hammering while the Briefs feed off the rising heat + excitement. This lot could never be disappointing. Every time they come over here they create new devotees, by feeding us back a sound + style which we used to have the patent on…
In the set, which was slightly different from in Brum (nice one), we got Ephedrine Blue, Outer Space, Dead In The Suburbs (Los Reactors cover?), Destroy the USA, Antisocial, a spiky sounding Getting Hit On At The Bank… sadly no Normal Jerks (even though I think it’s on the tour T-shirt). We had to tear ourselves away just after 11pm for the last train, + Gary Glitter’s Eyes was just starting as we squeezed our way out.
Already hungry for more.
Beka Puke – tMx 28 – 01/07
And also: www.thebriefs.com
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