TV And The TUTS Explorers
[Verging On A New Record 30.05.02]
Had a very fruitful morning at work. In fact it went so well that I was able to finish early and take a half day holiday. Just beat the rush hour start of the world’s biggest car park. Two huge GlaxoSmithKline skyscrapers showed me the way – boy does TV advertise or what? A quick drive through suburbia (shock!) and out the other side (phew!) to TV’s place.
Met TV and awaited the TUTS. First to arrive was PK (the TV Chauffeur) and Steve The Fish. We went outside to see the legends attempt at Groundforce. Not a bad effort for a guitar plucker; wooden decking, small circular lawn and pale blue pond complete with a punk gobbing fountain. Gaye arrived. I said a timed hallo to another punk legend. The woman who helped pave the way for women to be finally treated as equals in rock.
Steve The Fish was at his humorous best, making a play for a new nickname of Steve (Stig) Of The Dump. Captivating us all with his stories of what you can find in dumps. This ranged from a smoking American Indian statue that Tim Cross once dumped to people shooting holes in CD’s so that they can’t be re-sold. Steve The Fish then talked about his favourite subject his fish. He has been having an ongoing cartoon like battle with a heron that his obsessed about eating his price carp, no matter what traps, fences or humane weapons Steve has utilised.
Klaus arrived bearing gifts – Useless T Shirts for all! We piled into PK’s special car and our chauffeur set off for The Verge. As we rode along the West Way we talked about Strummer, Jones and also Glen Matlock (who was playing in London that night). We then went onto to talk about an alternative legend; “Ivor Biggun is his name and winking is his claim to fame.”
Arrived at the Verge on time, after some great chauffeuring by PK. The Verge venue is half smart, with a trendy blue bar and half a stripper’s dive, complete with greasy pole!
We decide to get some food and Steve recommends, yes you guessed it, fish and chips. We ask the owner and he sends us next door. Outside Klaus takes a photo of TV Smith advertised in way more befitting a star of TV’s ability and legendary heritage. I warn Klaus about Southern fish and chips, but he gets them anyway and ends up throwing half of them away. What a bag of shite!
TV starts his longest soundcheck for ages with Atlantic tunnel (nice and slow so that Klaus can understand it) and Lion and the Lamp (sorry I couldn’t resist it Simse!) Now it really gets exiting as Erik Russell arrives. …. with guitar. Erik takes to the stage dressed all in black and looking pretty cool. Then it happens… the first few chards of Last Words Of The Great Explorer. Oh my Gawd! Are we in for a treat tonight or what? TV has really pulled out all the stops for the TUTS. Next up is Tomahawk Cruise…awesome! I mooch about trying to pluck up the courage to take some pics of the soundcheck, but for a guy who’s emoticom signature is cool, it’s just a bit too naff so I unfortunately choose to wimp out.
The gig filled up very slowly. PK thought he might have spotted the Fleagles. I say, “It must be them ‘cause Mrs Fleagle is only five feet tall.” “Go and have a word it’s the only way to find out.” I reply. Fortunately it was the TUTS named after the banana splits! I asked Fleagle about his picture in 1988 (I must check it out). We also chat about his main punk band; Halloween Skies.
“Hey PK are you going to hand out your ‘Punk never died – TV just got better’ flyers that you have done to advertise Klaus’s TV Smith site?” I ask. PK was very hesitant. “Why don’t you put them on the bar and on the tables PK” I offered. “They might get wet” PK replied. Realising that all PK’s hard work was going to end up in vain I handed out the flyers to the crowd and placed the rest on the bar and tables. PK was chuffed to see them quickly disappearing into interested mitts.
So what’s the most perfect way to start the first ever special TUTS and German TUTS gig? Well Atlantic Tunnel, March Of The Giants, Euro Disneyland Tomorrow and The Immortal Rich sure takes some beating. The songs were just too good to even dare request something else. So What If he played something a little lower in his TV Top 100?
“Play something new” I screeched as TV hit the last note from Generation Y’s What If. “Enough of these oldies” I quipped. “Are you talking about me or the song?” asked TV. “You choose” I responded in best Tomahawk Cruise fashion. “This is how it all began from birth of me to birth of The Adverts with Gaye and onwards”. “Battered, bruised, weary and worn, I still remember the day that I was born, The sun was shining in a cloudless sky, Cloud’s soon came followed by the rain, I set out with an unusual name, You’re born you grow up you live a bit, then you die, But today’s not going to be a bad day, I can feel it in my bones, I can see the light on the horizon and I might just head on home.”
Next up is Klaus’s favourite For Every Hit There’s A Miss “Which way you’ll move they can’t predict – For every hit there’s a miss.” Followed by one of TV’s favourites Living World from Immortal Rich.
Then it’s politics; first Third Term “I’m waiting for Tony Blair’s third term – what a wait since Maggie’s third term – my hasn’t things changed since then? He! He!” Second is the once forgotten (until Klaus reminded TV about it) catchy ditty called All The Right Hands Rise.
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly follow. First up is The Bad in the form of money, greed and a certain £1,000,000. Next is The Ugly and Lies “So you say we’ll live longer, With a cure for cancer, With a cure for a heart attack, Science saves! Science conquers! And we get a new toothpaste, And we get a new floor wax, You lied to me!” Finally The Good and the Thin Green Line. Alan tries to take the TV leg-endary kick, but his camera has a delay mechanism and he misses twice. “You always miss don’t you – I’ll hold the position for you” said TV balancing on one leg. Alan unbelievably missed again. “You could be a drummer,” laughed TV.
The 16th song is Can’t Pay, Won’t Pay, TV is going for it again, but can he catch the last Southwick gig’s UK record of 39? Next up is my current TV favourite the heart melting Soon As I Found It I Lost It. “Life’s great – yeah Life’s a beach” sang TV melodically. I had just asked TV before the gig if the beach on the front of the Useless CD was directly related to this positive line – the bastard only went and said NO! Life’s a bitch!
The newest song Earthbound was up next – turn this TV on and he screams at you all day! “Just like the meal you ate that came on a plastic tray, difficult to know which bit to throw away” sang TV. Reminding me of a hotel I had stayed in, in Bath earlier in the year. I ordered breakfast and in the morning I opened my door at put my foot in a plastic tray full of plastic food and plastic cutlery – nice! The crowd edged forward beyond the tattooed dancing girl at the front like “legions breaking out of this human zoo!”
“Tj’s brought his homework,” laughed Steve The Fish. Check out Alan’s picture of me updating my gig review list if you don’t believe him. TV takes us up to 20 songs with two new tracks, the much loved Your Ticket Out Of Hear and the faster Sugar Crash.
“Runaway Train Driver” shouts Steve The Fish. “You know that’s the last song I play and then I’m off,” responded TV joining in the banter. “Well do you still want the song” “NOOOOOO!” bellowed the crowd. “God it’s hard working an audience grinned TV. Steve wouldn’t be beaten so easily “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes,” “One Chord Wonders,” “Bored Teenagers.” TV took his revenge with The Day I Caught The Big Fish. Game, set and match to TV Smith!
The excellent overlooked ballad Roll Like A River is next followed by 2 Cast songs (and I don’t mean the scouse Britpop band) Cast Of Thousands and I Will Walk You Home. Simse arrives – with big smiles all round.
Speaking of smiling, now it is Steve The Fish’s turn with Quickstep, One Chord Wonders and Great British Mistake. Song 28 is the best song of last year the awesome Swimming In The Flood. Now it’s my turn to smile. “On show feels like you could be someone and it’s only a matter of who, so when the crowd yells and the camera’s on you, well you know what you must do” sang TV.
Now is the time for some great exploration as Erik Russell is called to the stage to unveil a very loud Union Jack T shirt. The guitar chords and vocals of the Last Words Of The Great Explorer ring around the room for the first time in front of an audience for 23 years. Magnificent – TV and Erik really push the boat out. The camera’s are on you and Erik, TV, clicking in all directions. You know what you must do….Tomahawk Cruise. Erik leaves the stage to well deserved cheers and applause.
Next is that little known old gem about Mrs Gilmore’s son followed by the next almost smash hit single (had it not been on the B side!) Bored Teenagers. Three popular Top Ten classics follow; Generation Y, Lion & The Lamb (Simse’s smiling again!) and Expensive Being Poor.
The ‘band’ continue with The World Just Got Smaller and Statute Of Liberty, back to TV and guitar for the final song of the set, Useless enjoying it’s bask of new found fame.
“MMOOOOORRRRREEEEEEEE, MMOOOOORRRRREEEEEEEE” screams the
audience. TV responds with No Time To Be 21 and we know it’s the finale when he introduces Runaway Train Driver. TV leaves the stage to thunderous applause.
“How many” asks an anxious TV, wondering if he has broke his own UK or World song marathon record. “No mate, you miles off, useless!” – I jokingly respond. TV looks a little disappointed. In fact he ordered a recount and we found that he had in fact done 40 songs and beaten his brand new UK record for the second UK gig running. What a star this man is!”…And what a piss head I am! Too many Budvar’s I’m afraid Teev!
I spot a guy in a Damned and Adverts ‘Four Chords’ T shirt and have a chat with him to see if I could buy one. No chance, but, it turn’s out he’s called Rob and he is a big fan and has seen TV in London several times. PK offers to chauffeur him to the Southwick gig (PK also posses Steve The Fish’s ticket.) Rob sadly never got back in touch though!
The TUTS mingled and chatted and took loads of photos. Klaus got into a heated debate with the tattooed girl on top, who had been slagging off Klaus’s superb website. The way she was talking. She hadn’t been on it for at least three years – what a silly girl on top she was.
To be continued…..