One of Britain’s punk pioneers will be playing the resort next month when the Rebellion Punk Festival returns to Blackpool.
The Adverts defined punk’s early sound with their singles, No Time to Be 21, Bored Teenagers and the brutal Gary Gilmore’s Eyes, a song based on the wishes of Gilmore, an American murderer, that his eyes be donated to medical science after his execution.
TV Smith was the Adverts’ founder and leader, one of the pioneering bands who played at The Roxy, London’s first live punk venue, made famous by The Clash and the Sex Pistols. During the punk revolution the Adverts toured with Iggy Pop, The Jam and Stiff Records’ stablemates The Damned before splitting in the late 1970s. TV Smith, though, remains a fiercely independent spirit, and last year the 61-year-old played 130 solo shows.
“We were young and just writing what was in our heads, but we are in exactly the same political environment in 2017,” said Smith, who will be delivering The Adverts’ best known hits at this year’s Rebellion.
“The establishment is more sophisticated, but it is still the same. Kids are still dissatisfied with governments aren’t they? It’s funny, I actually feel more like the voice of a generation now, because no one is speaking for the over 50s.
“We still have something to say, but people aren’t talking enough about what’s going on in the world. Look at that nonsense in America. You wouldn’t trust Donald Trump with a children’s piggy bank, would you?”
I feel as up for the fight now as I did when I was 21, and that high octane fuel of live music keeps me going
Immediately after the Adverts split, he formed TV Smith’s Explorers, before re-entering the live arena as a solo artist.
“I feel as up for the fight now as I did when I was 21, and that high octane fuel of live music keeps me going,” he said.
This year’s Rebellion sees The Skids, 999, Menace and Anti-Pasti among the hundreds of acts playing at Britain’s biggest punk gathering, but Smith dismisses the notion that punk has become a nostalgia trip.
“Many young people come to my shows and say that today’s mainstream music does not offer them anything. Young people are curious, not just about what happened 40 years ago with punk, but about wanting a better life and music can still bring that into focus.”
• Rebellion runs from August 3-6 at the Winter Gardens. 02476 601678.