"ANOTHER music in a different kitchen, 'the badges say: quite right, it's something else. The evening builds from the flat, drab monotones of The Subway Sect to the sparkling crescendo of The Buzzcocks at a new creative peak. Subway Sect are colourless, humourless, relentless. Pounding monotony for its own sake, each song a plodding excursion into mediocrity. A fair reflection of the world, maybe, and probably intended as such: it frightens some people, fascinates some. It bores me.
Penetration are faster, more accessible with a hard edge to their sound. Straight punk, but with some enthusiasm and aptitude. Pauline sings leaning out into the audience, then snaps back and skips back and forth across the stage, eyes blank. They get an encore.
The first time I've seen Siouxsie And The Banshees and I realise quickly the similarity, possibly coincidental, between Pauline's and Siouxsie's stage manoeuvres. The music is cold again, the mood is cold, a section of the audience bounce frantically to the harsh soundtrack. The words are mostly inaudible, The songs seem directionless, disjointed. The music is too close to repetitive hard rock for me to enjoy. Siouxsie, Subway Sect and other bands in that particular kitchen tend too often to create rather than illustrate tedium. Their message may be valid, the questions they pose may be important, but they seem to have no answers.
The Buzzcocks now play a set which for variety, courage, intelligence and unaffected musical polish leaves any other group about two years behind. More significantly, on this evening, their songs, while acknowledging the problems, questions and realities of 1977 waste-land, are an affirmation of hope. Like The Clash, The Buzzcocks are a positive force. "Boredom," "Breakdown," "Time's Up" and "What Do I Get" are classic songs of '77. They capture frustration, anxiety and apathy but with their energy and exuberance seek to lift the audience rather than just let them wallow. Pete Shelley is as perfect as always, communicating with a huge crowd, producing quite unique vocal and guitar stylings. The musical polish of The Buzzcocks lies not in indulgent showmanship but in the way they use their simple proficiency. On an opening instrumental, on the more adventurous epics, "Sixteen," "Pulsebeat," and "Fiction Romance," Shelley and drummer John Maher shine. Steve Diggle is beginning to share guitar and vocal work more equally with Shelley. He staggers loosely around the left of the stage while the new bassist kicks and twists stage right. They flank the motionless diminutive figure who has put The Buzzcocks on a plane above the new wave mass without compromising the original objectives of the movement. New music for new people.
(Kim Davis New Musical Express December 24th 1977)
The Self Abusers
From Glasgow come veterans of Scotland's underground music scene. Having been together in this shortlived form for six months they've become the latest Chiswick signings. Their debut single is "Saints And Sinners" b/w "Dead Vandals." However the group is frequently split on issues on so much so the two sides have split terminally. One part of the split has Jim Kerr on vocals, Charlie Burchill on guitar, Brian McGee on drums. They'll regroup under the new name "Simple Minds." and become stadium rockers. Whilst the other half of the Abusers is Michael McNeil, Ali Mackenzie, Donald and John Milarky who will put together a new band called the "Cuban Heels." and go off to oblivion. So on the day that Johnny & The Self Abusers should be celebrating their record release, they're breaking up. Maybe they read the review?
Johnny & The Self Abusers - 'Saints & Sinners'
Sadly, Johnny and The Self Abusers live entirely up to their name. The song is a drab parade of New Wave cliches that jerks off aimlessly into the void. While they're keeping their hands to themselves, perhaps they should do the same to their records. - (Bob Edmunds - New Musical Express 1977)
Start a series of sporadic appearances at various city venues in the UK over the next week or. They kick off at Glasgow Apollo tonight.
City Hall, Newcastle
ADAM & THE ANTS
Hammersmith Odeon, London
Chancellor Hall, Chelmsford
BLAST FURNACE & THE HEATWAVES
Rochester Castle, London
Maf Centrum, Maasbree, near Venlo, Holland
Rex Hotel, Newcastle