TOM ROBINSON BAND
2-4-6-8 Motorway (EMI)
It's fairly obvious from this that Tom Robinson really likes The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and The Clash. The lead guitarist plays Keefchords, the organist does a nice line in Koopercops and the song is a rowdy little stamper about the joys of late-night crosscountry driving with - naturally - the radio on. It's got a radio chorus, a nice tune and you best believe you can dance to it, so if the ramifications of Tom's - uh - image and exotic lifestyle don't scare off the electronic media then I think EMI have finally got themselves a New Wave (ish) hit single. The only complaint I'd make is that the strumming is a tetch on the arthritic side - and when it comes to drumming, if it's stiff it ain't worth a...
(N.M.E 15 October 1977)
'Oh Bondage Up Yours'
(Virgin VS 189).
The saxophone is a dead giveaway on this, of course. Who else can it be but X-Ray Spex with a classic little toon that brought tears of nostalgia for the early days of the Roxy Club to my eyes. Delivered with the subtlety and tact of a lawnmower at a flower arranging exhibition, this plea for freedom from male dominance, I think, is remarkable more for its musical immediacy than its lyrical content. But I don't care, I love it. "Some people say little girls should be seen and not heard" says Poly Styrene in a baby-doll voice at the start of the record.
X-Ray Spex should be seen and heard.
(Sounds October 15th 1977)