The Adverts - Crossing The Red Sea With The Adverts - Review
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critics' view

I keep reading stories about how these misfits couldn’t play to save themselves – a tale backed-up by themselves on their self-deprecating debut 45 “One Chord Wonders” – but all the evidence from their John Leckie-produced debut album suggests they must have been extremely quick learners, with no little talent. At the time of release in February ’78 the London-based quartet were: T.V. Smith (21, vocals); Gaye Advert (21, bass guitar, vocals); Howard Pickup (guitar, vocals) and Laurie Driver (drums). They were characterized by Tim Smith, the literate and energetic frontman, and Gaye Advert, his striking bass-playing girlfriend with big panda eyes. They had really made a good name for themselves by now, with 2 well-received Peel sessions and a few decent 45s, including the Top 20 hit, “Gary Gilmore’s Eyes”. Three of those ’77 sides – “One Chord Wonders”, “Bored Teenagers” and “Safety In Numbers” – make it onto the debut LP, along with their latest Top 40 hit, “No Time To Be 21”. All of these give the set a solid base to work from but, if truth be told, there is no filler; there’s plenty more where that lot came from, most notably with “On The Roof”, “On Wheels” and “Great British Mistake”. This is smart Punk for tasteful music fans.

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