1978, Music

Crossing the red Sea With the Adverts (1978)

I think the thing that so many people find really appealing about this band is that they manage to combine punk attitude with a pretty strong sense of melody, a sense of melody lacking in other punk bands of the sort of second wave of British punk bands, who got record deals in 1977 but put out records in 1978 (such as London, who sound practically like a hardcore band in comparison to the Adverts).

But when listening to this I cannot shake my sense of deja vu; I may not have heard these elements combined exactly like this – the Adverts are perhaps a little closer to New Wave than most of their contemporaries and predecessors – but they sure don’t sound startlingly original like the punk bands signed in 1976 did.

I’m trying to think of what to compare them to and my mind keeps coming up with the idea of a version of The Jam much more indebted to Big Star than The Who and The Kinks, but that doesn’t sound quite right to me. Anyway, X-Ray Spex have a saxophone. The early post punk bands had all sorts of things (funk, krautrock, etc) that differentiated them from the first punk bands. These guys don’t have that thing, that distinguishing factor.

So I’m left thinking these guys write pretty decent songs but they don’t really move the music forward in any way that I can detect. They’re definitely better at writing songs than a lot of the punk bands that popped up in the wake of the Pistols, though.


  1. “One Chord Wonders”
  2. “Bored Teenagers”
  3. “New Church”
  4. “On the Roof”
  5. “Newboys”
  6. “Bombsite Boy”
  7. “No Time to Be 21”
  8. “Safety in Numbers”
  9. “Drowning Men”
  10. “On Wheels”
  11. “Great British Mistake”
  • T. V. Smith – vocals
  • Gaye Advert – bass guitar, vocals
  • Howard Pickup – guitar, vocals
  • Laurie Driver – drums

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