Alternative TV – Viva La Rock N’ Roll

• “Viva La Rock N’ Roll” set to a picture of the band. Thanks to nirb8.

9.1 “Classic Post-Punk from England”

From their album “The Image Has Cracked” (Deptford Fun City Records DLP-01) released in 1978.

My album review:

4 live tracks (recorded at the 100 Club in London on 7 February 1978) and 5 in the studio make up the strange but compelling debut from ATV, the band famously co-founded by the non-musical Sniffin’ Glue fanzine editor, Mark Perry. By the time of this debut LP, co-founder Alex Fergusson was out of the band. Perry forged ahead regardless, clear in his messy vision. The ten-minute live opener is a strange one. Over a laid-back repetitive bass and drum rhythm, audience members are invited up on to the soap-box / stage to impart words of wisdom over the mic, but it generally descends into a non-cohesive rabble, with squabbling amongst the throng. A disgruntled Mark Perry takes over the mic to vent his frustration with them: “I love you people but I hate you when you act like idiots, coz that’s when they GRIND YOU DOWN” I’m not sure we needed ten minutes to get that message out, but it’s kind-of interesting as a fly-on-the-wall sort-of-way, a warts n all taste of the “scene”. Much better is the big statement of intent single “Action Time Vision” which is, shock-horror, a well-produced highly polished slice of Pop Punk. Better again is the Frank Zappa cover “Why Don’t You Do Me Right” which swings like Iggy Pop’s “Passenger”. Live tracks very rarely go down well with me on record, but “Still-Life” manages to overcome my prejudiced ways, with a wonderfully abrasive-groove which would be all the rage in ’79 for Adam & The Ants and Joy Division. Amazingly, a boogie-woogie piano is the next thing to be heard, albeit dissipating quickly to reveal the Punkish majesty of “Viva La Rock N’ Roll” which offers a big-up to New York’s New Wave whilst lamenting Jim Morrison’s demise in Paris. By the end of this captivating homage, the piano has reverted back a couple of centuries to classical roots. Expect the unexpected. Talking of which, “Nasty Little Lonely” serves as a great reminder of how well Black Sabbath used to sound, with their sludgy, riff-heavy ways. There’s more to Punk than the Cretin Hop is the moral of this story. Got to hand it to Mnsr. Perry, from DIY fanzine editor to DIY music-maker, he had some balls. Bloody good job Perry.

You can read more of my favoured album reviews from ’78 here.


One thought on “Alternative TV – Viva La Rock N’ Roll

  1. Przypomina mi to mojego kumpla który w wieku 22 lat jak wyjechał to też się zachwycił, że nagle stać go
    na jakieś stare auto, PS4kę itp, bo tutaj nie stać było go
    na nic (absolutny brak wykształcenia i konkretnych umiejętności).


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