Even aging punk rockers are entitled to the occasional burst of nostalgia over the good old days, and in the spring of 2007, TV Smith, former leader of the Adverts, offered a handful of fans at London's 100 Club a look back at his salad days by tearing through the songs from the Adverts' classic debut Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts with the help of his Spanish backing band, the Bored Teenagers. While the Adverts never enjoyed the same degree of media attention as such first-generation U.K. punks as the Sex Pistols, the Damned, the Clash, or the Buzzcocks, time has been more than kind to Crossing the Red Sea; Smith's songs blended the youthful piss and vinegar of the best early punk with an uncommon degree of intelligence and a willingness to explore what might happen when punk went dry as a fad and would be subsumed by the mainstream of rock music, something few of his peers dared to ponder. Smith's songs still communicate nearly 30 years on, but if anything, the Bored Teenagers sound even less subtle than the Adverts, at least on this evening in 2007. Smith can still rant powerfully, and his musicians bash through the songs as if they're afraid they'll be thought of as museum pieces. They didn't need to fret -- this music still sounds raw and vital, and "One Chord Wonders," "Bombsite Boy," and "The Great British Mistake" are as relevant today as when they were recorded in 1978, while the five-song encore closes with a new tune, "Good Times Are Back," that shows Smith hasn't lost his touch. This live disc is no substitute for the Adverts' 1978 Crossing the Red Sea (which is still awaiting a proper United States release, truly a scandalous state of affairs), but Smith and his partners leave no doubt that this album matters as much as ever, and the raw fury of these performances give this disc a genuine reason to be. ~~ Mark Deming
trACks:- One Chord Wonders - Bored Teenagers - New Church - On The Road - Newboys - Bombsite Boy - No Time to Be 21 - Safety In Numbers - Drowning Men - On Wheels - Great British Mistake - New Day Dawning - We Who Wait - Garry Gilmore Eyes - The Adverts - Good Times Are Back.