When I did my Long Ryders review, I mentioned Television being somehow lumped in with the Ramones and Talking Heads under the ‘punk’ banner in the 70s. Strangely enough at the Hope Festival one of our friends said ‘Television? Weren’t they a New York punk band?’ when I said we had tickets. Maybe he had read the sleeve notes for ‘The Blow Up’ where Tom Verlaine was seemingly ‘a man who spent three solid years creating and playing the New York punk scene’. For the life of me, I can’t see it. Anyway…
For some reason, the date didn’t appear on Tom Verlaine/Television’s web-site, so I was a bit nervous in case the event was poorly attended. No worries, it was pretty full. I suspect the vast majority had a copy of ‘Marquee Moon’, the debut LP masterpiece.
9.20 kick-off, and straight into a track from the afore-mentioned LP. In fact, just about all of the record was aired, with only one track not played. I won’t spoil things by telling you which! Second up was the excellent ‘1880 or so’ from their ‘reunion’ ‘Television’ record.
They fell into a very spaghetti Western mode at about half-time, Her Ladyship thought it was great. A couple of encores, and the gig finished with another offering from ‘Marquee Moon’. So what of their 2nd LP ‘Adventure’, which could never equal its predecessor (King Crimson found a similar problem)? In fact, one of my favourites is ‘Glory’ from ‘Adventure’. Well, if anyone’s only Television record is ‘Adventure’ they might just be in for a somewhat barren evening. Say no more.
The sound was very good, and Jimmy on guitar played as if he had been there all his life. Even in their heyday, they never played sets that were very long, so something had to be rested. But they were great, and I can now cross them off my bucket list. So come on, the New Riders of the Purple Sage, get on a plane! And not just to London!
Sorry, no photos. Her ladyship tried with her phone, they were no good. Try to get a listen to the ‘ Live at the Waldorf 29.6.78’ recording. It’s a belter! I think Fred Smith’s best friend must have been on the mixing desk, the bass is great.