Energise! SPIZZENERGI in Brighton. Gig report.


Spizz Energi - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Spizz Energi – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

SPIZZENERGI – HEALTHY JUNKIES  – VOODOO RADIO live!  Prince Albert, Brighton 10 April 2022.

Mega Star Trek fan SPIZZENERGI beamed in with his band together with huge guests Healthy Junkies and Voodoo Radio. Words and lots of Pics!

We were in for a treat three fabulous display on show tonight. The Albert had filled up from the moment the doors were finally opened. There had been some mix up about start up times etc. The bands pulled together, displaying a wonderful true team spirit to work it all through. Sets were trimmed and timings adjusted.

Spizz and the band

SPIZZENERGI - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

SPIZZENERGI – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Spizzenergi formed in the late 1970s, an English punk/new wave band led by vocalist / guitarist Spizz.  The band underwent many changes and a name change nearly every year. You may recall previous incarnations such as Athletico Spizz 80, Spizzoil and The Spizzles and more! Come on Guinness Book Of Records give him that record entry!

They are notable as the first band to top the then newly created UK Indie Chart early in 1980 with their single “Where’s Captain Kirk?” More than two decades after its release, it was included in Mojo magazine’s list of the best punk rock singles of all time. A well deserved entry!

SPIZZENERGI - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

SPIZZENERGI – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Spizzenergi performed numerous shows across the UK and Europe. 2015 also saw headline shows in London, Munich and Augsburg, as well as five UK cities with Theatre of Hate and back-to-back gigs in Edinburgh and Glasgow with The Rezillos. I think I was at a good few of those, and during that time I was fortunate to become friends with the starship Spizz crew. And that is something very special to me, we have had some great times. Spizz has released many singles but “Where’s Captain Kirk?” always seems to be the crowd pleaser!

Spizz was joined by Luca Comencini (guitar), Ben Lawson (bass), Phil Ross (guitar), a new addition recently joined, a warm welcome to Alan Galaxy (drums). Great to see Alan Galaxy at the back, last seen playing with Department S. Phil, looking wonderful as ever, a cross over between the Joker, Alice Cooper and The Crow. Luca back with his trusty SG and Ben with his battle scared bass.

SPIZZENERGI - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

SPIZZENERGI – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Before seeing Spizz live for the first time a few years ago now and probably in a Galaxy far far away, I’d only ever heard the classic single Wheres Captain Kirk before, and so back then I didn’t really know what to expect. Now after a fair few Spizz gigs across the UK I knew what was coming tonight. But as always the set is always different and Spizz is very spontaneous to react with his audience. I took a friend who had never seen Spizz and the guys before. Spizz came on to the stage at The Prince Albert glowing like a Dilithium Crystal, and looking the sci-fi business covered in LED lights. He really looked the part tonight!

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They really are a tight unit and deliver a top notch live performance.  What I love about these guys is that, led by Spizz, they draw you in and before you know it you are taking part in a Spizz show. I never tire of these guys, and I have seen them a few times and would go and see them again in a heartbeat! They are all delightful musicians to mix with, share a beer with and swap a story or two.

SPIZZENERGI: The Set

The blistering opening guitar chords, drums and bass for 6000 Crazy opened up the set. Spizz took to the stage, looking resplendent in his stage gear! What a start! The band tore through an initial run, non-stop, of four songs, 6000 Crazy, a favourite of mine City Of Eyes, European Heroes and Mega City 3. Spizz set off two of his confetti canons during the set and I was half expecting one of his red smoke fireworks to be set off!

SPIZZENERGI - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

SPIZZENERGI – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

In 1978 opening for Siouxsie and the Banshees resulted in a John Peel session which itself led to an offer from Rough Trade to record an EP, 6000 Crazy. The record topped the UK indie charts. Always a thrill to hear Spizz do that track live. Great to hear the last Spizz release Valentine live. A Bowie cover, Bolan and Bowie’s long-time collaborator Tony Visconti  mixed it. Beautiful song and a really warm and spot on delivery.

SPIZZENERGI - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

SPIZZENERGI – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

European Hero, one of my favourite tracks was in the set! Also Red and Black and the top track Soldier Soldier. Soldier, Soldier was named Single of the Week in the NME back in the day. As Spizz and the band launched into Virginia Plain, with the enjoyable audience sing-a-long section included. I turned to see my friend singing along and bopping along on the spot. Yep, a new fan!

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At one point Spizz unfurled the American flag, co-joined with the Russian Flag from his pants, pulling it through his light up Spizz utility belt. Ross, Luca and Ben powered it up as Alan laid down some serious drumming patterns. Luca and Phil booting it up supplying the full Spizz guitar sound for Soldier Soldier. He unfurled the flags looking like a butterfly opening its wings for the first time.  Spizz proceeded to drape the flags over his shoulders.  He then proceeded to bite them and throw them on the stage floor and then stamped on them. Spizz was making a point, the crowd understood but still loved the theatrics.

Having a look at the set list Ben placed his foot over it, and I could not see what was next. He had a huge smile on his face and was laughing. As he removed his foot allowing me to see it, his mic stand dropped, ahhh the joy of payback! We were asked to choose a Spizz cover – I fought The Law (Clash) and Kraftworks track – The Model – not sure who actually chose it, but The Model was picked and delivered and went down really well.

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Spizz always pull in his audience, even those at the back of the venue and the folk at the bar joined in to enjoy the experience! Song after song delivered at a breakneck speed! Clocks Are Big leads into the class of Where’s Captain Kirk. A huge cheer ended that song. A real crowd pleaser. A few songs were dropped due to time issues, and sadly Denmark Street was dropped. I was so looking forward to hearing that live. It’s a classic tune full of meaning and heartfelt observations.

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A great night, and my one wish is that it is not so long until we meet up again. Again I missed out on catching one of the lights hurled into the crowd by Spizz! Maybe next time! Thank you to SpizzEnergi. Rock and Roll needs you guys and what you do.

SPIZZENERGI - photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

SPIZZENERGI – photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Spizz’s Mega Merchandise Stall
A great selection of sized T’s, CD’s, Vinyl, badges and stickers on sale. The desk was manned by Spizz and members of the band. They were happy to sign stuff. Good prices and always quality items.

Beam into the latest from Spizz:

Spizz Energi on facebook
Spizz Energi website

Main Support for the  night were the fabulous…

Healthy Junkies:

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Parisian Lead singer Nina Courson met British guitarist Phil Honey-Jones in 2009, both of them were in separate bands at the time. It wasn’t long before ideas were bouncing around and they began to write songs together, the shared influences of the likes of Iggy Pop, Nirvana, Blondie, Killing Joke, Sonic Youth, Bauhaus and Bowie playing a big part in the direction of the music. Inspiration has come from far and wide and lyrically the Healthy Junkies are still way ahead.

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The punk “spirit” was kicking it live at the Spizz Energi gig at The Prince Albert in Brighton. First off the bat was Voodoo Radio, next it was the turn of Healthy Junkies! I have been a fan since seeing these guys at The Green Door Store a few years ago. Healthy Junkies did not gently ease us into their set, they launched into a full scale audio rocking assault. Just what we needed. They put a capital P in Punk, and launched into a full on raging set.

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The line up had been shuffled up a bit and tonight we had Nina Courson delivering vocals, Phil Honey-Jones buzzing his guitar, Oleg Liubchivschi bass guitar hammering and Tony Alda at the back kicking the drums. The sound was incredible and it had a real punk and rock mix to it.

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

They smashed through each song on the set list with incrementing levels of ferocity, and regulars of The Albert were delighted to see the usual red static lighting explode with a strobe effect. They do have the lighting there, just a shame it isn’t used to its full potential.

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Nina, not sure how she does it, Nina manages to twist her body into almost outlandish contortions and postures as she powers out those slick sticky vocals along to the bands pumping tunes. Hypnotic at times and all the while Phil is laying down some serious guitar work. These guys just get better and better.

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

The Songs: This Is Not A Suicide – Runaway Devil – I Don’t Give A Damn – No Control – The Sound Of My Guitar – Juliette’s Call – Johnny Demented – Some Kind Of Girl – Theft

The Healthy Junkies are one of the leaders on the live circuit. Just stunning music and delivery. Tonight I really enjoyed their set. I loved the set opener Suicide and everything in between. Nina collapsing on the floor as Phil kicked his guitar into overdrive. Hell – this was fast, loud and damn hot!  These guys can write a great song and deliver it live. This short set left us definitely wanting more as the guys hit it up with a Nancy Sinatra cover, These Boots Are Made For Walking. Superb stuff!

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They are, if you like it loud, fast and punky, an absolute delight to see live. The Healthy Junkies are very much alive and kicking!

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Healthy Junkies: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Grab some time with The Healthy Junkies on the WWW here. They also have a lively FaceBook page here.

VOODOO RADIO

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Ok, new band for me and a new sound. I love doing what I do and stumbling across artists that are as exciting to watch as it is to listen to them. I seriously loved Voodoo Radio.

These two, Paige and Tony from chatting with them and listening to their set are indeed very much aware that this genre of rock/punky/pop music can still be fun. Its how it should be and these guys deliver on that. Damn after what we have all been through with lockdowns etc we need outfits like this more than ever.

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

I have seen a few two person bands on the circuits, I enjoyed seeing an outfit called the Snakerattlers, however, Voodoo Radio raise the bar.

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

You might think these two are maybe some kind of “novelty”. Let me assure you they are not, these guys are totally serious and give us a set of top rocking tunes but keep an air of fun and mischief mixed it. They put it all together and pull it of in style. I had been given a heads up on these guys from Tony, Sounds Of The Suburbs record store in London after he had them play an in-store session.

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

This band have put together some adrenaline pumping quality tunes. A strong set and performance from both have cemented them into my list of “must see” bands. How much further can they take this? I think the sky is the limit for Voodoo Radio. They hooked me from the get go!

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

They have released their debut mini album Pop Pills. The release, on yellow vinyl, is made up of eight slices of delight. Its Pop, Its Rock, its powerful and fun. I am awaiting delivery of a signed copy! Can’t wait! The band? Well only two members. It is very much a father/daughter line up. They come from Cumbria. Tony is really a rather cool talented guitar player, oh yes. And then we have Paige on both super vocals and drum kit.

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Paige’s friendly casual banter and warm personality brought us all closer and seemed to ease the crowd seemingly making the gig more intimate. Mid point Paige held aloft a copy of their first vinyl release. Obviously rhse guys are proud of it and I cant wait to hear it.

Opening up with Eat Your Words – this hit us hard, we were not expecting such an opening salvo. Super hooked up guitar riffs and a powerful beat. They had every person in the room fixed to the spot like rabbits in headlights! Up next was Pretty Boy.

The Songs: Eat Your Words – Pretty Boy – Basic Bitch – Slag Bank – 1 From 2 – Dog – She’s So Toxic – Love Drug – Space Girl – Turn Out The Light

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Tony putting in some almost Quo/ACDC power riffs. Pretty Boy, well this really is a filthy little number and then Paige drops in the vocals, reminding me of Cherie Curry or early Joan Jett class and attitude. Want to know what a Slag Bank is? Go see Voodoo Radio and Paige will tell you all about it!

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

Voodoo Radio: Photo by Ian Bourn for Scene Sussex

All I can say is ……. Wow!

Voodoo Radio are on Facebook – go on! Give them a like!

Voodoo Radio are drumming it out on the WWW. The site seems to be under maintenance just now, but keep trying!

And Finally…

Thanks to all the guys from Spizzenergi, The Healthy Junkies and a pleasure to meet Voodoo Radio. Thanks and love to all. I really appreciate your time and catch ups.

Words and photos by Ian Bourn

 

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