Generation X at the Marquee, London, April 1977
This is the band that gets my vote as the most likely to succeed on the commercial merry-go-round. They are distant cousins of the Pistols and the Clash, and present the acceptable face of New Wave to a potentially huge audience.
Their songs are centred around catchphrase philosophy, the titles revealing it all; ‘Your Generation’, ‘New Orders’ and ‘London Life’, three of their best songs. The meaning of their music is important, and expresses a real desire for change. The settings for these messages vary from the hard biting rant of Bob Andrews power guitar to chorus lines that lead the audience into pop nirvana.
There was Billy Idol singing through the curl in his lips about how change might take a bit of violence really ain’t their stance, and all the while he’s acting like he’s trying to kick away and claw his way out of an invisible box weighing him down. His mobile face sets off his anger into a series of histrionic gestures that transform protest into theatre.
lack of conviction
I mean just how serious are these boys at heart? I’m never that totally sure, and at the Marquee they were suffering from obvious fatigue and their lack of energy tended to look at times like lack of conviction.
Tony James was relatively subdued compared to his normal dervish windmill bass playing displays that usually set the stage alight with action.
John Towe looked like the flu he’d caught in Paris was affecting his ability to hammer the drums effectively, and even Bob Andrews wasn’t able to carry the load.
The song that caused excitement and sent the crowd leaping was the song that attempts to lay to rest some of the mythology of the sixties. ‘Ready, Steady, Go’
They should face up to the contradictions between their strongest song as their first single. It’s a winner. If they did then ‘Ready, Steady, Go!’
Record Mirror, 09/04/77