“Soldier Soldier” (RM reviewed tbe B-side instead!)

SPIZZENERGI – “Soldier Soldier” / “Virginia Plain” (Rough Trade RTSO 3) September 1979

Spizzenergi “Virginia Plain” – Infinitely more pleasurable that the not-enough maligned, Spizz live but really what is the point? It’ll sell 250 (and Spizz will promptly write me a nasty letter saying it has sold a 1,000 already)

For those who were watching television when ’76 happened. (Record Mirror)

Rough Trade press release:

Spizz started off solo at a Barbarella’s Punk Festival on 29th August 1977. He improvised material on a borrowed guitar, prompting a local fanzine to hail the arrival of an “ultra-minimilist star”.

October 1977 saw several appearances by Spizz and Pete Petrol at London’s Vortex Club, billed as “Spizz 77” the duo played short and spontaneous one-off improvisations, old Bowie numbers, and an audience participation number called “I’ve Been Switched Off”.

By 1978 the name Spizz Oil was coined, inspired by the extensive coverage of North Sea Oil in the media. The duo played a series of odd gigs culminating at the Roundhouse in July, when they played with Siouxsie & the Banshees.

The consequences of this gig were an invitation to do a session for the John Peel show, and a spot on the Siouxsie & the Banshees tour that autumn.

That October, Rough Trade released Spizzoil’s first single, “6,000 Crazy”, which appeared in alternative charts and still continues to be a popular number.

In February of 1979 a follow-up single “Cold City” was released.

Spizzoil split in December 1978, as Spizz felt that the duo had achieved all that they had set out to do. Spizz met three ex-members of the wildly unorthodox ‘Ha-Ha Germs’. The new band was then named Spizz Energi, with the line-up now including Mark Coalfield on piano, Jim Solar on bass, and Pete Hyde on guitar, who left during rehearsals to form a new band called The Techniques.

Following a John Peel session in March 1979, and the arrival and departure of three more guitarists, the band accepted a spot on tour being organised by Rough Trade, along with The Raincoats and Kleenex.

Pete Petrol returned for this tour, and subsequently played with the band when they went into the studio soon after the end of the tour to record their current single “Soldier Soldier” / “Virginia Plain”

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