Thee Spivs – Black and White Memories


Black and White Memories is a simple and fun record, one that’s not looking to do anything but enjoy blasting out a tune, often at 100 miles an hour and having a laugh over memories. And if you stick to that premise, it’s an enjoyable listen. It’s ploughing the same furrow (albeit in a much more prosaic level) as Billy Childish – I note both are on the Damaged Goods label. I can think of a couple of other releases in a similar vein, punk with a warm heart (Ray Reagan and the Rayguns, Goldblade), protest / punk music that’s not trying to get on your case too much.

As its title suggests, this record seems to be happy to chronicle past scrapes, sneaking out of windows, moaning about watching TV, being the token thicko in class, moaning about parents and the ever-present threat emanating from “them”  (“Don’t let them tell you” etc)… contrasting young and old…  Nope, you should get out and do something more interesting instead, Geddit?   

And despite the deliberate nods to living or playing on a seventies council estate in somewhere like Dagenham or Accrington which (given some empirical experience here) would make you think that you’d get one long wail of frustration, it’s an eternally childish, upbeat record. Flickin V’s is the LP’s highlight; it’s daft, underpowered and has a tremendous chorus. People Come and People Go and Your Time are also great power pop songs. Even with tracks like What’s The Use, where the “no future” rant is given an airing, the band seems to be happy that there’s “nothing to look forward to”. A summer spent unemployed, kicking a ball about on the school playing fields. It does have a charm to it. It is fun, too.

Simple stuff.