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2023/4 Albums Thing 318 - TV Smith’s Explorers “The Last Words Of The Great Explorer”

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In 1991 I did a couple of tours with a band called Cheap And Nasty. They were the post Hanoi Rocks band formed by Nasty Suicide. The 2nd guitarist was Timo Kaltio a former Hanoi Rocks roadie, the bass player was Alvin Gibbs formerly of The Users/UK Subs/Iggy Pop’s band and the live keyboard player was a fella I vaguely recognised but couldn’t place, name of Mel Wesson. We were sound-checking one day and Mel started to play a piano piece I recognised instantly and suddenly I realised who he was. I cheekily stepped up to an open microphone and began to sing along

Travel round the world, Cover every inch, It just cannot be done

You meet a lot of girls who don’t mean anything, So only look for one…

Those being the opening lines from “The Last Words Of The Great Explorer” by TV Smith’s Explorers and Mel Wesson was the keyboard player in that band. To say he was surprised that I knew it was something of an understatement. 

The Explorers were the band formed by TV Smith after the breakup of The Adverts, who we have already ascertained I was/am a massive fan of, The Adverts and TV Smith. The first thing we heard from him after The Adverts was a single at the end of 1980 “Tomahawk Cruise”. It’s not on this album but I still think it’s one of the greatest (post) Punk singles ever released which is why I’m leaving a link here so those of you that don’t know it can bathe in all its glory https://youtu.be/apkdsVw6e3k?si=1ZWfL1Nr-FDh1RcF.

This album followed shortly afterwards in 1981 and I’m pretty sure I bought my copy, complete with bonus 7” single, from the record department at WH Smith in Solihull ! It is notable really only for TV Smith’s lyrical input, the album itself is nothing exceptional (and when I say that I in no way mean that it’s bad). The stand out track is the title song and three other tracks were lifted as singles, “The Perfect Life”, “The Servant” and “Have Fun”, none of which bothered the charts or the radio airwaves unduly. 

TV Smith is one of our great treasures, a troubador travelling the length and breadth of Europe playing tiny gigs to appreciative audiences who fits more enthusiasm and fire into a single show than some I could name have mustered in an entire career, he’s a genuine Punk Rock legend and deserves your time and attention.

The Last Words Of The Great Explorer - https://youtu.be/bWZsBggWM4s?si=QJokDcUXptdtrHz4

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