Spizzenergi Concert review (229 The Venue, London – 19 December 2021)

Finally, 19 months after their last gig, Spizzenergi finally gig again, this time supporting Theatre of Hate.

And to mark this special occasion Spizz (Ken Spiers) finally gets to sing ‘Christmas in Denmark Street’ for the first time ever live on stage!  Plus, we also get to hear their new single a cover of Bowie’s ‘Valentine’s Day’ that captures the spirit of the original but with a new-wave front end. 

The show, starts in style, where it all began way back in 1978 with their first ever single ‘6000 Crazy’.  Spizz hits the stage all in Spizzenergi branded black cloths but lit up like a Christmas tree with his tell-tale glow in the dark scrolling text belt buckle, shoes and multi coloured rings (which are tossed into the crowd after a few numbers).  Obviously beamed down from the starship Enterprise Spizz was akin to a stick of radioactive Day-Glo about to explode (which is probably as well that he didn’t as the covid years have not been very kind to his waistline 😊.. ).

Spizzenergi were down to a 4-piece for this gig: Spizz, Luca, Ben and a new drummer but they sounded damn fine to me, loads of energy and playfulness.   Luca is reminding me more and more of Paul Raymond the late UFO guitarist in both cloths and hair, whilst Ben has a period Marilyn Manson cut with a rock band tattoos and stance.

Setlist (click on links to watch the videos on YouTube)

  1. 6000 Crazy – (SpizzOil EP, 1978)
  2. Shallow End – (Denmark St B-side, 2020)
  3. City of Eyes – (7” Single, 2014)
  4. European Heroes – (Do a Runner, 1980)
  5. Mega City 3* (7” single, 1982)
  6. Valentine’s Day – (Single, 2021 – David Bowie cover)
  7. Here Come the Machines – (7” single, 2017)
  8. Red and Black – (Do a Runner, 1980)
  9. Soldier Soldier – (Spikey Dream Flowers, 1981)
  10. Virginia Plain – (Spizz History, 1982 Roxy Music cover)
  11. Clocks Are Big – (Do a Runner, 1980)
  12. Where’s Captain Kirk? – (7” Single, 1979)
  13. Christmas in Denmark Street – (Single 2020)
  14. I Fought the Law – (The Bobby Fuller Four cover)

*  Released under Spizzenergi2 name

At the front the diehards were dancing away blissfully ignoring and putting two fingers up to the latest Omricon variant.  I sense the crowd was down on numbers given all the government doom and project fear, but those of us who turned up had a mighty good time, Let’s face it Spizzenergi are a fun band to see.  A bit of audience banter for good measure and then stopping ‘Virginia Plane’ in its tracks when we failed as one to shout the title loud enough – we were given 3 attempts to redeem ourselves however 😊.

‘Soldier Soldier’ would have horrified my American friends – Spizz kicking and stamping on the American flag (I think you’d be in jail if you did that in certain parts of the States!!), it is however a powerful chord driven song.  Obviously the crowd go into overdrive the minute they hear those inescapable bass notes that open ‘Where’s Captain Kirk’.  We get a choice for the finale – ‘The Model’ or ‘I Fought the Law’ – alas for me on this occasion the law won!!  All in all a wonderful 45 minute set and for the price of the tickets more than value for money!  If you’ve never seen then I suggest you do, you won’t be disappointed.

Marko – 20 Dec 2021

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