Various Artists - 'Avon Calling 2' (Bristol Archive Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Dom Daley   
Saturday, 17 July 2010 05:00

avoncallingDing fucking Dong! Avon Calling! Those of us of a certain age will remember that annoying advert from way back when and as I pressed play that phrase kept going off in my head.


As compilations go, this set of lost songs tends to blend from one band to another and sounds like it hasn't aged well; sounds like Jilted John had a heavy influence on the good people of the West Country in the late 70's as well as The Stranglers' brand of pub punk rock. Whilst London will always be remembered for the Pistols, Clash and Damned who exploded onto a vacuous music scene in '76 what followed was, I guess, inevitable as every city across the UK then went on to ape their new heroes. What also became inevitable was that many of the bands were instantly forgettable and only a handful managed to hop a ride on the back of '76 with any lasting results, but that's not to say there weren't any hidden gems left behind because there was......but sadly none are on this release.
Now Bristol is a funny place for many reasons, one being it's a pretty big city with a decent live music scene and I've enjoyed many top nights there watching some mega bands. But for a city of its size it has never really delivered on the music front with only a few bands of any note hailing from the place, which is strange compared to places like Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle, Leeds or the South Wales Valleys even.

The names firmly put this bunch of bands in that timeframe of the late 70's; Social Security, Joe Public, The Phones and Private Dicks (who happen to have turned in the best two tracks on here in the shape of 'You Got It' and 'Want Some Fun'). Some sound like Joy Divison when they began but sadly there are no real belters on offer to my ears.

So this might be a release that will interest the population of the West Country but outside of that family it's all a bit second rate and not something that will have much appeal. Maybe a lot of these bands and songs should have been left back in time, way before computers and digital downloads or even compact discs, then people would have looked back fondly and got a buzz from finding that box in the attic marked 7" singles and come across one of these bands. Now I'm off to Clifton to bury this in a time capsule under the bridge for future generations to find and listen. They do say music goes in cycles and maybe this collection of adjit post punk-pop rock will have its day and some kid will really dig these sounds.