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  • Born: England
  • Years Active: 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s


Biography All Music Guide

All Music Guide:

Mercurial punk survivor Spizz made his debut at the Birmingham, England, club Barbarella's during an all-day music festival held August 27, 1977, performing an improvised set on a borrowed guitar; returning two months later with drummer Pete Petrol, he now billed the act as Spizz 77, the first of numerous name changes to follow in the years to come. Rechristened Spizz Oil, the duo earned its first significant notice in 1978 opening for Siouxsie and the Banshees, resulting in a John Peel session which itself led to an offer from Rough Trade to record an EP, 6000 Crazy. The record topped the U.K. indie charts, as did its follow-up, Cold City 4; however, Spizz and Petrol parted ways soon after, and with new bassist Jim Solar and keyboardist Mark Coalfield, Spizzenergi were launched in early 1979. Petrol then returned on guitar for the group's stint on the Rough Trade tour; after "Soldier, Soldier" was named Single of the Week in the NME, the follow-up, "Where's Captain Kirk?," earned the same honor in Melody Maker, topping the U.K. indie charts for eight consecutive weeks in 1980.

After the next single, "No Room"/"Spock's Missing," notched advance orders totaling over 50,000 copies, the group -- now touting itself as Athletico Spizz '80 -- signed to A&M and released its much-anticipated full-length debut, Do a Runner. Despite endless lineup shuffles, a brief tour of the U.S. followed before the band returned home to record its second album, Spikey Dream Flowers, credited to the Spizzles; however, the emergence of the new romantic movement had altered the prevailing musical climate so severely that the record not only flopped, but after just two more singles, A&M cut the group loose altogether. As Spizzenergi: 2, they returned to Rough Trade for a pair of singles, "Mega City: 3" and "Jungle Fever," but despite the return of Pete Petrol the outlook continued to dim, and by 1983 Spizz had largely receded from the music scene to focus on painting, resurfacing only for a lone solo show billed as Spizzorwell. A year later, however, he organized a large-scale stage production dubbed The Last Future Show, featuring a six-piece female backing group.

By 1985, the show had evolved into a cult-favorite nightclub attraction, although no record deals were yet forthcoming. A year later, Spizz signed on with members of the band Friends of Gavin, touring under the name Spizzsexual; splitting with the group in 1987, he recorded a new rendition of "Where's Captain Kirk?" and toured Germany, followed by a new single, "Love Me Like a Rocket." Spizzvision emerged in 1989, while in 1990 Spizz and Pete Petrol reunited yet again, this time pursuing a techno-influenced direction under the revived Spizz Oil banner. When Petrol relocated to New Zealand, Spizz again returned to the Spizzenergi moniker, although a 1994 cover of John Lennon's "Merry Xmas (War Is Over)" appeared credited to Spizzmas. The original Spizzenergi lineup reunited in 1996 to appear at Blackpool's Holidays in the Sun punk festival, while 1997 saw Spizz and onetime bandmates Jim Solar and Dave Scott enter the studio with producer Martyn Ware to record as Spizzenergi 2000. Spizz and company continued to perform under the Spizzenergi moniker in the 2000s, including a support slot for the New York Dolls at a May 2009 show at London’s 100 Club.

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