Spizz first formed as Spizzoil in 1978, a punk-rock skiffle duo out of the West Midlands, originally comprised of Spizz himself (Kenneth Spiers on the driver’s license) and Pete Petrol (Palmolive from the Slits briefly joined them on drums). The two of them caught a break when they were asked to open for Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1978. That got Rough Trade’s attention and they released two singles under the Spizzoil name in 1978, “6000 Crazy” and “Cold City”. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Spizz was making a run at a Guinness Book of World Records title for number of band names in the shortest period. (The record was denied as “too specialized” according to the Spizz website. Perhaps they should have tried eating pickled eggs or something.) But in any case, the band’s name changed regularly, about once a year, throughout the band’s prime and even beyond it. 1979 brought us the revamped full band Spizzenergi. Building on a bass riff that would not seem out of place on a Giorgio Moroder record (because that’s where it came from in the first place), the riff frog-marches up and down the octaves while Spizz rails against the Armed Forces. “Soldier Soldier” can’t hide its unspoilt affection for the surface passions of pop, right down to the contentious subject title. Fate may well have handed Spizz a hit with his next single, but before you go, you should discover the B’side of the Roxy cover “Virginia Plain”.
“Where’s Captain Kirk?” follows its predecessor’s pattern of a furiously compulsive bass line rhythm, pushing Spizz’s rushed, uncrushed voice to the fore with the pace breaking down intermittently for splashes of keyboard. The overall effect isn’t as strong as “Soldier Soldier” but the Captain Kirk identity problem is as charming as it is still topical following the issues of Mental Health Awareness in our communities today. Both “Soldier Soldier” and “Where's Captain Kirk?” received critical acclaim; “Soldier Soldier” was named Single Of The Week by the NME and not to be outdone “Where's Captain Kirk?” was named Single Of The Week by the Melody Maker. “Soldier Soldier” was championed at the time by such artists as Paul Weller and the late Frank Zappa who included it on a one-off BBC radio special, while “Where's Captain Kirk?” has been recorded by a number of other artists. The influence of Spizzenergi is still being felt nearly forty years on. John Peel called “Where's Captain Kirk?”' the best Star Trek song ever on his BBC1 programme on the music of Star Trek. The new wave of 90s guitar groups, such as Space, Oasis, Pulp and Green Day have all acknowledged the influence of the band.
Both singles ripped from original slightly crackly 7” singles to MP3 @ 320kbps
Spizzenergi; Soldier Soldier 7”
A. Soldier Soldier
B. Virginia Plain
Spizzenergi; Where’s Captain Kirk? 7”
A. Where’s Captain Kirk?