Mercurial punk survivor Spizz made his debut at the Birmingham night spot Barbarella’s during an all-day music festival held Bank Holiday 27 August 1977, performing an improvised set on a borrowed guitar, returning two months later with guitarist Pete Plectrum, he now billed the act as Spizz 77, the first of numerous name changes to follow in the years to come.
Re-christened SPIZZOIL December1978 and guitarist name morphed to become Pete Petrol the duo earned their 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 UK indie charts, as did its follow-up, Cold City 4; however after a fall out, Spizz and Petrol parted ways.
1979 SPIZZENERGI was formed when live in girlfriend introduced Spizz to new musicians. Bassist Jim Solar and keyboardist Mark Coalfield, started rehearsing in January Pete Petrol differences patched up then returned on guitar for the group’s inclusion on the Rough Trade package tour, after “Soldier, Soldier” was named Single of the Week in the NME, the follow-up, “Where’s Captain Kirk?,” earned the same honour in Melody Maker, topping the then newly created UK independent label charts on 19th January 1980. It remained at the top for 7 consecutive weeks not including the 3 previous weeks at No.1 of the unofficial chart.
“Where’s Captain Kirk?” was included in the NME Writers 100 Best Indie Singles Ever in 1992 and more than two decades after its release, it was included in Mojo magazine’s list of the 50 best punk rock singles of all time. Old boys include Lu Edmunds (The Damned/P.I.L), and Kevin Armstrong (David Bowie and Iggy Pop) and needless to say that the band has supported most of the iconic punk bands Siouxsie, Clash and The Damned. It is also worth noting in 1992 Stadium rockers R.E,M. covered the song for their fan club annual Christmas give away pressing 6000 copies! During 1979 the band had many line up changes 7 guitarists & 5 drummers so it is difficult to say what was the original line up. It can be argued the players on the 2 Rough Trade releases: Vocals Spizz, Bass Jim Solar, Keyboards Mark Coalfield, Guitars Pete Petrol & Dave Scott, Drums: Brian B Benzine (ex Fabulous Poodles) is the most obvious.
After a dozen name changes and a refusal by the Guinness Book of Records to recognize Spizz’s inventive name changes a return to the most popular name of SPIZZENERGI was inevitable. Picking up new band members in 1991, the arrival of drummer Jeff Walker in 1996 to perform shows to promote the 1st ‘Best of’ CD compilation to be issued on Cherry Red Records.
After the Rebellion Festival August 2012 2 band members Matt Broughton bass & guitarist Simon Kinder struggled combine gigs with their daytime job commitments & October saw the arrival of Luca Comencini: Guitar, Phil Ross: Guitar, Ben Lawson: Bass joining Spizz & Jeff. The October Revolution saw the band quadruple the number of gigs and the following quadrupled again and the revitalised sound lead to the emergence of new songs firstly in 2014 City of Eyes for which broadcaster Gary Crowley enthused “Spizz’s pen has never been sharper” and in 2016 Here Come The Machines both prophetic songs for the times we currently living through.
Since March 2020 Lockdown Jeff Walker has stepped down from SPIZZENERGI after 24 years & longest serving band member. Today the band are: Spizz: Vocals, Luca Comencini: Guitar, Phil Ross: Guitar, Ben Lawson: Bass, Alan Galaxy: Drums.