‘Cast of Thousands’ was the Adverts’ second vinyl LP and came out in 1979 on RCA at a time when most punk bands issued their first album on an indie before joining a major label, as they had done with their debut album, ‘Crossing the Red Sea with the Adverts’ which came out the year previously on Bright Records. Singer TV Smith and bassist Gaye Advert originally came from Devon and later married, but moved to London where they formed the Adverts which only lasted for three years from 1976 to 1979, breaking up a month after the release of ‘Cast of Thousands’.

As an album, it was out of context with much of the rest of the punk movement featuring keyboards and it didn't fair well at the time and sold poorly, but, having just been re-released in a two CD edition, it seems better now. It opens with the title track which doesn't sound punk or new wave, until it eventually reaches a tinny guitar solo. It is a well put together song with some great keyboards from Tim Cross, but the ending is dragged out a lot.

‘The Adverts’, the song, is much more new wave, but has a big pop flow to it. Rod Laver’s drums work very well with the keyboards. ‘My Place’ is sung like an anthem by Smith and has a pop feel that the Undertones would be proud of.

‘Male Assault’ is ‘Eton Rifles’-style punk fury.’ Television's Over’ is urgent and angry, recalling the Only Ones, while ‘Fate of Criminals’ preaches that if you are bad you will be punished.

‘Love Songs’ is an edgy and energetic new wave number, while the anthemic ‘I Surrender is pulled through by its tight bass and drums.

‘I Looked at the Sun’ is fast moving and again reminiscent of the magic of the Undertones, while ‘I Will Walk You Home’ has a gypsy feel, the band sounding on it almost like a 70's version of the Libertines.

Extra tracks on the expanded edition include the much rawer single version of ‘Television's Over’ and pogo-ing classic ‘Back from the Dead’. In addition there is also every Peel Session.

There is much new wave fun and energy to be enjoyed on this.












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