*** Dissonant 70s punk band makes a surprising, but brief, return
Once you heard X-Ray Spex, you never forgot them. Formed by teenage Poly Styrene in 1977 after seeing the Sex Pistols, the noisy quartet carved out their own unique sound thanks to Poly’s shrieking, swooping vocals and Lora Logic’s incessant, honking saxophone – an instrument rarely heard in London’s punk scene.
The band released a handful of remarkable singles including Oh Bondage Up Yours and The Day The World Turned Day Glo and one album, 1978’s Germ Free Adolescents, before disappearing. As is turns out, Poly was (incorrectly) diagnosed with schizophrenia after claiming to have seen UFOs.
Thirty years later, Poly reunited the band for a one-off gig at London’s Roundhouse last year. The DVD proves Poly’s formidable voice is still intact and the band can really play. Bass player Paul Dean is the only holdover from the original crew, but the ringers recapture the spirit of the times. The show is just over an hour long and while anyone unfamiliar with X-Ray Spex may dismiss them as noise, long-time fans will be smiling as Poly Styrene stalks the stage one more time.