Labelled as the last punk, Spizzenergi hit the scene in 1977, with their No1 ode to Star Trek, Where’s Captain Kirk? Although commercial success has peaked, leader singer Spizz remains far from tamed. He maintains legendary status around Southwark, especially in the pubs, we met at at his local pub to discuss activism, craft beer and of course… punk!
He walks with a swagger reserved for the likes of Jagger, and certainly has the presence of someone who’s something. Dressed in homemade denim emblazoned with his own logo, Spizz’s peroxide blond spiked hair is barely noticeable. His character leaks quirk and rockstar, my fears of facing a difficult diva are soon put to rest when he insists he buys the “first” round. As soon as he takes his seat, where he crosses his legs in an effeminate tangle, he comments on the rise of gentrification in the area. ‘craft beer weirdos come here too often – it’s the offices’. The political tone our time together starts from the onset.
“It was so much fun and so much better than being a postman”, hanging around with the likes of Johnny Rotten and Siouxise Sioux in punks heyday was nothing out the ordinary for Spizz, birth name Kenneth Spiers. “It was the cutting edge, itd never happen again, they wouldn’t let it, what this world needs a kick in the hole, kids are just sitting there thinking they can’t do anything but they can”. His disillusionment with figures of authority burns brighter than ever before, he notes that he’s got into trouble with being too political and we both agree that it’s far better than not being political at all.
He’s a family man now, and puts down his lack of wider success to this, “when my daughter was born I realised I didn’t want anything else, how could I leave her to tour the world”, his daughter who has taken her fathers footsteps into bands and plays bass, does a lot of promotion for him, “by promotion I mean spray painting my name on the curb’ he giggles. This punk may have become a bit mainstream but is certainly not for turning.
Constantly turning his head to see what’s going on and who’s coming into to pub, It’s blatant that he’s a man who likes to know what’s going on, and also a man who is very well known. When asked, another pub regular said ‘he’s a right character and very quirky but that’s what makes him’, His kookiness is what has made him so enduring, he now hosts a radio show where he freely goes on Alan Partridge-esque ramblings. “It’s free advertising so I need to be as weird as possible so I can leave an impression”
One thing Spizz does is leave an impression, forever held as a true original in a world where norms and culture are dictated to the public by the media, people like Spizz will continue pushing boundaries regardless of whether you like or not.