The Comsat Angels, C.S. Angels, The Headhunters, Dream Command...  All this & more
Leadmill Sheffield - 1983 

Like a grim-faced Vicar about to administer the last rites, I approached the Comsat's first gig this year with grave apprehension. Not that one deliberately sets out to bury a semi-rotting corpse without giving it one last chance, of course, but this group's output over the last year has hardly been inspiring. And that's being generous!  

Yet miracles do happen and just when we were about to give up on them completely, the Comsat's come up with the goods. They have pulled themselves together, set out on an imaginative slip road, are about to sign with a new record company and are set to take the charts by storm. Yes, I thought that might shock you!  The Comsat's have gone commercial!  But don't knock them, in might well turn out to be their life-saver.  

Their ultra laid-back, totally cool approach has been replaced by shimmering flaps of confident pop and vividly infectious rhythms. Their drowsy stage visuals have been overwhelmed with a punchy commitment. And they're even starting to wear make-up!  

The Comsat's surprise gig tonight is a low-key warm-up for a major European tour, and it sees them giving new meaning to older material by overhauling and streamlining it with previously unseen passion and termination.  

Their sheer power is astonishing. It's as if they are sick of being in the second division and are hell bent on proving just what they can do. And the glorious thing about their new-found vitality is that they never permit it to get out of hand. It never becomes a mindless thrash.  

The Comsat's build each song with care and style, working their way in slowly and emerging with an acutely balanced end result. The guitars mingle feverishly with a dynamic batch of keyboards and when they reach the end of the tunnel there's always Stephen Fellows' richly articulate vocals to ice the cake. 

Frank Worrall

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