it's easy to see why the Comsat's are perpetual outsiders,
bearing impressively rich gifts but never being admitted
to the party (gatecrash, lads - that's the message!).
music is too startling and moody to blend in with
the bland background of
commercial formula soundtracks - you can still
easily detect the marvelous constituent elements that
dovetail so precisely and invigoratingly, so that
a perplexing abundance of enticing moods and movements
can dazzle ears used to the aural equivalent of sludge.
the audience warmth - with shrieking greeting calls
of "Sheffieeeeld" punctuating a buzz of
excitement - is based more on a sense of belonging
as the band display their non-fashion (by as opposed
to anti-fashion) stance and striking musical layer-cake.
it never really seems to matter that The Comsat Angels
just don't have enough glamour - even when the addition
of another guitarist for live work has given them
exactly the same line-up as Duran Duran, they
still seem a touch ordinary (ďthe dustbin men of rockĒ
resident sociologist Dave McCulloch once called them),
looking more like the New Wave Dave Clark Five
or post - modernist reformation of The Animals
- with a vocalist Steve Fellows , relieved
of his guitaring chores, a dead ringer for a rejuvenated
new songs (long awaited 4th LP due soon!) Ė apart
from the too rocky Alicia, which the band later
assured me Iíll grow to love Ė are refinements of
previous innovations rather than new trail-blazing
paths, but Mr Memory and Nature Trails
were particularly enticing and enjoyably catchy.
They havenít surrendered to the temptation
of three-minute ditties with ludicrous nursery-rhyme
choruses but have edged warily towards a sharper,
cleaner sound which slices rather than slashes.
round like holiday snapshots were old gems like
Independence Day and Eye Of The Lens as
the level of performance gradually soared with a matchless
fluidity and confirmed that the enforced rest hasnít
seized up their wings.
Angels are flying again, and this time, heaven canít