Articles / Reviews

The Sound - Live at the Marquee (Melody Maker 7-9-1985)

date: Sep 7, 1985


THE SOUND Marquee, London 

"Are we where we wanna be?" snaps Adrian Borland during "Sense Of Purpose". After five years playing The Marquee, it makes you wonder why The Sound bother with a business that shuns its siblings if they don't reach the expected level of success and accuses them of alienation if they do rubbing in the irony of the situation by allowing them only a limited lifespan in which to succeed or quietly and conveniently disappear. Borland is as much a visionary as Morrisey or Mac he just doesn't stick a bunch of flowers up his arse or employ the pretty-boy pose to illustrate the fact, and therein lies The Sound's greatest failing in the eyes of the cognoscenti. The men don't know and the little girls run a mile. How they can remain immune when the sheer power searing off the Marquee stage is enough to push even the most cynical observer through the back wall and halfway down Wardour Street is beyond me. But they do.

Tonight The Marquee was made massive by The Sound but because they don't wave their arms, drag people out of the crowd or run around the stage they're considered dour. The Sound aren't dour, they're as live as any of the bands who stole their original concept, added an HM chord book and made a fortune. Witness tonight's set. Recorded for a live LP due later this year, it's a collage of contrasts, compressing the most precious and passionate moments from a five-year career into just one and a half hours. From the earliest stirrings of excellence to their full realisation, from the cheap speed rush of "Heartland" through the defiant arrogance of "Winning" to the fractured hope of "Total Recall" - as the advert would say, a selection no record collection would be complete without.

But this was more than nostalgia. The Sound keep 'em coming. "Prove Me Wrong" a brand-new track premiered tonight has the haunting indelible hallmarks of familiar material, neatly wrapped in a radio-land chorus. Another Sound gig. Another set of superlatives and still the great unwashed waste their shekels on the next great white hype. Sound fans have long since learned to live with injustice, but on a night when the stifling heat of the Marquee is multiplied a thousand fold by that generated by the band on stage, it's hard not to be bitter. It's your loss wallies but sadder still, it's theirs, too. 

MAT SMITH (Melody Maker 7-9-1985) 

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