Articles / Reviews

The Sound - Live at the Marquee (Sounds 7-4-1984)

date: Apr 7, 1984


 

THE SOUND/BIG SELF 
Marquee 

BEAUTY IS sad. Maybe if Adrian Borland looked like lan McCulloch the Sound would by now be the biggest group in Europe. The way their strength in depth has been popularly overlooked for years is criminal, arguably shocking. But (I think) those who love the band KNOW WHAT LOVE IS: "Love is not a' ghost; it's alive alive-o."
 

They do a hard job in the heartland. If I've seen a more intense gig this year, I'd appreciate being told. Marc Almond alone need apply (strangely enough). For the Sound, in their first UK performance for ages, conveyed emotion coolly, confusion clearly, and power sensitively, making understatement scorch: and overstatement enlighten. When they bash, they bash precisely, knowingly, to make a point, and Adrian Borland (the world's greatest living songwriter apart from Ashford and Simpson) laughs: "Rock and Roll!" They acknowledge the prickly presence of pain and pressure through a winning rock medium, which is SO SOULFUL. Frenetic yet ' frail. Pushy but poignant. Tense and tearful, Vicious but vulnerable. Cut. When the Sound are getting it so very right, you can forget tube strikes, New Order, that you're missing the Mersey Cup Final, that you're bored with white rock music, that perfection is an impossibility. The Sound have always been great, now they are TRULY GREAT as any song from the set would demonstrate, from the acoustic plaintive 'Winter' to the sweeping majestic 'Sense Of Purpose', Nothing too fancy, but everything that matters they have the touch. 

That Irish support band Big Self were so interesting was a bonus. Their look and their sound are more varied and intricate than the ' run-of-the-mill. A fusion of steamy sax, twisted melodies and biting beats lends songs like 'Stateless' and 'Weeding Out' a curiously enticing flavour. The new single 'Ghost Shirts' is aggressive but layered, rhythmic but sinister. Main thought: they are NOTHING like U2. Hallelujah ! 

CHRIS ROBERTS

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