London WC2 talk Of London
Sure, the quicksilver hysteria of [B]'Dim Star'[/B] is lovely, taking pouting in the mirror to Radiohead levels of intensity, but the ponderous rock of[B] 'Black Ghost'[/B] and [B]'Desire'[/B] is aMore on
Or back a bit further, maybe, to the final song of the evening, 'To Earth With Love', where a voracious yowl of "Put your platforms on!" sounds like a call to freak-out nylon shirts, leaky radioactive electronics and bad blue eyeshadow. It matches this '70s cabaret venue with ease, and if EARL BRUTUS had taught GREG DULLI how real men drink, he too might stir up such an intoxicatingly daft song. A fitting finale to anyone's Big Night Out. A happy ending.
Let's rewind a little further, though. Back to when Jones, pretty like the prototype for the Frankenstein Pleasure Model, reveals he's wearing a KISS T-shirt. That's not the act of messed-up, dressed-up lunatics sweeping the high street in clouds of sweet cider and sweeter perfume. That's military planning in designer combat trousers, the work of the lifestyle council. It's slick, tight and professional, the product of years spent wanting to be up there, man.
Sure, the quicksilver hysteria of 'Dim Star' is lovely, taking pouting in the mirror to Radiohead levels of intensity, but the ponderous rock of 'Black Ghost' and 'Desire' is analgesically dull. Cliff might want to take us 'there', but 'there' was never supposed to be a blustery mountaintop last used for a U2 video.
Back to the beginning, then.
"Do you think we've got something to hide?", sings Jones on the opening 'New Age Panic', then they're gone. There's nothing there. Just the chatter and a glow of green light. Vanishing point.
To read all our reviews first - days before they appear online - check out NME magazine, on sale every Wednesday