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Monsieur [a]James[/a] has his barnet piled up like a demented Stepford Wife gone punk...

The mighty [a]Sputnik[/a] have been frozen in aspic since 1985 when EMI paid an alleged #4million for their services. How times have changed. This evening, Tony James, Martin Degville and the crew have been thawed out to play the day-long, distinctly goth Elektrofest, and it proves to be a surprisingly entertaining return.

Sure, Degville has retreated back to his Son Of Kajagoogoo ’80s haircut, and [I]Monsieur [/I]James has his barnet piled up like a demented Stepford Wife gone punk, but these are real troopers – survivors who’ve been misunderstood and vilified.

Tonight, SSS are at once quaint and nostalgia free. Besides Suicide and Silicon Teens, no-one else has been mad enough to exploit the possibilities of electronic rockabilly laced with dub effects. So, the caterwauling cover of ‘Rocket USA’ is easy to understand, as is the still glorious ‘Love Missile F1-11’ – an unsubtly pro-smack song that retains its ability to shock. Of course, everyone knows that heroin can sentence you to a living hell, the point is that this is supposedly glamorous, sleazy, overwrought, pretend theatre of the sort that most groups have retreated from since those halcyon days. More’s the pity.