Someone saw fit to actually record the moment when [a]Talk Talk[/a] transformed from [B]Level 42[/B] in black polo necks into the avant-garde missionaries for the post-chorus generation who invented [
It’s the flick of Hendrix’s Zippo, the gulp of Lennon’s first-love heart: that elusive spark of musical rebirth. It’s just that someone saw fit to actually record the moment when [a]Talk Talk[/a] transformed from Level 42 in black polo necks into the avant-garde missionaries for the post-chorus generation who invented Mogwai’s quiet bits ten years too early.
It was the moment the early pop grumbles of ‘Colour Of Spring’ clashed with Mark Hollis’ desire to emulate the sound of the moons orbiting Planet Stonedtofuck. And it occurred during Talk Talk’s last ever live performance at the Hammersmith Odeon in May 1986, when ‘Life’s What You Make It’ segued into a lengthy funk-prog workout of ‘Does Caroline Know?’ and the U2 for socially crippled theology students realised they could never tour this earth again.
‘London 1986’ is their belated live swansong, a sumptuous eight-song set, naturally flawed by 13 years spent nestling under the master-tapes of ‘Swing Out Sister Live At Anglesea Chuffgrinders’. With the help of Peter Gabriel’s session musos and Hollis’ ability to sing like the stone staircase from the ‘Vienna’ video, tunes like ‘Renee’ and ‘Such A Shame’ inevitably sound like an undead Yazoo. But after this they began recording the natural vibrations of cellos in a quest for the perfect noise, so set aside your allergy to slap bass and revisit the ’80s’ ultimate turning of the tides.