From the superb [B]'Bon Chic Bon Genre'[/B] to the subspaced [B]'To Lose La Trek'[/B], nouns are liquified and vowels pured, leaving a lyrical mulch of paramedics, S&M and boy-racers, a toxic cloud
‘WE HAVE A WORLD OF PLEASURE TO WIN AND NOTHING BUT BOREDOM TO LOSE.’
Like all good propagandists, [a]Campag Velocet[/a] understand the value of knife-sharp slogans and, tonight, they’re plastered everywhere. There, projected on to a sheet like a surreal Women’s Institute slide show; there, where ‘Music For the Other’ is stitched into their backdrop with a flourish; and there, wearing Tango-tinted shades, cycling gloves, hooped jumper and holding a tambourine like a sub-machine-gun. Pete Voss, living slogan, human ad campaign, compelling enticement to stop worrying and love the bombed P he says it all. In a very [I]strange[/I] way, naturally, yet one look at the tension in his face and it’s clear this is a death-or-glory struggle. The baggy lankness Campag once trailed behind them live has vanished, replaced by something ferocious. Not that it prevents all ridiculousness P Voss is possibly some Flat Eric prototype on the loose, while opening psyche-storm ‘Postponed Native Pleasures’ is so adrenalin-hyped it seems like attitude spoofed to the nth degree. Their equipment collapses, they disappear P yet by the time they return to burst the funk blisters of ‘Sauntry Sly Chic’, they seem to have found their balance along with the fusebox. Boorish aggro has mutated into the ambivalent thuggery of the pretty-boy gangster-droog, and it’s hard to tell whether they’re out to kill you or kiss you.
Then someone shouts, “Leo Sayer!”
‘NONCHALANCE IS A SPORT.’
So, the heckler has a point, but, God, you really have to mean it to look like this. If nonchalance is a sport, Campag are still in the egg-and-spoon heats P they need this, they love this, and there’s no way they can pretend not to care. They take themselves seriously so you have to; with the thrumming, clammy urgency of ‘Drencrom (Velocet Synthemesc)’; with Voss drawling, [I]”You know it! You lovvve it!”[/I].
‘THE FLY IN THE OINTMENT IS THE APPLE OF MY EYE.’
And as long as it doesn’t sound like The Cure on a Wrekked Train awayday (‘Veto Satan’, mercifully just a blip) he’s right. Even if their scuzzy groove thing has been more publicly dissected at the Lo-Fi‘s’ hands, Campag still thrill. From the superb ‘Bon Chic Bon Genre’ to the subspaced ‘To Lose La Trek’, nouns are liquified and vowels pured, leaving a lyrical mulch of paramedics, S&M and boy-racers, a toxic cloud of PiL-strokes-Mondays rhythms. They call it ‘vindictive disco’. You can see their point. Just before it stabs you in the eye.
‘THE PERFORMANCE IS