Shadow of Fear
This is Entertainment
I’d interviewed him on the phone a couple of weeks before, the first of the original triumvirate from his old band I’d spoken to at the time, and he’d somewhat shyly asked me then if I thought anyone would turn up. Oh, aye, I said, I know loads of people who are going.
The sound the trio make is a pulsating mish-mash of stentorian drum machine beats and brooding bass patterns, distorted guitars, alien vocals and shrieking clusters of keyboards and wailing abstract clarinet. Goodness only knows what the tape recorders are doing, as disembodied voices pierce the air.
The Ticket That Exploded
you know. Moroder had also co-written Son of My Father, a bubble-gum smash hit by Chicory Tip a few years earlier that was apparently one of the first pop singles to feature a synthesiser. Nah. Nag Nag Nag was dirtier than all that, and sounded like the sonic equivalent of a home-made bomb that had been lobbed into a more streamlined world, designed to blow up in people’s faces.
Chance Versus Causality
The musical strand of the show was to ensure it fell under the BBC’s variety budget rather than comedy, which was smaller. Such a mash-up of forms was also perfect for its time. If Monty Python’s Flying Circus, which had shaken up TV comedy a decade or so earlier, was a very English public school take on Dada, The Young Ones had taken it onto the street.
Also appearing on Fools Rush in Where Angels Fear Tread was an artist called Capalula. This was the pseudonym of Ken Hollings, the writer and former vocalist with Biting Tongues. The band had been formed in Manchester by saxophonist Howard Walmsley, initially to provide a soundtrack for his film of the same name. Hollings had published Theory – 140 Statements, under the name Capalula in 1979. A 32-page manifesto of sorts in list form, Hollings’ book looked at what would become known as spoken-word performance, and how, according to the Boekie Wokie artists book website, boewoe.home.xs4all.nl, ‘shifts in cultural perception demand radical changes in the relationship between writer, text and audience.
The films shown in the Oozit’s-based gang-hut included David Lynch’s feature, Eraserhead, and Scorpio Rising by Kenneth Anger. Both of these would be screened at Plato’s Ballroom a few months later. They would be shown both during performances and between bands, when they’d be accompanied by records such as She is Beyond Good and Evil by The Pop Group and Grandmaster’s Flash’s Adventures on the Wheels of Steel.
“I think Benge has always wanted to do something with Logan’s Run,” Mallinder told the Herald, referring to Michael Anderson’s 1976 feature, adapted from William F. Nolan’s novel, “because it’s his favourite film.”
Spread the Virus
Fast forward to the twenty-first century, and Kevorkian, Harding, Oakenfield and Gordon’s assorted 12-inch reconstructions of CV are collected on the 2001 Remixed compilation alongside Kirk and Mallinder’s takes on three pieces by Jefferson.
Sensoria too was inspired by the city’s electronic experiments of thirty years earlier by the likes of the Human League and Cabaret Voltaire. Naming Sensoria after CV’s MTV-friendly crossover single, the event has hosted the likes of Laurie Anderson and Bill Drummond alongside a new generation of artists such as Factory Floor and Lonelady.
So when Creep Show encore with a euphoric, pulsating take on Sensoria, Cabaret Voltaire’s parallel universe dancefloor smash, which Peter Care’s video for the single of the song helped it on to MTV, Grant must be as elated as everyone else in the room. With Mallinder’s vocal as breathy as ever, Creep Show doing Sensoria is groovy, laidback and nasty, but in a sexy way. This really is entertainment, it seems. This is fun.
This is (Still) Entertainment
Sources for this essay include: -
Records mentioned here include –
The Drouth, November 2020