|CND, BAD II / The Woodentops, A Guy Called Gerald, Apollo 440, The Town & Country Club, London, England
15th February 1992
BIG AUDIO DYNAMITE II/ APOLLO 440/
WE arrived early, probably too early. A Guy Called Gerald is on and he's doing all kinds of doodle everything's with knobs and gadgets that go bleep bleep and he is basically looking dead bored. We kind of sympathised. But not one person danced. Like us, they preferred to watch The Monkees on the video screens. Or tie up their shoelaces. One oriental girl took photographs on a tiny camera. A highlight, that.
And then The Woodentops came on for a comeback. Rolo's still dead thin and deathly pale and tonight he's even got his velvet pants on. These days his songs are dancey and bag-some and five minutes long. And terrible. The spindly pop-boy flails about and has some kind of rant about the new Europe. He still can't save this. The kids all loved this, but then they're all confused, aren't they?
And hey, while we're at it, isn't techno crap? I mean, when you can't dance, then what do you do with it? You can't ever remember the plinkity bits. You can't impress young girls with the lyric bits. You can only look at the lasers and pretend you're on Starship Enterprise. That's what I did when Apollo 440 played. Or sampled, or whatever they do. They messed about with big lights and strobes and Casio stuff for ten minutes. I still prefer Depeche Mode because they, at least, have glamour. Apollo 440 will, however, make someone lots of money. But then that's Pop.
At least BAD II have guitars. Sure, they've got lots of filled-out bits and samples and stuff, but tonight was alright, you know.
Unfashionable as hell, sure, but let's forgive Mick his dress-sense and his hats. "Medicine Show" and "Contact" are still brilliant, because they make us want to do silly things like shuffle our feet and tilt our heads back, close our eyes and sing some of the words to ourselves. "City Life" is a corking five minutes, like Massive and Happy Mondays and U2's "The Fly" all mashed into one perfect pop square. It's enough to send us home sweating. And even half happy.
[Reviewer: COLM O'CALLAGHAN]