Monday, May 22, 2006
Peel Sessions 8
I have already talked about a gig I attended during the two years that I lived in Italy, that of Killing Joke, well there was another (2 gigs in two years I really was spoilt!), they were called the Sound, and at that time I was totally ignorant of their existence,but that was to soon change. The concert took place in a large village called Nove and was held in the local gym 16 February 1983. Starved as I was of live music I was really looking forward to it. If my memory serves me correctly there was quite a crowd. I can vaguely remember them taking the stage their intro music, and the slow atmospheric start of a song and then Adrian Borland's pleasant voice coming in and then wow! as the song reached its full power with Borland's voice becoming more and more powerful and his guitar playing more and manic I found myself being taken away with it. And so it was that I spent a highly pleasurable hour in their company and came away a fan. Sure enough the next day I was out buying up their records and catching up with lost Time.
They were another of the long list of contenders that never really quite made it, after all being big in Holland and Germany doesn't really count, does it? They were formed in 1979 out of the ashes of Roxy Club regulars the Outsiders but quickly dropped their punk baggage as they developed a sound that was somewhere between Joy Division and Echo & the Bunnymen. Signed to the same label as the Bunnymen, Korova, it would appear that they were to play second fiddle to their label mates as despite glowing press for their efforts the required sales figures were to remain elusive. Their debut album, 'Jeopardy', scored five star reviews in all the UK music press no mean feat considering the low budget production, it was more than obvious that we were talking about quality songs here. The follow up 'From The Lions Mouth' was much more lavish in production terms though this did nothing to harm the songs, once again the critics loved it and despite a growing cult following they still failed to shift the necessary units and their label made it clear that they expected hit singles. Maybe because of this pressure the band were to deliver in their third album 'All fall Down' what was to be their least penetrable recording, the reply from their label was equally radical: they refused to promote it and as a result the Sound found themselves without a deal. They were to release their remaining output on an independent, and by 1989 they had recorded their final album, that they and many of their fans would consider to be their finest moment, 'All Fall Down', the only problem was that it was very much a case of preaching to the converted as no one else was taking any notice and by the end of the year they were no more. Borland pursued a solo career until mental illness got the better of him in 1999 and he took his own life by throwing himself under a train.
Although John Peel was not their biggest champion, he did do his fair bit to promote them including their unique Peel session recorded in November 1981. Both of the songs here are to be found in their original version on that years 'From The Lions Mouth', first up the keyboard driven 'Skeletons' which deserved a place in the upper reaches of the charts and the more moody though equally pleasing 'New Dark Age'.
My biggest regret as far as the Sound are concerned is that I only got to see them live the once. They did release the live album 'From The Hothouse' which I found rather lacking maybe because by this stage the band were on their last legs. Those of you wishing to catch up on the band or simply refresh your memory will be for once spoilt for choice as Renascent have done an excellent job of re-releasing all of their albums.