Thursday, September 21, 2006


The Dutch Radio Recordings

It has always perturbed me a little to hear music from dead heros and seems even stranger to be listening to a live from someone who is dead. the dead person in this case is the ex leader of the Sound, Adrian Borland who suffered from severe depression and decided to call it a day in April 1999 when he committed suicide. The Sound were one of the bands that had, in musical terms what was needed to be up there with the U2s and Simple Minds in the eighties, maybe what they lacked was ruthless determination this they replaced with their sheer bloody mindedness that meant they did more or less what pleased them, this won them certain fans and lost them the support of the industry bigwigs.
It is obvious that the band and Adrians post '88 solo work retains a cult following to this day, for proof one needs to look no further than the well kept web site Brittle Heaven that is dedicated to them. The band had an important fan base in Holland and for this reason their gigs were often recorded and broadcast by Dutch Radio. A short series of Five of these recordings, made between 1981 and 1985, have recently been released at attractive prices and can be found here. I have treated myself to the last in the series that was recorded at Utrecht April 9, 1985. By this stage the four piece had been joined by Ian Nelson on saxophone to fill out the sound this can be heard to full effect on their long time stage favorite 'Missiles'. According to the sleeve notes Adrian was suffering from flu and as they say the show must go on, the beginning of the album is maybe a little bit rough as I guess his vocal chords were not properly warmed up, but by the time we get to 'Silent Air' everything is fine. The band released an official live album during their lifetime called 'At The Hothouse' which was recorded at London's old Marquee club in wardour street, anyone that had ever attended a crowded concert there will be able to confirm that this is good title for the album. Maybe it's because it's new but I find the Dutch Radio recording is a lot more urgent than both the official live and the BBC in concert disc, I'm looking forward to checking out the other four CD's when funds and wish lists allow me to.

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