1984 : THE PALE FOUNTAINS – (NME, 31 MARCH 1984)

There is precious little for the Pale Fountains to be happy about. Not only have they failed to live up to the expectations and adulation of the Kid and company via their (feeble, wishy-washy vinyl contributions but they have yet to discover even the basic requirements of live performance.

Understandably what is possible to produce in a recording studio is sometimes difficult to reproduce onstage, but an effort should have bean made to come within reasonable distance of what is (at least) expected. On tonight’s performance(?) it would seem that the Pale Fountains are simply incapable of playing live.

The audience (a loosely used term when regarding a mere sixty people in total) remained silent throughout in it’s disappointment. Had someone in the band just died? Perhaps they were all dead! Who could tell, as they wandered aimlessly through their set of nondescript and, at best, potentially dull album tracks? If this is related to their so-called new direction, I’ll get off here and walk back to happiness, Thank You, very much.

Vocalist Mike Head seemed oblivious to the obvious truth that his renditions of Shelter, Unless and even the standard Something on my Mind were totally lost to their unforgivable incompetence. Had they been the support band I might have felt sorry for them. As it was, they deserved a swift kick in the pants and more rehearsals during playtime.

“They’re OK, but they’re ripping off Love”, said one astute listener: a similarity that could only be equaled by comparing junk food to heroin. Besides, they would have to get hold of Julian Cope’s record collection, or come from Liverpool (chortle).

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Zilch (1988)
1. Emergency (listen)
2. Someone’s Knocking (listen)
3. John Kline (listen)
4. I Need You (listen)
5. Realization (listen)
6. High Rise Low Life (listen)
7. Who Killed Clayton Square? (listen)
8. Who’d Believe It? (listen)
9. What’s It Like… (listen)
10. The Believers (listen)