Friday, July 27, 2012

Marc Almond - Brilliant Creatures

Live in 1995 on the On The Prowl mini-tour. One of a couple of terrific period performances of the song, which ended up on the sprawling mess that was 1996's Fantastic Star in a disappointingly neutered electro version. This more organic early take is far more affecting, without the studio frippery and wank backing vocals and with a committed, passionate Almond vocal married to a terrific first verse ("I know you're sometimes at a bar/But I can't recall the name/You could have called/I'm sure you have a story/And you're not to blame").

Fantastic Star had a few great songs and several good ones, many wrecked by unsympathetic production and a bewildering array of musical styles - producer Mike Thorne gives extensive gory details here. Some coherency and the excising of half a dozen songs or so might have worked wonders. Almond revisits sprawl of a far more successful kind in August when he performs 1983's Mambas classic Torment & Toreros in its entirety during Antony Hegarty's Meltdown Festival with a band that includes several original Mambas, though not, notably, 80s accomplice and musical foil Annie Hogan.

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