ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

Frankie Goes To Hollywood, G-Mex, Manchester

It seems to have taken a phenomenally short time between the rise and fall of Frankie. If anything, their decline has been all the more rapid.

Ironic, somehow, that the LP named after their home town, should be the one thats put them out of a job. And that the tour to promote that same piece of waste plastic wont in the city of the title. But Manchester is fairly close, and while its difficult to judge in a warehouse like G-MEX, and while its clearly far from sold out, there are evidently still thousands of people who remember the halcyon days of Frankie.

The Frankies take to the stage looking for all the world like the Shadows at the London Palladium. Aside, that is, from Paul Rutherford who, in his tight-fitting mod suit and matching daft dance, is an absolute dead-ringer for Alexei Sayle.

From the early part of the set, its clear that the Frankies are as embarrassed about their new material as they ought to be. They bravely parade a selection of the golden turkeys that make up ‘Liverpool without so much as an apology. All of the pomp and excess of the early Frankie is present, but that clever, indefinable something that let them get away with it is sadly long gone.

As a Big Band, they deliver the goods as expected: ‘Relax, ‘Two Tribes and the supremely silly ‘Power Of Love. All are present, and, it has to be said, admirably well done. Doubtless the fans will go away happy with a satisfactory momento of their crumbling heroes. But on tonights showing, its probably just as well that they are set to call it a day. The only real pity is that they didnt do it on one of their high points.

Dave Sefton