ZANG TUMMM TUMB ARTICLES “the first draft of history”

THE ART OF NOISE/FOUNTAINHEAD, HAMMERSMITH ODEON, LONDON

Fountainhead are having a problem selling themselves. They dont want to wear poncey clothes, or go for all that ‘Hammersmith, howya doin? blarney. But theres nothing to focus your attention on at all. ‘Sometimes could be China Crisis circa ‘83, and thats another problem; everyone else has moved on from there. ‘Heart And Soul provided the only real excitement, and suggested that the boys get a bigger kick out of playing blues and jazz than this ‘modern dance music.

They could learn a lot from Art Of Noise. Up on the screen, ‘modest Max Headroom tinkled on the ivories, then deigned to introduce his favourite ‘backing band. JJ and Anne Dudley were having a great time, hammering the Fairlight and splashing away at the piano, while behind them, the shrink-wrapped Noisettes put in some lively, clamouring vocals. With the scholarly introductions and the quaint stage antics, it was more like a Vitorian science lecture than a rock and roll show.

It was surprising how most of the high-tech compositions succeeded on stage. ‘Instruments Of Darkness was a miss; and Backbeat was over-indulgent, but ‘Moments In Love emerged as a wonderfully hypnotic piece. The ending was pure pantomime, with four cowboys coming on to play geetar for ‘Peter Gunn, followed by a silly version of Glenn Millers ‘In The Mood.

In both bad and good senses, you might say the Art Of Noise have ‘sold out, and the result was a decent evenings entertainment. If this is pop art, then I just might buy it.