Early Doors: Darlington Arts Centre, April 16th, 1983

Darlington Arts CentreI’m now more or less going to move into a chronological mode for posting recordings of Prefab Sprout concerts.

We’ve now moved on 3 years since Domefest, via a residency at the Brewer’s Arms in Gilesgate and various other small gigs, the addition of Wendy Smith to the lineup, and the release of the Candle “Lions” single. The band has shifted gear into a much more recognizable format of angular and slightly jazzy textures that would shortly form the basis of Swoon. Michael Salmon was still playing drums at this stage. You’ll get an early version of Horsechimes sounding pretty much identical to the Protest Songs version but with minor lyrical variation, plus a lot of early Sprout staples.

This recording isn’t at all bad, given it was an audience tape: I just did a bit of equalization and compression to round things out. Beyond the fact of the tape existing at all I’ve really no information at all about the concert circumstances, but it’s a nice survival from the pre-Swoon period. If anyone knows anything at all about the concert, do please add a comment.

The Darlington Arts Centre itself is worthy of a footnote at least. Formerly a college, it became a very important part of cultural life in Darlington but has recently been closed and put up for sale by the local council with an indication they would look kindly on planning applications for residential property. Shame.


2 thoughts

  1. This is great. I was there! Brings back great memories. One of many top nights at the Darlo Arts Centre, including playing there with my band. I moved away many years ago but still felt a pang when I heard they were closing it down.

  2. I too was there. I’d gone along to see hurrah who were headlining and they were amazing. I hadn’t heard of prefab sprout but they were exerllent. I went to see the modetes there as well as dance class but cant remember going to see anyone else. I saw prefab sprout at the hammersmith odeon in 1990, i think, the Trash Can Sinatras supported, and then at Portsmouth Guildhall on the same tour but thats it im ashamed to say. Im from the north east and should have seen them many times in the early days and will always regret not doing so. I never saw Hurrah again and that is also something i regret, a superb band.

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