In 1980, Prefab Sprout were a vaguely punky three piece, beginning to make an impression on a few fortunate early adopters. Martin and Paddy were joined by childhood friend Michael Salmon on drums in a lineup Paddy has looked back upon as the purest invocation of the band.
Domefest had been running for some years as a free festival. Not exactly Woodstock, but an eclectic mixture of music. Prefab Sprout complete with long coats and a music stand for the lyrics – Paddy never having been one to easily remember his own words – were even photographed, and more importantly some of the set was recorded and eventually put out on a Kitchenware Cassette. I’ve never seen a physical copy – please get in touch if you have one! – and what there is has been taken from copies of copies and generally messed around with, but these copies from the CD Fanzine set issued in the 1990s are not bad, and have been equalized for maximum raucosity. The set includes one of my favourite Sprout songs, “Tin Can Pot” of somewhat incomprehensible lyrics. One of the two questions I would ask Paddy were I ever to bump into him would be for the lyrics for the first verse of this song. Something like “I worked shifts on the pedals that pull the coloured strings/her jealous eyes and actions/observe you from the wings”.