Manchester International: July 17th 1985

manchester internationalFollowing the chronology of live tapes, we’re now out of the “Swoon” era and into Steve McQueen. The “Great Escape” tour was a brief flurry of gigs just prior to the release of Steve McQueen before the longer tour in the Autumn when the students were back at University.

The core band was joined by Kevin Amstrong on guitar and Michael Graves on keyboards, with the gig sequence being interrupted briefly by Live Aid at which Neil Conti and Armstrong backed Bowie.

This was a seriously rocked up incarnation of Prefab Sprout, and by all accounts was an extremely loud affair: you can hear that in the ringing at the top end in the recording, which is otherwise pretty good – there is more information and memorabilia relating to it (by “Craigie”) in the gigography page. Recorded from the bar, and incorporating the classic “Pint of Grolsch” sequence.

The recording  includes the earliest version of “Cars and Girls” I know of, and also included is the wonderful “Rebel Land”

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