Daily’s Memory, Stockholm: December 5th 1990

A recording of this concert is believed to exist.

“I also saw them during the Jordan tour, in December 1990 in Stockholm. I remember it as a great set and a great event. During the hectic “Faron Young”, Paddy even managed to kick down the microphone tripod.

“I also thought it was weird that they opened with “Michael”, which is a kind of off-beat song to kick off a concert with. I also distinctly remember Wendy offering some remarks to someone on stage, who obviously didn’t do what he was supposed to be doing. Ah yeah, there was chemistry on that stage!

“But my biggest regret is not going backstage and just offering them a hug. Oh no, I had to get home in order to get up early for university studies the next day. Stupid. Do I remember the class the next day? Nope. Or would I have remembered the meeting with the fab four? Grrrmbl…

“I also bought the souvenir program booklet, and a bootleg t-shirt from some weird street vendor outside. The t-shirt is great, btw, on the back is printed the dates for Copenhagen and Stockholm, a true Scandinavian Sprout collectible!”

“Sweden’s largest newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, published a review that mirrored the previous one in Gothenburg: the music is good, but the band is simply not interesting live. ‘As a stage band, Prefab Sprout is lame and commonplace. The meeting with an audience should be electrified, but although Paddy McAloon was surprisingly delighted by the response of the fans, there was very little interaction between the band and the audience. And McAloon’s vain ambition to reproduce his music as faithfulyl as possible is a sign of unwillingness to take risks – and therefore the whole concert was sadly lacking in excitement. Prefab Sprout belongs to the absolute elite among the present-day pop songwriters. It’s just too bad they don’t have confidence enough to take a few risks and play around with the material.’

“Sweden’s other large newspaper, Svenska Dagbladet, echoed the previous review. The music is great, but the live performances were boring. ‘The feeling of being satisfied was already there after 45 minutes, but the band continued to play for another hour. Of course it’s great to get one’s money’s worth, but sometimes you get too much of a good thing. Especially when nothing really happens on stage.'”

rivermoving from the sproutnet discussion board

“The first time I saw Prefab [Sprout] was five years ago at the Ritz in Stockholm. That was a wonderful concert. Even though I stood in front of the stage, the sound was prefect. And it was an incredible amount of musicianship Prefab exhibited. 

“It always difficult to live up to such memories, and this year’s concert at Melody can only get the mark approved, but not more.
The place was sold out, not surprising, which I would guess means 1000-1500 people.

“Prefab Sprout are Paddy McAloon, his brother, Wendy Smith and a drummer. With them they also brought a keyboard player, a 
percussionist and a lead guitarist. Last time I saw them, Paddy played all guitar himself, and he played better. This guy was technically good, but soulless. (Which also applies to the other backing musicians.)

“It’s hard to really put the finger on what was wrong, but one problem is that Prefab have too many similar songs. There were too many songs I recognized and yet couldn’t place. (Turned out that most such songs were from the soap album, “From Langley Park to Memphis”.) 

“Particulary the ballads really felt superfluous to me and were the weak parts of the show. The highlights? The show never really
lifted. They did a quite good version of “Faron Young”, that has to go as the best. Still, some of the songs comes out better live than on album, this particulary applies to the songs from “Steve McQueen”. “Moon Dog” was kind of a disappointment. I had hoped that they would do something with the intermezzo in that song, but they skipped it completely. (And they didn’t play the best song from “Jordan” at all, “Scarlet Nights”.)

“The material was taken from “Steve McQueen” (six songs), “Langley Park” (six songs) and “Jordan: the Comeback” (9-10 songs). They
also played “Cruel” from “Swoon”. As one might expect none from “Protest Songs”. 

“The two main persons on stage are Paddy and Wendy. They also came on last, and left half-way in the last encore “Doo-Woop in Harlem”, and let the rest of the band do an prolonged instrumental close. Paddy is the lead singer, but the one that occupies your thoughts is Wendy. Really, what does she do there? She sings some random backups, sometimes she beats the tambourine. Well, OK, her voice is an integrate part of the Prefab sound, but yet she seems least of all like one the core members. Paddy is open, expressive and frivolous. Wendy fulfills all your ideas about the pale English girl. Often her eyes seem to be lost in the distance, maybe of
concentration, and just sometimes she opens up and smiles. 

“The sound was acceptable, taking in regard that we were quite close to the stage, but nothing close to what I heard five years ago. Sometimes the mix was muddy, and was it uneven throughout. In the beginning you hardly heard the congas at all, then you
almost heard them too much. 

“So, to conclude a fair show, but nothing I will rant about for the next five years.”

(Erland Sommarskog – rec.music.misc usenet group)

1990-12-05 Ticket Daily's Melody, Stockholm melody

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