Lyceum London: May 7th, 1984

lyceum98Set Listing

01. Diana
02. I Never Play basketball Now
03. Green Isaac
04. The Devil has all the Best Tunes
05. Couldn’t Bear to Be Special
06. Ghost Town Blues
07. Technique
08. Hallelujah
09. Spinning Belinda
10. Cruel
11. Don’t Sing
12. Lions in My Own Garden, Exit Someone

Issued as at least two separate “Camden Market” style bootlegs, one with the full concert, another paired with the earlier Savoy at the Boston gig and with Don’t Sing truncated and Lions omitted.

Two recordings are known to exist, the cassette bootleg version which is good but with a bit of sibilance on vocals, and a recording transferred direct from the master which is a little distant but pretty good. The first one just about shades it for sound and is the version presented here.

“I was at this one along with Hugh Garry. I was front stage, from what I remember there was some problem with Neil Conti’s bass drum, he tried for an age to fix it, Paddy was pretty upset, he looked annoyed. Hugh & I managed to get upstairs to the after party, a glum looking Martin was there, Nick Heyward & Pete Townsend were also there to meet the band but Paddy had done one…”

Tommy Richardson, Facebook

“Paddy ‘Prefab’ Mcaloon is unashamedly a muso and yet he’s neither timid nor tiresome. FACT: ‘Swoon’ (songs written out of necessity), for all its apparent complexity, is brash and brazen, driven along by those bold strokes.

“Take ‘I never play basketball now’. After the longwinded intro that draws cries of ‘clever dick’ (not tonight of course) comes such mighty chords it’s difficult to see how McAloon grew up without strumming along to ‘Keep on Chooglin’.

“And live its these moments that cut through the cold of the Lyceum and the ice on stage. Why wasn’t this band pulling together? The perfect choice of Virginia Astley to dep on keypboards should have bonded the vocal and instrumental flurries wonderfully, but tonight it’s drawn out, lacklustre even.

“You can’t kill a good song stone dead – and the Sprout’s songs are great – but you can chill them into lifeless monuments. It was warmer outside that night.”

Bill Black, Sounds, 19th May 1984

lyceum brian7 brian11

One thought

  1. Thank you for this. I was there with some University colleagues (Pharmacists), my first and only Prefab Sprout concert – but I have been a fan ever since.

    I remember being bowled over by the musicianship – very special!

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