My first impression of this gig was “Who the hell decided to put them on here”. The Royal Court was half empty, and the atmosphere wasn’t exactly electric!
Paddy McAloon (lead singer and guitar with the Sprouts), summed up his and our initial feeling, when he likened the gap, between audience and group to “playing in the World Cup” stadiums. But all that was soon to change. Prefab Sprout, appeared on stage, minus glossy backdrop, seemingly unaffected by the “showbiz crap”, employed by lesser talented groups. The only props used, being Paddy’s hat, “which folk wear” down in London.
For those of you not familiar with Prefab Sprout’s style of music, listen to their debut L.P. ‘Swoon’ and you’ll realise how difficult it is to categorise them (reviewers easy way out?)
Their performance tonight was excellent in eyery respect, (don’t worry Paddy, we didn’t miss Ginny Astley anyway, (no offence love!)). The highspots of the evening being “Cruel”, “Green Isaac” and the encore “Walk On” (A lesson from the Sprouts, always put your best songs on the ‘B’ sides)
Wendy’s smooth and.melodic voice, complemented Paddy’s throaty groaning perfectly, while Martin on bass and Neil (their drumer of only two weeks) provided ‘enough depth for Paddy’s eccentric guitar to swim in.
The overall impression of Prefab Sprout was of four musicians playing for their and our enjoyment. No gimmicks, no frills, just a simple honesty which was fresh to see.
Undoubtedly, the Sprouts, will build a reputation and following, on the strength of their music alone, not what colour hair dye they use! What do you want dear reader, a circus act or……………
Merseysound Fanzine, 1984