Ritzy Aberdeen: October 17th 1985

“‘Every Mother’s son’s romantic’. Oh yes, and here’s one who is more romantic than most. The last time I saw Prefab Sprout playing they were a mess – finding it almost impossible to transfer their magical, musical gear changes and sweeping chords into live performance. Now, they are a brilliant, jewelled movement with everything clicking and ticking into all the right places. The sound holds every nuance of the records and Paddy McAloon’s words as clear as winter bells.

“There were songs from both albums, the hits that never were. A lot of new songs too, like ‘Cars and Girls’ – about Springsteen – which sounds like a McAloon special. A perverse, cynical comment on the man and his music.

“Everything is uncannily good, tingling with invention and strange melodies. Paddy, now beardless and boyish, sounds powerful. His tragic voice rings from the poignant to the sill affairs of his highly personalised music. Wendy, blonde and willowy, coos and calls in all the right places with a cool elegance.

“I sometimes think that Prefab Sprout come to us through force of will and sleight of hand, making excitement out of pure sound and speaking in poetic language. Tonight, Paddy’s wandering coolness became a warm feeling and it all worked like a light industrial dream.

“As the encores lit up, I could feel them becoming more accessible by the minute. This show could take them one huge step into the real big time, as opposed to the current cult status. An interesting and somehow frightening prospect for something as glorious and fragile as Prefab.

“Paddy, the wonderboy, sings ‘Life’s not complete till your heart’s missed a beat’. And he’s making many hearts miss on this particular form.

“In this age of hype and image, Prefab are a deliberate blow at pretension and have made it by use of songs alone. For that, they are exceptional and should be loved, nurtured and kept under glass.”

Lewis Marlowe, Record Mirror November 2nd 1985


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