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Comsat Angels - Islington Academy, London, 24/10/2009

  by Anthony Strutt

published: 20 / 10 / 2009

Comsat Angels - Islington Academy, London, 24/10/2009


On the last date of a short four day tour and their first London gig in nearly fifteen years, Anthony Strutt finds reformed Sheffield post-punks Comsat Angels to be both a powerful and still very contemporary live force

The Comsat Angels came from Sheffield and disbanded in 1995. On April 26th this year, they reformed with their original four piece line-up to play Sheffield. This gig at the Islington Academy gig is the last of four extra shows to promote a set of recent reissues of their albums and to which a secret gig in Milan was added the night before. Opening up for the Comsat Angels are former Chameleons’ drummer John Lever's latest band Second Skin, which played a perfect 38 minute set of Chameleons classics. Second Skin is basically Bushart,John's normal band doing a Chameleons set, with the added bonus this time of Chameleons’ bassist and vocalist Mark Burgess fronting them. The Comsat Angels are playing to a hardcore crowd whom worship them. Sadly this time it is not the original four piece as bassist Kevin Bacon is in the audience, but vocalist and guitarist Stephen Fellows, drummer Mik Glaister and keyboardist Andy Peake are still all involved. Tonight they are playing primarily songs from their first three albums, ‘Waiting for a Miracle’ (1980),’Sleep no More’ (1981) and ‘Fiction’. The music is moody with a post punk feel and does not sound dated at all. ‘Sleep No More’ opens the 66 main set of the gig and has a good solid sound and crystal clear vocals from Stephen. The venue is the perfect size for this band, who are playing to a full house even with an early start time and a curfew on the venue of of 10 p.m. ‘Be Brave’,has a Gang of Four like groove, and heavy bass and very loud drums. ‘Eye Dance’ is a moody, jangly number, while ‘Total War’ is sung back by the excited crowd. This track recalls the Clash’s ‘White Riot’, but the middle 8 sounds somewhat space age in feel. ‘At Sea' is a jangly and downbeat number. ‘Always Near' comes in contrast to the other tracks from their 1992 album, ‘My Mind’s Eye’, and is, as Stephen describes it, a modern number as it is is only 18 years old. It has a post punk sound, but his vocals on it sound like those of Bryan Ferry. ‘Cutting Edge’ also has a Bryan Ferry like vocal from Stephen, but its music has more of a jazzy sound. ‘Pictures ‘ and ‘Driving’ both go down well with the crowd. ‘Missing in Action’, is another crowd favourite and, sung back by the audience to band is one of the more noisy tracks of the night. ‘Baby’ in contrast has more of a post punk feel. ‘Postcard’ is a moody number, while ‘Waiting for a Miracle’ runs into ‘Independence Day’, which has some of the best lyrics I have heard ever. The main set ends with ‘Eyes of the Lens’, which is another clever little number. We get two encores ,the first consisting of ‘Valley of the Nile’, which is perfectly executed and much louder than a lot of the set and ‘Venus Hunter’ which sounds like a strange combination of the Cramps and the Doors. They leave us before returning for one last song,the slow paced and beautiful ‘Our Secret’, which also recalls the Cure. A lovely and very enjoyable evening. Comsat Angels Set List: Sleep no More# Be Brave Eye Dance Total War At Sea Always Near My Mind's Eye Cutting Edge Pictures Driving Missing in Action Postcard Waiting for a Miracle Independence Day Eyes of the Lens First Encore: Valley of the Nile Venus Hunter Second Encore: Our Secret Second Skin Set List: A Person Isn't Safe (Anywhere These Days) Nostalgia Perfume Garden Souls in Isolation (With a medley of the Beatles ‘Get Back and the Sex Pistols’ ‘Liar’) Singing Rule Britannia( With a medley of the Clash's ‘White Riot Second Skin

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Comsat Angels - Islington Academy, London, 24/10/2009

Comsat Angels - Islington Academy, London, 24/10/2009

Visitor Comments:-
754 Posted By: charlie, colchester on 26 Apr 2015
Steve - your a legend.Come back all is forgiven

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