RAYMONDE ARE a Mancunian
noise with a ridiculous similarity to the
Smiths. The vocalist has Morriseys
range and timbre although the
double-breasted suit and tier-pine are
his own. The guitarist has a Marr-jangle
and snap, set-off with a mop-top and surf
shirt. Their songs are bedevilled by
campness but enjoy a Smithsonian
emotional flexing within a pop
texture and temp bring a variety to the
overall structure, yet somehow something
doesnt quite seem right ... just
when Im thinking that perhaps a
tincture of plasticity is what's required
to make music sound as though it belongs
in the mid-1980s, a punter yells
Jeffrey Archer at them and I
can no longer keep a straight face.
A lot of
people think that The Go-Betweens write
about love. They do. But their best songs
provide a metaphor into a wider milieu.
They've now evolved this writing into
something, in the usual pop context, daringly
literate. The lyrics have the
evocativeness of a short story, the
exactness of a screenplay, and conjure
skilful images of time, place and
characters in rage.
It was a
joy to hear these songs per se but
the pleasure was heightened by the vigour
that the band brought to the playing of
them. The range and dynamics of the
instruments being exploited in proportion
to the dexterity of the language.
further testimony to the quality of the
(mostly new) material tonight was that
one never felt a yearning for older
familiar things. Cattle And
Cane sounded strangely wistful and
anachronistic. Which is probably what
much of their back catalogue will be like
when they do release the new LP
"in February or March, to be
proclaimed album of the year" said
Robert Forster without sounding
Go-Betweens have attained glamour.
Glamour as a magical enchantment founded
on craftfulness rather than aloofness.
Glamour with an egalitarian spirit. After
an hour of making brilliance look easy
they said goodnight with an extended
working of 'Draining The Pool For You'
and left with smiles both sheepish and
to the doorman to ask for my breath back.