Lene Lovich/Holly & The Italians/The Bodysnatchers
from Record Mirror, 9 February, 1980.
The Normals were out in force to witness this ladies night at the Lyceum. Seven piece, girl ska band The Bodysnatchers were first on and their brand of infectious rock-steady beat soon won over the mild mannered audience.
However The Bodysnatchers’ set struck me as being a trifle ordinary. The girls haven’t yet managed to create a distinctive sound of their own.
A song about rape, which builds up into a frightening climax, was the only Bodysnatchers song which stuck in my mind after their set.
Holly & The Italians didn’t manage to win the same sort of response. At times their set reached magnificent heights but a lot of the excitement was wasted as Holly fumbled around changing guitars in between numbers.
For a three piece, Holly & The Italians make a helluva lot of noise. Some of the tunes would have been more effective if they’d been a little shorter. However as they stand Holly & The Italians are one of the best, and fastest, post-punk bands around. Holly’s guitar playing is simple and to the point.
And from one memorable voice to the ultimate screamer – Lene Lovich. It was obvious that she could do no wrong in front of a devoted crowd. Even though I’m a great fan of hers, she left me a little disappointed.
She went through all the right motions, with her expressive vocal chords reaching new heights. The band played exotically bouncy music with the keyboard player perfectly complimentingLene’s offbeat songs with his neat lin in swirling / tinkling hooks.
Lene is a more accomplished performer these days and she gave the audience exactly what they wanted with old faves like ‘Lucky Number’, ‘Say When’, and ‘Home’, mixing with songs off her new album. However the new songs don’t seem to equal Lene’s past achievements and at times they appear too predictable.
I’m sure Lene’s got the talent and imagination to experiment a bit more and occasionally songs like ‘Bird Song’ show that Lene can progress without losing any of her magic.
There’s no doubt that seeing Ms Lovich live is an enjoyable experience but I was expecting something a little different from her this time round.