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It Bites

January

1986

NME

live review

 
 
IT BITES

London Hammersmith Odeon

I DON'T listen to Radio One but I imagine It Bites are how it sounds. They have a cavalcade of slightly nauseous melodies carried by a vigorously effervescent singer over a tight featureless sound.

"Like a more melodic Marillion," mumbled their PR apologetically. It Bites' singer announced to the crowd. "We do everything, we want to cater for everyone" and revealed the root of their problem. By reducing their music for a hoped for all round appeal they strip it of any individuality.

This was the last date of a British tour spent priming audiences for Go West. Already It Bites play to screams. "This song's about suicide" (screams), "this one's called ‘Radiation Sickness’" (screams). The singer could have confessed to gutting a cat before coming on stage and the shrieks would not have abated In front of such an assembly predominately pubescent females with a spattering of acne faced males in anoraks – I Bites fit their supporting role and offer a short diversion.

But they could be anybody. Perversely I found myself pining for the glorious night I saw Duran Duran play here. They had the glamour, the effortless tack, the distance, the belting tunes. Pop stars from head to toe. In the same arena It Bites look hesitant rather than gladiatorial. They haven't got the voluminous egos or the hunger in the wallet.

With a suitable push from Virgin (to whom they are signed) It Bites might score a minor hit and occupy briefly a space on the bedroom walls of the freshly teenaged. But that's all. I think human beings should strive for more and, deep within themselves, It Bites probably think so too.

"You've been a wonderful audience." I know.

 

mick sinclair

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To read many more articles and reviews (over 140,000 words-worth!) written by Mick Sinclair, buy Adjusting the Stars: Music journalism from post-punk London