The

Mick

Sinclair

Archive

Folk Devils

April

1986

NME

live review

 
 
THE FOLK DEVILS

London Bull and Gate

NOT THE greatest night of the Folk Devils' career. As a group they flirt with powerful forces, seeking to evoke a precise anger and channel it into grandly atmospheric charges of noises. With a song like ‘Where The Buffalo Roam’ they achieve a post dated Pistollian invective topped with foaming vocals that tell of the "English disease" in a manner fit to slay allcomers.

But when the delicate control of all this slips from their grasp, their more musically ambitious material limps along in a less than obvious direction as their sense of dynamic gets blunted. This state occurs when the spirits mount against them, as they did tonight, and it makes the group's motivation look like mere snotty irritability.

In a room with the ambience of a village hall on youth club night, with such a lengthy running order of bands that the evening was almost certain to end prematurely and, most regrettably of all, a PA that led to exchanges such as – Folk Devils bassist: "Can you hear the vocals?" Spectator: "Eh?' the circumstances colluded against the Folk Devils delivering their finest.

In response the crowd, from early into the set, thinned dramatically and as time passed the Folk Devils’ own frustration increased. Those who remained blamed the group for the shoddy performance while the group hurled the vitriol at the monitors.

After two stabs at an unfortunately near prophetic 'It Drags On', which followed a number aborted mid intro, they concluded with a severely ramshackle 'Sweet Jane' and climbed into the crowd to state their case more directly to the paying customer. As for the man at the PA, I dare say words were exchanged. . .

 

mick sinclair

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