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Mick

Sinclair

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Rip Rig & Panic

September

1981

Sounds

live review

 
 
RIP RIG & PANIC

London Action Space

A CROWD of densely packed proportions slow handclap a murky, poorly projected film. More to the liking of the assembled is the entertainingly varied disco, spinning the hot platters of Tennessee Ernie Ford and Dionne Warwick to name but two.

Anticipation was soaring to a dizzying summit for the Rip Rig entry, an expected aural picnic that would justify the time spent standing on the toes of your neighbour with your hands in someone else's pocket and being annoyingly and constantly buffered by passing bods in search of liquid refreshment and/or bladder clearance.

Eventually the musos emerge. The Panic's on! Neneh Cherry sports a seemingly blue coloured mop top and waves her arms in gestures over the front rows' heads. Gareth Sager runs fingers through his cranium topping and proceeds to belch and bellow some random ish sax figures. Piano joins in to add rolls and sways till finally bass and drums take their cue and attempt to build a bouncy backdrop but...

The whole thing sounds wooden. Devoid of guts and emotion, offering not a jot of cerebral stimulation or limb-moving excitement. To the mass of onlookers they're as unconvincing as the aforementioned movie. People frown and doubtless wonder why they bothered. A few, forlornly faithful, straddle the side stage scaffolding and determinedly try to whoop it up but dozens more aim their feet at the inviting Exit sign and stream out, after two songs!

Rip Rig And Panic mumble on through their set, each tune becoming unbearably like its predecessor. No range, no varied tones, often subsiding into pseudo-funk avant garde-ish melodrama. There's no doubt that this combination can be lethal. Check the single or the flashes of brilliance spread through 'God' for proof. Rip Rig are a highly inflammable substance, but tonight no-one could produce the spark need to ignite them.

The event was a whale-sized anti-climax.

 

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