|The Teardrop Explodes
LiverpoolTHE ZOO Club
(or Club Zoo, nobody seems certain) is situated in the seedy
and narrow Temple Street. Enter into the grim doorway and
discover a Tardis-style belying of external appearance. Inside
it is a plush, many roomed night spot. In the early sixties it
rivalled the Cavern as a Merseybeat hangout.
The Teardrops amble on for the first low-key set in front
of a hundred or so onlookers. Dave Balfe's organ strikes up
some chords and provides the solitary backing for Julian's
voice in 'Tiny Children'. Without the hindrance of excessive
volume the Cope throat ability is particularly striking.
Some twenty five minutes of the softer material, taken
mainly from 'Wilder', follows but the early showing concludes
with a dramatic 'Treason', JC bending and stretching the
syllables to find new harmonies in the old rhythm, The
predominant keyboards instil a sense of 'Nuggets' psychedelia.
Throughout the set they make handsome compensation for the
Two support acts appear between Teardrop sets. One tonight
is the impressive Colours Out Of Time. Each night there are
different mid-evening artistes, which add to the very clubby
(in the friendly sense) atmosphere the Zoo organisers are
striving for, although even they admit the venture is as yet
short of perfection.
Perhaps this is largely due to the cardiac-inducing shock
of a nationwide hitsound chart band making outings of this
kind. For the group it provides a breathing space after the
hectic bustle of the last six months, also room for freedom
and experimentation not possible in the regular touring
Celebrate the great escape?
In the time honoured tradition, the second uptempo set is
well on the road to derangement. It starts with a determined
drive through ‘Passionate Friend'. The first really old song
follows quickly, ‘Bouncing Babies', taken somewhat
over-anxiously at one hell-of-a gallop. Quickly knocked off
top is the choppy guitar-founded 'Pure Joy'.
Being a person who was a shade disappointed with the
'Colours Fly Away' single, the rearrangement it underwent live
came as a welcome revelation, a lot more powerful and dynamic
than the stodgy lacklustre vinyl concern. The whole structure
becomes pleasingly jumpy with nothing clogging the space
between Troy's zippy reverbed guitar and the quirky
percussion. The vocal is a lot stronger. Julian pronounces
“extremist” in a high whine then shifts into a semi-scat
improvisation. 'Ha Ha I'm Drowning' is welcomed back to……
(and here the review mysterious ends due to being sliced
off the end of my original and very delicate print copy. Can
anyone supply the missing words?)