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October 27, 1982 - Image 6

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1982-10-27

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

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__ARTS,
Wednesday, October 27, 1982 TeMcia al

Page 6

The Michigan Daily

Idol/Void; scene changes

By Mike Belford
T MAKES A change sometimes to
see a concert in Ann Arbor that at-
tracts a predominantly non-student
audience, and Sunday night's crowd at
Second Chance was the most diverse,
interesting and numerous I'd seen at
the place for a long time. Apart from
the token few punks who'd turned out
just to watch Billy Idol and go home,
the majority were there for Romeo
Void's first local appearance-vividly
showing the committed level of interest
in this relatively small time San Fran-
cisco band.

Before either of them appeared,
however, a bizarre looking duo called It
Play (or something) grabbed the
spotlight and proceeded to swirl their
way through forty minutes of the dullest
monotonous industrial dirge you'll ever
hear.
They've obviously listened to far too
many Gang of Four records than is
good for them and would do well to liven
up their act somewhat. Highspot of
their set, and just about the only par-
ticipative audience reaction, was when
they announced their last song..
A brief stage reorganization and on
swaggered Billy Idol-looking just the
same as he did in London six years ago,
with his ridiculously kitch visual ap-
pearance and new "fresh from the
mould" archetypal "rock and roll"
band. "Just kids like me," says Idol,
but I'd put them all at least over thirty
at a conservative guess.
If the band didn't look like punks they
certainly didn't sound much like them.

The guitarist seemed happiest when
playing tedious drawn-out solos to the
few admirers down at the front of the
stage, with the bass player and drum-
mer showing a distinct lack of
imagination and initiative whilst main-
taining a volume that all but drowned
out Idol's vocals. Special mention as
well must go to the female keyboard
player who acted out her dumb blonde
role almost to the point of perfection-a
real comedy act.
They managed to get the crowd hap-
pily pogo-ing through "Ready Steady
Go" and "Dancing with Myself"
although I was disappointed Idol didn't
do "King Rocker"-it might have
livened up the set a little more. As it
was, the encore was a heavy metal ver-
sion of Tommy James' "Mony Mony."
I'm sure this band could make almost
anything sound like Van Halen in order
to sell more records. John Lydon and
Public Image illustrated the fact that
there is life after Punk, and Billy Idol
and his band might benefit from a little
more diversity and a less obviously
blatant commercial attitude.
No need to be too cynical about it
though-I laughed through most of the
set. . . and come to think of it, so did
Billy Idol himself.
Altogether more seriously, Romeo
Void appeared after a thirty minute
break to the warmest reaction of the
night.
The early intensity is still there,
similar in execution to the "Siouxsie
and the Banshees" concept of rock
theatre, but powered along by the for-

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Punk Power? Nah, Billy Idol's just a rock star.

ceful drumming of Larry Carter, and
the driving rhythmic bass playing of'
founder band member Frank Zin-
cavage.
With the new songs the band seemed
to have emerged from the legacy of Joy
Division that shrouded their first album
and the newly adopted (dance) stance
gives singer Debora Iyall much more
space to glide around the stage fron
dominating the show and freely inter-
spacing her lyrics with the fluid
saxophone punctuations of Benjamin.
Bossi.
True to their name, Romeo Void sang
of real world problems and hear-
tbreaks: You used to smile when I
walked in the door, you used to

smile-but not any more; but
they've always got one eye over their
shoulder and their tongue in their
cheek; The pictures I've drawn look
on convinced-while the dishwasher
changes from wash to rinse.
As far as being part of the California
music scene Debora sees Romeo Void
as essentially independent as she
described in a recent interview:
"Although we used to play the same
places I don't consider it a club or
something you can be in or out-you
can be parallel." She also stresses the
many diverse interests of the other
band memebrs'with Frank Zincavage
involved in sculpting and drawing, and
Peter Woods currently exploring new
photographic techniques-check the
cover of the new Benefactor album.
Right now, though, the band's main

unifying interest is the music, and after
the current tour-a lengthy schedule of
relatively small town concerts-they
fly to Hawaii, Japan and Europe to
promote their own particular brand of
post-punk experimentation.
The past influences are more subcon-
scious than readily admited, but the
new songs -are polished and solid
without falling into any of the obvious
cliches of past (or recent) musical
styles.
"Our drummer came from the seven-
ties hard rock school until he
discovered the groove," joked Debora.
Unfortunately it's still that school that
dominates, and whilst the distance
Romeo Void are creating may not be
large within the wider context, every
little bit certainly helps.

Golden Key
National Honor
Society

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INtKvIEwS: CAREER PLANNING & PLACEMENT NOV.
2, 3, 4. SEE PEACE CORPS REPS. BRING IN COM-
PLETED APPLICATIONS. OR CALL (313) 226-7928
DETROIT AREA OFFICE.

Students with questions may come to The Golden Key
Information table located in
Angell Hall, November 2
Business School, November 3
West Engineering Bldg., November 4
All Days 10:00 A.M.-3:00 P.M.
A

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Records

Landscape-'Manhattan
Boogie-Woogie' (RCA)
Icky synthetic music. The people who
brought you "Einstein a Go-go" get out
their electronic trombones for another
set of post-disco numbers with awful
lyrics, ordinary vocals, and packaged
danceability. The band boasts they
have "the hottest technological advan-
ces," but I don't hear anything that
Spandau Ballet or Time haven't
covered much more proficiently.

The title song is the only one that
holds much interest and it might be
moderately successsful, as uninten-
tional parody of the New York scene it
tries to celebrate. Personally, I have
great reservations for white people who
use the word "boogie-woogie"
prominently.
And those awful trombones, rising to
frequencies beyond the range of even
East Coast modesty! Icky.
-Ben Ticho

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