NME 7 November 1987

Bedford Horse and Groom
So what's to report? Fifteen minutes after the TV Personalities have taken the stage (floor, actually), the desultory few are still huddled into corners exchanging a quick joke even as the bassist and drummer argue over who is to don the protective headgear and a lone figure in peaked cap with his back to the stadium (toilet, actually) petulantly fiddles with the tuning of his twelve strings.

Five minutes later the twelve strings is in pieces on the floor and my nerves set alight as Dan slams down chords of fire in another new song and his whole voice shakes as he barely contains his anger. Another five, 'Good And Faithful Servant' starts, much to the bemusement of the backing members who're never given warning of any song, and my fists are clenched waiting to turn this whole rotten world on its head.

How many bands can YOU think of who're still VITAL after ten years of struggling? I can think of but one and my spine is a jelly-like heap in tatters. Dan Treacy is the sort of performer the uncouth will always laugh at for he cares too much to compromise. But then;

More feedback and a sudden switch into 'Three Wishes', one for the milder-mannered to sing along with and 'When Emily Cries' and my insides are eaten up. From thereon in it degenerates into a pub band spectacle as Dan Treacy reveals just what makes him so special: UNPREDICTABILITY. Fifteen minutes later, no sign of a shut down and we're listening to a hard rock version of 'Sylvia's Mother', an HM medley and what could well be a Pilot song. It's bloody dreadful and extremely irritating the way the greatest of talents throw themselves away on a shrine of enjoyment, for some bands only work when they hate everybody. The TV Personalities are one.

But in between, 'How I Learned To Love The Bomb' (the single of '85 and '86) in all its attendant irony receives an awesome hearing and but a few minutes later and they're back for a fourth or fifth time to even fewer with 'Salvador Dali's Garden Party' and a real old Personalities chestnut 'Smashing Time'. Just another TV Personalities concert.

The Legend

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