NME 18th January 1986

Brighton Big Twang Club
Lotsa folk would still regard the TVPs ("Nicholas Parsons and chums..." copyright Time Out, and that's a very old joke) as a purely 1978 ruse, and pull out that famed EP at their parties. They are now in a low-rent rut, to be sure, but age shall not weary them nor blunt the prick of their pen.

"It's raining / It's pouring / Why am I so boring?" ('Another Rainy Day In Manchester') is blissful evidence that Dan Treacy has got wit if you want it, and how! To any who might comfortably ignore them (for whatever reason), I would recommend the 'Sense Of Belonging' 45 from last year and then a dose similar to that dispensed at this seaside frolic.

After a typically wonderful appetiser from the Shop Assistants (who blushed to the eyebrows after they'd played, self-crit at its most extreme) the TVPs were no party-hat, with 'Back To Vietnam' and 'How I Learned To Love The Bomb'. But their rather modest, low-lit wisdom was a delight. Treacy is these days aided by one-man Punch jokebook supreme and part-time Palooka Jowe Head, and a fightin' fit Crawdaddy Club-style skinbeater (one Jeff, I believe); three trying to sound like no more than three, and plugging each other's gaps to some perfection.

Whilst offering a selection of wary, excellent originals, they also chose to loose a few arrows on those who've overtaken them - their 'She Sells Sanctuary' was magnificent! And 'Never Understand'. All serviced without a smile ...

If the name hadn't have been around for a few years, and they each adopted false names and a fuzzbox, I'm sure we'd have the TVPs on the cover toot sweet. As it is, the Personalities will no doubt play out this year, and the next, at £2.50 a time on the undergrowth of the pub scene; probably caressing 'I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives' a few dozen more times. And to think that, tonight, they could've been (no, were) bigger than anyone.

David Swift

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