Melody Maker 1989

Kool Kat, Nottingham
Tonight, TV Personalities play like they're in a little world of their own. And they are. Bum notes abound, some of the vocals are hopelessly out of tune and the drummer loses time with alarming regularity. Yet here lies part of the TV Personalities' appeal. They play as though they rarely practice, Dan starts off every song on his trusty semi-acoustic with the rest following as soon as they figure out which song is to be next. It comes across as a totally random set of songs, working because they've been playing together long enough to know what each other are going to do next.

As it turns out, tonight is a selection of greatest hits with one or two newies and a couple of cover versions thrown in for good measure, delivered with a pinch of salt and a healthy irreverence. "If I Could Write Poetry", one of the best EVER love songs, is treated to a 1989 re-work, as are "Geoffrey Ingram", "Magnificent Dreams", and "David Hockney's Diary". Bass man and resident nut, Jowe Head, is the steadying basis for the band, his rumbling grinding bass lines allowing Treacy and occasionally himself to improvise halfway through a song. Most of his time is spent bent over his instrument, now and again contributing ridiculously off-key backing vocals, showing off Jack Nicholson eyes and evil grin. The new single, "Salvador Dali's Garden Party", breaks into Blondie's "Denis" midway through, namechecking a host of trendy people who were at the party, culminating with "The Stone Roses weren't". Sarky buggers.

Tonight's TV Personalities are half genius and half bloody awful. They get up, play a raw rough and ready set and walk off, displaying in essence a punk attitude without all the gobshit trappings that some of their contemporaries never even had way back then. They encore with Mel And Kim's "Respectable" and Psychic TV's "Godstar", both stamped with their own wit and sarcasm.

Ian Oggly

Thanks to David O'Connell for the clipping.

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