Sounds 27th July 1985

Cocoa Pops

Chocolat-Art (A Tribute to James Last) (Pastell POW 2)
Rating: Three-and-a-half stars
'Nice' would be one way of describing 'Chocolat-Art', 'youthful' would be another, but neither words would satisfy, probably because the TVP's really ought to sound ten times greater than they do on this album, recorded live in Germany in front of ten or twelve natives of a town called Enger.

It's an enjoyable yet frustrating LP. The band's self-deprecating humour (the very fact that this is a recording of a gig where only a dozen or so natives of this town called Enger showed up serves as thigh-slapping material in itself) is endearing, their lilting psychedelia mesmerising and the way they insert into their own numbers the melodies from 'sacred' rock classics - brazenly commandeering Pink Floyd's 'Brain Damage' on 'I Know Where Syd Barrett Lives' and 'Eight Miles High' on 'King And Country' - is just awesome.

But the TVPs' clumsy musicianship and a disappointingly lacklustre performance leave the listener feeling a mite untouched. In other words, 'Chocolat-Art' is merely adequate, more a sampler than a 'proper' release.

However, the listener's appetite has been delightfully whetted, which is indeed a grand thing to have achieved.

Mr Spencer

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