Art Of Noise – British Library, March 9th, 2018 – Review

How does one go about reviewing something they have very little knowledge of? Well, research, for one helps. But it would feel a cheat to do that…so I will review it with a novice approach.

We queued for an hour. Quite WHY we queued, I’m unsure. Just, well, because the sign was there, a guy was there that we spoke briefly to, and then…there was little else to do to bide the time away. And Brits “do” queuing SO WELL! It’s somehow ingrained in the psyche of every Brit, I think. It’s in the DNA. If no queue is formed, a Brit will form one…and others will join uniformly and with a minimum of fuss. And it somehow fitted in to the style of the music we were about to have performed in front of us. Almost as if Paul Morley’s voice spoke from somewhere just out of earshot, “You are about to watch The Art Of Noise, please form an orderly queue.”

Once inside, the music played pre-gig showcased lots of the music of label stable mates from the ZTT days, producers like Trevor Horn and Stephen Lipson (who the Other Half reliably informed me was there watching last night) as well as collaborations with other acts. A veritable “smorgasbord” of the pop art music world.

And as Dudley, Jeczalik and Langan walked on stage, there was a wonderful warm round of applause. The kind of applause that you would expect old friends to receive (if we gave out rounds of applause to each other when we greeted each other).

Their music is familiar to me, but not overtly so. And I knew more than I imagined. It has seeped its way in over the years.

Highlights for me:

A Time For Fear (Who’s Afraid) – including the refrain that Anne played as a separate piece later.
Eye Of A Needle
Moments In Love
Paranoimia (which made me think of the Simple Minds “Don’t You” mash up also)
Close To The Edit (how could you NOT include it? It was the only thing I really knew them for for YEARS)

As a novice to their music…on the edges of my musical knowledge, it really was the most enjoyable of gigs. Sound levels and acoustics were great, and we were to the extreme left of stage (their left, as viewed from the stage). Explanations and talk of tracks from JJ and Anne. A great rapport with the crowd. Lasting rounds of applause between tracks. Loving and appreciative fans. A really good feel to the gig. The setlist flowed well. I would DEFINITELY see them again. If there is ever a next time. They don’t tour extensively but if there is a chance of seeing them again in future, I’m there!

Below, a YouTube clip of highlights from the show…

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