– Klub Foot -Various

UK DECAY / ACTIFED / RITUAL:  Klub Foot

(Melody Maker)

Thursday morning and the news comes through. The Associates{an art school version of ABC) have split up (bullshit is bullshit). Hoop la, hoop la, good news indeed and generally just the thing to make my tired limbs brisk and businesslike, particularly with flu encroaching upon my sinuses. But today nothing could rouse me from distemper for UK Decay were splitting up. Heedless of even the ridiculous plaster on my forehead I was off, London Town was calling me.

Thursday night. The queue stretches around the corner and off into the bright lights of Fulham where once Johnny Haynes was king. We lingered in the evening air savouring the coolest of breezes, preparing for the hankie outburst when Decay hit the stage for the last time.

Ritual were already on as I eased my way in past many an overhanging haircut. A heartening sight they are too, proving that some bands are still trying. Emotion and inventiveness clad in armour. This is what we want. Your eyebrows arch in astonishment as they heave their way through ‘Assassin’ with its devilish keyboards and the bass snaps your spine. They are of course quite fantastic, a phrase that I seldom use. Imaginative and fantastic.

There, I’ve said it twice. Imaginative, non-conformist and fantastic. I could go on…. (Actifed meanwhile are simply Actifed. I can say nothing more. There comes a time when a band is just a band. Besides which there is the final Test Match to consider.

So, to Decay. A sad occasion and yet filled with the joys of spring. How could they do. it? Some people didn’t even know they had. Their last 12-inch single, “Rising From The Dread” hadn’t just been their greatest single, it was one of the year’s best. Far better, say, than ‘The Message’ by Grandmaster Fart.

Decay build songs on energy and tonight it was the purest of purveyance. They dazzled, charmed and left the perfect way. They’ve always been the odd ones out in punk circles, probably because they were the best and caught between

The two generations and now they’re gone.

Before their performance vocalist Abbo told me of future plans which seem similar to the Theatre of Hate metamorphosis. Only guitarist Spon is actually leaving but as his contribution to the band has been so distinctive the ‘future’ entails a search for a dose of ‘new’ music. How this can be done is anyone’s guess.

Abbo later to look exhilarated onstage, described it as a challenge. It’s surely more than that. Mind you, stranger things have happened. A German once wrote an entire book about a lemon.

(Melody Maker)

UK Decay/ Actifed: Klub Foot

(Sounds?)

 Thrust into the glory of Sounds front cover mega-stardom by a somewhat overzealous editor) even before they’d had time to recover from the thrill of their very first live review, the potentially supreme Actifed had little choice but to either spring from nowhere, triumphantly bearing a debut album of awesome proportions, or panic…and simply vanish.

But instead, Actifed have taken things with an ultra-cool pinch of salt, steadily building their following by writing some stunning new songs – ‘Living Death’, ‘Exit’ – improving/refining that rich, mesmerising, powerful sound and getting involved in what’s turning out to be a frustrating and non-conclusive deal with WXYZ Records.

So, as one band waits impatiently for the chance to ignite its proverbial blue touch-paper and explode skywards, another realises that in spite of its touch-paper having been well and truly lit (and sparkling) for the last year or so, the anticipated Big Bang just isn’t going to happen.

This was UK Decay’s final gig and the mood amongst their huge, totally devoted following was a curiously pessimistic kind of optimism (Huh? – Ed) A sadness full of hope for the future.

Their very finest number ‘Unwind’ began the celebration with a heart stopping splendour. The warriors danced, the belts swung savagely and the music? The music, after ‘Unwind’s opening glory became monotonous, predicable and about as subtle as a mallet to the temple.

Fine : Two or three harsh, overwhelming gusts of mystic melodrama worked a treat. But an entire repertoire of the things was heading for overkill, thus UK Decay ended up sounding like the musical equivalent of a big-dipper full of screaming acrophobiacs.

The components when taken individually – especially the ‘Stagestruck’/For My Country’/ ‘Sexual’ peaks – were dazzling. But, camouflaged amongst those countless soundalikes, the dazzle was terribly dulled and possibly, to many it was lost.

WINSTON SMITH

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