Lost In Beirut

WASTED YOUTH / UK DECAY / SEX GANG CHILDREN / ACTIFED / CROWN OF THORNS / ERAZERHEAD / NEW MODEL ARMY

“Lost In Beirut” Lyceum Ballroom

They called this event ‘Lost In Beirut’ but what that has to do with anything is beyond me I’m afraid. An arid, empty plain?

New Model Army, hastily added to the bill after The March Violets sensibly pulled out, thus avoiding the lead balloon syndrome, actually provided the only good music of the first four hours. Led by a perverse Jacobean mohican guitarist, they rattled enthusiastically through a powerful set, swathed in melody, made all the more impressive for their trio status.

Once you’ve heard on Erazerhead song you’ve heard them all, and when you’ve heard a dozen that’s 12 too many. I knew they’re nothing but a total Ramones ripoff but I hadn’t expected them to be quite so moronic. D-U-M-B.

Crown Of Thorns did their reputation no good at all playing on this bill. Their monotonous songs fell heavily on those assembled and the set was far too long. And as for Actifed… well, what do you say? Rude words I suppose. They were awful and why they were placed midway here I don’t understand.

When Sex Gang came on they were welcomed by the worst sound mix of the day. In a trice Terry’s guitar began coughing. Dave’s bass disappeared completely and the ‘sound’ was largely Rob’s drumming and Andi’s chirping vocals.

UK Decay took it from there really. They plunged the building into darkness as they began their set with ‘Werewolf”, slipping on a horror soundtrack album to chill our blood and erecting a makeshift screen to show some mock gothic extravaganza but as we could neither hear the record nor see the screen it’s just one more mystery remaining unsolved.

The material from the virtuous “Rising From The Dead” EP gleamed briefly through the fog, and the guitar of Sp0n rang out like a distant bugle call. Finally they encored with ‘Unexpected Guest’ and that turned out to both the best moment of the day. The sound corrected itself far too late – just in time for Wasted Youth, could that be entirely coincidental? – and we had everything clear as a bell!

Unable to take anymore I left the building with a great many others and I’m told that only 300 remained for the established rock star ethics of Wasted Youth. Whether the audience experienced multiple orgasm or not we’ll never know,

And who cares? The whole day was a big mistake.

(Melody Maker)

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