Let’s get the few minor disappointments out of the way first. We were made aware that The Icicle Works were no longer on the bill when we first arrived, a real blow as they were one of the bands that had drawn me to the event in the first place, still love the band to this day and not a week goes by when Love Is A Wonderful or Hollow Horse can’t be heard emanating from the cracks and openings of my house. I would apologise to the neighbours but judging from the music that creeps back in those same openings I think that it is my duty as a fully paid up music snob to educate the people around me. I since made up for their lack of showing by watching a number of shows between then and their quiet departure in 1991 and recently a cracking concert by main man Ian McNabb where we was joined by Cold Shoulder (Neil Young’s on-off house band) on what appeared to be the wrong side of the tracks in central Birmingham.
All About Eve also failed to play but the announcement of the fact came only minutes before they were meant to hit the stage. Damn! For those too young, or indeed too lacking in taste to remember, All About Eve were a folky-goth band, if you can imagine such a thing, sometimes cruelly referred to as goth-light, but for me they were better than that. Their ability to mix soaring rock, with darker goth imagery, pastoral folk, melody and an image that lay at the heart of a complex Venn Diagram that took in Woodstock, Paganism, The Pre-Raffelites and The Doors ticked all the boxes for me. As did their singer Julianne Regan, every young rock fans pin-up girl and a voice that if properly applied would have reconciled Israel and Palestine. Above all else that they wrote, their eponymous debut album was perfect, a collection of sweeping baroque and roll that had come out earlier in the year to great critical acclaim and though we were denied the chance to hear that material straight out of the box as it were, I would later console myself with the fact that I saw them a few times shortly after that period supporting The Mission.
Both bands were sure to be highlights of the weekend but…
..alas it was not to be.