Thursday, 15 October 2009

Cocteau Twins - Selected Live Recordings 1983

Cocteau Twins seemed to emerge from the post-punk hinterlands already a fully-formed phenomenon in 1982. Followers of the Birthday Party, they were picked up by 4AD after sending out only two demo tapes - one to John Peel and one to (4AD supremo) Ivo Watts-Russell. Seemingly it was THAT easy in those days. It also helped that they were making a noise that was totally unlike anything else on earth at the time (and still is now, by the way). They were also alarmingly young. These two live recordings date from early 1983: the first (recorded for Dutch television) is from Amsterdam on the 29th January. It’s the better quality of the two, although both are pretty good.

The second recording, from Newcastle City Hall on the 29th April captures them at their early other-worldly peak. It's interesting to consider how they might have progressed had bassist Will Heggie stayed in the band - this concert was part of a huge European tour they undertook supporting O.M.D which was Heggie's swansong - the band fell apart a few weeks later in Germany and the twins became ahem, two, before re-emerging with 'Head Over Heels' et al later in 1983. However this initial era of the band has something thrilling and visceral that they gradually seemed to lose later on.

Amsterdam, Meervant, 29/1/1983:

Alas Dies Laughing/Dear Heart/Feathers Oar-Blades/Hazel/Shallow Then Halo/Blind Dumb Deaf/Wax and Wane/It’s All But An Ark Lark

Newcastle City Hall, 29/4/1983:

Hearsay Please/Garlands/Alas Dies Laughing/Dear Heart/Feathers Oar-Blades/Hazel/Shallow Then Halo/Blind Dumb Deaf/Peppermint Pig/Wax and Wane/It's All But An Ark Lark

With Gordon Sharp of Cindytalk on additional vocals, late 1982.