Friday, 7 September 2018

Talking Heads

I first came across Talking Heads because the local music club where I saw many gigs, Friars Club in Aylesbury, Bucks, started playing the group's deliciously quirky single "Love Goes To Building On Fire" after the headlining band had just left the stage and everyone filed out of the hall.

Thanks to DJ Kris Needs for that. The other record he played after that was The Rubinoos' "I Think We're Alone Now".

Anyway, I duly bought the single and turned up on January 24th, 1978 to watch the band headline at Friars, with Dire Straits, would you believe, as support. For some reason, it was a poorly-attended gig, so much so that the upper level of the venue was closed. A year or so later and that certainly would not have been the case. The group, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, David Byrne and Jerry Harrison were great that night. I can still remember the audience going wild for "Psycho Killer" and my being fascinated by Byrne's oddball, paranoid stage presence. Dire Straits were great too.

The next time I saw them, it was December 1st, 1980 and the group triumphantly headlined at the Hammersmith Palais (with a young, relatively unknown U2 as support, delighting their small but enthusiastic following). The group was an extended one then, featuring guitarist Adrian Belew and several African musicians. It was one of the best gigs I have ever had the privilege to attend. I never saw them again, but those two gigs were memorable, I have to say.

Despite many musical changes in their eleven year career, Talking Heads never quite lost that earnest, shy studenty appeal. It was a great shame that they went their separate ways in 1988 - Byrne to work with Brian Eno and Frantz, Weymouth and Harrison to many other projects. At their best they were fantastically adventurous, innovative and, above all, mightily influential.


Click on the album's title for a detailed review.

77 (1977)
More Songs About Buildings And Food (1978)
Fear Of Music (1979)
Remain In Light (1980)
Speaking In Tongues (1983)
Little Creatures (1985)
True Stories (1986)
Naked (1988)

No comments:

Post a Comment