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Title: ZTT: The value of entertainment
Author: Chris Roberts
Source: Sounds
Publish date: June 1 1985

ZTT: THE VALUE OF ENTERTAINMENT
Ambassadors Theatre

SPANNERS WITH accents. Poe-Paul Morley jumps out of the seat behind me and bounds (well, clambers) onstage to announce the non-appearance of The Art Of Noise. He explains, not without poetry and Scotch that the original ZTT plan was for that musical body, not to have a visual image at all “because a spanner is intrinsically more interesting than… than… Howard Jones!”

Previously we beheld the first in a continuing action series of sublimely unusual women. She sang with Instinct, an unpretentious funky pop group. Her voice impressed, her attitude confused - was she arrogant or shy? Andrew Poppy was certainly the former, expecting us to stay with his astral Glass/Oldfield/Lloyd-Webber creations for nearly 30 minutes. For five, though, I found it pleasant to read to.

But back to spanners. Spanner Pigalle is thoroughly charming, despite nearly knocking over the mikestand with one dramatic gesture and nearly losing her buttonhole rose with another delicious Piaf-by-numbers pose. She doesn’t - with her sometimes drily resplendent voice - ‘provoke’ much approval, but since when did style care about results? “Encore,” I cried, amazed at my own adaptability.

The ‘surreal humourist’ who’d been acting as the evening’s compere raised yet more groans and then the curtain for Propaganda. Claudia in white, Suzanne in black (oh, and the two blokes, I suppose) are propelled by a pedigree ‘rhythm section’ of Derek Forbes and Steve Jansen into something which sounds dangerously close to the thinking person’s ideal pop group. It soars and snaps and leaves space for you to dream in, sweetly. Meanwhile the crucial image remains functionally flamboyant. They say there’s no business like it… ZTT alors!

CHRIS ROBERTS