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Title: Brunel, Duke Of York’s
Author: Mark Cordery

ACT (Brunel, Sat: Duke Of York’s, Sun)

A preview of their imminent ZTT LP, ‘Laughter, Tears & Rage’, suggests that there will be much to enjoy here, assuming that a sense of theatre and occasion compensates for the slightly less luxurious sound you expect from a liver performance. Featuring Claudia Brücken, lately of Propaganda, and Thomas Leer, back from wasting away at Arista Records. Act have fashioned some very hummable melodies amidst the Orient Express opulence of their record; lots of brass as well, especially trumpet, some exceedingly glamourous Euro-disco, very much the dark side of Taffy, a dash of Satie and a slap of DAF – some kind of Art School Abba to their detractors, probably, but if you are ticked by the idea of a love song wherein the girl pleads ‘Promise me you won’t die!’ then this is for you. They also shed some spectacular new light upon Englishness of Rice-Lloyd-Webber and Smiths tunes: I trust I’m not spoiling anything for anyone if I reveal that they have a jazzy vamp ‘Heaven Knows I’m Miserable Now’ laughing up their sleeves. It could well he a highlight. And having savoured the sound of their most extravagant piece, ‘Snobbery And Decay’, ‘swirling about in an infamy of its own making’. I’m rather looking forward to that too. A grand and quite possibly starlit night out in prospect.

Mark Cordery