Article image

Title: Dome is where the art is
Author: Carole Linfield
Source: Sounds
Publish date: November 8, 1984

DOME IS WHERE THE ART IS

FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD

‘Welcome To The Pleasure Dome’

(ZTT IQ1)****

NOT WITH a bang, but with a…?

With a cordial welcome to the pleasure dome, complete with overkill, overjoy and over compensation. This is not the real world, inconsistent though it be; we’re asked to raise chilled glasses of Pomange to Frankie’s make-up, make believe and make do, and it’s sheer indulgence in the extreme.

FGTH are about the senses, in a totally senseless way. To their infinite credit, they blend the hip with the witless-merit badges to those whingeing in the office that it sounded like Pink Floyd before reading the sly credits to them inside. What it amounts to is a major (to miner) coup in a way only touched on by McLaren, reeking as it does of hype and hypocrisy, while out of the mud bath crawls Frankie, smelling sweetly of amyl nitrate.

Let’s submerge, indulge and fantasise. Wrapped sensuously around the ejaculations of ‘Relax’ and the wind scales of ‘Two Tribes’ comes a garden of Eden, made into an adventure playground. Wallow in the gyre with them, and gimble in the wabe (yes, paedophile Lewis Carroll gets credit in there too). Accuse them of Zola, of Neitzsche; uncover every plagiarism in the book, yet the masquerade remains intact. Life is a cabaret, old chum…

Let’s pause for breath though to point out this ain’t no value for money bumper package. Double gatefold gloss it may be; but one side you’ll have already, while another frolicks in spurious versions of ‘San Jose’ and ‘Born To Run’. But then, we all knew Frankie was a yob. Still, you can send off for Frankie designer bags, boxer shorts, even Frankie stick-on tattoos. Designs on your bodies as well as your minds, in a convenient package that doesn’t stain the vein.

Meanwhile, back at the dome, FGTH are embracing the climatic and the aftermath, with a fair amount of aural exercise in between. Frankie says… quite a lot, actually, pretentious rubbish for which we’re rewarded with almost illicit ecstasy. Recoiled melancholia bursts upon our palate in ‘The Power Of Love’; disco dementia on ‘The Onlv Star In Heaven’. Frankie makes gullibility fashionable.

Make love, not nuclear bombs, they say, because either way we’ll get an almighty bang. Welcome to the nightmare.

CAROLE LINFIELD