The League of Gentlemen - Thrang Thrang Gozinbulx
Originally released: 1996
Recorded live at El Mocambo, Toronto, 17-18 June 1980, and Harpo's, Detroit, 10 July 1980.
- Inductive Resonance
- Thrang Thrang Gozinbulx I
- Boy At Piano
- Thrang Thrang Gozinbulx II
- Christian Children Marching, Singing
- Ooh! Mr. Fripp
- Minor Man
- Thrang Thrang Gozinbulx III
- Farewell Johnny Brill
- Inductive Resonance
Reviews are listed in chronological order within each section. Please retain a chronological order when adding new reviews.
Date Submitted: 10-Jan-98
By: Michael W. Flaherty (z946128 at rice dot farm dot niu dot edu)
"It is unfortunate that the full version of the original League of Gentelmen LP is not available. While seeming to be uncertain if they were making an "Exposure" style art piece or a rock album, the band still managed to create an interesting work. But this "official bootleg" of the 1980 tour shows what the Leaugue really were: a new wave instrumental dance band. There are no vocals on this disc (with the exception of the audience), and much of the material was not drawn from the studio album.
"The music is about as far from King Crimson as Mr. Fripp has ever gone: every track has a simple dance beat, and the band members stick very close to the song riffs throughout. The trio of Andrews, Lee, and Toobad provide a strong, solid backing. Like the Crafties, they put down a "song" which Fripp plays over. Fripp's fret work is VERY fast, but not especially complicated: he often plays note patterns that move up and down the neck exploring various keys. Only occasionally does he break into a real "solo".
"We cannot call this music timeless: it is very 1980. (The riff to the title track, of which, by the way, there are three versions, sounds much like PIL's Keith Levine.) But that it captures a certain time and place is, along with some great playing, the recording's strength. It is also a good example of Mr. Fripp's highly respected "rock" playing during this purely non-Crimson period ("Scary Monsters" is another). New wave musicians and fans were very interested in Fripp, despite his connection to what was then thought of as "Dinosaur Rock". This disc shows us why that was so."
Date Submitted: 9-Feb-03
By: Michel Faber (michelfaber at ablach dot freeserve dot co dot uk)
"Lovingly and laboriously pieced together by co-producer David Singleton from a number of performances, this is marketed as an "official bootleg". What this term acknowledges is that the recordings were made on rudimentary cassette equipment with plenty of interference from crowd noise and other venue-related gremlins. However, Singleton has assembled, with judicious cutting and pasting, a strong CD which justifies his (and Fripp's) evident belief that this was worth the work spent on it.
"Unlike many listeners who find the sound of bootlegs unsatisfactory, I tend to *prefer* bootleg sound to the lifeless, airbrushed perfection of most official live albums. There is something hissingly vital about the compressed and buzzing sound that comes blasting out of a venue's speakers straight into a microphone.
"The League of Gentlemen's lone studio album was an awkward affair. Fripp puts this down to Johnny Toobad's departure and the fact that a recently inducted drummer played on most of the tracks. I think the real reason is that when captured clinically and pristinely, the sound of the League of Gentlemen comes across as... well... clinical. An intellectual exercise in setting Frippertronic patterns to a basic dance beat, as if merely to demonstrate the versatility of Fripp's invention. The silly titles -- 'Heptaparaparshinokh', etc -- and the snippets of quirky dialogue added to the impression of this being some sort of arch joke.
"Heard live, in the palpably sweaty confines of this official bootleg's North American venues, the music stands revealed as tight, aggressive dancefloor entertainment that almost sneakily manages to sound like no other dance music ever brought before the public. It does what it does with confidence and flair, and is genuinely groovy.
"As for the previous Elephant Talk reviewer's allegation that it is locked in 1980, this may be so from the perspective of the late nineties. But in fifty years from now, the neat categories of punk, power pop and new wave will have ceased to mean much, and this album is more likely to be perceived on its own terms."
Date Submitted: 19-Jan-2010
By: James Bailey (jimab at rogers dot com)
"Oddly, I still haven't picked up a copy of this. I have heard much of it though, since I was at both of the Toronto performances. Sweaty nights they were, with lots of jumping and writhing bodies on the dancefloor, including myself. At one point, I remember noticing a smallish fellow near me to whom I gave a kind of thumbs-up "isn't this fun" gesture. He responded with something that seemed like a "keep it quiet and don't draw too much attention" kind of gesture. Several years later I realized that it was probably Brian Eno, as he would likely have been working on something at Daniel Lanois' studio in Hamilton at the time and so would have been easily able to make it from there."
"The music was delightful, and will always get ones toes a-tapping. I don't think I'd say it was dated; even Barry Andrews' cheesy organ had a kind of retro/futuristic sound that freed things from any period-specific ties."