The Pop Group – Islington Assembly Hall

Why this gig?

Because the Pop Group are one of that group of post-punk bands whose music was really important to me and I leapt at the chance to finally see them live.

Support

Two rather interesting choices for support. Neither of them sounded anything like the Pop Group. Have to say that the promoters were a bit crap at letting people know who they were. It’s been a bit of a struggle to track down the information.

First up was Rainforth. A solo woman playing electric keyboards and singing. I wouldn’t have been surprised to find that she was a former member of the Raincoats or some similar group, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. I was standing next to her daughter who was taking photos and shouting encouragement all through the set. It was pleasant enough stuff (particularly enjoyed her cover of “Be My Baby”) but nothing Earth-shattering.

Then we had Goodbye Leopold. Three woman sinking acapella in a language I didn’t recognise while wearing skin-tight psychedelic leotards. It was certainly different. And I think I really enjoyed it. I’d certainly be really happy if I saw them supporting another act in the future.

Oh, and there was some poet how came on to entertain us with his doggerel and introduce the Pop Group. He was rubbish.

Headline

The Pop Group were as intense and angry as they have always been. They played with the enthusiasm and vigour of men half their age. It was great stuff played with a lot of energy.

The set covered their material pretty well. “She Is Beyond Good and Evil” was surprisingly early in the set, but they kept great songs like “Amnesty Report” and the newer “We Are Time” for the end. The encore was (of course) “We Are All Prostitutes”.

This was the last night of a short UK tour. I’m not sure what their future plans are, but if you have a chance to see them in the future, I recommend that you take it. You won’t regret it.

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