Lo Fidelity Allstars - Music Box - 30.1.02

Its four years since the Lo Fidelity Allstars released their last album "How To Operate With  A Blown Mind" and since then their singer Wrecked Train has left (so vocal duties are shared between Lo-fi longstays Phil and Andy) and new recruit Dale Maloney is responsible for keys and samples. Obviously it would be impractical and too costly for the special guests on new album "Don't e Afraid Of Love", Bootsy Collins and Greg Dulli to join the band so its left up to the Lo-fi's to make tonight their own. Live the Lo-fi's put on a good but not great show. The music is brilliant but the performance is ordinary. There's not a lot of personality, charm or warmth from the band who very rarely involve their audience which ends up with them coming across as another faceless dance act.

"What You Want" and "Lo-Fi's in Ibiza" are unbelievably slabs of 70s funk mashed with a more contemporary mix of sample, funky bass and vocodered vocals. The hammond organ introduction to "Sleeping Faster" is infectious while "Disco Machine Gun", "Battleflag" and "Vision Incision" indicate why the band broke the states.

Playing for an hour and a quarter with one encore the Lo-Fidelity Allstars played well but didn't blow me away. Andy Dickinson tried too hard trying to look and act like Shaun Ryder, right down to the haircut, and he really needs to relax and be himself. Maybe its hard on the band having to carry on without Wrecked Train for his rock'n'roll attitude and anarchic spirit is sorely missed.

Nicholas Paul Godkin

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