New Musical Express : 17 December 1983



MUCH LABOUR BUT MOSTLY PAIN
SPK - DANIELLE DAX - SONIC YOUTH
London Venue

[...]
I wouldn't begrudge a group that long ago started metalbanging and exploring atrocity (they relieved a sheep carcass of its head at the Electric Ballroom last summer) their statutory right to cross-over into disco. But nothing could obscure that the most atrocious thing about SPK now is their emptiness. Sinan, the remotely beautiful vocalist is very photogenic but as a preformer, a vacuum, a dead centre. SPK are in dire need of a Blixa Bargeld, or a Nick Cave (or female equivalent).
Played out against a screen showing conspiciously 'arty' Cocteau films, the whole act smacked of petulant nonchalance. I'd been warned that SPK were playing under severe "constraints" (ie they weren't allowed to burn their fires) but it became patently obvious that until they let rip (after a pretty uninspired 'Metal Dance') with the spark-throwing circular saw and the chain-swining, they couldn't get it up.
This last induced a frisson of excitement coupled with an involuntary bristling of adrenalin and a rush from the front. Would you want to get your scalp taken off for art's sake? No neither would I. As the management prematurely closed the curtains.

Gay Abandon


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