The Bananas Video

Bananas

Taken from round about the time of their reformation in May 1983, this was also part of the Marquee Club's 25 Year Anniversary celebration. This means you get the Pugwash version of the band at a time when they were still finding their feet, and is a mix of older material and newer stuff which were personal old favorites, rather than legitimate band compositions.

The performance starts with Mr. Ace dismissing the usual practice of using a dressing room, and instead getting into his performing attire on stage. The rest of the band don't look too worried about this, but they know him of old. Compared to the current incarnation, Deke looks less mature than today, Ace appears positively boyish, and Micky Jones looks no different, though remarkably dapper in collar, tie and spotted jacket.

C'mon is noticeably shorter, and strangely not the opener. Back Together Again is a decent song, but it is very hard to imagine them performing it today. After the first few songs, the general impression is that the band are playing well, but that the weak link is the vocals, which are at times distinctly iffy. Hard Way to Die is a loose and relaxed version, and Ride seems to amble along, obviously without the slide intro, and as with parts of the rest of the set, it seems that the band aren't really sure the direction the song ought to be taking. Asylum is another fine song which wouldn't really fit in with the current style of the band, and Romain is as tightly performed as anything else in the set.

Overall, the band are certainly feeling their was in what is, after all, a recent reformation, but certainly enjoy themselves. (Though maybe not as much as the bloke who removes his shirt to dance on stage). Brutal editing means that there is no inter song banter, and the packaging of the video is downright inaccurate. Happily, the sound and picture quality is much better. I suppose this is quite an important piece of Man history, and though the performance is not perfect, it is certainly worth having; if you are lucky enough to find it, buy it.


Produced by Castle Hendring, HEN 2 246.

At the end of 1997, I was told this video is available from :

Silverpark Associates Ltd
PO Box 2878
Ringwood
BH24 3XB
ENGLAND

Price 13.50 inc P & P; outside the UK, email SilvPark@aol.com for guidance.

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