Ian Svenonius Week Pt 6 – The Make-Up

My relationship with The Make-Up is unlike the relationship that I have with any other band.

They were the first Svenonius band I got into, but I can’t remember what it was that drew my attention to them.  Probably the music press here in the UK.  I love the non-live “live” album “Destination: Love – Live! At Cold Rice”, but never really listen to any of the other albums they did.

They are one of the best bands I have ever seen live (off the top of my head in the Top 3 with Super Furry Animals and the criminally underrated Birdland).  Their sound was garage rock / punk, mixed with soul and gospel and was self-described as a Gospel Yeh-Yeh sound.  They aimed to bring the call and response and visceral audience participation of gospel music to a punk setting.  They succeeded.

I have no idea how much of this I knew before entering the Garage at Highbury Corner to watch them.  I have no idea who the support(s) was / were.  All I remember is making damn sure I was at the front, gazing upwards at the band with arms in the air, eyes shut much of the time and screaming.

I remember thinking that this was probably how 14 year old girls felt watching the Beatles in the early 1960s.

Is there a bigger complement that I could possibly pay a band?

Despite having subsequently seen Svenonius perform with Chain and the Gang; despite listening to Make-Up albums, especially Cold Rice… it was only really watching this video a few weeks back that I remembered what seeing them live was like… I remembered how it felt, but this video helped me remember what it was like, if that makes sense.

Incredible band.


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