The Live From London series is busily resurrecting rarities kept on life support in fan circles for decades — newly reanimated is Twelfth Night's Marquee performance initially released as The Creepshow. Filmed in the spring of 1984, the show was the first of three weekly performances introducing new singer Andy Sears — his predecessor, the late great Geoff Mann, even materialized for the encore of "Love Song," officially passing the torch. Infusing his own stylistic nuances, the diminutive Sears never thought twice about filling the statuesque Mann's shoes. Rather, the band's entire sound was shifting further away from its space rock origins, embracing '80s sensibilities along with the added draw of being signed to a major record label's subsidiary (it didn't happen).
Thus, this Live From London is an appropriate representation of pre-transition Twelfth Night, the only difference at this point being a change in singers; all the songs, save "Art & Illusion" and set staple "The Ceiling Speaks," were from their 1983 album Fact and Fiction. "Art & Illusion" was the lone new track, from the then-forthcoming EP and, as Sears nonchalantly reiterated, the "first and last" song of TN's he recorded (as opposed to performed) that he did not pen the lyrics for (the text was Mann's). This hour within the Marquee's confines is frozen in time, every single note, every sonority and what few flaws there might be, reproduced beneath low lights on a cramped stage by Sears and original members Andy Revell (guitar), Clive Mitten (bass and backing vocals), Rick Battersby (keyboards) and Brian Devoil (drums). The faithful gathered for the sweat-droplet-range gig bounce up and down like grunion amassed on the beach, Sears and Mitten (the latter's makeup and hair probably inspired by Nick Beggs of Kajagoogoo) hamming it up while a brooding Revell replicates his clean, jangly guitar lines at stage right. Even without Geoff Mann, signature tunes like "We Are Sane," "The Ceiling Speaks" and "The Creepshow" — gauged as the band's chief calling cards to this day — are no less stirring (then again, Mann's lyrics may have something to do with that).
Unfortunately, the Live From London DVDs aren't even light on bonus features — there simply aren't any. Well, better to have this than to not, eh?
1. The Ceiling Speaks (6:00)
2. Human Being (8:25)
3. We Are Sane (11:20)
4. Fact And Fiction / The Poet Sniffs A Flower (8:47)
5. Creepshow (12:35)
6. Art And Illusion (5:00)
7. Love Song (5:10)
Total time – 59:00