Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * *
It is important to remember all that went before, when the fame and glory of art has been imprinted into the minds and the beginning of the story forgotten, the true inspiration found to be left in a drawer and covered over by images in papers of yesteryear. What comes through is a sense of magical familiarity, but one that is deeply encouraged to stand out because it has a difference, it could be subtle, it could be majestic or just out of kilter with the expectation that it blows the mind and does something very important, it makes the listener think.
One of the most successful British bands of all time is arguably Birmingham’s Duran Duran and yet despite all the glitz and glamour, the honour of being asked to write for one of the films in the James Bond franchise, of the untold millions of fans around the world, the past is something that has bee, not forgotten, but perhaps not delved into. The what could have been and might have also is always hanging in the dark and so it is with the release by Cleopatra Records of Girls On Film 1979 Demo E.P., that the light comes on and the past is given the room to breathe once more.
Even before the recognizable and luxurious voice of Simon Le Bon, there was the history, Stephen “Tin Tin” Duffy may have been the original incumbent of the position of vocalist, but it is to Andy Wickett that the past perhaps remains an enigma.
Girls on Film 1979 Demo E.P contains four songs to which Andy Wickett lent his considerable talent to and whilst it was not to be, whilst the band became the darlings of the pop media and adorned a million bedrooms with their faces on the cover of a multitude of magazines, what is in this release is a taste of something more important than riches, it is the rare and exceptional release of songs that are unhindered by pop superstardom, of history in the making.
Recorded in 1979, and with the line up consisting of the aforementioned Andy Wickett, John Taylor, Roger Taylor and Nick Rhodes, the tracks See Me, Repeat Me, which would go onto be transformed into the hit single Rio, Reincarnation, Working The Steel and the phenomenal Girls on Film, are, up until now, unreleased gems, it is like being offered a glimpse of the draft copies of great literature, the original sketches to magnificent works of art or even being allowed a peek into the genesis of your favourite poem; it is what makes the spark of enlightenment even more entertaining.
It is a privilege to hear any band’s previously unreleased work, it makes the story have more meaning and whilst the honest fan would not want to change a thing about the life of Duran Duran, what this four strong song E.P. shows is just how much depth there is to any back story, a story that owes much to Andy Wickett as it does to the rest of the group.
Girls on Film 1979 Demo E.P is a tantalising look at a history that many will not have heard before, a real moment of pleasure.
Ian D. Hall