July 09, 2008

John Cale: vintage review of a 1975 Paradiso show

John Cale at the Paradiso, October 16, 1975

Crawdaddy has dug up a vintage NME review of a John Cale show at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, October 16, 1975:

And this is a band—not just the prima donna and a few pretty faces—with the agility to handle the soft, delicate textures of a number like “You Know More Than I Know” from Fear, in which Spedding and Donaldson have the backup harmonies down to the proverbial T, or describe a dark evil—emphasized by the crisscrossing paranoia of Spedding's guitar and Thomas' Rhodes—in “Heartbreak Hotel” that's only hinted at on the Slow Dazzle album.

The Cale voice is amply suited to its material. Okay, the precision of his phrasing may occasionally suggest the academic or even the pedantic.

But without the injection of that precision and its attendant cold remoteness, the stark cyncism of “Waiting for the Man” could never exist. Without it, the warm humour of much of the material would not have a base to work from and numbers like “Buffalo Ballet” could end up like John Denver meets a Kelloggs ad.

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