Sounds, June 1982, "Biting Tongues/Palace Of Prey, Riverside"
Palace Of Prey/Biting Tongues
AT -LAST, an 'alternative' gig that provides real, challenging, exciting and yet entertaining alternatives. A relaxed, cool setting, a friendly (though sparse) audience and two great, stimulating bands. A rare treat!
Biting Tongues were a welcome respite from serious young men locked into a rut of emulating past heroes, as they blew away the cobwebs and prejudices against free-form jazz and the normally self-indulgent improvisation medium.
Blisteringly, they're a less wacky (and, crucially, less commercial) proposition than Pigbag.
They bang tin cans, chant choruses and explore avenues of rhythm and percussion (the bassist is especially fluent and exhilarating), while sparingly using guitar, saxophone and dance-steps to embellish the basic foundation of relentless, frantic soundtracks to an imaginary fragmented horror movie.
Their main weapon is their vitality. They have the lean elan of musical and intellectual gymnasts, with all the speed and discipline and glamour of Cossack dancers.
Once or twice the swaggering determination gains an overwhelming momentum of earnestness wherein tragedy threatens to turn into farce but overall, they're well able to laugh at themselves.