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KING TRIGGER - THE RIVER
There's an awful lot of dance groups around at the moment. Pigbag and Bow Wow Wow are at last in public favour, freeing people of inhibitions about sweating and waving their arms about. This is the right time to take the nation and its feet by storm.
Who's most likely to do it? Well King Trigger are one.
King Trigger are five, but seem like twenty as they rattle out their irresistible, swooping dance beat. Sam sings about dug-out canoes and not being too keen on the sight of blood, Martin and Stuart handle the metal bits on guitar and bass, Ian percusses and Trudi, the token black female drummer, holds the reins with a drumbeat of quite daunting proportions.
The dual drumming begs comparison with a certain dandy highwayman, and indeed there are hints of the 'Cartrouble' Ants in the music. That's not all there is to them though. There's a million influences and a million reference points. Duane Eddy, McLaren's aforementioned puppets, Ipi Tombi, Thompson Twins without the excesses...
They've recently come off the Twins' last tour, a tour which has thrust them quite suddenly into the public eye. Picking up rave reviews all over, without having played their way on the London circuit. It reeks of hype and naturally induces suspicion.
Martin: "We were conscious that people might have thought we were a hype, especially when another paper put us on their front cover. It must have seemed like a PR exercise. Sure it was flattering but it was a bit premature.
"We've signed to Chrysalis so people are going to be very cynical about rave reviews and a single out on a major label. I hope that our performances on the Twins tour and in the near future will persuade them that we're not just a band thrown together by a record company in an attempt to get rich fast."
People who saw them on the Thompson Twins tour could not have failed to appreciate their raw, celebratory whoop in the face of all that is dank and gloomy. What they won't have experienced, though, is Trudi's Dance.
"Normally when we play live we open up the set with a tape that Trudi does a sort of tribal dance to. The Twins thought it was offensive so they wouldn't let us do it on tour. It was a choice between dropping it or being kicked off the tour, and that choice was very difficult. Eventually we decided to drop it, but we certainly didn't do it without a fight."
The Thompsons' action seems to be petty and unwarranted. Trudi's dance is very sexual but certainly not sexist - to ban it is like airbrushing National Geographic. The Twins must have seen them play before the tour, so surely they must have been aware of the dance. It seems to me an example of the huge gap between commonsense and a misguided "social conscience".
Why have the dance anyway? "Well we like to make our performances a litle bit special, something a bit different from the ritual of leap up on stage, plug in your instrument and launch into the first song. It's so boring and uninventive."
The Group agree that a little looseness works well in the right hands (Pigbag, early Pop Group) but too often it dissolves into self-indulgence.
Martin: "I definately believe in being as competent as you possibly can. I mean, some people seem to make a scene out of falling apart every time they get up on stage, their music has no cohesion whatsoever. That's a real trap and one that has been much too glorified in the past."
They've had their first real chance to gain this competence on the tour, having previously only played one-offs.
"We didn't want to get into the rut of playing the London club circuit until doomsday. They've got rubbishy sound, bad audiences, and it costs far too much to get in."
The tour was a long one. Did it turn into an exercise in going through the motions?
"No, quite the opposite. When we were just playing once every two weeks or whatever, we used to get really uptight about the performances and therefore when we played it was often a little held back. We've improved ourselves a good deal."
That's all very well, but there's always the danger that a great live band just can't cut it when they get into the studio. King Trigger were worried about that, but the impressive work they did on their recent Kid Jensen session allayed their fears, and further imporved the chances of their debut single being every bit as good as their live performances.
King Trigger, a suitably royal name. With them at the head of the Dance Republic, summer's going to be smashing.