Review of Preston's Dressed To Kill
There I sat, watching the TV coverage of The Specials at Glastonbury Festival the other week, thinking to myself that shorn of context - Thatcher/2-Tone/Railton Road - what's the point? I for one could probably live the rest of my life without seeing Terry Hall and co. wincing arthritically through the likes of Monkey Man or the now deeply ironic Too Much Too Young.
But whatever the slightly questionable motives, one purpose the reformation has served was to underline just how counterfeit the Fred Perry gimmickry of The Dead 60's and The Ordinary Boys really was.
Dressed To Kill is Preston's first solo single, one on which the press release notes proudly boast he played all the instrumentation himself, although one listen would tell you that perhaps that's less of a virtuoso performance than it sounds. This is because it doesn't so much sample as unashamedly cover Siouxsie & The Banshees 1980 hit Happy House, to the extent that both Siouxsie and Banshees guitarist Steve Severin are given co-writing credits.
Despite the singer getting into character as an admirer of the femme fatale in question and its classic chassis, this is strictly chaff destined for the Casualty trailers on UK Living. "I am ready to be a pop star" says Preston, now boasting more tats than an amateur rugby league team. Unless he gets some inspiration from somewhere, it's a career that's going to be even shorter than his marriage.
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This lively romp is entertaining enough to amuse the audience even when it veers off the rails.