Review of Official Secrets Act live at Nottingham Bodega Social on 25th March 2009.
Turn around for thirty seconds and then face the stage as the headline band appear and you could be instantly forgiven for thinking you’d entered some kind of time warp. London-based four piece Official Secrets Act don’t just reference the 1980s as a starting point for their musical wares, but fiercely embellish everything about the decade that many commentators of the day will tell you is best consigned to the archives. Of course, what makes Official Secrets Act so different to many other outfits whose careers are built solely on celebrating the past is that their post-modernist take on such an era is quickly brought back to the present courtesy of an array of sounds and more importantly, tunes, that exemplify why debut long player ‘Understanding Electricity’ can hold its head proudly amidst a wave of critical acclaim not to mention their well-received live shows constantly attracting a burgeoning fan base with every subsequent performance.
The four band members, all dressed in matching white shirts and black chinos may look like they’ve just crawled out of one of Barry Noble’s nightspots circa 1983 (or at worst, Ultravox) but one listen to the demented XTC-meets-The Cure ‘Victoria’ or perverse synth-orchestrated pop of ‘Mainstream’ (think Kraftwerk after a night at the disco or ABC if they’d ditched the gold lame suits for something a little more subtle) and its quite obvious this four-piece have a whole world of possibilities at their fingertips.
Having already spent the best part of 2009 on the road, its becoming clear that Official Secrets Act have already honed their live set to an almost perfect tee. The next step of course, is taking their well thought out pop sensibilities to the ever-demanding masses, and once they’ve achieved that goal, there should be no looking back.
Undoubtedly ones to watch for the rest of the year, Official Secrets Act will be general knowledge before long, of that you can rest assured.