Poptone resurrect trinity of Tones on Tail, Love and Rockets, and Bauhaus in unexpected ways

by

THIS LITTLE UNDERGROUND
Poptone and Geneva Jacuzzi, The Beacham, Dec. 1
Poptone
  • Poptone
There’s little dignity in being a tribute act, even if – or maybe especially if – it’s yourself you’re playing. But when your two leading figures were members of not one but three legendary post-punk bands, well, the calculation changes a bit. Such is the case for Poptone, a new band anchored by hallowed veterans Daniel Ash and Kevin Haskins, big names in their own right as original members of Bauhaus, Love and Rockets and Tones on Tail (and, in Ash’s case, a noted solo artist). That’s about as deep an inkwell to draw from as they come. Peter Hook has been showing the glory of live underground nostalgia with the oeuvre of two canonical acts at his disposal, so the chance to see three in one night is just unmissable.
Poptone at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Poptone at the Beacham
Poptone at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Poptone at the Beacham
When the primary stage lighting of band in 2017 is black light, you know they embody the zeitgeist of yore. As for the execution, Poptone played with fidelity and fitness, enough to put to rest any understandable concerns of washed-up geezery. In fact, there was, impressively, no sign of rust on either of the two OGs.
Poptone at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Poptone at the Beacham
Poptone at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Poptone at the Beacham
The set list was very lean on Bauhaus material, which is in a way courageous and commendable. Even more laudable, their one dip into that catalog was “Slice of Life,” a perhaps unexpected selection that’s both inspired and overlooked. Even though the band were largely faithful to the recordings, there were occasional renditions that brought things back to beautiful basics, like that sexy-ass rendition of Love and Rockets’ “No Big Deal” that traded in the studio gloss for some beautiful Jesus and Mary Chain crank.
Poptone at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Poptone at the Beacham
Beyond their legacy stature and the many golden hits under their belt, though, it was interesting to see the most obscure work of all – Tones on Tail – be given most of the night’s spotlight. That stroke made this concert a rare live experience, one that reminded how strange some of that material was. No typical greatest hits tour, this was a true cult feast, which is so perfectly, classically alternative.
Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham
Although current and linked to artists like Ariel Pink, L.A. opener Geneva Jacuzzi would’ve fit like a black glove back in the age when the music of the above trinity dominated the underground.
Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham
The synth-pop eccentric may not have done much in the way of live musicianship besides sing, but her sense of artistry and effect is unquestionable. Her stage time was spent almost entirely inside a giant inflatable ball with full wardrobe, makeup and a flashlight.
Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham
Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham
Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham
Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham
When outside the bubble, she descended into the reserved early crowd, weaving and crawling, even involving them in her show. Sonically, visually, this would’ve been perfectly in its element at Visage.
Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham
Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham - JEN CRAY
  • Jen Cray
  • Geneva Jacuzzi at the Beacham

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This Little Underground is Orlando Weekly's music column, providing perspective, live reviews and news on the city's music scene.

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Email Bao: baolehuu@orlandoweekly.com


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