Their debut album Talking Heads 77 was realised mid-September of the same year. The gig that I attended was at the start of 78 . The 27th of January to be precise at Newcastle Polytechnic, this was a week or so after the band gained nationwide coverage on our TV screens appearing on The Old Grey Whistle Test with three tracks “Love>Building On Fire”, “Don’t Worry About The Government” (oh If only we could ) and a superlative rendition of “Psycho Killer” pulsing, tense and tight, possibly better than the studio album version . The sound of Talking Heads was fresh and new and vibrant, this was so evident from the opening track of the album “Uh-Oh Love Comes To Town “ something from the other side of the spectrum, almost the polar opposite of all that bored teenage angst which stemmed from an outraged youth disaffected and dissatisfied with the old regime of old farts and the prospects of no future. I know this because I was one of those punks, who with no experience or know how got involved (along with Kevin Anderson, whose idea it was and John Evans) in producing a fanzine. My role as Bri Nylon was to take the photographs (as I had a camera) of various emerging bands, local and touring. Over time a great many of the photographs I took have been lost. My Clash, Jam, Patti Smith and Angelic Upstarts were due to my none payment of rent for several weeks and finding on my return from a weekend away all my possessions either dumped outside in the pouring rain or simply binned.
Talking Heads/ copyright Brian Gibson
What do I remember about the gig? Well, the support act was Dire Straits pre release of Sultans of Swing but with brothers Mark and David Knopfler returning to their home turf from London Town , they carried a bit of support from a segment of Polytech students in the audience, though the majority mix of students and none students were there for main act who were on a different wave length to the matey bloke vibe of Dire Straits, amongst the Talking Heads crowd there was a sense of anticipation of something new and exciting was occurring . So different from the old school rock of their support band and some distance away from the more nihilistic tendencies and fury of many emerging bands that were starting to define a developing punk scene.
Tina Weymouth / copyright Brian Gibson
Being such a while ago and being partly focused on the taking of photographs for our fanzine I don’t recall much about individual songs during the set even though I had the album. What I do remember the sound was very clear and not too loud. Every instrument and vocal was distinct from each other, working within that space, together they produced a great cohesive sound.
Jerry Harrison / copyright Brian Gibson
I managed to get one or two decent photographs and we even managed to get and interview with the band or half the band after the gig. To be honest I don’t recall much of the interview, someone had a portable cassette recorder and we were all smoking and drinking and it must have been cold too as I have an image Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth wearing a jumper, jacket and scarf. David Byrne and Jerry Harrison had gone off elsewhere maybe to a warmer room or to their hotel. I have no idea of what happened to the tape (I wasn’t operating the recorder or asking the questions) or who has it. Maybe it didn’t record, or the sound quality was so bad, either way the interview didn’t appear in Issue 4 of Deviation Street fanzine because there was no issue 4 , simply because I think we all just moved on to other things .
Tina Weymouth & Chris Franz / copyright Brian Gibson
David Byrne / copyright Brian Gibson