Stephen Fellows - vocals, guitar; Kevin Bacon - bass; Mik Glaisher - drums; Andy Peake - keyboards
Comsat Angels are probably the best band you never heard of. These guys attracted bad luck like magnets attract paper clips, but they endured 16 years, nonetheless, from 1979 to 1995, before finally disbanding. This show, recorded for the King Biscuit Flower Hour in Vaals, Holland during Christmas week of 1983, presents the band at a time when they had just changed labels from Polydor to Jive, and when they were making a conscious effort to be more radio friendly, especially in America.
The band had first emerged in the waning years of the vibrant UK punk scene, where they opened for bands like Siouxsie & the Banshees, Gang of Four, Depeche Mode, and U2, who invited them to open 18 shows in 1981. Although their early LPs on Polydor were critically acclaimed, they failed to sell. They had been booked for a lengthy US tour in 1982, which many feel could have broken the band Stateside, but it was cancelled when bassist Kevin Bacon (no relation to the actor) contracted appendicitis just before the first scheduled dates.
When the US tour fell apart, Polydor dropped the band and Jive picked them up. They had just released Land, the first of two LPs for that label, when this show was recorded. Again, the band received critical raves, but failed to sell, and again they were dropped.
In 1985, singer Robert Palmer took the band under his wing, and got them signed to Island. His high profile involvement got them more attention than they had ever seen, but with that, again, came bad luck. Shortly before releasing Chasing Shadows in 1986, the US-based Communications Satellite Corporation became aware of the group and demanded they change the name. They became CS Angels, but Communications Satellite Corporation still continued the pressure, and for the next record, the band actually changed its name to Dream Command. When the new handle also failed to help sell the new record, they returned to CS Angels.
The band continued to record, but by the mid-1990s their audience had dwindled to small groups of fans in rock clubs. In 1995 they disbanded and the members went on to other careers and musical projects.
Included in this show is some of the band's best loved material from the early years, including: "Will You Stay Tonight?", "Island Heart," and one of its few UK charting singles, "Independence Day."