Stephen Dees - lead vocals, bass; Pete Hewlett - guitar, vocals; Jack Griffith - guitar; Michael Shrieve - drums, percussion
Novo Combo had found success with each of their two Polydor records albums, Novo Combo and Animation Generation, released in 1981 and 1982 respectively. Although they had a significant amount of label hype behind their launch, and one superstar member (drummer Michael Shrieve had been immortalized as a member of Santana in the film Woodstock), Nova Combo unfortunately disbanded before breaking through to the big time mainstream.
The Police were a great influence to Novo Combo, and singer/bassist Stephen Dees' vocal stylings are reminiscent of Sting's. Still, they are talented musicians on their own accord, and Dees is clearly an effective singer. Guitarists Jack Griffith and Pete Hewlett play with a great amount of passion and skill, while having a tendency to sound similar to Police guitarist Andy Summers with their reliance on reggae riffs and flanged guitar effects.
This show was recorded as a King Biscuit Flower Hour radio broadcast from the 5th Floor Studios in Cincinnati, Ohio on Halloween, 1981. Recorded in the careful environment of a recording studio, this is one of best sonically recorded shows you'll find in the Concert Vault. The one song that broke through on MTV for Novo Combo was "Up Down Periscope," which is the highlight of this show. Upon a listen, the influence from the Police's "Message In A Bottle" is striking. The band dissolved after their second album in 1982, more than a year after this show was captured on tape.