(From Sounds, UK music paper, 21 July 1984.)

Teen Torment


Camden Palace

Anyone who can look Brilliant in the eye and fail to be moved has been standing too long in wet cement.  Whether by accident or design, this is the band for the moment -- any moment.

You could take them anywhere and they've got something for everyone. Latin percussion, rock guitar, a psychotic drummer, two bass guitars, lasers (well, OK, they belong to the Palace), bits of metal, synthesizers, cowbells (yay!), the ultra-cool girl singer . . . oh, and Youth.  Nearly forgot.

The token raggedy-assed pin-up lout with the Credentials, the Dreadlocks, and the Psychedelic Jacket.  Every band should have one, but this one's busy right now making those doying doying rubbery noises in Brilliant.

Tonight, Brilliant were funky, but with the ingredients they've got, they could probably give them a stir in any direction they pleased -- electro-jazz, afro-punk -- but like I said, tonight was for dancing.  They hit a peak early on with their second number, 'Cut Price', with its instantly addictive groove mapped out by Chester Bongo-Man.  After that, there was no looking back.

This is the kind of uncharted everyman's land that Shriekback have spent the last few years searching for and ex-Shriekbacker (and a few other things) Pedro has finally found, having parked his blood-stained drumkit in the Brilliant camp. For once, he looked almost at peace.

'Colours' was missing, but after the inevitable search for stray bits of percussion, they closed with the uplifting 'Soul Murder' and returned for a hot and dishevelled repeat of their other single 'Push'. I hope to see them again soon.

In a word, Brilliant are really not bad at all.

--Jane Simon