This London-based band was formed in 1991, taking their name from the stage show of a long-forgotten Victorian magician (singer ‘The Vessel’ claiming to be Devant’s earthly mouthpiece). Their own brand of live performance art owed a similar debt to the visual style of the music-hall era, featuring mirrors, glass boxes, carrot graters (on ‘Ginger’) and line-drawing. Fronted by Vessel, and featuring ex-Monochrome Set guitarist Foz?, the band established themselves as an entertaining live act. However, their debut album highlighted the drawbacks of their highly visual live appeal, with the band’s sub-glam rock and Vessel’s sub-Bowie vocal posturings struggling to create an identity for such live favourites as ‘Last Ever Pop Song’ and ‘This Is For Real’. Struggling to overcome their reputation as a novelty act, the band left Rhythm King to set up their own Kindness label, on which they released the impressive Shiney On The Inside.
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