David Devant & His Spirit Wife were one of the best live acts of the 1990s. If you come across their albums I advise you to snap them up immediately. What follows is a few old press clippings that came to light recently plus an old Rebel magazine interview with Devant front man Mikey Georgeson (who was also known as The Vessel).
Part One: Reviews of "Work, Lovelife, Miscellaneous" (the band's debut album released in July 1997 on Rhythm King/Arista Records)
VOX Magazine: "This wonderful album distils the essence of British art college pop, nicking bits of everything from vintage Bowie to Blur, without forgetting to squeeze at least two or three melodies into each song. If they didn't look so odd to the producers of daytime and children's television, they'd be arm-in-arm with Suede and Pulp in a month or two, strolling through the Top Ten"
David Kelly (7/10)
Q Magazine: "Taking their name from a long forgotten Victorian magician and his most illustrious piece of visual trickery, David Devant & His Spirit Wife are currently conducting a six man rearguard action on behalf of English eccentricity. Whether they're in it for the duration or just a quick laugh remains to be seen... both musically and lyrically the ideas flow freely, making for a relentless quirky entertainment. Ginger, the redheads' manifesto, has already proved its worth as a single. There's obviously more to them than first meets the eye".Peter Kane(3/5)
Part Two: Reviews of concerts.
Melody Maker Magazine: "Tonight Glasgow witnesses art terrorism/glam/(subtly)political theatre gone MAD. Taking turns behind a guitar or a wurlitzer and in the eye of sturm, frontman The Vessel models Ferry's Bogart impression in the frame of Ziggy Stardust while wearing Ron Mael's moustache. It would be impossible to take your eyes off him if there wasn't so much to look at." - Dave Simpson
Loaded Magazine: "They're somewhere between The Kinks and early Bowie with a smattering of 96 mod pop and Trevor and Simon's World of Strange from early 90s Saturday morning TV" - David Plunkett
The Independent: "In an era where most Britpop stars have as much stage presence as a sack of wet compost DD&HSW's vaudevillean extravaganza is a rare delight. Utilising film, slides and a steady stream of DIY props, this sextet house their wry, glam-influenced pop in a multimedia assault on the senses. Think Ziggy Stardust via Vic Reeves' Big Night Out and you're halfway there."
Part Three: Extracts from interviews
The Rebel Magazine (2006)
Harry Pye: Why fools fall in love?
Mikey Georgeson: "Because they believe in the dream and they are pure of heart."
Harry: Percy Sledge once sang: If a man loves a woman he'll sleep out in the rain and turn his back on his best friend if he puts her down. What say you?
Mikey: "She will probably be his best friend... eventually. A lot of men would happily do both these things however because we all have innate Hamlet syndrome (discuss)."
Harry: What single thing would improve your life?
Mikey: "Having the number one song in heaven."
Select Magazine: "David Devant & His Spirit Wife, you may guess, aren't your average indie band. They've taken Warhol and The Velvet Underground's multi-media performance idea and added a pair of silver platforms, a massive wig and lots of magic. Live, they're an experience." - Gina Morris.
Select Magazine: What's the biggest misconception about the band?
Mikey Georgeson: "People think we're trying to be clever or ironic, but really we're far too infantile for that. We're honest - there's no irony whatsoever in our music. It's just that we're not honest in a 'shirt and jeans' way like Oasis." (July 99)
The Sunday Times: "DD&HSW may have a daft name and an off-the-wall-act. They may also be the future of rock'n'roll" Robin Eggar reports... "They are being noticed by all the right people. "Initially, I was intrigued by the look of them, by the name, by the image. Then I heard some really good songs," says Mark Radcliffe, the Radio 1 breakfast show presenter, who made Ginger his single of the week in March. "They are quirky, very different", says Jason Carter, a live music producer at LWT, in what might be the understatement of the year. "Six months ago I thought they might founder, but the music stands by itself and the signs are very good that their next record will go Top 40. Then, if they get picked up by Chris Evans' TFI Friday... who knows where it will end."