Comsat Angels

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The Comsat Angels are a favourite band of Mark Kermode; their output, in his opinion, is far superior to that of the rock band U2. And Joy Division ("the Comsat Angels are what Joy Division would sound like if they could play and sing"). Simon Mayo disagrees with these assessments, pointing out that Joy Division were better as they had a documentary made about them. Mark responded that The Fugs didn't have a documentary made about them either.

U2 actually once supported the Comsat Angels at a gig in 1980 attended by Mark; one listener who was also there said it was in Loughborough, although Mark was not sure about that.

Stephen Fellows of the Comsat Angels once texted in to say "Jesse James was great but Joy Division were better than us."

By 2009, Mark's love of the Comsats was so well-known that he was invited to open their reunion gig at their home town of Sheffield on 26 April. Privately, Mark asked Simon what he should say when introducing them - "it's alright if you're Tommy Vance introducing a heavy metal band - you say, 'alright Sheffield, are you ready to rock?' - but what do you say when you're about to introduce the most important band of the last 40 years, and the band that Joy Division could have been if they'd had a good singer and been able to write songs?" Consequently, Simon asked Wittertainees on Twitter for their suggestions as to what Mark should say:

  • "Here's a band so loved, fans have travelled from all over the UK. And also the Netherlands."
  • "Please welcome Joy Division wannabes Comsat Angels" (MARK: If that's the standard we're going to have, I'm going to leave now)
  • "Here they are, the band you might have confused with The Chameleons or U2, and are not quite as good as The Icicle Works anyway"
  • "Everyone concerned should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves - ladies and gentlemen, the Comsat Angels!"
  • "Are you ready to see Joyless Division?"

Mark disliked most of these suggestions, preferring, "for those about to be ambient, we salute you".

It was the promise from listener Chris at Camp Bestival to finance a Comsat Angels world tour that induced Mark to break the review embargo for Inglourious COUGHING.

According to Mark, the top Comsat Angel's songs are (at the moment):

  1. At Sea
  2. Our Secret
  3. Gone
  4. Home is the Range
  5. It's History
  6. Be Brave
  7. Mr Memory
  8. Ice Sculpture
  9. Red Planet (Revisited)
  10. High Tide
  11. The Glamour
  12. Total War
  13. Shining Hour
  14. Postcard
  15. Will You Stay Tonight?
  16. This Island Heart
  17. I Get Excited
  18. Mass
  19. Eye of the Lens
  20. My Mind's Eye