Operating Theatre - Miss Mauger
All City continue their excavation of lost Irish musical history with the reissue of Operating Theatre's second album from 1983. Formed around the collaboration of Roger Doyle and Olwen Foure, the band first released a couple of singles via CBS, likely caught up in the new wave rush. As was typical of that period, amongst the wave of copycat acts formed in the crazed search for commercial success some bizarre stuff was also allowed the opportunity to be heard, and Operating Theatre were one of the weirder acts allowed through the door, which is hilarious to think about listening to this now. The odd-shaped synth hysterics of Suburban Lawns immediately comes to mind, which makes more sense when you realise the band were birthed from a theatre company. Their sound is at times quite showy and histrionic, yet at others, restrained and inward-looking, like a less emotionally affecting Flaming Tunes, especially on the clear stand out, 'Rampwalk'.
Post-punk is a well-mined history in the UK and US to the point of boredom, but on uncovering true weirdo gems like this you realise once again just how far and wide the DIY ethos spread. The voices it enabled to exist. What else is out there waiting to be found? I'm not gonna stop looking.
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