From The Flagstones

At times I´ve seen you from the oriole

At times I´ve seen you from the balustrade

At times I´ve seen you from the flagstones.

It´s hard to find good live cuts from the Cocteau Twins. I remember seeing them opening for O.M.D. in 83 and it was a catastrophy.

When I heard "Head over Heels", their second and sound-defining album for the first time, I could hardly believe that this was the same band.
Their sound that seemed to explode with light from the inside caused many critics to fling bucketloads of hate upon them.
Germany´s most important music magazine at the time despised them with a passion, while less informed papers labeled them as a goth-band and Siouxsie-clones. Nothing could be further away from the truth.

Here they perform "From the Flagstones" at the Tube. Great minimal performance with a tape-machine, enigmatic guitar playing and Liz Fraser giving her Joe-Cocker-trapped-in-a-dove-performance.
Of course its close to impossible to recreate the glistening ultra-sound they created on their records, and if you have never heard them you will probably miss the purpose of this clip. Instead you can giggle at the mosh-pitters who do their thing to a slow 3/4 waltz!

When the Cocteaus disappeared from 4AD they also disappeared out of my life.
I only learned much later that they had to live through very troubling times between "Heaven or Las Vegas" and their american success of "Four Calendar Cafe".

Who would have thought that their stories would involve drug-addictions, hanging out with UZI owners in Harlem and child abuse. Was the spectacular, glistening sound and incredible vocalisation the effect of pure sublimination?

I can only recommend David Stubbs´great, honest and insightful article about the Cocteau Twins which was published in Uncut-Magazine.

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