In the '60s British rock bands drew heavily on American soul and rhythm and blues music. In the '70s British new wave bands like The Members, who played at the Bayou last night, have turned to Jamaican reggae music for stylistic inspiration.
Although many of their songs, like "Killin' Time," featured the choppy guitar riffs of reggae, they created none of the atmosphere and rhythmic hypnosis of the real stuff."Stand Up and Spit" reduced the celebratory nature of reggae to mock anger.
The band was better when they strayed away from the exotic sounds of Jamaica and into the direct power of London punk. Despite a lack of memorable material, the band's dual guitar attack was tight and aggrresive. With a great song like Larry Wallis' "Police Car," their hard rocking had the kind of impact their own material couldn't yield.
Opening was Tina Peel, the four-piece new-wave aggregation from New York City. The band's sound draws heavily on a '60s dance sensibility and the organ-based punk rock of that decade. Lead singer Rudi Protrudi is not particularly effective, and his stage demeanor, seeming calculated and insincere, tended to undermine the party spirit that the band strove to create. Similarly their lyrical conceptions in songs like "Fi Fi Goes Pop" -- about baking your pet in a microwave oven -- never rose from bad taste to satire.