Play Dead should have been much, much more successful than they actually were. As I have mentioned my first proper gig, i.e. one that wasn’t the local goth/punk band in the local goth/rock pub/venue (so for us in Cheltenham that was the Screaming Dead at Charles’s Night Club) was Killing Joke supported by Play Dead at Digbeth Civic Hall, 30th July 1983.
I was only 15 and in awe of Killing Joke but when Play Dead came on I was gob-smacked. Now, hard-core Play Dead fans will hate what I am about to say, but, Play Dead were like the world’s best Killing Joke tribute band. The songs were different, but the components were nearly all Killing Joke – tribal drums – check, chugging bass – check, arpeggiated, dirty, chorused guitar – check. In fact it is really only the vocals which are different.