I’ve seen David Byrne in concert thrice. Last night I saw the Tom Tom Club for the first time, which means I am probably as close as I will ever come to seeing Talking Heads.
Byrne does the more impressive show, but it lacks lacks attitude. More importantly, it lacks what I guess I will call bandness, since the right word escapes me. Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, and the rest of the Tom Tom Club have bandness in abundance.
Bandness is like The Force. It runs through a group of musicians when they are a true band, as opposed to an assembly of hired guns. Audiences can detect bandness; it draws them closer to the stage, makes them listen a little more carefully, dance a little harder, wish they were part of the band.
David Byrne still has a working voice, old songs to sing, new songs to compose, and his pick of the world’s best hired guns to perform with.
The Tom Tom Club have none of those things, but they’ve got a band.
These feel like puzzle pieces, but for the life of me I can’t work out how they fit.