The ‘80s band recently reformed ahead of the release of their fourth studio album – their first in 38 years – ‘Mascara Streakz’. Following their recent support for the Human League’s ‘Dare 40’ tour, the band were on support for them again in Rochester and playing the outdoor stage at Europe’s biggest punk rock festival.

Singer Clare Grogan began on Altered Image’s second album with 1981 single, ‘I Could Be Happy’; a Blondie ‘Heart of Glass’ influenced bubblegum song, and then ‘See Those Eyes’, a favourite work of producer Martin Rushent who worked on the band’s debut album as well as those of The Stranglers, Buzzcocks and Human League.

She also performed brand new material featured in the setlist such as ‘Mascara Streakz’ – from their forthcoming album of the same name – a fresh feeling, disco dance-funk track with Minogue-style vocals. She moved onto John Peel favourite ‘Insects’ which saw the band appear on The Old Grey Whistle Test, with its Banshees’ guitar sound.

The band covered The Ting Ting’s ‘That’s Not My Name’ – a favourite of Grogan’s – and played their debut single ‘Dead Pop Stars’; a song derived from its punk and post-punk influences. They ended their set on their highest charting singles, ‘Don’t Talk To Me About Love’ (written with Grogan’s former bandmate and husband Stephen Lironi) and ‘Happy Birthday’, which peaked at number 7 and 2 on the UK singles charts respectively.

06/07/22; 07/08/22: Rochester Castle/Rebellion Festival – Altered Images @ Rochester Castle/R-Fest, Kent/Blackpool.

Photo © Ayisha Khan.

© Ayisha Khan.