Personnel: David Steiner (vocals, piano); Andrew Gray (guitar, clarinet); Jeff Wilmott (piano, drums); Suze Chebib (piano).
Recording information: B.B.C. Studio 1, Broadcasting House, London, UK (09/12/1980); Blackwing Studio (09/12/1980); B.B.C. Studio 1, Broadcasting House, London, UK (1979-1980); Blackwing Studio (1979-1980).
Photographer: Andrew Gray.
Era should be the final word on In Camera, a post-punk act signed to 4AD on the strength of a gig for which they shared a bill with Bauhaus. While together, the short-lived band released only a two-song 7" and a four-song 12", both of which were issued in 1980, and they bowed with a posthumously issued 12" edition of their all-originals BBC session for John Peel's program, also recorded in 1980. As for previous anthologies, there was 13 (Lucky for Some) in 1992 and the limited vinyl-only IV Songs + II. Era eclipses them both by offering not only all the studio and BBC recordings, but also demos, live material, and some rehearsals. For early-4AD obsessives and other post-punk fanatics, this won't seem the least bit excessive -- though the sound quality of the live cuts is pretty rough -- and it all fits inside a tidy, sharp sleeve that could be mistaken for an artful greeting card. Among scads of other bands that specialized in hectoring vocals, droning basslines, battering drums, and scraping guitars, In Camera weren't all that distinctive, but they created quite a racket. ~ Andy Kellman