Milestones, Video — August 29, 2010 at 11:02 am

Milestones: Elizabeth Fraser is 47 today; see 1985 TV report on ‘Cocteau Twins fever’

Reclusive Elizabeth Fraser — the incomparable voice of the Cocteau Twins — turns 47 today, and to mark the occasion, we present what has to be one of the odder moments in the dreampop group’s history: a pair of TV news reports from WBNS in Columbus, Ohio, about the “Cocteau Fever” surrounding the band’s Sept. 19, 1985, concert there — just one of five stops on its U.S. tour that year.

It’s hard to believe that a fairly obscure British band’s decision to play central Ohio merited not just an advance feature, but live coverage the night of the concert — or, rather, the “rock happening,” as the anchor calls it before throwing to a live correspondent, who announces, “Cocteau fever has hit — and guess who has it?” The answer? Apparently a bunch of weirdos with funny haircuts.

It’s like watching a bizarre ’80s version of “Anchorman” with better music.






  1. interesting what the tape /on stage/ is for – did they used it for the performance or to record the show? Not familiar with the 80’s techniques

  2. I was at the show that night and had my hair up but I don’t remember the news covering it. It was a great show in suppost of the great album Treasure. The three of them on stage with a little rhythm box sounded fantastic. I saw them years later but nothing could top that show at the Newport.

  3. I actually have a recording of the show. It isn’t perfect but very is still very listenable. I also have recordings of several other shows from the same tour. Really takes me back to a happier simpler time.

  4. Those were good years, 1982 – 1992 or so, lots of incredible music, styles, and camaraderie among fans of the genre.

    I remember going to see Siouxsie and the Banshees in 1987, it was a huge deal they were playing my town. That’s when I first heard the Cocteau Twins as they were playing them before the show.

    ‘Heaven or Las Vegas’ is still an incredible album.

    See those people, with those hairstyles and clothes, man that really brings you back doesn’t it? Who wouldn’t want to spend just a week back in 1985, 86, 87, 88?

  5. Look at all those “crazy freaks”!!!! haha LOVE it!

  6. Wow! That really takes me back to some good times.

  7. The freaks with the haircuts! I miss the underground 80’s. I didn’t get to see Cocteau Twins until the Heaven or Las Vegas tour but it was brilliance! Nothing Shocking these days (Jane’s addiction pun intended) but walking around looking like Robert Smith in the 80’s was seriously strange to people. This brings back great memories!

  8. I saw the Cocteau Twins at the Paradise in Boston four days after this. Don’t remember a particularly fashionable crowd, though!

    To Anna, above: the reel-to-reel tape machine was part of the band, playing tapes to go with the guitar & vocals. I think I remember some technical difficulties with it at the beginning of the set.

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