Babylon Zoo - LA2, London
HIS HANDLERS are calling him 'the new Prince'. Jas Mann of Wolverhampton, aka Babylon Zoo, already has too much to live up to without such comparisons. His single, Spaceman (the theme to the current Levi's ad), is the biggest-selling debut of all time, and how do you follow that?

Hence, Jas had every right to be shaking in his space boots before his first live show, which was being promoted as a special event for which the club would be redecorated as 'New Atlantis' (an extension of Mann's galactic/mythological theme). Why didn't mission control warn him that launches are usually practised in places like Ipswich first?

New Atlantis failed to materialise, the budget only running to three women in latex one-pieces moving through the crowd with baskets of stick-on space tattoos. Never mind - the show would compensate with state-of-the-art special effects, right? Wrong. A stupefied-looking Jas and band had to make do with a few slides and some vertical structures studded with something like light-bulbs. What with the ponderous, sub-Bowie glam rock, this wasn't the cutting edge of technology, it was seventies night down the disco.

Mann complemented every number with slo-mo anti-gravity dancing, asked us 'inter-galactic beings' how we were feeling, and played the hit twice. Nothing, though, alleviated the sense that the whole thing had been thrown together on hire purchase at the last minute. The gap between a pop starlet's reach and his grasp has rarely yawned so large. Lift-off aborted, at least for now.

20 Feb 1996: The Guardian - Page 10 - (246 words)

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Other Information
Jas, fully named 'Jasbinder', was born in Dudley in the West Midlands on the 24th day of April 1971

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