Balaam And The Angel rediscover their wings

Close-up of the three members of Balaam And The Angel photographed from above

Three decades on, Balaam are doing four shows playing the whole of your second album, The Greatest Story Ever Told.

It’s an album we still love, and it sold really well internationally. So being the anniversary, that also helps to get us off our backsides [laughs].

Balaam were hard to pigeonhole in the eighties; the word goth was often used.

We had no problem at all with being called goths. Those fans have been very loyal to us. But at first we saw ourselves as slightly psychedelic. The one thing we didn’t want to be seen as was one of those black, gloomy bands, because as people we’re quite optimistic.

Why did the band break up in 1989, and then reunite just two years later?

There was no actual split, we just went into hibernation. When Richard Branson sold Virgin Records they had to lose 150 of its 175 acts. We were one of those casualties.

That must have been tough.

Yeah. Then the recession kicked in, which meant you couldn’t give records away, never mind sell them. So now we have day jobs and make a living on the live circuit.

You’re playing in York, Manchester, Glasgow and Birmingham, but not London?

We played the Garage last year, which was exceptional. We’re already being pestered about doing it [London] again, but it seemed too soon. We don’t want to over-expose ourselves.

Who does come to see you these days?

Mostly it’s alternative music fans, with a smattering of rock people. Until now we’ve only done one-off gigs so it’ll be interesting to see who turns up.

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Dave Ling

Dave Ling was a co-founder of Classic Rock magazine. His words have appeared in a variety of music publications, including RAW, Kerrang!, Metal Hammer, Prog, Rock Candy, Fireworks and Sounds. Dave’s life was shaped in 1974 through the purchase of a copy of Sweet’s album ‘Sweet Fanny Adams’, along with early gig experiences from Status Quo, Rush, Iron Maiden, AC/DC, Yes and Queen. As a lifelong season ticket holder of Crystal Palace FC, he is completely incapable of uttering the word ‘Br***ton’.