Apollo, Manchester

PITY the poor man who steps out on to the stage night after night to watch his new material die a tortuous death. Pity the poor man who can escape the ghost of his ex-partner, Al Mackenzie (and all their great hits). Pity poor Peter Cunnah, vocalist, animated frontman and prime mover behind pop house outfit D:Ream (for four new band members are purely for show).

Peter Cunnah's new album, entitled World, is a complete donkey. There is only one saving grace, Shoot Me Through The Heart, and the rest is absolute rubbish. It was never going to be easy to follow up the platinum - selling debut album D:Ream On Volume 1, but the new album is just unforgivable. Even in front of a sell-out audience of frenzied adolescent girls - whose ear-splitting screams filled the air every time Peter wiggled his hips or wiped the sweat from his brow - the new material bombed badly.

They were, like me, there to hear Peter (and new friends) perform the old songs that we all love. Originally written for Ecstacy adult clubbers, the climactic build-ups and chorus breaks of tracks like Things Can Only Get Better or U R The Best Thing exploded like hydrogen bombs in the national charts.

Still to this day they instantly send a shiver up my spine and induce rather embarrassing goose bumps on my arms. When bumbling Al Mackenzie (he was the awkward one in the background) announced that he was leaving D:Ream to concentrate on his DJ-ing career (he didn't like doing Top Of The Pops), the suits at the record company surely should have foreseen what would be lost.

There is already too much rubbish masquerading as house music in the nation's teenage consciousness and without Al's guiding hand it seems things can only get worse.

Manchester Evening News, 10th Oct 1995