“Band Of Gold” isn’t a particular standout musically – a Motown beat that seems to have gone a bit stale on its journey over to the Invictus label, a string arrangement low in the mix and an enjoyably twangy guitar. It does a job but it’s down to Freda Payne to give the record its kick. And she does – a performance full of hurt, sorrow and indignant anger. Impotence is a rare pop topic, now as then: the lyric stresses the bride’s naivety, but the strongest impression I get is that Payne simply can’t believe the affrontery of what’s happened: whatever olive branches she’s prepared to hand out (“love me like you tried before”) pale beside her bubbling, disbelieving wrath – “but THAT NIGHT, on our HONEYMOON”. It’s withering stuff: a shame the band also couldn’t get it up a little more.

Score: 8

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