They’re funky and smooth, with an international feel. What were they going to do without Simon, buck naked icon; or Ian, who held the ship together? They got Toby, the only one who really looks like a rock star, and Pat, on bass, understated and cool.
I love the steel drum sound Toby gets on his synth. Peter is as dominating as ever in his kit, but with a freer feel, that allows the others to knit together what they have better.
Which is better? Not a fair question. Shifting lineups have defined the band since its onset, so it’s the change itself that counts, not any individual change.
That said, the new group gives more pleasure in the moment, if it’s not the same provocative assault on the brain. It’s a sports car taken on the highway into overdrive, wheeling and weaving and having a good time.