I was lucky enough to see Family play live about a dozen times. They were quite superb - unpretentious, casual in approach, even sloppy at times, yet could suddenly become extremely tight, musically. They could be as complex as a jazz band, but all the time driven by Roger Chapman's manic persona and sense of fun.
The live section of this album gives a glimpse into how good (and bad) they could be - Chapman forgets his words a couple of times, yet the band plays on behind him as if nothing has happened, bringing in electric violin, saxophone and vibraphone to augment their routinely excellent blues-influenced guitar/bass/drum combo.
I suppose the nearest thing we've seen to Family since they broke up would be Ian Dury and the Blockheads. Clever songs and witty stage persona, allied to skilled musicianship.
Never a studio band, Family failed to produce an album which truly reflected how good they really were. This is about as close as they got.