Recorded in 2010? Gazing down the setlist I reflect that most of this material was old in the mid-eighties. It's good material, but most of it has been given live coverage at least once in the past. I think I now understand why there was no pre-release information on contents. What happened to the material from Rain, the last studio album? Or anything else released since Night And Day, which dominates this set? The band were doing Scary Monsters last time I saw them, and at that time JJ claimed they only did one cover per gig, but there are three here. They're OK, but they crowd out the material I wanted to hear.
The set opens with Tomorrow's World, which also opened 1989's Blaze Of Glory, sounding quite different from its original manifestation. Good. No point buying a live record if the songs just sound like the studio version, is there?
Another World is the first of five (that's nearly half the record!) songs from Night And Day, featuring a lively but brief jazz/salsa passage at the end. Still Alive, from Volume 4 follows, the only song with which I'm not familiar (due to a period where I left the fold), so not able to compare with the original. Chinatown begins as on the original, but there's a nice instrumental passage in the middle.
Sunday Papers, though, has acquired a slightly more jaunty feel, and feels the influence of Graham Maby on bass quite a bit. Cancer is, well, much as it was in 1982, again with the exception of some tricky piano in the middle. Got The Time, one of those songs I sometimes wish would slow down so I could sing along, proceeds at its usual breakneck speed, driven helter-skelter by Dave Houghton's Drums and Maby's bass, both of which get a good airing.
And the litmus test? How good is Steppin' Out in comparison with the Vancouver version on Live 1980-1986, aka The Most Sublime Version Ever? Well, it's actually quite interesting reinterpreted as a drum'n'bass number, so though certainly not on the same level, it's in the same ball park, and gets lots of marks for the makeover. Slow Song, on the other hand, which closes the set, sounds much like the original, with the exception that we hear what I guess is the audience acknowledging the ritual exit of bassist and drummer as Joe plays.
But overall, irrespective of the quality of the material here, for longtime JJ followers this has to be a disappointment given the shortage of new live songs.