on 27 June 2004
Is it because I is Phil Collins? Seriously, can anyone else in the Rock world have so little street cred when compared to his talent? I personally can't bear any of his soppy solo albums and certainly think he did Genesis no favours when he took over from Peter Gabriel BUT he is one hell of a drummer.....
Ah well, this album always takes me back to the late 1970's when to like jazz rock like this or Soft Machine & Gong was social suicide amongst the 'cool' 6th formers who had jettisoned their prog rock collections and become middle class punks. I personally loved the ones who then got into Dub reggae or tuneless crap like Joy Division (sorry its true - the only talented band ever signed by Factory Records were the wonderful Durutti Column)
Anyway thats another story - Brand X were a band with variable studio output and I never felt they knew exactly where they were headed so it was good to hear them live - I always visualise this album being recorded in a fairly sleazy club with a stoned and only partially attentive audience allowing the boys to just hang loose.
Very nice to see it on CD - my vinyl version is completely knackered -especially side 2 Isis Mourning - definitive Brand X track. Only real complaint is that all this sounds so much better than the studio versions that they should have made it a double album....
This is a superb live album, so well played and recorded you'd hardly know..
Back in the late seventies, I had a job in the West End of London and took advantage of this to attend many small "gigs" by different artists. I had the good fortune to see Brand X at "The Venue" and the fun and brilliance of this outfit was there for all to see (it was keyboardist Peter Robinson's Birthday too and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to him as I recall...)
As for the music on this disc - superb as always, favourite being Isis Mourning, which sounded amazing on a large, powerful HiFi setup with big speakers. You really wouldn't know it was "live" so tight are the band.
As with all the Brand X CD releases, the sound is a bit "small" and needs the kind of work doing to it that Steve Hackett did on "Voyage Of The Acolyte" a couple of years ago.
The price of these discs is so low, I'd urge you to buy all Brand X's CD's and enjoy some stunning tracks, composed with care and beautifully played by master musicians...
on 12 January 2001
This live release from 1977 saw Brand X continue to develop their particular style of loose semi-improvised Jazz-rock, which proved that the quality sounds were not just studio trickery. The album begins with the rock based "Nightmare Patrol" which features a searing John Goodsall guitar solo. The mood changes completely with "Ish" which is a funky, seemingly mainly improvised piece featuring ripply Fender Piano from Robin Lumley underpinned by Percy Jones' distinctive slurred fretless bass work. "Isis Mourning pt 1" is a gorgeously melodic tune which showcases Jones' astonishing technique which he was to develop further on later recordings.